Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Needing Ania: An Old Polish Woman, a Rabbi, and Bieganski

Photo of an old Hucul woman, found online 
Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype treats stereotypes of Poles and other Eastern Europeans as brutes and violent anti-Semites," "worse than the Nazis." The book invites readers to reconsider this stereotype.

Excerpt, below, from Righteous Gentiles in the Hebrew Bible: Ancient Role Models for Sacred Relationships by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin. This excerpt contains a bit of the stereotype, and an encounter with an old Polish woman who helped author Rabbi Salkin overcome the stereotype.

I grew up in a middle class community … in Long Island. The working class Polish, Italian and Irish families lived on one side of the Long Island railroad tracks; we lived on the other side … Catholic-school-influenced bullies would wander far and wide and they found me – a tall, lanky kid with a newspaper route. Their custom was to accost me as I delivered my newspapers, throw my bicycle into the woods and my newspapers down the sewer. These acts all accompanied by taunts of "Christ killer!"

At this point, author Rabbi Salkin loses me as a reader.

Rabbi Salkin acknowledges that he grew up in a different socioeconomic class, in a different neighborhood, and following a different religion than the boys he identifies as his tormentors.

How, then, does Rabbi Salkin know that it was "Catholic school" that caused these boys to torment him?

Rabbi Salkin was born in 1954. He is a baby boomer like myself. He grew up in NY; I grew up in NJ. I went to Catholic School. I am Polish.

Number of times I beat up a Jewish kid: Zero.

Number of times nuns urged me to beat up a Jewish kid: Zero.

Number of times nuns taught me that Jews killed Jesus: Zero.

Number of times that *anyone* in my childhood taught me that Jews killed Jesus: Zero.

How I had to respond when I first heard about deicide: I had to research it and learn about it from books.

Further, I knew Jews. They lived on my block. They visited my home. I liked them. They appeared to like me. No fisticuffs.

After I grew up and left home and went to grad school, there were hostile encounters between Jews and myself.

Number of times Jews cornered me at parties and pelted me with offensive Polish jokes: several.

Number of times Jews told me I can't really be Polish because I think and read: several.

Number of times I read books or articles by Jewish authors that misrepresented my ethnicity in a way to arouse contempt: several.

What if I wrote a book and said that the Talmud, or rabbis, or Jewish religious instruction, created a "custom" of Jews insulting non-Jews in an arrogant and prejudiced manner? I'd never find a decent publisher. I wouldn't deserve a decent publisher. And yet a book that casually, and without any support, alleges that Catholic school mandates a "custom" of Polish boys beating up on Jewish boys finds publication and positive reviews.

This is further evidence of how unquestioned the Bieganski stereotype is.

Also, I am dubious. It was a "custom" to assault this child, and steal his bicycle and newspapers? On Long Island? In the 1950s / 60s?


Meaning it happened regularly?

Was this the Wild West?

No parents? No police?

Just asking.

I'm sure it happened at least once. Maybe even twice. But after that, wouldn't he at least have altered his route?

Me? I did beat up kids, and I got beat up, too. I used ethnic slurs, and ethnic slurs were used on me -- often by my best friends. Because kids do bad things.

But Rabbi Salkin goes on. Ania, an old Polish woman, lived with one of his Jewish friends, Ira Handleman.

Ania didn't speak a word of English, and I assumed that she was my friend's grandmother. "No," he corrected me, "she's the lady who hid my mother in a closet during the war. My mother was so grateful to her that she brought her to the United States with her."

Right after Ira became bar mitzvah, the Handleman family made aliyah (move to Israel), and we lost touch. Ten years later, I went to Israel for the first time. Within days of my arrival, I called my old friend's family and we became reacquainted. Within the first few minutes of our conversation, I jumped to the topic that had been on my mind for years. "And the old Polish woman? Whatever became of her?" I asked.

"When we decided to make aliyah," Mrs. Handleman told me, "we offered to buy Ania a house in New York and to support her for the rest of her life." But she said to us, 'Where else could I live? Who else could I live with? You're my family.' And so we brought her with us to Tel Aviv."

Somehow, I knew the answer to the next question even before I asked it.

"Is she still alive? She was already so old … "

"No, she died just a few years ago."

Where did you bury her?" I asked.

"Here in Israel. Where else?" I could hear her weeping through the phone.

I realized at that moment that I had needed Ania all along. I had needed her because her life was a one-woman refutation of the myth that all Jewish history was unrelenting darkness, a dark pageant of those who sought to kill us and often succeeded. She was a one-woman response to the version of Eastern European Jewish history with which I grew up – the one that suggested that all Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians gleefully danced around the mass graves of Jewish victims.

Ania was the first, and only righteous gentile that I had ever met. Years later, I would realize that her words to the Handlemans were an almost verbatim repetition of what the biblical Ruth said to Naomi" Wherever you go I will go." Ania, and so many like her, was a spark in the darkness. There were not as many of them as we needed, but there were more of them than we had known.

By the way, Rabbi Salkin refers to Pani Ania as "Anya." I think the proper Polish spelling is "Ania" so I have corrected it in this post.

I like and recommend the rest of Rabbi Salkin's book, linked above.

Rabbi Salkin read the above blog post and wrote back. He kindly granted me permission to share his response here.

Many thanks…..and thanks for the shoutout, even if you didn’t like that part.

Yes, it was my experience. Yes, I experienced first hand anti-semitism from ethnic Catholics – of all sorts. Yes, this was only a few years after Vatican II.

Did the nuns and priests encourage this kind of behavior? I would probably agree with you that they didn’t.

Did the un-redeemed teachings of the church about the Jewish role in the Crucifixion have any influence on the bullies who accosted me?

You tell me. They taunted me with: You killed our God.

Are you saying that there is no Polish historical experience with anti-Semitism?

I went to Poland last summer, and it gave me a new sense of the many subtleties in this shared history. And as we can both testify to, the anti-Semitism of the past, in Polish life, seems to be disappearing. Though when I worked with ADL in New Jersey, I experienced it anew and afresh – but this time, it was opposed by other Polish-Americans who were ready to fight that painful history.

And yes – I grew up hearing Polish jokes. I despise them. When I hear them, I remind the teller about Copernicus.

So, yes – it is complicated. Thanks

Friday, August 19, 2016

Poland, the Holocaust, the Brute Polak Image, Jailers, and Storytellers

Otto, author of the blog post "Ripples of Sin," about being the son of a Nazi soldier, keeps sending me images from old issues of LIFE magazine.

I keep telling him that rather than sending me images and his thoughts about them, he should type them up for a blog entry.

He tells me he has no time.

So, I, the woman, must be the man's amanuensis.

Some of the pictures are below.

You get the idea. In the 1940s, while the war was going on, LIFE magazine and other American media acknowledged that Poland was being horribly victimized by the Nazis.

In more recent days, Poles and Poland are Bieganski, the Brute Polak, the dirty, primitive Catholic peasant, more responsible for the Holocaust than Hitler himself.

What's the solution?

The solution is easy. Poles and Polonians need to unite and support their scholars and storytellers. Buy and use Bieganski. Support other truth tellers like John Guzlowski.

Alas, Poles and Polonia don't do that. What are Poles and Polonia doing now? Passing laws to send anyone who uses the words "Polish concentration camp" to prison for three years.

Sad. Self-defeating. Self-parodying, even. This law will only increase the Bieganski image's power. This law positions Poland in the fascist camp, against free speech, fearful of the free flow of information, against the pillars of Western civilization.

This law announces, "We Poles are so afraid of our own inability to tell our own story that we must act like thugs to others who have better storytelling power than we believe ourselves to have."

Poles, when you shoot yourselves in the foot like this, you make people who love you weep.

Otto wrote:

"The caption of this photo reads 'Jews In Warsaw Must Wear Yellow Stars.'  

Now I can disseminate this and give people the impression, through nothing more than a factual quote, that Polish Jews were forced to wear Juden stars and people will think 'Ah hah, see I told you! Poles created the Holocaust!'

In reality that not all there was. It does say that but the real story is that this occurred in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Poles get tagged for abuse is because there is no consequence. Academic trolls get away with half-assed research. Regular people with an agenda gets a free ride to pull history, 'facts' and the stories they want to hear any which way. Morons who need to step on someone to feel taller get to make themselves feel good. It's all good because they feel safe to do so.

I remember when blacks had to ride in the back of the bus. Then push back. So I think, effective or not, the smartest thing Poland can do is to show teeth."

In a contest of storytelling, the "teeth" Poland, Poles, and Polonians need to show is support, not for their jailers, but for their storytellers.

Buy and use Bieganski, Echoes of Tattered Tongues, and other books by and about Poles.



John Guzlowski, a Polish American storyteller, just sent this in:

"Yes, you're right. I was at a Holocaust FB page yesterday, and all the talk was about how this new law is an attempt by Poles to cover up their complicity in the Nazi death camps. No arguing could dissuade the people saying this. Not mentioning the 5 million Polish Catholic civilians who died in the war, not mentioning the tens of thousands of Poles who were killed for helping Jews."

"Is the New Polish Law an Attempt to Whitewash Its Citizens' Role in the Holocaust?" Link here

Source of the photos is LIFE magazine here.

And TIME-LIFE here

This photo is from Smithsonian. The rest are from TIME - LIFE

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Polish Jail Terms for Nazi Camp Slurs

Suggesting that Poland bears responsibility for the Holocaust is now a punishable crime in Poland. 

Big mistake. Freedom of speech is the truth-tellers best friend. The answer to unattractive speech is not less speech, but more speech. Rather than jailing those who say what we don't want to hear, Poland, Poles, and Polonians should support Bieganski and the products of other truth-tellers. 

BBC article here.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Anthropoid 2016 Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan

My mother was born in Slovakia and I grew up on stories. How beautiful her village was, of course. But stories of overwhelming ugliness, too. Munich, like Yalta, was an obscene word in our household. In 1938, long after Hitler had revealed that he was a rabid dog needing to be put down, the West surrendered Czechoslovakia to Hitler without firing one bullet. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, the man with an umbrella, called the Munich agreement "peace for our time." One of the many reasons so few Eastern Europeans are Anglophiles.

My mother taught me about Lidice, a Czech village that, with its inhabitants, had been wiped off the face of the earth by the Nazis. The men shot, the women and children murdered more slowly, the houses razed to the ground. In fact the Nazis wiped out hundreds of villages in Poland and Czechoslovakia.

"Anthropoid" is a Hollywood movie that, at long last, tells some of the war from the point of view of desperate Czechs and Slovaks fighting the Nazis. Fanboys gripe, "How many World War II movies can you make?" One answer: chronicling of World War II will not be complete as long as major stories like Operation Anthropoid remain untold. Reinhard Heydrich was one of the worst human beings who ever lived. He chaired the Wannsee Conference that formalized the Final Solution, the Nazi plan to murder all Jews. He was also in charge of the Czech Republic. He brutalized the population and wiped out the resistance in short order.

Heydrich was the only top Nazi to be assassinated, although there were assassination plots against others, significantly Hitler himself. People need to know that non-Jews, as well as Jews, suffered under the Nazis. People need to know of the incredible courage and heroism of forgotten heroes who fought the Nazis. The questions of an operation like Anthropoid remain open. Is it ethical, and is it militarily strategic, to assassinate one of history's worst humans if you know that thousands of innocent people will be murdered in retaliation?

"Anthropoid" opens with two resistance fighers, Jan Kubis a Czech (Jamie Dornan) and Jozef Gabcik, a Slovak (Cillian Murphy), being parachuted into Czechoslovakia after their training in England. They must find the tiny remnants of the surviving underground and announce their assassination plan. Resistance members Ladislav Vanek (Marcin Dorocinski) and Uncle Hajsky (Toby Jones) are not immediately enthusiastic. They recognize the risks of retaliatory mass killings. They understand that this assassination may be more of a means of bringing respect to the Czechoslovak government in exile in London under Edvard Benes.

"Anthropoid" is a tense, gripping, film noir-ish film. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and I cried at the end. For hours afterward I was haunted by the film.

It's not for nothing that Steven Spielberg chose to make a glamorous, powerful, heroic, high-living member of the Nazi party the subject of his "Schindler's List." It's hard for a storyteller to tell the audience a story that has no triumphant moments, lots of death, and an ending that most filmgoers will already know.

"Anthropoid" consists largely of very tight shots on the faces of its two assassins as they live in Nazi-occupied Prague, trying to figure out a way to fulfill their mission. Scenes are dimly lit. Everyone is tense. There is little laughter or smiling. There is zero swaggering. There is a very brief moment toward the end that offers a hint of redemption. If you see the film, you will know what I'm talking about. The scene involves water, light, and a beautiful woman reaching out her hand.

The film does not take in the grand sweep of history. There are no shots of London headquarters, no fetishizing of squeaky Nazi boots or Hugo Boss uniforms. Lidice is mentioned in such an understated manner that filmgoers unfamiliar with it won't know what has been said.

"Anthropoid" offers an almost documentary look at what it is to be an assassin in a totalitarian regime. It's not fun. I was at first dubious when I heard that Cillian Murphy would be playing Jozef Gabcik. I wished for a Slovak actor. Murphy's performance is the emotional and aesthetic heart of the film. Murphy rarely allows any emotion to register on his face. He has turned himself into a killing machine. When, at a certain moment, a tear falls from his eye, that tear carries great weight. The audience knows what a courageous professional this man is.

My mother told me about Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik. When I have gone through tough times in my own life, I have used men like them to inspire me. How can I complain, when they went through so much worse? How can I give up, when they never did, through a six-hour shootout with Nazis who massively outgunned and outmanned them? How can I fail to take risks to fight evil, when a Slovak just like me managed to send to hell a man who seems to have emerged from its most fetid depths? "Anthropoid" is not a fun movie, but I'm glad I saw it. It brings me closer to the heroes it honors.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pope Francis in Poland in the Wake of the Murder of Father Jacques Hamel

This article appears at Front Page magazine here

Speaking Truth to the Pope; Speaking Truth to Muslims

A Polish Catholic Wrestles with Her Pontiff

On Wednesday, July 27, Pope Francis arrived in Krakow, Poland, in order to celebrate World Youth Day. As part of this trip, the pope commented on controversy surrounding Muslim migration to Europe. Many of these comments reveal an apparent ignorance of Polish history and current reality, a privileging of Marxist and culturally relativist worldviews that distort reality, and an abandonment of true Christian ideals. I write as a devout Catholic. I wish my pope would read what I write here.

Western Europe, typified by Angela Merkel's Germany, has encouraged mass, unvetted, Muslim migration. Germany has openly acknowledged that it is doing this to fill labor gaps created by its low birth rate. Too, Angela Merkel's "compassion" is meant to wash away stereotypes nailing Germans to the nation's Nazi past.

England, France, and other Western European nations also want to refurbish their brands. They want to escape the image of themselves as arrogant colonizers of Muslim nations, and be christened as certified tolerant multiculturalists. They want to escape the image of themselves as Crusaders.

Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary have all expressed overt resistance to mass Muslim immigration. Their resistance is expressed in unambiguous terms that would render the speaker radioactive in Western Europe.

Western Europeans, including, sadly, the pope, have addressed Eastern Europeans in insulting and patronizing ways. They have completely ignored the history and current conditions that affect Eastern Europeans' approach. Worst of all, they have not said what needs to be said to Muslim migrants. Western European arrogant posturing is making the migration crisis worse.

Eastern Europe, long the poorer half of Europe, sees mass, unvetted Muslim migration completely differently than Western Europe does. Concrete historical and contemporary differences with Western Europe condition Eastern European perspectives and offer a sobering corrective to Western errors.

Germany has a labor gap it must fill. Poland has a high unemployment rate. Poland, unlike Germany, was on the right side in World War II, so it does not face the same need that Germany does to tinker with its image. Unlike England and France, Poland never colonized any Muslim nation. Poland does not need to prove it has overcome its colonial past vis-à-vis Muslims.

Poland, aware of its own history, feels no need to certify itself as a tolerant, multicultural nation. The Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth was, as Eva Hoffman wrote in her book Shtetl, "a long experiment in multiculturalism avant la lettre." That is, Poland was multicultural before the term "multicultural" was invented.

During the Wars of the Reformation, Poland was a "state without stakes." For centuries its population included Lithuanians, one of the last holdouts of authentic Paganism in Europe, Arians, atheists, Jews, and others. Poland's current religious and ethnic homogeneity is the result not primarily of Polish choices, but of German genocide, Churchill and Roosevelt colluding with Stalin to rejigger borders, and the 1968 Communist scapegoating of Jews. This is why Poles become uncomfortable when Westerners, including the Pope, lecture them about their need to be multicultural.

Further, Poles did not significantly participate in the Crusades. In fact, Polish Muslims fought side-by-side with Polish Catholics and Lithuanian Pagans against Crusader knights, the Teutonic knights, at the Battle of Grunwald, one of the largest battles of medieval Europe and perhaps the largest battle to involve knights.

Eastern Europe is the poorer half of Europe for a variety of reasons. One is that Eastern Europe abuts the landmass of Asia and the Ottoman Empire. For centuries, Poland has had to fight invaders for its very survival. Often those invaders were Muslims. The Crimean Khanate and Al-Andalus made use of millions of Polish and other Slavic slaves. Poles, under Jan Sobieski, famously played a significant role in the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at Vienna on September 11-12, 1683. Bernard Lewis cites this battle as the end of jihad's expansion, and the beginning of Muslim self-doubt, a self-doubt it attempts to correct with its current jihad. As Lewis wrote, "This defeat, suffered by what was then the major military power of the Muslim world, gave rise to a new debate, which in a sense has been going on ever since. The argument began among the Ottoman military and political élite as a discussion of two questions: Why had the once victorious Ottoman armies been vanquished by the despised Christian enemy? And how could they restore the previous situation?"

All nations have their favorite targets for ethnic slurs. When Poles indulge in ethnic slurs, their targets have most often been Jews, Germans, Russians, and Ukrainians – that is, their most significant immediate neighbors. Hatred and stereotyping of Muslims has not traditionally been a big part of Polish cultural baggage. In fact, Poles proudly mention that Muslims have lived and practiced their faith in Poland since the 14th century. The Lipka Tatars were invited into Poland and given the status of nobility. They served in the military. Polish Muslims were granted autonomy, had the right to practice their religion and to intermarry with Polish Catholics. They had representation in the Polish Sejm, or parliament. These Muslims largely Polonized, adopting Polish language and culture. Except in the 17th century, during the Ottoman Empire's attacks, there were few reports of conflict between these Muslims and Polish Catholics. Rather, Polish Catholics tended to speak of these Muslims as an interesting part of the country's history and evidence of the country's multiculturalism and tolerance.

Too, during WW II and Stalinist population transfers, many Poles found themselves in Muslim Central Asia. Typical Polish refugee survivor stories do not include anti-Muslim stereotyping. One such Polish memoirist, Edward Herzbaum, wrote a picturesque account of his time spent in Muslim Central Asia:

"There is a bright moon and some wind. As we stop for a few moments, the exotic landscape is striking, like an intoxicating scent. The tall poplars wave and rustle; the clay walls of the hovels are lit up brilliantly by the moon and the small windows look completely black. Under some trees somebody is laughing or talking in a gentle voice and then there is silence again, but it is full of life. Everything which is dead in the heat of the day is now awake, a life so lush and vibrant that it is difficult to describe. There is also the wind, hungry and restless like a young animal, coming down from the mountains and blowing above the fertile, fragrant valley. It runs amok and then it's silent again."

It is true that anti-Muslim sentiment is strong and often expressed in Poland today. Current anti-Muslim feeling in Poland is a new development. Younger Poles are most likely to resist Muslim migration, according to the Christian Science Monitor.  This new hostility to Muslims and Islam references current jihad actions and Western Europe's apparent inability to address them. In spite of their history of being the targets of Crusader knights' aggression, Poles have sometimes chosen the image of the Crusader knight to express their current disagreement with Western Europe's migration policies, as did soccer fans in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2015, when they displayed a huge banner depicting Poland as a knight defending Christendom from invading Muslims.

In short, Eastern Europe is very different from Western Europe when it comes to historical interactions with Muslims, and when it comes to the contemporary economic and cultural forces affecting decisions about Muslim immigration.

If only Pope Francis showed awareness of these realities. Instead Pope Francis ignored both Polish reality and Catholic truth in his public statements. He told Poles that they must "overcome fear and to achieve the greater good." "Needed," the pope said, "is a spirit of readiness to welcome those fleeing from wars and hunger, and solidarity with those deprived of their fundamental rights, including the right to profess one's faith in freedom and safety."

The day before the pope traveled to Poland, Father Jacques Hamel, a French priest in his eighties, was saying mass in his church in the French town of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, France. Jihadis invaded his church, forced the priest to his knees, and cut his throat, in accord with Koranic teachings (Koran 47:4, 8:12, 9:5). The jihadis then used nuns as human shields in their escape attempt. The martyrdom of Father Jacques was, of course, merely the most recent in a series of deadly jihad attacks in Western European nations eagerly inviting Muslim migrants, attacks that are steadily eating away at what one had thought of as normal life in Western Civilization.

Under such conditions, there is much that Catholics and others yearn to hear from a leader of the stature of the pope. While traveling to Poland, the pope acknowledged to journalists that a war is being waged.

"But it's a real war, not a religious war. It's a war of interests, a war for money. A war for natural resources and for the dominion of the peoples. Some might say it's a religious war. Every religion wants peace. The war is wanted by the others. Understood?"

This Catholic shudders.

The pope's statement that the current jihad is "a war for money" is a Marxist analysis. The idea that wars are fought over markets and resources is entirely Marxist.

The pope said "Every religion wants peace." This is a statement of cultural relativism. In fact, religions are significantly different, and not all religions do have the same approach to peace. In Islam, peace comes after submission to Allah, a submission that is achieved through violence. Violence to spread Islam is the highest good. Paradise lies under the shade of swords, says one hadith; another locates paradise in the space between an archer's targets. To learn to shoot and to abandon shooting is a sin. Compare this hadith to Isaiah's call for a day when we beat swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks. Koran 3:157 guarantees paradise for jihadis. There are no parallels to any of these verses in Christianity.

The pope also said, " The war is wanted by the others. Understood?" This cryptic statement will be jumped upon by conspiracy theorists, all too many of whom live in the Muslim world and use conspiracy theories to avoid confrontation with Islam's failures. The "others", the "unseen hands" who "want war" have all too often been identified by conspiracy theorists as Jews. No, I am not saying that Pope Francis is implicating Jews here. He is not. I am saying that conspiracy theorists eat statements like this up.

One must ask, though, who are "the others" the pope is claiming are behind jihad terror? I don't know. I do know that such escape routes to honest thought do nothing to help Muslims confront what they must confront.

Austen Ivereigh, a biographer of Pope Francis, writing in Politico, indicts Poland. Poles are "disrespectful" of Pope Francis. Poles had built "walls" that they wanted to see maintained. Poles inexplicably see Christendom as "beleaguered." This is a mere hangover from the Communist Era. Poles are "nervous of contamination." There is a "darker side" to Poles' worldview. "Polish Catholics suffer from a superiority complex." But Ivereigh attempts to sound tolerant. "Polish Catholics can be forgiven for thinking that their church has done something right." But this attitude is "dangerous." Poland is "unsparingly anti-immigrant." For some reason, Poles "harbor strong anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment and see a link between immigration and terrorism." "Pope Francis, on the other hand, has called Europe’s willingness to take refugees a test of its principles. God’s mercy – the theme of this week’s World Youth Day in Poland, and the cornerstone of Francis’s teaching – is most evident, he believes, in our willingness to embrace strangers."

Ivereigh's themes of paranoid Poles still reeling from Communism who must be condescended to by superior Westerners is all too typical of journalistic coverage of the pope's visit to Krakow.

Most grievously, the pope's and the journalists' Marxist and cultural relativist approaches abandon the truths of the Bible. It doesn't take a theologian to point out that the Muslim world is in deep trouble. Muslim nations dominate lists of the worst nations on earth to be a woman, or a political prisoner, or a Christian, or a homosexual. The UN Arab Human Development Report is an index of the failure of the larger Muslim world. Numbers on literacy, health care, research and innovation are all the opposite of what anyone wants to see. Just one statistic: "in the 1,000 years since the reign of the Caliph Mamoun, the Arabs have translated as many books as Spain translates in one year." As Samuel P. Huntington wrote, "Islam has bloody borders." Jihad-inspired armed conflict occurs throughout the Muslim world, from Africa to East Asia.

The pope, and journalists like Austen Ivereigh, prescribe Marxist analysis and cultural relativism as the answer to these Islam-induced, or certainly at least Islam-associated agonies.

Their answer can be reduced to, "If sexually assaulting, imprisoning, and honor killing women, murdering priests, suppressing freedom of speech and of conscience, and committing suicide bombings is not working for you in your own country, please bring them to ours, and we will welcome you with open arms."

They are calling this approach "compassionate" and "Christian."

It is neither.

True Christian compassion calls for truth. Old Testament Biblical prophets never spared the Israelites the harshest of truths about themselves, about their mistakes and what they needed to do to mend their ways.

Jesus, too, was not one to mince words. He told miscreants to their face, without offering any verbal hiding places, what they were doing wrong and what they needed to do to get things right. "Go and sell all your possessions and give your money to the poor," he said to a rich man. "You have had five husbands, and the man you are living with now is not your husband," Jesus said to the Samaritan woman. Jesus fearlessly said to Pontius Pilate, the man about to sentence him to a torturous death, "The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to truth."

It's time for the pope and Catholic journalists and others to speak to Muslims – not to Polish Catholics, an easy target but to Muslims – the way that Isaiah and Jeremiah spoke to Israel, the way that Jesus spoke to everyone from a woman at a well to Pontius Pilate himself.

Counter-jihad is about truth, not hate. We Catholics mourn the martyrdom of Father Jacques, but we know he is in Heaven now. We have reason to assume that his murderers are in Hell. We Catholics have a responsibility to speak the truths that will help our Muslim brothers and sisters escape not just the earthly hells their beliefs and customs have created, but also eternal damnation. It is time for the pope to stop falling back on Marxist and culturally relativist interpretations. It is time for him to stop patronizing devout Polish Catholics. It is time for him to join the counter-jihad, and to speak the truth to Muslims out of love.

Danusha Goska is the author of Save Send Delete

New Jersey Artist Gary Wynans, aka Mr. abILLity, Insults Polish Katyn Massacre Victims and Police in Public Artwork

Photo by Yogi Arora source
New Jersey "artist" Gary Wynans, aka Mr. abILLity, insulted Polish Katyn massacre victims in a recent artwork installed on a street in Jersey City, the same city where the Katyn massacre statue stands. 

Wynans also insulted police officers, depicting them as pigs. 

You can read more here and here

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Trump & NATO: Not Sexy, But You Should Be Paying Attention

Donald Trump says sensational things that stir up the press and the people: that Ted Cruz's father played a role in the assassination of JFK, that Heidi Cruz is ugly, that Megyn Kelly is menstruating, that women who have abortions should be punished. On the first night of the DNC, Trump tweeted a cryptic insinuation that Cory Booker is gay.

By getting away with saying crazy things,Trump expands his power. And he draws free publicity to his campaign.

Recently Trump said dangerous things about NATO.

NATO is not as sensational as the JFK assassination or insinuations of homosexuality.

You should pay attention to this Trumpism, anyway.

Articles below inform you:

Trump doesn't understand NATO.

Trump didn't tell the truth about NATO.

NATO is vital to America.

Undermining NATO undermines America.

Trump may have selfish, ulterior reasons for undermining NATO.

The ibtimes summed up Trump's statements

"When asked by the New York Times late Wednesday if he would come to the aid of the Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – if they were attacked by Russia, Trump said he would only do so if the countries 'have fulfilled their obligations to us,' marking a sharp turn from decades of American foreign policy that has been a cornerstone of European security …

The New York billionaire hinted while campaigning in April that if elected president he would consider withdrawing the U.S. from the alliance. 'It's possible that we're going to have to let NATO go,' he said. 'When we're paying and nobody else is really paying, a couple of other countries are but nobody else is really paying, you feel like the jerk.'

He went on to say that he would 'call up all of those countries . . . and say 'fellas you haven't paid for years, give us the money or get the hell out.' I'd say you've gotta pay us or get out. You're out, out, out . . . Maybe NATO will dissolve, and that's OK, not the worst thing in the world.'"

So, what's wrong with Trump's stance on NATO? EVERYTHING.

From NPR:

"DEREK CHOLLET: U.S. commitment to NATO and our commitments to our European partners is not an act of charity. It's not a gift that we give to our European partners. It's actually part of our security, as well, and their security is our security.

NORTHAM: Derek Chollet is a senior advisor with The German Marshall Fund and a former assistant secretary of defense. He says NATO members, friends and colleagues in Europe are deeply alarmed about Trump's comments and worry about U.S. commitments to the alliance.

CHOLLET: Trump's rhetoric is undermining America's credibility, undermining America's leadership and strength in Europe, even without him being president. The rhetoric itself is very damaging. Obviously, if you were to try to implement any of that rhetoric as president, it would be catastrophic for America's interests."

In the Washington Post, Michael McFaul explained in detail why Trump's understanding of NATO is completely flawed. McFaul is former US ambassador to Russia, special assistant to the president on the National Security Council, and Stanford University professor of political science.

McFaul points out that NATO

Is in America's strategic interest, makes the world more peaceful and more amenable to American leadership, benefits the US economically, saves American lives, prevents the rise of extremists, and has contributed directly to American defense in both the lives and treasure of our NATO allies.

His op-ed is excellent and should be read in full; no brief excerpt here can do it justice. The apt title of McFaul's piece is "NATO Is an Alliance, Not A Protection Racket." It can be read here.

The Atlantic emphasized how Trump's words caused panic among Eastern European, former Soviet-bloc nations.

"Estonia, along with its Baltic (and NATO) partners, Lithuania, and Latvia, were until the early 1990s part of the Soviet Union. Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania, were, likewise, member of the Soviet-allied Warsaw Pact, NATO's communist counterpart. When the Soviet Union collapsed, these former communist countries looked to the West for new alliances. All are EU and NATO members. Trump's remarks are causing jitters because the memory of the Soviet Union is still fresh in these states, and they are increasingly wary at Russia's muscle-flexing under President Vladimir Putin. (Trump on Putin: 'He's been complimentary of me. I think Putin and I will get along very well.')"

You can read the full Atlantic piece here.

A NATO official reminded Trump that NATO came to the defense of the US after 9/11, and soldiers from NATO countries died in US wars.

"Referring to the critical 'Article 5' of the treaty which deems an attack on one member state an attack on all, a NATO official told 'The only time Article 5 was invoked was after 9/11 in defence of the US, when NATO sent AWACS to patrol American skies and deployed a third of the troops in Afghanistan for over a decade, where over one thousand soldiers from non-US Allies and partners gave their lives.'"

You can read that full article here.

The National Review reminded its readers of what NATO is and what it has accomplished.

"For the past 70 years, U.S. presidents have recognized that defending our national interests requires using America's overwhelming economic and military power to support like-minded allies. This vision of a U.S.-led global-security order, perhaps best embodied by the NATO alliance, has not only prevented major state conflict since World War II, but has also supported a global system of trade that has led to unparalleled prosperity for all…

"Trump's comments betray his deep ignorance of Russia's aggression against the West. As retired Air Force General Philip Breedlove, former head of U.S. European Command, notes, 'Moscow is determined to reestablish what it considers its rightful sphere of influence, undermine NATO, and reclaim its great-power status.' Furthermore, he says, 'the foundation of any strategy in Europe must be the recognition that Russia poses an enduring existential threat to the United States, its allies, and the international order.'

It is even more important to note that the Baltic nations have, in fact, fulfilled their obligations to the United States. Despite their small size and limited military power, these countries were part of the U.S.-led coalitions in Afghanistan and Iraq, devoting hundreds of troops to each theater throughout the course of these missions. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania still maintain a presence in Afghanistan today, after the end of the coalition's combat mission at the end of 2014. Donald Trump should be celebrating the Baltic states' brave determination to stand with the United States — even when they were under no obligation to do so — instead of flippantly dismissing it.'"

The rest of this article is equally important. Please read it all here.

Who wins if NATO is destabilized? Inter alia, Putin's Russia.

Highly respected author Anne Applebaum lays out Trump's connections to Putin. Read her article: 'How a Trump Presidency Could Destabilize Europe.'