Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Islamophobes Support Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar

The Islamophobic blogosphere efer to themselves as people waging a counter-jihad, they literally are keyboard commandos. They and their far-left enemies are unaware that they are mirror images of one another. 'Anti-imperialists' who support Islamist terror construct the west as an evil force, therefore anyone opposing it must be in the right. Counter-jihadis view Islam as pure evil and anyone opposing Muslims as the white hats.

These twin world views make them support monsters. They have even been on the exact same side, in the 90s era Balkans both anti-imperialists and counter-jihadis supported Milosevic's ethnic cleansers. Robert Spencerclaims there "was no massacre at Srebrenica" the same claim made by innumerable far-left rags.

Both use similar tactics. What sane person hasn't grown exhausted of the 'anti-imperialist' claim that they are critics of Israel 'smeared' as anti-Semites? Their anti-Muslim foes complain that they are only critics of Islam being defamed and silenced with the false charge of bigotry.

Today both are in sync on Syria. Robert Spencer claimed that "Syrian rebels, not Assad, used chemical weapons" a view shared by Seumas Milne. Pam Geller claimed that "Houla massacre blamed on Assad regime actually work of Jihadi rebels." FAIR published an article claiming that the Houla massacre was fabricate war "propaganda." Spencer's side sees Syria as a victim of an Islamist conspiracy while FAIR's factions fallaciously believes Syria is the victim of a western conspiracy.

Under that reasoning Spencer's tribe has come to support one of the most abominable crimes of our time: the ongoing decimation of Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar's  authorities have "reaffirmed a longstanding ban on Rohingyas having more than two children, in a rare acknowledgement of the controversial rule." Article II of the genocide convention identifies "imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group" as a genocide method.


How has the Islamophobosphere responded? Robert Spencer engaged in victim blaming arguing that Rohingyas "instigated this latest episode of violence." Other bloggers were less subtle. Geller posted that "Muslims are waging jihad in Myanmar. Buddhists are fighting back. So of course Obama has to back the jihadists. Obviously, he is not on our side. Don't buy the Muslim myth of victimhood in Burma."

Gates of Vienna posted that "the media widely reported what was happening as the “ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims by Buddhists”. Our Spanish correspondent Hermes presents a slightly different view of what is currently happening in Burma" which blamed Rohingyas and denied atrocities. The 'bare naked Islam' blog was more explicit with articles like "OH, BOO HOO! The Myanmar (Burma) Muslims are being ethnically cleansed and nobody gives a damn." Which expressed a view that "Muslims get a taste of the kind of ethnic cleansing at which they excel."

Islamophobes characterize Muslims as intolerant, bigoted and misogynist but the counter-jihadis have adopted those traits as their own. Severe intolerance is required to support the oppression of a people who never harmed you and whom you only recently heard of. Severe bigotry is required to argue that they deserve or are to blame for their suffering. Pam Geller in an example of the genocidal mindset argued that Rohingya identity isn't real, what then have Buddhist extremists been trying to destroy? Its also misogynistic since violence against women is a key tool in the  ongoing anti-Rohingya campaign, so much for counter-jihadi love for women or anything other than their warped agenda.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Glenn Greenwald, terrorism, and the art of distortion

For the extremist denial is the last step in his journey. After justifying the cold blooded butchery of an unarmed man Greenwald took that last step. Partly because he was the subject of an avalanche of criticism, his faction does not handle criticism well they will usually complain about 'smears' without addressing the actual arguments. Also its bizarre that Greenwald's article on the beheading attracted so much negative attention unlike his more horrific justification for the Boston bombings.

The article opens with an image of "the bodies of 10 children killed in a Nato airstrike in Afghanistan." Such shock tactics reveal desperation on his part and perhaps an attempt to prettify the beheader's motives: slaughtering a fellow citizen out of sympathy for the taliban. The Afghan war is unique for how few civilians were killed by NATO, the war stands out as one of the most just ever fought. If Greenwald had any real objection to deaths of Afghan children he wouldn't have written material dripping with sympathy for the taliban.

He repeats his argument that it wasn't terrorism because of US legal concepts. For all his talk about 'American imperialism' he seems to think that US law holds sway over the UK, not unlike Michael Savage ranting about the constitution after being banned from the UK. He defended his argument by stating that its valid because the UK is allied with the US, which completely fails. The US is a French ally and no one would claim that French law holds sway over the USA.

Greenwald writes that the answer to Islamist terrorist tactics has been "explained" by " the CIA ("blowback")" Greenwald condemned zero dark thirty because it promoted the "CIA's worldview" which the blowback argument is a product of by his own reasoning he should condemn the blowback concept. The b-word is twisted around so much to the point where its an incoherent cliche, the CIA defines it as a covert operation going wrong and impacting citizens. That scenario doesn't describe the beheading or most acts of Islamist terrorism which have no connection to some Jerry Cornelius operation going - in the words of Odenkirk - run awry, afoul, askew or all three. In fact most Islamist attacks have not had any link to covert ops.

He continues " the Pentagon (they "do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies")," the words "hate us for our freedom" have been mangled by Glenn's ideological ilk who present it as a lie about what really motivates all anti-westerners. Bush actually used it only to describe the motives of the 911 hijackers, which is not inaccurate as Bin Laden argued that the US brought 911 upon itself by tolerating homosexuality, alcohol consumption and for having secular laws. No one ever claimed that all anti-Americanists or jihadis hate us for our freedoms, though in general that would not be inaccurate since jhadis are motivated in rage against modern liberalism as evidence by their persistent attacks on harmless targets (girl schools, voters, red cross stations etc.).

Glenn writes: " British combat veterans" and "former CIA agents ("we could try invading, occupying and droning Muslim countries a little less, and see if that helps. Maybe prop up fewer corrupt and tyrannical Muslim regimes")." Both in other advocate submission and surrender by advocating that foreign policy should be crafted in deference to theocrats. Eisler is a hack writer who spent a few years training with the CIA and left without actually entering the field. Former CIA agents are a dime a dozen these days and most support US foreign policy, Greenwald recently debated one. Charles McCarry for example who actually has ten years of field experience wrote this. I've just taken a part a lengthy example of the argument by authority fallacy.

Both Eisler and Glenton make the same arguments. The idea that jihadis are made about "imposed tyranny" or "Muslim regimes" is absurd as societies created by Islamists stand out as some of the worst in human history. There was greater freedom under Mussolini and Stalin than Mullah Omar or Khomeini. The most notorious jihadis came from countries that did not experience western interventions, Al-Qaeda was originally made up of Saudis and Egyptians. They have a habit of attacking countries that were never involved in interventions and have no military significance at all. Jihadis have attacked the Philippines, Indonesia, Turkey, Algeria and Mali to name just a few. Glenn should be familiar with that last one since he wrote an article dismissing Malian suffering. On twitter argued that Malian opinions were irrelevant "local concerns." Thus proving that he is only outraged about dead children who have political economy to his causes.

Greenwald bemoans how "people reflexively try to radically distort the argument beyond recognition in order to smear you as a Terror apologist, a Terrorist-lover or worse, all for the thought crime of raising these issues." Here I was thinking that Lee Rigby the real victim was I'm so glad Glenn has come along to explain that he is the genuine victim because he was criticized. Seriously though, 'thought crime?'

He complains that these people "conflate claims of causation (A is one of the causes of B) with justification (B is justified). Anyone operating with the most basic levels of rationality understands that these concepts are distinct." Justification isn't simply saying that someone deserved it, the purpose of justification is to absolve someone of ethical responsibility. One definition for the j-word is "to declare free of blame; absolve." The word has religious origins referring to freeing someone of a grievous sin. If you were not the 'causation' of an atrocity you aren't responsible and you aren't to blame, so yes he justifies terrorism.

Glenn buries himself by citing Eisler: "to use the example recently provided by former CIA agent Barry Eisler in his brilliant explanation of "blowback", if Person X walks up to Person Y on the street and spits in his face, and Person Y then pulls out a gun and shoots Person X in the head and kills him in retaliation, one can observe that Person X's spitting was a causal factor in Person Y's behavior without remotely justifying Person Y's lethal violence. One can point out that a potential cost of walking up to people on the street and spitting in their face is that they are likely to respond with similar or worse aggression - and that this is one reason not to engage in such behavior - without justifying or legitimizing the response that is provoked and without denying (or even minimizing) the agency or blame of the person who responds."

Under that scenario a murder victim who in life spat in his murderer's face was the 'causation' of his own murder! I've been spat at many times and I never once shot the saliva sharer square in the face, that proves that moral agency exists and that murderers are the only causation of murder. If a rape victim has similarly insulted a man who later raped her according to Greenwald and Eisler she was the 'causation' of her rape. That confirms the amorality of Greenwald who is indeed offering justifications.

He throws an after pity party for himself by writing that because of "prior experience in having my arguments on this issue wildly distorted and smeared that it's quite necessary" to make it "clear exactly what I was - and was not - arguing, and did so as explicitly as the English language permits: As I've endlessly pointed out, highlighting this causation doesn't remotely justify the acts."" Its the very definition of English words that confirm that he justified terrorism. The quoted words are a denial, not an argument, it proves nothing. Just as someone arguing that a rape victim was the 'causation' of her own rape would not be less of a misogynist because he wrote "highlighting this causation doesn't make me a misogynist."

Next he addresses Andrew Sullivan's arguments, the man who recently defended al-jazeera anti-Semitism amusingly complained that Andrew accused him of "spreading "Islamist propaganda." Apparently Sullivan argued "that US intervention in the Muslim world both before and after the 9/11 attack was noble and often beneficent." That is irrelevant and also naive since Sullivan gave Greenwald a chance to throw the topic off course. Though Andrew does have a point: in Afghanistan life expectancy, education, health care and quality of life have increased so much that even supporters of the war have been shocked. In Libya there are so many US flags that it looks like the set of a country rock opera.

He spends the next paragraph repeating his non-arguments and denials. The next paragraph focuses on criticism of Sullivan which does not absolve Greenwald of the charge of justification. One could accept his argument that the beheading wasn't terrorism but he condemned the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists as terrorism. According to the 'Ethics of Spying' a "scientist who works in a weapons lab..." the IRI scientists' occupation "are legitimate targets." The double standard confirms his apologist bias towards Lee Rigby.

Greenwald whines that "Jeffrey Goldberg and other various neocon smear artists who spent the last couple of days endlessly and loudly accusing me of being a pro-Terror, US-blaming Terrorist-lover, Jew-hating Terror-apologist and all the other tired neocon clichés that have been hurled at anyone and everyone over the last decade who questions the Mandated Narratives about "Islamic Terror", the US and Israel. Willfully smearing people as pro-Terrorists in order to deter free and rational discussions of US and Israeli aggression is what they do. It's their function, their chosen tactic." The quoted words completely lack arguments, anyone who fails to address critiques instead of bemoaning 'smears' (this from a man who called another a person an "effete sociopath") affirms criticism. Besides many of his critics are not neo-conservatives, John Pagano tweeted "it's going to be rich when Glenn Greenwald ululates about neocon persecution by Norman Geras, the Marxist scholar of Marxism."

He addresses Sullivan again which is irrelevant. Glenn argues that "labeling the violent acts of those Muslim Others as "terrorism" - but never our own - is a key weapon used to propagate this worldview. The same is true of the tactic that depicts their violence against us as senseless, primitive, savage and without rational cause, while glorifying our own violence against them as noble, high-minded, benevolent and civilized (we slaughter them with shiny, high-tech drones, cluster bombs, jet fighters and cruise missiles, while they use meat cleavers and razor blades)."

There's no other way to read the article without concluding that he thinks that 'Muslim' violence which ranges from massacring schoolchildren, turning Mali into a slaughterhouse, attempts at genocide, slavery and so on are not "senseless, primitive, savage and without rational cause." 'Our violence' is fully legal within international law which only mandates that efforts to prevent civilian death must be taken.

The use of drones and other methods he mentions have claimed the lowest civilian casualties in the history of war in 2012 2% of drone deaths were civilians. Whereas the entire point of 'their violence' is to inflict as many civilian deaths as possible to further goals of creating slave sultanates, that destroys Greenwald's false equivalence between the West and Islamists. He creates a dichotomy of Islamist plucky underdogs armed with primitive versus western technocrats with the best weapons which is false as jihadists have use sophisticated weapons in attacks.

He complains about the "the belief that Islam is a uniquely grave danger in the world" he again conflates Islam and Islamism which no different from what Islamophobes do only he does out of sympathy and contempt. It gets even more sinister when he claims that "western violence against them is superior to their violence against the west" meaning he shares the al-qaeda view that war against jihadis is war against Islam, remember Glenn argued that the Mali intervention was a war against Islam.  It also doesn't help his goal of opposing anti-Muslim prejudice after all if AQ is synonymous with Muslims and if they will automatically kill without agency in response to western foreign policy then it would be quite right to hate and fear Muslims - if he was right and he's incorrect.

Greenwald argues that the strawman he constructed is "a by-product of base tribalism" which is rich; he has refused to condemn atrocities against Syrians but rushed to defend people who shares his views, that is ideological tribalism of the worst type. Apparently "Americans and westerners have been relentlessly bombarded with the message that We are the Noble and Innocent Victims and those Muslims are the Evil, Primitive, Savage Aggressors, so that's what many people are trained to believe, and view any challenge to that as an assault on their core tribalistic convictions." Americans and Westerners are multi-racial and muli-cultural which disproves any talk of tribalism. It would be wonderful if the democratic world was united like a tribe, if only that was true.

Glenn has made it clear what sort of people he means by 'Muslims.' To paraphrase Gladstone Glenn is not referring to "the mild Mohammedans of India, nor the chivalrous Saladins of Syria, nor the cultured Moors of Spain" he is referring to jihadis. He is arguing that the west and jihadis tyrants are morally equivalent. If Greenwald wasn't promoting "Islamist propaganda" as Sullivan claimed Glenn would never have written such a vile argument that discredits him and confirms sympathy for jihadis. We can also disprove it by pointing to his example if the west and Islamists are equivalent why did he move to Brazil instead of the Maldives or Aceh?

The next paragraph argues that the word 'terrorism' is subject to "highly manipulative exploitation" that is "vital to several political agendas." The same can be said of any word with political relevance including terms favored by Glenn. He uses the word 'Islamophobia' constantly while it describes a real and vile prejudice the term is abused constantly. The east London mosque which was founded by genocidists use it to libel critics.

The next several paragraphs are irrelevant criticisms of Sullivan. In the paragraph he raves that "no matter how many evil things your government does, no matter how many innocent people are killed by the political leader you deliriously adore, no matter how much blood you have on your own hands for exploiting your media platform to publicly cheer for mass violence and slaughter." Lets accept that at face value ignoring that its borderline libel and written to appeal to those who want to believe in a morality tale of western depravity and Islamist innocence. Even if he was entirely right (a hypothetical scenario requiring more imagination than Bill Watterson) thats not any westerner's fault. If we apply arguments he only selectively applies to 'Muslims' then they were in fact the causation of it all, they brought 'blowback' upon themselves. If Greenwald's arguments were released back at him it would absolve Obama and Bush for any real or imagined (the category for which Greenwald's grievances against the west fall into) wrongdoing. Hell it would absolve anyone of moral responsibility, a fact that further confirms that he justifies terrorism.

Greenwald continues: "all of that can be redeemed, or at least mitigated, only if there is Someone Else Over There who you can point to as The Supreme and Unique Evil. Sure, we make mistakes and do some bad things. But we're not like them: the Ultimate Savages. The Primitive Islamic Hordes. The Terrorists. That's why it's urgent that these designations of special evil (Terrorist) be reserved exclusively for Them: only then can we elevate ourselves."

Its clear he's emotionally invested in his pro-Islamist writings, which reveals much about his character. There's nothing self glorifying about being better than Islamist regimes, its pretty much the lowest standard any society can meet. Heck it was a standard met by many of history's most evil dictatorships; no one was ever forced to cannibalize women in Pinochet's Chile. I'm far from a Sullivan fan but Glenn devises opinions that Andrew does not hold, the man has never argued that they are "The Supreme and Unique Evil" or "the Ultimate Savage of the Primitive Islamic Hordes."

Its not so much an argument as a manic repetition of his disgraceful and previously disproven formula of western and Islamist equivalence. Its only worth bringing up as a chilling insight into the extremist mind. Note how he mocked Sullivan's support for Obama to him healthy patriotism is cultish and vile while justifying the actions of theocrats is noble dissent that makes Greenwald a heroic truth teller attacked by the real evildoers: middle aged columnists.

Glenn argues that once "that framework is implanted, then our violence is understandable, noble, well-intentioned, necessitated by their pure evil." Some might hold that view if so its tame compared to Greenwald's idea that there is no moral difference between Hollande and Omar al-Bashir. Besides one look at the media disproves it, when scandals about US misconduct came to light no one argued that the atrocities of the Mahdi army (which received little coverage) absolved soldiers in question.

The article is nearly over but there's still more amoral garbage like how he argues that Sullivan is motivated by the "very personal need that bolsters this worldview and prompts such rage when it is challenged: the need to view oneself in a better light, to avoid the reality of what one supports and enables." The quoted words are rendered hilariously hypocritical by repeating how Greenwald refused to condemn violence committed by Iran but furiously treated the removal of a Massad racist rant as censorship on par with the GDR, talk about rage in response to your world view being challenged.

Greenwald concludes by repeating his dichotomy of false equivalence between the west and Islamists there's no reason to go over the whole thing as it reuses non-arguments that were already addressed in this article. I will add that he gives the reader the impression that the western states have the most blood on their hands. When in reality the reverse is true, jihadis have killed the most people in post-911 conflicts. Just this week when he was busy writing about how they hate us for such sympathetic reasons the taliban bombed a Kabul mosque killing innocents on a mass scale. Glenn's refusal to condemn violence committed by the very type of 'Muslims' he spent the article defending gives in sight into how he avoids he reality of what he supports and enables.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How Not To Deal With Tunisia's Salafists

The Guardian has a shameful record on Tunisia. Mugabe fan Jonathan Steele defamed Tunisian secularists as 'Islamophobes' (presumably after complaining about being smeared as an anti-Semite for criticizing Israel). Rachad Ghannoushi's daughters Soumaya and Intissar received guardian columns to promote Ennahda propaganda. The guardian only voiced tepid criticism of Tunisia's discriminatory constitution which bars non-Muslims from the presidential office. Imagine the reaction if Israel made it illegal for non-Jews to serve as head of state.

Sherelle Jacobs continues this shameful tradition with 'how to deal with Tunisia's Salafists.'
The article's (ab)use of the word 'moderate' is cringe inducing even compared to most CIF articles she describes Tunisia's state as 'moderate.' Ghannouchi dedicated a book to many of history's worst theocrats, voiced supported for terrorism, incited murder and parroted the nazi Franklin prophecy conspiracy theory. Chokri Belaïd's murderers are tied to a militia backed by the state which has criminalized homosexuality and passed enshrined discrimination against non-Muslims into law. She claims that "salafists have highly varying views and not all are dangerous. That includes Ansar al-Sharia members." The article features no evidence for the fantasy of moderate Salafis, even her own article depicts Ansar al-Sharia or AaSholes as violent; the m-word is rendered a meaningless moot apologist cliche.

Jacobs warns that "banning an annual conference and obstructing preachers could make Salafists who are against violence more tempted to use it out of frustration." Its interesting to see the blowback justification formula applied to possible violence committed against Muslims by Muslims. (Were the car bombings in Turkey 'blowback' for Turkish foreign policy in Syria?) She disproves her talk of moderate Salafis: peaceful movements do not resort to violence because of something so trivial as a banned conference.

Jacobs thinks that Tunisia should make a "distinction between three types of Salafists – scripturalist Salafists who are apolitical and only interested in proselytising; jihadist Salafists who are against using violence domestically (a group that includes some Ansar al-Sharia members); and jihadist Salafists who champion domestic terrorism. Ennahda should tolerate the first lot; pull the second lot into mainstream politics; and come down hard on the third group through targeted anti-terrorism operations." The second category is nonsense the article mentions " jihadists with links to al-Qaida lurking on Tunisia's border with Algeria" by her reasoning men who support, fund or even join Algerian militants are "moderates" who belong in mainstream politics!

Sherelle incessantly characterizes AaS as nice guys how just want to get along but only provides evidence to support the opposite conclusion. She claims that they "favor militancy abroad" in "Afghanistan and Syria" (so they just want to bomb Kabul schoolgirls, how moderate). She contradicts herself by stating that the group's "leader has threatened to wage war on the government. Elements of the group have been blamed for an attack on the US embassy in Tunis last September." Her own words disprove her claim that the group is "staunchly" against domestic violence.

In an attempt to defend AaS she praises for "halal tourism" explaining "Ansar al-Sharia wants Tunisia to focus less on the traditional western tourist market and target a Muslim market, especially from Europe." So Tunisia should bring a violent extremist cult into what passes for its mainstream because of a shortsighted plan that could limit tourism revenue by focusing on a single demographic, another example of Poe's law from the guardian.

Jacobs hails AaS for supporting "Islamic trade unionism, financial reforms and tackling education inequality" and for running "local services." That only proves that AaS has the sense to pursue populist PR performances that characterize countless extremist populist movements. By her reasoning Colombia should have responded to narco-terrorism by allying with 'moderate' drug lords many of whom (Escobar included) gave away millions to the poor

She argues that "jihadist Salafists are more likely to moderate their views" if integrated into the government! A vile anti-democratic proposition since AaS has no democratic mandate from a people Jacobs wishes to be lorded over by people who are to the right of Jobbik. She reduces Tunisians to a people without agency who must accept further corruption of their sublime nation by bestial monomaniacs, an implicitly racist argument. Lincoln couldn't have been more correct when he said that "f you want to test a man's character, give him power." There is no need to appraise AaS that way, life has countless mysteries but the nature of AaS's membership is not among their number.

 The act of integrating Salafis would only embolden them as they would see it as a victory. Why should hypothetical Salafis in power moderate their views when in her scenario it was their ideology that got them into power via an appeasement deal? Besides according to Jacobs aren't they already 'moderates?' Jacobs' plan would only advance the infection of Salafi ideology, any appeasement deal would only attract followers since it would be seen as a path to power. During the Israeli elections the guardian preached doomsday scenarios predicting a rise of the "Israeli right" which failed to materialize, now they publish material advocating the rise of Tunisia's worst far-rightists. The guardian once again betrays Tunisian secularists by arguing that people who fantasize about gutting them should be allowed to rule over and ruin the pearl of the Maghreb.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Glenn Greenwald Defends Jew Hatred

Joseph Massad wrote an anti-Semitic article, the only surprising thing was the condemnation he received. The perfesser has a long history of producing hate speech, he crafted one of the most bizarre homophobic rants the idea that gay rights are an 'imperialist' plot to advance interests of western states who ignore anti-LGBT atrocities committed by their client states or enemes. If his work sounds like a parody of Stalinist thought your inner ears do not deceive you since Massad defended Soviet anti-Semitism as "relatively mild Soviet discriminatory policies." The fact that he gathered condemnation suggests that he made the mistake of writing his hatred in comprehensible language instead of his favored academic jargon.

The article cannot be defended as criticism of Israel since it focuses on history predating the Jewish state. Adam Kredo explained that Massad argued "that “all the good Jews”—i.e., those who opposed the creation of Israel—“were killed in the Holocaust.” Massad argued in his 4,000-word piece that the state of Israel is the chief proprietor of anti-Semitism and that so-called Zionists colluded with and courted the Nazis and other anti-Semites in order to spur Israel’s creation. These types of anti-Semitic theories are typically propagated by Holocaust deniers and other various anti-Semites."

Though the condemnation was not universal Ali Abunimah and Glenn Greenwald rushed to Massad's defense like a cavalry charge (with a ton of horses***). Ali produced an anti-Semitic tweet alleging Jewish media control: "Joseph Massad's article, banned by Al Jazeera at Zionist behest." Though since Glenn is the focus of this article Abunimah will receive as little attention as possible, which should be the general policy toward him anway.

Both base their articles around the contrived claim that Massad was 'censored' because Al-Jazeera chose to remove it. To describe an outlet exercising its right to withdraw material as 'censorship' is a hyperbolic insult to real censorship. If someone were to write an article advocating eugenics any outlet that published and then removed the piece would be engaging in its rights not infringing on free speech since the author would be free to submit it to some other outlet.

Censorship is state control of media, a private company altering its content does not fit that definition just as ejecting partying teens from your home is not violation of freedom of assembly. Greenwald and Abuminah do not apply their warped misunderstanding of censorship to people outside their political orientation. Abuminah called for and celebrated the removal of Joshua Trevino because Josh said he didn't care if the IDF shot pro-Palestinian activists. (Apparently he's a monster for feeling the same way about pro-Palestinian civilians as Ali and Glenn feel about Israeli civilians). Glenn condemned Joshua; if Massad was 'censored' then so was Trevino. The comparisons clearly confirms that the charge of censorship is a lie designed to defend Massad and his bigotry.

Al-Jazeera's decision to yank the article was not philo-Semitic, they probably feared that it would cause problems with their launch in the west. AJ airs holocaust deniers like Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and publishes cartoons that would be right at home in Tsarist pamphlets. They've published Massad's Jew hatred before, they were happy to publish a vile racist article he wrote about Jewish refugees. To Greenwald and Abuninah publishing anti-Semitism is a-okay as they've praised AJ in the past. Yet they believe removing Jew hatred is a crime which they condemn unlike attacks on Jewish civilians who don't rank as high as an effete anti-Semite with identity issues and tenure.

Free speech is often distorted to defend extremism. For example Glenn claimed he defended neo-nazi Stephen Hale because of his love for the first amendment (there are no laws that violate white supremacists' free speech). In reality reality Hale was charged with conspiracy and Glenn explained out of court that contempt for victims of a shooting spree motivated him. The pseudo-intellectual battle cry of 'academic freedom' is really just an infantile demand to be free from criticism.

Glenn's article begins by arguing that Massad was basically correct. According to Greenwald Massad "highlighted the shared goal between the early Zionist movement and Europe's anti-Jewish bigots (namely, the removal of Jews from the continent), detailed the cooperation between German Nazis and Zionists to facilitate the departure of Jews out of Europe...highlighted the extensive disagreements among Jews themselves over the wisdom and justness of Zionism (large numbers of European Jews were insistent that they did not want to, and should not have to, leave their homelands for a distant land that was not theirs)." He made it clear that he agrees with a Massad on twitter where he defended his use of the Shoah denying Abbas as a source: "they both share the same view on this specific Zionist/Nazi cooperation. That Abbas has other views Massad doesn't is separate"

Joseph didn't devise his argument, the narrative of Zionist-Nazi collaboration was invented by Stalin. According to Nati Cantorovich "the accusation of collaboration between Zionism and Nazism" was a staple of "Soviet anti-Zionist propaganda." Per Anders Rudling wrote that "allegations of Nazi-Zionist collaboration have Soviet and Stalinist roots." Dr. Jacob Gewirtz explained that the Soviets twisted the fact that "Jews were forced to deal with the malevolent authorities of the third reich in an attempt to escape...Nazi persecution" into an "odious charge of Nazi collaboration." Massad and Greenwald are repeating lies told by the biggest Nazi collaborators in history.

Predictably Glenn bemoans "who have spent years casually smearing as anti-semites those who criticize Israel - instantly and vehemently denounced Massad's arguments." The words 'casually smearing as anti-Semites' are hyperlinked to a mondoweiss page, the same outlet that publishes neo-nazi Jack Ross and supports terrorism against Israeli civilians. The tedious claim that Massad's vile rant is merely legit criticism of Israel is a false denial of racism as the subject matter predates Israel.

He complains that a "blogger for the Jerusalem Post claimed that "Massad's writings on Israel can easily be confused with material from the neo-Nazi 'White Pride World Wide' hate site Stormfront."" He doesn't offer any evidence whatsoever that the blogger was incorrect. The extremist tactic of whining about smears is a product of a manchild mentality and inability to take criticism, it amounts to "its not true because I say it isn't."

Glenn claims that writers critical of Israel risk "greater venom and personalized attacks (and a greater risk of losing one's job) than opining on any of these matters." Israel is one of the most criticized states in modern discourse, that wouldn't be the case if Greenwald was accurate. Venom and personalized attacks? Glenn wrote an article describing a man as an "effete sociopath." Countless anti-Semites remain employed just look at Massad himself. After the article was published he took to twitter to claim he is "opposed to retractions simply because it's controversial or produced offense - sets bad message." He tweeted "kudos to Al Jazeera: posts an editor's note acknowledging its errors, re-publishes the Massad Op-Ed."

Then he rambles on about the energy he put into pestering Al-Jazeera. Glenn explains that he does " not agree with the decision to delete" articles. "For one thing, it's a futile gesture: in the internet age, everything published is permanent. For another, it's contrary to the journalistic ethos: although it would have been appropriate to decide in the first instance not to publish it, once a decision is made to publish something, it should not be removed merely because it provokes controversy or even offense." If thats true why didn't he object to his newspaper firing Trevino for provoking offense?

He argues that he is not "expressing any views here on the merit of Massad's arguments because that's irrelevant to the issue of Al Jazeera's conduct. " Untrue as the article began by endorsing Massad's chief arguments. Glenn pats himself on the back about he has "spent years, both as a lawyer and then a writer, objecting to the suppression of all sorts of views which I find repellent, from anti-gay and anti-Muslim bigotry to Ann Coulter and Ezra Levant's bile to Mohammed cartoons to advocacy of violence. I am a firm believer that, for multiple reasons, it is far preferable to air and then debunk even the most offensive ideas than it is to suppress them."

Aside from how he is proud of defending a neo-nazi out of contempt for his victims, the aticle makes no sense. Offensive ideas already have been debunked and refusing to publish them is not suppression. A media outlet's purpose is to report facts not serve as open forum for vile nonsense, though I can understand how someone could arrive at the opposite conclusion by looking at comment is free content. Besides he shot himself in the foot as his argument places Massad's article in the category of a "offensive" alongside homophobia and Islamophobia.

Next he claims that "offending people is a necessary part of journalism and the fact that something produces offense is not evidence that it is invalid. Having media outlets afraid to publish opinions which offend people is a menacing state of affairs that nobody should want." Untrue, to be sure publishing controversial material is part of journalism but Greenwald is presenting offensive racist content as legitimate journalism.

Greenwald praises Massad as a "provocative and controversial intellectual" further confirming that he is defend Joseph's Jew hatred not defending some warped idea of free speech. In the piece he links to an article that states that the "idea that removing an editorial after six days constitutes censorship is ludicrous. Trying to ban Harry Potter because it indoctrinates Wicca is censorship. Al-Jazeera removing an editorial off its own website after running it for six days is not censorship. The piece is still on other websites and enjoyed wide dissemination" his own source can be used against him.

He repeats himself by arguing that if "you find the views of Professor Massad and the Palestinian president offensive, then you should want those views debated, not silenced. The solution is to debunk them, not suppress them, since they're not going anywhere." They already have been debunked and removing an op-ed for a few days isn't suppression. Next he details the politics behind AJ.

Glenn describes "offending and alienating powerful people" as "the hallmark of good journalism" by that reasoning the american free press is the best media outlet ever. He bemoans that the "silent deletion of Massad's Op-Ed" is "alarming and disappointing: it signals that the network is being driven by exactly the corrupting fears that preclude meaningful, independent journalism." So he believes Massad's efforts to breath fresh life into Stalinist anti-Semitism is "meaningful independent journalism" further proof of his support for Joey's anti-Semitism.

He tweeted about AJ prolifically and angrily unlike his response to other issues sure he's refused to condemn Baathist Syria but if a feudal state's media mouthpiece eliminates a racist article he goes to war: thats cliquishness bordering on suprecism. He began by linking to Ali's defense of Massad, then endorsed a cache of Massad's article without criticism and told people to read it. He tweeted Ali's article again, quipping that "if you only want to publish things that don't upset anyone, please don't go into journalism." That means he thinks an anti-Semitic rant that is patently untrue and on par with stormont material is legitimate journalism. Next he tweeted "yeah, some commenters complain: you only write about bad things. I tell them I'm going to write next about my favorite color." That means he thinks that anyone offended at naked racism are just oversensitive who should just man up, one of the most racist defenses of racism.

He tweeted that "they should just go ahead and make Jeffrey Goldberg their editor: make it official" an article promotes an evil ancient hatred and Glenn finds whats actually bad: a middle aged Jewish journo. The tweet suggests that by removing the piece AJ was caving in and selling out to nefarious Jewish forces which defended by claiming that AJ "censored in response" to Goldberg' objections but Glenn tweeted that he doesn't know why AJ pulled the article.

CIFwatch previously established that Greenwald column is a safe space for anti-Semitism, a poster named Mona is a prominent example as she posted an anti-Semitic distortion of the Torah from a neo-ratzi website. In a twitter conversation with Greenwald she defended Massad and endorsed the article. Mona described the article as " fact-packed journalism" that "infuriates the right people." Glenn had no objection he only assured her that he was "going to write about this - waiting for comment from AJE." I thought she was just a fan but the two are actually buddies as Mona tweeted about her correspondence with him. She tweets about him so much her feed resembles Humanbeing151's videos about P Diddy.

Glenn defended himself by claiming that he's only opposed to 'censorship' which is untrue as AJ did not violate Massad's rights. Greenwald made it clear that he considers the Massad's mangled mewling to be legitimate journalism. He linked to Ali's article multiple times which praises Massad for pulling "the rug from under Zionists and Israel lobbyists by demonstrating that they are the anti-Semites." Greenwald tweeted that "an article isn't awful just because people supporting Israel are angered by it" meaning he does not think the article is anti-Semitic or objectionable. The only conclusion to draw from his own words is that he supports and shares Massad's anti-Semitism.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Myth of the Dark Ages

I want a diverse blog so I thought I'd tackle the persistent myth of the dark ages.

Myth 1: The common medieval man was a serf.

Fact: According to the dark ages lie if a man wasn't born a noble he
was to lead a brutal short life of toil bound to a squalid piece of
land, yet while serfdom did exist in certain medieval lands it was far
from universal. Its also an example of the double standard that drives
the narrative, medieval Asia obviously had equivalents of serfdom and
autocracy yet these civilizations are not demonized and used as the
very epitome of backwardness. People confuse peasants (free farmers) with
serfs (unfree farmers).

Serfdom did not exist in Italian states which enjoyed highly urbanized economies, rural agriculture was useless to the Venetian or the Florentine. In Spain the peasants of Leone and Castile secured charters that allowed them to avoid serfdom. Serfdom only existed in the peninsula's northern region.

Viking age Scandinavia did not have serfdom though it did have slaves who were
only captives taken in battle equivalent to prisoners of war. The free farming middle class
made up the core of Norse society, while going Viking gave young men opportunities to make
fortunes. Finland was amazingly free society with life revolving around saunas and hunting, no wonder why Tolkien based the elves on them! Finns had no interest in the reformation since the church did not oppress or even annoy them.

Byzantine empire was not a feudal since power was centralized in the emperor's lands,
literacy was wide spread. Misconceptions hold that the 'dark ages'
began when Rome fell ushering in a hellish epoch, which is contrary to
basic history Rome fell when the Turks conquered the Byzantine empire,
the Byzantium's fall contributed to the renaissance since it lead to
circulation of Greek manuscripts. The empire was among the largest
states in the medieval and instead it had the pronoia land system.
Under pronoia land grants only became hereditary until the late stages
of the empire, in every year of the empire those who worked the land
(paroikoi) were "fundamentally free."


Therefore the people of the vast Byzantine empire never knew serfdom.  Serfdom was also non-existent in German Baltic lands.

In many Eastern European countries serfdom would not exist until the end of the middle ages. Hungary's formerly free peasants were not made serfs until the 16th century. Serfdom would not exist in Wallachia or Moldavia until the 15th and 16th centuries. What accounts for the shift that is the inverse of the idea that all serfdom ended after the medieval era? During the early modern era eastern European economies became dependent on grain, serfdom increased profits.

Eastern Slavic lands like Kievan Rus or Novgorod did not have serfdom.
 Russian serfdom began in the 17th century, it became one of the most brutal slave systems in
history holding over 20 million Russians in bondage unlike medieval
serfdom historians agree that Russian slavery/serfdom was just as
cruel as slavery in the Americas, entire books have been written
noting the eerie parallels between the unfree in Tsarist Russia and
slave states like Brazil or Jamaica. If any civilization can be
called a dark age it would be Tsarist Russia that had perhaps the
largest slave population in history, The middle ages are generally
considered the East Slavic golden age; a time of proto-democratic
institutions, no serfdom and a remarkably merciful and advanced legal

Serfdom didn't exist in the Swiss confederation, the Gersau republic,
League of God's House, the League of the Ten Jurisdictions and the
Grey League these societies were among the most democratic in history.


 Myth: all medieval governments were hellish autocracies.

What an odious double standard no one argues that medieval southeast Asia or the middle east experienced a dark age because they were ruled by autocracies. Europe was actually the most republican continent in the middle ages. While we think of democracy as an ancient Greek invention open societies actually owe more to the middle ages. Medieval republican systems made a contribution to the Enlightenment; Corsica's terri di commune system gave birth to the Corsican constitutions. John Adams praised the old Swiss confederation and the three leagues as ideal republics and models for the United States to follow.

Norman Davies wrote that "the link between th democracy of ancient Athens and that of contemporary Europe is tenuous. Democracy did not prevail in its birthplace. It was not admired by Roman thinkers; and it was all but forgotten for more than a for more than a millennium. The democratic practices of today's Europe trace their origins as much to popular assemblies of of the Viking type [DING], to the diets convened by feudal monarchs, and to medieval city republics.""

Europe has a consistent medieval republican and/or proto-democratic heritage. The anglo-Saxons had the folkmoot which has enjoyed praise as an important entry in democratic development. Gaelic Ireland had many assemblies: the Cuirmtig, was open to all clann members this congress primarily served to create new proposals. The Dal consisted of only leaders who represented clanns. Clann chiefs were elected in assemblies while kings were elected under the tannistry system, no king could be above the law.

The medieval Swiss confederation enjoys recognition as an example of medieval direct democracy. Yet it was not an isolated accident, the confederacy neighbored other democratic societies. The grey league, league of god's house and league of ten jurisdictions formed the three leagues, read more about them in 'Early Modern Democracy in the Grisons.'

The republic of Gersau, a state that managed to maintain its independence from the middle ages to the 19th century a testament to the alpine democratic tradition. A council of nine and a court consisting of seven members governed Gersau; elect through the Landsgemeinde system. Louis Simond wrote that "during the whole period of the existence of the republic of Gersau" no one was "punished for any crime." In Germany proper isolation allowed people in Ditmarschen to form an independent republic governed by 48 elected councilors, this entity had a highly organized militia which managed to repel invasions which allowed Ditmarschen to remain independent until 1559.

Switzerland is a product of the commune, autonomous towns that were products of the practical need for unity in harsh times. The people swore oaths to the community as a whole that rendered them equal and assemblies held the most power. This tradition produced Italian republics, the existence of city states free from feudalism that enjoyed free trade is a strong to the dark age mythology.

Italian republics are diabolized as hellish oligarchies, if we accept that it would not change the fact that they were among the most advanced societies at the time. The myth of unjust intrigue burdened oligarchies is a product of past propaganda. Historian Frederic Chapin Lane explained that Venice's Spanish and French created a "myth" that Venice was a "tyrannical oligarchy maintained by a terrifying efficiency in the use of spies, tortures, and poisons." Such libels have tarred Italy's glorious republican heritage.

Though it is true that Venice and others were ruled by various families revisionists ignore that until the late middle ages common people exercised power through assemblies. Genoa was governed by consuls who were elected by the common people, a practice that began in the ninth century. In Venice the general assembly or Arrengo held power until elite made it powerless in the fifteenth century. The practice of genuine republicanism in these city-states lasted longer than many modern countries.

Not all Italian republics became great powers. Cospaia was a small commune that became an independent, egalitarian republic in the 13th century and remained so until the 19th century. San Marino was founded in the 4th century and remained an egalitarian republic throughout the middle ages, its independent to this very day.

Elsewhere the commune system produced republican societies. According to Henri Pirenne "democratic government was firmly established through the towns" in Flanders. He described how "the history of the town populations of the middle ages begins with democratic government." Communes could create oasis's of liberty in autocracies, according to FL Carsten self governing towns created democratic spaces in Germany.

Basques owned lands free of monarchy and the church; feudalism was nonexistent and Basques enjoyed an inherently democratic society. Basque communities were governed by the Elitaze system, people would meet after church to make decisions about issues affecting their area. The Elitaze tradition also served the purpose of electing representatives to the Juntas (assemblies) which governed larger districts or entire provinces. According to Robert Trask "from about 1300 we find abundant evidence of well-developed local democracy in the Basque provinces....”

Further north Scandinavia developed republican institutions like the Thing assemblies. According to 'the Vikings, Voyagers of Discovery and Plunder' "the Thing (assembly) was the cornerstone of democracy and authority in the Viking age. Each district had its own Thing and as a rule these open-air assemblies met once or twice a year, although they could be convened more frequently. The basic function of the Thing was to provide and arena where matters of local importance could be debated. Kings were elected, new laws were discussed, disputes over land and property were settled, and violent crime and theft were adjudicated upon. Above the district assemblies was a regional Thing, where the more important decisions could be taken by the districts would be ratified."

Iceland is one medieval society that has gained liberal admiration, the narrative of common people settling in a chillingly beautiful land and establishing an egalitarian society appeals to even the most hardened cynic. Due to a lack of materials Icelandic art became centered around story telling, literacy became common, medieval Iceland produced countless masterpieces and more literature than the Ottoman empire. Iceland's society was centered around assemblies (the althing) and elected officials (the law speaker for example was elected for three years.

Frisia (currently Friesland, West Friesland, Groningen province, Ostfriesland, Stade and North Friesland) consisted of a string of autonomous areas devoid of feudalism or serfdom and free from tax and fief. There is ample evidence that the Frisians had an ideology comparable to modern democracy; the traditional battle cry was "better dead than a slave", law texts were prefaced by "the people want." By the standards of the time (and even compared to modern life) Frisians enjoyed a vast level of freedom, especially since there was no central government, Frisian freedom laste from 1101 to 1498.

In eastern Europe the people in Kievan Rus were enjoying what is recognized as a golden age. Kievan Rus was a former runner to modern constitutional monarchies since common people could participate in politics via the Veche or general assembly which was the supreme organ in Rus. The cities of Novgorod and Pskov became republics, in both the prince was elected through the veche.

Vainakh (the Noxchi/Chechens and Ingush) lands were devastated by Mongol invasions, in keeping with the pattern of common reacting to hardship they developed a society that Amjad Jaimoukha correctly describes as "pluralism and deference to individuality" that featured elected councils, courts of justice and unique customs. Georgia is home to the Khevsurs a highland people whose identity revolves around their medieval culture with a society lead by "elected.....leaders or khevisberi (ხევისბერი, elder) and council of elders."

Myth: medieval laws were horribly cruel.

 Medieval has become a synonym for torturous legal codes, the
very word conjures pornographic fantasies of innocent milk maids being
dragged down to dungeons for torture yet the reality was very
different a large amount of medieval codes were extraordinarily
merciful even compared to modern laws. Many laws punished crimes only
with fines, criminals were often banished or could seek refuge with
the church and even death sentences could abrogated with fines and
military services. Germanic laws featured the weregild, a value
placed on people (usually according to social rank) if someone was
murdered or injured the perpetrator had to pay a fine to the victim's
family (parallels include the Welsh Galanas, Polish Główszczyzna and
Irish Éraic). A list of legal codes, its also worth noting that fine
based law did not mention homosexuality which seems to be have been
tolerated though evidence for claims of medieval orthodox equivalents
of gay marriage seems specious and a case of liberals trying to
project their views into the past.

*Russkaya Pravda was the law in Kievan Rus, Novgorod and Pskov and it
punished crimes solely with fines and secured rights for women. Did
they determinate guilt by comparing a suspect's weight to that of a
duck? Not exactly; crimes were investigated, 'detectives' had to
(while checking for false accusations), engage in immediate pursuit
and collect evidence; Russkaya Pravda was a precursor of modern
forensic science. Perhaps one day someone will create a TV show about
a young, attractive and ethnically diverse team of detectives solving
crimes (with unorthodox methods of course) in Pskov.
*Medieval Scandinavian laws punished crimes with fines (as did
Finland) and outlawing criminals (more on that below).
*Byzantine law included the death penalty but it was far from a cruel
system, there were emperors who reigned their entire lives without
sentencing anyone to death.
*In the Swiss confederation, Gersau republic and the three leagues
laws were the product of democratic process and varied widely certain
cantons had the death penalty others had entirely fine based laws.
*Frisnia an autonomous region of the Netherlands developed its own
code based entirely around compensation rather than violence.
*The 'Ewa, quae se ad Amorem habet' or 'the law that they have along
the Amor' was the law in the rest of the Netherlands under it most
crimes were punished through fines only one crime carried the death
penalty: stealing something seven times. However a defendant could
escape this penalty with money, or with the help of a superior. The
law states that "it is allowed that his master promises a pledge for
him as compensation and releases him from death."
*Italian law is complex enough for several books since Italy consisted
of a multitude of states, though Italian laws were far from barbaric
since most were based in Roman law: a "sophisticated and advanced"
system. http://wiretap.area.com/Gopher/Library/Classic/Latin/Malin/biella-1.txt
*Law in the Kingdom of Leon was ground in Roman legal codes,
*Salic law originally punished crimes strictly with fines though the
death penalty was added as a punishment for a small number of severe
*Now part of Croatia, the Dalmatian region was independent in the
middle ages and was a bastion of Roman culture and urban
sophistication governed by Roman laws.
*Gaelic law, particularly the Brehon code, enjoys liberal admiration
for the rights it bestowed on women, tolerance of homosexuality (only
mentioned as a reason for divorce) and how it punished crimes through
compensation instead of violence.
*David I's Laws of the Brets and Scots punished crimes strictly through fines.
*Anglo-Saxon law was fine based.
*Icelandic law punished crimes through compensation or outlawry An
outlaw was banished from society; anyone could legally kill an outlaw
and the property of an outlaw was
seized. However this sentence was a lesser evil compared to modern examples
of the death penalty; it was possible to survive, journey to other lands and
begin a new life.

Iceland had two types of outlawry (although the sagas indicate that a
third outlaw type, where an offender was exiled from specific areas),
lesser and greater outlawry.
Lesser outlaws were expelled from Iceland three years; this was not the end
of an Icelander’s world since it was illegal to kill a lesser outlaw abroad,
any captain refusing him passage could be fined and after the three years
were up he could fully resume his place in society.

A full outlaw however had lost all rights; no one could help him or gave him
passage. Anyone could kill him either in Iceland or abroad. However a
sentence of full outlawry could be lessened to permanent exile. Someone
sentenced to permanent exile had the same privileges as a lesser outlaw,
only of course without the option of return.

“When the Thing was over they went west and saw Thorkel the Wealthy of
Alvidra, and tell him all that had happened, and begged him to see Gisli and
tell him, for they said they did not dare to say to his face that he was an

So Gisli was outlawed. That was the great news at that Thing. And Thorkel
the Wealthy went and told Gisli. Then Gisli chaunted this stave:

"At Thorsness Thing
My suit at law
Had never failed
For quirk or flaw, p. 67
Had Vestein's heart,
That never blenched,
In Bjartmar's babies
Burned unquenched.
"They quailed, those kinsmen of my wife,
When all their souls should warm with strife.
To think that here was work to do,
And foes to foil and conquer too.
And so they fled the throng of men,
As when, with addle egg of hen,
The base-born thrall is pelted down
By all the riff-raff of the town.
"Evil tidings from the North,
An outlaw now I wander forth
A forfeit life by land and sea
None dares to speak a word for me
But still, O man in battle tried,
O bounteous man, whate'er betide,
Know this, that vengeance shall be mine
On those two caitiffs, Bork and Stein.”
- Gisli the Outlaw

Lets compare these codes to the law that governed one of the largest
empires in history; Mongol Yassa law, this system punished literally
every offense with death even dropping a cup while riding. Proponents
of the dark age myth promote a the 'burning times' lie none of the
codes above mention or condemn occultism yet Yassa states that
"sorcerers are condemned to death" the same punishment for


Since the Mongols killed tens of millions and had a cruel vast empire
its clear where the real dark age took place.

"You're a great torturer Bob, you can make a man scream for mercy in seconds
but dang you can't make a good cup of coffee."
-The Far Side

Bizarre fantasies about 'medieval' torture instruments are widespread in
Western culture; examples include the Wizard of Id and Pulp Fiction.
Dictatorships that employ torture are described as 'medieval' and people
conclude that medieval societies were horrible; people did not spend their
time making art or exploring, they merely fantasized about elaborate methods
of causing pain! The truth is very different; most of the torture machines
associated with the 'dark ages' did not exist in the medieval world or they
were invented by unscrupulous museum owners in the 18th century.

The Early Modern epoch saw a rise of torture; yet most people imagine
that era merely as 'the
renaissance', a glorious time when everyone learned how to paint and sculpt.
The iron maiden was invented in the 18th century and and there is no
evidence to suggest that it was ever used. Countess Bathory may have used a
spiked device similar to the iron maiden however it is virtually impossible
to separate fact from myth in regards to the Bathory legend. Even if she did
employ such a mechanism it cannot be cited as an example medieval 'savagery'
since the ridiculously demonized Countess lived and died in the 17th
century. Iron maidens were museum props; lurid 'artifacts' that drew in
customers and museum owners did not see a reason to let historical accuracy
stand in the way of financial gain. The most popular theory is that the iron
maiden hoax was invented by German philosopher Johann Philipp Siebenkees
another explanation holds that it was built as a misinterpretation of
*(coat of shame). The coat of shame is often described as a torture device
and it was used in the middle ages however it was designed to shame the
offender not to inflict pain, similar to the stocks. While a session in the
coat of shame was anything but enjoyable the punishment pales in comparison
to penalties carried out under Japanese law.

*The choke pearl is a famous torture device; it is an example of how bizarre
sexual fantasies fuel misconceptions about medieval law. Supposedly the
choke pearl was used to destroy orifices, in reality however it was used as
a gagging device; in the 17th century! There is no recorded evidence to
suggest that it was ever used to rip someone's anus apart.
*The Judas cradle was a fictional device, there is no evidence to support
the lie that it was a medieval torture device.
*There is not a single piece of evidence to support that the spiked/Spanish
chair was ever used to torture a single individual.
*The rack first appeared when the middle ages was coming to an end.
*The Scavenger's daughter was invented in the 16th century (like many
supposedly "medieval" torture devices).
*The medieval torture device known as Crocodile shears was reserved only for
people who had attempted to kill monarchs.
*Chastity belts never existed in the middle ages they were an
invention of the victorian mind.

Myth 3: the Burning times fantasy.

A fat greasy man in a leather hood leads a comely young women out to a pile
of wood in the town square, he forces her to the top and binds her shapely
body to the post with a rusty chain. The wood is set ablaze and the flames
leap higher and higher! She writhes against the chains and ropes!

Witch burning scenarios are embedded into the Western psyche and often cited
as 'proof' that medieval Europe was a uniquely cruel hell. The reality is
very different; victims of public burnings were usually hanged to death
first after which their corpses would be burnt. Witch hunts and burnings
occurred mainly when the middle ages were coming to and end (Joan of Arc was
executed in the late middle ages) or during the Early Modern Period.

The infamous book Malleus Maleficarum ('The Hammer of Witches') was not
published until the end of the middle ages. Inquisitorial courts became
systematically involved in witch hunting only in the fifteenth century. In
other words witch hysteria was common during the supposedly perfect
Renaissance; yet that hasn't created a negative view of the Renaissance.
People think of witch trials as a strictly European evil which simply isn't
true, under Mongol law anyone 'guilty' of 'sorcery' was condemned to death.

The Council of Paderborn in 785 explicitly outlawed the very belief in
witchcraft, obviously people could not be tried for witchcraft under such
laws. The Council of Frankfurt in 794, called by Charlemagne condemned
belief in witchcraft as superstition and ordered that anyone presuming to
kill people for 'witchcraft' would be put to death. It was more dangerous to
accuse someone of 'black magic' than it was to practice the dark arts in

The stereotype that medieval Europeans in general feared any beliefs outside
of strict Christianity is easily disproved by examining how common occultism
was in the medieval world. People from nearly every social status and
profession engaged in magic; peasants, aristocrats, doctors, prostitutes,
clergymen, even Bishops! Books of sorcery (galdrabækr) existed in Iceland in
addition to staves; glyphs designed to produce results ranging from good
dreams to warding off foxes. Below is an interesting account that
illustrates that divination was a very common practice.

"While your Highness was besieging Padua during your campaign, some of the
prisoners anxiously used divination (sortes) to find out what would happen
to your army. One of them, by means of special dots used in one technique
they call 'Geomancy' (a word I haven't come across before) seemed to say
that Padua would not be captured at this time, claiming - and I don't
understand this - that the First House, relating to the army, seemed to be
Lesser Fortune, while the figure of the Seventh House, which represents
enemies, was Greater Fortune."
- Rolandina da Padova: *Cronica in factis et circa facta Marchie
Trivixane*(1262 CE)

Bishops often complained of lower class farmers taking the host (a
representation of the body of Christ) back to their homes and drawing
symbols on it in order to help crops or make animals fatter. The clergy of
late Anglo-Saxon England produced 'leechbooks' medical manuals that
contained spells for protection and healing, many of these rituals were
Christianized versions of Pagan rites. Very few official condemnations of
occult texts were issued; church officials were more concerned with
heretical books, attempts to suppress grimoires and other such manuals were
sporadic not systemic. In 1258 Pope Alexander IV ordered inquisitors "not to
intrude into investigations of divination or sorcery without knowledge of
manifest heresy involved."

 Witch trial occurred in medieval Europe;
however the sentence was usually quite mild contrary to what neo-pagan
authors, who seem to have a need to feel persecuted, would have you believe.
In England, in 1466, Robert Barker of Babraham was brought before his
bishop to answer for owning grimoire, wand and other such items. Robert was
sentenced to public penance, walking around the marketplaces of Ely and
Cambridge barefoot (being seen without shoes was very humiliating in the
middle ages) while carrying his arcane paraphernalia. Under the laws of
Alfred, Guthrum, and Edward the Elder "witches or diviners" were driven
"from the country."

 Other codes like Lex Salica do not even mention witchcraft. Yet the
consensus view is that persecution of individuals perceived to be witches
was an evil limited to medieval Europe. Who needs facts when you have lurid
 pop culture?

Burning at the stake was not a unique evil. The Ottomans used impalement as
an execution method well into the 19th century, which was just as bad if not
worse than death by fire; a victim of the inquisition could die quickly from
smoke inhalation, a victim of Turkish impalement could stay alive for days.
Examples of Ottoman terror includes combining impalement and fire; Diakos a
Greek hero was impaled, roasted over a fire and finally died after three
days. The Ottomans matched the scale of the inquisition; in 1814 at least
 200 were impaled in Belgrade.

Admirers of the empire often portray it as a harmonious land of tolerance,
 ignoring persecution that parallels witch and heretic hunts. They also
ignore that even in the early modern era with all its sectarian savagery
the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Netherlands were more tolerant.
The Muslim Lipka Tatars rejected the Turks because Poles gave them more

Hurufism is a fascinating doctrine of Islamic mysticism; grounded in the
Kabbalah the sect equated God with man and promoted absolute equality.
Obviously this threat to the Ottomman order was not well received; the
 Ottoman policy was to burn or flay followers of Hurufism alive.
Even indirect sympathizers were imprisoned and executed. Unlike the
inquisition the persecution of Sufis is not over; in the early 1990s over
thirty Alevis were burned alive in Sivas. In 1995 a Turkish teahouse which
was a popular meeting place for refusing was machine gunned killing two
Alevis which was followed by riots resulting in the murders of Sufis.

“Near the city of Edirne, in an empty area, towards the end of the 1450’s; a
gigantic pit was dug for the burning of thousands of people. When the
digging was finished, (the hollow had been filled with a veritable forest of
wood), it was then set alight. The heat was like Hell. When the fire reached
into the sky, soldiers pushed untold thousands of bound captives to the edge
of the hollow. First, a turbaned elder prayed. Then the assembled populace
stood behind the surrounding soldiers, watching events unfold. At the
instigation of the elder, they then prayed to God and cursed their enemies.
Afterwards, soldiers started to throw their imprisoned victims into the
fire. The screams of burning people were inevitably mixed with the sound of
prayers and violent accusations. Everywhere was shaded by a dark smoke and
the smell of burning meat polluted the air. Nobody, however, left the square
until this tragedy finished; they waited until the very last person had
become carbonized. Shockingly, those assembled around this horror cursed the
souls of both the dying and the dead. Then they left the square. The only
sin of these living, human sacrifices was being “Hurufi”, or in other words,
martyrs for one of the most mysterious, complicated and potent sects in the
history of Islam. If these people raised hell, however, they deserved to
burn in flames.”
-Tashkopruzade Ebu-l Ismauddin Ahmed Efendi

In Japan death by burning was a common means of execution. In the
17th century a new law made it illegal for any Japanese individual to harbor
or befriend Christians; 'offenders' would be executed burned alive. Japanese
converts were hunted down and burned alive; food for thought for any naive
Westerner under the delusion that Asian spirituality is perfect and benign.

"I saw fifty-five of them martyred at one time at Miyako. Among them were
little children of five or six years, burned alive in the arms of their
mothers who cried 'Jesus recieve their souls!'"
-Richard Cocks


"Christian Martyrs of Nagasaki"

Myth: Europeans never bathed.

Most people associate with the middle ages with smelly peasants; supposedly bathing was a rarity even for the wealthy. This myth has become a part of pop culture; in the episode "Robin Brain" Pinky and Brain tell medieval Europeans to bathe more often, they respond by telling the two mice that "everyone knows that soap and water are a lethal combination" and the cartoon ends with the two rodents tarred and feathered. The LOTR films portray most of the Human characters as dirty; the only consistently clean characters are non-Human. The truth however is very different; numerous cultures maintained high standards of hygiene.


Roman bathing customs survived, Italian states also adopted Muslim bathing customs through its levantine trade. According to 'Medieval Italy: Texts in Translation' "Until very recently, many scholars believed that bathing was rare in the Middle Ages; some hypothesized that it was revived in the West during the Crusades, when Europeans encountered the religious, cultural, and architectural practices of Muslims and Jews." Yet a translated charter proved that "bathing flourished" in Italy "before crusades."


The Byzantine Empire

The Byzantines maintained an exceptional hygienic standard; so much for nonsense about medieval Christians teaching that bathing is 'evil.' Apart from public bathes which served a social function (similar to the ancient Thermae facilites), most houses had tanks with water and all gave big importance in the hygiene. The Baths of Zeuxippus were the most famous (other than numerous private baths); Zeuxippus was more than just a place to wash, it was literally a work of art and a museum with scores of sculptures.

"For a minimal fee one could enter the cavernous, multifunctional complexes and find a comfortable, luxurious setting for bathing, exercise and meeting friends for convrsations business, readings and lectures."
-Marcus Louis Rautman, Daily life in the Byzantine Empire

Private and public toilets drained into subterranean sewers that emptied into the sea. Most buildings had latrines that were flushed with water drawn form cisterns and/or wells or by running water.
Lower class people did not dump waste into the street; modest homes had pits that collected usage. At routine intervals these pits would be emptied and hauled off. The Byzantium had a very high level of sanitation as well as garbage removal. Byzantine standards also heavily influenced and contributed to other cultures; without the empire's texts it's likely that the Islamic golden age and the Italian renaissance never would have occurred. Popular mythology dictates that medieval Europeans 'destroyed' classical texts yet in the 7th century Paul of Aegina created the most complete medical compendium for the next seven to eight centuries.

The Norse

"Nowhere on earth is the use of the bath so necessary, as it is in the Northern lands. There you find both private and public baths extremely well equipped. Private baths belong to highly placed persons and are built in the vicinity of fresh running water and beautiful gardens and herbs. Public baths are built in towns and villages and in such a large quantity as the number of people living there make necessary."
-King Magnus

The idea of filthy Nordic savages has heavily influenced the fantasy archetype of the barbarian, it is also a false stereotype grounded in biased Christian writings. In reality the Norse bathed routinely, the average Scandinavian bathed at least once a week, the use of hot springs and artifacts (combs, washing bowls etc.) suggest a strong bathing culture, because of these the Norse and their cousins - the Anglo-Danes, the Rus etc. - had a reputation for obsessive cleanliness. Scandinavians in the Varangian guard would have been adopted Byzantine hygienic customs, although that isn't to say that they automatically assimilated.

Hygiene is featured in Nordic literature, in Njáls saga the character Bergthora "went round the table with water to wash the guests' hands." In Egil's saga, the main character tells a 'good man' that he "shall have soft bath" Athelstan washes the corpse of his brother before burial. Grettir's Saga features a scene where Grettir "went up to the homestead at Reeks, and into a bath that night" after swimming.

The Gaels

"Then were their positions fixed and their pavilions were pitched, their huts and their tents were made. Their fires were kindled, cooking of food and drink was made; baths of clean-bathing were made by them, and their hair was smooth-combed; their persons were minutely cleansed, supper and vicutals were eaten by them; and tunes and merry songs and eulogies were sung by them."
-Cath Ruis na Ríg

There is abundant evidence that medieval Gaels maintained a high standard of hygiene, a tradition dating back to the Ancient Celts; Pliny described how male Gauls washed more than women. The Celts were either evil savages or foppish dandies to the Romans! Soap would have been widespread in the ancient Celtic world due to their vast trading networks and the emphasis that Celts placed on appearance. The Burnt Mounds (known as Fulacht fiadh in Irish) are located all over the British Isles (Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Mann, Wales and England) these sites date back to the Iron age and early medieval era and were used to heat liquids. At first they were thought to have been used for cooking; however there is no evidence to support this theory, the most popular explanation is that they must have been for bathing.

"It is difficult to believe they were effective cooking places, as you'd need to boil about 100 gallons of water in these troughs and large amounts of meat. But why would people go to so much trouble to heat water? Sauna is an integral component of cultural life in Nordic countries. So it may be that Ireland had cultural traditions in which washing and bathing were done as part of ritual activity."
- Dr Paul Gosling

The Irish bathed frequently and guests were provided with baths; a common sign of hospitality. Medieval Ireland had a highly developed vocabulary for washing, with separate words for bathing the feet, hair, the hands or immersing the entire body. Gaelic literature gives us an insight into how bathing was routine for Irish people in the middle ages, in the Tain Bo Cualnge Cuchulain "took a repast, and he remained until he had washed

himself and bathed on that day." In Echtra Nerai the characters enter a house to find "tubs for washing and bathing in it, and a drink in either of them," after being warned about a house that never had "a washing- nor a bathing-tub, nor a slop-pail in it at night after sleeping."

It is reasonable to conclude that the Scots and Manx practiced bathing due to the presence of burnt mounds, Irish and later Nordic influence. Scandinavians who assimilated and became Norse-Gaels would have most likely retained their original bathing customs and introduced these practices to their neighbors. In 'History of the Highlands & of the Highland clans, Volume 2' by James Browne, the author describes how both children were bathed every morning and evening, the people did this in order to "steel the body", adults bathed daily.


Bathing has part of Switzerland's history since Ancient times, the ruins of Roman bathing facilities have been unearthed in Switzerland. Practices such as thermal bathes were at the height of their popularity in the middle ages. There are accounts of common people who spent the whole day or even the entire night immersed in water!

The sensuality of Swiss bathing culture defies the stereotype of dirty and sexually repressed medieval people. Hot springs, baths and communal hot tubs were part of routine life in the Confederation; they were social centers, much like the Finnish sauna, were men and women interacted and ate food from floating trays. Bathers ate eggs (cooked in hot springs), beef, lamb, venison and fish, they drank white wine and fresh milk. One early modern woodcut depicts a male meeting with two female clients in a private hot tub out in the open.

Bathing was a feature of folklore; it was believed that people should not drink cold water for this led to a terrible addiction. Conrad, of Baumgarten slew the vile Austrian bailie Wolfenschiess while he was bathing. In Leukerbad it was held that if a cure were taken during a leap year or two years after a solar or lunar eclipse the waters would not produce the same healing effect. The curative waters were supposed to open the wombs of infertile women. According to myth if a woman dipped her feet into the biggest of Baden's springs during a full moon, she would conceive.

Baths were also important political functions; Confederates saw no reason to separate business from pleasure. Baden routinely hosted the Tagsatzung and served as a focus for diplomatic matters all because of its famous nineteen hot springs. Baden (also known as Aquae helveticae – the Swiss waters) even had a bathing tavern! It is logical to conclude that the Confederates exported this hygienic culture to conquered territories and associates such as the Freie Ämter.

Kievan Rus

The Persian adventurer Ahmad Ibn Rustah wrote that the people of the Rus Khaganate "carry clean clothes and the men adorn themselves with bracelets and gold. They treat their slaves well and also they carry exquisite clothes, because they put great effort in trade." Cleanliness did not die with the Pagans, bathing was part of daily routine for the population of Kievan Rus. In the twelfth century Andrew, the apostle described a traditional banya.

"They warm them to extreme heat, then undress, and after anointing themselves with tallow, they take young reeds and lash their bodies. They actually lash themselves so violently that they barely escape alive. Then they drench themselves with cold water, and thus are revived. They think nothing of doing this every day, and actually inflict such voluntary torture on themselves. They make of the act not a mere washing but a veritable torment."
-Russian Primary Chronicle

What Andrew didn't understand was that he wasn't witnessing masochism; these people were so committed to cleanliness that they were literally beating impurities out of themselves!


"When the evening bath is wanted,
Fetch the water and the bath-whisks,
Have the bath-whisks warm and ready,
Fill thou full with steam the bathroom,
Do not take too long about it,
Do not loiter in the bathroom,
Lest my father-in-law imagine,
You were lying on the bath-boards,
On the bench your head reclining.
When the room again you enter,
Then announce the bath is ready;
O my father-in-law beloved,
Now the bath is fully ready,
Water brought and likewise bath-whisks,
All the boards are cleanly scoured,
Go and bathe thee at thy pleasure,
Wash thou there as it shall please thee,
I myself will mind the steaming,
Standing underneath the boarding."
- The Kalevala

"In the sauna one must conduct himself as one would in church."

-Old Finnish saying

The sauna has been a Finnish institution since the dawn of the middle ages, nomadic Finns even carried portable sweat lodges. Sauna sessions were routine and they were not simply places to spruce up, a sauna was a key social establishment; much like the Roman thermae. Villagers would take turns preparing the sauna, once it was ready neighbors would be invited to join them. In Finland and other Northern lands groups of men and women would patronize saunas, which disproves the stereotypes that all medieval Europeans were repressed religious types fearful of any suggestion of sexuality.

Women traditionally gave birth inside saunas, since smoke contained tannic acid that sterilized the surfaces medical operations were also performed in saunas; this proves that medieval Finns were not ignorant of matters relating to hygiene. Saunas had spiritual significance; many foreign observers wrote that the Finns treated these structures as if they were "shrines" and used them for rites of passage. Once inside the sauna they would use a whisk made of plants (a vihta) for massage and skin stimulation, this detail combined with the almost religious reverence of the sauna has led to comparisons between the sauna and Amerindian sweat lodge.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mondoweiss: Racist Sewer

Mondoweiss is an anti-Israel blog that continues to grow in popularity, it helps that the site is designed to look like a journo blog without pix of klashnikov bearing hearties and palestinian flags. It has been criticized as anti-Semitic which MW bloggers deny with hyperbolic vigor suggestive of persecution complexes, MW is a deeply racist site that doesn't limit its hatred to Jews.

MW published a Joseph Massad article claiming that "the Jewishness that most Jews celebrate (is) colonial and criminal" it turns out Joey uses stormfront material which is unsurprising since he thinks being Jewish is a crime. They support terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians as "legitimate resistance." For another example here's a blogger telling readers to beware of opinions held by those with Jewish names:

"When you read an article on Israel/Palestine or a letter to the editor, isn’t one of the first things you do to check the name and see if the person is Jewish or not? Doing so is not giving in to anti-semitism. It’s a simple way to prepare yourself for possible bias on the part of the reporter or letter-writer."

There's a term for telling readers to distrust people who are perceived to have a Jewish name but isn't 'criticism of Israel.'

I found a wide variety of hatred on mondoweiss: Philip Weiss (the founding of MW is the closest thing he has to an achievement, how sad) revealed himself to be a supporter of hezbollah, during Lebanese elections he wrote "I hope Hezbollah wins." A widely circulated critique of pop atheist Sam Harris contains anti-Tibetan racism, the use of a Rwanda genocide outlet and a Stalinist as sources. Red-brown politics are not dead, they're enjoying an online renaissance.


*MW published 'a tale of two martyrs' an article that equates hamas fan Rachel Corrie to Anne Frank, yes they really something so obscenely idiotic and racist. My response:

*Gilad Atzmon is a hitler fan who has endorsed the protocols of the elders of zion, yet mondo weis has defended him against ADL criticism the ADL's actions as “outrageous” and portraying him as "an outspoken critic of the lobby and all forms of Zionism” and "truly controversial." The MW founder Philip Weiss has even let Atzmon interview him about Jewishness.

*Allison Weir is a racist abomination, she heads the anti-Israel group 'if Americans knew' she's also a prolific blood libeler in a single article she claimed that Jews steal organs and she thinks medieval Jews ritually killed children and used their blood in rituals. Yet this doesn't bother MW's founder as you can see from quotes are from multiple articles:

"And below are excerpts of Alison Weir at Counterpunch questioning"

"Weir offers to have a cup of coffee when we're in the same neighborhood; I'd love to take her up on the offer."

*MW publishes Nima Shirazi a pro-IRI hezbollah fan: he once wrote a defense of the IRI strongly relying on Paul Craig Roberts a White supremacist who wrote positively of Burma's former junta.

*Jack Ross a neo-nazi who used to write for the holocaust denial mag 'the barnes review' found a home at MW becoming part of the team. Philip Weiss the founder praised him as a man who writes "glorious" material "with the same fierce focus and concision" he makes it clear that they are close friends since he "was one of the first people to reach out to me on this site four years ago. We met at a chocolate bar near Union Square then at Junior's on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Jack was built like a lineman, with an Abe Lincoln beard, and was just 22 but if you shut your eyes and listened to him you would think he was 50." He stops just short of claiming that the goose stepper is "90 feet tall and his adventures are legendary" though Ross probably does think that the only good Chinaman is a dead Chinaman.

*MW supports and cites axis fan Justin Raimondo the same guy who thinks that fascist imperial Japan should have won the pacific war and that the Poles were to blame for the holocaust.

*The site has nothing but kind words for Helen Thomas.

*MW published a "homage" to the totalitarian bigot Alexander Cockburn who published blood libels and CP recently published a homage to Pol Pot written by neo-Nazi Israel Shamir which denies the Cambodian genocide.

*Co-editor Adam Horowitz  penned a defense of crazy, frothing racist Richard Faulk in which he insisted that Richie bitch's racism isn't "relevant" and that he was a close relationship with Rwanda genocide denier "Edward S. Herman.

*Marc Ellis made a rancid incoherent argument claiming that Jews "sell the holocaust" playing in stereotypes about Jews by claiming that they're so crafty that they'll exploit their own genocide! What idiocy. He also made another racist comment where he claimed that "“to speak of the Holocaust without confessing our sins towards the Palestinian people and seeking a real justice with them is a hypocrisy that debases us as Jews" he's the worst christian since the guy who came up with veggie tales.

*An article ("The US media reports: Gilad Shalit swapped for 1000 non-people") celebrates the release of such butchers as Ahlam Tamimi who remains vocally proud of her role in a slaughter of children in a pizza parlor the article relies entirely on the pro-Hamas hate site 'middle east monitor.' From another article "qassam Brigades commander Abdullah Al-Barghouthi is to a start an open hunger strike at dawn Thursday protesting his continued isolation in Israeli jails, liberated prisoner Ahlam Al-Tamimi said."


An apologist's mission is to teleport the blame for actions off the shoulders of the responsible party and onto another party which is what neo-nazi Jack Ross does in an MW article that sounds like a parody of Pat Buchanan least lucid moments. From 'On the neocons’ Munich comparisons':

"When considering the idea that Israel will be "the new Czechoslovakia", we must remember that Czechoslovakia, like Israel, was a state that should never have come into existence. "

So MW doesn't think that Israel has any right to exist.

"And with respect to "appeasement" generally, World War II did not begin because Chamberlain "appeased" Hitler at Munich. On the contrary, Chamberlain had a Wilsonian/neocon conceit to intervene there in the first place, and once he had done so decided he could regulate Hitler's designs by giving the war guarantee to Poland. To repeat - it was not the appeasement, but the internationalist hubris and bellicosity - of Chamberlain which started World War II."

Blaming the oldest parliamentary democracy for the actions of one of the most heinous states in history is nothing more than nazi apologia the paragraph is nothing more than neo-nazi fiction which finds forum and support at mondo weiss. One of the few MW fans with a conscience wrote:

"in other words world war II began, not because hitler invaded poland, but because britian declared war on germany?!! you're nuts! or jack ross is nuts! go join pat buchanan in a rendition of deutschland uber alles!"

Thats right even a regular poster on a hate filled comments sections MW published nazi apologia.

Don't worry mondo weiss hosts support for current regimes especially Iranian theocracy Jeffrey Rudolph (scroll down the misc section for details of his pro-hezbollah material) argues that clero-fascist Iran is "progressive" compared to Saudi Arabia which is as illogical and sociopathic as arguing that Mussolini was a great leader compared to Stalin. Its also inaccurate SA has a lower execution rate than the IRI and a higher standard of living. Ruddy acclaims Khomeini's "radical" doctrines and the "dazzling" Islamic revolution.

Another non-entity using the handle Mohammmad of vancouver describes Khomeini as "most influential leader of the second half of the twentieth century next to Mao. He is significant because for Islamism, he is not only Marx and Lenin, but Stalin, and Trotsky as well. He theorized the concept of an Islamic government, he created the organization and strategies that led to the victory of the revolution and right after that, rather than getting caught between the Stalin/Trotsky dichotomies of Socialism in one state versus permanent revolution, he chose to have both." So even he admits that the IRI theocrats are comparable some of the most blood drenched figures in 20th century history. The blogger also thinks that a militantly anti-socialist, fascist regime with capitalism ingrained as a religious doctrine is part of a movement to "to resist the global forces of capitalism and the influences of a pro Western regime as Capitalism’s only offered mode of functioning."

This little dullard also attacks the nations that walked out on a-jad dismissing the very idea that a-jad is racist and promoting this bit of a brain vomit "this bloc is no more nor less than the white, western colonialist and imperialist nations, with Israel acting as their convenor, and that to be opposed to white, western colonialism and imperialism is the real definition of ‘racism’ in their eyes." Note how he uses 'white' as an perjorative very racist and self hating since he belongs to a White ethnic group, the 'bloc' included countries that suffered under real imperialism and colonialism for centuries: Greece, Ireland, Cyprus Polan etc. By contrast Iran was an empire for centuries and invented the concept, Iranian imperialism is still as we see from the IRI holy war against Kurds and colonial rule against said ethnic group, Ahwazi Arabs and Balochi people.

On article defends Iranian holocaust denial as "to show to Iranians and Muslims the limits of freedom in the West" and to "to challenge the West’s, and Israel’s, monopoly on contemporary history. By questioning Holocaust, not only does he challenge the West’s hold on the notion of history, he also challenges the central role of World War 2 and its consequence as the implicit pretext injustice, racism and war crimes today." Mo' wrote that "it is not Ahmadinejad who denied the Holocaust" such racist content means that MW is in no position to use the r-word to defend others.

Other mondo weiss material claims that the Iranian Islamic revolution "succeeded" and that the "e Iranian people chose an Islamic form of government precisely because they were worried about the consequences of rapid modernization and westernization under the corrupt rule of the Pahlavis." The blogger makes the blatant lie that it "was done with minimal human cost compared to other revolutions" keep in mind that the total number of dead on both sides in the Israeli-Arab conflict since 1948 is 15000. By contrast the revolution lead to murders of at least 40,000 Iranians, 100,000 Kurds killed in the genocidal holy war against them, stoning, slaughter of Ahwazi Arabs, apartheid for entire peoples and genders, extermination campaigns against the Bahai to name just a few are therefore seen as no big deal by mondo weiss. Khomeini's theocrats are described as heroes who were able to "liberate the country from the hands of local tyrants and their international supporters." The regime is described as "safe and democratic" which only proves that he needs a dictionary that "expanded the majority's freedoms" at no point is any evidence to back up these outlandish, fascist and obviousy false claims: thus they can be easily dismissed. MW claims that its "easier to be a practicing Jew in Iran than in Israel" so thats why the 100,000 Jewish Iranians were reduced to 20,000 after the revolution. Obviously content like that proves that MW is a pro-IRI blog that rants about Palestinian Arabs (the ultimate radical chic but couldn't give a monkey's ass about Ahwazi Arabs.

MW endorsed Mahmood Mamdani's genocide denial and apologia for the Sudanese regime in an article titled "Mamdani: ‘Save Darfur’ movement is not a peace movement" that dismisses "simple moralizing" and portrays Darfur as a complex conflict (while they portray the Israeli-Arab as good vs. evil) so much for the blog's support for human rights. For more on Mamdani check out this article aptly titled "Khartoum's best friend" to grok the sort of people MW supports, so MW a blog posing as a human rights outlet publishes pro-Sudan material.

"Mamdani’s book is not addressed to
victims of violence everywhere
(or, anything
else which might have salvaged his moral
credibility), but, to those fighting for
an independent African Union. He has
done more than just about any other
intellectual to downplay the atrocities in
Darfur, and while I am not in a position
to question his motives, it seems likely
that Omar al-Bashir and his government
in Khartoum would regard the author as
the closest thing they have to an ally in a
North American university.
Nowhere in the entire book the figure
of 2.7 million is mentioned. That is the 2.7
million Darfuris who have been internally
displaced by the fighting. Meanwhile,
Mamdani does his best to make a case for
ludicrously low estimates of mortality
figures in Darfur – little more than a few
hundred a month after the worst period
of fighting ended in 2005 – while brushing
off the figures reported by human rights
groups and experts such as Eric Reeves,
which put the death toll between 300,000
and 400,000."


Thats what MW has endorsed making them fans of the Sudanese regime. They also made that post in 2009 most Sudanese apologia paints an image of cabals (picture amnesty international in robes and you have the idea) using human rights to start war. Apart from the obvious idiocy of that claim (the last thing the US would want is to get involved in a Sudan war) making it in 2009 when any window for intervention had passed only makes Mamdani and his fans seem even more immoral and fallacious. Other articles worry that its just an Israeli conspiracy and an excuse for racism against Arabs certain articles praise Mamdani and condemn those who disagree with him.

Remember MW literally doesn't think Israel has any right to exist and that Israeli leaders should be tried for war crimes (which is hypocritical since they don't support the same for Arab war criminals). Yet posts about Darfur on their site make it very clear that they think the Sudanese regime has every right to exist and they don't think that Omar Bashir should be sent to the hague. One article written in praise of Sudanophie Mamdani argues that "by pursuing Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, for war crimes, the International Criminal Court is making a settlement less likely, because al-Bashir is an indispensable part of the peace process." To make that rancid sentence more damning it was written by no other than MW's founder Phil Weiss who doesn't call the Darfur genocide genocide: he puts the g-word in quotes. The comments were an open sewer but one single astute person posted "Amazing. It would seem that Mamdani just proved the palestinian claims to be the same bullshit." While I support Palestinian self determination he has a point, if we accept Mamdani's arguments then the Palestinians certainly have no case.

Theodore Sayeed's articles on Sam Harris contain many vile claims, I have no desire to defend Harris whose work doesn't interest me at all, its simply criticism of Teddy bore and mondo weiss.

His second article on Harris contains nothing but positive words for various Iraqi insurgency gangs who had no public support, most of them came from foreign countries and whose actions included things like detonating bombs strapped onto mentally disabled girls in market place to kill over a hundred people. Yet he attacks Harris as an "iraq war supporter" despite the fact that Teddy supported the most violent participants in the war! Teddy bore describes those guys as heroes who were "Iraqis resisting occupation" and heaps scorn on Harris for criticizing them after the usual line about "smearing criticism of Israel." He describes Tarek Mahenna as a nice boy persecuted for merely using his free speech yet he was in convicted "of conspiring to help Al Qaeda" the evidence against him was stronger and his sentence lighter than those received by militia fanatics.

In one part he ridicules Harris for 'believing' in " in the existence of psychics, reincarnation, meditation" psychic powers and reincarnation are silly idiotic claims. Meditation practices are scientifically confirmed methods that yield results in laboratories, Teddy bore has only proven his own ignorance and scientific illiteracy. Yet he has the pompous hubris to describe meditation as an idea "derided by science as the high fooleries of the occult" that is part of "kookdoom" further proof of his ignorance. Can you imagine the reaction from MW from someone describing Islam in similar language? Which brings us to Mondo Weiss's...

Anti-Tibetan Racism:

Teddy doesn't seem to like Buddhists much he describes the Dalai Lama in language that makes the PRC's lingo seem tame. He dives into the waters of neo-colonialism by ranting about the "peerless theocratic barbarism of his clerical antecedents in Tibet whose rule was marked by torture, amputations and serfdom." Describing one of the oldest and richest cultures that way is racism that should disgust anyone with a conscience, its actually worse than the views of classic colonists many of whom praised Hindu and Berber cultures.

Apologists/supporters of PRC rule in Tibet justify it by arguing that Tibet is an inferior hell populated by subhumans too inferior to rule themselves; if they were in the 1920s they would probably be arguing that Congolese are cannibalistic hordes who need Belgium's gentle hand. Its a stomach churning exercise in sociopathy where obscure intellectually deformed troglodytes portray an ancient culture as inferior superstition that should be wiped out and replaced by China soul crushing brand of totalitarianism. By writing his article Teddy has joined men who lack conscience and character in supporting colonial rule and the eradication of a culture and religion using the oldest type of colonial propaganda that tars a people and their entire history as inferior.

Besides his claims about Tibet are not even true; it was remarkably advanced with no death penalty, with great art, free available education through monasteries, it wasn't nearly as autocratic as pre-colonial China, Women had a remarkably high status (far higher than in modern Palestine or any of the other regimes MW supports) and had a very small unfree population. A study of Tibet does not reveal a hell of "theocratic barbarism" or "torture" but one of the richest and oldest cultures on earth, that will survive both Chinese totalitarianism and the impotent racist rants of obscure curs with keyboards lashing out at a grand country that they do not have the intelligence to even comprehend. People like Teddy are so deformed in mind and filled with hate that they attack things greater than themselves or their facile identities.


Ted's source for that Maoist bit of hyperbole is 'dissident voice' a hate site that denies the Rwanda genocide which is proof of nothing but Teddy (and MW's) racism. The author of the DV piece is Gearóid Ó Colmáin a stalinist who supports Chinese colonial rule in Tibet, denies the Rwanda genocide, praises Stalin on his execrable blog and every regime he can find, apart from being the worst thing to come out of Eire since riverdance. Colmain is not a historian in fact I doubt he's capable of learning or possessing important skills or knowledge, maybe next time Ted can cite Jeff Rense on the Nanking massacre.

Gearoid's bio informs the reader that he "is a member of Pôle de renaissance communiste en France (PRCF) a political movement which advocates Marxism-Leninism and the formation of a revolutionary communist party in France" its almost enough to make one think that the people at fuckfrance.com have a point. Colmain describes Maoist autocratic rule in Tibet as a process that brought Tibet "from serfdom to people's democracy" and claims that the Dalai Lama had "connections with nazism" rancid filth from an obviously diseased mind. If Carlos the jackal had a blog, Gearoid's articles would make Ilich Ramírez Sánchez's ramblings seem intelligent by comparison.

He describes Tibetan protesters as savages who smashed "skulls" while presenting Chinese police as heroes. In Colmain's festering excuse for a brain Tibetan self-immolations are "barbarous acts" of "terrorism and violence" he claims that coverage of said acts prove only "western moral degeneracy" (which is as hilarious as being called a slut by Linda Lovelace) its some of the heinous anti-Tibetan racism I've ever read, which is endorsed by Teddy bore and mondo weiss who obviously agree with it. So that makes mondo weiss and Theodore racists who support of colonial rule in Tibet with an article on a fringe hate site written by a Stalinist maniac; so criticism of Harris from them is a moot point, they have no moral high ground or any ethics at all.


One post compares Blacks in apartheid SA to rioters 'protesting' the innocence of Muslims film. Obviously there is no equivalence between a riot motivated out of rage at living in an oppressive dictatorship to mealy mouthed anger that someone countless miles away made fun of your religion (the Muslim rage cover photo was taken in Morocco). The comparison only confirms the idiocy that finds a soap box at mondo weiss. Now if apartheid era Boers attacked American embassies out of rage at the existence of a Morgan Freeman film that sure that would be on par with the movie 'protests.'

In another article Theodore Sayeed praises the overrated racist, axis Japan fan Gore Vidal, he half seriously claims that the passing of a man who described a rape victim as a "young hooker" is proof that "a cosmic plot afoot to knock off the higher order man." He breaks into hysterics about a certain Jew hating Stalinist "two weeks ago it carried off Alexander Cockburn. Another week, another legend. In a saner world, the end of a calendar would be marked by the end of its greatest scribes. With the departure of Gore, an historic epoch is cremated." If you think the passing of an obscure racist and hack writer who defended every totalitarian obscenity he could find was tragedy worse than the titanic you're not a serious thinker, in fact it would charitable to describe someone like that as capable of thought in the first place. Its like having some little piece of trailer trash go on about how valveeta is the best food.

He praises Vidal's novel on Lincoln for having "fetched the Great Emancipator down from the seventh heaven, knocked the halo off the national myth, and converted him into a power grubbing mortal who, far removed from the high-flown speech of Gettysburg, never let the abolitionist cause impede his political aspirations for the top job." Its one thing to write that its a good book, Teddy bore isn't doing that though: he is agreeing with Vidal's distortion of history. Gore Vidal wrote the book out of hatred for Lincoln who he believed should have the slaver oligarchy secede. Teddy also tosses out the term "court historians" suggesting that he's a closet lewrockwell.com fan. He lionizes Vidal's post-911 insane rants as "wit kissed polemics."

Now for the particularly abonimable part of his article: Teddy bore endorses and agrees with Gore Vidal's notorious support for Timothy McVeigh, strange since he's usually the guy anti-Israel types trot out for their "but what about the non-Muslim terrorists huhuhuh" routine. Theodore writes "Timothy McVeigh wrote him letters from death row and, in a culture that prefers to send the wicked prematurely to heaven, Gore went beyond the official cant that he was just a very naughty boy and dug up the reason why. Something to do with kids massacred in Waco by the FBI apparently. How odd. It’s almost as if terrorists have political motives." So we have MW defending a far right terrorist: they argue that the alleged killings of children by one party justifies and legitimizes the massacre of babies in a daycare center by an inbred psychopath. Gore Vidal described Timothy as a "noble boy", "kipling hero", a "Henley-style hero" with an "overdeveloped sense of justice" and compared him to Paul Revere, opinions that survive Vidal's corpse through mondo weiss.

Mondo Weiss also supports McVeigh's Lebanese in article 'can you pass the hezbollah test' opens by condemning Western media for using "simplistic stereotypes to demonize it" the d-word card is not an argument it only proves that the person playing it wants theocratic fascists to be exempt from criticism for bombing mosques and butchering Jewish children. The hezzies are described as "a sophisticated organization that effectively combines pragmatism and militancy, social services and religious faith" so MW is a pro-hezbollah blog. Hezbo atrocities are described as "resistance operations against Israel" that "were relentless and effective" perhaps the phallic gun flag the hezzies fly triggered the author's fantasies of fascist 'resistance.' He clearly wishes he could be on the battlefield fighting alongside his heroes whom he praises for "decency and efficiency" this vile pro-fascist article has been widely circulated and posted on blogs ranging from Juan Cole's site to 'counter currents.'


*Alistair Crooke is a fan of Hezbollah and Assad yet he's cited as a source in multiple posts. The latest MW addition Alex Kane who's supposedly a sweetheart wrote this "writing in Al Jazeera, Alastair Crooke offers this explanation."

*Hezbollah fan Norman Finklestein.

*Counterpunch which publishes blood libels unsurprising since they praise the decaying totalitarian charlatan behind that crank website.

*Dissident voice which denies the Rwanda genocide.

*Richard Falk a 911 truther and Jew hater.

*Gareth Porter is an obscure little twit who has defended the Khmer Rouge and denied that the Iranian regime was responsible for the AMIA bombing yet he's cited as a source on MW.

"First, Gareth Porter reports at IPS"

*Hezbollah fan Franklin Lamb who is " is a political activist described by Hizbollah’s TV station in Lebanon as “persistent in his support for the just cause of the Lebanese people’s resistance”."


http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/ counterpunchs-franklin-lamb-linked-to-fascist-voltaire-network


If a site has unmoderated comments it would be dishonest to use that as criticism, after all who has the time or energy to police comments on a major? However if a site has moderated comments then it can be criticized for posts, MW had "ground rules" and has "banned" people yet every post features hateful comments like:

"Rwanda was another of the 20th century's great propaganda works, depicted as a Hutu genocide of the Tutsi minority while the US stood by, in fact, it was a US-backed Tutsi genocide of the Hutu people."

"I don’t believe North Korea is a threat to the United States and that we should have normal relations with that country."

"Israel Shamir says a peace agreement with the Palestinians will open"

"On the whole, I appreciate Israel Shamir and Otto Weininger's views"

Like attracts like, at least on the net. But don't worry I'm sure they react to criticism with quiet grace and dignity.