Sunday, November 13, 2011

Palestine Israel History and Theirstory

Palestine Israel History and Theirstory.

by Christof Lehmann

November 13, 2011 by nsnbc

HisStory and TheirStory

I hope that the reader will bear over with me for inventing the word theirstory, but if history is written by those who are victorious and powerful enough to position them selves and their narratives about historical events into acceptance by mainstream historians and media, then, what else should one call the narratives of those who have suffered defeat. Palestinians have suffered from being in the position of the defeated for decades. Their history is theirstory, the one that does not make it into the textbooks of history. When dealing with human beings and their emotional as well as intellectual frailties however, the fact that those who write history are the one that are victorious, and those who write theirstory are those who have suffered defeat does neither validate history nor theirstory. Both usually are “a” story, a narrative about a discourse, as seen form a particular perspective.

The language of political discourse is generally speaking, and by virtue of the nature of politics, dominated by attempts to position one self and others. From perceived positions derive perceived rights and privileges as well as perceived duties and obligations. Scapegoating is but one of the many tactics that are applied in the political game of positioning one self and ones interests in the most favorable manner, while positioning ones adversary much less favorably. Spin Doctors or Propaganda Experts are playing a crucial role; so do lobbies, economy, geopolitical considerations and a cohort of other factors one can easily identify. Sadly, the abuse of the language of the political discourse has contributed considerably to prolonging the dispute between Palestine and Israel. Decades of conflict, and unimaginable human suffering of both Palestinian and Israeli individuals, families, communities would not have been possible without eliciting a world wide demand to bring an end to the suffering; That is, if only it would have been presented in a factual manner; That is, if media and entertainment industry would not have been playing a crucial role in dehumanizing one side of the conflict, while eliciting the suffering of the other. A very well researched and documented movie produced by The Media Education Foundation, REEL BAD ARABS, demonstrates how badly Hollywood has contributed to positioning the Arab people as uncivilized, brutal villains, terrorists, and right out inhumane, or sub human (1).

Dr. Jack Shaheen

In the movie, featuring Dr. Jack Shaheen, Dr. Shaheen documents that Arabs are being positioned as the most malign group in the history of Hollywood. Rightfully Dr. Shaheen is drawing the comparison between the way Hollywood has been and is positioning Arabs as sub-human, with that of the German National Socialists positioning of Jews as Untermenschen. (ibid) In both cases, in that of the positioning of Jews and the inhuman suffering that has been inflicted on European Jews during the National Socialist Era in Germany, and the ongoing positioning of Arabs as sub-human, and the suffering of Palestinians, the effect of the positioning is a significant increase in general populations accept of politically motivated violence as legitimate means to solve political conflicts. This includes politicians who grew up with the stereotyping media and entertainment.

Dr. Edward Said

In his book “REEL BAD ARABS, How Hollywood Vilifies a People” (2), Dr. Jack G. Shaheen looked at more than one thousand movies, from the oldest archives of Hollywood movies to the greatest “Blockbuster” movies up to 2001. Shaheen elicits the stereotypes that rob a whole people of their humanity. One could say that Dr. Shaheen is demonstrating on Hollywood productions, that what the renown Palestinian scholar Edward W. Said has described as “Orientalism” (3). While Said analyzed the stereotyping of all people of Asia Minor to East and South East Asia, Shaheen particularly analyzes the position Hollywood determines for Arabs. In the movie “REEL BAD ARABS“, Dr. Jack Shaheen elicits that the Disney Classic “Aladdin” that has been and is being seen by millions of people world wide, is recycling all the old stereotypes. The song at the beginning of the movie is setting the scene. “Where they cut off your ear if they don´t like your face, it´s barbaric, but hey…, it´s home.” People world wide, and particularly children, are coached into believing that Arabland is a place where innocent women have their hands amputated for forgetting to pay at the bazaar. In other movies Arab men are described as imbecilic super-rich, as sex addicted tyrants who mistreat their woman, and most importantly, American women. Women are kidnapped and sold of to sleazy Arabs in auctions. Dr. Shaheen elicits that over three hundred movies, nearly 25 % of all Hollywood movies in one way or the other demean Arabs. (ibid)

Dresden after the Firebombing

With respect to demeaning an entire people, the same could be said about the countless movies produced during and subsequent to World War II, who depict the German people as beasts, inhumane monsters, and genocidal maniacs. Countless Hollywood productions elicit the legitimate suffering of the Jewish people during world war two. As far as I am aware there has not ever been a Hollywood production that elicits the suffering of the at least 25.000 Germans that were burned to death during the bombing and total destruction of Dresden (4), or the at least 17.600 Germans that were burned to death after a 20 minutes bombing raid over Pforzheim (5). The author of this article has lost almost all of his family during the bombing of Dresden and grew up without ever having a grandfather or grandmother, a great grandfather or great grandmother, uncles, or aunts from his fathers side of the family. Is that suffering not legitimate? Is the suffering of those who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that of those left behind not legitimate human suffering. The fact is, that human beings are kind hearted by nature, and we do not wish to inflict pain and suffering on fellow human beings, as long as those fellow human beings are granted their dignity as human beings, and not being systematically dehumanized and stripped for all human value.

Dr. Jack G. Shaheen elicits in both the movie and the book “REEL BAD ARABS“, that Hollywood and politics go hand in hand in dehumanizing Arabs. Further, he documents that the dehumanization of Arabs began subsequent to World War Two. The Palestinian Israeli conflict, in which the USA unequivocally supported Israel, the Arab Oil Embargo in the seventies, and the revolution in Iran have been the main driving and motivating factors behind the dehumanization in Hollywood productions. (ibid) Ever since the founding of the state of Israel, every single US-Administration has unequivocally declared that it is committed to what is often called “The American Israeli Friendship”, or by other euphemisms for the unwavering support of Israel, no matter what, and no matter what violations of international law it commits. On the other hand, the USSR was known for it´s unequivocal support of the Palestinian course, more or less regardless what violations of international law there were committed by the militant member organizations of the PLO. In todays Russia, this support is more critical, but it is mainly driven by geopolitical rather than human rights considerations. The people of Israel and Palestine, Arabs, Christians and Jews alike have been, and are still the pawns in superpowers geopolitical stratagems.

Policies impact consensus reality by means of media and the entertainment industry. Consensus reality determines if a people is perceived as human beings, with all the legal, ethical, and moral consequences it implies, or if a people is perceived as sub-human, whose suffering can be tolerated or condoned; if a people can be murdered with impunity. In "REEL BAD ARABS", (ibid) Dr. Shaheen is drawing attention to the many Hollywood movies that are produced with the help of the US-Department of Defense, referring to numerous movies where the murder of Arabs is glorified. But it does not stop there. The Pentagon, as well as other defense departments world wide, invest in Media Corporations, infiltrate media with so called “experts and analysts” with ties to civilian and military intelligence services and armed forces. Even the book market is to a large degree controlled by government and military censorship, as demonstrated by the case of Lt. Col. Anthony Schaeffer, whose book “Operation Dark Heart“(6) the Pentagon tried to prevent from entering the market. (7)

IDF beating doctors

After growing up and being indoctrinated to the degree that Arabs utterly have lost their humanity, after growing up and daily being influenced by media reports that are designed to deprive Arabs of their value and dignity as human beings, and after growing up with a constant stream of so called entertainment that vilifies Arabs while it glorifies the murdering of them without the slightest concern about their humanity, is it surprising, that the populations of the West silently and complicity accept the daily violence that is committed against the people of Palestine, or the recent massacres of tens of thousands of Libyans. After all, Libya has supported the PLO and Palestinians for decades, so Libyans must be heartless terrorists, whom Western military forces and hired mercenaries can massacre with impunity in the tens of thousands. After all, what those people in the West have learned from early childhood via Disney cartoons such as Aladdin, and countless other dehumanizing productions is, that the Arabs, and for most Westerners Libyans are perceived as an Arab country, can be murdered and massacred with impunity. They are, after all barbaric and sub-human, we have learned it from the get go.

The Massacre in Sabra and Shatila

The reason why the suffering of the People of Palestine is not perceived as legitimate suffering, on an equal scale with the suffering of the Jewish people in Europe during World War Two, and the suffering of Israelis who are murdered by Palestinians is, that the governments of Western countries systematically have deprived the people of Palestine from their humanity.

It is a fact that human being has an innate resistance against taking another human beings life. As long as we are not speaking in terms of psycho-pathology, it takes months of rigorous military training, before a person can overcome this innate human trait. It does not matter if one analyzes this aversion against taking another human beings life from a purely moral or ethical perspective, or if one analyzes it from an evolutionary perspective. Our innate unwillingness against taking another human beings life is meaningful, and has the function to preserve ourselves as a species and human civilization.

We can establish as fact, that there is history and theirstory. Both are equally invalid. While history is a function of political control for those who are in positions of relative power, which can be instrumental for dehumanizing others, and for providing apparent legitimacy for the oppression of others, theirstory is often instrumental in recruiting resistance against the dominant powers while dehumanizing the oppressor. Neither the decades long conflict in Palestine or Israel nor any other conflict can be truly understood, let alone be solved, by a rhetoric approach to the language of the discourse. Language is a powerful instrument that contributes to a great degree in determining our thinking and our actions. Problems in conflicts are only truly comprehended and solved by a language that is free from positioning, scapegoating, and dehumanizing one, while providing legitimacy to the other. Without the foundation of a pure and factual language to the discourse, even if one is aiming for peace, it is almost impossible to discern which arguments in the Palestinian – Israeli discourse are legitimate and valid, and which are not.

The Necessity of a Teleological Approach to the Language of Discourse

The Palestinian Israeli conflict has lasted for decades, with unimaginable human suffering involved on both sides. This suffering was predominantly on the side of the Palestinians and Arab Israelis, but legitimate suffering has been and is present on both sides. It must, with all recognition of Israeli suffering, be understood that Israel is not only the one that illegally occupies Palestinian territory; it also has one of the worlds most well equipped military forces that are largely used to control the civilian population that is living under illegal occupation. The conflict has been dominated by decades of both low intensity and high intensity conflict. Both sides have used and are making use of what could be generally described as “terrorism”.

The problems with commonly used approaches to the language of the discourse with regards to the Palestine Israel conflict as well as politically motivated violence in general becomes obvious when one analyzes the different philosophical and scientific approaches that are used for understanding terrorism. Before establishing a teleological approach, let us briefly analyze some of the other approaches that are commonly used.

Yassir Arafat

The constructionist and social constructionist approach. With regards to so called terrorism, the constructionist approach is among other represented by Rom Harré. In his contribution to “Understanding Terrorism” (8), Harré not only emphasizes that the genesis of many psychological phenomena lie in the language and other symbolic systems. Harré is also correctly drawing attention to the fact that social constructionism does not sufficiently deal with problems such as positioning, scapegoating and labeling. Harré is giving the example of Peter Mandelstam, who said: “I think the distinction we have to make is not between good and bad terrorists. It is between those terrorists who have political objectives, and are prepared to negotiate these objectives at the end of the day and engage in some kind of political or peace process.“(9) Harré realizes the problems with social constructionism. The example of Peter Mandelstam´s definition (ibid) also clearly begs the question, if so called terrorists loose legitimacy because their opponent oppresses them to such a degree that they never get to the point where negotiations are possible. Are they less legitimate. Harré draws attention to the fact that the one mans terrorist can be the other ones freedom fighter. What Harré fails to deliver though, is a model that can help overcome the problems with social constructionism in politics and conflicts, and all that it includes.

Dr. Fathali Moghaddam

There are numerous other approaches to the discourse of so called terrorism. The influence of the social self, the dishonest criminal, and many other which to analyze is beyond the scope of this article. The one most widely taught in Western University Institutes is describing a staircase, beginning with perceived injustice, where the individual who perceives apparent injustice, and who is feeling deprived of legitimate and sufficient political influence, is slowly radicalized, and then driven into the hands of “terrorist” networks who slowly recruit and indoctrinate the person into becoming a terrorist. This theory was developed by the Iranian American Fathali M. Moghaddam (10).

Actually Moghaddam´s theory is a brilliant example for how problems can not be solved. It is also a brilliant example of how so called terrorism theory actively contributes to prolonging the Palestinian Israeli conflict rather than solving it. As long as the point of departure is “perceived injustice” (ibid) without first analyzing if there is any injustice to be perceived, the theory will not help solving the underlying causes of a conflict and thus not help stop the politically motivated violence. It can at best be useful for reinforcing the victors, the powerful´s narrative, that young people are indoctrinated by radicals, without ever analyzing why a group of people is making use of politically motivated violence including the strategy of terrorism. With respect to the Palestine Israel conflict, Moghaddam´s terrorism theory (ibid) is reinforcing the Hollywood narrative. The narrative of the violent Arab, the uncivilized barbarian, who seduces misguided, imbecile young Arab people into vicious and incompetent Arab monsters who have nothing better to do than randomly murdering innocent Israeli citizens for thereafter being murdered with impunity.

It is true that the genesis of many psychological phenomena is to be found in semantics, in language, in words. Semantics partially predetermine social syntax. And thus, before we ever arrive at a state where we can discuss legitimate suffering, perceived injustice versus injustice perceived, and how to solve one of the most complex conflicts of the Middle East and the world, we should begin by developing a teleological approach to the language of the discourse.

A teleology is any account that holds that final causes exist in nature. A thing, a process, or an action is teleological, when it is for the end of a final cause (11). In other words, teleology analyzes the “inherent intentionality in all objects, subjects and activities“. This includes politicians, military and paramilitary forces, populations, nationalities, organizations, et cetera as well as flowers and bumblebees. What the author of this article suggests is that the language of the Palestinian Israeli discourse, and that of conflicts in general, must be based on an understanding and application of teleology. The reason why this approach is so crucial for conflict resolution is, that a teleological approach to the language of the discourse makes it impossible to position, scapegoat, excuse, use euphemisms, and so forth. Let us look at some examples.

Hiroshima - The impossibility to grasp the scale of human suffering and dehumanization

Hiroshima. The second world war had already cost tens of millions of lives. The United States Air Force is a national military force. Terrorism can be described as the tactic of instilling the emotions of fear, terror, and perceived helplessness in a target population, with the aim to manipulate a political agenda. The city of Hiroshima was not of any direct military significance in the sense that it was not heavily defended, and the vast majority of it´s inhabitants were innocent civilians and non combatants. With a teleological approach to the language of the discourse of politically motivated violence, the bombing of Hiroshima was, ”The criminal, premeditated mass murder of civilian non combatants by means of a national military force, with the intention to terrorize an entire people and their government into submission, and with the purpose to intimidate and terrorize them so as to accept an unconditional surrender“. Euphemisms like “we nuked them to end the war” are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Phosphorous Bombs against Gaza Residents

The occupation of Palestine is the illegal occupation of a sovereign peoples country by means of military and paramilitary national, occupying forces. The countermeasures against so called terrorism in the occupied West Bank, such as road blocks, would be utterly unnecessary if Palestine was not illegally occupied, and are designed to intimidate and terrorize.

The bombing of Gaza in 2004 was the terror bombing of a civilian population with the intention to instill the emotion of terror and helplessness, with the intention to intimidate both the Palestinian people and their government into ceasing to continue their legitimate fight for liberation and self determination. It was terror bombing of non combatant civilians and premeditated mass murder.

The PFLP-GC is a Palestinian paramilitary organization that uses politically motivated violence with the intention to liberate their country from illegal occupation. The PFLP-GC has the declared intention to liberate their country from illegal occupation and it is thus a militant liberation movement. It also makes use of terror bombing of civilians, as well as it makes use of legitimate military action. The euphemism “targeted assassination“ used by Israel and the United States of America, is a euphemism for premeditated murder. The brutal violence used by Israeli military forces against civilians in the occupied West Bank amounts to inflicting bodily harm with the purpose to intimidate and instill terror, so as to control the population of an illegally occupied territory. It is politically motivated, illegal violence and terrorism with the purpose to continue and control an illegal occupation. The Palestinian man or women, who strap a bomb on them selves and explode them selves among non combatants inside Israel are terror bombing civilians with the intention to liberate their country from occupation. Never the less, it is terror bombing of civilian non combatants and premeditated murder too.

Legitimate and Illegitimate Discourse on Palestine and Israel

(1) The Unique Suffering of the Jewish People

Let there be no doubt. During World War II the Jewish people of Europe have suffered severe dehumanization. In movies such as “Der Ewige Jude” (12) an entire people was in propaganda movies denounced as rats, as a pest, that needed to be removed to safeguard a healthy German population and a strong Germany. European Jews were systematically deprived of their humanity. It does not matter if the number of six million murdered Jews has been significantly reduced after later years research; the fact remains that countless human beings suffered the most appalling abuse. An abuse that hardly would have been possible if the German population had not been manipulated into perceiving them as a pest.

Jewish lobbies often argue, that the suffering of the Jewish people was unique, and that they therefore must be granted special rights and privileges. It is an argument, that is often used within the context of finding justification for Israel`s aggression in the illegal occupation of Palestine. With all due respect for those who suffered, but the argument is invalid. Besides the danger of the indescribable suffering of the European Jews being abused to justify the infliction of suffering on others, Palestinians, there are many, like David E. Stannard (13) who argue, that declaring the so called holocaust as a unique event, and the positioning of the suffering of the Jewish people as unique suffering, belittles the many other genocides that have been taking place, and those which may come. Forced labor in the former Belgian colony Congo has, even though the exact numbers are somewhat disputed, contributed to the death of approximately 20 % of the colonies population (14). It is clearly problematic that the claims of the uniqueness of the Jewish suffering is not only false, but that it leads to the very relativism in the evaluation of human life that is one of the root causes of the holocaust itself, and of countless other massacres, acts of genocide, innocenticide, and ethnic cleansing. It is a root cause for the atrocities that those who survived the holocaust, and those who today claim to be the victims representatives, are claiming to deplore. With all possible empathy for the victims of the National Socialists persecution, the unique suffering is not a valid argument for the establishment of a Jewish state or the state of Israel on the territory of the Palestinian people.

Dr. Norman Finkelstein

Finally, the insistence of Jewish lobbies that the suffering of the Jewish people is unique, while shamelessly abusing the legitimate suffering of millions of Jews for an extortion racket, which the Jewish American scholar, Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein, (15) documented in his book “The Holocaust Industry” (16) is contributing to strong, world wide, anti Jewish sentiments. It is reinforcing many of the stereotypes that have contributed to the Jewish people being targeted by National Socialists in the first place.

(2) The Historical Argument

If the historical argument, which is based on the fact that Jewish people were living in historical Israel in biblical times is to be validated as justification for the establishment of the modern state of Israel there arise a number of problems that are inconsolable with modern international law. The author of this article is German, born in the region of Germany from where Teutonic people once emigrated northwards to the Danish territory known today as Thy. Danes call Germans Tysker. Those German tribal people had a distinct culture and religion. Based on the historical argument, a strong lobby should be able to lobby a superpower like the USA into accepting the argument, and German people could initiate a mass migration into Northern Denmark. They could then, alter the demographics of the area and it would be perfectly legal to provide a Thy-Passport to anyone who could document West German ancestry. Finally, if the Thy region was divided between Germans and Danes, it would be legitimate to occupy it entirely, to evict Danes from their houses, to force them to live in enclaves with walls around them to protect the occupier. The historical argument is so problematic that it would provoke countless conflicts throughout the world. It is an often used, but never the less absolutely invalid and a most dangerous argument.

(2a) Legitimacy via the Balfour Declaration


Arthur James Balfour

According to today's legal standards, the Balfour Declaration (17) would be considered illegal. The argument that it lends legitimacy to the state of Israel is equivalent to arguing, that any colonial power or nation that is victorious in a war and an occupying power, has the right to significantly change the demography of an occupied territory. It is absolutely problematic, and created a precedence that since has given rise to other conflicts and illegal practices, such as the ongoing establishment of a so called independent Kosovo. Imagine for a moment, that Denmark, which still maintains a semi colony on Greenland, granted the Jewish people a homeland on Greenland. Would the Inuit on Greenland have the right to resist, and if necessary by making use of politically motivated violence. The argument is invalid, and the inherent consequences of this type of argument are most dangerous for the peace.

(2b) Legitimacy by Virtue of the United Nations

Ben Gurion

On 14 May 1948 the provisional government of the self proclaimed state of Israel, led by Ben Gurion, informed the then US President Truman and the world that the state of Israel was established. Ben Gurion asked Truman to recognize Israel on behalf of the USA. (18) The US Administration recognized the government of Israel as de facto government within the course of minutes. After failed attempts, it was fully recognized as a member of the United Nations in 1949. (19) It is important to remember, that the establishment and recognition of Israel happened within the context of a rapidly developing cold war, involving the USSR and the Warsaw Treaty nations on one hand and the USA, the UK, France, and allied as well as occupied nations on the other. It was by no means clear weather Israel would become an ally to the one or the other side of the divide. One must admit that the Israeli politicians played their hand wisely, gaining maximum support from the USA. A support that has since been so extended that some historians perceive Israel as a part of the American Republic.

The problem with the argument that the recognition of Israel by the United Nations provides legitimacy for the state of Israel is that the United Nations, by recognizing Israel, contradicted main tenets of it´s own charter. The right of Palestinians, Arab, Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike, was grossly neglected by allowing the establishment of a new state within the territory of another, without at least a referendum. The argument that the State of Israel has achieved legitimacy by being recognized by the United Nations Security Counsel and the United Nations General Assembly is thus at least highly problematic, and most likely legally invalid.

(2c) The De Facto Argument

One could argue that the state of Israel has gained legitimacy due to its 60 plus years of de facto existence and functioning. The weakness of this argument is that it provides precedence for illegal practices being legitimized due to having been practiced for a sufficient amount of time. Sadly the de facto legitimization of illegal practices, due to the ability to back the illegal practices with military force, is still commonplace in 2011. The de facto existence argument needs the most careful consideration for a number of reasons.

The most prominent of those reasons are:

The fact that nations are established with the support of superpowers who apply economic, political and military force to support the establishment of nations that are friendly to them is highly problematic. One of those incidents is Kosovo, where the Serbian population has been, and still is subject to oppression by politically motivated violence via KFOR. Thus the United Nations has become an instrument for “nation building” projects, that are opposed to it´s own charter and principles of peoples right to self determination.

The fact that the state of Israel is the first nation in the world that owes its very existence and legitimacy to the United Nations should oblige Israel to strictly uphold any UNSC resolution which is not in contradiction to the charter of the UN. The de facto reality meanwhile is, that Israel is condescending, and refusing to accept the legitimacy of one UNSC resolution after the other that is critical of Israel, while at the same time using it´s influence within the USA and EU member states to oppress the natural and human rights of the Palestinian people at the United Nations. An Israel that continues this practice can not legally nor morally rely on being legitimized by the international body which it refuses to adhere to.

The virtually endless expansion of Israel (1948-2000)

It is a fact that Israel has for now 60 plus years committed and continues to commit crimes which are the antithesis of the principles that are enshrined in the charter of the United Nations, from which it claims legitimacy. Principally, those crimes include:

* The repeated invasions and aggressions against Lebanon with tens of thousands of murdered civilians.

* The illegal occupation and annexation of the Golan Highs and parts of Southern Lebanon.

* The occupation of Gaza, and after leaving Gaza, the illegal land and maritime siege against Palestinians in Gaza.

* The illegal and criminal deprivation of Palestinians in Gaza from basic food items, and medicines, from the ability to trade freely.

* The repeated destruction of infrastructure such as electric power plants and water supplies, government buildings, schools, and cultural facilities.

* The illegal occupation of the West Bank and the annexation of vast Palestinian territories, leaving Palestinians in the West Bank to live in de facto enclaves that are separated from each other by military installations, illegal settlements, illegal walls that isolate the populations in the enclaves.

* The illegal taking of prisoners, including children.

* The treatment of even uniformed Palestinian liberation fighters as criminals and “terrorists” instead of giving them the status of prisoners of war.

* The systematic torture of prisoners. Countless human rights abuses. The use of military ammunition in civilian areas.

* The regular use of disproportionate military force.

* Murder of Palestinian politicians as well as liberation fighters, policemen, and other under an illegal program of what is euphemistically called targeted assassinations.

* Daily cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment of Palestinians.

* The controlling every aspect of individual, family, community and political life. Deportations that amount to ethnic cleansing.

* Refusing refugees the right to return.

* A 60 year long politic of aggression, violence, massacres, deportations and ethnic cleansing that amount to genocide.

Justifications and Justice

The fact that Israel has the policy of justifying its 60 plus year long policy of aggression and genocide, or rather innocenticide, does not lend justification to its inhumane treatment of Palestinians. None of its arguments -- not the uniqueness of Jewish suffering; the historical argument; the argument of legitimacy by virtue of the Balfour Declaration; the argument of legitimacy by virtue of the United Nations -- nor the de facto argument provide any form of justification or legitimacy for the cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of Palestinians and the systematic genocide that is being conducted on a daily basis.

(i) The Right to Resist

The people of Palestine have every right to resist. They have the right to peaceful resistance, and they have the right to use politically motivated violence. They have however, as understandable their desperation is, not the right to use the same illegal practices that are used against them and which they deplore. The murder of innocent, non-combatant Israeli citizens. The so called kidnappings of soldiers, such as Gilat Shalit (20) are perfectly legal, provided that prisoners are granted the full rights of prisoners of war to the extend that security allows. The defamation of armed Palestinian liberation forces as “terrorists”, while terror bombing civilians does not contribute to a solution that could bring security to Israelis or Palestinians. The absolute dis-proportionality of Israeli repression against armed liberation groups, and the indiscriminate murder of civilians does not provide security for Israel, nor for Palestine.

(ii) The Right to Return


Israels refusal to respect Palestinians right to return on one hand, the steady increase of illegal settlements, the import of Jewish people from throughout the world that significantly changes the demographics in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories on the other, can in spite of all euphemisms, only be described as systematic ethnic cleansing and genocide. Nothing short of genocide embraces the full monstrosity of what has been happening in Palestine for over 60 years, and the monstrosity of what is happening in Palestine every single day.

(iii) The Right to Exist

If the state of Israel ever had the right to exists, it has now spent over 60 years on demonstrating that the recognition of Israel was one of the most tragic mistakes that have been permitted and committed since the end of the second world war. In the eyes of many scholars world wide the consensus that Israel has lost all legitimacy, if it ever had any, is becoming increasingly prevalent.

A well meant word to the Jewish Community

You are a wonderful people. The author of this article has Jewish people among his good friends. If you wish to support the cause of the Jewish people, do read this article twice. The best thing you can do for yourself, for the Jewish people, for Israel, and for peace is this:

A slowly, but ever so slowly increasing number of Israeli soldiers deny to serve within the illegally occupied territories of Palestine. Support them. A slowly growing community of Jewish people speaks out against the Holocaust Industry. Support them. Both Arab and Jewish Israeli citizens protest and actively resist illegal demolitions of Palestinians homes. Join their cause and demonstrate for those who have suffered at the hands of Jewish people for over 60 years. Understand that it is a criminal minority that bears responsibility for both the Palestinians and Israelis suffering. Speak out against power. Show them that you have courage to resist against being represented by criminals. Show humanity. Lobby against those lobbies who create hatred rather than understanding. Show the greatness of your people by showing your ability to understand suffering. Your people have had a genuine and frightening, though not unique suffering brought upon you. Show that you understand that the suffering of the Jewish people was not unique, but that it helps you to be compassionate towards others who suffer. Show that you are human, and protest the dehumanization of Arabs and all human beings, everywhere. Your humanity is the best safeguard against ever being dehumanized again.

Is “Israel” viable?

The short answer is, "No!" No two state solution will ever bring a de facto independently existing Israel or a de facto independently existing Palestine into existence. After decades of “Peace Process” on the track of a two state solution it must have become evident for all parties involved, that the only viable possibility for the establishment of peace for Arabs, Christians and Jews alike is one state. One secular state with the liberty to practice one religion of choice. One state that embraces Palestinians inalienable right to return. One state that is seeking peace with its neighbors. One state that embraces a policy of immigration, that is fair and balanced, and does not give rise to internal conflicts. One state that adheres to international law and human rights while maintaining it´s uniquely rich and fertile cultural elements. Failure to let reason and humanity prevail may very well become one of the root causes for a conflict that ends civilization as we know it. A state for Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Atheists and others alike. It is the only viable solution. And please do not let the choice of a name come in the way of reason and peace. What about Peacerael.

Dr. Christof Lehmann

13.11.2011

1. Reel Bad Arabs; Movie, Media Education Foundation.

2. Jack G. Shaheen (2001), "REEL BAD ARABS, How Hollywood Vilifies A People” Olive Branch Press, New York, New Hampton.

3. Said Edward G. (1978), Orientalism, Random House, USA.

4. The Bombing of Dresden in WW II. Wikipedia. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II

5. The Bombing of Pforzheim in WW II. Wikipedia. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Bombing_of_Pforzheim_in_World_War_II

6. Schaeffer Anthony Lt. Col. (2010), Operation Dark Heart, St. Martins Press, New York.

7. Chris McGreal (2010), "Pentagon Tries to stop book, publishing details of US Black-Ops in Pakistan". http://www.pakistankakhudahafiz.com/2010/09/16/pentagon-tries-to-buy-entire-print-run-of-us-spy-expose-operation-dark-heart/

8. Moghaddam F. and Marsella (2004), Understanding Terrorism, American Psychological Association, Washington, USA. pp. 91-102.

9. Mandelstam P. (2001, December 29), "IRA aims make them freedom fighters, says Mandelstam". The London Times, p.2

10. Moghaddam Fathali M., The Staircase to Terrorism. Georgetown University.

11. Teleology – Wikipedia. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Teleology

12. Der Ewige Jude; Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team. http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/holoprelude/derewigejude.html

13. Stannard David E. (1996); The Dangers of Calling the Holocaust Unique, The Chronicle of Higher Education. http://www.codoh.com/reference/dangofcall.html

14. Congo Free State – Wikipedia. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Congo_Free_State

15. Norman Finkelstein Biography. http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/biography/

16. Finkelstein Norman (2001), The Holocaust Industry, Verso, London, New York

17. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 – Wikipedia. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Balfour_Declaration_of_1917

18. Press Release about recognition of Israel. http://www.archives.gov/global-pages/larger-image.html?i=/education/lessons/us-israel/images/recognition-press-release-l.jpg&c=/education/lessons/us-israel/images/recognition-press-release.caption.html

19. Recognition of the State of Israel. Palestine Facts. http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_independence_recognition_who.php

20. Littlewood Stuart (2011), "Shalit got off lightly", nsnbc no spin news. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/shalit-got-off-lightly/

About nsnbc
nsnbc is a news-media, established on 28 August 2011 with the purpose to break corporate or state controlled medias embargo on truth. nsnbc publishes articles from journalists, authors and experts from all continents. nsnbc was established and is edited by Dr. Christof Lehmann with the intention to bring you daily no-spin reporting, in depth analysis and opinion from throughout the world. nsnbc is politically and economically independ

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reason and Rationality in Public Debate: The Case of JFK

Reason and Rationality in Public Debate: The Case of JFK

Jim Fetzer and Douglas Horne

As an illustration of the depravity of the main stream media in this country today, I have been struck by the astute observations of Douglas Horne, who was the Chief Analyst for Military Records for the Assassination Records Review Board, a five-member civilian board entrusted with the responsibility for declassifying documents and records held by the CIA, the NSA, the FBI and the Secret Service, among other agencies of the government, created by an act of Congress in the wake of the resurgence of interest in the death of JFK generated by Oliver Stone's film. They had been classified for 75 years by the Warren Commission on the ground of national security. If its conclusion--that JFK was assassinated by a lone, demented gunman named "Lee Harvey Oswald"--were true, however, there would have been NO "national security" aspect to this issue.

Moreover, by classifying them for 75 years (which just happens to correspond to the lifetime of an average American), they insured that no one who was living at the time would be available to contradict whatever those records might reveal. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), which reinvestigated the case in 1976-79, likewise decided to sequester many sensitive documents, especially those in the medical arena that contradicted its own conclusions, for 50 years, which Oliver Stone emphasized in his film, "JFK". As those of us who have devoted ourselves to the evidence in this case are well aware, Oswald could not have committed the crime and was used as a "patsy" to distract attention from the conspirators, who included the CIA, the Joint Chiefs, anti-Castro Cubans and elements of local law enforcement. An overview of what we know about how it was done, who was responsible, and how it was covered-up may be found at "Dealey Plaza Revisited: What happened to JFK?" I have also interviewed Doug several times on "The Real Deal", where those interviews are accessible at the following links:

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2010
Douglas Horne
INSIDE THE ARRB (2009)

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2010
Douglas Horne
INSIDE THE ARRB (2009), Part II

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010
Douglas Horne
INSIDE THE ARRB (2009) Vol. V

The JFK Assassination: Still a Taboo Subject for the Mainstream Media in the United States

Douglas Horne

September 30th, 2011 8:37

Almost 48 years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, the mainstream media (MSM) in this country still treats it as a Taboo Subject. This is a strange state of affairs, given the MSM's propensity to tout its own courage and independence, and its important role as the Fourth Estate in our democracy.Let me provide just two recent examples. Last year, as MSNBC "Hardball" host and moderator Chris Matthews interviewed the author of a book about the JFK assassination, he employed a sneering, dismissive tone toward all persons who are convinced there was a conspiracy to murder the 35th President--by implication, tarring all such people as misguided idiots, and irresponsible. As usual, he characterized such persons as nuts, cranks, crazy people, and conspiracy theorists (the ultimate insult employed by anyone still supporting the Warren Commission's seriously flawed and unsupportable findings), and in a rather brutal and intellectually overbearing and arrogant manner, proclaimed that Lee Harvey Oswald was a crazy person, a lone nut, who killed JFK all on his own. In doing so, he was disagreeing with (and insulting) over 75% of the American people, but this didn't seem to bother him.

The real question is, WHY does he continue to proclaim this stance in such an insistent manner? Aside from this issue, Matthews appears to be a pretty bright and well-informed guy. How, I asked myself, could he so loudly and insistently proclaim that the Warren Commission got it right, when there is so much overwhelming evidence that its conclusion cannot possibly be true? On this one issue he has consistently shown a very ugly, and obnoxious side of his personality--a "dark side," if you will. I wondered last fall if he really believed the nonsense he was spouting, or whether he was reflexively adopting a stance he had been instructed to adopt in public. And if he had been so instructed, who provided him with his JFK assassination marching orders? Was it the management structure at MSNBC, or was it a cadre within the American intelligence community that remains fixated on this subject (and others that are crucial to the attitudes of Americans toward their own governmental institutions)?

Sadly, Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow, two MSNBC journalists whom I highly respect most of the time, have also spoken derisively about "conspiracy theorists" and have painted anyone who believes that JFK was assassinated by a conspiracy with this overused tar brush.This past week, a new public opinion poll was released showing that the number of Americans who now trust the American government to "do the right thing all or most of the time" is at an all time low--it is now down to only 15% of those polled. CNN, in reporting this story and providing context, then proceeded to promote inaccurate history about the polling numbers in its background pieces on the story. CNN stated that under President Eisenhower, in the late 1950s, this trust figure was as high as 73% (which is true), and then falsely implied that this was as high as the trust figure had ever been.

THIS WAS UNTRUE. In his 1994 book "Arrogant Capital," conservative author Kevin Phillips wrote that in January of 1964 this figure was 78%, and that this was the all-time high watermark for trust in the American government. He published a graph showing that from 1960 through January of 1964, the figure was continuously rising, and therefore, it is clear that the figure rose from 73% to 78% during the Presidency of John F. Kennedy, America's 35th President: a rationalist who touted openness in government, who opposed withholding information from the American people, and who even gave a speech against secrecy and secret societies. (I published the graph used by Phillips as Figure 71, in my own book, "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board," published in 2009 and still available at Amazon.com). Study of the graph reveals that this trust starting dropping precipitately after January of 1964.

The CNN talking heads and anchors proclaimed this past week that the primary reasons for the sharp decline of the high numbers seen in the late 1950s were the Vietnam War and Watergate. But this is only a half-truth, at best. They conveniently omitted mentioning when the figure was at its highest (at the end of JFK's Presidency), and also conveniently chose not to mention that the rapid decline in confidence in the U.S. government began very shortly after the JFK assassination. It is clear to me when studying this graph (you can access it in either Phillips' book or in mine), that the American people began to lose faith in the American government immediately after the JFK assassination; no doubt people smelled a rat when LIFE magazine, and later the Warren Report, began to blow smoke up our collective asses about how (and why) JFK was murdered.

The sharp decline on the graph accelerated in 1968. And what happened that year? Three things: the Tet Offensive in Vietnam (when the American people finally realized the USG had been lying to them about the conduct of the war and the prospects for victory); the Martin Luther King assassination; and the Robert F. Kennedy assassination. These two assassinations, like JFK's, were all blamed on lone nut individuals acting on their own---and in each case, there is strong evidence that the official story is not true. The next sharp drop in confidence in the graph occurs between 1972 and 1976, and almost certainly reflects the Watergate scandal, and America's unceremonious ejection from Vietnam, after losing a war for the first time. The nosedive in confidence continues at a rapid rate through 1980, and it is likely that one contributor was the unsatisfactory way in which the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) handled the JFK and MLK assassinations. The HSCA stirred up the muck of bad memories and feelings about those two events, and the electrified public which had demanded the Congressional investigations into the JFK and MLK murders was more than a bit nonplussed about the HSCA whitewash of both events.

So what happened this past week with CNN? I explain it in this way: if the high watermark for faith in the U.S. government during JFK's presidency is event A, and the rapid decline in faith in government after January 1964 is event B, then the MSM could not mention A, without mentioning B and WHY it occurred. Event B (the loss in confidence in government) began immediately after the assassination, clearly caused by the government's attempt to calm public opinion with soothing lies after JFK was murdered. NBC, CBS, and ABC (most of the time, but not all of the time) have all been participating in the same collective "groupthink"---namely, that Oswald was the lone assassin who killed JFK and that he did it all on his own---since December of 1963. The MSM would have us believe that that JFK's assassination was the work of a lone malcontent, devoid of any political significance. CNN has now joined the club. FOX news is...well, FOX news; one week before air time, the network removed my interview clips (containing explosive new material which the producer had promised me would be used) from its 2003 documentary about the JFK assassination after network officials objected to the content.

The anchors and reporters employed by the mainstream networks have obviously been instructed by managing editors and company vice presidents that you do not mention the JFK assassination, unless it is to (1) blame Lee Harvey Oswald for the event; and (2) disparage any contrary views as the unstable thinking of "conspiracy theorists." (A corollary to this pack mindset is that you don't mention JFK in a historical context unless it is to disparage him or tear down his reputation--since doing so tends to make people not care as much about his assassination.) Event A could not be reported because it would have forced CNN to report event B. If CNN had reported event B, it would have highlighted the fact that the American media had missed the story of the century--had either been asleep at the switch, or muzzled by the government--from December of 1963 throughout 1964. (And indeed, for the most part, it has kept its head in the sand, like an ostrich, ever since the Warren Report came out as well.) The American media is not fond of reporting on its own failures. Doing so, in this case, would raise the ugly specter of why the mainstream media continues to aggressively promote an editorial position on this subject which is diametrically opposed to the opinions of over 75% of the American people.

So in my view, CNN could not mention the truth--that the trust in government was continuously going up (above Eisenhower's numbers) during JFK's presidency, and that it fell precipitately after his assassination, because to do so would attract attention to the positive aspects of JFK's presidency (certainly not in vogue within either conservative or mainstream circles), and would also show, in a way that ANYONE in the viewing audience could understand, that there was a linkage between the corrosion of trust in the USG and JFK's assassination. The continuous government and mainstream media assassination spin from December of 1963 through the summer of 1964, and the public conclusions of the Warren Report--issued in September of 1964--were clearly the proximate cause of the sharp decline in trust in government, which began in 1964. CNN (and no doubt other networks reporting the same story) could not tell the whole truth about the confidence polling because the whole truth would have contravened the wishes of their corporate and intelligence community masters.

In 1975 reporter Carl Bernstein (in a "Rolling Stone" article) and The New York Times (in a series of piggyback articles) both reported that the CIA had used over 400 media "assets" (both abroad and domestically) to promote its spin on world events to the publics of the world---in other words, for propaganda purposes. Author John LeCarre (British master of spy novels and a former MI 6 agent himself) recently stated in an interview that in the 1960s, when his book "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" was about to be made into a film, he was flown to America and questioned about his loyalty to the West by American intelligence. (They were not happy that the theme of his book, at the height of the Cold War, was "a plague on both your houses.") In his interview (on the Criterion bonus DVD about that same film), LeCarre stated that most people would be absolutely amazed if they knew how many people in the American intelligence community were sitting around doing nothing but thinking about ways to influence public opinion. (This is clearly against the CIA's charter, by the way---and unlawful---since it is not supposed to participate in any domestic activities.)

If you think this activity has stopped just because of the Church Committee Hearings in the mid-1970s, then I have a bridge to sell you in the Gobi desert.


There are things that we know and believe, and then there is the much smaller universe of things that can be proved in a court of law. There is no doubt in my mind that the MSM's blindness about the true facts of the Kennedy assassination and the ensuing government cover-up (and its continued denigration of his reputation) is self-willed, not inadvertent--and that the media's collective groupthink about the Kennedy assassination (namely, blaming it on a lone nut in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary) is evidence that the CIA is still playing the "Great Wurlitzer" of the media like an impresario. The CIA has in the short term succeeded brilliantly, in that it has gotten the MSM to think and speak in unison, tarring all JFK researchers as "conspiracy theorists" in an effort make them a subject of ridicule, and thereby marginalize their work. When it can, it orchestrates media blackouts of serious new research and new books (such as mine, and Phil Nelson's), for fear that the general public would learn about them and read them, even if they were to be trashed by a hostile reviewer.

In the long term the CIA/MSM propaganda war against JFK researchers is counterproductive and has failed, because lying to the citizenry of a democracy "to protect its institutions," in an attempt to bolster trust in the government, only ends up destroying respect for those institutions, when the lies are eventually revealed. And they are all (or most, anyway) eventually revealed, since as Shakespeare noted, "The Truth Will Out."

Individual reporters dare not report about the overwhelming evidence of conspiracy in the JFK assassination, or the ensuing government cover-up, if their editors forbid them to file such stories, and if they know they will lose their jobs if they attempt to do so. This has been going on since December of 1963; everyone in the MSM knows it; and most of them will not even try anymore for fear of losing their jobs.

This is what we all face as the 50th anniversary approaches. When you are bombarded by even more bullshit and government spin about the assassination of the 35th President two years from now, do not be surprised. Learn to think critically and independently; read as many books as you can; and make up your own minds about what happened in America in November of 1963. If you do not, there is a vast disinformation and propaganda machine out there that will be happy to tell you what to believe on the 50th anniversary of JFK's murder.

The national security spinmasters, Obama's information CZAR Cass Sunstein, and the corporate media would prefer that you spend all your time obsessed with game shows, singing and dancing contests, so-called "reality shows" that are cheap to produce (and are, in reality, garbage), and modern age gladiatorial contests in large outdoor stadiums and indoor sports arenas. When you do focus on history from time to time they want you to accept the vanilla, mainstream, and simplistic interpretations of events ground out like sausage by mainstream historians and the MSM. They want you to engage in Goodthink, and think Goodthoughts. "But don't think too deeply, please." They don't want the American people to think too much about deep politics or historical trends; when we do focus on politics every two years or so, they want us to focus on "the horserace" each election cycle, and not on substantive issues. They definitely don't want us to focus on what has gone wrong in this country since the end of World War II---after all, if we all really get mad as hell, we might demand basic structural changes to our society and our system of government.

These controlling elements of our society prefer that we adopt a "father knows best" mentality, and simply trust the national security elite to manage this nation's international affairs and military policies. They depend upon their allies and assets in the corporate mainstream media (whores, actually) to keep us distracted with pablum, and to define for us, on a daily basis, the bounds of what is "acceptable" for us to publicly discuss, and what is "not acceptable." [This is the game Chris Matthews of MSNBC, and CNN and the other major networks on television, are engaged in.] The loss of independence by the MSM and its failure to ever seriously oppose the nation state with any really hard-hitting investigative reporting on substantive issues (such as war and peace, and why people get assassinated) should be of very serious concern to us all. Once an independent media is lost, tyranny is only one step away.

Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is the editor of Assassination Science (1998), Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000), and The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003).

Douglas Horne served as the Chief Analyst for Military Records with the Assassination Records Review Board and published Inside the ARRB (2009), a five-volume report of their findings.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reason and Rationality in Public Debate: The Case of Libya

Reason and Rationality in Public Debate: The Case of Libya

by Jim Fetzer

In collaboration with Christof Lehmann, "Libya, Green Flags, and The Heart of Darkness", I have explained why, based upon the information available to us both, even if Moammar Gadaffi qualified as a dictator, he was a remarkably benevolent one, who provided his citizens with a national health care program, financed their education (even at the college level), provided them with homes and even a share of royalties derived from the nation's oil resources. Under Gadaffi, Libya had attained a literacy rate among its young of 99.9% and the highest standard of living in Africa. Now that he has been removed, I have no doubt that these remarkable achievements are going to be lost. Indeed, the kinds of motives that drive the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, which include a national health care program, a living wage (regardless of occupation) and a free college education were ones that Gaddafi was providing to the Libyan people. If we are right, then Libya under Gadaffi has been leading the way, while the USA has been playing "catch up"--but here only under duress.

The Case for Gaddafi

My reasoning has been based upon the evidence available to me, including the kinds of data to which Enver Masud, Stephen Lendman and a host of others have drawn attention. In his recent, "Five Things you may not know about Muammar Gadaffi and Libya", for example—and assuming that his information is accurate and complete regarding the points he presents— Enver Masud exposes the shameless deception of the main stream media in its coverage of Libya and its recent history under Gadaffi:

* Gaddafi Seized Power in Bloodless Coup: Muammar Gaddafi, aka Col. Gaddafi, seized power in 1969 in a bloodless coup by overthrowing King Idris;

* Largest Oil Reserves in Africa: According to the US Energy Information Administration, "Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa";

* Libya Ranks #1 on the Human Development Index: The UN's Development Program Libya ranked first in Africa (and 53 globally in 2010, but dropped to 64 in 2011) on the Human Development Index;

* Great Man-Made River Project: The Great Man-Made River Project, begun in 1984 by Col. Gaddafi, has been called "the 8th Wonder of the World"; and, perhaps most strikingly,

* Program to Privatize Oil: On February 21, 2011, five days after the Arab Spring broke out in Libya, Qaddafi launched a new program to privatize all Libyan oil to every citizen of Libya.

Among the most interesting points Enver makes concerns this privatization program, which initially "provided $21,000 to every Libyan from a total of $32,000,000,000 in the Year 2011”, so that the Libyan “health, education, transport, and some other ministries could be abolished and individual Libyans could use the profits of their own investments, including from oil ownership, to obtain the relevant services", which, Gaddafi said, would be "the best way to eliminate corruption, including the theft of Libyan oil by foreign oil companies, and to decentralize governmental power." From this perspective, Gaddafi looks good and comes across as a benevolent dictator.

The Case against Gaddafi

If these reports are well-founded, then Gaddafi's concerns parallel those of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement to abolish corporate welfare and crony capitalism for the benefit of the American people, where the latest transfer of $75 trillion in derivatives liabilities by Bank of America and of another $79 trillion by J.P. Morgan are stunning indications of the depths of corruption to which the banking and investing institutions of this nation have sunk. But what if those reports about Gaddafi's good works in Libya are inaccurate or at least misleading? In "Gaddafi Phoney Welfare State Unmasked" by Jim Dean, for example, featuring Uri Avnery, an expert on Israel and Palestine, a very different picture emerges, according to which Gaddafi instead qualifies as a murderous tyrant:

* His clownish appearance and foreign adventures diverted the attention of world opinion from the murderous aspects of his rule.

* From time to time, on a whim, he let loose waves of horror, torturing and killing anyone who had voiced the least hint of criticism.

* On one occasion, his thugs shot all the 1200 inmates of Abu Salim prison in Tripoli.

* He spent some money on building schools and hospitals, but that was a tiny part of the resources available to him.

* Huge amounts of oil revenue were squandered on his bizarre adventures or stolen by his family.

And, indeed, Jim and others have published multiple columns on VT that provide additional support for the depiction of Gaddafi as something other than a benevolent dictator. Some has appealed to their personal experience with Gaddafi and in Africa, which has powerfully affected his conclusions in this matter. But that he is in the position to based his opinions on his own personal experience does not mean that we are in the position to base our opinions on his personal experiences, where what he has to tell us has to qualify as “inside information” that requires its own evaluation before it can be taken at face value. If there is a conflict between UN reports and his opinions, for example, can we determine who is right and who is wrong? Are we in the position to sort all of this out?

Critical exchange–serious debate–is one of the most effective methods available to us for exposing falsehoods and revealing truths, where the acid test of our own objectivity and fair-play is not the issues upon which we all agree but on those on which we most strenuously disagree. The case of Libya is a case in point. While Jim and others have provided a strong case against Gaddafi as a murderous tyrant, Cristof Lehman, Stephen Lendman and others have provided an equally strong case for Gadaffi as a benevolent dictator. So are there any general consideration that might enable us to sort out these differences of opinion? I believe there are, but I must emphasize that, since we are dealing with inductive reasoning, new premises or new theories about what has been going on might require us to revised our positions by rejecting hypotheses that we previously accepted, accept hypotheses we previously rejected, and leave others in suspense. Let’s begin with the case for Gaddafi as a tyrant.

Evaluating Conflicting Positions


Perhaps the strongest case that Jim and others make hinges upon the reports from Uri Avnery, who is an acknowledged expert on Israel and Palestine. For Uri’s testimony to outweigh the UN’s reports on the quality of life in Libya and other countries, however, the probability that he is right must be greater than the probability that the UN is right. Otherwise, since their reports conflict, whichever is granted the greater weight by that token weighs against the truth of the other. Not only is the UN in the business of making assessments of this kind, but Uri is not an expert on Libya, which means that we appear to encounter a fallacious appeal to authority in this instance. Moreover, there are obvious indications of bias against those whom he identifies as “leftists”, such as that, “I was sharply attacked by some well-meaning European leftists for blessing the awful monster called NATO.

Now, in retrospect, it is quite obvious that the overwhelming–if not unanimous–opinion of the Libyans themselves welcomed the intervention.” He also claims, “There can be no doubt any more that the vast majority of the Libyan people detested Gaddafi and welcomed the NATO campaign that helped to remove him. It was an important contribution, but the actual heavy fighting was done by the ragtag people’s army.” But the division of opinion about issues like these means that, for those of us who are not Uri, his position begs the question by taking for granted the crucial issues that are at stake here, including whether or not the Libyans “welcomed NATO’s intervention” and whether or not the heavy fighting was done by “a ragtag people’s army”. As a former Marine Corps officer, I know that the largest proportion of casualties in combat come as an effect of bombing and of artillery strikes, not as the result of infantry operations by a ragtag army. If tens of thousands have died, it was almost certainly at the hands of NATO.

There are other reasons to doubt that this was an emancipation of Libya by the Libyan people. The first action taken by this allegedly indigent force was to found a central bank. That struck me at the time as most peculiar, but I have learned since that Gadaffi had established his own independent bank for the benefit of the Libyan people. And this is on the only indication that what was taking place was a reaffirmation of the global international banking structure, which places every economy under the ultimate control of the Bank of International Settlements, as Ellen Brown explained to me. With the passage of time, we are seeing more and more indications that the removal of Gaddafi was only one major step in the colonization of the continent of Africa, where he was perhaps the only leader with the loyal following of his people to take a principled stand against the West taking control of the natural resources of his and of the other countries of Africa.

The New York Times, for example, has now published, “West Sees Libya as Ripe at Last for Businesses”, where, it claims, “Companies from NATO countries hope that gratitude for assistance in the Libyan rebellion will be a factor in awarding contracts.” But if Christof Lehmann, Stephen Lendman and others are right, what we have here is a cynical attempt to make the theft of the nation’s resources appear to be a virtue in the eyes of the world. We all know, “To the victor belong the spoils!” But attempting to case this atrocity as an act of liberation in the name of democracy and freedom is a song we have been sung too many times to continue to find credible. The pattern of demonization of a nationalist leader, who wanted to use the resources of his own country for the people of his own country, is one we have had with Fidel Castro in Cuba, Salvador Allende in Chile, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and now Moammar Gaddafi in Libya. I would like to believe we have see this play out often enough to not be taken in.

Another indication that things are not as they should be is that the US is conducting operations in Somalia despite official denials, “America’s War in the Horn of Africa: Drone Alley – a Harbinger of Western Power across the African Continuent” by Finian Cunningham in Global Research (29 October 2011). And other reports suggest that even Egypt is not better off now than it was under Hosni Mubarak, which, like Libya, was supposed to be “the result of a popular uprising” where freedom and democracy reign “in the once oppressed nation”. But the truth, according to brasschecktv, is that it was a coup d'etat backed by Western intelligence agencies using the mass protests as cover, where “the evidence of this is that the demands of the protestors have not been addressed and that the protests, which once allowed the coup to take place, are now brutally suppressed.” Why does that not surprise me? Why does that not appear to be exactly what we can expect in Libya, too? How many times are we going to be played for saps?

Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Professorr Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth.