Ralph Nader and the New Anti-Semitism

Ralph Nader’s second run for president has been much more negatively received than his 2000 attempt. A prominent criticism in the anti-Bush fever-swamps is that the damage Nader could cause this time by draining Democratic votes would not only be epic, but inversely proportional to the current value of Nader’s political career. Certainly his critics are onto something with this last bit — Nader, once an impressive and prolific activist, does seem to have transmogrified into an oblivious gadfly bent on undermining the movement he ostensibly cares about.

Few people realize, though, just how precipitous Nader's fall has been. Driven into a corner by both his lousy political gamesmanship, and the tectonic redefinition by 9/11 of the ideological playing field, Nader has begun to flirt with what George Will calls "that hardy perennial of the right", which in recent times has been embraced by so many on the Left: anti-Semitism.

On June 22nd, the Jerusalem Post reported that Nader had given an interview to the United Arab Emirates' Al-Khaleej newspaper. His spokesman also gave some follow-up comments to the Post:

"No diplomatic plan can be acceptable unless it allows for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and a full Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders, a spokesman for US Presidential candidate Ralph Nader told the Jerusalem Post.

Nader, an independent presidential candidate, also disagrees with Israel's construction of the security fence, its targeted killings of terrorist leaders, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza disengagement plan, his spokesman said.

'Too often the United States walks lockstep with the Israelis; it needs to think for itself,' Nader's spokesman added.

On Saturday, Nader called on the Bush Administration to stop backing Israel's policies regarding the Palestinians. In a statement to the Emirate al-Khalij newspaper, Nader said that Israeli officials 'control' the White House, and coerce American leaders to supply them with billions of dollars in arms and support."

One week later, Nader appeared at a conference called "The Muslim Vote in Election 2004", which was sponsored by the Council for the National Interest. This was a gathering meant to address the problem of getting the Islamic-American vote out in anti-Bush force. In his speech to the audience of head-scarved women and fourth-rate journalists, Nader, improving on his comments from the prior week, said:

"What has been happening over the years is a predictable routine of foreign visitation from the head of the Israeli government. The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington. The Israeli puppeteer meets with the puppet in the White House, and then moves down Pennsylvania Avenue, and meets with the puppets in Congress. And then takes back billions of taxpayer dollars. It is time for the Washington puppet show to be replaced by the Washington peace show."

You can watch the C-SPAN broadcast here.

The Council for the National Interest is a staunchly anti-Israel think tank staffed by ex-Foreign Service officers, former ambassadors to Arab countries and diplomats, some of whom are on the dole of Arab governments and pro-Arab organizations. Two of its founding members, Andrew Killgore and Richard Curtiss, are also founding publishers of the anti-Semitic pseudo-journal, the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs. A hate rag, WRMEA is also alleged to be Saudi-controlled, and is a sophisticated propaganda tool that, among many anti-Israel memes, does its best to sustain and promote the powerful USS Liberty conspiracy industry.

In early May, CNI President Eugene Bird, who co-hosted and spoke at "The Muslim Vote in Election 2004", appeared in a clip featured in one of anti-Israel hatchet man Neil MacDonald's CBC TV news spots. Bird was giving a statement in a press conference, on the heels of the Abu Ghraib scandal. In it he suggested that Mossad had actually committed the crimes at Abu Ghraib.

Paul Findley, CNI's Founding Chairman, is alleged by A. Jay Cristol, a former JAG lawyer who spent ten years researching the Liberty incident, to be "the first Congressman to espouse the PLO". He is a favorite among hardcore anti-Semites, and is well-known in the anti-Israel trenches for having written They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby, one of the staple items in the modern, academic anti-Jewish canon.

Nader's fellow speakers at "The Muslim Vote in Election 2004" included Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the radical Islamic Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Hassan Ibrahim, a director with the radical Islamic Muslim Public Affairs Council. Steven Emerson, a journalist and veteran terrorism investigator, alleged in 1998 in Senate testimony that Awad has ties to Hamas. And here is an excerpt on MPAC from Emerson's American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us:
"On December 22, 2000, MPAC's Mahdi Bray organized a rally in Lafayette Park outside the White House to celebrate a 'Worldwide Day for Jerusalem.' In Arabic, the crowd responsively chanted with the emcee, 'Khaybar, Khaybar oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad is coming for you!' Posters calling for 'Death to Israel' and equating the Star of David with the Nazi swastika were openly displayed and anti-Semitic literature calling for the destruction of the Jews and Israel was distributed. Members of the crowd burned the Israeli flag while marching from the White House to the State Department.

Bray spoke at this rally, along with Imam Mohammed al-Asi, former director of the Islamic Education Center in Potomac, Maryland, who exhorted the crowd to violence in the name of Islam. Al-Asi said, 'Now, all our khatibs (speakers), our imams, our public speakers, should be concentrating on militarizing the Muslim public. This is not a time to make a speaking issue out of this ... Muslims have to familiarize themselves with every means possible ... Rhetoric is not going to liberate Al Quds and Al Aqsa. Only carrying arms will do this task. And it's not going to be someone else who is going to carry arms for you and for me. It is you and me who are going to have to carry these arms.'"

Also, check out this statement by Salam al-Marayati, the Executive Director of MPAC:

"If we're going to look at suspects we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies." (New York Times, Oct. 22, 2001)

Both Nader's interview with al-Khaleej and appearance for CNI followed closely on the heels of what was unthinkable to political watchers: Ralph Nader consorting with Pat Buchanan. Just before the Reform Party announced its endorsement of Nader in the 2004 election, he gave an interview to Buchanan's American Conservative magazine. In it, he again trots out the Israel "puppet" theme:

Pat Buchanan: Let me start off with foreign policy—Iraq and the Middle East. You have seen the polls indicating widespread contempt for the United States abroad. Why do they hate us?

Ralph Nader: First of all, we have been supporting despots, dictators, and oligarchs in all those states for a variety of purposes. We supported Saddam Hussein. He was our anti-Communist dictator until 1990. It’s also cultural; they see corporate culture as abandoning the restraints on personal behavior dictated by their religion and culture. Our corporate pornography and anything-goes values are profoundly offensive to them.

The other thing is that we are supporting the Israeli military regime with billions of dollars and ignoring both the Israeli peace movement, which is very substantial, and the Palestinian peace movement. They see a nuclear-armed Israel that could wipe out the Middle East in a weekend if it wanted to.

They think that we are on their backs, in their house, undermining their desire to overthrow their own tyrants.

PB: Then you would say it is not only Bush who is at fault, but Clinton and Bush and Reagan, all the way back?

RN: The subservience of our congressional and White House puppets to Israeli military policy has been consistent. Until ’91, any dictator who was anti-Communist was our ally.

PB: You used the term "congressional puppets." Did John Kerry show himself to be a congressional puppet when he voted to give the president a blank check to go to war?

RN: They’re almost all puppets. There are two sets: Congressional puppets and White House puppets. When the chief puppeteer comes to Washington, the puppets prance.

PB: Why do both sets of puppets, support the Sharon/Likud policies in the Middle East rather than the peace movement candidates and leaders in Israel?

RN: That is a good question because the peace movement is broad indeed. They just put 120,000 people in a square in Tel Aviv. They are composed of former government ministers, existing and former members of the Knesset, former generals, former combat veterans, former heads of internal security, people from all backgrounds. It is not any fringe movement.

The answer to your question is that instead of focusing on how to bring a peaceful settlement, both parties concede their independent judgment to the pro-Israeli lobbies in this country because they perceive them as determining the margin in some state elections and as sources of funding. They don’t appear to agree with Tom Friedman, who wrote that memorable phrase, "Ariel Sharon has Arafat under house arrest in Ramallah and Bush under house arrest in the Oval Office."

It must be noted that Nader's statement here is a little more controlled. Where it concerns Israel, it's about 50% simply an acknowledgement of political realities. Ethnic lobbies in this country, whether perceived or real, exert an outsize political influence. Cubans and Armenians, for instance, have taken advantage of this, an example being the joint effort between Greek and Armenian groups to derail the making of a biopic about Kemal Ataturk. Certainly American Jews have also done so, as AIPAC proudly acknowledges.

But the other 50% is cant about the Zionist Occupied Government. For the third time in less than two weeks, Nader beat the troubling "puppet" tattoo, and it would behoove us to recall that Pat Buchanan is the American Right's most prestigious anti-Semite. Throughout his career, he has consistently devoted himself to smearing American Jews and Israel. Adumbrating Nader, he has spoken of Israel's "amen corner in the United States" and Congress being "Israeli-occupied territory." Channeling Ramsey Clark, he's defended accused Nazis, once writing the jaw-dropper that "John Demjanjuk may be the victim of an American Dreyfus case."1 Buchanan described Hitler as "an individual of great courage, a soldier's soldier in the Great War." After he won the New Hampshire primary in '96, crazed ultra-nationalist Russian presidential candidate, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, sensing a kindred spirit, wrote to Buchanan:

"You say that congress is `Israeli Occupied Territory'. We have the same situation in Russia. So, to survive, we could set aside places on U.S. and Russian territory to deport this small but troublesome tribe."

To his credit, Buchanan declined.

More interesting than establishing Buchanan's ignominy, however, is examining the new cooperation between Nader and the Reform Party. Like me, you may have thought that, after his electoral tryst with it in 2000, Buchanan is still involved with the party, and that the American Conservative interview was a sales job heralding a collaboration between fringe candidates. This wouldn't be as strange as it would seem. Buchanan and Nader may appear to be opposites, but they share a common enemy in Bush and are in sync on certain points of policy. Trade protectionism is an example of one; throwing Israel to the sharks is another. Plus, Buchanan has exhibited a crackpot ecumenicism in the past, seeing in neo-Marxist lesbian race-huckster Lenora Fulani a valuable partner in his 2000 presidential campaign.

Not quite. The truth is considerably weirder. Far from being a Buchananite organization, the Reform Party is a political incubator through which a far-Left crypto-fascist cult once called the International Workers Party is attempting to deliver itself into the mainstream. It has come far closer to this goal than casual observers might believe.

The sect is headed by Fred Newman, an ex-Larouchite quack psychologist and cult leader. Newman got his start in the 1960s, after receiving a doctorate from Stanford University in the study of belief structures, and teaching for a few years in the CCNY system. He left academia in the late '60s and founded a therapeutic paradigm called "Social Therapy", which blends Maoist dogma with the ideas of Soviet Marxian psychologist Lev Vygotsky.

Along with socialism, George Will characterized psychoanalysis3 as one of the Left's cure-alls for what ails society. This is apt, and the '60s and '70s saw a great many people cull to the couches. Newman was a fraud in that he had no license or training to practice psychotherapy, but not soon after he garnered a small group of devoted followers. Rooting out the most emotionally vulnerable patients, Newman and his social therapists ensnared them by exploiting the transference phenomenon4, in which patients develop feelings of love and even worship for their caregivers. Social Therapists often crossed boundaries with their clients, although actual, lasting liaisons were largely the privilege of Newman himself, who over the years has cherry-picked four "wives" from his cadres of dependents.

Adding to this, Newman engineered Social Therapy to leverage a group dynamic, so that the therapeutic encounters involved a clinician thrumming groups of fuzzy-minded hopefuls with Newman-speak. Much of this involved the jejune deployment of Marxist jargon, in which the patient had to overcome his mental entombment in "bourgeois" thought and make a "revolution" out of his recovery. Newman wrote in 1974:

"The two workers, revolutionary therapist and slave/patient, struggle together to make a revolution through their practice. The work is not to simply understand in a causal or logical sense but to engage in the practice of making revolution."

The way to do this was to rise from the couches and join Newman's inchoate cult, where acolytes would spend sixteen-hour days seven days a week working on Newman's political projects. This is what became the International Workers Party.

Around this time, Newman fused his sect with future fascist Lyndon LaRouche's National Caucus of Labor Committees. The dalliance was short-lived, and it is unclear whether the Newmanites participated in any of the street violence that caused the Left to distance itself from LaRouche. What is certain, however, is that LaRouche and Newman's ideologies were similar. LaRouche was a Trotskyist, Newman a Maoist. They both used coded psycho-babble5 to articulate radical politics. They advocated the revolutionary overthrow of America's capitalist system. Both led authoritarian cults of personality.

And on the matter of Jews, they were hatefully in sync in a way that should be predictable to watchers of Leftist anti-Semitism. Both drew on basic Marxian principle. LaRouche wrote that "Hebrewism was an assimilationist doctrine developed... for a caste of merchant-userers within a pre-capitalist society." And Newman declared:

"The Jew, the dirty Jew, once the ultimate victim of capitalism's soul, fascism, would become a victimizer on behalf of capitalism."

Newman broke with LaRouche and formally established the IWP. Not long after, he began to shake down his patients, adding assets control to his portfolio of cultic tricks. David Grann writes:

"Operating through Leninist-style cadres and explicitly committed to a workers' revolution, the IWP adopted LaRouchean elements such as a cult of personality. But at its core was Newman's evolving theory of 'social therapy,' which many say encourages the patient to reject almost everything he has been taught by society and cede to the therapist enormous power over every facet of his life: his job, his friends, his family, even his sexual partners. Though many participants speak effusively of its success -— 'Fred saved my life,' enthused one —-early on there were reports of abuse. Several former IWP members said that, as part of their salvation, they were persuaded to hand over all their assets. IWP members told a local New York reporter, Dennis King, that Newman broke up at least two marriages because the relationships were too "bourgeois"—an allegation Newman denies. Others have said Newman encouraged them to participate in what he called 'friendosexuality,' a practice that Newman cheerfully recommends in his book Let's Develop."

Negative publicity followed, and in 1979, having decided to pursue power through mainstream politics, Newman disbanded the IWP and replaced it with the New Alliance Party. Former Party members charge, however, that the IWP survived in secret and formed the NAP elite. His army of therapy drones was a natural source of labor, their "treatment" already comprised of enacting Newman's activism. At this time, Lenora Fulani became one of Newman's patients. He saw something special in her, and cultivated her for leadership and an outwardly facing role as the NAP sought ballots.

The group's rhetoric changed, beginning to sound, says Grann, "like members of the League of Women Voters or Ralph Nader's Public Citizen." The re-branding of the sect, its rhetorical makeover, and the indefatigable efforts of the Newmanite cadres allowed the group to achieve a measure of success, fielding black socialist Dennis Serrette in 33 states as its presidential candidate in 1984. The ADL reports, "In every election year since the early 1980s, NAP has put its members on the ballot for positions ranging from U.S. president and member of Congress to local school board member and state assemblyman."

Lenora Fulani, however, was largely the NAP's standard-bearer. Most impressive, in 1988 she improved on Serrette's showing and became the first black and first female presidential candidate to achieve ballot access in all 50 states. But Fulani's ship, navigating the sump of Newman's now-Marxist, now-fascist ideology, occasionally beached itself. As early as 1985, she began repeated overtures to anti-Semitic demagogue Louis Farrakhan, hoping to cobble together some sort of NAP and NOI alliance. Taking Farrakhan's cue and sponsorship, just before and in support of her ballot line victory, Fulani led a delegation of Newmanites6 to Libya "in commemoration of the genocidal U.S. bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi". At this time, the FBI concluded that the IWP substrate of the NAP was stockpiling automatic weaponry.7

Fulani and company lent early support to Al Sharpton's race huckstering enterprise, supporting his Howard Beach incitements and the Tawana Brawley debacle, even long after the claims of the latter had been discredited. (Later, Sharpton became a salaried consultant to the Newmanite movement.) Fulani took up Sharpton's anti-Jewish scab-picking of the notorious Crown Heights incident, in which a vehicle in the Lubavitcher Rebbe of Chabad's motorcade accidentally struck and killed Gavin Cato, a seven year-old black boy. This helped foment the race riot that ensued, in which Yankel Rosenbaum, a rabbinical student from Australia, and Anthony Graziosi, a motorist who "looked Jewish", were beaten and stabbed to death.

Famously, Fulani carried Newman's anti-Jewish torch with this 1989 soundbyte: "[Jews] had to sell their souls to acquire Israel and are required to do the dirtiest work of capitalism –- to function as mass murderers of people of color –- in order to keep it." In this, she fused LaRouche's reprise of Marx's classic conflation of Jews and capital with a sort of Fanonist paranoia. And soon, there was the obligatory apostrophe to Arafat, written on the eve of the 1993 Middle East Peace Accord and containing lurid adumbrations of Nader's Zionist lobby rhetoric. Things persist in this vein today. One of the various Newmanite front groups, the theatrical All Stars Project8, recently staged a revisionist drama blaming Jews for Crown Heights. Fulani's third-worldism and radical politics of disenfranchisement led to their natural compliment: Jew-hatred.

In the early '90s, the Newmanites began what was to become a defining focus on opening the American political process to "independent" third parties. Pragmatically shelving ideology, they began collaborations with disparate political groups, sometimes colonizing and subsuming them, other times establishing competitor simulacra, like the "Rainbow Lobby", fashioned after Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. This enabled them to corral ever more converts. Eventually, Newman and Fulani disbanded the New Alliance Party in the shadow of mounting fraud allegations. They reconstituted their front groups, and then parlayed their extensive resources, skills and contacts into controlling the elements of what would become the Reform Party.

By 2000, Newman and Fulani had enough control over Reform Party delegates to entice Pat Buchanan into a working relationship with them. The ostensible weirdness of the partnership between Buchanan and Fulani was given some incredulous media attention at the time. But the relationship was symbiotic: the Reform Party got Buchanan on the ballot in many states, and Buchanan brought a funding windfall of $12.6 million into the Party. The isolationist demagogue lost, of course, and he and the Newmanites parted ways. The stage was set for Nader in 2004. Their collaboration began no later than January of this year.

***

The moors of American third-party politics are musty and forbidding. Odd and unsavory spectres abound: LaRouche, Fulani, Buchanan, the Israel-obsessed Justin Raimondo. And what about Nader? Like Buchanan, does he share more with Fulani than the goal of weakening America's two-party bulwark against electoral extremism? Nader's entree into the realm of populist scapegoating highlights a curious continuity among third party demagogues: targeting Israel or Jews. But to flatly claim that Nader is an anti-Semite is unverifiable and almost surely scurrilous. What is more compelling is an attempt to determine why Nader is cavorting with anti-Semites, and why lately he has repeatedly deployed Zionist conspiracy motifs.

Nader and the Green Party abandoned each other, so he is faced with greater difficulty in obtaining ballot lines than he was in 2000. This accounts for at least some of his calculus; the Fulani faction controls much of the Reform Party. But what else does Nader see in them? At this point, it makes more sense to ask whether Nader can see beyond the Reform Party. I have argued since 9/11 that the Left is ideologically unfit to process the War on Terror. With Bush's mismanagement of Iraq and pathological inability to communicate, and thus inspire, it is tempting to rescind this observation. One should not. Conservatives are elementally right about the War on Terror, just as liberals were about the Civil Rights movement. In our incremental battle against an elusive and amoral 4th-Generation threat, tactics and strategy, facts and truth, are all refracted by the waning lens of Marxism.

Popular Marxism; the death of Communism belies the ubiquity of socialism's lingering impact on the Western and world psyches. Conflict ideology, Third Worldism, relativism and self-loathing are its poisonous bequests. The grand narrative of tyranny, failure and waste has been replaced by monads of indecision and incomprehension and complacency, people in society unmoored, free radicals set nervously adrift by Bush's lack of leadership. The president's failure to articulate the civic sense of the War on Terror has jeopardized his re-election and our security.

In a sense, Ralph Nader is the consummation of all this. To be sure, he is not a power-player. Indeed, Nader's marginality is underscored by the fact that he has been driven to consort with a cult. But he is emblematic of the ideological ancien regime violently cast aside by 9/11, and the precipitousness of his fall sharpens the example. Nader is an objectively accomplished and respectable activist; prior to his electoral misadventures, he single-handedly established automobile safety in this country. Now that history has left him and his set behind, he is reduced to smacking the anti-Israel pinata with all the other screaming kids.

When Nader pules about the Palestinian "peace movement", we recognize his rhythm. When Nader keens about the root causes of terrorism, we know where he's headed. He's a flare on the road leading back to a more familiar and subtle sickness. A democratic sickness9 of totemic multilateralism, of preening and underestimation, and an anxiety of our own influence.

Nader is operating far enough in the fringe that his joining with Newman and Fulani is mandated. And Buchanan, al-Khaleej, and the patrician frauds of the Council for the National Interest follow. This penumbral edge is the freakshow of third party politics. But the twilight of November reveals that it's not as far off as it looks. It's where our sickness may reach its end in the anti-American and anti-Jewish badlands that gave rise to and so blithely received 9/11.

***

Notes:

1. Demjanjuk was acquitted of being Ivan the Terrible, yes. Most people don't recall, however, that he was exonerated by testimony placing him as a guard at another concentration camp during the time under investigation.

2. If there's one minor thing that can be said for a Kerry presidency, it's that he may agitate for official recognition of the Armenian Genocide. (That is, if he doesn't vote against it after voting for it after voting against it.)

"I join Armenian Americans and Armenians worldwide in mourning the victims of the Armenian Genocide and I call on governments and people everywhere to formally recognize this tragedy. Only by learning from this dark period of history and working to prevent future genocides can we truly honor the memories of those Armenians who suffered so unjustly."

While this is possibly due in part to Kerry's Massachusetts affiliation -- Massachusetts is one of the two great loci of the Armenian-American diaspora, the other being California -- Kerry's right about this and his stance should be commended.

3. Interesting on its own face, Will's actual quote is: "All of the left's prescriptions for curing what ails society -- socialism, communism, psychoanalysis, 'progressive' education, etc. -- have been discarded, so now the left is reduced to adapting that hardy perennial of the right, anti-Semitism." Will's analysis is ahistorical; anti-Jewish mythology has been a part of revolutionary and anti-capitalist thought for centuries. But it's refreshing to see him grapple with the modern resurgence of the problem.

4. Freud's concept of transference is generally associated with psychoanalysis, rather than, say, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or other treatment paradigms or contexts. It involves a patient transfering feelings for a person in her life -- of anger toward a mother, perhaps, or love toward a father -- onto her clinician. It is indeed quite common for female patients to develop crushes on male therapists, but this also often occurs outside of Freudian settings. Unlike Freud, I believe "transference", or its effects, are due merely to the patient seeing in her caregiver both a precedential confidant and a savior of sorts.

Whatever you believe, affairs between mental health professionals and their clients are almost uniformly destructive. The American Psychological Association strictly forbids sexual intimacy between patients and practitioners.

5. Here is a LaRouche excerpt from a 1973 internal cult memo entitled, "The Politics of Male Impotence":

"The principle source of impotence, both male and female, is the mother. . . .to the extent that my physical powers do not prevent me, I am now confident and capable of ending your political--and sexual-- impotence; the two are interconnected aspects of the same problem. . . . I am going to make you organizers--by taking your bedrooms away from you until you make the step to being effective organizers. What I shall do is to expose to you the cruel fact of your sexual impotence, male and female. . . .I shall destroy your sense of safety in the place to which you ordinarily imagine you can flee. I shall not pull you back from fleeing, but rather destroy the place to which you would attempt to flee."

Source.

6. In what is perhaps the most self-parodic multi-culti paean I've seen, savor the anonymous Newmanite author of On a Mission for Peace: The International Peace Gathering in Tripoli, Libya, as he or she doubles over in celebration of Qaddafi's insane and murderous regime:

Jamahiriya! That is the cry of the Libyan people, the cry of their revolution. It means 'The Country of the Masses.'

I hear that cry over and over again from thousands of Libyan people here in the Souk el Joumma stadium in the heart of Tripoli. There are over 15,000 people in the open air stadium watching a beautiful display of Libyan life in action as portrayed by Libyan youth. I am enthralled by the performances—they include scenes of the Bedouin people who roam the desert and live in tents, as does Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, the leader of this country that has long been under siege by the Reagan administration. There is a performance depicting the lives of other ordinary Libyans—fishermen, workers, farmers. It is all very beautiful, very passionate. A plane flies overhead, displaying the capabilities of the Libyan air force, and a Libyan girl scout troop marches through the stadium—actually a horse track—looking much like the girl scouts I have seen back in Brooklyn's BedStuy. Green Libyan flags are unfurled, and I see paintings carried by young girls and boys of the carnage and destruction wrought by American F-111s exactly one year ago in a raid that murdered over 100 civilians, including the baby daughter of Colonel Qaddafi. Her name was Hannah.

The marching band is coming through, heralding the entrance of 20 members of the Youth Militia. They really put on a show, demonstrating their prowess in the martial arts in mock fighting contests. They end their performance by letting loose 20 chickens, then capturing them. Almost in a flash, they grab the chickens, break their necks, de-feather them and pull out their entrails with their teeth—a display meant to show that they will endure any hardship to defend their country and their revolution." [Emphasis mine]

7. From David Grann's expose':

"'We kept semiautomatic rifles,' states William Pleasant, an ex-IWP member. 'The position was at some point we'd have to defend the offices.' They trained, Pleasant says, on a farm in Pennsylvania. One day, he was told, people started 'shooting everything up—hogs and deer, everything in the countryside.' Another former IWP member insists there were fifteen semiautomatic assault rifles and pistols stockpiled and a roving twenty-person security squad prepared to use them. Newman says he doesn't know whether the IWP actually had guns or not: "I don't really know ... because part of the security was not to let people know things who didn't need to know and I didn't need to know."

8. Christopher Hitchens makes the sad and curious footnote that Dominic Chianese and James Gandolfini of The Sopranos have associated themselves with the All Stars front.

9. That's a small 'd'. Again, please see this previous post.

Posted by John-Paul Pagano at July 31, 2004 10:01 PM