Sunday, September 9, 2007

Terra Incognita 4

Here are this weeks three articles below and attached. The full articles appear below these short abstracts.
1) A Jewish Heresy. The Functionalist school of Holocaust historiography argues that it was the ‘machine’ of Nazi bureaucracy that led to the Holocaust, not Hitler or any of the people involved. This idea was first broached in 1961 by Hilberg and has been elaborated upon by Arendt and Sivan, and they are all wrong.

2) What is wrong with ‘International Law?’ International law is a scam. It was created by Europeans for Europeans and it cannot be applied to the world. Here is one example why.

3) Kaffir! The word Kaffir is the same as the word Nigger. But the media presents it as an exotic wonderful word that is just the way Muslims describe non-Muslims.

4) Conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are an important part of American culture.

5) A letter to the Republican party. Is the vanishing Middle Class heralding the destruction of the Republican party?

6) Islam and the world. Why must every non-Muslim country in the world suffer Islamic terror and the imposition of Islamic law, while Muslim countries grant no rights to minorities.A Jewish heresy: The other interpretation of the Holocaust

Seth J. FrantzmanAugust
30th, 2007

In the West as the Holocaust has come to be accepted as one of the most important events of the 20th century it has largely been realized that those responsible it were evil. This is why the use of the word ‘Nazi’ outside of its original context has become so common. Nazi is a synonym for ‘evil’. But among Jewish historiography of the Holocaust this has not always been the case, nor is it the case today.Raul Hilberg, who published one of the seminal works on the Holocaust, The Destruction of European Jewry, argued that “the process of destruction was bureaucratic ... that a bureaucrat became a perpetrator by virtue of his position and skills at the precise time when the process had reached a stage that required his involvement, that he was a thinking individual, and that above all, he was available, neither evading his duty nor obstructing the administrative operation.” Hilberg’s massive work was published in 1961. In it he had relied on sources he had been privy to due to his being stationed in Munich in 1948 with the U.S Army’s War Documentation Project. As a child in Vienna he was also familiar with the rise of Nazism and anti-Semitism.In 1964 Hannah Arendt published her famous work, Eichmann in Jerusalem in which she described her subject as essentially a ‘banal’ character, merely a cog in a massive totalitarian machine. Hilberg and Arendt agreed on the basic fact that the Jews themselves played a major role in their own destruction. Had Jews not policed their own ghettos, had they not trusted in the government not to kill them, had they not been passive, they would have made it much harder to kill them all. But Hilberg broke with Arendt on two important points. He was unhappy that she did not reference his work and he complained that “the pathways that Eichmann found in the thicket of the German administrative machine for his unprecedented actions. ... There was no 'banality' in this 'evil.'”In 2000 Eyal Sivan placed his documentary, The Specialist before audiences worldwide. Following in the footsteps of Arendt his film argues that the banality or dullness of Eichmann the bureaucrat is essentially the most frightening aspect of him. Sivan has been an especially harsh critic of Israel, joining those such as Ilan Pappe, Neve Gordon, Baruch Kimmerling, Norman Finkelstien, Noam Chomsky and Yitzhak Laor in drawing parallels between Israeli actions and those of Nazi Germany. In a sense the ‘bureaucrats’ of Israel are presented as being the same kind of unthinking automatons as Eichmann. It is no surprise that those such as Martin Buber and his ideological partners like Judah Magnes, argued that putting Eichmann to death for his crimes would itself be a crime against humanity. After all, Eichmann deserved his humanity, even if he was a bureaucrat.Despite the fact that Hilberg had many critiques for Arendt, he is essentially the fountainhead of Holocaust historiography that has come to be known as the Functionalist school. Other important Holocaust scholars connected to this school include; Christopher Browning, Hans Mommsen, Martin Broszat, and Zygmunt Bauman. This line of reasoning argues that the Holocaust did not come out of a master plan and that Hitler and his Mien Kampf played a very minor role in the Holocaust. The essential idea is that the Holocaust came about due to the bureaucracy of the state. It was this ‘machinery of destruction’ and the extreme bureaucratization of the Nazi state that led to the Holocaust.The argument that the Holocaust is part of a ‘function’ of the totalitarian state is a combination of Marxism, libertarian theory and modern sociology. The liberal arts have long been obsessed by the concept of the ‘state’ and its crimes. This is why ‘state sponsored terror’ and ‘right wing death squads’ are usually juxtaposed with ‘militants’ and ‘insurgents.’ Whatever crimes the state may commit they are viewed as being essentially worse because they are committed by the ‘state’ rather than individuals or terrorist gangs. According to this view the main sin of Nazism was not its crimes but its figure, its government, its size, its organization. In a sense, the main flaw of Nazism was in its flowchart, not its death camps.This stream of logic relies on three pillars that are essentially flawed. Since the argument hinges on the idea that any state composed of the same components as the Nazi state in 1938 will lead to a Holocaust it must work very hard to prove that other highly bureaucratized dictatorships, are not really like Nazi Germany in form. It also hinges on the idea that the perpetrators are not guilty for their crimes since they are merely part of a ‘machine’ they are not to be blamed for their actions. Lastly it relies on the belief that the Jewish victims are essential to the process and that they are therefore at fault for being killed, since they didn’t resist sufficiently.But the Nazi state is not unique in its bureaucracy. It was not unique in its form or structure. Very few things about its ‘machine’ were unique. What was unique about it was that it set out to slaughter people in an efficient and unprecedented scale. Even Stalin, whose Gulag killed millions, didn’t set up death camps. If the functionalist argument were correct more bureaucratic dictatorships would engage in genocide and genocide would never have taken place in chaotic places such as Darfur, Cambodia, Rwanda or the Ottoman empire.Furthermore if the argument that the role of Hitler was so insignificant then there is no plausible way to explain why Mussolini’s Italy did not also create death camps. The role of Hitler was precisely different than Mussolini and it was that difference that caused the Holocaust to happen at the behest of Germany rather than in Stalin’s Russia or Mussolini’s Italy.The argument that the Jews were to blame is far fetched because it relies on the theory that all victims are to blame for their victimhood by the very fact that they do not resist. But where is it written that only through armed resistance does one become a victim? Precisely the opposite, those who are the greatest victims of genocide are those who are murdered for having done nothing. If 6 million Jews had fought the Nazis and subsequently been killed in the course of the war then what would be unique about the Holocaust?The idea that the perpetrators are not to blame for their actions because they are mindless bureaucrats seems to imply that the real problem with the world is not wicked people but the wicked state. If only the bureaucratic nature of the state could be abolished, in a Libertarian model, then there would be no more genocides. But then what would one make of the mass killing taking place today in Darfur?What is wrong with ‘international law?’

August 27th, 2007
Seth J. Frantzman

In the assault on Israel by leftists, the media and others the newest condemnation centers around the Sudanese refugees who have found their way into the country. The Economist opined on August 25th, 2007 that “in defiance of the UN convention [on refugees(1951)], the [Israeli] government reserves the right to refuse people from enemy countries.” But that’s not the end of it. In addition the Economist notes that “if Israel deports even people who do not qualify for asylum, and they are subsequently mistreated, it could fall foul of international law.” Even worse, supposedly, is the fact that nasty Israel “gives refugees just 30 days after arrival to apply; most Western countries have no time limit.”Lets get this strait. In Egypt the Sudanese are called ‘abd(slave)’ and ‘chocolata africaca(African feces).’ They are given no rights. They are not given any sort of asylum or government assistance. In 2005 Egyptian police murdered more than 27 Sudanese refugees in Cairo in the course of breaking up a demonstration by them. In July of this year Egyptian troops on the border with Israel beat and murdered three Sudanese men. But Egypt apparently isn’t violating ‘international law.’ Egypt just kills the refugees. It doesn’t violate the ‘law’ by denying them entrance from ‘enemy countries’ or ‘deporting them to countries in which they might be mistreated.’This is how international law always works. It never applies to outright murder or acts of genocide. If it did apply then we would see it in action against the Janjaweed who have killed 300,000 Africans in the Sudan and caused all these refugees to begin with. But this thing called ‘international law’ doesn’t apply there. But it does apply the moment the Sudanese cross the border into Israel. All of a sudden they gain millions of protections that they never possessed previously. All of a sudden they are being monitored by the U.N, by the media, by human rights organizations and by the Economist. Why doesn’t this famous thing called ‘international law’ apply in the Gulf Arab states where foreign workers are denied freedoms and now make up 80% of the population? Why doesn’t it apply in Saudi Arabia? Why doesn’t it apply in Iran? Why doesn’t it apply in Libya? It doesn’t seem to apply almost anywhere in fact. Robert Mugabe has dispossessed hundreds of thousands of people of their land. He has caused two million of Zimbabwe’s residents to become refugees. But he doesn’t fall foul of this ‘international law.’It might be cynical to simply see in all this discrimination against Israel or double standards. But a careful examination of the invocation of ‘international law’ shows that it also applies to the Russian treatment of Chechans, the Bosnian attempt to deport Mujahadin, the Sri Lankan treatment of Tamil guerillas, the Ethiopian treatment of Muslim rebels in the Ogadan, the U.S treatment of Iraqis and the Thai treatment of Muslim terrorists in its southern areas. One can predict whether international law and ‘human rights’ applies if the answer to either of the following questions is yes; Is the country a democracy? Is the country fighting Muslim terrorists or insurgents? If the country is both a democracy and fighting Muslim terrorists than even more international laws apply.International law was created by Europeans for Europeans. It was created in the 19th century by the colonial powers. Not even the United States was a signatory to many of the early conventions that created the laws and processes that would eventually form many of the U.N conventions and what is known as the Geneva convention. Today ‘international law’ still serves Europeans, except instead of applying only to Europeans as it did before 1945, now it applies only to those countries that Europeans don’t like. Until the world, and especially those countries victimized the most by ‘human rights’ groups stand up and rescind their membership and signatures on international agreements the present system of double standards and slander will prevail.Seth J. Frantzman is a PhD student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Jerusalem based writer on current affairs.Kaffir! The history of IslamSeth J. FrantzmanJuly 30th, 2007The Wednesday the 18th, 2007 copy of The Independent, a prominent English newspaper included a story entitled ‘Unveiled: the Pakistani tribe that dares to Defy the Fundamentalists.’ Shrouded in the mountains of the North-West frontier province in the Rumbur valley in the Chitral region there exists a tiny tribe that numbers only a few thousand. The Kalasha are an ancient indigenous people living in the shadow of the Hindu Kush, mountains whose name harkens back to the tribes ancient history of contact with pre-Islamic Pakistan, that was once vibrantly diverse, full of Hindus, Buddhists(the builders of the famous Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan that the Taliban blew up) and others. The Kalasha probably saw the first Sikhs who had been influenced by Islam but were forced to take up the sword to defend themselves from extermination as heretics at the hands of the Mughals. They probably saw the Farsis, those Zaroastrians escaping persecution in Iran, where they were seen as devil worshippers, alongside the Yezedis. In the 19th century the last of the Kalshas were driven out of Afghanistan into today’s Pakistan and any who stayed were butchered for not being Muslim. Abdur Rahman Kahn, the first modern ruler of Afghanistan destroyed all the non-Muslims of his nascent realm, an echo of Mohammed of Ghazni of the 12th century. Azam Kalash, a member of this tiny tribe where women walk around without veils and are free of Islamic law, notes that “we’ve always been called kafirs(infidels)[sic] but most people simply left us alone.”In 1927 W. Douglas Burden made his way into the jungles of what is today Indonesia, but was then the Dutch East Indies. In his subsequent account of his adventures Dragon Lizards of Komodo: An Expedition to the lost World of the Dutch East Indies he recalls the island of Bali in the 1920s. “Bali has many attractions. Not the least of these is the nudity…thatched villages sleeping in the shade of coconut groves, combined with the lack of wearing apparel melt together so harmoniously…the fame of Bali has spread to the ends of the earth. But to return to the nudity, which is really astonishing in both its quantity and quality. There are women, women, everywhere, such round, plump partridges, yet so lithe and graceful and exhibiting such perfection as to inspire the artist…at every turn we came upon age-old temples buried in verdure…here the Hindu religion still holds sway…At twilight we hid by a mossy pool and watched an entire village come wandering, one by one, down the leafy paths to bathe. There is no false modesty in Bali, men and women bathe together in a state of nature, with perfect unconcern…For several days we wandered through the matchless isle of Bali, which is still untrammeled by Westerners, undisturbed by European Civilization.” Today Mr. Burden might be surprised to find that Bali’s exoticism has been disturbed, not by the West, but by Islamic terror and its endless bombings on the island. The media reports that the bombings target the Australian tourists who flock to Bali, which is more open and free than the rest of Islamic Indonesia, but the target is also the Hindus who not coincidently make up the bare majority of the area. Few recall that until recently the whole of Indonesia was a blend of Hinduism and native religions.But it is that one word, Kaffir, that explains the disappearance all over the world, one by one, of cultures, of diversity, of people. Islam’s role in the world is not as a religion, it is not as a culture, it is as a thing, a thing that turns everything it touches into a carbon copy of itself. Whatever existed before is forgotten and slowly erased from history, first from books and then from the geography of the land to the extent possible. The fact that the Pyrimids remain while the Bamiyan Buddhas do not, is merely because Islam never had a chance to blow them up, yet.Kaffir. That word. It is that word that separates Islam from humanity, from the rest of the world. When a religion divides the world into its adherents and the ‘other’ that may be no surpise. But when the religion ascribes all non-beleivers to be ‘Kaffir’ it turns them into objects, into beasts, slaves, things that do not deserve to live. Kaffir.Kaffir is the word that has dehumanized the world. It is that word that when a well educated white woman who recalls apartheid hears it she cringes. Nigger. But Kaffir in the west is not like Nigger. The white woman who today cringes at Nigger is no longer the woman who cringes at Kaffir. Like the Kalasha native in Pakistan, the white western woman has internalized ‘kaffir’, just as she internalized ‘white girl’. Kaffir doesn’t shock, because the west accepts that it is indeed ‘kaffir’. The west couldn’t countenance that the blacks of South Africa were ‘kaffir’ but when it comes to the entire world being viewed as kaffir by one of the world’s ‘fastest growing religions’ the western, the weakling, the liberal, the leftist, has no problem.Kaffir. How many people have died because they were deemed ‘kaffir’? How many people have been enslaved because they were kaffir? How many women have been raped because they were kaffir? How many nations and religions and ethnic groups and tribes have disappeared entirely because they were kaffir? The number will never be known. What is known is that before the coming of Islam the world was a rich and diverse place. Everywhere the shadow of Islam has fallen the people have become impoverished, the land has slowly become depopulated and fallen into ruin, all the minority groups have been destroyed, the history of the place has come to be only ‘Islamic history’ and subsequently the attire of all the women has changed: they can no longer be seen.This is perhaps what is most striking in the accounts above. The presence of women is prominent in both the article on the Kalasha and in the account of Bali. It was, after-all, before the 7th century a world in which women played a part. It was a world that actually included women. The Bible speaks of women. They did exist in society then. But should we turn the clock forward to 20th century Pakistan and Indonesia, we see countries without women. Should a foreigner visit them he or she will never interact with Muslim women. They do not exist. We can see this in Israel. The tens of thousands of foreigners who come to Israel every month to work as human rights activists will meet hundreds of Palestinians and Arabs. But only 1% or less of the Arab Muslims they meet will be women. Those women of Bali no longer bathe in the nude. They no longer lack modesty. Do they? Even Sir Wilfred Thesiger who traveled in Arabia between 1930 and 1960 documented the presence in one of the few pictures of a woman, of a woman’s breast. A breast. A kaffir breast perhaps. But there it is staring back at you from a 1948 photograph taken deep in the empty quarter of Arabia among the Bedouin. A breast protrudes ever so slightly from a loosely wrapped robe of a Bedouin woman. At first it seems like a mirage, as is so common in the desert, but there can be no mistaking it. The explanation? These kaffirs haven’t been introduced to Islam thoroughly yet. Since 1968 the King Faisal Settlement Project which provides for, among others, the Al-Murrah Bedouin,


Unknown said...

Good point. And what do you think of, for example, Shoher's attitude like here ?

Unknown said...

Good point. And what do you think of, for example, Shoher's attitude like here ?