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Ron Radosh

Monthly Archives: February 2010

In Sunday’s New York Times, its far-left shotgun columnist Frank Rich has written a column with the title “The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged,” which is ironic, since the title so well describes most of his own articles! In a paper whose editors think of themselves as moderates or centrists, but in which most of the columnists and many of the news stories tilt so far to the Left that it approximates the style and contents of the 60’s Village Voice, Rich stands out as the most extreme of their writers.

This time he goes after the tea party movement, and instead of a nuanced and balanced appraisal, he begins by trying to blame the murder suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, who flew his small plane into a building housing an IRS division in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 18th, on the new movement. Rich ignores what we know about Mr. Stack. He was furious about IRS rules that prohibited him from using knowledge he had as a software engineer to start his own business. In his rambling, sometimes incoherent letter, Stack attacks “organized religion” and different laws for the rich rather than the poor (standard leftist boilerplate), and goes after the late “neo-con” Senator Daniel P. Moynihan as his arch villain, all targets that distinguish him a great deal from today’s tea party advocates.  George W. Bush, whom certainly Frank Rich did his share of attacking for months on end, is described by Stack as “the presidential puppet” of the rich who pull the strings.

Tea partier indeed! Oh, Rich covers himself by writing that he was obviously “a lone madman,” and that it would be “glib and inaccurate to call him a card-carrying tea partier or a “Tea Party terrorist.’” But then Rich, having made the accusation while pretending to disavow it, goes on to say that his manifesto is a “frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage” that “overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner.” In other words, he was not formally a tea party member or advocate, but nevertheless well might have been because he shares their views! A distinction without a difference!

Next, Rich goes on to chastise all those Republicans whom he accuses of basically standing with or apologizing for Stack — and of course, chooses to quote those on the far right to smear all Republicans. Rep. Steve King may believe that the IRS “is unnecessary,” but do all Republicans? Quoting one is enough to brand the entire Republican establishment as a bunch of crazies.  Next is to brand the tea party as the same, citing as proof — of course — the Times’ own biased report of the movement.

Naturally, Rich then moves on to the affiliation of the tea partiers with “the unhinged and sometimes armed anti-government right,” which to Rich is what really threatens our nation. While he never even mentions that some of us are worried about the inability of our institutions, even our armed forces establishment, to take on the documented threat of radical Islamists in our midst, to the mind of someone like Frank Rich the real threat is the nascent right-wing extremism that Republicans are failing to stand up to.

So enough of summarizing Rich. You can read his column yourself and get a good sense of how his conspiratorial mind works. Instead, I suggest two articles that should be read carefully for a good sober analysis of the real issues.

First, one should not miss Jamie Kirchick’s article in February’s Commentary, on the very real threat of homegrown terrorism from Islamists whom the entire establishment — including of course Frank Rich — completely ignore.  As Kirchik writes, liberals have drawn all the wrong lessons from the facts:

Despite all the available evidence pointing to the destruction that homegrown terrorists can wreak on free societies, some seem to have drawn the completely opposite conclusion about their proliferation and potential. They have interpreted Hasan’s “loner” credentials as, in the words of Ezra Klein, a blogger for the Washington Post, “encouraging,” for it indicates that his killing spree was not connected to a larger series of plots designed and carried out by an extensive, international network, all orchestrated from remote, hard-to-target locations in foreign countries.

He goes on to nail precisely the syndrome that Rich exhibits:

One would think that the increase in successful and near successful domestic-terrorism plots over the past year would engender some sort of recognition on the part of people who think and write about current events that a very real threat exists. And, to be sure, reading the mainstream press and listening to elite pundits over the past year, it is clear that the peril of domestic terrorism does occupy their thoughts. But it is decidedly not Islamist terrorism that they consider to be the great danger facing the country but rather violent extremism of an altogether different sort: “right-wing” extremism.

As Kirchick continues, “The not-so-subtle purpose of this campaign has been to associate the deplorable rhetoric of a handful in the right-wing fever swamp with the appreciable mass of conservatives, thus painting the president’s critics as racists prone to violence.”  Is he correct? Yes, and the proof is that Rich writes: “Such violent imagery and invective, once largely confined to blogs and talk radio, is now spreading among Republicans in public office or aspiring to it.”

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A day or so ago a conservative website called SayAnythingBlog.com set off a firestorm with a blog post.  It was posted by a conservative talk radio host named Rob Port, who with a group from the C-PAC convention took a tour of the White House. The original heading on the post screamed out: “Photo Evidence: Michelle Obama Keeps Socialist Books In The White House Library.”

Much to his consternation, what Port found when they stopped at the small room containing the White House Library were two books that he assumed were chosen by First Lady Michelle Obama, and that proved to him that she and the President were indeed socialists. What Port spotted on the bookshelf, and which he took pictures of, were two books, The American Socialist Movement:1897-1912, written by Ira Kipnis, and what he thought was an even more telling volume, The Social Basis of American Communism, by Nathan Glazer.

“Lookie what I found,” he wrote on the posted blog. Shocking! Two books which by themselves, he admitted, “wouldn’t be a big deal,” but in “the context of Anita Dunn saying Chairman Mao is her favorite political philosopher?  In the context of the Mao ornament on the White House Christmas tree? In the context of Obama’s economic policies? Well, I’ll let you make your own call.” Among the over 300 comments was this rather typical one: “I wonder if the liberals who mock conservatives who refer to Obama as a socialist still find it funny?”

Almost immediately, the press went to town. The British Guardian promptly investigated, and quickly found that the two books had been picked by the First Lady — not the current one, but by Jackie Kennedy, during her husband’s presidency. In 1963 a Yale University Committee had chosen the books to represent different aspects of the American past.

Port quickly backed down, posting a blog update in which he wrote: “According to the Washington Post it was First Lady Jackie Kennedy who oversaw the placing of the books in the White House library, and they’ve been there since 1963.  Apparently no administration since has changed the contents of the library. So the guide I was with didn’t give me the whole story. Either that, or we misunderstood one another.”

But he also added that this misunderstanding did not invalidate the fact that “the Chairman Mao Christmas ornament, the Obama adviser who idolizes Mao and the nationalizations of the banks, car companies and attempted nationalizations of student loans and health care are all, unfortunately, still very true.”

What Port’s comment reveals, however, is the rather simplistic view that his spotting of the books provided further proof of the White House’s secret socialist agenda. It also raises yet another point. These two volumes are considered early classics in the attempt of scholars to explain the growth in America at certain times of both vibrant socialist and communist movements and to understand why they ultimately failed.

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The insufferable Eric Alterman is at it again. His entire media column in the March 1st issue of The Nation is devoted to a blast at NPR. Why, might you wonder, is Alterman upset at the radio network which many of us  despise for good reason, and which we often call  “National Palestinian Radio,” for its one-sided coverage of the Middle East?

The answer is that when it aired their obituary coverage of Howard Zinn, the station actually used a few moments of negative comments about Zinn’s work from conservative activist and writer David Horowitz, whose words they put on the air. As Horowitz notes, the offending words took all of “30 seconds” of air time! But that, for Alterman, is too much.

They should not have asked for his comments, Alterman writes, because while they did use comments from friendly supporters of the late “historian,” both Noam Chomsky and Julian Bond, they were “were fellow left-wing activists and friends of Zinn. Quoting friends and peers is the customary practice in obituaries.”

Alterman should know that in fact, this is hardly the case. I don’t recall him complaining in print when the great screen director Elia Kazan died, scores of obituaries not only wrote that he was most well known for being an informer before HUAC who named names of Communists he once worked with, but went on to offer quotes and interviews with scores of Kazan’s enemies in the film community.  Go look these up. You will be hard pressed to find friendly comments featured in any of them. Many of the obituaries failed to even tell readers why Kazan was regarded as one of our country’s greatest film directors.

So Alterman has made up an obit rule of his own, and he is mad that NPR, which he obviously expected to only report favorable comments about Zinn’s work, dared to have one out of three voices critical of Zinn.  He then writes: “Horowitz, on the other hand, does not claim to have known Zinn personally, and shares neither his goals nor views. He has no specialized knowledge of Zinn whatsoever. The single qualification that David Horowitz possessed to be included in the piece on Zinn’s obituary was that he could be depended upon to be deeply critical of the deceased.”

Even if that was the case, there would be nothing wrong with that. Scores of the eulogies given for Zinn that you can find on the web are from those who simply loved him because he was a fellow leftist, and who did not know him at all. They liked him because they agreed with Zinn’s simplistic view of the world.  But in fact, Horowitz was well equipped to judge Zinn. As he responded himself on his own website, “I am eminently qualified to comment on Zinn, having written a portrait of him and his writings in Unholy Alliance, and having devoted hundreds of thousands of words to my area of expertise, which is the Communist and neo-Communist left.”

Alterman, however, should see the irony in his opposition to NPR calling Horowitz. After all, Zinn claimed to speak up regularly for the right of dissent, and Horowitz was dissenting from the chorus of hosannas for Zinn that was appearing wherever you could look. That should be enough to justify his inclusion. But Alterman has yet another reason. He accuses NPR of covering themselves because they asked Chomasky, whom he calls a “radical leftist,” and therefore wanted to balance him with Horowitz, a “radical rightist.”

That, in fact, would be a valid reason. I suspect someone at NPR realized, however, that it was simply bad journalism to ask two avid supporters of Zinn and not ask anyone who thought Zinn was anything but the greatest gift to understanding our history. Even more egregious is something I do not see Alterman complaining about. A week or so ago, Time magazine had the following last paragraph in its obituary of Zinn:

Wherever there was a struggle for peace and justice, Howard was on the front lines: inspiring in his integrity, engagement, eloquence and humor, in his dedication to nonviolence and in his sheer decency. He changed the conscience of a generation. It’s hard to imagine how many young people’s lives were touched by his work and his life. Both leave a permanent stamp on how history is understood and the conception of how a decent and honorable life should be lived.

You cannot find a more one-sided, dishonest and inaccurate summary of Howard Zinn anywhere. Indeed, even his admirers in Alterman’s own magazine are not so euphoric. And this is Time, the nation’s preeminent newsweekly. Who wrote this, you ask? The answer is—-none other than Noam Chomsky! Yes, Henry Luce and Whitaker Chambers are turning over in their graves. It’s the equivalent in the 1800’s of the press back then asking Engels to write the obituary of Karl Marx. (well actually, he did write the gravesite eulogy.)

 We have come so far that we can now expect our MSM organs of journalism doing The Nation one better. But to return to Alterman, he notes that NPR really bothered him because they “did not quote a single historian on Zinn, given the fact that this happened to be his profession.” Maybe it’s because aside from Eric Foner- who of course raved about Zinn for their own pages-most of the historians they might have asked would immediately show how bad Zinn was, and perhaps NPR did not want to give that impression.

To ask Horowitz, they knew, would immediately enable NPR’s friends to write him off as a crazy right-winger, therefore further establishing to their audience that Zinn must really have been great. Had they gone to Sean Wilentz or Michael Kazin, both of whom Alterman actually mentions in his column, they would have got very negative responses when they would have  evaluated the body of his work. Really, would Alterman have been any more pleased? Indeed, I suspect that he would have been furious, since having legitimate historians who come from the left side of the spectrum criticizing Zinn would have actually opened up people’s eyes.

And of course, as Alterman undoubtedly knows, NPR could have come to me. I had already written a very lengthy blog  a short while before his passing about Zinn’s television special. Then I penned my own obituary for Mindingthecampus.com. They could have included this one sentence that might have taken up a scant five seconds of airtime: “Zinn ransacked the past to find alternative models for future struggles. That, of course, is not the job of the historian, but of the propagandist.” It would have worked well, but somehow, I don’t think Eric Alterman would have been more happy about it than the soundbites they used from Horowitz.

Of course, had they used me, he could not have written a one page screed about how in using Horowitz, they were not using a “legitimate” point of view.  And Alterman notes that as for the substance of Horowitz’s views, which he quotes from selectively, they are “crazy.” You can read what Horowitz writes for yourself, and you will find that they are anything but. You will find that he easily distorts what Horowitz actually says, something a historian- which Alterman is- (although he is a professor of English at Queens College which in itself is absurd) is something a historian caught doing would immediately be called on the carpet for.  He chastises Horowitz for saying that “Zinn was responsible for ‘helping Stalin’ to ‘slaughter’ and ‘enslave’ Eastern Europe.”

But he leaves off Horowitz’s first sentence, in which he writes “Howard Zinn was a Stalinist in the years when the Marxist monster was slaughtering millions of innocent people and launching his own ‘final solution’ against the Jews. Put another way, Howard Zinn was helping Stalin to conduct those slaughters and to enslave  all those who had the misfortune to live behind the Iron Curtain.” In other words, Horowitz is saying that by defending Stalin and the Soviet Union during its most horrific years, Zinn was serving as an enabler who allowed him to gain supporters in the West and in the United States who fought against those who saw the necessity of opposing Stalin in the Cold War. Horowitz did not mean literally, as anyone who reads can understand, that Zinn was sitting next to Stalin helping in doing the killing.

One thing is certain. At least NPR knew enough not to phone Eric Alterman.

The Nation crowd is touting singer-songwriter John Mellencamp as a proposed candidate most likely to win the Indiana Senate seat that is to be given up by the vacating Evan Bayh. John Mellancamp! Are they kidding? Evidently not.

This is the reasoning they offer: His songs are “an icon of Americana,” and have become, so they claim, “the backbone of populist political movements.” Gee, I thought that honor was reserved for Bruce Springsteen — but the problem is that he hails from New Jersey, which leaves Mellencamp to be acclaimed as the Bruce surrogate in the Hoosier state. Moreover, he has real political credentials. What are they, you may ask?  He actually “wrote a letter to John McCain” in which the proposed new Senator asked McCain to “stop political agendas, corporate greed and overall manipulation.” Think of it. McCain might have a political agenda! Since that is obviously bad, they don’t explain whether their magazine or Mellencamp might have one also.

Well, give him that one. Writing a letter shows some political concern. From that step, it’s just an easy skip and jump into the Senate club. And remember, he appeared at Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid,  helped the middle class, and best of all, has “rocker sensibility.”  Does he know anything about legislating, meeting with constituents, negotiating with Republicans and even other Democrats? Not necessary. The man rock and rolls! What more can you ask? Best of all, “he’s a true populist,” the Left’s answer to Sarah Palin.

Not to be outdone, editor-in-chief and publisher of the Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel went on television this week and made public her choice of Mellencamp, whom she said “has had a long track record with working for farmers and demonstrates true populist politics.”  Well if Katrina says it herself, it’s the clue for the troops to go all out for Mellencamp.

I wonder, if she had been editor of the magazine in the 30s and 40s, whether she would have been pushing to get Woody Guthrie to run for office. The fact is, there is not one person back then who would have made that suggestion, even his comrades in the Communist Party and Pete Seeger. They preferred Woody to function as what he liked doing best, writing and performing songs, and acting as the people’s bard whose lyrics hopefully propelled the left-wing base into working harder for FDR. That was sufficient.

Have they even asked Mellencamp? I don’t think anyone in the press has asked him as yet for a comment. But perhaps while he was at the White House a week ago for the civil rights musical testimonial, he and the president had a moment to toss over the prospect of a Senate run. Who knows? Perhaps he gave the word to vanden Heuvel, and she was chosen to be the one launching a trial balloon?  With this administration, after all, anything is possible.

So run John run. Nothing, I think, would make Indiana Republicans happier.

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A while back, I posted this blog on an Israeli’s response to the Goldstone Report. Now, at his website at TheAtlantic.Com, Andrew Sullivan is asking me and PJM to “take down this racist post and apologize.” He also accuses me of “McCarthyism” and  “of being unhinged on the matter of the Middle East” and of moving towards “grotesque slanders of the ‘treasonous’ motives of a man like Goldstone.”

It seems like every time a centrist conservative like myself makes a charge a liberal disagrees with, the response is the ad hominem path of accusing me of McCarthyism or of being crazy. [Yes, Andrew, I know you call yourself a conservative. But as the President acknowledged by inviting you to the liberals' meeting with the press when he was inaugurated, he knows that in politics, you are firmly on the left-liberal side.] First, months ago, Rick Hertzberg of The New Yorker wrote that I had “lost my marbles,” and now Andrew Sullivan says I am “unhinged.” I find it interesting how not only are these people pundits, but amateur psychoanalysts as well.

The purpose of the blog and the letter I posted was not that of agreeing with everything the author of the letter, Roy Chweidan, wrote. Indeed, I put in this caveat that Sullivan neglects to cite. I wrote: “I cannot vouch for the factual data he offers. You can read it yourself and judge whether the charges made by the writer have merit.”  I did think, as I said in the original post, that Chweidan makes many charges about Goldstone’s past record as a judge in South Africa that casts much light on his integrity and trustworthiness. Now, much more material has come to light that in fact provides substantiation for what this Israeli asserts.

First, a reader of my blog, Jon Burack, posted a remarkable documented thirty-eight page report about Goldstone’s record in South Africa written by a law student who knew him, Ayal Rosenberg. It can be found here.  I e-mailed this to Sullivan at the time, and asked him to read it and take what Rosenberg writes into consideration.  He did not respond to me about this. Clearly, he has not bothered to read it.  Rosenberg reveals that Goldstone was an opportunist careerist who became an “apartheid judge,” only switching later at the opportune moment to the cause of the ANC, and then became a judge who quickly moved to prevent any real inquiry into the ANC’s criminal actions during the era of opposition to the apartheid state.

Now, yet another article has appeared confirming what Ayal Rosenberg writes, this time from the website of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.  In a report titled “Who Is Richard Goldstone,” R.W. Johnson writes that he is hardly surprised that Goldstone could “lend himself to such an obviously biased mission mandated by a Human Right Council that it is itself full of human rights violators” and “habitual Israeli-haters.”

Johnson, like the two other South African writers, notes that Goldstone drew the anger of liberal judges when he accepted appointment from the apartheid regime, and later, for refusing “to investigate any form of violence organized by the ANC,” which of course viewed him as their “favorite judge.” Moreover, he endorsed the concept of “collective guilt” and argued that all whites in South Africa were equally guilty of supporting apartheid and that it was proper to deprive whites of jobs for which they were qualified since they had to pay for “the sins of the fathers.”  He became, as Johnson puts it, “an icon of political correctness.”

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Last night, “In Performance at The White House” featured a tribute called “A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.” You can watch it or download it here, or wait to view an edited version tomorrow night on your local PBS station.

The program featured such stars as Natalie Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Joan Baez, Yolanda Adams, John Mellancamp, The Blind Boys of Alabama,  Bernice Reagon and the SNCC Freedom Singers (at least three of them), Smokey Robinson and Bob Dylan. The intent was to have a program that during Black History month, featured music that inspired and reflected the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.

There were of course some good performances. After all, these were largely accomplished major artists who performed. Smokey Robinson did a beautiful version of Dion DeMucci’s “Abraham, Martin and John,” Yolanda Adams has a great voice, and Jennifer Hudson performed a duet with Robinson. Yet, the entire event, as a concert, led me to a conclusion I suspect is quite different than the intent of those who put it together.

For those of us who lived through those dramatic times, it was as if we heard not a concert of a living , vital music, but a museum piece of performance artists singing songs that once had meaning, but now are relics of a bygone era. It was similar to the feeling shared by  those leftists who listen to “The Songs of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade” and try to recall their emotions in those heady days of the 30’s,  when they participated in what they thought was the great anti-fascist fight.

John Mellancamp, after a rather incoherent rant about an incident when he played in a band when he was 14 years old, sang “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize,” the Movement’s version of “Keep Your Hand on the Plow.” His singing was bland and not inspirational, although, the unnamed slide guitarist accompanying him played sensational guitar which made the song work.

The music had no spirit. Bernice Johnson Reagon seemed to notice that when she stopped the performance and told the audience, “you’re supposed to sing along,” and quipped that for all they know, they might need the song again. She was singing “Ain’t Nobody Goin’ To Turn Me Round,” with versus about “Chief Pritchett isn’t goin’to turn me round,” etc. But the days of chief  Pritchett and Sheriff Bull Connor are long gone, and the Southern towns that were once ruled by the strict segregationist code with all white representatives now have black mayors and councilmen and state assemblymen.

The Civil Rights movement is not only over, but it is so for a reason. Its major aims, desegregation and recognized rights for black Americans, have been realized. It was one thing to listen to the SNCC Freedom Singers in the early 1960’s, when one immediately recognized the courage they showed and the power of the lyrics, as marchers were turned back at the Pettis bridge in Alabama, as Martin Luther King Jr., stopped them to avoid what would have been major bloodshed inflicted by police waiting for them had they marched on the state capitol.

Almost half a century later, hearing Joan Baez sing (badly, as it turned out) “We Shall Overcome” did nothing for me, as it did for anyone who heard it sung at the height of the events decades ago. Then there was Bob Dylan, who chose “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” played on acoustic guitar with accompanying piano and stand-up bass played by Tony Garnier. For Dylan’s loyal fans, like Sean Curnyn, his performance was elegiac. “I think it was an absolutely tremendous, epic, genuinely haunting and beautiful performance,” Curnyn writes.

I beg to differ. To me, his performance sounded like a dirge. The song was slowed down, the lyrics unlike most of his song specific to the time in which he wrote it, and today, it sounds like he wanted to choose something from that era—-which has little resonance for today. He seemed uncomfortable on stage, waited as if he was about to do another song, and then shrugged his shoulder and walked off, evidently from instructions from one of the stage managers.

I fully expected the concert to end with the assembled artists singing Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind,” but instead, they chose the “Negro National Anthem,” or “Life Every Voice and Sing,” which it is obvious most of the artists on stage had never heard or simply did not know the lyrics. And while everyone in the concert was on stage, Dylan was noticeably absent. I suspect he either was insulted or annoyed about not being able to perform another song, as it looked like he was about to do, or simply did not want to join the others for some private reason.

And where, I wonder, were some of the artists who sang at the time, and went to Mississippi in 1963 with the singer’s caravan, put together by Bob Cohen and that included Dylan and Pete Seeger?  Morgan Freeman, who was MC, at one point mentioned the folksinger Guy Carawan, the man most responsible for making “We Shall Overcome” the Movement’s most well known anthem.  Most people never have heard of him, and must wonder who he is and why Freeman even mentioned his name. But since he was talked about, why did they not invite him to participate?   Again, they obviously wanted big name stars. Reagon and the small version of the Freedom Singers stood alone as the only real authentic Movement figures who participated.

So, if you want nostalgia, or cannot miss this concert, watch the edited concert. My advice is to skip it. Individual artists you want to see will quickly have their performances posted on You Tube.

Glenn Beck, as even Jon Stewart admitted in his TV interview with Bill O’Reilly, is a talented guy.  A week ago, I reviewed and praised Beck’s first documentary on Communism, although I did note a few shortcomings. I have also given him credit for his role in bringing to light the appointment by the Obama administration of people like Van Jones, who largely because of the exposure Beck gave to Jones’ largely unknown Communist views and belief in a 9/11 conspiracy theory, was forced by the administration to resign from his position as the “green jobs czar.”

But when it comes to history, Beck’s limitations are revealed. He often claims that he will admit to errors when he gets something wrong. I’d like to take him up on it.

On January 21st, Beck spoke on his radio program about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Until this time, Beck, like most other Americans, considered King a great American hero, and honored him on his birthday. This is not surprising. King, through his leadership of the civil rights movement and his adherence to non-violence, pushed our nation to fulfill its democratic promise to all citizens.  King mobilized thousands of black citizens to peacefully demonstrate, in the face of brutal force employed by racist Southern law enforcement agencies.  TV viewers of the time saw — as did all of Europe as well as those who lived in the Soviet Union and its satellite states — how the movement  faced the violence imposed upon them by the likes of Sheriff Bull Connor, who used dogs and police hoses to try to disperse the non-violent  demonstrators.

The nation also saw the dignity and strength of the Montgomery Bus Boycott that propelled King onto the national stage, and later, the principled opposition King voiced to the extremist radicals on his left, including Malcom X, Stokely Carmichael and other black nationalists and revolutionaries who regularly branded King as a sell-out.

But this past January, Beck heard NAACP Chairman Julian Bond — the leader of SNCC during the period when it expelled white activists from its ranks and ousted moderates like now Congressman John Lewis from its leadership — say on an NPR radio interview that people forget that King was “a critic of capitalism” and favored what Bond said was a “modified form of socialism.”  Beck played this section of Bond’s interview:

We don’t remember the Martin Luther King who talked ceaselessly about taking care of the masses and not just dealing with the people at the top of the ladder. So we’ve kind of anesthetized him. We’ve made him into a different kind of person than he actually was in life. And it may be that that’s one reason he’s so celebrated today because we celebrate a different kind of man than really existed. But he was a bit more radical. Not terribly, terribly radical but a bit more radical than we make him out to be today.

Beck, it appears, was aghast and shocked. “Correct me if I’m wrong, America,” he stated. “But I didn’t think it was politically correct…to say that Martin Luther King was a socialist.” He then went on to say, and I put this in highlighted form: “I believe this is the first time I’ve ever heard this from someone, you know, on the side of praising Dr. Martin Luther King. I’ve heard people say, oh, well, you know, he was a communist, he was a socialist.”

We must first digress with a brief history lesson. Actually, what J. Edgar Hoover accused King of was not that he was a communist, but that he was ignoring what he saw as a main danger: that the civil rights movement was a key target for communist subversion. And as the FBI’s historian Richard Gid Powers writes, Hoover was “deaf to calls for racial justice.”  As King rose to leadership of the movement, Hoover learned that one of King’s top advisors was an attorney named Stanley Levison, who had been in the 1950’ the major financial chief of the American Communist Party. It was Levison’s ties with King that became Hoover’s pretext for his now well known persecution and slander of King. Levison, in fact, was no longer a Communist. But the Bureau also learned that King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had hired one Jack O’Dell as head of its New York office. O’Dell was in fact most likely still an active member of the CPUSA.

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There have been many comments on The Goldstone Report on this site. Perhaps the single most important article that dealt with its fraudulent and biased conclusion was that in The New Republic by Moshe Halbertal, who argued  that “The Goldstone Report as a whole is a terrible document. It is biased and unfair. It offers no help in sorting out the real issues.” To understand what is wrong with Goldstone, one must read Halbertal’s lengthy article.

There have also been many critiques written by Harvard’s  Alan Dershowitz, who has been regularly in the forefront in defending Israel from unjust attacks. His latest, in Frontpagemag.com, can be found here.  He notes that Israel’s new report on its investigations shows that the accusations made by Goldstone and his associates reveal that “they are unfounded or exaggerated. Of the 150 charges investigated, ‘36 criminal investigations [were] opened thus far.’”

As for Hamas’ so called investigations,  Dershowitz writes, Goldstone points out that Hamas had “already decided that those who fired rockets into Israel had no intention to kill Israeli civilians. Why then did they fire the rockets when children were on the way to school? Why did they fire them in the direction of cities and towns?” These are questions not meant to be answered, but meant to serve as proof of what everyone knows: Hamas seeks to brand Israel as the tyrannical aggressor, and Hamas as the innocent party.  The truth, as Dershowitz writes, is that “Hamas deliberately conducted its terrorist activities against Israel in a manner calculated by Hamas to produce Palestinian civilian deaths from Israeli weapons. Any fair assessment of the evidence also leads to the conclusion that, while Israel loses from the death of every Palestinian civilian, Hamas gains from every such death. As Golda Meir once put it: ‘We can perhaps forgive you for killing our children, but we can never forgive you for making us kill your children.’”

There will be more such comments, as the Goldstone Report becomes the single most current weapon in the worldwide effort to delegitimize Israel. But what led Goldstone, himself a Jew supposedly favorable to Zionism, to chair the commission and to put his name on the blatantly one-sided and propagandist report?

To answer that, I want to reproduce a remarkable letter that has been going around the internet, written by a former friend of Goldstone who resides in Israel. To my knowledge the letter, written in mid-November, has not received wide circulation. If what the author,  Roy Chweidan of Netanya, Israel,  says is the actual truth about Goldstone’s past, it helps explain what led him to end up issuing a report that will do more than anything else to harm Israel in the world. Goldstone, as you will see, comes off as a rank opportunist, a man who went from benefiting from apartheid to switching sides at the exact moment when it would help his career.

The letter, written by someone who went to the same school and had the same education as Goldstone, and who clearly knew him personally, was obviously made public by the writer because he did not get any response. I cannot vouch for the factual data he offers. You can read it yourself and judge whether the charges made by the writer have merit.  

Dear Richard,
As P.W. Botha would have said, “Your report is too dastardly to
contemplate”.  When I met P.W. on the Angolan border on the 27 March 1976,
he told me how much he admired Israel and it’s people (Die Jode in Israel).
Is it not incredible that P.W. Botha being Prime Minister at the height of
apartheid so much admired us and you, a Jew, whom P.W. granted a meteoric
rise to Appellate Judge, so much hates us.  Are you not ashamed?

As an Israeli Jew, and as an Old Edwardian, I am mystified by your
behaviour.  It is unbelievable that you have seen fit to cause us such great
damage and damage extending into the future, but hereunder, I will prove to
you why you have done this.  But first, I will prove to you why your report
is null and void.

The whole free world accepts the following definition of the intelligence
gathering process, which is the collection, collation, interpretation and
dissemination of information (information also includes facts).  The
collation phase demands that the information and facts that will be used are
true, correct and confirmed.  Any information and facts that do not satisfy
this requirement must be disregarded.  Now comes the crux of the whole
matter.  The word truth here is used in the context of the free world
meaning that it bears the integrity, responsibility, morality and
uprightness of the free world.  This is what we learnt at KES.  Everybody
who has had experience in dealing with our Arab Moslem enemies, as I have,
will agree with me that their definition of the truth is the fabrication of
a false truth to conform to what they want to believe.  I, therefore use two
terms from now on, truth meaning free world truth and Arab truth which is in
fact meaningless.  What I am stating here is absolutely correct Richard.

Remember that you and I had the same grounding at KES until the age of 17
and I know your mentality, so if you had the same experience as I do of
getting to know the mind of our Moslem enemies, you would agree with me.  I
know the Moslem mind inside out.  Incidentally, I am three years older than
you so that we had an identical school education.

Your report is based on Arab facts, Arab information and Arab truth.  In
other words, your report does not pass the collation phase of the
intelligence gathering process, and it is therefore meaningless and null and
void.  It is unbelievable how cruel and savage these Hamas people are.  They
lie, deceive, murder and fabricate with no conscience.  For example, because
they want to believe it, they claim that we Jews have no historical right to
this country.  Because they want to believe it, they will move remains of
Israeli ammunition to other places to prove we deliberately fired at
civilians.  As you have already received mountains of criticism and
condemnation regarding operation cast lead, I need not refer further to it.
Now why have you associated yourself with this report in spite of the fact
that you have a brilliant mind?  At university you belonged to NUSAS showing
that you cared about racial discrimination.  In 1978 you accepted an
appointment from Jimmy Kruger, Minister of Justice, to be a temporary judge
to the Transvaal Supreme Court.  Jimmy Kruger was often called the Himler of
apartheid.  You were not forced to accept this appointment which was made
permanent in 1980.  When queried why you accepted to be an apartheid judge,
you replied that you preferred to try and change things from within.  I have
to deduce at this stage:

1.  You are a brilliant man to have been made a judge at such an early age.
2.  You wanted to advance your career.
3.  Perhaps you had changed your mind from NUSAS days.
4.  You did not tell the truth about changing things from within, because
you knew full well that any statement against
     apartheid with people like Jimmy Kruger and P.W. Botha around, would
have led to immediate dismissal.

After 1980 your career advanced extremely rapidly in the apartheid regime.
You were appointed to the Appellate Division of the S.A. Supreme Court which
was a top position in the apartheid hierarchy.  You are known to have mixed
socially with the Afrikaner leaders.  You are known to have assisted P.W.
Botha to cover up what was going on during the state of emergency which made
you an accomplice to apartheid policy.

After Nelson Mandela was released from jail, and De Klerk still had a strong
influence, De Klerk appointed you to head a commission to investigate the
causes of violence in the country.  You helped to protect De Klerk’s image
by a verdict that Sithole committed suicide in spite of evidence to the
contrary.  You also exonerated all the security forces from any guilt during
the violence.  You found no evidence of the operation of a third force.�
Some time before the General Election in 1994, you started to change your
report which ended up confirming the existence of a third force of
government forces committing atrocities against Blacks.  You also refused to
investigate reports of ANC violence against Whites despite evidence of it’s
existence.  You had deserted De Klerk and became an ANC hero.  Mandela was
grateful to you and appointed you to the newly formed Constitutional Court.
Now my deductions will lead to finality:

1.  The above indicates that you have a brilliant ability at twisting and
turning in order to best serve your own personal  interests.  It proved that you could not have supported apartheid in your heart but you certainly convinced the Afrikaans leaders that you did.

2.  Your maneuvering to support and then deceive De Klerk is mesmerizing.
Your feat in becoming an ANC hero after a past of being an apartheid judge is more than mesmerizing. �
At last I have reached my conclusions.  You have proved without a shadow of
a doubt that:

1.  You are a brilliant man in all spheres of activity.
2.  You are only interested in your own advancement irrespective of right or
wrong, and irrespective of morality or common decency.�
3.  You will only support anybody, any group or anything provided it leads
to your own advancement.

You can see, Richard that I have done my analysis without any preconceived
malice.  My deductions and conclusions have been made according to the
principles of making a military appreciation.  Having said this, I now
declare that I am totally ashamed of you.

From Conclusion 3 above, it is obvious that you are only using your report
for the purpose of Hamas and all the Arab block and their supporters, to
nominate you for Secretary General of the United Nations as this is the only
worthwhile advancement for a man like you already in such a high position.
With all their support, you will have an automatic majority to vote you in
as the new Secretary General of the United Nations.

I maintain that you are betraying the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
You have already disgraced the name of your family.  You are the only Old
Edwardian I know of who fights or has fought for evil against good.  During
World War 2, there were 178 Old Edwardians who were killed fighting for good
against evil.

My final conclusions are indeed very sad ones.  From all of the above, it is
logically obvious that because of all your brilliant qualities, attention to
detail, shrewdness etc:

1.  You know and understand that your report is null and void.2.  You know exactly that I am right about the Arab truth, Arab facts and
Arab information.
3.  You know that the I.D.F. is the most moral army in the world.
4.  You know that we did our best to avoid civilian casualties.
5.  You know that our Israeli cause is just.
6.  You know that everything that so many people have emailed to you is
7.  You know that your desire to become Secretary General of the U.N. is so
over-powering that you do not care about  Israel or her survival.
8.  In other words, you are the instigator, architect and the driving force
about everything in your report ie: the facts have  become Goldstone facts
the same as Arab facts, the information has become Goldstone information the
same as  Arab information, the truth has become Goldstone truth the same as
Arab truth.
9.  You have created in your name a Hamas report that they cannot do.�

It is not too late to repent, Richard.  Declare your report null and void
and cleanse your conscience. Your – by now infamous report has done no good,
it may well cost lives. It was grossly unjust and you know that
ultimately,justice will be served.  One day when Hamas & Co do not need you
anymore, you will be left ostracized and alone.  But first, in order to
achieve justice, you have to be punished for your sins.  I leave that to the
Israeli Foreign Ministry or powers above them.

Understand my definition of Arab truth, Richard.  It is Israel’s
understanding of the “Arab truth that plays no small part in the ongoing
battle for Israel’s survival. As your future now has become inextricably
linked to those who applauded you and with some encouragement from you,
continue to threaten Israel, your understanding of Arab truth – as it serves
Israel, could play a similar role in your future well being.


Send this around to all those who think Goldstone is credible. It will be yet another notch in the important effort to discredit the authenticity and accuracy of the report to which Goldstone gave his name.

This week, an amazing and unprecedented interview will appear in the Egyptian newspaper, Almasry Alyoum. It is one of the leading Cairo newspapers, and has an average readership of 200,000 people. What the paper features is an interview with Jeffrey Herf, the University of Maryland historian, about his new and important book, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, published by Yale University Press.

The interview has already appeared online in English. Given the almost constant barrage of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic propaganda throughout the Arab world, the Herf interview comes as a fresh antidote that will undoubtedly shock many Egyptians and cause great consternation. As the interviewer says to Herf, “Most Arab historians agree that the Nazis did not contribute great ideas that grew in the region, but you posit the opposite.” Herf tells him:

The absurd and false notion that an international Jewish conspiracy existed and was a major force in world politics was a key theme of Nazism’s wartime propaganda. Conspiratorial thinking focused on the supposed power of the Jews persisted after the war in the Middle East. The pejorative and hateful depictions of Jews in Nazi propaganda, the belief that they were inherently evil and that they should be punished as a result found echoes in the postwar publications of the Muslim Brotherhood, the writings of Sayyid Qutb, the postwar activities of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Egyptian government’s propaganda under Nasser and in the Hamas Covenant of 1988.

Remember, these words by Herf will hopefully be read throughout the Arab world. Contrast it, for example, with the sermon about Jews broadcast recently on the official Palestinian Authority TV station, approved by Mahmoud Abbas. The speaker said the following: “The Jews, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger! Enemies of humanity in general, and of Palestinians in particular – they wage war against us using all kinds of crimes.” These words are akin to those regularly broadcast to the Arab world during World War II by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Palestine, from his radio studio in Nazi Berlin. Keep in mind that Husseini was given asylum in Egypt after the war, and for years, the Nasser regime spread similar words of anti-Semitic hate.

Herf also makes the following point, which must come as dynamite to many Arab readers:

Nazi officials dealing with propaganda aimed at Arabs and Muslims concluded that a selective reading of the Quran and the commentaries about it was their most effective means of reaching this audience. In so doing they drew out the already existing anti-Jewish themes. They presented Islam — not radical, fundamentalist, political or jihadist Islam, but Islam in general –as a religion infused with and inseparable from hatred for the Jews. In their view, from the time that the Jews rejected Prophet Mohammed’s demands that they convert to Islam, the Jews became an “enemy” of Islam. In so doing, Nazism’s Arabic-language propaganda placed the events of the mid-20th century into the far longer context of a supposed, but actually false, Jewish antagonism to Islam as a religion.

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