The Dupe and Demopath: The Rubin Report analyzes Stephanopoulos’ lame interview with Ahmadinejad

Barry Rubin, the prolific analyst whose every essay is well worth reading (not to mention his books), has a new blog, The Rubin Report. Here’s a piece from today’s selection that hones in on the dysfunctional (or should I say, counter-functional) relationship between a demopath (Ahmadinejad is among the finest) and a dupe. It’s a classic clash between PCP and HSJP.

SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2009

The Unbearable Lightness of Wishful Thinking: Ahmadinejad and the “Two-State Solution”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave an interview to George Stephanopoulos of ABC. He knew what he was saying but others want to insist on refusing to understand him.

First the relevant exchange:

STEPHANOPOULOS: If the Palestinian people negotiate an agreement with Israel and the Palestinian people vote and support that agreement, a two state solution, will Iran support it?
AHMADINEJAD: Nobody should interfere, allow the Palestinian people to decide for themselves. Whatever they decide….
STEPHANOPOULOS: If they choose a two state solution with Israel, that’s fine.
AHMADINEJAD: Well, what we are saying is that you and us should not determine the course of things beforehand. Allow the Palestinian people to make their own decisions.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But if they choose a two state solution, if they choose to recognize Israel’s existence, Iran will as well?
AHMADINEJAD; Let me approach this from another perspective. If the Palestinians decide that the Zionist regime needs to leave all Palestinian lands, would the American administration accept their decision? Will they accept this Palestinian point of view?
STEPHANOPOULOS: I’ll ask them. But I’m asking you if Palestinians accept the existence of Israel, would Iran support that?….
STEPHANOPOULOS: If the Palestinians sign an agreement with Israel, will Iran support it?
AHMADINEJAD: Whatever decision they take is fine with us. We are not going to determine anything. Whatever decision they take, we will support that. We think that this is the right of the Palestinian people, however we fully expect other states to do so as well.

And how did the Israeli online service of Yediot Aharnot newspaper, YNet News, play this? Here’s the headline: “”Ahmadinejad ‘fine’ with two-state solution.”

Well, not exactly. He refused to say that. All Ahmadinejad said was that he would support what the Palestinian people decided. What does that mean?

First, he personally believes that they would never accept a two-state solution so there’s nothing to worry about in that respect.

Second, of course, he knows that Hamas would never agree to such a thing and Hamas already controls how people vote in the Gaza Strip. One might presume that if a referendum was held there, the vote would be “100 percent” against a two-state solution. In addition, Hamas and others opposing a two-state solution would get between 30 and 70 percent of votes in the West Bank. A lot of Fatah supporters would also vote against it. The exact numbers aren’t important because whether the number is the higher or lower figure such a proposition would always be defeated.

Third, any two-state solution would only be made by Fatah. Iran supports Hamas. If Fatah and the Palestinian Authority were to make a deal with Israel, Tehran would still back Hamas in overthrowing that government, using the deal to portray its rival as treasonous. Once Hamas took over the state of Palestine, it would tear up all the agreements and invite in the Iranian military.

So in effect Ahmadinejad just said that he would never accept a two-state solution but why put that in clear words when the dumb Westerners can be left to interpret it as they wish.

But Ahmadinejad also put a little bomb in the interview which no one seems to notice. Let me repeat one of his answers:

AHMADINEJAD; “Let me approach this from another perspective. If the Palestinians decide that the Zionist regime needs to leave all Palestinian lands, would the American administration accept their decision? Will they accept this Palestinian point of view?“

What’s he saying here? “All Palestinian lands” might sound like saying the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem to Western ears, but everyone in Iran and among the Palestinians knows this means: all of Israel plus all the territories it captured in 1967.

So here’s what the Iranian president is saying: Suppose the Palestinians vote that they want all of Israel, would the United States accept that? The answer, of course, is “no” and so, Ahmadinejad is saying: I’m the one in favor of democracy and you’re against it.

(According to him, of course, Israelis have no rights to a state so they don’t get to vote.)

Ahmadinejad has built his own career on regarding the West as extremely stupid, cowardly, and easy to fool. Many or most of his colleagues in the Iranian regime agree with him.

I could write at this point that the one exception was when in the mid-1980s the United States was appearing ready to attack Iran unless it ended the Iran-Iraq war. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini did so but I think he was misreading American intentions (albeit to the credit of U.S. policymakers in pulling off that bluff).

Still, I’m tempted to say that up to now that the Iranian leaders’ assumption has never proven to be wrong.

45 Responses to The Dupe and Demopath: The Rubin Report analyzes Stephanopoulos’ lame interview with Ahmadinejad

  1. 4infidels says:

    I just read the text of the ABC interview. My reaction…

    Every American TV interview with Ahmadinejad is the same. Same questions, same answers. You would think it would be pretty easy to put some pressure on him.

    When he talks about Palestinians having nothing to do with the Holocaust, why couldn’t an interviewer point out to him that Haj Amin al-Husayni (leader of the Palestine Arabs and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem) spent WW2 in Germany encouraging the final solution and forming a Bosnian Muslim SS division? Why couldn’t it be mentioned to him that support for the Nazis was widespread in the Muslim world, including in Persia, where the Shah changed the country’s name to Iran, which means “Aryan” in Farsi? Why shouldn’t it be pointed out that even Anwar Sadat spent the WW2 years in a British prison for being a Nazi sympathizer, while Iraq rushed to form a fascistic government modeled on Nazi Germany?

    Furthermore, why not remind everyone, including Ahmadinejad, that the Jews had a strong presence in Palestine prior to the Holocaust, having already built up the institutions of future statehood, and that in the 1850s Ottoman census, there were more Jews in Jerusalem than Muslims, even before the modern Zionists began returning to Palestine? Perhaps make him squirm a bit by talking about 3000 years of Jewish history in Iran and suggest that Ahmadinejad might have Jewish ancestry?

    My point is that we already know what Ahmadinejad thinks about Israel and the Holocaust. Interviewers should challenge him so that the audience doesn’t make faulty assumptions based on lies. Instead viewers are left with the impression that if not for the Holocaust, there wouldn’t be any Jews in Israel, and that the Jews are foreign to the Middle East, imposed on innocent, peace-loving Arabs and Muslims who had no say in world events.

    And when he blames the US for causing the rift with Iran 29 years ago (as he always does), could just one interviewer, instead of quickly moving to the “change” in attitude with a new administration (or in earlier interviews asking about what he would like to see both sides do), tell the Iranian president that it was his side that took US citizens hostage? If he is going to come on our airwaves and lie, could someone press him on his role in the hostage situation, including torturing Americans? Why hasn’t he ever apologized? Could someone ask him how could a man, who says he wants peace and security for everyone, send millions of money and tons of weapons to Hezbollah? Why doesn’t he let the Lebanese people have the right to determine their own affairs, or is that only for Palestinians? And why does Hezbollah carry flags with pictures of mushroom clouds? So many questions not asked.

    Instead the US media continues to give this thug a platform for his propaganda.

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  3. oao says:

    see my comments on the interview in the thread about the doomed west.

    the reason you don’t get questions like you describe is because western journalists are ignorant about the subject matter and unable to reason about it. they can only ask superficial, sound-bite questions and have no intellectual capacity to interact with the answers. they go thru a list of these questions, accept any answer and go to the next.

  4. Ray in Seattle says:

    There is a protocol to this. I’m not sure the job of an interviewer is to debate points with a foreign head of state – at least if that interviewer expects to keep his job. Debate is for our state department and others to engage in. Tough questions are OK though and repetition too if answers are avoided.

    I think both Obama and Rubin missed the essential absurdity of AMjad’s counter-question.

    Steph’s question concerned Palestinain self-determination. Would Iran go along with a Pal vote for peace with Israel. Finally, after much prodding, he agreed that Iran would do so.

    But, AMjad countered not with an example of Pal self-determination but an off-the-wall question asking if the US would support a Palestinian vote to remove the Jews from Palestine (i.e. Israel).

    Both Steph and Rubin failed to note that he had switched the context from Steph’s legitimate question of Pal self-determination re: peace with Israel – to whether a vote by a state’s mortal enemy during a war – a vote determining its enemy’s fate – should be honored and enforced by third parties as an example of democracy.

    But I agree, Stephanopoulos did a very poor job. He allowed AMjad to reverse their respective roles – something any decent interviewer should know how to handle. Rubin’s critique wasn’t much better, however. I think almost anyone with any knowledge of the situation who saw the interview knew what borders AMjad meant.

    But even aside from that, what is absurd about the question – and what both Rubin and Steph failed to note – is the implication that we live in some strange universe where enemies at war (Arabs at least) get to vote on whether their opponents should surrender – and that honoring and enforcing such a vote by third parties is a matter of respect for democracy. Rubin’s claim that that AMjad’s question was unfair because the Israelis didn’t get to vote too sadly misses the point.

  5. Ray in Seattle says:

    Ooops, para 2: I think both Obama and Rubin missed the essential absurdity of AMjad’s counter-question.

    Of course, should have been: I think both Sephanopoulos and Rubin missed the essential absurdity of AMjad’s counter-question.

  6. oao says:

    But I agree, Stephanopoulos did a very poor job. He allowed AMjad to reverse their respective roles – something any decent interviewer should know how to handle.

    Well, apparently he did not know how to handle it. why do you suppose that was?

  7. E.G. says:

    It’s perfectly legitimate for an interviewee to reframe the interviewer’s questions. And even shift the interview’s course.

    Now, when A. asks
    “If the Palestinians decide that the Zionist regime needs to leave all Palestinian lands, would the American administration accept their decision? Will they accept this Palestinian point of view?“
    S. might/should have asked:
    a. “Do you think the Palestinians are likely to make such a decision?”
    a.1 “Will you encourage them to make it, rather than the 2-state one?”
    AND
    b. “Do you suppose the American administration will accept such a decision?”

    An interesting point in this exchange is that the US and Iran are depicted as endowed with equal roles and legitimacy: each behind its champion.
    Not sure this is a reliable picture of the situation.

  8. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao said, Well, apparently he did not know how to handle it. why do you suppose that was?

    My take FWIW is that GS is not the type that can handle high pressure public situations while thinking clearly on several levels and while maintaining a dominant (controlling) position viv a vis his guests. His show is uninteresting because there is no controlling dominance that leads the interviews – that controls the transaction. That’s not to say he is not intelligent. He just doesn’t have that kind of intelligence. Few do. It’s not something you can “know” intellectually. You either have the ability for it or you don’t.

    Why do you think he didn’t handle it? His education just wasn’t up to your standards?

  9. oao says:

    GS is not the type that can handle high pressure public situations while thinking clearly on several levels and while maintaining a dominant (controlling) position viv a vis his guests.

    well, after all, he was in the WH, a consultant to the POTUS. how he got that job, and then this job if he does not have that type of intelligence?

    this is a rhetorical question. since i dk ANY american journalist who has that kind of intelligence, i am not surprised that he does not either.

    i dk what schooling he had, but i very much doubt that he got any that would have instilled at least the techniques in him. that’s the general problem of journalism schools and one major reason why none of them can interact with the material and people they cover.

  10. Sophia says:

    It’s conceivable that most people including “journalists” just don’t know the history of WWII from the Middle Eastern perspective.

    I guess.

    ?

    Beyond that I think most Westerners absolutely do not grasp, or do not want to grasp the concept that Israel in any borders at all is the problem – PLO wasn’t created to liberate the West Bank after all.

    If nothing else this points up a huge gap in perceptions and ideals.

    How can we narrow the gap?

    Unless that happens it’s pretty useless to talk about a “peace process”. Even if a majority of people supported the “two state solution” it only takes a few dedicated terrorists to derail the “peace process” as we have seen.

    Also strikingly obvious from both “Durban” exercises and most of the UN “human rights” dialogue: there is little common ground between the Middle East and the rest of the world concerning antisemitism.

    Unfortunately this is reflected among some groups and people here in the West, who make matters worse by giving racists respectability.

    Another angle to this particular problem is the phenomenon of African-American hostility to the Jewish people, which I think is a tragedy.

  11. 4infidels says:

    oao: “the reason you don’t get questions like you describe is because western journalists are ignorant about the subject matter and unable to reason about it. they can only ask superficial, sound-bite questions and have no intellectual capacity to interact with the answers. they go thru a list of these questions, accept any answer and go to the next.”

    Absolutely right. I just think that even though journalists are ignorant on the subject matter, they could do a minimum of preparation, such as looking back at past interviews and thinking of some pointed follow-up questions, rather than reading off a list of questions provided by a producer.

    Then again, how would GS find the time with all those early morning conference calls with Rahm, Carvelle and Begala.

  12. 4infidels says:

    oao: “the reason you don’t get questions like you describe is because western journalists are ignorant about the subject matter and unable to reason about it. they can only ask superficial, sound-bite questions and have no intellectual capacity to interact with the answers. they go thru a list of these questions, accept any answer and go to the next.”

    Absolutely right. I just think that even though journalists are ignorant on the subject matter, they could do a minimum of preparation, such as looking back at past interviews and thinking of some pointed follow-up questions, rather than reading off a list of questions provided by a producer.

    Then again, how would GS find the time with all those early morning conference calls with Rahm, Carvelle and Begala.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  13. Eliyahu says:

    RL, A-jad is a superb demopath, as you say, and a superb demagogue. They often go together. But the question is, Who trained A-jad to be such an effective demopath. The bizarre combination of themes, values, historical lies and political half-truths, is diabolically clever.

    For an analysis of the speech by A-jad at Geneva, including aspects ordinarily overlooked by the MSM and even more serious media, I suggest Carlo Panella [in Italian - link below]:

    http://www.ilfoglio.it/soloqui/2269

    Panella notes the similarity of some of his accusations against Israel to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion but goes on to point out that these accusations equally go back to early Islamic tradition [for example, the Jews plotting against Islam to split it -- Sunnis often blame Jews for the Shi`ite schism, whereas Shi`ites often blame Jews for the Twelver/Sevener schism, etc].

    Then Panella points out that A-jad’s speech contained a rejection of the post-WW 2 world order, of the UN security council’s authority as stipulated in the UN charter, as well as a far-going historical revisionism which resembles modern European “reactionary” beliefs about the French revolution and so on and so forth. It should be conceded that Panella in his younger days supported the Khomeini takeover in Iran [often called a "revolution"].

  14. Ray in Seattle says:

    Sophia, It’s good to see your comments here again. I know we have some fundamental disagreements but I’ve never been attracted to blogs where most folks agree with me. Fortunately, such URLs are very rare.

    You say, It’s conceivable that most people including “journalists” just don’t know the history of WWII from the Middle Eastern perspective. . . Beyond that I think most Westerners absolutely do not grasp, or do not want to grasp the concept that Israel in any borders at all is the problem – PLO wasn’t created to liberate the West Bank after all.

    This is an example of what happens when a mind is dominated by what Stu Greene calls a memeplex. In my terms it is an set of beliefs that cause them to see the world, in the case the ME and world events, in a way that comforts the viewer.

    To become a journalist and advance to visibility in the US for the last 30 years requires one to adopt this set of intrinsic identity beliefs. Learning an accurate history of WWII or having a general curiosity about the world or human history is just not part of what’s required. A budding journalist who is serious about their career absorbs the required culture, appearance, attitudes, etc. It follows a necessity to make money for the media owners and those owners’ perceptions of what image they wish to project to do that.

    In the past that perception required educated, intelligent anchors that knew something about history. Walter Cronkite, Eric Severeid, etc. Also, most media news ops operated at a loss supported by other programming. It was seen as a loss leader, a public service and a builder of network reputations. Those were also the days when the airwaves were considered public property and media owners had to demonstrate the value of their service to the public to renew their license. Now, with that all gone it’s all about theatrical appearance and bottom line.

    Post-modernism has infected academia and education anyway so why should they worry about all that factual stuff. And for the public that can be all so confusing. It’s really about how many Chryslers or Viagra pills you can sell during the commercial breaks. Capitalism has finally had its way with journalism. I’m not condemning. Just saying that capitalism is honest and it will always produce the product that is most highly valued. In this case what is valued by the paying consumers of news is not intelligent analysis which would often be uncomfortable to consider. It is the massaging of those memes that make the viewers most comfortable. That’s all journalists today need to understand.

  15. sshender says:

    Indeed. The flaccidity of the interviewers is trully appalling. You just don’t get hournalists like Oriana nowadays. One that does come to mind is BBC’s HARDTalk, but that too has its leftist biases, resulting in uneven scrutiny. (Just compare an interview with a british Hamas sympathizer Azzam Tamimi with any Israeli official).

    I wish sometimes, though, that there was a conservative Stephen Colbert of a sort, because you gotta hand it to him, he knows how to make an interviewee move uneasy in his chair.

    Also, just wanted to comment on Sophia’s invocation of African-American animosity towards the Jews. In my opinion it is only natural, since these groups are probably the most apart in the US. The only thing that could bring them together was the civil rights movement before the end of segregation and insitutionalized racism. Apart from this common goal, there is absolutely nothing to make these groups converge; the Jews are the single most successful, rich, educated and influential minority in the US in the last decades, while the blacks are at the bottom of the pecking order in every walk of life (besides sports, maybe). These are two diametrically opposed social classes, and it is inevitable that the poorer, weaker side would harbor negative sentiments towards its far less numerous, yet strikingly more secusseful counterpart.

    It is my fear, that with the ressurgence of the “deprived” all over the world, the Blacks and Latinos would spearhead anti-semitic campaigns (sugarcoated by pseudo-scholastic theses such as M&W’s Jewish Lobby) and it is just a matter of time before the Jews would be persecuted these as well. Conspiracy theories of Jewish power are growing ever wider in the US, fueled by envy and hopelesness of the evergrowing poor classes (largely made up of non-whites), and given Jews’ overwhelming representation in finance, science, politics and other – far exceeding their share of the population – they are in a possition where things can only get worse. I truly fear that it’s only a matter of time until the Jews would be on the run in the US as well.

    Let’s hope I’m mistaken.

  16. Ray in Seattle says:

    Sophia, I just replied to your post but unfortunately I foolishly used a certain word in a lame attempt at levity that I now realize was caught by the filter. Hopefully, someone will approve my comment before too long – and my comment was not summarily executed.

  17. Eliyahu says:

    What George S was trying to do was really something very anti-Israel. That is, he was trying to extract from A-jad some kind of insinuated acceptance of Israel’s “existence” and then this could be used to justify negotiating with A-jad over Israel’s future, and justify talking directly to Hamas. It would go along with roger cohen’s shameful pro-A-jad propaganda. In other words, George S is acting most likely on instructions as part of the body of journalists in the service of the govt.

    This has happened before. Tom Friedman played this game with the Saudis and the so-called “Saudi peace plan” that was really a State Dept plan.

    It is silly to expect george s to have asked any serious question about the mufti of Jerusalem husseini [husayni], etc., since his purpose was more political/operational/ –in the service of diplomacy– than informative.

  18. Ray in Seattle says:

    BTW – For anyone interested in the state of US journalism, I highly recommend Bob Somerby’s daily blog reports at the Daily Howler.

    http://www.dailyhowler.com/

    I realize he isn’t viciously anti-liberal enough for many tastes here but liberal media stars do suffer the majority if his ridicule. IMO he is generally on the right track in his analysis / criticism.

  19. Ray in Seattle says:

    GS should have said,

    Mr. President, I’m here to conduct the interview, not to tell our viewers what I think, but to allow you to tell them what you think about those things. Now, let’s get back to your views on . .

  20. oao says:

    Beyond that I think most Westerners absolutely do not grasp, or do not want to grasp the concept that Israel in any borders at all is the problem – PLO wasn’t created to liberate the West Bank after all.

    pipes recently gave a lecture at boston college ( i gave the link in another thread) where he argues that one reason for the reversal in opinion — from “the pals aim to destroy israel” to “israel was a mistake” — were induced by israel’s (rabin and peres) mistake of oslo, lebanon and ghaza: it sort of admitted, whether intentional or not, that the pals had a case which had to be rectified.

  21. oao says:

    Another angle to this particular problem is the phenomenon of African-American hostility to the Jewish people, which I think is a tragedy.

    condoleezza was comparing the oppression of blacks in the US to the treatment of pals by israel.

    how a university provost specializing in foreign relations can be so ignorant and stupid, yet considered some sort of expert and get to formulate US policy says all you need to know about america and its collapse.

  22. oao says:

    they could do a minimum of preparation, such as looking back at past interviews and thinking of some pointed follow-up questions, rather than reading off a list of questions provided by a producer.

    they probably do but (a) the past interviews are equally idiotic (b) their intellect is limited.

    Then again, how would GS find the time with all those early morning conference calls with Rahm, Carvelle and Begala.

    right. and it’s not just time. those kind of activities require even less knowledge and reason.

  23. oao says:

    RL, A-jad is a superb demopath, as you say, and a superb demagogue. They often go together. But the question is, Who trained A-jad to be such an effective demopath. The bizarre combination of themes, values, historical lies and political half-truths, is diabolically clever.

    i’m sure he has advisors who feed him. and the real problem is that he has targets that are pathetically ignorant and stupid and treat him with the respect that every head of civilized state is treated.

  24. oao says:

    The only thing that could bring them together was the civil rights movement before the end of segregation and insitutionalized racism…Apart from this common goal, there is absolutely nothing to make these groups converge; the Jews are the single most successful, rich, educated and influential minority in the US in the last decades, while the blacks are at the bottom of the pecking order in every walk of life (besides sports, maybe).

    see my comment on condi above. alibama is not different.

    sort of like the pals, ain’t it? (except that, unlike the pals, there WAS serious discrimination and oppression; unfortunately, the resentment from that takes generations to go away). so the affinity with the pals is understandable, which is why i was concerned with alibama’s election.

    It is my fear, that with the ressurgence of the “deprived” all over the world, the Blacks and Latinos would spearhead anti-semitic campaigns (sugarcoated by pseudo-scholastic theses such as M&W’s Jewish Lobby) and it is just a matter of time before the Jews would be persecuted these as well.

    i predict it. and it won’t be so new — it’s been going on already, and they should take their place in the antisemitic line — and won’t be the last either.

  25. Eliyahu says:

    oao, I wonder if these people like m&w or condi or george stephanopoulos have feelings or opinions of their own. Somebody realizes that Judeophobia coming from a Black, that is, somebody whose people have been victims themselves, would likely have more credibility lying Judeophobically than the same Judeophobic lie coming from a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, for example. It is disarming in a way when a lie, like the one that condi told, comes from a Black like condi, rather than from Henry R Luce, who would surely have said something similar if he didn’t abhor Blacks as much as he did. Likewise, when A-jad, a supposed victim of colonialism due to the mere fact of being an Iranian, doubts the Holocaust, it is somehow more acceptable to many people, to the “Left” at least than when it comes from a German, for example. But it’s the same lie.

    Here I ought to point out that Iran was never a European colony, although the Russians took some lands away from them, and the British and Soviets occupied parts of Iran around WW2 for a fairly short period. Nevertheless, Iran pretends to be and is seen as a victim of colonialism.

    Condi was wrong of course because for more than a 1000 years Arabs/Muslims have been oppressing, exploiting, humiliating Jews [& other dhimmis] and in the Land of Israel as much or more as in other Muslim-ruled lands. Condi may have been telling that story simply for instrumental, propagandistic, psywar [or cogwar -- remember Stu's cogwar theory] purposes, not because she believed it or cared one way or the other. If she made that false comparison for instrumental purposes, then she may have been chosen to make it because of her ethnic identity and her group’s history.

    AS to george stephanopoulos, I believe that he was merely trying to draw a useful statement out of A-jad that could be used to justify obama administration policies of talking to Ajad and then Hamas, making Hamas genocidists socially acceptable. He had no interest in learning what Ajad really thought about anything. But it might have been useful, from his viewpoint, to trick Ajad into saying something like: If Israel complies with the just palestinian demands, then Iran might be willing to consider negotiating a peaceful settlement of some kind with the Zionists.

    More about george s: When he was with the Clinton White House, the palestinian authority physically abused his sister. Sounds strange, even bizarre. His sister was a nun in a Russian Orthodox convent in or near Hebron. This was a “White Russian” Russian Orthodox convent [contrasted with the pro-Soviet Russian Orthodox church]. As you may know, the Russian govt after the fall of communism wanted to bring both factions of the church into its sphere of domination. But apparently, the “white Russian” church was resisting. So, inter alia, they asked the PA to give them control of the convent in or near Hebron. This the PA did by throwing the White Russian nuns and monks out of the convent. George Stphnpls got involved somehow through his sister’s initiative, as I recall, but I don’t remember what exactly he did for them.

  26. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Of course victimology is one of the post-modernist cornerstones. There are even quite open victim contests going on (e.g., slaves vs. colonised). Being a victim is not yet the hot thing in town but a victim’s descendant – now, that’s an enviable status.

    But the competing victims didn’t have as much “luck” as the Ashkenazi Jews: their victimhood just begins to get fully recognised and mea-culpabilised. Afro-Americans/Europeans, ex-Soviets, Germans, Moslems etc. think that the Jews have it all to themselves! Even when all means all the horror.

    Thus, your argument in the 1st paragraphe #23 reminds too much of the argument too oft heard nowadays namely, that the ultimate 20th century victims have turned into vicious murderers. Some anti-Zionist pet Jews are among the most prominent speakers of this trend.
    And this argument is often paired with fallacious, lay psychological over-generalisations about abused abusers.

  27. oao says:

    oao, I wonder if these people like m&w or condi or george stephanopoulos have feelings or opinions of their own.

    yes. they want to be remembered.

    judeophobia coming from a Black, that is, somebody whose people have been victims themselves, would likely have more credibility lying Judeophobically than the same Judeophobic lie coming from a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant

    if it comes from jews, why not from blacks?

    i stand by my argument that these people are ignorant and stupid. nothing more is required to explain their behavior.

  28. Cynic says:

    sshender,
    With regard to your #15 here’s the link

    Another small meditation on antisemitism

    to an Australian, white from all that I can gather and educated and yet he writes:

    What I now want to ask is whether that drive is safe. How do other people respond to finding that large numbers of people in positions of influence in their society are Jewish? I think that to ask the question is to indicate the answer: Lots of people resent having “aliens” telling them what to do and think. And while a significant subset of Jews retain a distinctive identity with distinctive practices Jews WILL be seen as aliens. So should Jews ignore that resentment? Maybe. German Jews once did. But I think it is very unsafe to ignore it. Germany was once the most cultured, enlightened and civilized society on earth with a large Jewish elite and look where it ended up.

    Very mixed up in my thinking and basically as illogical for reasons that Blacks dislike the Jews.
    Why does he not describe non-Jews with distinctive identity with distinctive practices such as Muslims, Chinese, Japanese etc?

    The problem seems to be that they have been very well schooled by the religious fraternity over the decades and all they have sans history and context is stereotypes to play with.

    If one only considers American society one can find Jewish policemen, teachers, waiters, firemen ….

    If he went to Israel he’d even find Jewish dustmen/garbage removal people with skullcaps and white Jews sweeping the streets.
    Circumstances dictate the norms and many of the trades or professions “adopted” by the Jews which with changing realities gave them a foothold on the ladder to success were initially forced on them by their oppressors. Banking for example.

    Now why don’t those victims of society go out and emulate the Jews, learn from them? It seems from what I have been able to gather that most Jews in the States would have been only too happy to have “taught them to fish”.
    But we see in the Afro-American population a backlash from peers against those who try to succeed at school being classified in derogatory tones analogous to “Uncle Toms” – just ask Bill Cosby.

    A lot of envy can be explained by laziness and this I witnessed by a typical government employee criticizing in this case Portuguese, who fled the revolts in Angola and Mozambique and who laboured 15 and 16 hours a day 7 days a week building a successful vegetable shop or cafe, when they bought their brand new car.
    How dare they have a car, those aliens, when the nationalist who needed three other people to help change light bulbs only worked 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and couldn’t afford one.

    Scapegoating is the lazy way of explaining away one’s ill fortune.

  29. Cynic says:

    I don’t know how many know that workers from Thailand go to Israel to work in the labour intensive side of agriculture. During the hottest 4 hours of their work day, in air-condition rooms they are given quality instruction in irrigation and other agricultural techniques using computers.
    They receive this training in stark contrast to work conditions of migrant labourers in other countries.
    I wonder what their comments are about the Jews when they return home?

  30. Cynic says:

    WRT #29

    Read the blogger’s reply to a comment.

    Comments

  31. Eliyahu says:

    EG #27, I don’t think that you necessarily disagree with those words of mine quoted by oao in his #23. The argument that the ultimate victims became victimizers, presto changeo, abracadabra, is an argument that was carefully worked out many years ago by Western psywar experts, in my opinion, especially British.

    Now here I agree with both Ray and oao. If people are knowledgeable about Middle Eastern history, about the dhimmi status of Jews and Christians and others in Islamic society, then it would be harder to convince them that this nasty argument is true [that the ever innocent Arabs are victimized by evil Jews whose evil has no comprehensible motive]. That agrees with oao. On the other hand, Ray claimed that certain false beliefs get very deeply ingrained and facts can’t change the belief, even among intelligent people. I think that both phenomena work. That is, ignorant folks, intelligent or not, can be persuaded by false historical claims. However, once a false belief becomes ingrained –emotionally rooted– then it changes with great difficulty even in an otherwise intelligent person.

    Now I believe that certain Western psywar experts were assigned [either right after the Holocaust or after the independence of Israel] to work out Judeophobic arguments and claims, including the notion of a “palestinian people.”

  32. oao says:

    The problem seems to be that they have been very well schooled by the religious fraternity over the decades and all they have sans history and context is stereotypes to play with.

    so education does have something to do with it, after all.

    But we see in the Afro-American population a backlash from peers against those who try to succeed at school being classified in derogatory tones analogous to “Uncle Toms” – just ask Bill Cosby.

    similar to islam, wouldn’t you say? and just like in islam, where the west has fed them fishes, the US society has fed them fishes. this is being interpreted that they — the eaters of the fish — are right, they deserve it and that it’s the right way to solve their problem.

  33. oao says:

    That is, ignorant folks, intelligent or not, can be persuaded by false historical claims. However, once a false belief becomes ingrained –emotionally rooted– then it changes with great difficulty even in an otherwise intelligent person.

    sure, but that’s why proper education — accurate history and childhood timing — is critical. if you rob a child from education and leave him open to falsehoods and propaganda, don’t be surprised if they have ingrained beliefs that have nothing to do with reality.

  34. oao says:

    i wonder when and how this guy has got his beliefs ingrained:

    Lee Hamilton: Eminence Grise of Obama’s Middle East Policy
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/04/lee_hamilton_eminence_grise_of.html

  35. Rich Rostrom says:

    9 oao: well, after all, [Stephanopoulos] was in the WH, a consultant to the POTUS.

    The Clinton White House – which was riddled with corruption and incompetence.

    26 Eliyahu: Iran was never a European colony

    Iran was never formally acquired by a European power, but then neither were Egypt or China, and both were definitely colonized. Iran was divided into spheres of influnce by Russia and Britain; Britain took control of Iran’s oil fields, and paid Iran what they felt like for the oil.

  36. oao says:

    The Clinton White House – which was riddled with corruption and incompetence.

    yes, but they should have been good with the media. and if GS is not, why was he a consultant?

  37. Eliyahu says:

    Rich R, Persia, China and Egypt are each one distinct cases. Egypt was occupied and controlled and to a great extent governed by the British. Particularly notable was Lord Cromer who was praised by none other than George Antonius as a great benefactor of Egypt because of how he developed the country, set up modern institutions, etc.

    In China, Western powers, Japan, and Russia ruled various parts of the country but never occupied all of it. Shanghai was in part under international or multinational govt. Likewise, in Persia, Brits and Russians had separate spheres of influence but I don’t think that either ever ruled the whole country, individually or together. Basically, the country was under its own govt, although that govt was in turn constrained by the Russians and Brits in areas of policy of interest to those two powers. Imperialism yes, but not the same as occupation or colonization or colonialism. That kind of imperialism still goes on IMHO.

    Iran never was taken out of its Islamic/Shiite Shari`ah framework, even when under Brit/Russ domination.

  38. Eliyahu says:

    george antonius is touted as a great Arab nationalist blah blah. He was actually a great admirer of the British and at one time in his life considered himself Brit rather than Arab. He was received with respect in the home of the leader of the British Imperial League. His Arab nationalism might even be considered a part of his service to the British Empire

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2006/06/george-antonius-arab-nationalist-as.html

  39. Eliyahu says:

    george stephie now supposedly works for abc. Ten years ago he was working for the Clinton White House as a flack hack. Now he’s a journalist which is pretty much the same thing. It appears that GS is still working for the White House, although Obama is prez and hilary clinton is only sec’y of state. There really is a shameful apparent conflict of interest here that the MSM shows little interest in exploring or criticizing.

    Speaking of The Apostle of Hope&Change, he seems to do something every few weeks or at least once a month that amazes people on account of its bizarreness or foolishness or stupidity or whatever. And I know that I’m not the only one to think so. A month ago or so, he bowed down to the King of Saudi Arabia, where slavery still exists in practice if not in law [outlawed in 1962]. The other day he said that he was not going to order closing the border crossings with Mexico because of the flu emergency. He made the flippant remark that it would be like locking the barn door after the horses had escaped. I’m not a public health expert but this remark is bizarre. It’s not that horses have escaped or been stolen but that possibly infected people are coming in. The more infected people come in the more likely it is that they will infect people in the country that they are coming into. Can some physician or public health expert explain why obama’s decision was right??

  40. oao says:

    i said more than once that all his talents lie with talking to an ignorant and gullible audience. other than that he is utterly clueless. even when he prepared what he wants to say he needs a teleprompter. he knows very little and comprehends even less.

    america will learn the hard way that the presidency should not be filled via affirmative action. it got what it deserves.

  41. Eliyahu says:

    re my # 40
    I forgot to mention the case of the low-flying presidential airplane over Lower Manhattan. I am willing to assume that the original idea was not the Apostle’s but came from one of his hyperactive PR flacks. Supposedly a photo or film of Air Force One flying low over Manhattan would be a great pix. Indeed. It also panicked the New Yorkers for understandable reasons. Maybe the Messenger didn’t know about it at all –but I think that he probably had to approve such use of that plane.

    The Apostle and his gang of bizarre whackos [and I include the repulsive Rahm Emanuel] would be a hilarious show — if they did not control such immense military, political and economic power.

    Maybe there are two main groups in the obama administration: 1) the young silly whackos around Obama in the White House [Geithner, Rahm E, etc]; & 2) the old starched shirt white men who guide or presume to guide foreign policy. These guys are scary too, like General Jones, Lee Hamilton, Dennis Blair [who wanted to appoint Chaz Freeman], zbig brzezinski, etc. These guys are scary too. Remember that they brought us Khomeini and fostered the Lebanese civil war, etc. See link:

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2009/04/obamas-mom-geithnerss-dad-and-durban-ii.html

  42. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    I believe the exercise cost well over $300 thousand.

    Here’s a response of fauxtoshopped pics
    Fun With Air Force One

  43. oao says:

    I believe the exercise cost well over $300 thousand

    no price is too much for the glorification of alibama. particularly since it’s public money. what do 300K mean relative to the trillions being wasted on leftization of america?

    eliyahu’s analysis of the coterie is correct. it is scary. but then, america is on its way out anyway, and their sitting in the WH is both a result and a cause for this.

  44. Eliyahu says:

    Friday morning I met by chance here in Jerusalem a young woman from NYC who knows RL [she sends greetings to you, RL] whom I had met under RL’s auspices a few years ago.

    She conveyed that she was not too happy about the Messenger. I asked her how she felt about the “low-flying plane” that swept over Lower Manhattan. She was quite concerned about why the mayor was not informed, about why high police officials were informed but were told not to tell the mayor, about the reason for the secrecy about something which could only panic people in NYC, which should have been foreseen. She wonders if there was some other reason for the flight. Didn’t the White House geniuses realize that such a flight might feed suspicions and even conspiracy theories??

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