Sunday, September 28, 2008

Smith writes to Noam Chomsky

Professor Chomsky: I would like to ask you one question. I will accept your answer as you give it and not attempt to involve you in a long back and forth.

My question is: Do you believe it reasonable, or unreasonable, that I should ask academics and directors of Holocaust centers if they can provide “the name, with proof, of one person who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz?”

I have asked this question of Dr. Paul Shapiro, Director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, along with some 2,500-plus American and European academics. Neither Dr. Shapiro nor any academic has responded.

In my view, if we are going to routinely reference the “unique monstrosity” of the Germans, we should be able to identify one person, with proof, who was a victim of the “monstrous” German gas chambers.

I asked you this question a couple months back but received no reply. Now I have been copied on the brief exchange you had in August with Robert Faurisson and see that you are not unwilling to respond to reasoned inquiries on such matters.

My letter to Dr. Shapiro is here.

Deborah Lipstadt, Me, and Noam Chomsky (and maybe my wife)

Deborah Lipstadt has decided to let her Blog go for a while. Her last post was on 06 June at the end of her summer trip touring the Holocaust Industry’s European vacation sites. After a couple months I was half-afraid she might be ill. The lady annoys me with her obsessive Jewish patriotism, but I don’t really want anything bad to happen to her in real life. It crossed my mind that she might have quit her Blog because I had started mine, based on hers, and was going to use my Blog to monitor her Blog and she didn’t really want to go through it. Upon some reflection, I decided I had been invaded by a momentary surge of an egomaniacal sense of self-importance. I dismissed what had crossed my mind.

Anyhow, not to worry. Debbie is back to speaking in public. On 28 September, for example, she spoke on “Holocaust Denial as a Form of Anti-Semitism: A Clear and Present Danger?” The talk was cosponsored by Emory University in Atlanta, where she serves as director of the Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies.

Asked how she steels herself to deal with characters like [Holocaust deniers] and other profoundly antagonistic people, she said, “I realized that if I let them drag me down, I lose even if I win. I think the most important thing is to remember that essentially these are mendacious people who are anti-Semites.”

Ahh. Back to square one. The sheer comfort of it all.

***

I am working feverishly (I am paying to have a local work feverishly for me) to develop really extensive email mailing lists. I intend to have lists that are so extensive that I will be able to mail many hundreds of folk at one time, without spamming anyone. One issue is that I want to develop email lists for Palestinian, Arab, Persian, and Muslim journalists, academics and student organizations. It’s not easy. These folk do not put themselves out there to be contacted by – anyone. It’s as if they are wary, as if they sense a kind of danger. If you have any ideas about how to develop these lists, I’m all ears. You might even want to help.

***

I was in a drugstore on the other side last week when I saw myself standing across the room, some fifty feet away, looking at a display of over the counter drugs of some kind. It wasn’t a matter of seeing myself over there for an instant, it was rather a long moment. It was long enough for me to understand that I was seeing myself across the room while I was standing where I was watching me. When the moment passed I saw that the other fellow was taller than me, thinner than me, and now as he walked in my direction I saw that he was younger than me.

***

An interesting Op-Ed from Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank in thepeoplesvoice.org titled “In Defense of Ahmadinejad.” He quotes Jimmy Carter as published in The Forward. “Carter, who was subjected to a virulent smear campaign by the organized Jewish lobby and by the Jewish-controlled or Jewish-influenced media in North America, defended his book, accusing his Jewish-Zionist accusers of seeking to stifle any debate in America over the Israeli apartheid regime.”

Carter is quoted: “It is almost a universal silence concerning anything that might be critical of current Israeli policies of the Israeli government … There is a tremendous intimidation in this country that has silenced our people. And it’s not just individuals; it is not just folks who are running for office. It’s the news media as well.”

It’s that final sentence that catches my attention. It’s the news media itself. I find it incredible that American journalists are unable to express themselves honestly about Israel, Jews, the Holocaust and/or the Middle East generally. Media, as a class, is the most dangerous body of working professionals in American life. In some ways it can be seen as being more dangerous than our incredibly poltroonish political class. The politicos don’t speak to the American people in any organized way. Media takes care of that for them. It appears that the class structure of media in the U.S. is invincible, and that the natural honesty and courage of the individuals who work within it are overwhelmed by class restrictions that are not even acknowledged.

***

I’m going to be to the other side for four days, to the VA hospital in La Jolla. Chemotherapy and other stuff. They implant a receptor in your chest nowadays to better infuse the drugs they use. My hair is falling out, giving me the sense that I’m losing my natural beauty. Yesterday I discovered that I no longer have to trim my little beard. It too is falling away. Have to say, it’s kind of nice to not have to bother with it. Before I leave this afternoon I will post a brief letter I’ve written to Noam Chomsky. I wrote him a few months ago but he didn’t respond. I don’t suppose he will respond this time either, but what do I know? In fact, I think I’ll post it now so I don’t overlook it.

Friday afternoon I went downtown to get together with some drinking buddies, to gas (no pun intended) about this and that, not to drink, and forgot to pick up Lil Brad from day school. I had been trying to convince my wife that I could cross the border and drive to the hospital by myself, that she did not have to go with me to make sure I got there and then return in the dark by bus and trolley and jitney to the house here in Baja. Now she’s told me that if I can’t remember to pick up my own grandson from day school she has no faith that I can get to the hospital by myself and she is going with me. And that's that. With my wife, when that's that, that's what it is.

Anyhow, I’ll be back to the desk here, probably, Thursday morning. Now to Chomsky.

From Wikipedia: “According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar during the 1980–92 period.” Now he is listed as “the eighth most-cited scholar” anywhere, if I understand this right. Odd, but reading his response to Faurisson in their exchange that I posted yesterday, he appears to not have read revisionist literature. He could not dismiss all of Faurisson`s observations if he were reacting as a “scholar,” so I presume – and this surprises me – that his responses are based in a very nuanced but deeply felt “Jewish patriotism.”

Got to go, or I won’t get it done.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Exchange with Noam Chomsky on Exterminationism and Revisionism

Robert Faurisson writes to Noam Chomsky, August 18
[Faurisson’s messages are translated from the French]

Dear Sir,

I am thinking of sending you, by separate message, three articles that you will perhaps find of interest. It seems to me that, since the late 1970s, both the exterminationist position and the Zionist position have become more and more untenable except, of course, with recourse to trickery and violence. May I ask what you, at your end, think of this?

Regards, RF


Noam Chomsky replies, August 19

Thanks for sending.
It's true that the Zionist position has become less defensible, but I never thought that the “exterminationist” position was in doubt.


Robert Faurisson, August 19

Thanks for answering.

I did say, for my part, that “it seems to me that, since the late 1970s, both the exterminationist position and the Zionist position have become more and more untenable”.

I take the liberty of sending you, attached hereto, my text on “The Victories of Revisionism”. In it you will note how the main exponents of the exterminationist thesis, whilst bold enough to maintain the veracity of that thesis, have exhibited growing difficulty in upholding it with logical arguments.

Hilberg’s turnaround was striking: whereas, in 1961, he held that Hitler had issued two orders to destroy the Jews, he later (in the 80s), formally acknowledged the worth of certain “questions” put by Faurisson and others, and then seriously revised his own position: he no longer spoke of orders but… of “consensus-mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy”. Hilberg, of course, brought forth no proof in support of such a hazy argument. Here we are, decidedly, no longer in the scientific realm.

Whereas Michel de Boüard had held that the revisionists were despicable beings, he ended up, in 1986, making amends, terming the exterminationist dossier “rotten” and paying tribute to the revisionists’ “quite carefully done critical studies”.

Whereas it had been held that the sources for the study of the gas chambers were many and solid, Arno Mayer, in 1988, ended up writing that they were “at once rare and unreliable”.

Whereas Klarsfeld and Pressac had held that there existed so very much proof, Pressac ended up deeming the whole dossier of the exterminationist thesis to be “rotten” and good only for the “rubbish bins of history”.

I could go on at length with such examples. In scientific (or allegedly scientific) circles the embarrassment is obvious. It’s for this reason that the repression of revisionism is worsening. “When there’s no proof to show, the cudgel is used. If the cudgel is used, it’s because there are no arguments”. It’s also for this reason that, in its ludicrous forms and unprecedented commercial and religious proportions, a deafening propaganda is now deployed in favour of a thesis which, over the years, has become more and more untenable.

You will, I think, have noted my discretion in your regard. If I have decided to break a near thirty years’ silence and if I finally wrote to you yesterday, it’s because I’ve thought that, in the face of such a rout of the rational approach in historical research, I needed the opinion of a man of your calibre.

I thank you for your attention. Regards.


NC, August 20

To repeat, I do not think there is serious doubt about the basic character of the Nazi Judeocide, though unlike French mimics of Zhdanov and Goebbels, I strongly oppose granting the state the right to determine Historical Truth and to punish deviation from its pronouncements.


RF, August 20

I shall repeat myself as well and say: I think that the high priests of exterminationism or of the “Judeocide” resemble the Catholic priests who persist, of course, in spouting the articles of their FAITH but who, de facto, no longer appeal to REASON.

Fifty years ago, priests were still teaching the faithful that the existence of God was a matter of both REASON and FAITH and, for example, in the catechism, children learned the four PROOFS of God’s existence, the first of these being the order of the world (“There can be no watch without a great watchmaker”). Today, the Catholic priests lay it down as a principle that God exists and no longer appeal to REASON and PROOF. Why is this, if not because their proof no longer convinces them themselves?

Today, the high priests of exterminationism or of the “Judeocide” no longer take the trouble to resort to PROOF. They recite their basic catechism but no longer try to bring forth a single PROOF of the existence of an order to exterminate the Jews nor a single PROOF of the existence of an extermination plan, nor a single PROOF of the existence of any relevant instructions or monitoring or budget thereof, and they are incapable of showing us what the crime weapon par excellence may have looked like or how it may have worked. When asked to “show us or draw us an Auschwitz homicidal gas chamber”, they no longer try to answer. When told to “give us the name of a single person who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz, with proof of that killing” they no longer reply. However, do remember that, in the past, we used to get names (that of Simone Jacob, for example, who would turn out to be Simone Veil). Why such a profound change if not because “there is serious doubt about the basic character of the Nazi Judeocide”, that is, a doubt about the will to physically exterminate the Jews, about the magical gas chambers and about the six or however many million victims? At the base (your word “basic”) of the mystery of the “Judeocide”, there is that holy trinity.

Can you explain this to me? Can you offer anything that you yourself would call a PROOF? Can you tell me why there have been so many patent LIES on the part of my opponents, so many manipulations of texts, facts and figures whilst, in the work by your humble servant on the essential question of the gas chambers, no one has been able to find a trace either of 1) rashness, 2) negligence, 3) deliberately overlooking anything or 4) lying?

You say you strongly oppose the State’s being granted the right to determine historical Truth and punishing deviations. So be it; how has the State come to be granted these rights? It hasn’t been by some quirk of history. It has been by a sort of vital necessity that, even in countries without any specific anti-revisionist law, the State, in reality, represses revisionism. Consider the ignoble examples of the United States and Canada in the Ernst Zündel and Germar Rudolf cases. In France, who was it who, starting in 1986, waged a dogged campaign, crowned with success, to get the State to exercise those exorbitant rights if not chief rabbi René-Samuel Sirat, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Georges Wellers and Laurent Fabius? Those people set off on a bad path: they laid the postulate – backing it up with threats – that two and two were six (or six million?) and, consequently, as the lie could be upheld only by still more lies, they and their successors have sunk themselves into an abyss of lies. For my part, I’ve had no need to lie.

What do you think of this? Regards.

NC, August 20

I understand your position, but do not agree.

[end of correspondence Faurisson-Chomsky]

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To be fair is to oppose authority

Today I sent the letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the 140 Permanent Missions to the UN scattered around the globe. Yesterday my typist was still working on the address list. Sent the same Ban Ki-moon letter to five dozen radio talk shows.

Wrote an opinion piece based on the Ban Ki-moon letter I titled "President Ahmadinejad and Holocaust Denial" and sent it to campus newspapers around the country. It will introduce a number of student journalists to this Blog and the isues we deal with here. And the last couple days I identifed some 25 journalism departments that I need to get into my email lists and have sent the URLs to my local typist for sorting out.

There was a small conceptual advance in the Ban Ki-moon letter. It dealt with the UNESCO mandate to encourage a free flow of ideas, and for the first time I dealt with that and got in the One Person, with Proof question as well. Two birds with one letter, distributed widely through out the UN Bureaucracy. We'll see. Paso a paso.

Last few days it's been a struggle, but today I feel better than I have in some time. Why? No idea. And thanks to those of you who are continuing to send me info about how to deal with what I'm dealing with here.

I have run across a criptic note I wrote stating, "To be fair is to oppose authority." I don't recall the circumstances of my writing it. I'm not certain what I meant. I suppose sometimes it would be so, but other times not. I'm going to think about it (he says). To be fair is to oppose authority. There's something there.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: Background

My letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon regarding the terror expressed by the American Jewish Committee over what it calls “Holocaust denial” has been copied to the members of The UNESCO Communication and Information Sector, to IFEX -- The International Freedom of Expression Exchange, the worldwide National Commissions of UNESCO, the members of The Permanent Delegations of all Member States of the UN, and to members of the Permanent Missions to the UN based in New York City.

Next I’ll begin copying to the press. The Ahmadinejad story is not going to end tomorrow with his address to the United Nations. At the moment, this is all foot-work. Today also I was refused permission to buy space in The Columbia Spectator to place my advertisement titled “A Question for the Holocaust Memorial Museum.” Those of you who get Smith’s Report in hardcopy have seen the layout. Those who view SR online only can get the sense of it by clicking on the UNESCO Project.

Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon and the Holocaust

September 22, 2008

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General
United Nations
New York, NY 10017


Dear Mr. Secretary-General:

Only today you have heard from The American Jewish Committee that it is appalled to have learned that the President of the General Assembly, Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, has agreed to speak at a dinner in honor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, a person whose blatant Holocaust denial has been rejected by you, the Security Council, and the General Assembly. As the AJC notes, President Ahmadinejad has termed the Holocaust a "fairy tale," and has called it a "fake."

The AJC notes that General Assembly Resolution 60/7 "rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or in part … [that] General Assembly Res. 61/255 specifically calls on states ‘unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event.’ Your statement that Holocaust denial is ‘not acceptable’ graces the home page of the UN's Holocaust Remembrance site”

The AJC further states: “Mr. Secretary General, under your able leadership, the UN has been clear in its rejection of Holocaust denial. You have reminded states that the Holocaust is ‘a unique and undeniable tragedy.’ The presence of the President of the General Assembly at an event in honor of Mr. Ahmadinejad would make a mockery of you, the United Nations, and the nations and leaders who have made a point of rejecting Holocaust denial whenever, wherever, and by whomever it is made.”

Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial. Where will it ever end? Perhaps it will end the day that the American Jewish Committee, or one academic somewhere on earth, provides you – us – with the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. Over the past few months I have asked some 1,500 academics to provide such a name, with proof, but none has responded. Why?

Do you think that might be one reason that President Ahmadinejad takes the orthodox Holocaust story to be something of a “fairy tale,” something of a “fake?”

The Holocaust story was originally exploited to morally justify the conquest of Arab land in Palestine by European Jews. Subsequently one U.S. administration after another has supported the catastrophic U.S. alliance with Israel against the Palestinians. If there were to be an open debate on the Holocaust, rather than censorship of questions about the Holocaust, it might bring about an open debate on the U.S. alliance with Israel and the rest of the appalling U.S. interventions against Arabs and other Muslims in that part of the world.

Mr. Secretary-General: not allowing a free exchange of ideas about any historical question is censorship pure and simple and goes against the UNESCO mandate to encourage free expression and a free press. I do not see how you can disagree. Would you like to talk about it?

Sincerely,

Bradley R. Smith, Founder

Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust < www.codoh.com >

PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327
Email: bsmith@prodigy.net.mx


The Moral Challenge: To advance the UNESCO mandate to
encourage freedom of expression, not to a preferred class,
but to all.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Iranian TV: a little honesty to challenge American journalists

From: Michele Renouf
Date: 20 September 2008 01:42:23 BDT

Subject: Bravo PressTV myth-buster

Dear friends

With much relief (and modest pride as member of the Tehran Holocaust-WMD Review Committee) it is good to report the following.

Just one week after an unexpected opportunity arose at a friend's Islamic bank dinner-party where I had expressed my modest PR advice to the Iranian media channel's head of production, he has seen fit to heed my concern. Namely, that surely PressTV would wish to carry prominently on its homepage the correct quotation of the President of Iran, Dr Ahmadinejad, giving it in his own words.

Specifically, I urged due attention to the ongoing notorious misrepresentation throughout the all-pervasive global media of his 'wiping Israel off the map' allusion. Only two days ago in London an audience of thousands in Westminster heard Israel's former U.N. ambassador Dan Gillerman still deploying this misrepresentation. The ambassador was booed when he used it to distract from the concrete facts that Israel has not only wiped Palestine off the map but also for the most part "disappeared" the indigenous population as per this euphemism for terroristic genocide in Herzl's 1896 blueprint for a secular Jewish State in a pirated Palestine.

Iran's perspicacious President had simply compared the coming collapse of the Zionist regime to the way the Soviet Union was wiped off the world map due to its similarly artificial historical foundations. The Iranian President's allusion was never an incitement to war, only to humane common sense. And yesterday Dr. Ahmadinejad's frank statement here is complete and afresh.

Bravo to Press TV for fairly providing accurate and balanced public information so that real democratic fair play has even a chance of prevailing over lop-sided globalised propaganda.

Michèle
(Lady Renouf)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Note: Crimes Against Society

I have copied the letter to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura to the chief officers of the Permanent Delegations of 140 UN Member States.

All I have time for. Going to the VA in La Jolla this evening for an overnight and some infusions tomorrow. Back tomorrow night or Saturday.

Good luck to all of us.

Crimes Against Society

Bradley R. Smith
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327
Web: www.codoh.com


Koichiro Matusuura
Director-General
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
The United Nations

Dear. Dr. Matusura:

I share your shock and grief over the tragic deaths of two newsmen in the Caucasus. I agree with you that “The killings of journalists are crimes against society as a whole as they deal a blow to freedom of expression and access to independent information for the people of the region.”

Please: allow me to suggest that the imprisonment of independent journalists and researchers for “thought crimes,” as well as the murder of such folk, are also “crimes against society as a whole.” They are so because, using your own language, “the deal a blow to freedom of expression and access to independent information …”

One example – one of hundreds of examples – is the case of German national Germar Rudolf who was extradited from the United States to Germany to stand trial for expressing doubt about certain aspects of the Holocaust story. He remains in prison even as I write you this note.

UNESCO did not defend German Rudolf’s right to express an opinion about history that preferred majorities disagree with. If he is subsequently murdered by those who oppose an open debate on the Holocaust story, will UNESCO speak out for him then? Will you personally feel “aggrieved?”

What position does UNESCO hold with regard to the imprisonment of journalists and independent researchers who have questions about history that preferred majorities do not want to be asked?

Thank you for any observation you might have with regard to this question.

Bradley R. Smith

Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust

---------------------------------------------------------------------

The UNESCO Challenge: To advance the UNESCO mandate to
encourage freedom of expression, not to a preferred class, but to all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A free flow of ideas for preferred majorities, or for all?

The National Commissions for UNESCO are national cooperating bodies set up by the Member States for the purpose of associating their governmental and non-governmental bodies with the work of the Organization. There are 195 National Commissions all around the world. Basic information on National Commissions for UNESCO can be found in UNESCO's Constitution and in the Charter of National Commissions for UNESCO. Please see Legal Texts on National Commissions for UNESCO

Today I copied the following brief letter to all 195 members of the National Commissions for UNESCO. This is only a first gesture, as I will now want to copy it to journalism departments and newspapers around the USA. Paso a paso, as the Mexicans say. Step by step.


=============================================


Bradley R. Smith
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327
Cell: 619 203 3151
Web: www.codoh.com


17 September 2008

To: Abdul Waheed Khan
Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information
Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace
UNESCO


Dear Assistant Director-General:

The programs of the UNESCO Communication and Information (CI) Sector are rooted in UNESCO’s Constitution, which requires the Organization to promote the “free flow of ideas by word and image.”

How does your office reconcile this principal strategic objective of the CI Sector with the 26 January 2007 call by the UN General Assembly to all its 192 Member States to “reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end”?

Does the CI Sector, of which you are Assistant Director-General, support “exceptions” regarding the free flow of ideas about certain historical events? That is, does your Sector hold that some historical questions should benefit from a free flow of ideas, while some should not?

In brief, is it to be understood that a “free flow of ideas” is meant for some, but not for all? I would very much appreciate any clarification from your office regarding this troublesome matter.

Sincerely

Bradley R. Smith

======================================


The Professional Challenge: To advance the UNESCO mandate to encourage
the free flow of ideas not only for those who represent influential
majorities, but for all.


=================================

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The 5th Annual "David McCalden Halloween Holocaust Tale Challenge"

ANNOUNCEMENT:

The 5th Annual “David McCalden Most Macabre Halloween Holocaust Tale Challenge” is here. Pits of boiling human fat? Human soap? Giant "death by steaming" pressure cookers? Fountains of blood squirting from the earth? Help us find new Holocaust stories you find macabre and ridiculous.

The reader who sent me this believes it to be a “fun challenge for Believers and/or Revisionists to explore the wacky world of the Ugly Myth. Millions of disappearing bodies, vast magical burning pits, baby bonfires, you Believers out there can tell us the sickest, weirdest story that you actually believe in. Revisionists can tell us the most macabre Holocaust tale...all in time for Halloween. Spread the word far and wide.”

***

Copied the letter to Mogens Schmidt of UNESCO to student editors at about 100 college newspapers around the country. So they will have an introduction to the issue tomorrow morning. Tomorrow my techie is coming by and we will get my mailing program up and running so that I am not so limited in what I can send.

***

And then there are the nights.

Dreamed that I parked the car on the side of a highway going through the mountains. I crossed the highway to do something, I don’t know what, and as I was returning to the car it exploded in a fiery blast that knocked me down in the middle of the road. I understood someone had detonated a bomb under the car. I was on my hands and knees on the pavement trying to focus when I saw an oil tanker bearing down on me. I understood that I had time to get up and off the road if I acted in an orderly way. I was calm. When I tried to stand however, I fell down. I tried to stand up again and I fell down again. Now I realized I was more damaged than I had thought I was. At the same time, I saw the tanker slow down. The driver had seen me and was breaking. Now, I thought, I have time to stand up and get out of the way. But I couldn’t keep my balance. I couldn’t shake the dizziness. Each time I tried to stand up, I fell to the pavement again. Then the tanker passed me by at a moderate speed. I didn’t see the face of the driver. I was still dizzy from the blast of the explosion, the dream ended, and I woke up.

As I sat up and put my feet on the floor memory recalled that when we first came down here to Baja I had some concern that one of my friends attached to the Holocaust Industry would give a Mexican twenty dollars to put a bomb under my car attached to the starter. In those days there were death threats. Every night I drove the car inside our patio and locked the seven-foot-high metal doors behind me. After a couple years I relaxed and began leaving the car at the curbing outside the house. Now I feel a tinge of anxiety about the car-bomb scenario again. It’s not really an issue. When somebody decides to get rid of me, they won’t have to do anything complicated. I walk the streets in the dark almost every night. I can be nailed any night in the week with a single bullet in the back of the head.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Professional Challenge

Got back a bit early today and began copying my 07 September 2008 letter addressed to

Mogens Schmidt,
Deputy Assistant Director-General for Communications and Information
Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace,
UNESCO

to relevant folk at UNESCO. I began with the full Staff of UNESCO's Communication and Information Sector, with a note stating that I have received no reply from Mr. Schmidt in one week. I copied the same letter to the staff of the New York University Department of Journalism.

For these sends to third parties in journalism I am adding a footnote statement below the text, as part of the letterhead. It reads:

-------------------------------------------

The Professional Challenge: To continue to work as stenographers
for the Holocaust Industry, or to report on the story.

-------------------------------------------

This is only the beginning with the distribution of the Schmidt letter. Meanwhile, I have a very good idea for the next text that I hope to get off the ground by Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon I have to head back north to La Jolla for still more labs.

Meanwhile, if you should want to forward the Schmidt letter to relevant third parties, be my guest. I would like you to do that. At the same time, it is absolutely necessary that you forward it as is, with no editing, no proofing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Is there a silence between two thoughts?

Sean asks if I have the names of the 12 original SS knights of the order of the Schwarze? I have to confess that I do not. I have received a number of such questions. If I cannot name the 12 originals here – it means what? That I should not expect any academic to be able to name one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. In addition to the lack of the presumed logic of the question, it ignores the issues. If I could answer the question it would not suggest that the history of the 20th century would have to be either accepted or rewritten, and it would neither prove nor disprove the “unique monstrosity” of the Germans.

***

In Scientific American I read that “… something happens at the point of losing consciousness that solidifies memories.” Doesn’t ring a bell with me.

In Joseph Campbell’s Flight of the Wild Gander I read: “In the silence between two thoughts. That’s when something new can happen.” Here the bells sound on every side. When thought is moving it’s necessarily following a track from the instant before. It’s busy. It’s got something to do. What it has to do is with what’s behind it. When it stops, in that instant there’s nothing there. The universe slides in. The interesting thing, perhaps, is why it should stop at all. And why it should stop where it does stop.

Walking on the Boulevard at dusk when a blackbird dives down toward my head from a tree. I continue walking. He dives down to my head again and again. There is a persistence to his behavior that alerts me. Does he actually want me? Nah. He’s making a point. Like the Russians in South Ossetia.

The Russians in South Ossetia? Did I suffer a moment between two thoughts?

Tomorrow I have to go to Chula Vista on the other side for some new labs. That’s what they call drawing blood for testing in the laboratory. Labs. Some Chemo drugs are delivered from hanging plastic bags through a needle into your arm. When the drug is injected directly from a large needle they call it a “push.” I told one of the young nurses that it sounded like street talk. Pushing a drug. She laughed and said: “Now you know.” I thought that was a pretty sophisticated response. They took about twenty labs last week, but they have found a reason to draw some more. Will lose most of the day. On Tuesday I will turn to the second step of the UNESCO Project.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Big numbers, little numbers

Yad Vashem is using a new Spectrum XF system to scan millions of Holocaust documents. The digitized images of the documents will be accessible to the public via the organization's Web site. The database includes personal testimonies, artifacts, more than 263,000 photographs and tens of thousands of lists, which include the names of millions of Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

The digitization project is part of a larger development plan designed to facilitate and modernize Holocaust research and scholarship. In addition to document imaging, the recently completed development plan included the opening of the International School for Holocaust Studies, the world's largest school dedicated to teaching the history of the Holocaust; new offices for the International Institute for Holocaust Research; a new Archives and Library Building; a new Visitors' Center and a new, state-of-the-art Museum Complex that includes a Holocaust History Museum, Hall of Names and Holocaust Art Museum.

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Meanwhile, here are three new illustrated articles by Fritz Berg created from a different point of view. Not millions. Three.

NAZI Railroad Delousing Tunnels for Public Health or Mass Murder!
Hamburg Victims of Allied Terror Bombing
German Hospitals Destroyed by Allied Terror Bombing

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And then there is the simple “One Percent” offer from The National Association of Forensic Criminologists, Archeologists, Skeptics and Historians (NAFCASH) is offering a $100,000.00 reward for anyone who can locate one of the alleged “huge mass graves” at Treblinka where allegedly 870,000 victims were buried. You have to prove the exact location of the grave and the exact dimensions. And then there is the easy part. You have only to prove that the grave/s contains the remains of one (one) percent of the bodies allegedly buried there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The first chemo treatment

I’m back from four days at the VA Hospital in La Jolla. Watched my heart beat on a computer monitor for 30 minutes. Never saw it before. There it was, absolutely committed to its work for almost eighty years. There is something marvelous there, the single mindedness of its relentless commitment to the work. All if it performed blindly, without concept. So very odd.

Then the first chemo treatment. No vomiting, no pain, no exhaustion. Piece of cake.

So here I am. Tomorrow Ill try to catch up with the office, and Monday will turn my hand to the UNESCO project.

Monday, September 8, 2008

UNESCO, Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace

Following is my first communication addressed to UNESCO. There hasn't been time for Schmidt to reply, but as I am going out of town for four days I am posting it here for your information.

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Bradley R. Smith
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327
Email: bsmith@prodigy.net.mx
Web: www.codoh.com

07 September 2008

Mogens Schmidt
Deputy Assistant Director-General for Communications and Information
Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace
UNESCO

Dear Deputy Assistant Director-General:

I am informed that UNESCO is the one United Nations agency with a “mandate to defend the basic human right of freedom of expression and press freedom, which are the essential components of democracy.” I am further informed that this human right “includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

How does UNESCO reconcile this important “mandate” to defend the basic human right of freedom of expression and press freedom with the 26 January 2007 call by the UN General Assembly to all its 192 Member States to “reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end”?

This is complicated by the apparent fact that, so far as I have been able to discover, UNESCO does not provide journalists with a working definition of any part of what the UN General Assembly calls upon its member states to reject. UNESCO does not define “Holocaust as a historical event.” It does not define what is meant by “in part.” And it does not define what “activities to this end” might mean.

Your help in defining these key words and phrases in the 26 January 2007 call by the UN General Assembly to “reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end” would be very much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Bradley R. Smith

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***

I’ve been dreaming of a calendar of some sort. It’s made of a small wood frame strung with horizontal wires, a number of wooden disks, or balls, on each wire. It resembles a Chinese counting device. I saw one fifty or sixty years ago. I’ve had this dream three, four times. It makes no sense. Though I do recognize the references to time and to the Chinese.

We were on the other side at a Wal-Mart in Chula Vista. My wife does the shopping while I wait in the McDonalds drinking coffee and reading magazines. In a recent copy of Scientific American I read that: “A sleeping brain is not merely on standby: it runs through a suite of complex and orderly activities.” And that, “The most important processing of information during sleep is to add meaning to information and fit it into a larger context.”

Maybe the next time I dream of the Chinese calendar/counting device it would be interesting and perhaps even helpful if the brain were to add meaning to its visual information and fit it into a larger context for me. That’s where I would like to go with it. To the larger context.

***

Reading Nicholson Baker’s Human Smoke where he discusses Aldous Huxley in Hollywood writing Ends and Means, an inquiry into the philosophy of nonviolence. That was in 1937, when there was still hope. I was seven years old then, living a few miles away in South Central Los Angeles with my mother and father. My brothers were already dead. Baker quotes a passage from Ends and Means.

“We have all seen how anger feeds upon answering anger, but is disarmed by gentleness and patience. We have all known what it is to have our mean nesses shamed by somebody else’s magnanimity into an equal magnanimity; what it is to have our dislikes melted away by an act of considerateness; what it is to have our cold nesses and harsh nesses transformed into solicitude by the example of another’s unselfishness.”

Memory recalled the late afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard about 1961. We had the bookstore then a few doors down from Louie Epstein’s Pickwick Books. Mother helped me run the business. One late afternoon Mother was at the cash register when I returned from taking care of some outside business. I started to ask her how the day had gone but she nodded her head toward a tall fellow browsing one of the shelves along the wall.

“I don’t know who that man is,” Mother said softly, “but he’s a real gentleman.”

I took another look at the one customer in the store. Tall, thin, drably dressed, the head in profile that of an aristocrat. It was Aldous Huxley. His head was titled to one side to better read the titles of the paperbacks. Aldous Huxley was in my bookstore looking carefully at my modest collection of books. He remained for sometime, maybe another half hour or longer. When he left, moving slowly but very erectly, he nodded carefully to my mother.

Now memory recalls that when I was reading Huxley, I was reading Phillip Wylie at the same time. I can’t recall the las time I heard Phillip Wylie’s name mentioned. I remember him as being very good.

***

Last week I was to the La Jolla VA hospital for three days where they finally performed the surgical biopsy on my throat. They worked it out so that I didn’t know when I was losing consciousness, and when I woke up it was all over. I didn’t feel a thing. It was a miracle. There was a two-inch incision in the side of the neck below the left ear, twelve stitches, and no pain. I had a fat lip where a breathing tube had been inserted through the throat. I was given a bottle of pain pills and another of stool softeners and told to sleep it off. I did.

The next morning Dr. Go had me into his office and told me that, based on the biopsy, they understand that the cancer is more aggressive than they had thought. It has already moved into the abdomen and lower chest. It would be necessary to begin treatment as soon as possible. The long and short of it is that tomorrow I’ll return to the La Jolla VA to begin chemo or whatever. I’ll be pretty much incommunicado for the next four days.

Those of you who are sending me info about alternative treatment, I want you to know that it is much appreciated. I’ll look into as much of it as time permits. I have two stories going here. Smith working UNESCO, and Smith working the cancer beat. We’ll see what he makes of one, or the other, or both.

Stanley Fish: there is real censorship, and then there is “judgment”

Stanley Fish, always interesting, is annoyed with Salman Rushdie who Fish calls a “self-appointed poster boy” for the First Amendment.

“This time he’s not standing up for free expression on his own behalf, but on behalf of another author, Sherry Jones, whose debut novel about the prophet Muhammad’s child bride had been withdrawn by Random House after consultants warned that its publication “could incite racial conflict.”

[…] “Random House is free to publish or decline to publish whatever it likes, and its decision to do either has nothing whatsoever to do with the Western tradition of free speech or any other high-sounding abstraction.

“Rushdie and the pious pundits think otherwise because they don’t quite understand what censorship is. Or, rather, they conflate the colloquial sense of the word with the sense it has in philosophical and legal contexts. In the colloquial sense, censorship occurs whenever we don’t say or write something because we fear adverse consequences ….

“It is censorship when Germany and other countries criminalize the professing or publication of Holocaust denial. (I am not saying whether this is a good or a bad idea.) ….

“Key to these instances is the fact that (1) it is the government that is criminalizing expression and (2) that the restrictions are blanket ones. That is, they are not the time, manner, place restrictions that First Amendment doctrine traditionally allows; they apply across the board. You shall not speak or write about this, ever. That’s censorship.”

*

Technically, I agree with Professor Fish here about what State censorship is and what private judgment is. Random House has the legal right to publish or not publish whatever it judges it should or should not publish. A few years back Random House contracted to publish David Irving’s biography of Josef Goebbels and changed its mind under pressure from Jewish activists. That was not State censorship. It was an act of judgment based on the fear of adverse consequences.

The purpose of censorship is to keep certain opinions and information from public view. In this respect, the “judgment” of private companies operating in fear of adverse consequences is parallel with the legal judgment of the State which censors because of its own fear of adverse consequences. One fears the loss of income, the other the loss of power. Both, as expressed through either State or “colloquial” censorship, are destructive of liberty and intellectual freedom.

Salman Rushdie has his finger on something very important here, something Professor Fish may be too arrogant to want to understand. Fish writes that “It is censorship when Germany and other countries criminalize the professing or publication of Holocaust denial,” but he does not want to say “whether this is a good or a bad idea.”

German State censorship of revisionist arguments and the imprisonment of those who make them is despicable. It is despicable in the colloquial sense as well when we see that Stanley Fish will not say it is despicable because, I can only suppose, in his judgment he risks writing something he fears might have “adverse consequences.”

Censorship in America is not driven by the State, yet it is pervasive—in the colloquial, everyday sense. It is self-censorship driven by the fear of “adverse consequences,” a fear based in very real circumstances. If Professor Fish were to tell us whether German State censorship of revisionist arguments is a “good or bad idea,” and why, rather than using his judgment to evade the issue, we would have something interesting to talk about. Either way.

Self-censorship. The American professorial class leads the way.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ordinary Days

I was surprised to read a while back that Bill Gates does not watch television. Nothing. Zip. It may or may not be true but the story caught my attention. I had been aware for some time that I was getting up in the mornings to make coffee and turn on CNN and watch it for half an hour, then an hour, and then I saw that sometimes I was watching it for an hour and a half. This was three, four months ago. I kind of wondered what the hell was going on. But not seriously.

Then the local Mexican cable company cut CNN from its list of channels. I had been watching Jim Clancy as if he were a friend of mine. He reminded me of guys I grew up with in South Central. Now he was gone. I missed him. I missed CNN. You can see what a simple guy I am. Another example of how you don’t have to be some out-of-the-ordinary guy to publicly challenge such businesses as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, or any other part of that Industry. If you’re willing, that’s enough. I think that might be my message to the world. Just do it. Or was that the tennis shoe people?

About that time I was finding out about the lymphoma. I realized that I was watching television in the mornings, Jim Clancy or no Jim Clancy, because I was having a hard time waking up. I hadn’t been paying attention. Once I understood that my laziness had something real behind it and wasn’t just laziness, I understood that losing CNN was a wake-up call, literally. I decided I would not watch television in the mornings. I would make the bloody coffee and go to my office, which is a room facing the patio here at the house.

This morning is an example of my new routine. In the first half-hour of my life today I got up, put on my robe, went out to the patio which is inside the house so I don’t have to comb my hair, took the blanket off the six-foot high bird cage for our couple dozen parakeets, woke Paloma, went to the kitchen where I put on a pot of coffee, drank my glass of Blast, a glass of powdered greens, drew back the curtains and opened the venetian blinds, then waited in silence. When the coffee was ready I poured a cup and came in here to the office. I did everything in about twenty minutes. Bill Gates is a wise man.

***

I was to the VA hospital Thursday last to get an EKG, be interviewed by the surgical nurse, and then again by the anesthesiologist. This is for a surgical biopsy that I will have in a couple days. The anesthesiologist was an attractive, interesting lady. At one point she was reviewing the results of the EKG that had been taken an hour earlier and I asked her how it looked.

“Why do you want to know,” she asked?

“I’m curious. I want it to be perfect.”

“Are you worried that it might not be?”

“No. I think it will be perfect.”

She started asking me if I did not feel some anxiety about having the biopsy. It’s a long process, six to eight hours, but mostly laying around. I said no, I wasn’t worried. She said it would be normal for me to be worried about having cancer, worried about the surgery and so on. That if I felt some anxiety, that would be normal.

“I know it would normal," I said. “It's just that I think I’m too shallow to worry about it”

The lady got a good laugh from that one. That’s me. I like to keep ‘em relaxed.

***

I have an interesting message from UNESCO. I’m on their mailing list now. The release tells me that in October UNESCO is to hold International High Level Symposium on Freedom of Expression and Exhibition on Safety of Journalists. UNESCO is deeply committed to freedom of expression.

“UNESCO promotes freedom of expression and freedom of the press as a basic human right, through sensitization and monitoring activities. It also fosters media independence and pluralism as prerequisites and major factors of democratization by providing advisory services on media legislation and sensitizing governments, parliamentarians and other decision-makers.”

How's that? Pretty good, eh? I think I can work with these people. I’m only half horsing around about this.

Over the next couple weeks I’ll kick off the project for this academic year. I’ll tie together the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, UNESCO, and the UN General Assembly using my “Auschwitz Question” as a kind of intellectual lariat (Spanish for “lasso”). And I will rope in the mainline press and academics in our journalism departments. We’ll see where it goes. Who can predict? Correctly?

***

This will be my last post here for the next three, four days. I'll be on the other side to the VA where they will finally do the surgical biopsy. I suppose afterward I'll have a sore throat for a few days.