Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why is Counterpunch vile?

I just noticed Bill Weinberg's answer to the above question, and thought it worth extracting here.
Excuse me, running "journalism" by the Holocaust-denier (and apparent collaborationist with the Lukashenko dictatorship) Israel Shamir is not vile? Making a cause celebre of fellow Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel is not vile? Providing a soapbox for Bosnia genocide denial is not vile? Cheering on Ahmadinejad's electoral fraud is not vile? Cheering on the mass-murdering jihadis in Iraq is not vile? Engaging in vulgar Jew-baiting of public officials is not vile? Xenophobic talk about how Washington is "occupied" by Israel is not vile? Running fraudulent interviews without bothering to check them out first is not vile? How about denying climate change? Is that vile enough for you?
That's a lot more concise than the post I once wrote about Alexander Cockburn and Counterpunch!

Previous: Conspiracy theories.
Keywords: Counterpunch, Israel Shamir, Wikileaks.

45 comments:

sackcloth and ashes said...

'Counterpunch' has also given Rwanda genocide denials lile Robin Philpot a platform. Caution: reading the link below might lead to extreme nausea:-

http://www.counterpunch.org/philpot05152004.html

Incidentally, regarding your earlier post on Claud Cockburn, I was interested to read a whinge by Patrick about how MI5 hounded his father. Funnily enough he had nothing to say about daddy's stint in Spain, not to mention his collaboration with the NKVD:-

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/patrick-cockburn-the-virtue-of-speaking-truth-to-power-2171018.html
http://brockley.blogspot.com/2008/06/alexander-cockburn-and-counterpunch.html

Andrew Murphy said...

"Why is Counterounch vile?"

Why ask a rhetorical question

modernity said...

Why indeed?

But it is a fine post!

skidmarx said...

Some of the things Counterpunch does may be indefensible (the first couple of things Weinberg mentioned among them), though I notice that nowhere in the article about AIPAC does the pharse "occupied" appear, and though you may not like the tone, it does seem to give an evidence-based account of how pro-Israeli Capitol Hill has become.

ModernityBlog said...

I think if we were to analyze Counterpunch and its lack of radicalism with any seriousness, then we would have to ask the question, where are the articles about the real lobby in American politics:

The Oil Lobby.

Further, we would have to ask who does it comprise, in mainland America and abroad.

etc etc

ModernityBlog said...

PS: We might ask *why* does Counterpunch use so many right wing & far right writers, and to what end?

The Contentious Centrist said...

I daresay there are websites like Rense and IHR that post articles about AIPAC and in which the word "occupied" is not found. I wonder if skidmark is willing to credit them as providing "evidence-based account of how pro-Israeli Capitol Hill has become."

What exactly is the difference between Counterpunch and these two websites for example?

If an article appears in a vile website which has been proven to promote lies and distortions of realities, which exhibit at the very least a stalker's obsession with one people, one nation, one country, is there any reason whatsoever to remove it from the rest of the vile content and endow it with certain veracity and legitimacy just because you really like what that article says? What does it say about skidders here that he accepts that "Some of the things Counterpunch does may be indefensible" yet is non too uncomfortable trying to cleanse the sheretz by pointing to one article in which HE thinks they are doing commendable work?

In a legal procedure when a witness is caught in a lie, among a series of facts he has been testifying to, the judge instructs the jury that if they find the witness has lied in one part of his testimony, they should consider the witness' entire testimony as worthless and possibly a lie. I think there is a principle here that could be extracted and applied to such sources of information and analysis such as the three websites mentioned in this comment.

Andrew Murphy said...

We could also add the Turkish Lobby on Capital Hill as well, Mod.

The USA still does not officially recoginze the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

Even back in the 1930s, the Turkish Lobby was able to apply pressure on Hollywood and the State Department to start the movie version of the Forty Days of Musa Dagh.

Andrew Murphy said...

Sorry, I meant to say, stop not start.

Waterloo Sunset said...

@ sackcloth and ashes

Incidentally, regarding your earlier post on Claud Cockburn, I was interested to read a whinge by Patrick about how MI5 hounded his father. Funnily enough he had nothing to say about daddy's stint in Spain, not to mention his collaboration with the NKVD:-

I'd hazard an educated guess that MI5 weren't against Cockburn because they supported the POUM/CNT, mind you. That's not to justify Stalinist scum in any way. Merely to point out that MI5 are scum as well.

@ Skidmarx

Some of the things Counterpunch does may be indefensible (the first couple of things Weinberg mentioned among them)

Yeah, in which case, everything is irrelevant. I don't care if David Icke occasionally stumbles on something that isn't mad and/or antisemitic. He's still David Icke and should be rejected on that basis.

@ Mod

Or, indeed, the international lobbying efforts of the International Monetary Fund, which actually has a real effect on global politics. Sadly, to go down that route, people would need a class analysis, which rules Counterpunch out entirely...

(The most effective 'lobby' in the UK are the CBI. srsly.)

sackcloth and ashes said...

Waterloo Sunset, I don't dispute your essential point, although I would point out that MI5 did not run gulags where slave labourers were worked to death, nor did they have untold numbers of people executed.

Incidentally, skidmark, you still haven't shown the guts to answer my earlier question. Is Christian Davenport right or wrong about Rwanda?

I'm not surprised to see you making excuses for 'Counterpunch'. It's just the kind of rag that suits your hemorrhoid brand of politics.

BenSix said...

...is there any reason whatsoever to remove it from the rest of the vile content and endow it with certain veracity and legitimacy just because you really like what that article says?

Well, yes. *Puts on the pedantry hat.* If it has sound internal logic and robust empiricism. Sure, if one source pumps out enough trash we might justly assumes it's not worth hangin' around and waiting for it to produce a diamond but that doesn't mean it can't.

modernity said...

Can't imagine a socialist, or anyone remotely with two brain cells, to rub together saying:

"Some of the things Daily Mail does may be indefensible, however...

That's the level of the argumentation.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Skidmark isn't a socialist. He's a brown-shirt with red pretensions.

skidmarx said...

What does it say about skidders here..?
That I can look at a Curate's Egg and not only see the bad parts?
If you are going to attack someone for talking about "occupied" Washington, the implication of the quote marks is that that is the word they actually used. The grown-up response would be to agree that an error has been made, but instead unsurprisingly the response is the same sort of blind defence of someone you agree with that the Left is often accused of.

modernity - false analogy.

Contentious Centrist - I've caught a couple of people who've commented on this thread in lies before now, and it doesn't appear to have had much effect on their behaviour. I expect the two websites you refer to are generally offensive (as that would be the point of you referring to them). I'm sure there are many other websites that attack the power of the Israel lobby where the word "occupied" is not found, are we to condemn them all out of hand (I think I know that the close-minded approach of most here would be "yes")?

skidmarx said...

It might also be said that when Cockburn says "the contours of the Iraqi resistance are murky" he is not exactly "Cheering on the mass-murdering jihadis in Iraq", there is no direct quote from Cockburn or Counterpunch on the Iranian electoral fraud, only some guilt by association; on the fraudulent interview question the article is now preceded by this comment Note: Hezbollah has denounced the Nasrallah interview as a fake. The Turkish Daily, Evrenel, has also acknowledged that the interview, which originally appeared in their paper, is a forgery,whereas Weinberg only notes the note at the end (perhaps the prequel was added later like the first three episodes of Star Wars?).; of course the Israelis have been known to get the wrong Hassan Nasrallah before now.The Bosnia thing refers to a Chomsky interview with Emma Brockes which I believe showed her incopmetence or dishonesty as a journalist when she couldn't produce her tape of the meeting.
Of course if you're of the my political persuasion right or wrong mindset, all this is irrelevant. Note though that it only takes a couple of clicks to see the flaws in most of what Weinberg says (and I haven't even checked the bits where I think he probably have a point), if you discuss this stuff with anyone not already committed to the way you think it will be fairly easy to point out the holes.

ModernityBlog said...

sackcloth and ashes,

Can I am make a rather simple point?

In all the time that you have had an exchange with skidmarx has he conceded the bleeding obvious ONCE?

My bet is no.

There is NO common ground for any discussion with him.

He's an Oxbridge educated ex-SWPer, very smart, etc but as a consequence impervious to reason and has probably learnt all that he will ever learn.

As shown elsewhere, he'll gladly cloudy the issues when it comes to Gilad Atzmon's anti-Jewish racism, and anyone who does that isn't fit to have an exchange with.

If you wouldn't waste your time arguing with a dense neo-fascist then *why* even attempt it with skidmarx, when he shown himself to be so conspicuously uninterested in argumentation or ideas that run counter to his prior indoctrination.

ModernityBlog said...

PS: It also tends to ruin threads at Bob's, which is presumably skidmarx's purpose?

skidmarx said...

It also tends to ruin threads at Bob's, which is presumably skidmarx's purpose?
Er, no.
In all the time that you have had an exchange with skidmarx has he conceded the bleeding obvious ONCE?
Er,yes.[Maybe not with sackcloth & ashes, who seems to specialise in bleedin' obvious untruths, as well as being a wannabe bully and a regurgitant troll,but certainly with others, and this thread isn't supposed to be about him so why don't you stop trying to ruin it and get back to discussing Counterpunch and/or Weinberg, perhaps with more consideration than your first post which praised it without even a superficial examination?]
And when I was considering Contentious Centrist's point about perjurers, I recalled the time on Dave Osler's blog when you called JOHNNO a liar for not being able to find the comment of Jim Denham's on Lenin's Tomb which supported his contention, when you knew damn well that that was the comment referred to. Not for you to admit error when it is bleedin' obvious that you're in the wrong.

skidmarx said...

And one example of where I've apologised was on your site to you when I misunderstood your position on Wikileaks. I did post a comment on Atzmon on a previous Bob thread, to try and stop you ruining threads by dragging things onto that topic, I'll repeat that I'd tend to agree with this assessment, though I'm not particularly familiar with the subject.

sackcloth and ashes said...

Skidmark went to Oxbridge? He's not Charlie Gilmour, is he? I can see someone like him vandalising a monument that commemorates our war-dead, including the ones that actually fought Fascism between 1939-45.

Incidentally skidmark, my question still stands. Is Davenport right or wrong about Rwanda?

modernity said...

Sack,

Tha point I am trying to make is there is no common ground, even on language with people like Skidmarx.

And if there is no common framework then any meaningful discussion is next to impossible.

Skidmarx comes from a political tradition where dialogue is next to non-existent and they don't really care what other people say.

We tried, there's no point of connection, it is not politics, it is basic reasoning skills that are the problem here.

Bob tried, very patiently, to get Skidmarx to understand antisemitism, he dismissed every argument out of hand.

Bob tried to get Skidmarx to see Atzmon's racism, instead Skidmarx was first tempted to defend Atzmon and cloud the issue... then he couldn’t see the racism in Seven Jewish Children, WTF!

http://brockley.blogspot.com/2010/11/mishmash.html

So what purpose is served by even *trying* to engage with him?

You would sooner get a better response if you sang a lullaby to a potato... at least the potato would not try to explain away the racism in the play, Seven Jewish Children….

Please, sack, just ignore him….no argument will work, no reason will penetrate, no evidence will suffice.

Please ignore him, otherwise it ruins otherwise interesting threads.

modernity said...

ops, the link is to the Mishmash post

http://brockley.blogspot.com/2010/11/mishmash.html

skidmarx said...

he couldn’t see the racism in Seven Jewish Children
I haven't seen "Seven Jewish Children" full stop.

Skidmarx comes from a political tradition where dialogue is next to non-existent
I try and discuss the content of the post, and you hurl abuse. I think any fair-minded observer could see who believes in dialogue and you don't.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'Tha point I am trying to make is there is no common ground, even on language with people like Skidmarx'.

I understand that fully, Mod, and that was the main point of an earlier post, in which Bob quoted my comments on bad influences on the left:

http://brockley.blogspot.com/2011/01/ideas-meme-sackcloth-and-ashes.html

Incidentally, skidmark, the question still stands. Was Davenport right or wrong?

skidmarx said...

Why not discuss why 75% of the post is full of holes, or would you rather be a repetitive windbag?

modernity said...

Sack,

We are in agreement, but there is certainly a peculiar psychological aspect when you try to discuss with Oxbridge educated ex-SWPer, isn't there?

By that I mean, a variability in the argumentation, one minute special pleading by him and the next as above, nitpicking and pedantry when it comes to others.

I'm sure, almost positive, that Skidmarx is completely ignorant of Seven Jewish children, I accept his excuse.

What I don't accept is the fact it didn't occur to him to investigate it.

It didn't occur to him to look it up.

It didn't occur to Skidmarx to educate himself on antiracism, and that's where we came in.

It is that truculent inability to see the bleeding obvious that is so annoying.

Even with the aid of the Internet skidmarx is ignorant on these topics, which is a bit strange for an obviously highly intelligent and educated individual.

So as a public service and assuming that he doesn't know how to use Google (seemingly a common affliction amongst SWPers, and ex-SWPers),here are some links, he can VIEW the play or read the script, then give us his "anti-racist" opinion of it:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/video/2009/apr/25/seven-jewish-children-caryl-churchill

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/feb/26/caryl-churchill-seven-jewish-children-play-gaza

And if Skidmarx can manage it I suggest he looks at Engage's site and the discussions on the play, they might them to decide on the racist nature of play.

sackcloth and ashes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
skidmarx said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
modernity said...

sack,

See, you'll never get an answer from Skidmarx.

He won't engage with the issues or trouble to make a meaningful comment on examples of anti-Jewish racism, ig. Sevne Jewish Children, etc

sackcloth and ashes said...

Skidmark, you have not answered my question. All you've done is rant about being misrepresented, and sidestep any effort at clarification. We all know why that's the case.

You do not want to give a clear and frank answer because you know it would out you as either an ignorant twat, or as someone who supports genocide deniers. Either way, it would out you as the red-brown filth that you are.

skidmarx said...

He won't engage with the issues or trouble to make a meaningful comment on examples of anti-Jewish racism
I did read this analysis yesterday of "Seven Jewish Children", though I know that the executive summary:"If people don’t agree with you about it – it’s just possible they may not be horrible, stupid or dishonest" isn't going to fit in with your preconceptions (I expect, like Howard Jacobsen, you haven't actually bothered reading or seeing the play). Now why not discuss this post, rather than being an obsessive off-topic troll like sackcloth & ashes?

skidmarx said...

Either way, it would out you as the red-brown filth that you are.
Then you're not really interested in the answer to the question, you just want to keep asking it to avoid discussing the subject of the thread, or the absence of any enquiring minds noticing that 75% of what Weinberg says is trash.
Modernity - I did link to a post by Sarah AB about "Seven Jewish Children" in a comment that doesn't seem to have made it past the spam filter, but as you seem to think that just including the word Jewish in the title makes it inherently racist you're unlikely to listen to any nuanced argument.
If anyone wants to discuss the post and the failure of Weinberg to back up most of his argument with anything resembling reason, I'd be happy to do so, but if you all want to divert this thread you can go on doing on your own.

modernity said...

Sack,

See my point?

Skidmarx ducks and dives but he won't make an effort to counter anti-Jewish racism.

His first defence is

"I haven't seen "Seven Jewish Children" full stop.
"


So then I provide links to it and expect him to give his views, but instead he goes off at a tangent again.

Once more, skidmarx could comment on Seven Jewish Children, if he wanted to, but he's not bothered, it is not relevant to his existence,

Thus, all you ever get is his reasons not to engage with the topics, he wastes more energy providing futile excuses than contributing meaningfully.

So, it is not worthwhile even ASKING him anything as you know what the answer will be, another evasion, another deflection, some trivial game, that's all he is capable of..

sackcloth and ashes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bob said...

I am removing content of a couple of the more personally abusive comments, not because I think what they say is not worth saying but because I don't want this blog to become a place where the comment threads are too toxic for the type of discussion I have always valued here. I may get heavier with deletions. (On the other hand, I've rescued a couple from the spam trap.)

John-Paul said...

No laundry list of Counterpunch crimes can omit its riff on the blood libel: Israeli Organ Harvesting (Alison Weir). For all of Alexander Cockburn's Shakespearean protest against being accused of Antisemitism, he oversees what qualifies as an anti-Semitic hate site.

modernity said...

I wonder how the apologists for CounterPunch will defend Weir's racism, this time?

skidmarx said...

Once again modernity doesn't even bother to read the Counterpunch article befor making his inevitable charge of racism.The article's conclusion is this:
"If Israel is innocent of organ plundering accusations, or if its culpability is considerably less than Bostrom and others suggest, it should welcome honest investigations that would clear it of wrongdoing. Instead, the government and its advocates are working to suppress all debate and crush those whose questions and conclusions they find threatening."

Much as modernity and his co-thinkers do on every topic involving Israel.The allegations about Israelis in Haiti seem to have been specious, the allegations about the KLA in Kosovo seem to have more substance.Israel's low organ donor rate does provide a reason why such activities might be more likely to involve Israelis, but just as all criticism shouldn't be suppressed because it is politically inconvenient, neither should wild accusations be made if the evidence isn't there to support it.

Now why don't you discuss your blind support for the rest of the Weinberg post?

modernity said...

This argument was dealt with elsewhere and should be clear to any conscious socialist, certainly any anti-racist would follow the argument, which is paralleled here.

Suppose, that someone came out with the racist notion that Jews controlled the world, would a socialist retort by saying they " should welcome honest investigations that would clear them of wrongdoing."

No, they would reject it because socialists and anti-racists would see from the outset what a stinking pile of racism it was ..... and not give it any credence.

skidmarx said...

No, that's an argument by false analogy. The idea that there is a Jewish conspiracy controlling the world is an inherently racist one that there is no evidence for.
What you do is equate any fundamental criticism of the Israeli state or mention of the wrongdoing of individual Israelis with such an idea, making you the pensioner who cried wolf.
Your dishonesty in accusing me of ruining the thread when I was discussing the OP while you wish to talk about anything but isn't an attractive quality either.

skidmarx said...

I will note that I'm not impressed that Israel Shamir is one of the sources cited in the original article. But if we're to dismiss the whole thing because of that, then we should do the same with wikileaks where Shamir has done its Russian translations,and passed himself off as its ambassador in Belarus.

bob said...

The idea that there is a Jewish conspiracy controlling the world is an inherently racist one that there is no evidence for.

So, Skid, are you saying that the following is NOT inherently racist and lacking in evidence: that the Jews murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals?

skidmarx said...

Bob -no I am not. But "some Israelis may have stolen organs in the present day" is not the same accusation as " there is a Jewish conspiracy to murder Gentile children in a practice that stretches back to the Middle Ages". To conflate the two is the same, or a very similar proposition to that which uses the Holocaust to excuse Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.

Any chance anyone is going to defend Weinberg's misattribution of the word "occupied", or his assertions without evidence in the other 62.5% of his rant?

TNC said...

Why is Counterpunch vile? Because Cockburn is vile.