Below is a blurb I have received about a new book. I will add a few comments at the foot of it
HERF, JEFFREY: The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During
World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard University Press)
Historians once wrote about the Final Solution and World War II as if they were distinct events. Jeffrey Herf demonstrates, however, that in Hitler, Goebbels and other Nazi leaders’ minds, the Holocaust and Second World War were part of a single “war against the Jews.”
“International Jewry,” the Nazis believed, was a conspiracy operating behind the scenes, dominating Soviet, British and American government policy. The “eternal Jew,” Hitler claimed, stood behind Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin alike. How else could one explain the alliance of these ideological foes?
Of course, there is no evidence to support the claim that the United States and Great Britain were ruled by Jews. As for the Bolsheviks, Herf documents that at no time did Jews constitute more than 5% of the Communist Party. Nazi propaganda about Jewish domination, Herf concludes, was a “complete fantasy.”
Yet the Nazis believed their fantasy. The assumption that they did not is based on an optimistic belief in the power of human rationality, and a devaluation of the human capacity for delusion. Herf shows how German ideology and propaganda were held together by a gigantic persecution mania, or paranoid myth.
It is certainly true that Hitler was obsessed with the the Jews but if he was mad ("Paranoid" in the blurb above) so are most Leftists today and so in fact is current American "anti-discrimination" law. The fact is that in prewar Germany, Jews had a "disproportionate" presence in the leadership of almost all sections of society -- as indeed they do in the USA and Britain today. Hitler viewed this disproportion as evidence of unfairness supported by a racist conspiracy and was irate about it, very irate.
But American Leftists use exactly the same logic in seeing "disproportionate" numbers of blacks in various occupations as evidence of racist conspiracy. Indeed, "disproportion" is all by itself taken as evidence of discrimination and firms and organizations are REQUIRED to bring the proportion of blacks among their employees up to the population average. Fire departments, for instance, are not allowed to employ firefighters who are all white, regardless of the skills and knowledge that the various candidates for employment might have.
Hitler's solution to the "problem" was obviously more drastic than the legal harassment that American Leftists have instituted but the thinking is the same. It is ideologically warped thinking but it is not insane.
And one of Hitler's major aims concerned the Jews only incidentally: The Drang nach Osten in search of Lebensraum. Like the Greenies of today, Hitler thought Germany was running out of resources and that in the foreseeable future it might not be able to feed all its population. So he wanted to push to the East and grab Russian land to supply Germany with the resources it needed. So are the Greenies insane? Their assumptions are the same as Hitler's.
And it was a reasonable puzzle for Hitler to work out how come the semi-Fascist Roosevelt, the Conservative Churchill and the Bolshevik Stalin all united against him. What did they have in common? To say it was the Jews provided a unifying explanation. It was a simple explanation and a wrong one but simple explanations are popular to this day. Obama's claim that America's problems are all due to the rich "not paying their fair share" is also simple but wrong.
So from the blurb it seems to me that the writer's explanation of Hitler's motivation is also simple but wrong. Hitler in fact had complex motivations. I say far more about how normal Hitler's views were in the prewar world here. Nobody else liked Jews at that time either.
Blasphemy and Free Speech
A growing threat to our freedom of speech is the attempt to stifle religious discussion in the name of preventing "defamation of" or "insults to" religion, especially Islam. Resulting restrictions represent, in effect, a revival of blasphemy laws.
Few in the West were concerned with such laws 20 years ago. Even if still on some statute books, they were only of historical interest. That began to change in 1989, when the late Ayatollah Khomeini, then Iran's Supreme Leader, declared it the duty of every Muslim to kill British-based writer Salman Rushdie on the grounds that his novel, The Satanic Verses, was blasphemous. Rushdie has survived by living his life in hiding. Others connected with the book were not so fortunate: its Japanese translator was assassinated, its Italian translator was stabbed, its Norwegian publisher was shot, and 35 guests at a hotel hosting its Turkish publisher were burned to death in an arson attack.
More recently, we have seen eruptions of violence in reaction to Theo van Gogh's and Ayaan Hirsi Ali's film Submission, Danish and Swedish cartoons depicting Mohammed, the speech at Regensburg by Pope Benedict XVI on the topic of faith, reason, and religious violence, Geert Wilders' film Fitna, and a false Newsweek report that the U.S. military had desecrated Korans at Guantanamo. A declaration by Terry Jones-a deservedly obscure Florida pastor with a congregation of less than 50-that he would burn a Koran on September 11, 2010, achieved a perfect media storm, combining American publicity-seeking, Muslim outrage, and the demands of 24 hour news coverage. It even drew the attention of President Obama and senior U.S. military leaders. Dozens of people were murdered as a result.
Such violence in response to purported religious insults is not simply spontaneous. It is also stoked and channeled by governments for political purposes. And the objects and victims of accusations of religious insults are not usually Westerners, but minorities and dissidents in the Muslim world. As Nina Shea and I show in our recent book Silenced, accusations of blasphemy or insulting Islam are used systematically in much of that world to send individuals to jail or to bring about intimidation through threats, beatings, and killings.
The Danish cartoons of Mohammed were published in Denmark's largest newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, in September 2005. Some were reproduced by newspapers in Muslim countries in order to criticize them. There was no violent response. Violence only erupted after a December 2005 summit in Saudi Arabia of the Organization of the Islamic Conference-now the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The summit was convened to discuss sectarian violence and terrorism, but seized on the cartoons and urged its member states to rouse opposition. It was only in February 2006-five months after the cartoons were published-that Muslims across Africa, Asia, and the Mideast set out from Friday prayers for often violent demonstrations, killing over 200 people.
The highly controlled media in Egypt and Jordan raised the cartoon issue so persistently that an astonishing 98 percent of Egyptians and 99 percent of Jordanians-knowing little else of Denmark-had heard of them. Saudi Arabia and Egypt urged boycotts of Danish products. Iran and Syria manipulated riots partly to deflect attention from their nuclear projects. Turkey used the cartoons as bargaining chips in negotiations with the U.S. over appointments to NATO. Editors in Algeria, Jordan, India, and Yemen were arrested-and in Syria, journalist Adel Mahfouz was charged with "insulting public religious sentiment"-for suggesting a peaceful response to the controversy. Lars Vilks' later and more offensive 2007 Swedish cartoons and Geert Wilders' 2008 film Fitna led to comparatively little outcry, demonstrating further that public reactions are government-driven.
Repression based on charges of blasphemy and apostasy, of course, goes far beyond the stories typically covered in our media. Currently, millions of Baha'is and Ahmadis-followers of religions or interpretations that arose after Islam-are condemned en masse as insulters of Islam, and are subject to discriminatory laws and attacks by mobs, vigilantes, and terrorists. The Baha'i leadership in Iran is in prison, and there is no penalty in Iran for killing a Baha'i. In Somalia, al Shebaab, an Islamist group that controls much of that country, is systematically hunting down and killing Christians. In 2009, after allegations that a Koran had been torn, a 1,000-strong mob with Taliban links rampaged through Christian neighborhoods in Punjab, Pakistan's largest province, killing seven people, six of whom, including two children, were burned alive. Pakistani police did not intervene.
Throughout the Muslim world, Sunni, Shia, and Sufi Muslims may be persecuted for differing from the version of Islam promulgated by locally hegemonic religious authorities. Saudi Arabia represses Shiites, especially Ismailis. Iran represses Sunnis and Sufis. In Egypt, Shia leaders have been imprisoned and tortured.
In Afghanistan, Shia scholar Ali Mohaqeq Nasab, editor of Haqooq-i-Zen magazine, was imprisoned by the government for publishing "un-Islamic" articles that criticized stoning as a punishment for adultery. Saudi democracy activists Ali al-Demaini, Abdullah al-Hamed, and Matruk al-Faleh were imprisoned for using "un-Islamic terminology," such as "democracy" and "human rights," when calling for a written constitution. Saudi teacher Mohammed al-Harbi was sentenced to 40 months in jail and 750 lashes for "mocking religion" after discussing the Bible in class and making pro-Jewish remarks. Egyptian Nobel prize winner in literature Naguib Mahfouz reluctantly abandoned his lifelong resistance to censorship and sought permission from the clerics of Al-Azhar University to publish his novel Children of Gebelawi, hitherto banned for blasphemy. Mahfouz subsequently lived under constant protection after being stabbed by a young Islamist, leaving him partly paralyzed.
After Mohammed Younas Shaikh, a member of Pakistan's Human Rights Commission, raised questions about Pakistan's policies in Kashmir, he was charged with having blasphemed in one of his classes. In Bangladesh, Salahuddin Choudhury was imprisoned for hurting "religious feelings" by advocating peaceful relations with Israel. In Iran, Ayatollah Boroujerdi was imprisoned for arguing that "political leadership by clergy" was contrary to Islam, and cleric Mohsen Kadivar was imprisoned for "publishing untruths and disturbing public minds" after writing Theories of the State in Shiite Jurisprudence, which questioned the legal basis of Ayatollah Khomeini's view of government. Other charges brought against Iranians include "fighting against God," "dissension from religious dogma," "insulting Islam," "propagation of spiritual liberalism," "promoting pluralism," and, my favorite, "creating anxiety in the minds of . Iranian officials."
'You get what you deserve, white boy': Boy, 13, doused in gasoline and set alight in racially-motivated attack
Another episode in black America's war on whites
Police are investigating a possible race hate attack after a 13-year-old boy was doused in gasoline and set on fire. The teenager, who suffered first degree burns to his face and hands, is white and his two attackers black.
His mother Melissa Coon said the attackers told her son 'This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy'.
Police in Kansas City, Missouri said they are investigating the alleged assault as a possible hate crime.
Investigators said the assault took place as the teen walked home from East High School.
He noticed two older boys following him and as he arrived at his home the pair threw gas on him. 'They rushed him on the porch as he tried to get the door open,' Mrs Coon told KMBC-TV. '[One of them] poured the gasoline, then flicked the Bic, and said, 'This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy'.
Mrs Coon said her son was able to beat the flames out with his hands and shirt and was able to call 911 and his father.
Police said the boy had been engulfed in a 'large fireball'. He has lost his eye lashes, eyebrows and some skin on his face.
Kansas City Police Department Detective Stacey Taylor said detectives were concerned about damage to the boy's eyes and lungs. He said this was a particularly heinous crime. 'It was pretty bad stuff,' he said.
The teen is now recovering at home after his ordeal but his mother said he has already had a traumatic effect on her family. 'My five year old came in and asked me, 'Mom, am I going to get set on fire today?'' she said. 'I was in tears.'
Coon said her family will move from their home and her son will not return to East High School as he fear's her son's attackers may be students there.
Police said the two suspects, believed to be around 16 years old, are male and have facial hair. One was wearing a blue hat, blue jacket, and shoes with the number 23 on the side. The other wore a blue hat, a black jacket, and wore glasses.
Republican probes $111 billion jump in cost of healthcare law
Not exactly a surprise
A powerful House Republican wants the Obama administration to explain why it’s asking for an extra $111 billion to implement part of the healthcare reform law.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) is asking about a spike in the estimated costs of subsidies to help people buy private insurance — a central, and expensive, component of the new healthcare law.
The administration’s budget request this year included $111 billion more for subsidies than its request last year. The difference falls across the same seven-year window.
“This staggering increase in health insurance exchange subsidy spending cannot be explained by legislative changes or new economic assumptions, and therefore must reflect substantial changes in underlying assumptions regarding the program’s utilization and cost,” Camp wrote Friday in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
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