Show me the poo!
Yes, one more time, but with some levity, it’s right up there on a ”grassy knoll”.
This book review by Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld was first published in full at the JCPA.
Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have been around for close to twenty centuries. They blame Jews for many problems for which they bear no responsibility. A well-known example with ancient roots is the Christian claim that Jews in all generations bear the guilt for the death of Jesus. Another is the libel, originating in the Middle Ages, that Jews use the blood of Christian children for ritual purposes. Yet other theories blame Jews for transmitting various plagues, such as the Black Death in the fourteenth century.
In more modern times, the putative conspiracy has been revived in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a Czarist forgery maliciously attributed to the Jews. This hate manifesto remains a bestseller, widely disseminated in the Arab and Muslim world and elsewhere. Another example is the German “dagger-stab” (Dolchstoss) legend, which held the Jews responsible for Germany’s defeat in World War I and was subsequently used by the National Socialists in their murderous anti-Semitic campaigns. Contemporary anti-Semitic phenomena are mainly mutations of core motifs that have been extant for many centuries.
It’s a very insightful view on Muslim conspiracy theories, which have been over the years, highlighted and exposed here at the Tundra Tabloids for what they are. This interview has been published at Israel National News and republished here with the author’s permission.
Manfred Gerstenfeld interviews Richard Landes
“In this new century, we see a revival of conspiracy theories. Muslim societies are most prominent in the production, circulation and belief in them. The best known conspiracy theory is probably that Americans themselves, or the Mossad, carried out the 9/11 terror attacks and not the jihadist Al Qaida perpetrators. This belief permeates the elites throughout the Muslim world. In quieter times, conspiracy theories remained on the fringe. After World War II, many people thought that Western culture had definitively marginalized them, including that ‘warrant for genocide,’ the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
“Conspiracy theories coming out of the Muslim world are accompanied by another surprising phenomenon. In the past, conspiracists blamed a malevolent “other” – the Jews, the lepers, the witches, the communists. Now we find Western believers in conspiracy theories which target themselves – for instance on 9/11 – in which they confirm the paranoid accusations of their enemies. Postmodern conspiracy theory’s siren song runs: ‘We’ are to blame, ‘our’ enemy is innocent.”
Professor Richard Landes of Boston University was trained as a Medievalist. He focuses on the interaction between elites and commoners in various societies. He has published many books and maintains several websites including: ‘The Second Draft’i and a blog, the ‘Augean Stables.’ii
Landes observes: “In the last millennium of Western and Middle Eastern history, the more fevered the conspiracy theory, the more the Jews play a key role— from blood libels and international plots to global ambitions to enslave mankind. Communities terrified by their impotence in the face of the Black Death blamed the Jews, accusing them of poisoning the wells to kill their neighbors. Conspiracy theories simplify some people’s moral universe: ‘the bad things that happen to us are not our fault but due to the evil of others.’
“Conspiracy theories demand and justify extreme action. Anything is permitted when struggling for one’s very existence against some agent plotting to destroy ‘us.’ At their worst, they are ‘warrants for genocide.’iii
“The book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion for example, is transparent forgery. If readers are impartial historians can document that.iv But a rational approach has limited impact on believers who argue, as Hitler did, that even if The Protocols is forged, it represents a higher truth.v The Shoah offers the most startling example: perpetrated by people in the grip of mass paranoia, who believed in a giant Jewish conspiracy.
I read about this incident early this morning, and am finally getting around to blogging about it. It’s one of those stories that, unless one had read enough about the subject material at hand, it might be passed over entirely due to misunderstanding the context of the statement in question. Over at the Weekly Standard, Michael Goldfarb, writes the following:
In a little noticed interview with the Daily Beast (presumably little noticed because serious people don’t read the Daily Beast), Zbigniew Brzezinski suggests that Barack Obama do more than just refuse to support an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear sites — the American president must give the order to shoot down Israeli aircraft as they cross Iraqi airspace:
DB: How aggressive can Obama be in insisting to the Israelis that a military strike might be in America’s worst interest?
Brzezinski: We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?
DB: What if they fly over anyway?
Brzezinski: Well, we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse.
Contrary to Brezinski’s half-hearted disclaimer that no one wishes for such an outcome, there are plenty on the left who would delight in a pitched battle between the United States and Israel. Democrats in Congress routinely support resolutions affirming Israel’s right to take whatever steps it deems necessary to assure its own national defense. And Obama has at least paid lip service to the concept. But hostility to Israel among the rank and file is very real on the left — and among “realists.”
So conjure the image — the Obama administration sending U.S. aircraft up to protect Iran’s airspace and it’s nuclear installations from an attack by a democracy that is one of America’s closest allies. Unfortunately, this may not be so hard to imagine in Israel, where the number of people who believe Obama is pro-Israel is at just 4 percent — and falling. And given Obama’s (literally) submissive posture to the Saudis, his indulgence of the Iranians, and his simultaneously hard-line approach to Israel, it seems even some of Obama’s supporters can savor the possibility of a “reverse Liberty.”
Now, taken at face value, the story by itself is bad enough. Advising the US president to fire upon an ally if it fails to act according to his expressed wishes, should give pause to any of Israel’s supporters who also support the US president. Samantha Power, another of Obama’s close advisors, had even advised the invasion of Israel to impose a settlement on Israel and the Palestinians.
But there is another dimension to the story that deserves exploring, that being, what Zbigniew Brzezinski, actually meant when he stated: “Well, we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse.”
What Brzezinski was referring to of course, was the USS Liberty incident, in which the US ship, the USS Liberty was attacked by Israel during the last days of the 67′ war between Israel and the invading armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, with Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria supplying troops as well.
During the heat of battle and accompanied by a host of failures on both sides of the incident, the US surveillance ship was attacked by both Israeli Airforce and Navy, in a series of deliberate attacks lasting over a period of some fifteen minutes. In the book The Liberty Incident, A.Jay Cristol writes the following:
“There is an old U.S. Marine Corps adage that is perhaps appropiate here: “Never attribute malice that which can be explained by stupidity.”
What the author is alluding to is, stupid, and very deadly stupid things happen in the fog of war, and the USS Liberty Incident is one of those stupid, but deadly, friendly fire incidents. The same happens in every war, most recently in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where the US command came under great criticism for it repeated friendly fire incidents. Yet, none of the US’s allies are blaming the US milititary for purposely killing its soldiers, they know all too well that sh*t happens during war and friendly fire incidents occur and will continue to occur as long as there is a human element involved.
But that doesn’t stop the anti-Israel conspiracists from bringing up the lame charge against Israel, that it intentionally targeted the US ship, knowing full well that it was indeed a US ship, to cover up some other supposed Israeli misdeed elsewhere. That Obama’s chief foreign policy advisor buys into the USS Liberty conspiracy is troublesome, because the US president deems Brzezinski’s advice as worthy enough to consider.
This is as serious as it gets. KGS