Saturday, August 09, 2008

The ABA Goes Over to the Dark Side

The domestic violence industry is one of the most corrupt and unaccountable enterprises in modern-day America. Every year it sucks over $1 billion from the federal treasury and ships the money to a variety of radical feminist organizations dedicated to revamping the family unit. Thanks to the generosity of the Violence Against Women Act, domestic violence programs encourage women to file false allegations, strip fit fathers of their natural right to parent, and doom kids to live in a single-parent household -- with VAWA picking up the legal tab.

Of course many men decide to fight the wrongful accusations to restore their good name and protect their children -- and end up paying their lawyers a princely sum in the process. A few years ago the American Bar Association decided it was time to cash in on this grand social experiment, so it set up the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence. Before long the CODV was setting out to revamp American family law to comport with its global feminist-socialist vision. For example this week the Commission's website features this startling claim: "International human rights legal principles may be used persuasively in domestic violence cases in U.S. state courts."

That statement gives you an idea of how far the ABA has moved away from its well-cultivated image of black-cloaked probity and stern-faced reason. The Commission then decided to develop a series of publications to elucidate on its family-reform agenda. One of these reports, "Ten Myths about Custody and Domestic Violence," purports to tell the truth about 10 common falsehoods.

But then a group called RADAR - Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting -- got wind of the ABA report and decided to do a little fact-checking. That's when the ABA's glass-house began to disintegrate into a million tiny pieces. First, RADAR found most of the so-called myths aren't really myths. Turns out they are strawmen erected by the ABA Commission to provide the framework for a series of claims that are ostensibly backed up scientific research. And when RADAR examined the actual research, these "studies" were found to be little more than a series of opinion pieces put out by other groups with the same ideological axe to grind as the ABA. Or the studies were advocacy research disguised as objective science. All told, of the 19 claims found in the "Ten Myths" report, only 2 of them are truthful. All the rest are misleading, unsupported, or simply false.

It's bad enough for the ABA to traffic in a series of pusillanimous lies. But to then claim your lies are actually debunking someone else's lies - that's a propaganda technique of the highest order. This ruse would have put to shame Mr. Joseph Goebbels, the National Socialist minister of truth who famously proclaimed, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

Now the story gets interesting. In May RADAR sent a letter to the ABA president, William Neukom, politely pointing out the errors and asking the ABA to remove the offending report. RADAR requested the courtesy of a reply. But no answer was forthcoming.

That means the problem is not some rogue outfit within the ABA that suddenly began to spout neo-Marxist slogans. The fact is, the president of the American Bar Association is a knowing accomplice to this massacre of the truth. Frankly, I'm disturbed by this willful violation of the public trust. Normally I don't ask my readers to take action. But in the name of protecting the truth, I'm going to make an exception. After all, the American Bar Association is expected to be more than a well-heeled special interest group, and the truth is not a commodity to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. So please email Mr. Neukom at . Or if you want to give the ABA an earful, call their Media Relations department at 1-312-988-6171. You can make the message short and sweet. Tell Mr. Neukom to stop the lies.


"Affirmative action" closes medical facility

In what might be considered by some an ironic twist, a push to get more minorities to donate bone marrow is forcing the closure of the last bone marrow donor program in the Treasure Valley. St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute'sBone Marrow Donor Program will close by the end of the summer, with potential local donors likely managed by the Inland Northwest Blood Center in Spokane.

St. Luke's says it cannot meet new requirements enacted by the National Marrow Donor Program to encourage more minority donors because the lack of minorities in the region meant the program couldn't meet the requirement to recruit at least 1,000 minority donors a year or the additional requirement to have a full-time recruiter in addition to a coordinator. "We understand the need to recruit more minority donors, but closing the St. Luke's program is not an option we would have preferred," Allen said in a news release.

The national program instituted the new requirements to help address what they say is an increasing shortage of minority donors. Because tissue types are inherited, patients are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity. Bone marrow transplants are often the best or only hope for patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma or other life-threatening diseases. Since St. Luke's started its program in 1991, the hospital says there have been 120 positive donor matches for patients in need of a bone marrow transplant.


Israeli pre-emption better than Islamist cure

By Spengler

Militant Islam, or what US President George W Bush once called "Islamo-fascism", may look back on the last months of the Bush administration as its moment in the sun. Iran's nuclear program soon may cross the point of no return; Pakistan's ruling coalition may have become the instrument of Muslim revanchism against India; and Turkey may return to Islamist rule in a "silent revolution" that will dismantle the secular institutions that have prevailed for three generations. In the first two cases, the US State Department played Dr Frankenstein to the creation of an Islamist monster, and I believe Turkey will become a third.

America's presidential elections may be the proximate cause of Western enervation, as Washington strives for calm and credibility prior to the November poll. America is stuck to the Iraqi tar baby, and becomes more entrapped the more it struggles. Iran's leverage inside Iraq, as I have warned for years, gives the Islamic republic room to bargain for its broader objectives.

But the West's enfeeblement has deeper sources, in the same sort of squeamishness that paralyzed European diplomacy in the years prior to World War I and World War II.

There simply are too many adherents of militant Islam to deal with the matter conveniently. Any solution today will be messy; a confrontation postponed for another half dozen years might cost eight figures' worth of lives.

The nations of Western and Central Asia are not pieces on a diplomatic chessboard, but living organisms with a dual character. They have one foot in the secular world, and another in a lost past for which political Islam stokes a deadly nostalgia. Iran represents the hope of the Shi'ite underclass of the Middle East, from Lebanon to Pakistan, while the Turkish Islamists embody the frustration of the Anatolian villages against the metropolis. Pakistan, Washington's closest ally in the "war on terror", now lends evident support to Islamist terrorists in India and Afghanistan.

The critical mass of three Islamist states - Iran, Turkey and Pakistan - threatens to create a regional upheaval that can be contained only by wars of attrition. The outlook is grim, not least because the US State Department is repeating in Turkey the errors that helped bring Islamist governments to power in Iran and Pakistan. Two weeks ago (Turkey in the throes of Islamic revolution?) I accused the world press of ignoring an Islamist coup in progress in Turkey. There is more to say on this score, but America's whipsaw over Iran is even more alarming.

Something has gone dreadfully wrong in Washington when the clearest reports on Iranian-American relations come from Iran's official news service IRNA. In advance of the November election, the Bush administration wants quiet in Iraq and quiescence in the oil market, and Tehran can help with both. That is why "talks on Iran's nuclear program in Geneva indicated a shift of the US policy toward Iran in line with the [James] Baker-[Lee] Hamilton recommendations [of 2006]," as IRNA reported on July 31, quoting Iran's parliament leader, Hamidreza Haji-Babaei.

The Iranian leader added that the US "has found out that Iran is a country which cannot be ignored and the presence of US Under Secretary William Burns in the Geneva talks on July 19 approves such a finding".

With all due respect to the US's military chief in Iraq and now also Central Command head, General David Petraeus, diminished violence in Iraq is not due entirely to the skill of American arms. Without Iranian forbearance, the troop "surge" would not seem as effective. Iran has leashed its proxies in Iraq, for example Mahdi Army leader Muqtada al-Sadr. In return, the US has taken a less confrontational approach to Iran's nuclear ambitions, including, as IRNA noted, high-level participation in direct talks with Iran for the first time in a generation.

As I wrote in October 2005 (A Syriajevo in the making?), "the probable outcome is that Washington will refrain from military action to forestall Iranian nuclear arms developments, while Tehran will refrain from disrupting Washington's Potemkin Village in Iraq. In this exchange, Iran gives up nothing of importance, for the rage of the Iraqi Shi'ites will only wax over time. Tehran retains the option to stir things up in Iraq whenever it chooses to do so. Its capacity to do so will increase with time as Iraq grows less stable."

Watching the Potomac, the Iranians can only conclude that their supporters in Washington, notably Defense Secretary Robert Gates, have crushed hardliners such as Vice President Dick Cheney. "Direct dialogue" with Iran and Syria, that is, accepting Iran as a regional player, was the leading recommendation of the Baker-Hamilton "Iraq Study Group" report. As IRNA points out, dispatching a senior State Department official to be insulted by Iran denoted a turning-point victory for the friends of Tehran.

In another triumph for Iran, the government of Lebanon reportedly will legalize the Hezbollah militia and guarantee its right to "liberate or recover occupied lands", that is, to attack Israel. Two years after a United Nations resolution requiring the disarming of Hezbollah ended a regional war, Iran's military presence in Lebanon will obtain official status, without a harrumph from the US State Department.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan visited Tehran last week to hail Iran as "an important country in the region and the world". His discussion partner, majlis (parliament) President Ali Larijani, was quoted by IRNA as stating, "Iran wants an independent, stable and tranquil Iraq in its neighborhood." Washington, as I reported two weeks ago, hopes that Turkish influence in Iraq will help stabilize the country.

M K Bhadrakhumar, formerly India's ambassador to Turkey, wrote on this site on August 1, "We may never quite know the extent to which any role Washington would have played in ensuring that the government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not unseated by Turkey's constitutional court in the trial regarding the alleged Islamist agenda of the ruling Justice Development Party (AKP). The US is far too experienced in the logarithm of power play in Ankara ... what is clear is that Washington is visibly relieved that the AKP government continues to rule in Ankara and Erdogan remains in harness."( A triumph for Turkey - and its allies)

If anything, that is an understatement. Neither the US government nor the mainstream press has expressed concern about the Erdogan government's arrest of 86 secular leaders for an alleged plot to overthrow the government and kill political leaders, on the strength of a 2,455 page indictment with a pronounced tone of pulp fiction. Among other allegations, Turkish prosecutors claim that the 1993 assassination of the secularist journalist Ugur Mumcu was the work of a six-man Israeli hit team that entered from sea and hid at the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. The indictment includes extensive transcripts from wiretaps on secularist figures, none of which contains decisive proof of a plot, but which combine to demonstrate that the new Islamist power in Ankara hears and sees everything.

What matters to Washington at the moment is Turkey's ability to create the appearance of progress in Middle Eastern diplomacy. Bhadrakumar reported arranged contacts between US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who both visited Ankara on July 17. Turkey's well-publicized attempt to mediate between Israel and Syria seems to have dissipated, but the Israeli website Debka reports that Ankara now wants to attempt to mediate between Israel and the Palestinian organization Hamas.

Turkey and Iran both have regional spheres of influence, which conflict more than they overlap. Iran is subsidizing Shi'ite revanchism from Pakistan through Iraq and Saudi Arabia to Lebanon. Turkey's Islamists have been infiltrating Turkish-language Central Asia from Azerbaijan to so-called "East Turkistan", that is, western China, for decades. Their Islamist governments rest on the militant cadre who carry the caliph's banner rather than a field-marshal's baton in their knapsacks. For the moment, Iran's backing for Iraq's Shi'ites provides a counterweight to the ambitions of Iraq's Kurds for an independent state, and the two Islamist governments are aligned. That will not last.

Pakistan's evident support for the Taliban as well as for irredentist bombers in India appears to be the future of the region, now raised to the third power. Overshadowing the apparent success of the Iraqi "surge" (thanks in large measure to Iranian help) is the alliance of Pakistan's intelligence services with elements of the Taliban.

In November 2007, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, a secularist and an admirer of the Turkish model, attempted to impose a state of emergency. The US State Department pulled the rug out from under its erstwhile ally, warning on November 3, "The United States is deeply disturbed by reports that Pakistani President Musharraf has taken extra-constitutional actions and has imposed a state of emergency. A state of emergency would be a sharp setback for Pakistani democracy and takes Pakistan off the path toward civilian rule." Now the US has accused the duly-elected government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of providing covert support to its enemies, a charge that the Pakistanis qualified as "rubbish".

India is persuaded that Pakistan supported last month's bombing of its embassy in the Afghan capital of Kabul as well as terror bombs in Gujurat and Bangalore in India.

The Middle East bears strong comparison to Europe in the years before World War I. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, its capacity will jump to deploy surrogates such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Mahdi Army and whatever Shi'ite militias it has in place in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. We are not in 1914, but in 1905, when the First Morocco Crisis of 1905 gave Germany a pretext it did not seize to make short work of France while the Russians were busy with an insurrection. Germany's chief of staff, Count Alfred von Schlieffen, tried in vain to persuade the temporizing Kaiser Wilhelm II to attack France when Germany had the upper hand. Had it done so, Europe would have had a six-week war on the scale of 1870 rather than four years of unrelieved slaughter and the disintegration of its civilization. The kaiser waited until the outcome of war could only be the ruin of the contending parties. Pre-emption would have been the humanitarian solution.

Israel is the only player in the region with the perspicacity and power to stop the slide towards regional war. The Jewish state may not have the capacity to eradicate Iran's nuclear development program, but it almost certainly has the means to set it back for a number of years. The forthcoming resignation of feckless Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert opens all options for good and ill. If Israel can find a von Schlieffen, it still might be able to interrupt the slide towards political Islam in the region. If Israel fails to act, the near-certain outcome will be regional war on a scale dwarfing the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

As in 1967, the Jewish state will be on its own, with reluctant support, if any at all, from its American ally. Forty years ago, Israel had military leaders willing to act with decisiveness. It is far from clear whether it has the same will today.


Stalinism Was Just as Bad as Nazism

By MART LAAR (A former prime minister of Estonia)

Last week Russia furiously attacked President Bush for his proclamation on Captive Nations Week (July 20-July 26), which was established to raise awareness of countries living under communist and other oppressive regimes. Mr. Bush said that, "In the 20th century, the evils of Soviet communism and Nazi fascism were defeated and freedom spread around the world as new democracies emerged."

The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed that treating Nazi fascism and Soviet communism as "a single evil" was an insult that "hurt the hearts" of World War II veterans in Russia and in allied countries, including the United States. "While condemning the abuse of power and unjustified severity of the Soviet regime's internal policies, we nevertheless can neither treat indifferently attempts to equate Communism and Nazism nor agree that they were inspired by the same ideas and aims," the ministry said in a statement.

Actually, the Bush statement is correct: There is really no big difference between Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia. When World War II began in September 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were allies; indeed Stalin and Hitler launched the war together. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty of Aug. 23 was a nonaggression pact between Germany and Russia; but a secret protocol in the treaty also opened the way for the division of Europe by carving Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania into spheres of influence. Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1 from the north, south and west; Stalin invaded Poland from the east on Sept. 17.

And this was only the beginning. The second campaign of the war was Soviet aggression against Finland in November 1939; only the third campaign, against Denmark and Norway (in April) was a pure German operation. The fourth campaign, the invasion of France in May 1940, was accompanied by Stalin's annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In this period, Stalin was a most devoted ally of Hitler. Without Soviet oil and grain, Hitler would probably not have survived the first year of the war. Stalin even ordered European communists not to help their governments fight against Hitler.

In occupied countries, Poland for example, the Nazi Gestapo and the Soviet NKVD worked hand in hand. Germany's secret police killed people in its zone of occupation according to racial criteria. In its zone, the Soviet secret police killed according to social or political criteria. The Nazi SS handed over Ukrainian nationalists to the Soviets; in return the NKVD handed over escaped German communists to the Gestapo.

Only when the two totalitarian leaders could not agree how to divide the world did war between them come. Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941; the resulting anti-Nazi coalition helped the West survive and come out of the war with half of Europe rescued from totalitarianism. But for the rest of Europe under communist control, World War II ended only in 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet empire.

In his marvelous book, "No Simple Victory," British historian Norman Davies asks us to remember that "the war in Europe was dominated by two evil monsters, not by one. Each of the monsters consumed the best people in its territory before embarking on a fight to the death for supremacy. The third force in the struggle -- the Western Powers -- was all but eliminated in the opening stage, and took much of the war to reassert its influence."

This statement in no way insults the millions of people who fought against the Nazis. The victims of the crimes of Stalin and Hitler included the people of the Soviet Union. Soviet losses in World War II were very high, according to some estimates, including by Mr. Davies, 27 million soldiers and civilians. But these losses not only include those killed by the German invasion; they also include people killed by communist repressions and deportations, as well as the killings by the Soviets of their own soldiers. Mr. Davies thinks that the number of Soviet soldiers killed by the NKVD could exceed the total number of battle deaths of the British and U.S. armies.

So why, in some quarters, are the crimes of communism not yet condemned? There are still many people who say that, whilst the crimes of Nazism were proven and condemned in the Nuremberg Trials, the crimes of communism still need investigation. Others hesitate to condemn communism because, knowing that Hitler saw in Bolshevism its main opponent, they fear to share a common position with the Nazis. This is not a logical position. If we find two gangsters fighting each other and one of them kills another, this does not make the first gangster less of a criminal.

Communist terror was in the same league of infamy as the crimes of the Third Reich. It actually lasted longer, killing significantly more people than the Nazis did. This does not make Nazis better than communists. They were both fighting against freedom and human dignity, and must be condemned in the same way as evils of the 20th century.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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