Thursday, December 29, 2005

Antiwar and Anti-Semitic?

Earlier this year I was an almost obsessive reader of For a time, I was also a financial contributor. Now, it wasn’t in the hundreds or thousands of dollars or anything, but it was a decent monthly pledge.

Soon after seeing Justin Raimondo’s pathetic and embarassing showing in this video, though, I started to become annoyed with the frequently shrill tone of his columns—not to mention their excessive linkage (in a seemingly infinite regress through his own prior columns!), and their often bizarre focus—and although I mostly agree with him about Glenn Reynolds, I just can’t see what his problem* is with Tom Palmer. Palmer is no pacifist, certainly, but he's also no war-monger, and his libertarian credentials seem beyond question (although he really does seem to have raised the ire of at least one other paleolib—see also here. All I can say is “bizarre!”).

Once I saw Justin’s comments (and possible sock-puppetry as “Clement”) on this post at Tom Palmer’s blog, though, I decided, with a heavy heart, that I had to end my financial support of

I took my bumper sticker off my car, and I haven't been visiting much lately. However, I did go back recently, and saw this photo in the blog. It shows Eric Garris standing with the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Mahathir (you can also see Justin Raimondo there in the background). The photograph was taken at the recent Perdana Global Peace forum, where, along with Dr. Mahathir, Garris, and Raimondo, such luminaries <cough> as “his excellency” Robert Mugabe spoke.

What I think is interesting about this picture is that if, instead of Eric Garris or Justin Raimondo, it were Glenn Reynolds or Tom Palmer standing there, wouldn’t be having a field day over it? I suspect the shouts of “Warmonger!” would be endless.

Take a look at this page, where Tun Mahathir is acting in his capacity as chairman of the Perdana Global Peace Forum. Everything seems fabulous, there. But now, contrast it with this page, which is the text of a speech he gave at the 10th Islamic Summit Conference.

Now, I think a careful reading of Dr. Mahathir’s words gives him just the right measure of plausible deniability. But, do you not agree that it is difficult not to interpret his speech as “incendiary,” and “a call for global war against the Jewish people by 1.3 billion Muslims,” as the Anti-Defamation League has done?

Even if we recognize that the ADL has an incentive to sensationalize when it serves them, and in spite of Justin’s borderline anti-Semitism (though he may still have a small sliver of plausible deniability on that score), I still have to wonder. Why is it that Garris and Raimondo believe that it is helpful to their cause or to the cause of peace to associate with Dr. Mahathir?

Lots of discussion of this over at Tom Palmer’s blog.

* Note that I myself actually agree with the Herbert Spencer quote found in that link.

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