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Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides

By Thomas Dalton, Ph.D

Book Review

This is a book about the Holocaust, and about two competing views of that event. On the one hand we have the traditional, orthodox view: the six million Jewish casualties, the gas chambers, the cremation ovens and mass graves. Traditional historians have thousands of surviving witnesses and the weight of history on their side. On the other hand there is a small, renegade band of writers and researchers who refuse to accept large parts of this story. These revisionists, as they call themselves, present counter-evidence and ask tough questions. They are beginning to outline a new and different narrative.

Thus there has emerged something of a debate, a debate of historic significance. This is no peripheral clash between two arcane schools of thought, regarding some minutiae of World War II. It is about history, of course, but it also speaks to fundamental issues of our time: freedom of speech and press, the operation of mass media, manipulation of public opinion, political and economic power structures, and the coercive abilities of the State. It is an astonishingly rancorous and controversial debate, with far-reaching implications.

Most of the reading public is only dimly aware of this debate, if at all. Everyone knows that six million Jews were killed by the Nazis, and that gas chambers were used in the killing. But few have any idea about the origins of this story, its rationale, and its justification. Fewer still know that serious questions have been raised against the traditional view; if they have heard of such questions, it is in the context of a few right-wing neo-Nazi anti-Semites who are trying to attack the Jews by questioning the Holocaust. And not more than a handful of people know about the serious issues raised by the revisionists, and the attempts by certain traditionalists to respond.

The fact that so few are aware of what may be called the Great Holocaust Debate is perhaps not surprising. Much has been invested in the conventional story. Textbooks and encyclopedias have been written about it. Historians have staked their personal reputations on it. Politicians have passed laws defending it. And wealthy and powerful interests have good reason to sustain it. In short, very few of those in positions of influence want to acknowledge any kind of legitimate debate. There is no incentive to publicize it, and strong disincentive. Those in the public eye know that, should they broach this subject, they will suffer the consequences. Advertisers will drop out. Financial backers will disappear. They may be sued. They will lose access. They will be shunned. And it will all be legal.

Only a dramatic turn of events can force this debate into the public realm. Such a turn occurred in early 2006, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that there would be a Holocaust conference in Teheran. The purpose would be to examine its scientific and technical basis with an eye to reinterpreting the facts. Reaction was rapid and fierce. Most called it a Holocaust denial conference, dismissing it as so much anti-Semitic raving. But Ahmadinejad followed through, and the conference was held in December of that year. The sky did not fall, and hoards of crazed lunatics did not rise up and slaughter Jews around the world. But the topic broke through the wall of silence; and more people now than ever suspect that all is not well with the traditional story hence the need for a book such as this.

* * * * *

The Great Debate is marked by a striking partisanship. The traditional story is defended primarily by survivors, Jewish writers and researchers, and those who suffered at the hands of Nazi Germany in other words, by people with a self-interest in sustaining the dominant view of a genocidal Nazi regime and an innocent and victimized Jewish people. Of the thousands of books on the subject, the vast majority are by Jewish authors. The revisionist perspective is promoted by a very small number of people, primarily Germans, people of German origins, and those who are ideologically inclined to be pro-German or anti-Jewish again, not an unbiased group.1 Charges of lies, conspiracy, and hoax are frequently launched by both sides. This leaves the vast majority of the public in a quandary: the average person is faced with partisan advocates on both sides, and rarely, if ever, gets a complete and balanced picture.

My goal is to remedy this shortcoming. I intend to present an objective, impartial look at this debate. I will discuss the latest and strongest arguments on both sides, examine the replies, and offer an unbiased assessment. This is a challenging task, to say the least, but I believe that I am reasonably well suited for it. Unlike the vast majority of writers on the Holocaust, I am not Jewish either by religion or ethnicity; nor are any of my family members. I am not of German descent. No one in my immediate family suffered or died in World War II. I am neither Muslim nor fundamentalist Christian, so I have no religious bias. My background is as a scholar and academic, having taught humanities at a prominent American university for several years now. I have a long-standing interest in World War II, and in the present conflict in the Middle East. In the end, whether I have succeeded in offering an objective analysis of this debate will be for the reader to judge.

This book is targeted at the general educated reader, but holds to a high standard of scholarship. Hence it is as suited for university use as for general readership. In examining the writings of the two opponents, I have taken nothing for granted. To the extent possible, I have verified all quotations, checked all calculations, and noted errors though I must say that the level of scholarship on both sides has been laudably high. I have attempted to use commonly available sources, should the reader wish to confirm any statements or quotations I offer here.2 I have concentrated on English language sources; this has its drawbacks, but fortunately most of the important sources are in English, so the problem is not too great. Where relevant, I have cited essential non-English writings as well.

I have also shown a preference for hard-copy publications books and journal articles over Internet publications. Web-based material is always questionable. It can change from one day to another, and disappear the next. Such sources are typically less well researched, and often rely on other, equally unreliable, Web-based sources for their arguments. On the other hand, much controversial material can be published only on the Web, and this point must be noted. It is very convenient, for example, that several of the key revisionist texts complete books are available free online. (This very fact should mitigate the notion of a profit motive of the revisionists.) And the rise of YouTube and online video services allows access to audio-visual material that can have a greater impact than printed works. Thus, as appropriate, I have included relevant Web page information.

Finally, I use terminology indicating the provisional nature of claims about the Holocaust. My use of alleged, so-called, scare quotes, and similar devices simply is meant to indicate that I am withholding assent until the case is fully examined. I tend to be skeptical of most things told to me by those in positions of power and influence, and this subject is no different. I recommend that the reader do the same. As for my occasional quips, jabs, and weak attempts at humor, I can only say that this is not intended as insult or dismissal. I aim to take a sometimes plodding and tedious debate and make it interesting and readable. But when one makes outrageous claims, or puts forth obvious nonsense, and then expects to be taken seriously then a sarcastic jab may be entirely appropriate.

* * * * *

Some might question the relevance of this whole topic. They might point out that the event under discussion happened over sixty years ago, that most who experienced it are dead, and that the enmities of the war are long gone. America and the European nations are friends, and at peace (with each other, at least!). Japan is an important trading partner, and poses no military threat. So why bother with the Holocaust? What’s the big deal? Yes, the Jews suffered, some may say. So just leave them alone. Let them have their ol’ Holocaust.

I think it does matter, and not only to those who have a vested interest. First, there is the straightforward question of history. Regardless of what one may think, the Holocaust was an event of major historical importance. As with any historical event, it is important to get the facts straight, and to develop consistent and coherent views about what happened. To understand what did, or did not, happen is important for understanding the world of the twentieth century, and by extension, the world of today.

Second, we are not allowed to forget about it, even if we wanted to. Coverage of the Holocaust is standard fare in every school curriculum.3 Children the world over read The Diary of Anne Frank, Number the Stars, Waiting for Anya, and Butterfly. Students learn about the gas chambers and the six million, about the Nazi atrocities.4 We watch Holocaust miniseries on television, Schindlers List, and documentaries like Night and Fog. We celebrate Holocaust Education Week, and we acknowledge January 27 each year as the International Day of Commemoration of Holocaust victims, as declared by the UN in 2005. School children collect six million pencils, or six million paperclips.5 We visit Holocaust museums. We take college courses from endowed chairs in Holocaust studies. This is not by accident. It is a deliberate plan, to make sure we never forget. And if we can never forget, then we should at least get the story straight.

Third, there is the drama of the debate itself. It is unlike anything else the name-calling, the suppression of ideas, the jailing of dissenters, the burning of books. It is a debate that can scarcely be mentioned in polite company. It is, in a real sense, one of the last taboos in Western civilization. But as we know, taboos never last. They are the product of a given era, of specific social and political forces. When those forces shift, as they inevitably do, the taboo is lifted. Now is perhaps such a time.

Fourth, we have the underlying issue of free speech. I take a position in support of radical free speech. Speech is an (almost) absolute right. There is virtually no topic that should be out of bounds. Barring only such obscure cases as an immediate threat to human life (one thinks of the contrived example of crying fire in a crowded theater ), no words or ideas should be beyond discussion. I support vigorous and open debate on every conceivable topic, the Holocaust included. Suppressing speech only drives it underground, and can only lead to unethical and reprehensible manipulation of the public’s ability to think for itself. Those in power always have reason to fear free speech all the more reason to defend it.

Fifth is the monetary angle. Billions of dollars have been given as restitution, to Israel, to individual survivors, and to Jewish organizations. These are tax dollars, provided by the workers of the affected nations primarily Germany and Switzerland (to date). Restitution claims have not ended, and will likely not end in the foreseeable future; as recently as March 2008, the Belgian government agreed to pay $170 million to survivors, their families, and the Jewish community. This is rather astonishing, given that Belgium was a victim of the war, not an aggressor! (The official reason: Belgium failed to resist hard enough against Nazi deportation of Jews.) Compensation money, arising directly from the conventional Holocaust story, in turn flows back to sustain it. Restitution money buys political clout, where in the U.S. at least it ends up as campaign contributions and issue ads. It encourages lawmakers to legislate in support of Israel and against revisionism and they do.

Sixth, there are the far-reaching conflicts in the Middle East that stem, in large part, from the Holocaust in a number of important ways. First, the state of Israel itself is due largely to the persecution of Jews in the war (Israel was created in 1948).6 Its creation sparked the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs, which led to several wars and ultimately to the present Israeli occupation of the West Bank and other Palestinian lands. This occupation in turn is a crucial factor in the global war on terror, and in the present bloody conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Second, it is a crucial factor in the United States giving $6 billion per year, every year, to Israel in the form of military, economic, and indirect aid. Third, if there is a future conflict with Iran, it too will stem in part from conflicting views of the Holocaust;7 Ahmadinejad knows this, hence his willingness to challenge the traditional account. And finally, the influential group of people who promote and defend the Holocaust are by and large the same people who supported the wars in the Middle East. The same ideology “militant right-wing Zionism” is a major factor in both. Thus by better understanding their thinking and actions we may perhaps head off future wars.

Seventh: If we can be misled or fooled, or deceived, or lied to about the Holocaust, what other events might we be misled about? The same social forces that could give rise to, and sustain, a deficient Holocaust story could produce countless other stories that might be exaggerated, embellished, distorted, or falsified.

Finally, the Great Debate tells us something important about the power structure of Western nations. Revisionists challenge not only orthodoxy; they challenge the power of the State. Advocates for the conventional view are in positions of great influence. They are wealthy. They have many supporters, and virtually unlimited resources. They are able to turn the power of the State, and public opinion, against revisionism. The revisionists, few in number and poor in means, have only ideas. But, as the masked man once said, ideas are bulletproof. They have a power of their own, unmatched by money, military, or government. Ideas can penetrate to the heart of truth. This is the promise of revisionism. Whether it succeeds, time shall tell.

* * * * *

To repeat, I attempt here to take an impartial look at this clash of views. Arguably this is doomed to failure. I can be sure that both sides will accuse me of biased thinking, of disregarding important points, of undervaluing critical issues. Trying to remain neutral in this cantankerous debate is rather like taking a stroll through no-mans-land amidst trench warfare. I am guaranteed to be shot at by both sides.

Nevertheless, I am not concerned with befriending either camp. The hardcore partisans of both sides are few in number, even if one side wields disproportionate power. My concern is the vast middle ground of people, neither Jew nor Muslim nor German, who are directly and indirectly affected by the Holocaust, and who deserve to hear all perspectives on the matter. I stand with that group.

I am not a revisionist, and I do not endorse their claims. I am a bystander in this debate, observing and commenting on a collision of ideas. This book is not a book of revisionism. It is a book about revisionism, and about two competing views of the truth. It addresses the ability of each side to marshal evidence, and to create a clear and consistent picture of the past.

The revisionist view of events is so shocking, so far from what we have been told, that we have a hard time comprehending its possibility. A colleague once told me that he would be no more shocked to find no Eiffel Tower in Paris than he would to learn that the revisionists were right. Yet we can scarcely avoid asking ourselves this question: Is it really possible that the traditional Holocaust story is wrong? And not merely a little wrong, but significantly and fundamentally flawed? This is for each reader to decide. My objective is not to impose an overall conclusion, but rather to illuminate and articulate the main points, and to comment on their validity. The reader must decide.

I sense a turning point in the debate. It seems to be moving out of the shadows and into the realm of serious and legitimate discourse. Revisionists have strong arguments in their favor, and, despite book burnings and jail terms, they are not going away. Traditionalists seem of late to have lost their momentum. Perhaps they have no more counterarguments. Perhaps they have tired of defending the conflicting stories of survivors and witnesses. Perhaps they have reached the limit of their ability to fashion a comprehensible picture of those tragic events of sixty years ago. The debate will reach a new resolution, and I suspect that the result will be something different than we presume today.

NOTES

1. Of course there are other revisionists not among these groups. Prominent revisionist Germar Rudolf has argued that, proportionately, the French are the most represented group.

2. Wherever possible, quotations include in-text citations. For example, (Hilberg 2003: 29) refers to page 29 of Hilbergs 2003 publication (The Destruction of the European Jews), which can be found in the bibliography at the rear. Such citations both let the reader know the time frame of the quotation, and avoid an excessive multiplication of footnotes. (Recent scholarship, especially by the revisionists, is footnote-crazy. This is useful from a scholarly perspective, but can make for awkward reading.) The end objective, after all, is to clearly cite reliable and verifiable sources, and I think I have achieved this goal. And, unlike most books on the subject (of either side), I have included a full and complete index and bibliography.

3. One example: On November 7, 2008, the British Times Online reported that every secondary school [in the UK] is to get a Holocaust specialist to ensure that the subject is taught comprehensively and sensitively. Ten percent of these specialists will receive a masters degree in Holocaust education. The scheme is part of a wider Holocaust education project funded by the Government and a national charity. The project will also send two sixth-formers [ages 16 and 17] from every school to Auschwitz each year.

4. In February 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed strengthening an existing mandate to teach the Holocaust; his idea was that every fifth grader will have to learn the life story of one of the 11,000 [Jewish] French children killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. (New York Times, February 16) The proposal was rejected by the Education Ministry five months later. Yet we should ask what might have compelled Sarkozy to attempt this. One factor could be his family background; his grandfather was Jewish, and he clearly views himself as a friend of Israel. Another might be the strong Jewish minority in France; the country has the third-highest percentage of Jews outside Israel (though small”just under one percent”it is nonetheless very influential; see Chapter 12).

Furthermore, we should consider the numbers involved. The standard definition of a child victim is anyone under age sixteen. Most traditionalists claim that children represented about one third of all victims. So 11,000 child deaths implies about 30,000 French Jews in total. (Of course, we dont know if Sarkozy is using a different definition of child “perhaps only those of middle-school age.) But a figure of 30,000 is far less than that mentioned by, for example, Gilbert (1988: 244), who claims 83,000 French Jewish deaths. As so often happens in the Debate, ill-defined numbers are thrown around that are rife with contradiction.

If the total was 30,000, French Jews accounted for just 0.5 percent of the six million victims”virtually insignificant in the overall picture. (If 83,000, then 1.4 percent.) And they would represent only 6 percent of all 500,000 French war casualties.

5. On September 20, 2004, the AP reported on a middle school in Tennessee, where, back in 1998, students hoped to collect 6 million paper clips”one to remember each person killed in the Holocaust. Thanks to global publicity, they had collected 30 million clips by 2004. In that same year Paper Clips, an award-winning Miramax documentary, was released. Regarding the pencils, a Texas junior high school issued a press release on May 15, 2007: Six million pencils for Holocaust project. They hope to get 167,000 per month, achieving their total by 2010.

6. It is true, however, that the Zionist push for a Jewish homeland had begun in earnest as early as 1900; the Balfour Declaration of 1917 declared British support for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. The process was thus in motion several decades before the end of World War II, but it was the Holocaust that was the last straw, inducing the UN to create the state of Israel in 1948.

7. The Holocaust is often invoked in the Iranian conflict, both in reference to Ahmadinejad’s denial of it, and to a future attack on Israel. The threat of military action comes from both the United States and Israel (but from nowhere else). A recent example: On August 7, 2008, Time magazine reported the story Israel Preparing for Iran Strike. The Israeli Deputy Prime Minister is quoted as saying, Israel takes Mahmoud Ahmadinejads statements regarding its destruction seriously. Israel cannot risk another Holocaust.

http://www.amazon.com/Debating-Holocaust-Thomas-Dalton/dp/1591480051/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233028884&sr=8-1

Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367
ReporterNotebook@Gmail.com

December 19, 2013 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 11 Comments

Ex-Israeli spymaster wanted Ahmadinejad dispatched

Press TV | July 30, 2009

A former Mossad director opposed to the assassination of world leaders says the case of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is different.

Meir Amit, who died in July at the age of 88, shared some of “his fears for the future of the Middle East” in an interview published by The Media Line.

Amit, who directed some of the most notorious Mossad operations while he was the organization’s chief, said he viewed Iran’s nuclear activities as a path leading to World War III.

“I look at the situation as World War III,” he said.

“Namely, all the Muslims, all over the world, are united. Unfortunately, the Western world is not united. Russia is not cooperating, China is not cooperating. Israel is just a small thing in the picture. We have to look at that as a global war and act accordingly,” Amit added.

He went on to talk about his familiarity with the political structure of Iran, explaining that he had been sent on special missions to the country in the 1960′s while Israel maintained ties with Iranian leaders.

“At that time we had very good relations with Iran. I was meeting the Shah once a month. We were sitting and chatting and appraising the situation,” Amit said.

The former Mossad chief added that while he did not advocate the assassination of political figures, he believed otherwise in the case of the Iranian president.

“Personally I am against assassinating leaders and all my life I was against it when I was head of Mossad. But Ahmadinejad has crossed the line. With all he is doing on the nuclear front, saying Israel should be wiped off the map and arranging a conference on the Holocaust where he said it never happened. From my point of view, he is somebody who shouldn’t be with us,” Amit said.

The remarks were disclosed as earlier, Iran’s former intelligence minster Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i said Israel, in collaboration with Iranian terrorist groups, planned to assassinate President Ahmadinejad.

“The Zionist regime had met with the MKO on the sidelines of the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting in Egypt and in Paris to assassinate Mr. Ahmadinejad,” Mohseni-Ejeie was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying earlier in July.

The terrorist group had, however, set conditions for carrying out the assassination, the minister added. “They had asked that the US and the West remove their name from their blacklists.”

November 12, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran, Iraq to jointly explore, develop border gas, oil fields

Press TV – July 19, 2013

The Iranian Oil Ministry says Tehran and Baghdad have agreed to explore and develop oil and gas fields lying along the common border between the neighboring OPEC members, Press TV reports.

The ministry added that the two sides have agreed to work together to settle territorial and ownership differences.

Under the agreement, the two countries will establish joint ventures to carry out the exploration and development of joint oil and gas fields.

The energy cooperation is also expected to minimize the impacts of interferences made by international oil giants in regional affairs.

The agreement came during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s official visit to Iraq.

Ahmadinejad arrived in Iraq on Thursday at the head of a high-ranking delegation for an official two-day tour aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries.

The Iranian president held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Vice President Khudayr al-Khuzai and also met with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi and the country’s lawmakers on Thursday .

Ahmadinejad also paid a visit to the holy shrine cities of Karbala and Najaf.

The two-term Iranian president will leave office on August 3 to be succeeded by Hassan Rohani, who won an outright victory in the country’s presidential elections of July 14.

July 19, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Benjamin & His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Lies: Netanyahu Cries ‘Wolf’…Again

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | July 16, 2013

“[An Iranian nuclear bomb] was a lot further away 15 years ago when I started talking about it. It was a lot further away 10 years ago. It was a lot further away five years. It was a lot further away five months ago. They are getting there, and they are getting very, very close.”

– Benjamin Netanyahu, March 7, 2012

“Red line, white line, black line and the like is for children. This is the level of this guy’s character.”

– Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, October 2, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to the Sunday morning airwaves to spout tired talking points about the non-existent threat Iran’s safeguarded, civilian nuclear program poses to Israel, the United States, and presumably Neptune and Krypton.

In a renewed propaganda blitz, Netanyahu told CBS‘ Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” that Iran is getting “closer and closer to the bomb,” and resurrected a number of embarrassing phrases including “red line,” “credible military threat” and something about ticking clocks.

“They’re edging up to the red line,” Netanyahu said. “They haven’t crossed it yet. They’re also building faster centrifuges that would enable them to jump the line, so to speak, at a much faster rate – that is, within a few weeks.” He also said Iran is “building ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles] to reach the American mainland in a few years.”

Dismissing the recent Iranian election as irrelevant to what he insists are devious Iranian intentions, Netanyahu called Hassan Rouhani, who will be inaugurated as Iran’s new president on August 3rd, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” whose maniacal strategy will be, “Smile and build a bomb.”

The media carried the news with headlines like “Israeli PM threatens to strike Iran” and “Israel Increases Pressure on U.S. to Act on Iran,” quoting Netanyahu as claiming that, when it comes to blah blah blah, “I won’t wait until it’s too late.” We’ve been here before.

It was boring then and it’s boring now.

“If sanctions don’t work, they have to know that you’ll be prepared to take military action — that’s the only thing that will get their attention,” Netanyahu said, suggesting that Iranians are subhumans who only understand grunts and shoves, rather than rational actors preserving and protecting their inalienable national rights and refusing to back down to offensive and illegal demands made by serially-aggressive nuclear-armed bullies.

Netanyahu urged the United States government to “make clear that the nuclear option” – whoops, Freudian slip of the war criminal’s tongue – “the military option which is on the table is truly on the table,” but lamented that there seemed to be “no sense of urgency” when it comes to stopping Iran from doing something every intelligence agency on the planet – including Israel’s – says it’s not doing.

The Israeli Prime Minister and his military and political acolytes, have repeatedly called for the United States to issue a “credible military threatagainst Iran. Netanyahu did so again at a Cabinet meeting prior to his appearance on “Face the Nation.”

Threatening – let alone committing – an unprovoked attack on Iran is unquestionably a violation of the United Nations Charter.

Still, an obsession is an obsession and, at least, Netanyahu isn’t ashamed of being obsessed. “Iran is the most important, the most urgent matter of all,” he whined, before throwing up a silly hodgepodge of scary-sounding words in an attempt to be taken seriously. All the problems in the world – including Israel’s ongoing colonization of Palestine – won’t amount to a hill of beans, he cried, if the “messianic, apocalyptic, extreme regime” in Tehran acquires “atomic bombs.” Such a ghastly scenario would present “a terrible, catastrophic change for the world and for the United States,” he said, because the United States apparently isn’t part of the world. (Actually, considering the isolation the United States and Israel – along with lackey states like Palau and Micronesia – face in the United Nations, Netanyahu may be on to something here.)

Of course, the often-repeated assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Iran is not actually building a bomb and has no nuclear weapons program went unmentioned, as did the fact that Iran has supposedly been “a year or so” away from developing nuclear weapon for roughly a decade now.

Unsurprisingly, “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer challenged none of Netanyahu’s assertions; all the warmongering and propaganda was given a free pass.  This is especially bizarre considering, in January 2012, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Schieffer on the same program, “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”

Netanyahu has been leading the charge against Iran since the mid-1990s, warning of weapons programs that don’t exist and calling for sanctions and explicit military threats. His talking points since then literally have not changed – and are identical to those he used to encourage the United States to invade Iraq a decade ago.

Here’s a reminder of why the Israeli Prime Minister’s CBS interview may actually have been a rerun:

The suggestion that Iran would soon be in possession of, or be in a position to quickly manufacture, nuclear weapons has been in constant circulation for nearly three decades. In 1984, Iran was reportedly moving “very quickly” towards a nuclear weapon and could have one as early as 1986. By the early 1990’s, the CIA predicted Iran was “making progress on a nuclear arms program and could develop a nuclear weapon by 2000,” later changing their estimate to 2003.

Israeli estimates have always been of an especially hysterical quality.  In March 1992, The Jerusalem Report, noting that “Israel keeps a wary watch on Teheran’s march to the Bomb,” predicted that, “[b]y the year 2000, Iran will almost certainly have the Bomb.”

A few months later, Israeli Major General Herzl Budinger insisted that, unless “Iran’s intensive effort to develop atomic weapons is not ‘disrupted,'” it would “become a nuclear power by the end of the decade.”  Then-Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres shared similar assessment later that year.

On November 8, 1992, the New York Times reported Israel was confident Iran would “become a nuclear power in a few years unless stopped.” An Israeli “senior army officer” feared “the Iranians may have a full nuclear capability by the end of the decade.”

In March 1993, a Washington Post report headlined “Israel seeking to convince U.S. that West is threatened by Iran” noted that Israeli leaders attempting to push their American counterparts into taking a stronger stance on Iran. The article quoted then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin warning of “megalomaniacal” Iran intent on establishing “a Middle East empire.”

The alarm was still ringing a couple of years later when, on January 11, 1995, Benjamin Netanyahu told a nearly empty Knesset hearing that “within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb, without having to import either the technology or the material.”

His solution to this crisis? “[The nuclear threat] must be uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S. It necessitates economic sanctions on Iran,” he declared.

By 1996, Israeli assessments put an Iranian nuclear bomb four years away. One year later, they confidently predicted it would happen by 2005. By mid-2001, Israel was still holding fast to its 2005 deadline and reaffirmed such a warning in 2003.

By 2004, however, an Israeli intelligence report determined that “within three years Iran would have the means to produce an atomic bomb by itself.” In 2005, Israel’s Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Iran was “less than one year away.” At the same time, Israeli Military Intelligence’s prediction was 2007, then 2008, later revised to 2012, then returned to 2008. In 2007, Israeli Military Intelligence said Iran would become nuclear weapons capable by mid-2009. A year later, the 2009 threshold referred to “an operable nuclear weapon,” rather than just capability.

When 2009 rolled around, then-Prime Ministerial candidate Benjamin Netanyahu told an American Congressional delegation that Israeli “experts” determined Iranian nuclear weapons capability “was probably only one or two years away,” while Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak put the window of opportunity to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons at a mere six to 18 months. At the time, Mossad chief Meir Dagan insisted, “the Iranians will have by 2014 a bomb ready to be used, which would represent a concrete threat for Israel.”

Later that same year, Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz, “argued that it would take Iran one year to obtain a nuclear weapon and two and a half years to build an arsenal of three weapons. By 2012 Iran would be able to build one weapon within weeks and an arsenal within six months.” A month later, Netanyahu said, “Iran has the capability now to make one bomb or they could wait and make several bombs in a year or two.”

By 2010, some Israeli officials said Iran was only a year away from a bomb, some said it “one to three years away from having a breakout nuclear capability,” and others said it still had seven years to go. An unnamed “Israeli policy maker” revealed to Jeffrey Goldberg that Iran would have a nuclear weapon “nine months from June – in other words, March of 2011.” In early 2011, the prediction jumped to 2015.

Nevertheless, a year later, the Times of London claimed an Israeli security report assessed Iran may become a nuclear power “within a year,” a conclusion subsequently confirmed by Ehud Barak. Six months later, in mid-2012, Barak suggested that Iran would take “several years” for Iran to “turn nuclear.” Shortly thereafter, Netanyahu reportedly put the “red line” of Iranian nuclear capability at just “a few months away,” later telling the United Nations in September (along with his trusty cartoon bomb drawing) that Iran would have “enough enriched uranium for the first bomb” by mid-to-late 2013. By October, Ehud Barak added an extra “eight to 10 months” to the timeline.

Accompanying all of these predictions, of course, have been fever-pitched threats of an ever-imminent Israeli military strike on Iran and its nuclear infrastructure. In 2012, the predictions of such an illegal assault were especially incessant. Not a month went by without hysterical rumors of a new Middle East war in the offing.

This past January, a new prediction emerged. McClatchy Newspapers reported that “Israeli intelligence officials now estimate that Iran won’t be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 or 2016, pushing back by several years previous assessments of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.” The report is based on “[i]ntelligence briefings given to McClatchy over the last two months” which “confirmed that various officials across Israel’s military and political echelons now think it’s unrealistic that Iran could develop a nuclear weapons arsenal before 2015. Others pushed the date back even further, to the winter of 2016.”

In early March 2013, Netanyahu claimed that “Iran is getting closer” to his self-determined “red line” of nuclear weapons capability and is “putting itself in a position to cross that line very quickly once it decides to do so.” Later that same month, in a joint press conference in Jerusalem with President Obama, Netanyahu warned of “Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons” before reiterating his position that “in order to stop Iran’s nuclear programs peacefully, diplomacy and sanctions must be augmented by a clear and credible threat of military action.”  Soon thereafter, the Israeli press publicized claims by anonymous Israeli officials that “Iran could have the capability to build a nuclear bomb by July.”

Well, it’s July, so Netanyahu tells us Iran is getting “closer and closer.”

Sadly, Netanayhu’s tired propaganda never seems to elicit the glazed-over, yawning-inducing dismissal from the U.S. press that it so sorely deserves; rather, he gets to schedule high-profile interviews on major networks whenever he wants to reissue his warmongering bromides.

A diplomatic cable sent from sent from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv in 2005, published by Wikileaks, noted that, despite Israeli warnings that Iran would reach a critical nuclear weapons capability within six months, some Israeli “officials admitted informally that these estimates need to be taken with caution. The head of the MFA’s [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] strategic affairs division recalled that GOI assessments from 1993 predicted that Iran would possess an atomic bomb by 1998 at the latest.”

Another cable from 2009 wondered whether “the Israelis firmly believe” their hysterical predictions about Iran’s nuclear progress “or are using worst-case estimates to raise greater urgency from the United States).”

In truth, Netanyahu himself is increasingly viewed as an Israeli Chicken Little.  In early 2013, McClatchy Newspapers reported that Israeli officials “have said there’s a widening gulf between Netanyahu’s remarks and the intelligence reports he receives,” and quoted one unnamed “intelligence officer” as wondering, “Did we cry wolf too early?”

While the alarmism will surely continue unabated, the answer is obvious.

July 18, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ahmedinejad Vs Obama


Ahmadinejad calls out Obama

RTAmerica · August 2, 2010

July 7, 2013 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

AMAZEBALLS: Rachel Maddow’s Ignorance on Iran

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | June 13, 2013

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has a penchant for saying smug, self-satisfied and generally stupid things about Iran. She has claimed that the Iranian Revolution in 1979 marked the establishment of a dictatorship in that country, rather than end of one; one that just so happened to be a monarchic dynasty that was proudly supported for decades by the United States government. Just two months ago, she weirdly decided to mock Iranians for their national and religious holidays because, y’know, she’s progressive like that.

Maddow was back at it this week, ending her nightly program on Monday with some juvenile comments about Friday’s presidential vote, when Iranians will elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s successor. Here’s how she began:

The current president of Iran has had the job for the last eight years. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he’s known around the world for defending Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

It took her all of seven whole seconds to spit out that egregious falsehood.

First, Maddow’s premise is wrong. Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons. Despite being the single most spied on country on the planet, U.S. intelligence consistently affirms that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and its leadership has not made any decision to start one. Iran has never breached its obligations as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The vast majority of allegations about Iranian weaponization research and testing has been provided by the United States and Israel, has never been authenticated, and refers to long-debunked claims about supposed actions that took place over a decade ago.

Iran does have, however, a highly-developed nuclear energy program and enriches uranium to levels far below weapons-grade under strict supervision and routine inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The agency has continued to verify – up to four times a year over the past ten years – that Iran has never diverted any nuclear material for military purposes and has also affirmed “it has all the means it needs to make sure that does not happen with Iran’s enriched uranium, including cameras, physical inspections and seals on certain materials and components.”

Furthermore, despite the constant mainstream perception that Iran’s nuclear facilities are opaque and mysterious, the fact is that the IAEA has conducted more inspections in Iran than anywhere else.

Former Iranian nuclear negotiator Seyed Hossein Mousavian, now a lecturer at Princeton University, has noted, “Since 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has implemented the most robust inspections in its history with more than 100 unannounced and over 4000 man-day inspections in Iran.”

Just last year alone, IAEA investigators spent 1,356 calendar days in Iran, conducting 215 on-site inspections of the country’s 16 declared nuclear facilities, and spending more than 12% of the agency’s entire $127.8 million budget on intrusively monitoring the Iranian program, which fields only a single functional nuclear reactor, which doesn’t even operate at full capacity.

By contrast, IAEA inspectors spent only “180 calendar days in France, Europe’s biggest nuclear power,” while “Russia and the U.S., which maintain the world’s biggest atomic-weapon arsenals and aren’t required under rules to allow inspections of all facilities, received 16 and 50 calendar-day visits respectively.”

But Maddow’s ignorance was even more pronounced when she claimed that Ahmadinejad is known for “defending” a program that doesn’t exist.

Never once, in the 34 years since the revolution, has a single government official stated Iran’s intention to acquire nuclear weapons – to the contrary, such a goal has always been explicitly denied on strategic, legal, moral, humanitarian and religious grounds.

Ahmadinejad himself has never strayed from this stance. In September 2005, shortly after his first inauguration, the Iranian president stood before the United Nations General Assembly and reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s “previously and repeatedly declared position that, in accordance with our religious principles, pursuit of nuclear weapons is prohibited.”

The following year, he stated clearly, “Nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s defense doctrine and Iran is not a threat to any country.” Indeed, over the past eight years, Ahmadinejad has lambasted the development and stockpiling of nuclear weapons as “inhuman,” “against the whole grain of humanity,” “obsolete,” “abhorrent,” “disgusting and shameful.” Ahmadinejad has said, “The nuclear bomb is the worst inhumane weapon,” described it as “evil,” and declared anyone who builds an atomic bomb as “crazy and insane,” as well as “politically…backward.”

Nevertheless, American officials and their ventriloquist media puppets like Rachel Maddow continue to claim that Iran is actively pursuing the development of nuclear arms. On June 9, the New York Times stated that one of the most pressing issues for Samantha Power, Obama’s nominee to replace Susan Rice as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will be to confront “Iran’s apparent attempts to develop a nuclear weapon.”

The very same day, in an interview with the American overseas propaganda outfit, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman expressed, “from a U.S. perspective,” the belief that “Iran’s nuclear program… is headed towards having a nuclear weapon.”

Apparently, the “U.S. perspective,” noted by Sherman doesn’t rely on facts or evidence.

Some officials, however, choose their words more carefully than others. During testimony before Congress on June 11, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “Iran is a threat to US national security in many ways, not simply their move toward the potential to develop a nuclear weapon,” adding, “I choose my words carefully, because the intelligence community has not yet come to a conclusion that they intend to build a nuclear weapon.”

Yet Maddow’s own declaration was even more definitive, echoing, of all things, the words of George W. Bush. In March 2008, Bush, while speaking on RFE/RL’s Persian-language counterpart, Radio Farda, stated that the Iranian government have “declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people — some in the Middle East.”

This statement was so devoid of truth that even former State Department Iran specialist Suzanne Maloney was moved to speak out. Maloney, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center, noted at the time, “The Iranian government is on the record across the board as saying it does not want a nuclear weapon,” adding that while, in her opinion, “there’s plenty of room for skepticism about these assertions…it’s troubling for the administration to indicate that Iran is explicitly embracing the program as a means of destroying another country.”

Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, a non-proliferation group, also chimed in to correct the record. Calling Bush’s statement “uninformed,” he explained, “Iran has never said it wanted a nuclear weapon for any reason. It’s just not true. It’s a little troubling that the president and the leading Republican candidate are both so wrong about Iran.”

It is indisputable that Iranian officials have consistently denounced the acquisition, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons.

Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski made this point in 2009, stating that Iran has been “publicly affirming for quite some time” three main points: “We don’t want nuclear weapons. We’re not seeking nuclear weapons. Our religion forbids us to have nuclear weapons.”

Brzeneski added, “Note, incidentally, that this stands in sharp, explicit contrast with the position of the North Koreans. The North Koreans have been saying the very opposite: ‘We want nuclear weapons. We’re seeking nuclear weapons. And, in your face, haha!, we have nuclear weapons.'” Brzenzinski also condemned the American penchant for “oversimplification and sloganeering rather than analysis” with regards to Iran.

Early this year, Greg Thielmann, a senior fellow at the Arms Control Association, similarly affirmed that the “leadership in Tehran continues to challenge the rationale and morality of nuclear weapons. Although such policy statements are hardly determinative of actual intentions, they do stand in stark contrast to the declaratory policies of other governments of proliferation concern, such as North Korea or Pakistan.”

Unsurprisingly, the rest of Maddow’s segment, solely designed to make fun of Iran for some reason, was rife with worn out stereotypes and mainstream talking points.  Even the minutiae of her snide derision were weird.  Referring to the current heated presidential race as “amazeballs” – because, y’know, she’s a professional journalist – Maddow found it ridiculous that the three presidential debates, broadcast live on Iranian television, each exceeded four hours. Four hours!, she scoffed. Of course, American debates between only two candidates last roughly two hours. Iran had eight candidates. Quadruple the contenders, double the time. How absolutely insane.

Also, towards the end of her bit, Maddow claimed that Ahmadinejad was recently in a helicopter crash, when – based on the article her own staff shows onscreen – it was an emergency landing due to unspecified technical problems. The article itself states clearly that “the pilot managed to land the aircraft safely.”

Still, Maddow repeats the word “crash” four times in less than thirty seconds and speculates that the reason the helicopter landed hastily was due to foul play. Her evidence? The media put the word “accident” in between quotation marks when reporting on the story.  Here’s how she put it, using her most ironic voice:

“The media reports on the Ahmadinejad helicopter crash put air-quotes around the word accident, as in ‘President Ahmadinejad just survived a helicopter crash. It’s reported to have been an accident, nudge nudge, wink wink, yeah right’.”

Ok, first, print media can’t put “air-quotes” around anything, Rachel.  They’re actual quotes.

Second, the reason the media put the word accident in quotes is because… wait for it… the reports were quoting from the primary source of the news.  And what was that primary source that called the incident an accident?  Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s official website.

But, for Maddow and her inept interns, “The media apparently thinks he was set up.” No, the media stated the emergency landing was due to an “accident,” because that’s what the president’s press release said.

But when it comes to Iran, the liberal media darling Maddow is no different than the neoconservative editors of the Washington Post. Facts are irrelevant and propaganda prevails.

June 17, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Daily Beast Takes the Bait on Anti-Iran Propaganda

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | May 1, 2013

Over at The Daily Beast‘s Cheat Sheet, which serves as a news aggregator, a post went up today with the eye-catching headline: “Iranian President Ahmadinejad Arrested.”

The blurb accompanying the post claims:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was arrested Monday while on a visit to a book fair in Tehran, where he was held for seven hours and questioned by the Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence unit. According to a source within the guards’ unit, Ahmadinejad was intercepted while on his way to a meeting at the supreme leader’s office. His security team was stripped of communication devices and Ahmadinejad was questioned about documents that may be detrimental to the regime. He was warned, essentially, to keep his mouth shut about all matters that could harm the regime going into the upcoming presidential election.

How positively scandalous! The infamous Iranian bogeyman, along with his entourage, accosted, interrogated, threatened and silenced by the very security forces the hysterical Western media and political pundits would have you believe he himself commands and wields with an iron fist!

At the bottom of its short post, the Beast sources the information to The Guardian and links to the original article. But following the link, something doesn’t feel right. Or look right.

Because it isn’t right.

The link leads to a site called “The Guardian Express” at the URL guardianlv.com. ‘Hey, what’s the “lv” stand for?,’ one might ask if one cared about such things as accuracy. It stands for “Las Vegas,” because the website is actually a local community news forum in Nevada, not the prestigious British news outlet.

The article found on “The Guardian Express” site – posted by a forum member who goes by the moniker “randy77” – is a nearly completely plagiarized story stolen from the latest piece of nonsense published Tuesday by the pseudonymous neocon darling “Reza Kahlili,” a serial liar and propagandist beloved by the Bomb Iran crowd who wears a surgical mask in public for absolutely no reason. “Kahlili” claims he is a former CIA agent who infiltrated the highest echelons of the Iranian intelligence apparatus and apparently some people believe him. He may also be a San Francisco Giants fan, but that might actually be a clever ruse to throw the pursuing mullahs off his trail.

Yes, he does this.

“Kahlili” is a regime change enthusiast who wants Iran attacked by the United States and Israel yesterday. He consistently publishes scoops on the right-wing loony-toon website WorldNetDaily that contain no factual information, save that a country called Iran does actually exist.

A few years ago he insisted that there is “no doubt” the Iranian government is “going to commit the most horrendous suicide bombing in human history. They will attack Israel, European capitals and the Persian Gulf region at the same time, then they will hide in a bunker [until a religious prophecy is fulfilled]… and kill the rest of the nonbelievers.” He also said Iran had already enriched uranium to 90%, that is, weapons-grade, and that “they have missiles that they have not publicly shown, because that would verify their intention of carrying out nuclear warheads,” whatever that means.

He’s also warned of an “Iranian dominated worldwide terror network that now reaches the United States” and said that the Iranian government has planted sleeper cells in the U.S. that are ready to strike if Iran is attacked.  Impending terrorist acts carried out in the United States by Iranian agents is a recurring theme in his creative writing.

Wondering about “Kahlili”‘s bona fides and impressive associates? “I thought I knew a lot about Iran until meeting with him,” admitted racist Islamophobe Peter King, who is also somehow a U.S. Congressman.  He was a featured guest of the AIPAC-affiliated Washington Institute on Near East Policy in 2010.  This insane interview with leading lunatic Pam Geller might also be useful.

In 2011, “Kahlili” claimed both that Iran was planning an EMP attack on the United States and wrote, “Not only does the Islamic Republic already have nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union, but it has enough enriched uranium for more. What’s worse, it has a delivery system,” because, hey why not?

He likes suggesting that the Iranian government is both messianic and genocidal, that it’s planning to “annihilate the Jews” and wage an apocalyptic war to hasten the end times. Last fall he declared that “a three-person delegation of the Obama administration led by a woman engaged in secret negotiations with a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,” and cut a sanctions-alleviating deal before the 2012 presidential election.

Earlier this year, “Kahlili” repeated the claim that Iran had “successfully… built a nuclear bomb with the help of Russia and North Korea and has enough weapons-grade uranium and plutonium for more.” Soon thereafter, he pretended that there had been a massive explosion at the Iranian enrichment facility at Fordo, even though it wasn’t true.

Just a couple months later, however, he claimed his super secret sources revealed that “Iranian scientists are working on nuclear warheads – and trying to perfect them – at an underground site unknown to the West,” adding that Iran had, as yet, only “succeeded in enriching uranium to 20 percent, which is 80 percent of the way to weapons grade.”

Perhaps the most ridiculous allegation “Kahlili” has made in recent memory was when, on April 22, he stated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps was responsible for the bombings at the Boston Marathon a week earlier and that the Tsarnaev brothers were devoted followers of Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Needless to say, the claim that Ahmadinejad was arrested has not been corroborated by any other sources and should be taken with a grain of salt the size of Atlantis.

That The Daily Beast would promote such silliness, with false attribution that lends the tale the imprimatur of a real news story, no less, is a testament to both its own lack of fact-checking and willingness to believe whatever nonsensical stories pop up about Iran are floating around in cyberspace. A glimpse at the Beast‘s own “Xtra Insight” link on that same post, which brings the reader to an asinine article by shameless self-promoter, staunch Zionist and self-described “public intellectual” Bernard-Henri Lévy about regime change in Iran only drives the point home.

With “insight” like that, it’s no wonder The Daily Beast has troubling seeing clearly.

*****

UPDATE:

As a result of this post getting some attention, The Daily Beast has issued a correction on its Cheat Sheet post:

Still no reference to the “sourcing” being WorldNetDaily or “Kahlili”, but hey, it’s something, right?

Meanwhile, Britain’s Daily Mail has already picked up the story and run with it.

May 2, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Ahmadinjejad calls for structural change in economy to neutralize sanctions

Press TV – January 16, 2013

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has underlined the need to make structural modifications to the country’s economy as a means to overcome the sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic.

“Employing national capacities, overcoming sanctions and disappointing the enemy are possible through structural modifications,” Ahmadinejad said in a Majlis open session on Wednesday.

The Iranian president attended the Majlis session to provide the Iranian lawmakers with the latest information about the country’s economy.

Ahmadinejad proposed four major ways to solve the country’s economic problems, namely the decentralization of the country’s wealth and assets, engaging the people in economic activities, making the utmost use of domestic resources and cutting the budget’s dependence on oil revenues.

He noted that the sanctions have been imposed on Iran to impede the country’s progress and development.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies have falsely accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. The US and certain other countries have imposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic over the unfounded allegation.

Iran has vehemently rejected the allegations against its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

January 16, 2013 Posted by | Economics | , | Comments Off on Ahmadinjejad calls for structural change in economy to neutralize sanctions

US Denies Iranian Officials Visa for UN General Assembly Meeting

Fars News Agency | September 22, 2012

TEHRAN – The US denied entry visas to two Iranian ministers and other members of the delegation accompanying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

The US State Department refrained from issuing visas for 20 officials of the 160 people for whom the Iranian government had demanded entry visas two months ago.

The US didn’t issue visas for two deputies of Iranian President’s Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashayee as well as two ministers of President Ahmadinejad’s cabinet.

The US has several times denied entry visa to Iranian officials for UN General Assembly meetings, showing the necessity for a change in the venue of the meetings of the world body, which requires attendance of the representatives of all the world states.

Ahmadinejad and his accompanying delegation left Tehran for New York at the head of a delegation today in a bid to attend a UN General Assembly meeting and hold talks with senior heads of state who will participate in the meeting.

Over 150 security officers will guarantee President Ahmadinejad’s security during his stay in New York.

President Ahmadinejad will address the UN General Assembly which is due to start on September 25. Since taking office, Ahmadinejad has attended all annual UN General Assembly meetings.

This year Ahmadinejad will also attend the meeting as the rotating president of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

He also is also scheduled to attend bilateral talks with several of his counterparts on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.

Ahmadinejad is also set to meet American university students, artists, intellectuals and elites despite the ongoing efforts made by the pro-Zionist lobbies to prevent direct link between American people and the Iranian president.

He has also accepted the interview requests made by several news networks, including CNN, CBS and Russia Today (RT).

President Ahmadinejad has, thus far, visited New York seven times to attend the annual UN General Assembly meetings since he ascended to power in 2005. But this time, he will attend the meeting not just as Iran’s President, but as leader of the 120-nation NAM.

This will be Ahmadinejad’s last visit to attend a UN General Assembly meeting as Iran’s president since he will step down presidency in the next 10 months at the end of his second term in office.

Ahmadinejad’s visits to New York to attend the UN General Assembly meetings have become a source of concern for the US officials ever since his 2007 visit led to a landmark speech at the Columbia University on the sidelines of the 62nd annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.

He gave an outstanding speech about the US, Israel and the existence of the Holocaust when he visited the campus in 2007 for a talk, and he was given repeated applause by thousands of the audience who filled the campus site and the nearby streets up to Broadway.

September 23, 2012 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Comments Off on US Denies Iranian Officials Visa for UN General Assembly Meeting

Media hype 9/11, ignore 1m Iraqi victims: Ahmadinejad

Press TV – September 11, 2012

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticized Western media for creating hype over the September 11 attacks and ignoring more than one million victims of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The materialistic view of Zionists has destroyed the sacredness of media and today media no longer regulate the relations among humans, but have turned into a means of domination and gaining power,” Ahmadinejad said on Monday.

The Iranian chief executive stated that a major part of the events surrounding the September 11 attacks was merely a “media operation”, adding, “Today American forces would not be in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Persian Gulf, if it was not for the media coverage of this incident.”

Why have the media that provoked public sentiments and emotions during the September 11 incident, remained silent regarding more than one million victims that have been killed in the aftermath of the attack?, he asked.

On September 11, 2001, a series of coordinated attacks were carried out in the United States leaving almost 3,000 people dead.

The US, under the administration of former President George W. Bush, invaded Afghanistan in 2001 after claiming that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by members of al-Qaeda harbored by the then Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

The US also attacked Iraq in 2003 claiming that the Middle Eastern country was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. Washington’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have claimed the lives of more than a million people.

September 11, 2012 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Egyptian Minister Asks for Direct Flights between Tehran, Cairo

Fars News Agency | August 27, 2012

TEHRAN – Egypt’s Civil Aviation Minister Samir Embaby called for the start of direct flights between Tehran and Cairo due to the two nations’ enthusiasm for making reciprocal visits.

“The measure is necessary due to the eagerness of many Egyptian and Iranian people to make reciprocal visits,” Embaby was quoted by the Egyptian weekly, al-Youm al-Sabe’.

He also underlined that starting direct flights between the two countries would play a vital role for trade and economic ties between Iran and Egypt, and said the economic studies carried out in Iran indicate that 60% of Iranians like to visit different Egyptian cities, partly for religious tourism.

In relevant remarks in June, new Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi also underlined his enthusiasm for the further expansion of ties with Iran, and said relations between Tehran and Cairo will create a strategic balance in the region.

“The issue will create a strategic balance in the region,” Mursi told FNA in June, hours before the final results of the presidential election was announced.

Also in July, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mursi, in their first telephone conversation, conferred on the two Muslim countries’ ties and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) now underway in Tehran.

President Ahmadinejad said Tehran welcomes close interactions with the Egyptian government and nation, and attaches no limitations to the expansion of ties and cooperation with Cairo.

Ahmadinejad expressed Iran’s preparedness to transfer capabilities, achievements and experiences in various scientific, technological, industrial and economic fields to the Egyptian people.

Mursi is due to travel to Iran on August 30 to attend the NAM summit.

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Comments Off on Egyptian Minister Asks for Direct Flights between Tehran, Cairo

Iranian Rhetoric and the History of the Cancer Analogy

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | August 24, 2012

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963

The rhetoric used in recent speeches by top Iranian officials has garnered much attention in the mainstream media.  In addition to the outrage expressed over the statement that the Israeli governmental system and guiding Zionist ideology is an “insult to humanity,” comments that the “Zionist regime” is a “cancerous tumor” have also met fierce condemnation.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has compiled a list of recent reported statements made by Iranian officials.  National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told the press that the United States government “strongly condemn[s] the latest series of offensive and reprehensible comments by senior Iranian officials that are aimed at Israel,” adding, “The entire international community should condemn this hateful and divisive rhetoric.”

Rabbi David Wolpe took to the pages of The Los Angeles Times to specifically condemn the cancer analogy. Wolpe incidentally did so by presenting a litany of outrageous statements of his own. He writes that the “state of Israel” is 3000 years old, thus absurdly conflating an ancient Biblical minority community with a modern, settler-colonial nation-state. He insists Israel is not expansionist, a claim that doesn’t stand up to even the most cursory awareness of basic facts, the historical record and current aggressive Israeli policy.

Wolpe also states that the cancer analogy “leads inevitably, inexorably, to the prospect of genocide,” which he obviously follows up by invoking the Holocaust and asserting that “Iran eagerly pursues nuclear weapons,” thereby ignoring the consistent conclusions of U.S. intelligence and IAEA inspections. He concludes by suggesting that, were Israel not to maintain such a destructive military capability, segregationist occupation infrastructure, rampant legal discrimination, and a two-tiered justice system, the result would be the “wholesale slaughter” of Jewish Israelis, presumably by vengeful Arab hordes.

Such a characterization recalls the ludicrous fears that beset the vast majority of white South Africans just years before Apartheid ended, many of whom were consumed by “physical dread” at the prospect of equality and their loss of racial dominance and superiority and foresaw a future full of “violence, total collapse, expulsion and flight.”  Even in 1987, as Apartheid was becoming increasingly untenable, about 75% of white South Africans feared that their “physical safety…would be threatened” as a result of “black rule.”  Nearly 73%, including over 85% of Afrikaners, believed “white women would be molested by blacks.”  Incidentally, as recently pointed out in Ha’aretz, in 1987, “Israel was the only Western nation that upheld diplomatic ties with South Africa” and was one of the last countries to join the international boycott campaign.

Southern whites in the antebellum United States nurtured the same irrational apprehension, fearful that the violent and successful 1791 slave rebellion in Haiti would be replicated across the Gulf of Mexico, especially in states like South Carolina where slaves outnumbered whites two to one.  Following emancipation, and in reaction to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, southern states enacted “black codes” restricting the voting, land ownership, and speech of former slaves. Whites feared that their loss of racial dominance and an enslaved labor force would not only ruin the southern economy, but also that the newly-freed black population would seek revenge on their masters and rape white women; this led to numerous race riots and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan that same year.

In April 1868, Alabama newspaper editor Ryland Randolph praised the Klan for opposing what he called the “galling despotism” of the federal government over the southern states, which he “deemed a fungus growth of military tyranny” with the goal of “degrad[ing] the white man by the establishment of negro supremacy.”

Forrest G. Wood writes in Black Scare: The Racist Response to Emancipation and Reconstruction:

Although white men certainly feared for their jobs and income, they were more alarmed by the threat to their physical safety that the “savage African” presented… Pointing to the absence of an advanced (by Western standards) African civilization, extremists described the Negroes as primitive, barbaric, and cruel… Freedom, the white supremacist now asserted, would stimulate the black man’s worst passions, leading him to crimes of arson, murder, and rape.

Newspapers often deliberately published grossly exaggerated or wholly fictitious stories of criminal acts and violence committed by blacks, stoking even more fear in the racist white population. For these white supremacists, rape was “the most frightful crime which negroes commit against white people” and the accusation of sexual assault (or even consensual interracial relationships) was a surefire way to spark a lynch mob.

Just this past Spring, Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that many Israeli women have been raped by African migrants and refugees, “but do not complain out of fear of being stigmatized as having contracted AIDS,” insisting that “most of the African infiltrators are criminals.”   At an anti-African rally, Tel Aviv resident Carmela Rosner held a sign that read: “They rape girls and elderly women, murder, steal, stab, burglarize. We’re afraid to leave home.”

Yishai said that Africans, “along with the Palestinians, will bring a quick end to the Zionist dream,” while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the growing population of African immigrants “threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state,” as well as “the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity.”  Palestinians in Israel along with their actual and potential offspring are regularly referred to as a “demographic threat” and a “demographic bomb,” a racist construction that exposes the discriminatory and supremacist nature of Zionism itself.

Due to such incitement against minority communities, pogroms, race riots, and violence against non-Jews have become commonplace.

The Israeli Education Ministry is currently attempting to overturn a district court ruling that “migrant children… be fully integrated in the municipal school system and not be taught in a separate school.” The state appeal in favor of segregation claims that the education of Israeli children will suffer if done alongside the children of African immigrants. Meanwhile, extremist Jewish groups continue to try to “rescue” Jewish Israeli girls who date Palestinian men and threaten Palestinians with violence if they flirt with Jews.

In 2008, a Jewish Israeli woman filed a police report after discovering that a man she had just had consensual sex with was Palestinian and not Jewish, as she had assumed. After spending two years under house arrest, an Israeli court convicted the man of “rape by deception” and sentenced him to 18 months in prison. A former senior Justice Ministry official was quoted as saying, “In the context of Israeli society, you can see that some women would feel very strongly that they had been violated by someone who says he is Jewish but is not.”

This is to be expected, as The Palestine Center‘s Yousef Munayyer explains: “An ideology that seeks to build a society around a certain type of people defined by ethnicity or religion is inevitably going to feature racism, supremacy and oppression—especially when the vast majority of native inhabitants where such an ideology is implemented are unwelcomed.”

Unsurprisingly, commentators who routinely denounce cancer analogies when they come from Iranian officials blatantly avoid addressing the use of the identical rhetoric by Israelis themselves when referring to the growing presence of non-Jewish communities within areas controlled by Israel. When IDF chief Moshe Ya’alon referred to Palestinian babies as “cancerous manifestations” and Likud Knesset member Miri Regev called African migrants and refugeesa cancer in our body,” they were silent.

While calling the government and founding ideology of a state a “cancerous tumor” is certainly not a nice thing to say and supporters of that state’s policies have every reason to take offense to such a description, it is quite obviously a political statement.  Iranian rhetoric attacks a political entity, namely the “Zionist regime“, which systematically discriminates against and oppresses people based solely on their ancestry and religious affiliation.  In contrast, Ya’alon and Regev’s statements employ the cancer analogy to defend the concept of ethnic-religious exclusivity and have everything to do with people, whether Palestinian or African, who somehow threaten the continued dominance of a deliberately demographically engineered and maintained state.

To be sure, regardless of its intended target, this kind of rhetoric is purposefully harsh and often gratuitous.  Yet, like Ahmadinejad’s “insult to humanity” line, the cancer analogy is neither new nor original.  While Iranian officials have been employing it since 2000, it has long been wielded for the express purpose of condemning a political system or ideology one vehemently opposes.

In the 1820s, former president John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson that “slavery is a cancer to be isolated.”  On October 16, 1854, in an stridently abolitionist speech in Peoria, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln likened the Constitution’s vague references to slavery to a “cancer,” hidden away, which an “afflicted man… dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a given time.”

A New York Times article from September 8, 1863 quoted then-Tennessee Governor Andrew Johnson as telling a Nashville crowd in late August, “Slavery is a cancer on our society, and the scalpel of the statesman should be used not simply to pare away the exterior and leave the roots to propagate the disease anew, but to remove it altogether.”  Johnson endorsed the “total eradication” of slavery from Tennessee.

In the final chapter of the first volume of Das Kapital (1867), entitled “The Modern Theory of Colonization,” Karl Marx excoriated British politician Edward Gibbon Wakefield for his efforts “to heal the anti-capitalistic cancer of the colonies.”

The 1968 platform of Bermuda’s first political party, the Progressive Labor Party, proclaimed, “No government can be either responsible or democratic while under the rule of another country, ” adding, “Colonialism is a cancer.”

A February 23, 1962 article in Time Magazine profiled U.S. General Paul Donal Harkins, the commander of a newly created U.S. Military Assistance Command in South Vietnam, which is described as “the first step in a more broadly based anti-Communist campaign.”  Harkins is quoted early in the piece as defining his mission as “doing all we can to support the South Vietnamese efforts to eradicate the cancer of Communism.”

In early June 1983, just a few months after Ronald Reagan delivered his “Evil Empire” speech in which he declared his belief that “Communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written,” Illinois Representative Henry Hyde told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that, because “Communism is a cancer,” Congress should support covert action and assistance to Contras and anti-Sandinista forces in Latin America in an effort to “fight for freedom.”

Hamas reportedly used “Communism is a cancer inside the nation’s body and we will cut it out” as a political slogan in opposition to Fatah soon after its establishment in the late 1980s.

Perhaps most applicable, however, are the comments made by South African Reverend Allan Boesak who, in 1983, formed the United Democratic Front, a legal umbrella organization for hundreds of anti-Apartheid groups.  In his opening address to the UDF, Boesak stated:

Apartheid is a cancer on the body politic of the world. A scourge on our society and on all human kind. Apartheid exists only because of economic greed and political oppression maintained by both systemic and physical violence and a false sense of racial superiority. So many have been forced into exile. So many have been thrown into jail. Too many of our children have been shot down mercilessly on the streets of our nation.

In the same speech, Boesak called Apartheid “a thoroughly evil system” that “can never be modernized or modified, it must be totally eradicated” and, in 1985, denounced the white South Africans who continued to support Apartheid as the “spiritual children of Adolf Hitler.”

In 1988, Jim Murray echoed Boesak in the Los Angeles Times, writing that “apartheid is a cancer on the world body politic–to say nothing of its soul. You combat it the best way you can.”

Just as many others, including numerous Israelis, have described the state of Israel as practicing Apartheid, Boesak himself has endorsed such a comparison, and has gone even further.

In a November 2011 interview, Boesak reaffirmed his statement that the oppression of and discrimination against Palestinians by Israel is “in its practical manifestation even worse than South African apartheid,” adding, “It is worse, not in the sense that apartheid was not an absolutely terrifying system in South Africa, but in the ways in which the Israelis have taken the apartheid system and perfected it, so to speak; sharpened it.”

He cited the physical barriers, travel and employment restrictions, and the “two separate justice systems” for Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank as examples of why “in many ways the Israeli system is worse.”  He offered his wholehearted support for the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions to impel Israel to comply with international law.

When asked whether Palestinians could ever be expected to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State,” Boesak replied:

They can’t. There is no such thing as a specifically Jewish state. You can’t proclaim a Jewish state over the heads and the bodies and the memories of the people who are the ancient people who live there. That is Palestinian land we are talking about. Most of the Jews who are there come from Europe and elsewhere and have no claim on that land and we mustn’t allow it to happen to the Palestinians what happened to my ancestors who were the original people in this land (South Africa) but now there are hardly enough of them to be counted in the census. That is Palestinian land and that should be the point of departure in every political discussion.

Similarly, official Iranian state policy maintains that the international community must “allow the Palestinian nation to decide its own future, to have the right to self-determination for itself” and that in “the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and the fundamental principles enshrined in it… Jewish Palestinians, Muslim Palestinians and Christian Palestinians [must] determine their own fate themselves through a free referendum.  Whatever they choose as a nation, everybody should accept and respect.”

Hysteria over Iranian phraseology (rhetoric with a long political history) relies solely on the presumption – repeated ad nauseum by politicians and the press – that the nation’s leadership has threatened to attack Israel militarily and wipe it off the map.  But Iran has never made such threats.  Quite the contrary.

Speaking to Wolf Blitzer in April 2006, Iran’s representative to the IAEA, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh directly addressed claims that Iran seeks the physical destruction of Israel (whatever that means).  Blitzer asked, “Should there be a state of Israel?,” to which Soltanieh replied, “If Israel is a synonym and will give the indication of Zionist mentality, no.  But if you are going to conclude that we have said the people there have to be removed or they have to be massacred, this is a fabricated, unfortunate selective approach to what the mentality and policy of Islamic Republic of Iran is.”

In a June 2006 letter to The Washington Post, a spokesman for the Iranian Mission to the United Nations wrote, “Iran’s position is very clear: We have not threatened to use force nor have we used force against any country or government in the past 250 years. We’ve never done that in the past, and we’ll never do it in the future,” adding, “We wonder whether Israel or the United States can make the same statement.”

The letter also noted that, the same month, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that “We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world, and the world knows it. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any state.”

In October 2006, President Ahmadinejad stated, “Nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s defense doctrine and Iran is not a threat to any country… We are not a threat to anybody; even our solution to the Zionist regime is a referendum.”  The following year, Ahmadinejad was asked by the Associated Press whether Iran “would ever make a first strike against Israel.” He replied, “Iran will not attack any country,” and insisted Iran has “always maintained a defensive policy, not an offensive one” and has no interest in territorial expansion, something Israel could never seriously claim.

In a 2008 CNN interview with Larry King, Ahmadinejad stated bluntly that “we don’t have a problem with the Jewish people,” and added, with specific reference to Israel, “We are opposed to the idea that the people who live there should be thrown into the sea or be burnt.”

The same year, at a news conference during the D8 Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Ahmadinejad told reporters that because he believes the Zionist enterprise of ethnic cleansing and colonization is “inherently doomed” to failure, “there is no need for Iranians to take action” to hasten the inevitable political outcome in Palestine. He also assured the press, “You should not be concerned about a new war.”

He also made his position clear in an NPR interview, saying, “Let me create an analogy here — where exactly is the Soviet Union today? It did disappear — but exactly how? It was through the vote of its own people. So therefore in Palestine too we must allow the people, the Palestinians, to determine their own future.”

During an October 2011 interview, Ahmadinejad told Al Jazeera that Iran “will never enter any war against the U.S. or against any other country. This is our policy… We have never attacked anybody. Why should we do that? Why should we start a war?”

This past July, Mohammad Khazaee, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said, “We will react if there is any provocative act from the other side. We will not initiate any provocative steps.”

Official assessments by both Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, Director of Defense Intelligence Agency have affirmed that “Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict or launch a preemptive attack.”

The alarmism that inevitably follows boilerplate speeches by Iranian officials serves an agenda of decontextualized demonization that paints the Islamic Republic as a genocidal, eliminationist aggressor and Israel as a victim, just one spinning centrifuge away from eradication.  In fact, it is Israel that consistently threatens Iran with an illegal military assault, not the other way around.

But it is not a military attack that actually threatens the future of Israel, it is exactly the kind of struggle undertaken by those like Allen Boesak, who fought against an unjust system of ethnocentrism and supremacy and prevailed.

Were Israel to finally respect international law, put an end to decades of racism, occupation and Apartheid, and begin to consider each and every human being as equal and worthy of the same human rights and dignity, freedom of movement and opportunity, it would no longer be subject to the harsh analogies that have for so long been directed at the most oppressive and inhumane ideologies the world has ever known.

August 24, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Comments Off on Iranian Rhetoric and the History of the Cancer Analogy