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16 March 2015


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Not that impressed with the "11 lies" piece.

It still smacks of US-Israeli supremacism; still fails to acknowledge that there are actual rules governing nuclear proliferation that trump the thumper Netanyahu; still relies on demonizing Iran and lionizing the Israeli-US position as moral leader of the world, which is the Donald-Robert-Torie-Fred-Kimberly Kagan thesis: Donald participated in a discussion of Machiavelli. He said that "there are no rules for international conduct. That is why it is necessary to have militaries." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUDOnaqziLo

In fact, there ARE rules for international conduct; NPT is one of the most important of them. The Kagans's thesis is Might Makes Right, and not even Machiavelli held that. His entire goal was to kick out the French who had overrun Florence by the use of might.

Nice try but no cigar.

different clue


I wonder how many Republicans actually cared about Clinton's womanizing. What they really cared about . . . were really bitter about . . . was that Clinton won an election that Bush Senior was supposed to have won. Clinton also threatened to re-burnish the Democratic Party brand, which also terrified and enraged the Republicans.

Then too, Gingrich was a purely cynical political arsonist against Democratic targets.

(New Deal Reactionary Democrats are bitter about Clinton for a whole other bunch of reasons).

So since Netanyahu is apparently in psychic tune with many Republican officeholders, they don't feel threatened by any liberal or liberadical social-economic/political examples or actions on his part, and so bear no ill will towards his womanizing.


Move to Michigan.


Rick, one needs to stand by one's principles.



I would say that is why there is no Palestinian state.



The plan was dispossession all along. If they couldn't drive them all out, they would be outright killed. We're witnessing that now with this slow motion genocide. Too bad for the Israelis like Bibi that the Palestinians are winning the demographic battle while young Israelis with some sense are getting out of dodge.



This is why Bibi won. There wasn't an alternative...Not much daylight between left or right in Israel, or the US.


Babak, I am aware of the conflict around Jewish and Muslim holy places in Jerusalem. And I cannot imagine a Jerusalem skyline without the Dome of Rocks. Just as I consider all attempts at rebuilding the Temple as just as irritating as Taliban/Isis destruction of cultural artifacts.

Concerning the Pope, I deeply disliked Benedict XVI's lecture at Regensburg, but you want get me to complain about a Pope sticking a paper into the Wailing Wall. I consider this only a gesture of respect for the older religion.

What about John Paul II's visit of the Olmayyad Mosque or Francis' prayers at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul? Was this a wrong "political" statement too?

Well to the extend, I understand this:
"One would hope that the Christians, if they are so desirous of supporting a religious state, stick closer to their own place - support UK, or the Vatican, or the Knights Templar - none of whom are at war with Islam."

my reading: European Christians collectively should support the UK, since their queen is also the head of the Anglican Church?

I don't think Europe, or European Christians for that matter are at war with Islam. But I wish I knew more about the genesis of prejudices over the centuries as far as Europe/the US and Islam is concerned. I read far too little in this context.


Croesus, I didn't look deeply into Tom Cotton, he popped up somewhere (?Rotten/Cotten?). The only thing that the Wikipedia profile triggered was that he--just as Karl Rove earlier--was a member of the Harvard College Republicans.

Maybe my disinterest in power and/or money has much to do that one has to serve special interests? Courtiers of power?

One million is not that much in times of state debts of several billions. No? What did he get it for?

"But neither Congress nor anyone else is permitted to offer any discussion of holocaust other than the defined narrative."

There is no use in discussing the Holocaust in this context. No one can ever make it go away.

But you no doubt can address Israel's (Zionism's*) exploitation for its own advantage and/or alternatively Israel as a source of Islamophobia. Or you can claim, it is simply evidence for 4000 years of Jewish eternal (both past and present) prosecution.

* on the other hand there is a historical context.

Should it somewhat belong only to Jewish history, or to Israeli and German only or is it more a story the world at large should ponder? But how to avoid the new Hitlers everywhere in this if you start to consider it as a basic pattern?


When I stayed with my parents recently I learned that the Nazis drove the Catholic priest out of the small town in 1934. Whoever defended him was arrested. ... "But" they survived. They didn't have the dangerous "race".

Interestingly enough, one of the neoconservative power centers (AEI-American Enterprise Institute) gave the author of a book that feels like like neo-racism the highest honor. How comes?

Israel's interests are easy to see, but where exactly lie the interests of people like Charles Murray and their larger circles?


The Palestinians did not stand and fight for their homes in 1948. They presumably thought all those recent Jewish immigrants from Europe were going to fight the Middle Eastern way, they didn't.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

US & EU leaders and populations are adjudicating among conflicting religious claims of essentially alien religions and alien peoples.

That is untenable.

In regards to Benedict XVI's lecture at Regensburg, I do not have any issue with it. Per the Islamic Tradition, the True Religion has always been Islam - the religion of Moses was Islam, that of Jesus was Islam, and that of Muhammad was also Islam.

Only that each Messenger - i.e. a Prophet with a new Revelation - emphasized different aspects of the one True Religion.

You can see that in Christianity and its doctrine of Grace - which is not emphasized in Islam and in Islam, where war is accepted as part of human condition.

The origin of prejudice is this: "I hate you because you are not like me."


One perspective, from the American pov, is that Cotton is disturbing because he is 37 years old. He is among those to whom the elders will pass the baton of leadership.
Ted Cruz is 44, Rubio is 43. They are equally profoundly bigoted and ignorant when it comes to Iran.

A year or two ago I heard Richard Bulliet of Columbia Univ. compare the Iranian revolution at 35 to USA 35 years from its revolution: they had a lot in common. Bulliet further said the obvious: the old guard in Iran is getting old and being replaced by younger Iranians with fresher ideas. Many of them do not have a present memory of Khomeini.
Cruz, Rubio, Cotton, and the ideological neocons who teach them -- and teach all of our children in USA and dominate much of our modes of information-getting, know ONLY a distorted version of the Khomeini revolution and of Iran and believe that time stood still in Iran.

re holocaust -- capitalization is unwarranted. Interesting graph here -- https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=holocaust%2C+Holocaust&case_insensitive=on&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t4%3B%2Cholocaust%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3BHolocaust%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bholocaust%3B%2Cc0%3B%3BHOLOCAUST%3B%2Cc0%3B.t4%3B%2CHolocaust%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3BHolocaust%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bholocaust%3B%2Cc0%3B%3BHOLOCAUST%3B%2Cc0 -- holocaust did not enter the lexicon in a major way until around 1979.
In July 1979 Benjamin Netanyahu & his father convened the Jerusalem Conference where Bibi laid out his blueprint for a global war on terror (G H W Bush also spoke). The boogie-man du jour was Arafat.

In Sept. 1979 Pres. Carter received the report from Elie Weisel that recommended the establishment of the US holocaust museum in Washington, DC. Unrest roiled in Iran throughout 1979 and in Nov. of that year students took hostages at the US embassy.

The Iranian revolution was a major shock to Israelis: Iran had been the pillar of Israel's "peripheral doctrine," Israel's protector, and a major revenue source for Israeli weapons merchants, oil import-export, and above all intelligence intelligence intelligence: Israelis were deeply embedded in Iran's governmental structures and had access to Iranian planning and intentions. The loss of that access was felt keenly by Israel. Israel needed a new gig; it needed to spank its brand. The holocaust narrative, which was more the product of Hollywood than of genuine history, as is reflected by a correlation between Hollywood movies on holocaust and the chart of its expanded dominance over discourse in US policy, stamped a new and appealing brand on Israel.

That brand has become a pillar for US foreign policy, as I suggested above -- there is no treaty that allies US and Israel. Nicholas Burns, former ambassador & now prof. at Harvard; & Hillary Leverett, formerly on Bush Jr's national security staff, who negotiated w/ Iranians at UN, both mentioned in the last month that the 'alliance' between Israel & US is based on holocaust(ism).

If Congress & the 47 believe that "treaties should be debated by Congress," then shouldn't the relationship between US & Israel and its pillar also be subject to debate by the US people and their representatives?

Moreover, this Hollywood-produced 'pillar' is what has prevailed in the US climate for most of the lives of Cotton, Rubio, and Cruz who were 1, 7, and 8 years old, respectively, at the time of the Iranian revolution.

I think that's very scary.
Our young people have been systematically misinformed.
I think that "pillar" needs to be examined very carefully, sooner not later.

My understanding is that you are in Germany. That's a very different perspective. I speak as an American.

LeaNder, I don't know much about Charles Murray other than The Bell Curve. I'll study the link you provided.



I am only sending a message that it does not matter if historical veracity of a religions' scriptures can be confirmed, if the religions see the place as sacred and had actual buildings on location for extended periods of time then they are going to accept faithfully that this is the place surveyed by David and built by Solomon.

And it is what makes Jerusalem the centerpiece of the faiths.


From what I have been able to read on Amazon of the book you linked, I think it is outrageous, dangerous, and mendacious.

It seeks to position Jews and their experience as the (wholly innocent) center and touchstone of "global" experience and "moral values." The authors do so while omitting discussion of the massive and heinous events of death and destruction that were experienced by other peoples in the period referenced, often as not in which Jewish persons were key actors or agents of those events.

It is written by Jewish persons for Jewish persons; this concept comes through when one notices how the authors divide history: for the Jewish people, 1789, the year of emancipation, is the beginning of modernity; everything builds on that era when Jews were emancipated in France and also, as Israel Shahak points out, when Jews were released from rabbinic backwardness and ghettoization.

Not all peoples in all places in history had the same experience. Italian history, for example, is dramatically different; so is German history in all its depth and complexity; so is Irish history, and Persian, Russian and Indian history. American history is doubly different and complex inasmuch as the American people brought with them the experiences and histories of their European ancestors -- which differed from Jewish history.

I suspect the purpose of the book is to help the Jewish diaspora feel at home wherever they are, holding as their unifying bond the holocaust narrative.

I will not spend my money to purchase the book and would not recommend that local public library acquire it. It is thoroughly self-absorbed and biased.


I still can't comment on Charles Murray, but I have been studying the Kagan "power center," particularly its relationship to Leo Strauss and, more particularly, to Strauss's (mis)interpretation to Machiavelli. The Strauss-Kagans emphasize Machiavelli's references to Moses and to the genocide that Moses carried out against fellow Jews, who were not sufficiently willing to depart from Egypt and conquer the land of Canaan (Machiavelli makes no mention of the genocide Joshua undertook to conquer Jericho). I first heard this concept discussed by Michael Ledeen here -- http://www.c-span.org/video/?123852-1/book-discussion-machiavelli-modern-leadership and pursued the topic.

"Where exactly lie the interests of people like [the Kagans]" -- Part of it is, I think, intellectual hubris. Twice I have heard Irving Kristol speak with disdain of "having seen a man using a hoe. . . . I'd never seen that before." What an odd thing to say, I thought.
The elder Kagan and Kristol come from peasant or, in any event, lower-class backgrounds. They and their children take more than the appropriate delight in now being among the "intellectual" class. Dey have moved on up. It would be funny if their ideas were not so misguided and did not so thoroughly saturate Washington.

The centers for their "intellectual" development are the University of Chicago, where Leo Strauss held court, and the Mosse Center at University of Wisconsin, Madison, where George Mosse, scion of a (former) major newspaper publishing house in Germany, created an institute to promulgate the ideas of Moses Mendelsohn.

Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Jabotinsky are heroes to this band; neither of these men possessed disciplined or especially keen intellects; both were impressed with their own importance and did develop the rhetorical skills to move a crowd.

I heard an author discuss Kermit Roosevelt's role in the overthrow of Mossadeqh. He emphasized that Roosevelt and his band were deeply involved in the heroic myth of Lawrence of Arabia; they were like pre-teens playing dress-up, swashing and buckling their way across the desert. Audience members were skeptical of the author's interpretation, but he insisted that was the case.

In similar fashion, for neocons, Hebrew scripture is not so much a religious tract as it is a military and political manual; it's a fantasy world where manly men do virile deeds. These are, fundamentally, backward-looking men (and women) who live in the age and skin of Moses, Joshua, Sampson to a degree that it would be a mistake to underestimate.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your clarifications Thomas.


Don't see why not. Palestinians have had separate laws, a separate military court system (run in Hebrew), and separate travel rights for decades now. Apartheid continues with momentum until there is sufficient power to take it down. No one in America really cares enough; and the Palestinians are too weak to pull off a revolution by themselves.


An amoeba digesting vacuoles.



Some did fight and still are with no real support.

Someone correct me if they know differently, but the Irgun started the bombing of bus stops, cafes that the Palestinians later began to do.

The Palestinians at the time were frightened after those tactics...like the the massacre of Deir Yassin.


Babak, concerning "grace" there seems to be a difference between its usage in the Catholic versus the reformed churches. ...

I am relying on Anders Nygren in this context:

What I appreciated most was his treatment of the influences of ancient Greek philosophy on early Catholic church fathers. His argument felt very, very convincing.

Do I read this correctly if it sounds like a complaint? Or do I seriously misinterpret you?

"There is a site in Iran that is purported to be the tomb of Daniel, another site is supposed to be the final resting place of Esther and Mordechai.

And by last count, there are 23 prophets buried in Iran."

I am admittedly very fascinated by religious architecture. One of the most important place, a very old French place of pilgrimage seems to have been built over a place very important for the earlier pagans. Thus you may be right that there may be a struggle "to occupy" earlier spots of religious?/pagan worship over the centuries.

I love paradoxes, but I feel resistance against the idea that the earlier religious monotheist traditions already were Islam. Apparently without realizing it since "superior wisdom" (plans) is (are) outside our mental horizons?

It seems to be easy to see that this religious principle could be perceived as threat by some. No?

In my own fields I was very, very attracted to one method:

Thus is it any wonder that this is also the approach in theology that attracts me most?


LeAnder and Babak

I do not see a lot of difference between the Muslim idea of "barakat" and the Catholic idea of "grace." pl

Babak Makkinejad

It is not emphasized in Islam as much as in Christianity.

Babak Makkinejad

The paradox is this:

The avowedly secular US and the atheistic Europe are upholding the religious claims of one religion against the other in Palestine.

The Church in Cordoba is built on top of a Mosque that was itself built on top of an earlier church which, in turn, was built on top of a Roman Temple which probably was on top of an earlier structure.

In regards to the prophets buried in Iran etc. I am only suggesting that there is no historical or archeological evidence for the claims of Jews to the Temple Mount.

You have to take their religious claims as being binding on others - which is the US & EU position in practice.

Build a temple on top of the Al Haram Al Sharif and plunge the world into a religious war for centuries.


C, I am aware of all you write. But the first thing that comes to mind concerning the Iranian revolution are Pat's warnings when I was highly exited about the revolution in Egypt. There is a reason for that. A friend was part of it, and had to flee again later. Just as he had been paranoid of SAVAK before.

"holocaust did not enter the lexicon in a major way until around 1979."

Interesting larger debate, no doubt. Are you aware that the late Raul Hilberg had to look for private financial support for the publication of his book? He is the "father" of research in the field. One of his biggest female intellectual enemies apparently was Hannah Arendt. She could have supported the whole publication. But she didn't. She advised to publish only part of it. Why do you think she did?

Is he right that instead she heavily relied on his studies in her own book about Eichmann? I haven't checked, but there may be more then a grain of truth. Notice: I am a huge fan of her work and her coinage: "the banality of evil", but of course it reminds me of Raul Hilberg's study. The willing servants everywhere.

Maybe you'll find a similar pattern of avoidance in Israel. There was a huge protest, public resistance over relations with Germany. Any wonder? So maybe it wasn't quite politically convient to look too close into matters. ... Hilberg complained about Israeli archivists too.

State's don't function based on empathy they may use whoever is felt helpful:

Hilberg's book was published even later over here in Germany than in the US ... A history not so easy to touch? Not so convenient in times of US support with its partial political continuity as far as the earlier enemies of the former "Jewish- Bolshevik" conspiracy was concerned. ...

"holocaust did not enter the lexicon in a major way until around 1979."

I complained about the avoidance of the topic in school over here in Germany. It entered the historical curricula only a couple of years after my high school exam. Today, I find it much more easy to understand that it was avoided then I did with 18/19 and the following years. But I also think, it was an unwanted issue in times of the cold war. A lot of my generation avoided the confronation with the issue by simply shifting to support the earlier enemies of the Nazis, the communists.

For whatever reason I could not shift from "mentally wanting to fight the Nazis" but beeing born to late to fight our present system.


Concerning the term:

The Arabs and the Holocaust, The Arab-Israeli war of narratives, Gilbert Achcar, Introduction:

"Shoah, Holocaust, Jewish Genocide.

All the words used to name the genocide of the Jews are heavily connoted, none is neutral. Even formulas apparently inspired by Émile Durkheim's scientific imperative to avoid "prenotions" in approaching "social facts," such as Raul Hilberg's 'The Destruction of the European Jews, are plainly the result of a difficult choice: subjecting the object under study to a distanced, clinical gaze. This is an entirely respectable and even ineluctable choice, when, as in the case of his monumental work, keeping a scientific distance does not indicate a lack of empathy but, rather, reflects a desire to control it so as to remain as objective as possible. The aim is to ensure the credibility of the facts on which subsequent empathy may be solidly based without incurring the suspicion that empathy has tailored the facts to its needs. This attitude, of course, is utterly different from the pseudo-scientific detachment of the deniers approach, which is hard put to hide the antipathy that is its basic motivation."



Islam has no sacraments. Sacraments in the Catholic view convey grace directly. pl


I dived a bit into the term. Thanks interesting hint. But obviously there is no fast Wikipedia shortcut. ;)


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