Monday, June 29, 2009

FAZ has Proof! Bush was Hitler (and Muslims were his Jews)

The American novelist and essayist Louis Begley was in Frankfurt’s Old Opera House earlier this month to promote the German edition of his new book Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters. The English edition is first scheduled for release in late August. Oddly enough, however, a German translation has already been published. The German edition bears a different title: "The Dreyfus Affair: Devil’s Island, Guantánamo, a Historical Nightmare".

The German title is not only grammatically puzzling. Why the emphasis on Dreyfus’s place of imprisonment — which was an incidental feature of the Dreyfus Affair, after all? And what is the “historical nightmare”? And what does Guantánamo have to do with it? An article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) makes somewhat clearer the significance of these associations...

See my discussion on Pajamas Media here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gitmo Detainees: The Obama Admin's Troubling Amnesia about Germany

The Obama Administration wants to send Gitmo detainees to Germany and the German Interior Ministry has indicated that it is prepared to accept detainees on the condition that they have some "connection" to Germany. But a list of some other persons who have or have had a connection to Germany -- persons like Mohammed Atta, Mamoun Darkazanli, and Reda Seyam -- makes clear why this is a bad idea.

See my new article on Pajamas Media here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wannabe Martyrs? Zacarias Moussaoui and the Gitmo Five

The Obama Administration is reported to be “gravely concerned” that by permitting Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four accused 9/11 co-conspirators to plead guilty it could be fulfilling their “desire” for martyrdom. But is it in fact the aim of KSM and his co-conspirators to incur the death penalty and thus achieve “martyrdom”? Well, it should be recalled that the virtual entirety of the American media said the same thing about Zacarias Moussaoui. A closer look at the transcripts of the Moussaoui trial reveals, however, that the leitmotif of virtually all Moussaoui’s motions and statements before the court was precisely, as he put it, “the defense of the life that Allah, the most masterful, has granted to me.”

See my new article on here.

And as an extra NewMajority is also publishing for the first time the complete transcripts of Moussaoui's testimony at his 2006 trial. See "The Moussaoui Transcripts" here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

No Wine with Your Lamb, Mr. President?

This is how the Associated Press describes the Presidential family’s night out in Paris on Saturday:
When dining out Saturday night at a no-star bistro, La Fontaine de Mars, the presidential party was served water, Coke and table wine to accompany foie gras, lamb and steak with shallots, and paid for meals “like any client,” said owner Jacques Boudon. “It's just what they wanted.”
Table wine? This is not what a waiter from the restaurant said on French television. What he said was “pas de vin”: no wine. The waiter Gabriel de Carvalho is quoted in this French-language AFP report saying the same thing:
They were very happy. They said that they had had a “wonderful meal.” The President was extremely nice with the staff. He had the leg of lamb and an île flottante [for dessert]. No wine, just water.
Jacques Boudon, the owner of La Fontaine de Mars, is cited in the French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche on the same subject. The relevant passage bears close comparison with the AP report, which also cites Boudon as source. It reads as follows:
Foie gras, steak, lamb, strawberries and coca-cola… If the Obamas decided to sample French cuisine last night, they skipped the wines. “Barack Obama does not drink wine,” Jacques Boudon whispers…
Oddly enough, in a recent interview with the French cable news channel iTélé, Obama mentioned “the wine” as one of the things he “loves about France.” (On the iTélé interview, see my article here.)

It could be, of course, that this episode means nothing at all and that Boudon’s conclusion that “Barack Obama does not drink wine” is an overstatement. Perhaps the President simply did not want wine on that particular evening. But if the AP was going to go the trouble of reporting on the President’s dinner menu, why does it not report what Boudon and Carvalho in fact said on the matter? Why does it report precisely the contrary of what they said?

Monday, June 08, 2009

In Dresden, Obama Does Not Disappoint...Germans

President Obama did not say much about the significance of his stop in Dresden. But he did not have to say anything. The heavily loaded symbolism of his visit to Dresden's Frauenkirche did the talking for him.

See my new article on Pajamas Media here.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Buchenwald: Obama Flunks History...Again

During last year's election campaign, Obama famously confused Auschwitz and Buchenwald. To judge by his decision to commemorate the Holocaust at the latter, he appears still to be confused...

See my new article on here.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sobbing French Bush-Hater Lands Exclusive Obama Interview

How did the small French cable news channel iTELE land an exclusive interview with President Obama? Well, perhaps it has something to do with the interviewer, Laurence Haïm. Before landing her Obama interview, Ms. Haïm's greatest claim to fame was to have burst into tears when announcing the re-election of Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, in 2004.

See my new article on Pajamas Media here.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Not an Anti-Semitic Crime? Inside the Trial of Youssouf Fofana

The trial of Youssouf Fofana and his “Gang of Barbarians” has been closed to the press and public. One French journalist, however, has found a “work-around” in order to be able to report on the trial. Numerous details from her reports suggest that anti-Semitism played a more fundamental role in the kidnapping and murder of Ilan Halimi than has hitherto been acknowledged by French authorities. After all, if Fofana’s motives were strictly economic, why should he say that he is “proud” of having killed Halimi?

See my new article on here.