Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Monbiot On the "Sickness" of 9-11 Conspiracists

There is a virus sweeping the world. It infects opponents of the Bush government, sucks their brains out through their eyes and turns them into gibbering idiots. . . In the past fortnight, it has become an epidemic. Scarcely a day now passes without someone possessed by this sickness, eyes rolling, lips flecked with foam, trying to infect me.

Wander but a few paragraphs into the comments under that essay and you'll find George being instructed in the details of the great Zionist plot behind it all. You'll find yourself in the same general vicinity as here, in the comments, where I show up as a gatekeeper to the Ziocon false-flag hegemony and an "Aspernazi whore."

Speaking of the Aspers, one of their harder-working minions, an old drinking and sparring partner, says complimentary things about my book and about me in today's Vancouver Sun. I bet you think it's just a coincidence, don't you. . .


Blogger ndude said...

Thanks again Terry
One of my biggest pet peeves are those who perpetuate this conspiracy "theory." The only explanation is that they apparently had their brains sucked out, by aliens!

5:40 PM  
Blogger Dr. Dawg said...

Gosh. What would you make of this?

The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible. But another journalist, Thomas Friedman (not part of the group), is skeptical.

5:43 PM  
Blogger tglavin said...

NDude: I run hot and cold on Monbiot. But that was a dang fine piece.

Dawg (don't know why I'm responding to you, given your previous insults, but): I'd say that sounds like something written by someone preoccupied with the involvement of Jews in White House policy for some reason. Maybe the context warrants the attention paid to Jews here, maybe it doesn't. Can't say without context.


6:13 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I'm with you on this one, Terry. Nine/eleven conspiracy theorists are an embarassment to the tradition of rational thought for which the left has been known.

As someone who have encountered them in various places on the internet, I have found that the best approach is to ignore them.

12:26 AM  
Blogger tglavin said...

"Dr. Dawg:" Whoever you are, hiding behind the anonymity of your cartoon-character nickname, I'm going to leave your post for the sole reason that it's a classic example of a pathology that is not only destroying rational debate on the Left, but is also ruining the prospects for independent on-line journalism.

Here's what's happened.

I wrote a 2,200-word essay for Tyee about the British journalist Nick Cohen and his brave assessment of the state of the Left and the rot that has set in from its margins. In that essay, there is a sentence roughly summarizing one of Cohen's many observations about how the Left has degenerated - one sentence, mind you: "`Zionists' conveniently replaced the mythical, shadowy, conniving Jews."

The essay appeared a week ago, and it immediately set off a "comments" bedlam on Tyee about Zionists, about Jews, about Israel, antisemitism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Nazis, and so on. And it's still going on. One person, hiding behind the anonymity of the nickname "Coyote," made remarks about me and Cohen that were so revolting that the Tyee editor removed them and banned him permanently from commenting. Then things degenerated into anonymous commenters protesting his banning and accusing other anonymous commenters of having committed antisemtic transgressions worse than this "Coyote" character, and then they started accusing each other of antisemitism and calling for the banning of another commenter for his antisemitic remarks.

And now you're here, making the transparently false claim that I've conflated "opposition to Israel" with 9-11 conspiracy nutters and alleging that I've accused you of being an anti-semite.

I've never offered an opinion about you. I don't even know who are.

If you can't see anything sordid or pathetic or even faintly ridiculous about all this, and if you don't feel even a twinge of embarrassment about what you've posted here, then you're beyond help.

I certainly can't help you, and I'm not going to engage in a debate with you. You're the internet equivalent of serial crank-telephone caller, or an anonymous graffito artist. Hanging up on some nutcase on the telephone is not a denial of free speech, and graffiti is not debate. It's vandalism, so if you come back here and try to post anything short of an abject apology, I'll delete you. You are perfectly free to go and cry about it and tell more lies about me from the safety of your anonymous nickname somewhere else.

10:17 AM  
Blogger thebookmistress said...

Dr Dawg, given that we still don't actually know what the context of that quote is, here's a thought.

Haaretz has an obvious reason to be interested in world events from a Jewish perspective. They also extensively cover sports figures who are Jewish, and review kosher cookbooks, for example.

What's your reason?

It seems that your sincerely-held belief is that two dozen Jews and hangers-on forced the leader of the free world, 150 million Americans (assuming half of them supported the war), 100 senators, the world's most powerful military, etc. into a war against their will. Fair enough, but I would have to ask how you believe they did it.

To my mind, there are two possible explanations: A. They made a damn good case or B. They have super-Jew powers of persuasion/control the world banks/Mossad knows everyone's secrets.

If you believe it's A, I am not sure where the "Jew" thing frankly comes into it. The neocons made their case. Some Jews are neocons, some Jews aren't, some were pro-war, some weren't. The argument either stands on the strength of it or it falls, regardless of who presents it. Obsessions about who presented the argument, especially when neocon != Jew != pro-war seem a bit "obsessive," don't you think?

If you believe it's B, than thanks for the compliment, but you can see why someone might be a bit concerned about you ascribing all these powers to a group, based on the following conclusive evidence: "The US government did not act in the way Dr Dawg wanted it to act."

10:21 AM  
Blogger G West said...

It would be marginally fair if you actually noted that the person who posted that aspersion (pardon the pun) was thoroughly condemned on the Tyee books site you've linked to.

And, I think your characterization of the case against Israel is as monolithic and tone deaf as anything I've encountered anywhere.

I wonder if you'll have the intestinal fortitude and strength of character to actually leave this post on your own website though.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Dr. Dawg said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:47 PM  
Blogger thebookmistress said...

Terry, there's no actual point to trying to reason here, is there?

1:57 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Dr.Dawg is the funniest thing in the blogosphere, he is a typical example of what Nick Cohen writes about.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

It is strange how criticism of Israel is considered not anti-semitic, and in many cases that is correct. but criticism of a Muslim country is always considered by some on the left and their buddies as Islamaphobic.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Robert G. said...

Not much of a meal, T.

3:30 PM  
Blogger tglavin said...

Comrade Bookmistress: You are quite right. There is no point in reasoning with people like that.

I was going to let it go until I came to the part where Baglow repeated his lie, saying I had accused people like him of being antisemitic, "by virtue of being critical of Israel and supportive of the anti-war movement."

That's one of the key comforting lies these people persist in telling themselves about this question. And if you refuse to agree to the rules they've had to make for themselves to keep their little fantasy world intact, they'll tell outrageous lies about you.

Come to think of it, there's a great line in Cohen's book that actually specifically addresses these sorts of situations: "You can call yourself Cathleen ni Houlihan for all the difference it will make, the odds are you will be accused of `Zionism’ ".

Anyway, I'm going ignore my policy of keeping Tyee posters off this page in the case of GWest's remarks here, for their humour value: ". . .your characterization of the case against Israel is as monolithic and tone deaf as anything I've encountered anywhere."

I've never written anything about "the case against Israel," tone-deaf or otherwise.

Weird, eh?

3:58 PM  
Blogger kurt said...

I quite enjoy a lot of the Tyee stories but the space alloted to readers' debate is always taken over by the same boring bunch, riding their favourite hobbyhorses and dispensing insults and non sequiturs on their merry chase over the horizon. Don't know why anyone bothers reading or debating with them; it's like talking to your hand.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...


I would say it cuts both ways. There are both Jews and Muslims, not all, but some, who are guilty of overreacting to criticisms of their respective countries.

There are some Jews who attack the slightest criticism of the Israeli government at being anti-Semetic.

On the other hand, as you say, there are some Muslims who will attack any enlightened criticism of their country.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

However, I want to clarify that I'm only talking about a minority within each faith.

6:16 PM  
Blogger tglavin said...

Hey, Stephen:

Steve can respond on his own (he actually referred to "some on the left and their buddies" being guilty of what you sensibly call "over-reacting" in this way), but I wonder if this is true: "There are some Jews who attack the slightest criticism of the Israeli government as being anti-Semitic."

I'm not criticizing you here, it's just that this is something I keep hearing, whenever the question of Israel and antisemitism comes up. To be completely honest with you, I've taken it as "true" myself. But I'm starting to wonder.

Is this really the big problem it's cracked up to be? Is it really all that common?

I'm not saying you're suggesting it is a widespread phenomenon or anything, and I suppose there must be some Jews who have done this, but the strange thing is I can't remember ever actually seeing it happen.

Any evidence would be appreciated.



6:46 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I've seen it a lot in various places on the internet. A specific criticism is made of a policy or action of the Israeli government. A response is made by someone claiming to be a Jew, not merely disagreeing with the criticism (which of course is entirely within their rights to do so), but calling the criticism anti-Semetic. A specific example doesn't come to mind, but over the years I have seen a number of criticisms of the IDF being responded to in such a manner.

8:16 PM  
Blogger tglavin said...


Fair enough. But if you come across any "Jews who attack the slightest criticism of the Israeli government as being anti-Semitic," you might remember to point me to it.


9:21 PM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

Terry Said;
"I'm not saying you're suggesting it is a widespread phenomenon or anything, and I suppose there must be some Jews who have done this, but the strange thing is I can't remember ever actually seeing it happen.

Any evidence would be appreciated."...
You are unaware of some Jews crying anti-antisemitism,when other critic Israel.
evidence are you serious(I say this because I find it quit incredulous that you have not seen examples of this) ,well check out the attacks against Jimmy Carters Book...


10:56 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Well They do have a point about Carter's book.

4:11 AM  
Blogger tglavin said...

That doesn't really cut it. Close, though.

What I was looking was evidence of "Jews who attack the slightest criticism of the Israeli government as being anti-Semitic." I'm not going to make any judgment about Carter's book because I haven't read it, but the title alone suggests something rather more than "slight" criticism of Israel; more than a dozen members of the advisory board of the Carter centre have resigned because of the book's contents, Carter takes a very strange "Christian" approach to his entire analysis of Israel, there were some fairly agregious errors in the book for which Carter has been apologizing, and he himself has been begging forgiveness. While Carter's book and his conduct generally in recent years has provoked debate in some Jewish circles over whether he has crossed over into antisemitism, I don't think there are many serious people who have been, in Stephen's words, "over-reacting" in this way.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

Well I do not think Carter has been begging for forgiveness(thats a ridiculous assertion or conclusion).But he did concede one sentence could be read in a way he had not intended.Which will be edited in all future editions.Other than that he stands by every word he wrote.
As for the word Apartheid it does exist in Israel.
But don't take my word for it in fact the former Israeli education minister used the same word to describe certain laws and practices of the Israeli state.
What Carter said in his book was criticism of Israeli policies.Many many many many Jews used the anti-semitic,and more to attack Carter.To deny this or that such practice is not wide spread is to be naive or intellectually dishonest.
Indeed write an article(Terry) critical of Israel and see what happens.
There are plenty of things you could write about.
There is the apartheid,there are the laws denying Palestinian families the right to live together,or the right of reunion if one part of the family lives in the occupied terr.
The laws that do not allow marriage between Palestinians and Arabs citizens of Israel.
There are the Jew only roads
There are numerous laws based purly one one ethnicity or religion,anywhere else on the planet such laws would be denounced as racist,hence Carters use of the word Apartheid to describe some Israeli laws and practices.
And Zionism is an actual thing(Just check out Israeli media sources and NGO's),but if a non-Jew uses the word they are labeled and dismissed.

The list is endless...


8:42 PM  
Blogger tglavin said...

Thanks, Dirk, for not providing a single example of what I asked for.

8:46 PM  
Blogger ndude said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:29 AM  
Blogger ndude said...

ndude said...

There are some who claim "the slightest criticism" of Israel is Anti-Semitic. I disagree and it muddies the waters. Abe Foxman (Head of ADL USA) theorizes that anyone who condemns Zionism as racism is anti-semitic (as did Dr. Martin Luther King btw) because all nations (and nationalities) have a right to pursue their own state. So why not Jews? I am not sure I agree 100 % but it's interesting.

What I do find disturbing is the tendency of "progressives" to use anti-semitic imagery and deliberately politically charged/loaded expressions to "criticize" Israel. (Rex Murphy commented on this "we have all too frequently in demonstrations almost everywhere in the world the placards and chants equating Israel and its government with its own demonic anti-type, the nazi-ism of Adolf Hitler. We have in effect the Holocaust, the mightiest engine of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, thrown in the face of the people who were its targets. http://tinyurl.com/2hm6pw) When they are called on it THEY use the anti-semitic accusation as a ruse to chill the debate although clearly it is a form of bigotry. Examples are the use of Apartheid (which recently a conference on Apartheid declared the use in relation to Israel as historically inaccurate), alleging that the use of the Holocaust is a cover for Zionist/racism, that Israel is a Nazi-like state etc. (Just see Babble a "progressive" forum where this dialogue is de rigeur http://tinyurl.com/2yy9k7 )Food for thought: Canada treats its First Nations Peoples disgustingly. We have institutionalized racism: confiscated their land, put them on reserves and make them subject to the "Indian Act." Israel inherited the Palestinian problem through a UN resolution, and wars that it didn't initiate. However Our First Nations aren't committing acts of terrorism, and the "progressives" aren't demonstrating in the streets. This is not a perfect comparison and it is fair to criticize Israel for the way it deals with Palestinians. The issue is how balanced that criticism is levelled and whether a double standard is used.

9:45 AM  
Blogger ndude said...

Dirk's comments above are an example of the double standard of criticism. Most Palestinians live outside of Israel(Jordon etc) in horrible circumstances such as refuge camps, where they are legally prohibited from voting, owning or passing title to land. Why? And Why isn't criticism levelled there?
Roads (in the territories, NOT Israel proper) are secured for (obvious) security reasons. I would ask Dirk to post links to the precise "laws" he is referring to.
Clearly Palestinian rights and quality of life are in issue. Israel bears some of that responsibility. But not all. Which brings us full circle, many use their "anti-Zionism" as a convenient cover.

10:41 AM  
Blogger tglavin said...

NDude: Excellent points. Exactly what I was on about.

And I still haven't found evidence for the statement: "There are some Jews who attack the slightest criticism of the Israeli government as being anti-Semitic." And I've been looking everywhere.

I don't fault people who accept this statement, I should reiterate. It is so widely maintained and has gone largely unquestioned. But I'm actually beginning to think it's a contemporary "urban legend" about Jews.

My interest in this question is more in line with my fascination with assumptions on the Left, urban legends, racist stereotyping and so on. I don't have any elaborate interest in Israel or hard opinions about Israeli affairs or anything. Anyway. . .

I'm starting to suspect that if this business about "crying antisemitism" is an urban legend, the rumpus about Jimmy Carter's book may prove to be a textbook case of this legend at work.

The book has attracted wide and intense notice specifically because it's said to be an example of Jews reacting to mere criticism of Israel by smearing the book with an antisemitic label.

For one thing, mere criticism or "slight" criticism is pushing it, even by Carter's standards, since he's recanted from its most controversial and offensive critical assertion.

But more importantly, and even so, for all the "Is this an antisemitic book?" debate - which must be terrific for sales, incidentally - I've still yet to find a real Jew with a real name in the real world who has come out and reacted to the book by saying "It's antisemitic" or "Jimmy Carter is an antisemite." Carter himself refers to these allegations, whoever is making them, as coming only from a "radical fringe" in American society.

I recently read an essay in The New Republic (coincidentally referenced as evidence of the "truth" that I have questioned here by a commenter on a certain online daily I write for which shall remain nameless). The NR essay is about a separate matter, and it touches on allegations of antisemitism - or near-allegations, anyway - by American Jews, about American Jews and their influence on U.S. policy and so on.

But it contains no evidentiary basis for an answer to the specific question I've raised. There's one paragraph in that NR review in which the author, John Judis, singles out a fascinating paper by Alvin Rosenfeld in which Rosenfeld refers to individuals who "harshly criticize the Israeli state, compare its policies in the occupied territories to South Africa's in the Bantustans or even Hitler's in Germany, call for a secular democratic state, or criticize Zionism itself" - and Rosenfeld says these claims "recall older versions of anti-Semitism."

Even if one thinks that "apartheid" is a term reasonably applied to Israel's conduct in the West Bank, and even if one agrees entirely with Judis's take on Rosenfeld's paper (in the passage I cite above, Judis does take Rosenfeld out of context a bit, I think) one cannot say that Rosenfeld's specific point here is anywhere near evidence for Jewish people over-reacting to slight criticism of the Israeli government by crying "antisemitism." It's not even close.

Incidentally, one commenter on the NR web page with the Judis essay noted: "It is true that not all criticism of Israeli policy is antisemitic and I do not know any supporter of Israel who does think so. This charge is a canard."

So I'm not alone, anyway.

By all means read the Judis piece but I highly recommend going straight to Rosenfeld's paper. It's meticulously researched and referenced:




1:08 PM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

Terry said"I'm starting to suspect that if this business about "crying antisemitism" is an urban legend, the rumpus about Jimmy Carter's book may prove to be a textbook case of this legend at work."......
what the fuck ?????????
and Carter has not recanted(read the book,also there are tons of clips with Carter discussing his book) on anything he said,what the fuck are you talking about
anyway cheers,chose to believe what you chose to.I am sure you can find reams of info to back up your assertion,but than so can those who chose to downplay global warming,indeed what ever position one choses to take one can find "facts" or info to back up ones assertions or beliefs.But if one looks at this situation with out preconceived notions one will only than,be able to make a fair assessment of the actual reality..
nnude said"Dirk's comments above are an example of the double standard of criticism. Most Palestinians live outside of Israel(Jordon etc) in horrible circumstances such as refuge camps, where they are legally prohibited from voting, owning or passing title to land. Why? And Why isn't criticism levelled there?
I am talking about Israel not the Arab countries,get it...
so let me get this straight for me to critic Israel I must critic Arab countries at the same time or my argument is ?????
Goes like this I guess,"sure Israel might do this or that,but compared to this country or that Israel is ???.
I do not get it,what the fuck does the situation in other Arab countries have to with an argument about Israel and the policies of that country against people living in that country or subjected to it's influence...
Dirk gimpchronicles.c0m

3:01 PM  
Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

Terry said:"I don't have any elaborate interest in Israel or hard opinions about Israeli affairs or anything. Anyway". . .
Well then at least be fair and quit dismissing those that talk about Zionism etc or point out the influence of the Jews Lobby,as wackos or conspiracy nuts.
Sure those types do exist but the vast majority of criticism about Israel is based on real events,laws,action etc
Anyway.I will quite wasting your time.
My arguments are just so wrong unlike your own.
I just do not get it i guess

3:11 PM  
Blogger G West said...

Unfortunately, Terry Glavin's assessment of everyone and anyone who comments on his Tyee articles IS typical of this construction; namely, that the pathetic creatures who read ‘his’ incendiary journalism and comment about it are either apologists for Jew-haters and terrorists or guilty of these crimes themselves.

The fairness of some commentators on this subject in the wider media (among them, as pointed out by numerous examples both at Tyee and here, numerous Jews and Israelis) - which he has now reluctantly been forced to acknowledge, would be refreshing if it were now applied to his own writing and attitudes.

11:07 AM  
Blogger tglavin said...

Fellow members of the Masonic / Jewish / Celtic Illuminati: Contrary to the advice of the Chief Gatekeeper, the Aspers, and even his Mossad paymasters, Agent Glavin advises that he has decided to take his own counsel and not delete the previous post. This is his prerogative.

The last time the troll in question ("GWest") posted here Glavin allowed the post to remain for its humour value. This time around the post is even funnier ("terrorists"!), but Glavin also advises that back in the Tyee comment-box asylum wing GWest has pegged him as an "apologist for neocon lies and fascist revisionism," which suggests that they may be on to us.

The inmates of the Tyee comment-box asylum wing have already had their suspicions aroused by the recent deletions of several of their posts that refer to Jews, written in response to several columns and essays written by our various paid Tyee agents. One shudders to think what would happen if this communique became public.

Therefore, we concur that the previous post should not be deleted, but no further from the troll in question should be allowed here, and we will also endeavour to have one of our informers and friends among the inmates accuse Glavin of antisemitism if it starts to look as though his cover might be blown.

Peace out.

- The Elders.

6:04 PM  
Blogger tglavin said...


6:37 PM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Well, George Monbiot - of all the people... My flabber is totally gasted. Yeah - probably he has been got to by one of our mind control reptilians.

And yes, agent Terry - I must commend you with another success - you forced Dirk B. into stuttering ;-) aNd mIXinG his ShIFts and cAPS lOcKs.

Cool - the bonus is in the mAlE. I mean, in the mail, of course.

7:40 AM  
Blogger tglavin said...

Thankyou, Snoop. Always at your service.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

Terry Dr. Dawg is one John Baglow of Ottawa. Notorious blog commenter who thankfully has ceased ending his litter like postings with a plea to visit his blog. He was a former VP of PSAC I believe who was instrumental in the formulation of that unions ground breaking foreign policy initiative, which in a nutshell may best be described as "The Uncritical Support of the Palestinian Cause Despite All Reason" or "Fill in the blank of your favourite Anti-US Thug here and PSAC Will Wave Banners" doctrine. He is or was a stalwart member of the NDP. He has unfortunately developed the bad habit of mistaking verbosity for analysis and insight.

7:16 PM  
Blogger evilprinceweasel said...


Appreciate your candour and courage. Unfortunately you are experiencing what another of my favourite 'left' writers, Chris Hitchens, went through a while back for, gawsh, I don't know, thinking it was a good thing to depose a very evil man bent on genocide. The trend goes back to Trotsky and continues to this day. Imagine that....free thinking! Revisionist!

10:45 AM  

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