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Anti-Semitic Violence Erupts in America
By Joseph Kishore
October 29, 2018
photo above: Reaction to anti-Semitic violence in Pittsburg, October 2018
WN: World News Daily Information Clearing House tends towards right wing distortion. But it carries as well great analysis such as that highlighted below.
Eleven people were killed in the slaughter in Pittsburgh, which occurred during religious services Saturday morning. Among the predominantly elderly victims were two brothers and a husband and wife, aged 84 and 86. Another victim was Rose Mallinger, 97. The shooter, Robert Bowers, has been charged with 11 counts of criminal homicide and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.
While the United States is no stranger to anti-Semitism, an act of mass violence targeting Jewish people on this scale is unprecedented. As one commenter in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote, the “illusion that ‘this can’t happen here’ has been shattered. American Jews will wake up the next day to a new and far more frightening future, knowing not only that it has happened here, but that the attack could portend similar assaults in the future.”
To understand the significance of this act it is necessary to place it not only in its domestic, but also its international and historical context.
The attack is a direct product of the open appeals to fascist violence by the Trump administration. Bowers was evidently motivated by a combination of rabid anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant chauvinism. He posted comments on social media just prior to the attack linking his hatred of Jews to the efforts of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), with which the Tree of Life synagogue is affiliated, to assist refugees fleeing Central America. “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people,” he wrote. “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered.”
The language he employed, including the use of “invaders” to refer to migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America caused by US imperialism, is that of the Trump administration. In a speech last week, Trump referred to the caravan of migrants heading for the US border as “an assault on our country.” He called it an invasion that threatened to destroy “your neighborhoods, your hospitals, your schools.” In remarks laden with anti-Semitic and fascistic tropes, Trump denounced those who “want to turn the clock back and restore power to corrupt, power-hungry globalists…”
The attack on in the synagogue follows the string of pipe bombs sent by a Trump supporter to prominent Democrats.
Trump himself is a symptom, however, not an explanation. What brought Trump to power?
The consequences of the financial crisis of 2008 and the pro-Wall Street policies of the Obama administration, which enabled the right wing to posture as defenders of the “forgotten man.” The impact of more than a quarter-century of unending war, 17 years under the banner of the “war on terror.” The turn by the ruling class and both Democrats and Republicans to ever more authoritarian forms of rule in response to growing resistance from the working class.
While Trump seeks to cultivate an extra-parliamentary movement of the far-right, the Democrats promote the FBI, the CIA and the military as the guarantors of stability against those who “sow divisions” and discontent.
The international context underscores the fact that far more is involved than simply the Trump administration. The growth of far-right and fascistic movements and governments is a global phenomenon.
In the Philippines, it has produced Rodrigo Duterte, who has praised and helped organize vigilante death squads.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a member of the fascistic RSS. As chief minister of Gujarat, he helped organize the 2002 riots that killed hundreds of Muslims.
In Brazil, elections held yesterday elevated to power the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro.
Throughout Europe, far-right and fascistic parties have been systematically promoted by the ruling class. Particularly significant are the developments in Germany. In the country that produced Hitler and the most horrific crimes of the 20th century, including the slaughter of six million Jews in the Holocaust, fascism is once again a major political force.
The fascistic Alternative for Germany (AfD) is the main opposition party, deliberately cultivated by the parties of the political establishment, the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, which have at every turn adapted to and embraced its anti-immigrant chauvinism.
Last month, AfD head Alexander Gauland published a column in the leading newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that paraphrased a speech by Hitler. The state, meanwhile, in alliance with the AfD, has moved to criminalize left-wing opposition to fascism.
The significance of the rise of fascism in Germany has been almost entirely ignored by the American media, including the New York Times. The efforts of reactionary historians to rewrite German history and relativize the crimes of the Nazis have provoked no opposition from the liberal establishment, including a corrupt academia in the United States.
The universality of this process is underscored by the fact that among those countries where fascism is on the rise is Israel itself. The hatred of Jews is a specific form of a virulent brand of nationalism that in Israel is expressed in state-sanctioned and organized violence against Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently oversaw the passage of the “Nation-State Law” enshrining Jewish supremacy, has made common cause with far-right and fascistic forces in Europe, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Finally, the international growth of fascistic movements must be placed in its historical context. What is the significance of the reemergence of fascism, 85 years after the coming to power of Hitler and nearly 80 years after the outbreak of the Second World War?
Today, approaching 30 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union by the Stalinist bureaucracy, the essentially reactionary character of what transpired in 1989–1991 is exposed before the entire world. The fascist disease, which was somewhat in remission during the period following World War II, has powerfully reemerged. The end of the USSR produced not a flowering of democracy, as the propagandists of capitalism prophesied, but an explosion of inequality, imperialist war, authoritarianism and a revival of fascism.
The most fundamental target of right-wing reaction is the working class. Just as fascism arises out of capitalism, so does the class struggle. The development of the class struggle and the growing interest in socialism terrify the ruling class. Masses of workers are moving to the left, not the right. There is deep and growing hostility to social inequality and the preparations of the ruling class for war.
It is a sign of the desperation of the ruling class that, at the first sign of social opposition, it calls forward fascist violence. In the 1930s, while fascist movements acquired a mass base, what made possible their ascension to power in Germany, Italy and Spain were the political conspiracies of the ruling elites. Today, the deliberate instigation of fascism from above is an even more dominant factor.
Capitalism is again posing before mankind the alternatives: socialist revolution or capitalist barbarism. All the talk in the media about the need to “restore civility” and end “divisive political rhetoric” are empty platitudes that evade all the critical issues. What must be abolished is the capitalist system itself.
Eighty years ago, in 1938, the Fourth International was founded to resolve the crisis of revolutionary leadership in the working class in response to the betrayals of Stalinism and Social Democracy. At the very center of the political program of the new international was an assimilation of the lessons of the victory of fascism in Germany in 1933, the greatest defeat of the working class in history.
The most important lesson was the impossibility of fighting fascism except on the basis of a revolutionary socialist and internationalist program. As the horrors of the 1930s reemerge once more, this understanding must be brought into the working class through the building of a socialist leadership, the International Committee of the Fourth International and its sections in every country, such as the Socialist Equality Party in the United States, which connect the fight against fascism with opposition to inequality, war and the capitalist system.
This article was originally published by “WSWS“
Please click on: Fascism and Capitalism
- Please look at several articles as well on American/Western will to world domination by clicking on "Selected Articles: Western Aggression Backed by Western Media”. The series of articles is introduced thus:
The Western allies never run dry of resources to support their global war of terror and aggression, ostensibly an integral part of their foreign policy. They dynamically legislate laws lest the people awaken. They have the unbending support of the corporate media, which skilfully distorts reality. When will they ever back down from their destructive quest for colonies? Read our selection below.↩
- It continued:
‘For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians – in some cases torturing and mutilating them - in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public,’ the newspaper said, at other points describing the killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians. ‘Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers,’ The Blade said. ‘Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed - their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings.” The New York Times confirmed the claimed accuracy of the stories by contacting several of those interviewed. It reported: “But they wanted to make another point: that Tiger Force had not been a ‘rogue’ unit. Its members had done only what they were told, and their superiors knew what they were doing. “Burning huts and villages, shooting civilians and throwing grenades into protective shelters were common tactics for American ground forces throughout Vietnam, they said. That contention is backed up by accounts of journalists, historians and disillusioned troops… ‘Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go,’ [one veteran] said in a recent telephone interview. ‘It was that kind of war, a frontless war of great frustration. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted.’ Current likely Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry was also quoted giving evidence before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971. He reported that American soldiers in Vietnam had “raped, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. Nicholas Turse [later author of: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam], a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, has been studying government archives and said they were filled with accounts of similar atrocities. ''I stumbled across the incidents The Blade reported,'' Mr. Turse said by telephone. ''I read through that case a year, year and a half ago, and it really didn't stand out. There was nothing that made it stand out from anything else. That's the scary thing. It was just one of hundreds.'' Yet there were few prosecutions.↩
- Historian John Coatsworth in The Cambridge History of the Cold War noted:
Between 1960, by which time the Soviets had dismantled Stalin's gulags, and the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites. In other words, from 1960 to 1990, the Soviet bloc as a whole was less repressive, measured in terms of human victims, than many individual Latin American countries [under direct sway of US Empire] ("The Cold War in Central America", pp. 216 - 221).What was true for Latin America was true for around the world: massive human rights abuses, assassinations, regime changes of democratically elected governments, etc., etc., etc. orchestrated by US Empire. Yet Americans invariably have wanted it both ways: to be seen as the exemplary "City on A Hill" that upholds universal human rights and democracy, while operating a brutal Empire directly contrary to all such elevated values, and a concomitant rapacious Empire market economy that takes no prisoners. This began of course even before the founding of the United States of America and continued apace, in its mass slaughter and dispossession of indigenous peoples, in its brutal system of slavery on which its obscene wealth in the textile industry in the first place was built. "The Land of the Free" conceit was a sustained con job on the part of America's leaders. It was also apotheosis of hypocrisy. American exceptionalism was/is true in one respect only: it was brutal like no other Empire in its eventual global reach.↩
-  The highlighted article about renowned whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg points to again what is utterly chilling, horror-filled, exponentially beyond immoral, American (hence the world's) reality: "Daniel Ellsberg: U.S. Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China … and Gave Many Low-Level Field Commanders the Power to Push the Button". He has since written The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Of it we read:
Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist for the California Book Award in Nonfiction The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2017 List In These Times “Best Books of 2017” Huffington Post's Ten Excellent December Books List LitHub's “Five Books Making News This Week” From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day. Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.↩
- A classic instance of this aligning with "just war" is the United States' "war on drugs" as subset of "war on crime", while at the same time the CIA was a major worldwide drug dealer in league with other drug cartels -- all done to enhance American Empire during the Cold War -- and continues to the present. The four-part series mentioned below connects American Empire drug dealing to the current War on Terror, in particular in Afghanistan. This of course is colossal hypocrisy as well. Worse: the series posits American federal government administrations over many decades as the Ultimate Drug Cartel, with Blacks, Latinos, and generally the poor directly being knowingly poisoned en masse. Then they have been primary targets of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and thereby become victims of America's too often savage prison system that oppresses and brutalizes them all over again... See: "The War on Drugs Is a Failure, So [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions Is All for It". A citation from the article reads:
In June , the History Channel aired a four-part documentary series called America’s War on Drugs.” The series asserts that the war on drugs was actually a war of drugs—and that the CIA was essentially a partner in spreading drugs and drug use. The series follows how the U.S. intelligence agency, in an obsession with fighting communism, allied itself with U.S. organized crime and foreign drug traffickers and includes firsthand accounts from many involved. In an interview with Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar on her radio program “Rising Up With Sonali,” the series’ executive producer, Anthony Lappé, explains why the CIA got involved:
It’s actually a pretty mind-blowing story when you look at the extent to which the CIA was involved with drug traffickers and drug trafficking throughout the Cold War. … If you look at Cold War policy against the Soviet Union, we were locked in a global battle for supremacy, where we have lots of proxy wars going on. … We needed to team up with local allies, and often the local allies we were teaming up with were people who had access to guns, who had access to underground networks, to help us fight the perceived threat of communism. There are actually a lot of similarities between what drug traffickers do and what the CIA does.Lappé elaborates by saying the hypocrisy of the war on drugs has been evident from the start: Secret CIA experiments with LSD helped fuel the counterculture movement, leading to President Richard Nixon’s crackdown and declaration of the war on drugs. The series also explores the CIA’s role in the rise of crack cocaine in poor black communities and a secret island “cocaine base.” In addition the documentary makes the connection between the war on drugs, the war on terror and the transformation of Afghanistan into a narco state and contends that American intervention in Mexico helped give clout to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the super cartels, making it easier to send drugs across American borders. Watch Kolhatkar’s full interview with Lappé by clicking here. Please also see the now classic: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, by noted American historian Alfred McCoy. Of it we read:
The first book to prove CIA and U.S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U.S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.To be noted as well is Johann Hari's Chasing The Scream, which tells the tragic tale of America's long-standing offensive against drugs, and the way to end such a war worldwide -- that several nations are successfully embracing.↩