April 8, 2011

It’s interesting that historian Robert Manne should liken the Islamophobic racist Greg Sheridan to Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher and his Der Stürmer hate newspaper of the Nazi era. Contrary to the opinion of Gerard Henderson of the right-wing Sydney Institute who thinks such comparisons to Nazi propaganda are inappropriate, considering the circumstances of today’s modern Islamophobic and racist propaganda, such comparisons are very much appropriate. Whereas Streicher’s paper specialised in demonising Jews, Greg Sheridan and Andrew Bolt, as well as others, specialise in demonising both Aboriginal people and Islam in their respective newspapers, The Australian and the Herald Sun – both of which happen to be owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Julius Streicher was a low-life Nazi Jew-hater whose diatribes about Jews were often so disgusting they even offended fellow Nazis. Streicher was eventually hung at Nuremberg after being found guilty of crimes against humanity. But, it seems, extreme right-wing racists have not learnt from the lessons of the Nazi era. Again, racists are using newspapers to spread hatred and fear. And now it’s not just newspapers that are being used; Andrew Bolt has just been given a Sunday morning time slot on Australian Channel Ten TV.

Like Streicher, Andrew Bolt is a low-life Muslim and Aborigine hater whose diatribes about Aborigines and Muslims as well as other non-white Australians generally are also offensive even to other right-wing Australians. Greg Sheridan has come out with his racist agenda and has now also placed himself in the ranks of low-life Muslim haters when he wrote his lengthy diatribe last Saturday in The Australian.

Like the era of anti-Semitism during the last century, so Islamophobia and racism against non-whites is a threat to the future of the world. If the racist and Islamophobic hatreds peddled by the likes of Sheridan and Bolt are not stopped then the world has no more to look forward to than it did in those dark days that culminated in the deaths of millions in the middle of the last century.

These people are using the rhetoric of ‘the right to free speech’ to deprive people of their freedoms and rights – just as the likes of Julius Streicher did back in the 1930s.


April 5, 2011

In a lengthy article last Saturday in The Australian titled ‘How I lost faith in multiculturalism’, Greg Sheridan finally showed himself to be the racist that we always knew he was. Of course, having ranted against Islam in the past, usually when discussing the war against terrorism, we already knew that he was a racist. But in those circumstances he usually denied being racist by saying that his rants were directed against extremist Muslim, not moderate Islam. But now he has finally come out against Islam generally thus displaying his true racist credentials.

At one point in his article Sheridan relates how he witnessed a white Australian women being verbally abused and then spat on. He explains that the men who abused this woman were of ‘Middle Eastern appearance’ inferring that because they were Middle Eastern they must have been Muslims and so, therefore, were behaving offensively because they were Muslims. As historian Robert Manne pointed out in response to Sheridan’s hate piece, if Sheridan had replaced the words ‘…of Middle Eastern appearance’ with ‘…of Jewish appearance’ then one would have a quote worthy of something that may have been found in Julius Streicher’s Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer.  

With this disclosure of his racist attributes, Sheridan now joins the ranks of those other leading Murdoch racists; Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun in Melbourne, and Tim Blair and Piers Akerman of the Daily Telegraph in Sydney.

Andrew Bolt, Australia’s premier racist, couldn’t help himself but pass comment over Sheridan’s racist rant and Manne’s response. Bolt called on Manne, who also happens to be Jewish and who is also Bolt’s arch nemesis, to apologise to Sheridan saying Manne ‘demeans’ both Sheridan and the Holocaust. As it happens, while Sheridan deserves to be ‘demeaned’ on the basis of his declaration of being a racist, Manne actually didn’t mention the Holocaust.

In the course of his racist rant, Sheridan mentioned that many of the Right wing parties in Europe that were now anti-Islam had in the past been anti-Semitic but have now changed their stance. He says, for example, the French National Front party had “recently ditched the anti-Semitism and now stands primarily against Muslim immigration and Islamic influence”. The reality is that many of those white European Australians that are now opposed to Islam were once also anti-Semitic themselves like their peers in England. One wonders if the likes of Murdoch’s journos in Australia weren’t once amongst them.

Like in Orwell’s 1984, for the likes of Bolt, Sheridan, Blair, Akerman, et al, they occasionally need to change their enemy but they always must have an enemy. The right-wing in the post war years still hated Jews even in Australia but, like leopards, they can never change their spots but the can attempt to hide them.

Once a racist, always a racist.


April 3, 2011

Richard Goldstone, author of the 500 page plus Goldstone Report into the Israeli onslaught against the Gazan people in ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2008/2009 has done a complete back flip of his findings as presented in his report.

In an op-ed that appeared in Friday 1 April edition of the Washington Post, Goldstone tells readers that he has changed his mind completely about the culpability of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in relation to war crimes the Goldstone Report had accused them of during Operation Cast Lead. He claims that, had he known what he knows now, he would not have made any such accusations against the IDF. It seems, however, that the knowledge he now has which has caused him to change his mind is the reports of the various investigations into Operation Cast Lead that were carried out by the Israelis.

The question now is; to what extent can the findings of a government and its various institutions investigating itself be trusted when it comes to making decisions about whether that government and its institutions have committed war crimes. Certainly, it would seem obvious, especially with a nation like Zionist Israel that has a history of not being able to be honest, that the credibility of any findings its commissions of inquiry come up with are likely to be highly suspect.

So, one needs to ask, why has Goldstone done this complete about face?

The tone of his op-ed is a clue. It is no longer neutral as one might expect of a retired senior judge. He almost fawns over the new-found epiphany of Israeli self-righteousness during Cast Lead while at the same time blatantly proclaims that Hamas are guilty of war crimes through intent. He does this without even considering the possibility that Israel, who knew that their citizens would be in harms way in the event of another attack in the region close to the Gaza-Israel border, made no attempt to move their citizens out of harms way thus effectively using them as human shields without their permission.

At the time of publishing his report, Goldstone was equally assertive about the guilt of the Israelis yet now we have this complete one-eighty degree turnaround. Why? Why has his turnaround been so drastic? Could it be that he’s been got at? Has he been paid off? I doubt it but who knows. Has he or his family been threatened? This is far more likely; Israel is historically renowned for its assassination of its enemies. Could that extend to those that upset Israel’s ‘reputation’?

I guess we’ll never know but one can rest assured that there is nothing genuine about Goldstone’s turnaround.


April 3, 2011

David Rieff, writing in neocon online mag The New Republic about liberal interventionists and neoconservative interventionists, says:

Both sides think it is America’s duty to reshape the world into a more democratic place.

Well, we all know that neoconservatives think America should be ‘intervening’ anywhere that it feels like if it serves America’s or Israel’s interests. And American liberal interventionists may, indeed, well believe that it is America’s duty to reshape the world into a more ‘democratic’ place, but it certainly is not the case at all for international Leftists, many of who have supported the intervention in Libya but for very different reasons. However, the big difference between the so-called ‘liberal interventionists’ and the neoconservatives compared to the international Left is the fact that the international Left would prefer to see America have nothing at all to do with any ‘intervention’ anywhere.

In cases like Libya, America should leave the ‘intervening’ to the international community. Better still, as far as Libya is concerned, it would have been far better if it had been the Arab community itself that had ‘intervened’.

Libya has two immediate neighbours, Tunisia and Egypt, which have both recently gone down the same path as the Libyan rebels. It’s a pity that the new Egyptian and Tunisian governments didn’t see fit to support the Libyan rebels. Both have the appropriate wherewithal to at least level the playing field in the fight to rid Libya of its fascist dictator and an alliance of Arab nations in this way would also demonstrate to other Arab fascist-led states that such totalitarian behaviour will not be supported by those states that now have power in the hands of their own people.

For the neoconservatives the revolutions in the Arab nations have become a conundrum. Their propaganda in the lead up to the Iraq war was full of jingoistic rhetoric about bringing ‘democracy’ to Iraq so that the rest of the Arab world would be inspired by Iraq’s new-found freedoms. The pursuit of ‘democracy’ became the cornerstone of their rhetoric – and it also became a millstone around their necks as Arabs nations began to move toward their own style of revolution and democracy. As the January 2006 Palestinian National Authority elections demonstrated, the wrong people, at least as far as the neocons were concerned, were being elected into power. But, too late; the neoconservatives had committed themselves to the rhetoric of ‘democracy’ so when the Egyptian rebellion began the neocons had no alternative but to actually support it despite Israel preferring to have seen Hosni Mubarak continue in power. Their only hope now is that the US is able to wield enough influence in Egyptian post-Mubarak political affairs to keep the Muslim Brotherhood from taking Egypt down the path of Islamic governance.

Despite their ongoing rhetoric about wanting to see the downfall of Gaddafi and ‘democracy’ in Libya, the neocons are scared witless over the possibility that Islamic groups will gain political control there as it seems they will eventually in Egypt.

Obama is no less concerned about the possibility of Islamic groups gaining political control in all of the counties that have fallen so far and may well fall in the future but Obama has adopted a ‘softly, softly’ approach to diplomacy with these states that have undergone and are undergoing radical change. The neocons on the other hand, would prefer a much more aggressive approach to the changeover of power in these states in order to ensure that Islamist groups do not gain power.

What all the rebels are seeking, above anything else, is the right to their own self-determination – which may or may not include a secular democracy which the neocons would prefer, or, alternatively, may involve a theocratic Islamic form of government which would be the last things the neocons would want.

Either ways, it’s ultimately up to the people of each of these states. It’s certainly not up to the US nor the neocons.


April 2, 2011

Neocon writer Alana Goodman at Commentary writing about America’s involvement in Libya and its role there seems to think that the US should act unilaterally and affect ‘regime change’.

She writes:

We are already in Libya – so whether or not we should intervene is not up for debate. What should be questioned is whether we need to expand our mission to include regime change. It was a mistake for Obama to rule this option out at the beginning. And based on the situation in Libya right now, the president may end up having to face this very real prospect soon.

The demeanour of statements like this demonstrates perfectly neoconservative arrogance.

First off, ‘we’ – i.e. the US – are not ‘in’ Libya at all, (unless one includes the CIA that we have now been told are in Libya helping the rebels); the US are, or were, simply part of a UN-sanctioned intervention designed to prevent civilians being killed in a civil war.

Goodman uses the word ‘we’ in the context of the US rather than in a context that includes the allies that have undertaken to protect the civilians of Libya, so when she says ‘what should be questioned is whether we need to expand our mission to include regime change’, the ‘we’ she’s referring to is the US, not the UN. This is confirmed by the fact that Goodman goes on to say that it ‘…was a mistake for Obama to rule out this option at the beginning’, as though it was up to Obama to rule in or out when, in fact, it was a UN decision. Indeed, being true to form that the neocons usually are, Goodman doesn’t even mention the UN; she ignores it entirely. Even America’s allies don’t get a mention. They, the UN and America’s allies, might just as well not exist as far as the neocons are concerned.

Welcome to the new blog site for Telling the History of the Twentieth Century as it Really is

March 31, 2011 served its purpose for a good few years but now its having problems which I have not the time or tech ability to deal with. I hope can serve me as well as did!

Please bear with me while I get the hang of the new format.

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