Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
Sorry for the long silence. I am in Israel without a laptop and the local library decided that my blog is indecent or some such thing. The country is obsessed with the political rivalry between Prime Minister Sharon and former Prime Minister Netaniahu. I beleive it is much ado about nothing. The Gaza disengagement is much more interesting as Egypt entered the Israeli Palestinian fray by offering to share responsibility for Gaza. In other words, Arafat's disfunction is obvious to all, even the Egytptians.
The saddest phenomenon is Arafat's claim to be the ELECTED leader of the Palestinians. He ran virtually unopposed ( an elderly woman opposed him on principle but failed to campaign) and was elected by 83% of the people. He refused to schedule elections since. He is the most obvious example of the feared phenomenon of one elections one time. As an Egyptian paper urged - its time...
Camus' Plague popped into my head this morning as I listened to the disheartening news coming from Iraq and Gaza. How easy it was to fight rats! No one understood that better than Camus whose book was supposedly written about the Nazis. But, then, Nazis, unlike rats, are human beings with families who could be even charming and generate pity. Racists and anti-Semites are not the only ones attracted to holocaust denial, pacifists and humanists are too. They, like Camus,do not like the moral difficulties which are inherent in fighting human evil.
Just compare the amount of attention human rights advocates pay to the fight on AIDS to the attention they pay to the Internecine wars devastating Sudan and Nigeria. Both are in Africa. Both are devastating but one is much easier to deal with morally than the other. Bacteria are such easy enemies. So despite the fact that the...
By the end of 1967 McNamara was so depressed that he had to be eased out of his post as the secretary of defense and Clark Clifford took his place. Within a couple of months he convened"the wise men" (the designers of the containment strategy) and the later decided that Vietnam was the wrong battle front on which to continue to fight the Cold War. (The Atlanticist Paul Nitze told the assembled that"the time had come to wind down the costly sideshow in Vietnam and return to the center stage, facing the Soviets in Europe." I suspect this time the Pacificists are also making their opinions known) The decision was signaled by the textual change of the speech Lyndon Johnson was about to give the nation in January. The speech which was about to begin with"let me tell you about the war in Vietnam" was changed to"Let me speak about peace in Vietnam."
Johnson who had opposed the...
Here is an excellent email I received from Ram Narayanan of US-India Friendship:
India, the world's largest democracy, will soon have a Christian (Catholic) Prime Minister. India's President , elected last year, belongs to the Muslim faith. That the two top elected officials of this billion plus nation, which is 85 percent Hindu, belong to minority faiths, makes Indian democracy something unique in the world.
Is there a possibility of a similar situation ever happening in any of the older democracies such as the United States wherein both the top elected officials will belong to minority religions? Perhaps - but it's going to take a long, long really long time.
In this respect - as in many others - the world's most populous democracy has shown the way!
My only hope is that Sonia Ghandi will...
Sooner of later it had to happen. The term" cycle of violence" with its implication of moral equivalency had to be introduced to the discussion of the American war in Iraq. I heard it twice today, on BBC world news and on Fox News' Special Report. The execution of Berg was part of the cycle of violence engulfing Iraq, the BBC anchor and Ceci Connolly asserted. I knew it was just a matter of time when I saw a so called expert (forgot his name) tell a TV anchor:"This (the prison scandal) is what we have been waiting for".
For my readers this is old hat. But the subject finally hit the media. Here are some worthwhile stories. First, Fuad Ajami in the WSJ. Then, Jim Hoagland does his thing in the Washingon Post. Finally, the invalueable memri.
Sistani is a lousy politician and the Shia are going to pay for their attempt to prove their solidarity with the Sunnis.
This is the essence of the culture of death which permeated ancient Egypt and which the Abrahamic tradition sought to end. God stayed the hand of Abraham. Isaac was not to be scarified to prove his...
A Saudi Woman dares show her face. As I have predicted/hoped for in Afghanistan: A Just War Women's rights have emerged as a central goal of American foreign policy (see Woodward's book). The mere knowledge of that is empowering Muslim women in the same manner they empowered Polish workers. Here is the way the story is told in the Iranian News Journal. You will find a picture of a battered woman with the following caption: In Islam - and Arab nations Women are worth of nothing.
Where is the American media?
Recent developments in the Middle East are so disturbing that I could not think of a more appropriate way to start this posting. News of the atrocious treatment of Iraqi prisoners by both American and British soldiers are endangering the moral foundations of the coalition forces at the worst of times. Not that they are any good times for such horrendous behavior but there is little doubt that Bremer's occupation tactics are failing and need swift readjustment.
Barbara Lerner offers the best analysis of the serious errors with one exception. If most Iraqis think they are occupied, it is because General Garner, the man who came to liberate them and who busied himself organizing an Iraqi council and preparing for some kind of election process was replaced on May 12 by retired State Department control freak...
Unfortunately, recent revelations about American abuses in Iraq are muddying the waters at a time we need to see clearly that the Islamists have unveiled a new strategy - making the"Umah lands" (the region once controlled by Muslim rulers) not only free of foreign armies but"infidelrein" - free of non Muslims period. That is the common denominator between the attacks on oil workers in Saudi Arabia and the attacks on Chinese seaport workers in Pakistan.
It was this realization and the need to throw sand in the eyes of the world which led crown prince Abdallah and the Pakistani communication minister Babar Khan Gharui to resort to conspiracy theories to explain the attacks. Abdallah blamed "Zionists" for the attack while Gharui less directly blamed...
The demand had been cleverly fashioned to exploit the situation in Italy, where public opposition had been strong against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's ardent support of the U.S.-led Iraq war policy, and where left-wing parties have staged highly successful anti-war demonstrations.
But left-wing opposition parties have backed Berlusconi's conservative coalition in its resolve not to negotiate with the guerrillas. So the Italian left found itself in the contradictory situation of having to refuse to protest against the war -- something it has been doing for the past 15 months
This is a a sad story about the successful intimidation of the Western media:
Himel: My question to you is, why, in all these [images] don't we see Sharon and Arafat eating babies?
Benson: Maybe because Jews don't issue fatwas.
Himel: What do you mean by that?
Benson: Well, if you upset an Islamic or Muslim group, as you know, fatwas can be issued by...
To be honest, I would like to see sovereignty passed to Iraqis tomorrow. I fear the next few months. Syria, Iran and Al Qaeda are having too good a time watching Iraqis die and blaming the US for it. The picture of the Iraqi general is upsetting. I am sure you, too, can use some encouraging, if tough, words - so, here goes -
WIN #12-04 dtd 19 April 2004
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are commentaries on Intelligence and related national security matters, based on open media sources, selected, interpreted, edited and produced by AFIO for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN
WHAT THE CAMERAS DON’T SEE IN FALUJA -- Max B. thanks George S. for passing on this message from a chaplain in the Army Reserve who is on active duty in Iraq:
In light of today's death toll in Faluja I'd like to offer you a different view than you may see on your TV news. First...
Victor Davis Hanson does a yeoman job puncturing myths. Unfortunately, he fails to realize that, for better or worse, the US decided to fight the War on Terror not in the manner it fought World War II but in the manner it fought the Cold War. Hence, instead of clear cut rational battle lines directed at the total defeat of the axis powers by military means, the War on Terror is fought only intermittently by military means. Most of the time it is fought by political, economic and ideological means.
During World War II, nobody expected the allies to liberate France, establish a democratic government and wait for the Germans to overthrow Hitler. But that is precisely what the US did in Europe at the beginning of the Cold War. It established democracies in Western Europe and waited patiently for the USSR to...
In Syria, human rights advocates are also trying to raise their heads - the media is silent but at least Amnesty International speaks - Well done.
"Syria: Release human rights defender Aktham Nu'aysa immediately Amnesty International today condemned the continued arbitrary detention of Syrian human rights defender Aktham Nu'aysa, 53, head of the Committees for Defense of Democratic Liberties and Human Rights in Syria (CDDLHR). Aktham Nu'aysa was arrested on 13 April and referred yesterday to the Supreme State Security Court (SSSC).
Aktham Nu'aysa should be released immediately and all charges against him dropped", said Amnesty International.
After over a week of incommunicado detention at an unknown location, and with health conditions including an irregular heartbeat and a kidney complaint, both of which require medication, Aktham Nu'aysa reportedly suffered a stroke...
"Kol Hakavod" (all the honor) as we say in Hebrew to Mohamed El Baradei. He dares tell a student audience at Cairo University that"Israel sees that it cannot give up its weapons of mass destruction [WMD] in the absence of comprehensive peace, as long as there are countries or individuals that say that it will be 'thrown into the sea', and that its existence is not recognised in the region."
El-Baradei lambasted what he described as the backward"state of development" of the Arab countries, and the prevalent attitudes of constant"self-victimisation" and"always asking the attainment of peace from others instead of working towards achieving it ourselves". The Arab countries have yet to create a" civilisational project allowing them to attain the necessary balance of interests needed to persuade Israel that it is in its...
The Japanese, unlike the Spanish, blamed the terrorists and not their government for the kidnappings. Bravo! "TOKYO: Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi marked his third anniversary in office boosted by a clean sweep for his ruling party in weekend by-elections in the run-up to national polls in July.
Although two of the contests had been expected to be close, Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was spared a voter backlash Monday either for sending troops to Iraq or for an ongoing battle over pension reform.
Given the nexus between anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism isn't it time that the OSCE follow this conference with another one about anti-Americanism?
In Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism: A New Frontier of Bigotry Rosenfeld writes:"Hitler Had Two Sons: Bush and Sharon" reads the slogan on a so-called"peace-poster" carried in European anti-war rallies; and in this and countless other crude formulations of a similar nature, one finds expressed a hostility toward America, Israel, and the Jews that has been gaining force across much of Europe in the last few years.
For according to Andrei Markovits, the foremost student of the subject, anti Americanism may be an even bigger European problem than anti-Semitism:
Anti-Semitism in Europe goes...