Friday, August 24, 2007

Terra Incognita 2

Terra Incognita
Issue 2
A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
Jerusalem, Israel


August 24th, 2007

Here are this weeks three articles below and attached. The full articles appear below these short abstracts.

1) Timothy Mcveigh: Freedom fighter? Most academics, news organizations and intellectuals agree that Timothy Mcveigh, the Oklahoma city bomber, is a terrorist. Yet many of the same people can not agree on whether Bin Laden is a terrorist. So why isn’t Mcveigh a freedom fighter, like Hasan Nasrallah? Here’s why none of these terrorists are freedom fighters.

2) The historiography of Partition. The partition on India and Pakistan caused up to 20 million people to become refugees. A million were killed. In India this is a remembered as a time when ‘racist’ Hindus drove out Muslim ‘victims’ just as the BJP is accused of doing today. In Pakistan it is remembered the same way. But then why is Pakistan 99% Muslim and India is only 80% Hindu. Where did all the Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan disappear to in 1947?

3) A history of Islam in America: 2001-2007. The nature, visibility and position of Islam in America has changed dramatically since Sept. 11. In a strange irony 9/11 has benefited American Muslims in a plethora of ways. Now every University and public institution makes sure not to offend them and cater to their ‘needs’. Muslims have become the new cause celebre in America. Muslims are to the period 2000-2007 what gays were to the 1990s. And that bodes ill for the gays as well as everyone else.

4) Only a little better than Saudi Arabia? A recent survey of American foreign policy makers found that 14 out of 108 felt Israel was not a good ally of America. By contrast 17 said the same thing about Saudi Arabia. Is Saudi Arabia really only a slightly worse ally to America than Israel. What about those 19 Saudi men and 9/11?

1) Timothy Mcveigh: Freedom fighter?
August 23rd, 2007
Seth J. Frantzman

He had facial hair. He blew up a building. He killed 150 people. They blew up two buildings. They killed 3,000 people. Their leader had facial hair. So why is one a terrorist and the others ‘freedom fighters’ responding to ‘American foreign policy decisions’? Why is one incident called ‘blowback’ and the other is referred to as ‘racist, home grown murder’?

Obviously in the minds of almost every American Timothy Mcveigh is a terrorist. However what is surprising is that if one were to take the 100 deadliest bombings carried out against civilians worldwide in the last 10 years one would find that at least half of them are not carried out by ‘terrorists’ according to Reuters and many other news reports. Moreover many academics and intellectuals would not refer to them as terrorism. These are the work of ‘insurgents’ or ‘the resistance’ or ‘armed militants’ or ‘freedom fighters.’ According to this crowd of bombing theologians who parse the semantics of death, the mantra is “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” For this crowd the Americans who died at Lexington, Concord and Bunker hill were ‘terrorists’ inasmuch as Bin Laden is a ‘terrorist.’ Among this crowd the word terrorist is always relaxing inside quotation marks like this: “Terrorist.”

So why wasn’t Tim Mcveigh a freedom fighter? He was disillusioned. He was angered by American policies. He decided to get revenge for what he perceived was the American government’s killing of civilians. In his case it wasn’t American support for the Zionist entity, it was his unhappiness over Janet Reno’s siege of the Waco compound that led to the deaths of over 80 Americans at the hands of other Americans, employed by the federal government. So, for Tim, the government had to go, and the Murrow Federal building in Oklahoma City was a ‘soft target’ sort of like the Sbarro in downtown Jerusalem. The intellectuals inform us that terrorists choose soft targets because they are weak and disadvantaged. Terrorists must use alternative methods to wage their armed struggle because they cannot confront the might of armed states on the battlefield. In addition the intellectuals inform us that terrorists don’t carry out attacks just to kill people, they really desire media attention, they want to strike fear, sometimes they want to compete with other terrorist organizations to ‘score political points.’ The casualties are merely peripheral. Tim didn’t really want those 150 people dead, he was merely engaging in ‘Armed struggle’ like the Weaver family at Ruby Ridge.

Except there is one difference between the Weaver family, the Branch Dividians at Waco and Tim. The Weavers and David Koresh fought honorably to the death. That may seem far fetched, after all they were outgunned and outnumbered by the unbelievable power of the U.S government’s ‘shock and awe’. But so was Geronimo.

There are roughly four schools of thought regarding the age old question of ‘who is a terrorist’. One school argues that terrorism is a widespread phenomenon and the definition is quite broad. It takes in the French resistance, the American bombing of Germany in the second world war, the American revolutionaries who fought the British, Tim Mcveigh and Bin Laden. For this school terrorism is sort of a catch all, but sometimes the phrase is found in quotations(the Chomsky School of terrorism). Another school argues that the word ‘terrorist’ is a loaded phrase that is in fact ‘racist’ and thus should never be employed(the Reuters school of terrorism). Another school argues that ‘terrorists’ are criminals and that they can be brought to justice and tried in international courts, which are famously efficient, and then imprisoned in the ultra-harsh prison conditions found in the Hague(The Wesley Clark school of terrorism). The last school seeks to create internationally accepted definitions for terrorism and create models whereby given a certain set of definitions each group can be labeled ‘terrorist’ or ‘freedom fighter’ or ‘football hooligan(the Guy Stecklov school of terrorism).’

I would argue that terrorism is a lot like obscenity, you know it when you see it(as in Justice Potter Stewart’s quip during the case Jacobellis v. Ohio, 1964),. Terrorists are essentially cowards who don’t like to fight like men. Terrorists are also essentially bullies. This is why all terrorists that have ever come to power commit the worst crimes and abuse people in the most degrading way. The Muslim terrorists and the Saudi Arabian regime are two of the same. One works as a coward, murdering civilians while the other works as a dictatorship, sentencing women to lashes for being promiscuous while importing prostitutes to feed the sexual appetites of the royals. The Communist terrorists in Russia were identical. As terrorists they were cowards, but as leaders of the Soviet Union they ate caviar while their people starved in the millions.

Leftists have mistaken the cowardly nature of terrorists for their weakness. They say that the terrorist is simply weaker than the state and thus must engage in his acts. This is where intellectuals get tongue tied about terrorism and it is why they confuse Bin Laden with the American revolutionaries at Lexington and Concord. On April 19th, 1775 the British advance guard under Major Pitcairn came marching up the road towards the town of Lexington in the Massachusetts Bay colony. It was an awesome force 700 well trained British soldiers. They came upon 77 American militiamen commanded by John Parker mustered on the town common. After a brief standoff the British opened fire on the militia, killing 8 of them. At the nearby town of Concord, the militia retired to nearby forests and hills and sniped at the British column, eventually killing 73 Englishmen. The September 11th terrorists are nothing like the men of Lexington common. In the one case where the 9/11 terrorists were confronted with resistance, aboard Flight 93, they ran like dogs and immediately crashed the plane they had hijacked. So everytime someone asks ‘is this terrorism’ they don’t need Chomsky or Wes Clark, Guy Stecklov, Reuters, or the Council on American Islamic Relations to answer that question. They just need to answer the Lexington and Concord question. Would the ‘terrorist’ have stood at Lexington? If the answer is yes, then he is not a terrorist.

2) The historiography of Partition
Seth J. Frantzman
August 16th, 2007

A half a million people were killed. Twelve million became refugees. On the 14th of August, 1947, Lord Mountbatten and his wife, who was having an affair with the Pandit Jawaharlal Nerhu, scurried out of India. In their wake they left the greatest mass movement of peoples in history. Pakistan is celebrating sixty years of independence this year. India is also celebrating. But they are not celebrating the same thing.

In commemoration of this anniversary The International Herald Tribune ran two editorials entitled the ‘Legacy of Partition.’ The first was by the Pakistani Muslim Mohsin Hamid, an author. The second was by the Indian Hindu Ramachandra Guha, author of India After Gandhi. Hamid’s editorial speaks of a birth of ‘exceptional pain.’ His father was a member of the Muslim League, the brainchild of the British and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, which had campaigned through bloody riots for the creation of a Muslim state from the Raj. His father was stabbed by Muslim rioters in Lahor in 1947. They thought he was a ‘kaffir’, a Hindu. But Hamid speaks of his mother who had a ‘fierce love for Pakistan.’ Hamid speaks of a Pakistan that has wielded a dagger against itself, first against his father, then when Bangladesh broke away in 1971. Hamid speaks of Ayub Khan’s coup of 1958 and Zia ul-Haq’s coup in 1977. He speaks of the Islamization of his country and of being ‘fiercely patriotic.’ Hamid wish for the anniversary is that ‘we finally take the knife we have turned too often upon ourselves and place it firmly in its sheath.’ The message is clear; be fiercely patriotic but don’t harm yourself through too much extremism.

Ramachandra Guha’s lesson is quite different. He begins by relating the story of the destruction of the Ayodha mosque in 1990 because of a ‘property dispute’ involving the ‘alleged ruins of a Hindu temple marking the birthplace of the legendary God-king Ram.’
Guha speaks of the ‘right wing Bharatiya Janata Party’ trying to ‘reclaim’ the site. For Guha the march to Ayodha by the Hindu masses ‘represented a grave threat to the inclusive, plural, secular and democratic idea of India.’ Guha’s hero is Nehru, who like Gandhi before him, ensured the world that ‘India would not be a Hindu Pakistan.’ Guha speaks of the ‘Hindu storm-troopers’ who intimidated the Muslim victims. Guha complains that Muslims are ‘conspicuously under-represented in law, medicine, business, and in the upper echelons of public service. Guha claims that as a young man he spoke ‘Hindustani’ not ‘Hindu’. Guha speaks of dreaming about his Muslim Pakistani friend, Tariq Bunari, and how ‘I dreamt of my Muslim friend at a time when my fellow Hindus were mounting attacks on Muslims.’
Guha complains that Delhi ‘once a center of Islamic civilization, became a city of and for Hindus and Sikhs.’ Guha whines that ‘the BJP preached a distrust of Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular’ after 100,000 Hindus were forced to flee Kashmir due to terrorist attacks in 1989. ‘Hindu radicals demanded retribution against Muslims in the rest of India.’ Guha speaks of going to Lahore in 1995 and visiting the last remaining Hindu family in the city. He makes sure to visit the Mosque built by Aurangzeb. At the mosque Guha is ‘seized with fear’ because it is Friday prayers and he has in his pocket a statue of the Hindu God Ganesh and although he says “I am not a believer’ he is afraid that they will see the ‘infidel’ in their midst. Guha sums up his article by noting that the creation ‘a Muslim homeland [in Pakistan] made the Muslims who remained in India even more vulnerable.’ The message is clear; India is being made too Hindu, Muslims are vulnerable and poor and Hindus are assaulting them at every turn and trying to ‘rewrite’ Indian history.

So the sum total of two articles on India and Pakistan is that the Muslim is patriotic and the Hindu feels sorry for the Muslims. The Hindu, who makes sure to point out that he doesn’t believe in his religion and makes sure to search out mosques and Muslims wherever he goes, only thinks about Muslims. He has been conditioned for this worldview by westernism. As a secular wealthy Indian he looks to the west for inspiration. The west teaches moral-relativism and caring for minorities, so his life is one where the only people that matter in India are the Muslims and being sure not to offend them. It is strange the idea that by giving the Muslims a country in Pakistan it actually made Muslims victims because now they were ‘vulnerable’ in India. Had they not been given a country they would be victims because they had to live under someone else’s rule. The Muslim always wins. He is always the victim. In the Muslim country the Muslim is patriotic and doesn’t ever speak of minorities. In the non-Muslim country all the non-Muslim elites spend their time worried about offending the Muslim.

It is amazing that in the partition of India the Muslims demanded their own state and received it. It is amazing that in the partition of Palestine the Muslims received another state. Islam is always successful this way. There is only one Jewish state in the world. There is only one Hindu state in the world. Yet those states are full of intellectuals who claim that they must be more ‘pluralistic’ and give Muslims special rights. There are forty Muslim run countries in the world. None of them take any notice of their minorities or worry about offending them. In China Muslims are the only group allowed to have more than one child under China’s birth control laws. Why? China is worried about offending the Muslims. In India the Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus may only marry one woman and they must give her alimony and child custody in many divorce cases governed by secular civil laws. Muslims can marry up to four wives and divorce them at will in their special Family Law courts where they are governed by Shariah law. Any attempts to create a uniform Civil Code for Muslims and everyone else in India have been stopped for fear of ‘offending’ Muslims.

Pakistani history does not mention the pre-Islamic history of Pakistan. Pakistan history begins with Islam. According to Pakistani history books there were never any Sikhs or Hindus or Buddhists in Pakistan. Turkish history teaches that there were never any Armenians. But Indian history must always include laudatory chapters on the benefits of ‘Islamic civilization.’ Guha reminds us how terrible it is that Delhi has forgotten the contributions of Islam. He must visit Aurangzeb’s mosque. But when it comes to Ayodhya he speaks of its ‘alleged’ Hindu past. So his history too begins with Islam. He is worried that the ‘right wing’ BJP wants to emphasize India’s pre-Islamic Hindu past. He doesn’t want Muslim students to be ‘offended’. So Hindus in India must learn how wonderful the Muslim colonization from 1000-1857 was. Aurangzeb spent his life destroying Hindu temples and slaughtering and enslaving ‘kaffirs’. In fact slavery was brought to India by Islam. But Hindus must learn how wonderful it was for them to be colonized and enslaved and for mosques to built atop their temples. Everywhere else in the world it is common for people to teach the evils of colonialism and slavery, but in India they must glory in their own enslavement.

3) A history of Islam in America: 2001-2007
Seth J. Frantzman
August 19th, 2007

Since September 11th Islam has become an important part of the fabric of America. In historically this may be 9/11’s greatest impact, the slow Islamization of America.

The Koranization of America or ‘why do they hate us’

The first step in this process was the call for every American to ‘read the Koran’ to ‘understand why they hate us.’ A college in South Carolina assigned the Koran as required reading for incoming Freshmen. Every Borders and Barnes and Nobles book store created a special ‘Islam’ stand at the front of the store and every customer was bombarded with books about Islam, most of them written in a sycophantic, loving manner that describes Islam as a ‘religion of peace.’ This was when the ‘religion of peace’ rhetoric first entered the American psyche.

The rise of Muslim ‘civil rights’: CAIR

The hitherto unknown Council on American Islamic Relations suddenly got a spotlight in every major newspaper and television program. According to them Muslims were now suffering ‘racism’ everywhere in America. Muslims were being deprived of their rights. It was CAIR and its lawyers who made sure that airline security searched an equal number of 2 year old children and 90 year old grandmothers as they did 25 year old Arab males. In 2006 CAIR sent half a dozen Imams onto a plane and they prayed on the plane, and spoke loudly in Arabic, moved from their assigned seats, moved back and forth from First Class to third class and asked for special seat belt extenders despite not being overweight. They were consequently thrown off the plane when an Arabic speaker heard them speaking about Saddam and Osama. They sued the airline and threatened to sue the passengers who had complained about them. CAIR also launched lawsuits against Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Jihad Watch and Anti-Cair, any website or person who condemned them. But their bully got a setback in July of 2007 when Congress made it illegal to sue people who had merely reported suspicious behavior. Like many Islamist organizations, CAIR is run by converts.

The Islamization of the leftist movement(lesbians and 9/11), ‘Jewish-Muslims for peace’, ‘racism’

The greatest impact of 9/11 was it gave the impetus to those intellectuals who had critiqued American policy in the past to suddenly find that their cause dovetailed with Islam. Beginning with professors in Colorado such as Ward Churchill and in New Mexico America was described as being not only ‘at fault’ for 9/11 but the victims of 9/11 were called ‘little Eichmans’. One leftist writer in New York wrote an essay entitled ‘the myth of the innocent civilian’ that claimed the 9/11 victims were not innocent because they had spoken up for the Palestinians. Muslims were supposedly the victims of ‘hate crimes’ after 9/11 although all of the hate crimes that were revealed in the media were killings of Sikhs, rather than Muslims.
But it didn’t take long to see the leftist-Muslim alliance come into being. Only two weeks after 9/11 in Tucson, Arizona a Lesbian activist group led a march with Muslims against the bombing of Afghanistan. Muslim-Jewish ‘peace marches’ began where ‘progressive’ Jews, many of whome had never been to Synagogue and didn’t believe in God would march arm in arm with religious Muslim men and their covered women to a mosque and pray. The Jewish women made sure to cover their hair and dress modestly so as not to ‘offend Islam.’ This became the cornerstone of the leftist-Muslim alliance. The left argued that America had ‘offended’ Islam through her music, food, attire, and foreign policy. American support for Israel and Saudi Arabia, American support for the mujahadin in Afghanistan had supposedly created a ‘blowback’ as Noam Chomsky called it.
The left abandoned its other minority groups such as blacks, gays and Mexicans and suddenly adopted Islam as its newest ‘cause celebre’. Leftists flocked en masse to learn Arabic. Then they went to Israel to protest the ‘occupation’. The enrolled en masse in schools such as CASA in Egypt in order to ‘learn about Islam.’ Numerous leftists converted to Islam as the religion became the new Buddhism, something romantic and exotic.
Arab voters in America universally turned to the left and religious Muslims began showing up at Democratic rallies alongside gays. Prior to 2001 Muslims had always voted Republican because they oppose abortion, oppose gay rights, are pro-family, pro-religion and are for the death penalty. However 9/11 changed all that as they convinced themselves there was a ‘war on Islam’. Ironically Democratic party leaders such as John Kerry snuggled up to Muslim leaders such as the former Iranian president, who he sat next to at Davos in Switzerland and referred to America as a ‘pariah’.

The Islamization of the University

The greatest Islamization has taken place at the University. Reading the Koran is part of the course of study at some places. Universities such as George Mason have established government funded prayer rooms for Muslims with separate areas for men and women. Floor baths have been established in Minnesota at the cost of $25,000 per foot bath so that Muslims can pray five times a day(they are supposedly required to wash their feat, oddly enough Neggelwassers or traditional Jewish washing cups have not been established so Jews can wash their hands before they eat, a requirement for religious Jews. The ACLU opposed the latter, just as it opposed allowing the Boy Scouts to use public parks).

The slow Islamization of America

The United States has issued ‘happy Eid’ postage stamps since 9/11. Bush has celebrated Ramadan. Driver licenses have allowed women to cover their faces with the Islamic naqib. American teachers have begun covering their hair and having ‘Muslim week’ and ‘Jihad day’ at schools where students make a mock ‘Hajj’ to Mecca and women cover their hair and they learn about the ‘inner Jihad’ against sin. A new Arabic language academy is opening in New York called the Khalil Gibran academy. The Muslim Eids are celebrated in NY and New Jersey schools. Taxi drivers in Minneapolis have begun banning dogs and alcohol from their taxis because Islam forbids alcohol and the touching of dogs(because dogs are compared to Jews in the Koran).

9/11 was a victory for Islam, not because of the death toll of American ‘kaffirs’ but because Islam has now penetrated the psyche of America. This is the opposite affect than the one caused by the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. After Pearl Harbor Americans didn’t study the Shinto religion, they didn’t learn Japanese(except to break codes) and none of them wanted to convert to Buddhism. American students weren’t forced to learn the history of Japan. Japanese people didn’t become ‘exotic.’ Americans weren’t sued for reporting suspicious activities by Japanese in America. Americans didn’t accuse their government of suffering ‘blowback’ for policies in Asia. Americans didn’t describe the victims of the attack as ‘little nazis’. Americans didn’t suddenly start having postage stamps for Japanese-Americans or celebrating Buddhist holidays. There were no peace marches on behalf of Japan. Americans weren’t forced to learn that the nationalist ideology of Japan was ‘really peaceful’ and that Japanese were a ‘people of peace.’ America is lucky in this respect. Had things been different in 1941 when Japan and America declared war on America, the U.S may not have been able to confront Nazism and Japanese nationalism, because too many Americans would have been supporting Nazism and asking Americans to ‘understand that Nazism is a movement of peace’ and that it was ‘blowback for WWI’.

4) Only a little better than Saudi Arabia?
August 23rd, 2003
Seth J. Frantzman

Between May and June of 2007 Foreign Policy magazine conducted a survey of 108 American foreign policy experts. The list apparently included academics, diplomats and Americans who are influential in foreign policy.

Question13 stated the following: “Below is a list of U.S allies. Please choose the one country that least serves U.S national security interests. The top four countries that were listed as not serving American interests were Russian, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They received 34, 22, 17 and 14 votes respectively(the next highest was Mexico, which 5 people felt was not serving American interests.) Basically what this indicates is that Israel is only a slightly better ally of American than Saudi Arabia.

This is quite extraordinary. All but one of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. Up to 20% of the insurgents currently fighting in Iraq today are from Saudi Arabia. Saudis are responsible for the dissemination of the Wahhabi Islamist doctrines that have been responsible for recruiting terrorists from Indonesia to Sudan, Bosnia and Chechnya among other places. Saudi Islamists have turned up everywhere there is terrorism, from Kashmir to Nigeria. Despite the fact that the U.S government is in denial, the ‘war on terror’ is really a war against Saudi Arabia. When George W. Bush admitted that Americans were ‘addicted to oil’ he was specifically pointing the finger at Saudi Arabia, whose dominance of the oil trade is used to blackmail the U.S and fund terror. The decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was taken partially in order to wean America of her reliance on Saudi Arabia as an ally and potentially find another ally in a democratic Iraq.

But despite the realization at the highest level of the Bush administration that Saudi is not serving American interests, that it is in fact responsible for the world’s terrorist troubles, it doesn’t seem this fact has sunk in among the foreign policy elites in the U.S. Why is this? How is it that Israel is only slightly better than Saudi Arabia? Israel didn’t produce 19 men who went to America and killed 3,000 people. Israel has been a staunch ally of the United States since 1960 when JFK courted Ben-Gurion to help thwart Communist infiltration of the Middle East. Israel was actively involved in the American policies throughout the region, helping America channel arms to Afghanistan between 1980 and 1990, engaging with Reagan’s cronies in the Iran-Contra scandal and sitting by during the Gulf War while scuds rained down on Tel Aviv. Meanwhile America was forced to send 400,000 men to defend Saudi Arabia against Iraq, sacrificing billions for a country whose people have a passionate hatred of America and who engage in terrorism around the world.

One reason that Israel is ranked only slightly higher than Saudi Arabia is because Saudi works to censor any criticism of it in the West and works through its investments in the media, Islamic charities, human rights organizations such as CAIR and funding of academic studies such as Islamic studies at Universities. One article critical of Saudi Arabia that appeared in the two-horse town of Tucson Arizona in the weekly newspaper known as the Tucson Weekly on page five, on July 6th, 2006 entitled ‘Why do congressmen like Jim Kolbe continue to support a sexist, hate-filled, hypocritical regime?’ engendered an immediate response from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington D.C. In a public statement written by Nail A. Al-Jubeir and issued on July 20th, 2006 the embassy claimed the article was “malicious and offensive to the people of Saudi Arabia. The editorial is grossly inaccurate, hate-filled and potentially libelous.” The state of Saudi Arabia which is one of the wealthiest per capita in the world was willing to sue a columnist at a tiny newspaper because of an article critiquing the Kingdom. Imagine if Israel attempted to sue every columnist or academic that criticized it. The fact that Saudi feels it must reach so far to crush the slightest criticism shows not only how scared it is of losing American support but also shows that it has been able to restrict criticism of it to only the most marginal places. In a sense it has succeeded in silencing American free speech almost as successfully as it has stymied free speech in its own country.
Saudi Arabia remains one of the worst regimes in the world. It imports millions of people to do slave-like work and denies them the most basic human rights. It does not allow women to drive and women may only travel abroad with the permission of their nearest male ‘guardian’. It has a mandatory dress code for women. It does not allow people to enter the country with crosses or any religious memorabilia that is not Islamic. It has famous signs on roads entering Mecca and Madina which separate traffic into ‘Muslims’ bound for the holy cities and ‘non-Muslims’ who may not enter. It is not only an apartheid regime, it is a brutal and disgusting regime. It will take a lot more than 17 American foreign policy experts to finally wake the world up to the danger it poses to peace throughout the globe.

Seth J. Frantzman is in the Doctoral studies program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is also a commentator on current affairs, his work has appeared in the Jerusalem Post, the Tucson Weekly and other publications.

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