Tuesday, March 13, 2012

474 Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'. Guardian attacks Atzmon, Assange & Ed Herman

Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'. Guardian attacks Atzmon,
Assange & Ed Herman

This newsletter draws on both the "Far Right" and "Far Left". I use
material from both that is of high quality, but edit out some bits.

Thus, for example, yesterday, in Kevin MacDonald's review of Gilad
Atzmon's new book, I edited out his paragraphs on race as a determining
factor. On the other side, a few months ago, I declined to publish James
Petras' condemnation, as "fascist", of those who oppose the current
"open border" immigration.

Rather than get bogged down in a debate over such divisive issues, I
would rather skirt around them.

Gilad Atzmon, however, has addressed MacDonald's race-orientation (item 1).

But MacDonald has, amid the race-oriented material on his site,
acknowledged that genetic data support Shlomo Sand's case (based on Paul
Wexler's books) that Jewish affiliation was based on proselytism and
conversion in ancient times (item 2).

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, reflects (item 3) on his own sense of
Jewish identity - as ethnic, not religious. "It's Genetic", his father
says. I would say, instead, that it's a matter of upbringing, culture,
and what one makes of this (identity). There is a Jewish civilization,
based on the Jewish religion yet non-observant. Persons raised in this
civilization are liable to identify as Jewish.

James Petras notes (item 5) that the assassination of Awlaki by
executive fiat establishes a dangerous precedent for extra-judicial
killings of US citizens.

How Anders Behring Breivik thought that slaughtering young people would
help his cause is beyond me. Yet some of his writing - on the Gramscian
assault on Western civilization - is lucid (item 8).

(1) Gilad Atzmon: the culture, not the genes, Identity not Race
(2) Genetic data support Shlomo Sand & Paul Wexler: proselytism and
conversions to Judaism in ancient times
(3) Google co-founder Sergey Brin: being Jewish was an ethnic, not a
religious experience
(4) Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'
(5) Petras: Awlaki assassinated for his speeches and writings; he had no
operational role
(6) The Guardian's Thought Police on the Left attack Atzmon & Assange;
and Ed Herman for "Genocide Denial"
(7) Assassination Rights: US and Israel - Ed Herman
(8) Breivik & Gramsci

(1) Gilad Atzmon: the culture, not the genes, Identity not Race

From: ReporterNotebook <RePorterNoteBook@gmail.com> Date: 7 October 2011
23:49

Gilad Atzmon: Supremacists on ‘The Wandering Who’

Friday, October 7, 2011

Gilad Atzmon

Two days ago I referred to a critique of ‘The Wandering Who’ written by
mark Gardner. Gardner Is a rabid Zionist and Jewish supremacist who
tends to conflatejewish nationalism (zionism) with Jewish ethnicity.
However, Gardner’s criticism of my book was, In the main, Intelligent
and fair, though certainly not free of error.

Yesterday, I found out that the Occidental Observer, a white supremacist
magazine, also published a lengthy review of ‘The Wandering Who’ written
by Prof. Kevin Macdonald. Like Gardner, Macdonald also conflates Jewish
ideology and culture with ethnicity. His most controversial claim is
that a suite of traits that he attributes to Jews, including
higher-than-average verbal intelligence and ethnocentrisms, have
eugenically evolved to enhance the ability of Jews to outsmart non-jews
in the competition for resources while, at the same time, undermining
the power and self-confidence of the white majorities in europe and
america who, he insists, Jews seek to dispossess. Just like Gardner,
Macdonald produced an interesting text, though Macdonald’s was somewhat
more scholarly.

Although both are supremacist and ethnocentric thinkers, Gardner and
Macdonald seem to be in a kind of dispute. Zionist Gardner insists that
‘The Wandering Who’ contains elements of ‘cultural racism’ though he
fails to inform his readers what ‘cultural racism’ is. As far as i’m
concerned, cultural racism is a misnomer. Criticism grounded in the
racial origin of a group is, quite simply and obviously, racist. But
criticism levelled at the culture or the politics of a certain group is
not. it is simply and literally political or cultural criticism. I
suspect that Gardner attributed the notion of ‘cultural racism’ to my
work because he could not find a single ‘racist’ element in my book or
in any of my writing.

Macdonald however, is actually frustrated with the lack of any
biological determinist or racist reference in my work. “Atzmon
completely avoids any mention of modern population genetic studies that
show conclusively that Jews are indeed an ethnic entity and that widely
dispersed Jewish groups are more similar to each other than to the
peoples they have lived among for hundreds or thousands of years.
instead he relies on Shlomo Sand’s the invention of the Jewish people to
argue that Jewish peoplehood is an invention of the 19th century
resulting from the influence of German nationalism.”

Macdonald is right. ‘The Wandering Who’ is a study of Jewish identity
politics and Jewish culture, it is not concerned with Jewish ethnicity
or racial origins. in fact I don’t agree that Jews form an ethnic or
racial continuum. But I would agree that, though Jews do not from a
racial continuum, Jewish culture, politics and ideology are all racially
oriented .

In ‘The Wandering Who’ I contend that there is enough in Jewish culture
and ideology to explain the devastating continuum between hardcore
Zionism, Israeli crimes and worldwide Jewish institutional support of
these crimes. There is also enough in Jewish culture to explain why the
Jewish ‘left’ is engaged in constant gate-keeping of the Palestinian
solidarity movement and the anti Zionist discourses. The issue resides
in the culture, not in the genes.

I believe that my writing produces a satisfactory critical argument of
any form of Jewish politics, both Zionist and anti Zionist. But….it is
done without a single reference to Jewish ethnicity, race or origin.

Yesterday evening I stumbled across these beautiful lines by indian guru
satya sai baba. if you really want to know what I think about race,
ethnicity and origin, let satya sai baba speak on my behalf.

"THERE IS ONLY ONE RACE
THE RACE OF HUMANKIND
THERE IS ONLY ONE RELIGION
THE RELIGION OF LOVE
THERE IS ONLY ONE LANGUAGE
THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART"

SRI SATYA SAI BABA

(2) Genetic data support Shlomo Sand & Paul Wexler: proselytism and
conversions to Judaism in ancient times


http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2010/06/kevin-macdonald-more-data-on-jewish-genetics/

Kevin MacDonald: A new study on Jewish genetics

Kevin MacDonald on June 4, 2010

Kevin MacDonald: Gil Atzmon and colleagues have come out with the
largest study yet comparing Jewish and non-Jewish populations. (See here
and here.) Ted Sallis will be coming out with a longer summary for TOO,
but I thought I would highlight a couple points.

The study is remarkable for the number of genetic loci studied (3904
SNPs) and the number of people sampled (273 Jews from 7 different Jewish
groups (Ashkenazi, Iranian, Syrian, Iraqi, Italian; Greek; Turkish) and
418 people from 16 non-Jewish groups). As in previous studies, the main
message is that Jewish populations do cluster together and are different
from the populations they have lived among for hundreds of years. The 7
Jewish populations divided into a European/Syrian group with a
relatively high degree of genetic admixture with European non-Jews
(30-60%) and a Middle Eastern group (Iraqi and Iranian Jews). The
estimate of 60% overlap between Ashkenazi populations and Europeans
indicates that Ashkenazi Jews are an intermediary population with
genetic interests that overlap significantly with Europeans.

The new findings were seen as support for the idea that there was
significant admixture with non-Jews in Greco-Roman times. This is based
on the clustering of the European/Syrian Jews and the fact that these
groups have been separated since ancient times. The authors argue that
the data are consistent with historical accounts of proselytism and
large-scale conversions to Judaism in ancient times. When I reviewed the
historical data in A People That Shall Dwell Alone (Ch. 4, pp. 62-78), I
ended up rejecting this theory, coming down on the side of historians
who doubted how important conversion really was. One thing that
convinced me was that there was a lot of evidence for biases against
converts. For example, once they converted they were regarded as very
undesirable marriage partners and that a pure Jewish genealogy was a
very big asset in the marriage market. Families keep their genealogies
for generations, and there is a lot of evidence for hostility toward
converts. Contrary to Atzmon et al., conversion is not required to
explain the large numbers of Jews in the ancient world.

There was also a very pronounced apologetic tone to Jewish advocates of
high levels of prosetlytism. But now it looks like they may have been
right because the greatest admixture among the European/Syrian groups
comes from the Mediterranean area: French, Northern Italian, and
Sardinians. It’s hard to see how that could have happened without the
admixture occurring in the ancient world. It’s also worth noting that,
once again, the data are not compatible with a major role for the Khazars.

In any case, there certainly were elaborate cultural barriers against
intermarriage throughout very long stretches of Jewish history,
resulting in genetically different populations with substantially
different genetic interests. That’s the point of the group evolutionary
strategy idea: Admixture would have been much higher without barriers.

And of course, genetic overlap is not the same thing as a psychological
sense of common interest. Following John Murray Cuddihy, I have often
stressed the hostility and sense of historical grievance that Jews have
had toward the Europeans they have lived among for centuries.
Psychological attitudes do not necessarily match up one-to-one with
genetic distance. Attitudes are affected not only by genetic similarity
but are at least partly affected by ingroup/outgroup psychology which is
known to be fairly insensitive to genetic distance: People can develop
great hatreds toward the fans of different football teams.

The point is that it’s quite possible that Jewish hostility toward
Europeans and their culture is not really warranted by the recent
findings on genetic distance–an intriguing possibility to say the least.

(3) Google co-founder Sergey Brin: being Jewish was an ethnic, not a
religious experience


{Brin's father Michael here says that Jewishness "is genetic", but it's
more a matter of Culture and Identification - Peter M.}

http://momentmag.com/Exclusive/2007/02/200702-BrinFeature.html

The Story of Sergey Brin
How the Moscow-born entrepreneur cofounded Google and changed the way
the world searches

Mark Malseed

Moment Magazine

February 2007

[...] “Russian Jews lacked the vocabulary to even articulate what they
were feeling,” says Lenny Gusel, the founder of a San Francisco-based
network of Russian-Jewish immigrants; many newcomers he encounters
struggle with this fundamental change. “They were considered Jews back
home. Here they were considered Russians. Many longed just to assimilate
as Americans.” ...

The Brins were no different from their fellow immigrants in that being
Jewish was an ethnic, not a religious experience. “We felt our
Jewishness in different ways, not by keeping kosher or going to
synagogue. It is genetic,” explains Michael. “We were not very
religious. My wife doesn’t eat on Yom Kippur; I do.” Genia interjects:
“We always have a Passover dinner. We have a seder. I have the recipe
for gefilte fish from my grandmother.”

(4) Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'

Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 16:21:11 -0400 (EDT) From: IHR News <news@ihr.org>

By Mark Hosenball | Reuters – Thu, Oct 6, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/secret-panel-put-americans-kill-list-041603267.html

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are
placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior
government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions,
according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel,
which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council,
several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law
establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is
supposed to operate.

The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki, a U.S.-born militant
preacher with alleged al Qaeda connections, to the target list. He was
killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month.

The role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target
a citizen is fuzzy. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to
discuss anything about the process. ...

The White House is portraying the killing of Awlaki as a demonstration
of President Barack Obama's toughness toward militants who threaten the
United States. But the process that led to Awlaki's killing has drawn
fierce criticism from both the political left and right.

In an ironic turn, Obama, who ran for president denouncing predecessor
George W. Bush's expansive use of executive power in his "war on
terrorism," is being attacked in some quarters for using similar
tactics. They include secret legal justifications and undisclosed
intelligence assessments.

Liberals criticized the drone attack on an American citizen as
extra-judicial murder. ...

(5) Petras: Awlaki assassinated for his speeches and writings; he had no
operational role


From: James Petras <jpetras@binghamton.edu> Date: 7 October 2011 12:12

Obama: The Assassination of Anwar Al-Awlaki by Fiat

James Petras

October 6, 2011

http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=1875
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26971

The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki a U.S citizen in Yemen by a CIA drone
missile on September 30 has been publicized by the mass media, President
Obama and the usual experts on al-Qaeda as “a major blow to the jihadist
network founded by Osama bin Laden” US officials called Awlaki “the most
dangerous figure in Al-Qaeda” (Financial Times Oct. 1 and 2, 2011).

There is ample evidence to suggest that the publicity surrounding the
killing of al-Awlaki has greatly exaggerated his political importance
and is an attempt to cover up the declining influence of the US in the
Islamic world. The State Department’s declaration of a major victory
serves to exaggerate US military capacity to defeat its adversaries. The
assassination serves to justify Obama’s arbitrary use of death squads to
execute overseas US critics and adversaries by executive fiat denying
the accused elementary judicial protections.

Myths About al-Awlaki

Al-Awlaki was a theological blogger in a small, poor Islamic country
(Yemen). He was confined to propagandizing against Western countries,
attempting to influence Islamic believers to resist Western military and
cultural intervention. Within Yemen, his organizational affiliations
were with a minority sector of the mass popular opposition to US backed
dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. His fundamentalist group was largely
influential in a few small towns in southern Yemen. He was not a
military or political leader in his organization, dubbed by the West as
“Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (AQAP). Like most of what the CIA
calls “Al-Qaeda”, AQAP was a local autonomous organization, meaning that
it was organized and controlled by local leaders even as it expressed
agreement with many other loosely associated fundamentalist groups.
Awlaki had a very limited role in the Yemeni groups’ military and
political operations and virtually no influence in the mass movement
engaged in ousting Saleh. There is no evidence, documented or
observable, that he was “a very effective propagandist” as ex-CIA and
now Brookings Institution member Bruce Riedal claims. In Yemen and among
the mass popular movements in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain or elsewhere his
followers were few and far between. One “expert” cites such intangibles
as his “spiritual leadership”, which is as good a way as any to avoid
the test of empirical evidence: apparently a crystal ball or a tarot
read will do.

Given the paucity of evidence demonstrating Awlaki’s political and
ideological influence among the mass movements in North Africa, the
Middle East or Asia, the US intelligence agencies claim his “real
influence was among English-speaking jihadi, some of whom he groomed
personally to carry out attacks on the US.”

In other words Washington’s casting Awlaki as an “important threat”
revolves around his speeches and writings, since he had no operational
role in organizing suicide bomb attacks – or at least no concrete
evidence has been presented up to now.

The intelligence agencies “suspect” he was involved in the plot that
dispatched bombs in cargo aircraft from Yemen to Chicago in October
2010. US intelligence claims he provided a “theological justification”
via e-mail for US army Major Nidal Malik’s killing of 13 people at Fort
Hood. In other words, like many US philosophical writers and legal
experts like Princeton’s Michael Walzer and Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz,
Awlaki discussed “just wars” and the “right” of violent action. If
political writings and speeches of publicists are cited by an assassin
as the bases for their action, should the White House execute, leading
US Islamophobes like Marilyn Geller and Daniel Pipes, cited as
inspiration by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Brevik? Or does
their Zionist affiliation provide them immunity from Navy Seal assaults
and drone missiles?

Even assuming that the unsubstantiated “suspicions” of the CIA, MI 16
and the Al Qaeda “experts” are correct and Awlaki had a direct or
indirect hand in “terrorist action” against the US, these activities
were absurdly amateurish and abject failures, certainly not a serious
threat to our security. The “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdul
Mutallab’s effort to ignite bomb materials on a flight to Detroit,
December 25, 2009, led to roasting his testicles! Likewise the bombs
dispatched in cargo aircraft from Yemen to Chicago in October 2010 were
another bungled job.

If anything the Yemenite AQAP’s hopeless, hapless operational planning
served to highlight its technical incompetence. In fact according to
Mutallab’s own admission, published on NBC news at the time, Awlaki
played no role in the planning or execution of the bomb attack. He
merely served to refer Mutallab to the Al Qaeda organization.

Clearly, Awlaki was a minor figure in Yemen’s political struggles. He
was a propagandist of little influence in the mass movements during the
“Arab Spring”. He was an inept recruiter of English-speaking would be
bombers. The claims that he planned and “hatched” two bomb plots
(Financial Times, October 1 and 2, page 2) are refuted by the confession
of one bomber and the absence of any corroboratory evidence regarding
the failed cargo bombs.

The mass media inflate the importance of Awlaki to the stature of a
major al-Qaeda leader and subsequently, his killing as a “major
psychological blow” to world-wide jihadists. This imagery has no
substance. But the puff pieces do have a very important propaganda
purpose. Worse still, the killing of Awlaki provides a justification for
extra-judicial state serial assassinations of ideological critics of
Anglo-American leaders engaged in bloody colonial wars. ...

Obama’s defense of systematic killing of ideological critics, denying US
constitutional norms of judicial due process to a U.S citizen and in
blatant rejection of international law defines a homicidal executive.

Let us be absolutely clear what the larger implications are of political
murder by executive fiat. If the President can order the murder of a
dual American-Yemeni citizen abroad on the bases of his
ideological-theological beliefs, what is to stop him from ordering the
same in the US? If he uses arbitrary violence to compensate for
diplomatic failure abroad what is to stop him from declaring a
“heightened internal security threat” in order to suspend our remaining
freedoms at home and to round up critics?

We seriously understate our “Obama problem” if we think of this ordered
killing merely as an isolated murder of a “jihadist” in strife torn
Yemen … Obama’s murder of Awlaki has profound, long term significance
because it puts political assassinations at the center of US foreign and
domestic policy. As Secretary of Defense Panetta states, “eliminating
home grown terrorists” is at the core of our “internal security”.

(6) The Guardian's Thought Police on the Left attack Atzmon & Assange;
and Ed Herman for "Genocide Denial"


From: Kristoffer Larsson <krislarsson@comhem.se> Date: 30 September
2011 05:20

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/28/the-dangerous-cult-of-the-guardian/

SEPTEMBER 28, 2011

A Thought Police for the Internet Age
The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian

by JONATHAN COOK

There could be no better proof of the revolution – care of the internet
– occurring in the accessibility of information and informed commentary
than the reaction of our mainstream, corporate media.

For the first time, Western publics – or at least those who can afford a
computer – have a way to bypass the gatekeepers of our democracies. Data
our leaders once kept tightly under wraps can now be easily searched
for, as can the analyses of those not paid to turn a blind eye to the
constant and compelling evidence of Western hypocrisy. Wikileaks, in
particular, has rapidly eroded the traditional hierarchical systems of
information dissemination.

The media – at least the supposedly leftwing component of it – should be
cheering on this revolution, if not directly enabling it. And yet,
mostly they are trying to co-opt, tame or subvert it. Indeed,
progressive broadcasters and writers increasingly use their platforms in
the mainstream to discredit and ridicule the harbingers of the new age.

A good case study is the Guardian, considered the most leftwing
newspaper in Britain and rapidly acquiring cult status in the United
States, where many readers tend to assume they are getting access
through its pages to unvarnished truth and the full range of critical
thinking on the left.

Certainly, the Guardian includes some fine reporting and occasionally
insightful commentary. Possibly because it is farther from the heart of
empire, it is able to provide a partial antidote to the craven coverage
of the corporate-owned media in the US.

Nonetheless, it would be unwise to believe that the Guardian is
therefore a free market in progressive or dissident ideas on the left.
In fact, quite the contrary: the paper strictly polices what can be said
and who can say it in its pages, for cynical reasons we shall come to.

Until recently, it was quite possible for readers to be blissfully
unaware that there were interesting or provocative writers and thinkers
who were never mentioned in the Guardian. And, before papers had online
versions, the Guardian could always blame space constraints as grounds
for not including a wider range of voices. That, of course, changed with
the rise of the internet.

Early on, the Guardian saw the potential, as well as the threat, posed
by this revolution. It responded by creating a seemingly free-for-all
blog called Comment is Free to harness much of the raw energy unleashed
by the internet. It recruited an army of mostly unpaid writers,
activists and propagandists on both sides of the Atlantic to help brand
itself as the epitome of democratic and pluralistic media.

 From the start, however, Comment is Free was never quite as free –
except in terms of the financial cost to the Guardian – as it appeared.
Significant writers on the left, particularly those who were considered
“beyond the pale” in the old media landscape, were denied access to this
new “democratic” platform. Others, myself included, quickly found there
were severe and seemingly inexplicable limits on what could be said on
CiF (unrelated to issues of taste or libel).

None of this should matter. After all, there are many more places than
CiF to publish and gain an audience. All over the web dissident writers
are offering alternative analyses of current events, and drawing
attention to the significance of information often ignored or sidelined
by the corporate media.

Rather than relish this competition, or resign itself to the emergence
of real media pluralism, however, the Guardian reverted to type. It
again became the left’s thought police.

This time, however, it could not ensure that the “challenging left”
would simply go unheard. The internet rules out the option of silencing
by exclusion. So instead, it appears, it is using its pages to smear
those writers who, through their own provocative ideas and analyses,
suggest the Guardian’s tameness.

The Guardian’s discrediting of the “left” – the left being a concept
never defined by the paper’s writers – is far from taking place in a
fair battle of ideas. Not least the Guardian is backed by the huge
resources of its corporate owners. When it attacks dissident writers,
they can rarely, if ever, find a platform of equal prominence to defend
themselves. And the Guardian has proved itself more than reluctant to
allow a proper right of reply in its pages to those it maligns.

But also, and most noticeably, it almost never engages with these
dissident writers’ ideas. In popular terminology, it prefers to play the
man, not the ball. Instead it creates labels, from the merely
disparaging to the clearly defamatory, that push these writers and
thinkers into the territory of the unconscionable.

A typical example of the Guardian’s new strategy was on show this week
in an article in the print edition’s comment pages – also available
online and a far more prestigious platform than CiF – in which the paper
commissioned a socialist writer, Andy Newman, to argue that the Israeli
Jewish musician Gilad Atzmon was part of an anti-semitic trend
discernible on the left.

Jonathan Freedland, the paper’s star columnist and resident obsessive on
anti-semitism, tweeted to his followers that the article was “important”
because it was “urging the left to confront antisemitism in its ranks”.

I have no idea whether Atzmon has expressed anti-semitic views – and I
am none the wiser after reading Newman’s piece.

As is now typical in this new kind of Guardian character assassination,
the article makes no effort to prove that Atzmon is anti-semitic or to
show that there is any topical or pressing reason to bring up his
presumed character flaw. (In passing, the article made a similar
accusation of anti-semitism against Alison Weir of If Americans Knew,
and against the Counterpunch website for publishing an article on
Israel’s role in organ-trafficking by her.)

Atzmon has just published a book on Jewish identity, The Wandering Who?,
that has garnered praise from respected figures such as Richard Falk, an
emeritus law professor at Princeton, and John Mearsheimer, a
distinguished politics professor at Chicago University.

But Newman did not critique the book, nor did he quote from it. In fact,
he showed no indication that he had read the book or knew anything about
its contents.

Instead Newman began his piece, after praising Atzmon’s musicianship,
with an assumptive reference to his “antisemitic writings”. There
followed a few old quotes from Atzmon, long enough to be intriguing but
too short and out of context to prove his anti-semitism – except
presumably to the Guardian’s thought police and its most deferential
readers.

The question left in any reasonable person’s mind is why dedicate
limited commentary space in the paper to Atzmon? There was no suggestion
of a newsworthy angle. And there was no case made to prove that Atzmon
is actually anti-semitic. It was simply assumed as a fact.

Atzmon, even by his own reckoning, is a maverick figure who has a
tendency to infuriate just about everyone with his provocative, and
often ambiguous, pronouncements. But why single him out and then suggest
that he represents a discernible and depraved trend among the left?

Nonetheless, the Guardian was happy to offer its imprimatur to Newman’s
defamation of Atzmon, who was described as a conspiracy theorist
“dripping with contempt for Jews”, despite an absence of substantiating
evidence. Truly worthy of Pravda in its heyday.

The Atzmon article appeared on the same day the Guardian carried out a
similar hatchet job, this time on Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks.
The paper published a book review of Assange’s “unauthorised
autobiography” by the Guardian’s investigations editor, David Leigh.

That Leigh could be considered a reasonable choice for a review of the
book – which he shamelessly pilloried – demonstrates quite how little
the Guardian is prepared to abide by elementary principles of ethical
journalism.

Leigh has his own book on the Guardian’s involvement with Wikileaks and
Assange currently battling it out for sales in the bookshops. He is
hardly a disinterested party.

But also, and more importantly, Leigh is clearly not dispassionate about
Assange, any more than the Guardian is. The paper has been waging an
all-but-declared war against Wikileaks since the two organizations fell
out over their collaboration on publishing Wikileak’s trove of 250,000
classified US embassy cables. The feud, if the paper’s talkbacks are to
be believed, has finally begun to test the patience of even some of the
paper’s most loyal readers.

The low point in Leigh’s role in this saga is divulging in his own book
a complex password Assange had created to protect a digital file
containing the original and unedited embassy cables. Each was being
carefully redacted before publication by several newspapers, including
the Guardian.

This act of – in the most generous interpretation of Leigh’s behavior –
gross stupidity provided the key for every security agency in the world
to open the file. Leigh has accused Wikileaks of negligence in allowing
a digital copy of the file to be available. Whether true, his own role
in the affair is far more inexcusable.

Even given his apparent ignorance of the digital world, Leigh is a
veteran investigative reporter who must have known that revealing the
password was foolhardy in the extreme. Not least, it clearly
demonstrated how Assange formulates his passwords, and would provide
important clues for hackers trying to open other protected Wikileaks
documents.

His and the Guardian’s recklessness in disclosing the password was
compounded by their negligent decision to contact neither Assange nor
Wikileaks before publication of Leigh’s book to check whether the
password was still in use.

After this shabby episode, one of many from the Guardian in relation to
Assange, it might have been assumed that Leigh was considered an
inappropriate person to comment in the Guardian on matters related to
Wikileaks. Not so.

Instead the paper has been promulgating Leigh’s sel-interested version
of the story and regularly impugning Assange’s character. In a recent
editorial, the paper lambasted the Wikileaks founder as an “information
absolutist” who was “flawed, volatile and erratic”, arguing that he had
chosen to endanger informants named in the US cables by releasing the
unredacted cache.

However, the paper made no mention either of Leigh’s role in revealing
the password or of Wikileaks’ point that, following Leigh’s
incompetence, every security agency and hacker in the world had access
to the file’s contents. Better, Wikileaks believed, to create a level
playing field and allow everyone access to the cables, thereby letting
informants know whether they had been named and were in danger.

Leigh’s abuse of his position is just one element in a dirty campaign by
the Guardian to discredit Assange and, by extension, the Wikileaks project.

Some of this clearly reflects a clash of personalities and egos, but it
also looks suspiciously like the feud derives from a more profound
ideological struggle between the Guardian and Wikilieaks about how
information should be controlled a generation hence. The implicit
philosophy of Wikileaks is to promote an ever-greater opening up and
equalisation of access to information, while the Guardian, following its
commercial imperatives, wants to ensure the gatekeepers maintain their
control.

At least Assange has the prominent Wikileaks website to make sure his
own positions and reasons are hard to overlook. Other targets of the
Guardian are less fortunate.

George Monbiot, widely considered to be the Guardian’s most progressive
columnist, has used his slot to attack a disparate group on the “left”
who also happen to be harsh critics of the Guardian.

In a column in June he accused Ed Herman, a leading US professor of
finance and a collaborator on media criticism with Noam Chomsky, and
writer David Peterson of being “genocide deniers” over their research
into events in Rwanda and Bosnia. The evidence was supposedly to be
found in their joint book The Politics of Genocide, published last year,
and in an online volume, The Srebrenica Massacre, edited by Herman.

Implying that genocide denial was now a serious problem on the left,
Monbiot also laid into journalist John Pilger for endorsing the book and
a website called Media Lens that dedicates itself to exposing the
failings of the corporate media, including the work of the Guardian and
Monbiot. Media Lens’ crime was to have argued that Herman and Peterson
should be allowed to make their case about Rwanda and Bosnia, rather
than be silenced as Monbiot appeared to prefer.

Monbiot also ensnared Chomsky in his criticism, castigating him for
writing a foreword to one of the books.

Chomsky, it should be remembered, is co-author (with Herman) of
Manufacturing Consent, a seminal book arguing that it is the role of the
corporate media, including liberal media like the Guardian, to distort
their readers’ understanding of world events to advance the interests of
Western elites. In Chomsky’s view, even journalists like Monbiot are
selected by the media for their ability to manufacture public consent
for the maintenance of a system of Western political and economic dominance.

Possibly as a result of these ideas, Chomsky is a bete noire of the
Guardian and its Sunday sister publication, the Observer.

He was famously vilified in 2005 by an up and coming Guardian feature
writer, Emma Brockes – again on the issue of Srebrenica. Brockes’ report
so wilfully mischaracterised Chomsky’s views (with quotes she could not
substantiate after she apparently taped over her recording of the
interview) that the Guardian was forced into a very reluctant “partial
apology” under pressure from its readers’ editor. Over Chomsky’s
opposition, the article was also erased from its archives.

Such scurrilous journalism should have ended a young journalist’s career
at the Guardian. But ridiculing Chomsky is standard fare at the paper,
and Brockes’ career as celebrity interviewer flourished, both at the
Guardian and the New York Times.

Nick Cohen, another star columnist, this time at the Observer, found
time to mention Chomsky recently, dismissing him and other prominent
critical thinkers such as Tariq Ali, the late Harold Pinter, Arundhati
Roy and Diana Johnstone as “west-hating”. He blamed liberals and the
left for their “Chomskyan self-delusion”, and suggested many were
“apologists for atrocities”.

Monbiot’s article followed in the same vein. He appeared to have a
minimal grasp of the details of Herman and Peterson’s books. Much of his
argument that Herman is a “genocide belittler” depends on doubts raised
by a variety of experts in the Srebrenica book over the figure of 8,000
reported executions of Bosnian Muslims by Serb forces at Srebrenica. The
authors suggest the number is not supported by evidence and might in
fact be as low as 800.

Whether or not the case made by Herman and his collaborators is
convincing was beside the point in Monbiot’s article. He was not
interested in exploring their arguments but in creating an intellectual
no-go zone from which critical thinkers and researchers were barred – a
sacred genocide.

And to achieve this end, it was necessary to smear the two writers as
genocide deniers and suggest that anyone else on the left who ventured
on to the same territory would be similarly stigmatised.

Monbiot treatment of Herman and Peterson’s work was so slipshod and
cavalier it is hard to believe that he was the one analysing their books.

To take just one example, Monbiot somehow appears to be unable to
appreciate the careful distinction Herman’s book makes between an
“execution” and a “death”, a vital differentiation in evaluating the
Srebrenica massacre.

In the book, experts question whether all or most of the 8,000 Bosnian
Muslims disinterred from graves at Srebrenica were victims of a
genocidal plan by the Serbs, or casualties of bitter fighting between
the two sides, or even some of them victims of a false-flag operation.
As the book points out, a post-mortem can do many things but it cannot
discern the identities or intentions of those who did the killing in
Srebrenica.

The authors do not doubt that a massacre, or massacres, took place at
Srebrenica. However, they believe we should not accept on trust that
this was a genocide (a term defined very specifically in international
law), or refuse to consider that the numbers may have been inflated to
fit a political agenda.

This is not an idle or contrarian argument. As they make clear in their
books, piecing together what really happened in Rwanda and Bosnia is
vital if we are not to be duped by Western leaders into yet more
humanitarian interventions whose goals are far from those claimed.

The fact that Monbiot discredited Herman and Peterson at a time when the
Guardian’s reporting was largely cheering on the latest humanitarian
intervention, in Libya, was all the more richly ironic.

So why do the Guardian and its writers publish these propaganda articles
parading as moral concern about the supposedly degenerate values of the
“left”? And why, if the left is in such a debased state, can the
Guardian’s stable of talented writers not take on their opponents’ ideas
without resorting to strawman arguments, misdirection and smears.

The writers, thinkers and activists targeted by the Guardian, though all
of the left, represent starkly different trends and approaches – and
some of them would doubtless vehemently oppose the opinions of others on
the list.

But they all share a talent for testing the bounds of permissible
thought in creative ways that challenge and undermine established truths
and what I have termed elsewhere the “climate of assumptions” the
Guardian has helped to create and sustain.

It hardly matters whether all or some of these critical thinkers are
right. The danger they pose to the Guardian is in arguing convincingly
that the way the world is presented to us is not the way it really is.
Their very defiance, faced with the weight of a manufactured consensus,
threatens to empower us, the reader, to look outside the restrictive
confines of media orthodoxy.

The Guardian, like other mainstream media, is heavily invested – both
financially and ideologically – in supporting the current global order.
It was once able to exclude and now, in the internet age, must vilify
those elements of the left whose ideas risk questioning a system of
corporate power and control of which the Guardian is a key institution.

The paper’s role, like that of its rightwing cousins, is to limit the
imaginative horizons of readers. While there is just enough leftwing
debate to make readers believe their paper is pluralistic, the kind of
radical perspectives needed to question the very foundations on which
the system of Western dominance rests is either unavailable or is ridiculed.

Reading the Guardian, it is possible to believe that one of the biggest
problems facing our societies – comparable to our compromised political
elites, corrupt police authorities, and depraved financial system – is
an array of mainly isolated dissidents and intellectuals on the left.

Is Atzmon and his presumed anti-semitism more significant than AIPAC? Is
Herman more of a danger than the military-industrial corporations
killing millions of peoples around the globe? And is Assange more of a
menace to the planet’s future than US President Barack Obama?

Reading the Guardian, you might well think so.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His
latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and
the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing
Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His
website is www.jkcook.net.

(7) Assassination Rights: US and Israel - Ed Herman

From: "Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)"
<sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 12:05:00 -0400 Subject: Prof. Edward Herman on
Assassination Rights....US and Israel

Assassination Rights

by Edward S. Herman

Z Magazine, October 2011

http://www.zcommunications.org/assassination-rights-by-edward-s-herman

Assassination is as American as apple pie. The record-breaking case of
assassination targeting is Fidel Castro. The 1976 Church Committee
report on “Alleged Assassination Plots on Foreign Leaders” listed “at
least” seven attempts to kill Castro, but the book by Fabian Escalante,
the Cuban former official in charge of protecting Castro, claimed that
the number of tries ran into the hundreds. In 2006 Duncan Campbell
pointed out that Luis Posada Carriles was still living in Florida after
his failed effort to murder Castro (among his other terrorist actions),
and Campbell noted sardonically that Florida is “a place where many of
the unsuccessful would-be assassins have made their home.” (See “638
tries to kill Castro,” Guardian, August 3, 2006.) It would be a mistake,
however, to think that Florida is the terror center of the world—that
honor falls to Washington, D.C. and its environs; Florida is just one
branch of the center, just as Guantanamo is just one branch of a
D.C.-centered torture network.

Aggression Rights

It is of course well established that the United States has aggression
rights, and that international law applies only to others, although
clients like Israel also have such exemptions by virtue of their
clienthood, tail-wagging-dog capabilities, and power of their protector
(see Herman, “Aggression Rights,” Z Magazine, February, 2004). U.S.
aggression rights were made perfectly clear with the U.S. attack,
invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, which was as clear a violation
of the UN Charter as Saddam’s invasion-occupation of Kuwait in 1990. In
the latter instance, the UN rushed to condemn Saddam on the very same
day his tanks and troops rolled into Kuwait, and that great
law-enforcer, the United States, rushed to oust him by massive force.

On the other hand, when Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006, this was merely
a case of tolerable “birth-pangs of a new Middle East” (Condoleezza
Rice), so that when the UN came into the picture it was more to protect
poor little Israel from future pea-shoots from Lebanon than to protect
Lebanon from current and future attack and invasion by a state that had
already aggressed against it twice. Even more interesting was the
invasion of Rwanda by elements of the Uganda army in October 1990, just
two months after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. Here, as in Lebanon, the
invading forces were supported by the United States, so the UN imposed
no impediment or penalty, and in various other ways aided the invading
party and facilitated a genocidal process that followed later in the
1990s (and extended into the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Assassination Rights

Assassination rights follow in the same manner, flowing from military
and economic power, arrogance, self-righteousness, and client status. As
of this moment (early September, 2011), it is not clear whether Moammar
Kadaffi is dead or alive—or, if alive, will long survive—but it has been
openly acknowledged that the United States and its NATO allies have more
than once bombed Kadaffi’s compound in Tripoli in an effort to kill him,
the first incident occurring as early as March 20, the second day of the
war. This is by no means the first time that the enlightened West has
tried to assassinate Kadaffi. The British and French both tried, and the
United States made an earlier effort in 1986 when it bombed Kadaffi’s
residence in Tripoli, missing him but killing his baby daughter and many
nearby civilians.

Assassination of civilians violates numerous international prohibitions
of such killing beyond military necessity; and it violates a stream of
U.S. executive orders that declare, for example, that “No person
employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall
engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination” (F.O. 12333, 1981
[Reagan]). This is regularly ignored by U.S. leaders, hence by the media
and by any potential-theoretical national or international law
enforcement bodies.

The rationales for ignoring law and executive orders can be funny. We
can go after Kadaffi because he is “commander-in-chief" of the Libyan
armed forces, hence a military target. (Obama would of course be a
legitimate military target for the Taliban, or Libyan armed forces, as
I’m sure the editors of the New York Times would agree.) One exposition
of assassination law notes that “it seems fairly obvious that
eliminating Qadaffi will go far toward bringing attacks on civilians to
an end” (“Assassination under International & Domestic Law,” on the
IntLawGrrls website, May 2, 2011). This might be especially true if his
elimination would have ended NATO attacks on Libyan civilians, which,
along with those of the NATO-supported insurgents, seem to have far
exceeded those of Kadaffi and his forces.

Bringing a war to a quicker end has long been a rationalization for
attacking civilians. During the bombing war against Yugoslavia in 1999
the stepped up attacks on Serbian civilian structures and civilian
occupants was explicitly designed to force a quicker surrender; and the
bombing of the Belgrade state broadcasting station (16 killed) was
explained on the ground that the station served up state propaganda and
was therefore a quasi-military target whose destruction would hasten an
end to the war. Then, of course, U.S. wars are always a matter of
self-defense, against the threat of weapons of mass destruction and
mushroom clouds rising over New York harbor, or some other threat to the
pitiful giant. So assassination prohibitions never come into play—for us.

Israel's Assassination Rights

Or for our pitiful little client in the Middle East, which is a kind of
pioneer in “targeted assassinations” and “preventive strikes.” Israel
has been killing Palestinians in extra-judicial actions for many years,
both in the occupied territories and in Israel itself. The Palestine
Centre for Human Rights estimates 604 targeted killings of Palestinians
between September 2000 and March 2011, plus another 256 "collateral
damage" bystanders killed. B’Tselem estimates 228 executions carried out
by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) between September 2000 and October
2006, plus 154 non-targeted civilians. This of course just scratches the
surface of the forms of violence carried out by the Israeli state and
its settlers against the untermenschen who stand in the way. The IDF
uses only rubber bullets in Israeli protests, but live ammunition in
dealing with the Palestinians. The assassination programs are built on
the foundation that Israel is confronted with “terrorists,” who can be
dealt with summarily. That the dispossessing IDF is the operative body
of a system of wholesale terrorism that daily violates international law
is unrecognized not only in Israel but throughout the Free World.
Similarly the Israeli wars of aggression in Lebanon and the genocidal
war on Gaza in 2009 do not elicit sanctions or war crimes tribunals or
discredit the Israeli state or leadership. Its right to aggress and
assassinate remains intact.

(8) Breivik & Grasmsci

Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 12:12:25 +0100 (BST) From: "fja0527@bellsouth.net"
<fritza2tt@yahoo.de>

Peter,
Here is a letter I wrote to Michele Renouf some time ago. It is now
making the rounds. What do you think of it?
Keep up the good work.
Fritz

My Dear Lady Renouf,

please take the time to study the first 22 pages of Breivik’s
‘Manifesto’. You will find that the description by “the BBC here in
Britain — to depict Breivik as a “far right” ....“racist” .... “extreme
nationalist” .... “neo-Nazi”, etc.”, no doubt also overboard, might well
have at least a smidgeon of truth to it.
I personally, wanted to find out first what Breivik’s motivations were,
and got a hold of his ‘manifesto’:
http://www.kevinislaughter.com/wp-content/uploads/2083+-+A+European+Declaration+of+Independence.pdf

Breivik is quite open about what motivated him right in the beginning of
his book. Once you understand that it becomes easier to separate ‘spin’
from who he really might be.
I too am horrified by the slaughter of so many young people. The media
makes the most of it also. One question I would have though, what was so
different about this slaughter than what has been going on in Palestine
for over half century? (Perhaps this was a point Breivik wanted to make?)
Breivik says what he did was “necessary”. He had decided on the
necessity of it early on and then went through with it, ready to
sacrifice his own life in the process. He had also ‘doped’ himself up,
most likely knowing full well that had he remained ‘sober’, he might not
have been able to pull it off.
More importantly, allow me to show you a few short quotes from his
‘manifesto’:
http://www.kevinislaughter.com/wp-content/uploads/2083+-+A+European+Declaration+of+Independence.pdf

“You cannot defeat Islamisation or halt/reverse the Islamic colonization
of Western Europe without first removing the political doctrines
manifested through multiculturalism/culturalMarxism…
“The compendium, - “2083 – A European Declaration of Independence ” –
documents through more than 1000 pages that the fear of Islamisation is
all but irrational.
“It covers the following main topics:
1.  The rise of cultural Marxism/multiculturalism in Western Europe
2.  Why the Islamic colonization and Islamisation of Western Europe began
“It offers thorough analysis of Islam, which is unknown to a majority of
Europeans. It documents how the political doctrines known as
multiculturalism/cultural Marxism/cultural relativism was created and
implemented. Multiculturalists/cultural Marxists usually operate under
the disguise of humanism.
“A majority (of them) are anti-nationalists and want to deconstruct
European identity, traditions, culture and even nation states.
Breivik goes into some detail about “Cultural Marxism” in his chapter:
The Historical Roots of "Political Correctness" (Page 21-22)

...Following the end of World War I, there was a Communist "Spartacist"
uprising in Berlin , Germany led by Rosa Luxemburg; the creation of a
"Soviet" in Bavaria led by Kurt Eisner; and a Hungarian communist
republic established by Bela Kun in 1919. At the time, there was great
concern that all of Europe might fall under the banner of Bolshevism.
This sense of impending doom was given vivid life by Trotsky's Red Army
invasion of Poland in 1919.

However, the Red Army was defeated by Polish forces at the battle of the
Vistula in 1920. The Spartacist, Bavarian Soviet and Bela Kun
governments all failed to gain widespread support from the workers and
after a brief time they were all overthrown. These events created a
quandary for the Marxist revolutionaries in Europe. Under Marxist
economic theory, the oppressed workers were supposed to be the
beneficiaries of a social revolution that would place them on top of the
power structure. When these revolutionary opportunities presented
themselves, however, the workers did not respond. The Marxist
revolutionaries did not blame their theory for these failures. They
blamed the workers.

One group of Marxist intellectuals resolved their quandary by an
analysis that focused on society's cultural "superstructure" rather than
on the economic substructures as Marx did. The Italian Marxist Antonio
Gramsci and Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs contributed the most to this
new cultural Marxism.

Antonio Gramsci worked for the Communist International during 1923-24 in
Moscow and Vienna . He was later imprisoned in one of Mussolini's jails
where he wrote his famous "Prison Notebooks." Among Marxists, Gramsci is
noted for his theory of cultural hegemony as the means to class
dominance. In his view, a new "Communist man" had to be created before
any political revolution was possible. This led to a focus on the
efforts of intellectuals in the fields of education and culture. Gramsci
envisioned a long march through the society's institutions, including
the government, the judiciary, the military, the schools and the media.
He also concluded that so long as the workers had a Christian soul, they
would not respond to revolutionary appeals.
Georg Lukacs was the son a wealthy Hungarian banker. Lukacs began his
political life as an agent of the Communist International. His book
History and Class Consciousness gained him recognition as the leading
Marxist theorist since Karl Marx. Lukacs believed that for a new Marxist
culture to emerge, the existing culture must be destroyed. He said, "I
saw the revolutionary destruction of society as the one and only
solution to the cultural contradictions of the epoch," and, "Such a
worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the
annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones by the
revolutionaries."

When he became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the Bolshevik Bela Kun
regime in Hungary in 1919, Lukacs launched what became known as
"Cultural Terrorism." As part of this terrorism he instituted a radical
sex education program in Hungarian schools. Hungarian children were
instructed in free love, sexual intercourse, the archaic nature of
middle-class family codes, the out-datedness of monogamy, and the
irrelevance of religion, which deprives man of all pleasures. Women,
too, were called to rebel against the sexual mores of the time. Lukacs's
campaign of "Cultural Terrorism" was a precursor to what Political
Correctness would later bring to Western European schools.

In 1923, Lukacs and other Marxist intellectuals associated with the
Communist Party of Germany founded the Institute of Social Research at
Frankfurt University in Frankfurt , Germany . The Institute, which
became known as the Frankfurt School , was modelled after the
Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow . In 1933, when Nazis came to power in
Germany , the members of the Frankfurt School fled. Most came to the
United States .”

Does this sound like the writings of a ‘mad man’? I don’t think so. I
would rather think that what we are witnessing and observing in the
media is first of all the creation of “Breivik the criminal.” If that
does not work they’ll do character assassination. Then he will be called
mad and insane and if nothing works he will be killed or assassinated.

Patrick J. Buchanan also comments in his most recent column: “He was
born in Norway and chose as his targets not Muslims whose presence he
detests, but the Labor Party leaders who let them into the country, and
their children, the future leaders of that party.”
The least we can do is find out who the real Breivik is before we help
his adversaries to destroy him.
Fritz Adam, Fayetteville , GA

Comment (Peter M.): How can one reconcile the above writing, much of
which is correct and succinct, with the barbarous slaughter of innocent
young people?

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