The Banality of Good (part 1)

Clara S & Gilad Atzmon

The following is the first segment of fearless eight parts exchange between German Left voice Clara S and ex Israeli Jazz artist Gilad Atzmon. We spoke about  Israel, Palestine, the Holocaust, peace and delusion, Left and Right, the meaning of the past and the prospect of a future within the context of the current identitarian dystopia. 

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding (Albert Einstein)

In cases of doubt – stay coherent! (Kurt Flasch, German philosopher and historian) 

 Growing up

German: https://opablog.net

Clara:   What does the Holocaust mean to you?

Gilad: This is pretty loaded question. The answer is undoubtedly a multilayered one.

Clara:   So let’s have a look at the layers and loads in this conversation. How did the Holocaust come into your life?

Gilad: I grew up in Israel, I was surrounded by people with tattooed forearms; some of them were members of my family.

Clara:   So the Holocaust was part of your reality from the day you were born?

Gilad: That is hard for me to say although it was clearly there. But I do not think that we, Israelis born in the 1960s, were that concerned about the Holocaust.  Both my parents were born in Palestine. On my father’s side, my great great grandfather was buried on Mount Olive.  My wife probably sees it differently. Both her parents lived in Europe during the war and suffered a lot.

Still the Israeli society in which I grew up looked down on Holocaust survivors. They were seen as weak diaspora characters, people who weren’t quick enough to respond to the Jewish Nationalist call and paid heavily.

Clara:  Are you really telling me that Israelis had no sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust!?

Gilad: I guess that here I happen to be the messenger.  Until the late 1960s there was an element of dismissal, repression and concealment of the Holocaust in Israel.  But there is more that helps to explain this. In Israel in the 1960s, the 70s and even the 80s I can not remember Holocaust survivors asking for sympathy or even empathy. It seemed to us as if most of them wanted to put the Holocaust behind them. To move on, to forget. I tend to believe, and I am not alone, that it was the so-called 2nd generation that politicised the Holocaust. It was the 2nd generation that made this chapter into a contemporary pillar of Israeli identity. The 2nd generation found it difficult or perhaps impossible to deal with their parents’ plight. In ‘The Wandering Who,’ I elaborated on this topic.  As you may know, many of Israeli thinkers have been concerned by this topic. I would recommend watching Yoav Shamir’s film, ‘Defamation’ in order to understand the subtlety of the Israeli debate.

Clara:   Now this is extremely interesting. Listen to this description of post-World-War-II Germans taken from the book ‘The inability to mourn’:

“Denial of the past has replaced work of mourning along the Freudian formula ‚remember, repeat, work through‘.  ‚The manic cleaning of the slate through the Wirtschaftswunder – Germany’s magical economic recovery –‚ has made it possible to regard Nazism ‚as an intermezzo of childhood disease‘ on Germany’s path to democracy (p.25). The result of this ‚autistic attitude‘ was a ‚conspicuously emotional rigidness‘ of the Germans. This emotional rigidness could be perceived everywhere in our society “(p.38)

In Western Germany, by the way, the first generation didn’t talk, the second generation was the angry one, the third generation (if not ‘right-wing revisionist’ or ‘antifa’) tries to understand. I don’t really know about the situation in Eastern Germany. 

Does that seem similar to your experience?

G:   I contend that this results from a systematic and institutional repression mechanism that verges on complete denial. I suppose that for the Germans the Holocaust chapter created cognitive dissonance that has never matured into a universal lesson. Maybe the time is ripe to look at the Holocaust as an integral part of your past and understand it within the context of an historical continuum. Such an approach may prevent the next global disaster.

Clara:   You might be right; what you are saying here provides a lot of food for thought. I think it is necessary to have a look at the reasons for the denial, both the wish to look only forward and the repression of the past. And of course, its place within German history.
But let us explore this one step at a time and have a look at the personal experience first. In my family we grew up with fathers who didn’t talk about the war and mothers who talked about the war as if it had been a fate that had come upon them: the husband killed, the waiting for the fiancé who was a prisoner of war in the Sowjetunion, the bombs, the hunger, the tearing apart of families, the sticking together as a family, the partition of Germany and the tearing apart of families again.  I learned very early that war is something terrible and this became a basic premise for me. Warmongers are wrong and it is essential to stand up against them. 

Gilad: I am pretty aware of that response to history and I am fully aware of German suffering. But what was the role of the Holocaust in all of that?

Clara:   It wasn’t really mentioned in my family. But when I was sixteen I saw the original films about concentration camps and industrially-organized murder and I was profoundly shocked. And this was not fiction! The Nazis had made these films themselves and had seemed to be proud of what they were doing.

I took part in a youth exchange in Israel, I saw the names and portraits of people who had been killed and I spoke to survivors. The word ‘ramp’ has never been a normal word for me again. A ramp is a place where people were selected to live or die by doctors whose duty was to preserve human lives! This was reality. And it would not go away if I looked into another direction.

So the Holocaust, too, became part of my moral compass, to prevent something like the Holocaust from happening again a kind of a mission in my life.

At some stage the Holocaust did become important in your life, when was that?

Gilad: Hard to say exactly. But it is clear that there was a shift in Israeli society in the 1970s. Some believe that it had something to do with the great victory in 1967. Others believe that it was actually the traumatic defeat in 73. And a few believe that it had something to do with Menachem Begin’s victory in 77. Begin was a right wing Polish Jew who was not a part of the ‘sabra’ narrative. Begin peppered his speeches with Holocaust anecdotes. In truth, the shift was probably occasioned by a combination of these factors.  I grew in the midst of that cultural shift in the treatment of the Holocaust.

Clara: What about guilt? Did you learn in Israel that Germans were cruel and guilty? My experience in Israel was that people didn’t blame me, personally. But the question of guilt was always in the room.

Gilad:  This is a fascinating topic. Zionism was and still is a nationalist, racist and expansionist  ideology. It didn’t just resemble Nazi ideology, it actually predated Nazism by almost three decades (the first Zionist Congress took place in Basel in 1897). Some political elements within the Israeli right were proto-fascist (Menachem Begin’s Herut Party for instance).  And it was actually the Israeli ‘Left’ that ethnically cleansed the Palestinians and prevented their return to their land through discriminatory race laws that were far too similar to the Nuremberg race Laws. The young Israeli Army pretty much copied the Blitzkrieg military doctrine, a military strategy that led to the 1967 miracle victory. So at least in its early days, the Israeli attitude to Germany and Nazism was somehow mixed.  No one loved Nazis but admiration for Germans and German culture was deeply embedded in some segments of the still young Israeli society. We are dealing with a love/hate relationship. We have, once again, stumbled upon a cognitive dissonance at the heart of Israeli/Zionist culture. I can try to explain this. For Israelis in the post Holocaust years, the Shoah was a shameful event. It made Diaspora Jews look hopeless. ‘Lambs to the slaughter’ is how they were described in Israel. Young Israelis preferred not to associate  themselves with that disastrous Jewish chapter. They regarded themselves as the healthy alternative. In my immediate family there was always a fascination with Germans and their culture. I even allow myself to think that my peers didn’t see Germans as enemies. Within my immediate circle the big war belonged to the past.

Clara:   That was also my experience with my Israeli peers during the youth exchange.

Gilad:  But it is also true that my right wing grandfather, a veteran terrorist who had settled in Palestine in 1936, deeply hated Germany, he vowed never to visit Germany or to own a German car. In short, the interaction among Israelis, Germans and the Holocaust is not as simple a topic as some want it to be. More interesting for me is to hear how the question of German guilt become part of your life, after all you were born almost a decade after the end of the war.

Clara: It was very early.   As a kid of eight I was in Tansania as a missionary’s daughter at an American boarding school. The year the Berlin Wall was built my American school-mates blamed me for being a Nazi and a communist at the same time. So yes, I learned that it was ‘the’ Germans who had been responsible, in the case of the Berlin wall in cahoots with the Russians.

Mercifully I didn’t bring my parents‘ and relatives‘ guilt into the picture until later. Then I found that this was a very wide field indeed, which could hurt a lot. There was the whole range from a grandfather awarded the title ‘acknowledged antifascist’ in the former GDR, family members being silently critical of what was going on over collaboration to enthusiastic support and even committing war crimes. There were quite a lot of secrets to discover for the 2nd generation.
But back to you. Obviously the Holocaust shaped your life a great deal. How was that?

Gilad: I can’t really say it did. As I mentioned before it wasn’t a pillar of my identity. But I guess that it was true that the Holocaust was there to deliver us as Israelis, a clear hawkish message–we were raised to fight to death and were traumatised by phantasmic future attempts in our lives ‘as a collective’ (Arabs, anti-Semites, USSR, PLO, Iran etc.) I guess that it was this deep sense of PRE-TSD that contributed to the incredible Israeli victory in 1967. In their minds, my father and his peers were preventing a Holocaust by means of a Jewish made blitzkrieg.

Clara:   PRE TSD?

Gilad: PRE TSD  (Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder) as opposed to POST TSD refers to the idea of one being traumatised by a future phantasmic event. I can provide many examples of PRE TSD manifestations that have shaped Jewish history and actually led to total disasters.

Clara:   But the danger was real. Israel was surrounded by hostile neighbours.

Gilad: You have to ask yourself, why is the ‘danger real’? Didn’t Zionism promise to civilize diaspora Jews by means of a ‘homecoming’, making them people like all other people, a collective of people bonded with the soil and living in peace and harmony with their neighbours? At some point we will have to ask ourselves, why did Zionism fail? Where did it go wrong?  Why didn’t Israel managed to love its neighbours and to be loved in return? I believe that the answers to these questions extend far beyond Israeli politics and Zionist ideology. We are digging once again into the so called ‘Jewish Question.’

In my teens it began to occur to me that we were living on someone else’s land. I realised that Israel was a State but Palestine was the land.  While in the army and especially at the time of the 1st Lebanon War (1982), it became clear to me that we, the Israelis were on the wrong side of history. As I mentioned in a few of my writings, when I visited Ansar, and witnessed Palestinians and Lebanese locked behind barbed wire, guarded by towers and machine guns, for the first time I understood that in this battle, I was the Nazi.

It was actually the internalisation of the meaning of the Holocaust that transformed me into a strong opponent of Israel and Jewish-ness. It was the Holocaust that made me a devoted supporter of Palestinian rights, resistance and the Palestinian right of return.

Clara:   So the Holocaust holds a universal message for you and you had to realize that it was not seen like that in Israel?

Gilad: Exactly. I knew that my days in Israel were numbered.

Clara: It was similar for me. During the Israel exchange even as a 17-year-old teenager I wondered about how my German „father generation“ could be full of admiration for the Israelis who had just won the 6-days war and how no Israeli complained about applause from the wrong side. The former victims and the former perpetrators joined into the celebration of the victory together. When I asked them about the fate of the Palestinians the answer was: „The Arabs want to throw us/them into the sea”.

I picked apples together with 200 young people in a Kibbutz. A great peace project. Some Arab youths from Nazareth made friends with us. I was invited to one of their homes. And strictly reprimanded by the Kibbutz people because „those Arabs are dangerous“.

So that is when I learned that you cannot always call a spade a spade. There seem to be good and bad spades. This made me critical of Israel’s politics, but of course also of the American war in Vietnam and the unconditional support Germany gave to our ‘big brother’. It made me take part in the big German peace movement in the 1980s and turned me into a staunch supporter of the German ‘Entspannungspolitik’, the policy of détente in Europe, which led to the fall of the wall in 1989.

And you weren’t content with being a Jazz musician in Britain. You also became a political activist. 

Gilad:    I am really not a political activist, I have never been part of any political organisation and, in general, I stay away from activists.  For one reason or another, activists always know the answers. They follow commandments, jargons, regimes of correctness. I am instead a philosopher, my task is to refine the questions. I am pretty good in opening the discourse, offering alternative perspectives. I have been subject to some intensive  defamation and smear campaigns, however, it is now clear beyond doubt that my work on identity politics in general and Jewish identity politics in particular was simply  ahead of its time. I may not sound modest, but I believe that even my bitterest detractors would  admit by now that this has been the case.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it …

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, 

Amazon.co.uk  ,  Amazon.com  and   here  (gilad.co.uk). 

Next:

2.    Blaming the Victim?

3.    Revising History

4.    Antisemitism, Racism and Cultural Identity

5.    Pretraumatic Stress Disorder (Pre TSD), Zionism and Empire

6.    Jewish Power and Identity Politics

7.    Global Tribes and National Hypes

8.    Finding the Way Home

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“Don’t Interfere With Our Ability To Look At The Past. Let Us Debate It Ethically.”

Gilad Atzmon on Richie Allen Show talking about `Germany, the past, the Holocaust and the Nakba. We also looked at the vision of the past in the work of David Irving, Timothy Snyder and David Cesarani.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61GqNYqQn2o

Antisemitism, the Holocaust and Palestine

December 16, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

UPDATE: I just added the video recording of my Berlin statement. You can hear for yourself how excited the audience are by the idea of openness, tolerance and their past being subject to revision. We are talking here about humanity and the human conditions. It goes beyond politics and ideological battles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUzLVuEDH9A&t=0m50s

A Statement  Delivered  By Gilad Atzmon at Babylon Theatre Berlin (14.12.2017)

In the last few days, in advance of the NRhZ’s humanitarian award ceremony, like Ken (FM) Jebsen and others, I have been subject to an insane defamation campaign. None of it was substantiated. It was comprised of fabricated quotes: I was called a ‘holocaust denier’ and a ‘holocaust relativist.’ Yet, not a single genuine reference was made to my writings or talks.  In my work I criticise reducing the holocaust into a crude religion, an intolerant dogma. In my writing I protest against all history laws (Nakba laws, Armenian Genocide laws, Holocaust laws etc.) History for me, is the attempt to narrate the past as we are moving along. As such, it must be sustained as a dynamic discourse, subject to constant change and revision, even if this change happens to be slightly uncomfortable. For me, history is an ethical message –Only when we revise the past may we be able to, once again,  rethink our future and destiny.

In recent days some of the German press referred to me as an ‘anti-semite.’ Am I? Have I  ever criticized anyone including Jews as a ‘people’, as a ‘race,’ as a ‘biology,’ or as an ‘ethnicity’? Never. My work is anti racist. I have dedicated my entire adult life to fighting racism through my music, my writing and my performances. I am opposed to all forms of biologically-oriented politics: White, Black, Gender as well as Jewish. I am searching instead for that which brings humans together. In my writing and talks I make a clear distinction between the Jews (the people) whom I never criticize, Judaism (the religion) which I rarely deal with and Jewishness (the ideology, politics and culture). In my work I focus on the last- – the ideology , the politics and the culture, assuming that we all agree these (ideology, politics and culture) must be open to criticism.

But if you want to talk about holocaust denial, I will tell you something about denial. To deny intellectuals, authors and artists the right to express their views in the open is where fascism starts. What I saw in Germany in the last few days suggests to me that some segments within your society really learned nothing from the history of your country. To deny the holocaust is to deny its meaning, to turn your eyes away when you see evil, to let your heart become cold when you yourself participate in evil or celebrate hatred.  To deny the holocaust is to fail to address your own  inability to tolerate others and otherness. It is beyond painful for me to witness Germany being led blindly into the same trap just seven decades after the liberation of Auschwitz.

But I would like to add one more line on Palestine. Some Germans claim to be tormented by their past, by the atrocities of the 3rd Reich. If this is indeed the case, let me please remind you of a simple but embarrassing fact – the Palestinians are the last victims of Hitler.

It was the extent of the Shoah that brought support to Zionism and led to the formation of the Jewish State in Palestine. But it is the innocent Palestinians who, for the last seven decades, have been paying the price for crimes committed by Europeans.

If you feel guilty about Hitler, stand for Palestine and the Palestinians!

If they want to burn it, you want to read it…

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, 

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk). 

 

Stellungnahme von Gilad Atzmon

In den letzten Tagen, im Vorfeld der Karls-Preisverleihung der NRhZ, wurden Ken Jebsen, Andere und ich selbst das Ziel einer aberwitzigen Verleumdungskampagne. Nichts davon wurde begründet. Es folgten erfundene Zitate – ich wurde als „Holocaustleugner“ und „Holocaustrelativierer“ bezeichnet. Und nicht eine einzige wahre Referenz zu meinen Schriften oder Reden wurde herangezogen.

 

In meinen Arbeiten kritisiere ich, dass der Holocaust auf eine plumpe Religion, ein intolerantes Dogma reduziert wird. In meinen Schriften protestiere ich gegen alle Gesetze, die Geschichte betreffen (Nakba-Gesetze, Gesetze über den armenischen Genozid, Holocaust-Gesetze usw.)

Geschichte ist für mich der Versuch, die Vergangenheit zu erzählen während wir voranschreiten. Geschichte muss als dynamischer Diskurs ausgehalten werden, der konstanter Veränderung und Neubetrachtung unterliegt, auch wenn solche Veränderung leichtes Unwohlsein hervorruft. Für mich ist Geschichte eine ethische Botschaft. Nur wenn wir die Geschichte prüfen, können wir unsere Zukunft, unser Schicksal neu überdenken.

 

In den vergangenen Tagen haben mich manche deutsche Presseorgane als „Antisemiten“ bezeichnet. Bin ich das?

 

Habe ich jemals irgendjemand, Juden eingeschlossen, kritisiert als „Volk“, als „Rasse“, als „Biologie“, als „Ethnizität“? Niemals!

 

Meine Arbeit ist antirassistisch. Durch meine Musik, meine Texte und Aufführungen habe ich mein ganzes erwachsenes Leben dem Kampf gegen Rassismus gewidmet. Ich bin gegen alle Formen der biologisch orientierten Politik: „Weiße Politik“, „Schwarze Politik“, geschlechterspezifische Politik, jüdische Politik. Ich suche stattdessen nach dem, was Menschen zusammen führt.

 

In meinen Schriften und Reden unterscheide ich klar zwischen den Juden (das Volk), welches ich nie kritisiere, dem Judaismus (die Religion), mit dem ich mich selten befasse, und dem „Jüdischsein“ (die Ideologie,  Politik und Kultur). In meiner Arbeit konzentriere ich mich auf das Letztere – die Ideologie, die Politik und die Kultur – und gehe davon aus, dass wir uns alle einig darin sind, dass diese kritisiert werden dürfen.

 

Wenn Sie von Holocaustleugnung sprechen wollen, teile ich Ihnen auch etwas über Leugnung/Verweigerung mit. Intellektuellen, Autoren und Künstlern das Recht abzusprechen, in der Öffentlichkeit ihre Meinung zu äußern, ist der Moment in dem Faschismus beginnt.

 

Was ich in Deutschland in den letzten Tagen beobachtete, führt bei mir zu dem Schluss, dass manche Teile Ihrer Gesellschaft wirklich nichts aus der deutschen Geschichte gelernt haben. Den Holocaust leugnen heißt, seine Bedeutung zu leugnen, die Augen abzuwenden, wenn man Böses sieht, das Herz erkalten zu lassen, wenn man sich an Bösem beteiligt oder den Hass zelebriert. Den Holocaust leugnen heißt, die eigene Unfähigkeit auszublenden, Andere und Anderssein zu tolerieren.

 

Es ist mehr als schmerzhaft für mich, Zeuge davon zu werden, wie Deutschland nur sieben Jahrzehnte nach der Befreiung von Auschwitz blind in dieselbe Falle tappt

 

Ich möchte noch einen Satz über Palästina hinzufügen: Manche Deutsche behaupten, dass sie von ihrer Vergangenheit, den Gräueltaten des 3. Reiches, gequält werden. Wenn dies wirklich der Fall ist, dann darf ich Sie an eine einfache, bedrückende Tatsache erinnern – die Palästinenser sind die letzten Opfer Hitlers.

 

Es war das Ausmaß der Shoah, das zur Unterstützung des Zionismus und so zur Gründung des jüdischen Staates in Palästina führte. Aber es sind die unschuldigen Palästinenser, die in den letzten 7 Jahrzehnten den Preis für die durch Europäer begangenen Verbrechen bezahlen.

Wenn Ihr Euch wegen Hitler schuldig fühlt, dann steht ein für Palästina und die Palästinenser!

 

How Hitler Analogies Obscure Understanding of Mideast Power Struggle

How Hitler Analogies Obscure Understanding of Mideast Power Struggle

PHILIP M. GIRALDI | 30.11.2017 | OPINION

How Hitler Analogies Obscure Understanding of Mideast Power Struggle

While growing up in America during the 1950’s, one would sometimes encounter supermarket tabloid headlines asserting that Adolph Hitler had not died in May 1945 in the ruins of the Reich’s Chancellery. It was claimed that he had somehow escaped and was living under a false identity somewhere in South America, most probably in Argentina. Eventually, as the Fuhrer’s hundredth birthday came and went in 1989, the stories pretty much vanished from sight though the fascination with Hitler as the ultimate manifestation of pure evil persisted.

The transformation of Hitler into something like a historical metaphor means that his name has been evoked a number of times in the past twenty years, attached to Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gaddafi, Vladimir Putin and, most recently, to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. The attribution in the cases of Hussein and Gaddafi was essentially to create popular support for otherwise unjustifiable wars initiated by the United States and its European and Middle Eastern allies. Putin, meanwhile, received the sobriquet from an angry Hillary Clinton, who certainly knows a thing or two about both personalizing and overstating a case.

The Hitler designation of the Iranian spiritual leader, which appeared one week ago in a featured profile produced by Tom Friedman of The New York Times, is particularly ironic as it came from the de facto head of state of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, whose country has long been regarded as cruel and despotic while also being condemned for its sponsorship of a particularly reactionary form of Islam called wahhabism. Bin Salman described the Iranian leader as “the new Hitler of the Middle East.”

Both Khamenei and bin Salman exercise power without a popular mandate. Khamenei was named to his position in 1989 by a so-called Assembly of Experts, which is a quasi-religious body, and bin Salman was appointed Crown Prince by his father King Salman in June. Both have considerable power over other organs of state, but the comparison largely ends there as Iran does have real elections for an actual parliament with enumerated powers and a president who is also serves as head of government.

Iran is also tolerant of long established religious minorities whereas Saudi Arabia, which is seen by most observers as a theocratic based autocracy that is a personal possession of the House of Saud, is hostile to them. In particular, Riyadh has been actively promoting hatred for Islam’s second largest sect, Shi’ism. The Saudis have also been assisting al-Qaeda, al-Nusra Front and ISIS, though denying the considerable evidence demonstrating those links, while Iran and its allies have been destroying those terrorists on the battlefield.

Crown Prince bin Salman has been preaching an anti-corruption drive of late, which includes torture of those arrested. Many observers believe it is actually a bid to shake down some billionaires while also diminishing the power exercised by some members of the extended Royal Family. The Prince has also suggested that he will be promoting a “more open and modern” form of Islam, which might reduce some beheadings and amputations as punishment. But the death penalty will still apply for heresy, which includes the Shi’ism practiced by Iran, Iraq, some Syrians and Hezbollah. Nor will it put an end to the current horrific slaughter by disease and starvation of Yemenis being implemented by Riyadh with some help from its friends in Tel Aviv and Washington.

Liberal journalists like Tom Friedman, who have editorially sided with the Saudis and Israelis against Iran, have largely bought into the anticorruption theme. The Times profile accepts at face value bin Salam’s claims to be a reformer who will somehow reshape both Saudi Arabia and Islam. Friedman, a passionate globalist, largely goes along for the ride because it is the kind of language a poorly-informed progressive hopes to hear from someone who walks around wearing a keffiyeh and sandals. It also serves Friedman’s other regular agenda justifying Israeli threats to go to war against its neighbors, starting with Lebanon. Make no mistake, the offerings of war abroad and repression at home being served up by Riyadh and Tel Aviv are not the birth pangs of a New Middle East. That died a long time ago. It is instead a fight over who will dominate the region, the same as it always is.

The Truth Will Get You Into Trouble

November 24, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

David Hirsh and the JC: Don't let the facts interfere with the 'truth'...

By Gilad Atzmon

Perhaps in the goyim’s world, the truth will set you free, but in the Jewish Chronicle’s universe, the truth gets you into trouble. In the ghetto, the truth is at best an obstacle and at worst, a bitter enemy that must be suppressed. The Jewish Chronicle today reveals that an inquiry has been launched into the conduct of a truth telling teacher who had the audacity to present historical facts in the “presence of pupils.”

Apparently, Ethan Saunders, who teaches history and politics at Jewish Free School, “strongly defended” Ken Livingston’s truthful statements about Zionist collaboration with Nazis. Saunders’ statements came during a book launch for Dr. David Hirsh’s latest book, ‘Contemporary Left Antisemitism. 

Hirsh, an anti intellectual academic and a dedicated hasbara mouthpiece, complained to the JC:

‘“There were questions from students and then a teacher stood up at the back and, in a fairly kind of belligerent way, said: ‘I don’t agree with anything you said.’ He said that I hadn’t told the whole story to the students; it was a pretty clear allegation not only that I kind of got it wrong, but that I was speaking in bad faith.”

Doing things in bad faith is symptomatic of Hirsh’s conduct as a notorious Zionist disinformation merchant. Many, including yours truly, have pointed out his duplicitous inclinations in the past.

Mr. Saunders reportedly said:

“You (Hirsh) haven’t explained to the students about the Ha’avara Agreement and the real collaboration between the Nazis and the Zionists. […] You haven’t explained that it was Israel who was responsible for nurturing Hamas at the beginning, and Hamas is a creature of Israel’.”

The 1933 Haavara Agreement points at a clear collaboration between Nazi authorities and the Zionist entities. It is also true that Israel, and in particular Ariel Sharon (as the head of IDF’s Southern Command), planted the seeds of Islamic resistance in the 1970s.

Still, Hirsh whined to the JC that “He [Saunders] strongly defended Livingstone – his defence of Livingstone was that Livingstone was correct.”

Neither Hirsh nor the JC even try to dispute the validity of Saunders’ remarks. Instead they reveal their  anxiety that the  truth may actually set the Jewish students free.  “I’ve no idea what he teaches his students,” Hirsh told the JC, “but I have to tell you that [at this event] what he was clearly trying to teach his students was something which I would worry about. What he was trying to teach them was certainly a cause for concern.”

Hirsh, the JC and other Jewish institutions clearly regard facts and proper historical thinking as a lethal threat. Why? If Jews delve into their past in an attempt to understand its historicity, they may well gather that they are  repeating the exact mistakes in the present!

 

Take It From the Rabbi’s Mouth

“The overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regard Zionism not only as fully consistent with Judaism but as a logical expression and implementation of it.””

— Document released on November 20, 1942 signed by 818 American Rabbis

The following  article was published on this site in May 2013. In recent weeks we have witnessed some anti Zionist rabbinical Jews  outraged by the attempt to equate Judaism and Zionism. I plan to write on the topic extensively, however,  a brief look at this 1942 rabbinical affirmation of Zionism  is rather revealing:

great-bios.jpg

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon

Every so often we come across a Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist’  who argues that Zionism is not Judaism and vice versa. Interestingly enough, I have just come across an invaluable text that illuminates this question from a rabbinical perspective. Apparently back in 1942, 757 American Rabbis added their names to a public pronouncement titled ‘Zionism an Affirmation of Judaism’. This Rabbinical rally for Zionism was declared at the time “the largest public pronouncement in all Jewish history.”

Today, we tend to believe that world Jewry’s transition towards support for Israel followed the 1967 war though some mightargue that already in 1948, American Jews manifested a growing support for Zionism. However, this rabbinical pronouncement proves that as early as 1942, the American Jewish religious establishment was already deeply Zionist. And if this is not enough, the rabbis also regarded Zionism as the ‘implementation’ of Judaism. Seemingly, already then, the peak of World War two, the overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regarded Zionism, not only as fully consistent with Judaism, but as a “logical expression and implementation of it.”

In spite of the fact that early Zionist leaders were largely secular and the East European Jewish settler waves were driven by Jewish socialist ideology, the rabbis contend that “Zionism is not a secularist movement. It has its origins and roots in the authoritative religious texts of Judaism.

Those rabbis were not a bunch of ignoramuses. They were patriotic and nationalistic and they grasped that “universalism is not a contradiction of nationalism.” The rabbis tried to differentiate between contemporaneous German Nationalism and other national movements and they definitely wanted to believe that Zionism was categorically different to Nazism. “Nationalism as such, whether it be English, French, American or Jewish, is not in itself evil. It is only militaristic and chauvinistic nationalism, that nationalism which shamelessly flouts all mandates of international morality, which is evil.” But as we know, just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz the new Jewish State launched a devastating racially driven ethnic-cleansing campaign. Zionism has proven to be militaristic and chauvinistic.

Shockingly enough, back in 1942 as many as 757 American rabbis were able to predict the outcome of the war and they realised that the suffering of European Jewry would be translated into a Jewish State . “We are not so bold as to predict the nature of the international order which will emerge from the present war. It is altogether likely, and indeed it may be desirable, that all sovereign states shall under the coming peace surrender some of their sovereignty to achieve a just and peaceful world society (a Jewish State).”

Some American patriots today are concerned with Israeli-American dual nationality and the dual aspirations of American Jews. Apparently our rabbis addressed this topic too. According to them, there is no such conflict whatsoever. All American Jews are American patriots and all American decision makers are Zionists. “Every fair-minded American knows that American Jews have only one political allegiance–and that is to America. There is nothing in Zionism to impair this loyalty. Zionism has been endorsed in our generation by every President from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and has been approved by the Congress of the United States. The noblest spirits in American life, statesmen, scholars, writers, ministers and leaders of labor and industry, have lent their sympathy and encouragement to the movement.”

Back in 1942 our American rabbis were bold enough to state that defeating Hitler was far from sufficient. For them, a full solution of the Jewish question could only take place in Palestine. “Jews, and all non-Jews who are sympathetically interested in the plight of Jewry, should bear in mind that the defeat of Hitler will not of itself normalize Jewish life in Europe. “

But there was one thing the American rabbis failed to mention – the Palestinian people. For some reason, those rabbis who knew much about ‘universalism’ and in particular Jewish ‘universalism’ showed very little concern to the people of the land. I guess that after all, chosennss is a form of blindness and rabbis probably know more about this than anyone else.

 

Zionism: An Affirmation of Judaism

http://zionistsout.blogspot.com/2008/03/zionism-affirmation-of-judaism.html

ZIONISMAN AFFIRMATIONOF JUDAISMA Reply by 757 Orthodox, Conservative and ReformRabbis of America to a Statement Issued by NinetyMembers of the Reform Rabbinate Charging ThatZionism Is Incompatible with the Teachings of Judaism

THE SUBJOINED REPLY was prepared at the initiative of the following Rabbis who submitted it to their colleagues throughout the country for signature: Philip S. Bernstein, Barnett R. Brickner, Israel Goldstein, James G. Heller, Mordecai M. Kaplan, B. L. Levinthal, Israel H. Levinthal, Louis M. Levitsky, Joshua Loth Liebman, Joseph H. Lookstein, Jacob R. Marcus, Abraham A. Neuman, Louis I. Newman, David de Sola Pool, Abba Hillel Silver, Milton Steinberg, and Stephen S. Wise.

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED RABBIS of all elements in American Jewish religious life,have noted with concern a statement by ninety of our colleagues in which they repudiate Zionism on the ground that it is inconsistent with Jewish religious and moral doctrine. This statement misrepresents Zionism and misinterprets historic Jewish religious teaching, and we should be derelict in our duty if we did not correct the misapprehensions which it is likely to foster.

We call attention in the first place to the fact that the signatories to this statement, for whom as fellow-Rabbis we have a high regard, represent no more than a very small fraction of the American rabbinate. They constitute a minority even of the rabbinate of Reform Judaism with which they are associated. The overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regard Zionism not only as fully consistent with Judaism but as a logical expression and implementation of it.

Our colleagues concede the need for Jewish immigration into Palestine as contributing towards a solution of the vast tragedy of Jewish homelessness. They profess themselves ready to encourage such settlement. They are aware of the important achievements, social and spiritual, of the Palestinian Jewish community and they pledge to it their unstinted support. And yet, subscribing to every practical accomplishment of Zionism, they have embarked upon a public criticism of it. In explanation of their opposition they advance the consideration that Zionism is nationalistic and secularistic. On both scores they maintain it is incompatible with the Jewish religion and its universalistic outlook. They protest against the political emphasis which, they say, is now paramount in the Zionist program and which, according to them, tends to confuse both Jews and Christians as to the place and function of the Jewish group in American society. They appeal to the prophets of ancient Israel for substantiation of their views.

TREASURING the doctrines and moral principles of our faith no less than they, devoted equally to America and its democratic processes and spirit, we nonetheless find every one of their contentions totally without foundation.

Zionism is not a secularist movement. It has its origins and roots in the authoritative religious texts of Judaism. Scripture and rabbinical literature alike are replete with the promise of the restoration of Israel to its ancestral home. Anti-Zionism, not Zionism, is a departure from the Jewish religion. Nothing in the entire pronouncement of our colleagues is more painful than their appeal to the prophets of Israel—to those very prophets whose inspired and recorded words of national rebirth and restoration nurtured and sustained the hope of Israel throughout the ages.

 

Nor is Zionism a denial of the universalistic teachings of Judaism. Universalism is not a contradiction of nationalism. Nationalism as such, whether it be English, French, American or Jewish, is not in itself evil. It is only militaristic and chauvinistic nationalism, that nationalism which shamelessly flouts all mandates of international morality, which is evil. The prophets of Israel looked forward to the time not when all national entities would be obliterated, but when all nations would walk in the light of the Lord, live by His law and learn war no more.

Our colleagues find themselves unable to subscribe to the political emphasis “now paramount in the Zionist program.” We fail to perceive what it is to which they object. Is it to the fact that there are a regularly constituted Zionist organization and a Jewish Agency which deal with the mandatory government, the Colonial office, the League of Nations and other recognized political bodies? But obviously, even immigration and colonization are practical matters which require political action. The settlement of a half million Jews in Palestine since the last war was made possible by political action which culminated in the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate. There can be little hope of opening the doors of Palestine for mass Jewish immigration after the war without effective political action. Or is it that they object to the ultimate achievement by the Jewish community of Palestine of some form of Jewish statehood? We are not so bold as to predict the nature of the international order which will emerge from the present war. It is altogether likely, and indeed it may be desirable, that all sovereign states shall under the coming peace surrender some of their sovereignty to achieve a just and peaceful world society.

Certainly our colleagues will allow to the Jews of Palestine the same rights that are allowed to all other peoples resident on their own land. If Jews should ultimately come to constitute a majority of the population of Palestine, would our colleagues suggest that all other peoples in the post-war world shall be entitled to political self-determination, whatever form that may take, but the Jewish people in Palestine shall not have such a right? Or do they mean to suggest that the Jews in Palestine shall forever remain a minority in order not to achieve such political self-determination?

PROTESTING their sympathy both for the homeless Jews of the world and for their brethren in Palestine, our colleagues have by their pronouncement done all these a grave disservice. It may well be that to the degree to which their efforts arc at all effective, Jews who might otherwise have found a haven in Palestine will be denied one. The enemies of the Jewish homeland will be strengthened in their propaganda as a result of the aid which these Rabbis have given them. To the Jews of Palestine, facing the gravest danger in their history and fighting hard to maintain morale and hope in the teeth of the totalitarian menace, this pronouncement comes as a cruel blow.

We do not mean to imply that our colleagues intended it as such. We have no doubt that they are earnest about their fine spun theoretical objections to Zionism. We hold, however, that these objections have no merit, and further that voicing them at this time has been unwise and unkind.

We have not the least fear that our fellow Americans will be led to misconstrue the attitudes of American Jews to America because of their interest in Zionism. Every fair-minded American knows that American Jews have only one political allegiance–and that is to America. There is nothing in Zionism to impair this loyalty. Zionism has been endorsed in our generation by every President from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and has been approved by the Congress of the United States. The noblest spirits in American life, statesmen, scholars, writers, ministers and leaders of labor and industry, have lent their sympathy and encouragement to the movement.

Jews, and all non-Jews who are sympathetically interested in the plight of Jewry, should bear in mind that the defeat of Hitler will not of itself normalize Jewish life in Europe.

An Allied peace which will not frankly face the problem of the national homelessness of the Jewish people will leave the age-old tragic status of European Jewry unchanged. The Jewish people is in danger of emerging from this war not only more torn and broken than any other people, but also without any prospects of a better and more secure future and without the hope that such tragedies will not recur again, and again. Following an Allied victory, the Jews of Europe, we are confident, will be restored to their political rights and to equality of citizenship. But they possessed these rights after the last war and yet the past twenty-five years have witnessed a rapid and appalling deterioration in their position. In any case, even after peace is restored Europe will be so ravaged and war-torn that large masses of Jews will elect migration to Palestine as a solution of their personal problems.

Indeed, for most of these there may be no other substantial hope of economic, social and spiritual rehabilitation.

 

THE freedom which, we have faith, will come to all men and nations after this war, must come not only to Jews as individuals wherever they live, permitting them to share freedom on a plane of equality with all other men, but also to the Jewish people, as such, restored in its homeland, where at long last it will be a free people within a world federation of free peoples.

 

Of the 757 Rabbis listed below, 214 are members of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform); 247 are members of the Rabbinical Assembly of America (Conservative); and the rest are affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox) or the Union of Orthodox Rabbis. The total represents the largest number of rabbis whose signatures are attached to a public pronouncement in all Jewish history.

To see the scanned image in PDF format with the list of signers, click here

 

Note: A version of the above statement was released to the press on November 20, 1942. By that time 818 rabbis had signed on. It appears in Samuel Halperin’s The Political World of American Zionism. (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1961) 333.

 

The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics     Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk

Letter to my American friends

Letter to my American friends

The Saker

Introduction by the Saker: During my recent hurricane-induced evacuation from Florida, I had the pleasure to see some good friends of mine (White Russian emigrés and American Jews who now consider themselves American and who fully buy into the official propaganda about the USA) who sincerely think of themselves as liberals, progressives and anti-imperialists. These are kind, decent and sincere people, but during our meeting they made a number of statements which completely contradicted their professed views. After writing this letter to them I realized that there might be many more people out there who, like myself, are desperately trying to open the eye of good but completely mislead people about the reality of Empire. I am sharing this letter in the hope that it might maybe offer a few useful talking points to others in their efforts to open the eyes of their friends and relatives.

——-

Dear friends:

During our conversation you stated the following:

  1. The USA needs a military
  2. One of the reasons why the USA needs a military are regimes like the North Korean one
  3. The USA has a right to intervene outside its borders on a) pragmatic and b) moral grounds
  4. During WWII the USA “saved Europe” and acquired a moral right to “protect” other friends and allies
  5. The Allies (USSR-US-UK) were morally superior to the Nazis
  6. The Americans brought peace, prosperity and freedom to Europe.
  7. Yes, mistakes were made, but this is hardly a reason to forsake the right to intervene

I believe that all seven of these theses are demonstratively false, fallacies based on profoundly mistaken assumptions and that they all can be debunked by common sense and indisputable facts.

But first, let me tackle the Delphic maxim “know thyself” as it is, I believe, central to our discussion. For all our differences I think that there are a number of things which you would agree to consider as axiomatically true, including that Germans, Russians, Americans and others are roughly of equal intelligence. They also are roughly equally capable of critical thinking, personal investigation and education. Right? Yet, you will also agree that during the Nazi regime in Germany Germans were very effectively propagandized and that Russians in Soviet Russia were also effectively propagandized by their own propaganda machine. Right? Do you have any reason to suppose that we are somehow smarter or better than those propagandized Germans and Russians and had we been in their place we would have immediately seen through the lies? Could it be that we today are maybe also not seeing through the lies we are being told?

It is also undeniable that the history of WWII was written by the victors of WWII. This is true of all wars – defeated regimes don’t get to freely present their version of history. Had the Nazis won WWII, we would all have been treated to a dramatically different narrative of what took place. Crucially, had the Nazis won WWII, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that the German people would have shown much skepticism about the version of history presented in their schools. Not only that, but I would submit that most Germans would also believe that they were free people and that the regime they live under was a benevolent one.

You doubt that?

Just think of the number of Germans who declared that they had no idea how bad the Nazi regime really was. Even Hitler’s personal secretary, Traudl Junge, used that excuse to explain how she could have worked for so many years with Hitler and even like him so much. There is an American expression which says “where I sit is where I stand”. Well, may I ask – where are we sittting and are we so sure that we have an independent opinion which is not defined by where we sit (geographically, politically, socially and even professionally)?

You might ask about all the victims of the Nazi regime, would they not be able to present their witness to the German people and the likes of Traudl Junge? Of course not: the dead don’t speak very much, and their murderers rarely do (lest they themselves end up dead). Oh sure, there would be all sorts of dissidents and political activists who would know the truth, but the “mainstream” consensus under a victorious Nazi Germany would be that Hitler and the Nazis liberated Europe from the Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists.

This is not something unique to Germany, by the way. If you take the Russian population today, it has many more descendants of executioners than descendants of executed people and this is hardly a surprise since dead people don’t reproduce. As a result, the modern Russian historiography is heavily skewed towards whitewashing the Soviet crimes and atrocities. To some degree this is a good thing, because it counteracts decades of US anti-Soviet propaganda, but it often goes too far and ends up minimizing the actual human cost of the Bolshevik experiment in Russia.

So how do the USA compare to Germany and Russia in this context?

Most Americans trust the version of history presented to them by their own “mainstream”. Why? How is their situation objectively different from the situation of Germans in a victorious Third Reich? Our modern narrative of WWII was also written by victors, victors who had a vested reason in demonizing all the other sides (Nazis and Soviets) while presenting us with a heroic tale of liberation. And here is the question which ought to really haunt us at night: what if we had been born not Russians and Jews after a Nazi defeat but if we had been born Germans after an Allied defeat in WWII? Would we have been able to show enough skepticism and courage to doubt the myths we were raised with? Or would we also be doubleplusgoodthinking little Nazis, all happy and proud to have defeated the evil Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists?

Oh sure, Hitler considered Jews as parasites which had to be exiled and, later, exterminated and he saw Russians as subhumans which needed to be put to work for the Germanic Master Race and whose intelligentsia also needed to be exterminated. No wonder that we, Jews and Russians, don’t particularly care for that kind of genocidal racist views. But surely we can be humans before being Jews and Russians, and we can accept that what is bad for us is not necessarily bad for others. Sure, Hitler was bad news for Jews and Russians, but was he really so bad news for “pure” (Aryan Germanic) Germans? More importantly, if we had been born “pure” Germans, would we have have cared a whole lot about Jews and Russians? I sure hope so, but I have my doubts. I don’t recall any of us shedding many tears about the poly-genocided (a word I coined for a unique phenomenon in history: the genocide of all the ethnicities of an entire continent!) Native Americans! I dare say that we are a lot more prone to whining about the “Holocaust” or “Stalinism”, even though neither of them ever affected us personally, (only our families and ethnicity) than about the poly-genocide of Native Americans. I very much doubt that our whining priorities would have been the same if our ethnicity had been Lakota or Comanche. Again, I hope that I am wrong. But I am not so sure.

Either way, my point is this:

We are hard-coded to be credulous and uncritically accept all the demonization of Nazis and Soviets because we are Jews and White Russians. Careful here, I am NOT saying that the Nazis and Soviets were not evil – they definitely were – but what I am saying is that we, Jews and Russians, are far more willing to accept and endorse any version of history which makes the Nazis and Soviets some kind of exceptionally evil people and that, in contrast, we almost instinctively reject any notion that “our” side (in this case I mean *your* side, the American one since you, unlike me, consider yourselves American) was just as bad (if only because your side never murdered Jews and Russians). So let’s look at this “our/your side” for a few minutes.

By the time the USA entered WWII it had already committed the worse crime in human history, the poly-genocide of an entire continent, followed by the completely illegal and brutal annexation of the lands stolen from the Native Americans. Truly, Hitler would have been proud. But that is hardly all, the Anglo invaders then proceeded to wage another illegal and brutal war of annexation against Mexico from which they stole a huge chunk of land which includes modern Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico!

Yes, all this land was illegally occupied and stolen by your side not once, but TWICE! And do I even need to mention the horrors of slavery to add to the “moral tally” of your side by the time the US entered the war?

Right there I think that there is more than enough evidence that your side was morally worse than either the Nazis or the Soviets. The entire history of the USA is one of endless violence, plunder, hypocrisy, exploitation, imperialism, oppression and wars. Endless wars of aggression. None of them defensive by any stretch of the imagination. That is quite unique in human history. Can you think of a nastier, more bloodthirsty regime? I can’t.

Should I even mention the British “atrocities tally”, ranging from opium wars, to the invention of concentration camps, to the creation of Apartheid, the horrors of the occupation of Ireland, etc. etc. etc.?

I can just hear you say that yes, this was horrible, but that does not change the fact that in WWII the USA “saved Europe”. But is that really so?

To substantiate my position, I have put together a separate PDF file which lists 5 sources, 3 in English, 2 in Russian. You can download it here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByibNV3SiUooWExTNGhMTGF5azQ

I have translated the key excerpts of the Russian sources and I am presenting them along with the key excerpts of the English sources. Please take a look at this PDF and, if you can, please read the full original articles I quote. I have stressed in bold red the key conclusions of these sources. You will notice that there are some variations in the figures, but the conclusions are, I think, undeniable. The historical record show that:

  1. The Soviet Union can be credited with the destruction of roughly 80% of the Nazi military machine. The US-UK correspondingly can be credited with no more than 20% of the Allied war effort.
  2. The scale and scope of the battles on the Eastern Front completely dwarf the biggest battles on the Western Front. Battles in the West involved Divisions and Brigades, in the East they involved Armies and Groups of Armies. That is at least one order of magnitude of difference.
  3. The USA only entered the war a year after Stalingrad and the Kursk battle when it was absolutely clear that the Nazis would lose the war.

The truth is that the Americans only entered the war when it was clear that the Nazis would be defeated and that their real motive was not the “liberation of oppressed Europe” but to prevent the Soviets from occupying all of Europe. The Americans never gave a damn about the mass murder of Jews or Russians, all they cared about was a massive land-grab (yet again).

[Sidebar: By the way, and lest you think that I claim that only Americans act this way, here is another set of interesting dates:

Nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: August 6 and 9, 1945

Soviet Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation: August 9–20, 1945

We can clearly see the same pattern here: the Soviets waited until it was absolutely certain that the USA had defeated the Japanese empire before striking it themselves. It is also worth noting that it took the Soviets only 10 days to defeat the entire Kwantung Army, the most prestigious Army of the Japanese Empire with over one million well-trained and well-equipped soldiers! That should tell you a little something about the kind of military machine the Soviet Union had developed in the course of the war against Nazi Germany (see here for a superb US study of this military operation)]

Did the Americans bring peace and prosperity to western Europe?

To western Europe, to some degree yes, and that is because was easy for them: they ended the war almost “fresh”, their (stolen) homeland did not suffer the horrors of war and so, yes, they could bring in peanut butter, cigarettes and other material goods. They also made sure that Western Europe would become an immense market for US goods and services and that European resources would be made available to the US Empire, especially against the Soviet Union. And how did they finance this “generosity”? By robbing the so-called Third World blind, that’s all. Is that something to be proud of? Did Lenin not warn as early as 1917 that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism”? The wealth of Western Europe was built by the abject poverty of the millions of Africans, Asians and Latin Americas.

But what about the future of Europe and the European people?

There a number of things upon which the Anglos and Stalin did agree to at the end of WWII: The four Ds: denazification, disarmament, demilitarisation, and democratisation of a united Germany and reparations to rebuild the USSR. Yes, Stalin wanted a united, neutral Germany. As soon as the war ended, however, the Anglos reneged on all of these promises: they created a heavily militarized West Germany, they immediately recruited thousands of top Nazi officials for their intelligence services, their rocket program and to subvert the Soviet Union. Worse, they immediately developed plans to attack the Soviet Union. Right at the end of the WWII, Anglo powers had at least THREE plans to wage war on the USSR: Operation DropshotPlan Totality and Operation Unthinkable. Here are some basic reminders from Wikipedia about what these operations were about:

Operation Dropshot: included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85% of the Soviet Union’s industrial potential at a single stroke. Between 75 and 100 of the 300 nuclear weapons were targeted to destroy Soviet combat aircraft on the ground.

Plan Totality: earmarked 20 Soviet cities for obliteration in a first strike: Moscow, Gorki, Kuybyshev, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Saratov, Kazan, Leningrad, Baku, Tashkent, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Molotov, Tbilisi, Stalinsk, Grozny, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl.

Operation Unthinkable: assumed a surprise attack by up to 47 British and American divisions in the area of Dresden, in the middle of Soviet lines. This represented almost a half of roughly 100 divisions (ca. 2.5 million men) available to the British, American and Canadian headquarters at that time. (…) The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers.

[Were you aware of these? If not, do you now wonder why?]

I am not making these things up, you can look it up for yourself on Wikipedia and elsewhere. This is the Anglo idea of how you deal with Russian “allies”: you stab them in the back with a surprise nuclear attack, you obliterate most of their cities and you launch the Nazi Wehrmacht against them.

I won’t even go into the creation of NATO (before the WTO – known in the West as the “Warsaw Pact” – was created in response) or such petty crimes as false flag terrorist attack (Operation Gladio).

[Have you ever heard of Operation Gladio or the August 1980 “Bologna massacre”, the bombing of the Bologna train station by NATO secret terrorist forces, a false-flag terrorist attack (85 dead, over 200 wounded) designed to discredit the Communist Party of Italy? If not – do you now wonder why you never heard of this?]

The sad reality is that the US intervention in Europe was a simple land-grab, that the Cold War was an Anglo creation, as was the partition of Europe, and that since WWII the USA always treated Europe as a colony form which to fight the “Communist” threat (i.e. Russia).

But, let’s say that I am all wrong. For argument’s sake. Let’s pretend that the kind-hearted Americans came to Europe to free the European people. They heroically defeated Hitler and brought (Western) Europe peace, prosperity, freedom, happiness, etc. etc. etc.

Does this good deed give the USA a license for future interventions? You both mentioned WWII as an example and a justification for the need for the USA to maintain a military large enough to counter regimes such as the North Korean one, right? So, let me ask again,

Does the fact that the USA altruistically, kindly and heroically liberated Europe from both the Nazis and the Soviets now grant the moral legitimacy to other, subsequent, US military interventions against other abhorrent, aggressive or evil regimes/countries out there?

If you reply “no” – then why did you mention it as a justification?

If you reply “yes” – then please forgive me for being so obtuse and ask you for how long this “license to militarily intervene” remains valid? One year? Five years? Maybe ten or even seventy years? Or maybe this license grants such a moral right to the USA ad aeternam, forever? Seriously, if the USA did liberate Europe and bring it peace and happiness, are we to assume that this will remain true forever and everywhere?

I also want to ask you this: let’s say, for the argument’s sake, that the moral license given by the US participation in the war in Europe is, truly, forever. Let’s just assume that, okay? But let me ask you this: could it be revoked (morally, conceptually)? Say the USA did something absolutely wonderful in Europe. What about the subsequent horrors in southeast Asia, Latin America or the Middle-East. How many murdered, maimed, occupied, terrorized, bombed and otherwise genocided “non-West Europeans” would it take to outweigh the putatively “happily liberated” Europeans which, according to you, grant the USA the license to intervene? Even if the US in Europe was all noble and pure, do the following seventy years of evil mass murder worldwide really count for nothing or does there come a point were “enough is enough” and the license can be revoked, morally speaking, by people like us, like you?

May I point out to you that your words spoken in defense of a supposed need for the USA to maintain a military capable of overseas operations strongly suggest that you believe that the USA has a moral right (if not a duty!) to conduct such operations, which means that the post WWII atrocity-tally of the USA is not, in your opinion, sufficient to elicit a “enough is enough” reaction in you. Are you sure that you are comfortable with this stance?

In theory, there could be another reason to revoke such a moral license. After all, one can have the moral right to do something, but not necessarily the capability to do so. If I see somebody drowning in a flood, I most certainly have the moral right to jump in the water and try to save this person, do I not? But that does not mean that I have the strength or skills to do so. Right? So when you say that the USA needs to maintain a military capable of protecting friends and allies from rogue and dangerous regimes like the one in North Korea, you do imply that besides having the right to extend such a protection the USA also has the capabilities and the expertise to do so?

Really?

And what is the evidence for that, may I ask?!

I asked you to name me a single successful US military intervention since WWII and you could name none. Good! I agree with you. The reality is that every single US military operation since WWII has resulted in a disaster either on the humanitarian, political and military level (often on all of them combined). Even Grenada was a total (military) failure! Also, do you see who sits in the White House today? Do you really want The Donald in charge of protecting “our friends and allies” and are you confident that he has the skillset needed to do this competently? Or Hillary for that matter? Even Sanders has a record of defending catastrophic military operations, such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 which, you guessed it (or not), ended in abject defeat for the Israelis and untold civilians horrors in Lebanon. But forget the President, take a look at US generals – do they inspire in you the belief that they are the kind of people who can be trusted to skillfully execute a military intervention inspired by moral and ethical reasons?! What about US “Congresspersons”? Would you trust them? So where do you see honest and competent “saviors of others” in the US polity?

Did you notice that there was no Islamic State in Iraq before the US invasion? Or did you notice that ever since the US declared a war on ISIS the latter has been getting stronger and stronger and taking over more countries. Yes, of course, once the Russians got involved ISIS began suffering defeat after defeat, but all the Americans had to say about the Russian intervention was to denounce it and predict it would fail. So why is it that the Russians are so good at fighting ISIS and the Americans, and their allies, so bad? Do you really want the Americans in charge of world security with such a record?!

Is insanity not repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Now I hear the reply you gave me to this point. You said “yes, mistakes were made”.

Mistakes?!

I don’t think that millions of murdered people, including hundreds of thousands of children, are “mistakes” (how would you react if somebody conceded to you that Hitler and Stalin made “mistakes”?). But there is something even more insidious in this notion of “mistake”.

How would you define “success”?

Say the US armed forces were not only good at killing people (which they are), but also good at winning wars (which they ain’t). Say the USA had been successful in not only invading Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in fully pacifying these countries. Say the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been successfully defeated, their economy had bounced back, and democratic regimes put in power: capitalism everywhere, 100 channels on each TV, McDonalds in every Afghan villages, gay pride parades in downtown Kabul, gender-neutral toilets in every mosque, elections every 4 years or so and not a single shot fired, not a single bomb going off? Would that be a “success”?

I pray to God and hope with all my heart that your reply to this question is a resounding “no!!”. Because if you answered “yes” then you are truly messianic genocidal imperialists. Yup, I mean that. Why? Because your notion of “success” is the spiritual, psychological and cultural death of an ancient civilization and that makes you, quite literally, an mortal enemy of mankind as a whole. I can’t even imagine such a horror. So I am sure that you answered “no!!” as every decent human being would, right?

But then what is a “success”? You clearly don’t mean the success as defined by your rulers (they would enthusiastically support such an outcome; in fact – they even promise it every time over and over again!). But if their idea of “success” is not yours, and if you would never want any other nation, people or ethnicity to ever become a victim of such as “successful” military intervention, why do you still want your rulers with their satanic notion of “success” to have the means to be “successful” in the future? And that in spite of the fact that the historical record shows that they can’t even achieve any type of “success” even by their own definition, nevermind yours?!

Did you notice that nowhere in my arguments above did I mention the fact that the USA has never asked people (as opposed to local Comprador elites) whether they wanted to be saved by Uncle Sam or not? Neither did they ask the American people if they wanted to go to war, hence all the well-known false flags from the “remember the Maine”, to the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, to Pearl Harbor, to the “Gulf of Tonkin incident”, to September 11th: every time a lie had to be concocted to convince the American people that they had to go to war. Is that really people power? Is this democracy?!

Are there people out there, anybody, who really favor US military interventions? Yes, I suppose that there are. Like the Kosovo Albanians. I suspect that the Afghan Tajiks and Hazara were pretty happy to see the US bomb the crap of the Taliban. So there might be a few cases. Oh, and I forgot our Balt and Ukrainian friends (but then, they were also happy when the Nazis came, hardly much of an example). But it is pretty safe to say that in reality nobody wants to be liberated by Uncle Sam, hence the wordwide use of the “Yankee go home” slogan.

This letter is already way too long, and I will forgo the listing of all the reasons why the USA are pretty much hated all over the planet, not by the ruling elites, of course, but by the regular people. And when I say “the USA” I don’t mean Paul Newman, Mark Twain, Miles Davis, Quentin Tarantino, James Taylor or the Bill of Rights or the beautiful country called “the USA”. But the regime, as opposed to any one specific government or administration in Washington, the regime is what is truly universally hated. I have never seen any anti-Americanism directed at the American people anywhere, not even in France, Greece or Latin America. But the hate for the Empire is quasi universal by now. Only the political elites whose status, power and well-being is dependent on the Empire do, in fact, support the Empire and what it stands for. Everybody else despises what the USA stands for today. And every military intervention only makes this worse.

And you want to make sure this continues? Really?

Right now the US is desperately trying to save al-Qaeda (aka IS, ISIS, Daesh, al-Nusra, etc.) from defeat in Syria. How is that for a moral stance after 9/11 (that is, if you accept the official narrative about 9/11; if you understand that 9/11 was a controlled demolition in which al-Qaeda patsies were used as a smokescreen, then this makes sense, by the way).

By the way – who are the current allies the US are so busy helping now?

  • The Wahabi regime in Saudi Arabia
  • The Nazi regime in the Ukraine and
  • The last officially racist regime on the planet in Israel

Do these really strike you as allies worth supporting?!

And what are the American people getting from that? Nothing but poverty, oppression, shame, hatred, fear and untold physical, psychological and moral suffering.

These are the fruits of Empire. Every Empire. Always.

You mentioned that every time you see a veteran you thanked him for his service. Why? Do you really think that he fought in a just war, that his service is something he can be proud of? Did he fight for his people? Did he defend the innocent? Or was he an occupier in a foreign land and, if he saw combat, did he not kill people who defended their own land, their families and their way of life? What exactly do you thank that veteran for? For following orders? But is that not something the Nuremberg trials specifically condemned as immoral and illegal?

Do you remember how you told me that xxxxx’s Marine husband lived in a nice house with all their material needs taken care of? You added “compare that to Russian servicemen”. Well, you clearly are not aware of how Russian soldiers live nowadays, under your hated Putin, but that is besides the point. The question which I wanted to ask you then and which I will ask you now is this: is the comfortable lifestyle granted to US Marines good enough a reason to be a Marine – that is being part of the very first force called in to murder innocent people and invade countries? Do you even know what Marines did to Fallujah recently? How much is a human soul worth? And it is really your belief that being a hired killer for the Empire is an honorable way of life? And should you think that I am exaggerating, please read the famous essay “War is a Racket” by Marine Brigadier General Smedley Butler, who had the highest rank a Marine could achieve in his time and who was the most decorated Marine in history. If war is a racket, does that not make Marines professional racketeers, hired thugs who act as enforcers for the mobsters in power? Ask yourself this: what would be the roughly equivalent counterparts of the US Marines in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia? To help you answer this question, let me offer a short quote from the Wikipedia entry about the Marine Corps: (emphasis added)

The Marine Corps was founded to serve as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels and was responsible for the security of the ship and its crew by conducting offensive and defensive combat during boarding actions and defending the ship’s officers from mutiny; to the latter end, their quarters on ship were often strategically positioned between the officers’ quarters and the rest of the vessel.

Does that help you identify their Nazi or Soviet counterparts?

Of all people, is it not we, Jews and Russians, who ought to recognize and categorically reject the trappings of Empire and all the rationalizations used to justify the subservient service to Empires?

I believe that history shows beyond any doubt that all Empires are evil, inherently and essentially, evil. They are also therefore equally evil. Shall I explain why?

Do you know what crimes is considered the ultimate, supreme, most evil crime under international law? It is not genocide, or crimes against humanity. Nope, the ultimate crime is the crime of aggression (that, by the way, makes every single US President a war criminal under international law, think of it!). In the the words of the chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg, Robert H. Jackson, the crime of aggression is the ultimate crime because “it contains within itself the accumulated evil” of all the other war crimes. Well, to paraphrase Jackson, imperialism contains within itself all the accumulated evil of all empires. Guantanamo, Hiroshima, Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Gladio and all the rest, they “come with the territory”, they are not the exception, they are the norm.

The best thing which could happen to this country and its people would be the collapse of this Empire. The support, even tacit and passive, of this Empire by people like yourself only delays this outcome and allows this abomination to bring even more misery and pain upon millions of innocent people, including millions of your fellow Americans. This Empire now also threatens my country, Russia, with war and possibly nuclear war and that, in turn, means that this Empire threatens the survival of the human species. Whether the US Empire is the most evil one in history is debatable, but the fact that it is by far the most dangerous one is not. Is that not a good enough reason for you to say “enough is enough”? What would it take for you to switch sides and join the rest of mankind in what is a struggle for the survival of our species? Or will it take a nuclear winter to open your eyes to the true nature of the Empire you apparently are still supporting against all evidence?

The Saker

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