Read A Pile Of Top Nazis Talking About How They Love Leftist Marxism

Source: Read A Pile Of Top Nazis Talking About How They Love Leftist Marxism

The Nazis were leftists. This statement is blasphemy to the academic-media complex, since everyone knows the Nazis were degenerate right-wingers fueled by toxic capitalism and racism. But evidence Adolf Hitler’s gang were men of the left, while debatable, is compelling.

[snip]

“The Road to Serfdom,” by F. A. Hayek, is one such tract. Published in 1944, it remains a classic for young people on the political right discovering their intellectual roots. A sort of academic “1984,” it warns of socialism’s tendency toward planned states and totalitarianism.

One aspect of the book can shock the conscience. Hayek describes Nazism as a “genuine socialist movement” and thus left-wing by modern American standards. Indeed, the Austrian-born Hayek wrote the book from his essay, “Nazi-Socialism,” which countered prevailing opinion at the London School of Economics, where he taught. British elites regarded Nazism as a virulent capitalist reaction against enlightened socialism—a view that persists today.

[snip]

The left believes the opposite. They distrust the excesses and inequality capitalism produces. They give primacy to group rights and identity. They believe factors like race, ethnicity, and sex compose the primary political unit. They don’t believe in strong property rights.

They believe it is the government’s responsibility to solve social problems. They call for public intervention to “equalize” disparities and render our social fabric more inclusive (as they define it). They believe the free market has failed to solve issues like campaign finance, income inequality, minimum wage, access to health care, and righting past injustices. These people talk about “democracy”—the method of collective decisions.

By these definitions, the Nazis were firmly on the left. National Socialism was a collectivist authoritarian movement run by “social justice warriors.” This brand of “justice” benefited only some based on immutable characteristics, which perfectly aligns with the modern brand. The Nazi ideal embraced identity politics based on the primacy of the people, or volk, and invoked state-based solutions for every possible problem. It was nation-based socialism—the nation being especially important to those who bled in the Great War.

As Hayek stated in 1933, the year the Nazis took power: “[I]t is more than probable that the real meaning of the German revolution is that the long dreaded expansion of communism into the heart of Europe has taken place but is not recognized because the fundamental similarity of methods and ideas is hidden by the difference in phraseology and the privileged groups.”

[snip]

Yet the evidence the Nazis were leftists goes well beyond the views of this one scholar. Philosophically, Nazi doctrine fit well with the other strains of socialism ripping through Europe at the time. Hitler’s first “National Workers’ Party” meeting while he was still an Army corporal featured the speech “How and by What Means is Capitalism to be Eliminated?”

The Nazi charter published a year later and coauthored by Hitler is socialist in almost every aspect. It calls for “equality of rights for the German people”; the subjugation of the individual to the state; breaking of “rent slavery”; “confiscation of war profits”; the nationalization of industry; profit-sharing in heavy industry; large-scale social security; the “communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low costs to small firms”; the “free expropriation of land for the purpose of public utility”; the abolition of “materialistic” Roman Law; nationalizing education; nationalizing the army; state regulation of the press; and strong central power in the Reich. It was also racist and anti-immigrant.

[snip]

It wasn’t only theoretical. Hitler repeatedly praised Marx privately, stating he had “learned a great deal from Marxism.” The trouble with the Weimar Republic, he said, was that its politicians “had never even read Marx.” He also stated his differences with communists were that they were intellectual types passing out pamphlets, whereas “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun.”

It wasn’t just privately that Hitler’s fealty for Marx surfaced. In “Mein Kampf,” he states that without his racial insights National Socialism “would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground.” Nor did Hitler eschew this sentiment once reaching power. As late as 1941, with the war in bloom, he stated “basically National Socialism and Marxism are the same” in a speech published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Nazi propaganda minister and resident intellectual Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary that the Nazis would install “real socialism” after Russia’s defeat in the East. And Hitler favorite Albert Speer, the Nazi armaments minister whose memoir became an international bestseller, wrote that Hitler viewed Joseph Stalin as a kindred spirit, ensuring his prisoner of war son received good treatment, and even talked of keeping Stalin in power in a puppet government after Germany’s eventual triumph. His views on Great Britain’s Winston Churchill and the United States’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt were decidedly less kind.

Lots more at the link.

Why History Sometimes Needs Revision

Sometimes it’s because, as David Bernstein says,

Something is Amiss in the History Profession

While I’m sure there are many excellent historians around, I found that the historians I interacted with not only tended to reason backwards from their political priors, but that their standards of how one makes an appropriate inference from existing evidence are such that they would be laughed out of any decent philosophy or law school academic workshop.

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.

(1) MacLean begins her book with a chapter on John Calhoun, in an effort to link Calhoun’s thought to Buchanan’s. The problem is that she doesn’t actually present any evidence that Buchanan was influenced by Calhoun, and there is evidence to the contrary. I was told in response that my criticism is unwarranted. MacLean is an intellectual historian. Intellectual historians read lots of stuff about an era, and then reach conclusions. People who are not trained intellectual historians can’t properly judge these conclusions, they just have to accept the end-result.

(2) While MacLean doesn’t quite go so far as to assert that James Buchanan was racist in supporting school vouchers in Virginia in the late 1950s, some of her defenders do. I pointed out that he gave entirely non-racist reasons for his support of school vouchers, and there is no direct evidence that he preferred segregation to integration. In response, a historian noted that Ernest Van den Haag, a conservative writer, made similar non-racist arguments for school vouchers at the same time, but later became an overt supporter of Jim Crow segregation. This, he argued, shows that Buchanan was also a Jim Crow segregationist. When I teach Evidence, I always struggle for examples of something that almost seems on point but doesn’t quite meet even the incredibly lax relevancy standard of Federal Rule of Evidence 701. I’m going to use this one. I also joked on Facebook that whenever I need a good non sequitur in response to a question I don’t want to respond to, I’m just going to say “Ernest Van den Haag.”

(3) Several historians asserted more generally that James Buchanan was a segregationist. I noted that MacLean presents no evidence that he favored segregation, and that others have presented at least suggestive evidence that he did not. The response was that calling Buchanan a segregationist doesn’t mean that he actually favored segregation, even though that’s how every dictionary defines the word “segregationist.” Rather, historians of the segregation era have their own definition of segregationist, which in essence means someone who didn’t support the NAACP’s strategy for combating segregation. (So one could personally and politically be against segregation, but still be a “segregationist” if a historian decides that you didn’t oppose segregation in the way the historian thinks you should have.) I should note that I’ve done my own historical research on the era, and I don’t agree that there is any sort of historical consensus that “segregationist” has that definition.

(4) A big theme of MacLean’s book is that Buchanan inspired an effort to promote an anti-democratic putsch by the Koch Brothers. As Ilya Somin has explained, her conception of democracy doesn’t make any sense, at least if one assumes that she supports standard limits on democracy widely supported by progressives. But other historians have come to the rescue, arguing that the United States is a democracy when it follows the will of the people, as opposed to the will of organized reactionary interest groups. The U.S., for example, was democratic in the 1930s and 1960s, but not in the 1950s or 1980s. Democracy, in other words, means “progressive politics are winning out.” Lack of democracy means “progressive politics are not winning out.” Because in a true democracy, the will of the people wins, and the will of the people is naturally liberal-democratic-socialist. So Roe v. Wade is a “democratic” decision, even though it overturned the abortion laws of almost every state, because progressives approve of it. I kid you not.

(5) Relatedly, one problem for those on the left who suddenly proclaim that democracy is the be all and end all is that they love anti-democratic decisions* such as Brown v. Board of Education. The response I received when this was pointed out is that Brown was in fact democratic despite being a Supreme Court ruling invalidating legislation, because black people couldn’t vote in the segregated South, and therefore the South didn’t really have democracy. When I pointed out that Brown itself arose in Topeka, Kansas, where black people could in fact vote, the basic answer was that if a democratic legislature did something that harmed minorities, it was really being undemocratic, because all working class people would recognize they have common interests if it wasn’t for the evil reactionary interests manipulating them. In other words, if we see policies enacted that the left sees as reflecting class solidarity, we know it’s democracy at work. If we see majoritarian racial solidarity, that’s not democracy.

The historians I’ve discussed and debated with are not fringe-y. One of my interlocutors is a chaired professor at a major state university. Others are junior professors or grad students or post-docs or think tank fellows with degrees from some of our most reputable history programs.

Again, I’m not saying that these folks represent all historians, all American historians, or even all intellectual historians who speciaize in the U.S. Nevertheless, the fact that all of these arguments (and more) have been made with a straight face by well-credentialed historians suggests something is amiss in the profession.

*UPDATE: Just to be clear, I understand that Brown can be squared with various versions of “democratic theory.” But MacLean’s basic normative thesis is that the Kochs, using Buchanan’s “intellectual software,” and understanding that libertarian ideas are unpopular and can’t be enacted via ordinary majororitarian processes, seek to undermine democracy as defined in majoritarian terms. Given that, one has to either concede that Brown is an example of “anti-democratic” constraints on majority rule, or concede that sometimes constraints on majority rule are a good thing, and can even enhance “democratic politics.” But the latter concession would undermine any cohrent defense of MacLean’s thesis that Buchanan and the Kochs should necessarily be condemned for seeking to put “democracy in chains.” Instead, we’d have to have a debate on what sorts and in what contexts constraints on majoritarian democracy are sound, which is a good part of Buchanan’s life work.

My correspondents, not wanting to make either of the concessions noted above, instead bypased them by essentially arguing that “democratic” means “producing policy outcomes that I approve of,” and that we can therefore evade the counter-majoritarian basis of Brown by asserting the opinion’s essential rightness. If we accept that assumption, then MacLean could have written a much shorter book, consisting of a few sentences showing how she disagrees with libertarianish philosophy, and then concluding, “Buchanan and the Kochs are anti-democratic because they support(ed) policy outcomes I don’t approve of.”

Sometimes “his-story” needs to be revised

Conventional wisdom holds that the Republicans had a “southern strategy” by which they won over the Racist South™, or at least all the racists in the South. Anything presented to the contrary is called “revisionist history”. But maybe it’s the conventional wisdom that needs to be revised?

A friend of mine referenced this video, saying “Dennis Prager paid a black woman to say it, so it must be true”. Either he has a strange criterion for assessing truth, or he believes black women can will say anything for money. I’m sure he’d call it “revisionist history”.

 

This is from The Hill:

The myth of Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’

BY DINESH D’SOUZA, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 08/23/18

The Democratic Party’s claim to be the party of the good guys, while the Republicans are the party of the bad guys, hinges on the tale of Richard Nixon’s so-called Southern Strategy. According to this narrative, advanced by progressive historians, Nixon orchestrated a party switch on civil rights by converting the racists in the Democratic Party — the infamous Dixiecrats — into Republicans. And now, according to a recent article in The New Republic, President Trump is the “true heir, the beneficiary of the policies the party has pursued for more than half a century.”

Yes, this story is in the textbooks and on the history channel and regularly repeated in the media, but is it true? First, no one has ever given a single example of an explicitly racist pitch by Nixon during his long career. One might expect that a racist appeal to the Deep South actually would have to be made, and to be understood as such. Yet, quite evidently none was.

So progressives insist that Nixon made a racist “dog whistle” appeal to Deep South voters. Evidently he spoke to them in a kind of code. Really? Is it plausible that Nixon figured out how to communicate with Deep South racists in a secret language? Do Deep South bigots, like dogs, have some kind of heightened awareness of racial messages — messages that are somehow indecipherable to the media and the rest of the country?

This seems unlikely, but let’s consider the possibility. Progressives insist that Nixon’s appeals to drugs and law and order were coded racist messaging. Yet when Nixon ran for president in 1968 the main issue was the Vietnam War. One popular Republican slogan of the period described the Democrats as the party of “acid, amnesty and abortion.” Clearly there is no suggestion here of race.

Nixon’s references to drugs and law and order in 1968 were quite obviously directed at the antiwar protesters who had just disrupted the Democratic Convention in Chicago. His target was radical activists such as Abbie Hoffman and Bill Ayers. Nixon scorned the hippies, champions of the drug culture such as Timothy Leary, and draft-dodgers who fled to Canada. The vast majority of these people were white.

Nixon had an excellent record on civil rights. He supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was an avid champion of the desegregation of public schools. The progressive columnist Tom Wicker wrote in the New York Times, “There’s no doubt about it — the Nixon administration accomplished more in 1970 to desegregate Southern school systems than had been done in the 16 previous years or probably since. There’s no doubt either that it was Richard Nixon personally who conceived and led the administration’s desegregation effort.”

Upon his taking office in 1969, Nixon also put into effect America’s first affirmative action program. Dubbed the Philadelphia Plan, it imposed racial goals and timetables on the building trade unions, first in Philadelphia and then elsewhere. Now, would a man seeking to build an electoral base of Deep South white supremacists actually promote the first program to legally discriminate in favor of blacks? This is absurd.

Nixon barely campaigned in the Deep South. His strategy, as outlined by Kevin Phillips in his classic work, “The Emerging Republican Majority,” was to target the Sunbelt, the vast swath of territory stretching from Florida to Nixon’s native California. This included what Phillips terms the Outer or Peripheral South.

Nixon recognized the South was changing. It was becoming more industrialized, with many northerners moving to the Sunbelt. Nixon’s focus, Phillips writes, was on the non-racist, upwardly-mobile, largely urban voters of the Outer or Peripheral South. Nixon won these voters, and he lost the Deep South, which went to Democratic segregationist George Wallace.

And how many racist Dixiecrats did Nixon win for the GOP? Turns out, virtually none. Among the racist Dixiecrats, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was the sole senator to defect to the Republicans — and he did this long before Nixon’s time. Only one Dixiecrat congressman, Albert Watson of South Carolina, switched to the GOP. The rest, more than 200 Dixiecrat senators, congressmen, governors and high elected officials, all stayed in the Democratic Party.

The progressive notion of a Dixiecrat switch is a myth. Yet it is myth that continues to be promoted, using dubious case examples. Though the late Sens. Jesse Helms of North Carolina and John Tower of Texas and former Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott all switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP, none of these men was a Dixiecrat.

The South, as a whole, became Republican during the 1980s and 1990s. This had nothing to do with Nixon; it was because of Ronald Reagan and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” The conservative appeal to patriotism, anti-communism, free markets, pro-life and Christianity had far more to do with the South’s movement into the GOP camp than anything related to race.

Yet the myth of Nixon’s Southern Strategy endures — not because it’s true, but because it conveniently serves to exculpate the crimes of the Democratic Party. Somehow the party that promoted slavery, segregation, Jim Crow and racial terrorism gets to wipe its slate clean by pretending that, with Nixon’s connivance, the Republicans stole all their racists. It’s time we recognize this excuse for what it is: one more Democratic big lie.

It’s not just Jonah Goldberg

Bill Flax in Forbes Magazine:

In Argentina, everyone acknowledges that fascism, state capitalism, corporatism – whatever – reflects very leftwing ideology. Eva Peron remains a liberal icon. President Obama’s Fabian policies (Keynesian economics) promise similar ends. His proposed infrastructure bank is just the latest gyration of corporatism. Why then are fascists consistently portrayed as conservatives?

In the Thirties, intellectuals smitten by progressivism considered limited, constitutional governance anachronistic. The Great Depression had apparently proven capitalism defunct. The remaining choice had narrowed between communism and fascism. Hitler was about an inch to the right of Stalin. Western intellectuals infatuated with Marxism thus associated fascism with the Right.

Later, Marxists from the Frankfurt School popularized this prevailing sentiment. Theodor Adorno in The Authoritarian Personality devised the “F” scale to demean conservatives as latent fascists. The label “fascist” has subsequently meant anyone liberals seek to ostracize or discredit.

Fascism is an amorphous ideology mobilizing an entire nation (Mussolini, Franco and Peron) or race (Hitler) for a common purpose. Leaders of industry, science, education, the arts and politics combine to shepherd society in an all encompassing quest. Hitler’s premise was a pure Aryan Germany capable of dominating Europe.

While he feinted right, Hitler and Stalin were natural bedfellows. Hitler mimicked Lenin’s path to totalitarian tyranny, parlaying crises into power. Nazis despised Marxists not over ideology, but because they had betrayed Germany in World War I and Nazis found it unconscionable that German communists yielded fealty to Slavs in Moscow.

[snip]

While political correctness as manifest in the West is very anti-Nazi and those opposing multiculturalism primarily populate the Right, it’s false to confuse fascism with conservatism. Coupling negatives is not necessarily positive. Because the Nazis would likely detest something that conservatives also dislike indicates little harmony. Ohio State hates Michigan. Notre Dame does too, but Irish fans rarely root for the Buckeyes.

America’s most fascistic elements are ultra leftwing organizations like La Raza or the Congressional Black Caucus. These racial nationalists seek gain not through merit, but through the attainment of government privileges. What’s the difference between segregation and affirmative action? They are identical phenomena harnessing state auspices to impose racialist dogma.

The Nation of Islam and other Afrocentric movements, like the Nazis, even celebrate their own perverse racist mythology. Are Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright conservatives? Is Obama?

Racism does not exclusively plague the Right. Many American bigots manned the Left: ex-Klansman Hugo Black had an extremely left wing Supreme Court record, George Wallace was a New Deal style liberal – he just wanted welfare and social programs controlled by states. Communists always persecute minorities whenever in power.

The Nazis’ anti-Semitism derived indirectly from Karl Marx, who despite Jewish ancestry was deeply anti-Semitic. Bankers and other capitalists were disproportionately Jewish. Elsewhere, Jews played prominent roles. Before falling under Hitler’s sway, Mussolini’s inner circle was overly Jewish. Peron was the first leader to let Jews hold public office in Argentina. Franco, a Marana, welcomed Jews back into Spain for the first time since 1492 and famously thwarted Hitler by harboring Jewish refugees.

Very little of Hitler’s domestic activity was even remotely right wing. Europe views Left and Right differently, but here, free markets, limited constitutional government, family, church and tradition are the bedrocks of conservatism. The Nazis had a planned economy; eradicated federalism in favor of centralized government; considered church and family as competitors; and disavowed tradition wishing to restore Germany’s pre-Christian roots.

Despite Democrats’ pretensions every election, patriotism is clearly a conservative trait so Nazi foreign policy could be vaguely right wing, but how did Hitler’s aggression differ from Stalin’s? The peace movement evidenced liberals being duped as “useful idiots” more than pacifistic purity. Note the Left’s insistence on neutrality during the Hitler/Stalin pact and their urgent switch to militarism once Germany attacked.

After assuming power, Nazis strongly advocated “law and order.” Previously, they were antagonistic thugs, which mirrored the communists’ ascension. The Nazis outlawed unions perceiving them as competitors for labor’s loyalties, i.e. for precisely the same reason workers’ paradises like Communist China and Soviet Russia disallowed unions. To Nazis, the state sustained workers’ needs.

Even issues revealing similarity to American conservatism could also describe Stalin, Mao and many communists. This is not to suggest liberals and fascists are indistinguishable, but a fair assessment clearly shows if any similarities appear with American politics they reside more on the Left than Right.

Did the Government End Child Labor?

It’s hard to prove by the numbers.

In 1938 the US government passed the Fair Labor Standards Act mandating a forty hour work week, establishing a minimum wage, and prohibiting child labor. Because of legislation like this, government is often credited for making the American work environment safer and more fair. Yet, as Antony Davies and James Harrigan demonstrate with historical data, market forces were already making things easier on the American worker long before the FLSA.

Learn More: https://fee.org/articles/child_labor_…

https://youtu.be/0zq-2cKENOc

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-met…

https://fee.org/articles/child_labor_…

Data: http://www2.census.gov/prod2/statcomp… See page 170 for average weekly work hours. See page 134 for child labor rates.

By the way, try the autogenerated transcript function. It works surprisingly well.

The core flaw in the IG Report is its pretense that bias is meaningless — Bookworm Room

The IG Report ignores that the Clinton investigation was completely and irreparably compromised by agents whose biases went to the heart of the case. The IG Report is a strange beast. To begin with, it’s a rather ironic companion piece to Comey’s July 5, 2016 press conference. Back then, Comey laid out facts that ought…

via The core flaw in the IG Report is its pretense that bias is meaningless — Bookworm Room

Double standards in the Justice Department

In Politicized Justice, Desperate Times Call for Disparate Measures

If you or I had set up an unauthorized private communications system for official business for the patent purpose of defeating federal record-keeping and disclosure laws; if we had retained and transmitted thousands of classified emails on this non-secure system; if we had destroyed tens of thousands of government records; if we had carried out that destruction while those records were under subpoena; if we had lied to the FBI in our interview — well, we’d be writing this column from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth. Yet, in a feat of dizzying ratiocination, Director Comey explained that to prosecute Mrs. Clinton would be to hold her to a nitpicking, selective standard of justice not imposed on other Americans.

So it was that the New York Times, in this week’s 4,100-word exposé on the origins of the FBI’s Trump–Russia probe, recycled the theme: Government investigators were savagely public about Clinton’s trifling missteps while keeping mum about the Manchurian candidate’s treasonous conspiracy with Putin.

As we contended in rebuttal on Thursday, the Times’ facts are selective and its narrative theme of disparate treatment is hogwash: Clinton’s bid was saved, not destroyed, by Obama’s law-enforcement agencies, which tanked a criminal case on which she should have been indicted. And the hush-hush approach taken to the counterintelligence case against Donald Trump was not intended to protect the Republican candidate; it was intended to protect the Obama administration from the specter of a Watergate-level scandal had its spying on the opposition party’s presidential campaign been revealed.

 

But Blaming the Jews is So Much Easier!!!

New report: “false promises made by [Arab] leaders and political elites” created Palestinian Nakba
Source: Legal Insurrection

Last week on May 15th was Nakba Day, when Palestinians and their supporters mourn what they call the ‘catastrophe’ of the modern Jewish state’s establishment, mark the displacement of some 750,000 Arabs in 1948, and call for the ‘right’ of return of the Palestinian refugees to their lost homes in present-day Israel.

There are many reasons that hundreds of thousands of Arabs were displaced in 1948—but as we highlighted in a recent post, chief among them was the fear of being harmed by the approaching Zionist forces.

Basically, people fled in terror because they were led to believe, by their own leaders, that the Zionists would slaughter them like they allegedly did in the Arab village of Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948, even though no massacre ever took place there.

These are important facts for anyone interested in Nakba Day and the origins of the Palestinian refugee problem to know, and there’s a new Hebrew-language book by renowned Israeli historian Eliezer Tauber that provides them.

But, as we discussed in our prior post, American scholars and students won’t be able to learn about it. That’s because Tauber can’t manage to land a U.S. academic press contract on account of virulently anti-Israel faculty reviewers of his manuscript who don’t want the truth to come out, lest it upend their own narrative about these historical events, Silencing History: U.S. University Publishers Shun Book ‘Ending the Deir Yassin Myth’.

Tauber’s meticulous research about what really happened at Deir Yassin needs to reach a larger audience, especially because new material keeps coming to light that corroborates his central findings.

Last week, for example, on the day after Nakba Day, the watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) published a bulletin that adds important evidence clarifying why Arabs fled their homes in 1948, and provides further support for Tauber’s key claim: the true story of the 1948 Palestinian exodus is one of a massive flight caused not by any Zionist plan to expel the Arabs, but by the propaganda and lies produced by their own leaders.

[…]

On March 16th Pal Media Watch released an exclusive video compilation of over a dozen personal stories told by Palestinian refugees who lived through Israel’s War of Independence. It’s a short 7 minute video that’s well worth watching (a full transcript of the testimonies is also available here):

[…]

The video aims to explain what caused the Palestinian refugee problem and why hundreds of thousands of Arabs ended up leaving their homes during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.

It includes 13 translated testimonies by Palestinian refugees who lived in different parts of the country at the time. Despite those differences, there’s a “common denominator” to the personal stories recounted: none of the Palestinians interviewed claims to have been pushed out by Israel’s armed forces, and instead the focus is on what Arab leaders told them to do.

Many of those interviewed claimed that they were following the orders of leaders to evacuate their homes temporarily after which point they were told that they could return with the victorious Arab armies.

Others claim—as Prof. Elizer Tauber describes in his book—that they made the decision to flee with their families because of the “fear of the coming battles” and in particular because of the cruel ‘massacre’ that they heard had happened at Deir Yassin:

Why I left Allar – Orders of Arab army – “Leave…then you will return”

Ali Muhammad Karake: “When news reached us that the Jews were nearing our village, the Arab [Salvation] Army – may Allah protect them – came and said: ‘Leave the village so it won’t happen to you, like Deir Yassin. They slaughter, and do things.’ They said: ‘Leave, but don’t go far from the village because they [the Jews] will make a short visit to the village, leave, and then you’ll return to the village.’ The people left with nothing, even without bread and went into the mountains, and pitched [tents].”

[Al-Quds daily YouTube channel, May 17, 2016]

Significant Points from “How we really became refugees: 13 Palestinians tell their personal stories”

There are a few interesting takeaways from PMW’s new video of Palestinian refugee testimonies.

First, the refugees recounting their stories all express bitterness over the “false promises” of the Arab leaders at the time. The refugees each lament being so gullible as to believe what the Arab regimes and army commanders kept repeating to them—that they’d be returning to their homes “after a few hours.” Many describe how, because they so earnestly believed the political elites who assured them that they’d only be gone for a few days, they even “left their money and gold behind” and “flocks of sheep” in the pastures.

Second, the personal stories of these refugees—which describe large-scale population movements, such as the flight from major cities like Safed and Jaffa—depict Arab armies that planned to exact a ruthless price on the Zionists. In one testimony from 2008, for instance, a Palestinian journalist claims that Arab officers told him that they had “come in order to exterminate the Zionists and their state.” Other testimonies confirm that army commanders, leaders, and elites wanted the “battlefields cleared” of Arab civilians. Basically, they were told to “get out of the way” so that they wouldn’t impede the troops and so that the “fighting [against Israel] would succeed.”

Third, while many of the testimonies suggest that the Palestinian Arabs left their homes “out of fear,” at least one says that the Jews offered him and his fellow villagers the chance to stay in Israel. Recorded on official PA TV back in 2013, one Palestinian refugee claims that the “Jews gave us choices,” including the option to “hand over your weapons and stay on your land and live the way you live.”

Lastly, the testimonies that PMW has compiled are all “presented openly” by the refugees themselves, and have been featured for years in official Palestinian Authority media. It’s important to note that some of the testimonies are by people in current leadership positions in the PA. Even PA President Mahmoud Abbas makes a cameo appearance, explaining why his family along with others from Safed made the decision to leave in 1948.

As author of the bulletin, PMW’s Itamar Marcus, notes:

All of this suggests that awareness of Arab responsibility for the refugee problem must be widespread among the Palestinian population—even though Palestinian leaders refuse to accept responsibility in international forum.”

Conclusion

In a recent op-ed, Times of Israel editor David Horovitz insists that the international community needs to tell Gaza’s “Hamas-abused masses” the truth, namely that they don’t have a ‘right’ of return and a ‘return’ will not happen:

After Monday’s terrible violence and loss of Palestinian life on the Gaza border, the world owes the Palestinians some painful but simple truths…What the [Hamas] terror group calls ‘Palestine’—i.e. Israel—is not going to be ‘liberated.’ Majority-Jewish Israel isn’t going anywhere. Most specifically, given the current Hamas tactic for bringing Gazans to the border, the ‘refugees,’ in their ostensible millions, are not going to ‘return.’…The world…owes it to the Palestinians to make clear that Israel will not be required or pressured to commit national suicide as a Jewish state by absorbing millions of descendants of Palestinians who used to live in what is today’s Israel.”

Horovitz suggests that a “straightforward means” for shattering the illusion of a ‘right’ of return is to correct the definition and classification of Palestinian refugees designated by UNRWA (the UN’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine).

That’s a good place to start.

For 70 years UNRWA has fueled an unrealistic hope and has encouraged millions of Palestinians to “dream” of a ‘right’ of return, because unlike every other refugee population on the planet, UNRWA allowed Palestinians to inherit refugee status. In preventing peace and reasonable compromise, it’s a false hope that’s been even more devastating for the Palestinians than the pack of lies and false promises told to them by their own leaders back in 1948.

Bottom line: The tens of thousands of Gazans participating in the violent Hamas-instigated ‘March of Return’ likely really do believe that their grandparents and great-grandparents were unjustly expelled by Israel in 1948 and that they now have every right to return to ‘Palestine’ and undo the Jewish state. But PMW’s new video compilation of refugee testimonies underscores that most Palestinians probably know deep down that Arab elites and armies were largely to blame for the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, and not Israel. So the ‘right of return’ is unfounded and the personal stories of the Palestinian refugees themselves provides the proof.

Miriam F. Elman is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Inaugural Robert D. McClure Professor of Teaching Excellence at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She is the editor of five books and the author of over 65 journal articles, book chapters, and government reports on topics related to international and national security, religion and politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She also frequently speaks and writes on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) anti-Israel movement. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @MiriamElman

A dozen Iraq war myths that need to die – AEI

A dozen Iraq war myths that need to die – AEI

1. Sanctions killed 1 million Iraqis (and 500,000 children). False. Where did this claim come from? Saddam Hussein’s government.

2. The 2003 Iraq war was illegal. Wrong. Too many activists who cite international law to back their positions of the day act essentially as armchair dictators. They assume they alone can act as judge and jury and discount alternate interpretations. As first a state senator and then U.S. senator, Barack Obama repeatedly declared the 2003 Iraq war as illegal because Bush acted absent U.N. authorization. It is reasonable to debate whether or not the war was wise or necessary, but it was not illegal: Bush acted under existing U.N. Security Council Chapter VII resolutions allowing force to ensure compliance. To suggest that they were no longer binding would be to establish a precedent in which binding, enforceable Security Council resolutions expired after 13 years. To declare that the Iraq war to be illegal, therefore, risks undermining the entire basis of permanence in international law.

3. Iraq was a war of choice. Any war is one of choice, but this is the wrong framing. The question wasn’t to invade by an arbitrary date or let stability reign. The sanctions regime was actively collapsing, thanks to countries like Jordan, France, Germany, and Russia.

4. Bush lied. False. Bush (and Vice President Dick Cheney) read the intelligence presented them. Sometimes, that intelligence was wrong.

5. Saddam had no interest in WMDs. False. Let’s put aside the residual WMD discovered in Iraq, as that fell far short of what U.S. intelligence suggested Iraq had. While true that Saddam had suspended his WMD program, he wanted to keep the illusion of one and so did not cooperate fully with inspectors. All documents seized the aftermath of his fall, however, show that the Iraqi dictator planned to restart his program as soon as sanctions collapsed. The war prevented an Iraq armed with a nuclear, biological, or chemical arsenal, period.

6. The Invasion of Iraq caused the deaths of 1 million Iraqis. False. Let’s put aside the exaggerated figures used by some analysts, most of whom cite a statistically flawed 2006 article in the Lancet, a British medical journal. Certainly, many Iraqis did die in the wake of the war, but who killed them? Most were killed not by U.S.-led forces but rather by Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias.

7. At least Iraq was stable under Saddam. False. Iraqi Kurdistan had been in a state of near-constant insurgency since 1961. As for southern Iraq, Saddam controlled the day, but even his elite Republican Guards were afraid to patrol at night. The simple truth is that as Saddam confused brutality with stability — he had gradually lost control of broad swaths of Iraq.

8. At least Saddam was a secularist. Well, yes and no. Saddam himself worshipped only himself, but he used religion as a tool.

9. The Iraq war created al Qaeda in Iraq. False. Remember Laurence Foley, a U.S. diplomat assassinated by al Qaeda in Iraqi leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Amman, Jordan, in October 2002? Well, that was more than four months before the war began. The post-war chaos in Iraq exacerbated the problem, but it did not create it.

10. Dismantling the Iraqi army caused Insurgency. False. Baath Party cells planned and carried out the insurgency.

11. De-Baathification caused insurgency. False. Founded by a Syrian Christian in the 1940s, the Baath Party was, in its early years, a secular, socialist pan-Arabist political movement. With time, however, it became a vehicle for power, both for Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Assad family in Syria. De-Baathification referred to the purge of the top four levels of the party in Iraq. Senior Baathists deemed complicit in Saddam’s regime lost their jobs and their qualification to work in government or the military.

12. Ousting Saddam empowered Iran. Let’s put aside the intellectual inconsistency inherent in this statements by critics of the Iraq War who then support empowering Iran with other policies such as the Iran nuclear deal or caving to Iranian ambitions in Syria, Lebanon, or Yemen. The idea that ousting Saddam alone empowered Iran was false. The majority of Iraqis may be Shiite, but they have an identity distinct from Iran and often resent Iranian attempts to subordinate Iraqi interests to those of Tehran.