lunes, marzo 26, 2007

Leído en la Red

Arabs Whining the Same Words as the Nazis

Posted: 25 Mar 2007 12:14 AM CDT

One on my favorite daily reads is David Frum's Diary on the National Review website. His post for today was a particularly good one. Frum reviews a book by Jeffry Herf The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II which sets out to answer a seemingly simple question: How did the Nazi regime explain and justify their war to ordinary German citizens?

The amazing thing that Frum points out is when you read what the Arab countries of today have to say about Israel and the Jews is sound eerily like what the Nazis said 65 years earlier

Nazis: The war was a struggle driven by world Jewry's immeasurable hatred against Aryan people as such, against their spirit, worldview, and culture. The Jewish wire pullers in London, in New York, and not least in Moscow planned and prepared this war with shameless campaigns of agitation ... so that nations would take up arms against the Aryan powers of the earth. ...What does world Jewry seek? For thousands of years, it has aimed at nothing but Jewish world domination.
Syrians: "Take, for example, the London bombings, of which Muslims have been accused," Agha said during a program broadcast on Iranian TV station al-Kawthar."Who are they? Has anyone announced their names? Has anyone said who they were? They were forgotten, just like in all the bombings that took place in Europe. The truth is that the people who do this are the agents of the US, with its new anti-Islamic policy, and the agents of Zionism and the Mossad. The Syrian minister also claimed al-Qaeda was a fictional entity. "The so-called al-Qaeda is in my opinion, an illusion. It is a bunch of organizations which used to be supervised by the CIA, and used to commit crimes in some Arab and Islamic countries," Agha said.

Frum's write-up has many great examples of the similarity of Arab and Nazi propaganda:

David's Bookshelf 18

I got to know Jeffrey Herf a little in the early 1990s, when he contributed occasionally to the Wall Street Journal on German politics. In those days, I suggested to him a number of books he ought to write. He politely declined my advice - and yet nonetheless somehow contrived to rise to become one of America's most eminent historians anyway. I can only imagine how successful he would have been had he listened to me.

The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II sets out to answer a seemingly simple question: How did the Nazi regime explain and justify their war to ordinary German citizens?

As elsewhere in Europe, memories of the first world war remained raw in Germany in 1939. Richard Evans, author of to my mind the best history of the Third Reich we have in English (two volumes published, one to go) details the war reluctance of ordinary German citizens. Hitler's rapid-fire victories over Poland, Norway, the Low Countries and France amazed and excited his people. But the triumphs of 1940 faded in 1941. Britain hung on, America edged closer to war, and the war kept growing: Yugoslavia, Greece, North Africa, and at last the Soviet Union.

Hitler's blitzkrieg, never cheap even in German lives, now weltered into an apocalyptic bloodbath. Herf tells us:

In December 1941, Hitler reported to a stunned Reichstag that 160,000 German soldiers had died since June 1941 on the eastern front. According to important recent research, the actual figure by the end of November was 282,330. By the end of December 1941, the toll for eight months since Operation Barbarossa had begun had risen to 324,528 deaths. The German home audience never heard those figures. They were 572,000 in 1942; 812,000 in 1943; 1,802,000 in 1944; and 1,540,000 from January to May 8, 1945.

As the suffering accumulated, Hitler and the Nazis ever more frantically sought to persuade the German people that their war of aggression should instead be seen as a war of national defense and survival. Germany had not started the war. Germany had been forced into war. And guess who was to blame?


So shouts a German propaganda poster from the spring and summer of 1943, a time of disasters for the Germans. A strongly sinewed male arm and finger explode out of the upper right corner, to point at a cowering fleshy figure in opera hat and and white tie in the lower left. The cowering figure wears a yellow star: Jude.

Herf quotes Hitler's speeches, Goebbel's diaries, Goebbel's many articles, Nazi propaganda in all its forms in which again and again the same astonishingly audacious claim is made: It was Germany that had been attacked in 1939 - by the Jews. The war was a

struggle driven by world Jewry's immeasurable hatred against Aryan people as such, against their spirit, worldview, and culture. The Jewish wire pullers in London, in New York, and not least in Moscow planned and prepared this war with shameless campaigns of agitation ... so that nations would take up arms against the Aryan powers of the earth. ...

What does world Jewry seek? For thousands of years, it has aimed at nothing but Jewish world domination.

Those were the words of a directive from the Reich Press Office in August 1941, dictating to newspaper editors all over Germany and occupied Europe the line they were to follow. As Herf shows, the Reich Press Office took its orders from Hitler personally: The Office's director, Otto Dietrich, was one of Hitler's closest intimates - closer often that Goebbels himself. Dietrich was hanged at Nuremberg in 1945.

Herf suggests that it would be a great mistake to read these words as mere cynical propaganda. Whatever doubtful thoughts might privately be held by others in the German wartime elite, Hitler, Goebbels and the top Nazis by 1941 seem genuinely and sincerely to have convinced themselves that they had been attacked - and that the helpless people they were murdering by the million were really the masters of a giant overwhelmingly powerful world conspiracy aimed at poor, pitiful Germany. Herf again:

Since the formulation of the concept of ideology during the French Revolution, political sophistication in modern politics has meant looking beyond manifest statements for their latent or real meaning and viewing ideas as instruments for other purposes. This rationalist bias prevented observers from seeing Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda as anything more than a bundle of rationalizations opportunistically seized upon by base and evil men. Despite the vast literature on Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust, the rationalist bias about human motivation has persisted ....

Perhaps I have said enough to begin to suggest some of the contemporary relevance of this book. It is not after all only dead Nazis who have persuaded themselves that terror and murder are merely reasonable and defensive responses to Jewish infiltration and aggression. Such claims have large currency in our modern world as well. I see them often in my own email inbox.

The idea that Germany was waging a war of defense against Western aggression, the deployment of the discourse of anti-imperialism and anticolonialism, and the assertion that the Jews were "the common denominator" in the anti-Hitler coalition remained enduring features of [Nazi] wartime propaganda.

This propaganda was not intended merely for German domestic opinion.

In an effort to take advantage of existing American anti-Semitism, Nazi propaganda sought to contrast Roosevelt, his supposed Jewish brain trust and powers behind the scene, and the power of New York (and to a lesser extent Hollywood), with the "real," that is, non-Jewish, American people.

A very familiar performance, no?

Nor did the Nazis omit the trope - also familiar from my inbox - that the Jews manipulated other people into doing their fighting for them.

The Nazis very consciously sought to communicate their paranoid world view to the Arab and Muslim world, with some considerable success.

Hitler's ally, Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem (and apparently a cousin of Yasser Arafat's) adopted this theme in his propaganda broadcasts to North Africa and the Middle East.

The strength of Jewish influence in America has clearly come to the fore in this war. Jews and capitalists have pushed the United States to expand this war, in order to expand their influence in new and wealthy areas. The North Africans know very well the unhappiness the Jews have brought to them. They know that the Jews are the vanguard fighters of imperialism that mistreated North Africa for so long. They [the North Africans] also know the extent to which the Jews served the imperialists as spies and agents and how they seek the energy resources of North African territories to expand their wealth. ... The American intervention in North Africa strengthens the power of the Jews, increases their influence and doubles their misdeeds. America is the greatest agent of the Jews, and the Jews are the rulers in America.

Husseini had devoted his life to the extermination of the tiny Jewish settlement mandated by the League of Nations. Yet he turned this experience on its head to argue that instead it was the Jews who sought to conquer, enslave, and massacre the Arab world. If the Allies won the war, he warned,

Israel would rule the whole world, the Arabian fatherland would suffer an unholy blow, and the Arab countries would be torn apart and turned into Jewish colonies.

One final contemporary observation. My old chum Dinesh D'Souza has triggered a controversy on the NRO site with a book arguing that Americans should understand that many "traditional Muslims" (as he terms them) feel themselves under assault from a libidinous and libertine United States. I won't deal with the merits and demerits of Dinesh's book here. Let me just draw on Herf for two important insights into the failure of arguments like Dinesh's:

1) The fact that people very sincerely and passionately believe themselves to be assailed by a sinister outside force does not necessarily mean that they are in fact so assailed. Delusional paranoid lunatics can be very sincere.

2) People in the grip of paranoid delusion are not easily assuaged. Hitler and his crew would not have felt themselves safe from "the Jewish enemy" until they had murdered every Jew on earth, enslaved every Slav, and smashed the power of Great Britain and the United States. Maybe not even then. Likewise, Osama bin Laden and his crew - Mahmous Ahmadinejad and his mullahs - the Hamas suicide bombers and their financiers in Saudi Arabia are unlikely to be satisfied by the suppression of raunchy pop videos - or, for that matter, a lower American profile in the Persian Gulf or a UN seat for the Palestinians. Their grievances are large, even cosmic - and to palliate them will demand a price from which even the most sedulous American appeaser would ultimately flinch.

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domingo, marzo 18, 2007

Otro interesante correo recibido

By Diana West
March 16, 2007

Without attracting much attention, representatives of the Belgian political party Vlaams Belang recently visited Washington, D.C. Frank Vanhecke and Filip Dewinter hoped to meet members of Congress; but Congress was in recess. They hoped to engender some understanding of their program to reverse the Islamization of Belgium; but the media were strip-mining the tinsel life and tawdry times of Anna Nicole Smith. 

Maybe they should have known that Tabloid America doesn't care about the likely transformation of Europe into an Islamic continent, let alone the fate of a French- and Dutch-speaking country of 10 million people. And while Literary America does write books about the transformation -- "While Europe Slept" by Bruce Bawer, "The War for the West" by Tony Blankley and "America Alone" by Mark Steyn come to mind Political America has yet to acknowledge or even notice this colossal, epoch-defining shift now taking place. 

Why don't our leaders face it? This may be one of those questions our children will ask some day. But if such natural curiosity isn't expressed until the next generation, the civilizational struggle for Europe will certainly have been lost. Better to question our politicians now. Better to examine the issue today. 

Europe , as we may readily observe, is very far along in an accommodation with its still-increasing Muslim immigrant population that is resulting not in the Europeanizing of Islam, but rather the Islamizing of Europe. As Bernard Lewis declared in 2004, Europe will have an Islamic majority by the end of the 21st century at the latest. As Vlaams Belang's Mr. Dewinter recently put it, "We are becoming foreigners in our own land." Such tragic pronouncements turn conversation with Vlaams Belang into a kind of political free verse -- sadly evocative but rooted in a desperate reality that should shake American complacency. That is, "foreigners in our land" is poetry; Mohammed as the most popular boy's name in Brussels for six years running is implacable fact. The idea that "We are living on a dying continent but we are not dead yet," as Mr. Dewinter has explained, is metaphorical. His citation from Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi that "Allah is mobilizing Muslim Turkey to add... 50 million more Muslims" to the European Union augurs world-class revolution. 

Is such a revolution desirable? After writing nearly incessantly about Islamization since September 11, I won't surprise anyone by saying no -- not if freedom of conscience, religious equality or women's rights are your bag (not to mention the glorious representational artwork Europe's museums are stuffed with). Besides, the strategic implications for the United States are, in a word, bleak. 

In multiculturally totalitarian Belgium, however, you make such judgments at your own risk. Vlaams Belang, a conservative, free-market party that stands for Flemish secession from the French-speaking part of Belgium and opposes continued immigration, now stands trial in a Belgian court for a comment -- a comment! -- Mr. Dewinter made in 2005 to a New York publication, The Jewish Week. When asked why Belgian Jews should vote for a party that espouses "xenophobia," Mr. Dewinter replied: "Xenophobia is not the word I would use. If [it] absolutely must be a 'phobia,' let it be 'Islamophobia.' Yes, we're afraid of Islam. The Islamization of Europe is a frightening thing." 

If convicted of the "crime" of "Islamophobia" ("1984," anyone?), the party would lose its state funding. In a country that effectively prohibits private political fund-raising, Vlaams Belang -- the largest party in Belgium -- would ultimately cease to exist. And so, too, would free speech in the center of Europe. 

Before I met Vlaams Belang's Frank Vanhecke and Filip Dewinter in Washington, I believed Europe's rush to Islamize itself was a stampede, its transformation all but inevitable. Now, I think these men have at least earned Europe the benefit of the doubt. Studying their various statements and interviews, I found no evidence to support the crude slanders to which they are continually subjected in the media for being a right-wing party opposed to the massive Islamic immigration now transforming traditional European culture. Indeed, their statements on Israel are more supportive than any European party I know of. 

As Mr. Vanhecke put it in a recent speech, "They call us 'intolerant' because we oppose intolerance. They call us 'fascists' because we oppose Islamofascism. They call us 'the children of holocaust perpetrators,' because we oppose Islamists who are preparing a new holocaust against the Jews." 

America must start paying attention to Europe. And to Vlaams Belang.

Recibido hace unos instantes

*Islamicization of Antwerp

By Paul Belien
March 14, 2007
The decisive battle against Islamic extremists will not be fought in Iraq,
but in Europe. It is not in Baghdad but in cities like Antwerp, Belgium,
where the future of the West will be decided.
   I recently met Marij Uijt den Bogaard, a 49-year-old woman who deserves
America's support at least as much as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
   Ms. Uijt den Bogaard was an Antwerp civil servant in the 1990s, who
spent many years working in the immigrant neighborhoods of Antwerp. There
she noticed how radical Islamists began to take over. "They work according
to a well-defined plan," she says.
   One of the things Ms. Uijt den Bogaard used to do for the immigrants was
to assist them with their administrative paperwork. Quite a few of them
came to trust her.
   About three years ago, young men dressed in black moved into the
neighborhoods. They had been trained in Saudi Arabia and Jordan and adhere
to Salafism, a radical version of Islam. They set up youth organizations,
which gradually took over the local mosques. "The Salafists know how to
debate and they know the Qur'an by heart, while the elderly running the
mosques do not," she said They also have money. "One of them told me that
he gets Saudi funds." Because they are eloquent, the radicals soon became
the official spokesmen of the Muslim community, also in dealing with the
city authorities. Ms. Uijt den Bogaard witnessed how the latter gave in to
Salafist demands, such as the demand for separate swimming hours for Muslim
women in the municipal pools.
   Worried immigrants told Ms. Uijt den Bogaard what was happening. On the
basis of their accounts and her own experiences she wrote (confidential)
reports for the city authorities about the growing radicalization. This
brought her into conflict, both with the Islamists and her bosses in the
   The city warned her that her reports were unacceptable, that they read
like "Vlaams Belang tracts" (the Vlaams Belang is Antwerp's anti-immigrant
party) and that she had to "change her attitude." The Islamists sensed that
she disapproved of them. They might also have been informed, because there
are Muslims working in the city administration. One day, when she was
accompanied by her superior, she was attacked by a Muslim youth. Her
superior refused to interfere. When she questioned him afterward he said
that all the animosity toward her was her own fault.
   In the end she was fired. She is unemployed at the moment and gets
turned away whenever she applies for another job as a civil servant. Last
week, she learned that city authorities have given the job of integration
officer, whose task it is to supervise 25 Antwerp mosques, to one of the
radical Salafists. Meanwhile, the latter have threatened her with reprisals
if she continues to speak out.
   After her dismissal Ms. Uijt den Bogaard went to see Monica Deconinck, a
Socialist politician who is the head of the Antwerp social department, to
tell her about the plight of the Muslim women. Ms. Deconinck said, "You
have taken your job too seriously and tried to do it too well," adding that
she cannot help, although she sympathizes. Ms. Uijt den Bogaard also went
to see Christian Democrat and Liberal politicians. They also refused to
help her because they are governing the city in a coalition with the
Socialists. The only opposition party in town is the Vlaams Belang.
   According to Ms. Uijt den Bogaard, the reason why the Socialists, who
run the city, allow the Islamists to do as they please is because they want
to get the Muslim vote, which is controlled increasingly by the Salafists
who are in the process of taking over the mosques.
   In a letter to city authorities she wrote: "You employ workers to
improve social cohesion in the city's neighborhoods. But if you do not want
to know what is damaging social cohesion, then you need not bother sending
those workers!... Employees who are confronted with this problem [of Muslim
radicalization] and investigate are silently removed, losing their income
and their reputation. That is censorship in the fashion of political
dictatorships. As a former member of your services I am shocked to find
myself in this position and to discover after years of service that you
have no policy whatever, either political or with regard to your
   Sadly, what is happening in Antwerp is not unique. The Salafists employ
the same strategy in other European cities. They boasted to Ms. Uijt den
Bogaard about their international network and their successes in
neighboring countries. While the Americans fight to secure Iraq, Western
Europe is becoming a hotbed of Salafism.
      /Paul Belien is editor of the Brussels Journal and an adjunct fellow
of the Hudson Institute./