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September 12, 2004 9:11 PM   Subscribe

The Likudization of the World "....he has cast the United States in the very same role in which Israel casts itself, facing the very same threat. In this narrative, the U.S. is fighting a never ending battle for its very survival against utterly irrational forces that seek nothing less than its total extermination. "
posted by troutfishing (42 comments total)

 
Does this mean criticizing the US is now antisemitic?
posted by Space Coyote at 9:12 PM on September 12, 2004


Probably.
posted by troutfishing at 9:20 PM on September 12, 2004


It's funny how the far left and far right it's sometimes hard to tell them apart.
posted by stbalbach at 11:41 PM on September 12, 2004


So, if...
Putin & Bush = Likud = Neocons = Chechen seperatists

then Putin should be supporting Chechen seperatists? Something isn't clicking here.
posted by kickingtheground at 11:51 PM on September 12, 2004


Ah, the tired, tired game of blaming the world's problems on Israel. Two of the world's largest nuclear powers, all controlled and manipulated by one Ariel Sharon.

Let the scapegoating begin anew.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:06 AM on September 13, 2004


Krrrlson, There's a significant difference between X controlling Y and Y adopting (some of) X's world-view and behavior.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:43 AM on September 13, 2004


According to this article, Israel and the US should be taking lessons from France on how to be hard-line against terror:
"France has taken one of the hardest lines of any Western country in fighting Islamic extremism," writes reporter John Carreyrou in The Wall Street Journal. "Other democracies, including the US, have been criticized for excessive methods, such as holding prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But few have been as systematic and zealous as France in attempting to stamp out Islamic militancy."
posted by stbalbach at 1:10 AM on September 13, 2004


Fundamentalisms are dying cultures, and they will die at the hands of ours - our mixture of libertarian and socialist ideals, our self-maximizing, our cravings for entertainment and our relentless questioning of authority. It won't be guns that kill the terrorist-spawning memes, it'll be internet porn and internet discussion forums, TV-driven fashion and satirical comedy. This will take a while, my guess is thirty years, and a lot of people will suffer and die before it's over.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:24 AM on September 13, 2004


I think Paris Hilton's vagina will bring about the end of terrorism.
posted by The God Complex at 2:11 AM on September 13, 2004


Selfish Hedonism shall rule the day!

Well, that, and also nukes.
posted by delmoi at 2:42 AM on September 13, 2004


[wrt. the article about france. ]

If, for instance, America feels strongly enough about human-rights abuses in China, it can take measures – trade sanctions, arms sales to Taiwan, etc. – which the Chinese are bound to feel keenly.

Yes. if by "human rights abuses" you mean "communism". Does the average american care at all about Human rights abuses in China these days?

That article sucked.
posted by delmoi at 2:53 AM on September 13, 2004


> The essence of terrorism is the deliberate targeting of innocents to further
> political goals. Any claims its perpetrators make to fighting for justice are morally
> bankrupt and lead directly to the barbarity of Beslan: a carefully laid plan to
> slaughter hundreds of children on their first day of school.

Nice to see even commondreams getting the ghost of a clue. Of course they marched right on past it to the usual "yet..."

Nevertheless, incipient cluefulness. Perhaps it will grow.
posted by jfuller at 3:24 AM on September 13, 2004


"If we want to see the future of where the Likud Doctrine leads, we need only follow the guru home, to Israel ? a country paralyzed by fear, embracing pariah policies of extrajudicial assassination and illegal settlement, and in furious denial about the brutality it commits daily. It is a nation surrounded by enemies and desperate for friends, a category it narrowly defines as those who ask no questions, while generously offering the same moral amnesty in return. That glimpse at our collective future is the only lesson the world needs to learn from Ariel Sharon."
posted by acrobat at 3:34 AM on September 13, 2004


acrobat - that pretty much sums up the problem, and Naomi Klein's argument is one of those rarely incisive few that peels back the epidermis to reveal a whole pathology. That's why I posted this.

As with Israel, think of recent US actions - the US is in furious denial about what much of the rest of the World perceives as systematic American human rights abuses and misdeeds - in Iraq, and elsewhere : Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, non-combatant deaths in street fighting in Iraqi urban areas.....and then the more "subtle" issues that most Americans are oblivious to : the grotesque mismanagement of billions in Iraqi oil revenue money by Americans pre-"handover" (only one accountant ?! No account trail ? Is looting, no?), The more parodic aspects of Iraq's interim government - with an American 8-year ex-CIA director - who has loudly declared post 9-11 that a WW4 "War of Civilizations" is underway - appointed to head Iraq's Ministry of Information (James Woolsey)......I could go on, but my point is that most Americans are oblivious to these troublesome "details" or are far more willing to dismiss them as mere anomalies in the overall march of progress in Mr. Bush's "War on Terror".

The salient fact is that three years of Mr. Bush's "War on Terror" have led to a state of affairs where the US is far more hated around the World and where the lumpen-ranks of Al Qaeda associated terrorist groups are plump with new recruits - and hence the risk for further terrorist attacks on the US or it's sometimes, recalcitrant allies has likely grown rather than diminished.

It is the overall formulation which feeds the dynamic - the claim that the extraordinary nature of the threat (as revealed in the 9-11 attacks) demands extraordinary measures (torture and other extrajudicial methods, nonsensical invasions of only tangentially related countries such as Iraq, and so on), and while the dynamic Ms. Klein notes surely has been widely noted, the explicit tie to the grotesque pathology of the Israeli-Palestinian mutually self destructive embrace is what elevates this commentary above the fray. The logic of the claim has worked so astoundingly well for Israeli that the IP conflict has implacably come to dominate more and more of Israeli life, consciousness and discourse and Israel's economy grinds ever farther downhill.

More force ! Better weapons and tactics ! Build a wall !

Ultimately, these calls - for technical solutions to what are political problems - only deepen and further pathologize the dynamic, but what is notable to me, at least, is the underlying religious rational behind this approach : that God, ultimate justice, and morality is on "our" side, the side of the US and Israel, and that any and all those who hold sentiments to the contrary are properly placed in the camp of international terrorism as, at least, fellow travellers.

Thus it come to pass that - in the minds of many Israelis or the Americans - that "everyone else [in the World] is wrong" (to quote a Todd Rundgren song title) and the peculiar inability of those who hold this mindset to comprehend how much of the rest of the World might perceive many Israeli and American actions - as in themselves a form of state-sanctioned terrorism - resembles nothing so much, to me, as that class of cognitive deficits among which are Autism and Aussberger's Syndrome : for the cognitively based social deficits of those suffering these conditions, their inability to comprehend and anticipate the motivations, reactions, and overall behavior of others.

Does Mr. Bush's Neoconservative foreign policy portend the complete end of the more altruistic and ennobled aspects of American foreign policy ? Will the common World perception of the US as a rogue elephant, driven mad, amok and trampling about the globe, be further reinforced ?

Look to November.
posted by troutfishing at 5:41 AM on September 13, 2004


And, in the now acceptable manner of pre-emption, let no one be fooled into thinking the practices of Likudniks and their neocon brethren is about fighting terrorists. If it were, this would never be an acceptable practice.

We have met the enemy and he is us? Or, perhaps, my God is bigger than your God? Extra points to the person who can name/link that last meme.

Never ending war!! Again, looks like Orwell's work being used as an instruction manual instead of as a dire warning.
posted by nofundy at 6:11 AM on September 13, 2004


nofundy - That would be a great front page post.
____________

"We will nevah forget!

We will nevah forget. We will fight them in the laundromats and the kindegartens, in the boardrooms and on the plains, in the bedroom and on the gridiron, from the alpine meadows to the toxic waste Superfund sites and from Key Largo to Baked Alaska.

We will nevah cease fighting until this fear and tewah is vanquished. We will fight tewah with fear, fear and greed. And with our incomparable munitions. We will chase this tewah down the city streets of the world, our 30mm A-10 "Warthog" Gatling guns blazingly spitting out depleted Uranium shells to vanquish our enemies and this, this we must nevah, nevah forget :

There are no noncombatants. All are either with us or against us. This, we must must nevah, nevah forget - that this is total war, the struggle between Good and Evil, the battle to vanquish darkness from our good Earth. And, in such a war, there will be mistakes. Let us be very clear on that. There will be mistakes, and we will deeply regret each and every one, every life lost on our path to glory and triumph. But we must nevah, nevah forget the ultimate goal, and we must nevah, nevah weaken and so slide into moral equivalency that is the slippery slope to Hell.

We must nevah, nevah forget, and we must always, ever keep our eyes on the prize and the gunsights of our hearts, pure and resolute, trained on the final victory which will be the complete and final destruction of all tewah.

We will nevah forget, and we will prevail !"

posted by troutfishing at 7:08 AM on September 13, 2004


nofundy - That would be a great front page post.
[in the voice of Yul Brenner]
As it is written, so shall it be done.
posted by nofundy at 7:31 AM on September 13, 2004


blaming the world's problems on Israel.

Krrlson, that's not what this is at all. This is blaming Israel's problems on Israel, and saying that if the world's superpowers want Israel's problems, then adopting Israel's strategy is a good solution.

You can argue with that point, but none of this Red Herring stuff.
posted by namespan at 8:12 AM on September 13, 2004


troutfishing, thanks for finding/posting this. Klein summarizes far more succinctly than I've been able to the thoughts that I've had in recent months, as the intentions and actions of the neoconservatives - who've driven the Bush White House like bewildered sheep - have become apparent. The fact is that since September of 2001, we have neither been attacked again, nor have we apprehended the person who directed the initial attack. We've limited our own constitutionally protected freedoms and made air travel a nightmare of delay, confusion and waste - and we've nothing to show for it but a widely ridiculed system of color-coded oracular pronouncements, curiously timed to actual bad news on the economy, none of which have ever turned out to be warranted.

We have, on the other hand, destroyed two nations in the Middle East, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars and the loss of thousands and thousands of lives, that were threatening not to us but to Israel... I get branded "anti-Semitic" every time I bring that point up in conversation, but hey, call it what you want, it's also the simple truth...
posted by JollyWanker at 8:16 AM on September 13, 2004


Fundamentalisms are dying cultures, and they will die at the hands of ours
posted by aeschenkarnos


You might be interested in The Battle for God, by Karen Armstrong. She says pretty much the opposite of what you do. From the Amazon editorial review:
About 40 years ago popular opinion assumed that religion would become a weaker force and people would certainly become less zealous as the world became more modern and morals more relaxed. But the opposite has proven true... Reacting to a technologically driven world with liberal Western values, fundamentalists have not only increased in numbers, they have become more desperate...
posted by callmejay at 8:50 AM on September 13, 2004


"We have, on the other hand, destroyed two nations in the Middle East, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars and the loss of thousands and thousands of lives, that were threatening not to us but to Israel."

Boy those Jews are cunning!
posted by ParisParamus at 8:57 AM on September 13, 2004


JollyWanker - You're wlecome. I don't like to post this sort of thing much anymore, but I felt that this one stood head and shoulders above the braying pack.

When anyone accuses me of anti-semitism, I shamelessly cloak myself in my semitic wife. Ha!

But here's another, sneakier, tactic :

Clobber 'em with THIS :

"....Ben Gurion... informed a meeting of Labor Zionists in Great Britain in 1938: "If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative."

This obsession with colonizing Palestine and overwhelming the Arabs led the Zionist movement to oppose any idea of rescuing the Jews who were facing extermination, because this would have impeded the ability to select and divert manpower to Palestine. From 1933 to 1935, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) turned down two thirds of all the German Jews who applied for immigration certificates.

The WZO did not only fail to seek any alternative for the Jews facing the Holocaust, but it also opposed all efforts aimed at finding refuge for the fleeing Jews.


Anyone interested in the subject should read Tom Segev's excellent One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate. No propaganda, just a clear-headed look at what happened, with lots of quotes from diaries and memoirs of the period...." [ languagehat, quoting and - in the last paragraph - commenting on one of the most unsavory aspects of the founding of Israel, from Metafilter 30714, "What they didn't teach me about Israel's 1948 war in religious school. " ]
posted by troutfishing at 9:02 AM on September 13, 2004


ParisParamus - "cunning" isn't the term I'd use, but it is true that the US military is now functioning - in Afghanistan and Iraq - as Israel's Ghurka Regiment.
posted by troutfishing at 9:10 AM on September 13, 2004


I think we should round these Likuds up and put them in some sort of camp.
posted by Mick at 9:22 AM on September 13, 2004


Well, isn't that special.
posted by troutfishing at 9:50 AM on September 13, 2004


"We have, on the other hand, destroyed two nations in the Middle East, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars and the loss of thousands and thousands of lives, that were threatening not to us but to Israel."
I could see how you could argue that Iraq was more a threat to Israel than to the US, but Afghanistan?
posted by kickingtheground at 9:50 AM on September 13, 2004


aeschenkarnos: There's a significant difference between X controlling Y and Y adopting (some of) X's world-view and behavior.

troutfishing: ..."cunning" isn't the term I'd use, but it is true that the US military is now functioning - in Afghanistan and Iraq - as Israel's Ghurka Regiment.

Well, I know what the poster thinks. I put it to you that the article insidiously attempts to pin blame on Israel, even while dishonestly downplaying the danger that fundamentalist ideology poses, and, instead of proposing a realistic alternative strategy, outrageously implies that terrorism will go away if we focus on the "root causes."

We can argue to no end as to who helped created terrorist ideologies and how, but I know of no better description for the problem facing many of today's nations than: a never ending battle for [their] very survival against utterly irrational forces that seek nothing less than [their] total extermination (feel free to take cheap potshots at Bush here). If a terrorist attack occurs somewhere today, it is statistically most likely that it will have been perpetrated by Islamic extremists. And yet the article claims that it is wrong to even consider the existence of a "global Islamic terror threat."

The article claims that a power-hungry Putin, who is likely overjoyed at the Beslan atrocity as it sets the stage for his latest power grab, has adopted the Likud doctrine, as though Russia has *ever* been morally accountable to the world. The article claims that Israel is not fighting for its survival, as though Israel's destruction has never been the sworn goal of what is now the Palestinian "Authority" (my compliments to Arafat's PR machine, which has done so much to make terrorism an accepted political method). This sentence takes the cake: Everywhere in the world, terrorism thrives within the illegitimate borders of occupation and dictatorship; it festers behind “security walls” put up by imperial powers; it crosses those borders and climbs over those fences to explode inside the countries responsible for, or complicit in, occupation and domination. I love the statement that Israel's security wall, built after numerous broken promises by Arafat and proven as an effective preventive mechanism, is responsible for the creation of terror. I love the fact that the article completely overlooks the notion that hardline governments - Sharon, Bush, Putin - sustain their power because their citizens have had enough of the worst terror epidemic in recent history; that, sadly, in today's world they are the only medicine against that epidemic. I love the way the article conveniently overlooks many Islamic nations - within whose "borders of occupation and dictatorship" terrorism actually festers.

Ah, terrorist apologism. Still dishonest, still stupid, still on commondreams.org.


From 1933 to 1935, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) turned down two thirds of all the German Jews who applied for immigration certificates.

Two thirds of what amount?
posted by Krrrlson at 11:10 AM on September 13, 2004


Ah, terrorist apologism. Still dishonest, still stupid, still on commondreams.org.

And still the province of the Bush family?
posted by nofundy at 11:30 AM on September 13, 2004


Krrrlson, there were an awful lot of German Jews trying to get out. Was that 2/3 figure in the thousands? Tens of thousands? More (unlikely) - it's hard to say. "Deteriorating economic conditions contributed to the political and social climate which both launched World War II and fueled the anti-Semitism which encouraged the destruction of the Jews of Europe. These same economic conditions world-wide resulted in barriers placed against those potential Jewish immigrants who sought refuge from the Nazi terror. Anti-Jewish sentiment in France, England, and even the United States resulted in hundreds of thousands of European Jews being denied a safe haven, which meant virtually certain death. Simple indifference to the plight of Jews, according to many historians, also played a role in the events which led to the Holocaust.

Thousands of Jews in Germany were successful in fleeing before the onset of hostilities in 1939, especially in the early years of the Nazi period. Many of these refugees were able to find their way aboard ships headed for American ports. There are, however, tragic stories of these ships being turned away by immigration officials, and their occupants returned to Europe to face the gas chambers (see story about the St. Louis Voyage, Chapter 9). Each nation had its own story of how its government and citizens responded to the horrors of the Holocaust. The following are capsules of some of these stories.

United States : Despite the fact that the U.S. received early reports about the desperate plight of European Jewry, procrastination and inaction marked its policies toward rescue. Immigration quotas were never increased for the emergency; the existing quotas, in fact, were never filled (see Evian Conference, Chapter 9). "
(source)

______________

[ Krrrlson ] "I put it to you that the article insidiously attempts to pin blame on Israel, even while dishonestly downplaying the danger that fundamentalist ideology poses, and, instead of proposing a realistic alternative strategy, outrageously implies that terrorism will go away if we focus on the "root causes." - I'd counter with Jessica Stern (one of the most prominent and knowledgeable terrorism experts in the US) on the root causes of terrorism :

"Jessica Stern bravely ventured into the hearts of Muslim fundamentalists organizations in Pakistan, Gaza, and Indonesia. She met with a vast array of extremist groups, including both the Jewish Underground in Hamas in Israel, the creator of the Taliban in Pakistan, and a former commander of the Covenant, the Sword, and the Army of the Lord in a trailer park in Texas.

Military solutions, she warns, will not bring down religious terrorism, and in many cases, it will only work as a rallying cry to strengthen the terrorists' cause." ( from an 8/2003 Public radio talk show on Stern

"While there is no single root cause of terrorism, my interviews with terrorists over the past five years suggest that alienation, perceived humiliation and lack of political and economic opportunities make young men susceptible to extremism. It can evolve easily into violence when government institutions are weak and there is money available to pay for a holy war. America is unlikely to win the hearts and minds of committed terrorists. After some time on the job, it is hard for them to imagine another life. Several described jihad to me as being "addictive."

Thus the best way to fight them is to ensure that they are rejected by the broader population. Terrorists and guerrillas rely on getting at least some popular support.
[ emphasis mine ] America's task will be to restore public safety in Iraq and put in place effective governing institutions that are run by Iraqis. It would also help if we involved more troops from other countries, to make clear that the war wasn't an American plot to steal Iraq's oil and denigrate Islam, as the extremists argue.

The goal of creating a better Iraq is a noble one, but a first step will be making sure that ordinary Iraqis find America's ideals and assistance more appealing than Al Qaeda's.
" [ Stern, from a 8/2003 NYT Op Ed "Jessica Stern, Lecturer in Public Policy, is a faculty affiliate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. From 1994-1995, she served as Director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council, where she was responsible for national security policy toward Russia and the former Soviet states and for policies to reduce the threat of nuclear smuggling and terrorism. Stern earlier worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In 1998-1999, she was the superterrorism Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and, in 1995-1996, she was a national Fellow at Hoover Institution at Stanford University. She is the author of Terror in the Name of God (HarperCollins, 2003), The Ultimate Terrorists (Harvard University Press, 1999), and of numerous articles on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. She received a bachelor's degree from Barnard College in chemistry, a master's of science degree from MIT, and a doctorate in public policy from Harvard." ]
posted by troutfishing at 11:55 AM on September 13, 2004


Krrrlson, there were an awful lot of German Jews trying to get out. Was that 2/3 figure in the thousands? Tens of thousands?

I was asking because the statistic provides an unspecified number in an oddly chosen span of two years (the bulk of Jewish immigration occurred in the late 30's, as I understand). Since blackwashing the Zionists is the primary objective of the page languagehat linked to (and I don't have the book he cites), I was wondering if someone could put that statistic in perspective to see how much truth there is to this claim of "Zionist anti-Semitism."


Thus the best way to fight them is to ensure that they are rejected by the broader population.

No one's arguing on that one, but, as your source puts it: America is unlikely to win the hearts and minds of committed terrorists. Moreover, the support for terrorists is strong and broad, and will continue to grow until the numerous religious and political figures of authority who disseminate the doctrine of violence are eliminated. As far as winning hearts and minds is concerned, such people are equivalent to committed terrorists because they maintain their power by focusing public hatred on external foes, drawing attention away from the shortcomings of their own rule. They have no intention of giving up said power, and thus cannot be stopped by passive means.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:52 PM on September 13, 2004


Boy those Jews are cunning!

There goes Paris, once again conflating Israel with "The Jews," good for a lazy smear and for distracting from his own utter lack of ideas.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:59 PM on September 13, 2004


such people are equivalent to committed terrorists because they maintain their power by focusing public hatred on external foes, drawing attention away from the shortcomings of their own rule.

That sounds like a pretty accurate description of the Bush Administration to me.
posted by Ty Webb at 1:06 PM on September 13, 2004


Boy those Jews are cunning!

And they're the gosh-darndest sneaky little fuckers, too! You gotta watch each and every minute, cause iffen you don't, they start putting words in your mouth, even on community weblogs where anyone who can read English can see that's not what you said...
posted by JollyWanker at 2:35 PM on September 13, 2004


That sounds like a pretty accurate description of the Bush Administration to me.

I wouldn't stand for that, if I were you. I'd move to Iran.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:34 PM on September 13, 2004


I wouldn't stand for that, if I were you. I'd move to Iran.

Good lord, that's tired.
posted by Ty Webb at 5:40 PM on September 13, 2004


Indeed.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:57 PM on September 13, 2004


"....I was asking because the statistic provides an unspecified number in an oddly chosen span of two years (the bulk of Jewish immigration occurred in the late 30's, as I understand)." - Krrrlson, there were an awful lot of Jews trying desperatly to get out in those last two years. More than ever, because the Jewish awareness of the true depravity of Hitler's regime dawned very late. The Nazis just kept ratcheting up, incrementally, the pressure - and at the very end of that lay the Holocaust.

It's not - as you seem to suggest - as if all the Jews who wanted to get out, if they had known, were gone from Germany and even Europe by '37 or '38. Not by a long stretch.

But, why don't you ask languagehat ? I think it's likely he can refer you to other sources.

The US Holocaust Museum has a page dedicated to this question -  GERMAN JEWISH REFUGEES, 1933-1939
The events of 1938 caused a dramatic increase in Jewish emigration. The German annexation of Austria in March, the increase in personal assaults on Jews during the spring and summer, the nationwide Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") pogrom in November, and the subsequent seizure of Jewish-owned property all caused a flood of visa applications. Although finding a destination proved difficult, about 36,000 Jews left Germany and Austria in 1938 and 77,000 in 1939.  
 
The sudden flood of emigrants created a major refugee crisis. President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened a conference in Evian, France, in July 1938. Despite the participation of delegates from 32 countries, including the United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, and Australia, only the Dominican Republic agreed to accept additional refugees. The plight of German-Jewish refugees, persecuted at home and unwanted abroad, is also illustrated by the voyage of the "St. Louis." ......During 1938-1939, in an program known as the Kindertransport, the United Kingdom admitted 10,000 unaccompanied Jewish children on an emergency basis. 1939 also marked the first time the United States filled its combined German-Austrian quota (which now included annexed Czechoslovakia). However, this l