Thursday, November 27, 2014

Was It Something I Said, Professor?

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Note: I did not videotape the below event, and my writing is based on my handwritten notes.


On Monday, I attended an event at UC Irvine sponsored by the UCI Center for Global Conflict Studies. The speakers were UC Irvine professor Mark LeVine and former Swedish ambassador Mathias Mossberg. Both of them have co-edited a new book that puts forth a rather bizarre proposal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is not a two-state solution, not a one-state solution, but a parallel state solution. ("One Land, Two States:Israel as Palestine as Two States").

The event was notable for two things: First, your humble correspondent made a serious factual error when I asked Ambassador Mossberg during the q and a about an article I understood he had written for a Swedish blog in which I quoted him (erroneously) as having condemned Israel over the recent Gaza fighting and denying that Hamas had used its people as human shields and had actually wished for civilian deaths as a strategy.  His response was that he had never written it, and as it turns out, he was correct. More about that later. The event was attended by Professor LeVine's students as well as several older attendees. Of course the book they had co-edited was available for purchase.

The presentation was supposed to be accompanied by a power point presentation, but it never came off since apparently neither LeVine or Mossberg knew how to operate the power point. An appeal was sent out to students in the audience to get it sorted out, but to make a long story short, the power point never happened.

At any rate, as Mossberg explained it, the basic points of the parallel states plan are that:

The state would respond to people as opposed to the state.

Free travel in the territories.

There would be two presidents, two parliaments, and everybody would have to cooperate.

There would be a joint external security force.

The different economies (Israel-West Bank-Gaza) would have to joined in an equitable manner.

There would also have to be legal harmony between the Palestinian and Israeli legal
systems.

Ambassador Mossberg stated that since the two sides don't trust each other, it would be difficult but not insurmountable. As for reactions to the plan, he added that some people had positive reactions while others said it "was the most stupid idea they had ever heard."

But let's be fair. Ambassador Mossberg was having to ad-lib a bit because the power point presentation had not materialized. This article in The Guardian outlines it a bit better.

As for LeVine, he severely criticized the Oslo Accords even calling them "corrupt" at one point. At one point he said, "Don't Palestinians have rights?" and stated that the Israeli government acts like they don't know what they (?) are talking about.

Also, at one point Ambassador Mossberg said that Europe was likely to get more involved in the conflict and that Europeans were shocked by what they had seem from the recent Gaza fighting.

When the q an a came I got the first question, and it went something like this. (It was addressed primarily to Ambassador Mossberg.)

"If either party were to accept this plan they would want to be confident that the authors of the plan were impartial. With all due respect, professor LeVine is an anti-Israeli activist...

At this point Mossberg expressed disagreement  and I added that LeVine would probably say that himself. LeVine then said that was not the case and that I had "disrespected" him. I was then allowed to continue with my question.

I continued with the article in question which came from a Swedish blog called Vänstra Stranden (Left Bank). I quoted the author (whom I erroneously thought to be Mossberg) as criticizing a previous article in Svenska Dagbladet by Israeli ambassador to Sweden Isac Bachman who had blamed Hamas for the recent Gaza war and charged that Hamas was using its own population as human shields and wishing for civilian deaths. The author of the Vänstra Stranden article had said there was no evidence that Hamas had used its people for human shields and absolutely none that they wished for civilian deaths. I countered those assertions by quoting reports from international journalists who had witnessed Hamas fighters firing from civilian sites and also a German film crew that filmed Hamas personnel forcing civilians back into buildings they were trying to evacuate after having been warned by Israel that an attack was coming.  After being told by LeVine to come to the question instead of making points, I asked why should the Israeli government accept a plan whose authors were biased. Ambassador Mossberg asked for a copy of the article, took a look at it, and passed it back to me saying that he had never written it.

When the event concluded, I approached LeVine and said that I had intended no disrespect. I started to explain that Ambassador Mossberg might want to look into this further, but I was cut off. At this point, with many of his students and other attendees still in the room, a visably angry LeVine began to shout at me. He told me that my writing was "sh--" and he was not embarrassed to say that it was "sh--" in front of the room. He also shouted that if I ever called him "anti-Israel" again, I was going to have a problem-that it was "slander". He finished by saying that I was not qualified to teach at this university and that he didn't want to talk to me-"Goodbye."



Temper, temper.


As I listened to all this, I told him that I was not going to engage in a heated shouting match since it was not the appropriate place. That was true. His own students were standing there, and as a teacher, I was not about to engage in this behavior in front of students.

So I went over to Ambassador Mossberg and told him that we should look further into this article, which I again showed him. This time he took the article which had his name above the text as if he were the author.  I said that if he didn't write it, I would apologize for bringing it up. He was very gracious, and we parted on good terms unlike the aforementioned Professor LeVine.

Later, I checked further into the blog and determined that misleading as the post was, it was not Mossberg who wrote the article. If you Google Vänstra Stranden and Mathias Mossberg, you come up with this posting with his name above the text. However, if you Google say, Isac Bachman (the Israeli ambassador to Sweden) and Vänstra Stranden, you get the same result-a page that appears as if Bachman wrote the same article. This is a misleading feature of the blog, but I have no excuses. I thought I had an article written by Mossberg, when in reality, it was written by the blog's editor, Marie Demker. It was my mistake, and I take full responsibility for not checking deeper.

As soon as I found the problem, I sent an explanatory e-mail to Ambassador Mossberg with the appropriate links and repeating my apology. Here is the text of that e-mail:

Dear Ambassador Mossberg, 
 
 
I am the one who brought up the question today at UCI about an article in 
Vanstra Stranden that bore your name. Upon returning to my office I did further 
checking into the blog in question and have confirmed that as you stated, you 
did not write the article. For that I repeat my apology for bringing it up. 
 
The reason your name is attached to the article is due to some feature in the 
blog which can lead to confusion. I originally found the article by Googling 
your name and came up with an entry from Vanstra Stranden. As you can see from 
the copy I gave you the page would indicate that you are the author of the 
article when it is actually Marie Demker the blogger herself. Your name appears 
also at the bottom in a footnote by Demker that caused the problem. 
 
http://vanstrastranden.wordpress.com/tag/mathias-mossberg/ 
 
For example, if you Google the name Isac Bachman, the Israeli ambassador to 
Stockholm, and Vanstra Stranden you will get the same page with his name at the 
top suggesting he is the author. 
 
http://vanstrastranden.wordpress.com/tag/isac-bachman/ 
 
 
I hope that clears up the confusion, and once again I apologize for the error. 
 
Best regards, 
 
Gary Fouse 



As for Professor LeVine, if I was in error in calling him "an anti-Israel activist", perhaps it was due to the time I saw him as part of the Whither the Levant  event at UC Irvine in 2009-a veritable one-sided Israel bash.

Or perhaps, it was the time he brought a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ibrahim el Hudaiby to his class in 2008. I was there also.

Or how about this article from Campus Report Online and cross-posted by Campus Watch in 2006?

Or could it be articles like this written by LeVine for Al Jazeera?

Or how about that letter LeVine signed calling for an academic boycott of Israel? No anti-Israel activist there.

I could go on and on, but maybe I just got the wrong impression from all of the above (and much more).

But I will say this: There will be no apology to Professor LeVine. He embarrassed himself in front of his class with his meltdown, and I would hope that the next time he chooses to explode at me he will do it when no students are around. Then we can have a "real discussion."

And as for that Utopian idea of his for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, it strikes me as well, Utopian.

As long as LeVine keeps signing blatant, one-sided petitions supporting boycotts of Israel academic institutions and placing disproportionate blame on Israel for all the problems in the Middle East, his credibility and ideas are not likely to be taken seriously by people who are truly interested in finding a peaceful resolution to this long-standing conflict. He may think his spoken and written words do not make him an anti-Israel activist, but others would disagree.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Joe Biden Buttering Up the Turks

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Hat tip Memri and Janet Ellen Levy


Joe Biden, America's secret diplomatic weapon, is in Turkey this weekend trying to mend fences with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and praising Turkey for its humanitarian aid to Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

"That's a big f*****' deal."


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30155496

Well, that's all well and good, Mr Biden, but are you discussing US concerns with the rise of religious intolerance in Turkey?

http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8304.htm

"In addition to statements by government officials, the pro-AKP media regularly accuse Turkey's Jews of "treason,"[2] and other accusations are also levelled, including connecting Jews with the use of Ebola as a biological weapon in "global occupation" that "knows no borders"; in addition, a professor tweeted about sending Jews to Treblinka."

Is that being discussed. Mr Biden?

"At the same time that President Erdogan was denying, in his September 22, 2014 speech at the Council of Foreign Relations, that he or his government were in any way antisemitic, members of his party back home were tweeting praise for Hitler, and shops in Istanbul were displaying signs reading "No Admittance To Jewish Dogs."
On November 9, 2014, a sign reading "This Location To Be Demolished" was hung on the entrance to Istanbul's Neveh Shalom Synagogue; the synagogue has already been the target of two major terrorist attacks in which many congregants at prayer were killed and wounded."
Is that being discussed, Mr. Biden?
"Islamist columnist Ibrahim Tenekeci of the pro-AKP daily Yeni Safak wrote in a July 23, 2014 column titled "Of Men and Jews" (in which he refused to capitalize the term "Jew" except where he quotes another author):[3] "This title, reminiscent of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, belongs to [Islamist author] Nurettin Topcu, not me. Topcu wrote three articles in 1967: 'The Islamic Cause and Judaism,' 'Money and the Jew,' and 'Of Men and Jews.' These articles define jews as the eternal curse of mankind. 'Those that attack to destroy the building of absolute truth,' 'those who reject all moral values,' 'the bloody and sinful hands,' 'the evil that replaces the good' – All these are the jews."
Are these statements by mr ibrahim tenekeci being discussed, Mr. Biden? (Forgive me if I don't capitalize mr. tenekeci's name.)
"Bilecik University Physics Department Head: "Treblinka Will Be Ready Soon; [We Are] Constructing The Railway To Transport Jews At The Moment"
Is that being discussed, Mr. Biden?
Mr. Biden, these are big f****' deals, too. It is time for the US to stop sucking up to Erdogan as he drags his country down the path of radical Islamism.






Monday, November 17, 2014

US - UK hostage strategy in the spotlight

I know some of the background information to the David Bolam case which includes corrupt Foreign Office 'officials' profiteering from the sale of his hostage video to British newspapers, all hushed up with a news blackout.

My contact 'ripped off' by multiple British newspapers for all the hard-work he put into the case to help Bolam's release. A research fee is the least the corrupt 'official' profiteers should pay when 3rd parties oblige their time, energy and resources to work towards helping those who the Government of the day have officially sold out.

A section of the public school boys in MI6 and associated civil servant departments have not done so well with their hostage strategy with ISIS and Jihadi John. All dead captives bar 1 and all the families criticising their handling of the cases of their loved ones who have all been murdered by public beheading.

Who is going to be held to account over the Governments complete and utter failings in this hostage crisis?

I would hope that the families of the dead all now want answers from their Government over their handling of the cases of their loved ones, and no longer act like subservient people.  Look how that ended up.  The facts speak for themselves.

There is an evidence trail to the scandalous profiteering over the plight of David Bolam.

You would not even know who David Bolam is if I had not broken the mainstream media blackout of his case and then his subsequent release.  Thankfully he has now been freed contrary to the Governments 'official' strategy.  All ISIS hostages had a media blackout on their cases for over 2 years and Bolam would have been no different and would now most probably be still be sitting in a British Government sanctioned black-hole.

No one even had the courtesy to buy me a coffee for my involvement which is gratitude for you.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Obama's Nancy Pelosi Moment in Brisbane

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Hat tip Breitbart and Gateway Pundit



"Himmler? He was just some adviser who never worked on our staff."



As President Obama spoke before the press as part of the G-20 conference in Brisbane, Australia, the subject of Jonathan Gruber came up in a question. Obama tried to downplay Gruber's role in formulating Obamacare.

http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2014/11/16/Obama-Just-Stepped-In-A-Pile-Of-Gruber

"...just some adviser who never worked on our staff."

Not only was this guy paid close to $400,000 for his services, but according to Gruber's  account on video, he was in the Oval Office with Obama when the problem of the so-called Cadillac Tax was "worked out".

Nancy Pelosi this past week claimed she didn't know who Gruber was even though she brought up his name, his analysis of Obamacare, and the fact that he was from MIT in 2009. That's all on tape as we now know. Now Obama tells reporters in Brisbane that Gruber was "just some adviser who never worked on our staff".



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mia Love Gets the Aunt Jemima Treatment From Wichita State University Professor

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Hat tip Campus Reform


It is really ugly how the Democrats and the left are dismissing the elections of black Republicans like Mia Love (UT) and Tim Scott (SC). Here is what Asst. Professor Darren Smith of Wichita State University has to say about Ms Love.

http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6049


“Unlike most of them, Mia gets to walk through the hallowed doorways of white institutions controlled by elite, powerful men"

Kinda like you, right Professor Smith?

This is pure racist garbage designed to keep blacks on the liberal, Democratic plantation and punish those who think for themselves. It is the same type of disgusting treatment handed out by people like Smith to Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Larry Elder, and so many others.

It also puts the lie to the mantra that American who op[pose President Obama are racists who could not bring themselves to vote for or accept a black man in the White House. Yet here we have voters in South Carolina overwhelmingly electing Scott and voters in, gasp, Mormon Utah electing Love.

You see, Professor Smith, it is not about the race; it is about the policies of the candidate. Conservative white voters are happy to vote for a conservative black candidate who reflects their beliefs. How else would you explain the popularity of Allen West with the Tea Party?

Yet, this is the type of trash that our students in college are being subjected to. Do parents who foot the tuition costs really want to pay for their kids to be indoctrinated by professors who get up on a soapbox and preach their own opinions-especially when they are so hateful and divisive as this?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Obamacare: The Smoking Gun

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com





 "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the 'stupidity of the American voter' or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”
-Jonathan Gruber


Economist Jonathan Gruber was one of the principle architects of Obamacare. Now a 2013 video has surfaced in which he acknowledges the lack of transparency, deceit, and creative writing that was involved to get Obamacare passed thanks to "the stupidity of the American voter"-to use Gruber's own words. The below link has the smoking gun video. Watch and listen as this arrogant big mouth runs his mouth out of control and lets the cat out of the bag.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/11/obamacare-consultant-under-fire-for-stupidity-of-the-american-voter-comment/

Now I'm no legal expert here, but as a retired DEA agent who testified hundreds of times, I know one thing:

When you find the smoking gun, you must convict.

Thanks to Mr Big Mouth Gruber, we have evidence of what we have known all along: Obamacare was built on a foundation of lies. The question now is what do we do about it? Congress can start by sending a subpoena to this guy to testify. No doubt the White House will try to block that in the name of executive privilege or something like that. Fine; force him to do that in full public view.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Can Islam Change?

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Hat tip Gates of Vienna


Yesterday ( on Fousesquawk), I posted a video of Geert Wilders' speech in Copenhagen. In the latter part of that video during the q and a (at about the 37 minute mark), Wilders had an exchange with fellow panelist Daniel Pipes on the question of whether Islam can change. Briefly stated, Wilders said that there is no moderate Islam; there is only one Islam. Pipes on the other hand maintained that Islam has changed over centuries and can change for the better.

http://garyfouse.blogspot.com/2014/11/geert-wilders-speech-in-denmark.html

Below is Pipes' own speech to the audience before the q and a. Here he describes how support for an open discussion of Islam has declined since the time of Salmon Rushdie's, The Satanic Verses, when Rushdie had wide support from the left to now when the left does not really support  criticism of Islam, partly due to the rise of multi-culturalism.





 What I want to address here is Pipes' idea that Islam can change for the better, which he argued during the q and a. Let me start by conceding that Pipes has probably forgotten more about Islam than I know. In addition, I admittedly need to learn more about Ahmadiya Islam and Sufi Islam because it seems to me that these two branches of Islam appear not to be involved in the violence and terror that we see among Sunnis and Shi'ites. At the same time, the former two branches do not represent any majority and indeed are often the target of rejection from the latter two groups if not outright persecution.

But can Islam itself change (without most Muslims embracing Sufism or Ahmadiya Islam)?

First of all, what would it take for Islam to change? Sure Muslims could simply ignore the hateful and violent aspects of the religion and/or the political ideology that is also Islam. But that would leave the Qu'ran and the life of the Prophet Mohammad as they are.

Many argue that the problem with Islam is that unlike Judaism or Christianity, Islam has never been exposed to a Reformation or the Enlightenment. One could answer that it is being exposed to the "enlightenment" of the modern world now. As for a Reformation, keep in mind that Martin Luther never rejected the Bible or the teachings of Jesus Christ. He rejected the corruption of the Vatican.

It seems to me that for any meaningful change to occur, Muslims would have to come to grips with many of the verses in the Qu'ran that non-Muslims view with alarm. It is not enough to try and convince non-Muslims that this or that verse has been misinterpreted or to quote contradictory verses that speak of peace and forgiveness. Those who are knowledgeable of the religion are aware of the principle of abrogation, which in effect means that contradictions are resolved in favor of the latter verse in time, and it is those that are more violent reflecting the time that Mohammad was a warrior.

In addition, for Islam to really change, there must be a coming to grips on the life, especially the Medina period, of the Prophet Mohammad. Indeed, those who are committing acts of terror are following what they perceive as the teachings of Mohammad and the teachings of the Qu'ran.

So I am skeptical. Yes, individual Muslims can live peaceful lives in mutual respect with non-Muslims and millions do. Many would call them, "bad Muslims".

I tend to come down here more on the side of Wilders. Islam is what it is. Mohammad is what he is and the Qu'ran is what it is. One of the members of the Copenhagen audience, in disagreeing with Pipes, said that we cannot wait for Islam to change. By the time that happens, they may well have already destroyed Western civilization. I couldn't agree with that more.