Monday, December 13, 2010

Nazi, British, and Arab Anti-Semitism: The Missing Links

The latest release from The National Archives, Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence, and the Cold War. As The New York Times writes:
...In chilling detail, the report also elaborates on the close working relationship between Nazi leaders and the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who later claimed that he sought refuge in wartime Germany only to avoid arrest by the British.

In fact, the report says, the Muslim leader was paid “an absolute fortune” of 50,000 marks a month (when a German field marshal was making 25,000 marks a year). It also said he energetically recruited Muslims for the SS, the Nazi Party’s elite military command, and was promised that he would be installed as the leader of Palestine after German troops drove out the British and exterminated more than 350,000 Jews there.

On Nov. 28, 1941, the authors say, Hitler told Mr. Husseini that the Afrika Corps and German troops deployed from the Caucasus region would liberate Arabs in the Middle East and that “Germany’s only objective there would be the destruction of the Jews.”

The report details how Mr. Husseini himself was allowed to flee after the war to Syria — he was in the custody of the French, who did not want to alienate Middle East regimes — and how high-ranking Nazis escaped from Germany to become advisers to anti-Israeli Arab leaders and “were able to carry on and transmit to others Nazi racial-ideological anti-Semitism.”

“You have an actual contract between officials of the Nazi Foreign Ministry with Arab leaders, including Husseini, extending after the war because they saw a cause they believed in,” Dr. Breitman said. “And after the war, you have real Nazi war criminals — Wilhelm Beisner, Franz Rademacher and Alois Brunner — who were quite influential in Arab countries.”

In October 1945, the report says, the British head of Palestine’s Criminal Investigation Division told the assistant American military attaché in Cairo that the mufti might be the only force able to unite the Palestine Arabs and “cool off the Zionists. Of course, we can’t do it, but it might not be such a damn bad idea at that.”

Saturday, December 04, 2010

U.S. Flood Relief Ops in Pakistan Completed

Pakistan soldiers stand in formation during a ceremony at Ghazi Aviation Base, Pakistan, Dec. 2, 2010. The ceremony marked the end of U.S. military humanitarian airlift flights in Pakistan. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Kruger/Released)

U.S. Soldiers with Delta Company, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade pose for a photo before a ceremony at Ghazi Aviation Base, Pakistan, Dec. 2, 2010. The ceremony marked the end of U.S. military humanitarian airlift flights in Pakistan. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Kruger/Released)
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata speaks during a ceremony at Ghazi Aviation Base, Pakistan, Dec. 2, 2010. The ceremony marked the end of U.S. military humanitarian airlift flights in Pakistan. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Kruger/Released)

Ceremony Marks End of Pakistan Flood Relief Operations

Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs

Story by Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON - U.S. troops supporting the humanitarian relief effort to flood-stricken Pakistan ended their mission, Dec. 2.

Pakistani officials hosted a ceremony marking the occasion in Islamabad, the country's capital.
At the end of operations, 18 U.S. military helicopters and about 350 U.S. service members were conducting airlift missions.

"This was not the beginning, and it was not the end. This is a continuation of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship," said Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik, commander of the Pakistan army's 11th Corps.

At the effort's peak, the United States deployed 26 helicopters, multiple C-130 and C-17 cargo aircraft and several hundred service members working in close partnership with Pakistani military forces. The floods affected more than 20 million people in Pakistan beginning in July.

"We have been honored to partner with the military forces of Pakistan to bring aid and comfort for those in need," said Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, deputy commander of Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan and the deployed Task Force commander. "The support, camaraderie and spirit of cooperation and shared effort have been extraordinary."

U.S. officials stressed that while the military humanitarian effort is ending, the United States will continue financial relief. The U.S. government is providing more than $571 million to assist Pakistan with relief and recovery efforts for flood victims.

The Islamabad ceremony was a chance to thank the combined and joint task force of U.S. and Pakistani military and civilian aid agencies, who provided food, shelter and aerial evacuation for tens of thousands of Pakistanis affected by the floods.

American helicopters delivered humanitarian aid to villages cut off by the flooding of the Indus River. Choppers also rescued more than 40,000 Pakistanis during the past five months of operations. Air Force C-130s and C-17 cargo aircraft delivered bulk goods to distribution sites around the country.
U.S. aircraft delivered more than 25 million pounds of relief supplies during the operation.

When the floods struck, Army helicopters from neighboring Afghanistan were among the first international aircraft on the scene. Marine helicopters from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Peleliu replaced the Army helicopters by the end of September. Helicopters from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit joined the effort in September.

The U.S. military humanitarian effort worked closely with Pakistani military and civilian authorities to ensure the aid got where it was needed, when it was needed, Defense Department officials said. Service members also worked closely with international aid organizations to transport goods and people.

Unusually heavy monsoon rains triggered the floods through the Swat River Valley -- an area that was a key battleground against the Pakistani Taliban last year. Flooding proceeded downstream, spilling out of the country's tribal areas to its more populous provinces.

The effort now shifts to recovery and reconstruction, and U.S. embassy officials promised to help in the tasks that lie ahead.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Pic Some Wanted to Ban from PDF

100904-N-9565D-065 JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (Sept. 4, 2010) Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class William Thompson, assigned to the Star Warriors of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 209, receives a hug and kiss from his wife and son during a homecoming celebration at the Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility. VAQ-209 just completed a three month forward deployed tour to Afghanistan is support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clifford L. H. Davis/Released)

U.S. Navy Picture Thread

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photos: U.S. Military Flood Relief in Afghanistan

No, the helicopter isn't in battle; it's a precaution. Check out my thread at the Pakistan Defence Forum: link

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More thoughts on the Ground-Zero Mosque

I agree that, at the start, this was a badly considered decision. But when it turned into a judgment on all Muslims, the argument changed.

Ah, that’s where we are on tough ground.
However, the claim that “We cannot judge all Muslims” is also a kind of category error, isn’t it? Hardly anyone says, “We cannot judge all Al Qaeda”, yes? If Americans take on faith rather than experience that Muslims are a group just like any other that may be good for an initial assumption, but why shouldn’t it be modified by actions, facts, and context?

There are lots of people out there whom, when the Nazi-induced Holocaust of Jews is mentioned, or the violence in Darfur, reply by saying, “That’s terrible and the Israelis are just as bad, just look at what they do to the Palestinians.” These people are invoking a social convention that no group is any worse or better than any other, so the actions of Israel or America MUST have been as bad as their relatives, countrymen, or co-religionists were in similar situations.

While you can’t blame 9-11 on EVERY Muslim, a significant percentage of Muslims endorsed their violence, and an even larger percentage of Muslims do not see it as their duty to oppose such terrorism. In my opinion, that should not be forgotten, especially not by Muslims themselves, some of whom want the Cordoba House site so they can portray Muslims as primarily victims of the 9-11 assault. That’s about as honest as the Japanese claim that they were victims of WWII due to the fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Cordoba House can be built, or not. Either way, what matters is the effect upon Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Will it radicalize America’s Muslims, causing division between them and non-Muslim Americans? Is that the purpose of its backers? I imagine that purpose could also be served even more cheaply by canceling the project, with the backers citing American intolerance as the reason.

But if Cordoba House is truly open – if it is planned as a real public facility with prayer areas for all, a mission statement in its lease (for that ownership needs to be changed), and a humbling and apologetic attitude by its spokesmen, then Cordoba House could be a real instrument of healing. Mosques can always have their management changed, by fair means or foul, so what the Rauf-of-the-day says matters little. Instead, the backers can make a voluntary yet binding declaration and contract with the community. It’s their choice, and nothing in the law or Constitution compels them to go either way.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pakistan: Huge scale of flood disaster dwarfs relief efforts

The U.S. military is doing what it can, but it won't be enough. Airlift distributive capacity is probably under 900 tons per day. With 20,000,000 people displaced, Pakistan needs to distribute on the order of TEN THOUSAND tons per day - more like THIRTY thousand.

They aren't going to make it. Unsmiling children like her are the lucky ones. I guess over half a million Pakistanis will be dead by next week.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On the "Ground-Zero" Mosque

Charles Johnson writes:
Krauthammer can’t possibly be ignorant of these facts. So why is he still repeating the falsehoods?...Krauthammer should just come out and say it if he thinks the government should try to stop Cordoba House from being built, instead of indulging in this creepy sideways populism.

The law permits Cordoba House to be built. That doesn't mean doing so is a good idea. Muslims should know that it will take only one Imam fear-preaching there, claiming, "This is evidence of the success of our assault on America; our brand of Islam will conquer the world!" to create long-lasting anger and hatred between Muslims and non-Muslims in America.

Not all religions are created equal, nor do their followers necessarily follow the same ethics. Muslims are free to build Cordoba House. Whether they will actually support doing so is something else, for some may get the message that it isn't bigotry that opposes them, but grief and sensitivity. By their choice shall we judge them.

As George Washington wrote to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island:
...happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens...May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

Cross-posted at LGF and PDF: link1 link2

Thursday, July 29, 2010

PDF Guest post: "chintu"

Hello everybody,
First of all I would like to tell you that I am quite a frequent visitor of PDF. I like to read all the topics that are posted here. For the past 20-30 days I became a member of PDF and I was banned seven times. All I did was replying to those people who disgraced india, Hinduism and hindus. I am not at all posting this post out of frustration. I will speak only the truth.

So here are my observations about PDF, Pakistanis and islam:

1. Moderators and admins of PDF are highly communal. They don’t ban their own fellow Pakistani muslims even if they post highly deterioratory remarks against india, hindus and Hinduism. I was enraged and gave them befitting replies though in a civilized manner.
A word of advice to mods and admins: Give a fair treatment to everybody. Your current behaviour speaks volume about your credibility. If you don’t want Indians to be a part of PDF then frankly say so. You call yourself a “musalmaan” then show some “eemaan” at least.

2. Our Pakistani friends are so naïve. It appears that either they don’t know the truth at all or simply don’t want to accept the truth. India is not your enemy at all. In recent years it is forced to do some activities that destabilize Pakistan. WHY?? Because it has now realised that it should play its enemy’s own dirty game to defeat it. This policy is necessary for its survival. Let Pakistan taste its own medicine.

3. Our Pakistani members post some highly biased articles that are based on various conspiracy theories and have no credibility at all and they feed their imaginations with it.
Why do you think that suddenly the entire world equates Pakistan with terror?? There must be some reasons behind it. Some of the world can be mad but the entire world cannot be mad. What do you people think??

4. Now-a-days our world is blessed with internet. Why can’t Pakistanis clear their doubt on various issues on the internet? Rather than posting illogical posts on PDF they can put internet on much better use by clearing their doubts on various conspiracy theories that sprout in their mind from a neutral source.

5. Pakistanis are a victim of general zia-ul-haq’s hate curriculum taught in their schools and madarsas. Your syllabus is filled with hateful and deterioratory remarks about india, hindus and Hinduism. You people have access to internet now. You should clear your doubts from a neutral source. Pakistani govt. has put the ban various sites for precisely this reason and not for the reasons given by them. They fear that the availability of truth will confuse their current generation and they will begin asking question over Pakistan govt.’s policies against india.

6. Pakistani’s are highly misinformed about india. Yes there is poverty , lack of clean drinking water, ****** toilets; but we are fast improving. You should see the UN report that india is removing poverty at a great speed. Our population is great that’s why number of poor looks great on papers but if you compare this stat in percentage of population then this figure is better explained.

7. Pakistanis easily speak foul about hindus and Hinduism. But they themselves turn blind eye on the current state of crises in islam. Teachings of islam are highly misinterpreted. These maulvis and mullas spread wrong interpretations of islam. They do not encourage to ask questions about islam. All the answer is “what if I am praying and I fart??” types of questions.

8. Pakistanis are obsessed with the Saudis and Turks. Have these nations stood along with you even once in times of need?? You talk about Chinese as your best mate. China is a shrewd country, it is only using you. You people are so blinded by these short term benefits that it is harming you in longer run. If Saudis are the leaders of islam then why don’t they lead the Islamic world in so called “holy war” ?? Why do they give charity to terror organisations and let poor and ignorant muslims die in this “holy war” and they themselves live comfortably in their cosy homes.

9. About this so called Kashmir problem, why don’t you people refer from a neutral source to know about the history of this problem and not your history books? The king was a hindu and majority of the population was muslim. This was the precise reason why he asked for time. Had he wanted to join india, he would have joined immediately and might not asked for time. Kashmir would have joined Pakistan eventually but Pakistanis were impatient, they sent armed group to forcefully annex Kashmir and this resulted in king of Kashmir to agree to join india. Had india wanted to annex Kashmir then she would have send its forces much before Pakistanis and you might not be able to illegally occupy parts of Kashmir. And if you people love your Kashmir so much then why give askai chin to china? And also why the issue of Kashmir not raised upto early 1980’s? Pakistan suddenly realised the power of proxy war and begin destabilizing india to check her growth. This is also the reason why Chinese support you. You people are doing their job.

10. Terrorism has become an “organised sector” in Pakistan just like service sector in india and manufacturing sector in china. All the poor, unemployed, brainwashed youth are send to fight “holy war”. life is so much cheap in pakistan.

11. People, especially young generation, of Kashmir , are unemployed and they don’t have a vision of future for themselves. That’s why , in frustration, they indulge in stuffs like stone pelting on security forces for a mere payment is 100 rupees. And when chance of employment comes the same people are seen standing in lines to join armed forces. Indian troops were forced to carry slow genocide to save Kashmir and rightly so. It meant that slowly kiss all the young men so that there is nobody left to protest. There is nothing wrong in this, every country does this. No point getting enraged.

12. Wake up Pakistanis, india is not your enemy. It just want the current state of Kashmir to be made permanent. It is not even asking to return pakistan occupied Kashmir. This issue is ony kept alive because it ensures smooth running of terror sector and some people fill their pockets with money and also ensures the importance of the army is always there and they get more money out of budget.

13. Muslims have no right to abuse any religion for they shall be abused in return.

14. Islam is a barbaric religion. Teachings of islam spread intolerance.

15. The shadow of satanic religion of islam has covered the entire world. The world is truly standing on the brink of war against the evil of islam.

16. Muslims cannot be a part of civil society. They want to cut themselves from the mainstreams. That's why they want to carve out a separate nation from every nation.

17. Pakistan was created only because of the greed of power by muslim leaders and also by Jinnah. There was absolutely no other reason. Nehru war the mass leader and post of prime minister was to be offered to him and not Jinnah. Jinnah sensed this and together along with other religious groups he put forward the demand of creation of state of Pakistan.

18. Pakistan must realise that mixing religion with everything is harming them. Religion should be left alone for personal lives and not with general matters because practical approach is much better in handling them.


This post lasted only a few minutes before it was removed by the moderators as "spam".

Friday, July 02, 2010

Book Review: The World Turned Upside Down

The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle Over God, Truth, and Power is Melanie Phillips magnificent effort at explaining how the world, especially Britain, traveled from the scientific and liberating European Enlightenment attitude to the pro-tyranny and intolerant bent of many intellectuals and governments today. A timeless book, the current generation should read it and ponder now, while future generations will value it for its stories of how and where the West messed up - assuming future generations will still be free and of a mind to inquire about their own development, that is, for there is no assurance who will win the battle.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Case for Israel isn't Just Moral

I don't feel the founding of Israel was illegitimate. The facts are pretty clear if you go back and look - of course it was illegitimate. And the creation of Jordan, Syria and Iraq were just as illegitimate. No one polled the inhabitants and asked them what they wanted. The eviction of Jews from their ancestral lands in Iraq, Syira and Egypt was also an immense cultural crime. So was the eviction of Christians from those lands.

But none of that matters now, anymore than Greek claims on Istanbul matter. Israel has as much right to defend itself and its borders as any other nation. And it is perfectly clear that Hamas poses a real threat and are nasty vicious people to boot. No dispute on that point.

What contention am I running from? I suppose "legitimacy" was a loaded word and the wrong word. It would be better to say that VDH frames Israel's importance to the US in terms of its cultural, political and economic superiority to its neighbors. This is the framework for a foreign policy based on values rather than national interest. ..

Ivan has a point. Furthermore, as long as U.S. support for Israel has primarily this basis, it becomes an axis of attack upon the U.S.-Israel relationship.

The best response is that the U.S. has a very definite geostrategic interest in Israel's existence. That is, for the past hundred years the U.S. has had a policy - actual, if not declared - of "No more empires", because imperialism breeds war. (Empires, because of internal strains between nationalities, seek security via external aggression.)

For thousands of years, the natural state of affairs has been that the Levant serves as a battleground between Asian- and Egyptian-based empires. When one of these conquers the other, the new empire then reaches out to conquer Europe or India.

Except when Israel is in existence as an independent state. Then the formation of such a world-conquering empire becomes quite impossible. That was true in ancient times; it is also true today. Egypt tried to form an empire under Nasser; Iran is trying to form an empire under its mullahs; in both cases Israel makes that impossible.

The world is relieved of the threat of a world-conquering empire, but that means Israel has become the mote in the eye of would-be imperialists. That is the key reason for the U.S. to support it - even if Israel wasn't a liberal democracy but every bit as bad as Israel's enemies say!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thirty Thousand Pakistanis Dead Since 2003

Thirty thousand dead. Only a fraction of them soldiers. Who killed them? The hand of death in almost all cases was Pakistani, yes? Was it terrorism that killed them or organized crime? Is there really so much of a difference? Could foreigners be at fault? If so, how?

I look at the big picture. I start from Pakistan's creation. Jinnah wanted Pakistan for Pakistanis, yes, but a big reason why he rejected a united India was because in a separate state Muslim leaders would have far more opportunity to raid the public till, without the bother of negotiating such matters with more numerous non-Muslim Indians.

The independence war was almost welcomed by the leadership of both sides. The British Indian Army was a magnificent creation; splitting it in two created fear among the two armies that their days as honorable soldiers might be numbered. As for the British Indian bureaucracy, they were looking forward to a day when they could reap all the advantages of their position without the Brits looking over their shoulders. Why would they want their fellow citizens doing the same? War was a welcome distraction.

Of course, war means death, but that's mostly for the little people. Corruption is great for those in power, and there are only two threats: domestic revolt or maybe some bigwig who takes it upon himself or herself to reform the system.

Both Pakistan and India inherited Britain's legal system. That system itself was an impediment to corruption. If it couldn't be gotten rid of, it could be made ineffective: by killing judges, subverting law enforcement, or giving it only a trickle of funding. In India this has meant years of waiting before a case reached court.

In Pakistan, the situation was worse. A winner-take-all attitude to corruption meant that the stakes were much higher. Politicians ignored democratic elections to stay in power, generals clung to their position to maintain prestige. And everybody in power did their best to keep the attention of the people away from their greed, just as the magician wants people to look at the girl rather than what his fingers are doing.

So you got repeated wars with India, until it was realized that by maintaining low-level conflict secrets could still be hidden yet more money remained in the public coffers to be stolen. People still screamed for justice, of course, but they could be suppressed - up to a point. East Pakistan broke away in 1971. Islamicization weakened the legal system further. And the Soviet-Afghan war brought in so much money, with so few questions, both from foreigners and from illicit drugs, that justice became justice for the rich, exploitation for the poor.

The Taliban thought their version of Islam was the solution. Pakistanis now are convinced that the Taliban are in the wrong.

Yet the Pakistani government isn't promising to clean things up, is it? They only promise that they aren't the Taliban. The best people can hope for, in former Taliban-ruled areas, is that the same corrupt clique will return to run their lives as before.

Without the Taliban, what can the elite do to keep the attention of the public away from their activities? Conflict with India? The creation of more enemies, like Israel?

To these people, who killed at least 300,000 (and probably over a million) in 1971 in their effort to maintain corrupt rule, and who let Swat fall temporarily to the Taliban last year, creating 250,000 refugees as a lesson, thirty thousand deaths in a decade is a mere bagatelle.

And of these people, how many have sons and daughters here, on PDF? Are they so willing to boost without question a Pakistan that their parents were loyal to because it was a vehicle of corruption hiding behind Muslim rights or Islamic rule?

That's your flag. What I described above is much of what it means to me, as well as many Bangladeshis, Indians, and Pakistanis. If you want that to change, don't you think that changing the system that promoted the deaths of so many people is a really good place to start?

(Cross-posted at Pakistan Defence Forum.)