Friday, October 28, 2005

The Fate of Ozymandias

World Without Zionism There’s a new exclusive club, succinctly named Zionot. It has the elegance and brevity of a mathematical term. Its aim is as lethal as sniper’s bullet.

Consider it a celebration by the Religion of Peace in Ramadan. What are they celebrating? A world finally made Judenrein. According to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it is imperative that Islam “wipe this stigma (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world.”

This effort, dubbed “The World Without Zionism,” is being co-ordinated during a week of special events in thousands of mosques, schools, factories, etc. It is designed to create a critical mass of jihadist zeal. Syria and Lebanon and even Afghanistan are holding simultaneous activities for the same purpose.
     In a speech Wednesday, Ahmadinejad described Israel as “a stain of shame that has sullied the purity of Islam,” and promised that it would be “cleansed very soon.” All nations that establish ties with Israel, he warned, would burn “in the fires of our Islamic rage.”
Ahmadinejad’s vision is apocalyptic. This is not about politics; this is about religion. It’s important to remember that religion and politics are one and the same for Islam. That’s why there can be no negotiation, only holding patterns.

Of course the “world community” has reacted predictably with stern notes, lectures to Iranian ambassadors, and announcements by governmental leaders regarding their grave concerns. Always on the brink of hell, we have pronouncements about grave concerns. It is the mass graves that should concern us.

Back in 2002, Lee Harris explained the fatal consequences of Islam’s “fantasy ideology.”
     To an outside observer, the fantasist is clearly attempting to compensate by means of his fantasy for the shortcomings of his own present reality — and thus it is tempting to think of the fantasist as a kind of Don Quixote impotently tilting at windmills. But this is an illusion. Make no mistake about it: The fantasist often exercises great and terrible power precisely by virtue of his fantasy. The father who demands his son grow up and become a professional football player will clearly exercise much more control over his son’s life than a father who is content to permit his child to pursue his own goals in life.
This power of the fantasist is entirely traceable to the fact that, for him, the other is always an object and never a subject. A subject, after all, has a will of his own, his own desires and his own agenda; he might rather play the flute instead of football. And anyone who is aware of this fact is automatically put at a disadvantage in comparison with the fantasist — the disadvantage of knowing that other people have minds of their own and are not merely props to be pushed around.
For the Arabs and their fellow travelers, anti-Semitism is the air they breathe. Jews are not real; they are evil “props to be pushed around,” even eradicated.

Why now? Why, at this juncture, did the president of Iran pick up that old discredited 20th century banner? Why the New Holocaust?

Let’s look at the lay of the land.

Iraq, despite the efforts of the global appeasers, is on its way to becoming a functioning democracy. The nationwide vote on the constitution reverberated throughout the unfree Islamic states. With the Coalition’s support, Iraqis are on the road to the 21st century. Syria, humiliated by its forced relinquishment of the golden goose on the Mediterranean littoral, now faces the imminent collapse of the Baathist Party and the Assad dynasty. Egypt is holding elections of a sort. Jordan has its head down, hoping to avoid the shrapnel, while the wicked House of Saud is frantically shoring the walls of its house of cards. Meanwhile there is that Wall in Gaza, a monumental insult and reminder of failure to the Palestinians in particular and the Islamic world in general.

Things are unsettled, to put it mildly. The only bright spot, from the point of view of the Great Islamic Jihad, is those Iranian nuclear weapons. For a long time the mullahs waltzed with the French, marking time and making faces until they could finish the plan that has been so long a-borning. The ultimate fantasy, about to become a murderous reality.

Here’s one analyst’s breakout of Iran’s incentives for what appears to be a suicidal enterprise:
    …there remains the question of why the Iranian government is doing this. Iran has a reasonable intelligence apparatus, and the information I have set out is all in the public domain (see Global or the International Institute of Strategic Studies’ publications for more). All I can come up with is that a domestic crackdown on enemies of the current mullah regime is imminent, (particularly those in the universities), and the targets are being set up as Zionist agents. There is some kind of Iranian website (see the photo on the Real Clear Politics Blog)which is apparently part of the campaign.
The Mullah regime is in serious economic trouble: the Shah’s reign was a golden age in terms of wealth and liberty by comparison with this government.
Another possibility is to justify deeper Iranian involvement in Iraq -- the forward outpost of Zionists and Crusaders. But I think the other possibility (the domestic crackdown) is far more likely. Most Iranians require no justification for intervention in Iraq.
Given the pre-emptive and lethal nature of Zionot, the possibility of a general Middle Eastern conflagration has escalated into the red zone.

Is this the Big One, the one in which the boiler finally explodes?

History has never been Islam’s strong point. Nonetheless, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would do well to ponder the fate of Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said— “two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert ... near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and sneer of cold command,
And on the pedestal, this legend clear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing remains beside. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Perhaps some kind soul will send him a copy of Shelley’s poem. Gates of Vienna suggests that a Farsi translation be slipped into Condoleezza Rice’s briefcase for her next trip to Teheran.

NB: This post was a Baron-Dymphna collaboration. They are still speaking to each other.


Pastorius said...

I hope you folks are still speaking to each other. You may have just composed the essay that functions as the literary hinge of the War on Islamofascist Terror.

The Astute Blogger has been making the same argument for several months now. I would love to believe both him and you.

What you say sounds very logical. Let us pray things proceed according to such logic.

Jez said...

Not very logical, I'm afraid. Anti-zionism and anti-semitism are two different things. Here's a little bit of semantics:
Jews are semites. Arabs are semites. Semites are the people of the semitic languages, of which arabic and hebrew are two.
Arabs are not all muslims. Muslims are not all Arabs.
Zionism is a political movement. Jews are members of a nation/religion. Jewish and anti-zionist are not contradictory terms. Many Jews are opposed to zionism and the state of Israel.

wildiris said...

I just read Lee Harris's post. Wow! His "fantasy ideology" describes exactly the same personality types that Dr. Sanity outlined in her posts on "Narcissism and Society".

Baron, I think between these two viewpoints, you may have the clearest description of your "Enemy Within" I've seen yet.

al fin said...

Your clarity of explanation is exemplary. Thanks again for pointing back to Lee Harris' "Fantasy Ideology" describing the other worldly nature of islamist thought.

Arab and other muslim leaders have unwisely cast their lots with the islamist fanatics. Their path only leads downward to utter devastation.

niall said...

You're right in a strictly semantic sense. However you are either naive or willfully ignoring the reality that antisemitism and antizionism are intimately related and nearly interchangeable terms in almost every case. That some Jews oppose zionism and arabs are semitic is not a refutation of the point but rather the exception to the rule. Playing word games when you know quite well the difference between denotation and connotation is a waste of everyone's time.

sirius_sir said...

Another poem that comes to mind begins: "Some say the world will end in fire..."

I hadn't considered before the possibility that Ahmadinejad's remark about Israel comes as a prelude to an internal crackdown by the current regime. I suppose any that don't fall in with that hard line then become enemies--of the people, of the state, of the jihad--and makes them easy targets for the Zionotistas.

It's a scary thought, to consider what may be coming. And yet, a set-up escalating into a fight for their lives may be just the impetus the modernists (or 'moderates'--take your pick) in Iran need to fully and actively oppose the (possibly literally) mad mullahs. Though Iraq remains critical, Iran may well turn out to be the more important battlefield in the war for the world. I just hope our side is ready to help the good guys if and when called upon to do so.

quark2 said...

The first time HE destroyed the earth with water, the next it will be with fire. I'm not so certain the Iranians will ever get the chance to test their
liquid sunshine making weapons. They have awfully big mouths (just like the soviets), and probably someone will take them seriously, doing something about taking their 'toys' away from them.
Of course nature could have a hand in dealing with their wicked and evil toys.

Jez said...

I reiterate: MANY Jews are anti-zionist. Anti-zionism and anti-semitism are in no way interchangeable. There are also many early zionists who oppose the state of Israel and modern zionism on democratic principle.
The idea that in reality anti-zionists are anti-semitic is a paranoid fantasy at best. I suspect in reality it is a method of shutting up critics of Israel.
France gets accused of anti-semitism on a regular basis. Actually, there is much more anti-arab/muslim racism in this country. There is also a lot of anti-zionism, and pro-palestinian feeling. This goes to show that anti-zionism and anti-semitism are two different things. One is political, the other is ethnic.
It is insulting to many Jews to imply that they are represented by zionism and Israel.

Dymphna said...


There is logic and there is argument, and your semantic thread pickings seemt to belong to the latter. You can make differentiations between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, but it's not germane to this post in particular...or even to this blog.

Perhaps you think we need education? Well, communication is the act of the recipient, jez, so you can continue to drop these gems into the ether but they don't move anyone and they don't change hearts or minds.

Mostly I think our commenters read what you say, scratch their heads in puzzlement, and move on...

My concern is not the anti-semites vs. the anti-zionists; my concern is what Iran plans to do with its toys. And when. And to whom.

Whenever one sovereign state proclaims that it intends to obliterate another sovereign state, these proclamations destablize the commons. The former state needs to be brought round.

greer rants said...

Terrific! says LARWYN

Your answer to JEZ is spot
on. Sadly he/she may be one suffering from the miseducation by NEA school
and the rewriting of history.

To them, Jews and Christians
are the interlopers in the Mid East and Asia. Fact that Mohammed was born after
a full 8 centuries of
Christianity and add 10's more for the establishment of the religion of the Jews.

John King of CNN just opened another of CNN's specials with the following:
"Now that we know that NO
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTIONS existed in Iraq" (paraphrase -very close).

JEZ and others also probably believe that the
"pushy Jews" moved in from
Europe in the early 1900's
to do a land grab from the
rightful owners.

Ain't ed chew ka shun great!

truepeers said...

Jez should look up the origin of the concept of antisemitism, in the self-styled antisemitic movement founded by Heinrich Treitschke in the 1870s. Treitschke's pseudo-scientific categorization of "semitic" languages was window dressing for Jew hatred.

"Antisemitism" being a term whose pseudoscientific orgins are in Jew hatred, it may be better to drop the term (though we are probably stuck with it) and speak more frankly of Judeophobia, in all its varieties, a disease sadly some Jews suffer.

The idea that the "antisemite" hates Jews and Arabs either in the same way or equally reflects a great intellectual confusion. Fear or hatred of the Jew is not some generic racism, the same as anti-black racism or Sinophobia. And it is certainly not the same thing as "Islamophobia". Rather Judophobia is specifically rooted in reaction to or fears of the people who first defined monotheism and nationalism and survived for thousands of years by sticking to their definition as better than any that followed, such as those offered by CHristians and Muslims.

It's not my place to make great effort to explain to Jez his "anti-Zionism"; suffice it to say it is rooted in a reaction to the fact that Israel is a prosperous first-world nation, while the surrounding Arabs are mired in economic and cultural poverty. He blames the Israelis for the Palestinians hardships, largely on the basis of the evident inequality between the two. He is basically saying we are better off resenting and scapegoating rather than emulating success (e.g. of Israel).

As Eric Gans sums up this sentiment:
to take Auschwitz as demonstrating that all asymmetry is evil is to reject out of hand the problematic necessity of firstness [e.g. the firstness of the Israeli model for nationhood and developing the MIddle East], and thereby to fall into the very discriminatory mode against which the postmodern defines itself. The characteristic postmodern hostility to Israel--"anti-Zionism"--expresses indignation that the Jews, whose status as ideal, absolute victims was the point of departure for postmodernism, have returned to their old ways of self-assertion. As claimed, this attitude is not identical to classical anti-Semitism. But what is painfully naïve about those who make this claim is their ignorance that this anti-Zionist indignation repeats trait for trait the old antisemitism; calling the Israeli Jews "Nazis" is really just a way of calling them… Jews.


X said...

To add my piece...

It's entirely possibly that not all anti-zionists are anti-semites, but it's certain that all anti-semites are anti-zionists.

I have a habit of repeating the words of others so if I have, I apologise. :)

Jez said...

true peers and gree rants, bla bla bla.
Here is what the baron wrote:
"Consider it a celebration by the Religion of Peace in Ramadan. What are they celebrating? A world finally made Judenrein."
There is nothing it what Ahmadenijad said which shows that his comments were aimed at Jews.In his comments he attacked Israel and Zionism. If you can't cope with the difference between those concepts and judaism, that's your problem.
My heritage is jewish,viennese in fact. and I as such I will not allow confusion to be spread about what it means to be jewish without making my voice be heard. Those who spread such lies and half-truths are either ignorant, or don't give a damn about jews. All they care about is their agenda. I reiterate:Israel does not represent Jews. It represents zionists, fundamentalist zealots and US interests in the Middle East. The proof is that another US client in the region is Saudi Arabia, which is hardly a beacon of islamic tolerance.
If you think I am thread-picking you couldn't be further from the truth.What I dislike is partisan bollox.Excuse my language but I'm angry.

Jez said...

Actually, truepeers, I will answer your comment.
As you say, Treitschke's definition of semitism was 'pseudo-scientific'.And now, Zionists and Israel are using this 'pseudo-scientific' definition in order to shut up every critic of Israel.
On Erica Gans, I'm afraid I disagree. Early forms of zionism, which remain strong today opposed an israeli state, because these people held the d belief that a democracy can not be for one nation alone. They believe in a bi-national state.Israel and modern-day zionist want us to believe that it's jealousy, self-hate(on the part of anti-zionist jews).
As for your claim to know why I oppose Israel, I'll let you wollow in your fantasy.

Dymphna said...

jez, I don't care if you're Martian. You still have to behave on this thread.

Evidently you didn't know: we stand with Israel. We have reiterated this from our first post. And if you didn't know it, now you do.

Any more rude comments and you can take your alternate reality to some blog which appreciates your point of view.

Or, you could get your own blog and carry on with your delusions to your heart's content.

But you may not do that here.Next rant and I'll raise the lid on that trash can. It is a permanent residence.

Consider yourself warned.

quark2 said...

The poster jez is a self hating jew.
There is no reason or justification for hating Israel, other than having to acknowledge her success.
My point is he would rather the Jews be enforced to live under the goodwill of other nations as has been the case for 2 thousand years. In place of not having the sovereignty to defend themselves as a state, a people or as
a cultural. He would rather see them ALL denied this right.
Only the Jews are to be denied, according to the word of jez.

Jez said...

Dymphna, you know very well I have my own blog. You can ignore as much as you like. If you can't cope with dissent, that's up to you. If you are so sure of your opinions why not defend them in a rational sense?
Quark.Sorry, you make no sense whatsoever.
Here's some food for thought:

truepeers said...

And now, Zionists and Israel are using this 'pseudo-scientific' definition in order to shut up every critic of Israel.

-well Jez, you said you were replying to me, and I spoke against the "scientific" concept of (anti)semitism. What you need to do, if you are to impress me, is argue against what I hold dear: the theology and history that underpins all nationalisms - the notion of nationhood as a gift or covenant from g.d to particular peoples. I will argue that this gift has been proven by history which shows, to the best of our present knowledge, that a world of nations and the international order they have created, allows for the maximal freedom in human societies. Post-1960s versions of victimary multiculturalism and post-national federations (i.e. the EU) are proving themselves to be less successful in maximizing human potential, as the voters of Europe are incresingly trying to tell their leaders.

Early forms of zionism, which remain strong today opposed an israeli state, because these people held the d belief that a democracy can not be for one nation alone. They believe in a bi-national state.Israel and modern-day zionist want us to believe that it's jealousy, self-hate(on the part of anti-zionist jews).
As for your claim to know why I oppose Israel, I'll let you wollow in your fantasy.

a binational state is your ideal? I would go along with you if it were not for the evident fact that there is no serious or significant voice in the Arab world suggesting such a solution. And why not? Because the idea that Jews, in any official capacity as full members of a binational federal state, might have some role in governing Muslims, is anathema to them. From the Arab perspective it is all or nothing, because to be in a position in which one has to defer to the Jews is to be irreligious. The majority desire in the Arab world is to remove all the Jews from "their" land. This is why criticism of Israel's right to exist in its present configuration is tantamount to calling for the elimination of Jews - unless and until the Arabs propose some serious Jew-friendly alternative to which they will then prove their respect. A tall order, indeed.

Now it may not seem that way in your abstract, idealized universe where you can make your concpets stand for whatever you want, a world in which you can fantasize that most Muslims like Jews. But in the real world, this is the situation and in the real world you are, whether you realize it or not, on the side of those who want to kill the Jews.

As for my "wollowing" in fantasy ideas about your ideas re Israel. Well, maybe so; indeed it is increasingly evident to me that this is likely to be the case; but you should see that it is your ideas that are most firmly rooted in fantasy until you have the courage or ability to put them down for others to see and criticize. It's called putting oneself to the test of reality. And so far, it is a test you are sorely losing.

Won't have time to respond for a while. The dark side is calling and I've a Hallowe'en costume to create!

quark2 said...

Funny jez, I posted my comment in
the common form of english. Do you have a reading comprehension problem?
Mebbe someone needs to read my post to you with little stick figure drawings to go along so you'll understand what I posted.
Or, are you avoiding the accusation I made in a clear manner.
You need some food for thought.
According to your postings, the Jews have no right to find for themselves a place on this earth to govern themselves, make a place of asylum and safety from the rest of the world who hates them.
Mebbe you'll have these words ringing in your ears one day hollowly when you've found yourself
trapped by your own perfidy.

Jez said...

True peers,
The EU is hardly an example of post-nationalist federation. It is a collection of nations pretending to be something else, something utopian.
I will argue that statehood often allows a great deal of freedom within that state but also is a source of wars.
This, however is not the point. You speak of 'nationhood'. Assuming the Jews are a nation(after all how many Jews-in particular european Jews actually directly descend from the Hebrews?Jewishness is a cultural, traditional and religious concept),this is not the same as 'nation' in the modern sense of the word, ie 'state'.
What I argue, is that strict 'nation states', ie. states which can only house one nation are undemocratic. There are many cases of nation states today. One is Japan, where i lived. However, Japan is not defined alond religious or ethnic lines. It just happens to be a homogenous society.
I do not believe that 'state-nations'(the opposite)are necessarily democratic. If I take for example, my home countries, France and Great Britain, I will conclude that there are many undemocratic aspects to these 'nations'. However, these countries do not define citizenship along ethnic or religious lines. A Muslim, an Arab, a Jew,a Buddhist, an Asian, an African, an American can all be french or british. I am of jewish, austrian, italian, french and english ancestory, and hold dual french and british citizenship. No doubt you find this disturbing. If that is the case, too bad.
As for your description of why there can be no binational state, ie. that the Arabs don't want it, you may be able to convince some people that the Zionists(NOT Jews)would be only too happy to share with the Arabs. From the zionist perspective, it is all or nothing. Even Theodor Herzl said the plan was to remove the Arabs(though his plan was to pay them a pittance to leave, not to terrorise them out of their homes-I guess he had a little more class than Israel's leaders...).

sirius_sir said...

Jez, do you not know that there are Palestinians who are Israeli citizens? How many Arab countries can you name who afford Palestinians citizenship status?

truepeers said...

For Jez, nothing is good enough. Therefore he can never be on the wrong side of an argument in which he is always critical of our shortcomings, on both sides; but neither can he be surely initiated into reality, into an acceptance of limits. He cannot take sides and is fated to wander the earth. Maybe he can do this well if he is firmly ensconced in the Jewish faith, but that option seems to be mitigated by his distrust of religion and nationalism; and Judaism is surely a form, the original form, of nationalism.

I will argue that statehood often allows a great deal of freedom within that state but also is a source of wars.

-well, in reality we accomodate ourselves to the fact that human conflict is inevitable. SO the question is not whether we choose war or eternal peace. The question is whether a world defined by nations and internationalism is better suited to mediating conflict than some kind of postnational entity where all war would be civil war, where the war would always be about defining the terms of this ultimate global society, rather than mending fences among the independent nations engaged in a global exchange. A world in which we can contribute both to national and international scenes allows for greater degrees of freedom than any imaginable postnational order where civil war over the terms of the single political scene would be interminable. Just imagine if the whole world were France.

This, however is not the point. You speak of 'nationhood'. Assuming the Jews are a nation(after all how many Jews-in particular european Jews actually directly descend from the Hebrews? Jewishness is a cultural, traditional and religious concept),this is not the same as 'nation' in the modern sense of the word, ie 'state'.

Of course the Jews are a nation. A nation, including those nations which make an ideology of race, is not defined by ethnicity or race, however these may be used in limiting membership. Before it is a form of organization with membership rules, a nation is first of all a cultural form, a series of transcendent representations.

A nation most simply is defined by a culture that transcends ethicity. An ethnicity is understood in terms of the relationship of a people to a particular place. High or national cultures transcend their place of origin and speak to universal truths. Thus, over here in Canada, if I am a serious student I can fully appreciate French high or national culture without ever going to France; but I can never fully grasp the closed world of the local ethnicity in say, the Gironde, whose proper understanding can only be experienced with full knowledge of and membership in the place. National cultures provide a particular perspective on the universal, and the only difference in this respect, though it is an important one, between the Jewish and French nations is that the Jewish high culture is religious or monotheistic, while the French is officially secular. But in either case the national culture can exist as a world wanderer or be sustained by a state.

And so your academic game of distinguishing nation-states and state-nations is not very interesting to me, especially since you piss on both houses. The distinction is not interesting because it is all concerned with terms of membership. These may have life or death consequences but terms of membership, however important to the individual looking for rights, don't tell us anything about what a nation is in an anthropological sense. Are terms of membership really important in defining and differentitating nations from an anthropological perspective? What kind of transcendent representation is a nation? WHat is a high national culture and does it have a future? These are the questions to ask if you want to move beyond the state of pissing on both houses and having little that you will defend as your concern for what is best in a world or bad choices.

As for your description of why there can be no binational state, ie. that the Arabs don't want it, you may be able to convince some people that the Zionists(NOT Jews)would be only too happy to share with the Arabs. From the zionist perspective, it is all or nothing. Even Theodor Herzl said the plan was to remove the Arabs(though his plan was to pay them a pittance to leave, not to terrorise them out of their homes-I guess he had a little more class than Israel's leaders...)

-you say this as if Israel had not been in a war for its survival from even before it was born. You argue as if you know what Zionism must mean to all people in all possible worlds. But, in fact, all we know is how Israel treats its Arabs in a world in which most Arabs want the Jews dead. And, arguably, the Arabs in Israel are better off than their cousins in neighboring countries which have largely cleansed themselves of Jews. You can bitch about Israeli leaders not having enough class, but I dare say you have not had to fight for your survival since the day you were born and to make hard choices accordingly. And so you will continue to speak as if you didn't have to choose sides in a war, which in reality means you are working against the interests of the Jews of Israel. Neutrality in this kind of conflict is simply an immoral refusal or inability to make decisions on fundamental human questions. It does not recommend you to me as an interlocutor who has much to teach his opponent.

neo-neocon said...

It's interesting how the existence of Israel, and the propaganda which has over the last few decades managed to demonize it in the eyes of many, has now made it possible for people such as the mullahs to speak of wiping a country and its people off the face of the earth and have others defend such a statement because it's not technically "anti-Semitic," it's merely "anti-Zionist."

Poor Hitler; if only the state of Israel had existed when he offered his Final Solution, he could have phrased it in terms so much more acceptable.

And of course it's just a coincidence that the mullahs would love to destroy both Israel and America. If by some twist of fate they were successful in those goals, that would have annihilated almost all the Jews on earth. What a coincidence!

Baron Bodissey said...

neo -- No kidding. And the old argument that "there are anti-Zionist Jews" provides convenient cover for those who want to pretend that they are not anti-semitic.

The kamikaze Jewish liberals make Israel's job that much harder. IMHO.

neo-neocon said...

I extrapolated a bit more on my points here.

wyok said...

Re Jez:
Was Danny Pearl a zionist, or just jewish, or just western? Did it matter? Has it ever mattered?

Baron Bodissey said...

wyok -- I've read that many Iraqis refer to all thwe Coalition troops as "Jews". It's their generic term for "Western infidel", I guess.