Poland, Jews and Justice
1 minute ago
A Danish gallery has decided to exhibit a caricature of Muhammad that unleashed a wave of protests in the Muslim world against Denmark in 2006. Citing an article in magazine Sappho, Agence France-Presse reports that the controversial caricature will be part of a larger exhibition dedicated to the watercolor works of the artist-caricaturist Kurt Westergaard at the Galleri Draupner in Skanderborg.Kurt Westergaard and his family have had a few problems because of that cartoon (the best of the 12, in my opinion) and this distinguishes him from many an artist, described as "courageous" who would never step outside the boundaries of what is prescribed by accepted opinion and the grant-giving organizations. (Here and here.)
More secrets about Kennedy’s collaboration with Moscow became known after the famous defector Vasiliy Mitrokhin smuggled his invaluable archive of secret KGB documents to the West. In 2002, he publicized some of them in The KGB in Afghanistan working paper, published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In 1980 Kennedy attacked President Carter over the latter’s tough opposition to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As Mitrokhin reveals, the senator had evidently coordinated that with Moscow several weeks before — through Tunney and Egon Bahr, West Germany’s top Social Democrat who often had secret contacts with the KGB.The really interesting aspect of this curious friendship (between Kennedy and Gorbachev) is related in a report by Vadim Zagladin, then No. 2 in the International Department of the Soviet Communist party, who also met Kennedy during the 1986 visit.
During the talks, which took place […] on the 5th of February , E.Kennedy emphasized the following ideas.There is a good deal more on that visit and Senator Kennedy's subsequent dealings with President Gorbachev when President Reagan was succeeded by Bush Senior and the Soviet Union began to show the cracks that subsequently blew it apart.
1. The recent meeting [between Gorbachev and President Reagan in Geneva] has changed the climate in the world in many respects. This may be felt strongly in the USA. The change is for the better, the birth of hopes for a better future. However, this process also has a negative side. President Reagan actively uses the new climate. And the problem is not only that his popularity
is growing after Geneva.
In fact, Geneva allowed Reagan to slow down the process of movement to any positive results in negotiations with the USSR. He says that the situation has already changed, that he has instituted a dialogue with the Russians, while in fact he does nothing or manages things in the old direction, i. e. that of increasing military preparations.
From the Democrats’ point of view, all of this is very bad. This does not mean they are against Geneva or the spirit of Geneva – they are for it. But they think it is important not to allow Reagan to abuse a good thing for bad purposes.
In his opinion, it is important to keep increasing pressure on the administration from different sides, both from abroad and at home. He would like, during his conversation with Com[rade] Gorbachev to suggest some specific ideas on this issue.
It is unfortunate that we don’t have the full transcript of those talks between Kennedy and Gorbachev. Later documents indicate, however, that at the meeting the senator suggested that the timing for the next Soviet-American summit should be set as soon as possible. This, Kennedy claimed, would enable more pressure to be put on the administration. If Reagan declined to discuss any serious issues at the summit, this fact could be used against him as well “to
the benefit of the supporters of peace and of the establishment of more realistic relations between our countries.” Those are the words Gorbachev used to relay Kennedy’s ideas to Guss Hall, general secretary of the U.S. Communist party.
After talking to Gorbachev on February 6, Kennedy came back to Zagladin who reported:
In the evening of the 6th of February (over a supper) I had a conversation with E. Kennedy.
1) The Senator is under strong impression from his talk with C[omrade] M.S. Gorbachev. ‘‘I liked him very much’’, Kennedy said. ‘‘He is a firm, though flexible, leader, who knows what he wants’’. […]
2) At the same time, in E. Kennedy’s opinion, ‘‘my Soviet friends have not yet thoroughly understood the psychology of the Americans and the essence of Reagan’s tactics’’.
Geneva was a great victor for the Soviet Union in the eyes of the whole world, but not in the eyes of the Americans. The average American sees the situation as follows: ‘‘Reagan has managed to establish contact with the Russians, gaining much from them, but giving nothing. He is a great leader!’’.
The Senator’s speculations seemed to suggest that Geneva was a real success for Reagan and a doubtful one for us. So, I asked him a direct question: well, do you think it was a mistake to go to Geneva? The Senator replied without hesitation: ‘‘No, it was not, but you should keep pressing, be firmer.’’
Kennedy’s impression is that we are awaiting the USA’s reaction calmly because we suppose that time is working for us. In his opinion, however, this is not quite right. So far Reagan is winning. He seems to be ‘‘thinking over’’ our ideas, but he keeps pursuing his own policy — building up the arms race. He will then respond later, taking some item from the full context of the Soviet offers,
but in such a way that it will be difficult to agree with him. For example, arms control without disarmament, etc.
Meanwhile, Reagan’s popularity is growing.
So here’s what puzzled me. In their infinite wisdom, The Paper of Record decided that there is only one “feminist hawk” in the entire universe and his name is…David Horowitz of Frontpage magazine. Actually, this is a giant step forward. Usually Horowitz is demonized as a Traitor who left Ramparts (both the magazine he edited and the faux-fighting American left which it represented) in the dust and became a born-again, fire-breathing conservative.Well, you can see the argument: if we dismiss the whole movement by pretending that only very few people, male or female, are part of it and these are all either nasty conservatives or traitors to the left-wing cause, we can pretend that this is all a quaing distraction from the all-important issue of Obama-worship.
Here, he is credited not only for publishing the work of “feminist hawks” but for being the only “feminist hawk” they could find to name. The article gets even more peculiar when it presumes to tell us that the “feminist hawk” phenomenon is mainly a “hybrid” invention of the “internet,” one that has “borrowed left-wing shibolleths as one way that conservative ideas can make it big in a generally more liberal online social sphere.”
Among the writers concerned with women’s rights are: Frontpage editor, Jamie Glazov; Anat Berko; Tammy Bruce (who was once the President of Los Angeles NOW); Nonie Darwish; Brigitte Gabriel; Professor Donna Hughes; Nancy L. Kobrin; Robert Spencer, Wafa Sultan; and countless others. I will be adding more names to this list.OK, so why won't the New York Times list these authors and, in particular, why will it not give Ms Chesler her due?
I know, I know: Many of the above writers are conservatives, not liberals. Some are new-comers, others not. But, they are all, myself included, “hawkish” on the subject of the war against women and a) will not engage in cultural relativism to avoid being called “racists” or “Islamophobes;” b) will not be held hostage to one of two political parties; c) will not sacrifice Israel, America, the West, Muslim democrats/dissidents–or the truth–in order to remain politically correct and aligned to social, political, and funding networks.
How, dear reader, did I ever fall afoul of the New York Times? What daring deeds did I commit that has led to my almost utter “disappearance” in their pages? That is a long story, meant for another day. Hint: Try exposing sexism among feminist leaders, then expose anti-Semitism both among western intellectuals and jihadists, and top all that by exposing an utter failure of principle and nerve among western progressives in terms of human rights in the Islamic world–and see where that lands you on the left-liberal radar.I actually do not care whether the NYT, which knows nothing about my existence, ever mentions me or not, though in Ms Chesler's position I probably would. But I agree with all the above, adding only that it is hard to imagine anything uglier than the vicious misogynistic attacks the left-wing, so-called third-wave feminists directed at Sarah Palin. (Sticks and stones - the lady is doing fine.)
I admit it: I did all that in my last three books: Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, (2002) The New Anti-Semitism, (2003) and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom. (2005).
I regret nothing.
Arctic ice is melting at an unprecedented rate. As scientists on board the Arctic Sunrise gather more data showing the urgency of the situation, world leaders stay inactive.Dear me, one might say. Well, one can say all one likes but, it appears that this press release is deeply misleading. According to the story on Big Hollywood, “Lies Revealed — Greenpeace Leader Admits Arctic Ice Exaggeration, by Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney,
For the past two weeks, scientists and crew from the Arctic Sunrise have been busy gathering data, collecting samples and setting up cameras to record the break-up of the Petermann glacier, one of Greenland's largest. A large crack has been forming for the past few years, and a massive piece of the glacier is expected to break off soon.
The outgoing leader of Greenpeace has admitted his organization’s recent claim that the Arctic Ice will disappear by 2030 was “a mistake.Oh really? And, ahem, how did this mistake come about? That is not quite clear from the piece but what appeared rather odd was that Gerd Leipold, the retiring leader of Greenpeace, admitted this while being questioned rather severely on the BBC. The BBC? Whatever next?
Sackur said the claim was inaccurate on two fronts, pointing out that the Arctic ice is a mass of 1.6 million square kilometers with a thickness of 3 km in the middle, and that it had survived much warmer periods in history than the present.So it is perfectly all right to tell lies in the cause of some higher truth and to insist, also falsely, that the lies are, in fact, scientifically proven truths. Furthermore, on the basis of those lies Mr Leipold can, quite shamelessly, still assert that growth in the United States must slow down because it is not sustainable, even though the evidence he has produced for its lack of sustainability is false.
The BBC reporter accused Leipold and Greenpeace of releasing “misleading information” and using “exaggeration and alarmism.”
Leipold’s admission that Greenpeace issued misleading information is a major embarrassment to the organization, which often has been accused of alarmism but has always insisted that it applies full scientific rigor in its global-warming pronouncements.
Although he admitted Greenpeace had released inaccurate but alarming information, Leipold defended the organization’s practice of “emotionalizing issues” in order to bring the public around to its way of thinking and alter public opinion.
Sadly, unlike what’s going on in USA right now, the structure and delivery of healthcare services is not even a matter for discussion in the UK anymore. Instead, the snobbish and arrogant British superiority complex rears its head, and stupidly deems that the structure we have is the best possible. Bland, meaningless and nonsense statements about it being the "envy of the world" are rolled out, and the debate is simplified down to "spending more money is good, spending less is bad".One cannot help thinking that all this insane and vociferous support for the NHS is another display of our favourite sport – America-bashing, particularly right-wing America-bashing. Hey, some Americans on the right have made rude comments about our beloved NHS. How dare they? How bloody dare they? We know that they spend their whole time killing off poor people and their healthcare is the worst in the world with people dying in the streets because there is no NHS to save them.
Essentially we have an infantile level of debate on the subject in the UK, and hilariously we have the balls to start trying to preach to a country on the other side of the Atlantic about how wonderful our system is and how terribly evil theirs’ is? Frankly, it's pathetic. On one side we have a system being caricatured and used as a political football, whilst on the other we have panty wetting screaming and shouting about how terribly unfair the caricature is, and equally silly caricatures thrown back. It makes everyone look like complete and total morons.
Yale University and Yale University Press consulted two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism, and the recommendation was unanimous: The book, “The Cartoons That Shook the World,” should not include the 12 Danish drawings that originally appeared in September 2005. What’s more, they suggested that the Yale press also refrain from publishing any other illustrations of the prophet that were to be included, specifically, a drawing for a children’s book; an Ottoman print; and a sketch by the 19th-century artist Gustave Doré of Muhammad being tormented in Hell, an episode from Dante’s “Inferno” that has been depicted by Botticelli, Blake, Rodin and Dalí…So, we have a book about the Danish cartoons that will not be illustrated by those cartoons. Brilliant. Just the sort of fearless enquiry one wants to see.
Why did those Senators reject Rudd’s scheme, despite their prolonged drought and their bush fires? Well some - the green ones - did so because they didn’t think its emissions cutting targets went far enough. But the majority did so - duh - because they didn’t want their coal-dependent heavy industry hamstrung by still more pointless taxation and regulation, their consumers fleeced and their economy ruined in the middle of a thwacking great global recession. And, in at least the case of Senator Steve Fielding, because they’d done their research and discovered that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a figment of Al Gore’s imagination.We may add that the bush fires have been known to be caused by arsonists and have often spread fast because in many places control of the wilderness had been abandoned in response to Green demands.
Having consulted scientific experts including Ian Plimer [whom I interviewed in the Spectator a few weeks back and whose views are neatly summarised here] Sen Fielding was inspired to visit the US to assess at first hand what evidence the Obama administration was using to justify its radical Waxman Markey cap and trade measures. He was not impressed and issued a challenge, emailing graphs to one of the US president’s energy advisers showing that, despite rising CO2 levels the globe has not warmed in over a decade.
He concluded: “Until recently I, like most Australians, simply accepted without question the notion that global warming was a result of increased carbon emissions. However, after speaking to a cross-section of noted scientists, including Ian Plimer… I quickly began to understand that the science on this issue was by no means conclusive….As a federal senator, I would be derelict in my duty to the Australian people if I did not even consider whether or not the scientific assumptions underpinning this debate were in fact correct.”
Rudd, who needs support from seven senators outside the government to pass laws through the upper house, can resubmit the bill after making amendments. A second rejection after a three-month span would give him a trigger to call an election.I can't help being pleased that someone called Xenophon should emulate his namesake and approach matters with an open and enquiring mind.
“We may lose this fight, but this issue will not go away,” Climate Change Minister Penny Wong told the Senate in Canberra. “Australia cannot afford for climate change to be unfinished business.”
Five members from the Australian Greens party sought bigger cuts to emissions while the opposition coalition and independent Senator Nick Xenophon wanted to wait for further studies on the plan’s impact on the economy.
China's nascent legal rights movement, already reeling from a crackdown on crusading lawyers, the kidnapping of defense witnesses and the shuttering of a prominent legal clinic, has been shaken by the detention of a widely respected rights defender who has been incommunicado since the police led him away from his apartment 12 days ago.One China's legal rights movement well; we must all offer whatever support we can. Somehow I do not think that proclaiming the wondrous democratic developments in China is quite what these courageous people are looking for.
Fatah leaders have been feuding over allegations that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah's Mohammed Dahlan conspired with Israel to kill Arafat — charges the two deny as scurrilous.Then again, I thought, the JWR is a good source of information but it is not likely to be supportive of either Fatah or Hamas. (The article is, nevertheless, fair-minded.)
Hamas, Fatah's hard-line Islamic rival, which wrested electoral control of the Palestinian Authority in 2006 and then routed Abbas' forces from Gaza in 2007, hasn't allowed anyone living in the isolated Mediterranean strip to attend the conference.
Many Palestinians have lost faith in a political party they consider corrupt, inept and ineffective.
The Fatah conference suffered a blow before it began after Hamas, which effectively rules the Gaza Strip, refused to allow 400 Fatah delegates based in Gaza to attend unless Fatah releases hundreds of Hamas activists detained in the West Bank.That election of the new leadership bodies should produce some interesting results, assuming it ever happens. The BBC gives a summary of Middle Eastern media opinion and calls it upbeat. I wouldn't agree with that. There seems to be a great deal of depression at the Palestinians' inability to agree on anything and Fatah's inability to turn itself into a reasonable political organization, not to mention Hamas's somewhat high-handed behaviour.
The conference has split Fatah delegates from Fatah-controlled West Bank and those from Hamas-run Gaza.The Gaza delegates now demand a quota be set aside for them in Fatah's leadership bodies, and threaten repercussions - presumably a split - if they are turned down.
The West Bankers say the absent Gazans can vote by phone or e-mail and do not need the quotas.
Abbas is to decide on the issue later on Thursday.
Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator, was on hand at the airport in Pyongyang to greet Mr. Clinton as he arrived—a clear sign Pyongyang, at least, is linking the two issues.This is not necessarily a good thing. As Mr Chang points out, previous errors by presidents (one of them being Clinton) have allowed Kim to strengthen his power even more and develop his nuclear arsenal. Will history repeat itself?
And now there may be one more reason for the regime to continue its alarming conduct. If Mr. Clinton is conducting any nuclear discussions he would be rewarding Pyongyang for jailing the two reporters and making them bargaining chips.Some people are just sourpusses. Why can't they emote like everyone else?
This matters because Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee were not Pyongyang’s only hostages. In March, North Korea detained Yu Song-jin, a South Korean manager working in the Kaesong industrial zone, for criticizing Kim’s paradise. Last week, a North Korean patrol boat seized a South Korean fishing vessel that accidentally strayed into the North’s waters, and Pyongyang is now keeping the
four-member crew for no good reason. North Korea may be holding 100 or more Japanese abductees and at least 1,000 South Koreans, some of them prisoners from the Korean War and others kidnapped since then. More broadly, Kim uses all his 23 million people as hostages.
Now two American journalists will come home safely. Good. But let’s hope the U.S. didn’t secure their release at the cost of further negotiations that will only give Kim more time to perfect his nuclear arsenal and develop his ballistic missiles.
Yet Mr. Clinton’s visit is a message unto itself. It will bolster Kim’s bid to dissolve the six-party negotiations in favor of the direct talks with the U.S. he has long sought. It will also dismay some in South Korea and Japan, which have their own hostages in North Korea and will wonder why Mr. Clinton couldn’t obtain their release as well.Still, if it promotes Madam Secretary of State's career it will all be worthwhile. I trust my readers agree.
If it turns out that if a new nuclear negotiation really was begun during Mr. Clinton’s visit, it will also send the signal to North Korea that the worse its behavior, the more it stands to gain from the U.S. And it will mean that Kim’s price will be even higher to spring the next American hostages.
Far too much academic writing about communism, anticommunism and espionage is marked by dishonesty, evasion, special pleading and moral squalor. Like Holocaust deniers, some historians of American communism have evaded and avoided facing a pre-eminent evil – in this case the evil of Stalinism. Too many revisionists present a view of history in which they wrong side won the Cold War and in which American Communists and the CPUSA represent the forces of good and right in American history. Most new dissertations written in the field still reflect a benign view of communism, a loathing for anticommunism, and hostility toward America’s actions in the Cold War. Many American historians hold America to a moral standard from which they exempt the Soviet Union and practice a crude form of moral equivalence.Professors Klehr and Harvey are too kind. Such intellectual activity is to be classified as lies and propaganda.
Like Holocaust deniers, too many revisionists deny the plain meaning of documents, invent fanciful benign explanations for damning evidence, and ignore witnesses and testimony that is inconvenient. In the face of clear and compelling evidence of Soviet espionage, they see nothing. When the bodies of more than a hundred former American Communists murdered by Stalin’s police are discovered in a mass grave in Karelia, they will not look. Confronted with documents and trails of evidence leading where they do not wish to go, they mutter darkly about conspiracies and forgeries and invent incidents for which there is not documentation. Some brazenly offer confident exegeses of documents they admit they have not seen or condemn books they admit they have not read. They confidently propose chronological impossibilities as probabilities and brazenly situate people in places they could not have been at times they could not have been there. It is not entirely clear how to classify such intellectual activity. But it is certainly not history.