Criminal Neglect by Christian Huckster Jerry Falwell Jr. Leaves Students Infected


Surprise! Nearly a Dozen Liberty U. Students Have Symptoms of COVID-19

By Hemant Mehta

Jerry Falwell, Jr. reopened Liberty University this week despite the obvious risk that posed to students and faculty members. He lied about who defended his decision. And now we’re finding out the consequences of his negligence and recklessness.

According to Dr. Thomas W. Eppes Jr., the doctor in charge of Liberty’s student health service, “nearly a dozen” students have symptoms of COVID-19. And of the 1,900 students said to have returned to campus, more than 800 have returned home… or to off-campus housing, where they are once again in cramped quarters. All of that is a recipe for disaster considering all the traveling and lack of distance those students must have had. The New York Times reports:

“Liberty will be notifying the community as deemed appropriate and required by law,” Mr. Falwell said in an interview on Sunday when confronted with the numbers. He added that any student returning now to campus would be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

“I’m not allowed to talk to you because I’m an employee here,” one student living on campus wrote in an email. But, he pleaded, “we need help to go home.”

The man doesn’t give a damn about his students. It’s a wonder any parent would trust him to educate their kids.

This goes far beyond the typical criticism people have of Liberty, that it’s too political, too right-wing, too controlling. This is just criminal now.

Jerry Falwell Jr. is also a notorious homophobic evangelical right winger. Claims allege he may have been secretly involved with his pool boy Giancarlo Granda and Michael Cohen may have helped cover it up.

Christian activist groups have also demanded a criminal probe of Jerry Falwell Jr. The Liberty University president has ‘hijacked the Gospel’ to enrich himself, Faithful America contends.

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Sweep of arrests hits US neo-Nazi group connected to five murders


Five senior members of Atomwaffen Division charged with federal crimes in recent weeks, including harassing journalists and activists

Jason Wilson @jason_a_w

US attorney Brian Moran stands next to a poster that was mailed earlier in the year to the home of Chris Ingalls, an investigative reporter with KING-TV in Seattle, during a news conference on 26 February. Photograph: Ted S Warren/AP

A sweep of arrests of a neo-Nazi group in the US has dealt a major blow to an organization associated with at least five murders and raised questions as to whether the extreme far-right movement the group is at the center of has been largely undone by pressure from law enforcement, journalists and anti-fascist activists.Five senior members of Atomwaffen Division (AWD) have been charged with federal crimes in the past weeks, including former leaders and a man who was concurrently a member of the similar neo-Nazi terror group the Base. The recent charges involve members in four states in connection with two separate criminal cases.

In Virginia, a Texas man, John Denton, 26, was charged over an alleged “swatting” conspiracy – a practice involving making false reports about a targets address in the hope police will stage an armed raid on the address.

Denton – reported by ProPublica in 2018 as “involved in nearly every aspect of the organization” as its leader – is known inside Atomwaffen by the alias “Rape”. He allegedly coordinated swatting attacks in 2018 and 2019 on journalists, Old Dominion University, and a historically black church.

Four more members were charged with conspiracy to threaten journalists and people associated with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Washington state.

One of those arrested, Taylor Parker-Dipeppe, 20, was a former Florida chapter co-leader under the alias “Azazel”. Recent social media materials given to the Guardian by Australian anti-fascist group the White Rose Society show a muscular, bearded young man with fresh neo-Nazi tattoos.

Two more of those charged lived in Washington. Kaleb Cole, 24, alias “Khimaere”, who was the Washington chapter leader, and Cameron Shea, 24, alias “Krokodil”,have long histories in the neo-Nazi movement.

Cole is described in court documents as a former co-leader of the group. He had guns seized last October under Washington’s so-called “red flag” laws. He and another Washington Atomwaffen member and close associate, Aiden Bruce-Umbaugh, 23, were apprehended in November by Texas police, who found several firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and marijuana in their vehicle.

Bruce-Umbaugh was charged with and pleaded guilty to possessing weapons together with a controlled substance.

Cole visited eastern Europe with Bruce-Umbaugh in 2018, and the two made pilgrimages to sites associated with Nazism, posing for photographs with an Atomwaffen flag at the Auschwitz death camp. In 2019, he was detained for 42 days under Canada’s anti-terror laws and banned from the country.

Shea was described in court documents as a “high-level member and primary recruiter” for the group. Information obtained from confidential sources by the Guardian shows he was also a member of the like-minded group the Base for several months in late 2018.

A fourth arrestee, Johnny Garcia, was known in the movement as “Roman”.

According to court documents, the men allegedly cooperated in specifically targeting journalists with lurid violent threats, bearing slogans like “These people have names and addresses”, and “You have been visited by your local Nazis”. The plan was in response to reports on the group in late 2018 in outlets including the Seattle Times.

The men have been charged with conspiracy, stalking, and postal offenses.

Already, six members of Atomwaffen have been convicted since 2018 on charges including firearms offenses, planning terrorist attacks, hate crimes, and murder.

Not all charged members may stand trial. Devon Arthurs, accused of killing two other members of Atomwaffen, remains involuntarily in Florida state hospital. Nicholas Giampa, accused of killing his former girlfriend’s parents, has yet to stand trial. Initially he was unable to stand trial because of the effects of a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Atomwaffen was the first of a number of Neo-Nazi groups which emerged from 2015 and later that embraced a so-called “accelerationist” ideology, which preaches that western society is corrupt and violent acts sowing chaos will speed up its downfall and allow a white supremacist state to be built in its place.

They drew increasingly on the writings of the American neo-Nazi James Mason. Mason prescribed violent terrorism and a leaderless cellular structure, and praised the convicted murderer Charles Manson.

Mason became an advisor to Atomwaffen, and has appeared in propaganda videos made by the group.

Accelerationist groups also embraced a distinctive aesthetic which took in half-balaclava skull masks, bold and gruesome graphic design, and slickly edited propaganda videos, frequently depicting armed training camps.

All of those groups have now been subjected to significant legal consequences after their activities, their internal communications, and their identities were repeatedly exposed by antifascist researchers and investigative journalists.

The FBI appeared to be accelerating its efforts to crack down on the groups even before director Christopher Wray defined white supremacist extremists as a “national threat priority” which was “on the same footing” as Isis in early February. There have been at least 13 arrests of members of such groups since last October.

The better part of Atomwaffen’s leadership structure is now awaiting trial. Eight members of the Base have been arrested, and the identity of their leader exposed. Smaller groups, like Feuerkrieg Division, have now publicly called a halt to recruiting.

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The Right-Wing Intellectual Abyss


The Right-Wing Intellectual Abyss

by Adam Lee

How do you reach someone who’s cocooned themselves in a reality of their own making? That’s the dilemma raised by this Washington Post profile of Christopher Blair, a liberal writer from Maine, who runs a clickbait satire site called America’s Last Line of Defense that he dreamed up during the 2016 election:

In the last two years on his page, America’s Last Line of Defense, Blair had made up stories about California instituting sharia, former president Bill Clinton becoming a serial killer, undocumented immigrants defacing Mount Rushmore, and former president Barack Obama dodging the Vietnam draft when he was 9.

When Blair created the site, he intended it as a wakeup call for conservatives. His plan was to publish hoax stories that appealed to the right wing but were obviously false. When uncritical Republicans shared them without fact-checking, he’d reveal how he had deceived them, whereupon they’d be ashamed and learn to exercise critical thinking next time instead of blindly believing whatever they were told.

At least, that was the plan, but it didn’t work that way. Blair found, to his mounting amazement and horror, that he couldn’t invent a story so stupid that Republicans wouldn’t believe it. No matter how over-the-top ridiculous it was, no matter how riddled with basic factual errors (like identifying a photo of Hope Hicks as Hillary Clinton), even if it was covered with disclaimers that everything on the site was satire, they just kept mashing the like and share buttons. If it was in accord with what they wanted to be true, they believed it without question. Even when he posted prominent confessions that these stories were made up, the conservatives who believed them in the first place kept coming back. Often, they dismissed the retractions as liberal hoaxes.

“No matter how racist, how bigoted, how offensive, how obviously fake we get, people keep coming back,” Blair once wrote, on his own personal Facebook page. “Where is the edge? Is there ever a point where people realize they’re being fed garbage and decide to return to reality?”

It’s fair to say that Blair deserves some of the blame for America’s national crisis. He’s feeding the monster he fears! It’s possible that he started the site with noble intentions, but he’s well past the point where he should have realized it wasn’t going to achieve what he set out to achieve.

There doesn’t seem to be any reason to keep it running now, except money. The Post article mentioned that he can make $15,000 from advertising in a good month. As many grifters and con artists have discovered, the American right – rich, angry, and easily led by the nose – is fertile ground for exploitation. Once you’ve got that income streaming in, it’s tough to walk away. (America’s Last Line of Defense was blank when I checked while writing this post, so it’s possible that his conscience has gotten to him and he’s shuttered the site.)

However, for me personally, I find I can’t muster much anger. If he deserves any of the blame, it’s only a very small portion of it. Blair didn’t cause the right’s slide into the intellectual abyss; arguably, he didn’t even accelerate it. All he’s doing is capitalizing on a trend that’s been growing for generations. If someone is going to make money off conservative gullibility, I’d prefer it be liberals. Besides, America’s Last Line of Defense is indistinguishable from countless right-wing sites that spread the same misinformation and conspiracy theories in all sincerity. Even if it’s closed for good, others will move into the same niche. The real problem isn’t the scam artists who peddle lies and deceit, but the legions of conservatives who are eager to be deceived.

The conspiracies they’ve come up with on their own are far wilder than anything liberals could have invented: like the bizarre far-right fantasy QAnon, which claims that Robert Mueller is secretly working with Trump to reveal an international child-sex-trafficking ring that also stages mass shootings as false-flag attacks, and that all this is revealed to true believers through coded messages in tweets and anonymous posts on 4chan.

There’s also the Iraqi dinar scam, where true believers buy wads of the near-worthless currency in the belief that it will magically “revalue”, so an investment of thousands will become millions overnight. This scam has circulated for years, but it’s gained prominence under Trump as conservatives swap rumors that he’s invested in dinars himself or that he’s about to do something to make the revaluation happen.

Of course, many countries have redenominated their currency in response to high inflation, but that just means the central bank issues new bills that are officially worth several thousand or million of the old bills. It doesn’t change the value of the currency that already exists. The dinar scam isn’t just unsupported by evidence, it flies in the face of economic reality.

The question is what we, who acknowledge the value of reason and evidence, can do about this. As Thomas Paine said, to argue with a person who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead. Is there any hope for America when half the country has abandoned facts and evidence and is hungry for any and all lies that justify their xenophobic rage?

I can think of one answer, admittedly Machiavellian: perhaps we can exploit the inherent unpredictability of conspiracy thinking to turn right-wingers against each other. If we can’t slow down their runaway train, maybe the best option is to stomp on the gas and accelerate until the machine redlines and shakes itself apart.

What if we had more conspiracy sites that accused prominent Republicans of being secret Muslims conspiring to impose sharia law, or secret atheists conspiring to ban Christianity, or secret Democrats conspiring to provide affordable health care? What if we wrote that the NRA had been infiltrated by gun-control advocates plotting mass firearm confiscation, or that the leadership of racist alt-right groups was secretly in cahoots with Black Lives Matter, or that George Soros had bought Fox News and was salting their broadcasts with misinformation? What if we asserted that the deep state had a pod-person duplicate of Donald Trump who was calling the shots in the White House, and the real Trump had been spirited away to a remote bunker where he was directing the resistance through coded random-number strings posted on obscure message boards?

These would all be easily disprovable absurdities with no basis in fact (and if I were writing a site like this, I’d be sure to include some egregious factual errors in every story as a tipoff for anyone who’s paying attention). It would never work on anyone who had even a modest capacity for critical thinking. But for the legions of Republicans who’ve deliberately blinded themselves to every way to tell truth apart from falsehood, it might work to confuse, demoralize and destabilize them. It would channel their rage into a self-consuming whirlpool, instead of a destructive current.

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Far Right, Theocratic Fascism | Reclaim Australia Dominated by a Christian Cult Leader


Reclaim Australia Dominated by a Christian Cult Leader

brothernalliahd

Many may be surprised to find out that fervent nationalist group Reclaim Australia is driven primarily by a religious cult, Catch the Fire Ministries, and its political arm, Rise Up Australia. And the group wanting to “Keep Australia Australian” is headed by a Sri Lankan evangelist, Daniel Nallian, who moved to Australia in 1997.

Stating this fact by no means implies recent immigrants can’t have legitimate views about traditional Australian values, and multi-culturalism, (of course they can and do), but this challenges the common perception of Reclaim Australia as an extreme racist movement. Whilst convenient to the apologists of Islam to label them this way, the strange evangelical focus and multicultural nature of half its members provides a different narrative, albeit not one which is necessarily more conducive for an intelligent discussion regarding the perceived clash of Islamic and Western values.

According to “Evangelist Daniel’s” bio, Hillsong founder, Frank Houston, unsuccessfully “prophesied” over him in Sri Lanka, prior to his conversion by a member of his rock band. The Assembly of God evangelist claims that Jesus has saved his life multiple times.

Three months after experiencing salvation he came across his first trial during the communal violence in Sri Lanka when he was confronted with a mob who wanted to kill his parents. But praise God, his prayer as a new Christian was answered when the mob left without touching anyone. That day he said, “Lord, I will serve you as long as I have breath”.

Daniel Nalliah moved to Saudi Arabia to attempt to convert Muslims to Christianity, and was miraculously saved by Jesus again.

Pastor Daniel and his family were most miraculously saved from death and torture twice. He says, “If not for Jesus being alive, we would not be alive”! His testimony has touched the hearts of many all over the world.

Well, it’s good to have Jesus on your side.

The President of Rise Up Australia also believes Jesus communicates with him personally, and has ordained him with a special mission from God.

 While in Saudi Arabia, following an encounter he had with Jesus on 21st July 1997 (from 3.40am to 6.00am), in obedience to this, he decided to move to Australia and set up a base known as Catch The Fire Ministries Inc.

Then, Jesus appeared to Daniel again.

Dear Family in Christ,

On April 9, 2000 at 5:00am while in Ethiopia the Lord Jesus Christ woke me from sleep and spoke about Australia. He very clearly told me, Son, if my people will rise up and be proactive, they will stop the disaster which is coming on the land. But if my people sit back, relax and be reactive they will pay a heavy price to take back their land spiritually. He then spoke to me through (The Bible) 2 Chr. 7:14 and said, Gather my people across the land together and tell them to humble themselves, repent, pray and seek my face in one accord, then I will heal their land. This was the start of RISE UP AUSTRALIA prayer meetings.

There’s nothing like an argument from authority. Besides the obvious charlatanism these comments indicate a providential connection with “the land” which only aboriginal Australians lay claim to. One suspects the nationalism espoused by this particular Sri Lankan born follower of Jesus is subsumed by a larger cause.

Daniel Nalliah has claimed the Black Saturday bushfires were the result of the Victorian Government decriminalising abortion. The Queensland floods were due to Kevin Rudd speaking against Israel. He ran for a Senate seat for Family First party and disseminated brochures asking people to pray for God to pull down “Satan’s strongholds” which included bottle shops, gambling houses, brothels, mosques, and Buddhist and Hindu temples.

Reclaim Australian oppose multiculturalism, not multi-ethnicity. They oppose the melting pot of various cultures, insisting we enforce puritan Christian values on the whole society. Opposing Islam, abortion, gay marriage, promiscuity, pornography, and seeking Judeo-Christian focussed education, and other values of the religious right.

Unfortunately, this group adds nothing to debate on Islam, and the appropriate government response to jihadism.

Opposing Islamism with equally extreme ideas only adds height to the walls shielding Islam from appropriate examination. The core beliefs in jihad, martyrdom, the dar al-Harb, subjugation of women, and enforced religious belief underpin the ideologies of terrorist groups. The religion provides the ideology, and social network, to sustain the hatred, warmongering and predisposition towards violence which disenfranchised young men find so attractive.

Reclaim Australia provides succour to liberals whose knee-jerk response to any criticism of Islam is to brand it racism. Note the following in an otherwise well written expose by Jeff Sparrow:

 Let’s leave aside the question of how you can be “against Islam” without “targeting Muslims” (rather like being against Judaism without targeting Jews, one would have thought).

Many people say bad things about Christianity without facing accusations of “targeting” white Christians. Could we be against Nazism in the 1930’s without “targeting Germans”? Conflating the race of Jews and cultural traditions of Muslims provides a shield of political correctness.

Although, Sparrow’s remark paled in comparison to the apologetics of Anne Aly, who views criticism of Islam as the same thing as criticism of Muslims, at the hands of “bigots” and “racists.” Way to give your culture a free pass.

Applying the “racist” label too often shuts down debate, and censures the freedom to discuss the very ideas central to the conflict. Accusations of “racism” are too easy, and too convenient, a blunt instrument used to disarm opposing arguments. They also divert attention away from what appears to be significant motives within groups like Reclaim Australia, which is the debate about religious values, and the culture wars.

Reclaim Australia consists of a front for evangelical Christians. Those goose-stepping for God, combining religious zeal with associating with hate groups, are only reclaiming an historical bigotry. Australia was once a Christian country but never the sort of hollering, miracle worshipping, tele-evangelistic freak show that the backers of Reclaim Australia imagine.

This isn’t our country they are reclaiming. We should disavow their ideas, but for the right reasons. Opposing one totalitarianism with another misses the point altogether, providing a contradictory argument which undermines the Secular argument, the argument for tolerance and pluralism, freedom of speech, and religious freedom without religious coercion, within the framework of an agreed set of human rights and values.

Is it the Left that fails to oppose Islamism, or Rightwing Imperialists?


Ronald Reagan Taliban234
Is it the Left that fails to oppose Islamism, or Rightwing Imperialists?

It is commonly asserted that Leftists· refuse to criticise Islam (or theocratic Islam).[1] There are variations on this trope: some claim that Leftists refuse to criticise Islam due to a gratuitous sense of political-correctness;[2] some claim that Leftists are blind to the problems inherent within Islam;[3] and some claim that Leftists are actively supporting theocratic or militant Islam through some kind of insidious political collaboration.[4]

An examination of the relationship between the Right, the Left, and Islamism over the last half-century renders this narrative trivial at best, and deceitful at worst.

The Left and Islamism

It could be granted that due to the post-911 wave of hysterical anti-Muslim bigotry from Social-Conservatives throughout the West, many Leftists have found it difficult to navigate the line between valid criticism of Muslims and anti-Muslim bigotry; in consequence, arguably, many Leftists have been hesitant to condemn the views and behaviour of conservative and theocratic Muslims, for fear of also validating this xenophobia and bigotry.[5]

Ostensibly, however, this situation is extremely recent; over the course of the preceding half-century, the Left (and Left-influenced groups and regimes) actually consistently opposed and battled with militant and theocratic Islamic movements; here are some examples:
· The ʿArab-Socialist regime of Nasser (r. 1956-1970)—despite appealing to Egypt’s Islamic heritage on occasion—outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood movement in 1954 and suppressed the organisation henceforth.[6]
· Following the 1964 Revolution in Sudan, the popularity of the Communist Party—a progressive organisation which had promoted women’s rights over the prior decades,[7] etc.—prompted their Islamist opponents to launch a campaign of violence against the Sudanese Left.[8] Several years later (in 1969), another Leftist coup d’état attempted to reverse the conservative-Islamisation of Sudan and return the country towards socially-progressive socialism.[9]
· The Islamic-Socialist regime of Gaddafi in Libya (r. 1969-2011)—despite appealing to Islamic Tradition in their syncretic Socialist ideology—repressed and imprisoned Islamists.[10]
· The Socialist government of Afghanistan—which gained power in a bloody 1978 coup d’état and continued the modernisation attempts of the prior regime, including the introduction of women’s rights—repressed Islamists and fought against the theocratic Muslim ‘strugglers’ (mujāhidūn) of the region during the 1980s.[11]
· Following the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the emerging Islamist regime of Khumaini was threatened by the secular and progressive Left, which was brutally repressed through mass-executions;[12] in 1983, the Communist Party of Iran was officially outlawed.[13]
· In Lebanon, the Communist Party was perceived as a serious threat by Islamists, who perpetrated numerous mass-killings against their leftwing foes during the 1980s; in 1987, Twelver-Shiʿi clerics in Nabatiye issued fatāwā ordering their followers to kill all Communists in the region.[14]
· At present, one of the most notable groups militarily-resisting I.S.I.S in the Middle East is the socialist Kurdistan Workers’ Party.[15]
A pattern seems to emerge from this history – over the last half-century, the progressive Left (including syncretic quasi-leftwing regimes) has consistently opposed and fought theocratic and militant Islamic movements throughout the Muslim world.

The Right and Islamism
In stark juxtaposition to this recurring Leftist legacy of struggle, the imperialistic Right—particularly the U.S.A and the U.K—consistently supported militant and theocratic Islamic movements and regimes (diplomatically, logistically, and financially) throughout the last half-century, usually against the Left and secular-nationalism; here are some examples:
· 1953 – The C.I.A of the Republican Eisenhower administration attempted to collaborate with the theocratic ayatollah Kashani (an inspiration to Khumaini[16]) to overthrow the irreligious, secular-nationalist Prime Minister of Iran, Muhammad Musaddiq.[17][18]
· 1957 – In order to counter and undermine secular-nationalism and socialism in the Middle East, the Republican Eisenhower administration attempted to style King Saud as the ‘Islamic Pope’.[19] Saudi Arabia is one of the most theocratic Islamic states in history, and despite some occasional disagreements and tension, the U.S.A strongly supported Saudi Arabia from WW2 onwards.[20]
· 1965-1966 – The Democratic Johnson administration of the U.S.A—as well as the Liberal Menzies administration of Australia and the Labour Harold administration of the U.K—supported the coup d’état of Suharto and his conservative-Islamist alliance in Indonesia, which entailed the mass-killing of up to a million leftists, workers, peasants, students, and others by the Indonesian military and their militant Islamist allies;[21][22] the C.I.A. even advised these Muslim executioners to identify atheists and Communists as ‘unbelievers’ (kāfirūn), whose deaths were necessary to religiously purify Indonesia.[23]
· 1970 – The Conservative Heath administration of the U.K attempted to undermine the Marxist rebellion ongoing in Oman by spreading religious Islamic propaganda and air-dropping leaflets with slogans such as: “The Hand of God Destroys Communism.”[24]
· 1970-1981 – Successive Republican and Democratic administrations of the U.S.A (from Nixon to Reagan) heavily supported the Islamist regime of Sadat in Egypt, which introduced Islamic Law (s̠arīʿah) into Egyptian state law and the national constitution[25] and encouraged Islamist groups (such as the Muslim Brotherhood) vis-à-vis the secular-nationalism and socialism predominating in the country.[26]
· 1977-1988 – The Pakistani general Muhammad Ziyaʾ al-Haqq—an emphatically pious Muslim—seized power in a coups d’état and undertook a policy of conservative-Islamisation in Pakistan, including the implementation of Islamic Law (s̠arīʿah);[27] he was extensively and enthusiastically supported by U.S-Republican Reagan[28] and British-Conservative Thatcher.[29]
· 1980s – The Republican Reagan administration of the U.S.A and the Conservative Thatcher administration of the U.K both heavily-supported the mujāhidūn (including proto-Qaʿidah) in Afghanistan against the secular, progressive, socialist government. [30] [31] [32]
· 1988-1992 – The Likud administration of Israel enabled and supported the rise of Hamas vis-à-vis the hitherto-dominant secular and leftwing Palestinian groups.[33][34][35]
From all of this history, an inverse pattern seems to emerge vis-à-vis the leftwing legacy described previously – over the course of the last half-century, the Right—and especially, socially-conservative governments in the U.S.A and the U.K—has consistently supported and collaborated with theocratic and militant Islamic movements and regimes throughout the Muslim world, usually against the progressive and secular Left.

Analysis: Imperialism & Media
This set of facts raises two obvious questions. Firstly: why does the Right consistently support theocratic Islamism, and the Left consistently fight it? No simple answer will suffice to account for either, but the following quote from Chomsky provides some insight:
“The U.S. has always supported the most extreme fundamentalist Islamic movements and still does. The oldest and most valued ally of the U.S. in the Arab world is Saudi Arabia, which is also the most extremist fundamentalist state. By comparison, Iran looks like a free democratic society – but Saudi Arabia was doing its job. The enemy for most of this period has been secular nationalism. U.S.-Israeli relations, for example, really firmed up in 1967 when Israel performed a real service for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Namely, it smashed the main center of secular nationalism, (Gamal Abdul) Nasser’s Egypt, which was considered a threat and more or less at war with Saudi Arabia at the time. It was threatening to use the huge resources of the region for the benefit of the population of the countries of the region, and not to fill the pockets of some rich tyrant while vast profits flowed to Western corporations.”[36]
Secondly: why isn’t this reality reflected within the popular media discourse? Once again, a quotation from Chomsky sheds some light on the subject:
“In short, major media—particularly, the elite media that set the agenda that others generally follow—are corporations “selling” privileged audiences to other businesses. It would hardly come as a surprise if the picture of the world they present were to reflect the perspectives and interests of the sellers, the buyers, and the product. Concentration of ownership of the media is high and increasing. Furthermore, those who occupy managerial positions in the media, or gain status within them as commentators, belong to the same privileged elites, and might be expected to share the perceptions, aspirations, and attitudes of their associates, reflecting their own class interests as well. Journalists entering the system are unlikely to make their way unless they conform to these ideological pressures, generally by internalizing the values; it is not easy to say one thing and believe another, and those who fail to conform will tend to be weeded out by familiar mechanisms.”[37]
For an institutional analysis of the media and the various pressures which distort information, see: Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (New York, U.S.A: Pantheon Books, 1988).

Conclusion
The popular narrative that Leftists shy away from criticising Islam or Islamism, or that the Left actively conspires with ‘Islamism’, is superficial – since WW2, leftwing movements and governments—including quasi-leftist regimes—have consistently opposed militant and theocratic Islamism. By contrast, imperialistic rightwing governments in the West—particularly the U.S.A and the U.K—have a long and sordid history of supporting some of the worst theocratic and militant Islamic movements and regimes in recent history.
· Meaning: Marxists, Socialists, Anarchists, Communists, etc. ‘Liberalism’ is a pro-capitalist ideology, and therefore on the ‘right wing’ of the economic spectrum; the ‘left wing’, by contrast, is anti-capitalism. Consequently, the common conflation of ‘Liberals’ and ‘Leftists’ (as if the two terms were synonyms) demonstrates a confusion in the claims of those articulating the narrative under consideration; this is exemplified in the following article: Nick Cohen, ‘The Great Betrayal: How Liberals Appease Islam’, Standpoint (January/February, 2015): http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/5886/full

[1] For example: Rick Santorum—in a 2007 speech at the University of Oklahoma—claimed: “I will tell you, I am absolutely perplexed that the radical Left in this country—or even the mainstream Left in this country—does not join in opposing the ideology that we confront: radical Islamists.”

[2] Thus, for example, Harris claims that “the political correctness of the Left has made it taboo to even notice the menace of political Islam, leaving only right-wing fanatics to do the job.”

[3] For example: George Jochnowitz, The Blessed Human Race: Essays on Reconsideration (Lanham, U.S.A: Hamilton Books, 2007), p.35: “Leftist writers now feel free to attack Stalin and Mao, and maybe even Castro, but they remain blind to the excesses of Islamic regimes.”

[4] Notably suggested in Unholy Alliance (2004) by Horowitz and The Grand Jihad (2010) by McCarthy; this is also approximately the thesis of John Miller, Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist Left (London, U.K: One Law for All, 2013), which purports to identity a concerted efforts amongst some British-Leftists to support or defend militant and theocratic Islamism, which is allegedly viewed by some as a legitimate “anti-imperialist force”; these same Leftists also allegedly defend Islam in general—which they hold to be “an oppressed religion”—by means of vilification and false accusations of “racism” and “Islamophobia” (Miller, p.6). Although Miller sometimes relies upon insinuation and inference (e.g., the insinuation of perfidy on the part of German for saying “not condone” instead of “condemn”, and their not explicitly citing Washington and Pennsylvania; Miller, p.7), there are three passable examples of this approximate phenomenon chronicled within his report. Firstly: according to an article written by Tina Becker at Weekly Worker, the leadership of the ‘Stop the War Coalition’—whilst condemning Western imperialism and terrorism—declined to condemn ‘the terrorist attacks on the USA, opposition to the Taliban, for democracy and secularism everywhere’, to maximise their support-base. (Miller, pp.7-8; Miller incorrectly attributes the view of Hoskisson to the StWC at large, however; cf. http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/406/building-for-november-18/) The StWC also collaborated with the Muslim Association of Britain, an organisation with some dubious affiliations such as Qaraḍāwī (Miller, pp.8-24.) Secondly: the largely StWC-derived ‘Respect Party’—co-founded in 2004 by George Galloway—has connections to Islamist individuals, groups, and governments (Miller, pp.25-46). Thirdly: the leadership of the ‘Unite against Fascism’ coalition—founded in 2003 and dominated by the Socialist Workers’ Party—has collaborated with Islamist individuals, groups, and governments (Miller, pp.46-56). Vis-à-vis the grand narrative of Leftist betrayal, however, these three examples seem meagre and sporadic.

[5] Thus, Miller’s claim (p.6) that some Leftists consider Islam to be “an oppressed religion.”

[6] Ray Takeyh & Nikolas K. Gvosdev—The Receding Shadow of the Prophet: The Rise and Fall of Radical Political Islam (Westport, U.S.A: Praeger Publishers, 2004), pp.60-61—note that despite their participation in the 1952 Revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed by Nasser in 1954, given the conflict of their Islamic ideology with Nasser’s ʿArab-Socialism (Nasser also conflicted with proper Communists). In 1965, a mass wave of arrests saw the imprisonment of many seminal Islamist theoreticians, and in 1966 the state executed Saʿīd Quṭb, Muḥammad Yūsuf Awas̠, and ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Ismāʿīl. Despite this, Nasser still drew upon Egypt’s Islamic heritage in order to appeal to conservative Muslims. However, Islam was only really referenced as a facilitating-factor for ʿArab history and civilisation.

[7] Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, ‘Human Rights: Sudan’, in E.W.I.C, V.2, p.278: “Historically, the struggle for Sudanese women’s rights was part of the larger nationalist movement. The first organized group of women, the Sudanese Women’s Union, was formed in 1946 as part of the Sudanese Communist Party. After independence, through the 1950s and 1960s, the Women’s Union published its Ṣawt al-marʾa (Woman’s voice) in which numerous issues relating to the political and social status of women were raised, such as polygamy, divorce reform, and female circumcision. Suffrage was extended to women, not at the time of independence, but after the 1964 popular revolution against the Abboud military government, when women openly and enthusiastically demonstrated for popular democracy. Fāṭima Aḥmad Ibrāhīm, a founder of the Women’s Union, was the first woman elected to parliament in 1965. The Women’s Union was also influential in agitating for the reforms in the Sharīʿa law of marriage and divorce that took place in the 1960s and early 1970s.”

[8] Abdullahi A. Gallab—The First Islamist Republic: Development and Disintegration of Islamism in the Sudan (Aldershot, U.K: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2008), pp.63-64—notes the career of the Islamist politician Al-Ḥasan ʿAbd Allāh at-Turābī, which started in 1964: “Under the leadership of al-Turabi, the Islamists gradually became a mainstay of political activism and agitation, sometimes instigating violent campaigns against the Communist Party both on and off the campuses of universities and other institutes of higher education.” According to Abdel Salam Sidahmed—‘Islamism and the State’, in John Ryle, Justin Willis, Suliman Baldo, & Jok Madut Jok (eds.), The Sudan Handbook (Woodbridge, U.K: James Currey, 2011), p.94—the the Communist Party of Sudan was dissolved in 1965 due to the efforts of Islamists, on the charge of ‘atheism’:

[9] Diaa Rashwan (ed.) (Translated by Mandy McClure), The Spectrum of Islamist Movements, Volume 1 (Berlin, Germany: Verlag Hans Schiler, 2007), p.379: “…following the approval of the first draft of the constitution, the May coup took place, let by the Sudanese communist party in alliance with the Free Officers and the Sudanese left. The first statement issued by the coup leaders announced that they had come to burn the “yellow papers”—a reference to the draft Islamic constitution—and to restore the October 1964 revolution’s original progressive and socialist nature.”

[10] Clinton Bennet—‘Chapter 7: States, Politics, and Political Groups’, in Felicity Crowe, Jolyon Goddard, Ben Hollingum, Sally MacEachern & Henry Russell (eds.), Modern Muslim Societies (Tarrytown, U.S.A: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2011), p.163—notes the syncretic Islamic-Socialism of Gaddafi, and also the fact that “Gaddafi has imprisoned many members of Islamist movements.”

[11] For a brief overview of the 20th Century history of Afghanistan and its societal progression (from the Barakzai Kingdom to the Republic of Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, the Civil War, and the rise of the Taliban), see: Christian Parenti, ‘Ideology and Electricity: The Soviet Experience in Afghanistan’, The Nation (7th/May/2012): http://www.thenation.com/article/167440/ideology-and-electricity-soviet-experience-afghanistan

[12] Jerald A. Combs, The History of American Foreign Policy, Volume 2: From 1895, Third Edition (Armonk, U.S.A: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2008), p.269: “The ayatollah arrested, purged, and executed moderates, Communists, and religious and ethnic dissidents.” Marsh E. Burfeindt, ‘Rapprochement in Iran’, in Thomas A. Johnson (ed.), Power, National Security, and Transformational Global Events: Challenges Confronting America, China, and Iran (Boca Raton, U.S.A: C.R.C Press, 2012), p.190: “The resulting purge led to the firing squad deaths of tens of thousands of middle-class professionals and secularists, often within hours of being taken into custody.”

[13] Ihsan A. Hijazi (‘Communist Party in Lebanon Hurt’, The New York Times (4th/March/1987): http://www.nytimes.com/1987/03/04/world/communist-party-in-lebanon-hurt.html) noted: “Shiite enmity for the Communists heightened after the Iranian Government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini outlawed Iran’s Communist Party four years ago and arrested 75 of its leaders on charges of spying for Moscow.”

[14] Hijazi (‘Communist Party in Lebanon Hurt’) noted the mass-killing of Communists by Islamists, the fatāwā of the clerics to purge all Communists, the persecution of Communist due to their alleged ‘atheism’ by Islamists, and the Iranian involvement.

[15] ‘PKK joins battle against Isil’, Gulf News (15th/July/2014): http://gulfnews.com/news/region/syria/pkk-joins-battle-against-isil-1.1360183

[16] Edward Willett—Ayatollah Khomeini (New York, U.S.A: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2004), p.37—notes that “Khomeini greatly admired Ayatollah Seyyed Abolqasem Kashani” (who opposed British imperialism): “After the Allied invasion, Kashani was arrested for his anti-British opinions. That made him a hero to the younger members of the clergy. When he was released in 1945, he became closely associated with the Feda’iyan-e Islam. Khomeini paid frequent visits to Kashani’s home.” Elsewhere, Willett (p.34) notes: “Khomeini’s friend Kashani supported Mosaddeq for a time. However, Mosaddeq would not support the Feda’iyan’s demand to apply shari’a law. Kashani withdrew his support and went on to help General Fazollah Zahedi—with the help of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British—overthrow Mossadeq in August 1953.”

[17] Algar, ‘Kās̲h̲ānī’, in E.I.2, V.4, p.696: “With the beginning of the campaign for the nationalization of the oil industry, Kās̲h̲ānī’s importance grew as he came to be one of the chief organizers of mass support for Dr. Muḥammad Muṣaddiḳ’s National Front. He had, too, a number of representatives in the Mad̲j̲lis, a group known as the Mud̲j̲āhidīn-i Islām. Personal differences arose between Kās̲h̲ānī and Musaddik, and Kās̲h̲ānī became alarmed, moreover, at the militant irreligiosity that showed itself in the last days of Musaddiḳ’s rule. He therefore supported the royalist coup d’état of 19 August 1953 that overthrew Muṣaddiḳ.”

[18] According to C.I.A records, the C.I.A attempted to collaborate with religious leaders such as Kās̠ānī: Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken, U.S.A: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008), p.178: “The indispensable Assadollah Rashidian, however, was worried that the mob would not be big enough. He urged Roosevelt to strengthen his hand by making a last-minute deal with Muslim religious leaders, many of whom had large followings and could produce crowds on short notice. The most important of them, Ayatollah Kashani, had already turned against Mossadegh and would certainly be sympathetic. To encourage him, Rashidian suggested a quick application of cash. Roosevelt agreed. Early Wednesday morning he sent $10,000 to Ahmad Aramash, a confidant of Kashani’s, with instructions that it be passed along to the holy man.”

[19] Rachel Bronson—Thicker than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (Oxford, U.K: Oxford University Press, 2006), p.27—notes a letter from Eisenhower to King ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz mentioning “a shared interest in fighting “godless communism.”” Saudi Arabia was also held to be a counter to the revolutionary secular-nationalism of the Middle East during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Thus, “Eisenhower encouraged Saudi Arabia’s King Saud (reigned 1953-64) to become a political and religious counter to the charismatic Nasser, and the White House began referring to King Saud somewhat optimistically as “an Islamic pope.””

[20] Wynbrandt (A Brief History of Saudi Arabia, pp.195-197) notes the replacement of the U.K by the U.S.A as Saudi Arabia’s key backer during WW2, despite the Saudi opposition towards Zionism (which Roosevelt supported); Wynbrandt (pp.213) further notes the straining of U.S-Saudi relations under the pro-Israeli Truman and later during the 1973 War (Wynbrandt, p.231), but these differences were overcome: the 1979 U.S.S.R intervention in Afghanistan brought “Saudi Arabia and the United States together in creating an army of Islamic fighters, the mujahideen, to battle the Soviets” (Wynbrandt, p.233).

[21] Robert W. Hefner, ‘Chapter 7: Religion: Evolving Pluralism’, in Donald K. Emmerson (ed.), Indonesia beyond Suharto: Polity, Economy, Society, Transition (Armonk, U.S.A: Asia Society, 1999), p.223: “With covert military support, several Muslim youth groups organized violent attacks on PKI headquarters—opening actions in a fiercely anticommunist campaign that would consume the country. By the middle of 1966, hundreds of thousands of real or suspected communists had been slaughtered and the party leadership had been liquidated. Although associations representing Indonesia’s minority religions took part in the killings in some locations, Muslim youth groups working in cooperation with the armed forces were often at the forefront of the campaign.”

[22] Mike Head, ‘Interviews and documents show… US orchestrated Suharto’s 1965-66 slaughter in Indonesia’, World Socialist Website (19th/July/1999): http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/1999/07/indo1-j19.html

[23] Olaf Schumann—‘Multifaith Dialogue in Diverse Settings’, in Viggo Mortensen (ed.), Theology and the Religions: A Dialogue (Grand Rapids, U.S.A: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2003), pp.202-203—notes that when Suharto and his Islamist allies took power, they were influenced by the C.I.A: “Communists and atheists and those accused of sympathizing with them were now, according to the advice of the CIA and Western economic “experts,” treated as “infidels” (kâfirûn) and therefore killed or confined to prison camps, and thus the Indonesian nation had become a truly religious one, a “nation of believers,” in accordance with the Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa.”

[24] Ian F. W. Beckett—‘The British Counterinsurgency Campaign in Dhofar 1965-75’, in Daniel Marston & Carter Malkasian (eds.), Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare (Oxford, U.K: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2010), pp.182-183—notes that the British military realised “that Islam could be used against PFLOAG at the very moment that the government information service was being established by Captain Tim Landon. Constantly re-iterated themes were “The Hand of God Destroys Communism” and “Islam is Our Way, Freedom is our Aim.” Leaflets were air-dropped on the jebel. Notices were also predominantly displayed in towns and markets, notably where inhabitants queued at perimeter gates for the customary searches looking for weapons and excessive amounts of food or medical supplies. There was a new government weekly, Al Watan, and, even more importantly, Radio Dhofar began to broadcast throughout the province.”

[25] Anthony McDermott, Egypt from Nasser to Mubarak: A Flawed Revolution (Abington, U.K: Routledge, 2013), p.192: “In 1971, Sadat had the second article of the constitution amended, making sharia a major source of law. In 1977, in the face of the mounting extremism, the government announced legislative proposals such as the death penalty for apostasy and adultery, and whipping for drunkenness.” Some of these laws were not actually implemented, but in 1980 “the People’s Assembly approved an amendment in the second article of the Constitution, taking the whole issue an important stage beyond Sadat’s 1971 amendment – for the change made sharia the rather than a main source of legislation.”

[26] Joel Beinin & Joe Stork, ‘On the Modernity, Historical Specificity, and International Context of Political Islam’, in Joel Beinin & Joe Stork (eds.), Political Islam: Essays from Middle East Report (New York, U.S.A: I. B. Tauris & Co., Ltd., 1997), p.11: “Similarly, there was no hint of any US reproach in the 1970s when the Egyptian government of Anwar al-Sadat, then on its way to becoming the second largest recipient (after Israel) of US economic and military aid, encouraged the Muslim Brothers and its radical offshoots to organize against nationalists and leftists.”

[27] Michel Boivin—‘Ziyāʾ al-Ḥaḳḳ’, in E.I.2, V.11, p.518—relates the political rise of Muḥammad and his overt religiosity, before noting the following: “From 1979 onwards, Zia promulgated a series of Islamic laws hailed by Mawdūdī as the first steps towards the installation of an Islamic state. The first series, known as the “Hudood Ordinances”, created a category of “Islamic crimes”, such as adultery, rape, theft, fornication, etc. These crimes were to be dealt with by special courts with the task of applying the Ḳurʾānic penalties. These courts were themselves placed under the authority of the Federal S̲h̲aria Court, made up of judges and ʿulamāʾ. In 1980, the second series of measures envisaged the Islamisation of the economic sector. Two Islamic taxes, the zakāt and the ʿus̲h̲r, were created. Bank loans were regulated on a basis of the Ḳurʾānic prohibition of usury, ribā. The law envisaged a division of the risks run by the borrower and the lender. Interest was fixed on the basis of a common agreement, and indexed according to the financial performance of the banks.”

[28] Samina Ahmed—‘Reviving State Legitimacy in Pakistan’, in Simon Chesterman, Michael Ignatieff, & Ramesh C. Thakur (eds.), Making States Work: State Failure and the Crisis of Governance (Tokyo, Japan: United Nations University Press, 2005), pp.157-158—notes the strong U.S support for the Ziyāʾ al-Ḥaqq regime, despite its brutality: “Benefiting from billions of US military and economic assistance, as well as US diplomatic support, the Zia regime successfully warded off its civilian contenders for 11 long years.”

In a 1982 speech to Muḥammad, Reagan proclaimed: “President Zia, Begum Zia, distinguished guests, it’s an honor for me to welcome you to the White House this evening.

Mr. President, our talks this morning underlined again the strong links between our countries. We find ourselves even more frequently in agreement on our goals and objectives. And we, for example, applaud your deep commitment to peaceful progress in the Middle East and South Asia, a resolve which bolsters our hopes and the hopes of millions.

In the last few years, in particular, your country has come to the forefront of the struggle to construct a framework for peace in your region, an undertaking which includes your strenuous efforts to bring peaceful resolution to the crisis in Afghanistan — a resolution which will enable the millions of refugees currently seeking shelter in Pakistan to go home in peace and honor. Further, you’ve worked to ensure that progress continues toward improving the relationship between Pakistan and India. And in all these efforts the United States has supported your objectives and will applaud your success.”

Reagan went on to claim: “Our relationship is deep and longstanding.” Finally, Reagan concluded: “And, Mr. President, I propose a toast to you, to the people of Pakistan, and to the friendship that binds our nations together.”

[29] In a 1981 speech to Muḥammad, Thatcher (cited in: Margaret Thatcher, ‘Speech at banquet given by Pakistan President (Zia Ul Haq)’, Margaret Thatcher Foundation (8th/October/1981): http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/104716) proclaimed that due to the threat of Socialism and other reasons, “Pakistan deserves the support of Britain and of all the nations of the world who are genuinely interested in bringing about the withdrawal of Soviet troops. On behalf of Britain, let me confirm to you—Pakistan has our support in the great problems you are facing. As Prime Minister of the country which at present holds the Presidency of the European Community, I can say too that the ten member states of that Community support you. We admire deeply the courage and skill you have shown in handling the crisis.”

[30] William Blum (‘The Historical US Support for al-Qaeda’, Foreign Policy Journal (10th/January/2014): http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/01/10/the-historical-us-support-for-al-qaeda/) notes the U.S support for the mujāhidūn in Afghanistan during the 1980s, along with other brutal groups around the world.

[31] Owen Bowcott (‘UK discussed plans to help mujahideen weeks after Soviet invasion of Afghanistan’, The Guardian (30th/December/2010): http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/dec/30/uk-mujahideen-afghanistan-soviet-invasion) notes: “Within three weeks of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the cabinet secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, was negotiating how to channel covert military aid towards the “Islamic resistance” that was fighting the Russians. Details of how swiftly clandestine weapons routes were opened up to aid the mujahideen emerge from secret cabinet documents released to the National Archives today under the 30-year rule.” Bowcott also records: “Armstrong said intervention “would make more difficult the process of Soviet pacification of Afghanistan and [ensure] that process takes much longer than it would otherwise do; and the existence of a guerrilla movement in Afghanistan would be a focus of Islamic resistance which we should be wanting to continue to stimulate”.” Finally, Bowcott also notes: “The west’s arming of the mujahideen in Afghanistan has been seen as one of the contributing factors in the rise of al-Qaida. Osama bin Laden was a prominent Saudi financier of the mujahideen.”

[32] Martin Beckford (‘National Archives: Britain agreed secret deal to back Mujahideen’, The Telegraph (30th/December/2010): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8215187/National-Archives-Britain-agreed-secret-deal-to-back-Mujahideen.html) notes the Western support for the mujāhidūn in Afghanistan during the 1980s, including proto-Qāʿidah: “Newly published papers show that one of the country’s top civil servants held a private summit with senior American, French and German politicians at which they decided to provide “discreet support for Afghan guerrilla resistance”. One faction of the Mujahideen fighters, who were also covertly funded by the CIA, went on to become founding members of the al-Qa’eda terrorist network.”

[33] Yael Klein (‘WikiLeaks: “Israel actively supported Hamas”’, Jerusalem Online (4th/August/2014): http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/middle-east/israeli-palestinian-relations/wikileaks-israel-actively-supported-hamas-6980) notes: “During Operation “Protective Edge”, news leaks website WikiLeaks exposes secret documents which were passed between American diplomats in the 1980’s. These documents allegedly show that Israel was interested in enabling Hamas activity in its beginning, intending to weaken the Palestine Liberation Organization and ending the first Intifada.

Did Israel take part in enabling Hamas to reach its current dimensions and abilities? Documents from the 1980’s belonging to the leaking website WikiLeaks show that Israel enabled Hamas to act in the first Intifada in order to enable it to strengthen, thus to cause a splitting of the Palestinian nation – in order to weaken the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which was responsible for the Intifada.”

[34] Andrew Higgins (‘How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas’, The Wall Street Journal (24th/January/2009): http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB123275572295011847) notes: “”Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with “Yassins,” primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric.”

[35] Robert Dreyfuss (‘How Israel and the United States Helped to Bolster Hamas’, Democracy Now! (26th/January/2006): http://www.democracynow.org/2006/1/26/how_israel_and_the_united_states) chronicles the rise of Hamas, noting: “And starting in 1967, the Israelis began to encourage or allow the Islamists in the Gaza and West Bank areas, among the Palestinian exiled population, to flourish. The statistics are really quite staggering. In Gaza, for instance, between 1967 and 1987, when Hamas was founded, the number of mosques tripled in Gaza from 200 to 600. And a lot of that came with money flowing from outside Gaza, from wealthy conservative Islamists in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. But, of course, none of this could have happened without the Israelis casting an approving eye upon it.” Dreyfuss further notes: “So there’s plenty of evidence that the Israeli intelligence services, especially Shin Bet and the military occupation authorities, encouraged the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood and the founding of Hamas. There are many examples and incidents of that. But there were armed clashes, of course, on Palestinian university campuses in the ’70s and ’80s, where Hamas would attack P.L.O., PFLP, PDFLP and other groups, with clubs and chains. This was before guns became prominent in the Occupied Territories.

Even that, however — there’s a very interesting and unexplained incident. Yassin was arrested in 1983 by the Israelis. On search of his home, they found a large cache of weapons. This would have been a fairly explosive event, but for unexplained reasons, a year later Yassin was quietly released from prison. He said at the time that the guns were being stockpiled not to fight the Israeli occupation authorities, but to fight other Palestinian factions.”

[36] Cited in: Amina Chaudary & Noam Chomsky, ‘On Religion and Politics: Noam Chomsky interviewed by Amina Chaudary’, Islamica Magazine, Issue 19, (2007): http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/200704–.htm

[37] Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies (London, U.K: Pluto Press, 1989), p.8.

by Klingschor

Emanations from the Human Butt Polyp Pat Robertson: Gays Will Force Christians To Like Anal Sex And, Eventually, Polyamory And Bestiality


pat-robertson--a-prophet-for-our-ti

Emanations from the Human Butt Polyp Pat Robertson: Gays Will Force Christians To Like Anal Sex And, Eventually, Polyamory And Bestiality

Right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson tackled the recent controversy over Memories Pizza, which became Indiana’s first business to publicly declare that they won’t cater to same-sex weddings in the wake of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act this week.

“Most gays, if they’re having a wedding, don’t want pizzas — they want cake,” Robertson told “700 Club” viewers, according to Right Wing Watch. “It’s the cake-makers that are having a problem.”

Still, he warned Christian business owners of all types that gay customers will eventually “make you conform to them.”

You’re gonna say that you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality,” he added. “Sooner or later, you’re going to have to conform your religious beliefs to the group of some abhorrent thing. It won’t stop at homosexuality.”

Noting that Christian beliefs will “come under assault” until polyamory and polygamy are acceptable, too, Robertson lamented, “It’s a weird world we’re living in.”

The comments aren’t too surprising, particularly given Robertson’s recent history of anti-gay sentiments. In Febuary, he argued that a Washington state judge’s ruling that a florist had discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to provide flowers for their wedding was also indicative of society’s eventual embrace of bestiality.

He asked, “To tell a florist that she’s got to provide flowers for a particular kind of wedding? What if somebody wanted to marry his dog? She’s got to have flowers for that?”

‘Satan Dancing With Delight’: The Religious Right Reacts To The Legalization Of Gay Marriage


religious-bigotry
‘Satan Dancing With Delight’: The Religious Right Reacts To The Legalization Of Gay Marriage

This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, effectively legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

Christian Right’s Head’s Explode!

Head Explosion

Needless to say, anti-gay Religious Right activists and Republican politicians who have repeatedly warned that such a ruling would literally destroy America have not reacted well, as exemplified by Bryan Fischer, who fired off a series of tweets declaring that Satan is now dancing in the streets of America:

Other anti-gay activists were equally outraged:

https://twitter.com/toddstarnes/status/614434474739154944

https://twitter.com/austinruse/status/614453319566815232

Anti-gay Republican presidential hopefuls were quick to weigh in:

Mike Huckabee

“The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.

“This ruling is not about marriage equality, it’s about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court’s most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny.”

“The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the law of gravity. Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this President, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment.”

Bobby Jindal

Governor Jindal said, “The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on states’ rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.

This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty.

The government should not force those who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage to participate in these ceremonies. That would be a clear violation of America’s long held commitment to religious liberty as protected in the First Amendment.

I will never stop fighting for religious liberty and I hope our leaders in D.C. join me.”

Rick Santorum

Today, five unelected justices decided to redefine the foundational unit that binds together our society without public debate or input. Now is the people’s opportunity respond because the future of the institution of marriage is too important to not have a public debate. The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices.

“But leaders don’t accept bad decisions that they believe harm the country, they have the courage of their convictions and lead the country down the better path. Marriage, the family and our children are too central to a healthy society to not fight for what is best. I realized that fact early on and that is why I lead the charge against some in my own party in 2004 to ensure the Federal Marriage Amendment received a vote and I continue to stand for marriage, for families, for freedom.

“As President, I will be committed to using the bully pulpit of the White House to lead a national discussion on the importance to our economy and our culture of mothers and fathers entering into healthy marriages so that every child is given their birthright- to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, loving home. I will stand for the preservation of religious liberty and conscience, to believe what you are called to believe free from persecution. And I will ensure that the people will have a voice in decisions that impact the rock upon which our civilization is built.”

Scott Walker

I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges “has been with us for millennia.”

In 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism. The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made, and as we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas.

As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.

Anti-gay Religious Right organizations, like the Family Research Council, likewise vowed never to accept this ruling:

“Five justices on the Supreme Court have overturned the votes of 50 million Americans and demanded that the American people walk away from millennia of history and the reality of human nature.

“In reaching a decision so lacking in foundation in the text of the Constitution, in our history, and in our traditions, the Court has done serious damage to its own legitimacy.

“No court can overturn natural law.  Nature and Nature’s God, hailed by the signers of our Declaration of Independence as the very source of law, cannot be usurped by the edict of a court, even the United States Supreme Court.

“Marriage is rooted not only in human history, but also in the biological and social reality that children are created by, and do best when raised by, a mother and a father. No court ruling can alter this truth.

“It is folly for the Court to think that it has resolved a controversial issue of public policy. By disenfranchising 50 million Americans, the Court has instead supercharged this issue.

“Just as with Roe v. Wade in 1973, the courts will not have the final say on this profound social matter.  The American people will stand up for their right to have a voice and a vote, especially as they experience the ways in which redefining marriage fundamentally impairs their freedom to live and work in accordance with their beliefs.

“With this ruling, the Supreme Court has set our government on a collision course with America’s cherished religious freedoms, explicitly guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

“Americans will not stop standing for transcendent truth, nor accept the legitimacy of this decision.  Truth is not decided by polls or the passage of time, but by the One who created time and everything that exists therein.

“We will not lapse into silence but will continue to speak uncompromisingly for the truth about what marriage is, always has been, and always will be: the union of one man and one woman,” concluded [Tony] Perkins.

The National Organization for Marriage:

Though expected, today’s decision is completely illegitimate. We reject it and so will the American people. It represents nothing but judicial activism, legislating from the bench, with a bare majority of the Justices on the Supreme Court exercising raw political power to impose their own preferences on marriage when they have no constitutional authority to do so. It is a lawless ruling that contravenes the decisions of over 50 million voters and their elected representatives. It is a decision that is reminiscent of other illegitimate Court rulings such as Dred Scott and Roe v Wade and will further plunge the Supreme Court into public disrepute.

Make no mistake about it: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and countless millions of Americans do not accept this ruling. Instead, we will work at every turn to reverse it.

The US Supreme Court does not have the authority to redefine something it did not create. Marriage was created long before the United States and our constitution came into existence. Our constitution says nothing about marriage. The majority who issued today’s ruling have simply made it up out of thin air with no constitutional authority.

In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King discussed the moral importance of disobeying unjust laws, which we submit applies equally to unjust Supreme Court decisions. Dr. King evoked the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas that an unjust law or decision is one that is “a human law that is not rooted in eternal law or natural law.”

Today’s decision of the Supreme Court lacks both constitutional and moral authority. There is no eternal or natural law that allows for marriage to be redefined.

American Family Association

“This morning’s ruling rejects not only thousands of years of time-honored marriage but also the rule of law in the United States,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “In states across the nation, voters acted through the democratic process to protect marriage and the family. Yet, courts around the country chose to disregard the will of the people in favor of political correctness and social experimentation. And we witnessed firsthand the consequences, as individuals were repeatedly targeted by the government for not actively supporting homosexual marriage. Sadly, our nation’s highest Court, which should be a symbol of justice, has chosen instead to be a tool of tyranny, elevating judicial will above the will of the people.

“There is no doubt that this morning’s ruling will imperil religious liberty in America, as individuals of faith who uphold time-honored marriage and choose not to advocate for same-sex unions will now be viewed as extremists. But to the Court, we send this unequivocal message: We will continue to uphold God’s plan for marriage between one man and one woman, and we call on all Christians to continue to pray for the nation, and for those whose religious liberties will be directly impacted by this ruling.”

In the years leading up to the landmark SCOTUS case, voters in 31 states had acted through the democratic process to uphold marriage and the family. Yet, same-sex marriage was legalized in 36 states, due in large part to overreaching judges who chose to disregard the will of the people and cater to those who advocate for homosexuality.

Concerned Women For America

Today goes down in history as the day nine unelected judges kicked the Constitution to the curb — overturning traditional marriage — and put your religious freedom dangerously at risk.

The decision is in. The justices have ruled. Marriage will be redefined to conform to the pro-LGBT view of marriage.

In one appalling decision, the Supreme Court has effectively opened the door to the criminalization of Christianity when it comes to the marriage issue … and not just Christianity, but every major religion that supports God’s model for marriage and family.

Catholic League

Once again, five Supreme Court justices have invented a right that is nowhere mentioned or implied in the U.S. Constitution. Instead of allowing the states the right to make decisions about marriage, these judges have elected to impose their will on the nation.

Moreover, their reasoning is sociologically illiterate. The idea that marriage is a matter of individual autonomy—and not a social institution—is the most profound flaw in their ruling. In their mind, society is composed of monads.

For people of faith, this decision is ominous. On p. 27, the majority declares that religious Americans “may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” It is nice to know they respect our First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

“The First Amendment,” the five justices say, “ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives….” That’s the best they can do? Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, rightly criticizes this genuflection to religious rights. “Religious liberty,” he says, “is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally”—it is not confined to advocacy.

In order to stop the IRS from revoking the tax-exempt status of religious institutions that refuse to marry two men or two women, Congress needs to pass the First Amendment Defense Act that was introduced last week. Nothing less is acceptable.

No, Islam is not a race. Yes, you are still a racist


islamophobe_web-racist-rally
No, Islam is not a race. Yes, you are still a racist

Biological race doesn’t exist. But the concept of biological race is an invention with a long history. Its transformations help answer the question.

One of the earliest and most detailed systems of biological racial classification existed in the French colony of St Dominguez. According to the historian C.L.R. James, the system of classification contained more than 150 gradations of “blackness”.

Only people who could prove that they were “purely white” were granted full rights. This system was overthrown by a slave rebellion and revolution. The “aristocracy of skin”, a term used by the Parisian masses to describe racism, was temporarily defeated. Those 150 gradations of blackness, which were regarded as a natural fact, have long been forgotten.

Roughly 80 years later, biological racism enjoyed a renaissance, as all sorts of new so-called races were discovered. This was the advent of pseudo-scientific Darwinian racism. For example, the Irish were considered a separate race to the English, and closer to apes. Skulls were measured, intellects compared and, lo and behold, the Irish were found inferior. This conveniently explained the Irish famine, in which between 800,000 and 1.5 million people starved to death while the British exported their food.

Nowhere did social Darwinism go further than in Germany. Prior to the late 1880s, Jewishness had been regarded purely as a religion. Of course, Jews had suffered religious discrimination, but they could escape this through conversion, as many did. Yet, from the late 1800s onward, with the aid of “science”, Jewishness was transformed into a race, which was then associated with a series of visual and cultural markers, involving facial hair, big noses, dishonesty and suspicious customs such as kosher food.

These examples highlight how racism was never really about “natural” differences. It was a manufactured ideology of oppression. Racism is really about power.

Biologically linked racism started to go out of fashion with the fall of the Third Reich. But this didn’t mean that racism disappeared. It just changed form.

Take the example of the USA. Since the Declaration of Independence, the USA has concealed real inequality under a constitution and political system premised on formal equality.

In the past, the contradiction between real and formal inequality was justified by the alleged inferiority of non-white races. But the struggles and achievements of those non-whites increasingly made such claims untenable.

Today, no one credible argues that inequality and poverty stem from innate racial differences. Rather, we are told that “cultural problems” are to blame. The new rationalisation is not biologically based, yet it is the politically acceptable code for the same old racism.

Anti-Muslim racism, which exploded following 9/11 and the “war on terror”, fits into this mould. Small-l liberals have played a special role in promoting it. The polite arguments that Islam is more repressive than other religions, that Muslims lack respect for women or democracy, or are particularly violent, are all coded signals which, like a dog whistle, prick the ears of rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth racists.

This is what happened at the Cronulla riot in 2005, where men of Arab appearance were bashed by a white mob trying to defend “their” beach and “their” women. It was referred to by participants as “Leb and wog bashing day”.

Racism always relies on stereotypes and visual or cultural markers. So, the racists portray Muslims as big-nosed, fat, fanatical, bearded misogynists who want to slaughter animals and non-believers alike, impose sharia law, prohibit tasty food and beverages, destroy liberty and reason and generally fuck things up for the “enlightened” West.

Why do they want to do this? Well, who knows, but one thing is for sure – they aren’t as civilised as us.

All of these tropes are based on racial stereotypes of Arab people, which are as old as they are repulsive. Edward Said’s magnificent book Orientalism traces this tradition of representation through Western art and literature. It turns out that “good Muslim” vs. “bad Muslim” is just an updated version of the colonial era “good savage” vs. “bad savage” trope.

Christopher Hitchens took war-mongering atheism to new depths when he endorsed cluster bombs and said that the death toll in the Iraq war wasn’t high enough. But the tradition of atheism and Enlightenment values being used as the spear tip for colonial-style racism goes at least as far back as the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt.

Racism has changed with the times, but it is still a system of oppression that commits violence towards whole swaths of humanity, who are depicted through a few crude stereotypes.

So sure, Islam is a religion. But the statement “Islam is a religion, not a race” remains the most transparent of covers for real racism.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Serial Fraudster Milking the Islamophobia Cash Cow


ayaan_hirsi_ali_nancy_drew
Exposing Anti-Islam Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Latest Deception

One of America’s most prominent Islam bashers has a long history of making things up.

Rafeal Cruz: ‘Atheism Leads To Molestation’ And 4 Other Crazy Things He Said


cruz.insane
Rafeal Cruz: ‘Atheism Leads To Molestation’ And 4 Other Crazy Things He Said

Now that Teapublican Texas Senator Ted Cruz has officially tossed his clown hat in the 2016 presidential ring, examining this man’s extraordinarily insane background and comments is going to be easier than spearfishing out of a barrel.

Enter Ted Cruz’s Christian Taliban dad, Rafael Cruz.

Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father, is slowly proving my theory that bat shit can be entered into one’s DNA. The rabidly right-wing preacher often makes extremist comments in support of his moronic right-wing fundamentalism. Relying on wacky Dominionist teachings, the batshit whisperer and father of our newly anointed 2016 republican presidential candidate, previously described his son as being the “self-anointed king of society.” It’s quite interesting how these fundamentalists are so vigorously pro-life when you consider everything they say makes pro-choice the greatest argument.

Here are 5 of the Craziest Things Said by Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s Preacher Daddy:

Giving a talk at OK2A, an Oklahoma Second Amendment advocacy group (Jesus loves AR-15s), Rafael Cruz said that atheism leads to sexual abuse of children:

1. There is no moral absolute, which means we operate by situational ethics, which unfortunately is something being taught in every high school in America. This means that right and wrong is dependent upon the circumstances. Of course, without God there is no value to life. That leads to immorality, that leads to sexual abuse, and there is no hope. They live without hope, because there is nothing more.”(Raw Story)

2. We have our work cut out for us,” Cruz said “We need to send Barack Obama back to Chicago. I’d like to send him back to Kenya, back to Indonesia.” He went on to say, “We have to unmask this man. This is a man that seeks to destroy all concept of God. And I will tell you what, this is classical Marxist philosophy. Karl Marx very clearly said Marxism requires that we destroy God because government must become God.” (MySanAntonio.com)

3. Cruz lying bout Obama on abortion: “Do you realize,” he asked a room of conservatives, “the first bill President Obama signed into law was to legalize third trimester abortions?” (The first law Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, according to The New York Times.)(MySanAntonio.com)

4. “Socialism requires that government becomes your god. That’s why they have to destroy the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. That’s what’s behind homosexual marriage. It’s really more about the destruction of the traditional family than about exalting homosexuality, because you need to destroy, also, loyalty to the family.” (MySanAntonio.com)

5. On anti-gay discrimination: “The left is trying to redefine the issue as a civil right, not as a personal choice. They have gone to the extent to even try to make it illegal for counselors to administer to these people that have certain sexual tendencies to try to work with them from the Christian, biblical standpoint,” Cruz said. (MySanAntonio.com)

Anti-halal campaigner sued over claims Islamic certification supports terrorism


Anti-halal campaigner sued over claims Islamic certification supports terrorism

New South Wales supreme court to hear case brought by head of Halal Certification Authority against Q Society and activist
Kirralie Smith, who runs the website HalalChoices, has been named in the defamation suit lodged by Mohammed El-Mouelhy.

Kirralie Smith

Photograph: YouTube

Michael Safi
@safimichael

A prominent anti-halal campaigner and the “Islam-critical” Q Society are being sued for defamation over their claims the Islamic certification industry is corrupt and funds “the push for sharia law in Australia”.

Mohammed El-Mouelhy, the head of one of Australia’s largest certifiers, Halal Certification Authority, began proceedings in the New South Wales supreme court last month against senior members of the Melbourne-based Q Society and Kirralie Smith, who runs the website HalalChoices.

The statement of claim alleges that two videos featuring Smith, one recorded at a Q Society event, portray El-Mouelhy as “part of a conspiracy to destroy Western civilisation from within” and “reasonably suspected of providing financial support to terrorist organisations”.

He also claims that Smith alleges in one of the videos that El Mouelhy once accepted the fee to certify a company without carrying out an inspection and that he conducts his business in a “dishonest manner”.

El Mouelhy is named in both videos and Smith makes specific allegations about his conduct. His company’s logo flashes on screen in the first clip, a slick 32-minute explainer of Smith’s concerns with halal certification that has been viewed more than 60,000 times.

The landmark case could have implications for the anti-halal movement in Australia, which briefly became prominent last November when a South Australian dairy company came under pressure from anti-halal activists and ditched its Islamic certification – at the cost of a $50,000 contract.

Smith’s website, which outlines her concerns with halal certification and provides lists of certified products, is a lightning rod for the movement, which despite an active online presence has done little to persuade major food manufacturers to forgo halal fees.

The halal food industry is worth about $2.3tn worldwide and halal exports account for about two-thirds of Australia’s $10bn food export market.

The Australian Crime Commission, which last year completed an investigation into money laundering in Australia, has said it is “not aware of any direct links” between the industry and violent extremist groups.

The Q Society organised for Dutch firebrand MP Geert Wilders to tour Australia in 2013 and regularly holds events warning of the “Islamisation” of Australian society. It has links to the Reverend Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic party.

Q Society board members Debbie Robinson, Peter Callaghan and Ralf Schumann are also named in the suit, as is YouTube, which hosts the two videos.

El Mouelhy, who has run his Halal Certification Authority for more than two decades, said he brought the action because his integrity had been attacked.

“I don’t like anybody to malign me, I’m an honest person and I don’t see why anybody should say these things,” he said.

Robinson declined to comment, citing legal advice. Smith also did not comment on the case, but told Guardian Australia her website “is about providing information to consumers so they can make a choice”.

A directions hearing in the defamation case is scheduled for 20 February.

10 Deranged Dispatches From the Right-Wing Wackosphere This Week


10 Deranged Dispatches From the Right-Wing Wackosphere This Week

Holier than the Pope himself, Palin and Buchanan take Francis to task.

Photo Credit: Jennifer A. Walz/Shutterstock.com 

It’s been a busy week for all manner of charlatans, religious and otherwise.

1. One-woman parade of idiocy, Sarah Palin: The Pope is too liberal; social programs are similar to slavery.

Sarah Palin was on book tour this week, telegenically spewing some of the stupidest nonsense we’ve heard since she announced she could see Russia from her house. We’d like to ignore her, but the fact is she’s hugely popular among a certain segment of the population, and her book about the “war on Christmas,” Good Tidings and Great Joy, is destined for best-sellerdom. Just don’t wish her “Happy holidays!” That is waging war, my friend.

As Christian as she is, though, during an interview with CNN, Palin complained about Pope Francis. She’s taken aback by his liberal attitudes, she says. Taken aback by his unwillingness to go after the LGBT community and atheists, we suppose, and his sympathy for the lonely elderly, and unemployed youth. As Bill Maher said, Palin’s really going to be shook up when she finds out what Jesus said. Be sure to have tranquilizers available when she encounters the Sermon on the Mount.

Palin hopped right on that highly offensive bandwagon of equating the social safety net with slavery. “Our free stuff today is being paid for today by taking money from our children and borrowing money from China,” she said. “When that note comes due — and this isn’t racist so try it anyway, this isn’t racist — but it’s going to be like slavery when that note is due, right? We are going to be beholden to a foreign master.”

Insisting that you are not being racist when you’re comparing slavery to something far more benign is always a really convincing way to make people believe that you are in no way racist.

2. Pat Buchanan: The Pope is bordering on moral relativism. The horror!

Pat Buchanan is another conservative who is very upset that the Pope is not willing to use the Catholic Church to bully people anymore. Specifically, he misses license to bully atheists, women who use birth control and have abortions, and gay people. In his refusal to berate or convert atheists, and tell LGBT people that they are going to hell, Pope Francis is bordering on— cue music of dread — moral relativism.

Two of the statements that upset Buchanan the most: Pope Francis describing the attempt to convert people to Christianity as “solemn nonsense,” and saying that Christians should spend less time lecturing people than listening to them to “discover new needs.”

Why, that dastardly Pope Francis even acknowledged that people can be good no matter what their religious belief, or lack thereof. And he committed the cardinal sin (sorry, pun intended) of stressing helping the poor, rather than focusing on distractions like the gay lifestyle. As Buchanan wrote at Townhall on Friday, Pope Francis is leading “the Catholic Church to a stance of non-belligerence, if not neutrality, in the culture war for the soul of the West.”

A non-belligerent church?! What the hell?

3. Pat Robertson: Ask your gay son if he has been molested.

Ever the dispenser of sound parenting advice, 700 Club host, evangelical bigot par excellence Pat Robertson advised a caller to be “understanding” when talking to her gay son. By being “understanding,” he meant asking her son if the reason he is gay is because he was molested. Because that is always how people become gay.

“Is there a biological thing going on or has he been influenced — has a coach molested him?” Robertson asked the viewer who called in.

Either way, of course, the mother must immediately enroll her son in one of those gay conversion therapies; yes, the abusive form of pseudo-counseling that even ultra-conservative New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was forced to acknowledge should be illegal.

(h/t Right Wing Watch)

4. Sandy Rios: Gay-waiter-refused-tip story just a clever ruse to help ENDA.

No doubt you’ll remember the story two weeks ago of the Kansas City waiter who, in lieu of a tip, received a note from his oh-so-considerate Christian customers saying that, despite his superb service, they couldn’t let him share in their riches because they, and god, disapproved of his lifestyle. That story went viral, and even Bill Maher picked up on it, suggesting that if you want to be selfish and cheap, just do it. Don’t claim it’s for the worker’s own good.

Unfortunately, the behavior has spread, with another family refusing a tip this week to a server they assumed was a lesbian. They were even less nice about it, treating her rudely from the start, racking up a sizable bill and gleefully stiffing the hardworker, who happens to be an ex-Marine, out of her gratuity.

But wait, back up, this just in: Sandy Rios of the American Family Association says the first story was a ruse — a hoax staged by the tricky LGBT community to drum up sympathy for ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) to pass in the Senate.

“I smell a rat in this story,” Rios said. “I don’t believe a Christian couple wrote this note, I think it was a ruse because it was the week ENDA was being voted on.”

If only progressives were as willing to engage in dirty tricks and outright deception as ultra-conservatives. If only… hatred was something that was merely stagecraft.

5. Rafael Cruz: Atheism leads to sexual abuse of children.

Ted’s dad. At it again. Downloading his unique combo of spurious lies, bile and nonsense.

This week, speaking at a gathering of a group we must look into joining, OK2A, described on its website as “Oklahoma Premiere Second Amendment advocacy group,” Rafael Cruz said, straight up, that atheism leads to sexual abuse of children.

Here is the logic he laid out to the assembled gun-toting crazies: “If there is nothing, if there is no God, then we are ruled by our instincts.”

Atheism leads to moral anarchy, he said. “Do we know any politicians that have done that?” he asked the crowd.

“Hitler!” answered Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, who, coincidentally, was in the audience.

“Oh, we don’t have to go that far, Larry,” Cruz chummily replied. “Just go to Washington. Just go to the White House.” From there, it’s a short hop to sexual immorality, perversion and sexual abuse, Cruz concluded.

Follow?

6. Faux “Historian” David Barton: True Christian soldiers wouldn’t have PTSD.

Atheism is apparently a problem in the military, too. Because if soldiers were true Christians, they would not feel bad about killing enemies and sometimes non-combatants. They would not come home traumatized and have all these psychological problems.

Christian “historian” David Barton, the one who blamed Typhoon Haiyan on women having legal abortions, celebrated Veteran’s Day by criticizing veterans who feel at all guilty for what they do on the battlefield. If they read their Bible, he and televangelist Kenneth Copeland agreed on Believer’s Voice of Victory, they’d read in Numbers 32 that soldiers “shall return and be guiltless before the Lord” and that means that they wouldn’t have PTSD.

“You don’t take drugs to get rid of it, it doesn’t take psychology; that promise right there will get rid of it,” Copeland said.

When you go to war God’s way, Barton chimed in, “not only are you guiltless for having done that, you’re esteemed.”

So, get it together veterans!

(h/t: Right Wing Watch)

7. Rand Paul: Obamafascists are coming for your donuts.

This is truly terrifying. Right-wing libertarian wackadoodle Rand Paul took to the microphone this week to warn Americans that the federal government is targeting donuts. That’s what he said: “They’re coming after your donuts!”

Way to scare people. First, Madam Dictator Michelle Obama tries to get kids to eat more vegetables and exercise; now, the FDA is banning trans fats. Give me obesity or give me death! Or both, as the case may be.

You know who libertarian Paul is not so libertarian about? Gubb’mint employees.

“I say we should line every one of them up. I want to see how skinny or how fat the FDA agents are that are making the rules on this,” he said in his rousing donut hysteria-invoking speech.

Donuts, as Esquire’s Charles Pierce pointed out, don’t need trans fats to be delicious. The two largest donut purveyors, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts are making pretty tasty round pastries without them.

Credit where due, though: There’s no indication, yet, that Paul’s recent call to arms was plagiarized.

8. Rush Limbaugh makes deranged comments on Obamacare.

There have been a lot of deranged comments on Obamacare this week, including from theNew York Times when it idiotically compared the bumpy rollout of healthcare.gov to Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina. Hmmm, website = hurricane. Thousands dead = millions potentially getting health insurance. Yep, that analogy works.

Actually, all kidding aside, it’s monstrous.

While arguably Rush Limbaugh is less influential than the Times, and perhaps a tad more right-wing, he was not to be outdone in the crazy Obamacare hysteria that ran rampant this week. Rush, of course, does not like women, or sluts as he calls them, who use birth control. And Obamacare making it easier for them to do so is one of the healthcare act’s greatest evils in his view. Because he cares so much about millennials and their virtue, Rush took it upon himself to warn them on Wednesday’s show not to fall into this trap. What Obamacare is really advocating is not safer sex, he says—it’s prostitution.

“If you like being promiscuous, you can keep on being promiscuous,” Limbaugh, friend of the young, said. “If you like being a prostitute, then have at it!”

And summing up for emphasis:

“If you like your risky, promiscuous lifestyle, you can keep it. That’s what Obama is promising.”

Wait, that sounds kind of good, Rush. Thanks!

(h/t: Media Matters)

9. Phyllis Schlafly: Calling all border agents—be on the lookout for polygamist Muslims.

In a world that made any sense, conservative mouther-offer Phyllis Schlafly would have long ago faded into irrelevance. Frankly, we had assumed she was dead by now, but she’s alive and kicking, and still getting airtime to broadcast her ignorance.

While the Eagle Forum founder has long been preoccupied with fighting feminism, she also wants to make sure that those really sexist Muslims with multiple wives are not being let into our country. Yes, immigration, the changing complexion of America, and what that means for the welfare rolls is very much on Schlafly’s increasingly enfeebled mind these days.

She expressed these concerns on a radio show called “Crosstalk” the other day, saying:

“I would like to know if our immigration authorities are letting in people who believe in polygamy. Polygamy is against our law. We’ve brought in thousands of Muslims — I want to know if they made them sign a pledge to assure they’re not bringing in a bunch of wives who will now go on our welfare. Nobody can answer that question; I can’t get any answers to that question.”

Luckily, a caller to the show had an answer. He asserted without an iota of doubt that the Obama administration was bringing in 40 to 50 million Muslims and that they will destroy our constitution and implement Sharia law.

On the bright side, Phyllis: feminism and Sharia law do not go well together. Time to make friends with the enemy of your enemy?

10. Louisiana official: Close the libraries so those Mexicans can’t learn English; build a jail instead.

Most immigration hardliners also believe that anyone who comes to this country damn well ought to learn English. No bilingual education, no chance of Americans ever rubbing elbows with people who don’t speak Amurrican.

But Lindel Toups, who sits on the Lafourche Parish City Council, is upset that Mexicans are trying to learn English, and he’d like to divert funding from libraries to a new jail because of that fact. Toups played down the importance of libraries in recent comments to the Tri-Parish TimesandBusiness News, by pointing out that the Spanish-language Biblioteca Hispana section helps Spanish-speakers learn English.

“They’re teaching Mexicans to speak English,” Toups said “Let that son of a bitch go back to Mexico.”

Libraries are apparently a great source of evil. “There’s just so many things they’re doing that I don’t agree with… Them junkies and hippies and food stamps [recipients] and all, they use the library to look at drugs and food stamps [on the Internet]. I see them do it.”

The citizens of Lafourche Parish are voting this week on whether to keep $800,000 in the library system or put it toward the $25 million needed for a new jail. That way, they might be able to avoid an increase in taxes.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Right Wing Jewish Bigot Pamela Geller’s Ghoulish Obsession


Pamela Geller’s Ghoulish Obsession With ‘Honor Killings’ Takes an Ugly Turn
Jewish bigot Pamela Geller exploits a murder to spread hatred

Anti-Muslim hate group leader Pamela Geller has seized on the murder of a 20-year old Muslim woman in Michigan, labeled it an “honor killing,” and is now planning to hold a “conference” using the murdered woman’s name — against the wishes of the woman’s family, and even though they say it was the act of an abusive stepfather, not an “honor killing” at all. And to make it even more disgusting, Geller is calling her hatefest a “human rights conference.”

It’s hard to imagine someone so twisted and dysfunctional that they’d intrude on a family’s grief over a murdered child, and use the victim’s name against the family’s wishes. But Geller is defiantly determined to exploit this murder for all the bigoted hatred she can wring out of it: Slain Woman’s Name on ‘Human Rights’ Conference Upsets Her Family.

Jessica’s murder made international headlines. She left Minnesota to escape an allegedly physically and mentally abusive stepfather, but in April of 2011, her stepfather, Rahim Alfatlawi, drove from Minnesota to her grandmother’s Warren home and shot her in the head.

Her family calls it an awful tragedy, but others are calling it an honor killing.

“We know that this is a practice under Islamic law. The honor killing is the final act. People know very little of the terror … that these girls live under,” said Pamela Geller.

She is the head of Stop the Islamization of America. Geller is hosting a conference on the anniversary of Jessica’s death in Dearborn. It’s called the Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference.

“We cannot sanction this gendercide. We cannot sanction the diminishment and dehumanization of women. We must speak up,” Geller said.

We asked Jessica’s stepmother, Cassandra Mokdad, whether her murder was an honor killing. “Absolutely it was not,” she said. She told us this disgusting act had nothing to do with Islam, a religion she said Jessica practiced proudly.

“It was nothing about religion or anything. It was just about a sick human being,” Mohammed Mokdad said.

“He wanted to have a relationship with Jessica as more than her stepfather. He wanted to have a more romantic relationship with her,” Cassandra Mokdad explained.

“She’s using Jessica as her poster child for anti-Islam.” Even the Macomb County Prosecutor on the case said Alfatlawi murdered Jessica because he was obsessed with her, not the religion, and Jessica’s family wants her name taken off the conference.

“She’s using Jessica as her poster child for anti-Islam,” said Cassandra Mokdad.

“What gulls me is that there is this prohibition on discussing it and the ideology that inspires honor killings,” Geller explained.

She said this conference will happen and the name won’t be changed.

“We’re definitely going to have this conference and it will not be stopped. Their directing their barbs at me. I didn’t kill Jessica. I’m trying to save the next girl. They should be helping me save the next girl,” said Geller.

“Absolutely I’ll go. I won’t let her sit there and misuse Jessica’s name, and I will let her know exactly how I feel,” Cassandra Mokdad told us.

But wait — the story gets even more repellent, because Geller and her followers bullied and harassed the management of the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Michigan into giving her a conference room for free to hold this ugly hatefest, after they canceled a previous Geller hatefest. Unbelievable.

Here’s a page with contact info for the Dearborn Hyatt, if you’d like to let the management know how you feel about this disgusting event: Detroit Metro Hotel – Detroit Michigan Hotels – Hyatt Regency Dearborn. They backed down and tried to appease Geller, and as a result she’s now using their facilities to exploit a murdered woman against her family’s wishes.

Jewish Hatemonger Pamela Geller Linked To Murder, Crime and Corruption


Investigator Bill Warner has an update on Pamela Geller‘s links to corruption, murder and a litany of crimes and illegal activity with persons and connections invloving the hypocritical, Right Wing harpy. Snip:- “Collin Thomas, one of their salesmen, was gunned down while closing their dealership, Universal Auto World, one evening in Jan 2007. The investigation into the murder uncovered an alleged fraud ring. According to the New York Daily News, employees enabled “underground characters,” including “known” drug dealers, to buy luxury cars using fake identities. Eleven people who worked for the dealership, including Chris Tsiropoulous, were arrested, but Pamela Geller escaped the scandal unscathed. According to The New York Times, she received a $4 million divorce settlement, a portion of $1.8 million from the sale of the Long Island home and then a $5 million life insurance payment when Michael Oshry died a few months after remarrying in 2008. The criminal case has not moved forward since the 2008 arrests.”

https://i0.wp.com/www.loonwatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/PamelaGellerPic.jpg

Radical NY Activist Pamela Geller Links to Car Scam and Murder At UNIVERSAL AUTO WORLD Continues In Citifinancial Auto Lawsuit.
A Lawsuit Motion filed November 2009 in NY State Supreme Court by Citifinancial Auto seeks information from a Grand Jury investigation initiated by the Nassau County District Attorneys Offce into the car scam and murder at Universal Auto World that was co-owned by Michael Oshry, Pamela (Oshry) Geller and CHRIST TSIROPOULOS aka CHRIS TSIROPOULOS, (see original NY Post article CLICK HERE).
CAR SCAM EYED…Cops found banking records were sent to the house, though the state requires such files be kept at businesses, according to court papers filed in a civil forfeiture action by the Nassau district attorney.  “The dealership knew what was going on,” an investigator said. His ex-wife, Pamela Geller, former associate publisher of the New York Observer and a conservative blogger, burst into tears when told her ex is under criminal investigation. Although listed in business records as a Universal co-owner, Pamela Geller denied it. “I have nothing to do with this,” Pamela Geller said.
INTELLIGENCE FILES….Pamela Geller and Michael Oshry were co-owners, along with Christ Tsiropoulous (see his photo above), of at least two car dealerships before the Gellers divorced in late 2007. That was the same year Collin Thomas, one of their salesmen, was gunned down while closing their dealership, Universal Auto World, one evening in Jan 2007. The investigation into the murder uncovered an alleged fraud ring. According to the New York Daily News, employees enabled “underground characters,” including “known” drug dealers, to buy luxury cars using fake identities. Eleven people who worked for the dealership, including Chris Tsiropoulous, were arrested, but Pamela Geller escaped the scandal unscathed. According to The New York Times, she received a $4 million divorce settlement, a portion of $1.8 million from the sale of the Long Island home and then a $5 million life insurance payment when Michael Oshry died a few months after remarrying in 2008. The criminal case has not moved forward since the 2008 arrests.
The NY Supreme Court judge in the lawsuit filed by Citifinancial Auto had demanded that the Nassau County District Attorneys Offce respond to their motion on Universal Auto World et all and directs counsel for both paries, on or before March 5th 2010, to provide the Court with a letter outlning the status of the related criminal action involving Defendant Mark Harley (“Harley SEE HIS PHOTO ABOVE).  The letter states;
1) whether the related criminal action has been presented to a Grand Jury;
2) if the matter has been presented to a Grand Jury, whether the Grand Jury issued an Indictment in which Harley is one of the named defendants;
3) if the matter has not been presented to the Grand Jury, the scheduled date of a future Grand Jury presentment;
4) if an Indictment has been issued, the Indictment Number and the charges in the Indictment.
5) whether Harley has pled guilty to any crime or offense in the related criminal action and, if so, the status of the sentencing proceeding.
6) if Harley has not pled guilty, whether any pretrial hearings have been conducted in the related criminal action and, if not, the scheduled date of any such pretrial hearings.
7) the scheduled trial date of the related criminal action against UNIVERSAL AUTO SALES, LLC. dba UNIVERSAL AUTO WORLD; UNIVERSAL CAPITAL CORP.; MICHAEL OSHRY; MARK HAREY; ROBERT O’HARA; CHRIST TSIROPOULOS aka CHRIS TSIROPOULOS, Defendants, (and Pamela Geller and David P. Oshry, as co-administrators c.t.a. of the Estate of Michael Oshry collectively “Oshry Defendants” in the civil lawsuit) .
Counsel for Plaintiff Citifinancial Auto affirms that he does not know the status of the Criminal Matter, and that the D.A. has not retured his calls seeking information about the Criminal Matter. He also affirms that counsel for Harley has declined to comment on the status of the Criminal Matter. Thus, counsel for Plaintiff does not know when the Criminal Matter wil be resolved.
Mark Harley opposes Citifinancial’ s motion, affirming that, in light of the fact that Mark Harley has been charged with a felony for which he faces incarceration, he is permitted to decline to answer the Disputed Demands on the grounds that his responses might incriminate him.
SUPREME COURT -STATE OF NEW YORK
Present: HON. TIMOTHY S. DRISCOLL
Justice Supreme Court
TRIAL PART: 22
NASSAU COUNTY
Plaintiff
-against-
4). MARK HARLEY;
5). ROBERT O’HARA;
Defendants.
This matter is also before the court on the motions by Defendants Attorneys for Universal Auto Sales, LLC d//a Universal Auto World (“Universal Auto ), Universal Capita Corp. Universal Capital”), and Pamela Geller and David P. Oshry, as co-administrators c.t.a. of the Estate of Michael Oshry (collectively “Oshry Defendants ), filed on May 27 2010 and June 1 2010 and submitted on June 14 and June 8, 2010, respectively. These motions seek similar relief, specifically the issuance of two Subpoenas Duces Tecum to the Nassau County Police Deparment (“NCPD”) and Kathleen Rice, Esq. , District Attorney of Nassau County (“DA”).
NYS Department of Corporations;

1195 HARBOR ROAD HEWLETT HARBOR, NEW YORK, 11557-2622 Chairman or Chief Executive Officer MICHAEL H. OSHRY 1195 HARBOR ROAD HEWLETT HARBOR, NEW YORK, 11557-2622 Principal Executive Office.

UNIVERSAL AUTO SALES LLC 1195 HARBOR ROAD Initial DOS Filing Date: JANUARY 04, 2006 County: NASSAU Jurisdiction: NEW YORK Entity Type: DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY Current Entity Status: ACTIVE 1195 HARBOR RD. HEWLETT HARBOR, NEW YORK, 11557

1195 Harbor Rd Hewlett Harbor NY had been the home address of Michael Oshry and Pamela Geller in 2007.
The District Attorney of Nassau County has so far refused to answer any of the requests for information on the used car scam at UNIVERSAL AUTO SALES, LLC. dba UNIVERSAL AUTO WORLD; UNIVERSAL CAPITAL CORP or the murder of salesman Collin Thomas.

Neocon Kooks Obsessed With Islamic Conspiracy Lunacies


Neocons Preoccupied With Islamic Conspiracy Theories

by , December 01, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, for all its flaws, is a genuine expression of the growing recognition in the United States that the government no longer serves the interests of the people. It has been described as an American version of the “Arab Spring,” driven by a sense of popular alienation from the elites who dominate the politics and economies of so many countries. Whatever its antecedents, the idea that the people must again have a voice in their own destinies clearly has a broad appeal, as the movement has sparked similar protests in Europe and Asia.

In the United States, because many of the activists describe themselves as progressive or liberal, the movement is increasingly reviled by conservative pundits as “un-American,”even though its objectives are frequently identical to those of the tea parties on the political right. There was, indeed, initially some confusion on how exactly to describe the developing threat. Leading neoconservative Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post initially saw a radical chic rebellion as the “Starbucks-sipping, Levi’s-clad, iPhone-clutching protesters denounce corporate America.” He castigated the “indignant indolents saddled with their $50,000 student loans and English degrees [who] have decided that their lack of gainful employment is rooted in the malice of the millionaires.”

But then the perception changedwhen the protesters did not go away and grew in number, joined by a handful of labor unions, challenging the status quo more directly. The demonstrators were described as “attacking”the police, and media accounts were replete with the familiar slogans of the Vietnam War, that the protesters are dirty, libidinous, and Communist-inspired. Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh called them “lousy hippies, thieves, rapists, purse snatchers, and muggers.” Glenn Beck, until recently a fixture on Fox television, described them as “lice-infested” misfits spreading disease, committing murders and rapes, and engaging in public defecation and fornication.

But a new formulation has been creeping into the invective. Because the attacks were on Wall Street, the movement was initially framed by some critics as anti-Semitic because of the large number of Jews who work in the financial services industry. Beck sees something even more insidious: Islamic radicalism that is aiming to overthrow the government of the United States. In his odd mixture of ostentatious religiosity and gutter politics, he describes how God speaks to us, noting, however, that the God who advises going around blowing things up is likely the “God of the Arab Spring.” In other words, for some so-called conservative commentators, an essential element that can be used to marginalize the protest movement is to label it Islamic.

Islamophobia is not exactly new, but it attained a greater popularity in the wake of 9/11. Everyone needs someone to blame when terrible events take place, and Islam, which is culturally alien to most Americans, is a convenient scapegoat, leading to campaigns vilifying Shariah law and raising suspicions about Muslims in general. It is perhaps no coincidence that the woman who is possibly the most vocal anti-Muslim in the United States, Pamela Geller, has been leading the charge linking anti-Semitism to the OWS movement. One Geller headline screams “Muslim Groups Back Occupy Wall Street Protesters.”Geller is successful in finding anti-Semitism and insidious Islamic influence in many places, enabled in her task by her conflation of anti-Israel with anti-Semitic. In her mind and those of her supporters, the two are essentially the same.

To be sure, some of the attempt to label the Occupy movement as anti-Semitic is purely political, an attempt to tie the protesters with President Barack Obama, who was once a community organizer and who has failed to strongly condemn the movement. But there is also a clear attempt being made to marginalize any and all criticism of Israel, which has recently been the focus of an increasingly open debate related to the more than $3 billion in foreign aid that it receives at a time when the United States economy is suffering.

Since it is a movement born from widespread frustration with the status quo and derived from many perspectives, the Occupy Wall Street crowd does not have any standardized or uniform message. To be sure, some protesters who have been linked to the movement are also highly critical of United States foreign policy, their message being that the constant wars have eroded the nation’s ability to deal with more serious problems at home. And some have connected Israel with those wars, not without reason. And there are indeed some that blame America’s Jews for the country’s ills, but they are a tiny minority, even if the media has done its best to find them and interview them. In fact, some American groups that are normally highly sensitive to the issue of anti-Semitism, including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, conducted their own investigations and determined that the movement is not anti-Semitic. So why do the attempts to link the movement to hatred of Jews continue?

For some in the media and the foreign policy punditry, any criticism of Israel, directly or implicitly, is unacceptable. Blogger Jennifer Rubin noteda sign held by an Arab American that said “Gaza Supports the Occupation of Wall Street,” which she described as a “vile scene.”

That is precisely what has triggered the neoconservative response in places like The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and the New York Post. In addition to Geller and the talk radio pantheon, the list of leading Republicans and self-styled conservatives who have attacked the Occupy movement is virtually a who’s who of the most passionate supporters of Israel and promoters of Islamophobia, many brought together by an organization called the Emergency Committee for Israel, which is headed by William Kristol of The Weekly Standard. ECI advocates the creation of a “pro-Israel presidency” for the United States. Your browser may not support display of this image.

Frank Gaffney, another leading herald of the Islamic threat to the United States, heads the Center for Security Policy. He has been described as “unhinged” partly for his extremist comments regarding Muslims, including saying recently, “They are trying to impose what are known as Shariah blasphemy laws, whereby anyone who says anything critical about Islam, no matter how true, is to be silenced. It is actually a capital offense.” In January 2011, Gaffney claimed that the American Conservative Union, a venerable right-wing Republican organization, had been infiltrated by the “Muslim Brotherhood.” He has also insisted that the purpose of building mosques is “to destroy Western civilization from within.”Gaffney has called for the creation of a new House Un-American Activities Committee to look into the activities of Muslims living in the United States, and he now links the Occupy crowd to communism and Nazism.

David Horowitz, founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, whose stated mission is to “combat the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values in a time of terror,” calls the Occupy supporters “morons” and “idiots.”Robert Spencer, who runs the website Jihad Watch, objected recently to a reality show depicting Muslim families in America by demanding that it include terrorists. He writesthat “The Leftist/jihadist alliance has been on abundant display during the Occupy protests.”So the unanimity on the part of many pundits and politicians in condemning the Occupy Wall Street movement can be explained in terms of their other interests. Damaging President Obama is a high priority, but Occupiers’ explicit or implicit criticism of U.S. foreign policy also challenges the Israel-centric view of American national security, and the demands that foreign aid be eliminated or cut pose a rather more direct challenge, as Israel is a  major recipient of such assistance. And the merest hint that American Muslims might be joining in the protests or sympathetic to them provides the necessary ammunition to discredit the rest of the message. As is so often the case in American politics, the punditry’s hostile response to Occupy Wall Street is really largely about Israel.

Via http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2011/11/30/neocons-preoccupied-with-islamic-conspiracy-theories/

More on the corrupt and crooked Pamela Geller here:-

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2010/10/13/gellers-wealth-from-corruption-fraud-mayve-facilitated-cop-killing/

Muslim-hating wingnut Pamela Geller justifies mass murder in Norway 

http://www.dangerousminds.net/site/comments/muslim-hating_wingnut_pamela_geller_justifies_mass_murder_in_norway

 

Catholic Fascist Robert Spencer Defends Genocidal Bigots


Anti-Muslim Bigot Robert Spencer Comes to the Defense of Genocidal Site “BareNakedIslam”

Anders Breivik's choice for the "Noble Peace Prize," Robert Spencer

Anders Breivik’s choice for the “Noble Peace Prize,” Robert Spencer

Via:- Anti-Muslim Bigot Robert Spencer Comes to the Defense of Genocidal Site “BareNakedIslam”

Extremist far right anti-Muslim, MEK-Terror linked, Terrorist Inspirer, and conservative Catholic apologist Robert Spencer‘s bigotry and hatred for Islam and Muslims is evident to most rational individuals. Just take a brief glance at our copious documentation of his words, statements and activities if you are unsure of what we mean. You can also see what others have said about Spencer.

Spencer is so stuck in his goofy 11th century Crusader mentality that he is once again defending open calls to genocide. I guess he didn’t learn anything from the Anders Breivik fiasco, you know, the “insane” terrorist who thought Robert Spencer deserved the “Noble Peace Prize.”

This time Spencer is going to bat for the loony-even-by-Geller-standards, BareNakedIslam website, which was briefly shut down by WordPress for violating its terms and conditions.

A few days ago Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim reported on the unanimous cacophony of sadistic joy displayed by the owners and commenters on BareNakedIslam regarding the repeated arson attacks on mosques in France.

An anti-Muslim site called Bare Naked Islam has posted an article celebrating this. The article is titled “WOO HOO! Yet ANOTHER anti-Muslim attack on a French mosque”.  Just in case they take it down, CAIR has saved the page here.  The headline of the article states Apparently, Hell hath no fury like a Frenchman scorned. It’s the third attack on a mosque just this month. Will the Muslims ever get a clue that they are not welcome in France?

Most of the comments below the Bare Naked Islam article are hateful.  Some examples:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Musaji notes:

This last comment by Keith Mahone is the most extreme, and a particular concern since he says in his long rambling rant that he regularly drives past a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, and that the sight of that mosque causes him distress.

I waded through a few articles on the site and the comments, and found that this sort of rabid hatred of Muslims and encouragement of not only limiting the civil rights of American Muslims, and encouragement of not only limiting the civil rights of American Muslims, but also actually murdering them is common.

Read Sheila Musaji’s complete piece, it details even more examples of the rabid and visceral genocide calling on BareNakedIslam.

Spencer has linked to BareNakedIslam for years now and they seem to have a mutual admiration for one another. Spencer does not take issue with BNI’s anti-Muslim genocidal rants nor does he condemn them, rather he resorts to conspiracy theory and forwards the argument that BNI is a victim of “Islamic supremacist” warfare.

Instead of apologizing for associating with BNI he rushes full hog into their corner, lauding them as an “anti-Jihad website.” He gives the meager caveat that “he doesn’t agree with everything they write,” and that “he doesn’t condone threats” but then he goes onto deflect, saying they were just a few “unhinged comments.”

No, Spencer, they aren’t a few comments they are just an example of the consistent violent anti-Muslim rhetoric pervasive in the Islamophobesphere, including your own blog (one example out of many):

Spencer also oddly attempts to deflect by posting screen shots of comments by commenters “Mosizzle” and “RefutingActs” on Spencerwatch which he interpreted as a threat, but which even some of his own followers considered a ludicrous stretch. It is really a pathetic attempt at “deflection” when anyone with half a brain knows that what is written on a daily basis on JihadWatch and BareNakedIslam cannot compare to our meticulous care in deleting hateful or bigoted remarks and even allowing some Islamophobes such as “halal pork” to post.

At the end of the day, Spencer is so far down the rabbit hole he probably doesn’t understand what he is doing. At this point he’s hoping for a Hail Mary that may somehow redeem his hateful and bloody fantasies of a world without Muslims.

Hitler Was God’s Chosen Hunter: Hunting Jews! Claims Crazy For God John Hagee!


The Religious Right habitually camouflages it’s nefarious Christian Nationalist Worldview behind a phoney “pro-Israel” facade.

Religious fanatic John Hagee believes god sent Hitler to exterminate Jews and thus, as act and prophetic directive of his god, obviously a righteous and just genocide.

Like Catholic Hitler, John Hagee believes that unless Jews are converted to his Christ, they will be eradicated in the fires of hell that is, their final annihilation.

One has to wonder how even certain Right Wing Jews can be so utterly blind and continue support a religious buffoon who considers the destruction of Jews an inexorable, righteous and prophetic dictate — of his
psychopathic god?!

Loopy ‘Christian Nation’ Advocate David Barton Sues Critics


Bully pulpit? ‘Christian Nation’ advocate David Barton sues critics

Pseudo-historian David Barton is on the attack again – this time in court.

Barton, a prominent advocate of the discredited view that the United States was founded to be an officially “Christian nation,” is suing three people in Texas whom he says have defamed him.

Barton’s lawsuit asserts that Judy Jennings and Rebecca Bell-Metereau, who ran for the Texas State Board of Education in 2010, defamed Barton by publishing an ad noting that Barton has had ties to white supremacists. He’s also suing an internet journalist named W.S. Smith who asserted that Barton is liar.

This business about Barton’s connections to white supremacism goes back to 1991, when the Institute for First Amendment Studies reported that Barton had addressed a gathering in Colorado run by Scriptures for America, a group headed by an extremist preacher named Pete Peters.

At the Colorado event, Barton’s fellow speakers included anti-Semites, white supremacists and a Holocaust denier. Later that year, Barton spoke at Kingdom Covenant College in Grants Pass, Oregon, an institution affiliated with the racist and anti-Semitic “Christian Identity” movement.

I pointed this out in Church & State in 1993, and it was later reported by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in its lengthy 1994 report on the Religious Right. More recently, Media Matters brought it up last year when Barton was getting cozy with Glenn Beck.

My point is, many others have reported on these connections over the years. So why didn’t Barton sue the ADL or Media Matters?

In my 2000 book Close Encounters with the Religious Right: Journeys Into the Twilight Zone of Religion and Politics, I was careful to point out that there is no evidence that Barton himself is a racist or an anti-Semite. But that he twice addressed groups that hold these views is a fact. I even have a letter from one of Barton’s assistants claiming that Barton didn’t realize the extremist nature of these groups when he agreed to speak to them.

I still believe that he showed poor judgment. It must have been obvious when Barton arrived at these venues that extremists and hate-mongers were running the show. The honorable thing to do would have been to leave.

Is Barton a liar? He certainly spreads misinformation about American history, but whether he does so knowingly is a matter of debate. Barton seems to believe what he’s saying is true – even though it’s not.

On May 2, 1996, Barton appeared on a radio program with James Dobson of Focus on the Family. During the interview, Barton asserted that in his famous 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists that contains the famous “wall of separation between church and state” metaphor, Thomas Jefferson went on to say that “we will still use Christian principles with the government.”

The Danbury letter says no such thing [Editor’s note: Read it HERE] and I find it hard to believe that Barton had not read it by then. It could be that he is so wedded to his perspective that he sees things that are not there or draws wildly inappropriate conclusions based on scanty evidence.

In my opinion, Barton’s lawsuit is designed to intimidate his critics. If people have to spend time and money defending themselves in court, they might be reluctant to write about Barton in the future.

It’s the legal equivalent of a schoolyard bully’s shakedown. Barton has become famous (and wealthy) through his promotion of “Christian nation” claptrap. He has also become a public figure, someone who is open to criticism and barbs. He needs to develop a thicker skin.

I urge anyone threatened by Barton to resist him to the hilt in court.

P.S. Friday I will be speaking to Americans United’s Great Plains Chapter in Wichita, Kan., on “The Christian Nation Myth.” I will debunk Barton’s perspective. If you live in the area, come on out for this free event. Go here for more information.

Related articles:

  1. David Barton Files Defamation Suits Against Three
  2. David Barton: US should use biblical justice, just as the Constitution says
  3. David Barton Is Not A Historian
  4. Historians Agree: David Barton Is No Historian
  5. Faith, Freedom and Frankfurters: An Independence Day reflection on the “Christian Nation” myth
Rob Boston is senior policy analyst at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Rob, who has worked at Americans United since 1987, contributes to AU’s Wall of Separation blog, serves as assistant editor of AU’s “Church & State” magazine, and has authored three books on religion and politics. Column reprinted with permission.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry.

Peter King Catholic Fascist & Terrorist Apologist is Chair of House Homeland Security Committee?!


Tuesday, Sep 13, 2011 11:59 ET

At U.K. terror inquiry, Rep. King defends I.R.A. terror

At a parliamentary hearing on Muslim radicalization, the New York Republican condones Irish radicalization

[Is Catholic commissar Peter King the new Joseph (Catholic fascist) McCarthy and fueling a new Inquisition?]

AP
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) stood by his past support for Irish terrorism during an appearance today before a British parliamentary inquiry into the roots of Muslim terrorism.

King, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, came under fire as a hypocrite earlier this year when he launched his own hearings into “domestic radicalization” in the American Muslim community. Critics, including a civilian survivor of a 1990 Irish Republican Army bombing in London, called out King for being an unrepentant supporter of the I.R.A. King built his career in the Irish Catholic community of Nassau County as a pro-I.R.A. firebrand in the 1980s, and was even involved with a fundraising organization suspected of providing the militant group with money and weapons.

So it was a bit of surprise when the Home Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons invited King to testify in its “Roots of violent radicalisation” inquiry. Inevitably, King’s I.R.A.-supporting past came up.

It was the longtime Labour MP David Winnick, who was first elected to the House of Commons in 1966, who confronted King.

“There’s been some surprise in the United States but also in Britain that you have a job looking into and investigating into terrorism,” said Winnick. King, the MP added, “seems to be an apologist for terrorism.”

Winnick cited a King quote from 1982:

We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.

And another from 1985:

If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.

“Do you stand by that?” Winnick asked King.

“I stand by it in the context of when it was said,” King responded, without hesitation.

He later added that those quotes were designed to “put [the conflict] in a perspective” for an American audience that was too often exposed to anti-I.R.A. points of view.

He then offered this lengthy defense of the role he played during the conflict in Ireland. Conspicuously missing from it is any denunciation of, or expression of regret for, I.R.A. terrorism.

I stand by it in the context of when it was said. … I can cite you Tony Blair, as recently as March of this year, put out a long statement defending my record both in the 1980s and throughout the Irish peace process. I was just out in the hallway and Baroness Kennedy came up to me to thank me for the work I did in the Irish peace process. Paul Murphy came by last evening.

What I was saying — and I stand by it — is that the situation in northern Ireland — there were loyalist paramilitaries and obviously Republican paramilitaries — and I believe that, I had gotten to know Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. And I was very confident that if the Republican movement could get to the table, you would see a peace process. And I believe the United States had a very significant role to play as an honest mediator, as an honest broker. And I worked very closely with Bill Clinton, I was very much involved in the Good Friday agreements, I was very involved in getting Gerry Adams’ visa, but also involved in getting loyalists into the United States. I felt that when it was on the table, that Adams and McGuinness would be able to, if you will, control the republican movement. And it’s worked. Tony Blair said I made invaluable contribution to peace, Bill Clinton has cited me in his memoirs as a person who was very much involved.

It was never my position as an Irish-American, whether or not Ireland was united, to me there were injustices in the north. There were good people on both sides. I spent a lot of time meeting with the loyalist community, the unionist community, at the same time, and I came away from that convinced that there was a role for the U.S. to play. What I was saying with those quotes, I was also trying to put in perspective. All of the quotes were anti-I.R.A. in the United States, no mention [ever] made of the UVF or the UDA or the Red Hand Commandos or whatever. I was trying to put it in a perspective to show that there were people — that this is not just the terrorist mayhem it was made out to be — that there were significant leaders on the Republican side.

It’s also worth noting here that this year King defended his support for the I.R.A. to the New York Times by claiming that the group had “never attacked the United States. And my loyalty is to the United States.” He did not repeat that explanation to the parliamentary committee.

Winnick followed up on the exchange by asking about British use of torture against the I.R.A. being used as a recruiting tool, and whether there is a parallel to post-9/11 U.S. torture policies. King said he did not believe there was.

Watch the exchange, beginning at the 10:18:50 mark.

http://salon.com/a/svEMfAA

  • Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at jelliott@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin More: Justin Elliott

Right Wing Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America


Fear, Inc.
The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America

Anti-Muslim graffiti defaces a Shi’ite mosque at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan.

SOURCE: Getty Images/Bill Pugliano

By Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang , Scott Keyes, Faiz Shakir |August 26, 2011

Download this report (pdf)

Read the report in your web browser (Scribd)

Download individual chapters of the report (pdf):

Video: Ask the Expert: Faiz Shakir on the Group Behind Islamophobia

On July 22, a man planted a bomb in an Oslo government building that killed eight people. A few hours after the explosion, he shot and killed 68 people, mostly teenagers, at a Labor Party youth camp on Norway’s Utoya Island.

By midday, pundits were speculating as to who had perpetrated the greatest massacre in Norwegian history since World War II. Numerous mainstream media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic, speculated about an Al Qaeda connection and a “jihadist” motivation behind the attacks. But by the next morning it was clear that the attacker was a 32-year-old, white, blond-haired and blue-eyed Norwegian named Anders Breivik. He was not a Muslim, but rather a self-described Christian conservative.

According to his attorney, Breivik claimed responsibility for his self-described “gruesome but necessary” actions. On July 26, Breivik told the court that violence was “necessary” to save Europe from Marxism and “Muslimization.” In his 1,500-page manifesto, which meticulously details his attack methods and aims to inspire others to extremist violence, Breivik vows “brutal and breathtaking operations which will result in casualties” to fight the alleged “ongoing Islamic Colonization of Europe.”

Breivik’s manifesto contains numerous footnotes and in-text citations to American bloggers and pundits, quoting them as experts on Islam’s “war against the West.” This small group of anti-Muslim organizations and individuals in our nation is obscure to most Americans but wields great influence in shaping the national and international political debate. Their names are heralded within communities that are actively organizing against Islam and targeting Muslims in the United States.

Breivik, for example, cited Robert Spencer, one of the anti-Muslim misinformation scholars we profile in this report, and his blog, Jihad Watch, 162 times in his manifesto. Spencer’s website, which “tracks the attempts of radical Islam to subvert Western culture,” boasts another member of this Islamophobia network in America, David Horowitz, on his Freedom Center website. Pamela Geller, Spencer’s frequent collaborator, and her blog, Atlas Shrugs, was mentioned 12 times.

Geller and Spencer co-founded the organization Stop Islamization of America, a group whose actions and rhetoric the Anti-Defamation League concluded “promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam. The group seeks to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and asserting the existence of an Islamic conspiracy to destroy “American values.” Based on Breivik’s sheer number of citations and references to the writings of these individuals, it is clear that he read and relied on the hateful, anti-Muslim ideology of a number of men and women detailed in this report&a select handful of scholars and activists who work together to create and promote misinformation about Muslims.

While these bloggers and pundits were not responsible for Breivik’s deadly attacks, their writings on Islam and multiculturalism appear to have helped create a world view, held by this lone Norwegian gunman, that sees Islam as at war with the West and the West needing to be defended. According to former CIA officer and terrorism consultant Marc Sageman, just as religious extremism “is the infrastructure from which Al Qaeda emerged,” the writings of these anti-Muslim misinformation experts are “the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.” Sageman adds that their rhetoric “is not cost-free.”

These pundits and bloggers, however, are not the only members of the Islamophobia infrastructure. Breivik’s manifesto also cites think tanks, such as the Center for Security Policy, the Middle East Forum, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism—three other organizations we profile in this report. Together, this core group of deeply intertwined individuals and organizations manufacture and exaggerate threats of “creeping Sharia,” Islamic domination of the West, and purported obligatory calls to violence against all non-Muslims by the Quran.

This network of hate is not a new presence in the United States. Indeed, its ability to organize, coordinate, and disseminate its ideology through grassroots organizations increased dramatically over the past 10 years. Furthermore, its ability to influence politicians’ talking points and wedge issues for the upcoming 2012 elections has mainstreamed what was once considered fringe, extremist rhetoric.

And it all starts with the money flowing from a select group of foundations. A small group of foundations and wealthy donors are the lifeblood of the Islamophobia network in America, providing critical funding to a clutch of right-wing think tanks that peddle hate and fear of Muslims and Islam—in the form of books, reports, websites, blogs, and carefully crafted talking points that anti-Islam grassroots organizations and some right-wing religious groups use as propaganda for their constituency.

Some of these foundations and wealthy donors also provide direct funding to anti-Islam grassroots groups. According to our extensive analysis, here are the top seven contributors to promoting Islamophobia in our country:

  • Donors Capital Fund
  • Richard Mellon Scaife foundations
  • Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
  • Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust
  • Russell Berrie Foundation
  • Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund
  • Fairbrook Foundation

Altogether, these seven charitable groups provided $42.6 million to Islamophobia think tanks between 2001 and 2009—funding that supports the scholars and experts that are the subject of our next chapter as well as some of the grassroots groups that are the subject of Chapter 3 of our report.

And what does this money fund? Well, here’s one of many cases in point: Last July, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich warned a conservative audience at the American Enterprise Institute that the Islamic practice of Sharia was “a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it.” Gingrich went on to claim that “Sharia in its natural form has principles and punishments totally abhorrent to the Western world.”

Sharia, or Muslim religious code, includes practices such as charitable giving, prayer, and honoring one’s parents—precepts virtually identical to those of Christianity and Judaism. But Gingrich and other conservatives promote alarmist notions about a nearly 1,500-year-old religion for a variety of sinister political, financial, and ideological motives. In his remarks that day, Gingrich mimicked the language of conservative analyst Andrew McCarthy, who co-wrote a report calling Sharia “the preeminent totalitarian threat of our time.” Such similarities in language are no accident. Look no further than the organization that released McCarthy’s anti-Sharia report: the aforementioned Center for Security Policy, which is a central hub of the anti-Muslim network and an active promoter of anti- Sharia messaging and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

In fact, CSP is a key source for right-wing politicians, pundits, and grassroots organizations, providing them with a steady stream of reports mischaracterizing Islam and warnings about the dangers of Islam and American Muslims. Operating under the leadership of Frank Gaffney, the organization is funded by a small number of foundations and donors with a deep understanding of how to influence U.S. politics by promoting highly alarming threats to our national security. CSP is joined by other anti-Muslim organizations in this lucrative business, such as Stop Islamization of America and the Society of Americans for National Existence. Many of the leaders of these organizations are well-schooled in the art of getting attention in the press, particularly Fox News, The Wall Street Journal editorial pages, The Washington Times, and a variety of right-wing websites and radio outlets.

Misinformation experts such as Gaffney consult and work with such right-wing grassroots organizations as ACT! for America and the Eagle Forum, as well as religious right groups such as the Faith and Freedom Coalition and American Family Association, to spread their message. Speaking at their conferences, writing on their websites, and appearing on their radio shows, these experts rail against Islam and cast suspicion on American Muslims. Much of their propaganda gets churned into fundraising appeals by grassroots and religious right groups. The money they raise then enters the political process and helps fund ads supporting politicians who echo alarmist warnings and sponsor anti-Muslim attacks.

These efforts recall some of the darkest episodes in American history, in which religious, ethnic, and racial minorities were discriminated against and persecuted. From Catholics, Mormons, Japanese Americans, European immigrants, Jews, and African Americans, the story of America is one of struggle to achieve in practice our founding ideals. Unfortunately, American Muslims and Islam are the latest chapter in a long American struggle against scapegoating based on religion, race, or creed.

Due in part to the relentless efforts of this small group of individuals and organizations, Islam is now the most negatively viewed religion in America. Only 37 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Islam: the lowest favorability rating since 2001, according to a 2010 ABC News/Washington Post poll. According to a 2010 Time magazine poll, 28 percent of voters do not believe Muslims should be eligible to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, and nearly one-third of the country thinks followers of Islam should be barred from running for president.

The terrorist attacks on 9/11 alone did not drive Americans’ perceptions of Muslims and Islam. President George W. Bush reflected the general opinion of the American public at the time when he went to great lengths to make clear that Islam and Muslims are not the enemy. Speaking to a roundtable of Arab and Muslim American leaders at the Afghanistan embassy in 2002, for example, President Bush said, “All Americans must recognize that the face of terror is not the true faith—face of Islam. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. It’s a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race. It’s a faith based upon love, not hate.”

Unfortunately, President Bush’s words were soon eclipsed by an organized escalation of hateful statements about Muslims and Islam from the members of the Islamophobia network profiled in this report. This is as sad as it is dangerous. It is enormously important to understand that alienating the Muslim American community not only threatens our fundamental promise of religious freedom, it also hurts our efforts to combat terrorism. Since 9/11, the Muslim American community has helped security and law enforcement officials prevent more than 40 percent of Al Qaeda terrorist plots threatening America. The largest single source of initial information to authorities about the few Muslim American plots has come from the Muslim American community.

Around the world, there are people killing people in the name of Islam, with which most Muslims disagree. Indeed, in most cases of radicalized neighbors, family members, or friends, the Muslim American community is as baffled, disturbed, and surprised by their appearance as the general public. Treating Muslim American citizens and neighbors as part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, is not only offensive to America’s core values, it is utterly ineffective in combating terrorism and violent extremism.

The White House recently released the national strategy for combating violent extremism, “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.” One of the top focal points of the effort is to “counter al-Qa’ida’s propaganda that the United States is somehow at war with Islam.” Yet orchestrated efforts by the individuals and organizations detailed in this report make it easy for al-Qa’ida to assert that America hates Muslims and that Muslims around the world are persecuted for the simple crime of being Muslims and practicing their religion.

Sadly, the current isolation of American Muslims echoes past witch hunts in our history—from the divisive McCarthyite purges of the 1950s to the sometimes violent anti-immigrant campaigns in the 19th and 20th centuries. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has compared the fear-mongering of Muslims with anti-Catholic sentiment of the past. In response to the fabricated “Ground Zero mosque” controversy in New York last summer, Mayor Bloomberg said:

In the 1700s, even as religious freedom took hold in America, Catholics in New York were effectively prohibited from practicing their religion, and priests could be arrested. Largely as a result, the first Catholic parish in New York City was not established until the 1780s, St. Peter’s on Barclay Street, which still stands just one block north of the World Trade Center site, and one block south of the proposed mosque and community center. … We would betray our values and play into our enemies’ hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else.

This report shines a light on the Islamophobia network of so-called experts, academics, institutions, grassroots organizations, media outlets, and donors who manufacture, produce, distribute, and mainstream an irrational fear of Islam and Muslims. Let us learn the proper lesson from the past, and rise above fear-mongering to public awareness, acceptance, and respect for our fellow Americans. In doing so, let us prevent hatred from infecting and endangering our country again.

In the pages that follow, we profile the small number of funders, organizations, and individuals who have contributed to the discourse on Islamophobia in this country. We begin with the money trail in Chapter 1—our analysis of the funding streams that support anti-Muslim activities. Chapter 2 identifies the intellectual nexus of the Islamophobia network. Chapter 3 highlights the key grassroots players and organizations that help spread the messages of hate. Chapter 4 aggregates the key media amplifiers of Islamophobia. And Chapter 5 brings attention to the elected officials who frequently support the causes of anti- Muslim organizing.

Before we begin, a word about the term “Islamophobia.” We don’t use this term lightly. We define it as an exaggerated fear, hatred, and hostility toward Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the marginalization and exclusion of Muslims from America’s social, political, and civic life.

It is our view that in order to safeguard our national security and uphold America’s core values, we must return to a fact-based civil discourse regarding the challenges we face as a nation and world. This discourse must be frank and honest, but also consistent with American values of religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and respect for pluralism. A first step toward the goal of honest, civil discourse is to expose—and marginalize—the influence of the individuals and groups who make up the Islamophobia network in America by actively working to divide Americans against one another through misinformation.

Wajahat Ali is a researcher at the Center for American Progress and a researcher for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Eli Clifton is a researcher at the Center for American Progress and a national security reporter for the Center for American Progress Action Fund and ThinkProgress.org. Matthew Duss is a Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress and Director of the Center’s Middle East Progress. Lee Fang is a researcher at the Center for American Progress and an investigative researcher/blogger for the Center for American Progress Action Fund and ThinkProgress.org. Scott Keyes is a researcher at the Center for American Progress and an investigative researcher for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Faiz Shakir is a Vice President at the Center for American Progress and serves as Editor-in-Chief of ThinkProgress.org.

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Video: Ask the Expert: Faiz Shakir on the Group Behind Islamophobia

Godly Terrorist Anders Breivik Inspired by American Catholic Fascist Robert Spencer, Jewish Hatemonger Pamela Geller & Fascist Religious Right


Anders Breivik’s spider web of hate

Anders Breivik’s manifesto reveals a subculture of nationalistic and Islamophobic websites that link the European and American far right in a paranoid alliance against Islam and is also rooted in some democratically elected parties.

The Guardian has analysed the webpages he links to, and the pages that these in turn link to, in order to expose a spider web of hatred based around three “counter-jihad” sites, two run by American rightwingers, and one by an eccentric Norwegian. All of these draw some of their inspiration from the Egyptian Jewish exile Gisele Littman, who writes under the name of Bat Ye’or, and who believes that the European elites have conspired against their people to hand the continent over to Muslims.

As well as his very long manifesto, Breivik also laid out some of his thoughts on the Norwegian nationalist site Document.no. In his postings there, Breivik referred to something he called “the Vienna school of thought”, which consists of the people who had worked out the ideology that inspired him to commit mass murder. He named three people in particular: Littman; the Norwegian Peder Jensen who wrote under the pseudonym of Fjordman; and the American Robert Spencer, who maintains a site called Jihad Watch, and agitates against “the Islamisation of America”.

But the name also alludes to a blog called Gates of Vienna, run by an American named Edward “Ned” May, on which Fjordman posted regularly and which claims that Europe is now as much under threat from a Muslim invasion as it was in 1683, when a Turkish army besieged Vienna.

All of these paranoid fantasists share a vision articulated by the Danish far-right activist Anders Gravers, who has links with the EDL in Britain and with Spencer and his co-conspiracist Pamela Geller in the US. Gravers told a conference in Washington last year:

“The European Union acts secretly, with the European people being deceived about its development. Democracy is being deliberately removed, and the latest example being the Lisbon Treaty. However the plan goes much further with an ultimate goal of being a Eurabian superstate, incorporating Muslim countries of north Africa and the Middle East in the European Union. This was already initiated with the signing of the Barcelona treaty in 1995 by the EU and nine north African states and Israel, which became effective on the 1st of January, 2010. It is also known as the Euro-Mediterranean co-operation. In return for some European control of oil resources, Muslim countries will have unfettered access to technology and movement of people into Europe. The price Europeans will have to pay is the introduction of sharia law and removal of democracy.”

Spencer’s jihadwatch.org is linked to 116 times from Breivik’s manifesto; May’s Gates of Vienna 86 times; and Fjordman 114 times.

Spencer and Geller were the organisers of the protest against the so-called 9/11 mosque in New York City. They also took over Stop Islamisation of America, a movement with links to the EDL and to a variety of far-right movements across Europe. Of the two, Spencer is less of a fringe figure. He has been fulsomely interviewed by the Catholic Herald in this country and praised by Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion, who called him “a profound and subtle thinker”. Damian Thompson, a leader writer on the Telegraph, once urged his readers to buy Spencer’s works, especially if they believed that Islam was “a religion of peace”. Last week, Spencer’s blog re-ran a piece from Geller’s Atlas Shrugged website claiming that Governor Rick Perry, the creationist rightwinger from Texas, is actually linked to Islamists via Grover Norquist, the far-right tax cutter whom Geller claims is “a front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. Geller also once republished a blogpost speculating that President Obama is the love child of Malcolm X.

As well as the “counter-jihad” websites such as Spencer’s and May’s, analysis of Breivik’s web reveals a dense network of 104 European nationalist sites and political parties. Some of these are represented in parliaments: Geert Wilders’s Dutch Freedom party; the French National Front; the Danish People’s party, the Norwegian Progress party (of which Breivik was briefly a member before he left, disgusted with its moderation); the Sweden Democrats. Others, like the EDL, are fringe groupings. Then there are those in between, such as the Hungarian far-right party Jobbik. But they range all across Europe. They are united by hostility to Muslims and to the EU.

One place where these strands intertwine is the Brussels Journal, a website run by the Belgian Catholic MEP Paul Belien, a member of the far-right Vlaams Belang party. The British Europhobic Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan appeared for three years on the Brussels Journal’s masthead. Hannan has since denounced the European neo-fascist parties as not really rightwing at all.

To appear on this list is not to be complicit in Breivik’s crime. Peder “Fjordman” Jensen was so shocked by it that he gave himself up to the police and gave an interview to a Norwegian paper in which he appeared genuinely bewildered that his predictions of a European civil war should have led anyone to such violence.

It is still more unfair to blame Melanie Phillips. Although she was cited by Breivik at length for an article claiming that the British elite had deliberately encouraged immigration in order to break down traditional society and she has written that “Bat Ye’or’s scholarship is awesome and her analysis is as persuasive as it is terrifying“, she has also argued, with nearly equal ferocity, against the “counter-jihad” belief that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim.

The world view of the counter-jihadis echoes that of the jihadis they feel threatened by. The psychological world of the jihadis has been described by the British psychiatrist Russell Razzaque, who rejected recruitment by Hizb ut-Tahrir when he was a medical student. It is not just a matter of a black-and-white world view, he says, though that is part of it. “It’s a very warm embrace. You felt a sense of self-esteem, a sense of real embrace. Then it gives you a sense of purpose, which is also something you’ve never had so much. The purpose is a huge one. Part of a cosmic struggle when you’re on the right side: you’re another generation in the huge fight that goes back to the crusades.”

This clearly mirrors Breivik’s self-image. What makes him particularly frightening is that he seems to have radicalised himself, just as jihadis do, before he went looking for advice and guidance on the internet. But he was able to take the last few steps into mass murder all alone, so far as we know. Jihadi groups also withdraw from the world into a cramped and paranoid universe of their own. Suicide bombers such as the 9/11 and 7/7 groups spent months psyching each other up before the crime, talking obsessively for hours every day. But Breivik, though he withdrew from society to his farm, seems to have spent his time alone with the internet. It allowed him to hear his own choir of imaginary friends, and hear inside his head their voices cheering him on to murder and martyrdom. Here they are, mapped.

Original post: Anders Breivik’s spider web of hate

Fox Political Analyst: Herman Cain Could Beat Obama With Allen West as His Running Mate


May 21, 2011 12:45 PM

Fox Political Analyst: Herman Cain Could Beat Obama With Allen West as His Running Mate

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Well, it’s official; former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain has formally launched his presidential campaign today. And according to Fox News “political analyst” Angela McGlowan, if Cain just picks wingnut Rep. Allen West as his running mate, he can beat Obama in 2012.

Alan Colmes explained why he disagreed:

COLMES: Herman Cain… it’s not a coincidence that he announced his candidacy on doomsday. This is a guy who said he’d put no Muslims in his Cabinet. He said Muslims want to either convert you or kill you. He’s a birther. He has absolutely no chance whatsoever of becoming President of the United States.

McGlowan interrupted Colmes and reminded him that “being that extreme” could win him the primary to which Colmes basically responded, bring it on if that’s who Republicans want to run in 2012.

COLMES: If that’s who you want to have represent you. You want someone who can win the primary who could never win the general election, if that’s the way you want to go, be my guest. Have a good time. Have fun.

MCGLOWAN: If he chooses Allen West, he could win.

COLMES: Absolutely not. Allen West is another cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs far right extremist.

McGlowan also went on to suggest that after the latest Fox attack on President Obama after his speech on the Middle East this week that Hollywood Jews are going to abandon him in droves.

Media Matters has more on that — Right-Wing Media’s Deranged Attack: Obama “Sided With Terrorists”:

Right-wing media unleashed a crazed onslaught after President Obama’s speech on the Middle East, outrageously asserting that Obama “sided with terrorists” by saying that the 1967 borders should guide negotiations over the formation of a Palestinian state. But this position is nothing new, and American Jewish groups praised today’s speech. Read on…

The Audacity of Hate: Birthers, Deathers, Deniers, Racists and Barack Obama


The Audacity of Hate: Birthers, Deathers, Deniers, Racists and Barack Obama

WALTER BRASCH

The latest garbage spewing hate as it circles the Internet in a viral state of panic continues a three year smear against Barack Obama.

The attacks had begun with the extreme right wing spitting out Obama’s full name-Barack HUSSEIN Obama, as if somehow he wasn’t an American but connected to the Iraqi dictator who, despite the Bush Administration’s best efforts, had no connections to 9/11.

When the right-wingers and Tea Party Pack get tired of their “cutesy” attempts to link Obama to militant Muslims, they launch half-truths and lies to claim he wasn’t born in the United States. Like Jaws, Jason, or Freddy Krueger, “birther” propaganda keeps returning, even when independent state officials and analysts proved the claims false.

The issue simmered on Fox TV and talk radio until Donald Trump, the man with the planet-sized ego and the bacteria-sized brain, inserted his persona into the issue, while pontificating about becoming the next president. The media, exhausted from having to cover the antics of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, turned their news columns over to the man who would be God-if only it paid better.

The Wing Nut Cotillion, with Trump getting the headlines, then demanded Obama produce a long-form birth certificate-which he did while leading a combined White House-CIA-Pentagon effort to find and destroy Osama bin Laden. The truth still hasn’t quieted the conspiracy nuts.

Not willing to accept truth and logic, the extreme right wing, grasping for anything they could find, have attacked the raid that killed bin Laden. Among their screeches are that bin Laden isn’t dead . . . that he was killed a week earlier or even years earlier . . . that Obama had hidden the death until there was a more political time to reveal it . . . that it was George W. Bush (who publicly said six months after 9/11 that he didn’t care about bin Laden) who deserves all the credit . . . and that while Navy SEALS should get credit, Obama is too weak to have overseen any part of the mission.

And now from the caves of ignorance and hatred comes a much-forwarded letter, which the anonymous author says “shouldn’t surprise anyone.” Written as fact, the letter informs us Barack Obama: “never held a ‘real’ job, never owned a business and as far as we know, never really attended Harvard or Columbia since those transcripts have never been released and no one remembers him from their time at either school.”

The email of hate further “enlightens” us that “Being a community activist only gives someone insite [sic] on how to assist the less fortunate and dregs of society on how to acquire government housing and government benefits without ever contributing one penny in taxes.”

That’s right. The Whackadoodles Wearing Tinfoil Caps crowd has escaped again.

Among those community activists who worked with the “dregs of society,” apparently on ways to scam the government, are St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), founder of the Franciscan order and patron saint of animals and the environment; Jacob Riis (1849-1914), a journalist and photographer who exposed the squalor of slums and tenement buildings; Dorothy Day (1897-1980), a journalist who founded the Catholic Worker Movement that advocated nonviolent action to help the poor and homeless, and who the archdiocese of New York, at the direction of Pope John Paul II, began a process leading to beatification; and Jane Addams (1860-1935), who fought for better conditions for children and mothers, was active in the progressive campaigns of Teddy Roosevelt and who, like Roosevelt, earned a Nobel Peace Prize. Those who rail against community activists for not having “real” jobs would also oppose Saul Alinsky (1909-1972), who tirelessly established the nation’s most effective organizational structure to help the poor and disenfranchised to gain a voice against political, economic, and social oppression; Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998), America’s foremost pediatrician, for leading antiwar campaigns; Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), who helped get farm workers respectable pay and decent working conditions; Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) who, with hundreds of thousands of others, forced a nation to finally confront its racism; and innumerable leaders of the feminist and gay rights communities who got America to confront their other prejudices. All were community activists.

Not dregs because they have “real” jobs are the bankers and Wall Street investors who brought about the housing crisis that led to the worst depression in the past seven decades. Also exempt from contempt are the business owners who downsized, right-sized, and shipped their production overseas, throwing millions of Americans out of work.

Barack Obama, castigated for not having a “real job,” worked more than a year as research associate and editor at the Business International Corp., three years as director of Developing Community Projects, a church-based group for eight Catholic parishes, and summer jobs at law firms. Other “not real” jobs include being an author, civil rights lawyer, and a professor of Constitutional law at one of the nation’s more prestigious colleges. Frankly, it’s rather nice to have a president who actually understands the Constitution-as opposed to the rabble who misquote, misstate, and misappropriate it all the time.

Those propagating the email of hate believe Obama couldn’t earn degrees from Ivy League colleges; the subtext is as clear as their refusal to believe in an integrated nation. So, I contacted the registrars at Columbia and Harvard. In less than 10 minutes, the registrar at Columbia confirmed that Barack Obama received a B.A. in political science, and the registrar at Harvard Law School confirmed Obama received a J.D. These are public records. Anyone can ask the same questions, and get the same answer. Logic alone should have shot down these accusations. Obama was editor of the Harvard Law Review, something as easy to verify as his graduation, and he passed the Illinois bar exam-which requires graduation from college and law school, and a personal character test-also a matter of public record.

Even if Obama provided official transcripts, which are confidential, the wing nuts of society will claim that, like the birth certificate and the death of bin Laden, the transcripts were faked.

The truth is that the politics of hate, combined with media complicity and Internet access, has led not to a discussion of issues but to character assassination, with racism and bigotry as its pillars.

The GOP’s Lame Presidential Candidates: Are They Crazy Enough for the Right-Wing Screamers?


The GOP’s Lame Presidential Candidates: Are They Crazy Enough for the
Right-Wing Screamers?

Most of the GOP favorites have certain critical flaws that
could cripple their chances of winning over the Limbaugh-Fox News-Malkin axis of
the GOP base.
May 20, 2011  |

//Photo Credit: Wikimedia  Commons
There was a time when Rush Limbaugh fans would happily trot to the ballot box
and vote for soulless corporate lackeys like Bob Dole simply because they
represented that last bulwark defending Real America from Hitlerly KKKlinton’s
mandatory castration program.

But times have changed and nowadays Rush and his fellow right-wing media
shriekers are far more demanding. As the nominations of Sharon Angle, Joe
Miller, Carl Paladino and Christine O’Donnell demonstrate, Limbaugh and his
like-minded allies have inspired their audience to thumb their nose at the
Republican establishment by supporting candidates who not only protect them from
Democrats but who also speak to their deeply held cultural values.

Oftentimes, these values take the form of a checklist of key issues: Does the
candidate want to privatize Medicare? Do they want to start wars with multiple
Middle Eastern countries? Do they properly relish punishing teachers, policemen
and firefighters for daring to seek higher wages? And most importantly, do they
oppose any efforts to encourage children to exercise and eat vegetables?

Unfortunately, most of the 2012 Republican favorites all have certain
critical flaws that could cripple their chances of winning over the Limbaugh-Fox
News-Malkin axis of the GOP base. In this piece we’ll break down the major 2012
contenders and see how they stack up to the conservative media howlers’ ideals
of misanthropy, bloodlust and authoritarianism.

-Candidate #1: Mitt Romney

Romney is the classic type of plastic corporatist puppet that the Republican
Party has proudly nominated for decades. He has perfect hair, chiseled looks and
a business background that would typically make him an ideal candidate in any
Republican primary.

But there’s a major problem with Mitt: He started his political career in
Massachusetts, which ranks somewhere between North Korea and Mordor in the eyes
of talk radio personalities. While running for and serving in public office in
Massachusetts, Mitt made a number of statements that are standard fare for Bay
State politicians but that sound like chants from the Satanic Bible to the
Limbaugh-Beck axis. For instance, in 2003, then-Governor Romney said he’d
support a nationwide gas tax hike. He also worked very hard to establish his
pro-choice credentials by filling out a (gulp!) Planned Parenthood questionnaire
on reproductive rights. Oh, and he also once said during a debate with Ted
Kennedy that “we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.”
Uh-oh!

But the very worst thing Romney did while governor or Mordorchusetts was to
help people get access to health care. It didn’t matter that Romney did so in a
corporatist manner that enlarged the take-home pay for insurance company boards
– his efforts to get people in Massachusetts health insurance may well doom him
in the coming election. You see, helping people get health care is the one of
the most horrific crimes against humanity according to Fox News and friends
largely because… well we’re not sure, but helping people get health care seems
to be the worst thing any Republican governor can do.

The point is, many conservatives have called on Romney to apologize for
helping people get health care, even though he touted it as one of his signature
strengths while running for president in 2008. And for a candidate whose
persistent flip-flops have led Dittohead guru Erick Erickson to brand him as
“Multiple Choice Mitt,” another reversal on health care could be deadly.

Romneycare should be a lesson to all Republicans everywhere: Do not touch
health care at all unless it involves privatizing Medicare or slashing health
benefits for veterans. The GOP’s Limbaugh faction will stand for nothing
less.

-Candidate 2: Mitch Daniels

Daniels is a favorite of Beltway Republicans, who are enamored with the fact
that he seemingly knows how to count. Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson
best summed up his love for the dweeby Indiana bean-counter when he wrote that
“Daniels’s appeal is not ideological; it is mathematical.”

Since memories of calculus classes are not appealing to very many people,
Gerson elaborated: “The passions aroused by ideology, in his view, hamper the
ability of political adults to deal rationally with disturbing budget
numbers.”

OK, so he’s a union-busting version of Michael Dukakis. Big whoop.

You would think that such an uninspiring figure would elicit apathy from
conservative bloggers, who typically don’t devote much energy to reading over
policy papers or parsing wonky budget speeches.

Unfortunately for Daniels, though, his blandness hasn’t inoculated him from
the ire of the Nutteratti, since he’s committed multiple sins against
conservative orthodoxy during his time as governor of Indiana. First of all, as
Jennifer Rubin has noted, Daniels has assiduously avoided kissing the collective
asses of our conservative overlords and has instead been courting (shudder!)
people in that godforsaken hellhole known as “New York City.”

“Daniels didn’t go to the Tea Partyers or to the National Rifle Association
for a testing-the-waters confab,” cries Rubin. “Instead, he went to
Manhattan.”

You see, before any Republican candidate can win over the Limbaugh axis, they
have to engage in a thoroughly humiliating round of ass-kissing where they
pretend that Sean Hannity is the most courageous and inspiring journalist since
Edward R. Murrow. It doesn’t matter if the candidate supports exciting policies
such as mandatory castration for all men who make less than $30,000 a year:
without rampant ass-kissing, the candidate stands no chance of winning over Fox
News.

Daniels’ second big problem is that, like Mitt Romney before him, he tried to
help people get health care. As Michael Cannon writes in the National Review,
“Daniels expanded Indiana’s Medicaid program to families of four earning
$44,000.” What’s more, Daniels implemented a set of policies known as the
“Healthy Indiana Plan” that Cannon says “offers high-deductible coverage
combined with a taxpayer-funded health savings account” that not only “hands out
coverage plus something a lot like cash.” The bottom line is that Republicans
who have national ambitions should never under any circumstances try to help
people get health care. It will always come back to bite them in the behind.

Daniels’ final sin could be his worst one of all, however: Apparently Muslims
actually like him. In fact, Daniels’ ties with Sharia Law are apparently so
strong that he even received an award from the American Arab Institute. For
conservative activist Pam Geller, this was the final straw.

“Notorious Jew hater James Zogby is the co-founder and President of the Arab
Institute,” Geller howled. “Mitch Daniels has been involved (sic) with this
nototrious (sic) anti-Israel Israel (sic) organization (sic) for 25 years. How
repulsive.”

Candidate #3: Newt Gingrich

Yes, we all know about Newt’s multiple marriages and past infidelities and we
know that might make him unpalatable for social conservatives. And I may be
wrong but I don’t think many evangelicals will be convinced by Newt’s assertion
that he cheated on his wife because he was “driven by how passionately I felt
about this country” and thus “worked far too hard and things happened in my life
that were not appropriate.”

But Newt’s past naughtiness is actually just a tiny part of an even larger
problem that has dogged Gingrich for decades now: That he is shockingly full of
shit on just about everything, not just marriage.

Newt’s core problem is that he’s perpetually torn between being a classic
conservative bomb-thrower and being a cultivated “Man of Ideas” who wins respect
from the mainstream press. So while Newt scores points with the Limbaugh axis by
deriding Barack Obama’s supposed “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior,” he loses many
more potential mega-dittos with his “I’m-a-serious-problem-solver” shtick.

To cite one classic example, Gingrich’s desire to be considered a Serious
Intellectual back in 2008 led him to speak a major right-wing heresy by
acknowledging the existence of global warming. In fact, Gingrich’s desire to be
taken seriously on climate change even led to him cutting an advertisement with
(shudder!) then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

From a right-wing media shrieker perspective, Newt might as well have cut an
ad with Osama bin Laden and said, “We may not agree on much, but we do agree on
the need to provide America’s children with mandatory prayer rugs. Allahu
akbar!”

And like Mitt Romney, Gingrich has a long history of supporting an individual
mandate to purchase health insurance. You see, the conservative position on
health care used to be that we needed to mandate that people buy private health
insurance to avoid a socialistic single-payer system like the ones in communist
hellholes like Canada. But with the rise of the Tea Party in 2009, Republican
candidates had to shift their views away from individual mandates and toward a
system where people are left to die in the streets, just as they did in the days
of the Founders. So statements such as “you have a responsibility to buy
insurance” and “we need some significant changes to ensure that every American
is insured” from Gingrich’s 2005 book “Winning the Future” just aren’t going to
cut it anymore.

Newt’s full-of-shit-about-everything problem is particularly magnified in the
age of YouTube, where videos showing past contradictions can be plastered all
over Facebook walls and Twitter feeds. You saw this crop up during the Gingrich
campaign’s comically awful first week, which saw Newt denounce Paul Ryan’s
insane neo-Social Darwinist budget before hastily retreating in the face of
conservative backlash. Newt predictably went full-bore in an attack against the
Lamestream Media and even said that it was now out of bounds to accurately quote
his past statements.

“Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood, because I have
said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate,” Gingrich howled.

After just one week, the Gingrich campaign became so bloodied that it had
been reduced to releasing epic poems that portrayed Newt as a conquering hero
who would dispel all doubters and outsiders in good time.

“A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the
onslaught,” wrote Gingrich flack Rick Tyler. “But out of the billowing smoke and
dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who
won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the
challenges America faces.”

This inspired me to try penning my own Newt epic, based on Tennyson’s classic
“Ulysses”:

“Newtlysses”

It little profits that an idle former House Speaker,
By this still
hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged third wife, I mete
and dole
Bombs and predator drones unto a savage race,
That hoard, and
sleep, and have a Kenyan anti-colonial mindset, and know not me.

You get the idea.

The good thing about being perpetually full of shit about everything is that
it’s easier to make people forget all about your past positions. People who
actually feel slightly guilty about bullshitting people don’t have that same
luxury. So if Newt can manage to get some – any! – message discipline over the
next few months he could turn out OK.

Candidate #4: Tim Pawlenty

I tried to do some research about Tim Pawlenty. Then I got bored. Like,
really, really, really bored.

Chances of winning over Dittohead Nation: Meh. Pawlenty is a straight-laced
Midwestern conservative who gets check-marks on all the major issues but who
doesn’t generate all that much excitement among the Limbaugh crowd. For even
though Pawlenty is staunchly anti-abortion and has received an “A” on fiscal
management from the Cato Institute, his dry demeanor fails to provide Fox News
fans with the emotional gratification that comes from angrily screeching at your
adversaries as loud as you possibly can. Oh, and he apparently doesn’t hate
Muslims, or something. The bottom line is that conservative media shriekers will
support him but not enthusiastically so.

Candidate #5: Sarah Palin

Palin is seemingly the perfect candidate for the conservative screamer
movement largely because she’s one of them herself. Let’s review the facts: She
kisses Sean Hannity’s ass, she doesn’t care about governing, she works for Fox
News, she’s never helped people get health care, she’s never filmed a video with
Nancy Pelosi and she cries like a baby grizzly whenever anyone says anything the
least bit uncomplimentary toward her. Indeed, Palin’s extreme sensitivity to
criticism of any sort has led to her start more pointless feuds than anyone this
side of 50 Cent.

And yet… well, here’s the problem with Sarah Palin: She would lose to Obama,
big-time. And no, it doesn’t matter if Barack Obama replaced the
stars-and-stripes with his Muslim prayer rug on the White House flagpole. Every
single poll has shown that Palin is widely disliked by the American public and
that nominating her would result in a 20-point defeat for the Republican
Party.

And to paraphrase George Patton, “Conservative screamers love a winner and
will not tolerate a loser.” The same will eventually prove true of current
Dittohead favorite Herman Cain, the pizza magnate and Tea Party activist whose
lone attempt to run for public office ended in a humiliating defeat to current
Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson in a 2004 GOP primary. And if you can’t campaign
well on wingnuttery in Georgia, there’s no way you’ll be able to campaign on
wingnuttery nationwide.

That means the Fox News axis will likely have to bring a fresh face onto the
scene that will shake up the primary race. A fresh face such as…

Candidate #6: Somali Warlord Musa Sudi Yalahow

As you can see, none of the big-name Republican candidates really lives up to
the high standards set by Fox News screamers. This is why I predict the Right’s
leading lights will embark on a campaign to draft a dark-horse candidate to
shake up the race. And there’s no better candidate to rally support on the Right
than Somali warlord Musa Sudi Yalahow.

First of all, just think about how well Somalia fits in with modern
conservative ideals of how society should be run. There ain’t no gubmint
bureaucrats tellin’ you that you can’t own a gun in Somalia! The right to bear
arms in that country is so sacrosanct that they don’t even need a Constitutional
amendment to make it a reality!

Similarly, there ain’t no gubmint bureaucrats in Somalia tellin’ you that you
gotta buy health insurance. In fact, according to Doctors Without Borders,
people in Somalia don’t have to suffer under the tyranny of having health
insurance at all! Check out an excerpt from this report:

“For many years Somalis have endured violence, displacement, malnutrition,
and lack of access to adequate health care. […] Over the course of the year, the
gap between critical needs in Somalia, particularly in and around Mogadishu, and
the level of humanitarian response grew even larger, mainly due to aid agencies’
extremely limited capacity to deliver assistance in this highly insecure and
volatile environment.”

You can just smell the freedom and liberty all the way across the ocean,
can’t you?

Next, consider the kind of man Mr. Yalahow is. According to his Wikipedia
page, Yalahow was part of an America-backed warlord coalition to fight Islamist
extremists in the country back in early 2006. In other words, he has a lot more
real-world experience fighting terrorists than the Kenyan Kommie currently
occupying the White House ever will. And when many of his fellow warlords agreed
to stop fighting and voluntarily disarm their militias, Yalahow instead issued
veiled threats to revolt if the new government didn’t live up to its
promises.

Now that’s the kind of fightin’ spirit that Fox News could get behind – maybe
Yalahow could pick Sharon Angle as his running mate to form a Second Amendment
Remedies Dream Ticket?

Brad Reed is a writer living in Boston. His work
has previously appeared in the American Prospect Online, and he blogs frequently
at Sadly, No!.

Hysterical American Right Foamy-Mouthed Over Obama’s Speech


Instantaneous Outrageous Outrage: ‘Obama Sides with Palestinians!’

Distorted AP article triggers yet another fake outrage

In three short paragraphs about President Obama’s speech this morning, the Associated Press warps the story beyond recognition: Obama says Palestine must be based in 1967 borders.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, in a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.

In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians’ opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to referring to the 1967 borders.

Until Thursday, the U.S. position had been that the Palestinian goal of a state based on the 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, should be reconciled with Israel’s desire for a secure Jewish state through negotiations.

Wow. Rarely have I seen such blatant distortion in a mainstream news release. Here’s the exact quote from Obama’s speech:

The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.

Note: he didn’t say “1967 borders,” he didn’t “side with the Palestinians,” and he absolutely did still insist on mutually agreed swaps and secure borders for both countries. It’s nothing but a re-wording of the same position the US has taken for many years.

Based on this distorted and very misleading AP article, Fox News instantly put together a screaming fake outrage headline, currently leading on their front page:

Drudge Report also jumped on it, running a huge headline: “OBAMA SIDES WITH PALESTINIANS!”

And of course, it’s already all over the right wing blogosphere that President Obama “told Israel to move back to the pre-1967 borders.”

No. He didn’t.

All this fake outrage spread throughout the Internet within minutes after the President’s speech, like a virtual wingnut flash mob.

I guess it’s too much to ask these people to report what the President actually said.

UPDATE at 5/19/11 4:50:18 pm

Ben Smith comments:

Count me among those who have covered spats between the U.S. and Israel in some detail, and are a bit perplexed why sources from the New York Times to Benjamin Netanyahu are acting as though a Rubicon has been crossed by Obama’s restating universal assumptions and U.S. policy, and meanwhile slapping down the key Palestinian diplomatic drive.

Jeffrey Goldberg comments:

I’m amazed at the amount of insta-commentary out there suggesting that the President has proposed something radical and new by declaring that Israel’s 1967 borders should define — with land-swaps — the borders of a Palestinian state. I’m feeling a certain Groundhog Day effect here. This has been the basic idea for at least 12 years. This is what Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat were talking about at Camp David, and later, at Taba. This is what George W. Bush was talking about with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. So what’s the huge deal here? Is there any non-delusional Israeli who doesn’t think that the 1967 border won’t serve as the rough outline of the new Palestinian state?

UPDATE at 5/19/11 5:00:44 pm

This section of Obama’s speech is certainly not “siding with the Palestinians” — in fact, he’s clearly saying that Palestinians will never have a state while they reject Israel’s right to exist:

For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.

Pamela Geller “America’s Most Deranged Blogger”


Pamela Geller Rages at the Independent’s Accurate Article

Shrieking Harpy says, ‘I love Muslims!’

She’s looking more and more like SKELETOR!

“I ♥ me some Muslims!”
The Independent’s Robert Chalmers has a very balanced and fair look at Pamela Geller: American patriot or extremist firebrand?And of course, any balanced and fair examination of the Shrieking Harpy can only come to one conclusion: she’s desperately unhinged.

What’s striking about this article, though, is that Geller completely lacks the courage of her convictions. When confronted about her bizarre, hate-filled posts, she invariably attempts to pretend she didn’t really say what she did really say. It’s a “joke,” or it’s somebody else’s writing that she just happened to put on her blog for no particular reason, or it’s “taken out of context.” Like many extremists and bigots, underneath the bluster and the hateful statements Geller is a coward.

For example:

Among the many new things I have learnt from the work of Pamela Geller is that President Obama reputedly used to knock around with a crack whore.

“That,” the author, blogger and broadcaster insists, “is not what I said. You are taking this out of context. The post [on her website atlasshrugs.com] was pointing out how people were reporting lie after lie about Sarah Palin. I said to myself, there is so much about Obama we don’t print. In his youth,” she continues, repeating a story for which there exists absolutely no foundation, “he supposedly liked a girl who was a crack whore. I never reported it as fact. They say all these vile things about Palin but do we ever talk about Obama and the crack whore?”

The incredibly libellous post, entitled: “IT’S TIME TO EXPOSE THE TRUTH ABOUT OBAMA” appeared on 1 August 2009. “Why not tell the truth about Obama and his reported strange sexual predilections?” Geller wrote. “It is well known that he allegedly was involved with a crack whore in his youth. Very seedy stuff … Find the ho, give her a show! Obama allegedly trafficked in some very deviant practices.”

Pretty hard to take that out of context, wouldn’t you say?

Chalmers emailed me to ask for my reaction to Geller’s insults:

She began blogging on littlegreenfootballs.com, run by the professional musician and software expert Charles Johnson. Between 2004 and 2007, she posted thousands of entries. “She was always as reactionary,” he tells me, “as you see her now.”

Johnson, who, as that remark would suggest, does not share Geller’s opinions, is described as a “mental patient” on Atlas Shrugs.

“I know Pamela Geller often calls me crazy,” he told me. “But I’m not the one who talks about the president’s birth certificate being faked or says that he’s the illegitimate son of Malcolm X, and I’m not the one who defends a war criminal and makes alliances with white supremacist groups. That would be Ms Geller. She has a very long record of absolute lunacy, mixed with bigotry and racism and I am far from the only person to point this out.”

Please note: the article says Geller posted “entries” at LGF, but that’s not accurate. She posted comments only; even when LGF focused heavily on Islamic extremism, there was no way I’d ever let someone this crazed and illiterate post front page entries here.

The overall picture you get from the Independent’s article is of a pathetic, intellectually challenged bigot who thrives on the attention, and the Shrieking Harpy has responded to Chalmers’ article with her customary insults and incoherent rage: Independent Sunday Magazine Cover Story: Pamela Geller ‘The most dangerous woman in America???????’

Robert Chalmers could not disappoint his judgemental peers and risk losing his cache with the lemmings; hence he commiserated with intellectual frauds like Charles Johnson and an unnamed journalist who actually attempted amateur Geller psychoanalysis (as if), but Chalmers chose not to speak to the people I actually work with, like Robert Spencer, Pamela Hall, James Lafferty etc.,

Geller seems to believe that Chalmers was actually sympathetic to her, but too afraid to say so. Good grief.

Pamela Geller is definitely not the “most dangerous woman in America,” but she just might take the title of “most deranged blogger in America.”

Read the whole thing…

Sarah Palin an Ugly Woman; Exposed by John Stewart


Right Wing fruitcake Sean Hannity attempted to elevate poor persecuted Sarah from bullied school into a saint Joan of Arc martyr effigy!

You would think these pair of hypocritical liars and loons were beyond parody; but John Stewart proves that wrong!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Hate Mongers Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck Dumped!


Glenn Beck And Sean Hannity Dropped From Philadelphia Radio Station

Yesterday, hate radio hosts Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity had their nationally syndicated radio shows dropped from WPHT in Philadelphia, which is the second radio station to drop both of the conservative commentators. The moves were scheduled back in November 2010, and Marc Rayfield, market manager for CBS Radio in Philadelphia and senior vice president, said that WPHT wants to become “more of a locally based station.”

Just weeks ago, Beck was dropped from WOR in New York, but the most recent cancellation in Philadelphia hurts Beck even more. Beck got his start in Philadelphia, and many of his radio staffers still live in Philly, including Beck’s side-kick Stu. Immediately after being dropped yesterday, Beck dropped all affection for the city where he got his start, saying, “Philly sucks”:

“You know the killing streets right there in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia?” Beck told his producer. “You know how Philadelphia is not a place you want to be?” he added. “I’ll put you on a hidden cam and put you downtown at 6, 7 o’clock at night.” He could not believe his producer would be brave enough to walk around Center City at night. “Philly sucks,” Beck then said.

Last October, Hannity was dropped from KSL Radio in Utah, which is managed by Deseret Media Companies (DMC), a for-profit arm of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to reports, Hannity’s drop in Utah may have been due to a clash between DMC’s “Mission Statement,” which calls for the declaration of “light and knowledge” along with the advancement of “integrity, civility, morality, and respect for all people,” and Hannity’s constant lack of civility.

WPHT reportedly dropped both Beck and Hannity because they wanted more local talk content, but the most recent cancellations may be part of a pattern in which advertisers and broadcasters have become wary over the rhetoric spouted by hate radio. Color of Change reports that, so far, 81 companies have quit advertising on Beck’s Fox News show and Media Matter reports 100, including a list of those who haven’t withdrawn their advertisements.

Paul Breer

John Pilger’s Investigation Into the War on WikiLeaks and His Interview With Julian Assange


John Pilger‘s Investigation Into the War on WikiLeaks and His Interview With Julian Assange

Friday 14 January 2011

by: John Pilger

John Pilger's Investigation Into the War on WikiLeaks and His Interview With Julian Assange
Founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange. (Photo: Ben Bryant / Flickr)

The attacks on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are a response to an information revolution that threatens old power orders in politics and journalism. The incitement to murder trumpeted by public figures in the United States, together with attempts by the Obama administration to corrupt the law and send Assange to a hell-hole prison for the rest of his life, are the reactions of a rapacious system exposed as never before.

In recent weeks, the US Justice Department has established a secret grand jury just across the river from Washington in the eastern district of the state of Virginia. The object is to indict Assange under a discredited espionage act used to arrest peace activists during the First World War, or one of the “war on terror” conspiracy statutes that have degraded American justice. Judicial experts describe the jury as a “deliberate set up,” pointing out that this corner of Virginia is home to the employees and families of the Pentagon, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, and other pillars of American power.

“This is not good news,” Assange told me when we spoke this past week, his voice dark and concerned. He says he can have “bad days – but I recover.” When we met in London last year, I said, “You are making some very serious enemies, not least of all the most powerful government engaged in two wars. How do you deal with that sense of danger?” His reply was characteristically analytical. “It’s not that fear is absent. But courage is really the intellectual mastery over fear – by an understanding of what the risks are and how to navigate a path through them.”

Regardless of the threats to his freedom and safety, he says the US is not WikiLeaks’ main “technological enemy.” “China is the worst offender. China has aggressive, sophisticated interception technology that places itself between every reader inside China and every information source outside China. We’ve been fighting a running battle to make sure we can get information through, and there are now all sorts of ways Chinese readers can get on to our site.”

It was in this spirit of “getting information through” that WikiLeaks was founded in 2006, but with a moral dimension. “The goal is justice,” wrote Assange on the homepage, “the method is transparency.” Contrary to a current media mantra, WikiLeaks material is not “dumped.” Less than one percent of the 251,000 US embassy cables have been released. As Assange points out, the task of interpreting material and editing that which might harm innocent individuals demands “standards [befitting] higher levels of information and primary sources.” To secretive power, this is journalism at its most dangerous.

On 18 March 2008, a war on WikiLeaks was foretold in a secret Pentagon document prepared by the “Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch.” US intelligence, it said, intended to destroy the feeling of “trust,” which is WikiLeaks’ “center of gravity.” It planned to do this with threats to “exposure [and] criminal prosecution.” Silencing and criminalizing this rare source of independent journalism was the aim: smear the method. Hell hath no fury like imperial Mafiosi scorned.

Others, also scorned, have lately played a supporting part, intentionally or not, in the hounding of Assange, some for reasons of petty jealousy. Sordid and shabby describe their behavior, which serves only to highlight the injustice against a man who has courageously revealed what we have a right to know.

As the US Justice Department, in its hunt for Assange, subpoenas the Twitter and email accounts, banking and credit card records of people around the world – as if we are all subjects of the United States – much of the “free” media on both sides of the Atlantic direct their indignation at the hunted.

“So, Julian, why won’t you go back to Sweden now?” demanded the headline over Catherine Bennett’s Observer column on 19 December, which questioned Assange’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct with two women in Stockholm last August. “To keep delaying the moment of truth, for this champion of fearless disclosure and total openness,” wrote Bennett, “could soon begin to look pretty dishonest, as well as inconsistent.” Not a word in Bennett’s vitriol considered the looming threats to Assange’s basic human rights and his physical safety, as described by Geoffrey Robertson QC, in the extradition hearing in London on 11 January.

In response to Bennett, the editor of the online Nordic News Network in Sweden, Al Burke, wrote to the Observer explaining, “plausible answers to Catherine Bennett’s tendentious question” were both critically important and freely available. Assange had remained in Sweden for more than five weeks after the rape allegation was made – and subsequently dismissed by the chief prosecutor in Stockholm – and that repeated attempts by him and his Swedish lawyer to meet a second prosecutor, who reopened the case following the intervention of a government politician, had failed. And yet, as Burke pointed out, this prosecutor had granted him permission to fly to London where “he also offered to be interviewed – a normal practice in such cases.” So, it seems odd, at the very least, that the prosecutor then issued a European arrest warrant. The Observer did not publish Burke’s letter.

This record straightening is crucial because it describes the perfidious behavior of the Swedish authorities – a bizarre sequence confirmed to me by other journalists in Stockholm and by Assange’s Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig. Not only that, Burke cataloged the unforeseen danger Assange faces should he be extradited to Sweden. “Documents released by WikiLeaks since Assange moved to England,” he wrote, “clearly indicate that Sweden has consistently submitted to pressure from the United States in matters relating to civil rights. There is ample reason for concern that if Assange were to be taken into custody by Swedish authorities, he could be turned over to the United States without due consideration of his legal rights.”

These documents have been virtually ignored in Britain. They show that the Swedish political class has moved far from the perceived neutrality of a generation ago and that the country’s military and intelligence apparatus is all but absorbed into Washington’s matrix around NATO. In a 2007 cable, the US Embassy in Stockholm lauds the Swedish government dominated by the conservative Moderate Party of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt as coming “from a new political generation and not bound by [anti-US] traditions [and] in practice a pragmatic and strong partner with NATO, having troops under NATO command in Kosovo and Afghanistan.”

The cable reveals how foreign policy is largely controlled by Carl Bildt, the current foreign minister, whose career has been based on a loyalty to the United States that goes back to the Vietnam War when he attacked Swedish public television for broadcasting evidence that the US was bombing civilian targets. Bildt played a leading role in the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a lobby group with close ties to the White House of George W. Bush, the CIA and the far right of the Republican Party.

“The significance of all this for the Assange case,” notes Burke in a recent study, “is that it will be Carl Bildt and perhaps other members of the Reinfeldt government who will decide – openly or, more likely, furtively behind a façade of legal formality – on whether or not to approve the anticipated US request for extradition. Everything in their past clearly indicates that such a request will be granted.”

For example, in December 2001, with the “war on terror” under way, the Swedish government abruptly revoked the political refugee status of two Egyptians, Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed al-Zari. They were handed to a CIA kidnap squad at Stockholm airport and “rendered” to Egypt, where they were tortured. When the Swedish ombudsman for justice investigated and found that their human rights had been “seriously violated,” it was too late.

The implications for the Assange case are clear. Both men were removed without due process of law and before their lawyers could file appeals to the European Human Rights Court and in response to a US threat to impose a trade embargo on Sweden. Last year, Assange applied for residency in Sweden, hoping to base WikiLeaks there. It is widely believed that Washington warned Sweden through mutual intelligence contacts of the potential consequences. In December, prosecutor Marianne Ny, who reactivated the Assange case, discussed the possibility of Assange’s extradition to the US on her web site.

Almost six months after the sex allegations were first made public, Assange has been charged with no crime, but his right to a presumption of innocence has been willfully denied. The unfolding events in Sweden have been farcical, at best. The Australian barrister James Catlin, who acted for Assange in October, describes the Swedish justice system as “a laughing stock … There is no precedent for it. The Swedes are making it up as they go along.” He says that Assange, apart from noting contradictions in the case, has not publicly criticized the women who made the allegations against him. It was the police who tipped off the Swedish equivalent of the Sun, Expressen, with defamatory material about them, initiating a trial by media across the world.

In Britain, this trial has welcomed yet more eager prosecutors, with the BBC to the fore. There was no presumption of innocence in Kirsty Wark’s “Newsnight” court in December. “Why don’t you just apologise to the women?” she demanded of Assange, followed by: “Do we have your word of honour that you won’t abscond?” On Radio 4’s “Today” program, John Humphrys, the partner of Bennett, told Assange that he was obliged to go back to Sweden “because the law says you must.” The hectoring Humphrys, however, had more pressing interests. “Are you a sexual predator?” he asked. Assange replied that the suggestion was ridiculous, to which Humphrys demanded to know how many women he had slept with.

“Would even Fox News have descended to that level?” wondered the American historian William Blum. “I wish Assange had been raised in the streets of Brooklyn, as I was. He then would have known precisely how to reply to such a question: ‘You mean including your mother?'”

What is most striking about these “interviews” is not so much their arrogance and lack of intellectual and moral humility; it is their indifference to fundamental issues of justice and freedom and their imposition of narrow, prurient terms of reference. Fixing these boundaries allows the interviewer to diminish the journalistic credibility of Assange and WikiLeaks, whose remarkable achievements stand in vivid contrast to their own. It is like watching the old and stale, guardians of the status quo, struggling to prevent the emergence of the new.

In this media trial, there is a tragic dimension, obviously for Assange, but also for the best of mainstream journalism. Having published a slew of professionally brilliant editions with the WikiLeaks disclosures, feted all over the world, The Guardian recovered its establishment propriety on 17 December by turning on its besieged source. A major article by the paper’s senior correspondent Nick Davies claimed that he had been given the “complete” Swedish police file with its “new” and “revealing” salacious morsels.

Assange’s Swedish lawyer Hurtig says that crucial evidence is missing from the file given to Davies, including “the fact that the women were re-interviewed and given an opportunity to change their stories” and the tweets and SMS messages between them, which are “critical to bringing justice in this case.” Vital exculpatory evidence is also omitted, such as the statement by the original prosecutor, Eva Finne, that “Julian Assange is not suspected of rape.”

Having reviewed the Davies article, Assange’s former barrister James Catlin wrote to me: “The complete absence of due process is the story and Davies ignores it. Why does due process matter? Because the massive powers of two arms of government are being brought to bear against the individual whose liberty and reputation are at stake.” I would add: so is his life.

The Guardian has profited hugely from the WikiLeaks disclosures, in many ways. On the other hand, WikiLeaks, which survives on mostly small donations and can no longer receive funds through many banks and credit companies thanks to the bullying of Washington, has received nothing from the paper. In February, Random House will publish a Guardian book that is sure to be a lucrative best seller, which Amazon is advertising as “The End of Secrecy: the Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks.” When I asked David Leigh, the Guardian executive in charge of the book, what was meant by “fall,” he replied that Amazon was wrong and that the working title had been “The Rise (and Fall?) of WikiLeaks.” “Note parenthesis and query,” he wrote, “Not meant for publication anyway.” (The book is now described on the Guardian web site as “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.”) Still, with all that duly noted, the sense is that “real” journalists are back in the saddle. Too bad about the new boy, who never really belonged.

On 11 January, Assange’s first extradition hearing was held at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, an infamous address because it is here that people were, before the advent of control orders, consigned to Britain’s own Guantanamo, Belmarsh prison. The change from ordinary Westminster magistrates’ court was due to a lack of press facilities, according to the authorities. That they announced this on the day Vice President Joe Biden declared Assange a “high tech terrorist” was no doubt coincidental, though the message was not.

For his part, Assange is just as worried about what will happen to Bradley Manning, the alleged whistleblower, being held in horrific conditions which the US National Commission on Prisons calls “tortuous.” At 23, Private Manning is the world’s pre-eminent prisoner of conscience, having remained true to the Nuremberg principle that every soldier has the right to “a moral choice.” His suffering mocks the notion of the land of the free.

“Government whistleblowers,” said Barack Obama, running for president in 2008, “are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal.” Obama has since pursued and prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other president in American history.

“Cracking Bradley Manning is the first step,” Assange told me. “The aim clearly is to break him and force a confession that he somehow conspired with me to harm the national security of the United States. In fact, I’d never heard his name before it was published in the press. WikiLeaks technology was designed from the very beginning to make sure that we never knew the identities or names of people submitting material. We are as untraceable as we are uncensorable. That’s the only way to assure sources they are protected.”

He adds: “I think what’s emerging in the mainstream media is the awareness that if I can be indicted, other journalists can, too. Even the New York Times is worried. This used not to be the case. If a whistleblower was prosecuted, publishers and reporters were protected by the First Amendment that journalists took for granted. That’s being lost. The release of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, with their evidence of the killing of civilians, hasn’t caused this – it’s the exposure and embarrassment of the political class: the truth of what governments say in secret, how they lie in public; how wars are started. They don’t want the public to know these things and scapegoats must be found.”

What about the allusions to the “fall” of WikiLeaks? “There is no fall,” he said. “We have never published as much as we are now. WikiLeaks is now mirrored on more than 2,000 websites. I can’t keep track of the of the spin-off sites: those who are doing their own WikiLeaks … If something happens to me or to WikiLeaks, ‘insurance’ files will be released. They speak more of the same truth to power, including the media. There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organisation and there are cables on Murdoch and Newscorp.”

The latest propaganda about the “damage” caused by WikiLeaks is a warning by the US State Department to “hundreds of human rights activists, foreign government officials and business people identified in leaked diplomatic cables of possible threats to their safety.” This was how The New York Times dutifully relayed it on 8 January, and it is bogus. In a letter to Congress, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has admitted that no sensitive intelligence sources have been compromised. On 28 November, McClatchy Newspapers reported, “US officials conceded they have no evidence to date that the [prior] release of documents led to anyone’s death.” NATO in Kabul told CNN it could not find a single person who needed protecting.

The great American playwright Arthur Miller wrote: “The thought that the state … is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.” What WikiLeaks has given us is truth, including rare and precious insight into how and why so many innocent people have suffered in reigns of terror disguised as wars and executed in our name; and how the United States has secretly and wantonly intervened in democratic governments from Latin America to its most loyal ally in Britain.

Javier Moreno, the editor of El Pais, which published the WikiLeaks logs in Spain, wrote, “I believe that the global interest sparked by the WikiLeaks papers is mainly due to the simple fact that they conclusively reveal the extent to which politicians in the West have been lying to their citizens.”

Crushing individuals like Assange and Manning is not difficult for a great power, however craven. The point is, we should not allow it to happen, which means those of us meant to keep the record straight should not collaborate in any way. Transparency and information, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, are the “currency” of democratic freedom. “Every news organisation,” a leading American constitutional lawyer told me, “should recognize that Julian Assange is one of them and that his prosecution will have a huge and chilling effect on journalism.”

My favorite secret document – leaked by WikiLeaks, of course – is from the Ministry of Defense in London. It describes journalists who serve the public without fear or favor as “subversive” and “threats.” Such a badge of honor.
 

John Pilger, Australian-born, London-based journalist, film-maker and author. For his foreign and war reporting, ranging from Vietnam and Cambodia to the Middle East, he has twice won Britain’s highest award for journalism. For his documentary films, he won a British Academy Award and an American Emmy. In 2009, he was awarded Australia’s human rights prize, the Sydney Peace Prize. His latest film is “The War on Democracy.”

Veteran Wounded in Tucson Shootings Blames Palin, Beck, and Angle


LGF reports:-

Veteran Wounded in Tucson Shootings Blames Palin, Beck, and Angle

US News

Eric Fuller, the 63-year old veteran shot twice last Saturday in the attack that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, said today that he blames the violent rhetoric of people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Sharron Angle.

“It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target,” Eric Fuller said in an interview with Democracy NOW.

“Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled — senseless hatred leading to murder, lunatic fringe anarchism, subscribed to by John Boehner, mainstream rebels with vengeance for all, even 9-year-old girls.”

Now watch as Andrew Breitbart, Jim Hoft, and the rest of the right wing blogosphere go into overdrive to smear Mr. Fuller.

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