A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
December 23rd, 2007
1) Arrogance, the End of Days and Global Warming: The Global warming hysteria reaches new levels every month as people predict that the oceans will rise and consume us, the deserts will take over the world and ‘wild weather’ will cause a new ice age. It is oddly reminiscent of the old End of Days predictions of the 19th century.
2) Is Genocide Modern: Many authors take it for granted that genocide is a modern phenomenon restricted to the 20th century. But genocide is as old as mankind.
3) Hating the other: Ward Churchill, Michael Snatamauro and making the other an ‘eichmann’ in order to justify his murder: Many scholars, politicians and intellectuals these days revel in condemning everyone they disagree with as ‘nazis’. Furthermore they define civilians as ‘little eichmans’ in order to justify mass murder. This is a disturbing phenomenon and it says much about the way in which hating those who hate is used as an excuse to encourage the murder of perfectly innocent people under the pretext that those people are ‘nazis’.
Arrogance, the End of Days and Global Warming
Seth J. Frantzman
December 20th, 2007
Yossi Sarid, a respected journalist and leftist intellectual in Israel toted the line of many when he wrote recently that places in the world are going to "sink and disappear when the icebergs melt, the oceans rise, the storms intensify, the species become extinct and the deserts spread and cover the land." But if one were to think about this statement with some retrospect in mind they might realize that this is not such an original idea. The belief that the end of days is coming is as old as Christianity and has its origins in the Old testament and elsewhere. The fact that global warming hysterics have taken up the same tune should bother people when they come to consider questions surrounding the 'greenhouse affect' and 'global warming' and the latest obsession with environmental catastrophe.
There is a famous postcard of a naked man walking off into the desert while another man in a tweed jacket walking the other way gives him an alarming look. The caption reads "if everyone is thinking the same thing then someone isn't thinking." In the quest to alarm us all about global warming and the coming ice age we are being led into this trap where 'all' the scientists 'believe' the same thing and we are being asked to march in lock step with them.
There are two problems with the global warming hypothesis. The first is that it is extremist. It ascribes all the problems in the world to one simple thing and it claims that if we don't act now the world will end shortly. Listen to Mr. Sarid: "the deserts will spread and cover the land." Does this remind you more of science or something from Deuteronomy or Revelations? The apostle Paul also predicted all sorts of terrible catastrophes and so did half the other prophets in the Bible. Should we perhaps have awarded them the Nobel Peace prize instead of Al Gore for warning us of the coming catastrophe? The Hale-Bop comet people dressed themselves up in purple, cut off their own genitals and killed themselves because of the End of Days. Perhaps they too should join the pantheon of global warming crazies. Or perhaps we should look to the 19th century and all the insane movements that predicted an End of Days such as the Millenarians and the Millerites. Surely those people were no more extreme in their pronouncements than Mr. Sarid and his ilk.
The second problem with the Global warming movement is its emphases on man. Whereas in previous times the End of Days believers claimed that god was going to destroy the world or that Christ was going to return, our secular scientific age demands that it be man who is said to have caused the End of Days. This is a logical assumption since science cannot blame god for global warming and the coming desertification/ice melting/wild storms that will come. So science blames me. It blames you. It blames us. But it doesn't just blame us for triggering the problem, it actually claims something more. The Global warming people claim that we, you and I, have the power to destroy the world through our conspicuous consumption. This is the second problem. Global warming theories assume that man is capable of destroying the world. Its not the first time man arrogantly thought he could do so. The builders of the first nuclear bomb huddled in a concrete bunker outside of Alamagordo, New Mexico in 1945 and they too thought that the world might end. At the time some of them believed the detonation of a nuclear bomb would cause a chain reaction that would burn up all the Oxygen in the air. They didn't bother to tell us, the public, of this slight side affect of their new weapon. They went ahead and blew it up and low and behold it didn't destroy the world. Man has become more arrogant since. Man now thinks he has the power to destroy the earth. Is he kidding? One only has to abandon a building for a few years before nature begins to take back that building. Nature is far more powerful than man. Man is only superficially aware of his power. He cuts down an old growth forest and says "look what I have done!" There is an oil spill and he says "I have ruined the environment!" But man has done no such thing. He can only temporarily alter his environment in the most insignificant way. He might be able to kill off Dodo birds but he can't defeat pesky creatures like ants and cockroaches. Killing off Dodo birds is not the same as ending the world through the use of carbon. But man believes it. He believes it so much that he now purchases 'carbon offsets'. The money donated to offset his carbon use goes to NGOs who then pay people to drive around in SUVs and talk about offsetting carbon. Every penny spent on offsetting carbon only increases the amount of carbon being put out. But man is foolish. He says "I can be equal, I can fly my jet plane and donate 1,000 dollars to some obscure charity and I am now no longer guilty." Its no surprise that all the environmental campaigners seem to be the most conspicuous users of big fat carbon producing planes and SUVs. This alone should be enough reason not to trust them. The fact that people make a living, nay, make a career, on whining about the environment should be enough reason not to trust them. But we have the U.N to assure us that there is a 'catastrophic foot shortage' this year. Really? If there was a catastrophic food shortage then wouldn't there be more famines? But I haven't seen posters of any more starving African children with distended bellies being cared for by European women than last year. Are there simply not enough Norwegian women to put in all the pictures, so they haven't distributed them yet? Are they still developing the film?
It is ironic that those who complain about global warming are usually the same people who detest Foxnews. Foxnews has the most alarmist weather reports day after day. Any tiny thunder storm is described as 'Whicked Weather' with a special headline and introduction. According to Foxnews we are suffering the worst ______ everyday. If its not hurricanes its tornadoes and wind chill and ice storms.
When I was a boy I also had to be indoctrinated about global warming. I was even given an assignment to draw a picture of the 'greenhouse affect'. I had to draw a picture of a happy little salmon and how his stream is polluted by 'evil' factories and how dams are built and how pollution causes acid rain that inevitably kills the poor salmon. I was told about how the world would end lest we do something 'now'. I recall being in high school in Jim Wigren's history class and seeing the poster on the wall that predicted the rising sea levels and how much of the earth would disappear But isn't 95% of an ice berg submerged? That’s what I learned about the Titanic disaster. The ice berg was mostly under water so that’s why the captain couldn't see it. Remember? If the North Pole ice cap is going to melt and cause the seas to rise isn't there one slight problem with this hypothesis, namely that 95% of the ice cap is underwater and therefore only 5% stands to be added to the surface of the ocean, producing a one inch rise the world over? After all, what percentage of the sea is taken up by that scary ice cap. People look at Mercator projections and think 'by gosh its huge!' But the Mercator distorts the size of items at the poles, in reality it is not very big. The biggest tragedy of it melting is that people will no longer be able to walk to the pole.
There is no reasoning with 'science'. There is certainly no reasoning with scientific bodies set up the U.N to tell us that the entire world will end and that all the problems of the world are due to our harming the environment. If we wanted to do our part towards alleviating how much we harm the environment we would start by dismantling the U.N and its 60 billion dollar budget and its 100,000 employees and its army and its planes and all the cars and SUVs associated with it. Make the U.N workers ride bicycles, that will ease not only the traffic problem in New York, but also help end global warming, and then they won't have to purchase carbon off-sets.
I put it to you Mr. Ban Ki Moon: do your part to end Global warming and put your foot where your mouth is, put it to the peddle of bicycle the next time you ride to work.
Is Genocide Modern?
Seth J. Frantzman
December 20th, 2007
Mark Levene argues in the book Genocide in the age of the Nation State that genocide is a product of modernity created mostly by the west and especially used against native peoples through imperialism. Benjamin Lieberman makes a similar argument in Terrible Fate: Ethnic-Cleansing in the making of Modern Europe. Ben Kiernan and Robert Gellately have made similar claims. Gary Clayton Anderson in his book Conquest claims that the white man brought 'ethnic-cleansing' to Texas in the 19th century and Ward Churchill makes similar claims about the genocide of native-Americans. Samantha Power in A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide claims that America has sat by while many genocides took place and in doing so enabled them.
The problem with genocide, so some authors tell us, is in its definition. Many like to use the U.N's definition of genocide. But seeing as how that definition didn't seem to apply to the Rwandan genocide and yet got turned around so that Israel was accused of committing a genocide against the Palestinians and that the American border was in affect a 'genocide' against Mexican immigrants(see the book Annihilating Difference), one must be cautious to rely to heavily on it. Authors like to define genocide against modernity mostly in order to claim that the West is solely responsible for creating the idea of genocide. Certainly the origins of the word genocide are modern. It implies the destruction of people through the destruction of their genes and thus is linked to eugenics and modern ideas about race. But if we examine the most well know genocide of the 20th century: the Armenian, Cambodian, the Rwandan, the Sudanese and the Holocaust we find that what took place is both diverse and unique. In all but one case(Cambodia), the genocide was directed against an ethnic-linguistic-religious group. In the case of Cambodia the mass killing was only called a genocide because such a large number of people died.
In the 19th century the West is said to have laid the foundations for genocide through its destruction of native populations in the Americas and elsewhere. But here scholars are mistaken. The great killing of natives in the Americas took place long before the birth of the 'modern' world or the 'nation-state'. Before the treaty of Westphalia, most of the natives in the Americas were already dead. Scholars claim 90% died of disease. The subsequent genocide, was no so much a calculated genocide as a slow, grinding reduction of native rights and landholdings. As a percentage less died after 1700 than before. Few countries ever set out to exterminate the native tribes, even if in many cases that was the result. For instance General Crook who fought the Apache never had any hate for them, but his campaign resulted in their destruction. Kit Carson's campaign against the Navajo was especially brutal, but most Navajo survived. By contrast the California tribes were almost completely annihilated and yet few were destroyed in concerted campaigns. Claims that America invented ethnic-cleansing of the natives in Texas seems to ignore the fact that the Spanish had been up to it for years.
I have stated before that Nazism and the Holocaust can be seen as the highest form of Western civilization. This is because in one strange form western civilization produced this strange extremism, this mechanical dark age of cleansing and counting and efficiency gone mad. The Nazi genocide was unique only in its thoroughness. It was not even unique in its ability to kill large numbers of people. In the space of a few months the Hutus butchered, using machetes, 800,000 Tutsi in Rwanda. That was a much higher volume of killing, using primitive weapons, than the Nazis were able to do using modern machinery. Thus the Nazi genocide is unique not for the numbers killed or even the end result, but it is unique for its methods and its organization and bureaucracy of murder. No regime before ever perfected such a bureaucracy devoted to death.
But other regimes in the past perfected killing machines. Many have seen the western colonization of the world as a prelude to genocide. People point to the German campaign against the Herero between 1904 and 1907 that resulted in 80% of the tribe being killed. It is another one of those 'first' genocides of the 20th century along with the Armenian. But what befell the Heroro is not unique in history. Its not first time an empire set about destroying a people.
Tamarlane was famous for it. The Assyrain kings were famous for it. Mohammed did it. The Romans did it. Alexander did it. History is replete with stories of genocide disguised in our vocabulary as massacres. If one wants to find out where a genocide took place they merely need to find mentions of people in history who no longer exist. More often then not a genocide befell them. That is what happened to the Samaritans. It is also what happened to the Carthaginians. It is what happened to the Jewish tribes of Arabia. It is what happened for 2000 years in Africa as Arabs and then Europeans deported millions of Africans as slaves. Genocide is in no way modern, the only thing that is modern is terms like ‘genocide’ and ethnic-cleansing’.
Hating the other: Ward Churchill, Michael Snatamauro and making the other an ‘eichmann’ in order to justify his murder
Seth J. Frantzman
December 17th, 2007
On September 12th, Ward Churchill, an American professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder published an essay entitled Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens(later published as a booklet in 2003 titled On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: reflections on the consequences of U.S. imperial arrogance and criminality). Churchill has since become a cause celebre among the American left with solidarity networks, free speech campaigns, and articles at Chomsky’s website Znet devoted to him. In it he discussed his reflections on 9/11:
“As for those in the World Trade Center... Well, really, let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire - the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved - and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to "ignorance" - a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" - counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in - and in many cases excelling at - it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.”
In an essay attributed to Harold Thomas entitled ‘The Myth of the Innocent Civilian’ that appeared on a left wing website(http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2007/08/29/the-myth-of-the-innocent-civilian-audio-booklet/) which includes links to other ‘dissident’ websites and Al Jazeera we see an explanation of the theory:
“The Myth of the Innocent Civilian”, questions the relationship that people have with artificial entities such as governments and corporations. An artificial entity does not spring into existence on its own, has no will or intelligence of its own and cannot be held accountable for “behavior”. Only people can reason, act and take responsibility.
In exchange for a variety of benefits, citizens submit to “government” demands which include all manner of taxation, licensing, and even compelled servitude. Great numbers of citizens are even directly employed by government. Yet when confronted with evidence of gross misdeeds committed in the name of government, citizens typically do not see themselves as accountable or responsible in any way.”
Michael Santomauro is a prominent New York leftist who runs the website www.reportersnotebook.com/. He signs his blog with the word ‘peace’ and his essays have appeared on many leftist websites such as Counterpunch.org, alongside essays by people like Noam Chomsky. In his essay the “Myth of the Innocent Civilian he noted the following after 9/11:
“I think if the typical American does not make an attempt to understand the damage our weapons have inflicted on the Arabs by proxy with Israel and the continuous dishonest one-sided United States foreign policy in the region, then maybe we deserve more of what we got on Sept. 11, 2001…The typical, now dead American from 9/11 lived his life knowing these facts and not caring about it. The arrogance and the callousness was part of his everyday being. Was his life worth living if he didn't care how the American government was using his tax money to hurt people? - to destroy the livelihoods of an entire region?.... Nine-eleven should be a reminder that if more Americans have an early death, it is because of the end result of not caring. Peace.”
In a follow-up essay in which he declared why he wouldn’t apologize for his first essay he noted his observations after 9/11:
“I notice all the Muslim owned shops closed-up... Afraid….Actually, all the restaurants that are non-Muslim owned were open - packed with diners….he tells me that on Tuesday morning on 9/11 when the bank was getting ready to close early his Jewish clients had happy smirks on their face.”
A commentator named Sarah expanded on this theory in a discussion at Wikipedia over the content of Wikipedia’s ‘List of Massacres’. Apparently the discussion had something to do with Northern Ireland but her explanation of the question of innocence is what is important:
“Leaving aside the question of whether settlers (ie ethnic cleansers) can ever be ‘innocent’ - there was NO "Irish Government" at the time; there was the occupying Crown forces and their "plantations" (genocide and ethnic cleansing in modern parlance). Even conceding the bizarre notion of "settler innocence" there is no evidence of a massacre of settlers - just the battles against the yeomanry. On the other hand there is voluminous evidence of the massacres done by the planters during and after the rebellion. (Sarah777 (talk) 23:33, 16 December 2007 (UTC))”
These four extended quotes serve as the starting point for a discussion of the way in which the modern left or extreme left has created an ‘other’ in order to justify its need to hate something. It is interesting how this works. These leftists have decided that civilians are not interested based on them being complicit in their government’s harm of others and thus the civilians are re-defined as ‘eichmanns’ or Nazis and thus they are no longer innocent and deserve death by those who ‘push back’. What is most fascinating is that in doing this the leftist has re-defined all those he hates as ‘Nazis’ and then declared that Nazis deserve to be hated and killed. In doing so he doesn’t realize it but rather than simply stating that Nazis deserve death he has implicitly also revealed that all those he disagrees with, especially complacent civilians, deserve death. If only they were to be activists like a good leftist, then they could be spared by those who ‘push back’.
But what is most fascinating about this dialogue of the left is what it reveals about hate. Leftists cast a lot of dispersions on those they regard as being hateful. The crime of the racist is that he hates. The Crime of the Republican is that he hates. The crime of the Homophobe is that he hates. The Crime of the Christian fundamentalist is that he hates. The crime of the Islamophobe is that he is a racist and that he hates. The Crime of the Nazi is that he hates. The Crime of George Bush is that he hates. Hate is usually what is behind the reason that leftists have a negative comment about something. Leftists are said to be ‘anti-hate’ or they march to ‘stop the hate’. But what is most fascinating about the way the hater is transformed into him who must be hated and deserves death is the transformation that takes place in the psyche of the leftist. In his campaign against hate he becomes as virulent and hateful as those he claims are the haters. In his campaign against racism he declares all white people racist. In his campaign against Israel he declares all Americans ‘little eichmanns’ for supporting the American government which supports Israel.
Hate is a strange thing. It may be typical of many people. But what is most fascinating is that hating those who hate is now the vague among the left. This is a very sad detail of the evolution of leftist. Radical hate is not pretty and its manifests itself in a very deep and instinctual way among those who describe themselves as leftists. It is why leftists have an increasingly knee jerk reaction against comments they deem ‘racist’ and against those they deem ‘racist’. But their extreme reaction merely reveals their own hate.
It is an irony that in the campaign to ‘stop the hate’ the protestors have themselves become hateful of those they have labeled haters. The campaign has grown to such proportions that civilians are described as ‘eichmann’ as an excuse to revel in their deaths. This re-labeling civilians as accomplices has a strange reverberation in the history of genocide. The way that genocidal regimes have been able to excuse the mass murder of people, in fact they way that Islamists have been able to justify murdering civilians, is by labeling them deserving of death. The liberal has done the same by labeling those he hates and civilians ‘eichmanns’. Since a Nazi deserves death in the eyes of the liberal by labeling all civilians collaborators with Nazism he has implicitly said that all civilians deserve death. This type of attitude is reminiscent of the Nazi and Stalinist era and its protestations that ‘no one is innocent’. The way in which Communist justified the mass killing of people was to label them ‘exploiters’ or ‘capitalists’ or ‘Kulaks’. Labels are an easy way to de-humanize people in order to justify killing them. The Hutus called the Tutsis ‘cockroaches’ in order to justify the murder of them.
Liberals are quite familiar with this. They always like to remind us that hateful people use labels to de-humanize people. They frequently claim that Israelis dehumanize Arabs by calling them ‘rats’ or some other label. But it is interesting to note that the leftist-liberal has not been able to escape this dehumanizing and labeling in his own hate.
Perhaps one should hate Nazis. But hating people is not a good policy, especially if one seeks to ‘stop the hate.’ Hate has a way of getting out of control, especially when one begins expanding the bounds of who deserves to be hated. One can see just how easily it was for the label Nazi to grow beyond its original use. Eichmann was one man but now his name is used to describe every American civilian. It is perhaps an irony that the same people who use the word Nazi so loosely to describe American civilians are the same ones who describe the bombing of German cities in the Second World War as war crime. However by this definition of the ‘myth of the innocent civilian’ the German inhabitants of Dresden were certainly less innocent than the American employees in the twin towers. But the leftist-liberal doesn’t see that. He doesn’t see that the German civilians in Dresden were culpable for Nazism. He does however think that Americans, and foreigners who had the ill fortune to work in the twin towers were guilty of being ‘little Eichmanns.’
One problem with terrorism is that it disproportionately affects working people. Very few intellectuals die in terror attacks. This is perhaps a shame. Intellectuals like to pontificate a lot about terrorism. They like to act as judge and jury regarding who deserves to be a victim of terrorism and who does not. They describe “settlers” as ‘ethnic-cleansers’ and property owners as genociders and thus declare that they deserve death. But where exactly does Noam Chomsky and his ilk think they came from? They can claim that their fellow Americans deserve death but they themselves are not very far removed from those Americans, despite their residence in the ivory tower. They are juiced into the capitalist market, they shop at the same stores and they receive American tax dollars to fund their rights to free speech at American Universities. Their ancestors were also ‘settlers’. The problem with history is it usually victimizes the wrong people. Academics rarely die in terrorist attacks because they are shielded from them by the fact that they are wealthy and work in un-crowded environments. In Israel the majority of the 1000 victims of the Second Intifada were working people who used buses for transportation and soldiers. Needless to say few academics use buses and none serve in the armed forces. People like Ward Churchill deserve to be dispatched to the front. For too long academics have escaped the dangers of the conflicts they themselves support and fuel with their hate. Professors may determine that I am no innocent civilian, but I do not think they are innocent. I think that if someone were to bring vengeance upon the intellectuals who have for too long called everyone else ‘Nazi’ that one would be warranted to do so. Ward Churchill speaks of those who ‘push back’. Perhaps one day people will tire of being described as Nazis and they will show Churchill how the Nazis actually dealt with those who insulted them. In fact the very existence of people like Mr. Churchill shows the degree to which we are not in fact Nazis, had we been Nazis people like Mr. Churchill would have been gassed long ago. He should glory in the fact that civilians and workers are so docile in the face of his hate and vitriol which is funded by their tax dollars. He should have been lynched long ago, then he might know the face of hate and then at least he would have an excuse to judge all of us and decide that we deserve death. Hitler once noted in a speech he gave that “when I hear the word ‘intellectual’ the first thing I do is draw my gun.” Perhaps those deemed ‘little eichmanns’ would do well to arm themselves. We are tired of being condemned to death because people think we are ‘nazis’. Too many nations which consist of perfectly decent people have already been trampled under foot because of this slander.