Ledeen: It’s 1938-1941, Hitler is Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Khomeinists, Wahabis, Etc.

Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal editorial page is as hard-line as ever, today featuring a lengthy and by now familiar meditation by AEI “Freedom Scholar” and perennial intrigue entrepreneur Michael Ledeen on “Iran and the Problem of Evil.” Actually, the headline is a bit of a distortion because, in typical neo-conservative fashion, Ledeen compares the conflated threats emanating from the Arab world and Iran — or, as Ledeen puts it, “from Hezbollah and al Qaeda to the Iranians Khomeinists and the Saudi Wahabis” — to those posed by Mussolini’s fascism, Hitler’s Germany, and Stalin’s Russia. To his credit, Ledeen decided to forgo the use of “Islamofascism,” a decision which no doubt will get him in trouble with David Horowitz, Frank Gaffney, and James Woolsey, among others of his hard-line fellow-neo-cons. But, of course, by putting “Iran” and the other assorted threats in the same context, he really doesn’t have to use the word itself. In any event, the lesson — and I guess here is where the headline that features “Iran” alone — is clear enough: “As it did in the 20th century, it means war.”

Ledeen often describes himself as a historian, and, as such, I would expect Ledeen to be scrupulously careful of his facts, but one assertion about anti-Semitism in Iran in his essay really stuck out at me; namely, that The Protocol of the Elders of Zion is now circulating in a Farsi edition. I did a quick Nexis search for the “Protocol” and “Protocols”, “Iran”, and “Farsi” and could find only two articles that appeared to corroborate Ledeen’s statement. One was a 2005 article in the Likudist New York Sun by Benny Avni, who asserted that “‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ the classic anti-Semitic fraud, is a best seller in Iran…” No further evidence to support that assertion was offered. A second article, which appeared in the November 2006 edition of Playboy, by frequent New Republic contributor Joseph Braude, also asserted that the notorious forgery had been translated into Farsi with the financial help of the Islamic Republic. Again, however, he offered no supporting evidence.

I also checked with the State Department’s nearly 100-page “Global Anti-Semitism Report” published less than three months ago and could find no mention of a Farsi edition of the Protocols, although it did note that new editions had appeared in English, Ukrainian, Indonesian, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Russian, and Serbian since 2003. The report also noted that the Protocols had recently become “best sellers” in Turkey (a strong ally of Israel’s and hence, presumably, irrelevant to Ledeen thesis on “evil”) and Syria.

Now, it is true that the Iranian delegation to the 2005 Frankfurt International Book Fair displayed an English-language edition of the Protocols among its wares, but I doubt that it would have become a ”best seller” in Iran in that form, as the Sun’s Avni had asserted.

Ledeen also wrote that “calls for the destruction of Jews appear regularly on Iranian ….television,” and, while Ahmadinejad’s periodic calls for the elimination of Israel (from the pages of time, from history, from the map — depending on the translation), not to mention the “Death to Israel” sloganeering that has been staple of government rallies in Iran since the Revolution, I don’t have enough knowledge or research time to assess the truthfulness of this assertion. I would note, however, that Iran continues to boast by far the largest Jewish community in the region outside Israel; that Jews are an officially recognized minority free to worship as they wish; that the vast majority have shunned substantial financial inducements to emigrate to Israel; and that, despite Ahmadinejad’s well-publicized Holocaust scepticism, the government television station has broadcast a popular series about the Holocaust based on a true story about an Iranian diplomat in Paris who helped Jews escape Nazi-occupied France. That doesn’t mean anti-Semitism in Iran does not exist; on the contrary, most experts believe it is indeed on the rise there, spurred in considerable part by regional tensions and the crescendo of threats and counter-threats between the Israel and Iran. But lumping Iran in with more clearly anti-Semitic movements and governments — not to mention his blithe assertions about the popularity of the Protocols’ Farsi edition — does not enhance Ledeen’s — or the Journal’s op-ed fact-checkers’ — credibility.

Visit Lobelog.com for the latest news analysis and commentary from Inter Press News Service’s Washington bureau chief Jim Lobe.

Author: Jim Lobe

Visit Lobelog.com for the latest news analysis and commentary from Inter Press News Service's Washington bureau chief Jim Lobe.

160 thoughts on “Ledeen: It’s 1938-1941, Hitler is Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Khomeinists, Wahabis, Etc.”

  1. Since Israel itself encourages the conflation of Jews per se with the state of Israel, it’s a wonder that — given Israel’s record of behavior — there isn’t more real anti-Semitism in Iran and in the world generally.

    In the US, I find that among non-Jews (whether secular, Christian, or whatever), the staunchest “supporters of Israel” are the most likely to hold anti-Semitic attitudes toward Jews as people.

  2. Even if Ledeen’s assertion is true–that Protocols has been translated into Farsi and is popular in Iran–my response is the one made famous by Cheney: “So?” This is considered justification for us to be at war with Iran? To kill thousands of innocent people. That’s not just absurd, it’s obscene. Even these knuckleheads should be able to come up with something better than that.

    1. There *are* neo-nazi missionaries in the USA, busy translating and “explaining” to puzzled 3rd worlders why the US supports Israel, instead of the guys with the oil. (Ordinary Israelis are usually puzzled too, and expect to the US to betray them eventually.) They never mention Dispensationalism, although it IS the reason, that and a analogy with US Cowboys-and-Indians history.

      Lester Ness

  3. Ledeen is no “historian”.

    His work on Machiavel is Neo-Con two minute manager stuff at best.

    If scholars had firing squads, Ledeen would have long ago been extradited to Italy and shot for defamation of Macchiavelli and the national character.

    Incidentally, the picture of Macchiavelli in the English-speaking world, was early distorted in drama.

    He was, among other things, a Republican, and “Il Principe” is satiric in a way perhaps only those who understand the Florentine wit can follow.

    It was also written in the tradition of the Arabic “Mirrors for Princes”.

    Macchiavelli also favored citizen armies and found in the use of mercenaries the destruction of Italy.

    He was a masterful student of Livy into the bargain, as well as a dramatist and an accomplished diplomat.

    Guicciardini’s Ricordi, which were keep secret for the use of his family, and which Ledeen never heard of apparently, should be read side by side with Macchiavelli.

    Macchiavelli did admire Cesare Borgia-as did Nietzsche, for example–but not for any reasons that Ledeen will ever understand or articulate.

    The main reason was that he saw in Borgia the possibility of unifying Italy.

    Ledeen has not read or understood even the basic books an undergraduate would master.

    He is as much a “historian” as Leo Strauss was a “philosopher”–to wit, not at all.

    The Neo-Cons are, one and all, crude, uneducated, vicious, intellectually bankrupt ideologues, with, like Strauss himself, some mastery of the propaganda tactics of Hitler and Goebbels and Trotsky himself, and not much else.

    1. Eugene,

      An apt comparison of Ledeen or any other neo-con “intellectual” with a legitimate historian, say Judt, is roughly the same as one comparing Gilbert & Sullivan or Victor Herbert with Giuseppe Verdi. Probably best to envision these poseurs functionally. Using an approach of that kind, one where the history involved is arranged with considerably more precision, Leeden emerges as kind of Joseph Goebbels. He is a propagandist, nothing more, and, if we are able to survive his blandishments, his name soon will disappear even from the strata of public conversation on which currently he’s been able to foist hiimself. Except for the rare glimpse into the “tenor of the times” we’re occasionally given in documentaries like the ones one sees of the early twentieth century in which referrence is made to, say, Amy Semple McPherson, or in the memory of his immediate family, Ledeen will simply cease to exist.

      1. This one is outright funny:

        http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZmVhODlkNDI1NjAzZTQyZWQxYjdmZTRjNWU5NzQxMGY=

        In addition to thinking the Florentines coined “pazzi” after the Pazzi (poor Rubicante pazzo), Ledeen also seems to think the expression is “causus belli”.

        Is that like Melvin?

        If he does have a Ph.D. in “history” from Wisconsin, the University might give some serious thought to expunging him.

        He even gives cheese castles a bad name.

        1. The National Review is the Der Sturmer of the present era and Ledeen its Julius Streicher. To see the typical National Review piece as anything more than noxious hate mongering is to be entirely unfamiliar with the genre. What has always baffled me is that these brownshirts are accorded the respectability usually reserved for serious scholars. But these are no scholars, they are street brawlers. One needs learn the lessons of the late Weimer SPD if one is to deal effectively with vermin of this kind. Otherwise they soon will be beating and torturing you in some makeshift Dachau.

        2. Why, if the US don’t (sic) attack Iran immediately, the Iranians my attack oil terminals and cause oil to go to $140 per barrel!

        3. And here I though that The Wall Street Journal was the Der Stuermer of our time! But with less humor.

          Slightly seriously, don’t forget that the Nazis did include some legitimate scholars. Think of Gerhard Kittel. Even Erwin Kantorwicz put the swastika on the cover of one of his books.

          Lester Ness

    2. I totally agree with you. The neo-cons and there followers are the most

      stupid, uninspired, paranoid aggressors with no foresight, no humanity

      and certainly the opposite of any ITALIAN INTELLECTUAL.

      I have a strong piece of advice to this group of PAZZI;

      Take your TALIMUD and high-tail it to Miami Beach, Florida

      and STAY THERE, PLEASE.

    3. They seem to be much-schooled, but without wide experience in life, and thus (as you say) uneducated. Their _paideia_ seems mostly to be US mystical messianic nationalism, which I suppose is what they have in common with their allies, the Christian Fundamentalists.

      Lester

  4. What happened to “freedom of speach or to print ” that is Muslims are non-stop lectured about by the guardins of such lofty ideals in the west.So printing the Protocols ,fraud or not, should fall under that freedom as offense as might be to some,or have we forgetten the Danish cartoons so quickly!

  5. The Medici systematically eliminated all evidence of the existence of the Pazzi. Their names were erased from the facades of their palaces, references to them were expunged from lists of praiseworthy citizens past and present, paintings and frescoes with their images were destroyed or covered up. No wonder that the Tuscan word for “fools” is pazzi!

    Had the Medici been better prepared, they would have struck first. But they were well prepared to fight once the Pazzi attacked, gave no quarter in the struggle, and achieved a glorious victory….”

    [Micahel Ledeen]

    Ah, hum–er–Mr. Ledeen, er, ah–where did you say you did your “academic” preparation again?

    Merely by the way, this practice was called by the ancient Romans, Abolitio Memoriae, and is not original with the Medici.

    At Harvard in the old days they had something similar called “being expunged”.

    No wonder the Italian for “Neo-Cons” is pazzi, “raving madmen”.

    1. Maybe in two hundred years ladeen, cheney or kagan will be American slang for raving madman. I suspect that bush will have replaced wanker by then.

  6. 75% of Iran’s Jewish population left after Khomeni came to power. They stayed under the rule of the Shan but they felt they had to leave when Khomeni came to power.

    Hezzbollah enagaged in attacks on Lebanese jews in the 1980’s. Hezzbollah also blew up the Jewish community center in the 1980s despite what the Khmer Rouge apologist Garath Porter reports.

    http://www.teachkidspeace.org/doc356.php

    well antiwar is the site where they think the US ought to have stayed out of world war II so what can you expect?

    1. Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa decreeing that the Jews were to be protected, and the Iranian Jewish community hasn’t been persuaded to pick up and move to Israel despite lavish bribes: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jul/12/israel.iran

      The use of the Hezbollah example is evidently intended to cast Hezbollah as latter-day Nazis. In fact, they are nothing of the sort; Hezbollah was formed in reaction to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and lacks both the martial capacities and social content associated with German fascism. There is, in short, nothing in logic that supports a comparison such as this buttressed by a lone invidious remark about antiwar.com’s anti-interventionist stance. Insubstantial hit-and-run attacks like this one are typical of neocons. In sum, stupid troll is stupid.

        1. OOOOOOOH!!!! Scary.

          Seriously, you need to bring better than that sort of crass cartoon propaganda to the party.

          Hezb’llah are the Lebanese resistance to (openly stated) Israeli expansion. Nothing more, nothing less.

      1. Honestreporting.com – about as balanced as MEMRI, WINEP, etc!

        Teach Kids Peaceâ„¢ is a project of HonestReporting whose goal is
        to draw attention to the culture of hatred and to promote peace education for children.

        Do they ever condemn the hatred from the Israeli side? No!

        1. you can check the video. They didn’t make the video Iran did.

          I think the blame ought to be with Iran for making the video in the first place don’t you agree?

        2. Allan and Zakhalka admitted that at the end of 2006, they persuaded Arabs from the Galilee and central Israel who were developmentally challenged or mentally ill to agree to have a kidney removed for payment. They located their victims by placing ads in the newspaper offering money for organ donation. According to the indictment, the pair gave false information to the donors, and also pressured and threatened them to give up their kidney. After the surgery, Allan and Zakhalka did not pay the donors as promised.

          One of the victims was an illiterate 32-year-old single mother from an Arab village in central Israel. The pair told her she would undergo a simple operation, and she would be back on her feet in two days. At one point, the woman changed her mind, and in response Allan and Zakhalka threatened to report her to the police, telling her it was a crime to agree to donate a kidney. Like the other victims, the woman was flown to Ukraine where she underwent the surgery. When she returned home, the victims refused to pay her the $7,000 they had promised her.

          Allan and Zakhalka were part of a criminal ring that included an Israeli surgeon, Dr. Michael Zis, who also worked at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. According to the indictment, Zis sold the kidneys he harvested for between $125,000 and $135,000, of which Allan received $10,000 dollars. The State Prosecutor’s Office is preparing an extradition order against Zis, who is being held in prison in Ukraine.

          [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/935092.html]

        3. Given all your erudition, what, might I ask, is the purpose of this posting? Perhaps you can explain it to me?

      2. 01/05/2007
        Israeli doctor said detained in Turkey for illegal organ transplants

        By Haaretz Service and News Agencies

        An Israeli surgeon has been detained at an Istanbul hospital over alleged illegal organ transplants, a Turkish news agency reported Tuesday.

        The report named the doctor as Zaki Shapira, and said that three other Israeli nationals were also detained. Two of the Israelis were reportedly donating kidneys to a third Israeli and a South African in his 60s.

        The arrests occurred when Turkish police were called to the hospital because of a robbery and discovered the alleged illegal transplants.

        The report said that a policeman and a robber were wounded in an exchange of gunfire. A total of 15 people were detained in connection with the incident, including seven hospital employees.

        According to the report, the four would-be donors and recipients were transferred to other hospitals in Istanbul as the hospital in which they were being treated did not have a license or adequate equipment to carry out transplants.

        The report quotes police as saying that the robbery had no connection to the alleged illegal organ transplants.

        1. Again, what exactly is your point?

          You have posted two articles here about illegal organ transplants. The criminals involved in purchasing the organs were four Israelis – two of them (apparently) Jews and two Arabs. It also seems that all were arrested and will face charges (two in Israel and two in other countries). So what is the point you are trying to make?

        2. I think it is clear, the Israelis are claiming that claims about their organ harvesting operations are not true, when facts point to the opposite. They are also involved in human trafficking, but I suppose bringing that up is also “anti-semitic”.

        3. So, Bill, let me get this straight. You think that because Israel has criminals (both Jews and Arabs in this case) who have paid people for their organs, that Israel (that is the country and its entire population) is involved in organ harvesting? Further, you think that somehow the two articles that Mr. Costa posted (although he hasn’t apparently had the guts to explain why) somehow “proves” this point. This is despite the fact that, if you actually read these articles – and particlulaly the first one that our pedant posted here – you will see that the people involved are being charged, and will be tried, for the crimes they committed. The same is true, by the way, in cases of “human trafficking”, and I don’t think that Israel is unique in this business.

          I don’t think that your approach here is necessarily anti-semitic. Stupid, idiotic and almost laughable, yes. Anti-semitic, not really.

          Of course, this whole issue is on-topic I guess, because it is reminscint of the Iraninan TV show , the premise of which is, indeed anti-semitic:

        4. So, Bill, let me see if I understand correctly. You are claiming that these two posts somehow bolster a claim of Israeli organ harvesting. This is despite the fact that, if you actually read the articles in question (and primarily the latest one), the criminals involved (both Jews and Arabs) have been charged and will be tried. The same, I might add, is true of “human trafficking”.

          Is bringing these issues up anti-semitic? Idiotic yes. Stupid yes. Laughable yes. But I don’t think it qualifies as anti-semitic.

          All of this does remind me, however, of the Iranian TV show “Zahra’s Blue Eyes”. Now that was anti-semitic, in my opinon.

      1. Wikipedia schmikipedia. Anyone can write their favorite propaganda into Wikipedia.

        Lester Ness

        1. You should probably inform the many anti-Israel posters here who rely on Wikipedia to support their arguments.

  7. First off I couldn’t care less what Ledeen has to say. His adjenda is quite obvious. Second I also don’t care if people are anti-semetic idiots that fall for propaganda like the elders of zion. It’s their business not mine (it doesn’t mean I would pick them to hang out with). I would also say that most people in the world understand the difference between the Jewish people and their strugles and the Zionist Governments. I think they also understand that not all Americans are like our current neo-con leaders.

    One of the other things I notice is how full of ourselves we are. Having lived for many years in Monterey Ca. I got the chance to hang out with tourist from all over the world. The one thing that most of them had was a love for their own countries and towns and people. They were not nearly as concerned with the US as I thought. Being young and patriotic, nationalistic and believing I lived in the best country in the world (dispite everything I still do), I was very surprised to learn that the rest of the world didn’t think that the world revolves around the US. I’m sure some things have changed, but I would be willing to bet that for the average non US person they are still mostly concerned with their own lives and countries. Us being a world power was not their biggest concern in fact they all seemed much more interested in getting down to Hollywood or Disneyland. I truly believe that if we learned to live and let live, the world could sort it’s own problems out just fine without us.

    Peace!

    1. To everyone his country is the best!Many Americans think that the country and government are one and the same! our troops!our prsident,and they hate us!

  8. “But honestreporting.com’s supporters ­ whose letters often reveal that they’ve never actually read anything I’ve written ­ are in a class of their own. Only last month, I wrote a comment-page article in The Independent describing the way in which any serious journalist who criticised Israeli policy ­ the operation of death squads, for example, or the building of illegal Jewish settlements on stolen Arab land ­ was reviled as “anti-Semitic”. This, the most disgraceful of the accusations made against Western journalists, permeates many of the letters provoked by honestreporting.com.”

    http://www.robert-fisk.com/articles30.htm

    1. Honest reporting didn’t make the video.

      OF course Robert Fisk is such an unbaised source – not.

        1. would it be fair to show Israel’s hurt by Palestinians?

          at any rate Israel doesn’t behave worse than its enemies during war

  9. History will not be kind to Michael Ledeen and his group of “knuckle draggers”.

    What an elitist and racist he truly is!!

    By the way, when is this macho man signing up to fight in the military, big pussy that he is.

    1. I doubt it. Separating the costs of these undertakings from their beneficiaries is an abiding precept of government, particularly in its American incarnation. But truly, there is no greater vindication of Orwell’s maxim that those who howl the loudest for blood are invariably those not fighting than these neoconservatives. They have no concept of anything beyond their grandiose, febrile visions and no appreciation of the costs they carry. Such is the result of insular lives spent peddling polemics to those among the powerful who need to rationalize their depredations.

  10. Dear Mr. Lobe as an Iranian, avid reader, and someone who actually reads Farsi (unlike the repugnant Mr. Ledeen) I can tell you that the idea that the Protocols is a "bestseller" in Iran is pure BS. We're bloody translating Foucault, Joyce and Antonio Negri over here not fu**ing antiquated pamphlets by Russian anti-Semites.

  11. True believers like Ledeen really love uncle Adolph, they see him everywhere and they see him always. Since they are outside reality, spacetime doesn’t affect them. They see him in Castro, and clear in Assad, in Nasser, Saddam en Ahmadinejad. They saw him in Noriega and in Arafat. (Hey I could write a tune to this.) They see him in Chavez, but he saw it right back, while Zarqawi was Hitler in his bunker in Iraq.
    And now they reached the stage where they can see Rohrschachlike Hitlershapes in amorphous groups. The Taliban, al Qaida, Hezbollah and Iran. The Paki’s, Wahabbi’s and all muslims in Oman. Sadr, Hamas, al Jazeera and Sudan. But that’s just warming up for China and Taiwan.

    1. People like Ledeen are basically social Darwinists for whom might makes right. The neocon answer to Uncle Adolph’s Master Race narrative is not, “Uncle Adolph, you’re wrong because the very concept of a Master Race is wrong.” Their answer is, “Adolph, you’re wrong because you lost and we won and therefore we’re the Master Race.”

      1. Yeah but that would be kind of wrong considering the US sat on the sidelines waiting for the Nazis to be defeated by the USSR and UK and then join in at the best time when casualties would be light and victories would be plenty.

  12. I wonder if Jim Lobe has actually read Ledeen’s piece in the WSJ. It seems apparent that most of the commenters here certainly haven’t.

    I don’t always agree with Michael Ledeen, but Lobe’s argument is extremely lacking. He rests his case on two issues: That he was unable to find any references to a Farsi tranlation of the Protocols, and that Ledeen somehow doesn’t account for the fact that there are Jews in Iran.

    In the case of the first argument, I don’t think you have to look far. Go to memri.org and do a search for “Iran protocols elders”. You’ll find that the Islamic Republic of Iran has produced a number of TV series based on the protocols. Considering that nearly one-quarter of the Iranian population is illiterate, this is probably a much better medium than the book itsel. More important, you just need to check you the weekly Friday prayer meetings. Two things have been consistent in these meetings since Khomaini started them 19 years ago. First that the ayatollah always speaks with a weapon by his side – usually an AK-47, but sometimes a sword. Second, and more to the point, that the meetings always end with chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”. They don’t mention “regimes” here, by the way.

    As to the second issue, I don’t see why Ledeen’s argument should have to rest on whether or not there are still Jews left in Iran. As a matter of fact, about 85% have left since the Islamic Revolution. But this really has no bearing on Ledeen’s case. As a matter of fact, when World War II broke out, there were still over 200,000 Jews left in Germany, many of whom I am certain still hoped for the return of better times. Does this mean that Hitler and the Nazis were any less of a threat to world peace?

    1. Let’s see. We have to go to the Israeli propaganda site Memri for evidence…and see there that even they cannot find any case of Farsi Protocols. Instead we get references to Iranian TV programs with antisemitic content. Then this is presented as even stronger evidence for malicious practices, because evidently a quarter of Iranians are illiterate and so they mindlessly repeat everything they see on television. Just like Americans perhaps is the underlying idea?

      Yes, Ledeen so much so ties the current Iranian regime together with Hitler Germany that it is impossible to make any distinction between them whatsoever in the Ledeen universe. The reason for that is to paint them purely ideologically driven and so make it unthinkable to deal with them peacefully. So that means that in his view the Iranian Jewish population is on the verge of being exterminated. And so it is relevant to throw in some dose of reality here because for example while you insist that it has no bearing on Ledeen’s argument you are stating exactly the same thing in trying to defend his argument. You just couldn’t leave it out.

      So concerning the Iranian Jews Jonathan gave up 75%, your bid is 85% depletion. Problem is that those numbers aren’t correct. At the eve of the Islamic Revolution there were 80.000 Jews. Now there are 25000 in the Teheran area and about 40.000 in total. At first I thought you were exaggerating for the extra effect, but you probably just got the facts mixed up. Your 85% number refers to the normal growth corrected decline since 1948 with the 1905 exodus, thus with the migration to Los Angeles and Israel.
      Much criticism is rightly deserved, but at the same time the Jewish community is quite outspoken and very aware of their history and very not in need of neocon assistance. The reason why they are targeted by the neocon propagandamachine might be their continuing resistance to Israeli bribes to emigrate and assist Israel in their “demographic war” which by the way is currently being won by Jewish ultra-orthodox settlers. Is the current offer still $60,000 per family or has it gone up yet? And how’s that for a political incentive? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jul/13/iran.israel

      Your WWII Germany comparison that you couldn’t leave out is essentially the same as Ledeen’s, sans the hyperbole to your credit. But as opposed to Ledeen you stated it negatively. You are saying that because in Germany there were (actually about 240.000) Jews that fact didn’t prevent Hitler from going to war and systemically murder Jews and so likewise that because there are Jews in Iran then that will not prevent Iran from going to war and systematically murder Jews.

      Stated thusly we are lead to the logical conclusion that no ofcourse would it not prevent them. But it is completely trivial. The important implied conclusion is here that because the Hitler regime did A, then so will the Iranian regime do A because both countries have a substantial Jewish minority.

      It’s a form of a fallacy of the consequent. Your premises do not support your conclusion even though you are understandably careful not to explicitly state it.

      1. Wikipedia said there were 80,000 and 30,000 were left.

        so you think that Israel paid them all to leave?

        and you attack Memri but Memri doesn’t make the video’s Iran’s government did

        Interesting Memri is wrong for recording the videos but Iran isn’t wrong for making them.

        Interesting.

        1. “Interesting” indeed that you resort to snide enthymemes such as this one to evade your opponent’s arguments. “Interesting” as well that your paltry reply proves that you did not even read his post.

        2. A well designed enthymeme, at least in Aritotle’s definition, is not necessarily logically faulty–it is merely a partially stated syllogism and for rhetorical effect.

          Moderns often use it as “incomplete argument”, but that is a misunderstanding.

          If well designed the unstated is obvious and persuasive.

          Attributing enthymemic status to a string of tu quoque’s and other fallacies is being a bit generous, one should say.

          Too, it takes a bit of intelligence and subtilty to compose a well-constructed enthymeme.

      2. I think that Jonathan has amply pointed out that you can’t blame Memri for Iran’s actions. The rest of your argument concerning the “Protocols” is pure conjecture on your part and has no bearing on what either I, or Ledeen, have argued. Bottom line: It makes no difference whether or not the Islamic regime has published the “Protocols” in Farsi. That was my point. BTW, Ledeen clearly writes of the proliferation of “Jew-hating texts… in Farsi and Arabic… throughout the Middle East”, and his entire argument concerning antisemitism occupies one short paragraph in Ledeen’s piece, yet is the main issue addressed by Lobe (and others here).

        Likewise the emigration of Iran’s Jews is irrelevant. Whether or not Jews remain today in Iran (and whether this is 25% or only 15% of those who might have remained had their not been an Islamic Revolution) has no bearing Ledeen’s argument. It was Lobe, not Ledeen who brought up this argument as some sort of proxy proof that no antisemitism exists in Iran today (and based largely on his self-admitted laziness in actually disproving Ledeen’s claims about antisemitism in the Muslim world through actual research). I brought up the fact that Jews remained in Germany in 1939 despite overt antisemitism, not to argue that Iran and Nazi Germany are the same, but rather to show the fallacy in Lobe’s argument.

        Ledeen is not arguing that the Republic of Iran and Nazi Germany, fascist Italy or the Stalinist USSR are the same. Rather he is pointing to the propensity of elements in the West – and particularly in the US – to excuse or ignore what he sees as an evil prevalent in human society.

        1. So, I’m in “denial” – the ultimate attack of the Western liberal. Please spare me the psychology lesson!

          You seem to have read a lot into Ledeen’s short piece. Indeed, look at the title, particularly the “Problem of Evil” part.

          In your first point, you do a nice job of elliding Ledeen’s first question with his last. But I don’t think that by “catastrophe” he means the Holocaust, rather he’s referring to the 50 million people killed in a global war.

          In your second point, you assert that the most “important feature being that they are different from us.” But Ledeen goes to great pains in his third paragraph to point out the inherent “sameness” in the case of German and Italian facism: they not only shared Western culture; they excelled and led in it.

          Point three. Yes, this is the central thesis, but is not, I believe, a historical comparison. Rather, it is about the nature of evil and the nature of Western industrialized societies in reacting to such evil. I don’t think that the major voices today urging against confrontation are the same as those of Charles Lindburgh, Joseph Kennedy or Henry Ford 70 years ago, but I do think that many of the same messages and motivations are similar.

          And then you come full circle to justify – through your own manipulation – Ledeen’s need to make up a Farsi version of the “Protocols”, even though it is a relatively minor issue, both in terms of the argument and of the words and deeds of the actors themselves. Again, Iran’s reactionary leadership has led enthusiastic crowds in chants of “Death to Israel” nearly every Friday for almost 30 years and has regularly paraded missiles with the names of Israeli cities emblazened on them through the streets of Tehran.

        2. So, I’m in “denial” – the ultimate attack of the Western liberal. Please spare me the psychology lesson!

          Most western liberals are vociferous supporters of American imperialism in one incarnation or another, and this site has a substantial libertarian constituency, so this attack carries no specific political valence. Labeling someone a “liberal”, with all the connotations the neoconservatives have artificially affixed to the term, is sheer red-baiting.

          In your first point, you do a nice job of elliding Ledeen’s first question with his last. But I don’t think that by “catastrophe” he means the Holocaust, rather he’s referring to the 50 million people killed in a global war.

          In either case, the basic design of Ledeen’s argument remains the same, whatever the source of this gut feeling of yours.

          Point three. Yes, this is the central thesis, but is not, I believe, a historical comparison. Rather, it is about the nature of evil and the nature of Western industrialized societies in reacting to such evil. I don’t think that the major voices today urging against confrontation are the same as those of Charles Lindburgh, Joseph Kennedy or Henry Ford 70 years ago, but I do think that many of the same messages and motivations are similar.

          We can then surmise that your cognition is shoddy or nonexistent, for there exists no political or military comparison between Nazi Germany and modern day Iran. The former was a first rate industrial power driven by internal antagonisms to conquer all of Europe; the latter is a developing country with a relatively primitive army that hasn’t initiated a war with its neighbours in centuries. Oh yes, and evil is a moral quality, not a structure of motivation or ideology, so the “nature of evil” contains virtually no implications for geopolitics.

          And then you come full circle to justify – through your own manipulation – Ledeen’s need to make up a Farsi version of the “Protocols”, even though it is a relatively minor issue, both in terms of the argument and of the words and deeds of the actors themselves. Again, Iran’s reactionary leadership has led enthusiastic crowds in chants of “Death to Israel” nearly every Friday for almost 30 years and has regularly paraded missiles with the names of Israeli cities emblazened on them through the streets of Tehran.

          This leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind that you have not read the post. Toth noted that Ledeen had to invent a cause for Iranian anti-semitism in the form of the Protocols to mask any sort of historical context- in this case, American and Israeli foreign policy (the two operate as extensions of each other, so they can’t really be separated).

          One more, with verve: stupid troll is stupid.

        3. Oh, so we are a Libertaaaarian are we? Well, you (and your friend) can still spare me the penny psychology.

          I’d like to quote my favorite part in full:

          We can then surmise that your cognition is shoddy or nonexistent, for there exists no political or military comparison between Nazi Germany and modern day Iran. The former was a first rate industrial power driven by internal antagonisms to conquer all of Europe; the latter is a developing country with a relatively primitive army that hasn’t initiated a war with its neighbours in centuries. Oh yes, and evil is a moral quality, not a structure of motivation or ideology, so the “nature of evil” contains virtually no implications for geopolitics.

          First off, you may want to get out of the rhetorical high chair and start out with something like: “I see that you don’t understand….” rather than trying to impress me with what “we” can surmise about my cognition. That aside…

          My point is exactly that Ledeen wasn’t trying to make a political or military comparison! He was talking about Western culture and society and its relationship with evil, hateful – call them what you will – regimes who have universalistic ideologies and regional – or even global – aspirations.

          You see, you (and your tag-team partner) insist on making a historical comparison based on material characteristics, because there is no comparison. That’s why Ledeen didn’t try. (Although, after WWI and Versailles, Germany wasn’t such a “first-rate” industrial or economic power, and Iran’s military today isn’t quite “primitive”.)

          Then there’s the part about how Iran “hasn’t initiated a war with its neighbours in centuries”. Might I remind you that we’re talking about the post-revolutionary reactionary regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. News flash: They haven’t been around for centuries; they’ve only been around for 29 years!

          Yes, evil is a moral quality. Ideologies that openly aspire to universalism and that combine this with violence do create implications for geopolitics. Again, Ledeen’s main point. This is true whether we’re talking about Nazism, Italian Fascism, Stalinism, or radical fundamentalist Islam. This is not to say that radical fundamentalist Islam is Nazism. It is not. And it does not claim that Iran in 2008 is Germany in 1938. It, too, is obviously not. However – and read this carefully – the industrialized West, for a variety of reasons, has many of the same reactions today as it did then. I would go even further than Ledeen here and say that the West, in my opinion largely due to mass media and greater access to higher education, has accentuated today many of the cultural and social characterists today that led to the lack of preparedness and resolve in 1938.

          By the way bubba, you can call me a troll if you like. I don’t mind. I don’t even know what the relevance is, or why that should say anything about my argument. But, hey, if it makes you feel good….

        4. Oh, so we are a Libertaaaarian are we? Well, you (and your friend) can still spare me the penny psychology.

          Well, I wasn’t engaging in “penny psychology”, merely drawing attention to your misplaced and inept appeal to somebody’s stereotype of “the Western liberal”.

          My point is exactly that Ledeen wasn’t trying to make a political or military comparison! He was talking about Western culture and society and its relationship with evil, hateful – call them what you will – regimes who have universalistic ideologies and regional – or even global – aspirations.

          There’s an implied similarity here that doesn’t exist between Iran and Nazi Germany. Iran’s “aspirations” are confined to the Shi’a portion of Iraq and obstructed by one of the region’s most powerful players, Muqtada al-Sadr. Neither does any such similarity exist between the West’s reaction to these different regimes; collaboration with and extravagant praise for the Nazis and fascists against “Reds” and anyone else averse to Western imperialism were in vogue during the thirties whilst nowadays Israel and substantial sections of the US government are baying for Iranian blood and have conspicuously ignored all the evidence that contravenes their flimsy nukes thesis. Even with your elaborate casuistries and increasingly strained defenses, Ledeen still comes off looking the archetypical neocon: idiotic, historically illiterate, morally imbecilic, and devoid of any sense of proportion.

          You see, you (and your tag-team partner) insist on making a historical comparison based on material characteristics, because there is no comparison. That’s why Ledeen didn’t try. (Although, after WWI and Versailles, Germany wasn’t such a “first-rate” industrial or economic power, and Iran’s military today isn’t quite “primitive”.)

          Hardly. I’ve also pointed out that there is little ideological convergence between Iran and the Third Reich. But an opponent who deals in caricatures rather than realities is easily defeated, so by all means, do continue.

          Then there’s the part about how Iran “hasn’t initiated a war with its neighbours in centuries”. Might I remind you that we’re talking about the post-revolutionary reactionary regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. News flash: They haven’t been around for centuries; they’ve only been around for 29 years!

          Yep, and they were only involved in one war that was initiated by a neighbour who received generous martial support from the US for this action in its attempt to play both ends against each other. Might want to keep that in mind when evaluating Iranian views of America, eh?

          Yes, evil is a moral quality.

          Evil spans an immense gamut of behaviours and motives ranging from venal to fanatical, and has little analytic utility for precisely this reason.

          Ideologies that openly aspire to universalism and that combine this with violence do create implications for geopolitics.

          And what vaporous “ideology” in Iran contains these universalizing proclivities? Islam? All religions (and denominations thereof) structurally claim the monopoly on truth, so this provides no argumentation for whatever point you were trying to make (which, as far as I can see, is lost beneath the mass of qualifications you attach to your statements).

          However – and read this carefully – the industrialized West, for a variety of reasons, has many of the same reactions today as it did then.

          No it doesn’t. Its response to Iran is one of universal opprobrium, not the calculated collusion that attended the rise of fascism (which is, when you get down to it, the purest distillation of “western values” that exists).

          I would go even further than Ledeen here and say that the West, in my opinion largely due to mass media and greater access to higher education, has accentuated today many of the cultural and social characterists today that led to the lack of preparedness and resolve in 1938.

          Like, for instance, mass authoritarianism and a willingness to place economic considerations above everything else?

          By the way bubba, you can call me a troll if you like. I don’t mind. I don’t even know what the relevance is, or why that should say anything about my argument. But, hey, if it makes you feel good….

          Well, what other term could do someone who comes on to this site spouting nonsense justice?

        5. JES

          “My point is exactly that Ledeen wasn’t trying to make a political or military comparison! He was talking about Western culture and society and its relationship with evil, hateful – call them what you will – regimes who have universalistic ideologies and regional – or even global – aspirations.”

          I bet you completely missed the point you made here about “Western Culture” and its Evil Militaristic/Imperialistic ideologies and aspirations of World Domination!

      3. What’s “snide” about Jonathan’s remarks? I think that his counter argument concerning Memri is right to the point. An ad hominem attack on Memri, when the issue is actually the Iranian (and other Muslim) footage that Memri has shown, is to sidestep the issue.

        1. He touches on not a single point raised in Toth’s post, preferring instead to operate by insinuation, misplaced rebuttals, and false imputations that leave the reader little doubt that he is either lazy or bereft of anything remotely resembling analytical faculties. The “ad hominem attack” was not a central feature of Toth’s argument and to focus attention on it to the exclusion of all substance as Jonathan did is quite a clumsy and egregious way of “sidestepping” the issue, and to frame it simply as an “attack” is to entirely ignore the supporting analysis. So, to reiterate: stupid troll is stupid.

    2. Why do you trust MEMRI? There are legit reference works listing translations. _Index translationum_, for example.

      Lester Ness

      1. There is nothing “illigitimate” about MEMRI’s translations. I don’t believe that their translation of original material has been brought into question. (They, for example, did not subscribe in the “wipe Israel off the map” translation.) I may not agree with their political underpinnings, but that does not mean that they are unreliable in what they translate. Further, the fact that they present translations of statements that some people would prefer not be publicized in the West may be inconvenient, but I don’t think it makes MEMRI not trustworthy.

  13. X number of jews left Iran because Mossad engaged in a bombing campaign there to make them do so.

    There is no evidence whatever connecting Hizbollah to either of the Buenos Aires bombings.

    Gareth Porter’s view of the Khmer Rouge is as legitimate as that of Steven Solarz, and based on closer research. Solarz’ use of holocaust denier jargon in his 1977 attack on Porter was meretricious, and a disgrace to real holocaust survivors, though doubtless a feather in the cap of u.s. imperialism, which is why even thirty years later it remains largely unchallenged.

    The Protocols are largely based upon a satirical piece by Maurice Joly, entitled “Dialogue in Hell between Montesquieu and Machiavelli”. Any satire will look vicious if its origin as satire is concealed.

      1. I think that his assertion results from Mr. Berkeley’s confusing accusations – largely unsupported by fact – from some 28 years earlier to try and rationalize the mass exodus of Jews from Iraq, not the more recent emigration of Jews from Iran.

        I also find his explanation of the satirical origins of the “Protocols” to be far from the point. It doesn’t make any difference why they are so “vicious”. Rather the issue is why some people are continuing to propagate them.

  14. Conversion to Islam is encouraged by entitling converts to inherit the entire share of their parents (or even uncle’s) estate if their siblings (or cousins) remain non-Muslim.[100] Iran’s non-Muslim population has fallen dramatically. For example, the Jewish population in Iran dropped from 80,000 to 30,000 in the first two decades of the revolution.[101]

    1. And what’s never quoted along with statistics like this is the fact that many upper-class, rich, Muslim Iranians also left Iran after the revolution. Were they persecuted? No, they just saw the chance to live a better life in Europe or America, much like many Jewish Iranian did (or perhaps in Israel in this case).

  15. Michael Ledeen is a racist and a liar. His agenda is one-sided and he's already been known to spout extreme bullshit whenever he gets the chance.

    When public officials or those people associated with public officials LIE to the people, then they effectively remove the people's ability to make an informed decision. They have basically robbed you of your right to make the right decision based on your own moral and ethical standards.

    If the American people had not been lied to in the run-up to the Iraq war and had been told truthfully that Saddam had no WMD, had no ties to Al-Qaeda (in fact they are diametrically opposed), did not attack us, etc., do you think the American people would have said "oh, what the hell, attack the country anyway…". I don't think so.

    When Ledeen opens his mouth, rather than wasting time exposing his lies, someone just needs to put a few knuckles to his teeth. Eventually, even an idiot like Ledeen would learn.

    What amazes me is that NO ONE in the administration has been charged with Treason, yet there exists ample evidence for the charges.

    1. Because his kind of mystical messianic nationalism is very popular with ordinary Americans. Lots of Americans want to kick foreign ass and take foreign names, hence the constant wars of the last 50 years or so. It appeals to their primate lust to dominate. The excuses vary over the decades. It used to be “anti-communism”, now it’s “defending civilization” against the muslims, and speeding up the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus. Soon it’ll most likely be liberating Tibet, and probably exterminating the Tibetans in the process.

      I hate to say it, but probably the best hope for my country is bankruptcy and total military defeat.

  16. The Jewish population of Iran [ about 30,000, the biggest left in the muslim world ] can leave at any time and has resisted numerous bribes from Israel to leave. They have representation in the parliment as well and have full civil rights, unlike the Palistinans in dear old Israel. The population of Jews in Germany was 760,000 at the end of WW2 as the Germans took the Jews back with them as they retreated. The population of Jews in Germany today is at least 200,000 and more and more everyday. About 800,000 Jews have left Israel for better places. Many still hold Israeli passports but most aren’t coming back. They are sick of the place. Over 500,000 live in the USA and many are going back to booming Russia. Putin has called any Jews who want to return are welcome.

    1. All of which proves exacatly what in relation to Ledeen’s argument (or Lobe’s attack on Ledeen)?

      The fact is that most Iranian Jews left after the Islamic Revolution “for better places”, and none are returning. Perhaps 800,000 Jews have left Israel during the past 60 years. So what? The vast majority have stayed, raised families and have no plans to leave and are not “sick of the place”.

  17. About 30,000 Jews remain Iran and have resisted numerous attempts and bribe offers, to get them to leave for Israel. They have representation in the parliment and he isn’t afraid to speak up if he doesn’t like something. They also have full freedom of religion. Between 750,000 an one million Jews have left Israel for places like the USA, Germany, Russia, South America and the rest of the world. They are sick of being in such a warmongering state.

  18. RE; Mr. Sadegh Kabeer……Let em have it………the popular conception that the majority of residents in the Middle and Near East are gullible Fundamentalists more susceptible to the boneheaded imprecations of their idiotic leaders than we are here in the west….it is a durable bit of cant that keeps the people of the world from finally overcoming the vicious remnants of predatory and paranoid nation states.

    Ledeen and his ilk are generally armchair dreamers, little better than video game addicts yet far more dangerous because our media marketeers love screaming “fire” in crowded rooms. One of their latest treasures of passive aggressive “snakes on a plane” pettifoggery involves warnings that if liberals vote Obama into office, Bush will automatically attack Iran to make sure his “calling” is unleashed while if McCain is elected, the Deecider in Cheef might just go away quietly and leave McCain to adopt the mantle of the Crusades.

    It is remarkable that in such an anti-intellectual era as this , the only “intellectuals” who seem to have currency are the neo-conservative dissemblers and agitators, pulling the Low information Voter around like an Ox in a nose ring.

    As to Foucault……..be careful what you wish for.

    1. Foucault is both brilliant stylist and brilliant intellectual historian.

      One really should not miss what he has to say on the Panopticon, for example–in the United States a larger, electronic and digital version is under construction.

      1. Bentham’s Panopticon is the architectural figure of this composition. We know the principle on which it was based: at the periphery, an annular building; at the centre, a tower; this tower is pierced with wide windows that open onto the inner side of the ring; the peripheric building is divided into cells, each of which extends the whole width of the building; they have two windows, one on the inside, corresponding to the windows of the tower; the other, on the outside, allows the light to cross the cell from one end to the other. All that is needed, then, is to place a supervisor in a central tower and to shut up in each cell a madman, a patient, a condemned man, a worker or a schoolboy. By the effect of backlighting, one can observe from the tower, standing out precisely against the light, the small captive shadows in the cells of the periphery. They are like so many cages, so many small theatres, in which each actor is alone, perfectly individualized and constantly visible. The panoptic mechanism arranges spatial unities that make it possible to see constantly and to recognize immediately. In short, it reverses the principle of the dungeon; or rather of its three functions – to enclose, to deprive of light and to hide – it preserves only the first and eliminates the other two. Full lighting and the eye of a supervisor capture better than darkness, which ultimately protected. Visibility is a trap…

        Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers.

        To achieve this, it is at once too much and too little that the prisoner should be constantly observed by an inspector: too little, for what matters is that he knows himself to be observed; too much, because he has no need in fact of being so. In view of this, Bentham laid down the principle that power should be visible and unverifiable. Visible: the inmate will constantly have before his eyes the tall outline of the central tower from which he is spied upon. Unverifiable: the inmate must never know whether he is being looked at at any one moment; but he must be sure that he may always be so. In order to make the presence or absence of the inspector unverifiable, so that the prisoners, in their cells, cannot even see a shadow, Bentham envisaged not only venetian blinds on the windows of the central observation hall, but, on the inside, partitions that intersected the hall at right angles and, in order to pass from one quarter to the other, not doors but zig-zag openings; for the slightest noise, a gleam of light, a brightness in a half-opened door would betray the presence of the guardian. The Panopticon is a machine for dissociating the see/being seen dyad: in the peripheric ring, one is totally seen, without ever seeing; in the central tower, one sees everything without ever being seen.

        It is an important mechanism, for it automatizes and disindividualizes power. Power has its principle not so much in a person as in a certain concerted distribution of bodies, surfaces, lights, gazes; in an arrangement whose internal mechanisms produce the relation in which individuals are caught up. The ceremonies, the rituals, the marks by which the sovereign’s surplus power was manifested are useless. There is a machinery that assures dissymmetry, disequilibrium, difference. Consequently, it does not matter who exercises power. Any individual, taken almost at random, can operate the machine: in the absence of the director, his family, his friends, his visitors, even his servants (Bentham, 45). Similarly, it does not matter what motive animates him: the curiosity of the indiscreet, the malice of a child, the thirst for knowledge of a philosopher who wishes to visit this museum of human nature, or the perversity of those who take pleasure in spying and punishing. The more numerous those anonymous and temporary observers are, the greater the risk for the inmate of being surprised and the greater his anxious awareness of being observed. The Panopticon is a marvellous machine which, whatever use one may wish to put it to, produces homogeneous effects of power….

        [Michel Foucault tr. Sheridan]

    2. Actually, a large share of Americans are bone-headed Fundamentalists, believing everything their autocratic preachers and prophets tell them, hoping for the Rapture or perhaps ruling the rest of us with a rod of iron.

      Lester Ness

  19. Ledeen has a Ph.D. in history from University of Wisconsin, Madison. He worked under Professor George Mosse, and his specialty was modern Italy, particularly Italian Fascism — the specialist in Italian history in Ledeen’s doctoral committee was Professor Domenico Sella. Ledeen’s background in history probably explains why he repeatedly talks about our excellent understanding of the fascist (and other authoritarian) movements of the 20th century, and how this knowledge makes it possible to prevent the repetition of these disasters.

    Unfortunately, Ledeen’s knowledge of history seems to be narrowly focused, because the main flaw of the article is a stunning failure to understand the longer perspective of modern Western Civilization. Particularly, Ledeen seems totally unaware of what exactly made western Europe The West. An example of this oversight is that the article would have benefited greatly from a look at the earlier interaction between West and Islam. The main theme of that conflict was that Islamic countries began to stagnate and fell behind scientifically, technologically and economically, while the West started to progress. The results of military battles were only symptoms of this underlying trend: the more West got ahead in science, technology and economy, the more lopsided were the battles’ outcomes. This same phenomenon can be seen in the conflict with Soviet Union: the West continued to develop at a stunning rate after WW II. The Soviet Union rapidly became locked close to the level it had achieved in Stalin’s ruthless adoption of western technology. The communist, centralized planning system with its massive, cumbersome bureaucracy simply could not keep up with West’s development. It took only fifty years for the gap to grow so obvious that even Soviet Union’s elite acknowledged West’s superiority.

    In focusing on fighting the terrorist organizations militarily ” . . . to accept the threat to us . . . means war”, Ledeen is confusing causes and effects. Worse yet, the centralized state bureaucracy Ledeen is creating to fight terrorists is getting an ever stronger stranglehold over America’s science and economy, thus reducing the creativeness and nimbleness that in history have enabled West to overcome its competitors. Paradoxically (tragically might be more accurate), Ledeen in his effort to defend the West is destroying the exceptional characteristic that has made West superior. We may have here a very impressive case-study of the dangers of the habit to focus narrowly, which is becoming ever more common in the historical profession.

    1. Well I have to disagree. The “West” was not culturally superior to the Soviets, just more populous and had control of more of the World. The Russians led the Space Race up to the point they lost their top designer when he died.

    1. Leaf What does Israel have to do with Iraq?

      Anyway Israel for all its faults behaves better than does its enemies during war.

      1. …General Tells of Killing P.O.W.’s in 1956…

        By SERGE SCHMEMANN NYT August 21, 1995

        The Israeli Government decided today that it would not pursue a retired general’s admission that he killed unarmed Egyptian prisoners during the 1956 war, a revelation made this month that provoked new soul-searching among Israelis about the corrupting force of the violence that has characterized so much of their history.

        “God forbid if we start comparing how many we have killed and how many they have killed,” Shulamit Aloni, the Minister of Communications, told reporters after the weekly meeting of the Cabinet today. “This kind of arithmetic will make us engage in a discussion that will destroy our society.”

        The incident came to light this month when Arieh Biroh — a retired brigadier general, survivor of Auschwitz and veteran of every Israeli war — acknowledged in interviews that as a young company commander in the Sinai Desert in October 1956, he and another officer killed 49 Egyptian prisoners of war, many of them bound.

        Mr. Biroh has given numerous interviews since his disclosure, expressing no remorse and warning that if he is put on trial, then half the army, “who found themselves in similar situations, will have to be put on trial.”

        A trial is unlikely, both because of the Cabinet decision and because Israel has a 20-year statute of limitations on all except Nazi war crimes. But Mr. Biroh’s statement unleashed a collection of other stories in recent days.

        A right-wing politician made charges, which were subsequently refuted, that the current Minister of Housing massacred Egyptian prisoners during the 1967 war.

        Then a newspaper reporter described how he had watched as Egyptians were essentially forced to dig their own grave, a pit to catch their bodies when they were subsequently shot…. [excerpt]

        1. Ghosts of ’67: The public is outraged at reports a documentary broadcast evidence Israeli troops may have massacred Egyptian soldiers in the 1967 War

          Egypt Today/ Yasmeen El Mallah

          The heat has been turned up just a notch in the already-blistering Middle East as Israel’s relations with Egypt, usually far more amicable than with its other neighbors, have become strained by memories of a more troubled time.

          In early March, Israeli Channel One aired a documentary by filmmaker Ran Edelist that suggested Israeli soldiers had killed 250 unarmed Egyptian prisoners of war (POWs) rather than transferring them to a detention camp at the end of the 1967 War.

          International press reports subsequently carried the claim that the Israelis had killed 250 unarmed Egyptian POWs, although some Israeli press outlets put the figure at only 20.

          The documentary claimed that the Israelis were led by current Minister of National Infrastructure Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, who cancelled a planned visit to Egypt amid the furor that followed its airing. Ben-Eliezer has denied the allegations of murder and said that those killed were Palestinian guerillas fighting for the Egyptian Army….[excerpt]

          [http://www.egypttoday.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=7294]

  20. Regarding the supposed exodus of numbers of Iranian Jews after the election:

    If there was some animus directed at Jews during the revolutionary upheaval, it may be yet another indication that the rogue state of Israel is a very effective generator of hostility towards Jews everywhere.

    Why? Because the Shah’s brutal government was very cozy with Israel, whose infamous Mossad helped train the Savak, the Shah’s sadistic and terrifying secret police.

    This is one of the many benevolent ways in which light-unto-the-nations Israel was “exporting democracy” at the time.

    If some people, rightly angry at Israel, become angry at “the Jews”, is there any wonder, since the state of Israel INSISTS on conflating itself with “the Jews”?

    1. correction: In the first line I wrote “…exodus of numbers of Iranian Jews after the election”. I meant “after the revolution”.

    2. So cause Israel helped the Shah who was no more cruel than Khomeni that justifies hostility towards Iranian jews.What you are doing is making excuse for hostility towards jews.

      And you don’t direct any criticism towards Iran’s government.

      1. He is, in fact, proffering an explanation. The distinction between the two is a rudimentary one.

      2. Rudimentary? This might be seen as an explanation, had it any basis. However, what he has done is to simply make an assertion (supposed Israeli behavior leads to antisemitism) as the basis of an excuse (Iranian clerics are not to blame for their antisemitism – or “animus” – because of the orignial assertion).

        However, there is no basis in fact for the assertion. It is laughable to maintain that the Mossad had anything to teach Savak operatives about brutality or sadism. Various regimes in the Middle East have generations of experience in brutality and sadism that significantly predate both the establishment of Israel and of the Mossad.

        Numerous governments were “cozy” with the Shah when it was in their interest to do so. From Israel’s perspective, most of that “coziness” consisted in cultural exchanges, construction projects and some military cooperation.

        Interestingly, the current reactionary Islamic regime also has had periods of “cozieness” with Israel, specifically when they knowingly cooperated with Israel to receive spare parts and other military assistance during the Iran-Iraq war.

        1. If we wish to be pedantic, explanations need not be correct. It is quite calumnious to count them as “justifications”, and rationalizing this claim by mentally appending an “excuse” to the end of the explanation which was never implied and could not reasonably be read into such a statement is the apex of rhetorical ineptitude.

          However, there is no basis in fact for the assertion. It is laughable to maintain that the Mossad had anything to teach Savak operatives about brutality or sadism. Various regimes in the Middle East have generations of experience in brutality and sadism that significantly predate both the establishment of Israel and of the Mossad.

          In fact, the claim is easily verified by a look at the wikipedia entry, which contains all the relevant references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_activities_in_Iran#Iran_1957

          Numerous governments were “cozy” with the Shah when it was in their interest to do so. From Israel’s perspective, most of that “coziness” consisted in cultural exchanges, construction projects and some military cooperation.

          “Everyone’s doing it” is not an alibi, much less an ethical principle.

          Interestingly, the current reactionary Islamic regime also has had periods of “cozieness” with Israel, specifically when they knowingly cooperated with Israel to receive spare parts and other military assistance during the Iran-Iraq war.

          Of course they did. It was Iranian jets who helped target Osirak alongside Israeli ones during the early eighties. But inquiring minds will search in vain for any reference to this in the staggering array of Zionist publications that litter America. And if Israel was cooperating with a “reactionary Islamic regime”, doesn’t that deserve our opprobrium?

          A rather underwhelming imitation of analytic sophistication you have there, “JES”. The ease with which a mere eighteen year old like myself can take it to pieces should be cause for concern, no?

        2. LOL. Of course it’s an excuse. An explanation shows a causal relationship, which was not shown.

          You cite wikipedia and, within that, Victor Ostrovsky. Hardly reliable sources about covert activities such as these.

          No one said “everyone’s doing it” (that would have been an excuse, BTW). What I said is that others were cozy with Iran and the Shah, yet the Islamic Republic’s reactionary ire is reserved primarily for Israel (“little satan”) and the US (“big satan”). That kind of places into question the original assertion that Iranian “animus” toward Jews results, first and foremost, from the actions of Israel. (And, BTW, that still doesn’t explain the “animus” toward Baha’i and Assyrians.)

          And Iranian jets helped target Osirak? Give me a break! And if so, then, again, how does this relate back to Eric’s original assertion about “animus” toward Jews?

        3. LOL. Of course it’s an excuse. An explanation shows a causal relationship, which was not shown.

          No, dear man, it offers one; it does not necessarily prove it.

          You cite wikipedia and, within that, Victor Ostrovsky. Hardly reliable sources about covert activities such as these.

          Merely dismissing a source does not an adequate refutation make, and you’ll have to assemble something more robust than this if you want to convince me. If, however, you want me to expand upon this point, feel free to cast your gaze upon these:

          http://noravank.am/file/article/256_en.pdf

          http://www.regionalanalysis.org/aboutus/articles/samslp.pdf

          Both of them mention, in one form or another, collaboration between SAVAK and Mossad. This is a well established historical fact, and your cavalier attitude toward it reveals, among other things, a mindless devotion to the cause of Zionism.

          No one said “everyone’s doing it” (that would have been an excuse, BTW).

          Don’t be disingenuous. Nothing else could have been implied by bringing up the collusion of numerous other regional governments in the context of Israel’s Iranian connections.

          What I said is that others were cozy with Iran and the Shah, yet the Islamic Republic’s reactionary ire is reserved primarily for Israel (”little satan”) and the US (”big satan”). That kind of places into question the original assertion that Iranian “animus” toward Jews results, first and foremost, from the actions of Israel.

          There is no logical sequence in these two points. It is the most desultory non-sequitur I have happened across in the brief span of my existence. If “Iran’s reactionary ire” is primarily directed at the US and Israel then anti-semitism would appear to be a secondary motive. It doesn’t place the notion that Iranian animus toward Jews results from Israeli actions into question because it doesn’t directly relate to that point.

        4. Right, dear man, it shows a causal relationship, it doesn’t prove it. He offered and excuse, and I explained why I believe so. If you’re two obtuse or blinded by prejudice to see this, then there’s nothing any of us can do about it. Just to remind you, the excuse offered was that animus toward Jews in Iran was the result (caused) of Israel having trained Savak.

          I don’t find it at all unreasonable or unbelievable that, as intelligence organizations, Savak and Mossad were in touch. After all, there were elements operating Iran against the Shah’s regime that were also actively trying to undermind Israel – most notably the KGB. To go from that to saying that the Mossad “trained” the Savak (and in the same sentence to remind us of their brutality – which I don’t think was any less than that of the current regimes various political and moral police) is quite an exaggeration. Citing Victor Ostrovsky to support the argument is… well… let’s say I’d like to see more proof of Mossad involvement in training Savak in their “brutality”.

          You accuse me of being disingenuous. Well, I accuse you of having poor reading comprehension skills – whether you call it “desultory” or not. Again, friend accused Israel of being responsible for the “animus” against Jews in post-revolutionary Iran. I countered this excuse with two arguments. First that the reactionary regime of the mullahs holds “animus” against other non-Muslims who did not have anything to do with Israel – Baha’is and Assyrians are two good examples. Secondly, Iran’s regime does not hold “animus” toward other countries (not just in the region) that had much closer relationships with the Shah than did Israel. So for example, the mullahs do not regularly lead chants of “Death to France, Death to Germany” after Friday prayers in Tehran.

          Do ya think ya understand now?

        5. Citing Victor Ostrovsky to support the argument is… well… let’s say I’d like to see more proof of Mossad involvement in training Savak in their “brutality”.

          And Victor Ostrovsky is not a good source because…? Your personal prejudices dictate that he isn’t? Good to see that issue resolved. Moving on:

          Again, friend accused Israel of being responsible for the “animus” against Jews in post-revolutionary Iran. I countered this excuse with two arguments. First that the reactionary regime of the mullahs holds “animus” against other non-Muslims who did not have anything to do with Israel – Baha’is and Assyrians are two good examples.

          As I have never shared this viewpoint, nor said anything to indicate that I might, you are merely making a red herring of previous contentions.

          Secondly, Iran’s regime does not hold “animus” toward other countries (not just in the region) that had much closer relationships with the Shah than did Israel. So for example, the mullahs do not regularly lead chants of “Death to France, Death to Germany” after Friday prayers in Tehran.

          Rather weakens the thesis that Iran is some kind of threat to the West, doesn’t it? Particularly since you used these same sort of “rallies” to “prove” the existence of a nefarious design on Israel, a sh***y little country, parasite, notorious human rights violator, and cravenly bully whom we shouldn’t be concerned about in any case.

          Do ya think ya understand now?

          Now that your phrasing permits me to locate your actual argument rather than simply being an inchoate mind-dump of whatever nonsense the neocons have filled your head with, yes.

  21. Saddam did have contacts with Al Qaeda according to the 9-11 commission.

    Saddam’s regime did support terror groups even those who also worked with Al Qaeda

      1. really?

        Anyone who doesn’t support whitewashing Saddam’s record is satire proof.

        1. Fortunately, a foray into wikipedia dispels this troll’s delusions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein_and_al-Qaeda#Official_investigations_and_reports

          This particular morsel is lifted straight out of the report the troll cites:

          Bin Ladin was also willing to explore possibilities for cooperation with Iraq, even though Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, had never had an Islamist agenda—save for his opportunistic pose as a defender of the faithful against “Crusaders” during the Gulf War of 1991. Moreover, Bin Ladin had in fact been sponsoring anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan, and sought to attract them into his Islamic army. To protect his own ties with Iraq, Turabi reportedly brokered an agreement that Bin Ladin would stop supporting activities against Saddam. Bin Ladin apparently honored this pledge, at least for a time, although he continued to aid a group of Islamist extremists operating in part of Iraq (Kurdistan) outside of Baghdad’s control. In the late 1990s, these extremist groups suffered major defeats by Kurdish forces. In 2001, with Bin Ladin’s help they re-formed into an organization called Ansar al Islam. There are indications that by then the Iraqi regime tolerated and may even have helped Ansar al Islam against the common Kurdish enemy.

          With the Sudanese regime acting as intermediary, Bin Ladin himself met with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer in Khartoum in late 1994 or early 1995. Bin Ladin is said to have asked for space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but there is no evidence that Iraq responded to this request. As described below, the ensuing years saw additional efforts to establish connections. There is also evidence that around this time Bin Ladin sent out a number of feelers to the Iraqi regime, offering some cooperation. None are reported to have received a significant response. According to one report, Saddam Hussein’s efforts at this time to rebuild relations with the Saudis and other Middle Eastern regimes led him to stay clear of Bin Ladin. In mid-1998, the situation reversed; it was Iraq that reportedly took the initiative. In March 1998, after Bin Ladin’s public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin. Sources reported that one, or perhaps both, of these meetings was apparently arranged through Bin Ladin’s Egyptian deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis. In 1998, Iraq was under intensifying U.S. pressure, which culminated in a series of large air attacks in December. Similar meetings between Iraqi officials and Bin Ladin or his aides may have occurred in 1999 during a period of some reported strains with the Taliban. According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides’ hatred of the United States. But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.

          The conflation of contacts with collaboration does you no good and merely demonstrates that you are without both comprehension of the subject matter and robust argumentation.

  22. Clark’s assertion corroborates a little-noted CBS Evening News story that aired on September 4, 2002. As correspondent David Martin reported: “Barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, the secretary of defense was telling his aides to start thinking about striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks.” According to CBS, a Pentagon aide’s notes from that day quote Rumsfeld asking for the “best info fast” to “judge whether good enough to hit SH at the same time, not only UBL.” (The initials SH and UBL stand for Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.) The notes then quote Rumsfeld as demanding, ominously, that the administration’s response “go massive…sweep it all up, things related and not.”

    [http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1842] (6 20 03)

    1. Rumsfeld is satire-proof indeed.

      It is a pity there is no Federal Penitentiary cell marked with lines and crosshatches scratched on the wall by Robert Strange McNamara.

      Rumsfeld is cast in the same mold–only much worse.

      One of these days will they get it right?

      1. Every member of the Bush regime ought to be trampled by drunken elephants. Same-same for the Johnson/Nixon admin pogues responsible for Viet Nam. It won’t happen, of course. Bush’ punishment will be life in Texas.

        Lester Ness

  23. Is “Jonathan” another name for “Tim R.”, or merely Tim’s replacement hasbara?

    1. Much is made of so-called “Jewish money” in American politics in the form of financial contributions to candidates. But judging from observation, I wonder if the Israel lobby may be spending as much or more money to pay people like Jonathan to post this hasbara rubbish on the web day and night.

  24. I see you are in a bit of denial and therefore I shall refresh your memory with exact quotes from Ledeen each time and I’ll leave you to decide whether they are taken out of context or not.

    Ledeen says: “Then there is anti-Semitism. Old Jew-hating texts like "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," now in Farsi and Arabic, are proliferating throughout the Middle East.”

    The title of Ledeen's article which pretty much accurately covers the content if perhaps you leave out the words bull and s**t, is "Iran and the Problem of Evil" so I'll leave out the Arabic dimension for the sake of brevity and concentrate on Iran.

    Okay, so Lobe points out there is no evidence to substantiate the allegation that there is a Farsi translation of the Protocols. You referred to Memri and since if there is anything remotely nefarious to be found inside or about Iran, Memri will report on it. And they didn’t report on any Farsi translation of The Protocols. That makes the evidence for Ledeen’s assertion not only weak but near certain non-existent. Unlike Jonathan you did get the point and so now it is suddenly irrelevant. That's fine, but Ledeen however thought it important enough to state it without evidence. (That’s a nice way of saying important enough to lie about it.)

    And sure enough the emigration of Iran’s Jews is also irrelevant. Well for the sake of brevity again let it rest for another time. But I do have to point out however (since it has become so closely tied into each other now) that Lobe does not deny there exists antisemitism in Iran, let alone that he submits “proxy proof” for such a contention. In fact he unambigiously states antisemitism is on the rise and points out the rather obvious causality to explain why. You can read it for yourself at nearly the bottom of the text.

    The argument that in the Ledeen Universe there is no way to differentiate between contemporary Iran, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and so on is stated in a carefully composed rethorical contraption, using a symmetrical figure. It is the only reason why it is relevant for Ledeen to make up out some sort of Western psychological illness that manifests itself in a propensity to ignore evil. It works like this:

    1. He puts the question: Why didn’t we prevent the Holocaust?

    Ledeen: “Why did the West fail to see the coming of the catastrophe? [inserting distractiion here] Why did the main designated victims – the Jews – similarly fail to recognize the magnitude of their impending doom?”

    2. He then answers his own question.

    Ledeen: “The failure to understand what was happening took a well-known form: a systematic refusal to view our enemies plain.” Next Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin enter the stage. The central thesis is almost condensed to Hitler wrote Mein Kampf but wasn't believed and the other two neither.

    According to Ledeen they are in essence the same, the must important feature being that they are different from us. The second most important feature what makes them birds of the same feather is that they are ideologically driven, that is to say that they mean what they say and are not susceptible to corruption. Differences between them are only windowdressing and irrelevant enough to be omitted entirely.

    3. Then he inserts the rethorical axis with an appeal to emotion type fallacy.

    Ledeen: “Yet they are with us again, and we are acting as we did in the last century.”

    This is the focus-point, the axis of the symmetrical figure.

    4. He then answers the implicit question who are they who are with us again?

    Ledeen: “Hezbollah and al Qaeda to the Iranian Khomeinists and the Saudi Wahhabis – who swear to destroy us and others like us. Like their 20th-century predecessors…”

    5. He then puts the question: Why don’t we prevent the Holocaust?

    Ledeen: “So we need to ask the old questions again. Why are we failing to see the mounting power of evil enemies”

    6. Outro

    This is the phase in which he tries to make the argument why Iran is the same as Stalinist Russia, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. You see you cannot deal peacefully with some people (Iran) and so you have no alternative but to start a war or they will start it for you. He then has to make up some reason why he evokes the imagery of the Holocaust (Ledeen: “..familiar Western indifference to the fate of the Jews”) without mentioning Israel and American foreign policy. And so he comes up with the Protocols as fully explanatory for the causality of antisemitism and/ or anti-Jewish resentment in Iran. And for this in Iran to work, there had to be a Farsi translation. That would be the one that mysteriously eluded Memri but found its way to Ledeen instead.

    He probably doesn’t know or understand or perhaps he’s afraid that “even the contemplation if it will hurt” that all his arguments make more of a case against people like him than it does to the people he wants to make a case against, but hey it’s an entirely different universe in which Ledeen resides.

  25. I read that Norman Podhoretz has arranged to be buried in Jerusalem, but does any one know if the other neocons are actually moving to Israel? How many have property, financial interests or investments there?

    Also, is it true that Clinton’s adviser Rahm Emanuel actually lived and worked in Israel (either army or the Mossad) while he was a citizen of the United States? Since he has been elected to Congress from Illinois, I hope he is on a “watch list” of some kind, and prohibited from sitting on committees handling national security, foreign affairs, military appropriations etc.

    1. Norman Podhoretz has a daughter and grandchildren in Israel. Is that okay with you?

    2. There’s nothing illegal or immoral about living and working outside the US. It’s a highly educational experience, and I recommend it to all of you denizens of white-tight suburbs!

      Lester Ness
      Kunming
      China

  26. Rahm Emanuel worked as a tank mechanic for the Israeli army (IDF) during the first Persian Gulf war in 1991. Dual loyalty??? NAH — Emanuel’s loyalty is to the Vaterland, Israel, which makes him perfect for the “U.S.” Congress.

    Emanuel also browbeat and denied funding to anti-war candidates in the 2006 election when he was a leader (along with Chuckee Cheese Schumer) of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the ultra-zionist wing of the Zionist Democratic party. Candidates denied funding included Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs in Iraq. There’s a documentary about it.

    Rahm’s brother, Ari, is (or was) Michael Moore’s agent, which might explain why Moore pinned the blame for 9/11 on the Saudis, without one word about Mossad agents tracking the alleged hijackers, or any other of the truly incredible “coincidences” surrounding the Sept.11 attacks.

    Many of these neo-cons, like Feith and Emanuel, have parents and grandparent who were in the Zionist terrorist gangs that founded Israel.

    I’ll take bets that Jonathan and JES are Megaphone operatives, wasting our time here, much like Tim R, in an attempt to propagandize for Israel and against Iran.

    1. Yeah, it was sickening how the pro-Israel zealots who control the Democratic party machine were squashing true antiwar candidates while still managing to ride a wave of popular antiwar sentiment to electoral victory in 2006. Rahm Emmanuel is a steaming sack of pig vomit.

    2. I have to correct my own post– sorry people, I wrote it early in the morning, and my brain was obviously foggy. I promise I’ll double-check everything before I post again.

      Emanuel was House leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the run-up to the 2006 mid-term elections. This was when Emanuel denied funding (in sneaky ways) to antiwar candidates. He didn’t deny Duckworth funding from the Democratic party, he denied her much more anti-war opponent in the Democratic primary, using all sorts of excuses.

      There is a documentary about Emanuel and his work against antiwar candidates in the 2006 race — I saw part of it.

      The rest of my original post is true, although I’m not positive if Rahm was working on tanks (that’s what I’ve read) however he was an IDF (Israeli military) volunteer during the first Persian Gulf war, working in Israel — that is not in dispute.

    3. Hmmm. I thought that we were on the same side during the first Gulf War, at least I thought that was the reason that we took 40+ incoming SCUDs.

      Re. you bets, I can safely say that you are wrong in my case (and I dare say in Jonathan’s as well”). I find it interesting how you taqqiyist fellow travelers have to resort to conspiracy theories about paid “hasbarah operatives” when faced with viewpoints that counter your own positions. I think a sound argument would play much better, but I guess that’s too troubling for you.

      There’s no word about “Mossad agents tracking alleged hijackers” or other “coincidences”, because there is no credible evidence for any of this. (Justin Raimondo’s conspiracy rants are simply laughable to anyone who knows anything about young Israelis.)

      BTW, it’s not “Vaterland”. We refer to Israel as “moledet”, or “motherland”. It’s the Arabs who use the masculine equivalent, “watan” referring to the “Fatherland”.

      1. “It’s the Arabs who use the masculine equivalent, “watan” referring to the “Fatherland”.

        Waten in Arabic does not mean “Fatherland”but means place of residence or nation.The word for father in Arabic is “Ab”.

        1. Really? You might want to refer, for example, to the poem “Lover from Palestine” by Mahmoud Darwish. The term “watan” is generally translated there as “Fatherland”. The term “watan” is also given as meaning homeland, home country, fatherland or home in the Wehr Dictionary, Third Edition.

          Use of the term “Vaterland” in reference to Israel is not only incorrect from a Hebrew point of view, it is, I suspect, intentionally meant as an insult. Which, BTW, brings us back to the original issue raised by Lobe in this posting. That is, if Ledeen is incorrect in comparing the current situation with Europe in 1938-1941, then the same is true of those who make comparisons between Israel and the fascists of 1938-1941. This is true of those who erroneously compare Gaza with the Warsaw Ghetto or Hamas with French “resistance” fighters. It also holds true with those who try to insult through the use of terms such as “Vaterland” rather than engaging in civil discourse.

        2. Listen!I am a native Arabic speaker I know what the word Waten exactlly means in Arabic not what you make it to be .The word Waten has no connection what so ever with the word father in Arabic.The concepets of fatheland or motherland are not at all in the Arabic world.The word Waten is drived from the verb “wata” which to put foot to,to step on,to put roots in.Your attempt to connect an Arabic word to a Nazi term is very appearent.

        3. And I can assure you that the term “Vaterland” has nothing to do with the Hebrew term “moledet”. Further, the Hebrew word for land – “eretz” – is feminine. Again, my point was that the use of the term “Vaterland” was meant purely as some kind of emotive insult, and you imature friend “Peas” has already admitted as such.

        4. My point is that the Arabs, as you so tried to imply ,are not on the list nor use the term fatherland or motherland.And how do you know for a fact that “Peas”!? is my friend!!???

      2. I actually often read the Israeli papers.

        Tzipi Livni (and another poster mentioned her role) who is often mentioned as a prospective Israeli Prime Minister, was behind the launch of Megaphone.

        Megaphone was not a COVERT government program — it was announced in the Israeli papers. What it does is send out email alerts to VOLUNTEER supporters of Israel worldwide if any media critiques Israel. That media outlet, including bloggers, then receives sometimes thousands of emails in support of Israel.

        We actually do not have a formal defense treaty with Israel, by Israel’s choice. Rahm’s first allegiance should have been to the U.S., we had an all-volunteer army at the time, he could have volunteered with the U.S. military.

        Rahm’s actions since are very indicative of where his loyalty lies. He’s a traitor to the U.S., like many Democrats and Republicans in Congress, but he as very overtly shown his allegiance to Israel, and he shouldn’t be in the position of power that he is in the U.S. government.

        I deliberately used the German word Vaterland, because I think Israelis, not all of course — many are working for peace and justice, are the new Nazis, and the Palestinians are the new Jews.

        Le Monde and Jane’s Defense (one of the most respected periodicals on military/ defense/ intelligence issues, which has been around for more than a century) did report on Israeli spies tailing the Sept. 11 alleged hijackers.

        As to young Israelis –when I was traveling I encountered many young Israelis, all over Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. They kept to themselves and often sequestered themselves (well, actually a lot of guest house owners wouldn’t allow Israelis in, so there were special Israeli-only guest houses.) Many of them were very aggressive, maybe because they’d just left their mandatory service in the Israeli military.

        The rest of us young travelers, from around the world, would hang-out and get to know the differences and similarities between our cultures and our host cultures. We ultimately realized how much everyone innately is the same, and took that global good-will back to our home countries. I would venture to guess that many of us to this day work towards peace.

        I could go on, but one thing that sticks out in my memory is an Israeli guy threatening to beat-up a stick-thin rickshaw driver in Udaipur, India, over five annas. That at the time would have been a tiny fraction of ONE U.S. CENT. When I stepped in, the Israeli tried to hit me.

        He was, of course, not reflective of all Israeli youth, but I do believe that a country that is always on the attack most probably does not help its children to grow-up with notions that peace is possible, and that all humans deserve respect.

        Israel needs to make peace with its neighbors and with the world, and it needs to get the hell out of U.S. foreign policy. The actions of the Israel Lobby have almost destroyed the U.S.; the final nail in our coffin, and the world’s, will be an attack on Iran.

        And I DO NOT want my tax dollars going to kill Palestinians or anyone else, so I want all funding cut to Israel NOW.

        1. By way of deception…thou shalt do war AND lie about being a Megaphone operative. Israel's Mossad motto.

          I actually got the chance to speak with Mearsheimer and Walt at length. They are the two highly esteemed co-authors of seminal book "The Israel Lobby & U.S. Foreign Policy"

          Italy did not control U.S. foreign policy when Hemingway served in WW I.

          As evidenced by the annual homage to Israel given by the most prominent U.S. politicians to AIPAC, including all three presidential candidates, Israel controls our foreign policy.

          In 1967, Israel attacked the American ship, the U.S.S. Liberty, in what is still considered an attempt to draw the U.S. into Israel's Six Day land grab of surrounding countries' territory.

          Far from being punished, Israel, through the machinations of the Israel Lobby, has gotten almost every single thing it wanted out of the U.S. since, including a guarantee of an oil supply, even if Americans go without.

          Israel has sold our military technology (which we give it, again due to the machinations of the Israel Lobby) to our "enemies" repeatedly. Olmert was in Russia a few months ago kissing Putin's ass.

          And then there's Jonathan Pollard, the spy for Israel, who so damaged U.S. security that he's still in jail despite massive efforts by Israel to get him released. I seem to recall that intelligence analysts in the U.S. said that Pollard had given Israel our intelligence "Bible."

          I mean, where do you get off JES? Your country is a beggar nation that cannot support itself without my tax dollars, AND YET, you, and your country's fan club over here, have the chutzpah to destroy my country in your endless wars.

          Your country has forced FIVE of my friends to go to war repeatedly in Iraq, and now, you want the children I love to suffer, and perhaps die, on a battlefield far-far away in an attack on Iran. This in order to make Israel "safe",i.e., ensure Israel's regional hegemony.

          Iran, a country that does not threaten the U.S., much less Israel.

          The best thing that can happen at this point is for Israel to become one state and learn to live with its neighbors, which would be much easier if Israel treated its neighbors as human beings AND DID NOT HAVE MY TAX DOLLARS TO FUND ITS ENDLESS AGGRESSION.

          I met plenty of Israelis in my travels. I never had one pleasant encounter, perhaps, again, because they were just out of the military and were still in fighting mode. Almost all of them were Ashkenazi (European) Jews, so light-skinned and light-eyed/haired.

          They treated the Indians and Thai like crap, perhaps because they were used to beating-up darker-skinned people because they'd just served in Gaza or the West Bank.

          See JES, do you see what the occupation of Palestine is doing to destroy the souls of Israel's youth?

          The occupation of Iraq is doing the same thing to the young Americans serving there, but many of those young Americans would never have gone overseas, much less killed innocents, were it not for the Israel lobby's machinations.

          The kids I love are next in line to die in Israel's wars. And I will do my absolute best to stop it.

          But again — you supporters of the Israel Lobby — have you no shame? Taking the lives of American children and wrecking our economy for your country, while killing millions of innocents, and then whining about being "persecuted"?

          I guess not.

        2. Well, I can assure you that I do not receive emails from MEGAPHONE, or act in any interest other than expressing the truth, as I see it. If you can’t provide decent arguments, don’t go fishing with charges of…. I’m not sure what the implication would be of someone who is a “Megaphone operative”….

          By your definition, I guess that Ernest Hemingway was not loyal to the US when he volunteered to serve with the Italian forces, a country with which the US did not have a formal defence treaty at the time. The same is true, I guess, for the hundreds of US citizens who volunteered to serve in England between September 1939 and December 7, 1941, not to mention the hundreds who fought in Spain against facism.

          As for your “new Nazis” and “new Jews”, kindly take a look at my previous post.

          Le Monde and Janes may have reported on it. That doesn’t mean it’s true, and the “evidence” presented certainly doesn’t add to a presumption of guilt. The real kicker is that four of the five “movers” who were arrested in New Jersey have joined a multi-million dollar law suit against he federal government – hardly the behavior of intelligence operatives.

          You experience with Israeli youth really doesn’t say much. You make a lot of assumptions based on what appears to be very limited exposure, and particularly on one case. Have you ever noticed how some young Americans behave? Have you ever heard teh term “ugly American”?

          All I can say about your quite unfounded assertion that “the Israel Lobby have almost destroyed the U.S.” is that you flatter yourself with imagined self importance.

        3. Thanks for the entertainment “Peas”. You have recited your playbook well. I have news for you. Israel does not control US foreign policy – even Mearscheimer and Walt don’t argue that.

          The most entertaining part of your childish tirade is the part about Israel not being able to support itself. This based on what? On the fact that Israel receives a few dollars from your annual tax bill – half of which, by agreement, returns to the US economy in the form of purchases – which amounts to a whopping 2% of Israel’s GDP.

          The argument that somehow Israel forced or coerced the US into war in Iraq is simply libelous.

          Finally, as to your racist remarks about Israelis you may or may not have met and their comlexions, well perhaps that is the crux of the matter.

        4. Israel GDP, 2007 = $184.9 Billion (source: CIA World Factbook)

          $184.9/$2.5 = 1.35%

          $2.5 Billion = $8.25 per US citizen.

        5. You mean, Lear, that the numbers you posted before weren’t correct? They’re secret numbers? No, it’s sleight of hand. WRMEA counts loan guarantees as grants. But, aside from the administrative expensive (rather minor), they’re not grants. They are loans, and no amount of creative accounting or arguments how of how they might be turned into grants in the future is going to turn them into

          Hey, it’s still less than 2% and under 10 bucks. Do the arithmetic.

        6. Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US

          http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209/p16s01-wmgn.html

          Even if the $2.5 billion a year was correct,many states in the US would very much like to be able to get that amount to address many of the fiscal problems now facing them such lack of money for schools ,health,and decaying infrastructures.

        7. Stauffer’s arguments have been thoroughly debunked since that 2002 article was published. Again, it’s sleight of hand based on unsupported assumptions (e.g. that Israel is certain to default on loans guaranteed), unfounded comparisons (e.g. using the future value of money granted in the past to inflate figure that were relevant at the time) and false causal relationships (i.e. arguing that had the US not supported Israel, the Arab oil producers would somehow not raise prices by cutting back on supply).

          BTW, many states do get a significant portion of that amount, because at least 50% of the roughly $2 Billion in military assistance must be spent with contractors and manufacturers in the US.

          Again, do the maths. It’s still less than 2% and under $10 bucks.

        8. For those observers who want to check the facts, uncover how many loans to Israel have been forgiven.

          “Future” value of money, eh?

          Also simple facts:

          2002 oil = $29 per barrel (end of year)

          2008 oil = $139+

          Israel is now accumulating currency reserves in Euros.

          Drove my chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry….

        9. Since you keep arguing that the money Israel receives from US tax payers is such insignificant amount why every time Israli officals come to the US they usually ask for more.Certainlly,as you keep say do the arithmetic or math,do not any!

        10. Future value calculations are valid as a method of comparing alternative investments. That means that one would need to estimate all the returns on the investment (direct and indirect) as well as those of the alternatives. This is something that Stauffer and others did not do. To calculate the future value of a past payment or loan to simply inflate the figure out of proportion is sleight of hand.

          As an example, during World War II the US shipped some $50 billion in lend-lease to various countries. That’s equivalent to some $300 billion in 2007 dollars. But does the latter figure make a difference? And what were the alternative uses that this funding could have been put to?

          The issue of loans to Israel is misleading. In the first place, it is true that military loans have been made with the understanding that repayment would be waived – notably during and after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. However, this understanding was reached because, under US law, a US military contingent would have had to be positioned in Israel had they been issued as grants (a cost that, no doubt, Stauffer would have included after bumping it up to 2002 dollars).

          Further, there is no basis for an a priori assumption that the US would have to pick up outstanding loans under the loan guarantee program. Stauffer assumed that this would be the case due to the poor economic conditions (resulting from the second intifada) in Israel at the time these guarantees were exercised, while today, for example, Israel’s economy is growing at over 5%. More to the point, these are guarantees for commercial loans. The US does not have the power to simply “forgive” these debts, because they are not debts to the US Government. (And there is also the fact that Israel pays the administrative feeds involved in exercising these guarantees.)

          To even suggest that the rise in oil prices is the result of US economic assistance to Israel (or even US support for Israel) is even worse than sleight of hand. Apart from spikes in prices resulting from interruptions of supplies (e.g. during the Gulf War), the rise in prices has nothing at all to do with Israel. It is the result of greed – first and foremost on the part of a cartel that has no reason to increase production or lower prices.

        11. The rise in oil prices is directly related to the collapse of US currency, and “future value”.

          It is of no value to debate with a Straussian like Ledeen.

          Since the ultimate substrate is already determined (belief/disbelief, Athens and Jerusalem), the most effective refutation is Ledeen of Ledeen, Strauss of Strauss, und so weiter.

          So you see at once the bases of Iranian policy: Drive oil prices up and the Americans out of Iraq, whatever the cost…I guess we can afford $60 a barrel, and I suppose Foggy Bottom and the CIA will be able to manage a nuclear Iran. Right?”

          [Michael Ledeen 2004]

          Merely incidentally, the phrase “to do the maths” is quite telling to those familiar with various dialects of English.

        12. January 2002 Oil = $19.50 per barrel (ca).

          1 Euro: 0.8647 USD on 29 January 2002

        13. This is also more pertinent than it looks:

          But after Chavez last weekend withdrew a controversial intelligence law in Venezuela, and told Colombia’s FARC rebels that the age of Marxist guerrilla warfare in Latin America is over, many may be wondering if even the bark of the hemisphere’s most prominent anti-U.S. maverick has begun to mellow….

          [Padgett COHA]

          The American, and particularly the American Right Wing analysis of Chavez, which insists on a “personal” and strictly “ideological” analysis, is incompetent in the extreme.

        14. One had never heard of "Megaphone" before the references above, nor is one much interested one way or another.

          But is makes an interesting puzzle.

          X is a participant in "Megaphone".

          The question arises whether X is a participant in "Megaphone".

          Does X say, and continue to be an effective participant, "Yes, I am a participant in Megaphone"?

          Or does periphrasis, inviting construction as a denial, even if not an outright lie, serve the case much better?

        15. Yes, the rise in oil prices is directly related to the value of the dollar. The rise in oil prices is part of the cause (among others, such as the $25 Chinese-made blender on your kitchen counter). The fact that the dollar has dropped against the Euro by around 30% since January 2002, while oil prices today are over seven times what they were in January 2002 should give you an indication that there’s more going on here than a “weak dollar”. Oil prices are driven, like other prices, chiefly by supply and demand. Suppliers are leaving oil in the ground and delaying delivery. And why shouldn’t they? They make more money that way.

          I agree that there’s a good deal of “future value” speculation built into oil prices. That’s legitimate. However, using future value calculations to inflate past payments for the purpose of making a political arugment is a bit… well… it’s kind of like stuffing a rolled up pair of socks down your pants.

        16. “using future value calculations to inflate past payments for the purpose of making a political arugment is a bit….”

          Interesting and tendentious construction, jumping to numerous conclusions.

          “Inflating past payments”–hehe–very Ledeenesco in flavor.

          “Dr. Ledeen, let me introduce you to Dr.Ledeen. And over there, Dr. Ledeen. And there coming down the escalator, Dr. Ledeen–meet Dr. Ledeen.”

        17. Yes. I did notice that you seemed more concerned with the “flavor” or appearance of arguments than you are with their content. But then I bet you know a great deal about stuffing socks down the front of our pants.

        18. I would say that, in the final analysis, we are going to find that Hugo Chavez – Meester Ridiculous – has been incompetent in the extreme. But time will tell.

        19. “I would say”–you didn’t just say it? “Final analysis”–when is that? “We”–who is “we”?

          The speaker who “flavors” with empty rhetoric and weighted cliches and constructions accuses other speakers of being concerned with “flavor”–droll, very droll.

          “Mr. Ledeen, meet Mr. Ledeen. And over there, Mr. Ledeen.”

          “Inflating past payments” remains a chuckle.

          Do it in reverse, from present to future and what is it called? Israelis beginning a new currency reserve initiative in Euros, among other things.

      3. “BTW, it’s not “Vaterland”. We refer to Israel as “moledet”, or “motherland”. It’s the Arabs who use the masculine equivalent, “watan” referring to the “Fatherland”.

        [It’s the Arabs who use the masculine equivalent, “watan” referring to the “Fatherland”.]

        This reminds one of the five middle east looking guys who were seen celebrating and highfiving each other in New York on 9/11.When police cought with them and stopped their van,the first thing they said that ,” we are not your problem,it is the Palestnians are!!”

        It is the Arabs who are Nazi like ,they even use the expression “fatherland”!.

        1. JES

          “On the fact that Israel receives a few dollars from your annual tax bill – half of which, by agreement, returns to the US economy in the form of purchases – which amounts to a whopping 2% of Israel’s GDP.”

          That is quite an interesting way of saying that Israel is a freeloader that gets weapons from the US for “free”! You seem to be oblivious to the point that Israel is not paying for its own defense, the US is!

        2. You seem to be oblivious to the fact that Israel pays plenty for its own defence. Again, US assistance to Israel is currently $2.5 billion, or approximately 1.3% of GDP. Military expenditures are about 7.3% of GDP, leaving Isaeli taxpayers to foot the bill for the 6% difference. Indeed Israel, and Israelis, pay for the lion’s share of our own defence. The US isn’t, so stop whining.

  27. “If you are a young Muslim American and head off to the Middle East for a spell in a fundamentalist “madrassa,” or religious school, Homeland Security will probably greet you at the airport when you return. But if you are an American Jew and you join hundreds of teenagers from Europe and Mexico for an eight-week training course run by the Israel Defense Forces, you can post your picture wearing an Israeli army uniform and holding an automatic weapon on MySpace.”

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20071001_israels_toy_soldiers/

    1. I think they have one now. They also have seats reserved for Armenians, Catholics, and Zoroastrians. One seat each, and 2 for Armenians. This actually means that some (perhaps all, minus Bahai which aren’t recognised) minorities are actually over-represented in parliament (if you go by representation by population).

      Also in my experience recently when I visited book stores in Tehran I never saw the Protocols put out in the “bestseller” stands (actually I never saw it at all). As Sadegh mentioned, those stands are usually reserved for new books on philosophy, or the always popular poetry books, especially Hafez.

  28. wattan : home country [wattana] Aze veten, Hin vatan, Ind watan, Per wattan, Tat vatan, Tur vatan borrowed from Ar

    wattana : dwell

    [http://www.freeweb.hu/etymological/AEDweb.htm]

    It may be that some, under the influence of Lewis and others, are naively importing “father” in their translations from the Latin patria and its roots, as in the English “patriotism”.

    It is, ironically, closer to “Homeland”, isn’t it?

    1. Another possibility that just occurred to me is that those naifs who confuse grammatical gender with sex jump to the easy, but totally erroneous conclusion, that any “homeland” that is masculine in gender must be connected with “father”, and any in the feminine gender with “mother”.

      One can have a lot of fun with various languages, including ancient Egyptian, playing with “Father” and “Mother” SKY, just for an example.

      Surely if the learned Doctor Ledeen reads this blog there is enough to keep him busy mauling and mutilating “history” for the rest of his livelong days.

    2. Thanks Eugene.

      Many people think that the translation of a word in one language into another really is the same as the meaning of the word in the original language!As an example is the word Jihad!

  29. A really thorough etymological investigation, on the model of what has been done with Indo-European, might well point to a primordial connection with Wadi, but I don’t have the time or the resources near at hand to pursue that at the moment.

    Incidentally, speakers of neither Hebrew nor Arabic, had any conception of “grammar” until the concept and general scheme were borrowed from the ancient Greeks. This is also the case with the speakers of Latin. It quickly becomes complex, however, for the ancient Greek concept of “grammar” was closer to what we now call “logic”, until the Romans turned it into something akin to the modern idea in the study of their own language, also on a Greek model.

    There has always been popular etymology, on the other hand, though scientifically studied the discipline requires wide learning, clear principles, and an inclination not to jump to quick conclusions.

    Compare:

    In the Golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula important work was done by grammarians in explaining the grammar and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew; much of this was based on the work of the grammarians of Classical Arabic. Important Hebrew grammarians were Judah ben David Hayyuj, Jonah ibn Janah and later (in Provence) David Kimhi. A great deal of poetry was written, by poets such as Dunash ben Labrat, Solomon ibn Gabirol, Judah ha-Levi and the two Ibn Ezras, in a “purified” Hebrew based on the work of these grammarians, and in Arabic quantitative metres. This literary Hebrew was later used by Italian Jewish poets.

    The need to express scientific and philosophical concepts from Classical Greek and Medieval Arabic motivated Medieval Hebrew to borrow terminology and grammar from these other languages, or to coin equivalent terms from existing Hebrew roots, giving rise to a distinct style of philosophical Hebrew. This is used in the translations made by the Ibn Tibbon family. (Original Jewish philosophical works were usually written in Arabic.)

    Another important influence was Maimonides, who developed a simple style based on Mishnaic Hebrew for use in his law code, the Mishneh Torah. Subsequent rabbinic literature is written in a blend between this style and the Aramaized Rabbinic Hebrew of the Talmud.

    [wikipedia]

    I have never seen anyone treat what influence the ancient Law School of Beirut may or may not have had on grammatical studies in the Near East, as in regard to Syriac, though there too the prime influence would have been Greek.

  30. So much war and killing, so many works of peace continuing undone. Ah well, Caesar did dictate De Analogia on horseback and campaign (forgive the syllepsis), if I recall correctly–didn’t he?

  31. Ledeen takes it for granted that we are facing “evil enemies” whose identity he doesn’t make clear, and tries to explain why we don’t take these enemies more seriously. What makes this wingnut material is that he doesn’t even try to address the mainstream of America and make that case that these enemies should be taken more seriously. Instead, he writes a piece that has nothing to say to anyone who doesn’t share his wacky perceptions of the world.

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