Sunday, April 25, 2010
Today is the most solemn day of the year in Australia. It is the day we remember our war dead. Australians have died in many wars and there can be few families not affected to some degree by the deaths resulting. I had a much loved uncle die in WWII.
Wherever British or American forces were fighting, there have generally been Australians fighting alongside them -- in two world wars and many smaller wars both before and after that. I have a family member deployed in Afghanistan at the moment and had news of him today. He is OK but finds it no picnic to be wearing body armour in high Afghan daytime temperatures at the moment.
Our flag above
The Most Enduring Legacy Of Nazi Hate
On February 1, 1944, two unlikely allies in the United States Senate—Robert Wagner (D-New York) and Robert Taft (R-Ohio)—introduced a resolution that caused shockwaves around the globe. Their initiative advocated American support for “free and unlimited entry of Jews into Palestine for the creation of a Jewish commonwealth.” This was a bold move and one that put the Roosevelt administration on the spot.
Nearly five years earlier, the British government had released a White Paper on the issue of Palestine—one that largely abandoned the Jewish people in that region. Since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and during the period of the British Mandate they had been largely supportive of Jewish migration to Palestine and the idea of a Jewish state there. In essence, the White Paper changed all of that. It advocated severe limitations on Jewish immigration to Palestine—this at a time when European anti-Semitism was reaching critical mass.
The gang in Berlin was pleased.
Interestingly, at the time of that 1939 White Paper, two men who would later strongly support the creation of the modern state of Israel saw things differently. Winston Churchill spoke to the House of Commons on May 22, 1939 “as one intimately and responsibly concerned in the earlier states of our Palestine policy,” and insisted that he would not “stand by and see the solemn engagements into which Britain has entered before the world set aside.”
And here at home, Senator Harry S. Truman from Missouri—who had no clue at the time that he’d be a major player on the world stage in a few years--also issued a forthright condemnation that was inserted into the Congressional Record:
“Mr. President, the British Government has used its diplomatic umbrella again,” (this being an unmistakable dig at Neville Chamberlain) “…this time on Palestine. It has made a scrap of paper out of Lord Balfour’s promise to the Jews. It has just added another to the long list of surrenders to the Axis powers.”
But instead of embracing the ideas put forth by Taft and Wagner in 1944, the White House, State Department and other powerful entities in the government pulled out all the stops to make sure that the idea of proposing a homeland in Palestine for Jews went away. They did this even though they knew very well about the ongoing mass extermination of European Jews at the hands of the Nazis.
The standard answer to the obvious question as to why the Holocaust evoked little official response from our government until near the end of the war has been to cite “isolationism,” or “economic Depression,” or “xenophobia” in our nation. Presumably, the idea of doing anything overtly “pro-Jewish” was politically untenable—so goes the argument.
But a closer look reveals something else going on at the time—and ever since.
The most lasting legacy of the toxins that created an epochal global conflict is the fact that elements of Nazism in many ways survive to this day in Islamism. The short-sightedness of FDR’s cronies was corrected in part by his successor, a man of courage who chose to recognize the new State of Israel eleven minutes after its birth in May of 1948. But the question remains: Why did FDR and company not get on the bandwagon, even while millions of Jews were being slaughtered?
Sadly, the real reason has a lot to do with U.S. surrender to Nazi propaganda—its power and content.
Largely overlooked or dismissed in the years since is the fact that the Nazi propaganda machine, the distortion factory that shaped attitudes in Germany throughout the duration of the infamous Third Reich, had its most lasting impact far away from the boroughs and beer halls of Deutschland. In fact, Hitler’s nightmarish vision of ridding Europe of Jews was only the beginning of what he wanted to do—he wanted to extend The Final Solution to Palestine.
And he had been preparing the hearts and minds of the Muslim world for many years.
Jeffrey Herf, a professor of history at the University of Maryland, has written an eye-opening book about the effectiveness of Nazi ideas in the Middle East during the Second World War called, “Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World.” In it, he describes the Nazi campaign for the minds and hearts of the Arab world in great detail—particularly the Axis radio programs that ran in Arabic around the clock from late 1939 until March of 1945.
These broadcasts spewed venomous anti-Semitism and pushed every demagogic button imaginable. They were also highly effective. In fact, long after the last vestige of Nazi rhetoric faded from consciousness in Europe, the poisonous seeds planted back then are still bearing deadly fruit.
The mind-set that gave way to the Third Reich is very much alive and well in the Muslim world of the Middle East.
When those two senatorial strange-bedfellows offered their visionary resolution in 1944 about a Jewish homeland in Palestine, the “Axis Broadcasts in Arabic” were way ahead of the story. Mr. Herf has accessed a significant cache of transcripts and leaflets produced by the Nazis during the war—materials that have not been adequately examined—until now.
So back in 1944, any hopes a couple of well-intentioned voices in Washington might have had to garner widespread national support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine were dashed by forces largely influenced by the hate-speak of Nazi propagandists. Berlin, broadcasting in Arabic, referred to Taft and Wagner as “criminal American senators,” while announcing, “a great tragedy is about to be unfolded, a great massacre, another turbulent war is about to start in the Arab countries.”
And in phraseology that sounds eerily familiar to what we still regularly hear from Islamists, the Nazis described the stakes as kill or be killed:
“Arabs and Moslems, sons of the East, this menace threatens your very lives, endangers your beliefs and aims at your wealth. No trace of you will remain. Your doom is sealed. It were better if the earth opened and engulfed everybody; it were better if the skies fell upon us, bringing havoc and destruction; all this, rather than the sun of Islam should set and the Koran perish...Stir up wars and revolutions, stand fast against the aggressors, let your hearts, afire with faith, burst asunder! Advance your armies and drive out the menace.”
Bear in mind that this is a Nazi broadcast to the Arab/Muslims in Palestine. Of course, the relationship between Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti in Jerusalem, is well known and documented (see my article: “Hitler’s Favorite Jihadist”), but the broadcasts from Berlin to Palestine are just now beginning to be examined. And what is being found is further evidence that to refer to Islamists as Nazi or Fascist-like is no smear—or stretch.
The rhetoric broadcasted to the Middle East 70 years ago is still being noised about—and even more pervasively and effectively. Back then, the attitudes it reinforced, complete with distortion, hate and prejudice, caused U.S. officials, from FDR on down, to “go wobbly”—as Margaret Thatcher would say.
It is sadly clear that the most lasting impact of the Nazi propaganda machine is that murderous ideas espoused back then are alive and well in our day and age and still being used to threaten and kill Jews—while nouveau wobblers turn away.
General Boykin and Major Hasan
This is the double-standard from Hell
The Obama administration recently issued a report from the Defense Department on the Fort Hood shootings of last November. The report has sparked controversy in Washington. On Capitol Hill, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sue Collins (R-Maine) are demanding more documents from the Pentagon.
Lieberman chairs the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee where Collins is the ranking member. Both senators sharply criticized the administration for its failure to turn over documents on the handling of Major Nidal Hasan. Lieberman and Collins are now issuing subpoenas to enforce their call for the documents.
The Pentagon report on the Fort Hood shootings was a whitewash. It never mentioned radical Islam or noted the religious motivation of the Army psychiatrist who killed fourteen people at Fort Hood in Texas in a shooting rampage last November.
We now know that Major Hasan had a history of radical jihadist statements and that he was allowed to get away with marginal or even unsatisfactory performance for years. Political correctness, in this case, allowed a Muslim zealot to preach jihad and to threaten “infidels” with retribution.
Sen. Lieberman has called for an “independent, bi-partisan congressional investigation” of the shootings. We need one, since it’s obvious that the Pentagon is not going to investigate itself over this appalling terrorist attack on the homeland.
Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin knows something about political correctness in the military. Gen. Boykin, a highly-decorated combat veteran was dragged through the mill by the liberal media back in 2003 for expressing his Christian beliefs in Christian churches. They charged the general was calling for a Christian crusade against the Muslims.
“I hope he’s not long for this world,” said NPR’s Nina Totenberg on WUSA’s Inside Washington TV talk show. When fellow panelists, mostly liberals, protested, asking whether Totenberg rally wanted to issue a fatwa on the offending general, she quickly backtracked. She said: “in his job, in his job, please, please, in his job.” Well, that’s reassuring. Totenberg only wanted the heroic general fired. She wanted him removed from any role in directing the war on terror. She didn’t want him beheaded.
Major TV networks denounced Gen. Boykin as a “Holy Warrior.” They ridiculed his Evangelical Christian faith on prime-time television.
Compare that treatment with what we see in the treatment of Nidal Hasan. This man yelled “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is great!”) even as he squeezed the trigger in the worst case of terrorism here since September 11th. Yet, the media is very hesitant to demand accountability of the military brass. Army Chief of Staff General Casey made the rounds of TV talk shows the first Sunday after Hasan’s shootings. He said it would be “a tragedy” if the Army’s diversity was a casualty of the Fort Hood murders.
How could Hasan be allowed to spew anti-American and anti-Christian comments for years? Where was the enforcement of the oath—taken by all members of our all-volunteer military—to defend the Constitution against “all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
We now know that Hasan’s emails to radical American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al Awlaki were intercepted by U.S. intelligence. But for some as yet unexplained reason, Hasan’s contacts with this known terrorist leader did not result in Hasan’s arrest, or at the very least, a serious investigation into his activities. Fourteen dead Americans are victims of this failure to take timely, effective action.
Awlaki has taken to taunting President Obama: “His administration tried to portray the operation of brother Nidal Hasan as an individual act of violence by an individual. The administration practiced the control on the leak of information concerning the operation in order to cushion the reaction of the American public.”
We cannot wait for the media to probe this case. We need a full congressional investigation to get to the bottom of this story—before some jihadist in a “sleeper cell” is activated and we see a repeat of this horror on our own shores. It is literally a matter of life and death.
It appears in this instance that Major Hasan was allowed to get away with disloyal statements and treasonous conduct for years because he fit into someone’s erroneous idea of diversity. All Americans, and especially all members of our all-volunteer military, have a right to expect that treason and terror will be dealt with quickly and strictly. Political correctness in this case, was fatal.
Another Obama shuffle
Grassley: GM Didn't Really Pay U.S. Back
A Republican senator is questioning General Motors’ claim that it has repaid its taxpayer-funded loans in full.
Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to justify those claims. According to the Iowa Republican, GM has repaid its TARP (taxpayer-funded bailout) loans using other TARP funds.
The automaker – which is 61 percent owned by the U.S. and 12 percent owned by Canada -- announced on Wednesday that it has fully repaid the $6.7-billion in loans it received from the U.S. and Canadian governments.
“GM is able to repay the taxpayers in full, with interest, ahead of schedule, because more customers are buying vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse we build here in Fairfax,” said GM Chairman Ed Whitacre during a visit to an auto plant in Fairfax, Kansas on Wednesday.
But as the Associated Press reported, GM received a total of $52 billion from the U.S. government and $9.5 billion from the Canadian and Ontario governments as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. The U.S. considered $6.7 billion of the $52 billion as a loan.
In fact, GM still owes $45.3 billion to the U.S. and $8.1 billion to Canada, money it received in exchange for shares in the company. GM said it hopes to repay those amounts with an eventual public stock offering, the AP reported.
“It looks like [GM’s] announcement is really just an elaborate TARP money shuffle,” Grassley said in an April 22 letter to Treasury Secretary Geithner. “The repayment dollars haven’t come from GM selling cars but, instead, from a TARP account at the Treasury Department.”
Grassley pointed to the most recent quarterly report from Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for TARP.
Barofsky testified before the Senate Finance Committee this week that the funds GM used to repay its TARP debt are not coming from GM earnings.
My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 11:19 PM