Saturday, March 31, 2007

London Times: Pakistan now depends on the Taliban to protect its army.

Those forgetful Republicans!

Rudy claims that he forgot that he was told that his Police Commissioner (and future choice to head the Homeland Security Dept.) was taking hundreds of thousands from his mafia friends.

Giuliani Testified He Was Briefed on Kerik in ’00 - New York Times

Does anyone actually believe all these convenient claims of faulty memory made by politicians like Rudy, Scooter, and Gonzo?

North Dakota denies pre-natal care to teenagers without parental approval. Why?

From "Bitch Ph.D.":

Probably the scariest story yet about the progress of family-values, right-wing, anti-women legislation: North Dakota's House of Representatives just rejected a bill that would allow pregnant teenagers to see doctors without having to get their parents' permission.

Pregnant girls should get adult permission before they get medical checkups for their unborn babies, the state House decided as representatives defeated a proposal to allow teenagers to seek confidential prenatal care.

North Dakota law now requires a doctor to have permission from a parent or guardian to treat pregnant girls who are younger than 18.
[Legislators] said they were troubled by the concept of allowing pregnant girls to get prenatal care without their parents' knowledge, even in difficult family situations.

More here.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Orwellian logical inversion alert: Anti-Nazi law used against anti-Nazis

My experience with the University of Leeds · By Matthias Küntzel

Matthias Küntzel: Is there still room for debate ?

Küntzel is a scholar studying the historical connections between the Nazis and Islamists. The administration of the University of Leeds prevented him from speaking on the roots of Islamic Anti-Semitism (he had been invited to speak by the German Language Dept.). At first, the university administration claimed that they refused to let him speak because of threats to public safety -- threats which they did not specify. The university administration now demands that it review the content of his speech before allowing him to speak, yet they deny academic censorship.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Japan Again Denies Role in Sex Slavery - New York Times

A follow-up to an earlier post on Japanese historical revisionists supporting anti-Semitism (read it here).

Japan Again Denies Role in Sex Slavery - New York Times

To anyone who doubts the role absurdly bad ideas have on important policy debates:

It starts with a few crackpot academics and right-wing nuts advocating that history be falsified to "enhance" a nation's history. Those who take such things seriously laugh it off at first. As the contagion takes hold, the laughter turns to disbelief. By the time action is taken it may be too late. It starts with a crackpot professor deliberately purging textbooks of the truth. It leads to the leader of a modern democratic nation advocating false history as a matter of public policy. Where does it end?

Make no mistake: the belief in falsifying history in the national interest is an extremist philosophy with the potential to lead to extreme actions. Take a look at "Birth of a Nation" and the impact it had on the resurgence of the KKK. The false history it promoted played (or plays) an important role in racism this country. Take a look at the thousands of false images of American Indians promoted by the movies and pop culture and think of the impact they've had on how the Indians have been treated. And, of course, look at holocaust denial, which is the avant garde of anti-Semitism, paving the way to neo-Nazism in its various guises, most notably with respect to hatred of Israel.

To those who think that all that's in the past -- that the promotion of false ideas, be they crackpot philosophies or falsified history, has a limited impact, think the influence that fascism and communism had on Islamism. Without that influence (mainly via Sayeed Qutb), Islamism would not exist.

I don't claim to know enough about Japan to predict impact of this development, but I do know this: if the world sits back and let's this happen, the repurcussions may come back to haunt us. This denial of this history is morally wrong and cries out for reaction. If you are aware of the truth of Japan's attrocities during the Second World War, then speak up. Tell your representatives that, as a nation, we should not stand by and allow our allies to sink into this sort of fascist mindset.

This is the Asian equivalent of holocaust denial. It may not seem so now, but ultimately there's a lot at stake.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New wrinkle on the Japanese textbook controversy

No longer satisfied with rewriting history to deny the Rape of Nanking, the enslavement of the "comfort women", and other attrocities (the Japanese version of holocaust-denial), the far-right, ultra-nationalist Japensese revisionist group ironically called "Association for Advancement of Unbiased View of History" (see their website here, and a wikipedia entry on their founder here) is now promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. They claim that the fact that a Jewish attorney on General MacArthur's staff worked on the Japanese Constitution indicates the hidden hand of the Jewish conspiracy to dominate Japan!

Read their ravings here: The Hidden Hand: The Jewish Role in Post-War Japan by Aldric Hama

NOTE: The leader of the Japanese revisionist history movement, which has had great impact both within Japan and on Japanese relations with China and South Korea, is Nobukatsu Fujioka.

UPDATE (4/1/07): Here's a Washington Post piece on this (by Steve Clemons) that you might find interesting. And here's a recent blog piece on the subject by Mr. Clemons.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Biased Broadcasting Corporation

From a New York Times op-ed:

"(A)uthoritarian regimes and armed militants of the Arab world get sympathetic treatment on BBC Arabic. When Saddam Hussein was in power, he was a great favorite of the service, which reported as straight news his re-election to a seven-year term in 2002, when he got 100 percent of the vote. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria enjoys similar favor. When a State Department representative referred to Syria as a dictatorship, his BBC interviewer immediately interrupted and reprimanded him.

"The Arabic Service not only shields Arab leaders from criticism but also tends to avoid topics they might find embarrassing: human rights, the role of military and security forces, corruption, discrimination against minorities, censorship, poverty and unemployment. When, from time to time, such topics do arise, they are usually dealt with in the most general terms: there may, for instance, be guarded references to “certain Arab countries.”

"By contrast, the words and deeds of Western leaders, particularly the American president and the British prime minister, are subject to minute analysis, generally on the assumption that behind them lies a hidden and disreputable agenda. Last summer, when the British arrested two dozen people alleged to have been plotting to blow up airplanes crossing the Atlantic, a BBC presenter centered a discussion on the theory that these arrests had taken place because Tony Blair, embarrassed by opposition to Britain’s role in the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, wanted to distract the public while at the same time associating Muslims with terrorism."

Read the rest here.

And check out this blog post on BBC's bias as well.

Alan Dershowitz: Jimmy Carter is a Liar

Former President Caught in Yet Another Lie

Friday, March 16, 2007

The University of Leeds was accused of infringing free speech last night when it cancelled a lecture on Islamic anti-Semitism by a German academic.

Matthias Küntzel, a German author and political scientist who specialises in the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, was told yesterday by the University of Leeds that a talk scheduled for yesterday evening, and a two-day workshop, on Hitler's Legacy: Islamic Anti-semitism in the Middle East, had been cancelled because of security fears.

In a statement yesterday, two academics in the Leeds German department, which had organised the event, claimed the university had bowed "to Muslim protests". Dr Küntzel said he had given similar addresses around the world and there had been no problems.

He added: "I was told it was for security reasons - that they cannot shelter my person. But I don't feel in any way threatened.

''I know this is sometimes a controversial topic but I am accustomed to that and I have the ability to calm people down. It's not a problem for me at all.

"My impression was that they wanted to avoid the issue in order to keep the situation calm. My feeling is that this is a kind of censorship.''

Read about it here, and here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I thought his job was to report the news.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Fears for BBC Gaza correspondent kidnapped by terrorists: "'It is his job to bring us day after day reports of the Palestinian predicament in the Gaza Strip,' said the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Paul Adams, himself a former Middle East reporter. "

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Edwin Black: Iran worked with Nazi Germany

"Iran’s links to the Third Reich began during the pre-World War II years when it welcomed Gestapo agents and other operatives to Tehran, allowing them to use it as a Middle East base for agitation against the British and the region’s Jews.

"Key among these Gestapo men was Fritz Grobba, Berlin’s envoy to the Middle East, and often called “the German Lawrence” because he promised a Pan-Arab state stretching from Casablanca to Tehran.

"Relations between Berlin and Tehran were strong from the moment Hitler came to power in 1933, when Reza Shah Pahlavi’s nation was still known as Persia.

"The shah became a stalwart admirer of Hitler, Nazism and the concept of the Aryan master race. He also sought the Nazis’ help in reducing British petro-political domination.

"So intense was the shah’s identification with the Third Reich that in 1935 he renamed his ancient country “Iran,” which in Farsi means Aryan and refers to the Proto-Indo-European lineage that Nazi racial theorists and Persian ethnologists cherished.

"The idea for the name change was suggested by the Iranian ambassador to Germany, who came under the influence of Hitler’s trusted banker Hjalmar Schacht. From that point, all Iranians were constantly reminded that their country shared a bond with the Nazi regime.

"Shortly after World War II began in 1939, the mufti of Jerusalem crafted a strategic alliance with Hitler to exchange Iraqi oil for active Arab and Islamic participation in the murder of Jews in the Mideast and Eastern Europe, predicated on support for a Pan-Arab state and Arab rule over Palestine.

"During the war years, Iran became a haven and headquarters for Gestapo agents and German operatives. It was from Iran that the seeds of the abortive 1941 pro-Nazi coup in Baghdad were planted."



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