Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 19, 2008

Billmon: The New Stabbed In the Back Myth


We've crossed some more lines, in other words -- in a long series of lines that have made it increasingly difficult to distinguish between the ultraconservative wing of the Republican Party and an explicitly fascist political movement. And John McCain and his political handlers appear to have no moral compunctions whatsoever about whipping this movement into a frenzy and providing it with scapegoats for all that hatred, simply to try to shave a few points off Barack Obama's lead in the polls.

To call this "country first" only works if you assume your opponents (and scapegoats) are not really part of that same country. And we all know where that leads.
The New Stabbed In the Back Myth

Posted by b on October 19, 2008 at 5:06 UTC | Permalink


Umn, some younger folks might not know "Forbidden Planet" and the "demons of the id" Bilmon refers to here.

Not to nitpick, but as I recall, it was "monsters from the id"

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Oct 19 2008 5:45 utc | 1

It was all those poor folks getting Fannie Mae-backed loans that caused the trilions in bad mortgage based debt! Pass it on!

Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall! Pass it on (but play down the fact that McCain supported it as well!)

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19 2008 6:45 utc | 2

"I realize you’re cynical and fed up with politics. I understand that you’re disappointed and even angry with your leaders. You have every right to be. But despite all of this, I ask of you what’s been asked of the American people in times of trial and turmoil throughout our history. I ask you to believe – to believe in yourselves, in each other, and in the future we can build together."

~ there's a nice photo too...

Posted by: waldo | Oct 19 2008 7:32 utc | 3

It is my sincere hope, granted its a very faint one, that from the ashes a more classic conservative/libertarian Republican party (as in Ron Paul) will emerge.

It would include many platforms with which the left could agree;

1) Commitment to personal liberty and constitutional rights.

2) Anti-interventionism and th dismantling of global empire.

3) An end to corporatism and "partnerships between government and business.

Of course, some that it can't;

4) steep reduction in the size of government and its programs including social security and medicare

5) minimization of taxes

But most importantly;

6) An end to central banking and the Federal Reserve system and a return to gold backed currency.

This is difficult to come about. The powers that be would oppose it tooth and nail from both the left and the right. Their first step to stop it would be to assign a false scapegoat (poor people, black and white) in order to misdirect from the real culprit. Federal Reserve fiat money and Corporatism.

P.S. The John Birch society could be an ally rather than an enemy, as Billmon suggests.

Posted by: Lysander | Oct 19 2008 8:08 utc | 4

See that is the problem with linking up to a buncha raving hypocrites like the kossacks, the followers follow us back, tracking their grubby self deceptions across our neat and tidy sawdust and beer coated floor.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Oct 19 2008 8:48 utc | 5

A little OT but, Sarah Palins appearance on SNL had me a little worried, in that such an appearance might manifest a disconnect in the ongoing mockery by non-mockery of Tina Fey's rendition of herself. Usually, like McCains re-appearance (after relentless mockery) on the Letterman show, is an attempt to normalize the attacks by contextualizing the humor in order to de-fang it. I figured her appearance would follow that logic as it did when Hillary appeared in tandem with Amy Poehler thereby neutralizing the critique. What happened instead was an amazing further mockery, in that Palin was not given any platform whatsoever to normalize her position, and was reduced even further by seeming to go along with the mockery as a mute cheerleader. While both major female cast members Fey and Poehler walked behind her back without even of a hint of eye contact or acknowledgement. Joe the plumber must be weeping in his bed tonight. At this point I have to wonder, whether Billmons subject of scapegoats might extend to Palin herself. Someone put her up to this, negotiated the parameters of her appearance, and put it into motion. Fools leading fools in a breathtaking sort of way.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 19 2008 9:26 utc | 6

Both Obama and McCain have been spewing populism and demagoguery.

Obama’s edge - he does it a little less, or supremely better. Of course, that judgment depends on what one reckons the intended audience is.

Palin to energise the base..
Palin represents a break in US politics. That is the appeal; the danger; the novelty.

Reagan was a Hollywood actor. Ross Perot a billionaire. The Bushes the hoi polloi, the Wasp elite, the last one having a purely recreational ranch in Texas, maybe planned. The Clintons were from the intellectual elite and re-affirmed the Amerikan Dream. (Obama..)

Billmon is partial to Nazi-US comparisons, toned down or left aside for Kos I suppose.

The Nazis would never have propelled a Children-Kitchen-Church figure to power - Palin represents all those in the modern US version. Different times.

Picking Palin was a sign of weakness that many understood. It is an old trick, which always fails, in ‘modern’ ‘western’ democracies. One even has to wonder, was it intended to fail?

Posted by: Tangerine | Oct 19 2008 12:17 utc | 7

anna missed assessment of Palin on SNL is very perceptive imo. She does kinda look like the dweeb the cool kids have brought attention to. She goes along with show but I think rather reluctantly as she knows she is being made a fool of.

If she had done the rap Amy Poehler did, she would have brought down the house. was that intentional too?

Posted by: dan of steele | Oct 19 2008 13:06 utc | 8

Palin, as anna m. pointed out some time ago, I put it in my own words, is a caricature of - herself. One can’t even make satire of her, she herself is a cartoon character, with three fingers.

More profoundly; the mistake of the McC campaign was to pick her and *then* try to make her respectable, by coaching her on foreign policy, giving her talking points, etc.

They shaved her into three parts:

a) conserving the hockey mom, the down-home, rural type, Caribou Barbie, the anti-gov (!) emblem for pop. appeal,

b) leaving her Alaskan high jinks in the shade, or feebly cherry-picking it for some point or another, trying superficially to make some political hay of her past,

c) the helpmeet, proxy-wife for the elderly McC, the tireless supporter, servant, with no personal povs.

Alienating so many..

They couldn’t let her rip. That would negate US politics altogether.

She doesn't care, and is a winner, she thinks, probably correctly. Failing as a proposed VP will set her up for life.

Posted by: Tangerine | Oct 19 2008 13:43 utc | 9

Lysander @4
Yes, it's a faint hope but it still can happen. The neocons should have been driven out of the Republican Party long ago, along with their allies in the media. They have done immeasurable harm to the United States and the world. But part of that fault is also the overwhelming ignorance, apathy and noncritical thinking of the average citizen nowadays, and for that reason my hope remains faint.

Posted by: Ensley | Oct 19 2008 13:46 utc | 10

@ Lysander at 4.

It is possibility, something to hope for, a slice of light...a good dose of optimism needed.

If Kucinich and Ron Paul, from supposedly opposite ends of the political spectrum in the US, which shows how narrow it is, are mocked and ignored? Given no media exposure? While both surely have many millions of supporters and could agree about many things. What a circus.

Posted by: Tangerine | Oct 19 2008 14:02 utc | 11

I’m not really into the Sarah Palin debate but something said by Tangerine @9 gave me the heads up. Sarah Palin seems almost too good to be true as a representative of that deeply seated sense of inferiority that many of life’s loser seem to have. George W. Bush may have been a moron to the Eastern Establishment but to the redneck it was: “So, hey, he’s stupid. So, what’s wrong with being stupid. We’re stupid.”
I can recall an American journalist friend telling me that during the Great Depression and right into the Second World War his parents—poor, hard working, honest people—who should have been voting for FDR relentlessly voted Republican because: “Only foreigners and niggers vote Democrat.” Does this ring any bells: people voting in opposition to their own best interests?

Posted by: Spyware | Oct 19 2008 14:25 utc | 12

Spyware | Oct 19, 2008 10:25:58 AM: I remember my mum telling me about my grandmother, a rock-ribbed Republican, would go to the newsreels in the 1930s and cover her ears when FDR would speak and my grandma would exclaim: "The voice of the hypocrite is heard across the land!"

Posted by: JayV | Oct 19 2008 14:47 utc | 13


It's hard to tell to what degree the GOP high command fully understands or is trying to feed these dynamics (indeed, it's becoming increasingly difficult to even tell who the GOP high command is these days).

The people behind this lunacy do not want to be identified any more than the cowardly doctors, sheriffs, teachers, lawyers, judges ... who would don Klan hoods after dark. Its been 40 years & we still do'nt know much of anything about who the key actors were & are behind the "Southern Strategy". Probably the same group of cowards in each case.

one peculiar feature of the KKK's history is how they escaped being identified as cowards by their peers in the community. They were identified as racists, evil, white-supremacists ... but very rarely as cowards. The Blacks knew they were cowards though and that very few of them had the guts to ride without their hoods.

And this is also to a large part about them trying to get a head-count.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 19 2008 14:53 utc | 14

by the way, Hilary & Bill should get some props for having done their own race-baiting by themselves

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 19 2008 15:05 utc | 15

An American I met through work in the States back in the 1970’s, had come to know well and so established a close friendship with remained one of my firmest U.S. contacts for years. He was from the state of Maine, had served in the military, went on to take a law degree and then a further qualification as a tax lawyer working for one of the largest firms in Newark, New Jersey. He was an uncompromising Republican and though I an unapologetic Socialist Labour supporter we never fell out on the issue of politics. Back about the time of the lead up to the invasion of Iraq when prime minister Tony Blair made a visit to the U.S. to receive a congressional medal of some sort, he (my friend) ‘phoned me and conveyed his heartfelt gratitude that we in Britain had so courageous and outspoken a leader. I, never being able to resist a jibe, made one or two indiscreet remarks about the moron in the White House. In due course my friend responded by email. The message was just one line. Simple, direct and to the point. It read: “Go f**k yourself.” I never heard from him again.

I think, apart from my friend’s “personality disorder”, this tells me something about the present Republican mentality in the U.S.. Moreover, I think it tells me something about how the present Republican mentality has evolved away from that of Wendell Wilkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Bob Taft and Dwight D. Eisenhower into the vicious, atavistic moral majority of today. But, is there any going back?

Posted by: Spyware | Oct 19 2008 15:29 utc | 16

Spyware, your post resonates with me. I can't tell you how many people we have become estranged from in the past 8 years. The polarization has been stark, and no, I'm not sure there is any going back because an entire generation is being raised with these back-assward values, and that can't be undone overnight.

Still, it's complex and all the blame can't be levied on the Neocons. Sure, they're the wolves with no sheep's clothing, but what about the wolves in sheep's clothing, the so-called liberals, like Thomas Friedman? God I miss Paul Wellstone...any true progressive voice was assassinated that day when his plane went down.

Posted by: Yuri Andropov | Oct 19 2008 16:33 utc | 17

is neo liberal a so-called liberal?

Posted by: annie | Oct 19 2008 16:53 utc | 18

@17 Yuri Andropov

Totally agree--totally agree.

Posted by: Spyware | Oct 19 2008 16:53 utc | 19

Spyware: your story rings true with me here in Texas. I lost several friends over the corrupt frat boy in the White House before I finally stopped talking politics with my remaining conservative friends and neighbors.

The thing I don't get is this: the Germans of 1918 were a martial culture who had lost a war they expected to win, and had suffered great losses not only in terms of material and economic damage but also dead family members and friends and fellow countrymen. So it's sort of understandable that they would look for scapegoats and come up with a myth to explain why they suffered those losses and didn't get the expected (entitled? preordained?) outcome.

What have US conservatives suffered? What losses compared to post-WWI Germany? Are their skins so thin, their egos so fragile that a loss at the polls will turn them to fear, hatred and violence? What could possibly justify that? Are they such spoiled, vindictive children that a lost election means that thier fellow Americans are traitors and worse, and justifies anything they say and do to them?

People I've known for a decade or more, people I've worked side-by-side with through long hours on tough projects, attended their birthday parties, helped them renovate their homes, celebrated their childen's weddings, invited to barbecues in my back porch, held their hands while they went through divorces, hugged them when their parents died, now won't speak to me, won't return calls or emails, won't wave to me when I see them across the street, because I have an Obama/Biden sign in my front yard. I fear for the next four years.

Posted by: EGrise | Oct 19 2008 17:09 utc | 20

I find myself in similar situations and used to try not to be so confrontational, always figured that it was just a phase these people were going through. lately I find myself being a bit more cruel toward them. I frankly do not care if they get upset and actually hope that they do.

problem is, and it has been pointed out here many times by people a lot smarter than me, we are all in the same shit together and will need to work together to get out of aforementioned shit.

how do you do that? being nice to these pricks is taken as weakness, most will not listen to rational arguments, so I guess all that is left is a boot upside the head. WTF? nothing else works. you can be sure they would not hesitate to do the same to me.

Posted by: dan of steele | Oct 19 2008 17:14 utc | 21

HRC could probably write a book on this stuff. After all she was raised in a conservative Illinois background and her first job was working for Nixon. And she probably gave Bill (JFK-wannabe & likely clueless at the time) the 411 he needed on the "vast right-wing conspiracy" & how it works. Without which he might never have become president. Which is probably why they hate her with such a vengeance for having been the "ultimate traitor".

interestingly, Obama (another Kennedy groupie) might have gotten a little input on this matter too, not from Michelle, but from his Ma (Phd) & Grandma.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 19 2008 17:45 utc | 22

@17, 20, 21, 22

As I see it, there is a naked, crying petrifying fear behind all of this. These people are the very quintessence of emotional insecurity and an embittered hatred of everything they see as a threat. A threat to whatever they have somehow managed to hold on to in the struggle that confronts everyone, in whatever country they may live, who are in a hysteria of fear over slipping back into a world of unemployment benefits, food stamps, supermarket dumpsters, public transport, low rent housing and children who are moving further down the social ladder than where their own parents started from.

My friend the tax lawyer (@ 16), who is now retired, is presently under no threat of total loss of his middleclass status. The current financial crisis might brush up against him, but it won’t come even near knocking him out of the box. His background is some clue to his hatreds. He came out of a very poor New England family whose parents raised three children against a background of fruit picking and casual labour. He got his college education paid for through the GI Bill after serving in the ski corps in Alaska and then on to becoming an MP. He struggled with fees through law school and had a further struggle holding his head up in a prestigious wasp law firm as virtually the only working class catholic in the place.

I can recall being invited to his infant son’s Christening and upon returning to the house for lunch being greeted by his wife’s relations whose one topic of conversation was how the Jews were taking over the world. I being a Jew chose to keep my mouth shut but it was a salutary experience and it shocked hell out of me.

Well, enough. A background of pain, anger, hatred and resentment seething beneath the surface of my friend’s otherwise purposeful and dedicated life I suppose finally erupted in his final farewell of: “Go f**k yourself”. A fitting tribute to modern Republicanism—the Grand Old Party.

Posted by: Spyware | Oct 19 2008 17:50 utc | 23>Bagnews on the Palin (non) performance on SNL.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 19 2008 20:01 utc | 24

The USA in no way is comparable yet to the defeated Germany after WWI except that the whole conservative ideology has proven to be bankrupt and the USA will have to pull back from its Middle East Crusade. It is inevitable that rather than acknowledging the incompetent failures, denial and scapegoats will arise. Already Obama’s polls are sliding as the slime campaign portrays him as a black communist Muslim terrorist.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Oct 19 2008 20:54 utc | 25

Johnny B Cool in #14 -

Perhaps the hoods worn by the KKK functioned to protect the identity of the wearers from themselves . There is a certain knowledge that there are things best done not only anonymously from others, but in a type of secrecy from one's own self.

Posted by: Elie | Oct 19 2008 21:29 utc | 26

his wife’s relations whose one topic of conversation was how the Jews were taking over the world.

did they really say 'the jews'?

that said, for those who are of a mind to think the global superpower is dominating the globe and not had their head in the ground these last few years, how could one not notice the dominating influence of a certain cabal of rightwing jews seeking to control our foreign policy. to the detriment of us all, they are doing a damn good job of it. if that 'shocks the hell out of you', imagine how it feels to many americans who would like to think our foreign policy revolves around what's good for our country, and world peace.

these rethugs are getting all riled up because they been fed a lethal dose of non stop islamophobia these last few years (thank you zioaipac lobby) and their christianista wingnut racist faction have all got their panties in a twist. i was very pleased to see what powell said today in his endorsement of obama (and more explicit in the press conference afterward). not so much for the endorsement itself but for his reasoning regarding exactly who we are as a culture and this anti muslim stuff is beneath us. if anyone want to do anything about anti semitism i'd join up w/groups like jewish voice for peace to expose this cancer on our society. i know i have said this before repeatedly here but i don't think it can be said enough, i DO NOT want this hate imported. the lobby has been hosting off both parties but they have found their ideological fanatical soul mates inside the gop. they have to be rooted out, exposed for who they are, and crushed as a movement. no different than the kkk. the fact they are jews is incidental, but they are jews and as long as they make a big deal around israel with every breath they take they will be regarded as jews. can't have it both ways.
not so shocking.

the USA will have to pull back from its Middle East Crusade

faster please. otherwise it ain't gonna be islam that tanks the country, it will be a direct result of the lobby.

Posted by: annie | Oct 20 2008 0:12 utc | 27

The present temperment of our current crop of strange republican neanderthals, can be understood as something like the political hysteria of Southern slaveholders in the years preceeding the Civil War.

I think the underlying cause behind the deeply reactionary reflex of Americans who suddenly disown friends (friends who happen to have put up an Obama banner in the front yard), is similar to the reaction of Southern slave owners of 19th Century America to any political compromise affecting their way of life and worldview. To even admit legitimacy in the worldview of those in the other political camp, is seen as utterly demolishing their own beliefs. Everything they had believed is exposed as bullshit, their cherished beliefs revealed as pure bunk.

Contemporaneous to the political hysteria just prior to the Civil War, was a wave of hysterical religious revivals that swept the South. Later came the Emancipation Proclaimation for the slaves; but the Divine Sanction lived on as Manifest Destiny, America's Gott Mit Uns.

The exceptionalism with racial overtones and the idea of God's sanction, and the infantilism that entitles a nation to economic entitlements across the planet, through military violence, is at the root of the present political/religious hysteria.

I wish I could accurately quote Abraham Lincoln on the reactionary attitude of the slaveholding class of his time; but to paraphrase, he said that they were incapable of tolerating a live-and-let-live sort of compromise or polituical accomodation, but rather insisted that one had to surrender, in effect, to the rightness that they beheld in their own conduct.

Posted by: Copeland | Oct 20 2008 0:41 utc | 28

To change hateful words and deeds, one must change one's attitudes behind those actions, and words. To genuinely change attitudes, one must change one's fundamental beliefs about reality, about how life works, about Heaven, about self.

Change one's self, from the inside out. Always a tall order. Usually more than an 'unexamined life' can accomplish.

Actions spring from attitudes spring from beliefs about reality.

i.e. -- if you truly believe that eternal souls are created at the moment of their conception, and their only shot at Heaven instead of a lake of fire requires them being born, and finding Jesus, well -- your attitudes and actions about abortion can hardly be neutral, can they? To be true to yourself, you will consider an abortion a hundred times eternally worse than murder, and nothing will convince you otherwise.

Arguing won't convince you. Nor appeals to tolerance. Who tolerates murder?

Same for believing that black and brown people are not really human. Same for believing that non-Christians are demon-possessed, and doing Satan's work. Sarah Palin believes that.

Same for believing that your kind has the inside track on truth and reality, and Them who don't take to your path are scary, stupid, and need to die.

Need to die. For the children, for Mom, and for apple pie. You're just being true to yourself.

You're just doing the right thing.

Posted by: Antifa | Oct 20 2008 10:00 utc | 29

Annie @ 27

I don't understand this at all. Just because someone says they're Jewish doesn't mean they need a rant about AIPAC. Whether you meant to or not, you sound like the kind of person this thread is about when you couch stuff in those terms.

Posted by: Tantalus | Oct 20 2008 11:15 utc | 30


you are a comrade but i am with tantalus on this. maybe, because you live in as a culture as i do that has institutionalised islamophobia & speaks only of her people in the most offensive terms - it behoves us to be very very, very clear in our anti zionism, that it should never melt into even the most oblique form of anti semitism

i know you are not an anti semite - you have written well, often on this question but the statement above was too close for me too. we have to be clear that israel is essentially a theocracy, that it is both an anti democratic & racist state. that it is a state that is carrying out a war of anhilation against the palestinian people. that its self interest has complicated an already troubled region of autocrats - that that self interest has been well served by the most right wing & fundamentalist part of american political life - both republican & democrat

that said & given i have jewish genes in my body - it is also true that the jewish people have largely taken a central role in resistance movements everywhere

that the israel state mirrors in fact & symbol - the cruelty of their german masters - is a tragedy for the jewish people but it is a double tragedy for the palestinians

on this i suppose i agree with ahmaddinijad when he suggested bavaria would have been a more reasonable region. i'd suggest that since austria so easily liquidated itself with the anschluss - then after the war it should have been liquidated as a nation & become the jewish homeland

i know that seeing day after day the savagery utilised against the palestinians particularly & arabs generally - that it becomes personal, very personal - but it is never an excuse for racism. the principal enemy is u s imperialism, the likudnisation of jewish political life & the attendant dishonouring of jewish heritage

i repeat annie, you are a comrade but tantalus is correct to respond brusquely

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 20 2008 17:19 utc | 31

I didn’t find Annie’s post at 27 even marginally off or gasp ‘anti-semitic’?, though i did not capt the refs. to speeches or whatever (the usual BS I suppose.) Maybe I’m not too sensitive to that dimension?

The US elites co-opted the fundie Xtians and fed them stuff about plucky democratic Israel - US hegemony melding with disfigured and misrepresented Zionism watered down to primitive ideological religious terms, bastardized, turned into myth and fairy tale.

Israelis (ppl living in Israel, or in the territories, Jew, or Arab with papers or ‘Palestinian’ or foreign migrant worker, etc.) are of course of no account at all.

The common enemy is labelled in popular discourse as ‘the Arabs’, evil monsters, terrorists, etc. feeding the paranoia of blinded Americans, rendering Zionists gleeful and cheering about how easy it is fool and co-opt Americans and use them, etc.

It is an ugly, vicious, symbiosis, a mutual exploitation and use that is viewed by both parties cynically. (Not the fundie Xtians..) Not favorable, in the long run, either to Americans or Israelis. But then...who is sitting on the resources and controls them? Arabs! (the Iranians are Persians but never mind all that.)

When talk of control arises, it is Americans who rail and mention AIPAC etc. but they never take action. The weaker partner, Israel, is allowed to enjoy delusions of manipulations and control, and to assume the role of righteous innocent in public. It works for both parties.

Posted by: Tangerine | Oct 20 2008 19:06 utc | 32

on @27:

Likewise, other well-intentioned, reasoned, sincere & good-faith comments such as Mandela's & Jimmy Carters observations that Israel has become an apartheid state are going to cause some discomfort & also invite some mis-interpretation.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Oct 20 2008 19:40 utc | 33

mandela & carter were clear as day. they have called the state of israel out - unfortunately -their clear exposition was muddied intentionally

tangerine, i never suggested annie was anti semitic - we have known each other for some time now. i remember some time ago trying to write about russia dureing the yeltsin years & the times of the oligarchs & of the russian mafia. the truth being that the oligarchs were almost without exception jewish & who almost without exception live in israel, today. that is also largely too of the russian mafia though there are other ethnicities too. & there are historical reasons for that - of the marginality during soviet times, the place of criminal culture in the soviet union, the myth of th 'vor'. the principal writer on this khlebnikov was assassinated but he was jewish & made no bones about it. his analysis of berezovsky was magisterial & no one reading that book could ever doubt the criminality of berezovsky & of the other oligarchs. but in the end, how do you write about that without it appearing as anti semitic especially in a culture where anti-semitism has always been a useful political tool

the violence being done to the palestinian people is so unjust, so disproportionate so elementally learnt from nazis that it is almost impossible that the fury against that injustice is not a little poisoned by anti-semitism

but then in france - the israel lobby is very strong too - & any & i mean any criticism of israel is read as anti-semitic & because anti-semitism has deep roots in french culture at every level but especially of the elites- all that the lobby has to do is remind france of its shameful history in this regard

ironically given as celan sd that - death is a german - the most substantive critiques of israel in europe come from germany - critiques that do not have even a hint of anti semitism

what i am saying is that the reality is not complex. what is happening to the palestinian people is wholly unjust. the state of israel's right to existence is diminished every day that state uses terror against the palestinians. a state that defines itself by its racial character & uses racism as its public & armed policy - questions fundamentally its own right to exist

i have sd it here before but i will say it again - the state of israel desecrates jewish history, it is destroying the present & demolishing any possibility of a hopeful future. much as apartheid south africa was doomed to die - israel, if it does not seek a real peace, a just peace is doomed to go the same way

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 20 2008 21:00 utc | 34

Just to explain myself: I wasn't discomfited by Annie's attack on AIPAC and the Zionist lobby, but by the fact that she appeared to be telling Spyware to accept anti-semitism (and the example he gave was of classic, casual prejudice, to illustrate Billmon's point about the GOP's fondness for scapegoats) because as a Jew he is in some way linked to or responsible for AIPAC and the Zionists whether he wants to be or not. Annie wasn't being anti-semitic, but she was being, imo, unfair.

The kind of criticism that gets called anti-semitism by self-serving political and geopolitical blocks is very different from the ancient prejudice that takes refuge in the notion that "the Jews (or the blacks or commies or gays) did it," whatever "it" might be, and from my reading, that's what Spyware was getting at. Of course the same people who are accusing the critics of Israel of anti-semitism are the same people who are ardently courting the vote of those who live their lives in a fog of received prejudice.

Posted by: Tantalus | Oct 20 2008 21:23 utc | 35

tantalus Just because someone says they're Jewish doesn't mean they need a rant about AIPAC.

actually, my rant wasn't directed at spyware saying he was jewish. it was directed towards his friend's wife's relatives comment which i copy/pasted, and his 'shock'. i must say i don't have patience for anyone using the term 'the jews', and the ridiculousness of the statement the Jews were taking over the world. is to me, completely absurd and anti semite. so maybe i should have made that clearer in my very first comment/question in that post.

to me, it isn't shocking at all because this is where racism and anti semitism comes from. from ignorant people who take the crimes (or extremism) of a few and try to color an entire group of people w/this wide brush.

r'giap, it is also true that the jewish people have largely taken a central role in resistance movements everywhere

of course, this is why i specifically pointed out jewish voices for peace, a local group who hosts the site muzzlewatch which i have linked to numerous times (also jstreet). one hardly has to dig deep to find multiple references of progressive jews at the forefront of the resistance movement both here and in israel. nor do you have to look far to find jews (many prominent)who are keenly interested in finding political solutions for a palestinian state.

for me i can't let a statement like that pass unnoticed for the thread, and the very post spyware wrote about the billmons topic authoritarian movements needs scapegoats the way fecal coliform bacteria need a steady supply of raw sewage.....The best scapegoat is one that is both blameless and weak. so who have those scapegoats been in this election? acorn, muslim americans..and spyware suggests 'the jews' as part of this fallout . logically it stand to reason in a world w/ ignorant people who paint collective brushstrokes 'the jews' aren't ammune to this in light of current events. yet they are not in the same grouping as the scapegoats we've heard about in this campaign, and if they are i have not heard about it.

is it justified, this 'the jews' stuff? no, of course not. is it to be expected, does the actions of aipac lead to anti semitism? of course. i think we have all heard the muslim=terrorist meme repeatedly during this election cycle. we've certainly been bombarded by the anti acorn anti american stuff. if there has been an equivalency of demonizing 'the jews' maybe i have not been paying attention. i would invite anyone to point me in a direction of any mainstream news source or popular blog on the right or the left making the same case against 'the jews' during this election by either side.

so i'm sorry if this sounds like a rant to anyone. the idea i mentioned it because spyware said he was jewish is kinda nuts, because anyone reading this site knows i've gone off on the neocons and the lobby repeatedly. i suppose we could just leave the topic alone since it's been covered here before often enough. we could have a 'don't go there' policy regarding aipac. especially in a thread on scapegoating.. i mean how could it be relevant right?

Posted by: annie | Oct 20 2008 21:27 utc | 36

& i'm thinking her too of that befuddled(or not) woman who called obama an arab & the reaction was less to the vulgar & almost unanimmous racism than to the political elites control over that particular discourse

if she had called him a jew - she would have seen the inside of a locked ward quicker than you can say bf skinner

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 20 2008 21:39 utc | 37

r'giap if she had called him a jew

let's recall gore's VP. does anyone recall the hatemongering sprewing from the freepers site going apeshit over him being jewish?

me neither.

when gore 'lost' florida does anyone recall 'that jew' being blamed?

me neither.

frankly i have no recollection in my political lifetime of 'the jews' being singled out in a discriminating fashion and demonized by either of the major political parties (a good thing).

can you imagine the uproar if the bailout vote had been postponed due to ramadan? hellllo. this does not mean anti semitism doesn't exist in the US. it means, as pertaining to this thread ('The New Stabbed In the Back Myth'), anti semitism hasn't been promoted via fear mongering by either campaigns re what does and does not qualify as being american or anti american. in fact, quite the opposite tendency. both parties swear their devotion to israel, with no one being held accountable.

Posted by: annie | Oct 21 2008 1:15 utc | 38

watche brezinski speak on a video - he's not a whole lot more human than kissinger but he can speak in sentences. there's so much screaming in the political life or the opposite - a complicit silence. between the screaming people who can speak in sentences are appealing even tho you are aware they are the same enemy

you could tell from the speech & the gestures that he understands well that the shithouse is going up in flames - that his interlocutors & that's really too big a name for the clowns who cackle in the media are just about the most primitive people around who cannot hear the walls falling down around them

the public discourse in the media is so ugly - i came home from work - worked watche the gonnoreah-ridden-golem wolf blitzer & in an hour i must have heard - obama/socialist - paling/fun girl repeated in different permutations so many times that the propaganda becomes putrid within just a few minutes

like the fools in wall street sometimes i think these cretins in the media have no idea of what they are playing with - that they have so lost any sense of common decency or civic responsibility - that they will create chaos just to fill their 24/24 & not for one moment understand the gravity of the time we are living in

i'm not saying anything special - but their absolute arrogance in face of the facts is sometimes breathtaking & i mean breath taking

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 21 2008 1:53 utc | 39

@ rgiap 34

You write

... the myth of th 'vor'. the principal writer on this khlebnikov was assassinated but he was jewish & made no bones about it. his analysis of berezovsky was magisterial & no one reading that book could ever doubt the criminality of berezovsky & of the other oligarchs. but in the end, how do you write about that without it appearing as anti semitic especially in a culture where anti-semitism has always been a useful political tool

Can you give a reference to the book you cite? (If there is a translation into French or English that would be even better.) At Amazon I find mostly works of Velmir Khlebnikov who is surely not your source, and one by Pyotor Klebnikov, but not regarding the oligarchs.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 21 2008 6:47 utc | 40

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