May 28, 2010

Paul Berman in Guernica

Joel Whitney at Guernica magazine interviews Paul Berman, author of The Flight of the Intellectuals, whom I also interviewed recently.

Whitney's interview is different from mine. Whitney liked Berman's book, but there's some tension on certain points, tension that was absent in my interview because Berman and I are more in agreement. The two also spend much more time discussing Nazi Germany's foreign policy in the Arab world and how that sordid history bears on the present.

Read the whole thing and order the book .

Posted by Michael J. Totten at May 28, 2010 2:44 PM
Thank you. A very interesting interview.
Posted by: Simon Hawkin at May 29, 2010 12:12 am
I'm not sure if I was supposed to, but I found this part really funny:

The war against the Soviet Union and communism was really a war against Jews because the Soviet Union and communism were controlled by the Jews. On the other front, the Nazis were at war against the British Empire. The British Empire was likewise controlled by the Jews. This was another element of the conspiracy. When America entered the war it turned out that America too was controlled by the Jews.

I guess China and India will have really made it on the world stage when they graduate to "controlled by Jews" status :)
Posted by: Craig at May 29, 2010 10:24 am
Craig - I think India has already reached that point, judging from Mumbai...

Posted by: Render at May 29, 2010 12:46 pm
Craig, India has been widely percieved as being controlled by the Jews in the Arab world and Pakistan since at least the late 1990s. That is also when western leftist academics began going on deep anti Indian tirades (calling India evil, facist, nazi, imperialist, controlled by powerful corporations, brainwashed . . . yada . . . yada . . . yada.)

This was a badge of honor I thought. Proof that India had finally made it as a great and successful global power that was admired by many around the world.

Does anyone have any ideas on why more Arabs and Pakistanis don't think China is controlled by the Jews?

Is Render referring the the AQ linked attack against Mumbai skycrapers in 1993 that coincided with the first WTC bombing? That was vicious. Shut the Bombay stock market down for two weeks and killed many hundreds of Indians.

Naturally, there was little sympathy for India in the world, and little support for India's efforts to go after AQ linked networks and Taliban linked networks until 9/11/2001.
Posted by: anan at May 29, 2010 1:57 pm
uh no.

Posted by: Render at May 29, 2010 2:22 pm
Thanks for a fascinating interview, Michael.
Two things:
I don't know if Herf mentioned it in his book since I haven't read it, but the Nazis had planned to build concentration camps in Palestine, the Galilee in particular, to exterminate the Jewish population. Undoubtedly the Mufti was complicit.
Fortunately Rommel was defeated and the Nazis got no further in North Africa.
Secondly, as one commenter to the original article pointed out...

"Guernica: Doesn’t Israeli state violence against Palestine and civilians there give the extremists you describe something real to point to, and doesn’t this play a role in marginalizing Palestine’s moderates?

Paul Berman: The Israelis have committed all kinds of crimes and have done all kinds of terrible things. And when the Israelis have done something terrible we should condemn it."

What are they talking about here??
Is this some kind of gratuitous attempt at a balanced view.
It decreases the credibility of both individuals to use such a "throw-away" line without specifications to support the claim. It is sloppy, unprofessional, and degrading.
Its almost as if they feel in order to sound objective, they must condemn both sides equally.
Posted by: yesjb at May 30, 2010 7:50 pm
Craig! Wow, long time. I don't usually read the comments here. Are you still Kabobing?
Posted by: Victor at May 30, 2010 11:23 pm
Craig! Wow, long time. I don't usually read the comments here. Are you still Kabobing?

They have their software set up to auto-delete any comments I make, so... no :)
Posted by: Craig at May 31, 2010 1:19 am
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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