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One of the most puzzling events of the first 100 days of the Biden Administration was the president’s decla­ration that the deaths of Armenians that occurred in 1915 constituted genocide. Was Hunter Biden dating Kim Kardashian? That was certainly more plausible than Joe dating Kim, but not really an explanation of what was actually going on. The New York Times made a stab by invoking the Biden administration’s “commitment to human rights,” which according to the Times was “a pillar of its foreign policy. It is also a break from Mr. Biden’s predecessors, who were re­luctant to anger a country of strategic importance and were wary of driving its leadership toward American adversaries like Russia or Iran.”1 Did that explain why the president said that, “Each year on this day, we re­member the lives of all those who died in the Otto­man-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again oc­curring,” Mr. Biden said in a statement issued on the 106th anniversary of the beginning of a brutal cam­paign by the former Ottoman Empire that killed 1.5 million people. “And we remember so that we remain ever vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.”2

Traditionally, only two groups were concerned about the use of the term genocide: the Turks and the Jews. This standoff has been complicated by the fact that the Armenian genocide story has been absorbed into the Holocaust narrative. Like the Jews, the Armenians have attempted to make their genocide “a closed issue similar to the Jewish holocaust” and any denial of it a form of hate speech punishable by law. Three years before France officially recognized what happened to the Armenians as genocide on May 29, 1998,3 Ber­nard Lewis was found guilty of violating that country’s hate speech laws by taking the Turkish position on the matter. Lewis was sentenced on June 2, 1995, but only a token fine was imposed as punish­ment, thereby making a dead letter of the law and keeping the contro­versy alive.4 One pro-Armenian au­thor “has suggested that denial of the Armenian genocide represents hate-speech and therefore should be illegal in the United States,”5 but Lewis remained undeterred in his determination to dissociate the two events.

On March 25, 2002, Lewis “once again reaffirmed his belief that the Armenian massacres in Ottoman Turkey were linked to the massive Armenian rebel­lion and, therefore, were not comparable to the treat­ment of the Jews under the Nazis.”6 Lewy has adopted Lewis’s view, affirming that: “The Armenian commu­nity in Turkey was not simply ‘an unarmed Christian minority,’ and it is not acceptable to discuss the events of 1915-16 without mentioning the fifth-column role of the Armenian revolutionaries.”7 According to this reading, the Armenians have no right to claim Holo­caust victim status because their armed rebellion was different in kind from the behavior of the unarmed Jews who fell victim to the Nazis.

Israeli historian Yair Auron, however, takes a dif­ferent tack by linking Germany to the Turks and claiming that Germany “was involved directly and indirectly in the Armenian genocide.”8 Auron’s claim has no basis in fact. Evidence suggests that the charge stems from allied propaganda during the war years. In fact, there is overwhelming archival evidence that the German government, while accepting the military ne­cessity of the relocations, “repeatedly intervened with the Sublime Porte in order to achieve a more humane implementation.”9

The claim that the Germans “bear some of the re­sponsibility and even some of the guilt for the mass murder of the Armenians in World War I”10 would seem to rehabilitate the Armenians’ status as victims. Unfortunately, even a link to (albeit, pre-Nazi) Ger­many fails to create an equivalence between Armenian and Jewish suffering in the eyes of Israeli historians like Auron. Like most Israeli historians, who “seek to emphasize the singularity of the Holocaust,”11 Yehuda Bauer claims that Jewish suffering is unique, even while keeping the Armenian story in play by adding that “The Armenian massacres are indeed the closest parallel to the Holocaust.”12

[…] This is just an excerpt from the June 2021 Issue of Culture Wars magazine. To read the full article, please purchase a digital download of the magazine, or become a subscriber!

 
• Category: History • Tags: Armenian Genocide, Holocaust, Turkey, World War I 

On Monday, March 8, Ali Breland introduced himself to me via e-mail as a reporter for Mother Jones who was planning to do an article on Andrew Torba, the CEO of Gab, a media platform which over the past few months had become the refuge of those who had been banned from Twitter.

The most famous refugee from Twitter was Donald Trump, who got banned from the platform he made famous with his tweets on January 8, 2021 under the preposterous pretext that calling his supporters “patriots” and refusing to attend the inauguration of the people who had stolen the election from him violated Twitter’s “glorification of violence policy.”[1] Concluding that President Trump was guilty of “incitement of violence,” Twitter closed ranks with other big tech Internet oligarchs and kicked the president of the United States off their platform as a way of showing him and anyone who voted for him who was running the country.

Within hours of getting banned on Twitter, Torba welcomed Donald Trump with open arms to Gab. “It’s happening,” Torba said. “This is Gab’s moment, one that we have been preparing for now for over four and a half years.”[2] Capitalizing on the de-platforming which spread through the Internet in the run up to the theft of the election, Gab branded itself as the free speech alternative to cancel culture and was immediately branded in return as a “haven for right-wing terrorists.”[3] Big Tech’s attempt to demonize Trump and his expulsion from Twitter became a windfall for Gab, whose traffic increased by 120 percent in the 24 hours following the Capitol riot.

One month later, on February 7, Torba admitted that Trump had not migrated to Gab. In fact, he never used the platform.[4] In a statement he posted on Gab, Torba wrote: “@realdonaldtrump is and always has been a mirror archive of POTUS’ tweets and statements that we’ve run for years. We’ve always been transparent about this and would obviously let people know if the President starts using it.” Torba went on to blame “media outlets that falsely reported that Trump himself was posting to the account” as the source of the misinformation.[5]

At this point, Gab started having technical problems as increased traffic caused Gab to crash on a regular basis. Others felt that deficient security rather than increased traffic was behind the technical problems. As if to prove that group right, Gab suffered a massive hack on February 28, 2021, then another one in early March which provided the basis for the Mother Jones article.

Did Torba allow the attacks to happen? According to an article in Wired, Eugen Rochko, the developer of a source codebase known as Mastodon, which Gab used as a basis for its website from early 2019, believes that “poor security practices played a significant part in the breach.”[6] By relying on Mastodon, “Gab’s programmers introduced two serious security vulnerabilities into its code,” according to Rochko, one of which was publicized by early February. Rochko says that Gab did little to address these “obvious” problems, adding: “I’m not aware of them ever adopting our bug fixes, including important security fixes.” In an article in The Guardian, Megan Squire, a professor of computer science at Elon University and a “longtime researcher on the far right’s use of internet technologies,” said that “Gab was negligent at best and malicious at worst” in its approach to security. “It is hard to envision a scenario where a company cared less about user data than this one.”[7]

Gab, according to Mother Jones is “a Twitter clone that boasts that it ‘champions free speech.’” Ever since Torba created Gab in 2015, “it has served as a haven for alt-righters, QAnon supporters, and other far-right groups banned from mainstream platforms.”[8] In his brief message, Breland asked me about “leaked messages between Andrew Torba and Roosh V,” in which Torba claimed that “he was a fan of yours” and wondered if I “could comment on the veracity of this.”

Thus began a skirmish in the culture wars which gave not only a good indication of how warfare is fought in our day, and the location of one of its most important fronts, but most importantly its main weapon, which is the charge of anti-Semitism. It is impossible to understand the battle against free speech in our day without mentioning the Jews’ role in that battle. This became obvious once Breland’s article appeared in Mother Jones. The article’s tone of moral superiority was belied by the fact that Breland was the beneficiary of criminal activity. The article was based on an “immense cache of stolen Gab data,” which Breland received from “a hacker who goes by JaXpArO and provided to Distributed Denial of Secrets, a website that calls itself a ‘transparency collective.’”[9] Given an announcement this dramatic, the reader was primed to expect the worst—anything from sexual scandal to criminal activity—but the only criminal activity was on the part of the Mother Jones designated hacker, and the only scandal, the fact that he used that material with impunity when people like Julian Assange are still in jail.

Instead of the smoking gun which the reader had been set up to expect, Breland lamely cited a routine e-mail exchange in which Torba welcomed Roosh Valizadeh to the Gab platform, as something intrinsically sinister and qualifying Breland as a candidate for a Pulitzer prize in investigative journalism, or as he put it in his breathless prose:

This immense cache of stolen Gab data includes a conversation in which Torba welcomed Daryush Valizadeh, a misogynist and anti-semitic right-wing internet figure, to the platform. Valizadeh, a pickup artist, video maker, and blogger known as Roosh V within the online “manosphere,” has bragged about committing acts of sexual assault and derided Jews. While he’s taken steps to distance himself from the alt-right, he has had ties to the movement and supported Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who gave it its name. None of that history stopped Torba from extending what Valizadeh called a “warm welcome” to Gab.[10]

Breland failed to specify the charge of sexual assault and ignored Roosh’s conversion and his repentance at the life he had lived as a pick-up artist. He also fails to mention the positive influence I had on leading Roosh out of a life of sexual decadence. Boiled down to its gist, the article was a strained attempt at guilt by association, the main guilt being imputed being anti-Semitism as defined by the ADL and the SPLC, which means anything Jews don’t like. Continuing down this line of “out of their own mouths” rhetoric, Breland reveals damning information like the following exchange: “Thank you for the warm welcome on Gab. I enjoy not having to self-censor like on Twitter,” Valizadeh wrote. “You’re welcome brother, pray for us. We need it,” Torba responded.

Now we get to the really damning part:

In a subsequent message to Valizadeh, Torba praised E. Michael Jones, a prominent anti-semitic writer and publisher whose work has been tracked by the Anti-Defamation League, and who Valizadeh has interviewed several times on his podcast.

“I am a huge fan of EMJ too, he has an account but hasn’t logged in for some time,” Torba wrote, seeking Valizadeh’s assistance in getting Jones to use his dormant Gab account more—especially to host his videos, which regularly appeared on the video streaming site, BitChute. “Would love to get all his videos on Gab TV, very important for the distribution and preservation of truth. If you can send him a note, I tried emailing the email we have on file but it bounced.”

 

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

— Pogo

First of all, let’s announce the good news. Professor David Hawkes has declared war on the forces of anti-Logos in our age, telling us that the “profound hostility to logos,” which “permeates every aspect of modern and especially postmodern culture” is “only the latest in a long historical series of dialectical clashes between logos and eidolon.”1 Eidolon is the Greek word for idol, which is his word for graven images of the sort which should be immediately smashed. Professor Hawkes’ book announces his engagement with the forces of anti-Logos, but does this mean that he supports the Logos? His attack on eidolon gives us some indication of where his sympathies lie, which is another way of saying that Professor Hawkes is an iconoclast in the 16th century meaning of that term.

If conservatism is invariably a defunct revolutionary movement, viewed through the lens of nostalgia, as a way of dealing with the revolutionary spirit’s most recent manifestation, the one currently in power, then David Hawkes is a revolutionary conservative. In this Hawkes is not unlike Edmund Burke, who opposed the French Revolution by being a supporter of the Glorious Revolution in England. When Mary Wollstonecraft, the proto-feminist, asked how far back in English history Burke’s conservatism was willing to go, and whether he was willing to return to the time when Englishmen worshipped bread as God, no answer was forthcoming.

We can say something similar about David Hawkes, whose position is based on an amalgam of obsolete revolutionary movements. He is a nominalist, an iconoclast in the tradition of Andreas Karlstadt and Leo Jud, and a paleo-Marxist who hates the Foucaudian transformation of economic conflict over the means of production which characterized proto-Marxism into the sexual identity politics which characterizes left wing politics in academe today.

Hawkes is also an English professor at the University of Arizona who has been fighting a losing rear-guard action against the queer studies and critical race theorists who have turned our universities into one big Cambodian re-education camp where students squat in the hot sun chanting incomprehensible phrases from Gramsci, Foucault, Joe Buttigieg and a host of lesser lights in the grand climactic battle against Logos in our day. Hawkes is annoyed that “first women, then African-Americans, then homosexuals and, most recently, the queer movement in general, have replaced the working class as the vanguard promoted by revolutionary intellectuals,”2 and his book is an attempt to settle that score. Hawkes is determined to turn back the clock to a time before classical Marxism was superseded as the avant garde of the revolutionary spirit in human history. That moment happened when “the Italian Communist leader Antonio Gramsci . . . first distinguished between the ‘war of position’ (a struggle for physical control of state institutions like parliament, police, and the armed forces) and the ‘war of maneuver,’ a battle for cultural influence in such institutions of ‘civil society’ as the church, the media, the creative arts, and the education system.”3 By the time Hawkes became an English professor at the University of Arizona, “Gramsci’s ‘war of maneuver’ within the cultural institutions of Anglo-American capitalism had effectively been won,” and Hawkes, who had studied English literature under the classical Marxist Terry Eagleton, found himself “marginalized,” along with a “proletariat, whose institutional and ideological power had been decisively crushed over the same period.”4 Thanks to academic interpreters and translators like Cornell West and Joseph Buttigieg, Gramsci got weaponized against the communists themselves as racial and sexual minorities shoved the proletariat aside as the main beneficiaries of a marginality which had become “an end-in-itself.”5

By leaving Michel Foucault out of this equation, Hawkes misses an important fact contributing to this marginalization, namely, the capitalist class’s embrace of sexual liberation. This embrace on the part of both the financial oligarchs, symbolized best by the Rockefellers, and the New Left, symbolized best by the neoconservative David Horowitz, then got weaponized and codified by the CIA, who began studying Foucault in the 1980s. With the collaboration of Buttigieg pere at Notre Dame, the government’s intelligence agencies combined with government funding created the current unwritten constitution of academe, which was then able to engrain in three successive generations the motto of the new regime, which was “Give us unlimited sexual liberation, and we will become docile wage slaves and won’t trouble the oligarchs with demands for economic justice.” This shift of emphasis from decent wages for the working man who needs to support a family to discos and set-asides for queers who are controlled by their sexual compulsions is one of the main reasons why the homosexual replaced the worker as the avant garde of the revolutionary movement in our day.

As Hawkes correctly notes, Buttigieg pere et fils played a major role in this transformation. Gramsci, according to Buttigieg pere, who wormed his way onto an endowed chair at Notre Dame University on the basis of a warmed over doctoral dissertation on James Joyce which retailed all of the modernist cliches he would later ridicule, used “the phenomenon of marginality” to dispossess the proletariat, which had always proven to be ideologically feckless and more interested in banal issues like higher wages, and handed their banner over to truly “marginal” groups like homosexuals, whose war against nature was better suited to the ontology of revolution, as E. M. Forster had pointed out in his homosexual novel Maurice.

The man who carried the Gramscian virus out of its academic host and into the world of national politics was Buttigieg fils, a man Hawkes rightly characterizes as someone who “could not be less interested in establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat. To the contrary, Buttigieg Jr. is deeply committed to consolidating the rule of financial capital. He is just as committed to furthering the assimilation of homosexuality into mainstream culture. The obvious question raised by his candidacy is the nature of the connection between these commitments.”

Having lost that war, Hawkes has been forced to conduct a rearguard action from the academic equivalent of the caves in Okinawa after World War II. But in the 1520s, Hawkes would have been fighting on the front lines of the revolutionary movement, at the side of Thomas Muenzer in the Bauernaufstand. Without losing his place at the heart of the struggle, he then could have migrated north to Muenster, where in the 1530s with Jan Bookelzoon, the tailor king as his spiritual guide, he would have joined forces with the horny nuns and priests who flocked to Bookelzoon’s banner in support of the communality of property (but perhaps not the communality of wives) as a proto-Marxist avant la lettre. Hawkes would have then joined with Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli in their attack on the Catholic notion of transubstantiation. Finally, as an iconoclast he would have picked up a crowbar and engaged in the Beeldenstorm in Antwerp in 1566 after having had his mind wrecked by the Scholasticism of William of Ockham, from whom he received the final component of his eclectic identity as a nominalist.

 

No one was more qualified to write a book on beauty than the late Sir Roger Scruton. He was a man of impeccable taste and cultivated manners who could charm an audience even when, after being invited to a symposium at Notre Dame to talk about beauty, he ended up talking about wine instead. He most probably could have come back in a year and talked about beer and charmed that audience just as much a second time, but death intervened.

He was especially qualified in the field of music, having not only the ability to play an instrument but the ability to compose musical pieces as well. Das Rheingold is a brilliant critique of the mythic origins of Capitalism in theft, but Scruton turns his review of it into an attack on the failed revolutionary socialism—Wagner took part in the revolution of 1848 with Bakunin—which motivated Wagner to take to the barricades in Dresden and write the opera in the first place. When Scruton turns Nibelheim into a “police state” which is “perhaps the first premonition in Western art of Orwell’s 1984,” instead of viewing it as the City of London and symbol of capitalism as state-sponsored usury, he misses the point in a way that defies explanation. His analysis of Richard Wagner’s opera Das Rheingold is musically acute but philosophically and economically tone deaf because the same conservative world view which allowed Scruton to charm his audience at Notre Dame is based on an ethnocentrism which blinds him to the reality of what Wagner is saying here. Scruton can’t seem to get over the fact that Wagner had the misfortune of being born a German, and that he needs to turn him into a proper English conservative by dragooning him into the anti-Communist crusade to make up for that birth defect.

What is true of his book on music is a fortiori true of his book on beauty. Scruton aspires to universality when he defines beauty as “a real and universal value, one anchored in our rational nature.” Because of its firm foundation in Being, “the sense of beauty has an indispensable part to play in shaping the human world.” Unfortunately, Scruton then loses his train of thought along the way of telling us what he means by those and other undefined terms. Scruton traces his understanding of beauty back to Plotinus, referring to beauty as a transcendental, a notion which still had not been universally recognized at the time of Aquinas, who dealt with it as an addendum to his thought on Being. According to Plato and Plotinus, “beauty is an ultimate value—something that we pursue for its own sake, and for the pursuit of which no further reason need be given.” Scruton then compares beauty to truth and goodness, making it “one member of a trio of ultimate values which justify our rational inclinations.” Scholastics called those “ultimate values” transcendentals, which meant that they, along with “the One,” described the fundamental and ultimate aspects of Being, or as Scruton put it “Why believe p? Because it is true. Why want x? Because it is good. Why look at y? Because it is beautiful.”

Instead of accepting the ontological foundation of beauty as the platform upon which he erects his own aesthetics, Scruton begins to quibble with the Angelic Doctor, accusing Aquinas of making “theological claims” about beauty, when this is not the case. Scuton undermines his whole aesthetics by erecting a roadblock which divides its history between then and now when he says apodictically that the Angelic Doctor’s “subtle and comprehensive reasoning” is “not a vision that we can assume.” As a result, Scruton proposes “to set it to one side, considering the concept of beauty without making any theological claims.”

Throughout Scruton’s book we are subjected to the same self-defeating behavior. Scruton opens the door to what seems like a promising solution to “a deep difficulty in the philosophy of beauty” only to slam it shut again after we have been granted a tantalizing vision of our goal. In this regard, Scruton tells us that Aquinas’s understanding of beauty is “worth noting” because he “regarded truth, goodness and unity as ‘transcendentals’—features of reality possessed by all things, since they are aspects of Being, ways in which the supreme gift of Being is made manifest to the understanding.” Beauty is a manifestation of Being, and this fact provides the best response to those who claim “that beauty is a matter of appearance, not of being.” Then after affirming that beauty makes a reasonable claim about its object, Scruton takes it all back again by claiming that these “reasons do not compel the judgement, and can be rejected without contradiction,” forcing him to wonder “So are they reasons or aren’t they?” Whenever Scruton is on the verge of drawing definite conclusions, he has to run the idea first by his ethnic superego, an imaginary figure made up of the ghosts of people like John Locke and David Hume, who have the final say on everything, “creating a soothing and harmonious context, a continuous narrative as in a street or a square, where nothing stands out in particular, and good manners prevail.”

Pace, Sir Roger, but there is nothing theological about Scholastic aesthetics. Aquinas’s ontology has been influenced by Revelation, but the rudimentary aesthetic principles we can derive from that ontology do not determine his aesthetics, nor does it determine the aesthetic theories of those who paved the way for a deeper understanding of beauty.

Why then does Sir Roger feel that the Angelic Doctor’s “subtle and comprehensive reasoning” is “not a vision that we can assume.” In his autobiography Gentle Regrets, Scruton tells us that “there is consolation without truth, as we know from the history of religion.” The real question is, however, whether Scruton believes that there can be beauty without truth.

Solemn Rituals

Sir Roger Scruton was born into a troubled lower middle-class family and grew up “in a nondescript corner of post-war England,” where “nothing could conceivably happen . . . except the things that happen anywhere: a bus passing, a dog barking, football on the wireless, shepherd’s pie for tea.” After discovering the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Scruton realized that art provided a way out of that dreary existence. Scruton associated art with the English upper class, who lived hidden behind a wall which he could see from the library that provided the Hermetic texts, which he “read like an alchemist, searching for the spell that would admit me to that secret world, where shadows fall on tonsured lawns, and the aesthetic (or was it ascetic?) way of life occurs in solemn rituals after tea.”

After serving his apprenticeship as “a barbarian let loose in a library” (a phrase he appropriated from Ezra Pound, Scruton ended up at Cambridge University, where he had the misfortune to study philosophy as “bequeathed by Russell, Wittgenstein and Moore.” Logical positivism convinced him that any philosophy with any connection to the Logos of human existence (or its rejection, as in the case of Nietzsche) was founded on “nothing more than megalomaniac fantasies, implausible analogies and false distinctions founded neither in logic nor in fact.” Realizing that “the new philosophy I studied proved no more satisfactory to me than the science it had replaced,” Scruton gravitated toward culture as a “more important way of seeing things,” and that eventually led him to aesthetics.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Philosophy, Political Correctness 

On October 3, 1998, Pope John Paul II beatified Alojzije Cardinal Stepinac at the national shrine of Marija Bistrica in front of 500,000 Croats.1 The next step was canonization. On February 10, 2014, the memorial of Blessed Stepinac, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, announced that the canonization was possible in the year 2015 during the Eucharistic celebration over which he presided at St. Jerome’s church in Rome.2 What looked like a sure thing in 1998, however, never happened, and why it never happened has become an object of intense speculation and discussion ever since.

The Croats, as we have come to expect, blamed the Serbs, largely because Pope Francis convoked “a commission of Catholic and Orthodox leaders,” under the presidency of a representative of the Holy See, to examine the wartime record of Blessed Aloysius. Pope Francis established the commission in “May 2016 after receiving a letter from the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej, who stated his opposition to the cardinal’s canonization.”3 Instead of coming to an agreement on the life of one of the most heroic figures in the post-World War II Church in eastern Europe, the commission concluded its work within the foreseen time frame of one year, it terminated its investigation in the summer of 2017 without reaching any results “agreeing to disagree about the Croatian cardinal’s cause for canonization.”4

When Pope Francis was asked about Stepinac on his return from Bulgaria on March 17, 2019,5 he replied:

The canonization of Stepinac is a historic case. He is a virtuous man for this Church, which has proclaimed him Blessed, you can pray [through his intercession]. But at a certain moment of the canonization process there are unclear points, historic points, and I should sign the canonization, it is my responsibility, I prayed, I reflected, I asked advice, and I saw that I should ask Irinej, a great patriarch, for help. We made a historic commission together and we worked together, and both Irinej and I are interested in the truth. Who is helped by a declaration of sanctity if the truth is not clear? We know that [Stepinac] was a good man, but to make this step I looked for the help of Irinej and they are studying. First of all, the commission was set up and gave its opinion. They are studying other sources, deepening some points so that the truth is clear. I am not afraid of the truth, I am not afraid. I am afraid of the judgment of God.6

As in so many instances lately, Pope Francis once again spread confusion in the very act of making a clarification. If Stepinac’s life is an example of heroic virtue, as Pope John Paul II claimed, what’s holding back the canonization? Or is he, as the pope says, “a virtuous man for this church” alone? And if so, what does that mean? At what point did his status become unclear after his beatification? Shouldn’t the committee which approved his beatification have looked into unclear, historic points before beatifying him? Or are we talking about the difference between John Paul II, who like Stepinac lived under both Nazi and Communist rule, and Francis, who experienced neither? According to Matija Stahan, the Serbs presented no new evidence and Irinej made use of sources that have “perpetuated allegations fabricated by the Yugoslav government after World War II to remove Stepinac from the public as a symbol of Christianity and Croatian patriotism.”7 As proof that Stepinac was not guilty of the crimes which Patriarch Irinej laid at his feet, Stahan cites evidence from Stepinac: His life and Time by Robin Harris, who refers to the campaign to defame Stepinac as the “project”:

That project—as Stepinac himself well understood—meant that, in practice, the Yugoslav Communist Party and elements within the Serbian Orthodox Church, which otherwise had nothing in common, shared a joint goal. This consisted of demonizing the Catholic Church (to which nearly all Croats belonged) and the Croatian nation (which numerically, culturally and economically was, alone, in a position to challenge Serbian supremacy). The existence of this unholy and unspoken combination helps explain why the black legend against Stepinac was so persistent and its promotion so effective.8

The bland tone we have come to expect from press releases issued by official Vatican commissions failed to allay the outrage and betrayal Catholic Croats felt at the hand of the Vatican. Catholics had been suspicious of the commission from its inception. In 2016, Professor Ronald J. Rychlak, who has written about Pope Pius XII, whose canonization had been stalled by the Vatican for lack of a miracle—even though he had been proclaimed “venerabilis” in 2009—announced that the Serbian case against Stepinac was “a false narrative created by Soviet agents.”9

Stepinac’s sermons were “prohibited … from being published, because they were so strong against the Ustashe,” Rychlak said. Instead, his words were secretly printed and circulated and occasionally broadcast over the radio. He also severely condemned the Ustashe’s destruction of Zagreb’s main synagogue in 1941 and in an October 1943 homily, the archbishop condemned notions of racial superiority.

Robin Harris’s 2016 biography of Stepinac joined the chorus of outrage which Rychlak articulated in the same year. Stepinac, according to Harris, was the victim of a Serbian-Communist conspiracy. His show trial was Serbian payback for the show trial of Draza Mihailovic, the Serbian leader of the guerilla group known as the Chetniks, to whom Harris attributes war crimes of the same magnitude as those committed by the Ustashe, the Croatian fascist state. “The stoking of hatred against the Catholic Church remained a means of keeping the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serb nationalists sympathetic to the regime. Tito, under pressure from the Americans, would later justify his reluctance to free Stepinac by referring directly to Serbian Orthodox sensitivities.”10 According to Harris, the controversy which surrounded the canonization of Cardinal Stepinac in 2016 can be laid directly at the feet of the Communists, who “had systematically played on Serbian desires for revenge by knowingly exaggerating Catholic Croat misdeeds.”11

Serbian nationalism may be responsible for slandering Stepinac’s memory in the former Yugoslavia, but Harris attributes the ongoing animus against Stepinac abroad which stalled his canonization to “propaganda from Communist circles.”12 “Lenin’s imitators in Yugoslavia,” Harris continues “have, indeed, found plenty of ‘useful idiots’ in the West, though the idiocy is often concealed behind a veil of erudition.”13

It is worth noting that Harris wrote these lines 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and 36 years after the death of Tito. To say that “Lenin’s imitators” were hard at work in the West stalling Stepinac’s canonization in 2017 is nothing short of preposterous, but the fact that Harris made the claim is a significant lead and needs to be examined more closely in order to discover the true identity of the group which is hiding behind the cover of a now defunct communism.

Harris spends a lot of time defending Stepinac’s actions during the war by rebutting the allegations of writers like John Cornwell, who claimed that “priests, invariably Franciscans, took a leading part in the massacres”14 of Serbs at concentration camps like Jasenovac, where a renegade Franciscan who came to be known as Brother Satan engaged in the slaughter, but only after he had been excommunicated by the Church as soon as they found out what he was doing.

 

Thirty years ago, almost to the day, I spoke at Hillsdale College, the bastion of conservative academic thought nestled in the woods and hills of southern Michigan. My speech took place one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall and one year before the collapse of the Soviet Union, at what we can say with hindsight was the high noon of the conservative era in American history. As the English conservative William Wordsworth put it when he was a young and enthusiastic supporter of the French Revolution: “Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.”

I tried to remember the feeling then as we drove along a scenic route that only Siri, our computer, could compute, through wooded small farms, all of which had Trump for president signs in their front yards. Well, maybe not all of them, but whenever one of those farms declared its allegiance in the recently concluded 2020 presidential election it was for Trump. Not one Biden sign was visible. Michigan was a hotly contested state largely because of the draconian COVID lock-down which its Democratic governor had imposed on lower end entrepreneurs.

The group of students who invited me to speak were solidly in favor of Trump as well. Some wore Make America Great Again hats as an act of defiance against the oligarchic coup d’etat which was in full swing at the moment. The oligarchic mainstream press had anointed Biden as president elect, and tech giants like Google were censoring anyone who hinted that voter fraud had put Biden over the top, at least in the mind of the fourth estate.

I forgot to mention that this meeting had to be held in a secret off campus location. The students could have been mistaken for white boys, but they were all Catholic ethnics of mixed European heritage, not unlike me. The only exceptions were the students who were taking RCIA instruction to become Catholics. All of them were familiar with my YouTube videos. Some had read my books. One young catechumen whose build indicated that he could have played for the Hillsdale football team, if they still had one, told me that he listened to my “God has a Plan for Your Life” video while driving to work. The video’s message moved him to tears, so much so that he had to pull over. Shortly after that experience, he decided to become a Catholic.

If these young men had a political affiliation, it was America First, but sympathy to that point of view had been banned from Hillsdale’s campus, which is why we were meeting where we were. When I asked what the name of their club was, one young wit said, “The Charles Lindbergh Aviators Club.” These young men had invited me not to praise conservatism, but to bury it. Conservatism died four years ago with the election of Donald Trump. By the time we met together in wake of the 2020 presidential election conservatism’s cold inert corpse has been lying un-mourned in the political equivalent of the county morgue. It was now time to give conservatism a decent burial, but before we could do that we had to write its obituary and mention the role which Michigan in general and Hillsdale College in particular played in its rise and fall.

Beginning at the beginning. I waved a first edition, signed copy of The Conservative Mind by the late Russell Kirk, Michigan’s most famous philosopher and formerly a lecturer at Hillsdale College. After basing his analysis of conservatism’s roots on Edmund Burke’s hope that “Providence would not abandon mankind to Jacobinism,” Kirk went on to place that hope in “that American society which John Adams did so much to guide into conservative constitutions and ways of enduring justice.”[1]

Having defeated fascism in World War II, America was now positioned in Kirk’s eyes to become “the Providential instrument of this redemption.”[2] The first step in Kirk’s “general plan of action” was “an affirmation of the moral nature of society.” Here again Kirk appealed to John Adams, who affirmed that “true happiness” could only be found in virtue. “Family piety and public honor must be shored up. A people who are arrogant, avaricious, and crass will wither. Americans still are nearly as responsive to ethical considerations as they were in Tocqueville’s day. They can be led to a life of dignity and order,”[3] but only if they follow Adams’ understanding of the necessity of moral behavior for the success of any form of self-government. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[4] America had no constitution which functioned in the absence of a moral people, according to John Adams, and history would prove him right in ways which Russell Kirk could not imagine in 1953.

The man who gave me Russell Kirk’s book was Henry Regnery, head of the Regnery Press of Chicago and Kirk’s publisher. Henry was a German-American whose family came from the Moselle Valley during the 19th century when Germans were a powerful force in American life, especially in Chicago. When the American exposition was held there in 1893, German was the main language spoken.

German was also the main language spoken at the Chicago symphony, at least until World War I, when the director of that symphony announced that due to political considerations everyone in the symphony would have to speak English. “Is that clear?” he asked after his little speech, prompting one member of the symphony to ask from the back of the room “Was hat er gesagt?”

The American Proposition

The Conservative Mind was published in 1953, an important year in the progress of the American Empire. Where was what Hegel would have called the Weltgeist in 1953? It was in Tehran, where Kermit Roosevelt orchestrated a coup which deposed Muhammad Mossadegh and installed the American puppet Shah Reza Pahlavi in his place. The year 1953 marked the emergence of the CIA as a player on the world stage. Stalin died in the same year.

Shortly after Stalin’s death, a man by the name of C.D. Jackson said that by losing Stalin, America had lost the best salesman for the American Proposition. C.D. Jackson was simultaneously an employee of the CIA and TIME magazine, where he functioned as Harry Luce’s right-hand man. TIME magazine at this point in time was the propaganda ministry for the United States of America, and one of the main vehicles for the anti-Communist crusade, which would find its culmination in 1991, which is where I came in. During my first visit, I was taken on a short tour of the campus by Lissa Roche Jackson, an attractive lady who introduced herself as “the wife of George IV, the mother of George V, and the daughter-in-law of George III, the man who put Hillsdale on the conservative map when he became president of the college in 1971.

Two years before the annus mirabilis of 1953, Henry Regnery published God and Man at Yale, another seminal conservative document, whose author was William F. Buckley. In the annus mirabilis of 1953, the CIA also got into the magazine business. One of the magazines they created as a front was Encounter, which was edited by the English poet Stephen Spender and the then unknown Irving Kristol, who went on to become the father of neoconservatism.

 

After playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s blockbuster film The Passion of the Christ, actor Jim Caviezel became the poster boy for Catholics who wanted to use the film to share their faith. Playing that role also got Caviezel blacklisted from Hollywood films. In 2011, Caviezel told First Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida that he had “been rejected by my own industry” after playing Christ in Gibson’s film. Responding to Gibson’s warning that “you’ll never work in this town again,” Caviezel said, “we all have to embrace our crosses,” and went ahead with the role, only to learn that “Jesus is as controversial now as he has ever been” and that “not much has changed in 2,000 years.” Seven years after the release of The Passion of the Christ, Caviezel tried to put a Christian interpretation on the wreck of his career by claiming that “we have to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to speak the truth.”

Caviezel, unfortunately, can’t distinguish between his reputation and his career because even if Passion wrecked his Hollywood film career (but not his ability to earn money on TV), it established his reputation as only a $600 million world-wide blockbuster could do. The film industry may have known about him after The Count of Monte Cristo, but the world recognized him after The Passion of the Christ.

This, of course, leads to the next question. If Caviezel is willing to risk his career “to speak the truth,” why did he become involved in an anti-Iranian propaganda film like the newly released and quickly forgotten Infidel? At this point, we will let Caviezel speak for himself, as captured during a Fox news report flogging the film:

First of all, my job is to get people into the theater. Second, how is this relevant today? It’s relevant because we have this thing call cancel culture and if Christians don’t watch out, it will be canceling Christianity as well because a lot of our pastors, our bishops, our priests, they’re laying right over; they’re letting their churches be burned. Alright, how do we know that? Well, it’s right there in the news. Statues being ripped down. They don’t say anything. And I watched a movie that Mel Gibson did, Braveheart, where you have the English, who are the bad guys, against the Scots, but the real bad guys were the guys who were collaborating. That’s why we’re in this situation right now. We can’t go to churches; we can’t go into our church. Why? Because it could get contaminated, right? So why are we on airplanes? I have friends that have committed suicide. I have [Navy] Seal buddies who have lost seven of their friends, committing suicide, and would it have helped to get into a church especially during this time? Absolutely. And is it good for mental illness? Yes, it is. The collaborators in our faith, this is where the persecution starts. You’ve got to have guys in your faith that won’t stand up to the governors, that won’t stand up to the mayors. And that’s why the Gospels are very much alive right now. I got to play Jesus. Some of us love Peter or Paul. But there are many of us now who are flat out Judases, okay? Or they’re Pontius Pilates or they’re Pharisees, and it’s a bloody shame if you can’t tell the difference between a priest or a bishop and a politician. And it’s really sad, but this is called luke-warmness. And Christ has a very special place for them, and they know it.

After the awkward pause which ensued when Jim ran out of things to say, Shannon Bream, the Fox News Info Babe, jumped in and opined: “Well, we’re out of time, but it’s important for us to be sharing our faith.” Jim then signed off with a disgusted look on his face. Or was it frustration at having been so inarticulate? Or was he frustrated by the fact that he was trying to make sense of a film that was as inarticulate in its way on the screen as he was on Fox News. So why are we on airplanes, Jim?

Infidel is certainly a film about how “it’s important for us to be sharing our faith.” In Infidel, Caviezel plays a “Christian blogger” who gets betrayed by an Iranian friend, who in spite of his secular banter at a birthday party for his daughter is a violent Islamic fundamentalist. We find this out later when the cops remove one of the Persian carpets on his wall, revealing the door to his secret Islamic man-cave, a room replete with a picture of the late Qasem Soleimani and another picture of himself preparing to fire an rpg at the same type of infidel he just invited to his daughter’s birthday party. During the course of the party, the Iranian father becomes upset with his daughter, who is dating an infidel who drives a fast car and nearly rear-ended the car which Caviezel and his wife drove to the party. The daughter mysteriously disappears, and we learn later that her father, the admirer of General Soleimani, murdered her for assimilating in the same way that he did into Washington society, or was it for her lack of duplicity? Either way, the point is clear. You can’t trust an Iranian. They may talk a good game, but sooner or later they will reveal their true colors.

[…] This is just a short excerpt of the full article in the October Issue of Culture Wars Magazine.
Please Click Below to purchase and download a copy to continue reading.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Hollywood, Iran, Islam, Terrorism 

On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijan launched a military attack on the Armenian ethnic enclave known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was quick to blame Turkey for Azerbaijan’s actions:

The Turkish Armed Forces are directly involved in hostilities. President Recep Erdogan dreams of rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, which destroyed its Armenian population during the First World War. One hundred years later, Turkey returned to the South Caucasus to continue the Armenian genocide. With the help of Turkey, terrorists who have come from the Middle East to Nagorno-Karabakh are fighting on side of Azerbaijan. How can someone suggest leaving the population of Nagorno-Karabakh defenseless in the face of terrorists and extremists? A truce can only be achieved if Turkey is forced to withdraw from the South Caucasus.

Like Pashinyan, Adam Schiff, the Jew whose congressional district covers Hollywood and includes many influential Armenians, attacked Erdogan but omitted any mention of Israel’s role in the war. Blaming the Turks was an oversimplification because it left out other key players. Turkey was bringing now unemployed jihadi refugees from Syria into the battle, and it was arming them with high tech weapons supplied by the Israelis, including drones, against which Armenian forces have “little defense.” The deployment of Israeli “kamikaze drones” which can take out Armenian tank and artillery positions dug in the Nagorno-Karabakh’s mountainous terrain” could tip the balance of the war in Azerbaijan’s favor. Pashinyan’s failure to mention Israeli involvement was calculated for public effect in a way that Armenian diplomacy was not. A better indication of the threat which Israel posed came when Armenia withdrew its ambassador to Israel in protest against “Israel’s supply of ultra-modern weapons to Azerbaijan.”

Erdogan’s use of Azeris, Israelis, and other proxy warriors put the Turks at odds not only with the Armenians but also with both the Russians, their traditional enemy in the region, as well as with the Iranians, who, in spite of being Muslims, were the main force on the ground which drove the same jihadis, then known as ISIS, out of Syria and into refugee camps in Turkey, where Erdogan weaponized them once again. One week into the war, Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani announced that “Iran will not allow anyone, on some pretext, to bring terrorists that Iran has fought for years to our border.”

The conflict goes back to the Soviet era when Stalin put Nagorno-Karabakh or what is now calling itself Artsakh under the administration of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan, followed by a referendum which returned it to Armenia, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which led to aspirations of ethnic independence on both sides, followed by Azerbaijan reasserting its territorial claims, followed by war, the attack of September 20 being only the latest installment of that conflict. The only thing which remained constant during all of this turmoil was the Armenian ethnic identity of the overwhelming majority of that region’s inhabitants.

[…] This is just a short excerpt of the full article in the October Issue of Culture Wars Magazine.
Please Click Below to purchase and download a copy to continue reading.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Turkey 

“Therefore, Jew,Though justice be thy plea, consider this That in the course of justice none of us Should see salvation.”

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Edmund Mazza begins The Scholastics and the Jews: Coexistence, Conversion, and the Medieval Origins of Tolerance by citing what he calls Jeremy Cohen’s “classic work,” The Friars and the Jews, in which Cohen argues that “the Dominicans and Franciscans developed, refined, and sought to implement a new Christian ideology with regard to the Jews, one that allotted the Jews no legitimate right to exist in European society.”[1] That “new Christian ideology” involved “an organized and aggressive mission to the Jews.” And what was involved in this form of aggression? Raymond of Penaforte, then general of the Dominican order, “committed himself to making contemporary Jews believing Christians.”[2] Working for the conversion of the Jews as a way of bringing about their eternal salvation qualifies in Cohen’s mind as “stirring up hatred against Jews.”[3] Full of rage at the very idea of conversion, Cohen concludes his diatribe against Raymond of Penaforte by claiming that “This Jew-hater was later made a saint.”[4]

Nothing demonstrates the fact that Jews have a negative identity based solely on the rejection of Logos better than Cohen’s claim equating conversion with extinction. Cohen’s book appeared in 1982. We now have decades of Jewish literature affirming the fact that in the Jewish mind there is no difference between Raymond of Penaforte and Adolf Hitler. According to the all but unanimous verdict of recent Jewish scholarship, both men sought the extinction of the Jewish people. The fact that Mazza refers to Cohen’s screed as “serious historical allegations” is all that you need to know about the outdated, irenic tone of The Scholastics and the Jews.

Thirty five years after the publication of The Friars and the Jews, Mazza tries to rescue the reputation of the Catholic Mendicants of the Middle Ages by making the case that it was Tertullian and not John Locke who was the father of religious liberty. The term “’religious liberty,’” he tells us, “was not invented by French philosophes of the eighteenth century, nor by Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century, but by the early Church Father Tertullian in the second century, namely in his Apology for the Christians written in AD 197.”[5] Although many people have championed the idea after Tertullian, no one in “the thousand-year history of Greece and Rome” ever made a “plea for individual liberty grounded in reason/natural law” before Tertullian, who:

recognized that human liberty is rooted in human nature and Nature’s God, to be used in accordance with His eternal Law, which Nature obeys blindly, but which man—whose nature is fashioned in the image and likeness of God—may rationally choose to obey. That is to say: Liberty is not the right to do whatever you want; it is the freedom to do what you ought. And conversely then, “sin” is defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law,” to use the words of that infamous-sinner-turned-saint, Augustine of Hippo.[6]

The medieval Scholastics used philosophy rather than force to convert the Jews because they knew that Christ was the Logos Incarnate and that all men were by definition rational creatures who responded instinctively to reasoned argument. This was true of all who followed in Tertullian’s footsteps in their dealing with the Jews:

For all Justin Martyr’s extensive use of the Hebrew Prophets to persuade Trypho into the Christian fold, the catalyst for Justin’s conversation with him was Greek philosophy. Christ is the “Logos,” which is Greek for “Reason/ Truth.” This is how Justin put it in both his 1st Apology and 2nd Apology and he makes a similar argument here in his Dialogue: the argument for the unity of Truth. “Logos” was sent down among men: to the Greeks in the form of philosophy, to the Jews in the form of type and of prophecy. . . . and he exhorted them to become acquainted with the God who was to them unknown, by means of the investigation of reason, saying, “That it is neither easy to find the Father and Maker of all, nor, having found Him, is it safe to declare Him to all.” But these things our Christ did through His own power.[7]

The fact that Jews were free to reject Logos and make that rejection the core of their identity led inexorably to the idea of tolerance, because the Church was adamant, even if temporal leaders were not, in insisting that baptism should not be coerced. Toleration flowed just as inexorably from the understanding that Jews were the enemies of Christian societies. Raymond of Penaforte’s co-religionist and fellow Dominican Thomas Aquinas made this point clear when he claimed that “the Jews sin in their rites” and when he called them “our enemies.”[8] This proves that “one did not have to like the Jews to be tolerant.” Quite to the contrary,

one had to dislike them to be tolerant, for tolerance only applied to evil. Tolerance was not an imperative of love but a restraint on one’s hatred. It is thanks to this restraint however, that Jews, in the Thomistic concept, were permitted to live their own lives within the bounds of a Christian society.[9]

This idea has disappeared from the Catholic understanding of tolerance, and, therefore, it has also disappeared from the understanding of the world at large, which believes that “there is no such thing as an absolute truth,” which as Mazza points out, “is actually to proclaim one.”[10] As a result, “the Church is roundly condemned as intolerant for the very reason that it holds to Truth.[11]

Throughout his book, Mazza focuses on Jewish grievance rather than Jewish malfeasance, explaining that “soon after the arrival of the Black Death in 1349, the Jewish communities of Spain found themselves scapegoats for the plague, which killed as much as a third of the population in some cities.”[12] Similarly, “By the 1430s, one third to one half of the Jewish population of the peninsula had converted to Catholicism. By 1492, the remnant that had refused was expelled from the country—a fact equally worthy of a moment of observed silence.”[13] In neither instance was the Church involved in persecuting Jews, but was the government wrong in expelling them, as 190 countries had done and would continue to do? Did Jewish misbehavior have any bearing on the violence which recurred periodically throughout European history? Thomas Aquinas urged “fraternal correction” in dealing with the Jews, but only “in so far as it is necessary for that end, but not so as we have to correct our erring brother at all places and times.”[14] “When preaching leads to people pelting Jews with stones and when censoring blasphemies leads to vendettas against prominent Jewish leaders, it is time to forego fraternal admonition.”[15]

Once again Mazza seems to accept the Jewish narrative of eternal victimhood at face value, even when he exonerates the Church by blaming the peasants for the violence. But he never asks why the peasants were pelting the Jews with stones. Did usury play a role in this anger? Were they forced to take the law into their own hands because the prince, who could borrow at a lower interest rate, refused to enforce the extant laws against usury because he personally benefited from the Jews’ presence in his realm? St. John Capistran referred to this situation as stemming from “the privileges of the Jews,” a term which Mazza never mentions in his book. Instead, the Dominicans are criticized as “sorely lacking in the fraternal love of their saintly founders.”[16]

 

“History rolled right over my body.” — Sidney Rittenberg

At the end of Euripedes’ play The Bacchae, Cadmus asks his daughter Agave, “What do you see?” Agave is sitting center stage with a severed human head in her lap. It is the head of her son Pentheus, who was torn limb from limb by the women of Thebes as they danced naked on the mountainside worshipping the Asiatic god Dionysos. Still intoxicated by the revelry that led to her son’s death, Agave says, “it’s a lion’s head, a trophy for the palace.” At this point, Cadmus says, “Look carefully. Study it more closely.” As the intoxication wears off, Agave recognizes what she has done and answers, “I see horror. I see suffering. I see grief.”

“Does it still look like a lion?” Cadmus asks.
“No, Pentheus. I am holding his head.”
“You were mad,” Cadmus tells his daughter. “The city was possessed by Dionysos.”
At this point, Agave awakes to the full consequence of her actions.
“I see now,” she says, “Dionysos has destroyed us.”

• • •

America went through its own bout of Dionysian intoxication in the days following May 25, when a Minneapolis cop by the name of Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of a 46-year-old Black man by the name of George Floyd, causing his death. Corrupted by 66 years of bad education, America’s Black Lumpenproletariat erupted in an orgy of rioting that brought the rule of law to an end in many of America’s large cities. As of this writing, Antifa, a group which Donald Trump has designated a domestic terrorist organization, is still in control of a six-square block section of downtown Seattle, which they have designated the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” In Minneapolis, the town where the rioting started, their Pentheus, Mayor Jacob Frey, was denounced by one of the Bacchant women who spoke in the name of Black Lives Matter after he refused to defund the Minneapolis police department. Frey was not torn limb from limb, but he was expelled from the crowd and had to take refuge with the police he was ordered to defund.

The race riots of May and June 2020 were only the latest installment of what might be called the regime of governance by crisis which began four years ago, when the Deep State decided to do whatever was necessary to depose Donald Trump. That campaign began with Russiagate, followed by the impeachment, followed by the hate speech campaign of 2019 which sought to ban “unwanted content” from the Internet, followed by the Covid-19 pandemic. What united all of these crises was oligarch unhappiness with the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States and a desire to replace the institutions of representative government with ad hoc committees of crisis managers masquerading as scientific experts and/or aggrieved minorities.

By now it should be obvious that the racial narrative writes itself whenever a Black man dies at the hands of a white cop. Floyd’s body was still warm when the mainstream media took up the story which had already been written and declared him a saint, complete with halo and wings. In reality, Floyd was a violent felon who died with traces of fentanyl and cocaine in his system, but the BBC described him as someone who “was simply trying to live life as any other American, in search of betterment in the face of both personal and societal challenges.”[1] He then became “the latest totem of the ills that plague the country in 2020.” After growing in wisdom, age, and grace, Floyd’s life suddenly “took a different turn, with a string of arrests for theft and drug possession culminating in an armed robbery charge in 2007, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison.” Missing from the BBC account was any mention of Floyd’s incarceration, drug dealing, violence against pregnant women or his role as a porn star,[2] but no one needed to tell a graduate of America’s public school system that he was witnessing the latest installment of the ongoing saga of American racism in action.

The Palestinians who watched the same video, however, saw something else. They recognized the knee hold that Officer Chauvin inflicted on Floyd as the same technique which Israeli police routinely used on Palestinians. Also missing from the mainstream account of Floyd’s death was any mention of the role which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) played in weaponizing the Minneapolis police department. The ADL has been pressuring police departments across the country for years to train with Israeli instructors to learn submission techniques like the knee on the throat hold. But more importantly, the policemen who are subjected to the Israelification of local police forces learn more than techniques. They learn attitudes, and the main attitude they learn is that they should treat the locals who fund their departments with their tax money in the same way that Israelis treat Palestinians. Whenever the race issue gets raised, the Jewish revolutionaries who are the main orchestrators of incidents like the Floyd riots remain invisible. This was certainly true of the ADL, which arranged the 2012 meeting in Chicago which brought together the Minneapolis police department and counter-terrorism experts from Israel at a conference sponsored by the FBI and the Israeli consulate in Chicago which focused on “terrorism prevention techniques.”[3]

After seeing the video of Officer Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, Neta Golan, the co-founder of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) said: “I remembered noticing when many Israeli soldiers began using this technique of leaning in on our chest and necks when we were protesting in the West Bank sometime in 2006.”[4] Israeli training of US police is widespread: “Since 2002 the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs have paid for police chiefs, assistant chiefs and captains to train in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”[5] In the aftermath of Floyd’s killing, Palestinians were quick to draw parallels between the final images of the man suffering under the knee of the officer, and similar choke holds used by Israel occupation forces. “Crazy how the same thing happens in Palestine but the world chooses to ignore it,” Palestinian athlete Mohammad Alqadi wrote on his Twitter feed above four separate images of Israeli soldiers pinning Palestinians to the ground with their knees on their necks or head.[6]