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Labour Coup falls back on dishonesty, identity politics and smears

OffGuardian | July 17, 2016

The Labour Coup just won’t die. It has become the masked killer from a b-list horror film. Lurching from one unlikely scenario to another, staunchly surviving an endless series of self-inflicted wounds, each one alone capable of felling a lesser being. Most observers knew it was all over the moment Corbyn refused to resign, if it survived that it was only by clinging to faint hope that they could keep him off the ballot. The NEC’s vote effectively put a stake through its heart. It is over.

The frantic struggling, as the traitors in the PLP and their media accomplices refuse to go quietly, is frankly undignified. The weasel-worded insinuations, and laughably obvious attempts to rig the rules, are pathetic. If the vote is anything even vaguely approaching fair, then Corbyn will win. The slimy tactics of his opponents will only drive people to the other side.

That Smith and Eagle have turned on each other demonstrates the values on display here. This isn’t about “saving Labour”, this is about grabbing power, about the basic principle that no real person of principle should ever be allowed influence, and about the preservation of a corrupt parliament where every smiling suit and skirt – from either side – is part of the same club. These are people of such low moral character that they can’t even act to preserve their own way of life, without layering in the need to polish their own gargantuan sense of self-import. Shallow egos that have gutted and cannibalized their own “movement” in its cradle.

The Guardian, or The Observer, are determined not to give up the fight. As of this morning they have an interview with Owen Smith, an article by Peter Walker, a column by Tom Watson, a polemic by Angela Eagle and some kind of… offering from Nick Cohen (I’m not sure what to call it…but reading it made me need to take a shower). They all say the same thing in slightly different words.

The message is same as it has been for 10 months – confused, ephemeral, abusive. There is no discussion of policy. There is narry a mention of political issues at all. There’s certainly no references to the LSE research into media bias against Corbyn.

Eagle’s column is especially disingenuous. She writes:

“… the party is as divided and disunited as I can remember. The current leadership has settled into a sectarian comfort zone – the effect of this has been to provoke personal attacks on MPs, a string of death and rape threats and bricks through windows.”

… neglecting to mention that the “disunity” came when the PLP deliberately plotted to remove the democratically chosen leader of the party, not through a straight leadership challenge, but through emotional blackmail and political leverage. It is the actions of her faction, sideways thinkers and sideways actors, that split the party open.

That she mentions the threats that have never been confirmed, and then proceeds to pluralise the bricks as if it were a campaign as opposed to a single incident, is absurd. There’s nothing to suggest Momentum, or any Corbyn supporter, had anything to do with the brick (singular). For all we know the “rape and death threats” are as real as the “threatening phone calls” that cancelled her Luton event, or the “homophobic abuse” that never happened. It’s perfectly possible these acts, if they are real, are being paid for by rich Labour donors in order to undermine Corbyn. It’s perfectly possible they simply didn’t happen at all.

But let’s say they did. It isn’t Corbyn, or his supporters, who have “provoked personal attacks on MPs”. Neither Corbyn nor McDonnell have collapsed into ad hominem rhetoric as much as the coup-plotters. You know what provokes people? You know what makes people angry? Being ignored. Being insulted. Being told that they don’t matter and have no power. That’s what makes people angry.

Democracy, as its core concept, is about the even distribution of influence. A democratic system cuts power into millions of tiny pieces, and hands one piece out to each person. “Here, this is your voice”, it says “you can make yourself heard”. In this way you put a halt to violence, you cap people’s frustrations by telling them that THEY have the power to change things. If you take away that influence, if you shout down their voices, if you tell people that they are wrong, that they don’t understand, that you know better than them…. then you are attempting to seize their portion of power. You are silencing their voice. You are fuelling their anger.

That’s when bricks start flying.

It is not Corbyn, or McDonnell, or Momentum or Unite that have provoked the public, it is the 172 MPs who brazenly declared war on the democratic process. It is a political class who, for years, have padded their expenses and voted for pay increases and claimed for second homes, and all the while pretended to be working for us… and then ignored our voices.

On top of all that, the idea someone who voted for the Iraq war can claim the moral high-ground because somebody threw a brick into an empty office is pretty appalling. I’m not sure how many windows got broken in Baghdad, but it was probably more than one.

Her article contains no policies except “inclusiveness”, no arguments except “I’m a gay, working class woman”. Vague patriotic slogans, self-pity, justifications and plenty of criticising Corbyn, including this beauty [my emphasis]:

Jeremy appeared to think that by appearing on television and saying he was seven out of 10 in favour of staying in Europe this would appeal to people who were not sure themselves. Instead it just gave them permission to vote Leave.

If we’ve learned anything about Angela Eagle in the last few weeks, it’s that she doesn’t believe in people having permission to vote for things. Not a great quality in an MP. We don’t need Corbyn’s permission to vote for, or against, anything. We don’t need permission at all. That’s kind of the whole point of the system. This phrase demonstrates just how in line with modern political thinking Eagle is, it reveals a core of authoritarian contempt for the electorate. It would not be out-of-place in a speech from another uncharismatic blond, running for office on the other side of the Atlantic. The “progressive left”, it seems, may have named themselves ironically.

All of that may be entirely moot, of course, because it seems Eagle is old news. Too tainted by the Iraq war, too embarrassed by her squib of a campaign launch, and frankly too atrociously poor at pubic relations herself to merit further discussion. She will soon consign herself to the dustbin of history… probably on the promise of being Smith’s Shadow Chancellor should he win the leadership. A sort of Poundland version of the deal done between Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008. Polly Toynbee, Eagle’s lone cheerleader, has shuffled off to buy more gin and complain about twitter to anybody with the patience to listen.

Owen Smith is now where it’s at. You can tell because, not only does he get a puff-piece interview which tries to make him look ordinary and principled, he then gets an article (by Zoe Williams) about how ordinary and principled he is. Neither of them mention his efforts, while a PR rep for Pfizer, to promote the privatisation of the NHS. Both of them pretend he had no hand in the planning or execution of the coup… despite openly acknowledging this tweet from John Mann MP:

Both articles repeat Smith’s story about John McDonnell saying that he’ll split the Labour party “if that’s what it takes”, without reference to the fact that McDonnell has categorically denied he ever said any such thing. They portray Smith as a reluctant challenger. A decent man, called to action against Corbyn. Despite being an “enthusiastic convert to Corbynism”, he was compelled to run for leader because he “shared the doubts of his colleagues about the person leading them”.

What follows is an avalanche of anecdotes, all from one side, designed to make Corbyn look like a doddering incompetent. They paint a picture of man who can barely function, one wonders how Corbyn manages to dress himself, let alone be an MP for 40 years. Once again, there’s not single piece evidence any of this ever happened. This interesting nugget of information is buried at the end:

A mysterious group called Saving Labour, which declines to comment on its leadership or funding – allegedly for fear of being abused– is organising over a hundred street stalls, paying for content on Facebook and even mounting an advertising campaign in the pages of the Guardian and the Observer in order to collect voters who will oppose Corbyn.

There’s a “mysterious group” backing the anti-Corbyn movement, it has no named leader and no known sources of funding. You would think, then, that a newspaper would investigate further. You would think any journalist worth his salt would delve a little deeper. The subject is never expanded upon.

This is Saving Labour’s website. It claims to be a group of “concerned citizens” interested in “saving democracy”. That’s it. No names. No list of backers. No policies. No candidates. That such an “organisation” can be used as a source by newspapers is astounding – it follows in the recent tradition of Guardian sources on that score. Bellingcat, the “citizen journalist organisation” is actually an unemployed admin assistant with no journalistic or photographic training, and no talent for either. The “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”, is one man living above a corner-shop in Coventry. Saving Labour? Nobody knows. It is from such sources that our “news” is produced. Why? Because they produce handy soundbites that conform to the pre-written narrative.

Just like Owen Smith.

And so we come to Nick Cohen, and his festering wound of a column, demonstrating everything wrong with a Western political establishment that long ago abandoned truth as an ideal. The Western world, and the media especially, no longer talk of morality as an abstract absolute of black and white, or even a subtle spectrum of shades of grey.

No, in the modern world, Cohen’s world, morality is an absolute in the worst possible sense. He is moral, so everything he does is moral. Morality is a condition of an adherence to the consensus. That’s Nick Cohen’s world. In that universe it’s perfectly possible for a “good person” to be pro-war, to slander people, to lie both actively and by omission.

That is modern political thought – expressed through Blair and Obama and… pretty soon… Hilary Clinton. It is a total reversal of the accepted paradigm, going back thousands of years. Where once a person was defined by their actions, now actions are defined by the people who do them.

We are good, they are bad. Hence, we do right, they do wrong.

That is the premise upon which every Nick Cohen article is based. That is the premise that allows him, here, to admit to campaigning for an illegal war which cost at least a million lives… and yet claim moral authority over anti-war protesters because they went on Iranian television.

He writes about the “insane conspiracy theories against Labour MPs”. A vague accusation, so lacking in specifics that you have to make an assumption in order to offer a refutation. Let’s assume he is referring to the claims that the coup was plotted weeks or months in advance. These are hardly insane considering the Telegraph printed a story about the coup 10 days before it happened, that Angela Eagle’s leadership website was registered 2 days before she resigned, and John Mann was approached about backing Owen Smith for leader 6 months ago. Not forgetting all the ties to Portland Communication.

Again we see the total disregard for truth, or evidence, or reason. The same attitude marks Western coverage of Ukraine, of Syria, and of Brexit. The attitude that you can lie something into existence, and deny a fact until it goes away. It is the attitude of people who believe, as Karl Rove said:

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

I have written about the modern media’s struggle to enforce fake reality on a world in which they are increasingly obsolete. It is a struggle, much like the Corbyn coup, which the Guardian refuses to acknowledge is over. Katherine Viner wrote a long article a few days back, in essence a 6000 word plea for money. It was headlined:

How technology disrupted the truth – Social media has swallowed the news, threatening the funding of public-interest reporting and ushering in an era when everyone has their own facts.”

The basic point, aside from “We are struggling PLEASE send us cash!”, was that the world needs “proper journalism”, because social media is unreliable and allows people “pick their own facts”. More honestly she would say social media allows people to get all the facts and make up their own minds. That the media are losing their ability to shape our certitudes.

The coverage of Corbyn is a perfect illustration of this.

This isn’t about the leader of the Labour party, this is about a political establishment panicking in the face of an important realisation: They are not in control. They thought they could control Ukraine. They thought they could control Syria. They thought they could control Corbyn. They thought they could control Brexit. One by one the small plans have twisted and corrupted and become unrecognisable, the grander scheme – if a coherent one ever truly existed – has been scattered to the winds. The world is refusing to cooperate, and all they can do is carry on repeating lines from an increasingly irrelevant script.

What we have here is more than just an attempted, domestic coup. What we have here is microcosm of a political and media establishment that is slowly going insane. What we have here is their last recourse, their attempt to control reality by equal measures of fear, denial, abuse and dishonesty. And what we have here, perhaps reassuringly, is an abject failure.

July 17, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 3 Comments

How EU is Pressuring Serbia to Abandon Relationship With Russia

Sputnik | July 17, 2016

European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister signaled Thursday that the EU remains committed to enlargement in the Western Balkans. However, Eurocrats regard the Russo-Serbian relationship as a stumbling block in Belgrade’s way to EU accession.

European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister warned Belgrade Thursday that Serbia’s intention to maintain close relations with Russia would not be tolerated by Brussels in the long run.

“The European Parliament sent a signal to Serbia through its [January] resolution that a dual approach to Russia could not be tolerated in the long run,” McAllister said at the press conference in Belgrade dubbed “The European Union’s Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy and the Western Balkans,” as quoted by Balkan Insight.

McAllister also urged Belgrade to reduce its “dependency” on Russian oil and gas, claiming that Brussels wants to see Serbia abiding by the EU energy market rules.

Ahead of the conference McAllister clarified his position in an interview with Europe Western Balkans media outlet.

“The Serbia-Russia relations have often been debated. Serbia has traditionally strong economic, social and cultural ties with Russia,” he admitted.

However, he claimed that since Russia “unilaterally changes European borders” and tries to “expand its influence” over its neighbors, Belgrade “needs to make strong efforts in aligning its foreign and security policy to that of the EU, including the policy on Russia,” referring to the EU sanctions regime imposed on Moscow.

Much in the same vein Nathalie Tocci, adviser to EU Foreign Policy and Security Chief Federica Mogherini, described Serbia’s prospects for EU membership in her interview with Tanjug.rs:

“In the accession process, a country is expected to meet all accession criteria and align itself with common European rules through negotiations, which implies both foreign policy and security. In that regard, I see the relationship with Russia as the biggest challenge for Serbia — as it gets closer to EU membership, Serbia will be expected to also get closer to the EU in terms of its position regarding Russia, but that is something that cannot happen overnight,” she said as quoted by the media outlet.Nevertheless, the Serbian government does not want to abandon its ties with Moscow, insisting that it intends to maintain fruitful diplomatic relations with both Russia and the West.

“I… wish to underline that in the process of decision-making Serbia had a continued consistent stance that at this very stage of the accession process it could not uphold all EU decisions. In some cases Serbia did not align with the EU positions, respecting its national interest concerning the issue of preserving its territorial integrity and the need to maintain traditionally good relations with other partners as well, first and foremost with Russia and China,” Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic told the press conference on Thursday.

He stressed that Serbia has proven to be a “reliable and true” partner of the EU and bemoaned the fact that despite Belgrade’s strategic foreign policy orientation toward full EU membership, the process “has not had particularly live dynamics so far because in the last two years we opened only two negotiating chapters.”

At the conference Dacic underscored that the time has come to reexamine what was done to Serbia back in 1999, and threw into question Kosovo’s self-proclaimed sovereignty. He recalled that US Assistant Secretary of State told him that the US has been investing in Kosovo’s independence for 20 years.

“Then I think the mistakes must be sought not only in our system,” he stressed, as cited by B92.net.

He emphasized that neither Russia nor China recognize Kosovo’s independence.

Later, commenting on the EU officials’ remarks Dacic told Serbian daily newspaper Novosti, as cited by Balkan Insight: “It could not be expected from Serbia to introduce sanctions on its friends.”

In his interview with Sputnik former Serbian diplomat Zoran Milivojevic noted that Serbia has its own national interests and the right to protect them.

“There are no reasons [for Serbia] to reconsider its relation with other nations, especially with United Nations Security Council permanent members and traditional friends of Serbia, Russia or China,” Milivojevic told Sputnik.

The diplomat stressed that it is inappropriate for Brussels to set such conditions on the very early phases of Serbia-EU negotiations, referring to the fact that Belgrade and the EU are yet to discuss the 31st chapter of EU accession related to Serbia’s foreign policy. Only when the chapter is opened the issue of the Russo-Serbian should be brought into the spotlight, he stressed.

July 17, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Holocaust Discourse and the Moral High Ground

By Barbara McKenzie | June 13, 2016

The Jewish Holocaust occupies a unique position in modern Western society, in that questioning the facts of the Holocaust is suppressed and vilified on a global scale as no other topic of human history. Why is research into the Holocaust so problematic? Why is it that serious research by scientists, historians and other academics is rejected out of hand as immoral? Why is the suppression of research into ANY aspect of history acceptable?

At present there are 14 countries that criminalise ‘Holocaust denial’, i.e. publicly questioning, or disseminating research that questions, any aspect of the approved Holocaust narrative: Canada plus 13 European countries including Germany, Austria and France. In many of these countries legislation was passed decades after the end of WWII, in France only in 1990. As recently as 2015 a German court convicted 87 year old Ursula Haverbeck of ‘Holocaust denial’ and sentenced her to 10 months prison. Other revisionists who have served jail sentences include the German publisher Ernst Zündel and the British historian David Irving, who was arrested, sentenced and imprisoned in Austria in 2005.   Academic Robert Faurisson was convicted in France of holocaust denial in 2006 and given a three month suspended sentence. In Germany convictions are rising steadily: in 2000 there were more than 2,666 violations of the Holocaust denial law STGB 130, as compared with 437 in 1987.

Even where Holocaust revision is legal, those who are involved in it or support it in any way are liable to be vilified, persecuted and generally treated as lepers. British academics like Irving and Nicholas Kollerstrom saw their careers destroyed, and every effort is made to deny revisionists any sort of platform; it goes without saying that they are subjected to vindictive trolling on social media. Some, like Faurisson and Zündel, have been physically assaulted on more than one occasion. After pro-Palestine activist Paul Eisen wrote an article ‘The Holocaust Wars’ in which he suggested there were questions to answer about the Holocaust, he experienced an extraordinary campaign of vilification and ostracism, especially from the pro-Palestine movement he had given so much to. That he was Jewish himself was no defence against the charge of antisemitism. As Eisen himself says, ‘I had metamorphosed into that lowest of animal life forms, the maggot at the bottom of the food chain – a Holocaust denier’.

Paul Eisen saw an unexpected rise in his profile during the 2015 campaign for election of the leader of the UK Labour Party. It was discovered that Jeremy Corbyn had had some links with Eisen in the past, including appearing on the same platform as him. The media, who had hardly been supportive of Corbyn’s candidature, had a field day accusing Corbyn of associating with a Holocaust denier. Jeremy Corbyn’s response to accusations of an association with Eisen was unequivocal : ‘had I known he was a Holocaust denier I would have had nothing to do with him […]. Obviously Holocaust denial is vile and wrong’. (From 2.47 mins in the following)

There are two principle assumptions relating to the Holocaust, both implicit in Corbyn’s denial of Paul Eisen:

  1. It is an an indisputable fact that Adolf Hitler planned to exterminate the Jews of Europe, that he did so by gassing them with cyanide in specially constructed gas chambers, and that he was thus responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jews
  2. People who question any of these premises, do so ONLY because they are neo-Nazis and white supremacists, who wish to conceal the crimes of the Nazis while at the same time sharing their ideology. They are ‘Holocaust deniers’, and all Holocaust deniers are of necessity antisemitic.

The immutability of these two premises leads to another, that anyone who questions any aspect of the Holocaust or who supports the right of others to question the Holocaust, is at best morally compromised, and probably downright evil, deserving responses ranging from suspicion, condemnation, vilification, isolation, hate mail, through to arrest and imprisonment, sometimes for many years. Those who accept unreservedly the two premises are automatically morally superior to anyone who smells a rat.

In 2012 Piers Morgan interviewed the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and asked him about his attitude to the Holocaust. I say ‘asked’, but Morgan puts his own position very clearly.

Morgan states that ‘it is an indisputable fact’ that over 6 million Jews were annihilated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. ‘Do you dispute that 6 million Jews died or no.’ Although Ahmadinejad tries to voice his suspicions about the narrative, aroused principally because so much effort goes into suppressing research, Morgan is unmovable: the Holocaust is a fact: either you believe in it or not (subtext: and if you don’t it’s because you choose to, because you are a bad person).

The biologist Richard Dawkins sees Holocaust debate in precisely the same terms as Piers Morgan:

DawkinsHolcaustFact

So according to Richard Dawkins, too, the Holocaust’ is an immutable fact, and those who question it are intellectually on a par with people who think the earth is flat, and morally on a par with racists. Again, the Holocaust is presented as just one fact, a single package – you either believe in it or you don’t.

What is particularly interesting about Dawkins’ position is that he is one of the leaders of the New Atheist movement, ostensibly dedicated to pointing out all that’s wrong with religion. One might have thought he would be sensitive to the features of the Holocaust narrative and the protectors of its memory that are evocative of the most intolerant religions, for example Catholicism in medieval times. Criminalising Holocaust denial is like burning Bruno Giordano at the stake for claiming that the earth goes round the sun.

A number of writers have in fact analysed the parallels between the Holocaust and religion, most notably the Israeli writers Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Shraga Elam, Gilad Atzmon, and Yoshua Shalev. Their arguments have been summarised as follows: Most Jews today are either atheists or shun the religion of Judaism. Therefore, the Jewish people had to adopt belief in the ‘Holocaust’ as their new religion. They have spread this religion all over the world. ‘Holocaust’ museums are the new houses of worship and are present in most major cities. The new religion has its commandments, its decrees, its prophets, its high priests, its circle of saints, its rituals and its pilgrimages. It knows neither mercy, nor forgiveness, nor clemency but only the duty of vengeance. The Holocaust religion is coherent enough to define the new ‘antichrists’ (the Deniers) and it is powerful enough to persecute them (Holocaust denial laws).

The ‘Ten Commandments’ of this ‘Holocaust Religion’ have been enunciated as follows:

  1. Remember what Amalek (the Non-Jews) has done to thee.
  2. Thou shalt never compare THE HOLOCAUST with any other Genocide.
  3. Thou shalt never compare the Nazi crimes with those of Israel.
  4. Thou shalt never doubt the number of 6 million Jewish victims.
  5. Thou shalt never doubt that the majority of them died in gas chambers.
  6. Thou shalt not doubt the central role of SATAN Hitler in the extermination of the Jews.
  7. Thou shalt never doubt the right of Israel to exist as the Jewish state.
  8. Thou shalt not criticize the leading Jewish organizations and the Israeli government.
  9. Thou must never criticize Jewish organizations and the Zionist leadership for abandoning the European Jewry in the Nazi era
  10. Thou shalt take these commandments literally and never shew mercy to them that doubt!

So what if you question this Holocaust religion? There is an almost universal assumption that if you don’t believe in the Holocaust it is not because you have an inquiring mind, it’s because you are innately evil. The belief underlying the draconian legislation relating to Holocaust denial would seem to be that the Holocaust is only questioned by neonazis, whose ‘denial’ is motivated by hate and so they should be locked up before they contaminate anyone else.

I have to confess that when I recently learned of the existence of Ursula Haverbeck and her prison sentence for ‘Holocaust denial’, in a European country in the 21st century, for carrying out, as I saw it, serious research into history, I was shocked to the core. I mentioned this to various acquaintances here in Wellington, who were equally horrified, not at the imprisonment of Ursula Haverbeck, but at the thought that I appeared to be questioning the Holocaust narrative. I was quickly made to understand that if I thought there was something worrying, something odd about this punitive response to historical research, it indicated a moral flaw in my makeup.

Soon after I had a twitter exchange with one Daniel Finkelstein, peer of the British realm, ex-editor of The Times. I came across his savage indictment of a prolific tweeter, who had defended David Irving, the notorious ‘Holocaust denier’. When I commented that the said person ‘opposes land theft (in Palestine), ethnic cleansing and child abuse – what’s not to like? Finkelstein, twitter handle ‘Dannythefink’, responded by asking me what I thought of the Holocaust. The exchange continued as follows:

Daniel Finkelstein

It comes as no surprise that Daniel Finkelstein, who is in total support of dispossession, ethnic cleansing and cruelty in Palestine, assumes morally superiority to me, since I have spoken in defense of a man who has spoken in defense of a man who does research into a field of history. And of course I have refused to commit myself to the undeniability of the Holocaust package …

One can assume that all these experts on the Holocaust, who know enough to be confident of the immutable truth of the Holocaust narrative, whether it be Piers Morgan, Dawkins, or Daniel Finkelstein, would also know another immutable truth about the Holocaust, that the Director of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss was tortured for three days and three nights, and that his testicles were smashed beyond repair,as happened to 137 out of 139 Germans ‘interrogated’ before the Nuremberg trials. One can assume that this makes no difference to their perception of the Holocaust narrative, and they will remain confident of their moral superiority to those of us who are distressed and alarmed by the knowledge that German witness statements at Nuremberg were obtained under the most brutal torture. (From Höss’s confession was derived the figure of 4 million deaths at Auschwitz; the figure was later revised down to 1 million.)

‘Holocaust denial’ is generally conflated with antisemitism, ‘Jew hate’ or racism, and so automatically deserving of vilification. However, even if revisionism is considered to be intrinsically antisemitic, protectors of the Holocaust narrative like to bolster their case by pointing to more general indicators of racism in the culprit.

To the uninitiated the best-known Holocaust revisionist is probably the British historian David Irving, who was convicted of Holocaust denial in an Austrian court and sentenced to three years in prison. Irving was interviewed by Tim Sebastian on the BBC’s Hardtalk in 2000. The programme’s style is intended to be aggressive, but when I watched the programme in 2000, knowing nothing about either Irving or Holocaust denial, I was repelled by Sebastian’s overt hostility to Irving, and I believe that any other impartial person would be too. (Sebastian underlined his antagonism by refraining from shaking Irving’s hand at the end of the interview.)

Sebastian suggests that to deny the gas chambers is hurtful and tasteless (Holocaust denial is immoral per se). But like many others he feels the need to shore up this assumption by showing that there is other evidence that David Irving is a racist, and though he has few examples to work with he is  relentless on this point. Irving’s suggestion that he is no more racist than millions of other people is brushed aside with the rather strange claim from the interviewer that there is no evidence for this whatsoever (so only Holocaust deniers are racist). Furthermore, it would appear that honest but naive David Irving confessed in an interview with the Independent that he once called someone a ‘nigger’, something he immediately regretted and remained bitterly ashamed of. As someone put it in the comments below the YouTube video, David Irving is probably the most honest person on the planet.

Another protector of the Holocaust narrative is Max Blumenthal, an American Jew who has a profile as a supporter of the rights of Palestinians. Blumenthal has attracted criticism from some pro-Palestine activists, who see him as an ‘antizionist’ zionist (AZZ), or gatekeeper, due to his attacks on other activists such as Alison Weir and Gilad Atzmon, his opposition to criticism of Jewish power, his prioritising of antisemitism and Holocaust denial, and his peddling of the NATO narrative on Syria; Gilad Atzmon sees him as racist, agressive and supremacist. In 2008 Blumenthal attended a meeting by David Irving when he was touring the States, and created this video:

The video is interesting for several reason. Blumenthal has interspersed his footage with clips from old German propaganda films promoting Germans superiority – of course if you question the Holocaust you must be a Nazi and white supremacist. Like Piers Morgan he presents the question of the Holocaust in bald holistic terms, with no allowance for individual aspects, or degrees of doubt. ‘Are you a Holocaust denier’, he asks, pretty much as one might ask ‘are you a paedophile?’

And as Holocaust denial is such a heinous crime, Blumenthal is justified in first finding out the location of the meeting (given freely to him by David Irving), and then outing Irving to the Vicar of the church hosting the meeting as a ‘Holocaust denier’. The smugness, the self-satisfaction of Blumenthal are palpable; he clearly sees himself as a hero, where others might just see a manipulative sneak. In any case we are left in no doubt that Max Blumenthal, the anti-German racist, the Palestine activist who along with Israel promotes the destruction of Syria, is morally superior to the ‘Holocaust denier’ David Irving, regardless of the latter’s transparent integrity.

The claim that ‘Holocaust denial’ is innately antisemitic was blown out of the water when Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, took into his head to declare that the Holocaust was the brainchild of the Palestinian grand mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Husseini (so not Hitler afterall), that Hitler only wanted to expel the Jews, not exterminate them (thereby breaking Commandment 6, see above). There was anger and ridicule in Israel and amongst Jews abroad and Netanyahu was forced to climb down. Although Netanyahu was in general accused of ‘playing into the hands of Holocaust deniers’, he was actually guilty of Holocaust denial as it is defined, ie questioning an aspect of the Holocaust discourse – any German who made Netanyahu’s claim would be arrested. If one accepts the ruling that says ‘Holocaust denial’ is antisemitic, Netanyahu must be antisemitic. Which is clearly nonsense – Netanyahu’s racism does not lie in antisemitism, but in an overweening belief in Jewish exceptionalism.

Conclusion

It could be that those protecting the approved version of the Holocaust with such intolerance, aggression, and hate are absolutely right, that 6 million Jews died, in gas chambers, according to a plan drawn up by Adolf Hitler. I wouldn’t know – I haven’t done the research necessary for me to form an opinion.

However it is manifestly clear that those who question or deny the Holocaust are not united by a common neo-Nazi philosophy, of a type that on the one hand insists that Hitler was not guilty of the crimes attributed to him and on the other claims ‘Hitler was right’ to commit these crimes. Mainstream Holocaust revisionists are academics, philosophers, German patriots or Palestine activists. They do not necessarily support the far-right – many of them probably vote for left of centre parties. Some of them are notable for their immense compassion, such as Paul Eisen, who has always been a strong advocate of justice for Palestine. All of them have shown great courage and integrity, and are prepared to look for the truth and to speak it as they see it.

Regardless of the facts of the matter, criminalisation of responsible research into the Holocaust, and the vilification and isolation of those who carry it out, or even those who simply support their right to do so, is an outrageous denial of academic endeavour and historiography as a discipline. Anyone who supports such criminalisation, vilification and isolation is NOT morally superior but in fact morally and intellectually compromised. Furthermore, any honourable person with a modicum of intelligence and a modicum of courage will fight for the right of all people to carry out research into any branch of history, without treating one particular aspect as sacred and therefore exempt from scrutiny.

July 17, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Government Version of Student Massacre Discredited Again

teleSUR – July 16, 2016

An inquiry published Saturday has revealed that there is virtually no physical evidence to support the Mexican government´s version of the 2014 disappearance of 43 students traveling by bus to Mexico City. Government officials insist that a drug gang kidnapped the students at gunpint, killed them and burned the bodies at a dumpsite near the southwesten town of Iguala, but the report, based on forensic records requested by the Associated Press, revealed no signs of a fire on the night in question.

But the notes of a forensic examination of the Cocula dumpsite in Guerrero state in western Mexico shows that investigators could not confirm a fire on the night that the students vanished on September 26, 2014. The AP obtained the documents under a freedom of information request permissible under Mexican law.

The AP inquiry is the latest in a series of independent investigations that undermines the Mexican government´s version of events. Police say that five suspects have confessed to the crimes but an international panel of experts earlier this year concluded that the confessions were obtained by torture.

Earlier this year the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) found animal and human remains at the dumpsite but said none of the remains corresponded to the government´s allegation that the bodies were incinerated by members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel. The Attorney General’s Office in April presented evidence of a huge fire and the discovery of the remains of at least 17 adults but the bone fragments were too badly burned to identify, the Argentine team said.

The government´s handling of the case has triggered massive protests that include parents and friends of the students, trade unons and grassroots organizations who believe that law-enforcement authorities are complicit in the slayings of the 43 students, who had effectively stolen a bus, ironically enough, to attend the commemoration of a 1968 police massacre of students.

The case has marred the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office promising to reduce violence, curb corruption, and human rights abuses in the country.

July 17, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment