To Jared Israel:
Hi! Lately I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading your fascinating website, The Emperor’s New Clothes. I’m learning a lot from it.
- Introductory remarks
- Jew-hating ideologies
- Antiwar/pro-Serb websites, bigotry, and guilt by association
- U.S. sponsorship of Islamist terrorism
- Minor errors
- P.S., 3/21/2007: Israel and Iraq
- To commenters
My main interest has been in your site’s articles about 9/11. But I’ve recently branched out into looking at other parts of your site too. Previous posts of mine which commented on or referred to various parts of your site are listed here.
A little about me: I began questioning the official 9/11 story early this past summer. I got involved in the 9/11 Truth movement later in the summer, having previously attended a number of antiwar rallies. In September I started this blog.
I loved your articles about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, especially ‘The Protocols of Zion,’ Part One: Weapon Against Democracy. I like how you point out that the purpose of the Protocols wasn’t merely to whip up anti-Jewish hysteria, but, rather, to use said hysteria to make progressive movements look bad.
You might be interested in the posts I’ve written about a related phenomenon which has bothered me a lot, namely the promulgation, by some leading figures and groups within the 9/11 Truth movement, of certain ideas which seem to have been originated by Jew-haters. By this, I don’t mean primarily the idea that the Israeli government might have played a role in the 9/11 attacks. Rather, I’m talking about the John Birch Society-style political ideologies that have been promoted by people like Alex Jones and videos like Zeitgeist.
(Note: The aim of the articles in the latter category isn’t to defend bankers, many of whom have no doubt been involved in all manner of skullduggery. My objections are to certain specific accusations which are both (1) false, or at least highly questionable, and (2) promulgated by Jew-haters.)
See especially my posts The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati and Please do NOT trust Eustace Mullins as an authority on the Federal Reserve System!, and see the comment thread following my post Some of the rhetoric against the Federal Reserve System.
You might want to consider writing about anti-Illuminism and the banking conspiracy theories that I’ve discussed here on my own blog.
For much of my adult life, until very recently, I’ve accepted a variation on the standard leftist view about Israel/Palestine, namely that Israel is a form of Western neo-colonialism. I was never sure exactly what the best solution to the conflict might be, though I leaned tentatively toward a belief that the ideal solution would be to replace Israel with an ethnically and religiously neutral state. But I realized, too, that any real solution would also need to involve combatting anti-Jewish propaganda among Arabs and Muslims.
Your website’s articles about the Arab-Israeli Conflict have given me plenty of food for thought. You’ve made me realize that I should learn more about the history of Israel/Palistine. I’m now very unsure of what to think about the Israel/Palestine situation.
I would be interested in your comments on the brief history of modern Israel/Palestine given on the U.N. website. In particular I would be interested in your comments on the paragraph about the 1947 U.N Resolution:
After looking at various alternatives, the UN proposed the partitioning of Palestine into two independent States, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish, with Jerusalem internationalized (Resolution 181 (II) of 1947). One of the two States envisaged in the partition plan proclaimed its independence as Israel and in the 1948 war expanded to occupy 77 per cent of the territory of Palestine. Israel also occupied the larger part of Jerusalem. Over half of the indigenous Palestinian population fled or were expelled. Jordan and Egypt occupied the other parts of the territory assigned by the partition resolution to the Palestinian Arab State which did not come into being.
Somewhere on your site (I can’t find it offhand) you pointed out that the original PLO charter defined “Palestine” as encompassing only what was then Israel, not the land occupied by Jordan and Egypt, and that the PLO’s definition of “Palestine” grew as Israel grew. However, judging by the above-mentioned 1947 U.N. resolution, it would seem that a larger definition of “Palestine” does pre-date the PLO. What this means in terms of Palestine as a “nation” is another question, of course.
The one thing I’m still sure of is that, whatever the best solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict might be, it will be necessary to oppose bigotry on both sides.
Yes, I have run into Zionist Jews who have made extremely bigoted remarks about Arabs in general too, e.g. calling them “animals.” See also the Haaretz article Civil rights group: Israel has reached new heights of racism by Yuval Yoaz and Jack Khoury, 16 December 2007.
At the same time, it’s also clear to me that a lot of general anti-Jew bigotry (as distinct from just criticisms of the Israeli government) has been spread throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Your website has also given me a lot of food for thought on a topic that has always confused me, namely U.S./NATO policies in the Balkans.
The 1990’s bombings of Yugoslavia, for the alleged purpose of opposing “ethnic cleansing,” never made sense to me. Whatever might have been happening in that country, it was clear to me that Yugoslavia wasn’t menacing Europe the way Hitler’s Germany did.
According to news stories I remember reading back in the 1990’s, centuries-old ethnic hatreds had suddenly burst forth, after having been suppressed by the Communists for several decades, amongst peoples with a tradition of holding grudges for centuries and centuries. Well, if indeed that was the case, I remember thinking back then, wouldn’t it have been smarter for the U.S. and NATO to stay out of that squabble? Or, at most, to respond in a nonviolent way, e.g. by offering to mediate? Or did we want these inveterate grudge-holders to hate us for centuries and centuries too?
So the official story made no sense to me, but I had no idea what the real story might be.
Also, back in the 1990’s, I noticed that U.S. foreign policy had a strange pattern of siding with fundamentalist Muslims, both against Eastern Orthodox Christians (in the Balkans) and against more moderate Muslims (in the first Gulf war), as well as against the Communists in Afghanistan. The 1980’s war in Afghanistan made sense to me from a geostrategic point of view, given how it led to the death of the Soviet Union. But the intervention in Yugoslavia made no sense to me. Now that the Soviet monster was officially dead, what more did the U.S. and NATO want? Besides, Yugoslavia had always been relatively friendly to the West anyway, as Eastern-bloc nations went. So why on Earth were we bombing Yugoslavia? I could only guess that perhaps the U.S. foreign policy establishment was being bribed by Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth, or something.
Your articles on Yugoslavia present an analysis which, in some ways, makes a lot of sense to me. But I hesitate to embrace it fully as of yet. I’ll need to study the issues some more.
In particular, at this point I’m not yet sure what to think about the various alleged Serbian atrocities which you say didn’t really happen. False atrocity stories, as war propaganda, are certainly possible and have been promulgated before. (See, for example, How Bush Sr. Sold the Bombing of Iraq, about the alleged killing of premature babies by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait, used as an excuse for the first Gulf War.) But I’ll need to do some independent study to arrive at an informed opinion about the Srebrenica massacre allegations, for example.
I would be interested in your comments on the following, on this page of a blog called ” Srebrenica Genocide Answers”:
On June 5, 2005 Bosnia’s Federal Commission for Missing Persons (Federalna Komisija za nestale osobe) issued a list of the names, parents’ names, dates of birth, and unique citizen’s registration numbers of 8,106 individuals who have been reliably established, from multiple independent sources, to have gone missing and/or been killed in and around Srebrenica in the summer of 1995. The Federal Commission’s list was made public early in June. A verification process is underway for approximately 500 more victims whose disappearance or death has not yet been verified from two or more independent sources.
Relatives and friends have registered a total of 7,789 names of people missing or known to be dead from the July 1995 events at Srebrenica with another reporting body, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).
In addition, the International Committee of the Red Cross has compiled its own list, based on inquiries from friends and relatives. (The ICRC list is slightly shorter because it allows only those reported by relatives. Where entire families were wiped out, the ICRC does not accept reports from friends or neighbors.) The ICRC states that there are still 5500 missing persons from Srebrenica, in addition to the 2000+ identified dead. (July 2005).
Another list appears as an annex to the Republika Srpska Srebrenica Commission’s June 2004 report. It should also be kept in mind that names appear on the missing-persons lists as a result of active inquiries from relatives and others close to the missing/deceased individuals in question. In addition to these names there are other individuals who were among the dead and missing in July 1995 but do not appear on any lists because they had no close friends or relatives there to inquire after them – including cases where whole families (or whole village populations) were killed.
For one of numerous reports on the difficulties faced by forensic investigators in attempting to identify some of the recovered bodies, see Srebrenica: ten years on, by Ed Vulliamy, July 6, 2005.
Also, what do you think of the news story Dutch court allows Srebrenica lawsuit against UN, Netherlands to proceed, Tuesday, November 27, 2007?
Anyhow, your website has also led me to question my previous impression that all sides in the conflict, including the Serbians, were rather fascist-leaning. I’ve always suspected that mass media portrayals of the conflict were, at least, one-sided, against the Serbs. But my guess, as to what the reality might be, was merely that Serbia was no worse than the separatist states. Until I read your websites, it never occurred to me to suspect that the image of Serbia as fascistic might be totally unfounded. This is another matter I’ll need to look into further. For now, I hold no position on this matter either way.
I disagree with one thing you said in the article The Roma and Racism in the Balkans:
Racial hatred is rarely a mutual disease; generally one group is the hater and another the hated. Thus in Latin America, Indians are victims not perpetrators. In the US, the biggest group of hated is Black people.
I don’t agree that racial hatred is rarely mutual. Hatred is often mutual. It is human nature to hate those who hate one’s own kind, and it is, alas, human nature to overgeneralize one’s hatreds too. There is usually an asymmetry, though, insofar as one group has more power than the other and hence can cause more harm. Thus, for example, here in the U.S.A., white prejudice against blacks has caused a lot more harm than black prejudice against whites. But this doesn’t mean that the latter prejudice doesn’t exist, or that it has never caused any harm. There do exist, for example, African-American “Muslim” groups which believe that white people are literally “the Devil” – and which also have tended to fan the flames of Jew-hating, by the way.
I hesitate to make any generalizations about all ethnic conflicts, which vary quite a bit in terms of what kinds of asymmetries there are between the groups. Sometimes it’s easy to tell who is the “oppressed” and who is the “oppressor,” but sometimes that’s not clear at all. Many leftists, in particular, have had a tendency to oversimplify on such matters (e.g. a tendency to see anything white/European as all-evil, while seeing anything “Third World” as all good) – a tendency which, apparently, has led to oversimplified views of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
In the case of Yugoslavia, I don’t yet know enough about the history of the Balkans to be able to take a definite stand on who is oppressing whom. But I will aim to draw my conclusions based on a study of the facts – insofar as the facts can be ascertained – rather than on any a priori generalizations about ethnic conflicts. Alas, I’m not likely to reach a conclusion on this matter anytime soon, because there are lots of other things on my agenda to study too, which have higher priority for me.
Anyhow, what I find most interesting about your website, including the section on Yugoslavia, is that you’ve suggested a plausible reason for the U.S.A.’s strange habit of siding with Islamists in assorted conflicts around the world.
As I said, I’ve long been under the (admittedly not very well imformed) impression that all sides in the conflicts in Yugoslavia, including the Serbs, tended to be rather fascist-leaning.
Besides the mass media, another thing that gave me that impression was the right wing pro-Serb web pages I had looked at back in the 1990’s. I don’t recall these pages actually saying what the political views of most Serbs were like, but the pages themselves came across as rather bigoted in various ways. An example is the Rockford Institute, a Christian religious right wing organization whose online magazine Chronicles includes writings about Yugoslavia by Srdja Trifkovic. Also I remember looking at some websites with stuff by Pat Buchanan and various supporters of his.
In some of the antiwar/pro-Serbian stuff I read, there were occasional vague hints of Jew-hating too, if I remember correctly. There were insinuations that the U.S. and NATO were controlled by some evil outside force. Then again, perhaps the evil outsiders were gays and atheists, rather than Jews, since gays and “secular humanists” are the official main bugaboos of the Christian religious right wing.
If I recall correctly, the authors of some of these pages believed that Serbia had been attacked by NATO because Serbia is Orthodox Christian. Why was a reason for NATO to attack Serbia was never explained, except that the ungodly Satanic forces of the secularized West would, of course, attack the “true” Church. This kind of rhetoric struck me as just more nonsensical propaganda, though it came from Serbs rather than from the West.
Also I vaguely recall seeing claims, by some non-Serbian Catholic and Protestant religious right wingers, that Serbia had been attacked by godless NATO because the Serbs, supposedly, are very traditional and conservative in the practice of their Eastern Orthodox faith. I have no idea whether it’s really true that Serbs tend to be so conservative in the practice of their religion, but this, too, didn’t seem to me like a plausible reason for NATO to attack Yugoslavia. According to these writers, NATO’s alleged motive was simply that secular Westerners hate Christianity, or at least hate traditional/conservative forms of Christianity, and hate it so much as to gang up with Islamist terrorists against traditional/conservative Christians. Why would secular Westerners hate Christians enough to bomb them without any provodation? No reason. According to these writers, Westerners who believe in separation of Church and State are just demonic, that’s all
I found these claims personally offensive, since I happen to be a Westerner who believes in separation of Church and State, although I did agree that the U.S.A. and NATO had no business attacking Yugoslavia.
But the bombing of Yugoslavia was so egregiously unjust, and so uncalled-for, it’s understandable why some people might imagine that the West must be animated by a preternatural evil. And, from that, it’s almost inevitable that some people would draw bigoted conclusions.
Anyhow, given my impressions from the pro-Serb/antiwar websites I looked at back in the 1990’s, I can understand the concerns you voiced on your page titled Apologists for Fascism have become the Public ‘Voice’ of Slobodan Milosevic and in other Emperor’s Clothes articles on Ramsey Clark, Jacques Verges and the attempt by them and their associates to link the Serbian people to Fascism and Islamism. The problem goes way beyond just the people you mentioned in that article.
At the same time, I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that these right-wingers have joined the pro-Serbia/antiwar movement for the specific purpose of making Serbs look like fascists. It’s certainly possible that some folks in the U.S. foreign policy establishment might be covertly encouraging extreme right wing participation in the pro-Serbia/antiwar movement for precisely that purpose, but I think most of the right wingers in the movement are probably sincere. For example, I think most of Pat Buchanan’s supporters are probably sincere in their desire for the U.S.A. to be “a republic, not an empire” and sincerely opposed to aggressive war by the U.S.A. against countries which, like the Yugoslavia, clearly don’t pose any kind of threat to the rest of the world (or to the property of wealthy Americans, to which Communism was a threat).
(P.S., 3/20/2008: A related point: Amongst voting blocs here in the U.S.A., the main supporters of Israel, besides Jews, are Protestant fundamentalist religious right wingers. Perhaps that might help to explain why some pro-Serbian activists have courted the religious right wing too?)
What I find most interesting on your site are the many articles about covert U.S./NATO sponsorship of Islamist terrorism, e.g. A Diabolical Game: The US In Bed With Terrorists by Nico Varkevisser. Especially interesting, from the point of view of understanding 9/11, is the article Gaping Holes in the ‘CIA vs. bin Laden’ Story.
Also very interesting are the articles on your site about semi-covert cooperation between the U.S. and Iran, e.g. Iran is Working with the US in Iraq. It will be interesting to see whether your prediction is correct that the U.S. will not end up attacking Irnn, as endlessly threatened. One possibly important factor I haven’t yet seen you mention, though: It might be that U.S. geostrategic planners favor Iran out of a desire to strengthen Shiite Islam at the expense of Sunni Islam, in order to keep the Muslim world divided, while at the same time aiding the most fanatical forms of Sunni Islam too, as a geostrategic tool against Russia and China.
Two minor errors I noticed on your site:
1) On the page titled Worst Kept Secrets of the Bumbling Bear, in the following paragraph:
The U.S. and Germany created this terrorist group. It’s strategy, as described by the pro-NATO publication, ‘Jane’s Defense Weekly’, was and remains: to commit acts of terror in order to provoke a government response which can be misportrayed as ethnic repression and thereby used to justify NATO intervention.
It would be nice if you could tell us which issue of Jane’s Defense Weekly, and otherwise give a complete citation. Usually you do give your sources, so I assume that the omission here was an error.
2) A linking error I noticed: On this page, the numbered links under “Israel,” in the light blue side panel on the left, do not lead to anything directly relevant.
In your introduction to the article Wartime Witch Hunt: Blaming Israel for the Iraq War, you wrote:
The first clue that this is not an honest discussion of foreign policy is that nobody ever quotes the views of the Israeli security establishment. Surely a discussion of whether the Iraq war was launched to improve Israel’s security position ought to begin with an evaluation of the stated views of knowledgeable Israeli analysts!
You might perhaps want to post some commentary on the article A Real Clean Break in the Middle East by Ronald Bruce St John, September 14, 2006. This article claims to document a link between Israeli strategy and current U.S. foreign relations strategy, e.g. regarding Iraq. The paper discussed in that article has been referred to elsewhere, e.g. in We’re Being Set Up for Wider War in the Middle East by Paul Craig Roberts, July 17, 2006.
Personally, I’m inclined to believe that U.S. strategy is influenced by foreign governments, but that the foreign governments in question include Saudi Arabia as well as Israel. Since Saudi Arabia and Israel oppose each other, neither country gets its way all the time. (If either country got its way 100%, the U.S.A. wouldn’t wouldn’t be selling arms to the other country, for example.)
I’m also inclined to believe that there are cliques within the (predominantly WASP) U.S. ruling class that have imperial ambitions quite apart from any foreign influence. So, the foreign influences are by no means entirely or even primarily to blame. Nevertheless, various foreign governments may influence the specific forms that U.S. imperial ambitions take.
Note to readers who are thinking of posting comments: This post raises a number of sensitive issues. Please read my comment policy before you post a reply.