Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Israel Refuses Syrian Offer for Peace

Amoz Oz asks in his commentary in Times online "Why won't the Israelis give peace a chance?". His conclusion is, that Israel is doing America´s bidding in contrast to her own security needs.
Amoz Oz is the same Israeli intellectual, who inspite of being considered by some "the Israeli peace camp incorporated" fully supported the last Israeli war against Lebanon.
Only when it was clear that Israel was loosing, did he start to oppose it.
But Amos Oz is not much different from Uri Avnery, who opposed the war from the start, in his opinion that Israel is only doing the bidding of the United States and not the other way around.
My guess is, that both Oz and Avnery, and Noam Chomsky for that matter, sincerely believe this.

To accept that the Israeli government, not the US government, is deliberatly sacrificing the safety of their the Israeli Jewish population, would end their last remnant of trust in Zionism.

But historic documents, like the diarys of earlier Israeli presidents, prove that the real powers within Israel never were interested in a negotiated peace with their neighbours. They also prove, that those leaders deliberately provoked violence from Palestinians and other Arab neighbours against their own population to keep the Israeli society a militaristic one.

The real reason, why most Israelis and Diaspora Jews close their eyes befor these facts, might be the traditional unconditional loyality Jewish people show towards their community and their leaders.
Christians and Muslims, as members of universalist religions, have been taught that loyality must be formost towards God and righteous (divine) principles, loyality must be earned, it should never be given blindly no matter what.

Jews as members of a tribal religion have been taught that loyality towards ones own community transcends any principles. While criticism inside - of leaders and members of the community - is allowed, every one of them must be defended against the outside world, no matter what. And while community members might make "mistakes", they are still of more value than any outsiders.
And when the "mistakes" become so big that they become undeniable and must be admitted towards the outside world, then those admissions must be coupled with blaming outside forces.
And in spite of loosing the religious justification, secular Zionist Jews still cling to this loyality tradition, not realizing that this blind loyality might be in part to blame for historic anti-Jewish persecution.
If one doesn´t distance oneself from thugs one is identified with them.

Some Jewish communities and individuals in the tradition of Moses Mendelsson, (a German-Jewish reformer, a friend of the German playright and philosopher Lessing and the model for Lessings "Nathan, the Wise") strive to embody universal principles in their religious believes.
Those Jews oppose Zionism and support fully the rights of the Palestinians and the neighbouring countries.
But as for now, those reformers are still a minority

Friday, December 01, 2006

Iraq: Civil War or Divide and Conquer


Everyday the US Corporate Media bombards America with the “huge spike in violence” that inevitably means that Iraq is descending into civil war. We’re told there are two choices, it’s a civil war, or its “al Qaeda” - but there is a third option the corporate media refuses to utter.

Read more

Monday, November 20, 2006

War on Iran: Unleashing Armageddon in the Middle East

Dr. Elias Akleh

The American “power elite” had drawn a “Grand Plan” to control and to monopolize global oil and nuclear energy resources to assure American global hegemony. The collapse of the Soviet Union had created a power vacuum the American administration is trying to fill up.

Read more

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Palestinians are the Priority

an open statement of commitment to the Palestinian Solidarity Cause

There are individuals within the Palestinian solidarity movement seeking to create divisions by:

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Truth about Global Warming

it's the Sun that's to blame

By Michael Leidig and Roya Nikkhah
(Filed: 18/07/2004)

Global warming has finally been explained: the Earth is getting hotter because the Sun is burning more brightly than at any time during the past 1,000 years, according to new research.

Read more

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Coming Collapse of Zionism

The Moral Bankruptcy of Israel's Founding Idea

Former CIA Analyst

published by

Is it only observers outside the conventional mainstream who have noticed that by its murderous assault on Lebanon and simultaneously on Gaza, Israel finally exposed, for even the most deluded to see, the total bankruptcy of its very founding idea?

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Message of an Ex-Marine to the Anti-War Movement

by Sam Lwin

October 9, 2006
Veterans for 9/11 Truth

9/11, Our Satyagraha; Message to the Anti-war Movement

I am Sam Lwin, an ex-Marine, a conscientious objector and an anti-war activist from the first Gulf war. I would like to say a few words about the connection between 9/11 and war.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Truth about the Sword

By Chandra Muzaffar
Tehran Times
October 4, 2006

It was Albert Einstein who once noted that it is easier to split the atom than to crack a prejudice.

One such prejudice that is deeply entrenched in the Western psyche relates to Islam and violence. At the root of this prejudice is the erroneous belief that Islam had spread through the sword.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Education or Mind Infection?

Nurit Peled-Elhanan

Speech given at Connecticut College, New London, CT 09/27/06

I would like to dedicate these words
to all the Palestinian boys and girls,
and to all the Lebanese boys and girls,
and to all the Iraqi boys and girls
who have been massacred
by mind-infected Israeli and American soldier boys,
and who have recently joined my own little girl
in the underground kingdom of dead children,
which is growing under our feet as I speak.

Read more

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Pope's speech to the representatives from the Muslim Community

Ambassadors to the Holy See from predominantly Muslim countries and representatives of Italy's Muslim Community.

Dear Cardinal Poupard,
Your Excellencies,
Dear Muslim Friends,

I am pleased to welcome you to this gathering that I wanted to arrange in order to strengthen the bonds of friendship and solidarity between the Holy See and Muslim communities throughout the world. I thank Cardinal Poupard, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, for the words that he has just addressed to me, and I thank all of you for responding to my invitation.

Read more

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

God and Reason: about the lecture Pope Benedict gave at the University of Regensburg

To be quite sure, the quote of the 14.Century Emperor, which Pope Benedict used to explain his point that God works through reason was tactically not well chosen.
And yes it could lead to misunderstandings.
But if one reads the whole lecture one can be assured that it was in no way meant as a part of a "clash of civilizations".
One also has to realize in what context the lecture stood and who the audience were.
It was meant for university students and professors, most of them non-religious people in a place were reason is of the utmost importance. Many of them were probably people, who could not conceive that reason and religion could have some common ground.
Pope Benedict used to be a Professor of Theology and when he held the lecture he fell back into this role. For an academic in theology or philosophy words and quotes are not used in a tactical manner but as an invitation to analysis and dialogue.
This invitation to dialogue is what Pope Benedict mentioned in his apology towards the Muslim people. And there were Muslim theologians who understood it in exactly this way.
The whole lecture was meant as reasoning that faith in God was NOT unreasonable.
The Pope compares the early theology of the Church which was influenced by Hellenistic reason to the teachings of a certain Islamic theologian.
The New Testament written in a Greek environment was influenced in its wording by this environment, like the beginning of the Gospel of John: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and God was the Word." The Greek word "logos" or "word" has also the meaning of "reason" and "logic".
So the early Church believed that God worked through reason, but according to the French scholar of Islamic religion R. Arnaldez the Islamic theologian Ibn Hazm believed that God transcends even reason and logic.
So this 13.century Emperor declared that the use of violence to spread faith was against God's reason.
And then Pope Benedict explains that in the middle ages Christian theology have strayed from these believes of reason and had become very close to the opinions of Ibn Hazm, believing that we would only know the ordained will of God, and beyond this was God's freedom where he could have done exactly the opposite of what He has done. But mostly the Church has kept to the belief that there is an analogy between the Spirit of the Creator and created reason.
The Pope explains that Christian theology and the Greek philosophies of reason did approach each other once and this is also a challenge for us today.
Then the Pope explains three phases of de-Hellenisation within Christianity. First the Reformation which strived to simplify Christian theology and cut it from its philosophical roots, then the Enlightenment, where faith and reason were put into two different compartments and then modern liberal theology which reduces itself to the simple message, denying the philosophical and mystical parts of belief in the Divinity of Christ and the Trinity.
Behind this third phase stands the modern form of seeing reason purely in a materialistic way, the matter in a mathematical structure.
The Pope argues that western society has put reason into a purely positivistic frame work which excludes other wider forms of reason.
And this, he argues might be dangerous even lead to pathologies, which necessarily break out, when reason is shortened in such a way, that it excludes the questions of religion and ethics. Ethical rules reasoned through evolution, psychology and sociology are just not sufficient.
And the Pope concludes that reason which is deaf to the Divine and thrusts religion into the area of subcultures is unable to a real dialogue of cultures.

The whole lecture was highly philosophical and read in context there is no way that it could have been intended in any way as a provocation towards the Muslim world.

The question is why the New York Times together with other media outlets which have done its own important share in the "clash of civilization" rhetoric chooses now to paint the Pope into a new Crusader?
Could it be that in publicizing the incidence in such a way they just want to stoke up the fires of intolerance and show the Muslim world that the Catholic Church has taken sides against Islam?
For one thing is absolutely sure: from the time of the first Gulf War the Vatican has strongly opposed wars in the Middle East and else where.
With the Vatican envoy in Palestine the Catholic Church has joined other Christian churches in calling Christian Zionism a heresy. Since Christian Zionist churches are the strongest non-Jewish support groups for Israel this comes rather close to denouncing Zionism itself.
It also seems as if the Vatican has been an outspoken critic of Israeli aggression against Lebanon and Gaza recently, although many people think he should do more.

While the Pope is definitely interested in a religious and cultural dialogue, in the building of bridges towards and a peaceful coexistence with Islam, there are powerful forces who are totally opposed to this.
I hope and pray that we Christians and Muslims together with wise clerics and theologians will not fall into the trap of hatred leading to violence and war, a trap which has been set by people who have neither faith nor even secular humanistic ethics.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Trace from Damascus leads to Mossad

Was Israel involved in the terror attack against the US embassy in Syria?

The German left-wing newspaper „Junge Welt“ on September 14, quotes the Syrian news-agency SANA stating that the 4 „Takfiri“ fighters belonged to the group of „Jund Al Sham“ . It is unclear who is behind this obscure organisation.
„Takfiri“ in Arabic means islamic extremists who fight against ordinary Muslims. „Jund Al Sham“ means something like „soldiers of Syria“ or „soldiers of the Levante“. When this group was founded in Afghanisthan it was said to have some loose connections to Al Qaida. After Afghanistan was conquered by the US army in fall 2001 not much more was heard about this group.
But 3 years ago on August 2003 a leading member of the Lebanese Hisbollah, Ali Hussein Saleh, was blown to pieces when he started his car. Saleh was responsible for connections between Hisbollah and armed Palestinian organisations. „Jund Al Sham“ claimed responsibility for the killing. Several other Palestinian and Shia Hisbollah leaders were killed after that.
On July 21, 2004 Ghaleb Awali was killed in the same way as his predecessor Saleh. Again „Jund Al Sham“ claimed responsibility.
Shortly before the Israeli war against Lebanon this summer, however, the Lebanese security service arrested a group of Mossad agents which was definitely responsible for the murder of Ali Saleh and Ghaleb Awali and for the murder of several Palestinians living in Lebanon. For all those murders „Jund Al Sham“ had claimed responsibility.

The supposedly Islamist group has a surprising lot of common interest with Israel.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Nazism, Zionism and Insanity

updated: January 2007

When a nation can no longer recognize universally accepted values as relevant for its own conduct,because it feels too powerful, this is a sure sign of a collective national delusion.

Mental blocks are something we all have.
We all see our world slightly biased and it takes time to realize that other points of views can be as valid as our own.
But even with these mental blocks there are still certain values of "right and wrong" which are more or less universal.

When you believe in 2 totally contradictive concepts at the same time, this is called cognitive dissonance, another form of delusion.
An article by Shulamit Aloni Indeed there is Apartheid in Israel: shows, how far this goes in Israel.

Here is an excerpt:

By now they have requisitioned further lands for the purpose of constructing “Jewish only” roads. Wonderful roads, wide roads, well-paved roads, brightly lit at night – all that on stolen land. When a Palestinian drives on such a road, his vehicle is confiscated and he is sent on his way.

On one occasion I witnessed such an encounter between a driver and a soldier who was taking down the details before confiscating the vehicle and sending its owner away. “Why?” I asked the soldier. “It’s an order – this is a Jews-only road”, he replied. I inquired as to where was the sign indicating this fact and instructing [other] drivers not to use it. His answer was nothing short of amazing. “It is his responsibility to know it, and besides, what do you want us to do, put up a sign here and let some antisemitic reporter or journalist take a photo so he that can show the world that Apartheid exists here?”

Indeed Apartheid does exist here. And our army is not “the most moral army in the world” as we are told by its commanders. Sufficient to mention that every town and every village has turned into a detention centre and that every entry and every exit has been closed, cutting it off from arterial traffic. If it were not enough that Palestinians are not allowed to travel on the roads paved ‘for Jews only’, on their land, the current GOC found it necessary to land an additional blow on the natives in their own land with an “ingenious proposal”.

Humanitarian activists cannot transport Palestinians either

Major-General Naveh, renowned for his superior patriotism, has issued a new order. Coming into affect on 19 January, it prohibits the conveyance of Palestinians without a permit. The order determines that Israelis are not allowed to transport Palestinians in an Israeli vehicle (one registered in Israel regardless of what kind of numberplate it carries) unless they have received explicit permission to do so. The permit relates to both the driver and the Palestinian passenger.

Watching the war in Lebanon and the destruction of Gaza in the news most ordinary western people looking at the pictures agreed that Israel was acting at least disproportional. More and more ordinary people even went farther and sided with the people of Lebanon and Gaza.

The only people who could not see how ethically wrong these wars were, were Zionists around the world and also the vast, vast majority of Israelis including the majority of the Israeli peace-camp:
Ran Ha Cohen, as one of the few Israeli war opponents, writes in his article: Israeli Intellectuals Love the War:

All generalizations are wrong, except this one: Israeli liberal intellectuals are against war. They have always been against it, and they even suffered greatly for their critical views, as they stress proudly. They were against the previous war, they will be against the next war, they are against all wars. There is just one minor exception, though: the present war, every present war, which they always support. Because the present war – well, that's something totally different from all those other wars! How can you even compare?! The present war is always inevitable, and necessary, and just, and worthy of support.

Then he goes on to a collection of statements by supposedly Israeli "peacenics". One of those "peacenics" is them Amos Oz, a man I have quoted myself, and just like Ran Ha Cohen I had considered him to be:

.. "the Zionist peace camp incarnate".
Having supported PM Ehud Barak long after he started the murderous crushing of the Intifada, Oz now counts on his readers' short memory when he writes, under the Orwellian title

"Why Israeli missiles strike for peace":
"Many times in the past the Israeli peace movement criticized Israeli military operations. Not this time. […] This time, Israel is not invading Lebanon. It is defending itself[…]. The Israeli peace movement should support Israel's attempt at self-defense, pure and simple, as long as this operation targets mostly Hezbollah and spares, as much as possible, the lives of Lebanese civilians." (Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2006)

There are, of course, voices in the Zionist camp,which are even far worse than that like

Writer A. B. Yehoshua, the self-designated "man of peace," says it all in his typical, more primitive manner:

"At last we've got a just war, so we shouldn't gnaw at it too much till it becomes unjust."
Yehoshua frankly: the old "peacenik" had indeed been yearning for war for a long time. Israeli fascist leader Affe Eitam once admitted that the one thing that thrills him is "the sight of men going to war"; for Yehoshua, purification is the desired effect. Two years ago, he was dreaming of bloody Israeli operations in Gaza; his dream has now come true, though it hardly gets to the media thanks to the events in Lebanon:
"After we take out the settlements … we would use force against an entire population, use force in a total manner. … We would cut off the electricity in Gaza. We would cut off communications in Gaza. We would stop fuel supply to Gaza…. It won't be a desirable war, but definitely a purifying one."

And then we´ve got the American Zionists likeRalph Peters. He, of course, never pretended to be a "peacenic".
Mr Peters believes, that the IDF after destroying big parts of Lebanon was still not brutal enough to win the war:

Israel tried to fight humanely. Hezbollah was out to win at any cost. The result was inevitable.
On the ground in southern Lebanon, the IDF was able to muster a ten-to-one advantage around contested villages. But its leaders lacked the guts to do what needed to be done. And Hezbollah's frontline fighters survived.
Israel's politicians turned out to be even more profoundly out of touch with their people than the pols in Washington. Israelis were willing to fight. They wanted to win. The rank and file of the IDF would have done what needed to be done. And their leaders failed them.......
There will be consequences. Iran's convinced it's on a winning course. Syria got away with murder (literally). And Hezbollah will come back more determined than ever.
And the world is going to let Iran build nuclear weapons.
Get ready for Round Two.

Mr Peters is a hardline Zionist, his newest book is called "Never Quit the Fight."
Why does this remind me so much of a similar titled book in German: "Mein Kampf"?

I don´t think this purely coincidental.

I do see close similarities between the Nazi ideology and Zionism.
They are both rooted in the 19. Century romantic Nationalism movement.

Both ideologies put an emphasis on "Blut und Boden" (blood and soil)and they are both racist.

Ralph Schoenmann quotes in his "The Hidden History of Zionism the founder of Revisionist Zionism:

Jabotinsky spelled this out in his Letter on Autonomy:
It is impossible for a man to become assimilated with people whose blood is different than his own. In order to become assimilated, he must change his body, he must become one of them, in blood. There can be no assimilation. We shall never allow such things as mixed marriage because the preservation of national integrity is impossible except by means of racial purity and for that purpose we shall have this territory where our people will constitute the racially pure inhabitants.

Both Nazism and Zionism are supremacist ideologies,emphasising physical strength:

Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader who had arranged the Balfour Declaration and was to become the first president of Israel, made this Zionist policy very explicit:
The hopes of Europe’s six million Jews are centered on emigration. I was asked: “Can you bring six million Jews to Palestine?” I replied, “No.” ... From the depths of the tragedy I want to save ... young people [for Palestine]. The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world ... Only the branch of the young shall survive. They have to accept it.

Just like Hitler was sacrificing German´s young men on the eastern front and made German children targets for allied bombing,so little did Zionist leaders care for the life and well being of their own people:

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."

Nazism and Zionism are both hyper-militaristic, they have both a total disregard towards the rights and the dignity of "the other",not belonging to the priviliged race, and like Hitler, the Zionist leaders of Israel believe that a people can reach its highest potential only when it is engaged in constant military battle:

Here an excerpt from Israel´s Sacred Terrorism:

We do not need (former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Dayan said) a security pact with the U.S.: such a pact will only constitute an obstacle for us. We face no danger at all of an Arab advantage of force for the next 8-10 years. Even if they receive massive military aid from the West, we shall maintain our military superiority thanks to our infinitely greater capacity to assimilate new armaments. The security pact will only handcuff us and deny us the freedom of action which we need in the coming years. Reprisal actions which we couldn't carry out if we were tied to a security pact are our vital lymph ... they make it possible for us to maintain a high level of tension among our population and in the army. Without these actions we would have ceased to be a combative people and without the discipline of a combative people we are lost. We have to cry out that the Negev is in danger, so that young men will go there....

I do not think, that Israel’s behavior of, throwing a million cluster bomblets just before leaving Lebanon, was unprecedented as Gilad Atzmon thinks.
Instead the action of the IDF simulated the "burnt earth policies" of the German army in Eastern Europe during WWII.
The Nazi ideology like Zionism was expansionistic, trying to gain as much "Lebensraum" for the Germanic "super-race" as possible.
Like the IDF, in spicing Lebanon with cluster bombs, the German army tried, after invading and expelling their neighbours, to make it hard or impossible for the natives to come back to their lands, by burning their houses abd fields.

If you read articles by Peters or other ultra-Zionist, or if you read those above mentioned quotes from the Israeli "peace-camp", you can feel that the mentality of Zionists is totally out of touch with both reality and with the ethical principles, which most of the world accepts, even while those principles are not allways acted upon.

While other aggressors try to hide their most immoral acts from their populations, Zionists seem to be proud to have killed a thousand people in retaliation for a few killed and captured soldiers.
They use cluster bombs with a million bomblets, so the dying would not stop after the war. And when there is criticism to this heinous act of war-crimes, they call the critic anti-semite, not even realizing hat by this they are make "anti-semitism" into a moral act.
And they create unmarked "Jews only" roads and areas with non-existent signs Palestinians have to respect, while Israelis have to pretend they don´t exist and the rest of the world has to pretend not to notice.

To be incapapable of reality checking and or even recognizing other viewpoints as possible is a kind of insanity. And it is a progressing illness.

All opinion polls say that Israeli Jews are becoming more aggressively racist every year.
More and more Israelis support ever more violent measure against and finally transfer of all Palestinians from Palestine. They support wars of destruction against neighbouring countries, even the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. And they feel a ever more hatred towards those they victimize.

Something like:

"Since I mistreat you, you must have deserved it. And since you are so evil that you deserve this kind of treatment, I hate you."

This is crazy of course, but then ethics are so central to human sanity, that loosing them will drive you insane.

The leaders get effected worse by this mental illness.

Look what happened in Germany:

As disaster came closer, Hitler buried himself in the unreal world of the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin, clutching at fantastic hopes that his 'secret weapons', the V-1 and V-2 rockets, would yet turn the tide of war. He gestured wildly over maps, planned and directed attacks with non-existent armies and indulged in endless, night- long monologues which reflected his growing senility, misanthropy and contempt for the 'cowardly failure' of the German people.

As the Red Army approached Berlin and the Anglo-Americans reached the Elbe, on 19 March 1945 Hitler ordered the destruction of what remained of German industry, communications and transport systems. He was resolved that, if he did not survive, Germany too should be destroyed.

Like Hitler, Zionists have many times turned on the people they supposedly loved so much.
They have sacrificed them for political purposes and endangered them unnecessarily to make them into what the Zionist perceived as a perfect people.
And the Jewish people in Israel and big parts of the Diaspora are still following suit.
However, there again we can compare Nazism in its last phase with Zionism.
In spite of all the suffering the Nazis had brought on the German people, many ordinary Germans became more crazy, ideological and deluded in the last years of the war.
Part of the reason for this was the constant barrage of propaganda, and part of it, was psychological: it was just too hard to accept that all the suffering had been in vain and for a totally false cause. So many Germans desperately held on to something, which many others already deep down recognized as being a straw.

While I don’t think it’s helpful to compete in what ideology produced the greater villains, the comparison, however, might still be good in realizing that there is no culture beyond hope of change.

German culture overcame the Nazi ideology, recognizing guilt and feeling deep shame, the Jewish people need to do the same with Zionism.

And actually, I do see a few signs of hope and change.
Recently I have read articles in German written by some people who are still rooted in the Jewish communities,people, who before had fully supported Israel. In those articles they totally and strongly condemn Israel in its aggression against Lebanon and against the Palestinians. All the facts anti-Zionists have publicized, you now can find in the accusations of former pro-Zionist Jews of the Diaspora.
And the interesting thing about it is, that those writers explain, that their attitude is rather typical for their community. However, the other members do not yet dare to speak up out of fear to be targeted for ridicule by the self-proclaimed leaders of the Jewish people.

Sure their is a difference between the attitude of Diaspora Jews in Europe and Israeli or American Jews. But like in Europe, in America and Israel there are also campaigns of Jewish people who have become more and more opposed to Zionism and Israel, a sign of growing sanity.

Of course, you never know, how long it takes for sanity to be strengthened enough to reign in the insanity.

The Israeli political class still does not want to give up its expansionist politics, is still not ready to negotiate with her Islamic neighbours, seeing itself as above them.
Most Israelis are therefore still paranoidly scared of their neighbours, but do not really trust anybody else either.
And mainly for those reasons preperations for WWIII are still on track and that is definitely scary for all of us.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Seeds of Defeat

Racism was the dominationg attitude of the people of European descent in the 18., 19. and 20. century.
With the beginning of the Enlightenment movement, religion lost part of its quality in uniting people. With the arrival of a - partly rather naive - faith in the infallability of science, now genetics became, besides language and culture, the unifying bond between people.
This faith in the pseudo-scientific arguments of genetics could then be exploited not only in nation building but also in colonial enterprises.
Racism became one of the pillars of justification for expansionist, sometimes even genocidal, colonialism and the exploitation of non-western people.
The whole thing culminated into WW II and the violent death of more than 50 million people all over the world.
After this catastrophy which took its toll on European life as it did on non-Europeans, racism and colonialism was not yet dead and buried, but it came into decline in the western intellectual community. And with the end of the majority of European colonial enterprises, with the growth of liberation movements in developing countries and the growth of civil right movements in industrial countries, ultra-racist attitudes declined further.
Racial tolerance and equal respect for people of other cultures or skin-colors grew not only in intellectual circles, but it spread more and more into the general population of western countries.
The process is by far not yet finished and still has a very long way to go, but if you compare the attitudes shown in western media publications only a few decades back and compare it to how similar themes are treated today, you can see and feel progress.
And like colonialism, open supremacist racism is on the way of becoming an anachronism.
Any ideology based on anachronistic ideas has in itself and in everything which is built on it already the seeds of defeat from its inception.

In his post "Feldman and Dershowitz: Mass Murder Apologists" Kurt Nimmo of "Another day in the Empire" quotes those two media pundits and their absolutely indefensible views towards those Israeli war-crimes in Lebanon and Palestine.

Both Zionist intellectual try to make the point in a elaborate and indirect way, that Arab civilians are less worth of the protection from harm than Jewish Israeli civilians. Lebanese children can be killed with impunity because their parents allowed the Hizbollah militia to grow in their midst. Gazan children can be targeted because their parents voted for Hamas.

The interesting thing about those arguments is, how ridiculously they sound to just anybody who is not a Zionist.

I sometimes watch news and documentaries on German TV which are called "today 30 years ago" or even 40 or 50 years ago.
What springs in the eyes is how very different the attitude of those German journalists where towards the people of developing countries from how they are these few decades later.

To be sure those journalists tried to be "politically correct" in the way as was considered politically correct at the time.
And they seemed to consider themselves as humanists as most media people today.

However whenever they reported about people of non-Western cultures then, for our modern ear it sounds so patronizing and so offensive and lacking of respect, as if they were talking about some different species living in the wild of the jungles.

When the problems of war-refugee,the victims of famines and epedemics were discussed, most German reporters would not even make an effort to get a translator to talk to the victims themselves. In documentaries they sometimes would not even talk to government officials, but exclusively to white workers of relief organisations.
I even heard one shocking commentor saying, that maybe medical help was not a good thing for Africa because it caused the "population explosion".
Those journalists of 40 years ago were of course left-overs from an earlier time. They had received their education before WW II. And they had not yet been able to overcome those mental blocks implanted in them.
But at that time, the attitude those journalists showed, was still the majority attitude of, not only Germans, but also other western Europeans as well.
The reason why "the Holocaust" was considered such an extraordinary crime was, that Germans had been mass-murdering their own neighbours, Jewish Germans who had been part of German sociey for ages.
Although about 20 million Russians had been killed at the same time, their lives did not count as much in the western mind, being nearly Asians, neither did the mass-murder of North American Indians or the mass-murders during the slave trade times only a hundred years before WWII. And the mass-murder of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian civilians in the 1960s and 70s was still not yet considered as high a crime as the mass-murder of Europeans.

While in practical terms of war things have not yet changed in the actions of corrupt politicians and helpers, and the soldiers they comman, they did change in the minds of most ordinary western people.

30 or 40 years ago the West would consider Palestinian and Lebanese life as less valuable as Israeli life as a matter of fact.
I think it was not before the Sabra and Shatilla massacre, before you could hear any criticism of Israel coming out of Germany. When "der Spiegel" printed an interview with a Phalangist who had taken part in the massacre, the first stirring of a humanist consciences occurred in Germany. The Phalangist showed more compassion to a donkey hurt by bullets during the massacre than to the many women and children he personally murdered.
This attitude was so close to Nazi ideology, that at least some Germans could no longer totally close their eyes. And said Phalangist also revealed that the massacre committed by him and other the Lebanese Maronites, was practically under the direct order and with the the logistic help of the Israeli troops under their commander Ariel Sharon.

This was in 1982, and since then conscience in Europe has grown, maybe not in the upper echelons of politics, but in the lower population.

Nowadays non-humanistic racists like Feldman and Dershowitz have to construe some elaborate round-away arguments to make their point and it still sounds ridiculously for informed people. It might resonate with non-informed people, but even with those, men like Feldman and Dershowitz could not have gotten away with the plain argument that Israeli Jews are actually more worth than Arabs.

A few years back many little informed ordinary people in Europe, when they heard about Israeli aggression in Palestine, they would just say "let them bash in each others heads, its a hopeless case down there."
Nowadays the same ordinary people get angry when hearing about another Israeli aggression, blaming Israel, sympathizing with the Lebanese and more and more with the Palestinians as well.
What has changed is not so much a vaster pool of information, the mainline media is still pro-Israel biased, the change lies in the general attitude towards people of non-western cultures.
The ordinary man or woman has realized that people no matter how differently from us they speak, pray, dress or eat, they are still people, human beings just like us.

Of course we can still be angry at them, be persuaded to go to war against them. Fall for all kinds of propaganda, even to the point where we commit war-crimes. But most everybody in Europe realizes, when innocent people are killed, it is just as bad, if they are Lebanese, Palestinian and Somali or if they were German, American or French. A child in Iran or Iraq is no different from the children who walk around in one´s own home town or city.
Even those who want to separate their ethnic group from other ethnic groups do realize nowadays, that "the others" are just as human as they themselves. They are on the same level, even if you consider them as hostile.
The attitude of the Israeli apologists is anachronistic. And everybody except they themselves knows it. Xenophobia, the fear of strangers, can still be fueled in a European nation, supremacist ideas, however, can no longer be sustained in the general population.

I think that the racists, Dershowitz and Feldman, are hanging themselves with their own ridiculous writings.
I know it looks as, if all the mainline media agrees with them.
It looks, as if the west accepts what Israel is doing.
The reality however is, that media people, politicians and ordinary people feel disgusted by those arguments.
Yes, most are afraid to say it.
But when they overcome the fear of being called anti-Semitic or loosing their job or reputation, it will be like a flood that cannot be stopped.
To be forced to hide your real thoughts and feelings creates deep anger in the people. Even more anger is created when people realize that they have constantly been lied to for a long time. The stifling atmosphere,that did not allow the people to say and write what they thought, an atmosphere created by the paranoid East German government, was what fueled the protest movement there, and in the end brought the wall and the regime down.
On the subject of Israel and Zionism, the atmosphere here in the west has just been as stifling. Informed people know so much of the truth, but have to choke on it.
And now I think at last the dam of lies has gotten too many cracks for the Israeli centered propaganda to succeed in permanent damage control.

The sad thing about it is, however, that what Israel is doing right now to the Palestinians, what it has done to the Lebanese last summer and threatens to do to Syria and Iran, might in the long run lead to a terrible blow-back against the Jewish people.
The only damage control still possible for the Jewish people around the world is distancing themselves from not only Israeli crimes and atrocities but also from Zionist Israel itself. Of course Israeli Jews should do the same.

While it seems as if Israeli racists and their western supporters have all the power necessary to reach their goals like the military power and the influence in western governments and media, they still have already lost in spite of it.

Of course they still can wreck lots and lots of havoc on the world.
But the worse it gets, the worse will be the blowback.
They already have lost, even while they do not realize it.
When Germany invaded Russia in 1942, it already had lost the war, in spite of having won every single battle before that. It was impossible for any army to win the Russians on Russian soil in a Russian winter, Napoleon had learned it the hard way, Hitler would learn it soon.
However the invasion of Russia was necessary for Hitler and the Nazis to fulfill their ideological goal of creating "Lebensraum" (living space) for the "Germanic race of Übermenschen.
The ideology of the Nazis built in itself the seeds of their defeat.
So actually they had lost the war before they started it.

The anachronism of racist-supremacist colonialism of Israel´s state ideology,Zionism contains the same seeds.
Of course ideologists have no way of thinking clearly. Even after the defeat of Stalingrad the Nazis kept on pushing their army from one defeat to the next with terrible blowback consequences for the German people and a terrible blood-toll for the rest of Europe.
History might repeat itself now with even worse consequences for the world.
Or maybe we, humanity, actually have learned something from it and are able to stop the madness.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Informations War

The headline of the current "Spiegel" the most important weekly political magazine in Germany proclaims, (at least in the TV-ad): "Ahmadinedschad", der Mann, den die Welt fürchtet (the man, the world is afraid of).
A couple of weeks back the Canadian National Post published a deceptive article
claiming that Iran was planning to oblige non-Muslims to wear badges to indicate their ethnicity so that they could be distinguished in public. The article even implied the badges Jews would have to wear would be yellow. The frontpage showed a Jewish couple from Nazi times wearing the yellow "star of David"
This story, although a proven lie, was taken up by American and other media as to present Iran in "the right light".
The "feared" Iranian president is of course just an interpretation by "Spiegel" reporters, but the desired effect is the same.
It´s outright war-propaganda. It´s breaking the "Grundgesetz" (the German constitution), which after the terrible catastrophy of WWII makes "Volksverhetzung" (propaganda in order to instill hatred against groups of people or other nations) a serious crime.
Very few people are actually afraid of the Iranian president, since even those who hate him know quite well, that he has no atomic bombs. And even if he was planning to build some, he would use them only as means of deterrence.
Whoever actually read his address before the UN General Assembly about nuclear weapons and disarmament or the fully (not by by pro-Israeli Memri) translated speechat the anti-Zionism conference or the letter to the US-President, knows that while he is a deeply religious person, he is neither a crazed megalomaniac nor filled with insane hatred against people of other religions or cultures.
Actually a lot of what he says reminds destinctly of the messages of the current and the late Pope of the Catholic Church or of speeches by Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President, who sympathizes with Christian Liberation Theology and with Marxist Fidel Castro.
When the Pope and a Catholic Heretic and a Marxist Atheist and an ultra-conservativ Islamic politician are basically on the same line of thought, and if behind them are hundreds of millions, possibly even billions of people with similar thoughts, then those, who fear this Iranian president who does not want to compromise on ethics and what he sees as right and just, are not "the world" but those who want to control the world and shape it according to their unethical image.

And as conspiracy theoretic I connect these two stories of war-propaganda to what the British Sunday Herald reported a few weeks back:

The Pentagon has already signed off $383 million to force through the document’s recommendations by 2009. Military and intelligence sources in the US talk of “a revolution in the concept of warfare”. The report orders three new developments in America’s approach to warfare:

Firstly, the Pentagon says it will wage war against the internet in order to dominate the realm of communications, prevent digital attacks on the US and its allies, and to have the upper hand when launching cyber-attacks against enemies.

Secondly, psychological military operations, known as psyops, will be at the heart of future military action. Psyops involve using any media – from newspapers, books and posters to the internet, music, Blackberrys and personal digital assistants (PDAs) – to put out black propaganda to assist government and military strategy. Psyops involve the dissemination of lies and fake stories and releasing information to wrong-foot the enemy.

Thirdly, the US wants to take control of the Earth’s electromagnetic spectrum, allowing US war planners to dominate mobile phones, PDAs, the web, radio, TV and other forms of modern communication. That could see entire countries denied access to telecommunications at the flick of a switch by America.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mosque Outrage Also Brings Solidarity

Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed

Inter Press Service

BAGHDAD (IPS) - Widespread sectarian violence generated by the recent bombing of the Shia Golden Mosque in Samarra has also brought widespread demonstrations of solidarity between Sunnis and Shias across Iraq.

The revered Al-Askariyya Mosque in Samarra, 135 km northwest of Baghdad, is one of four sacred places for Shias in Iraq.

The mosque was bombed at 6:55am Feb. 22 by men who tied up the guards and planted the explosives. This being the third attack on the Shias in as many days, outrage was immediate, violent and widespread.

Bloody retaliatory attacks took the lives of three Sunni Imams and scores of civilians, while over 50 Sunni mosques were attacked.

Yet the violence led also to demonstrations of solidarity after Shia and Sunni leaders called for calm and restraint.

Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani called for "easing things down and not attacking any Sunni mosques and shrines."

Sistani's office was quick to issue a statement: "We call upon believers to express their protest...through peaceful means. The extent of their sorrow and shock should not drag them into taking actions that serve the enemies who have been working to lead Iraq into sectarian strife."

Muqtada Al-Sadr, arguably the second most influential Shia cleric in Iraq told reporters: "It was not the Sunnis who attacked the shrine of Imam Al-Hadi, God's peace be upon him, but rather the occupation (forces) and Ba'athists...God damn them. We should not attack Sunni mosques. I have ordered the Al-Mahdi Army to protect both Shia and Sunni shrines."

Sadr returned promptly from Lebanon and called on the Iraqi parliament to vote the departure of occupation forces from Iraq.

Sunni religious authorities called for peace and asked people to confront those trying to generate a sectarian war.

Many Arab media outlets blamed the floundering Iraqi government for failing to provide the security needed to prevent the attacks. But thousands of people who joined demonstrations blamed American troops for failing to protect the Iraqi people.

Sunnis were quick to demonstrate solidarity with the Shias in Samarra and to condemn the mosque bombings. Demonstrations of solidarity between Sunnis and Shias followed all over Iraq. Some of the bigger demonstrations were held in Basra, Diwaniyah, Nasiriyah, Kut, and Salah Al-Din.

Much of the Shia anger was directed at U.S. forces. In the primarily Shia city of Kut south of Baghdad, thousands marched through the streets burning U.S. and Israeli flags.

Thousands of Shias marched through Sadr City, the huge Shia slum area of Baghdad, shouting anti-American slogans. Sadr City has almost half the population of Baghdad.

Many large demonstrations were held in Baghdad outside Sadr City.

"Those shrines are very important to all Muslims, not only in Iraq but all over the Islamic world," 40 year-old merchant Ahmed Hassan told IPS at a demonstration in Khadamiyah area of Baghdad Feb. 23. "Every Muslim in Iraq not only criticised and condemned this action, but everyone is against it."

Thousands of Sunnis joined Shia demonstrations in Baghdad despite moves by the Iraqi security forces to seal off Sunni areas.

"This is no more than an Israeli kind of act done by the American troops using some men who were paid," a 54 year-old Shia man told IPS. "It is not the Sunnis who are responsible, because we know the Americans and Israelis want to divide us. The Sunnis would never bomb a Muslim mosque."

A 25-year-old woman among the demonstrators was telling everyone she could that the attack had nothing to do with the Sunni people of Samarra.

"My husband is a Sunni from Samarra who goes to that shrine," said Hashmia Atimim. "Of course we know it was a foreigner who did this horrible act."

Some of the sentiments at the demonstrations found unexpected if partial echoes. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in a statement that those who attacked the Golden Mosque in Samarra "have only one motive: to create a violent sedition between the Sunnis and the Shiites in order to derail the Iraqi rising democracy from its path."

(c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Deliberate Acts

Agreed analogies only go so far.
Calling a person or a group of people "the devil" does make it sound, as if I believed, there are people with no hope of redemption, no way out of damnation.
I believe as long as a person is alive, he or she has a choice.
This is, what with very few exceptions every religion on earth preaches: There is a choice. There is no predestination.

I do not believe that human beings are determined by their biology in their thoughts and in their acts.
Nor do I believe that they are determined by their living conditions, their upbringing or their membership in a class or a group.
Humanity is a very unic species on earth. We are not determined by our instincts or by environmental factors.
While those factors can surely have influence on us and our acts, we have a "manual override" other species don´t.

Our intelligence is this override. It can bring us to acts of "evil" bringing destruction on fellow members of the species or other living beings, no member of any other species ever could, or to acts of "good" sacrificing for the wellbeing of others even until total self-sacrifice.
Our intelligence makes us capable of choice and capable of change.
Everyone has a chance to turn around, change his thinking and his acts, regret, repent, make reparations as far as possible and find redemption.

Reparations in the case of instigating wars based on lies, is of course, first and foremost telling the truth. The dead can´t be brought back to life and and the maimed won´t get back their limbs, but truth can bring back peace.

When I talk about a "human devil", I mean the believe I have come to, that it is not a faceless system, some automatacy, which is responsible for exploitation, oppression, mass-murder and war.
It is people, human beings, who deliberately plan for these results of their politics.
Marxists believe that those results are inevitable results of capitalism and that to overcome those terrible conditions for humanity a Marxist led revolution is necessary.
I see in Marxism a lot of evidence of being a rather intolerant "religious faith". Marxism's "God" of "Dialectic Materialism" does not allow for any alternatives. It is a very jealous and absolutistic "God".
I very much agree with the issues of social injustice, imperialism and permanent war for the enrichment of the few, which are raised by Marxists, but I also believe that the solutions to those problems must be found within the people and culture of single countries and cannot be imposed on all the world by a western ideology. And since humanity contains so many diverse cultures the solution to social problems will be diverse. This in my opinion might actually enrich the human condition.
And while it might make the cooperation between countries a bit more complicated than a one-world system, it could in the long run actually help humanity to overcome the scourges of ethnocentrism and racism. For learning to communicate to other cultures on a equal basis will do this for you in the long run.

Even within the European framework Marxist revolutions could not deliver on the promises of Marxism inspite of the high cost in human lives.
If the people of Eastern Europe had felt some kind of confidence in the justice of their socialist system, they would have defended it against the onslaught of western capitalism. Sure many people in Eastern Europe believe now in hindsight, that what they had then was better than what they have now, but still just as the lesser of two evils.Marxist materialism could not fulfill the human desire for true justice, which is also a spiritual value.
(The only place were socialism actually has worked enough for the people to want to defend it, is Cuba. But if you look closely,even there the system is not doctrinaire Marxist but a mixture respecting cultural values of the Cuban people. And when Castro shook hands with the Pope, the Cuban revolution made peace with the Church.)

But when saying, that the originator of human misery is not an an anonymous "system", but actual people, who use this system and would use any other system as well to serve their advantages and further the goals of their philosophies, then we need to try to identify those people.
I do not think, that they are just one ethnic group, like Anglo-Saxons, Germans, Jews or Chinese, although some probably have these ethnic backgrounds.
Nor do I think that their background is from one single religion.
Nor do I think that they are true believing Free Masons or even ritual Satanists, although I did use the "devil" analogy.
These people believe themselves to be ultra-rationalists, so praying to any God, or to the "Architect of the Universe" or even to Lucifer, makes very little sense, except for some kind of perverted fun.
Those strange religion-like groups might be used to trap some politicians with embarrasing photographs, or they might be used for some strange form of male-bonding.
But I´m rather convinced that the actual believe system of the ruling elite is atheist, materialist, nihilist and social-darwinist.
Those are the defining characters of their worldview. This is what drives their political actions.

Kurt Nimmo on his site "Another Day in the Empire" quotes Shadia Drury in the worldview of the Straussian Neocons, who are now the spearhead of the global elite:

"Strauss thinks that a political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat, and following Machiavelli, he maintains that if no external threat exists, then one has to be manufactured. “Because mankind is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed,” Strauss wrote. “Such governance can only be established, however, when men are united—and they can only be united against other people.” Strauss’ established governance, according to Drury, is made possible through “aggressive, belligerent foreign policy,” and “[p]erpetual war, not perpetual peace, is what Straussians believe in.” According to Jim Lobe, “Strauss’ neoconservative students see foreign policy as a means to fulfill a ‘national destiny’—as Irving Kristol defined it already in 1983—that goes far beyond the narrow confines of a ‘myopic national security.’”

Then he quotes Michael Doliner:

The Straussians “are not, as some think, merely agents of Israel,”
Nor was the war fought merely for oil. They did not ally themselves with the religious right merely for expedience. They do not seek primarily to further the fortunes of Halliburton and Bechtel. All these are real motives, but they are peripheral motives. Their goal is to turn America into the Straussian State and rule it perpetually. Consequently, the debacle in Iraq [or the coming debacle in Iran] does not seriously affect their plans. Even the Katrina aftermath might not shake them. A Straussian society needs an endless war to supply a “them” against which “we” will do endless battle. The endless war, such a horrible prospect for the rest of us, provided the political glue to transform the United States of American from a liberal democracy to a Straussian totalitarian state.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Deliberate Provocation

Did they see it then, some 67 years ago in Europe, even earlier in Asia, did they see the train engine coming at them, running over everything on their way, already Tschekeslovakia was run over, then Polland and then...?
Did they see that the whole world was strapped to the tracks, and the engine was running unstoppable, madmen at the wheels and nobody to pull the emergency brakes?

Some people did see it. Their words are recorded. We still can read them.
But could they ever imagine that after the engine had run against the wall, 50 million dead bodies would be strawn around its tracks?
Who could have imagined this?

Did they see before hand the weapons that would be used, incinerating whole cities, burning land and harvests to the ground, leaving nothing but ruins and blackened earth?
Did they see the firestorms raging, the fires which couldn't be extinguished when they hit the skin, fires that would burn you alive in unimaginable pain?
Did they see the weapons which would exterminate cities in an instant and still would keep on killing twenty, fifty years after they were used?

They did not know about these kind of weapons then, the last time the engine ran over the whole world.
But we know now.
And most look away, too frightening is the view, too eery the sound. Afghanisthan has been run over already, Iraq a hundred thousand dead bodies already by last spring and nobody has been counting any more since then.

And the engine is running, running towards us, Iran will be next or Syria. A military option is proposed, a nuclear one is not excluded.
Madmen at the wheel and nobody to pull the emergency brake and Europe close at the side of the Americans, no longer wavering, but there in the engine.
How many bodies will it be this time, 50 million or 500 million or more?

It is planned to be a generational war, 30 years or so.
The last time a 30 year war was fought in Europe, half of the population was dead afterwards.
It won´t hit Europe this time? Really?
The whole world is strapped on the tracks. When the engine is not stopped it will run over us and it will run over you.
But the engine needs fuel to run. It's fuel is hatred. It´s an artificial fuel, not natural.

When the Danish paper printed those Muhammed cartoons. They were only done by Muslim hating cartoonist, printed by an Muslim hating editor in a paper owned by Muslim haters for the consumption of local Muslim haters. And there are so many of them now in Europe.
But when those cartoons reached the Middle East, half a year later, the anger there was real. But the activists threatening foreigners, first of all in Palestine, trying to empty the land of foreign witnesses to upcoming crimes, those agents were not real, they were mercenaries.
It happened right after a Hamas victory, but those violent agents weren´t Hamas. They were from some obscure Fatah group, Fatah who had sunk in their own corruption, undermind by Israel and probably riddled with collaborators.

But the anger has spread and the frustration and maybe the hatred has become real or maybe there are other paid agents to spread it.
And we are on a threshold of a Clash of Civillisations or maybe we already stepped over it.
And I hear the arrogance and ignorance in the talking heads on TV and read it in the papers, blowing the smoke of a "free society", a "information society", when their "information" is nothing but pure viciousness, deliberate instigation to hatred and war.

And the engine is running.

And the arrogant western atheist viciousness is telling us: what´s wrong with a little bit of fun, a little bit of fun on those retards who believe in something else than pure science, those religious idiots.
We Christians should not have taken it laying down, when those atheist fanatics were smearing crosses with urine and feces and called it art.
Because it gave them a precedent: Smearing what for many people is holy, is just fun or art or a matter of free speech.
I don´t believe in violence, but I believe in screaming. We should have screamed louder. Let them call us retards, so what?
At least we are not hate-mongering mass-murdering madmen.

For atheists not much is holy. But in their "free speech" defense they are just holier than thou.
However historically, they have a very bad memory.

Have you ever seen those cartoons, that were printed in the "Stürmer", the leading Nazi hate paper? Maybe you have seen it in history class and if not, maybe you can look it up.
Those cartoons will look eerily familiar now. They were used to defame an ethnic and religious minority, to bring the majority in the country up against them, put the majority into the right mood, the right mood for expulsion, deportation, incarcaration, slave labour oppression, abuse and murder.
It was not a matter of "free speech" then, it was a matter of hate and everybody knew it. But now we have gotten used ot our smoke screens. We need them to not feel guilty.

But when the engine comes running over us, the smoke screens won´t protect us, because they are just that - empty smoke.
The engine is fueled by hatred. And we provide it. It´s not their hatred, it´s ours, the western, enlightened, secular and so very rational hatred towards the "others" who do not want to be like us.

And the engine is running full speed at us, and I hear the rumbling.
And feel the vibration of forboding desaster.
And I can´t turn my eyes away.
And I only can imagine what lies ahead.
But then, those people 67 years ago, who felt like I feel now, nothing in their imagination could prepare them for the reality that finally hit them and hit also the others who didn´t want to look.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Culture and Philosophy

Why waste time on talking about movies, TV-shows, books or some philosophical theory, when in the real world real wars are killing and maiming people, destroying their homes and lands?
Should it not be enough to just document the suffering and the crimes to get the peoples of the world to oppose them and stop them?
Obviously not.
Wars, massacres, oppression, torture and other atrocities are justified or downplayed.
We never see the world plain and obectively. We allways see it coloured through the glasses of our own worldview. While my individual worldview might differ from the views of my immidiate neighbours, it still is influenced by the collective worldview of my country and the culture I live in.
A worldview is created by culture and mirrored in it and it bases on a collective philosophy wich changes through the years.
Our western culture has become more cynical and less humanist in the last twenty years and has still not overcome racism. Instead, racism has changed its focus from skin-colour to culture.
Of course in our western self-righeousness we declare that this is not real racism, since, while people cannot change the colour of their skin, they could change their culture and religion or at least the attitude towards religion easily and become like us, the prototypes of the wonderful modern man, the over-humans instead of the barbarians they are now. And if those barbarians do not want to become like us, those barbarians just get what´s coming to them.
When westerners accuse Muslim societies of oppressing women and the Muslims accuse western societies of abusing women´s sexuality for profit, then most westerners wouldn´t even consider of looking at the accusations. They would not even consider, that the suffering caused by turning sexuality into a merchandize to be sold, bought and used for the advertisment of other products together with the economic devastation of neo-liberal politcs, might cause as widespread physical and psychological suffering among women as the legal discrimination of women in Muslim societies.
All this western self-righteousness is based on modern western philosophies, which define freedom in a whole different way than non-western people do or we ouselve have defined some twenty years ago.
We need to realize that our own culture is far from perfect or even on the way to perfection, it is not even a whole lot better than the cultures we critizice.
And I believe that we need to question our collective worldview including all the assumption we perceive as undeniable truths, which in reality are just theories.
Those theories stand in comptition to a other contrdicting theories which have just as much sceintific evidence behind them as the ones generally accepted by most of us.
When we analyze our culture mirrored in movies, music, tv-shows and books, we can recognize what the philosphies and assumed "truths" our culture is built on, and what philosophies are propagated by the powerful in order to move our culture into their direction.

"Munich": Responses

"Der Spiegel" uses Spielberg´s movie as title to last week´s print magazine with the headline: May Democracies kill Terrorists - The Ethics of Revenge.
No matter to what conclusions the fanatic pro-Israel Spiegel comes, the headlines in themselves imply the first untruths.
Can there ever be an ethic in revenge?
Even the old Vikings with their very low threshold in refraining from killing came to conclusion that in the long run the circle of revenge and counter-revenge must be broken or it would destroy both parties and they invented a compensation system and a neutral court, which actually was the primare function of "Althingi" the parliament.
Mahatma Ghandi thought, that with the rule of an eye for an eye, everybody would go blind in the end. Revenge imprisons people in a vicious circle with no way out of violence and bloodshed, no hope for peace. How can anybody presume this was ethical.
And who has the ethics on his side. The Israeli death-squad revenging the kidnappings and killings of those Israeli athletes or the kidnappers revenging the far higher death-toll of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the eviction of the Palestinians from their land with the help of rape, murder and massacres?
Then the assumptions of the first question: Who actually are the terrorists. Are agents acting for a state less terrorists than other agents acting for a national liberation movement? Both are killing for their political goals.
And then, what actually is a democracy?
Is it a country where people can go to elections and make a cross behind some name or the name of a party?
Well, then just about every country in the world has some kind of elections and should be called a democracy.
Isn't the minimum requirement for a country to be called a democracy that is has equal legal rights for all its citizens and protects those rights. And Israel even fails in this minimum, by discriminating with written laws against it´s non-Jewish citizens.
But then words like democracy, freedom and justice have turned into Orwellian phrases with no meaning at all, phrases just to be used to justify the powers of the powerful.

Here are other responses to "Munich".
For instance a review by Lydia Howell, a Minneapolis-based journalist and host of KFAI radio's "Catalyst: Politics & Culture."

Israeli hardliners have little to fear from Spielberg's excursion into the political thriller genre, a bloody philosophy lesson from which only the most dedicated and sophisticated viewers will be able to discern any worthwhile, deeper meaning...........
Some Israelis (such as Ehud Danoch, the Israeli Consul-General in Los Angeles) have slammed Spielberg for making Israeli and Palestinian violence seem "equivalent" -- a totally absurd claim to anyone who's actually seen the film. In fact, Munich virtually omits "the Palestinian side" of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. There's just one brief exchange, between the film's lead Israeli agent and a Palestinian, where the Palestinian expresses longing for a "homeland" and makes a fierce declaration that "Israel will eventually lose to the Palestinians, even if it takes a 100 years." It's a startling moment, because it's the only time a Palestinian speaks. Otherwise, Palestinians are portrayed in the usual way: nameless thugs "speaking gibberish" (untranslated Arabic) who commit "senseless" acts of brutality against Jews........
Avner (Eric Bana), the lead agent who serves as our primary lens, ultimately takes his wife and child out of Israel and moves them to Brooklyn. He must visit them in secret, and none of them seem "at home" away from Israel. There is the looming irony that perhaps in attempting to avenge his homeland, it is lost to him forever. But most disturbing to this viewer is that, in the film's final scene, it's still not his own violent acts that apparently haunt Avner, only the Palestinians' slaughter of the Israeli Olympic team. This should mollify Spielberg's pro-Israel critics. In a clumsy, ham-fisted display of propaganda, he saves the bloodiest flashback of all for last, with Avner "remembering" Munich, while having sex with his wife in Brooklyn. It would have made more sense, psychologically, dramatically, and morally, if he had been reminded instead of the blood-spattered, bullet-ridden female assassin they deliberately left naked, or the Palestinian couple they shot dead in bed.

In short, Munich is neither the equal of Schindler's List nor Saving Private Ryan, both of which showed more courage and complexity, with memorable characters entangled in moral ambivalence. It is more interesting than most action movies and is still worth seeing, but Munich doesn't do justice to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. That's too bad, because Steven Spielberg might be the only American filmmaker able to get both the cash and the audience to put a new perspective before the American people.

A response from a Socialist Site by David Walsh

.......One can find fault with Spielberg and principal screenwriter Tony Kushner (Angels in America) on a number of grounds. Although there are references to the origins of the state of Israel, the film tends to suggest that the history of violence in the region began in Munich in 1972. In fact, the establishment of the Zionist state meant the expulsion of some 800,000 Palestinians. In 1946, Jews owned less than 12 percent of the land in the area that became Israeli territory; that figure rose to 77 percent after the 1948-49 war.

Palestinians fled their land in large measure out of fear of Zionist violence. In the notorious massacre at Deir Yassin in April 1948, Menachem Begin’s Irgun group massacred 250 men, women and children. This widely publicized event was part of a deliberate effort to terrorize the Arabs and empty Palestine of its population. Over a two-year period from 1947 to 1949, the Zionists destroyed and depopulated more than 400 Arab villages, systematically replacing them with Jewish communities. By 1972, then, masses of Palestinians had been living miserably in refugee camps distributed throughout the region for more than two decades. They had only recently taken up arms against their condition.

The killing of the Israeli athletes was an atrocity (how many were killed by Palestinians and how many by German police snipers remains unknown), but the ultimate responsibility for the violence lies with the Zionist authorities and their backers in Washington and elsewhere.

Moreover, it is reasonable to assume, and research apparently backs this up, that the decision taken by Meir was only in part a specific response to the Munich events. These rather provided the moral and political pretext for the Israelis to eliminate a portion of the Palestinian leadership, many of whom had nothing whatsoever to do with the Olympic hostage-taking. Avner raises this issue in the film, but, again, the reference is only a fleeting one........

And a response by Steven Spielberg himself in which he ends all speculation of the movie being pro-Palestinian or at least somehow neutral to both sides:

"I am as truly pro-Israeli as you can possibly imagine ... But there is a constituency that nothing you can say or do will ever satisfy." Spielberg himself admits that the silliest aspect of this whole buzz ball is that one faction is accusing him of "moral equivalency" - in other words, of making like Switzerland and refusing to pick a side. "Frankly," he tells Ebert, "I think that's a stupid charge." The film is meant to be critical of Israel, he says – but in the nicest, gentlest, most puppy-dogs-and-ice-cream, appropriate for a 10 year old's birthday party way possible.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

"Munich": Spielberg's lies and cover-ups

The Humanization of Israeli killers, and the Dehumanization of Palestinian civilians
Who is retaliating against whom in the Arab-Israeli conflict? That is the question

by As'ad AbuKhalil

(As'ad AbuKhalil, a native of Lebanon, is a leading expert on the Middle East. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the American University of Beirut, and his Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He teaches at California State University at Stanislaus and at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC/Berkeley. He is the author of "Bin Laden, Islam & America's New War on Terrorism." His latest book is "The Battle for Saudi Arabia.")

This film reminds me of a line that comedian George Carlin used in his comedy routine that went roughly like this: "Why do we call Israeli terrorists 'commandos,' and Palestinian commandos 'terrorists?" His question never got a laugh the two times I saw him use it with a live audience.

The thrust of the Spielberg movie is simple, fanfare notwithstanding: Israeli killers are conscientious and humane people, while Palestinians are always--no matter what--vicious killers.

Did you notice how one lone critical opinion of the movie by one Israeli diplomat (Ehud Danoch, Israel's consul general in Los Angeles), which mildly criticized the movie, got so much press in the US?It helped to promote the movie and to give the illusion of a "balanced" cast to the narrative, that it does not deserve. This supposed critical opinion reminded me of O'Reilly; how he always seems to find one e-mail from somebody in Montana who tells him that he is too liberal. He needs that to maintain an image that does not exist, just as Spielberg needs to maintain an image that he does not deserve.

This movie could easily have been a paid Israeli advertisement for its killing machine. In fact, it could be a recruitment movie for Israeli killing squads. It is a celebration of Israeli murder of Palestinians. When Israelis kill, it is always moral, and always careful, and always on target. On Dec. 26, yet another New York Times neo-con reviewer thinks that Spielberg was not sympathetic enough to the Israeli killers.

I was angry watching it; and I grew more angry as I observed the liberal Berkeley audience with whom I watched it react sympathetically to the movie, rooting for the Israeli head assassin, as he went about his "civilized" killing. I watched a humane Berkeley audience root for an Israeli killing team,in a story with Palestinian victims who were real people, with real blood.

An emotional moment for Spielberg, and presumably for American audiences was when the chief Israeli assassin talked with his young daughter in New York, stating that he missed her very much. Oh, yeah. That was the point at which you were expected to shed a tear or two; the music grew particularly sentimental at that point.

Spielberg's movie is based on a "non-fiction" book by journalist George Jonas, Vengeance, which took the Israeli account at face value. But in the book the Israeli killers did not express regret or second-thoughts of any kind. None! In the book -- but not in the movie-- the killers, according to Jonas, had "absolutely no qualms about anything they did." Hmmm...How could Spielberg have missed that?

I can connect to the story, in its details and personalities. The first victim of the movie was Wa'il Zu`aytir, and I knew his niece; I went to school with Abu Hasan Salamah's son--he was younger; and I knew the street and building where the three PLO leaders were massacred in Beirut. And let me tell you that none of the five people mentioned here had anything to do with Munich.

But why should this movie, a Spielberg movie, bother with facts, especially if they get in the way of a smooth pro-Israeli narrative? This movie is intended for mass audiences who know nothing about the facts of the conflict. That is exactly why it will work, and why it will deliver the propaganda goods.

Munich was not as planned an operation as has often been maintained. This was not planned months in advance, as Abu Iyad maintained in his account written with Eric Rouleau, My Home, My Land. Abu Iyad for years exaggerated the claims about the "carefully planned" Munich operation, and PLO media at the time lied about PLO gunmen throwing grenades into the helicopters, so as to make the last shootout more of a fight that it actually was.

Massacred Palestinians who were being bombed by Israeli fighter jets in their refugee camps demanded heroes and heroism, and the PLO had to give them some, even if they were not legitimate heroes. The German police at the time were going to take the PLO out, no matter what, and no matter how much the Germans endangered the lives of the hostages, and they presumably had Israeli consent. An Arab League diplomat revealed this recently when he broke his silence in an interview on Ziyarah Khassah on Al-Jazeera. He should know: he was the negotiator with the Palestinian guerillas in Munich.

It can be argued that the Palestinians risked the lives of the hostages by taking them hostages, even if they did not intend to kill them. That is true. This is similar to the moral perils entailed by hijacking: the hijackers, any hijackers, are responsible, and should be held responsible for whatever endangerment to the lives and health of victims. Quite true.

But it is also true that the "State of Israel" has taken a nation hostage, and has been endangering the lives of millions of Palestinians since the inception of the Israeli state. It is a question of who is retaliating against whom. One of the many false premises of the Spielberg movie is that Israel only went on a killing rampage-and only against Palestinian "killers"--after Munich; that Munich was some kind of watershed.

Watershed it was not, except in Israeli propaganda brochures. Israel has been perpetrating killing rampages against Palestinians, mostly civilians, since before the creation of the state of Israel. And how could Spielberg lionize Golda Meir and forget to mention her most memorable quote: that "there is no such thing as the Palestinian people"?

Spielberg must have missed that too,as he portrayed her as Grandma goodness who was pushed into vengeance by Palestinian monsters. More humanization of Israel and dehumanization of Palestine. That is why the movie showed the director of the Israeli assassination machine with his child: the audience must see him as a caring human being.

Not a single Palestinian in the movie appeared unarmed. They all were terrorists, and their murder had to be justified, and Spielberg did a great service for the state of Israel in that regard. They should name some stolen Palestinian property in his honor.

What were the Israelis doing before Munich? Before Munich -- not after-Israelis placed a bomb under the car seat of Palestinian writer/artist, Ghassan Kanafani and killed him and killed his 14-year-old niece. The teenage girl was not plotting the Munich attack when she was murdered by the Israelis; nor was her uncle. Kanafani wrote for Al-Hurriyyah magazine.

Israel, also before Munich, sent a letter bomb to Bassam Abu Sharif, a writer and journalist, and left him with life-long scars and bodily damage, and they also sent a letter bomb to Anis Sayigh, a scholar and researcher, who was not a member of any group. But Sayigh was a really diligent researcher, and Israel did not appreciate it.

Abu Sharif never had a military role. He was an innocent victim of Israeli killing. He nevr held a gun. I see him as a human being, and not as the armed and vengeful character that appears in Spielberg's movie; typical of US movies where Arabs appear, Arabs when they speak Arabic never need subtitles. We get them them when people speak in French and German, but Arabic is not important. It is not important to know what cheap natives say; we only need to know what expensive people say: Europeans and Israelis.

Do you notice that Hollywood still portrays Israelis as Europeans: they still don't want to accept that some half of all Israelis come from Asian and African countries. This makes it easier for the White Man to identify with them. And there is this element that is never mentioned about Palestinian attacks: and this is true of the present and of the past. It is not that some Palestinian leaders recruit or compel Palestinians to attack Israelis. It is the other way round. Palestinians, regular rank-and-file pressure Palestinian leaders and commanders to send them on military or suicidal missions against Israeli targets. Munich occurred exactly like that. Palestinians in the refugee camps in Lebanon, those who were trained by Fatah and by other groups, were lobbying for "action." Why? In February of the same year prior to Munich, Israeli jets bombed Palestinian refugee camps, and killed innocent people. This is what is missing in the movie. Most Palestinians who are killed by Israelis are unarmed and are killed not by conscientious and sensitive Israeli assassins-as they are outrageously portrayed in this movie-but by Israeli pilots who bomb refugee camps filled with unarmed civilians. Palestinians who are bombed from the air, long before Munich, are elderly and women and children in their beds. These are the victims that you will never see in a Spielberg movie.

Israel was killing Palestinians, and this was the context of pre-Munich. A small Palestinian group chose to seek venegeance--retaliation-- but they were not sure of their target, and this was only three months before Munich. One of the handful of people who knew about this was Abu Mazen, the Abu Mazen who today is the head of the puppet Palestinian Authority. But do you notice that US/Israel always forgive the past of those who submit to Israeli dictates? Look at how US and Israel forgave Anwar Sadat for his Nazi past. Abu Mazen was the money guy, and he dispersed the funds for Abu Dawud, who engineered the operation.

The American public and US media and popular culture are so enamored with the Mossad, the Israeli secret service, but the image of the Mossad does not match its actual reality. The best evidence is this movie: look at this obsession with Abu Hasan Salamah as the "mastermind" of Munich when he had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with Munich. To be sure, Abu Hasan was a braggart, and had a big mouth, and would take credit for things he did not do, and would distance himself from failed "operations" that he planned, like the Sabena hijacking in 1972.

That was Abu Hasan: he lived the life of a playboy, and enjoyed a unique indulgent pampering from Abu Ammar who treated him like a son. Abu Ammar would never say no to Abu Hasan, on anything. But Abu Hasan had nothing to do with Munich, and this ostensibly all-knowing Mossad, did not know it. Former CIA director, Stansfield Turner, once said that the Mossad is a mediocre organization, but that it does outstanding PR. Former CIA man in Beirut Robert Baer said this about the Mossad--in an interview he gave to Al-Jazeera: "Let me tell you something, what people most err in in the Middle East, and I am responsible for my words to the end, is related to Israeli intelligence. To be sure, they can kill somebody in Paris or Rome or killing the wrong person in Finland or wherever else they did that [i.e. Norway]. To be sure they know Europe and Palestinians, and they know many things about Palestinians, but when it comes to the rest of the Middle East, I have not seen anything from their part that indicated their knowledge of those countries."

But this can never be maintained in a country that wants to exaggerate the prowess and knowledge of an intelligence agency not only to help feed the Israeli propaganda myth, but to also prepare the American public for more ruthless times and ways. So a very small number of people knew about it, and of course Abu Iyad was one of them. And Abu Iyad is the most important person on the list, and yet his name was not on the list, just to show you about how much--or how little-- Israel knew. Abu Iyad spoke more than he needed not only because he wanted to send a message to the enemy, but also because the wars of factions and "Abus" within the PLO necessitated a game of one-up-manship, and of wild exaggeration at times.

And while Black September was a paper name, and did not have a separate organizational existence or structure, several factions used the name for their own ends. Nobody consulted with Abu Iyad about Abu Hasan's use of the name for the failed Sabena hijacking. Abu Dawud is a key person here. And while his name was mentioned in passing, it was added after the fact in Israeli propaganda accounts. Abu Dawud was arrested in France for another reason in 1977, and he was released because there were no German or Israeli warrants for his involvement in Munich. That shows you.

Now, I will not give a blow-by-blow account of Munich. But I personally believe the account of Abu Dawud more than I believe Spielberg, i.e. Israeli propaganda claims, or even German police. (Abu Dawud's account is found in Abu Dawud, Filastin: Mina-l-Quds Ila-Muikh (Beirut: Dar An-Nahar, 1999). German police lied quite a bit about the case; they leaked to the press fanciful accounts of Palestinian infiltration of the workforce at the Olympic city, when none of that actually took place. They were too embarrassed to tell the truth. Similarly, the Israelis wanted to back the German account, especially as the violence at Munich was a propaganda bonanza for the Israelis in the West, just as Munich-this is not known in the West-was a propaganda bonanza for Fatah in the Middle East, as horrrific as the outcome was for all. And in that sense, the Germans, the Israelis, and Abu Iyad (and certainly Abu Hasan) lied about Munich, but not Abu Dawud, in my opinion. Abu Dawud is one of those 2nd tier PLO leaders who did not get corrupted in the messy Lebanese scene, and who did now allow the Gulf money that corrupted many PLO leaders to affect him.

Dawud was a man who was in charge of Beirut during the Lebanese civil war, and yet his name does not appear in any chronicle of the war because he was too low key, and because he never bragged. (he never talked even when the brutal Mukhabarat secret police in Jordan dangled him by his feet for days, while torturing him). People who saw him in jail at the time did not recognize him. But know this: your reliable "moderate" US allies in Jordan are quite proficient at torture. They are probably the best; they are helping the US in that regard as we speak. Most Lebanese did not even know Dawud's name. But this also explains why he survived, unlike say Abu Hasan Salamah, who married a Lebanese former Miss Universe, who introduced him to Lebanese bourgeois society. He could not get enough of that life. He developed a routine, and lived in a fancy apartment on Madame Curie Street in Beirut, and the routine he developed (going to the gym at the same time every day), made him an easy target for Israeli assassins.

Abu Hasan could get all the money he wanted for his own group from Yasser Arafat, and was doing a good job of maintaining not only good relations with the CIA but also with Lebanese right-wing groups. He became good friends with some right-wing militia leaders. Read the novel by Navid Ignatius, Agents of Innocence: it is based on Abu Hasan, although the author does not admit it.

It is interesting that in the Spielberg movie, the Israeli head killer (who was in the movie named "Troy"), was cast to be most appealing to the audience: a good looking and charismatic figure. But say what you want about Abu Hasan (and many people in Palestinian struggle, like Abu Dawud, did not like him) but he was a good looking and charismatic figure in real life. But in the movie the actor who played him in Spielberg's movie is not at all attractive.

Spielberg does not want the viewer to identify with any Palestinian in the movie. He just wanted to identify with the expensive human beings: the Israelis. The Arabs are worse than they were in Renoir's painting, the Mosque,where they are an unidentifiable blob. For Spielberg they were just armed, with no humanity. They were not supposed to evoke emotions, and you were not supposed to see them bleed, and if you did, you had to cheer for their killers.

The only ones that you had to feel sorry for were the Israelis who get killed, including the killers when they kill. The sentimental music that plays when Israelis die, differs from the music that plays when Palestinians die n "Munich." And no speaking roles for Palestinians were necessary. Why bother? Give one a line, and you have done your "objective" duty.

The list of prisoners that Palestinian guerillas submitted to German authorities for release, did not have just "200 Arab prisoners" on it, as the movie clams. It had the names of some 234 Arab and non-Arab prisoners, including Japanese and Germans, but that was not in the movie.

The statement that was issued by the guerillas gave a name to the Munich "operation": "Bir`im and Ikrit," the names of two (predominantly Christian) villages in northern Palestine, the people of which were expelled by Israeli occupation forces in 1948 for "security reasons." In 1972, the people of those villages petitioned the Israeli courts to return to their native villages, and the Israeli courts turned them down.

But if Spielberg were to use the actual name of the Palestinian commando "operation" in Munich ("Bir`im and Ikrit") he would have to relate to his audience those burdensome details and it would have detracted from his celebration of the Israeli killing machine.

But this begs the question: why is the Munich massacre more infamous than the genocidal Israeli bombardment of Palestinian refugee camps in February, prior to Munich? And why do the letter bombs to three Palestinian writers not get world attention? Why did American liberals not notice? Can you imagine what would happen if a Palestinian threw even a rose at an Israeli writer? Can you imagine the outcry among American leftists if a Palestinian were to say even a bad word to Amos Oz for example? That was the stature of writer Ghassan Kanafani among Palestinians.

I will not get into the military/intelligence background of the Israeli hostages as Abu Dawud does in his memoirs because the attackers did not know that information prior to the "operation." Abu Dawud gives many details about the military backgrounds of some of the Olympic hostages, but I do not think that this is appropriate because even Abu Dawud did not know that information before hand. I will not get into what actually happened at the site at the airport when the hostages were being transferred by their captors not only because the captors were responsible by virtue of the hostage "operation", but one can raise questions regarding the actual responsibility for the killing of the hostages. Abu Dawud cites Israeli newspapers from the 1990s in which writers raised questions about German police responsibility, and on how the German government never published autopsy reports of the hostages. The Israeli government also did not want to examine the bullets that killed the Israeli hostages. That would have settled the question, of course.

Dawud stressed that the attackers were under strict instructions to not shoot at the hostages, and you notice in the scene in the movie, that when they were storming the compound, they clearly struggled with the door and avoided shooting, when shooting could have shortened their entry time. Dawud claims that they were under strict orders to avoid using the grenades. He raises the possibility that the helicopter may have exploded from a bullet that hit its gas tank, but I don't know, and I have never relied on Spielberg, or on the book on which he based his account, for historical accuracy.

In retaliation for Israeli atrocities, Palestinians also have managed to assassinate Israeli military and intelligence leaders but those operations do not get Hollywood attention because the trend in US media and popular culture is that you should only show Palestinians when you can claim they are wantonly killing civilians, not when they are retaliating against Israeli military personnel.

It is not true that the Israeli response was confined to the assassination of the 11 Palestinians as was shown in the movie: Israel was also killing other Palestinians. Israeli "response" or initiative we should call it, was more massive and brutal that the operation of the secret team.

Three days after Munich, Israel ordered a bombing which required the use of some 75 Israeli aircraft (the largest attack since 1967). Their bombings of Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon resulted in the killing of more than 200 civilians. And this is not because the Israelis were after a camp north of Sidon that was used for training the Munich attackers. That camp was not even hit (another sign that Israelis had no information about the real culprits of Munich) while other camps with civilians in them were bombed. While the "retaliatory" killings were being perpetrated by Spielberg's soulful assassins, Israeli bombing of Palestinian refugee camps continued uninterrupted.

The most glaring omission in the film, which shows you that the Israeli team was not only savage but also ignorant of their targets, was what transpired on July 21, 1973, when Ali Bushiki, a Moroccan waiter relaxing with his pregnant wife at a swimming pool in Norway, was murdered by Spielberg's beloved assassination team merely because Ali resembled what the hit team thought Abu Hasan Salamah looked like. The Norwegian police tracked and arrested the Israeli killers, but they were all released in a secret deal with the Israeli governement.

These inconvenient and uncomfortable facts about the Israeli killing team were omitted by Spielberg. Even Wa'il Zu`yatir, the PLO representative in Rome who knew nothing about Munich, and was an academic with close ties to Leftist circles in Italy, was shot 14 times. He almost certainly never held a gun in his life. Zu`ytir was more interested in literature than he was in military affairs, on which he knew nothing. The PLO representative in France, Mahmud Hamshari also had nothing to do with Munich; he too was "liquidated."

The movie, it seems, relished detailing the 1973 Israeli revenge in Beirut. Spielberg really enjoyed depicting that act by Israeli hit squads. But who were the three PLO personalities killed in that so noble endeavor? And who cares about the details? Kamal Udwan was the Fatah/PLO leader responsible for the West Bank and Gaza. He not only had no responsibilities in Europe, but he opposed "operations" in Europe, and even those by Black September. More than that, Udwan was one of the most moderate PLO leaders, having accepted the two-state solution back in 1970, before any of his colleques in Fatah. Another victim, Abu Yusuf An-Najjar, was in charge of intelligence in Lebanon-Lebanon, not Europe. While Udwan had no knowledge of Munich, Abu Yusuf may have heard about it but had no role whatever in it. The third victim was another Palestinian writer: and Israelis have no qualms about the murder of Palestinian poets, artists, and writers: Kamal Nasir was a poet, who was killed in his bed. The movie did not tell you that by the time the Israeli terrorists finished with their retaliation "mission," some 100 Palestinians and Lebanese were murdered on that day in April 1973.

The PLO representative in Cyprus also had nothing to do with Munich; he was the intelligence envoy of Abu Yusuf An-Najjar. And some people targeted on the list of the Israeli murder team were not only not involved with Black September, but some were not even members of the Fatah organization. Basil Al-Kubaysi was a Palestinian scholar who had just completed his PhD in political science; I recently had dinner with Basil's best friend in college in Candada. Kubaysi was in the PFLP and not in Fatah. The same for Muhammad Budia: he was with Wadi` Haddad, and not with Black September.

But we can rest assured the film is accurate: Spielberg offered the script to Dennis Ross and his former boss Bill Clinton to verify the "accuracy" of the film's Middle East political and historical references.

Spielberg portrayed the neighborhood where the PLO leaders and others were killed with all the features of the Orientalist imagination. The houses were old style with arches, and the place was protected like a military base. In reality, the PLO leaders lived in a civilian residential building in the most modern and upper class neighborhood of Verdun in Beirut. But why bother with that fact?

The Munich movie does not tell you that on September 16, and 17, Israel launched an invasion of south Lebanon, razing the refugee camp of Nabatiyyah. The Lebanese newspapers at the time had on the first page a picture of a smashed civilian car with seven Lebanese civilians crushed inside after an Israeli tank ran over their car near Jwayya in south Lebanon. That must have been too messy for Spielberg to cover. The car had stopped at the Israeli checkpoint that was set up at the entrance to the village. Were those civilians in the car also involved in Munich?

As Spielberg's movie ends,we see written on the screen the statement that Abu Hasan Salamah was later "assassinated." Spielberg forgot to add that he was "assassinated" by a massive car bomb in a crowded street in Beirut, which killed and injured scores of civilians--but hey--they were only Arabs and their blood is too cheap to mention.