The GOP Convention And More Racism Round Up.

[Trigger warning, Assange related material.]

When the GOP Convention comes around there is almost the feeling that America has stepped back in time, not by the technology employed or the showmanship, but the underlying ideas.

Issues that many might think are uncontroversial provoke alarm and worry amongst the GOP, the Pew Research Quiz is just one indicator.

But a deeper whiff of bigotry and reaction clings to GOP events, as TPM reported:

“An attendee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and said “This is how we feed animals” before being removed from the convention, a network official confirmed to TPM. “

And more, Nativism 101:

“There were energetic shouts of “Aye!” and “Nay!” as a Puerto Rican party functionary—Zoraida Fonalledas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization—took her turn at the main-stage lectern. As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

The chanting carried on for nearly a minute while most of the other delegates and the media stood by in stunned silence. The Puerto Rican correspondent turned to me and asked, “Is this happening?” I said I honestly didn’t know what was happening—it was astonishing to see all the brittle work of narrative construction that is a modern political convention suddenly crack before our eyes. None of us could quite believe what we were seeing: A sea of twentysomething bowties and cowboy hats morphing into frat bros apparently shrieking over (or at) a Latina. RNC chairman Reince Priebus quickly stepped up and asked for order and respect for the speaker, suggesting that, yeah, what we had just seen might well have been an ugly outburst of nativism.”

Meanwhile, for would-be GOPers, Ayn Rand and a discussion of her “philosophy”, which seems to have all of the depth and consistency of L.Ron. Hubbard’s Scientology, albeit without the UFOs.

The Washington Post on Syria’s escalating slaughter:

“It’s no wonder that civilians are fleeing Syria at a greater rate than ever. More than 200,000 have now arrived in neighboring countries, and some 10,000 were reported to be waiting Monday on the border of Turkey, which is already harboring 80,000 refugees. Turkish authorities are scrambling to prepare new refu­gee camps but say they cannot accommodate more than 100,000 — a number that could be reached within days.

The mounting massacres and refugee flows are rendering the Obama administration’s stubborn stance of passivity on Syria unsustainable. As soon as Thursday, the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a member of NATO, may ask the U.N. Security Council to authorize a safe zone for refugees inside Syria. While that is likely to be resisted by Russia, the United States would be foolish to continue standing by while allies such as Turkey and Jordan are swamped, and possibly destabilized, by Syrian refugees. Even more reprehensible is refusing to intervene while a state systematically murders its own citizens. “

Update on Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr.

Brendan O’Neill does a George Galloway on rape, shame he was too lazy to read the account of Assange assault:

“”AA tried several times to reach for a condom which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and try to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom. AA says that she felt about to cry since she was held down and could not reach a condom and felt this could end badly.”

Another Angry Woman takes him on in Guess who’s a weeping syphilitic chode? That’s right, it’s still Brendan O’Neill.

In South Africa, they arrested miners, not the police for the recent shootings, unbelievable.

In Israel, the ugly side of political hooliganism, kids arrested for attempt to firebomb a Palestinian taxi driver.

The conscious neglect of children in East Jerusalem, truly shortsighted, petty and mindless. A good quality education is the key to development and progress in the Middle East, for individuals and societies, Ynet reports:

“Despite the gloomy findings, the report claims that the Jerusalem Municipality has not allocated the funds needed to improve the education system, and continues to discriminate between west and east Jerusalem in matters of infrastructures and budgets.

As for preschool education, the report indicates that only 800 out of some 15,000 east Jerusalem children between the ages of three and four were granted spots in public kindergartens ahead of the new school year – a figure that is in contradiction with a government decision to provide free education for children up to the age of four. “

Haaretz argues the U.K. extreme right is undecided on who to hate: Jews or Muslims? My own views, in the longer term, the extreme right will always hate Jews, it is really a tactical discussion amongst them. In the short to medium term, natural British xenophobia is being stepped up against Muslims and Asians, that’s the real issue for them, how to use it to grow and gain power. Power is the ultimate aim of these neofascists the rest is merely tactical debate on what works.

I dislike Josh Treviño, but Rob Marchant looks at CiF and finds they’ve hired bigots and racists before:

There is a great deal more: some points of interest may already be known to readers of my blog, such as the printing of a puff-piece by unpleasant Holocaust cartoonist Carlos Latuff, or CiF’s running, on Holocaust Memorial Day, of an op-ed by Sheik Raed Salah, hate-preacher and convicted fundraiser for terrorism; or finally, its later op-ed in June, by someone who does not even pretend not to be a terrorist: Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of suicide-bombers Hamas in Gaza. Nice.
Where the Guardian may think it is being edgy and controversial, it is often being, at the very least, offensive to the sensibilities of ordinary people not known for their over-sensitivity. At worst it is laid open to not unreasonable charges of racism. The supremely rational Emeritus Professor of Politics in Manchester, Norman Geras, wrote this piece ten days ago, touching on the Toulouse killings, briefly thought to be the work of a neo-fascist:
“Two days later, however, once it was known that the killer was Mohammed Merah, an Islamist jihadist who had said he wanted to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children, a second editorial…then added precisely nothing about the kind of ideas which might have been influential in Merah’s willingness – not as a Muslim but as an Islamist and jihadist – to slaughter three Jewish children… But the killing of Jewish children is antisemitism of the most unadulterated kind. Those children were guilty of nothing and were killed by Merah because they were Jewish.
A liberal newspaper, committed to the fact that racism is never acceptable anywhere, can find the words to name the poison that is rightwing anti-immigrant xenophobia, but not the word for hatred of Jews.” 
It was as if the words “anti-Semitism” had strangely got stuck in the newspaper’s throat.
It’s not as if the phenomenon is unknown by the editorial staff, either. Indeed, its decent and well-intentioned Letters Editor Chris Elliott last year wrote this piece to warn its writers to steer clear of lazy assumptions or phrases (such as the “chosen people”), that readers might interpret as latent anti-Semitism.

Not forgetting, Shadow Conventions 2012: Books On Poverty In America.

20 years on in Rostock.

Hussein Ibish on Bulldozing the Special Relationship. I think there’s more to it than that. The military and courts are reluctant, whatever the country, be it Britain, the US, France or China, to criticise or prosecute their own soldiers. It is a common theme in human rights abuses, from Sri Lanka, Tibet and Northern Ireland.

I think the IDF were guilty and should have compensated the family, at the very least but this shameful attitude is not unique, as the family’s of the victims of bloody Sunday know all too well.

US inactivity is annoying the Syrian opposition:

“BEIRUT (AP) — The head of the main Syrian opposition group seeking to oust President Bashar Assad criticized U.S. officials Tuesday for saying it was premature to speak about a transitional Syrian government.

The comments came on the same day a car bomb ripped through a Damascus suburb, killing 12 people, according to Syria’s official state news agency. Activists also said an airstrike in the town of Kfar Nabl in Idlib killed at least 13 people as fighting raged nationwide.

International diplomatic efforts have so far failed to stem the bloodshed. The leader of the Syrian National Council called on the United States and other allies to take decisive action instead of placing blame on the divided opposition.”

Assange and Game Theory.

Difficulties in remaining objective – Part II

Well I never, shock of the week, George Galloway joins pro-Assad TV channel, After ages at racist Press TV, turning out propaganda for the murdering dictator of Syria must seem quite refreshing. Yuck.

Why do men rape? – An opinion piece by Christine Crowstaff.

I liked this, Feminist Avengers visit George Galloway MP, very funny, but with a serious point.

Finally, Munich 1972: Terror and its aftermath.

5 comments

  1. Very interesting to hear your thoughts about Rachel Corrie – I’d be keen to hear a bit more about how you came to that conclusion. There did seem a fair amount of evidence that it was an accident.

    I think Trevino seems appalling – admittedly I’m judging him essentially by his tweets – andthe best known one is not the only one of that kind and perhaps not the worst – and by his article supposedly explaining them in the Guardian.

  2. The whole process by the IDF of demolishing houses is nihilistic.

    It may make a few Israelis feel very happy. but it is an abhorrent action. People’s houses should not be destroyed.

    Irrespective of the foolishness of standing in front of a digger, the driver and the IDF should have known of her presence, if they didn’t they are culpable of negligence. That is true in the Middle East or in the case of an industrial accident.

    Self-evidently the Israeli courts were not going to find them guilty and it would be naive to assume otherwise, any more then British courts have found their own soldiers guilty of the shoot to kill policy employed in Northern Ireland, etc

    Josh Treviño is a rightwing ideologue and I think it was just a bit of pandering by the Guardian employed in the first place, plausible denial for the other trite they publish.

    Nevertheless, the Guardian makes a particular habit of employing writers with serious hangups against Jews, or those who actively try to kill them, as in the Hamas leaders. But as with many things the Guardian is simply pandering to their constituency, who don’t, based on the evidence of the CiF threads, particularly like Jews or Israelis.

    After all, most if not all politics is local (and pandering to constituencies is common amongst politicians and the media).

  3. Thanks – your point about demolishing houses seems entirely reasonable, but I have read that tunnels were the principal target. The point about negligence seems reasonable – what I object to is the Guardian, in its editorial, essentially stating that it was a deliberate murder. At least – that’s how I read: “Perpetuating the myth that her death was a tragic accident, the judge did not deviate from the official line.” I was particularly keen to read Marc Goldberg’s views, but his own post focused on the need to remember Israeli victims of terror – rather than on the verdict. I think your point about Ireland etc is an example of completely legitimate ‘whataboutery’. Many have been arguing that there is no way in which Israel, the IDF or any Israeli has behaved less than perfectly in this matter, when perhaps it’s more useful to point out that, even if Israel has been at fault, it is hardly unique, particularly considering its security situation. Even though I’m reflexively mildly pro-Israel I find myself being encouraged by media coverage to scrutinise Israel critically – which is fine, but there are other countries which are doing far worse things and being ignored.

  4. “I think your point about Ireland etc is an example of completely legitimate ‘whataboutery’.”

    My point is a historical one, militaries tend to be callous, with occasional highlights of great humanity (building bridges, helping refugees, defending against the Taliban, etc), the IDF are (as you point out), not exceptional, not when you compare the activities of the British military during the Empire and in Ireland.

    I understand why the Guardian is so critical, as a primary media of the chattering classes, whose background is mixed between an ambivalence and positive hostility towards Jews (go back 70+ years and see). I am not surprised.

    They are after all coming from a culturally Christian perspective which is naturally hostile to Jews, so in turn that means heightened scrutiny of Israelis, and so letting human rights abuses across the Middle East get only an occasional mention. The same is true of the BBC, but the pool of journalists/senior management come from a similar background, predominantly, white, male and Oxbridge

    But here’s a bet, I imagine that the Guardian coverage of British brutality in Kenya is fleeting (incidentally, I haven’t checked), even the coverage of the six counties and shoot to kill will only be occasional in the Guardian. They’re not terribly concerned with highlighting British misdemeanours. Why would they?

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