Quote of the Day

I stand by what I wrote today: the videos of [ISIL] beheadings need to be independently confirmed before they are part of the historical record. They may well be completely accurate but there are not yet independent confirmations that they are accurate. On a larger picture note: had an evening with a group of well-informed international attorneys and prosecutors. A Pakistani lawyer who is a fourth-generation scion of a major Pakistani political family explained what I keep hearing from many parts of the plugged in educated elite of the Middle East: ISIS, he said, is grassroots Wahabism – the extreme and brutal “version” of Islam (many moderates say it bears no likeness to Islam.) But these grassroots, uneducated, extremist people are funded heavily by a) Saudi Arabia b) Israel (!) and c) America. Why? I asked. He replied: Saudi Arabia which has 14,000 princes and princesses — vast wealth — wants to replicate its extremist version of Islam around the world for ideological reasons and have endless resources to do so. B) Israel has long had a policy of ‘divide and conquer” Muslim states and wants an alliance with Saudi Arabia and Egypt to go up against Assad and Iran (this is the third solid source we are hearing this ‘new alliance” from.) He said that Israel has heavily infiltrated the Egyptian army and security services by bribery, which is one reason Egypt did nothing for Gaza but close its borders.And C) America has several powerful factions: Big Oil, war interests, right wing christians, AIPAC, the Armenians (!) who are trying to organize like AIPAC, and Arabists, who are the only groups who care about what happens in the Middle East. And they all mint money and prestige by having a brutal Muslim threat on the horizon.

He made the fascinating point that Israel benefits from funding ISIS too because the more brutal Islam looks, the better for Israel internationally. So the REAL struggle right now is…between extremist (wahabbi, Saudi-funded, etc) factions and moderate Muslims such as those responsible for the Arab spring. That is the news behind the news…so YEAH I want to source those videos properly.

Naomi Wolf. As one Facebook friend commented on my page, Wolf is now claiming that “[t]he Jews are behind ISIS. I can’t believe she went there, but she did.” As Charles C.W. Cooke points out, Wolf’s recent rantings include the following statements:

Driven by a desire to crack down on the people it serves — and to justify its actions abroad — the United States military is inventing crimes against humanity and attributing them to the Islamic State.

In Australia, a grateful government has jumped on these fabrications, and is employing them to justify a “draconian loss of freedoms.”

Claims to the contrary notwithstanding, America’s interest in the international Ebola outbreak has little to do with concerns about a lethal pandemic and more to do with the country’s establishing a convenient pretext for the imposition of martial law.

And, finally, the true results of September’s Scottish independence referendum were suppressed by that country’s electoral commission.

And of course, it is worth reminding people–as Cooke does–that Naomi Wolf has been a lunatic for quite a while:

Back in 2008, before Obama had been inaugurated, Wolf was touring the country warning anybody who would listen that the republic had fallen and that the citizenry should be preparing a resistance movement. “Americans are facing a coup, as of this morning, October 1st,” Wolf told Seattle’s KEXP, before promising listeners that she would soon be posting to her website a comprehensive set of instructions outlining “how to arrest the president.” “I’ve been saying for months,” Wolf insisted, “that leading up to the election you’re going to start seeing instability, hyped threats, hyped emergencies, hyped crises in order to create an atmosphere of urgency in order to justify a crackdown.” “I feel,” she explained, “like this is my one chance to alert America.” She wasn’t joking. Adopting a hysterical tone that would have prompted even Alex Jones into a period of self-reflection, Wolf warned that “we have almost no time” to push back against the “emergency.” And then she hawked her book to the audience.

The performance was a tour de force. Funnily enough, though, Wolf did notdiscuss what had become of her previous exhortations. She never does. Instead, she just keeps on going: warning of a coup here; predicting martial law there; and, all the while, heralding a glorious resistance movement that never quite needs to be arranged. There are, Wolf argued in the Guardian in 2007, ten inevitable steps that serve as the prerequisites to fascism. Fair enough. And yet precisely how these are playing out in America seems to depend upon her mood. Sometimes, she argues that these steps have already been taken: If voters were only “willing to look,” she proposed in 2007, they would see that “each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.” At other times, they are just around the corner: In the last days before the 2008 election, she claimed to have noticed that the United States was coming to resemble other “closing societies” in which “the leader or the president will send military — especially during an election — to beat or harass or arrest voters and opposition leaders.” And, on occasion, she has even argued for both propositions at the same time, contending simultaneously in September of 2008 that the election was going to be canceled and that, if John McCain beat Barack Obama, Americans would be swiftly subjugated under a tyranny run by Republican mastermind Karl Rove and the “designated muse of the coming American police state,” Sarah Palin. Such, I suppose, are the burdens that our modern-day Nostradami bear.

All of this leads one to wonder anew why anyone takes Naomi Wolf seriously.