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Outing the Jewish “Cabal”

Yesterday I took aim at Kalle Lasn, the editor of Adbusters magazine, for cheerleading the mayhem of World War IV.

I’m not finished with him yet.

His newest editorial is even worse than the last one. The title says it all: Why won’t anyone say they are Jewish?

Let’s just pause a moment before wading into it.

It hardly matters who he means by “they” in the title. “They” are a group of people who, for whatever reason, Mr. Lasn thinks need to be “outed.” Here he is posing as the brave writer bucking the tyranny of political correctness to tell the truth that others dare not say. “They” are Jews. As if this means something important. Aha! he expects his readers to think. They’re Jews. That explains it.

“They,” by the way, are neoconservative intellectuals. Or, I should say, “they” are half the people on his list of neoconservatives. He has a tidy list of 50 people he labels as neocons. He penciled in a little dot next to all the Jewish names. At least he didn’t use a yellow star.

He admits it’s difficult to categorize neoconservatives because some of them, as he says, deny the label. Still, he doesn’t list his criteria. He just names names. Some of those on his list are not at all neoconservative. Gary Bauer? He’s a staunch religious rightist. Jonah Goldberg? He’s just a plain old conservative.

The fact that he doesn’t know a neocon from any other kind of conservative isn’t surprising. Few people do, and this vagueness is perhaps the biggest enabler of the lurid conspiracy theories out there. (If you’re unsure what neoconservatism is and if you genuinely want to know, you can read about it in the Weekly Standard from the godfather of the movement himself, Irving Kristol. The word “Jew” does not appear in his essay.)

Anyway, Mr. Lasn thinks it’s important that half the people on his list of neoconservatives are Jewish. And why does he think this is important? They “do not distinguish enough between American and Israeli interests,” he says. “For example, whose interests were they protecting in pushing for war in Iraq?”

This is one of the world’s oldest anti-Semitic slurs. For centuries Europeans suspected Jews of placing their loyalty to their ethnic “tribe” above whichever community they happened to be living in.

But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Lasn’s loyalty charge does not have an anti-Semitic pedigree, that he’s the first person in history to make this accusation.

It’s still awfully peculiar. Anyone who bothers to trace the ancestry of my last name will learn that my family came to America from England. Yet no one has ever accused me of disloyalty to my country because I support Britain and think of the British as allies. There are two obvious reasons for that. First of all, there isn’t much of a stigma attached to having English ancestry. More important, it’s simply a fact that Britain is an ally of the United States. So it’s perfectly normal that I personally recognize Britain as an ally and care about her interests and well-being.

But it’s also simply a fact that Israel is an ally of the United States. Most Americans, and not just Jewish Americans, sympathize with Israel. There’s nothing odd or mysterious about that. Israel is a Western democracy. And Americans naturally sympathize with Israel because she is also a victim of the Islamofascist jihad. So of course neoconservatives, Jewish or otherwise, sympathize with Israel. It would be downright bizarre if they didn’t.

All this is outside the fact that regime-change in Iraq had nothing whatever to do with advancing Israel’s foreign policy. Saddam Hussein was nowhere near the top of Israel’s list of problems. The PLO, Hamas, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah, Hezbollah, the Iranian mullahcracy, and the Baathist regime in Syria are and have been far bigger problems for Israel than Iraq is or has ever been. If Israel called the shots in American foreign policy, or if our own defense team were acting out some “ethnic solidarity” adventure in the Middle East, the US would have invaded Syria, Lebanon, Iran, or the West Bank. Saddam would still be in power, and Yasser Arafat, Bashir Assad or some other tin pot jerk would be awaiting his trial instead.

Kalle Lasn isn’t left with much of an excuse for his list of Jews. He says he’s not anti-Semitic, and he very well may not be, at least not consciously. The thing is, he doesn’t need to be. Whether or not he’s the type of guy who lays awake in the middle of the night fretting about Joooooooos, or whether he’s just a left-wing hack with a kooky axe to grind, the fact remains that he’s repeating the ZOG propaganda of white supremacists. And he’s doing it in a left-wing magazine with the expectation that his readers will eat it up.

(Thanks to my old friend Karrie Higgins for pointing this out to me.)

The Decline and Fall of Adbusters Magazine

A few years ago I was a big fan of Adbusters magazine. I loved the way it mimicked the obnoxious manipulation techniques of TV and magazine ads and flung it all right back at ’em. The skewering of shallow consumer culture really struck a chord with me.

After 9-11 I put this project on my own back burner. It was suddenly all so trivial. The writers, designers, and editors of the magazine must have sensed what they were doing was getting shunted off to the side by momentous events. So they ramped it up. They pushed their previously mild subversion into overdrive.

The current issues of Adbusters would have turned me off even then.

Here are some excerpts from a current piece by the editor Kalle Lasn. It’s called World War IV.

It has come down to this: a fight to the finish against the evil forces of capital that would wage a terror upon terror upon terror without end.

The evil forces of capital? I don’t remember the old Adbusters ever publishing sentences like this. Kalle Lasn has previously written that he has a visceral hatred of Communism. That wasn’t so hard to believe. He’s from Estonia and knows Communism up close and personal. But it looks like some of the propaganda got hard-wired into his brain.

In time we will learn to modulate our resistance — to raise it to the point where airport-type security systems are needed just to let customers into stores, until the daily pain and cost of doing business as usual becomes simply too high to bear.

In other words, he wants to terrorize his community.

Then, at our pleasure, we will lower our resistance to reward the concessions being made.

Well that’s nice. At least he still has some sense of restraint. Let’s hope his readers share it.

We don’t have to get the shit kicked out of us like we did in Miami. Instead, we grow the power and sophistication of our networks and ratchet up our disobedience. We attack in the dead of night and under the noonday sun. We hit them before, during and after world events. Bit by bit, hit by hit we bend them to our will.

“We bend them to our will.” This thuggish mentality is definitely not the Adbusters I used to know.

Military might does not count for much anymore. The global capital machine is now so finely tuned, so delicately balanced, that just one virus, one blackout, one bushfire, one mad cow, one hand-held rocket launcher, one gram of plutonium, has the potential to crash the whole deal. From now on, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men will not be able to keep it together.

That’s the dirty, anarchic, kick-ass side of World War IV. [Emphasis added.]

From the context of the piece, it doesn’t look like Mr. Lasn expects his “culture jammers” to be the ones wielding the rocket launchers and the plutonium. I guess (although I am guessing) he expects Al Qaeda to carry out those attacks.

But it’s awfully telling, is it not, that he thinks downing a passenger jet with a rocket launcher or destroying New York with a nuclear weapon is “kick-ass.”

This brings to mind a powerful recent piece in Slate by Christopher Hitchens.

Having been screened by the special operations department of the Pentagon last August (see Charles Paul Freund’s piece in Slate), The Battle of Algiers is now scheduled for a run at the New York Film Forum. Unless I am wrong, this event will lead to a torrent of pseudo-knowing piffle from the armchair guerrillas (well, there ought to be a word for this group). I myself cherished the dream of being something more than an armchair revolutionary when I first saw this electrifying movie. It was at a volunteer work-camp for internationalists, in Cuba in the summer of 1968. Che Guevara had only been dead for a few months, the Tet rising in Vietnam was still a fresh and vivid memory, and in Portuguese Africa the revolution was on the upswing. I went to the screening not knowing what to expect and was so mesmerized that when it was over I sat there until they showed it again. I was astounded to discover, sometime later on, that Gillo Pontecorvo had employed no documentary footage in the shooting of the film: It looked and felt like revolutionary reality projected straight onto the screen.

When I next saw it, in Bleecker Street in the Village in the early 1970s, it didn’t have quite the same shattering effect. Moreover, in the audience (as in that Cuban camp, as I later found out) there were some idiots who fancied the idea of trying “urban guerrilla” warfare inside the West itself. The film had a potently toxic effect on Black Panthers, Weathermen, Baader-Meinhof, and Red Brigade types. All that needs to be said about that “moment” of the Left is that its practitioners ended up dead or in prison, having advanced the cause of humanity by not one millimeter.

Those on today’s radical left are having a similar “moment.” Plenty of these fools will end up dead or in jail. And even the strictly intellectual radicals aren’t doing a damn thing for the cause of humanity except reminding the rest of us that even after the fall of the Soviet Union there are enemies to the left. (No, not everyone on the left, just some of the radicals.)

It’s depressing and sad to watch people I used to admire degenerate in this way. My consolation is that others, like Christopher Hitchens, who I admired at the same time for the same reasons, escaped from that quagmire, too.

The Unbearable Lightness of Scandals

Here’s a shocker.

WASHINGTON – John Kerry’s protests against the Vietnam War and President Bush’s wartime service in the National Guard generate disapproval largely among people who already have made up their minds against that particular candidate, according to a national poll released Friday.

The scandal mongers are surely trying to win over independents by smearing the other guy. It doesn’t work, obviously, but it does make the outraged feel superior. Political sleaze seems to me a strange form of emotional therapy, but hey, go with whatever works for ya. It had better feel good, because it wastes everyone else’s time.

Quiz Time

This is great. The funniest political quiz I’ve seen yet. (I suppose that’s like saying “the best horror movie from Greenland,” but whatever.)

Are you a liberal, a conservative, a libertarian, or a communist? The communist answers are the best.

Some teasers:

What should people not be allowed to do in public?

CONS: Offend the sensibilities of others.

LIBL: Offend the sensitivities of others.

LBRT: Offend the sensibilities of yourself.

COMM: Offend the sensitivities of the authorities.

What’s the best way to stop people from illegally crossing our borders?

CONS: Seal the borders so no one can get in.

LIBL: Do nothing to beef up security at the borders, and offer illegal aliens a wide array of free services.

LBRT: Allow unrestricted passage across the borders.

COMM: Seal the borders so no one can get out.

Via Porphyrogenitus.

The Passion of Hutton Gibson

I’ve always enjoyed Mel Gibson’s acting, and I’ll withhold judgement from his controversial new movie The Passion until after I’ve seen it. Sadly, it seems his father, Hutton Gibson, is an anti-Semitic lunatic who thinks the Holocaust was exaggerated, Alan Greenspan should be lynched, and the United States government should be overthrown. Meryl Yourish has the details.

Weekend Reading

Cara Remal’s open letter to her anti-war friends.

My New Gig

It’s been a little while now since I’ve published an article at Tech Central Station. But Nick Shulz was kind enough to take me on as a bi-weekly columnist. So from here on out you’ll get a new column from me every two weeks.

Here’s my latest. It’s called Kill Saddam.

Yearning for Tyranny

The Guardian reports (surprise, surprise) that some British politicians were paid to help prop up Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.

Anti-sanctions campaigns by former Irish premier Albert Reynolds, former Labour MP George Galloway, and current Labour MP Tam Dalyell were bankrolled by money from the UN’s oil for food program.

Tam Dalyell made a name for himself last year when he attacked Tony Blair for being in thrall to a “Jewish cabal.” Whoops! Looks like Mr. Dalyell was projecting. He’s the one in thrall to a cabal. And not a make-believe cabal, but a real one based in Baghdad.

Galloway’s defense of himself is pathetic.

Mr Galloway said he was unaware that his financial sponsors were getting oil cash from the UN programme. But he accepts that he knew his supporters had links with Saddam’s regime, and regarded that as an inevitable price to pay.

Galloway most certainly did not view the fact that his friends were Baathists as a “price.” He is and has been an open admirer of totalitarian regimes from the Soviet Union to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to Fidel Castro’s little tinpot paradise in Cuba.

After visiting Saddam in 1994, Galloway said to him, “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.” When asked if he was a Stalinist, he answered thusly: “If you are asking did I support the Soviet Union, yes I did. Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life.” He supports North Korea while he’s at it. “If it comes to invasion of North Korea, I’ll be with North Korea. Be sure about that.”

Naturally he’s a fan of the terrorists in Iraq. “The Iraqis have a legal and moral right to resist violent, illegal, foreign occupation, and that’s what they’re exercising.”

And, as Andrew Sullivan pointed out yesterday, he just adores Fidel Castro. “He’s the most magnificent human being I’ve ever met.”

The man is despicable, but give him some credit. He makes no bones about the fact that he sides with the enemies of democracy and the enemies of his country. He doesn’t waste any time dressing his wicked sympathies in liberal drag.

I can’t help but think some people admire totalitarian regimes not because they want to live in one, but because they want to be in charge of one. The Labour Party kicked George Galloway out on his ass, but he’s still a member of parliament.

Bogus Scandal

Via Andrew Sullivan, it looks like the John Kerry intern scandal is about as substance-free the Bush AWOL story. No big surprise.

Alexandra Polier, supposedly the intern Kerry had an affair with, denies she ever slept with him. That’s to be expected, and it doesn’t mean much of anything.

But she also says she never interned for Kerry, nor did she work for him in any other capacity. This sort of thing is so easily disproved if it isn’t true, and there’s no reason to deny working for him in any case. It’s an intern scandal without an intern.

(Yawn.)

Not a Serious Candidate

John Kerry talks as though he could wish the Terror War away through dint of sheer will.

Here he is at the debate two nights ago.

GILBERT: Senator Kerry, President Bush a week ago on “Meet the Press” described himself as a war president. He said he’s got war on his mind as he considers these policies and decisions he has to make. If you were elected, would you see yourself as a war president?

This should be a no-brainer.

KERRY: I’d see myself first of all as a jobs president, as a health care president, as an education president and also an environmental president. And add them all together, you can’t be safe at home today unless you are also safe abroad.

KERRY: So I would see myself as a very different kind of global leader than George Bush.

What a total ridiculous dodge. It isn’t even a dodge-worthy question.

Would you see yourself as a war president? The answer to that one ought to be obvious. Of course. There’s a war on.

Kerry is certainly free to have a different strategy against terrorism and rogue regimes than the sitting president. I, for one, would love to hear an alternate plan that doesn’t involve running away from conflict or handing responsibility over to the feckless UN. But to answer a simple foreign policy question with “jobs,” “education,” and “the environment” is enough to make me next-to certain that I can never vote for him.

I’ve tried to give Kerry some slack due to the built-in distortions of the primary season. And I will continue, at least in the short run, to do so. He’s not an ANSWER nut, nor is he Howard Dean. But on the single most important question so far he’s a big fat zero. He has no foreign policy whatsoever. He brings nothing to the table and clearly wishes the whole thing would just go away.

It won’t.

UPDATE: Stephen Green comments.

Vietnam at Half Volume

Mark Steyn paints John Kerry as the poster boy for Vietnam Syndrome.

Thanks to Kerry in his Hanoi Jane period, Vietnam was a disaster for America that gave the establishment a wholly irrational fear of almost every ramshackle Third World basket case on the planet. Look at what everyone from Arthur Schlesinger to Chris Matthews wrote about the ”unconquerable” Afghans only two years ago. That defeatism was the Kerry legacy from the ’70s: a terrified, Kerrified America.

True enough. John Kerry isn’t exactly Mr. Tough or Mr. Backbone.

But Steyn doesn’t seem to notice the good news farther up in his own column.

Look at Kerry’s stump speech: ”We band of brothers,” he says, indicating his fellow veterans. ”We’re a little older, we’re a little grayer, but we still know how to fight for this country.” Thirty years ago, he came back from Vietnam and denounced his ”band of brothers” as a gang of drug-fueled torturers, rapists and murderers.

He then proceeds to zing Kerry for his inconsistency. But let’s give Kerry some credit. Give the Democrats some credit. At least our soldiers aren’t still being libeled as baby killers, at least not by the establishment of the Democratic Party. (The goons in International ANSWER are another matter. They haven’t even caught up with the 60s. They’re still stuck in 1917.)

I believed (mistakenly, as it turns out) that the Vietnam Syndrome was buried in Bosnia. My own lukewarm pacifism did die in Sarajevo, but I was never scarred by Vietnam in the first place. I was a small child when Nixon pulled out, and I have no personal memory of it.

I’m glad to see that with Howard Dean’s primary loss, the worst of the anti-war paranoia will take a back seat in the election campaign. Kerry’s incoherent waffling on foreign policy is a problem for the Democrats, and it will be a problem if he’s elected. But even at his most extreme he doesn’t wistfully (at least not in public) recall his days with Hanoi Jane. He boasts about his service.

It was not so long ago that the Democrats had to play down the front-runner’s combat experience. It was unthinkable for them to tout their guy as a war hero. Even if it’s all image and no substance, it’s progress of a sort.

UPDATE: Turns out Kerry’s 1971 testimony before Congress has been spun out of context. Kerry didn’t quite say what Mark Steyn says he said. The New Republic has the details. (Thanks to Grant McEntire in the comments.)

Weekend Time Waster

This rocks. 80s video games. You don’t even need to download them. Just play them in your Web browser.

UPDATE: Here’s more. Including Missile Command, Defender, Centipede, and Joust.

Happy Valentine’s Day…

…From Saudi Arabia.

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s religious authorities have ordered Muslims to shun the “pagan” holiday of Valentine’s Day so as not to incur God’s wrath, the local al-Riyadh newspaper said Friday.

“It is a pagan Christian holiday and Muslims who believe in God and Judgment Day should not celebrate or acknowledge it or congratulate (people on it). It is a duty to shun it to avoid God’s anger and punishment,” said an edict issued by Saudi Arabia’s fatwa committee published in the Arabic-language daily.

“There are only two holidays in Islam — Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha — and any other holidays, whether to celebrate an individual, group or event, are inventions which Muslims are banned from,” said the committee, headed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh.

According to these clowns, God hates love, sex, romance, pagans, Christians, and holidays. At least they left the Jews out of it for once. But that was probably just an oversight.

No Sleaze, Please (Updated)

Andrew Sullivan is plenty peeved about the Kerry story.

If the Republicans are behind this, they deserve to be trashed. This is absolutely not something that deserves to be a factor in our current debate.

Same goes for any Democratic campaign that might be behind this.

I certainly don’t want to go back to the lurid and hysterical anti-Clinton days. I think that’s true for a lot of people. So-called Clinton-fatigue was caused as much by Kenneth Starr as it was by Bill and Hill.

This is the first election since September 11. We have some grown-up problems to take care of, problems much of the rest of the world pretends don’t even exist. Save the sleaze and the ass-clowning for Jerry Springer.

UPDATE: Several people in the comments point out that no one in the GOP is likely behind this story. The timing is off. It would make more sense to wait until Kerry is the nominee before “leaking”this story into the press.

That’s a good point. That won’t, however, exonerate the right if they decide to run with this and make a big stink out of a tabloid story during war time.

Free advice to Republicans: Drop it.

UPDATE: Can I direct my free advice to a wider audience? The media ought to drop this, too. They are unserious enough as it is.

Required Reading

I’m sick of the John Kerry scandal. Fox News hasn’t even broken the story yet, and I already wish they’d move on. (I know that’s not fair. I just felt like writing that sentence.)

Anyhoo, if you’re in the mood for something serious, here is your required reading for Friday. Remembrance of Future Past by Cara Remal.

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