Compulsory Diversity News: Episode the Twentieth

March 24, 2009

VoR radio host Adrean Arlott brings you Compulsory Diversity News. In this episode:

  • CDN’s Retardaganza! It’s like Special Olympics or something!
    The most instantly detestable episode of Compulsory Diversity News – and that’s saying something.

0 hour 30 min.

Contact Adrean: adrean

The Limits Of “Islamophobia”

March 24, 2009

By Anthony Wymer

“Islamophobia” has made the news again. Thanks to Fitna—the anti-Islam film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders—the usual suspects are wringing their hands about “intolerance,” “xenophobia,” and “racism” directed at Muslim immigrants. Wilders is not alone in his disdain for the unimpeded Muslim migration into Europe and North America— from columnist Mark Steyn’s run-in with Ontario’s “Human Rights Council,” to the Muhammad cartoon imbroglio in Denmark, Western opponents of Islamization have grown increasingly assertive in recent years. In response, European Muslims and white elites who “embrace diversity” have stepped up their efforts to end this debate by criminalizing criticism of Islam.

Steyn and Wilders deserve our praise for their brave iconoclasm. Nevertheless, their work, and the work of many other prominent “Islamophobes,” sets a dangerous precedent. The utility of attacking Islamic immigration specifically, rather than the broader subject of Third-World immigration, is obvious. The drawbacks of such a strategy are less apparent, but could ultimately undermine the immigration restrictionist movement. Hating the tenets of Islam is not going to save the West, and more white patriots must wake up to this fact.

Like many written works opposed to the Islamization of the West, Fitna made the tiresome “Muslims are like Nazis” argument by displaying anti-Semitic remarks made by Muslim leaders, and pro-Hitler signs carried by Muslim protesters. It also graphically depicted examples of Muslim terrorism, Muslim violence against women, and Muslim intolerance for homosexuality. None of this is news. Every image in Fitna has been shown before. Fitna demonstrates, however, why the nature of Islam has been an apparent boon for immigration opponents: much of Islamic doctrine is anathema to the “tolerant” and “progressive” contemporary West. Islam is, after all, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, “homophobic,” and at odds with most aspects of modernity. By focusing on the most backward elements of Islam, Western patriots are able to take a stand against Third-World immigration while skirting charges of “racism.” Given the terrible consequences that befall anyone who speaks honestly about race, this is understandable. I contend, nevertheless, that this approach is patently dishonest, and may not be as useful as many immigration restrictionists think it is.

There is presently no dearth of books and websites critical of mass Muslim immigration. Writers like Robert Spencer and Hugh Fitzgerald seemingly spend every waking minute sounding the anti-Islam alarm on websites such as Jihad Watch, Dhimmi Watch, and New English Review.The ever-irascible David Horowitz is now leading the charge on American campuses against “Islamofascism”—whatever that is. Like Steyn and Wilders, these writers and activists primarily emphasize the degree to which Islamic values are incompatible with Western values, and frequently add the caveat that this “isn’t about race.” My sincere hope is that the emphasis by most immigration restrictionists on religion, culture, and ideology, rather than on blood and soil, is based on necessity rather than true conviction. The rise of Islam is but one negative consequence of the Third World’s invasion and slow-motion conquest of the West, and Western patriots do themselves a great disservice by taking such a myopic view of the immigration issue.

In their failed efforts to stay in the good graces of our left-liberal managerial elites, many immigration restrictionists posthumously embraced libertine cultural-leftists like Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh, and furiously excoriated the conservative author Dinesh D’Souza for daring to suggest that Christians and traditional Muslims can find common ground on some cultural issues. In order to attack Islamic immigration in a politically-correct fashion, the restrictionists have been all too willing to declare their allegiance to the gay-rights and radical feminist movements. Are these really the Western values we are most keen on protecting? Is the West only worth defending because of its high level of tolerance for sexual deviants? I certainly do not think so, and I suspect most anti-Islamists do not either. Unfortunately, their dishonesty will not get them very far.

The “Islam-is-not-progressive-enough” approach to the immigration issue would be more acceptable if our willingness to recite leftist cant was bringing more leftists to our side. That, unfortunately, does not appear to be happening. When contemporary left-liberals are forced by circumstance to choose between their devotion to multiculturalism and their devotion to feminism, secularism, radical environmentalism, or any other fashionable “ism,” they always err on the side of multiculturalism. The leftist elites are not ever going to ally themselves with white patriots on the issue of immigration. That being the case, we should not waste our breath trying to appease them by feigning devotion to progressive pieties. Pandering to the left on cultural issues will lead only to the further deracination of white European culture; it forces immigration opponents to perpetually demonstrate that they are, in fact, more tolerant than the Muslims they wish to restrict from their continent, and ultimately undermines the perceived legitimacy of all forms of cultural conservatism.

The emphasis on Islam and Islamic culture may actually do us more harm than good. The implicit assumption of many of the anti-Islam writers is that if Islam is reformed, Islamic immigration will no longer be a problem, and we can go ahead and leave the floodgates open. Mark Steyn (who also incessantly repeats, “It not about race; it’s about culture”) is once again a case in point. He contends that all our problems will be solved by the Bush Doctrine, which will ostensibly change the nature of the Islamic world. For you see, once the more insidious effects of Islam have been ameliorated, and the Koran is reinterpreted to allow for free elections and women’s suffrage, all will be well and we can stop worrying about the Arab, Turkish, and South Asian exodus into Europe and America. This is dangerous nonsense. This type of “Islamophobia” not only does nothing about the immigration issue, but provides the impetus for further military incursions into the Middle East—which are doomed to fail and will only increase the emigration of Muslims from their homelands.

It is time for the anti-Islamists to face reality. Islam is not like Nazism, Communism, or any other homegrown Western ideology, nor does it make sense to treat it as such. In some important ways, Islam is far weaker and less threatening than either of those twentieth-century bogeymen. In other ways, however, it is much, much more dangerous. The danger, however, has nothing to do with Islamic doctrine.

When considering Islam’s weakness, it is important to note that the odds of an Islamic Revolution in an advanced European nation are all but nonexistent; there is no Muslim leader capable of pulling off such a revolution, nor would any European country long accept such a leader if he managed to take power. Nor is there much danger that sizable numbers of white Europeans will convert to Islam. There is furthermore no powerful Muslim army capable of conquering all or part of Europe or America by force—despite the nonsensical neoconservative blather about terrorists “following” us home from Iraq. At least in terms of the framework from which we viewed conflicts in the last century, Islam is weak, even pathetic. That being said, Islam poses a threat to Europe far greater than Hitler or Stalin. The thing to remember about Nazism and Communism is that they were, in their essence, Western ideologies. They rose and fell in a Western context, and when the dust settled from the Second World War and the Cold War, Germany and Russia were still Western countries with majority Western populations. If Islam dominates Europe, it will be because Europe is no longer dominated by white Europeans. Muslims will not rule Europe unless traditional European majorities are displaced and replaced by Arabs, Turks, blacks, and Asians. If that happens, Western Civilization is finished. Forever. And it doesn’t matter how Islam reforms from that point on. Muslims could tear out every offensive page from the Koran, and this fact will remain. We do not have to hate the Mohammedan races, or waste our time proving we are better or more tolerant and enlightened than they. We do have to unequivocally declare that they will never be allowed to dominate any European country, no matter what they believe.

Although there are many aspects of Islam I find quite disagreeable, Europe would not be better off if it was being overrun by African Christians or Indian Hindus. Problems would manifest themselves in different ways, but they would be there nonetheless. The United States is a perfect example of this essential fact. Latin Americans are as Christian as they come, yet waves of Hispanics entering both legally and illegally are in the process of fundamentally changing the United States, in a negative way, forever. We are right to oppose this Völkerwanderung just as vehemently as we oppose the one presently destroying Europe, even though Islam is not a factor in the American case at all. Sometimes, it is about race.

There is nothing inherently wrong with pointing out the most dangerous aspects of Islam, and I commend those writers and activists who risk their careers, and in some cases, their lives, to do so. We should nevertheless not lose sight of the more important issue. The displacement of white Europeans by Third World immigrants is what should disturb us—no matter what their religion. It is considered impolite (and in some places, illegal) to speak frankly about race. Unfortunately, that is what the immigration debate is really about, and the utility of using religion as a rhetorical proxy for race has reached its limits.

This is Anthony Wymer’s first appearance in The Occidental Quarterly.


Unnatural Disaster: How the Fed creates booms and busts

March 24, 2009

By Thomas E. Woods Jr.

We accept as a fact of economic life that plush times inevitably give way to lean times. Just as the moon waxes and wanes, the economy goes through booms and busts.

Median home price increased by 150 percent from August 1998 to August 2006. Over the next two years, home prices fell by 23 percent. Foreclosures skyrocketed.

The stock market has followed a similar course. When the New York Stock Exchange closed on Oct. 9, 2007, the Dow was 14,164.53, the highest close ever. Thirteen months later, it closed at 7,552.29, a drop of 46.7 percent. Retirement portfolios have been eviscerated. Unemployment has increased. When the figures are compiled the way government calculated them in the 1970s, the unemployment rate in November 2008 was 16.7 percent.

These personal dimensions of busts are used to justify government intervention, whether creating a safety net or drawing up regulations aimed at smoothing out the cycle supposedly inherent in the free market. But is this inevitable? Is the market economy really prone to sudden, inexplicable episodes of massive business error—or could something outside the market be causing it?

If politicians are honest in seeking a culprit, they will find that it’s not capitalism. It’s not greed. It’s not deregulation. It’s an institution created by government itself.

No one is surprised when a business has to close. Entrepreneurs may have miscalculated costs of production, failed to anticipate patterns of consumer tastes, or underestimated resources necessary to comply with ever-changing government regulation. But when many businesses have to close at once, that should surprise us. The market gradually weeds out those who do a poor job as stewards of capital and forecasters of demand. So why should businessmen, even those who have passed the market test year after year, suddenly all make the same kind of error?

Economist Lionel Robbins argued that this “cluster of errors” demanded an explanation: “Why should the leaders of business in the various industries producing producers’ goods make errors of judgment at the same time and in the same direction?” We call this pattern of apparent prosperity followed by general depression the business cycle, the trade cycle, or the boom-bust cycle. Does it have a cause, or is it, as Marx argued, an inherent feature of the market economy?

F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize in economics for a theory of the business cycle that holds great explanatory power—especially in light of the current financial crisis, which so many economists have been at a loss to explain. Hayek’s work, which builds on a theory developed by Ludwig von Mises, finds the root of the boom-bust cycle in the central bank—in our case the Federal Reserve System, the very institution that postures as the protector of the economy and the source of relief from business cycles.

Looking at the money supply makes sense when searching for the root of an economy-wide problem, for money is the one thing present in all corners of the market, as Robbins pointed out in his 1934 book, The Great Depression. “Is it not probable,” he asked, “that disturbances affecting many lines of industry at once will be found to have monetary causes?”

In particular, the culprit turns out to be the central bank’s interference with interest rates. Interest rates are like a price. Lending capital is a good, and you pay a price to borrow it. When you put money in a savings account or buy a bond, you are the lender, and the interest rate you earn is the price you are paid for your money.

As with all goods, the supply and demand for lending capital determines the price. If more families are saving or more banks are lending, borrowers don’t have to pay as much to borrow, and interest rates go down. If there’s a rush to borrow or a dearth of lending capital, interest rates go up.

There are some results of this dynamic that contribute to a healthy economy. Start with the case where people are saving more, thus increasing the supply of lending capital and lowering interest rates. Businesses respond by engaging in projects aimed at increasing their productive capacity in the future—expanding facilities or acquiring new capital equipment.

Also consider the saver’s perspective. Saving indicates a lower desire to consume in the present. This is another incentive for businesses to invest in the future rather than produce and sell things now. On the other hand, if people possess an intense desire to consume right now, they will save less, making it less affordable for businesses to carry out long-term projects. But the big supply of consumer dollars makes it a good time to produce and sell.

Thus the interest rate coordinates production across time. It ensures a compatible mix of market forces: if people want to consume now, businesses respond accordingly; if people want to consume in the future, businesses allocate resources to satisfy that desire. The interest rate can perform this coordinating function only if it is allowed to move freely in response to changes in supply and demand. If the Fed manipulates the interest rate, we should not be surprised by discoordination on a massive scale.

But suppose the Fed lowers rates so that they no longer reflect the true state of consumer demand and economic conditions. Artificially low interest rates mislead investors into thinking that now is a good time to invest in long-term projects. But the public has indicated no intention to postpone consumption and free up resources that firms can devote to those developments. On the contrary, the lower interest rates encourage them to save less and consume more. So even if some of these projects can be finished, with the public’s saving relatively low, the necessary purchasing power won’t be around later, when businesses hope to cash in on their investments.

And as a company works toward completing its projects under these conditions, it will find that the resources it needs—labor, materials, replacement parts—are not available in sufficient quantities. The prices will therefore be higher, and firms will need to borrow to finance these unanticipated increases in input prices. This increased demand for borrowing will raise the interest rate. Reality now begins to set in: some of these projects cannot be completed.

Moreover, the kind of projects that are started differ from those that would have been started on the free market. Mises draws an analogy between an economy under the influence of artificially low interest rates and a homebuilder who believes he has more resources—more bricks, say—than he really does. He will build a house much different than he would have chosen if he had known his true supply of bricks. But he will not be able to complete this larger house, so the sooner he discovers his true brick supply the better, for then he can adjust his production plans before too many of his resources are squandered. If he only finds out in the final stages, he will have to destroy everything but the foundation, and will be poorer for his malinvestment.

In the short run, the result of the central bank’s lowering of interest rates is the apparent prosperity of the boom period. Stocks and real estate shoot up. New construction is everywhere, businesses are expanding, people are enjoying a high standard of living. But the economy is on a sugar high, and reality inevitably sets in. Some of these investments will prove unsustainable.

That is one of the reasons the Fed cannot simply pump more credit into the economy and keep the boom going. Yet the economist John Maynard Keynes—back in fashion even though his system collapsed in the early 1970s when it couldn’t account for stagflation—proposed exactly this: “The remedy for the boom is not a higher rate of interest but a lower rate of interest! For that may enable the so-called boom to last. The right remedy for the trade cycle is not to be found in abolishing booms and thus keeping us permanently in a semi-slump; but in abolishing slumps and keeping us permanently in a quasi-boom.”

Keynes was dealing in fantasy. The more the Fed inflates, the worse the reckoning will be. Every new wave of artificial credit deforms the capital structure further, making the inevitable bust more severe because so much more capital will have been squandered and so many more resources misallocated.

As it becomes clear that so much of the boom is unsustainable, pressure builds for liquidation of malinvestments. The misdirected capital, if salvageable, needs to be freed up. Should the Fed ignore this and simply carry on inflating the money supply, Mises warned, it runs the risk of hyperinflation, a severe, galloping inflation that destroys the currency unit.

Writing during the Great Depression, Hayek scolded those who thought they could inflate their way out of the disaster:

Instead of furthering the inevitable liquidation of the maladjustments brought about by the boom during the last three years, all conceivable means have been used to prevent that readjustment from taking place; and one of these means, which has been repeatedly tried though without success, from the earliest to the most recent stages of depression, has been this deliberate policy of credit expansion. …

To combat the depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about; because we are suffering from a misdirection of production, we want to create further misdirection—a procedure that can only lead to a much more severe crisis as soon as the credit expansion comes to an end. … It is probably to this experiment, together with the attempts to prevent liquidation once the crisis had come, that we owe the exceptional severity and duration of the depression.

Although painful, the recession or depression phase of the cycle is not where the damage is done. The bust is the period in which the economy sloughs off the capital misallocation, re-establishes the structure of production along sustainable lines, and restores itself to health. The damage is done during the boom phase, the period of false prosperity. It is then that the artificial lowering of interest rates causes the misdirection of capital and the initiation of unsustainable investments. It is then that resources that would genuinely have satisfied consumer demand are diverted into projects that make sense only in light of artificial conditions. For the mistaken bricklayer, the damage wasn’t done when he tore down the large house he couldn’t complete; the damage was done when he laid the bricks too broadly.

Investment adviser Peter Schiff draws an analogy between an artificial boom and a circus that comes to town for a few weeks. When the circus arrives, its performers and the crowds it attracts patronize local businesses. Now suppose a restaurant owner mistakenly concludes that this boom will endure and responds by building an addition. As soon as the circus leaves town, he finds he has tragically miscalculated.

Does it make sense to inflate this poor businessman’s way out of his predicament? Creating new money doesn’t create any new stuff, so lending him newly created money merely allows him to draw more of the economy’s resource pool to himself, at the expense of genuine businesses that cater to real consumer wishes. This restaurant is a bubble activity that can survive only under the phony conditions of the circus boom. It needs to come to an end so that the resources it employs can be reallocated to more sensible lines of production.

One more point is important to remember: all firms are affected by the artificial boom, not just those that embarked on new projects or came into existence thanks to artificially cheap credit. Mises observed, “in order to continue production on the enlarged scale brought about by the expansion of credit, all entrepreneurs, those who did expand their activities no less than those who produce only within the limits in which they produced previously, need additional funds as the costs of production are now higher.”

Notice that the precipitating factor has nothing to do with the market economy. It is the government’s policy of pushing interest rates below the level at which the free market would have set them. The central bank is a government institution, established by government legislation, whose personnel are appointed by government, and which enjoys government-granted monopoly privileges. It bears repeating: the central bank’s interventions into the economy give rise to the business cycle, and the central bank is not a free-market institution.

But why can’t businessmen simply learn to distinguish between low interest rates that reflect an increase in genuine savings and low interest rates that reflect nothing more than Fed manipulation? Why do they not avoid expanding when the Fed ignites an artificial boom?

It is not so easy. Even businessmen who know that the Fed is keeping interest rates artificially low may still find it in their interest to borrow and launch new projects, hoping they can get out before the bust hits. If they do not react to the lower rates, their competitors surely will and might be able to gain market share at their expense. Someone will take the bait.

This does not, and is not intended to, account for the length of a depression. It is a theory of the artificial boom, which culminates in the bust. The bust period is longer the more government prevents the economy from reallocating labor and capital into a sustainable pattern of production. Government interference, in the form of wage or price controls, emergency lending, additional liquidity, or further monetary inflation—all aimed at diminishing short-term pain—exacerbate long-term agony. Malinvestments need to be discontinued and liquidated, not encouraged and subsidized, if the economy’s capital structure is to return to a sustainable condition.

There will always be those who, not understanding the situation, will call for more and greater monetary injections to try to keep the boom going, and their number has skyrocketed since the fall of 2008. In mid-December, the Fed set its federal-funds target at 0 to 0.25 percent, the Keynesian dream. Blinded by the same folly, Bank of England governor Mervyn King said he was ready to reduce rates to “whatever level is necessary,” including as low as zero—a move sure to perpetuate the misallocations of the boom and set the state for a far worse crisis.

Keynesian “pump priming,” whereby governments fund public-works projects, often financed by deficits, are another destructive if inexplicably fashionable course of action, based on the modern superstition that the very act of spending is the path to economic health. Take from the economy as a whole and pour resources into particular sectors: that should make us rich! Economic historian Robert Higgs compared plans like these to taking water from the deep end of a pool, pouring it into the shallow end, and expecting the water level to rise.

Additional public-works spending not only deprives the private sector of resources by taxing people to support these projects, it diverts resources toward firms that may need to be liquidated and drives up interest rates if the projects are funded by government borrowing, thereby making bank credit tighter for private firms. These projects are the very opposite of what the fragile bust economy calls for. It needs to shift resources swiftly into the production of goods in line with consumer demand, with as little resource waste as possible. Government, on the other hand, has no way of knowing how much of something to produce, using what materials and production methods. Private firms use a profit-and-loss test to gauge how well they are meeting consumer needs. If they make profits, the market has ratified their production decisions. If they post losses, they have squandered resources that could have been more effectively employed on behalf of consumer welfare elsewhere in the economy. Government has no such feedback mechanism since it acquires its resources not through voluntary means but through seizure from the citizens, and no one can choose not to buy what it produces. These projects squander wealth at a time of falling living standards and a need for the greatest possible efficiency with existing resources.

Neither can the state seem to resist the temptation to extend emergency credit to failing businesses. If their positions were sound, credit would be forthcoming from the private sector. If not, then they should go out of business, freeing up resources to be used by more capable stewards. Diverting resources from those who have successfully met consumer demands to those who have not serves only to weaken the economy and make recovery that much more difficult.

One argument has it that economic bubbles, sectors of the economy in which prices are artificially high, are caused by psychological factors that lead people to become irrationally committed to the production of particular kinds of goods. Such explanations may play a role in determining exactly which path the business cycle will take and which assets will be overvalued, but they cannot by themselves explain the bubble economy. Manias may steer overinvestment in one direction or another, but it’s the Federal Reserve pressing the accelerator.

Mises reminds us that a sudden drive for a particular kind of investment will raise the prices of complementary factors of production as well as the interest rate itself. For a mania-driven boom to persist, there has to be an increasing supply of credit to fund it, since investments in that sector would grow steadily more costly over time. This could not occur in the absence of credit expansion.

The best way to avoid bursting economic bubbles and to clean up the wreckage caused by artificial booms is to not initiate artificial booms in the first place. This would mean abandoning our superstitions about the expertise of Fed officials and their ability to manage our monetary system. But it’s about time we listened to people who have a coherent theory to explain why these crises occur, saw this crisis coming, and have something to suggest other than juvenile fantasies about spending and inflating our way to prosperity. The choice is stark: we can follow the suggestions that prolonged the Great Depression or we can try a different approach that actually accounts for what is happening.

That would be change we can believe in.


US takes steps to deport alleged Nazi to Germany

March 24, 2009

CLEVELAND – The U.S. government said Tuesday it is asking German officials for travel documents needed to deport accused World War II Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, who is charged in Europe with 29,000 counts of accessory to murder. Immigration and Customs Enforcement provided an e-mail to The Associated Press showing that it has contacted the German government in its effort to deport Demjanjuk, once accused but ultimately cleared of being a notorious guard at the Treblinka concentration camp in occupied Poland.

The 88-year-old suburban Cleveland man was charged in Germany in March with crimes while working as a guard at Sobibor, a Nazi death camp in Poland.

His son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said Tuesday that his father remains at home and is not in federal custody.

The German warrant seeks the deportation or extradition of Demjanjuk, who lives in Seven Hills and denies involvement in any deaths.

Prosecutors in Munich, Germany, said Demjanjuk (pronounced dem-YAHN’-yuk) will be formally charged in front of a judge once he is extradited.

“In this capacity, he participated in the accessory to murder of at least 29,000 people of the Jewish faith,” the prosecutor’s office has said. It is handling the case because Demjanjuk spent time at a refugee camp in the area after the war.

The suspect’s family has said he is in poor health and unable to travel.

“My dad spent a few hours in the emergency room the other day,” John Demjanjuk Jr. said. “He is being treated for kidney stones at present.”

He said his father has chronic kidney disease, along with other serious ailments.

Kurt Schrimm, head of the special German prosecutors’ office that has hunted Nazis since 1958 and who asked Munich prosecutors to pursue Demjanjuk’s extradition, declined to comment Tuesday.

Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based human rights organization, welcomed the development.

“We’re very pleased that these steps are being taken to facilitate Demjanjuk’s extradition to Germany so that he can be tried and can be given an appropriate punishment for his heinous crimes during World War II,” Zuroff told The Associated Press by phone from Jerusalem.

German Justice Ministry spokesman Ulrich Staudegle said he could not confirm that U.S. authorities had requested any specific documents, but reiterated that the German government was working closely with the U.S. to secure Demjanjuk’s extradition or deportation.

Demjanjuk became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1958 and has never been convicted of war crimes in a domestic court. But a federal judge in Cleveland in 2002 stripped him of his U.S. citizenship, saying prosecutors proved in a trial to determine his citizenship status that he served the Nazi regime for more than two years during World War II as a guard.

He was accused in 1977 of concealing a past as a notorious Nazi death camp guard known as “Ivan the Terrible” at Treblinka. He was extradited to Israel in 1986 and two years later was sentenced to death after being found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He appealed, and in 1993 Israel’s top court ruled 5-0 that Demjanjuk was not “Ivan the Terrible.” He was allowed to return to the United States.

The chief U.S. immigration judge ruled in 2005 that Demjanjuk could be deported to Germany, Poland or Ukraine. The U.S. Supreme Court in May declined to hear an appeal of the deportation ruling.


Reparations Bill Introduced In Congress

March 24, 2009

Afghanistan: All About Oil?

March 23, 2009

By Alan Bock

After my column last week on Afghanistan was published I got an exasperated e-mail from my old friend Dave Redick, who has a fair amount of potentially pro-freedom activity underway, complaining that he had Googled the piece for the words “oil” and “pipeline” and found nary a mention. Because of that lack, he figured I had missed the real reason we Americanos want to be involved in Afghanistan and was wasting my time and peoples’ attention discussing phony issues like the Taliban, al-Qaeda, supply problems, negotiations, and Afghan governance, the sort of things those really pulling the strings want us rubes to discuss while we ignore the real issues. So I thought the subject deserved more attention.

I must admit that I worry less about oil (and natural gas) than some people as a cause of war, but it would be foolish to deny that it plays a role in a world that runs (for the most part and for a good time to come, even – or perhaps especially – if the government subsidizes various kinds of “green” energy sources) on fossil fuels. And there is certainly a strong oil and natural gas issue that has been connected to Afghanistan for a long time, not because the country has especially notable resources (it doesn’t), but because of its geographic location. It’s just that I think about the relationship between war and oil a little differently than a lot of people do.

For that very reason, however, further discussion might not be out of line, because thinking sensibly about natural resources, it seems to me, provides yet another solid reason to avoid unnecessary foreign wars, a category that includes most of our most recent wars and those we are contemplating today.

The relationship between fossil fuels and Afghanistan has been written about extensively, just not that much by me. Afghanistan, a landlocked country, has essentially negligible petrochemical resources, but there are vast oil and natural gas fields in Central Asia to the north, notably in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan. Getting those fuels to American, Western European, and even Asian markets requires vast pipelines. The Russians have some infrastructure in place that gets natural gas in particular to Western Europe via pipelines in Ukraine – through which Russia occasionally holds Europe hostage, just to remind us that it can and to keep Ukraine, Georgia, et al. from getting too frisky.

That situation alone is enough for various people to think about alternate pipeline routes from the Caspian basin, but all have potential problems. You could run one through Iran, but Iran hasn’t exactly been buddy-buddy with the United States and some European countries lately. A more northerly route to the West, across the Black Sea and possibly terminating in Turkey, is in development, but it involves 12 different countries, not all of which are models of stability. That leaves Afghanistan as a likely possibility. In 1996 the Central Asian Gas Pipeline Inc. was formed as a consortium led by Unocal and Saudi Arabia to build a 900-mile, $2 billion pipeline to transport natural gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan’s natural gas grid, connecting in Quetta. Unocal had also considered a 1,000-mile, million-barrel-per-day oil pipeline to transit Afghanistan and end at a Pakistani Arabian Sea port. Unocal and the consortium actually negotiated with the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s, over routes, concessionary payments, and the like. But the oil people were concerned about ongoing civil conflict in Afghanistan. Even if 9/11 had not happened, it is doubtful whether the pipeline would ever have been built.

I know I’m simplifying, but I hope I’m not exaggerating or caricaturing too much when I suggest that the usual “it’s all about oil” argument goes something like this. To get that pipeline built, it was/is necessary to invade, quash the unfriendly/uncooperative elements, and install a puppet government willing to do the bidding of the international oil consortium and facilitate building the pipeline and protecting it from saboteurs and other unpleasant types.

To which I can only say, both with regard to the Afghan pipeline and the oil industry in general in Iraq, eight years on: “How’s that working out?

David Kilcullen, an Australian counterinsurgency guru who is said to have briefed both Barack Obama and John McCain during the campaign last year and is considered one of the strategists behind the “surge” in Iraq, has recently published a book, The Accidental Guerrilla, that explains some of the reasons the U.S. “should avoid such interventions wherever possible, simply because the costs are so high and the benefits so doubtful.” Among the many problems is that U.S. intervention provokes a backlash that leads many who would never have considered doing so otherwise to become “accidental guerrillas.” The process begins with “infection” as al-Qaeda establishes a presence, followed by “contagion,” followed by U.S. intervention, which leads to rejection of the occupiers by local populations that prior to intervention had been neutral or even favorably inclined toward the U.S.

Thus U.S. intervention, far from creating stability in which a puppet government can placidly do Unocal’s bidding, is more likely to increase instability and spark more violent insurgent activity. So if the oil companies are rational, the last thing they would want would be aggressive U.S. intervention into oil-sensitive regions. One should never underestimate the capacity of people to undertake irrational projects that reduce rather than increase their chances of success, so there may be some oil industry people who still think that heavy U.S. military and foreign-aid intervention into and management of resource-rich regions is just the ticket. It may be that Dick Cheney thought he was doing his buddies in the oil industry a favor with the invasion of Iraq, but such thinking is shortsighted and ultimately incorrect.

David Henderson, who teaches economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey (and of course writes for has done the most extensive research and writing that points to the idea that U.S. military intervention into oil-producing regions is not only not necessary, it is counterproductive in terms of acquiring “cheap oil.” When you factor in even some of the costs of military deployment, not just in terms of peoples’ lives but taxpayer dollars, the oil is not cheap at all. And it’s utterly unnecessary. Oil-rich regions may have unpleasant regimes – indeed there are factors in a single-resource economy that make it likely – but at the end of the day they have more reason to sell the oil than customers have to buy it from them (considering that no one country has a monopoly on petroleum, even with OPEC). So the best strategy for acquiring (relatively) cheap oil is commercial negotiation rather than military intervention, which not only raises the effective price but spreads anti-Americanism and makes the world a more dangerous place for Americans traveling or doing business abroad.

Now I wouldn’t mind at all if pipelines were built across Afghanistan. I don’t think either pipelines or the oil industry itself are inherently evil, and I believe economically viable “green” energy is at least decades away.

Without U.S. intervention and attempted dominance, there might be enough civil unrest and disquiet to make pipelines transiting the country such a risky proposition that they would not get done, though spreading bribes around among the tribes whose territory would be affected might well ease the way. Even if some oil executives might think otherwise, however, using U.S. military force to try to stabilize Afghanistan enough to allow pipelines to be built and protected is a fool’s errand. It might be an effective antiwar propaganda trope to argue that no U.S. military personnel should be put in harm’s way to benefit arrogant multinational oil companies, which is certainly true. If the oil companies think such intervention will clear the way for them, however, I think they are profoundly mistaken.

The issues I discussed last week and in previous columns also militate against U.S. escalation in Afghanistan. So whether one’s concern is facilitating transportation and distribution of oil or natural gas or keeping al-Qaeda isolated and unable to carry out attacks – and even whether either or both of those issues are phony ones the behind-the-scenes war whoopers want us poor rubes to focus on – escalating U.S. military intervention in south Asia is a bad idea, and reducing it would be far more constructive.


CIA Has 3,000 Documents on Torture Tapes

March 23, 2009

By Jason Leopold

The CIA has about 3,000 documents related to the 92 destroyed videotapes that showed “war on terror” detainees being subjected to harsh interrogations, the Justice Department has disclosed, suggesting an extensive back-and-forth between CIA field operatives and officials of the Bush administration.

The Justice Department said the documents include “cables, memoranda, notes and e-mails” related to the destroyed CIA videotapes. Those tapes included 12 that showed two “high-value” prisoners undergoing the drowning sensation caused by waterboarding and other brutal techniques that have been widely denounced as torture.

The number of documents – but not their contents – was mentioned on Friday in a Justice Department letter from Lev Dassin, acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, to US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Dassin told Judge Hellerstein that unredacted versions of the materials would be available for only him to review “in-camera” on March 26. The CIA also refused to provide the ACLU with a list of individuals who watched the videotapes prior to their destruction because that information “is either classified or otherwise protected by statute.”

The number of relevant documents – “roughly 3,000,” according to the letter – adds weight to the belief that CIA interrogators were in frequent communication with headquarters at Langley, Virginia, and with senior Bush administration officials who were monitoring the harsh techniques used and approving them one by one or even in combination.

The volume of communications also lends support to the suspicion that many officials were involved in the debate about what to do with the incriminating videotapes, not just one or two CIA officers acting on their own. CIA officials have said the videotapes were destroyed to prevent disclosure of how the agency’s interrogators subjected “war on terror” detainees to waterboarding and other brutal methods.

Torture Allegations

Last weekend, author Mark Danner disclosed a report prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), concluding that the abuse of 14 “high-value” detainees “constituted torture.”

“In addition, many other elements of the ill treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” according to the ICRC report. Since the ICRC’s responsibilities involve ensuring compliance with the Geneva Conventions and supervising the treatment of prisoners of war, the organization’s findings carry legal weight.

The ICRC report also found that there was a consistency in many details from the detainees who were interviewed separately, and that the first “high-value” detainee to be captured, Abu Zubaydah, appeared to have been used as something of a test case by his interrogators. Zubaydah was one of the prisoners whose interrogations were videotaped by the CIA.

Another detainee subjected to waterboarding and other abuse was Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole in 2000. Two weeks ago, the Justice Department released a heavily censored page of what appears to be a CIA internal report about the torture of “war on terror” detainees, which read: “Interrogators administered [redacted] waterboard to Al-Nashiri.”

The same page indicated that a dozen of the 92 destroyed videotapes of the CIA’s interrogations were of detainees undergoing brutal treatment. “There are 92 videotapes, 12 of which include EIT [enhanced interrogation techniques] applications,” the page said.

The ACLU criticized the Justice Department for continuing to withhold documents related to the destruction of the torture tapes.

“The government is still needlessly withholding information about these tapes from the public, despite the fact that the CIA’s use of torture is well known,” said Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU. “Full disclosure of the CIA’s illegal interrogation methods is long overdue and the agency must be held accountable for flouting the rule of law.”

Besides the ACLU’s FOIA lawsuit, the destruction of the CIA tapes has been the subject of a year-long criminal investigation by John Durham, the acting US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, who was appointed special prosecutor last year by Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

On Wednesday, the ACLU called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Bush administration officials who signed off on and approved the torture of prisoners.

“The fact that such crimes have been committed can no longer be doubted or debated, nor can the need for an independent prosecutor be ignored by a new Justice Department committed to restoring the rule of law,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

“Given the increasing evidence of deliberate and widespread use of torture and abuse, and that such conduct was the predictable result of policy changes made at the highest levels of government, an independent prosecutor is clearly in the public interest,” Romero said.

The Justice Department’s restrictive handling of the 3,000 documents comes one day after Attorney General Holder issued sweeping new FOIA guidelines for all executive branch agencies to “apply a presumption of openness when administering the FOIA.”

“The American people have the right to information about their government’s activities, and these new guidelines will ensure they are able to obtain that information under principles of openness and transparency,” Holder said on Thursday.

Holder said FOIA requests would be denied and records withheld “only if the agency reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by one of the statutory exemptions, or disclosure is prohibited by law.” But, even then, all federal agencies were directed to at least “release records in part whenever they cannot be released in full.”


The “Rape is Violence” Lie

March 23, 2009

Sex, Lies & Feminism by Peter Zohrab
Chapter 3: The “Rape is Violence” Lie

(N.B. some “adult” content has been deleted).

Whatever you say, dear.

A surprising thing happened to me while working on this book: While I was attending a course for teachers, several Feminists handed me the best disproof of their position on rape I could ever hope to find!1 In fact, this group (mainly women) is so determinedly Feminist (and left-wing, generally) that I almost had to pinch myself. Here’s what happened.

One topic covered during the one-day course was Brain Sex, based on the book of the same name. After talking about a few of the differences between male and female psychology mentioned in that book, the Facilitator, addressing the women in the audience, said something like: “You know what it’s like when you tell your husband not to buy you a present for your birthday – and he doesn’t?”

There was a chorus of patronising agreement from the mainly-female audience. Men are just supposed to know they really do need to buy a gift. So I jumped at the opportunity to say, “That’s just like rape. The woman says ‘No,’ and the man’s wrong whatever happens.”

There was a surprised, but almost unanimous retort of “No!” from this same audience. (I might have added that a man could end up in jail for making one choice in such situations, or lose his marriage if he makes the other choice.)

So, whether a woman says no and means yes in one situation, but says no and means no in another, men are just supposed to magically, telepathically intuit the correct meaning and act accordingly? Only those who benefit from the grant of such whimsy could say this makes sense.

This incident illustrates a number of points: One is that the Feminist insistence a woman always means “No” when she says “No” is a lie, as Camille Paglia, though she calls herself a Feminist, has noted. And many men have gone to jail because that lie has become official doctrine in some courtrooms.

Another point is that allowing only Feminists to have serious input into Sex/Gender policies has created a society in which women can have their cake and eat it too, while men are put into a no-win situation. In other words, western men are increasingly having to choose between avoiding relationships or risking an arrest for rape. A male no-win situation also exists in the area of domestic violence and the divorce courts. Such no-win situations are the inevitable result of institutionalising female pressure-groups, while ignoring and discouraging male pressure-groups, which is what western establishments are doing.

The final point this anecdote illustrates is how the Politically Correct are perfectly prepared to deny obvious truths and force their faith on others by sheer weight of numbers. This is shown by the chorus of “No’s” my comment elicited. To be fair, by the next day it seemed my point had sunk in to some extent, so their retort was probably the knee-jerk reaction of people who recognise theological heresy when they hear it. But I should add that I had been preparing the ground for many years, with the gradual introduction of anti-Feminist heresies. But for that background, their prejudice would have remained undiminished and my career would have suffered severe consequences, I expect.

There are basically two ways of looking at rape:

1. Find more ways of saying how evil men are, possibly as a reaction to suppressed guilt over abortion (the extreme Feminist approach);
2. Understand it and take informed action to prevent or mitigate its consequences

I take the second approach, and this chapter will focus on male-female rape because it is the most known form. However, other forms, such as female-on-female rape, do occur, as reported in the article, “I was raped by another woman” (Cleo magazine, New Zealand, August 1999).

The Anatomical Context of Rape

If you think men are bad and women are good, and women are always victims when heterosexual sexual activity takes place, and rape is always the man’s fault, then you should read no further. This chapter is not for you. As we will see in the chapter on equality, men and women are not in a symmetrical relationship and nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in the area of courtship and sex.

We can start with the reciprocally non-symmetrical genital anatomy of men and women. Men and women do not have genital anatomy that is reciprocally symmetrical or identical. Instead, they have complementary anatomies. (censored)

The crucial elements I want to draw out of the above description are that:

1. the sexual act is a joint endeavour;
2. pressure/force, in most cases, needs to be applied by the man;
3. resistance, in most cases, needs to be applied by the woman.

So we can already see how rape can be a matter of degree. Indeed, far from disagreeing with Feminazis who scream “All Men Are Rapists,” I almost agree with them. Men who engage in heterosexual sex are almost compelled to use force against a resisting woman, and that probably comes under many definitions of rape. (censored) These facts mean the psychology of an aroused man must typically be very different from the psychology of an aroused woman. (censored)

Feminists who scream that rape is not a sexual act but an act of violence are lying, in order to make it more likely that penalties for rape will be increased, and to make the charge of rape harder for a man to defend against in court.. The article “The Causes of Criminal Behaviour – why do they do it?” reports that rapists reported urges for sex with an adult woman as a major cause of offending.3 Any studies that found rape to be the result of anger or a lust for power, need to be reevaluated by researchers who don’t have a Feminist axe to grind. Feminists have a strong ideological motive to prove rape is an act of violence, and any “research” carried out by them in this area is bound to have an agenda behind it.

This agenda has gone so far in New Zealand (for example) that the maximum penalty for rape is greater than the maximum penalty for murder! There is a sentence called “preventive detention” – i.e., an indefinite term of incarceration – which is imposed for sex crimes but not for murder, on its own. Here, as in the case of abortion, we find Society values the rights and convenience of women more highly than the life of unborn children or the rights of men.

In fact, arguing about whether rape involves sex or violence is missing the point, to some extent. We have words like “sex,” “violence,” “pleasure” and “pain” which allow us to divide the world into arbitrary concepts. Reality itself is amorphous. There is little real difference between a sexual act and an act of violence. It would be a huge coincidence if the above words (in English) could each be demonstrated to correspond to totally separate and distinct biochemical reactions. I am not a Biochemist, however, so the most that I can do is wait to see research findings on this isue and examine them carefully.

The standard sexual act in the Missionary Position is, to some extent, an act of violence, as I have explained above. Moreover, there is no definite dividing-line between pleasure and pain. These are sensory experiences, and some are clearly pleasurable while others are clearly painful – with a grey area in between. So certain acts can be both sexual and violent at the same time and the person experiencing those acts can experience both pleasure and pain.

Quite a few experiences – especially during sex-play – are a bit painful and more than a bit pleasurable. Quite a lot of biting and scratching and digging-in of nails goes on, in some sex-acts. Since the “victims” of this sort of violence are usually males, the Feminists have not seen fit to make an issue of it. Bondage and sado-masochism are merely at one end of a spectrum of sexual behaviours and they are not that different from normal sex. Snuff movies – appalling though they are – are just the extreme end of a sex/violence continuum.

The Social Context of Rape

The different sexual behaviours of men and women are to some extent isomorphic with their different anatomies. In other words, men have the main tool/weapon of the sex act, and they are also the main initiators of courtship. Women have the receptacle for the sex act, and also tend to be the recipients rather than the initiators of courtship. It is biologically efficient for women to behave generally as passively during courtship as they do during sex itself. Similarly, it is biologically efficient for men to behave generally as aggressively during courtship as they do during the sex act.

This is because both women and men can apply the same sort of mind-set (her: “Let him make the moves”; him: “It’s up to me to take the plunge”) in both situations. It would be a bit schizophrenic if women made all the moves during courtship then suddenly lapsed into passivity during the sex act itself. In terms of hormones and personality structures, I doubt living beings could evolve in that contradictory sort of way.

Since all men are faced with the necessity of coping with frequent rejection or apparent indifference (and women are not), the survival of the species demands that men adopt a thick-skinned attitude to apparent rejection. The old proverb “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” only makes sense if women are seldom “scorned.” You certainly don’t get the impression there are millions of women running around feeling enraged because they were rejected.

Women may well feel rejected at times, in the sense they do not receive the attentions of a man whom they are trying to attract. But that pales in comparison with the frequent experience of men who make (and are expected to make) an overt pass at a woman, who then rejects them crudely and out of hand. There is no proverb such as “hell hath no fury like a man scorned” for the simple reason that being scorned by a woman is an extremely common experience for most men, and they simply couldn’t cope with normal life if they went about feeling furious every time this happened.

There is also a status issue involved here. You can only get “furious” if you feel you have lost face and been humiliated. For a woman, it is humiliating to expose herself to rejection only to be rejected, whereas a man does not have the sort of status or pride in the context of the mating game that gives him the luxury of feeling humiliated by rejection. He can feel depressed, certainly, but not furious. (In fact, men who do feel enraged by rejection are generally considered very dangerous and potentially criminal.)

Such rejection can be very traumatic at times – especially for adolescent males. So a man has to either put up with celibacy or learn to be thick-skinned. There is only a thin line between such a mentality and the mentality of a rapist, and it is inevitable this boundary will be crossed from time to time. Hence, in the context of defining, recognizing and prosecuting sex crimes, it is grossly unjust to penalise men too harshly for crossing this boundary – particularly while allowing women to behave as they like without running any serious legal risk.

The Legal Concept of Rape

We have to decide whether, or to what extent, rape and female passivity are two sides of the same genetically programmed coin, then design our legal system accordingly. A significant problem is the effect the pervasive Feminist propaganda has, and how it tries to let women have their cake and eat it, too. Women have the luxury of expecting men to make all the moves, then accusing them of rape as and when they wish.

Masculists should demand sexual equality in the area of sex crimes. The types of crimes women commit should be more heavily penalised than they are at present. To balance the crime of rape (unless it is downgraded in some way), I suggest there should be some legal way of penalising women to an equivalent degree for failing to take the initiative in sexual relationships – or, alternatively, for rejecting a man when it could be argued she “led him on.”

Women on top?

In practice and the overwhelming majority of cases, men have to initiate sexual relationships with women in the face of a female attitude ranging from active discouragement (often, but of course not always, turning into acquiescence if the man persists), through to apparent indifference, all the way to ambiguous non-discouragement with possible “signs” of receptivity. One study claims to show that, in singles bars, it is primarily women who initiate sexual relationships. As far as the first actual physical contact is concerned, however, the study apparently included “incidental” or “quasi-accidental” touching of the man by the woman. This would be typical of the general “deniability” stance of women in sexual relationships. Hence, the actual unambiguous, risk-taking transition from casual acquaintance to physical/sexual relationship is still a male responsibility.

Relatively recently, the concept of “date rape” hit the headlines, particularly in the United States. It resulted in the notorious Antioch College Sexual Offense Prevention Policy (1996), which centres on the following definition of “consent”: “the act of willingly and verbally agreeing to engage in specific sexual behavior.” (

What is new about date rape is that it marks an attempted shift in the definition of “rape.” Previously, most people assumed rape was sexual intercourse forced on a woman who stated she was unwilling to participate. With date rape came the idea rape was what a man committed if he had sexual intercourse with a woman who did not explicitly agree to it. This is totally unfair to men. As Thomas (1993) puts it:

“(T)here seems little way in which a boy can avoid being accused of rape. For boys are still expected to take girls out, pour a couple of drinks down them, plead everlasting love and then make a pass…. If you don’t at least try to seduce them, girls are apt to get offended (and start casting aspersions on your virility – PZ). And … there may never be a moment at which anyone actually asks, ‘May I?’ or gets the answer ‘Yes’. “(op.cit., page 178)

Then there’s the old problem of women who say “no” and mean “yes”, which I referred to above. Many Feminists deny this ever happens, but Thomas (1993) cites a 1991 poll, conducted among female students at the University of Texas’s psychology department, where nearly 50 percent of respondents admitted to saying “no” to sexual advances while really meaning “yes” or “maybe.” Most men must be aware of this sort of behaviour from their own experience.”

The Political Context of Rape

I find myself in agreement with Barbara Amiel (quoted by Thomas, 1993, pages 178-9), who wrote that Feminism…

…has moved from the liberal goal of equality between the sexes to the political goal of power for women, and is now well on the road to legislating out of existence the biologically based mating habits of our species…. Feminists wish male sexuality to be immaterial in criminal law. Women should be free to engage in any type of behaviour that suits their own sexuality without regard to the consequences. This approach views men as vibrators: women may pick them up, switch them on, play around and then, if the off-switch doesn’t work, sue the manufacturer for damages.

I also agree with Amiel’s conclusion that the hidden agenda behind the whole date-rape issue could be found in the fact that the senior leaders of the U.S. National Organization for Women, America’s leading Feminist organization, are Lesbians. It would be psychologically hard for Feminist activists to keep attacking men in the way they do if they were at the same time emotionally and sexually involved in relationships with men.

In fact, I once went – uninvited — to the launch of an “Anti-Violence Week” in Wellington, New Zealand. I got there early, and found that the organisisng was being done almost exclusively by butch Lesbians ! When I interrupted the opening speech to complain that no men’s groups had been invited, one of the Lesbians told me that men should organise their own anti-violence week ! In other words, she was admitting that “Anti-Violence” was a specifically pro-women, anti-men concept, as far as she was concerned.

Clearly, many Feminist writers and activists hate men, possibly because they are Lesbians. Anyone who reads the SCUM Manifesto, for example, is left in no doubt that this is the product of Lesbian man-hatred (misandry) dressed up as political theory:

“Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex. (Opening paragraph of the Scum Manifesto, Valerie Solanas,

It may also be a chicken-and-egg situation, to some extent: some women may become Lesbians as a result of joining the Feminist movement and meeting Lesbian Feminists; others may have started out as Lesbians and then see the Feminist movement as a way of expressing their dislike of men. Still others may have been bisexuals or closet-Lesbians who found the Feminist movement provided an environment more conducive to Lesbianism than to Heterosexuality. Some may even have joined the Women’s Movement mainly in order to find partners!

Brownmiller (Against Our Will, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1980) stated a very radical, misandristic (man-hating) theory of rape:

“Man’s structural capacity to rape and woman’s corresponding structural vulnerability are as basic to the physiology of both our sexes as the primal act of sex itself…. Anatomically, one might want to improve on the design of nature, but such speculation appears to my mind as unrealistic…. In the violent landscape inhabited by primitive woman and man,… rape became not only a male prerogative, but man’s basic weapon of force against woman, the principal agent of his will and her fear…. It is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.” (Brownmiller 1980, 232-233).

Although Brownmiller eventually repudiated much of what she said in Against Our Will, such claims were very influential nevertheless, particularly the idea all men consciously keep all women in fear of rape, which is a blatant lie. It is certainly not true of me, and I doubt I am unique. When I have thought of rape at all, it never crossed my mind to think of it in terms of any power the hypothetical possibility I might rape someone might give me. I only thought of it in terms of how I would feel about it. Whether all women are afraid of being raped is another matter, and Feminists have certainly worked hard to infect women with such fear.

Nonetheless, Brownmiller has a point, hidden amongst all the hyperbole: It is plausible to suggest the possibility almost any man could rape almost any woman colours the power relationship between the sexes. Equally, however, one could say the fact that any woman could cry “rape” after any instance of love-making also colours the power relationship between the sexes.

Women are usually comparatively passive in sexual relationships in general, and in sexual intercourse in particular. So the male always runs the risk that a woman who usually means “yes” when she says “no” (and this is fairly common, as we saw from the survey cited above) might claim afterwards that she had actually meant “no.” This is especially the case in societies where it is now possible for a woman to charge her husband with rape. Rape has to be seen in the context of dating, foreplay and intercourse customs, pressures and practices. Brownmiller talks of “man’s structural capacity to rape and woman’s corresponding structural vulnerability.” The other side of the coin is woman’s structural capacity to be passive and ambiguous and man’s corresponding structural vulnerability to rejection and false accusations.


Bill of Sex Act Rights?

Feminists pooh-pooh the idea any men ever experience such strong urges they literally cannot control themselves. I don’t know how they could possibly know this for a fact. Maybe all it means is that women never have such feelings. Certainly a legal system should never require a man to stop intercourse, once started. Nor should a woman have the right to expect a man to control himself to the extent she can tell him to stop once he has actually started the sex-act itself. I assert this as a Men’s Rights activist! Men need to have some rights in the sex act, and this needs to be one of them. A man is not merely a living vibrator at a woman’s beck and call. He cannot be just switched on and off as it happens to suit some woman and the anti-male Legal System. Perhaps we need a Bill of Sex Act Rights, with this point as Article One.

Then there’s the issue of blue balls. The medical reference work Rosenfeld (Symptoms, New York:Bantam 1990) contains the following passage:

“Another cause of testicular pain is unrequited love and unfulfilled passion. The resulting congestion of the scrotal tissues causes pain. The condition, known among its sufferers as ‘blue balls’, is easily remediable – but not by a doctor!”

Women suffer no analogous pain from unrequited love, and in societies where masturbation is frowned upon a man might indeed find himself fighting a sexual compultion to rape a woman because of a real, pressing physical need to relieve his pain. This does not make rape excusable (morally or legally), but it does place men in a different situation from any that women have to face.


The issue of rape needs to be rethought in western societies. As with other Men’s/Fathers’ Issues, there should be – and probably will be – a two-pronged assault on the status quo:

1. Specialist groups of men will concentrate on lobbying for specific law changes.
2. Generalist Men’s Rights activists will gradually make society realise that the feelings, interests and rights of men and fathers need to be taken into account when legislative and administrative decisions are made that affect them. This will gradually apply to laws relating to rape as well as to other parts of the legal system.

In this context, the customs of societies where women make an effort to be modest and to keep themselves hidden from unrelated men no longer seem very strange. They are one solution to an age-old problem. Modern Feminist societies have taken the line that women can “have it all” – i.e., if something goes wrong, the blame is put squarely on the man. That is unfair on men.

I see no obvious utopia, as far as the law on rape is concerned. Rape is a problem. Part of the problem is that the law is intervening in the the areas of courtship and the sex act, and these areas do not put the same pressures onto both men and women. For now, I suggest only that we think beyond and around the “Woman as Goddess-Victim” mindset we are suffering from at present.


BT shuts down ‘anti-Semitic’ website

March 22, 2009

BT [British Telecom] has banned a religious website critical of extremist Jews that it has hosted for four years following a campaign from a group of MPs claimed it was anti-Semitic.

It is understood to be the first time that a website in Britain has been shut down under such circumstances.

The website,, takes an inflammatory stance over extreme sections of Judaism that reject non-Jewish races.

The website editor, Timothy Johnson from Sheffield, a radical Catholic, told the Sunday Herald last night he was the subject of a “smear” campaign. He and his supporters say the action highlights a growing campaign against critics of the actions of extremist Jews and is a breach of free debate in a free society.

The site was shut after John Mann, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on anti-Semitism, raised an early day motion supported by other MPs, including Glenda Jackson and Labour MP for Livingston Jim Devine.

Mann says the website is “vile and anti-Semitic” and “seeks to inspire hate against the Jewish community amongst others”.

He complained to BT subsidiary Plusnet, which hosts the site, about the content, saying the site had “anti-Semitism on every page”.

BT passes all internet traffic through a service called Cleanfeed, which uses data provided by the Internet Watch Foundation – a non-profit, non-government-affiliated organisation – to identify illegal content such as indecent photographs of children and racist and criminally obscene material.

But the site’s content has not caused any issue for BT until now.

Although IWF’s blacklist causes content to be censored even if it has not been found to be illegal by a court of law, IWF director of communications Sarah Robertson claimed in December that the IWF is opposed to the censorship of legal content.

BT would not discuss the specifics of why it had closed Catholic Voice now, but confirmed it was the result of the complaint.

Mann said: “Those who are writing, commissioning and uploading vile hate speech should face the full force of the law.”

In his letter to Plusnet, he said: “The website that I understand is hosted through your organisation has been brought to my attention. It is deeply offensive in content – racist, anti-Semitic and discriminatory – and therefore in violation of your own hosting policy.”

He complained in particular about two statements on the websites. The first – “To call Jesus a Jew is blasphemy” – was the heading for an explosive theological essay on Christ’s origins.

Mr Johnson says the second – “Jews are followers of Satan” – has never appeared on the site.

Though not mentioned by either BT or Mann, the website more recently defended Richard Williamson, the Catholic bishop who questions whether millions of Jews died in Nazi gas chambers.

It is now understood Johnson is looking to find a host in another country, having accused BT of “hounding” the site off the internet.

He said the action underlines growing concern that critics of radical Jews in the 21st century – highlighted in the Israel-Hamas conflict – are being dismissed as fascists, tapping into a fear of Nazism.

He believes the actions raise concerns about civil liberties and the free discussion of controversial and provocative subjects on the internet.

BT said in a statement: “We have a clear policy of refusing to work with people or businesses carrying out illegal activities or who make offensive statements. This is clearly the case with Catholic Voice and when we became aware of this site we terminated the hosting agreement.”


When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?

March 22, 2009

Inventing an invention

By Israel Bartal

According to Shlomo Sand, everything you ever thought you knew about the Jewish people as a nation with ethno-biological origins is false. Israel Bartal, however, says Sand didn’t do his homework

Mattai ve’ekh humtza ha’am hayehudi?
(When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?), by Shlomo Sand
Resling (Hebrew)
, 358 pages, NIS 94.

The first sentence of “When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?” reads: “This book is a historical study, not a work of pure fiction. Nevertheless, it will open with a number of stories rooted in a collective memory that has been adulterated with a considerable degree of imagination.” I recalled these words when I found myself utterly astounded by the statements of the author of this learned, fascinating study, concerned with the “period of silencing” in the “Jewish-Israeli collective memory,” a period that, to quote Sand, gave rise to a total avoidance of “any mention of the Khazars in the Israeli public arena.”

This assertion, according to which an entire chapter in Jewish history was deliberately silenced for political reasons, thrust me back to my days as a ninth grader, in the late 1950s. I recalled the Mikhlal Encyclopedia, an almost mythological reference text that nearly every Israeli high school student relied on in those years, the flagship of what is termed “mainstream Zionism,” in the lean Hebrew of 21st-century Israel. My ears still reverberate with the introduction to the encyclopedia’s entry on “Khazars”: “A source of consolation and hope for the scattered Jewish communities of the Diaspora during the Middle Ages, the story of the Khazar kingdom today has the ring of pure mythology. Nonetheless, that story is one of the most wonderful chapters in Jewish history.”

Sand suggests that it was “the wave of decolonization of the 1950s and 1960s [that] led the molders of Israeli collective memory to shield themselves from the shadow of the Khazar past. There was a profound fear that, should the Jews now rebuilding their home in Israel learn that they are not direct descendants of the ?Children of Israel,’ the very legitimacy of both the Zionist enterprise and the State of Israel’s existence would be undermined.”

With considerable trepidation, I returned to my yellowing copy of volume IV of the Mikhlal Encyclopedia. Could I perhaps have been mistaken and could it be that my teachers in the Socialist-Zionist city of Givatayim wanted to brainwash me with an ethno-biological perception of my parents’ origin?

When I reread the entry on the Khazars, my mind was put at rest. It was not the Zionist education to which I, as an Israeli teenager, was exposed that tried to make me forget the fact that the members of gentile tribes converted to Judaism in the Khazar Kingdom; instead, it is the author of this book about the “invention of the Jewish people” who has invented an ethno-biological Zionist historiography.

Here is what was written about the conversion of the Khazars, a nation of Turkish origin, in the Zionist Mikhlal Encyclopedia that the State of Israel’s Zionist Ministry of Education recommended so warmly during that “period of silencing”: “It is irrelevant whether the conversion to Judaism encompassed a large stratum of the Khazar nation; what is important is that this event was regarded as a highly significant phenomenon in Jewish history, a phenomenon that has since totally disappeared: Judaism as a missionary religion…. The question of the long-term impact of that chapter in Jewish history on East European Jewry — whether through the development of its ethnic character or in some other way — is a matter that requires further research. Nonetheless, although we do not know the extent of its influence, what is clear to us today is that this conversion did have an impact.” Sand, a professor of modern European history at Tel Aviv University, comments further on the silence of the historians: “Israel’s academic community developed a violent attitude toward this issue…. Any mention of the Khazars in the public arena in Israel was increasingly considered eccentric, a flight of fancy, even an open threat.”

Zionist historiography, he claims, concealed the possibility that the millions of Yiddish-speaking Jews were actually descendants of the Khazars and that even today Israeli historians deny the existence of an early Jewish nucleus that was augmented by immigrants who moved from Ashkenaz (present-day northern France and western Germany) to Eastern Europe.

These claims are baseless. Sand, for example, does not mention the fact that, from 2000 onwards, a team of scholars from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem labored on a monumental task: the production of a three-volume study on the history of the Jews of Russia.

In the first volume, which will shortly be published in Hebrew by the Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History (another “Zionist” institution), considerable attention is devoted to the question of the origin of the East European Jews and to their link with the history of the Khazar kingdom.

Sand repeats the method he employs vis-a-vis the place of the Khazars in Jewish historiography in connection with other topics as well, presenting readers with partial citations and edited passages from the writings of various scholars. Several times, Sand declares what his ideological position is. Like him, I am not one of those who support the injustices committed by a number of Israeli government agencies against minority groups in this country in the name of arguments pretending to represent “historical values.” However, critical readers of Sand’s study must not overlook the intellectual superficiality and the twisting of the rules governing the work of professional historians that result when ideology and methodology are mixed.

Sand’s desire for Israel to become a state “representing all its citizens” is certainly worthy of a serious discussion, but the manner in which he attempts to connect a political platform with the history of the Jewish people from its very beginnings to the present day is bizarre and incoherent.

Descendants of pagans

What is Sand trying to prove in this study? In his view, the homeland of the Jewish people is not Palestine, and most Jews are descendants of the members of different nations who converted to Judaism in ancient times and in the medieval period. He claims that the Jews of Yemen and Eastern Europe are descendants of pagans.

According to Sand, this historical truth was concealed by Zionist thinkers, who developed an ethno-biological ideology, and the so-called “Jewish people” was invented as late as the 19th century. Furthermore, he argues, the idea of a “nation” that was exiled from its homeland in ancient times and which is destined to return to it in the modern age so as to rebuild its independent state is merely an invented myth.

Sand also maintains that, in the era preceding the emergence of European nationalism, the Jews were an ethnic group, not a nation. In his eyes, the argument promulgated by the Zionists and by their successors in the Israeli political arena concerning our “right to this land” rests on a biological-genetic ideology; that argument became the “narrative of the ruling group” thanks to the fact that the “authorized scholars of the past” have concealed the truth concerning the real, impure origin of the Jews.

My response to Sand’s arguments is that no historian of the Jewish national movement has ever really believed that the origins of the Jews are ethnically and biologically “pure.” Sand applies marginal positions to the entire body of Jewish historiography and, in doing so, denies the existence of the central positions in Jewish historical scholarship.

No “nationalist” Jewish historian has ever tried to conceal the well-known fact that conversions to Judaism had a major impact on Jewish history in the ancient period and in the early Middle Ages. Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions. Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely.

Sand’s references to “authorized” historians are absurd, and perpetuate a superficial pattern of discussion that is characteristic of a certain group within Israeli academe. The guiding principle in this pattern of discussion is as follows: “Tell me what your position is on the past and I will tell you the nature of your connection with the agencies of the regime.”

The kind of political intervention Sand is talking about, namely, a deliberate program designed to make Israelis forget the true biological origins of the Jews of Poland and Russia or a directive for the promotion of the story of the Jews’ exile from their homeland is pure fantasy.

Sand points to three components in the structuring of the Jewish national past. First, the national historical narrative, especially the Zionist narrative, emphasizes the “ethno-biological” identity of those who belong to the imaginary Jewish nation.

Second, this identity is directly connected with a nationalist ideology that is a substitute for the religious link between Jewish communities in the Diaspora that has considerably weakened in the present era of secularization. Third, an aggressive political establishment that controls the dissemination of knowledge is concealing vital information on what really happened in the past, preventing the publication of sources that can serve as an alternative to the recommended national narrative, and censoring dangerous passages in published texts.

The central book of the Zionist “Jerusalem School,” “Toldot am yisrael” (“History of the Jewish People,” published in 1969), speaks extensively of the Jewish communities that existed in the Diaspora before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and whose total population exceeded that of the tiny Jewish community in Palestine. As one would expect from a work that reflects a profound knowledge of scholarly studies in the field, the Zionist “Toldot am yisrael” explains that the number of Jews in the Diaspora during the ancient period was as high as it was because of conversion, a phenomenon that “was widespread in the Jewish Diaspora in the late Second Temple period …. Many of the converts to Judaism came from the gentile population of Palestine, but an even greater number of converts could be found in the Jewish Diaspora communities in both the East and the West.”

Choosing to ignore all this, Sand categorically states in his book that, “the mass conversions that created such huge Jewish populations throughout the Mediterranean region are scarcely mentioned in Jewish national historiography.” Apparently, he is obsessed with the idea of proving that the Zionist historians (including Nahum Slouschz, who wrote about the North African Jewish warrior-queen Dahia
al-Kahina) were “ethnocentric nationalists.” It is irrelevant to Sand what these historians actually wrote: To hell with the facts — the argument is what really counts!

Sand bends over backwards to prove that the great Jewish historians (such as Simon Dubnow, Salo Baron and Benzion Dinur), who, in their works, linked Jewish nationalism with liberalism, radicalism and socialism, were simply racists. Here’s what he writes, for example, about Israeli historian Haim Zeev Hirschberg (1903-1974), who studied the Jews of North Africa: “His continual attempts to prove that the Jews were a race of people that had been displaced from its ancient homeland and which had been condemned to wander from country to country as an exiled nation … dovetail beautifully with the directives of mainstream Zionist historiography.” According to Sand, Hirschberg never managed to liberate himself from a “purifying substantive ideology.” Does this sound familiar? When and where did you last read that Zionism was a racist movement?

Scattered communities

I will now refer briefly to the connection between the book’s conceptual underpinnings and the author’s main historical argument, namely, that, prior to the modern period, the Jews constituted only a group of “scattered religious communities.” Sand defines national identity in the spirit of the ideas of the French Revolution. Not only does he reject the concept of an ethnic identity that is not dependent on the existence of a political entity confined within clearly defined borders, he even rejects an identity whose possessors’ claim is founded on a cultural or political entity that is not subject to control or management by the agencies of the central regime. In his view, such identities are merely “invented identities” and he does not believe that pre-modern identities can survive in the modern era. In fact, Sand advocates the position that was heard in the French National Assembly in December 1789: “The Jews must not be allowed to constitute a special political entity or to have a special political status. Instead, each Jew must on an individual basis be a citizen of France.” However, whereas the champions of the Emancipation in Paris did recognize the non-religious essence of the pre-modern Jewish nation, Sand does not.

I was unable to find in Sand’s book any innovations in the study of nationalism. The author is stuck somewhere between historians such as Eric Hobsbawm, Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner — a generation behind what is happening today in the field. As far as I can discern, the book contains not even one idea that has not been presented earlier in their books and articles by what he insists on defining as “authorized historians” suspected of “concealing historical truth.” “When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?” is a marvelous blend of clearly modernist arguments, drawn from the legacy of 18th-century European Enlightenment, with a moderate, but disturbing (because of its superficiality), pinch of Foucaultian discourse from a previous generation.

Moreover, the author’s treatment of Jewish sources is embarrassing and humiliating. What serious reader who knows the history of modern Hebrew literature can take seriously the views expressed in a book that defines “Bohen tsadik” (Investigating a Righteous Man), a satirical (fictional!) work by the Galician intellectual and supporter of the Haskalah Yosef Perl (1773-1839), as something that was written by a person named Yitzhak Perl and which “contains 41 letters from rabbis that relate to various aspects of Jewish life”? Who would attest to the accuracy of facts in a research study where it is stated that historian Joseph Klausner (1874-1958) — a scholar who never was (despite his burning ambition to do so) a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and who, instead, served there as a professor of Hebrew literature — “was in fact the first official historian of the ?Second Temple period’ at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem”? Does such sloppiness reflect the author’s attitude to the subject of his research? Or, perhaps, because everything is an invention anyway, it does not really matter whether the “imagined object” is black or white?

The lugubrious Israeli combination of aggressive one-dimensional conceptuality and blatant disrespect for details (a characteristic mix among writers at both ends of the political spectrum) will undoubtedly captivate the hearts of the public relations executives of the electronic media. However, we, the skeptical historians, who are buried between mountains of books and piles of archival files, can only continue to read what has really been written and to write about what has really been read.

Prof. Israel Bartal is dean of the humanities faculty of the Hebrew University. His book “Cossack and Bedouin: Land and People in Jewish Nationalism” was published by Am Oved in its Ofakim series (Hebrew).


America: not a Christian country -Thomas Fleming

March 22, 2009

The consensus on both Left and Right is that Americans are uniquely religious. But, says Thomas Fleming, the consensus is wrong

Rockford, Illinois

President Bush’s remark the other day that the theory of ‘intelligent design’ should be taught alongside the theory of evolution brought howls of derision from his detractors in Europe and the United States. It was, they said, one more piece of evidence that America is populated by fundamentalist zombies who are potentially as dangerous as bin Laden’s boys. Intelligent design, it goes without saying, is a boneheaded piece of pseudo-science, almost as simplistic as the naive materialism that Darwinists teach. But neither side of the argument cares about logic, much less truth. The important thing is to declare which side you are on: religious fanaticism or cosmopolitan anti-religious fanaticism.

Both sides agree on one thing: that America really is the promised Land of true-believing Christians. In ‘Old Europe’, the United States is seen as a land of extreme piety and fanatical Puritanism. In the United States, at least among those who support the Bush administration, Europe — France, in particular — is regarded as impious, socialist and immoral, but then France has always been America’s favourite whipping boy.

‘Man,’ declared Mark Twain, ‘is a creature who stands somewhere between the angels and the French,’ and French husbands, according to American legend, are flagrantly disloyal, while American men are the very models of marital fidelity. But there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the French are more likely to cheat on their wives than the Americans; and in most areas of traditional morality, the French are better behaved than the Americans. According to a worldwide survey of abortion rates in the 1990s, for example, a statistically average American woman could be expected to have .69 abortions, while her French counterpart would have .39 (and a German woman only .23). In America, furthermore, the divorce rate is more than twice as high as it is in France, and the rate of teenage pregnancies more than five times as high. In so far as these things can be measured scientifically, Americans are more sexually permissive — though also more puritanical — than Europeans.

So is there anything to American piety, or is it one of those useful myths that make it easier for BBC presenters to pretend to understand complex issues?

America has always been a strange place, even to Americans. While most countries are content merely to exist, America is supposed to have a project, a destiny, a divine mission. New England Puritans suffered from the delusion that their little settlement was a ‘city on a hill’, and Cotton Mather, who played a key role in the Salem witch trials, thought New England was plagued by witches because, before the arrival of white European Calvinists, the continent had been a playground for devil-worshipping Indians and idolatrous Catholics. President Lincoln went so far as to describe the United States as ‘dedicated’ to a proposition, and secular Americans speak glibly of America as ‘an experiment’ — a grisly idea, if ever there was one. Even today patriotic conservatives believe that ‘God’ has blessed our nation as a reward for our virtue and our piety. As H.L. Mencken observed in a more candid age, ‘No one ever went broke underestimating …the American people.’

Small wonder that so many Europeans are afraid of the United States and its messianic approach to foreign policy. The good news is that all our exceptional virtue and piety is so much buncombe, as Mencken would have said. Despite the many myths of American ‘exceptionalism’, most Americans have always been just as content to muddle through as if they had been born among the unredeemed heathens of London and Paris.

In fact, America’s lack of genuine piety has aroused the ire of some excitable Catholic intellectuals who regard the United States as a masonic conspiracy. After pointing out the masonic symbols on the dollar bill (to say nothing of the masonic design of the national capital), they will go on to cite the fact that the constitution (drafted by leading freemasons) never mentions Christianity. This omission is aggravated by the doctrine of ‘the separation of church and state’ — a notion unacceptable to some traditional Catholics. This historical interpretation (apart from the bit about the masonic conspiracy) is utter nonsense. Christianity is not mentioned in the constitution because it is a treaty of union, not an ideological declaration. In a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional union, the best way to avoid religious conflict was for the national and state governments to be neutral towards competing Christian sects.

Conservative evangelicals, on the other hand, insist that the founders of the republic were all pious Christians. In fact, few of the men who led the revolution or drafted the constitution could be described as pious or even orthodox. Washington was an ordinary Anglican, which even in the 18th century meant very little, while John Adams was a Unitarian, Jefferson a mildly anti-Christian deist, and Ben Franklin a sceptical freemason as well as a rake. America —alas, it is all too true — has been swept periodically by revivals and cult crazes. Many of the cultists went west and ended up in California, the last stop of the rootless and disaffected before falling into the Pacific.

I have lived 60 years in the United States, the first 25 of them as an atheist, the last 35 as an increasingly reactionary Christian. I have never witnessed the great piety and deep spirituality which I have heard described in 4 July addresses and in semi-scholarly tomes on American religion. We are a practical people, above all else, and, as I have heard repeatedly from business and political leaders, religion makes good sense: the man who goes to church also goes to work, takes care of his family, pays his taxes. This is religiosity, not Christianity.

For American Christians, what they say they believe does not always translate into concrete actions or even into support for Christian moral positions. They complain, occasionally, about the prohibition of prayer in school and resent media attacks on religion, but they seem unaffected by the pervasive blasphemy of television commercials and by the barbaric post-Christian morality of everyday life in these United States. This is a country, remember, where Britney Spears was a spokesbimbo for the Episcopal Church. Many evangelical and Catholic Christians actively supported the philandering, lying Bill Clinton, and many traditional Catholics, in defiance of both the Vatican and the Church’s teachings on just war, support George Bush’s war in Iraq. In March 2003 Pope John Paul II, who described his opposition to the war as ‘unequivocal’, sent Cardinal Pio Laghi to dissuade President Bush from attacking Iraq. The President told Cardinal Laghi, ‘We’ll be quick and do well in Iraq.’ As Cardinal Laghi, who calls the invasion ‘tragic and unacceptable’, points out, ‘Bush was wrong.’

But warmongering Catholics are no match for the Revd Pat Robertson. Mr Robertson has gone beyond deflecting hurricanes and denouncing Ariel Sharon for turning Jewish settlers out of land that God gave them. Now he has called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the troublesome president of Venezuela. In defiance of both logic and Christian ethics, Robertson recently said: ‘If he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.’

When foreigners speak of American piety, they usually have in mind some form of evangelical Protestantism. But that is a very broad category, which includes austere and disciplined Calvinists in the South as well as clownish TV preachers and the megachurches fitted out with rock bands and wall-sized video screens. Imagine a luxurious sports complex with Elvis, in his sequinned powder-blue Vegas jumpsuit, crooning ‘How Great Thou Art’ to a mob of hysterical middle-aged women writhing in the aisles. This is not ‘that old-time religion’, unless the ‘old time’ in question is the heyday of the Münster anabaptists. Perhaps I am biased: as a pure-minded young atheist I was arrested for mocking a travelling evangelist who healed the sick and raised the dead with wirework that anticipated Hong Kong martial arts movies.

The United States was never a ‘Christian country’ in a confessional sense, though it was once a nation of mostly Christians. Today, it is a nation with a weak-kneed Christian majority that elects, year after year, an actively anti-Christian political class that encourages divorce, protects abortion and pornography, and banishes prayer and Christian symbols from public places. Republican leaders, it is true, pander to their Christian constituents, but they have never and will never lift a finger to advance the cause of Christian morality, much less Christian faith.

Most Americans say they ‘believe in God’, and Americans do attend religious services more frequently than Europeans, or at least they tell pollsters they do, though when the numbers of an ABC poll are broken down, weekly churchgoers tend to be women, Southern, Republican, and old. In western Europe, far fewer people go to church or profess any religious faith, but, from what I have seen, observant Catholics in Italy and France are a good deal more serious than their counterparts here in the land of ‘In God We Trust’.

To compare apples with apples, the most prominent conservative Catholics in the United States are the so-called neoconservatives. They are indifferent or hostile to the traditional liturgy, defend the discovery of democratic capitalism as an event of ‘incarnational significance’ (Michael Novak), and have routinely defended US foreign policy against explicit statements of John Paul II. Catholic neoconservatives represent the triumph of ‘Americanism’ in the Church. They are more Republican than Catholic, more loyal to George Bush than to any Pope. In secular, anti-Catholic France, a Catholic has to be resolute, even courageous; in America, he just goes with the flow.

European leftists can breathe a sigh of relief. A typical American may go to church too often to be respectable, but when he walks out on the street he is either a little liberal or else a little conservative. If there really were a ‘Christian America’, Hollywood would be broke, and the ashes of both political parties would be reposing quietly in the dustbin of history.

-Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is editor of the conservative monthly Chronicles and author most recently of The Morality of Everyday Life: Rediscovering an Ancient Alternative to the Liberal Tradition (University of Missouri Press).


Dietrich and Mishko, 3/20/2009

March 22, 2009

This Week in Disorganized America:

  • Kwangress–an assemblage of kings?
  • ADL lauds failure of school choice in Georgia.
  • Hampshire becomes first US college to divest from Israel, and the moral cause for divestment.
  • New America — our birthright.

Plan to Solve Crisis: Let Immigrants Buy Houses

March 20, 2009

Israel’s American Chattel -Paul Craig Roberts

March 20, 2009

“I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.

“The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.

“There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel. I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.”

Ambassador Charles Freeman on declining his appointment as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2009

Many conservatives take vicarious pleasure in America’s superpower status. Bush’s flaunting of American power is one reason conservatives took scant notice of Bush’s police state measures and ill-conceived wars. Conservatives were so delighted with Bush giving the finger to the UN, the world community and especially France, a country conservatives have despised ever since Charles De Gaulle refused to follow the American line, that conservatives paid no attention to Bush’s assault on civil liberty and his squandering of America’s soft power.

I wonder how much longer conservatives will be strutting around now that the “defeated” Taliban are denying the Peshawar/Khyber Pass supply route to the unipower’s military for resupply of its troops in Afghanistan. The US has had to go hat in hand to the Russians to request a resupply route through Russian territory, and has been told non-munition supplies only. The Russians might be willing for Obama to send arms through if Obama repudiates Bush’s decision to put anti-ballistic missile defenses in the American puppet states of Poland and Czech Republic.

The Polish government is concerned about repeating its World War II mistake of putting its fate in the hands of a distant protector instead of with the military power on its border and recently admonished Washington not to renege on the missile deal. Poland is clinging desperately to Bush’s promise of nuclear war in defense of Poland, just as seven decades ago the Polish colonels thought they could stick their finger in Hitler’s eye, because Britain had given Poland a guarantee.

Iraq is another embarrassment for conservatives, with the Iranian-allied Shi’ite party, not the unipower, dictating the withdrawal agreement. The US remains in Iraq only as a useful scapegoat for the Shi’ite rulers.

But what’s really going to blow the legs out from under conservatives is the realization that the great superpower is the chattel goods of the Israel Lobby.

The Obama administration, despite the Democrats’ decisive electoral victory in last November’s election, has demonstrated that the great unipower cannot appoint its own chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Charles Freeman, a distinguished and independent-minded American, former ambassador and former Assistant Secretary of Defense, found his appointment blocked by Steve Rosen, a former official of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) currently under indictment as an Israeli spy, and a handful of American Jewish neoconservatives closely identified with the right-wing government in Israel.

How is the United States a superpower when it cannot appoint the official who oversees the National Intelligence Estimate without the approval of the Israeli right-wing government and its American agents?

Conservatives will say, of course, that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East.” The question whether Israel, or, for that matter, America, is a democracy is beside the point. The point is that Israel has shown that it can control not merely US foreign policy but also US intelligence policy.

Last Thursday America’s Overlord sent the Chief of Staff of the American financed and supplied Israel Defense Forces, General Gabi Ashkenazi, to meet with President Barack Obama, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Jones, National Security Advisor, and Dennis Ross, the US State Department’s Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that General Ashkenazi will also meet with “senior American journalists and with the heads of AIPAC, the American pro-Israel lobbyist group.”

General Ashkenazi will also “be a guest of honor at the annual ‘Supporters of the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces]“ convention in the city of New York and will address its participants.

General Ashkenazi will also be meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger “as well as with the heads of the New York Jewish Federation.”

The official reason for General Ashkenazi’s visit is to warn America about the threat that Iran presents to the United States. In reality, the general has been sent to stir up an American attack on Iran.

The military/security complex will welcome the opening of a new front on the “war on terror.” The profits of the American arms industries desperately need a new war to replace Iraq. “Our” government in Washington desperately needs new reasons to suppress American civil liberties. The traitorous Bush Republicans and their Democratic enablers desperately need justification for committing America to multi-trillion dollar illegal wars. The neoconservatives desperately need a rationale for the lies they told to start what they hope are long-term wars in the Middle East. The neocon madmen even want to overthrow Saudi Arabia, one of America’s largest creditors.

Conservatives will welcome these developments with open arms. America will have a chance to redeem itself. America can yet prove it is a superpower by conquering both Iran and Afghanistan. Once these victories are in hand, Israel can destroy both Hamas and Hezbollah, and the new Israel can incorporate Palestine and southern Lebanon.

While conservatives dream these dreams, the Premier of China, Wen Jiabao, expressed on Friday, March 13, his fears that the US Treasury’s credit was not good and that his country’s $1 trillion investment in American debt was endangered. Premier Wen said, “We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.”

Contrast Premier Wen’s concern with the optimism coming out of the Obama administration and what remains of Wall Street.

Then exercise Charles Freeman’s independent thinking and make up your own mind.

Is America a superpower, or is America a rapidly declining country destroyed by gratuitous wars and shyster banksters?

-Paul Craig Roberts


Systemic Failure -Patrick J. Buchanan

March 20, 2009

As the U.S. financial crisis broadens and deepens, wiping out the wealth and savings of tens of millions, destroying hopes and dreams, it is hard not to see in all of this history’s verdict upon this generation.

We have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

For how did this befall us, save through decisions that brushed aside lessons that history and experience had taught our fathers?

It all began with the corruption called sub-prime mortgages.

The motivation was not wicked. Democrats wanted to raise home ownership among African-Americans from 50 percent to the 75 percent of white folks. Rove Republicans wanted to do the same for Hispanics.

Banks were morally pressured by politicians into making home loans to folks who could not remotely qualify under standards set by decades of experience with mortgage defaults.

Made by the millions, these loans were sold in vast quantities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. There they were packaged, converted into mortgage-backed securities and sold to the big banks. The banks put scores of billions of dollars worth on their books and sold the rest to foreign banks anxious to acquire Triple-A securities, backed by real estate in America’s ever-booming housing market.

Computer whizzes devised exotic instruments — derivatives, which could soar in value, making instant multimillionaires, but also plummet, based on rises and dips in the underlying value of the paper.

Came now young geniuses at AIG to insure the banks against catastrophic losses, should the U.S. housing market crash. As the risk was minuscule, premiums were tiny. Payouts, however, should it come to that, were beyond AIG’s capacity.

In AIG’s Financial Products division, based in Connecticut and London, brainiacs were creating other exotic instruments, such as credit default swaps to guarantee against losses and insure profits. To keep these wunderkinds at AIG, they were promised million-dollar retention bonuses.

Who kept the game going?

The Federal Reserve, by keeping interest rates low and money gushing into the economy, created the bubble that saw housing prices rise annually at 10, 15 and 20 percent.

As the economy grew, however, the Fed began to tighten, to raise interest rates. Mortgage terms became tougher. Housing prices stabilized. Homeowners with sub-prime mortgages now found they had to start paying down principal. People losing jobs began to walk away from their houses.

Belatedly, folks awoke to the reality that housing prices could go south as well as north, and all that paper spread all over the world was overvalued, and a good bit of it might be worthless.

And, so, the crash came and the panic ensued.

Who is to blame for the disaster that has befallen us?

Their name is legion.

There are the politicians who bullied banks into making loans the banks knew were bad to begin with and would never have made without threats or the promise of political favors.

There is that den of thieves at Fannie and Freddie who massaged the politicians with campaign contributions and walked away from the wreckage with tens of millions in salaries and bonuses.

There are the idiot bankers who bought up securities backed by sub-prime mortgages and were too indolent to inspect the rotten paper on their books. There are the ratings agencies, like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, who gazed at the paper and declared it to be Grade A prime.

In short, this generation of political and financial elites has proven itself unfit to govern a great nation. What we have is a system failure that is rooted in a societal failure. Behind our disaster lie the greed, stupidity and incompetence of the leadership of a generation.

Does Dr. Obama have the cure for the sickness that ails the republic?

He is going to borrow and spend trillions more to bring back the good old days, though it was the good old days that brought us to the edge of the abyss into which we have fallen. Then he is going to spend new trillions to give us benefits we do not now have, though the national debt is surging to 100 percent of the Gross National Product, and may reach there by 2011.

Is Obama willing to speak hard truths?

Is he willing to say that home ownership is for those with sound credit and solid jobs? Is he willing to say that credit, whether for auto loans, or student loans, or consumer purchases, should be restricted to those who have shown the maturity to manage debt — and no others need apply?

“Avarice, ambition,” warned John Adams, “would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In this deepening crisis, what is being tested is not simply the resilience of capitalism, but the character of a people.

-Patrick J. Buchanan


AIG executives receive death threats

March 20, 2009

AIG boss Edward Liddy says he fears for his employees’ lives if Congress goes through with a threat to name and shame recipients of lavish bonuses awarded by the bailed-out insurer.

Reading out lurid death threats received by AIG, including a vow to garrotte executives with piano wire, Mr Liddy said he could only release the names of the bonus recipients if Congress promised to keep them confidential.

“I would hope that it doesn’t take a subpoena. I’m just really concerned about the safety of our people,” he told a hearing in the House of Representatives.

But financial services committee chairman Barney Frank said he could not guarantee confidentiality and said he would press ahead with subpoenas if needed.

“Clearly those threats are despicable. But this is an important public subject,” the Democrat said.

“I will consult with the federal law enforcement people and if they do say there’s a credible threat, we will have to take that into consideration,” he said.


Charles Freeman’s disloyalty allegations -Kevin MacDonald

March 19, 2009

Charles Freeman’s withdrawal from his appointment as head of the National Intelligence Council has attracted a great deal of comment. But the most amazing parts of his statement are the least commented on. To wit:

I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.

This is a rather unvarnished statement of disloyalty. Indeed, Freeman’s comment bears more than a passing resemblance to Pat Buchanan’s famous comments on the neoconservatives who engineered the US invasion of Iraq on behalf of Israel:

They charge us with anti-Semitism—i.e., a hatred of Jews for their faith, heritage, or ancestry. False. The truth is, those hurling these charges harbor a “passionate attachment” to a nation not our own that causes them to subordinate the interests of their own country and to act on an assumption that, somehow, what’s good for Israel is good for America.

And in case anyone missed it, Freeman made the accusation of disloyalty twice more:

There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government — in this case, the government of Israel. …

I regret that my willingness to serve the new administration has ended by casting doubt on its ability to consider, let alone decide what policies might best serve the interests of the United States rather than those of a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.

And yet, coverage of the Freeman withdrawal in the mainstream media has ignored these allegations. (In fact, as Andrew Sullivan noted, the MSM basically ignored the issue entirely.) The Washington Post article (posted also at the Los Angeles Times website) summarized the situation by saying only that “Freeman had come under fire for statements he had made criticizing Israeli policies and for his past connections to Saudi and Chinese interests.” It quoted Freeman’s statement that he did not believe that the NIC “could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack” but left out the rest of Freeman’s sentence: “by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.”

The Post’s editorial on the subject bordered on the bizarre, claiming that any suggestion that the Lobby was behind the failed appointment was nothing more than a “conspiracy theory.” Please!

The New York Times article included some of Freeman’s very negative comments on the Israel Lobby, but also included the denial of any influence by a spokesman for AIPAC:

Mr. Freeman blamed pro-Israel groups for the controversy, saying the “tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth.”

Joshua Block, a spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobbying group, said Tuesday that his organization had not taken a formal position on Mr. Freeman’s selection and had not lobbied Congress members to oppose it.

Again, no mention of disloyalty. And although both the New York Times and the Washington Post took Block at his word in denying AIPAC’s involvement, Block was lying through his teeth. According to Stephen Walt, despite claiming that it had no role in the affair, AIPAC “leaned hard on some key senators behind-the-scenes and is now bragging that Obama is a ‘pushover.’”

But even Walt’s blog skirted the disloyalty issue. (In my review of Mearsheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby, I criticized them for going soft on the disloyalty issue.)

The only mention of the disloyalty issue I have been able to find in the MSM is Melanie Phillips’ column in The Spectator (London) titled “Exit, Spraying Venom.” Phillips quotes Freeman’s “passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country” comment, describing his comments as a whole as a “gross libel against American Jews, through its false and malevolent accusation of untoward and uniquely powerful and damaging political power.” Phillips concludes:

Given the unhinged hatred towards Israel and the Jews coursing through the west, which was given rocket fuel in the US by the Walt/Mearsheimer travesty which invested Jewish conspiracy theory with a wholly spurious aura of academic respectability, it was inevitable that if Freeman bit the dust the Jews would be blamed.

Wow! Clearly Phillips is the one who is unhinged. But not for the first time. She has been quoted as believing while “individual Palestinians may deserve compassion, their cause amounts to Holocaust denial as a national project.”

In making his charges of disloyalty, Freeman’s comments must be understood as indicting not only the usual suspects, such as AIPAC and Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum (current home of Steve Rosen, the former AIPAC operative who is being tried for espionage on behalf of Israel and was the first to flag Freeman’s appointment). Minimally, Freeman is also indicting the Jewish Senators and Congressmen who pushed hard on this issue. (Non-Jewish politicians like Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, who took up the Lobby’s cause in Congress, are guilty of nothing more than mundane things like subservience, cowardice, and the desire to be reelected.) The Jewish names mentioned most prominently in the Congressional campaign against Freeman have been three Zionist stalwarts: Sen. Charles Schumer, Rep. Steve Israel and Sen. Joe Lieberman.

It is noteworthy that Schumer and Israel expressed their complaints to Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff. Emanuel has been described as “a fierce partisan of Israel” who volunteered to aid the Israel Defense Force during the 1991 Gulf War. He was doubtless a sympathetic ear.

One wonders why the ADL has not made a statement on Freeman’s comments. It may well be that the entire organized Jewish community hopes for a quick death for this incident — the less said the better at this point. This same logic would explain why the disloyalty issue is not discussed in the MSM: Disloyalty is a very grave charge that the goyim shouldn’t even be thinking about. As Steven Walt points out, lobbies live in the dark and die in the light of day. It’s hard to imagine Abe Foxman complaining that Freeman’s accusation of disloyalty is yet another anti-Jewish canard when it’s not very difficult for even the most braindead among us to see that there is a whole lot of truth in it.

It is important to realize the gravity of the charge of Jewish disloyalty. It is a charge that has repeatedly surfaced throughout Jewish history beginning in the Book of Exodus where Pharaoh says: “Behold, the people of the children of Israel are too mighty for us; come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there befalleth us any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land” (Exod. 1:9–10).

The first example I am aware of in American history was the successful campaign by Jewish organizations to abrogate a trade agreement with Russia during the Taft Administration in 1911. In promoting the bill, Jewish spokesmen favored formulations in which the problem was couched as an American problem rather than as a problem for American Jews (even though the difficulties for American Jews were only a pretext for a campaign that was actually directed at changing the status of Russian Jews).

Similarly, as I noted in my last column, Jews around the world have been advised to frame the Iranian threat to Israel as a global problem, not simply as a problem for Israel.

The charge of disloyalty stems from a very simple fact: Jews sometimes have interests as Jews that are not the same as the interests of the society as a whole. And because the organized Jewish community has often had power far beyond its numbers, there is a very real possibility that Jewish influence would compromise the interests of the society as a whole. We have already seen this in the successful neoconservative promotion of the war in Iraq — the focus of Buchanan’s ire (and by now proved beyond a shadow of a doubt with an avalanche of other treatises on the subject). Of course, right now, the conflict revolves around Israel and the “existential threat” it sees in Iran.

The interesting thing now is what will happen to Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the Director of National Intelligence and the person who appointed Freeman. Blair not only defended Freeman to the bitter end, his stated views on Iranian nuclear capability are very much opposed by Israel (and hence the Israel Lobby). On March 10, Blair noted that “The overall situation — and the intelligence community agrees on this — [is] that Iran has not decided to press forward . . . to have a nuclear weapon on top of a ballistic missile.” This conflicts with the Israeli perspective. In commenting on the disparity in views, Blair stated that “the Israelis are far more concerned about [Iran’s nuclear capability], and they take more of a worst-case approach to these things from their point of view.”

Blair is implying that the Israeli and the American views are not the same. Horrors! This is doubtless a grave offense in the eyes of the Israel Lobby — a group that seemingly cannot even imagine that Israel and the US may have different interests.

Clearly, the Lobby still has some work left to rid the government of people with ideas that differ from theirs. But they expended quite a bit of energy and credibility with the heavy-handed tactics they used in torpedoing Freeman and enforcing their version of foreign policy orthodoxy. Their next battle may be even more difficult.

The good news is that the machinations of the Lobby are more open than ever. The vast majority of the debate happened on the Internet. The MSM was late in reporting it, and in the end it left out critical details. This is yet another nail in the coffin of the credibility of the MSM, and it means that people who are serious about understanding current events are going to rely even less on it. People will read the New York Times not for “all the news that’s fit to print,” but to try to understand why the Times left out what it did. Sadly, this indictment of the MSM also applies to mainstream conservative pundits such as Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh.

It is noteworthy that, as J. J. Goldberg has pointed out, the Obama Administration has initiated foreign policy positions that are quite different than the Bush Administration, including high-level negotiations with Syria, approving the dialogue between the British and the political wing of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and steps that might be interpreted as a more conciliatory approach to Iran. Already, Zionist hardliners like Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America are up in arms about Hillary Clinton’s “troubling transformation.”

While it is too early to see where this is heading, whatever happens is going to be all over the Internet. That is a major problem for the Lobby — and one that will only get worse in the future.

Kevin MacDonald is a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach.


Dysgenics of a Communist Killing Field: The Croatian Bleiburg -Tom Sunic

March 19, 2009

By Tom Sunic

In the study of communist terror different methods from different fields have been applied, ranging from the fields of political science, historiography, philosophy, to international justice. An impressive number of books about communist crimes have enabled observers to grasp this unique phenomenon of the twentieth century, which inevitably brings about a large and emotional outcry, followed by constant haggling about different body counts. Whether it is former communist Cambodia, or former communist Poland, in the minds of many citizens of former communist countries, communism is a synonym for an inhumane political system.

Despite the fall of communism as an ideological and political-legal system, the communist ideas of egalitarianism and the belief in permanent economic progress are still alive, albeit in other forms and under different names, and even amidst people who describe themselves as anticommunists. Perhaps the reason for that lies in the fact that the ideas of equality, internationalism (‘globalism’) and economic growth may be more easily achievable, or at least appear to be more easily achievable, in the liberal, capitalist West than in the former ‘real-socialist’ countries in the East.

Little effort has been made so far to analyze the communist system within the framework of modern genetics. As discussed below, communist terror was at least at times disproportionately directed at the upper classes. From a genetic perspective, this suggests that it had dysgenic effects on the gene pool of victim populations — that is, by removing the upper classes, there would be a general lowering of the genetic quality of the population.

According to Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, the average IQ for European countries ranges from 90 to 100. They find that the average IQ for Croats is a meager 90. Why such a modest IQ for Croats?

Besides possibly lowering IQ, one might also ask the question: Did communism in the former Soviet Union, or for that matter in the former communist Yugoslavia, gave birth to a unique subspecies of people predisposed to communism? Did it give rise to people who would fit into and feel comfortable in a largely bureaucratic regime with little scope for personal freedom?

In fact, the description of communist lifestyle has already been well described by former Russian dissident and novelist, Alexander Zinoviev in his Homo Sovieticus, (1982). Zinoviev introduced the term homo sovieticus into the study of communist pathology, albeit more as a literary metaphor than as a term for a specific anthropological species. Seen from the perspective of sociobiology, Zinoviev’s homo sovieticus is not only a literary figure reflecting a distinctive life style or an allegory for communized masses in the former Soviet Union or the former Yugoslavia. It is a peculiar biological sub-creature of modern mass democracies.

Zinoviev was well aware that communism directly appeals to the lowest instincts of each human being, and therefore that communism is an ideal system for future mass societies facing shrinking natural resources. Unlike the erratic free market system, communism provides workers with a complete sense of psychological security and economic predictability, however Spartan their living and working conditions may be. Only by deciphering such a communized mindset will Western observers be able to comprehend strange feelings of “Yugo-nostalgia” or fond memories of Stalin in post-communist Eastern Europe — even among former victims of communism and despite the terrible legacy of Gulag and Kolyma. The communist workers motto, so often analyzed by Zinoviev, summarizes it best: “Nobody can pay me as little as little I can work.”

The Aristocide of Bleiburg and other communist killing fields

The Croatian Bleiburg (see also here and here) is a name of a mass killing field in southern Austria. In mid-May 1945 hundreds of thousands of fleeing ethnic German and Croatian civilians and soldiers surrendered to the British — only to be turned over promptly to the advancing and victorious Yugoslav communist troops. Subsequently, the term ‘Bleiburg’ became a metaphor for the Croatian holocaust and is widely used in contemporary Croatia by those who suffered under the communist rule, long after WWII. In the collective memory of Croats the word ‘Bleiburg’ means an absolute biological catastrophe whose historical, psychophysical and anthropological (and craniometrical?) consequences are yet to be evaluated. The word Bleiburg means to Croats what the word Katyn means to Poles, or what Auschwitz means to Jews. Although the true body count of Bleiburg is subject to emotional disputes, one thing remains certain: Bleiburg meant the violent disappearance of the Croat middle class in 1945.

The word “aristocide” first entered into the English vocabulary thanks to Nathaniel Weyl, a former American Communist of Jewish origin, who became a celebrity in the fifties after converting to a radical anticommunist and a denouncer of his former communist comrades. In his essay “Envy and Aristocide,” Weyl describes how envy prompts less intelligent people to criminal behavior and malice.

Weyl’s concept of aristocide makes it easier to comprehend the real reasons for the sanguinary behavior of Yugoslav Communists, who, in the aftermath of WWII, carried out gigantic killings against civilians of the Croatian, Serbian and the ethnic German middle class. In their incessant purgesthe Yugoslav secret police, the OZNA and the UDBA, were not only motivated by ideological reasons, i.e., the famed ‘class struggle,’ but rather by primordial emotions of envy and knowledge that many anticommunist and nationalist Croat intellectuals, were more handsome, more intelligent, or had more moral integrity than themselves. A German general and intelligence officer, Lothar von Rendulic, who had a keen understanding of the communist guerilla mindset in the Balkans, describes cannibal-like practices of the Yugoslav partisans against German Wehrmacht soldiers, and how German soldiers begged him for transfers from the Balkan front to the Eastern Front. (Gekämpft-gesiegt-geschlagen, 1952). It is a great pity that many of such books have been translated neither into Croatian nor into English.

In his important book Future Human Evolution, John Glad has pointed out that communist genocides had a direct impact on the decline of cultural and economic growth of the new nations of Eastern Europe because a large number of intelligent people were simply wiped out and could not pass on their genes to their offspring. One can say that all East European nations were subjected to considerable depletion of their gene pool.

Here lies the trap of the tantalizing ideology of egalitarianism and its most glaring offshoot, communism: These ideologies teach that all people are equal, which logically entails a conclusion that anybody can be replaceable and expendable at will and that his or her replica can easily be reproduced in another social environment. There is an old Yugoslav communistic proverb, still alive in Croatia’s public life that says: “No one is indispensable!”

Similar theses of ‘indispensability’ and ‘expendability’ had been earlier put forward by the Soviet pseudo- scientist Trofim Lysenko, who argued that wheat can be grown in Antarctica and that intelligent citizens can be cranked out according to the communist party Five-Year Plan.

This thesis, namely that the social-economic environment engenders miracles, is still widespread, albeit in its softer version in multiracial America. The liberal philosophy of the “nurture factor” seems to be an ideal tool for petty criminals, maladaptive individuals, and especially for people of lower intelligence, who, as a rule, for their own physical and moral shortcomings, always blame “somebody else.” The formula for such procrustean ethics becomes transparent in the lexical and juridical fraud known as “affirmative action” in the USA, which is in essence a carbon copy of what multicultural communist Yugoslavia termed the “republican key quota.” This Yugoslavian version of affirmative action meant that each former Yugoslav constituent communist republic was obliged to furnish its own share of communist hacks to receive federal perks.

From the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, communist revolutionaries targeted the pre-revolutionary elites — Russian aristocrats, the Christian clergy, the ethnically German middle class, and all those whose intelligence and knowledge were above average. Because of this, communism, with its teachings of equality, is still highly appreciated by large masses of dispossessed individuals, and particularly by frustrated intellectuals because it stresses the dogma of “equal opportunity with equal results.”

Studies should be made as to the exact number of the Croat urban population killed by the Yugoslav communists after 1945. Maybe forensic studies of the barren bones scattered in numerous unknown graves and pits all over southern Austria, Slovenia and Croatia could reveal interesting data on the decline in IQ among Croats today. A French author, Christopher Dolbeau, goes to great lengths to provide the names of countless Croatian artists and scientists who perished in Communist genocides in 1945 and after (writers: John Softa, Marijan Marijasevic, Marijan Blazic, Bonaventura Radonic, Kerubin Segvic, Yerko Skracic, Vladimir Jurcic; poets: Stanko Vitkovic, Branko Klaric, Vinko Kos, Gabriel Cvitan; journalists: Mijo Bzik, Agathe von Hausberger, John Maronic, Vilim Peros, Daniel Uvanovic, Tias Mortigjija, etc. If we add to these names the names of Croatian engineers, technicians, military officers, priests — all classes of people with higher than average IQs, the figure of human losses among Croat intellectuals in the aftermath of WWII is frightening indeed (Croatie, Sentinelle de l’Occident, 2005).

By its nature communism, and to a large extent modern liberalism, encourage mediocrity and lack of initiative, because everyone who sticks out above the average is quickly castigated for “bourgeois, fascist deviation.” Based on the rough estimates of human losses in Yugoslavia, one could also speculate about subsequent political events in Yugoslavia, including the unnecessary war between two similar peoples the, Serbs and Croats in 1991 — which was to a large extent orchestrated by ex-communist Serb and Croat apparatchiks respectively. In addition, Croatia had also its “silent Bleiburg,” — that is, the voluntary departure to Western countries of over one million Croats, from 1945 to 1990.

Under the romantic assumption that this biological disaster had not occurred, Croatia may well have made today some significant achievements in certain fields of science — and not just in the field of sport or in the soccer field. The same goes for all East European countries, except for one detail: Croats, Estonians, Lithuanians are small peoples and the time needed to replenish their gene pool lasts historically longer.

One can advance another hypothesis. The Yugoslav crisis in 1990 and the subsequent savage interethnic killings would have probably not taken place with highly intelligent and highly educated non-communist and non-fascist politicians such as the late Serb Milan Stojadinovic (who left in 1945 for Argentina) and his Croat counterpart Vlatko Macek (who left the same year for America). Conversely, if one had a quick glance at the phenotype of the leaders in both in Croatia and Serbia in 1991 one is struck that they were all once avid participants of the same Yugoslav communist mindset.

Murder and persecution of intelligent people leads to economic slowdown. Zimbabwe (former Rhodesia) was once the main wheat exporting country in Africa. Today it must import food, because of its inept government. Algeria was once the breadbasket of France; now, although being one of the main world exporters of natural gas and oil, it depends on huge food imports. It is no wonder that the so-called Soviet miracle — most notably the launching of the space rocket Sputnik into the orbit, was due to the work of captured German scientists. It is still an unspoken truth in Croatia today that the so- called “Yugoslav miracle of the 60’s,” was due to German slave workers (i.e., captured ethnic Germans and German POWs, 1945–50).

Under the assumption that Croatia had preserved its genetic stock and that the tragedy of Bleiburg had not occurred, under the assumption that hundreds of thousands of Croats had not emigrated to Western countries, one cannot rule out that Croatia would be by now a dynamic country with 8 to 10 million people (approximately twice its current population), with completely different political elites and political values. Thus, even today, the framing of public opinion in Croatia remains the privilege of sons and daughters of former communist stalwarts whose past won’t pass away.

Sociobiological analyses may be looked at with derision by the liberal media. However, each individual knows deadly well which tribe or ingroup he belongs to when “push comes to shove” — which one is his real in-group. Should he fail to acknowledge his racial or ethnic kinsmen or his “territorial imperative,” “the Other” won’t hesitate to remind him of it. It may sound cynical, but a significant number of Croats discovered their nationalist credo only in 1990 — when the perception of the communist and the Serb threat had begun looming large on the horizon. A discovery of such ‘negative identity’ may tomorrow await Americans, which could then make the ex-Yugoslav example look like a kindergarten brawl.

Subconsciously, all races are aware of that old Latin proverb that “a man’s character lies in his face” (in facie legitur homo). And Friedrich Nietzsche was even blunter when he recalled the ancient European wisdom “monstrum in anime, monstrum in fronte (monster by spirit, monster in head). Translated into English: a political crook is recognizable by his facial expression.

Tom Sunic (see and is an author, translator, former US professor of political science, and a former Croat diplomat.


Former Nazi guard living in Wisconsin deported

March 19, 2009

WASHINGTON – A former Nazi concentration camp guard who was living in Wisconsin has been deported to Austria, Justice Department officials said Thursday.

Prosecutors said 83-year-old Josias Kumpf (yoh-SEE’-uhs KOOMF) served as a guard at the Sachsenhausen (ZAHK’-zen-how-zen) concentration camp in Germany and the Trawniki (trafh-NEE’-kee) labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, and at slave labor sites in occupied France.

U.S. investigators found he participated in a 1943 mass shooting in Poland in which 8,000 Jewish men, women and children were murdered in pits at Trawniki in a single day.

“Josias Kumpf, by his own admission, stood guard with orders to shoot any surviving prisoners who attempted to escape an SS massacre that left thousands of Jews dead,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita Glavin said in a statement.

Peter Rogers, Kumpf’s attorney, didn’t immediately return a message Thursday.

Investigators say Kumpf joined the SS Death’s Head guard forces in 1942.

Kumpf was born in what is now Serbia, immigrated to the U.S. from Austria in 1956, settled in Racine, Wis., and became a U.S. citizen in 1964.

A federal judge in Milwaukee had previously found Kumpf didn’t disclose he had been an SS guard because he feared it would disqualify him when he applied for a visa to the U.S.

In a 2003 interview, Kumpf said he was taken from his home in Yugoslavia as a 17-year-old and forced to serve as a guard, but he didn’t participate in any atrocities.

At a 2006 hearing Rogers described Kumpf as “a gentleman who was involuntarily inscripted into the army, assigned to the SS and then stationed at places where admittedly terrible things happened. My client never took part in them.”

But at a subsequent deportation hearing, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich said Kumpf participated in an operation that resulted in the murder of thousands of innocent victims.

“His culpability in this atrocity does not diminish with the passage of time,” Friedrich said at the time.

Since 1979, the U.S. Justice Department has won cases against 107 people who participated in Nazi crimes.


Edgar Steele’s Nickel Rant: Second Annual State of the Revolution

March 18, 2009

In another of his outrageously gripping and entertaining Nickel Rants, Edgar Steele lays out the basis for his vision of an inevitable Second American Revolution. Like watching a train wreck in progress, one you can’t bear to watch, but can’t tear your eyes away from, listen as Edgar outlines:

  • Why a violent revolution in America now is inevitable.
  • How nationwide rioting will erupt, leading to an open race war.
  • De facto invasion by Mexico.
  • Why bailouts will bury us, not save us.
  • The wave of States’ Rights movements in America.
  • Exactly who killed America and “The Axis of Morons.”
  • How to protect yourself.

Here is a link to the on-line transcript:

15 MB / 32 kbps stereo / 1 hour 7 min.

Contact Ed: steele