New Improved Double-Think

Watch and be Amazed as Wild Billy Kristol, Manly Bob Kagan and Torture Justify’in Al Dershowitz hold two mutually incompatible beliefs simultaneously at great risk to their little remaining credibility!

William Kristol and Robert Kagan have done it again. The great neo-conservative thinkers say they have found the neo-con Holy Grail – evidence that Saddam was linked to Al Qaeda.

Manly Bob Kagan is most famous for his academic treatise “Paradise and Power” in which he denounced Europeans as effeminate and weak for not doing exactly what the US government tells them to – and for not spending their peoples’ money on a military powerful enough to conquer the earth. Manly Bob simply can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to help the US police the globe. They must all be women or homos! (Of course Manly Bob has had to revise the latest edition as the events following the invasion of Iraq don’t seem to entirely fit with his predictions on the terrible fate awaiting those countries not prepared to be Manly and Warlike.).

Manly Bob Kagan has the courage to lambast the women and homos of "effeminate" Europe. As a veteran of zero wars in which he won some zero medals for bravery he is eminently qualified to bravely condemn others for their mincing unwillingness to fight

Wild Billy Kristol is best known for being the editor of “The Weekly Standard” newspaper which is very influential with the White House (mainly because it mostly tells them what they want to hear). Kagan also contributes to the “Standard”.

Both men are members of the Project for A New American Century – which Vice President Dick Cheney is also a member of. This organisation calls for US global dominance and stated before the invasion of Iraq that “While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”(1) In other words US control of Middle Eastern oil supplies was the main motive – Saddam's dictatorship was just a useful pretext (as can be seen by the continued alliance between the US and the torturing dictators of Saudi Arabia and Egypt).

The source of the new evidence on Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda is one George Tenet, the former head of the CIA. In his new book he has an entire chapter on how there was supposedly “more than enough evidence” of Saddam dealing with Al Qaeda. (2)

George Tenet, former head of the CIA, in his new book, argues that everything is all everyone else's fault. Here he recieves a Freedom Medal for services in persuading the American public that every country is about to nuke them - especially the ones who don't have any nukes.

Yet simultaneously with providing this killer “fact” Kristol’s “Weekly Standard” informs us that Tenet’s book is full of glaring inaccuracies, including a claim that Richard Perle met him in Washington on September 12th 2001 – when in fact Richard Perle was in Paris on September 12th. (This is compounded by what Kristol says are Tenet’s false claims about the staff of the Pentagon’s “Office of Special Plans”).

“How many other facts has George Tenet invented?” thunders a righteous Kristol. (3)

Maybe some of those in the chapter on Saddam’s supposed links to Al Qa’ida? Oh , but you want to believe those claims Wild Bill.

Wild Bill Kristol, the crusading editor of the Weekly Standard developed the amazing power to simultaneously believe the same thing and its opposite without percieving any contradiction (possibly after being bitten by some kind of radioactive spider)

American academia really has sunk pretty low when two respected Professors can claim that the same source – George Tenet – is simultaneously absolutely reliable and absolutely unreliable.

(I did email the Weekly Standard to ask them how they reconciled these two irreconcilable beliefs but they didn’t reply)

This is pretty much the definition of Orwellian “Double-think” as described in Orwell’s ‘Nineteen-Eighty-Four” , which neo-conservatives claim to be a pathology of ‘leftists’ and ‘liberals’ (though they seem to have developed it to a fair degree themselves – and Orwell was in fact a democratic socialist and an anarchist who fought in Anarchist brigades in the Spanish Civil War (read his "Homage to Catalonia" on this) and based “Nineteen Eighty Four” as much on the BBC as the Soviet Union and “Animal Farm” as much on nationalists and imperialists like Napoleon as on Communists like Stalin).

Torture Justify'in Al Dershowitz’s Doublethink : Purges of “Leftists” and “Liberals” in the US “ensure academic freedom” while similar purges by Iran’s government are a denial of academic freedom

Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a courageous exponent of the principle that his government and its allies should be able to do whatever the hell they want to - including torturing people and invading other countries - and he'll say it's legal for them

Meanwhile Professor Alan Dershowitz has used threats of legal action against University backed by funds from the Israel lobby to get them to sack Professor Norman G. Finklestein , an outspoken critic of the Israeli government’s continuing expansion of settlements in the West Bank, bulldozing of Palestinian’s houses, apartheid style racist laws and practices and war crimes against Palestinian civilians (unarmed civilians making up half the victims of the Israeli military’s indiscriminate bombardments of Palestinian towns and refugee camps, with around half of those usually being children).

Professor Norman G. Finkelstein , a Jewish American academic who was forced out of his job by Finkelstein's threatened legal action. According to Dershowitz and friends Finkelstein is 'anti-Semitic' for criticising Israeli government ordered killings and torture of Palestinians

Dershowitz famously acted as a lawyer for O.J Simpson, has written many articles defending the torture by the US and Israeli governments and has also memorably said that he writes so many things a day that consistency is not something he worries about. (4) , (5)

This is in the context of a purge across the US of academics labelled “propagandists” by the neo-conservatives and the Israel lobby for the crimes of discussing “controversial opinions” and being “anti-American” or “anti-Israeli” and usually also “anti-Semitic” for criticising the US or Israeli governments.

Of course many of these “anti-Semitic” critics of Israel, such as Norman Finkelstein are Jews. Finklestein’s parents were also Holocaust survivors. Double-think is useful again here. Finklestein and other Jewish (and Israeli) critics of Israel are supposedly “self-hating Jews”.

By this logic anyone critical of the government of an Arab country would also be racially discriminating against Arabs , or , if it was a Muslim country , would be a bigot against Muslims. This would clearly be ridiculous – yet it’s the logic of the Israel lobby’s definition of “anti-semitism” (even as they denounce Arab governments and the Palestinian Authority as “evil” and the real villains).

The purge of academics who dare to question US or Israeli government propaganda and rely on sources which have proven themselves independent and reliable – such as Amnesty International and the UN – is of course referred to as “ensuring academic freedom” and preventing “propaganda” being disseminated on American campuses.

At the same time President Ahmadinejad’s purge of “liberal” and “secular” lecturers from Iranian colleges and universities is condemned as an example of the lack of academic freedom in Iran. It certainly is – but differs from similar practices in the US only by using violence or threats of it rather than law suits funded by the Israel lobby and threats of them.

Double-think and double-speak are clearly alive and well on the nationalist neo-conservative and “libertarian” right.

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(1) = PNAC Sep 2000 ‘"Rebuilding America's Defenses"’, http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf, page 14

(2) = Weekly Standard 01 May 2007 ‘"More Than Enough Evidence" What George Tenet really says about Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda. by Thomas Joscelyn"’, http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/596texms.asp

(3) = Weekly Standard 29 April 2007 ‘"George Tenet's Imaginary Encounter... With Richard Perle. by William Kristol"’, http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/593daqmw.asp

(4) = LA Times 17 Oct 2006 ‘ "Warming Up to Torture?" by Alan Dershowitz, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-dershowitz17oct17,0,7881821.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

(5) = Independent 14 July 2007 ‘Alan Dershowitz: Should we fight terror with torture? by Alan Dershowitz, http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article1154084.ece