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Guantanamo Habeas Corpus- the road to freedom

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to grant Guantanamo prisoners the right to challenge the legality of their imprisonment has enormous ramifications.  Not the least of these is that David Hicks' incarceration in a South Australian jail is now likely to be wrongful and false imprisonment, and that the government who put him there will most likely be, by the time this goes to court,  the only active participator in the Guantanamo war crimes still holding political power at the time of the overturning of their actions.

Paul Walter's Webdiary debut piece Perverts in the shrubbery was the launch pad for a hot contest of ideas.  Given that this community contains supporters and denouncers of Guantanamo, the opinions regarding this landmark decision should be interesting.


A friend mentioned this 5/4 US decision a little while ago and my immediate reaction was that this was a final, formal repudiation of the last neocon decade, with its vaguely worded, questionably motivated laws as much about setting of precedents and protecting the guilty more than the innocent, with plausible deniability replacing presumption of innocence as the underlying legal principle.

And this, after all, was a conservative high court, stacked with Bush appointees, not something akin to the Mason activist effort of the Australian 1990's.

No more funny legal "spaces" in which to hide people from habeas corpus on nothing more than some arbitrary prejudice or worse still even, corrupt need, of some fallible political authority. No further doing away with of common law rights on the coat tails of a bogus "terrorism" excuse operating as an excuse for the corruption under darkness of a Cheney or Bush; Haliburton or Wackenhut.  Government now should fit in with the law- not the other way round.  Certain principles remain prior to expediency.  Breathtaking.

The thin, fragile, wavery line that distinguishes democracy from something akin to Pol Pot or Pinochet is, at the eleventh hour, reaffirmed by the court.   There are certain positions that are just not negotiable.  That is the point those sceptical of Henson were making as to young people being protected: whatever tinkering happens at the side, the law should have a guaranteed minimum or default as to kid's protection.  Others, of course felt that there were other issues of freedom of speech,  when it was unclear as to actual threat as to the example cited (Henson),  but the argument remains the same.

With Detentions, Gitmo, ( Haneef locally )Hicks etc, there seems a clear-cut and quite malicious transgression of a basic right to legal representation, presumption of innocence and humane conditions of detention; should a case require examination.  Particularly if evidence is not readily available and in effect there is some sort of "fishing expedition" going on, instead. That is, when the authorities are hoping for something to "turn up" in a situation short of serious evidence, in effect on a hunch or more frankly, a bias. In Haneef's case it could be argued (no doubt only by a cynic) that the fellow was detained on trumped up charges, when the authorities knew the allegations were specious, but could bend a deliberately vaguely worded piece of legislation based on British and US precedents, to please their political masters by bending the law, to yield up a pre-election scapegoat, a reason bearing absolutely arguably no relation to "security", whatever.  That is surely a dangerous abuse of the intent and spirit of the law if even remotely true.

There have been complications over time concerning detention of those seeking refugee status in the light of UN laws and procedures concerning refugees. Were these folk held for political opportunist reasons when there was no threat, as part of a populist push to retain power using racist scapegoats, Or was Howard only seeking to ensure that the newcomers were indeed refugees and the government had the right to determine their identities, etc, in the way they did?  Like wise was, or could, Gitmo and the accompanying suspensions of common law justifiable in the face of a real threat, or merely operational as a McCarthyist political gimmick?

With terrorism, do we stick to our guns and refuse to abandon the principles we beleive makes our civilisation the best, even to the point of risking lives through terrorist attacks, and perhaps additionally hope there is maybe a kinder god than us running the universe?  Or does pragmatism have a place?  Should certain legal principles remain unalterable and sacrosanct and does their "bending" set a precedent that can lead to totalitarianism?

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Even Christopher Hitchens can change his mind (again)

Christopher Hitchens has tried waterboarding for himself:

In August's Vanity Fair, you can read all about the 59-year-old, his head hooded, being subjected to this most terrifying of ordeals by veterans of the US Special Forces.

Hitchens recounts how he was lashed tightly to a sloping board, then "waited until I abruptly felt a slow cascade of water going up my nose … I held my breath for a while and then had to exhale and — as you might expect — inhale in turn." That, he says, "brought the damp cloths tight against my nostrils, as if a huge, wet paw had been suddenly and annihilatingly clamped over my face … I triggered the pre-arranged signal" and felt the "unbelievable relief" of being pulled upright.

The "official lie" about waterboarding, Hitchens says, is that it "simulates the feeling of drowning". In fact, "you are drowning — or rather, being drowned". He rehearses the intellectual arguments, both for and against waterboarding, but his thoroughly empirical conclusion is simple. "Believe me, it's torture."

Charles Richardson writes in today’s Crikey:

Even if you're not a fan of Christopher Hitchens, you've got to respect someone who volunteers to be tortured for the sake of a story. As Hitchens relates this week in Vanity Fair, with accompanying video, he ventured to a secret location "deep in the hill country of western North Carolina" to discover "as nearly as possible what real waterboarding might be like."

The question, of course, is whether waterboarding – a sort of controlled drowning that the United States admits to having used on al-Qaeda suspects – really amounts to torture, or is just what the Bush administration calls an "enhanced interrogation technique".

Late last year, Hitchens argued in Slate that there are techniques of "extreme interrogation" and techniques of "outright torture" and that waterboarding is the former, notes Jon Henley in The Guardian. So the writer's incensed critics challenged Hitchens to try it for himself. Which, amazingly, he did.

Hitchens's verdict is unequivocal: "If waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.

As luck would have it, Hitchens's report coincided with the revelation by the New York Times of just where the administration has been getting its "advanced techniques" from. A chart used for a class in interrogation at Guantanamo Bay in 2002 was found to have been copied verbatim from a 1957 study of Chinese techniques used in Korea.

All that had changed was the omission of the title: Communist Coercive Methods for Eliciting Individual Compliance.

The Times had already revealed back in 2005 how what started out as a study of torture for defensive purposes – where Americans, in Hitchens's words, "were introduced to the sorts of barbarism that they might expect to meet at the hands of a lawless foe who disregarded the Geneva Conventions" – was transformed into a set of techniques for Americans to use, oblivious to the fact that the communists were not even trying to get decent intelligence but simply to break the will of prisoners.

There has been deafening silence on the subject from the Bush administration's usual supporters – including presidential candidate John McCain, who was himself tortured by the communists as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. After initially making a brave stand in Congress against the administration's abuses, McCain later gave in and agreed to legislation that permitted "enhanced interrogation" to continue. Only last month he attacked the Supreme Court for allowing Guantanamo prisoners to challenge their detention in the courts.

Andrew Sullivan put his finger on it:

How is it possible to know that everything John McCain once said on videotape for the enemy was false, because it was coerced, and yet assert that everything we torture out of terror suspects using exactly the same techniques, is true? ...

Nothing more accurately exposes the classic moral error of the Bush administration and its enablers in war crimes. If the enemy tortures, it defines their moral evil and all intelligence gleaned from such coercion is self-evidently false propaganda. If we do it, it isn't wrong, and it leads to good intelligence.

just the thought...

Pity he hadn't thought of this three or four years ago and reported these consequences when it might have made a difference. Still, better late than never, one supposes.

Would have been tragic if the bod waiting for the "pre-arranged signal" had been looking the other way, eh?

This gives part of the answer


These judges said that evidence had to be tangible.    In Hicks' case there was no evidence at all.

Court rules for Guantanamo inmate

One of the main arguments used by the dissenting judges in Boumediene v Bush (647KB PDF) was that they should not act until all other avenues had been exhausted. In particular, there had been no appeals from the CSRTs resolved by the Court of Appeals. Until now.

Here's the story from the LA Times: Court rules for Guantanamo inmate

A federal appeals court said Monday that the U.S. military improperly labeled a Chinese Muslim held at Guantanamo Bay an "enemy combatant" and it ordered that he be released, transferred or granted a new hearing.

The decison was handed down a week ago, but the text (less redactions) has only just become available, at Parhat v Gates (95KB PDF).

It's not good news for Bush, far beyond the simple loss of the case. The key argument of the court (if I'm understanding correctly) concerns the use of hearsay evidence. Both the CSRT and the Appeals Court have a duty to assess the reliability and probative value of such evidence to the CSRT. In this particular case, the CSRT relied on untested assertions in intelligence assessments about the relationship between a Uighur anti-Chinese group and the Taliban/al Qaida. Neither they nor the Appeals Court had evidence on which to assess the reliability of the Government assertions. Without that evidence, the CSRT was in error in confirming Parhat as an enemy combatant.

With this precedent, it is likely that any other cases in the Appeals Court will fail for the same reason, because it is probable that most of the CSRT determinations treat intelligence assessments in the same way.

The other thing the decision demonstrates is the limited nature of the Appeals Court review. Some of it explicitly refers to the Supreme Court majority opinion, but substantial parts seem to reach the same conclusion independently.

Richard:  In your opinion, Mark, if a class-action style of habeas corpus annuls Hicks' conviction, what results from his incarceration in Australia?

An interesting question

An interesting question, Richard, and probably better directed at someone with proper legal training. But I'll have a go.

First, the habeas corpus issue is mostly irrelevant to Hicks now. It would only deal with those still in detention and uncharged. The court would almost certainly assume the lawfulness of the military commissions, so anyone already charged would be found in lawful detention pending trial. I imagine the most likely result of a class action style habeas would be a 30 day deadline to release or charge (or possibly to establish an orderly and expeditious process with appropriate deadlines). The slight relevance to Hicks is that there could be, in effect, a declaration that his detention was unlawful - until he was charged, anyway. Good luck on getting compensation for that! The military commission and its verdict (including his imprisonment in Australia) would stand, for the time being at least.

I think it unlikely this administration would agree to dealing with the habeas petitions collectively. and they will likely do everything they can to delay individual cases till after the election (maybe with some releases along the way, if they can keep them out of the headlines). The first cases in the queue are going to be the ones most likely to succeed, and it is going to be very hard to get positive spin out of it. Better to leave it to the next guy.

A successful challenge to the military commissions would be significant for Hicks. It would void his conviction, and his plea bargain with its admissions and undertakings. The suspended part of the sentence would no longer be hanging about.

It's a bit difficult to see the practical effects beyond that, though, and requires more than my amateur legal expertise. Much of the relevant legislation that I've read has ways around the target not having actually been convicted of anything. So, for the following guesses, ask a real lawyer. Much of it also depends on the will of the government to pursue the case, which shouldn't be underestimated.

It would be difficult, but maybe not impossible, for the government to maintain or renew the Control Order.

He would probably escape from the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, so the cheque-book journalists would be queuing.

He would probably have to fight to get his passport back, and a visa for the USA is out of the question.

Chasing compensation for unlawful imprisonment (or even just a legal declaration that it was unlawful) would probably be more trouble than it is worth, and might still fail on technicalities.

Corporate governance?

A fascinating piece about the Blackwater case, Jacob A.Stam. A (legal) case of trying to have it both ways that must have the courts in a real quandary. The final decision could have immense repercussions, either way it is resolved, and is a perfect example of the complete f**k-up that the Bush regime has caused by twisting and abandoning the rule of law in the USA with back-flips whenever it suited their cause.

I am becoming more convinced by the day that Bush and cohorts may end up in front of a judge themselves. With more US military speaking out ( including the latest – a General stationed at Gitmo) about the abuse of law and how torture orders came from the top, there will be a rush – or stampede – of those involved attempting to distance themselves from blame by consigning it to where it belongs: the very top.

In 1939 it must have seemed to the Nazi hierarchy that they were invincible, yet just six years later it was all over for them with leaders facing the gallows.

As for Israel, it's all summed up to me of the (real ) tale of the little old Jewish lady of 69 who walked several miles everyday to take food to a Palestinian refugee camp. Finally she was shot by a sniper – no-ones knows from where but as the bullet came from the Israeli side one can make assumptions. Perhaps it was meant to be a lesson.

Six weeks of recuperating and she returned to her daily routine undeterred and, as far as I know, is still at it.

Very loose analogy, Ian?

The thing is that the intended extermination of Jews, Gypsies and other groups by the Nazis was state policy enforced by ruthless state machinery.

Whereas my understanding (from memory, in which quite possibly I'm wrong, so someone please correct me) is that if there can be said to be a 'state policy' at all in early Australia, it was generally paternalistic or 'protectionist', although inevitably characterised by a lot of 'looking the other way' particularly by local authorities.

And yes, there's nothing wrong with historical revisionism per se — pursuit of truth and all that — but a problem arises when an agenda is cloaked in such jargon.

Fiona: Jacob, because of limited webtime I cannot give you links to the relevant authorities (plenty there, including written evidence from governmental authorities and employees), but to the best of my memory - in several jurisdictions back in the 1920s the explicit policy was to remove "half-caste" children because they were redeemable - specifically, the undesirable blood could be bred out. The full-bloods, however, were to be left to die out quietly. Benign neglect is one name for that policy ...

Revolution in corporate governance

An Islamic revolution, that is:

To defend itself against a lawsuit by the widows of three American soldiers who died on one of its planes in Afghanistan, a sister company of the private military firm Blackwater has asked a federal court to decide the case using Islamic law, known as Shari'a.

The lawsuit "is governed by the law of Afghanistan," Presidential Airways argued in a Florida federal court. "Afghan law is largely religion-based and evidences a strong concern for ensuring moral responsibility, and deterring violations of obligations within its borders."

If the judge agrees, it would essentially end the lawsuit over a botched flight supporting the U.S. military. Shari'a law does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their work.

The so-called "text" was redundant at every level

Paul Walter: "Come off it, Eliot. Nagasaki and  Hiroshima were about "texting" the  Russians about keeping of the grass as finishing off Japan."


(a) Stalin fully knew about the bomb even before Truman told him about it at the Potsdam conference,

(b) the Russians tried to invade Japan's northern islands anyway having declared war on Japan after Hiroshima,

(c) the bombs ended the war, for the reasons stated by Emperor Hirohito, saving hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of lives, regardless.

So, the "text" was redundant at every level.

It's not for nothing that Mitsumasa Yonai called the bombs "God's gift".

Though that won't slow down the revisionist line of thought still popular in Japan and elsewhere.

Better angels

Thanks, Richard, for your updates relevant to the actual topic of your post.

I echo your concern that a lot of material being posted here is more appropriate to the broader themes in Angela's While Truth Regrows thread, and encourage commenters to discuss matters relating to holocaust(s), Israel/Palestine, etc., over there. Or has the horse already bolted...?

Anyway, thanks also for your reference to that item about Dennis Kucinich's resolution. I'd missed that bit of news, but it's good to see Kucinich is still chipping away at the edifice of unnaccountable power. Whether it "goes anywhere" is, in a way, not so important as that there are still representatives in that people's House who will go out on a limb to challenge that power.

You and others may recall in 2006/7 Kucinich co-sponsored, with Republican Congressman Ron Paul (Texas), the bipartisan Congressional hearing on civilian casualties in Iraq. The conscientious collaboration by two representatives, otherwise political adversaries, in an effort to inform the American public was one of the better moments in an overall grim interlude.

babes in the woods.

Thanks for link, Jacob. Similar to Uganda and the Balkans as gross dereliction of duty as to due diligence, then duty of care. That's apart from the more overtly uncaring and directly homicidal stuff.

All fobbed of at the time via plausible deniability thanks to manipulation of information due to exploitation of legal con/restraints, with Cheney and co in quick and out quick; cashed up.

So the law, in the form of the conservative Supreme Court, did finally catch up. How sad the law couldn’t get it right first time round with Al Gore's Miami chads, eight years ago.

War crimes, anyone?

Premedited murder

Marilyn Shepherd: "If 6 million people who claim to be Jewish god botherers were also slaughtered so bloody what?

Marilyn Shepherd: "Hiroshima was premeditated murder, so was Nagasaki, so was the fire bombing of Dresden and Tokyo. Everything about bloody war is pre-meditated murder."

The killing of the six million Jews was premeditated murder.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war. And saved probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives.

Even the Emperor of Japan admitted that. Here he is saying so:

... despite the best that has been done by everyone….the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and more cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives….This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers ...

That's pretty darned clear, isn't it?

Recently, Japan's own defense minister admitted as much:

The prime minister also faced a backlash in June after his defence minister appeared to justify the nuclear attacks, saying they hastened Japan's surrender and prevented the Soviet Union from seizing large parts of the country.

Also, it estimated that 250,000 additional deaths would have resulted for each month the war continued.

Source: Robert Newman, Truman and the Hiroshima Myth, University of Michigan Press, 1995

Presumably this is why Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai confided to a colleague:

The atomic bombs and the Soviet entry into the war are, in a sense, God's gifts.

Source: Sir Max Hastings, Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 (HarperPress [UK], October 2007) ISBN 0-00-7219822

So, the moral equivalence between the Holocaust and Hiroshima is demonstrable, revisionist bunkum.

And it's noteworthy that you say "So bloody what" to the actual murder of six million Jews, but can still find sufficient reserves of compassion to bewail the deaths of twenty thousand Germans at Dresden.

Come off it, Eliot.

Come off it, Eliot. Nagasaki and  Hiroshima were about "texting" the  Russians about keeping of the grass as finishing off Japan.

Twenty thousand seems a bit short for  Dresden and of course  Dresden was not the only axis city bombed to thebejesus by the allies during the war, only one of many.

Speaking of complete tosh

When I read tosh about the intention of the UN to establish Jerusalem as an international city I know with what I am dealing.

What then; the creation of a city state; controlled by whom?

UN GA Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947

Part III. - City of Jerusalem(5)


The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations.


The City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, 'Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern Shu'fat, as indicated on the attached sketch-map (annex B).


The Trusteeship Council shall, within five months of the approval of the present plan, elaborate and approve a detailed statute of the City which shall contain, inter alia, the substance of the following provisions:

Government machinery; special objectives. The Administering Authority in discharging its administrative obligations shall pursue the following special objectives:

To protect and to preserve the unique spiritual and religious interests located in the city of the three great monotheistic faiths throughout the world, Christian, Jewish and Moslem; to this end to ensure that order and peace, and especially religious peace, reign in Jerusalem;

To foster cooperation among all the inhabitants of the city in their own interests as well as in order to encourage and support the peaceful development of the mutual relations between the two Palestinian peoples throughout the Holy Land; to promote the security, well-being and any constructive measures of development of the residents having regard to the special circumstances and customs of the various peoples and communities.

UN GA Resolution 303 of 9 December 1949

The General Assembly,
Having regard to its resolutions 181 (II) 1/ of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) 2/ of 11 December 1948,
Having studied the reports of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine set up under the latter resolution,
In relation to Jerusalem,
that the principles underlying its previous resolutions concerning this matter, and in particular its resolution of 29 November 1947, represent a just and equitable settlement of the question,
">1. To restate, therefore, its intention that Jerusalem should be placed under a permanent international regime, which should envisage appropriate guarantees for the protection of the Holy Places, both within and outside Jerusalem, and to confirm specifically the following provisions of General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) (1) the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations; (2) the Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority ...; and (3) the City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern, Shu'fat, as indicated on the attached sketch-map;

Tosh? Just a matter of historical fact actually. Not my idea, nor have I ever said I agree with this. Also what you have written about Holocaust denial is complete tosh as well. When I read tosh like that I know with what I am dealing.

I see no resolution in the short term. In this space however there is an opportunity to plainly express your view.

Are the Palestinians being treated fairly or not.

Simple question; complicated answers unacceptable.


Richard: Oddly enough, Geoff, Webdiary's backroom has been sent much of the same infomation as you cite. Was it sent to you also, or is this a peculiar coincidence?

The UN, The Holy City and the Holy See.

Richard: "Oddly enough, Geoff, Webdiary's backroom has been sent much of the same infomation as you cite."

Nothing was sent to me, Richard, nor do I know anything about what was sent to WD.

Scott: "I knew about it [International City proposal for Jerusalem] but it didn't happen, (I wonder why, any info on that score?) and is irrelevant."

The proposal was overtaken by events, a war. It was rejected outright by the Arab League, along with the rest of the partition proposal, but was initially accepted by Israel (and then rejected after the 1948 war.)

Oddly enough, the proposal still occasionally gets some life as a possible solution to the Jerusalem "issue". The Vatican originally cooked up the idea in the forties and was still actively pushing it up until about ten or twenty years ago, to the profound annoyance of just about everybody. For all I know it is still official Vatican policy.

Independently, the proposal was raised at one of the Camp David conferences but rejected by both sides.

UN proposal

Geoff, I knew about the partitioning of Palestine but only roughly and was unaware of the Jerusalem bit.

Since then I've been intrigued enough to do my own research and come to a somewhat startling conclusion.

Time constraints are against me at the moment but I will be back in depth later.

All I have read to date re-inforces my original comment. Tosh

Black humour and tosh

Geoff, regarding the former, I read your post three times to make sure I hadn't missed something, the camel bit should have given me a clue.

Put that down to my pre-occupation at the moment and dark mood rather than any clumsiness on your part.

As to the latter it was unnecessary for you to post the UN charter, I knew about it vaguely but it didn't happen, (I wonder why, any info on that score?) and is irrelevant. The Arabs and Jews have to deal with the situation as it stands. Will be gone from WD for two days at least. See you all when I get back.

References need reading.

And by my experience on this blog no-one wants to bother but here goes.

I have been doing a lot of reading in the last 10 years and I think you will not a pattern in the names of the authors who all have their own websites for your perusal.

1. Norman Finkelstein - Beyond Chutzpah which is an expose of the brutal torture, human rights violations, house demolitions and other atrocities committed by Israeli Jews on Palestinians. B'Tselem reports are a large feature of his book.

The Holocaust Industry - which outlines the abuses by Jews of the holocaust for financial gain. So far over 1 million people have been granted over $60 billion from Germany alone. Except they have never received most of the money because the greedy thugs doing the scamming are keeping it all in Britain and the US. One has already been convicted of fraud and sent to prison.

2. Tanya Reinhart - two books about the occupation, the wall, the brutality and human rights violations of Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak written before she fled Israel in disgust and then died in the US.

3. Uri Avnery - a former Irgun terrorist who met with Arafat and is the head of a peace group in Israel who helps to advocate the rights of Palestinians.

4. Gideon Levy and Amira Hass - two Jewish Israeli journalists writing from Gaza and the West Bank for Haaretz.

5. B'Tselem - an Israeli human rights group who document the abuses of Palestinians by the IDF and have now supplied them with 100 cameras to film their abuse.

6. Ilan Pappe - "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" with archival material from the Zionist regime released to the public a few years ago which outlines in horrible detail the Plan Dalet organised in the Red house by David Ben Gurion and his terrorist organisations to cleanse Palestine of Arabs. 750,000 lost their homes or died.

7. Gershom Gorenberg - an American/Israeli who wrote a book ironically called "The Accidental Empire" which outlines in horrible detail the illegal settlements after 1967, when the Israeli government knew they were illegal and what they did about it and continue to do to this day.

8. John Pilger's - "Palestine is still the issue" DVD and book.

9. Hundreds of articles by Robert Fisk plus his book.

10. Books and articles by Noam Chomsky for many years.

Shall I continue or would some of you lazy sods like to do some reading or should I simply stop believing the words and works of eminent Jews who are writing their history?

Perhaps the foreword by Mrs Finkelstein who survived two torture camps "If so many survived who did Hitler kill"?

Scott, I agree that the displacement of the people is enough to justify the use of the word holocaust but we cannot preserve that word just for one event.

Again as Finkelstein and others say "why just us, why not the Vietnamese"?

Richard I trust that is enough in the way of references. It will not be my fault if your readers are too lazy to read.

Are you sitting down?

I actually agree with Geoff Pahoff's observation that Marilyn Shepherd's position, as expounded here and on the other thread, is a form of holocaust denial.

Webdiary's editorial policy states: "Webdiary will not publish comments or host discussion on the following matters:"

1. Denial of the existence of the holocaust.

Technically, the moderator's call on Marilyn's initial post was correct. Marilyn has not denied the existence of the holocaust. Strictly speaking, Marilyn's position is redolent of the so-called 'historical revisionist' school, which may or may not become — but too often IS — a prelude to overt holocaust denial.

I don't pretend to know Marilyn's motives in taking her view, but would somewhat tend to agree with Paul Walter's take on that question.

Marilyn's motives aside, this episode ought to be of concern because it could be the start of the proverbial slippery slope, since Webdiary has now tolerated a 'historical revisionist' sort of position on the holocaust.

It irks me that the nature and dimensions of this issue precludes people from being able to confront and discuss the holocaust like human beings, but I would move that, if holocaust denial is proscribed at Webdiary, so too should holocaust revisionism.

SD: I'd agree Jacob, I'll take it up.

Richard: (later) I'm getting to a similar point of view.   I'd like to see Geoff start a thread, so that we can contain this discussion to one place.   Marilyn, could you please substantiate more of your claims with references?   Necessary round here, as you know.

Jacob's Ladder mk 2

Jacob: Re Holocaust denial and Webdiary.

"Marilyn's motives aside, this episode ought to be of concern because it could be the start of the proverbial slippery slope, since Webdiary has now tolerated a 'historical revisionist' sort of position on the holocaust.

"It irks me that the nature and dimensions of this issue precludes people from being able to confront and discuss the holocaust like human beings, but I would move that, if holocaust denial is proscribed at Webdiary, so too should holocaust revisionism."

I think that yours is a reasonable position to take on this site, though your point that, strictly speaking, revisionism is not denial is a good one. While I would oppose any legal sanctions on Holocaust denial, such as operate in some countries, I would not say that this means that sites like Webdiary are obliged to give a platform to denialists.

There is a parallel here with Fiona's new thread on the NT intervention. There is in my opinion abundant evidence that the Aboriginal people of Australia went through a collective experience analogous to the Jewish Holocaust in Europe. There were many murders and massacres on the frontier, for which a remarkably small number of white perpetrators were ever punished. (The historian Professor Henry Reynolds estimated the number killed nationwide at around 20,000.) For all the 19th Century and much of the 20th, Aborigines were effectively outside the protection of the law, and no courtroom in the country would give credence to any evidence submitted by an Aborigine. It is inconceivable to my mind that this history did not contribute to the demoralisation, despair and aimlessness of much of modern Aboriginal life in Australia.

Keith Windschuttle's recent denialist book The Fabrication of Aboriginal History rapidly became the centre of a public and academic controversy (see here), winning Windschuttle considerable support from the political Right but very little from amongst historians, either professional or amateur. I suppose Windschuttle can be said to be the local counterpart of David Irving, whose Holocaust denial activities not so long ago earned him a spell in an Austrian gaol. I don't know about the effect of Irving on modern historiography of the Holocaust, but there is no doubt in my mind that Keith Windschuttle's book has stimulated an enormous interest in Aboriginal history (including on my own part), and, as far as I am aware, that rekindled interest has not led to any surge of support for Windschuttle's denialist thesis; quite the contrary.

Where I do agree with Keith Windschuttle is on his (anti-postmodernist) position that an historian's task is a search for the truth. The corollary is that the historian must, with Darwin, be prepared to scrap any theory, no matter how dearly held, when the facts are found to be against it.

The simple reality that Holocaust denialists must somehow come to terms with, is that the facts do not support them.

Jacob's ladder


My brother.

For many years have followed your comments here at WD and hold you in very high esteem indeed.

Can I commend to both yourself and others a reread of Marilyn Shepherd's recent post, 'Premeditation"?

With the suggestion that this post, devoid of smoke, offers the best evidence of Marilyn's actual and well considered viewpoint on the actual state of play re current events.

Is it likely that she has reacted sceptically not so much to the Holocaust, but its misemployment for ideological purposes and dark propaganda, as a few of you, one suspects, have been reading too much Leon Uris and watching too much Bruce Willis type Hollywood teev, lately.

Apart from the occasional acerbic and harsh invective (i.e "god-botherers" ) , which is really no worse than the invective employed by most other posters at this rambunctious blog, to me the post sets out in an organised way, one side of the debate up to the real present.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, eh?

PS I accept the evidence of the upset felt by some bloggers to questioning of the holocaust and Israeli policy as suggestive of it ( the holocaust's) reality, simply on the basis that people don't get this worked up unless they feel they have a reason for it.

Nonetheless ...

Richard: Paul, it's my fault we've sailed so close to this wind. I thought it apt to do so because of the dramatically much more likely possibility of an imminent conflict involving Iran and Israel, with the ensuing support bases.

Anything that's tantamount to nearing cultural genocide is going to be felt intensely by and create emotional hurt to members of the afflicted community. If we don't share their sorrow, we've lost our compassion.

The fact that we're too busy with this stuff to sort out Guantanamo, though, to me speaks volumes. Bugger the stats, let's be sorry that the Holocaust ever happened and do our damnedest to make sure that no more preventable atrocities occur. Surely there's no Webdiarist who wouldn't be committed to such an approach?

Let's play our part in attempting to stop another catastrophe before it occurs, shall we?

consenting adults

Richard, there is nothing wrong with an adult discourse and too much attention is being focussed on this alleged holocaust denial, which is only one component of the discussion and has often been employed as a ploy to limit discussion, along similar lines as accusing someone of "political correctness" if you want to stifle uncomfortable points being made.

The far worse option is censorship, the Murdoch press/ Ruddock way.

As for "attempting to prevent another catastrophe before it happens", well, I thought that's what we, and most of all Marilyn Shepherd, were trying to do. After all, it is already happening , to the Palestinians!

Israel, from a position of power, supported right or wrong by its powerful ally the US for its own various and even murky reasons, has remained selfishly intransigent for decades.

"Good faith" and a return to the 1967 boundaries in preparation or a two state solution would preclude 40,000 new dwellings in the Occupied Territories, wouldn't it?

After all, it is Palestinian land we are talking about. Actually, many would argue they should not have to give up any of their land.

What right has the rest of the world had to force little Palestine to pay for their previous sins?

On another issue, closer to the original topic, it seems the Oz is running a powerful piece concerning deliberate lying by Keelty's goon squads over Haneef, in a submission to the commission investigating the Haneef stuff up. Can’t get details just now, some sort of link hassle, but its there! and on top of the Howard revelations of a couple days ago.

All of which emphasises the most powerful argument as to abuse of secrecy; why the conservative US Supreme court was right to repudiate Gitmo and by implication the rest of the neocon abuses including our own.

Reinventing history

Paul, my interest in this thread was tweaked by Marilyn making very broad brush claims about the treatment of german civilians and POWs in post war Germany.

Specifically, she would not separate the events in the US and UK regions from those in the Soviet controlled regions. Despite repeated questions and corrections, not once has she stepped back or corrected her errors. She is deliberately distorting and misrepresenting facts to support her own anti UK, US and Australia prejudices.

She also made a very specific claim that concentration camp photos were propaganda and that the camps were used (post war) by the US to kill German civilians. Once again, no evidence.

I am not Jewish,  I have no Jewish friends. My interest in the concentration camps is a very morbid curiosity and bewilderment. But I am more than a little concerned that efforts to diminish the (Jewish) casualties in the German extermination and concentration camps are continually linked to activities by the state of Israel.

After reading all the comments by Marilyn I am a firm believer that her views on the killings of Jews in WW2 are prejudiced  by her antipathy towards Israel.

To let a political opinion on present day events lead you to distort past historical events is in my opinion a severe form of prejudice and I believe it is indefensible.

I think it is significant that very few people have lent support to her views or agreed with her approach.

Should she be censored? Certainly not. I think such views should be aired.

Finally, I cant help but wondering what the reaction would have been if similar comments had been made with the word Muslim instead of Jew in them. I doubt they would have been so charitable. I think anti semitism is a greatly over used word and in some instances the far simpler term "bigotry" should be used.

This is just such an occasion.


Hiroshima was premeditated murder, so was Nagasaki, so was the fire bombing of Dresden and Tokyo. Everything about bloody war is pre-meditated murder.

No murder is any less repulsive that any other murder so why do you concentrate on one small group and call it insensitive of me for not worshipping at their particular feet? Aren't the others who were murdered by Hitler, by the vile Stalin, by the US and Britain and us, by the French, the Czechs, the Poles, the Japanese and every other murdering bastard on earth just as vile as the murder of Jews?

I don't believe any person has ever got the right to murder one other person but please do not expect me to maunder on about one particular group of god botherers because it simply is not going to happen.

The Vietnamese we helped to slaughter, the Cambodians, the Afghans, the Iraqis, the Chechnya’s murdered in Russia, the Palestinians and Jews murdered in the ME in the last 60 years, the Lebanese murdered by the Israelis and Syrians – they are all as important as everyone else, including that tiny group of people who have an invented religion based on not one historical fact.

Maybe, just maybe if those same god botherers were not occupying someone's land for the last 60 years and inflicting the most vicious treatment on them for the crimes of Europe my sympathy might have lasted longer than Shatila and Sabra refugee camps. I am afraid it died that day.

Which is not to say that most of the Jewish population around the world are not fantastic human beings because they are. It might be a cliché but one of my greatest friends is a Russian Jew who came here when he was 9 and when he was 34 he helped two Muslim Iranians escape from that hell hole called Woomera.

All human beings are important, not just the ones who squeal the loudest.

"so bloody what?"???

Marilyn, you are getting very shrill. Your "So what?" in relaton to the pre-meditated murder of 6 million is just plain extraordinary in its insensitivity and witlessness.

I've no wish to get into the numbers game, but suffice to say that your grasp of the numbers has not stood up to scrutiny.

Although I'm personally satisfied with the prerogative of just scrolling past such nonsense, I can understand the impulse of some hereabouts to ask you to please just shut up on this topic.

Also, consider that persisting with these ill-thought out opinions will not win you any credibility in the courageous work you've been pursuing for as long as I've known of you.

I have had a gutful of this holocaust crap

During two world wars over 100 million human beings were slaughtered, most of them by Germany and Russia with many other nations hauling their way into the fray.

If 6 million people who claim to be Jewish god botherers were also slaughtered so bloody what? Is this brand of god botherers more important than anyone else that they entail 6% of the slaughter and make about 160% of the bloody post war noise? They are the only group in history to claim massive amounts of compensation and get it – according to Norman Finkelstein's research over $60 billion has been paid to over 1 million people yet they always claim that only 100,000 people survived so it seems to me that the biggest deniers are the Jews who claim this compensation year in and year out.

If Jews can't get their stories straight then it is about time the world held them to account for the lies and scamming.

Enough already. I do not have to kowtow to the Jews of this world just because it is politically expedient to do so. They suffered no greater horror than anyone else.

If 100 million were slaughtered, so bloody what?

Marilyn: "During 2 world wars over 100 million human beings were slaughtered, most of them by Germany and Russia with many other nations hauling their way into the fray. If 6 million people who claim to be jewish god botherers were also slaughtered so bloody what?"

The world in 1945  had a population at a guess of around 2 billion. 100 million is about 5% of that. One person in 20. If you're at a party in a room with 19 other people and one of them departs never to return, how noticeable would you find that?

I cannot for the life of me understand why you're making such a fuss.

Rusty revolvers and their uses

Scott Dunmore: "No need to worry too much, it's Webley & Scott .455, the same that was carried into battle at the Little Bighorn River by Gen Custer and T.E. Lawrence who, while leading a charge against the Turks, succesfully managed to shoot his camel in the back of the head....'

Ah yes. I must say I don't have much respect for either man and in particular think TE Lawrence's place in history is much overstated. The camel thing does not surprise at all.

It is recorded that Lawrence once shot dead his underage Beduin lover, with his trusty revolver, on a trumped up charge of murder after an indecently hasty camp trial. Certainly Lawrence took no chances of anything embarrassing coming out if the poor lad had been permitted to state a defence.

No doubt Lawrence seized the first opportunity to shoot his camel for similar reasons. Common decency forbids any speculation but who knows what grave secrets the hapless beast took with him into the oblivion of the shifting sands.

There's nought so queer as folk

All the world's a little strange 'cept me and thee Geoff and I'm not too sure about thee.

Just why you would wish to turn conciliatory humour into a diatribe against a man long dead I don't know.

Certtainly he was a complex creature; whether or not he had an affair with the boy he murdered, it was a political decision. The murder commited by the boy was witnessed; different tribes were involved, and had anyone else carried out the execution an important alliance would have been broken. How could a "court of law" be convened in those circumstances?

For all else, Lawrence was commited to the Arab cause and used duplicitly by his masters to betray the Arabs. Naive he was.

Geoff, I love banter, I think of it as an art form, I'm good at it but will readily applaud when bested as all artists will. I much prefer you when you are humorous. (Yes, yes I got the camel joke.)

That one went over like the proverbial lead balloon

Dear me Scott.

What I wrote was an attempt at black humour. I don't know what happened and frankly I don't much care. I most certainly do not have any evidence that Lawrence shot an underage sexual partner, or anybody else for that matter. I seem to remember an account where Lawrence allegedly boasted to General Allenby that he enjoyed the killing, for what it is worth.

How much of this man's life is contemporary newspaper reportage by a particular reporter, how much is Hollywood and/or how much is sourced to Lawrence's book means little because the book is pretty fanciful by many accounts. I do happen to think that his "adventures" and "achievements", eg the race to Damascus, have been exaggerated , including by him. Lawrence is fair game. But please do not credit me with a "diatribe". I don't feel anything near strong enough for a "diatribe". Failed humour is all. Not for the first time or probably the last.

SD: Diatribe was too strong.

Cheney impeachment

This obviously goes nowhere, but then again it was before today's revelations.  Maybe the next time around?

[congress.org extract]

Ohio Representative and former Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has introduced H.Res.1258, a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush. Kucinich, who had previously offered a resolution calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, offered a "privileged resolution"--one that must be taken up by the House within two days--containing 35 articles of impeachment, including:

  • Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq
  • Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression
  • Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War
  • Imprisoning Children
  • Creating Secret Laws
  • Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

The Democratic leadership does not support the resolution, which is expected to be referred to the House Judiciary Committee and not be considered.


Marilyn Shepherd: "And Eliot you old goose, if telling a different story about the "heroes" who "liberated" Germany by murdering 3 million people after the war is defamation of some sort then I guess they will all be suing Giles MacDonogh won't they?"

Giles MacDonogh has said nothing of the sort, as you kow perfectly well. So perhaps you should be mindful of defamation yourself.

How "less vocal" should the Jews be, do you think Marilyn?

And who is "pandering" to them?

If they die we are doing it wrong.



Isn't that nice?  US lawyers claiming such a thing in our names.   Because our silence means we are thoroughly complicit in the tortures at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and Bagram Airbase as shown in "The Taxi to the Dark Side".

Up to our eyeballs in complicity.   And Hicks and Habib were caught in the middle like flies in a tarantula's web.

SD: Just thought you might be interested in this piece of trivia. While they all, (many sub species,) produce silk, their favoured method of catching prey is ambush.

And Iraqi refugees

On SBS last night we saw the results of our lovely effort in Iraq with refugees being left to rot while we pat ourselves on the back over our miserable intake of a couple of thousand per annum. People who worked for the British left in Syria to be killed by the other "tribes", people starving because Syria is supporting over 2 million of the 4.7 million refugees we have created.

Children with the most horrendous injuries, orphaned or left to starve or manage alone. Another 1 million refugees in Jordan while last year Britain accepted 4 people. Yep, just 4 of the refugees they created and while they are actively deporting them from Britain by force.

And Eliot you old goose, if telling a different story about the "heroes" who "liberated" Germany by murdering 3 million people after the war is defamation of some sort then I guess they will all be suing Giles MacDonogh won't they?

Of course though the photos of children being slowly starved to death in the British quarter might make the case a wee bit fraught, don't you think? Not to mention those of refugees being shot at on the ice, or those being forced into prostitution while their "liberators" watched half asleep.

Trying very hard to not 'pander' to the 'vocal'

Marilyn Shepherd: "I am not cheerleading for the Stalinista or the Nazis as neither party or institution exists and have not existed in my lifetime.   I am simply pointing out that we have no high moral ground."

Well, eroding the moral ground of the living - whether Jews or the Americans or the British or the Australians - by bringing them into disrepute today is the whole point of historical revisionist treatments of, say, the Nazis or of Stalinist Russia.

It's to recast the present into a different light by rewriting the past, not to resurrect Nazi Germany or the USSR necessarily. So that people will stop "pandering" to the "vocal", or whatever.

Marilyn Shepherd: "I have enormous sympathy for the people who managed to survive the holocaust but fail to understand why every country on earth has to pander to the Jews now, they have never had a hard time in Australia really and should be a little less vocal and demanding "

How "less vocal" should the Jews be, do you think Marilyn?

And who is "pandering" to them?

Cheney's chief of staff and Guantanamo torture

Closer and closer to Cheney...

[Washington Post extract]

The reported evidence . . . also shows that military lawyers raised strong concerns about the legality of the practices as early as November 2002, a month before Rumsfeld approved them. The findings contradict previous accounts by top Bush administration appointees, setting the stage for new clashes between the White House and Congress over the origins of interrogation methods that many lawmakers regard as torture and possibly illegal. . .

"The new evidence challenges previous statements by William J. 'Jim' Haynes II, who served as Defense Department general counsel under Rumsfeld and is among the witnesses scheduled to testify at today's hearing. . . .

"Haynes and other senior administration officials also visited Guantanamo Bay in September 2002 to 'talk about techniques,' said one congressional official. Also on the trip was David S. Addington, chief of staff to Vice President Cheney."

Sorry to get in the way by talking about the topic folks.  As you were.

The U.S. Attorney General and Guantanamo torture

Remember that confusion last year, just before Gonzales assumed office? Bush whitewashing Gonzales' stand that waterboarding was ok by saying he was new to the job?

Pig's arse.

Gonzales was one of the original sanctioners of the "interrogation techniques."

Cheney built the camp.

Haynes steered the activity from the Pentagon on Rumsfeld's behalf.

How anyone can defend or support these people is beyond me. If we like, though, we can just ignore it.

I'll be staying up for Compass on Sunday night. The blurb for the show, to me, is the big question:

Strictly prohibited under international law, the use of torture today is widespread and since 9/11 increasingly proposed as the lesser of two evils: the unpleasant, but sometimes necessary ‘other face’ of our safety in the ‘war against terror’. But in whose name?

In our name, that's whose. Just as the atrocities were committed by the German government in the name of Germans, the way these people have been treated has been carried out on behalf of, as Bush put it last week, doing the best thing to protect us.

And when one of our own was dragged in, we did nothing, and our government did nothing until they thought it might be an election issue. Then we cooked something up with Cheney that was politically appropriate for everybody. Cheney got a result, Howard got Hicks home, into a local cell. Howard, Downer, Rann, Foley, all Cheney champions showing how strong they were against terrorism.

Now it's all falling apart. The whole process is being exposed as a travesty, and the small circle of protagonists is becoming exposed. And here we are on a Guantanamo thread discussing the Holocaust.

What do you think that these revelations are going to do for Israeli/Arab relations? Let alone what Bush and Cheney might do next to sweep Guantanamo under the rug?

I'm looking forward to some Federal Government comment before the winter recess. I doubt we'll see it.

Jogging the Pahoff memory

Geoff Pahoff, as expected you knew about this story but, as usual, play your cards close to your chest. Why is it so near impossible for you to engage honestly on this topic?

No, forget I asked, I can see another editorial coming, and I wouldn't read anything over which you had editorial control.

Only near impossible

Why is it so near impossible for you to engage honestly on this topic?

I will engage honestly on this topic with anyone who will engage honestly with me.

Obviously that rules out anyone capable of saying this:

"Now the jewish government in Israel have decided to build another 40,000 illegal homes on Palestinian land, homes that Israeli arabs and non-jews are not allowed to buy."

People who talk like that are not worth talking to. You might talk about them and perhaps even address a question to them from time to time. But I certainly would not engage them in conversation. Why is it near impossible for you to understand this?

I do find it intriguing, even fascinating, that a person apparently prominent and passionate about the treatment of refugees could also be a Holocaust denier. How can one mind reach the position of being so passionate about refugee rights while at the same time, incredibly and despite all the evidence, denying the momumental events that ultimately gave rise to refugee rights ever happened? Move over George Orwell.

This is a theme I hope to pursue on the other thread.

SD: Geoff, without spending a couple of hours I haven't got, I can't recall Marilyn saying anything that would brand her as a "Holocast denier". Indeed I don't think it would have got past the moderators. It wouldn't have got past me.

none so blind...

Geoff Pahoff, your comment about people who question and protest the provocative and pernicious tactic of settlement building with nothing better than a  "...not worth knowing" dismissal in the face of a presented fact, shows why people like Shepherd, who work with and come to pity the victims of  Western and Israeli policy in the mid east , have got so fed up with the obfuscatory Zionist lobby, over decades and decades.

"... a person... passionate about the treatment of refugees ...denying the events that...gave rise to refugee rights", backfires on the individual making these when it is realised that "40,000 illegal homes" repeated over and over again over generations creates just the refugee problem Marilyn Shepherd describes!

Who is in "denial" now?

The people who suffered the Warsaw Ghetto, next generation impose next to the samething on millions of others in the same racist, callous, arrogant way it was imposed on them??

No, I do believe Marilyn has misread McDonogh and has not considered realistically enough the other historical text, including from Fiona Reynolds last week, but I doubt if she is in her heart of hearts a "holocaust denier". Her misreading of McDonogh weakens her position although I understand her understandable frustration drives that misreading.

"Holocaust denier"

I'll save you the couple of hours, Scott.

Most Jews actually escaped

The official records for people who claimed to follow the faith known as Judaism in Germany in 1933 was 450,000 and two thirds of them managed to escape before the war.

In Austria the number was 180,000 and fully two thirds of them escaped. The records show that 65,000 people who follow Judaism were killed in Germany and Austria. 500,000 were slaughtered in Russia. That makes the total 565,000 killed of the approximately 45 million human beings who died in WW11.


Fiona, most of them escaped. That table is a mockery and even many Jewish historians know it is a mockery.


And the archival material accessed by MacDonogh list 565,000 not 6 million. Norman Finkelstein's book begins with a word from his own mother who was in Auschwitz - "with so many being compensated, who was killed".

The reality is that if 6 million Jews had been killed by the Germans or anyone else they would have spent the last 60 years excavating graves and we all know it. The archival materials shows that most of the Jews escaped before 1938.

And so on ...

This stuff has a generic name, Scott. It's called Holocaust denial. I've said why I say this on the other thread. In fact it's classic Holocaust denial. It even has the shifting facts and interpretations made up on the spot to meet the arguments as they are made. This is the mark of the classic conspiracy therapist. She has made up her mind that Jews have demanded and got special treatment, incredible as it sounds, and no amount of rational discussion will move her. Demolish one of the lies? No problem. Just amend the theory so that whatever comes up becomes a part of the conspiracy. She does not care whether there were 5000, 50 000, 500 000, 5 000 000 or 50,000 000. victims. Hers is the beat of another drum where facts and truth are no more than irritations intended to waste her time.

I'll leave WD's editorial rules to WD on this subject. But this is clearly a case where Holocaust denial got past the moderators, if that concerns you. Just as some pretty vicious antisemitism has got past them, as you would expect, from the same source.

How? Because the Holocaust denial was not recognised for what it is. The call was that is was skating very close to the edge but not actually over. I disagree. This is the phenomenon with both arms in the muck up to the armpits. I believe most people familar with this thing would overwhelmingly agree with me.

This is getting out of hand

How many Jews died  I neither know or care; all I know is that if just one died as a result of a political agenda it was one too many. Even if Marilyn is correct in stating that most of them escaped, the disruption to their lives is enough for me to describe their collective experience as a holocaust and if anyone feels differently they are invited to express their dissent.

When I read tosh about the intention of the UN to establish Jerusalem as an international city I know with what I am dealing.

What then; the creation of a city state; controlled by whom?

I see no resolution in the short term. In this space however there is an opportunity to plainly express your view.

Are the Palestinians being treated fairly or not?

Simple question; complicated answers unacceptable.

They are not all Jewish though

Alan, I try very hard to call them Israelis but 20% of Israelis are not Jewish and they are not killing Palestinian Arabs in their hundreds every year. That would be the Jewish Israelis.

Kapeesh? Otherwise I always call them Israelis. See, easy.

And Richard, I have great instincts about the scum lords in the former government and I knew from the first minute that the Haneef thing was a fit up.

Another 5 seconds Googling ...

ISRAELI authorities have approved a plan to build 40,000 new homes in Jerusalem over the next decade, as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice condemned Jewish settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.

The plan was approved by the National Planning and Building Committee yesterday, municipal officials said.

New homes will be built in the annexed Arab eastern sector of Jerusalem, but municipality spokesman Yossi Gottesman declined to say how many.


While Israel would not confiscate more Palestinian land, it would build in Jewish neighbourhoods of Jerusalem it expected to keep as part of any final settlement with the Palestinians, he told Ms Rice.

Mr Olmert and Ms Rice met last night, after the secretary of state had earlier held talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

It is amazing how many sources a mere five seconds Googling will toss up.

So we don't know what fraction of the 40000 approved apartments will be in East Jerusalem. But we already know sums and other mere facts are not among Marilyn's strong points.

We also know that East Jerusalem is home to 200000 Jews (250000 Palestinians), that it was intended to be an international city by the UN in 1947, that it was invaded and seized by Jordon in 1948 who expelled its large (majority) Jewish population and occupied it until 1967 when it was taken and annexed by Israel, (which therefore does not distinguish for legal purposes East Jerusalem from the rest of the city after Jordan attacked Israel in the six day war and Jews were once again allowed to live there. As are Palestinian and other Moslems and Christians.

What about Marilyn's other claims in that sentence?

"Now the jewish government in Israel have decided to build another 40,000 illegal homes on Palestinian land, homes that Israeli arabs and non-jews are not allowed to buy."

Care to do a little more Googling for Marilyn now that she once again has her very own Assistant Research Officer class 2/3 ? I dare not ask what the last one died of.

Scott Dunmore: Oh my! Geoff Pahoff; how I've relished the prospect of this moment. Your worst nightmare realised Geoff; the sight of moi advancing, red in eye and bank account, rusty pistol to hand.

No need to worry too much, it's Webley & Scott .455, the same that was carried into battle at the Little Bighorn River by Gen Custer and T.E. Lawrence who, while leading a charge against the Turks, succesfully managed to shoot his camel in the back of the head....

As to whether Arabs will be allowed to live in the proposed houses, what do you reckon?

10 seconds' googling, 40,000 new homes

From two days ago... 

THE US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has wrapped up her sixth visit to Israel since November's Annapolis Middle East peace conference, holding three-way talks with the Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, and the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, after sharply criticising new Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem.

Dr Rice said the thousands of new settlements, built on land confiscated by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, were damaging Israeli peace talks with the Palestinians. ...

Dr Rice's comments came as Jerusalem's municipal district committee approved the construction of 40,000 new homes in a variety of neighbourhoods, including in East Jerusalem.

Dr Rice doesn't use the term 'illegal' to describe these homes/settlements, but perhaps that's an issue to be seriously discussed.

Howard and Haneef

Howard's office was involved - it was his 2007 TAMPA just as we always claimed.

Arr, Shit

Being proven right gives little satisfaction, eh Marylin

Haneef, Parkin, Hicks, Tampa, Nauru ... we've been played as fools.

There's a fifteen minute video on Parkin up here.  I just received the link tonight.  That cock-up of applying ludicrous intel to a deportation is too embarrassing to come out, so no wonder ASIO are still fighting it.

What's the story with this Adelaide woman detained in Texas?  I just saw a Seven newsbreak intro-ing the story with "Our so-called ally, America."  Wow.

Am still  trying

Am still trying to conjure with Richard "off to bed with Phillip Adams".

Richard: Not going there... your mind is your own ;)


Geoff Pahoff, let's try a hypothetical. Let's just presume just for a moment that Marilyn Shepherd's claim re the 40,000 homes is verified.

What THEN, do you think?

In terms of good faith ads to peace talks, for a start. Or just down right bloody minded provocation?

Now, "off to bed with Stephen Hawking".

Richard: The wheelchair?

Ps, off topic, but did anyone notice that piece of spite from Sophie Belladonna toward Gillard , caught on camera, on ABC news tonight?

The wheel chair?

Pity I've had my ten posts, isn't it?

Editor (IM): Look at it the other way, Paul. A good first post for June 18.

Jews "should be a little less vocal and demanding" - Marilyn

Marilyn Shepherd: "Just because I call them jews (sic) doesn't mean I hate them.   It just means the jews are implementing policies against people who cannot protect themselves."

"I have enormous sympathy for the people who managed to survive the holocaust but fail to understand why every country on earth has to pander to the Jews now, they have never had a hard time in Australia really and should be a little less vocal and demanding ..Really and truly, do we have to read this drivel from this tiny minority of people who think they have the right to blackmail all of us who don’t automatically agree with Israel’s disgusting brutal behaviour towards her neighbours. Enough already. Go to Israel and whine if this is the best you can do. I do note that not all jews in Australia are rabid zionists but they are silenced when they open their mouths."?

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