Truth and Compassion Go Overboard Again?

As most of you probably know by now, I am happy to be living in Australia. Although it does restrict my career opportunities, it is a great environment, and the people are very friendly and genuine for the most part. It is also the most multicultural place I’ve ever been, in as much as different races and cultures mix here very freely, and there’s lots of wonderful multicultural events. Like everywhere though, there’s still an undercurrent of racism here, and that was probably never more apparent than during the “Tampa election” of 2001. John Howard, faced with electoral annihilation in the wake of his immensely unpopular GST (goods and services tax), decided to tap into the one issue that he thought might be explosive enough to make people forget about the GST: he played the “race card”. He ordered the navy to stop a Norwegian cargo vessel carrying Afghani asylum seekers (MV Tampa) from entering Australian waters, so they couldn’t land on Australian shores and have their claims for asylum processed here. Shortly after that, September 11 happened, and the anti-Muslim sentiment precipitated the biggest turn around in the polls in Australia’s history. Just like fellow conservative George W. Bush in the US, fear of terrorism turned a deeply unpopular leader into a hero overnight.

Never mind the fact that these actions were completely illegal under international law, and showed an astonishing lack of humanity toward everyone onboard MV Tampa (including its Norwegian crew). But John Howard, being the utterly ruthless and totally immoral and unprincipled politician that he was, didn’t care about international law or compassion. He only cared about winning elections, so he milked the incident for all it was worth. He hastily cobbled together the so-called “Pacific solution” for processing asylum seekers offshore, in this case on the tiny island nation of Nauru. It turned out to be a hugely expensive farce, as almost all these asylum seekers turned out to have a legitimate claim, and many were resettled in Australia (as well as New Zealand). But that didn’t come out until well after the election, and Howard didn’t care how much money he had to spend to win either. He ran TV and radio ads and had posters and billboards with his photo, proclaiming “we decide who comes into this country and the circumstances in which they come”. And he used all other asylum seekers who tried to land here as political pawns as well. This lead to the infamous “children overboard” affair immediately before the election, when John Howard claimed that asylum seekers threw their children overboard, so he could say “these aren’t the kind of people I want entering Australia”. But not only was this claim totally untrue, an Australian Senate Select Committee found that he knew it was false before the election. He clearly just wanted to demonise asylum seekers so he could win the election.

Now, with Howard’s reign firmly over, I would have hoped we’d never see a return to those dark days of Australian politics ever again. Yet with the conservatives trailing massively in the polls, it seems they’re willing to try anything again, and sadly, with the recent explosion of a boat carrying asylum seekers in Australian waters, they are returning to this tried and true vote winner. It started with our only conservative Premier, Colin Barnett, claiming they brought about the explosion themselves by dousing their boat with fuel. So as to avoid another children overboard affair, the federal government responded by saying that they would not make any comment on the cause of the incident until a full police investigation had taken place. The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, who is in charge of the police investigation of the incident, has told politicians not to interfere with police by commenting on it as well. Yet that hasn’t stopped the conservatives from trying to make as much political capital as they can out of it, by claiming there’s a police and government cover-up of the incident. They’ve said the government should reintroduce John Howard’s “temporary protection” visas, which did nothing except take away the legal rights of asylum seekers arriving here by boat. At the same time, they are outrageously trying to claim the moral high ground by saying this is to deter people smugglers, when all they are really doing is (once again) demonising asylum seekers. The only reason asylum seekers would burn their own boat is to stop it from being towed out of Australian waters, a practice which started with the Howard government! So it is in fact their policies which led to this tragedy.

It saddens me and sickens me that the conservative side of Australian politics is once again using destructive wedge politics in a cynical attempt to try and grab votes. I can only hope the electorate is enlightened enough to not be fooled by this en masse again. If they are, it will mean John Howard has left a permanent scar on Australian politics—and by extension, Australian society as a whole.

In other news, I am very disappointed that Australia is boycotting the anti-racism conference in Geneva this week. How on earth does this help anything? If they’re concerned Arab nations will use it as an opportunity to say Zionism is a form of racism, shouldn’t they (and the other countries that have boycotted it on these grounds) be there to stand against it? Perhaps they are concerned they won’t be able to make a convincing case that Zionism isn’t racism? This once again demonstrates the remarkable amount of political influence Jews have in the west, and how their actions undermine their own cause—it seems you can’t even talk about Zionism without being branded an anti-Semite.

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Conservatives in Canada, who have not been allowed to form a majority government, have been much more careful. Still, you can see evidence of their attitude in the quiet creation of a German-style “guest-worker” category instead of making it easier to allow hard-working labourers to apply for citizenship; in its failure to do anything to help Canadians on death row in the U.S. or in Guantanamo Bay; and in its ridiculous refusal to let British MP George Galloway into Canada, just because he provided humanitarian support to the elected government of Gaza and criticised the Israeli occupation of Palestine. (Even the U.S. let Galloway in for his recent speaking tour.)

  
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Zionism is not racism.
No more than “Manifest Destiny”, The Crusades, Stalin’s Purge, Otto Von Bismark’s Retirement Reforms, Lebensraum (living space), East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, “Cultural Revolution”, “Great Leap Forward” were conceptually racist.
However, these and many others have been grasped onto by people looking to benefit from racism, fascism, agism, sexism, authoritarianism etc, because the basic principals are expansion of current boundaries by the group seeking their homeland.
It is hard to have a “race” if female married into the religion can create offspring that become some part of the group. People claiming to be Jewish are essentially claiming a heritage that can either be categorized as an ethnicity or a tribe (one of twelve) in fact.

Palestinians are also not a race. They again are an ethnicity, or a tribe.
Both are seeking a claim of land, from which their tribes once had sole dominion over several thousand years ago.

Language that disguises racism, and tying it to expansionist policies makes it harder to identify and excoriate true racism and all of the hate that is generated by it.

Unfortunately you have to equate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict exactly the same way you would when the Hutus and Tutsis decided genocidal destruction of one another was the best course of action. Two tribes warring for control of a contested area.

Racism is something much deeper, darker and nastier than that. Racism is potentially so consuming that anyone who even looks like the “offensive” race is automatically disqualified as a human being by the racist viewer, regardless of tribal identity. That is the extreme case, of course, but racists only deal with extremes as their major discourse because if they didn’t it is most likely that they wouldn’t be able to maintain their cognitive dissonance on the issue.

Racism, seemingly is always bad, but in its purist form is simply a propaganda tool. Interestingly, racist ideology and propaganda was used in WWII extensively for negative results prior to and during the war, but after the war with a different set of culturally focussed racist propaganda the use of these images actually had the effect of ameliorating differences between Americans and Japanese, allowing them to work in a nation building process that had Japan up and running again only 10 years after being completely reduced to rubble and the Japanese Diet basically rubber stamping an American made Constitution with all of the democratic and rights bearing articles that are present today in Japan.

It is inherently difficult to negotiate all of these issues without talking about them in a deliberate manner, but as far as I can see, the reason for the boycott by the U.S. and Australia, and several other western countries, is that without a proper working definition of Racism, vs. Tribalism, vs. Ethnicitism, the whole exercise of untangling these long standing issues (thousands of years in many cases) can never be approached in a way of understanding why these disputes still exist, and what modern ideologies are currently working to fuel these ancient hatreds.

In a medical setting, if you misdiagnose the ailment, the cure for that misdiagnosed ailment, may actually empower the ailment to strengthen and further weaken/harm the patient. Also if the misdiagnosis is then propagated by medical journal and put into canon as the one true way to treat this malady, then thousands and millions of people will be subjected to this harmful process.

Leaving that example, and back to the main point, which is that the proper identification of racism is very important, and needs to be very specific in order to target this societal cancer that has, is, and unfortunately will continue to affect the lives of billions of people on the planet, even though their only “crime” is being born X-race.

The hope by this boycott is that this flawed diagnostic tool will be discarded, but it is apparent that the main designers of this document want to engage in conspiracy against the tribe of Israel, and care little for the actual value of their actions other than to condemn the tribal wants of 1 side of the conflict as a much more sinister social malady. In essence their prescription has has a much more damaging effect on the whole of the future human world than what the continued conflict between Israel and Palestine has in its 5000 year old history.

The Obama administration did try to get the focus of the document back on track, and reversed the Bush Administrations ignorance of the issue altogether.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aA8OrcAcDZ3c&refer=us

However the conference leaders refused to remove the clauses that cause the inaccuracy of their definition, and so it has lead to the current situation:

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/264934,more-un-racism-conference-boycotts-loom-over-ahmadinejad–update.html

Currently the boycott of “Durban II” is being observed by the US, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and being contemplated by most of the European Union nations at this time.

  
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I agree that Zionism is technically not racism, but I can also understand the point of view of people who see it that way – after all, it is effectively saying that only one particular race is entitled to the land we now call Israel, and that other races should be excluded from it. I also remain of the opinion that boycotting the conference is highly counterproductive, regardless of your position on Zionism.

  
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Sachiko,

Thanks for this post. I read a lot of your posts and value your opinion, I like some of your non-mainstream views on things.

If possible, could you comment on the topic of disproportionate violent crimes amongst very specific racial subsets of communities? I realize as a “visible minority” you are naturally sensitive to these issues, but I hope you could address them in a honest manner.

I am writing from Canada, and in my opinion, we have some serious crime issues that I think can be directly attributed to immigration. For example, violent crime has skyrocketed in 3 cities I pay attention to (and likely many others): Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver

I hope you can avoid playing the race card when I ask this question….but when 5% – 10% of the population is statistically involved in 50% (or much more) of the violent crime, at what point can people start to say wait a minute, somethings not working here? And I am not pointing at one specific race….in Toronto, it is the Jamaicans, in Calgary it is the Chinese and Vietnamese, in Vancouver it is the Chinese (although there, they do make up a large percentage of the population).

I fully realize that most of the problems are related to drugs. I also fully realize that the vast majority of immigrants are perfectly fine citizens. But, it is a mathematical fact that the vast majority of violent crimes are committed by a specific subset of immigrants. I like to think I am an open minded person, and I try to be welcoming of all people, but in the spirit of tolerance, am I expected to ignore reality, common sense, and mathematics?

I’d really like to hear what you think about this….

  
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Thanks for your comments Trevor!

I think the key issue here is that crime is high in these comunities not simply because there are a lot of migrants, but because they are disadvantaged. Many migrants (especially those who are from a refugee background) are at the low end of the socio-economic scale, and don’t necessarily leave their country by choice, but because they have to. Naturally, these people will have poorer English skills, and will have more touble integrating with the commmunity at large. On the other hand, richer, skilled migrants usually bring a lot of useful skills (and often money) into the community, and are well educated in English, so they naturally find it much easier to fit into the community at large.

Hence, I don’t think this situation is really the fault of the migrants themselves – it is simply a very unfortunate consequence of their background. Until we can solve the problems that make people become refugess in the first place, it is a problem that rich western countries will have to deal with, unless we decide we don’t want to help refugess any more (which I think would be very inhumane).

Of course, we can do more to solve the problem ourselves by helping these people as much as we can to gain the skills necessary to integrate effectively with western society. And quite frankly, I don’t think western governements take this problem seriously enough. I do think preference should be given to people with better English skills when giving them permanent residency, for example, as this will give them a strong incentive to improve their English as much as possible. And of course, for the poor and disadvantaged, we should be giving them as much help in this regard as we can.

  
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According to these documents:

Hate Crimes in Canada – 2006
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85f0033m/85f0033m2008017-eng.pdf

Interethnic conflict (any group vs any group) was at an average rate of 5% of all crime, with 67% of that being related to property crimes. Calgary had the highest prominence (9.1%) while Toronto had the lowest of a major metropolitan area (5.5%)
(Pg 6. Highlights Executive Summary)

This coincides with the data from this report from the UK:
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/rdsolr3305.pdf
Minority ethnic groups and crime: findings from the Offending, Crime and Justice Survey 2003

This survey shows that all ethnicities are offending any crimes within 2% or 3% of each other, and overall asian ethnicities are offending at the lowest levels (5% of those surveyed, for any offense, and 2% for any serious offense (Figure S.1 page vi Executive Summary)

It is important to have accurate information when entering into debates about these highly sensitive issues.

I’ll use this as a transition to the issue of the Durban conference of 2001.
If you look at this report, (yes I know it is Wiki, but it at least has good sources and is relatively neutral in its coverage), you will see the entire process was flawed and produced a rather mediocre document.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Conference_against_Racism_2001

Also for a “WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE” conference to disqualify the NGO (International Lesbian and Gay Association) in the way that it did, and the countries which voted to disqualify them shows the level of non-productivity that the whole process entailed.

“13. At the request of the representative of Belgium (on behalf of the European Union), a vote was taken. The representative of Malaysia requested a roll-call vote. Accreditation was rejected by 43 votes to 43, with 27 abstentions.

The voting was as follows:
In favour: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan,
Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands,
New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, United States of America.

Against: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Holy See, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jamaica,
Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal,
Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates,
United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam.

Abstaining: Argentina, Armenia, Barbados, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Honduras, Mauritius, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, South Africa, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.”

What is interesting to note is that the countries opposed to the inclusion of this NGO, are also the ones with the most repressive societies, and for the most part are the ones leveling charges against the US and Israel.

It is fine if productive discourse takes place, but there was no productive discourse going on during that process in any way shape or form.

The document where the vote is registered is taken from the UN records here.

That is why all of those representatives walked out in protest of the Iranian President on Tuesday April 21st, 2009, and why so many countries are not participating in the process, because half of the nations (mentioned above in the against category) are attempting to justify their own highly repressive philosophies/agendas while lambasting nations that actually have programs in place to try to facillitate and help the process of immigration while taking into account/protecting cultural and ethnic customs and mores.

  
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I still remain of the opinion that the best way to deal with these issues is to tackle them head-on. It seems the preferred way of dealing with holocaust deniers (for example) is to try to suppress them, or boycott them where possible. But I really think this just adds fuel to the conspiracy theorists’ fire.

  
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It would of course be nice if these issues were addressed head on, but whenever a 1 on 1 conversation, or an invitation to address the issue at the sites of these events, or any other area where solid progress can be made without the protections of their “bubble”, they seem to lack the will to present themselves to be shown the reality.

The President of Iran, has been repeatedly asked to go to Germany, and go to the preserved memorials, and camps from the Holocaust, by the German government, by the CBS 60 Minutes reporters, by the international community, and yet, he has never responded, and he has never went, and he continues his preposterous claims that it never happened, and it is a Jewish conspiracy blah, blah, blah.

Unfortunately his belief and his political agenda get in the way with of the truth and compassion that he and the other leaders of repressive regimes need to express before they will truly move towards the ideals of what the “WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE” actually stands for.
When your country’s regime is a xenophobic, intolerant, sexist, homophobic, & religiously driven theocracy (on the surface at least, as actual Iranian people have many times expressed their desire to meet and do international relations with the west.) and you must remain in power by the will of those who drive the followers of the masses of that religion (whatever that religion is, including authoritarianism, dictatorship, etc.). Unlike Obama’s recent showings of respect to other leaders, the leader(s) of these countries cannot be expected to show such consolatory guestures or that they are wrong, or else they won’t be leading much longer.
If you were in their position, and your choices were – show weakness, and gain world respect, but possibly lose your position and ultimately your life as you know it in that country, or spout the regime’s dogma, keep your position and suffer international condemnation which most of the time doesn’t mean anything outside your country, which would you choose?
It is obvious which one these leaders keep choosing. It would be great if we could offer a third option, but what is that third option? China found a third option in Detente’ with Nixon and “ping pong diplomacy”. Gorbachev chose to forsake his position and end the cold war, as he thought it was best for his country and the world. So far these are the only two situations that weren’t resolved by a coup, or an external invasion. (Of course even this is arguable as The Gang of Four was removed from power by a military tribunal in 1974 in China, and Gorbachev was removed from power by a military coup – arrested while on vacation at his Dacha in 1993 – and replaced by Boris Yeltsin.)

The world doesn’t want to invade Iran. China doesn’t want to do what it has done in the past with the Korean Pennisula for a number of reasons. Most Americans didn’t and don’t want to be in Iraq or Afghanistan, but unfortunately these failed states could not be ignored as easily as Rwanda, Darfur, and Somalia have been due to the energy stores that the world depends on to keep running. Afghanistan has platinum and other minerals inherently tied to many aspects of current energy usage as well as issues with nearby Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and India that also have huge raw Uranium or established nuclear capacities. (That is why the McCain campaign kept talking about 100 year military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the goal was to have a safe way to transport nuclear fuels for world wide nuclear reactors usage for the next 60 years when the world would have run out of nuclear fuels, at current consumption levels, as well as removing those resources from the region so that further threats could be kept in check.) It was an impossible mission and no one could sell it, and no one could do it, so it was just as well America inadvertantly (most people had no idea what the McCain Campaign was talking about, and he never explained it.) chose the candidate that was willing to not attempt it, and try a different way.

Right now the entire region is in limbo. The Afghani’s are unstable, the Pakistani’s are unstable, Iraq is in flux, the Taliban are on the march, nuclear weapons are at risk, the Iranians are trying to centrifuge enriched uranium, to produce a nuclear reactor and possibly some small amount of warhead materials and you are worried about us not taking part in a forum designed to allow these people to distract us from this larger threat because they babble about how horrible those Zionists are?

I think I’ll let the conspiracy theorists dance around their bonfires of their vanity, and hopefully the real work of truth and compassion that has to be deployed to extiguish the fires of hatred in the form of religious indoctrination/racism/sexism & ethnocentrism in the region can actually be done without threatening the safety of the current world energy supplies.

It would be nice if this current crisis could have been dispelled with the UN conference, but as the last one ended with 9-11 just three days later, that it is unlikely that our participation in this one would make a lot of difference, given the current situation raging in the same region as in 2000-2001.

I hope that the actual diplomacy and verbal engagement with the surrounding powers will have the effect of success that the US going alone would never achieve, and that Obama’s able to convince the rest of the world to get involved in the actual arenas that will make a difference to right the past 8 year’s wrongs in terms of dealing with these issues in a decisive manner. I think that these head on approaches may have the ability to resolve the other issues more than any UN conference would as well.

  
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I would suggest that the countries boycotting the antiracism conference are doing so because they have hundreds of years of history in which they have perpetuated racism on such a grand scale, that they are ashamed of themselves and don’t want to be repremanded for it in an international setting.

  
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It is highly absurd that these countries boycotting are averse to taking their own history into account, as a majority of them have written it into their own history books. There is no country/group of people in the world that is exempt from this examination as every country in the world is exhibiting some form of discrimination today. Please name one country or group of people that has no history of discrimination, classism, sexism, tribalism, xenophobia or another discriminatory practice against another group within/outside their borders. If you could, they would most likely would be the ones averse to realizing their old/current/new problems as they have excluded it from their histories, and the people being discriminated against were conveniently erased from current knowledge. (like several horesman tribes of the middle east/southern Europe whose entire culture exists in archeological remains, and “mythical legends” of yore).
How does asking for Reparations from currently rich countries, or letting the example of Zimbabwe’s “land reforms” be the model for settling scores recent or less recent help root out these issues. I mean the country of Liberia, was founded by returned/freed slave families from the United States starting in 1822 and was recognized as an independent nation since 1847. Yet they have the same issues that all other countries have with these issues of identity, tribalism, sexism and others that any other country has today. Namely they returned to the areas that had originally captured and sold them to be slaves in the first place, so it wasn’t much easier for these 3000 families to return to the homeland, as they were just as much outsiders there as when they went in the first place.

How many other countries, other than the European/American powers even acknowledge their roles in the subjugation and the reasons why slaves were so easily procured for these powers in the first place. I guess if we blame it all on the Europeans/Americans we can ask for reparations, never mind the actual systems of intertribal warfare, and cultural oppressions of the source countries provided to these outside colonial powers. Nope, that had nothing to do with it. No blame, for the past, and no recognition of the present tribalism and existing conditions that have kept Africa so divided and easily influenced by power brokering external parties. It is of course just the White Man’s Burden, that has caused every problem in the world.
No the suppression of the Uighur, Tartar, Manchus, and the Outer Mongolians, and the Cantonese and the Soong and the Hokkanese, and the almost 1000 other original racial/ethnic/traditions & nationalities that make up the Chinese country outside the “Han” tradition, have of course no internal manifestation. The current Tibetan debacle, the desertion of the Taiwanese, the reincorporation of Hong Kong, the religious persecution of every group, the second largest prison population in the world, etc, etc. is of course all not important to bring up, because its those terrible Americans and the Northern Europeans doing all the bad things in the world.
I could go on and on and on and on with every group and sub group and their history of subjugation and conquest and slaughter and being slaughtered, enslavement and history of promoting slavery, current origins of human trafficking, government extortion, but its all just the Americans and Northern Europeans who have caused all the problems in the world in regards to these poor hapless nations… nevermind that for the past 100 years outside of various relapses, and natural disasters, these same trouble making foriegn powers with the additional inputs of the former USSR, were pouring billions and billions of dollars into their economies, establishing schools, teaching modern governmental policies, educating the populaces.
America and the Northern Europeans/former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics/Japan know their histories well and have apologized at least 4 to 6 times, and spent renewed billions of dollars of economic/technical & infrastructural development in the regions as repayment and hopefully growth in the future. The bad and the good of what they have done/are doing/hope to do have been broadcast far and wide. Now what about everybody else? They seem awfully forgetful, and seem to want to ignore their own situations, their own responsibilities and continue to perpetrate huge atrocities against their own racial/caste/cultural/ethnic and traditional populations without much thought or acknowledgement of being in the wrong. So what is the use of the “dialogue”.
America and the other modern countries are always the oppressors, no matter their current record for the past 35 years, and the other nations are always the victims of “outside oppression” no matter what their records have been since their independence from their outside colonizations have been.
In 2001, the topics were the same, the victimizers were the same, the victims were the same, and yet racism/xenophobia/explotation decreased in the industrialized nations who were open and accepting of new asylum seekers with some of course highly publicized exceptions, while the “victimized” countries had many mass migrations, wars, executions, and further racially/ethnically/culturally/sexually motivated hate incidents.

Maybe these countries can talk amongst themselves this time, come up with someway to acknowledge their own short comings, and overall end their own internal disputes, while the industrialized nations working with the soveriegn governments directly involved with the current crisis in the expanded Eurasian/Middle Eastern theater tries to stop this subcontinental fundamentalist uprising from ending in a devastating nuclear disaster that threatens to destroy a huge amount of the historical and cultural beginnings of the world, as well as billions of people in the region.

Here is some comedy of Russell Peters (A Canadian of Indian descent who actually acknowledges racial/ethnic concerns, but is able to make people laugh about it.)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2579833089500205658

  
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I certainly can’t agree that the countries boycotting this conference are more racist than many of those attending, but that’s all the more reason they shouldn’t have boycotted it! They should have gone there and openly debated the Iranian president, instead of giving him free reign – boycotting just doesn’t make any sense. It really does seem as though it was boycotted because that’s what the Jewish political lobby wanted (even though this was actually against their interests). Conspiracy theorists constantly point to the apparently special handling of Jewish issues, and a lot of the time, it really does look that way. Holocaust deniers have on very many occasions been refused visas by western countries, for example, which only makes it look like a cover up. Let these people have their say, and debate them openly. After all, we let all sorts of other people say all sorts of kooky things (such as practically any religious leader, for example), so why can’t these people have their say? That way they can be shown to be wrong, instead of just adding fuel to the conspiracy theorists’ fire.

  
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I think this PDF shows why these people are being denied visas.
http://sicsa.huji.ac.il/acta25.pdf
Why so many countries deny visas to these people, is a result of British colonialism and the current rules of law in the European Union and UN declarations. Many of the former colonies kept most of the laws and traditions of colonial governments, so they have these laws on the books, the EU most fervently doesn’t want to repeat the denials of the 1930′s, and 1940′s that lead to the allowance of these holocausts to take place on European soil, and the UN charter doesn’t support the spread of lies that will in the end support the harm of people around the world.
So it is in fact a conspiracy of modern nations with established laws, not to obscure the world from some secret cabal lurking and controlling actions that these deluded hate mongers “have come across”, but in fact to try and stop the expression of hate speech and plain misinformation that lead to the outcome that affected not only 6 million jews, but also 4 million invalids, cripples, homosexuals, gypsies, deserters, serbs, slavs, poles, and anyone else considered a liability to the Nazi regime.
Why is it handled differently? Because the Jewish people have a rallying hue and cry. They have pledged to kill 100 attacking people for every 1 Jew killed, and they have put all their efforts into exacting this overaggressive response in hoping to deter further harm against themselves.
So, again it is a different response, than what other groups tend to do when attacked. They also wage a war of words, academic writings, plays, movies and other media engagement, and they aren’t afraid to use their combined wealth to support societies, politicians and other groups to make sure their side of the story is heard.
Again it is different, as they have set up scholarships for future generations of Jewish descendants to have money and access to the highest institutions of learning in the world (Harvard and Princeton’s Jewish scholarships go back to the 1800′s, almost as soon as the first Jewish students graduated from those institutions).
So why does it look different, it is because the Jewish people are now devoting their lives, heritages and resources to making sure they don’t face extinction again. There may be 20 million Jews in the world today, but due to their history as described by a Rabbi as: “coming into a community, working hard to establish themselves and in 15 to 20 years they have secured an honorable place in society, but realizing that during the process of achieving that goal everybody around has come to hates us, that it would be best to leave.”, they have this strident overwhelming desire for someplace where people won’t tell them to leave.
That didn’t work out so well, as they were transplanted to a place where everyone told them to leave, and they were allowing more Jewish people to immigrate with only so little land to give for that purpose. So we are where we are today.
As to the conspiracy people, where do we begin giving them credence and equal time? The Flat Earthers, the Hollow Earthers, the Pink Lemonade Sea Utopian Society of Michigan, Gnomes of Zurich proponets, Illuminatti scriers, Lizard King Mind control theorists, Area 51/Ufologists, New World Order, Moon Landing Deniers, Truthers, Crystal Skull/Alienologists. I mean that is the type of people that you are going to be entering into a debate with when you deal with the holocaust deniers. In fact, thanks to the introductory programming of the “History” channel most of these groups have been linked together as one giant superconspiracy group that pretty much buy into all of these ideas.
In fact it was so ridiculous at one point in the 1970′s that Steve Jackson Games made a board/card game called Illuminati and included every possible one of these groups named by the conspiracy researchers just to make fun of them: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/28
The game company has tried to keep up, and keep relevant by adding more wierdness as new groups come up, hence all of the expansion packs.

As a matter of historic note the Flat Earthers, and the Hollow Earthers are actually religious backlash movements against the scientific breakthroughs of Heliocentrism, and round earth (re)discoveries, just like the creationists and intelligent design movements are religious backlashes to geomorphism, the origin of species and the current science of evolution.
http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flatearth.html
http://www.crystalinks.com/hollowearth.html
http://www.fiu.edu/~mizrachs/hollow-earth.html

So fundamentalist beliefs are at work in this area as well, and then you add in the weird pseudo christian beliefs the Nazi’s had about things and everything goes out the window.

  
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Akacra, Perhaps you could enlighten us with your encyclopedic knowledge about what Japan did since WWII to teach its school children about their Fathers’ depredations during the War and what reparations they have made to Korea, China, S.E. Asia as compared to what Germany has done.

I think that true Racism takes place when one group of homo-sapiens considers another group of homo-sapiens to be sub-human.

  
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Originally Posted By Akacra
So it is in fact a conspiracy of modern nations with established laws, not to obscure the world from some secret cabal lurking and controlling actions that these deluded hate mongers “have come across”, but in fact to try and stop the expression of hate speech and plain misinformation that lead to the outcome that affected not only 6 million jews, but also 4 million invalids, cripples, homosexuals, gypsies, deserters, serbs, slavs, poles, and anyone else considered a liability to the Nazi regime.

But it is the suppression of information that gives disinformation the chance to spread. Once again, suppressing anything that might be construed as anti-Semitic is I believe counter-productive. It is “special treatment”, and nothing fuels racism, xenophobia and conspiracy theories more than that.

Why is it handled differently? Because the Jewish people have a rallying hue and cry. They have pledged to kill 100 attacking people for every 1 Jew killed, and they have put all their efforts into exacting this overaggressive response in hoping to deter further harm against themselves.

Well this certainly explains a lot about their treatment of Palestinians! Once again, this is exactly the wrong thing to do. Jews experienced an unprecedented wave of sympathy after the holocaust, which they’ve completely reversed with Zionism and their general over aggression since. They are creating anti-Semitism through their own actions, and that is the greatest threat to their existence.

I should also stress that I do not intend to give any credibility to conspiracy theoritsts – quite the reverse in fact. They thrive on the suppression of information; open discusion and debate is simply the best way to show them for what they really are.

  
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@Robert – The Japanese peculiarly have followed the directions of the American occupationists and their American written constitution to the letter/spirit and intent of the law. The Americans India inked out every reference to war or war build-up/war propaganda in the text books and then told the Japanese curriculum writers to never teach the issue of the war. Strangely, they have complied, however their art, literature, and many entertainments prominently show the futility of war, and use atomic imagery to emphasize the dangers of unmitigated national pride. Essentially they remember being nuked and don’t want their country ever again to experience the depravations of their war years, nor their defeat, nor being nuked again.

Then the American written constitution (Much of it was drafted by two senior army officers with law degrees: Milo Rowell and Courtney Whitney.) was submitted in 1946, adopted in 1947 and ratified as it was in 1955 without objection by the Diet. It hasn’t been changed or ammended since.

I’d suggest you read their constitution and see how well the lessons of the war have been taught then, and taught currently to the current generation through its continuing notions of peace.
http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/constitution_and_government_of_japan/constitution_e.html

The subject of the war isn’t taboo. I’d suggest you see the movie Go! (Japanese and Chinese Collaboration – where they use the Chinese game and two player’s relationships through the period, and the eventual reconcilliation of said players as a recognition and diffusement of tensions.)

Also here is a list of apologies that Japan has made to its former enslaved/overrun neightbors –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan
Also 5 days ago:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601081&sid=atgvv_dGoTGg&refer=australia

And it appears that the Allied Powers established the FEC (Far Eastern Commission) regarding the issue of reparations and actually created the “Basic Post-Surrender Policy of Japan” which outlined the payment of reparations by Japan. However, it was never implemented, because most of the rebuilding of the war ravaged countries had been completed before Japan itself had recovered its “basic/fundamental” industries.
So again these are the countries to “blame” for Japan never paying significant reparations according to the plan that these countries played a role in writing:
USA, USSR, China, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, France, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Burma & Pakistan.
The concern, like in Germany’s rebuilding and eventual partitioning, was a situation that the reparations would cause the repeat of the mistakes of the Treaty of Versaii in allowing these conservative/nationalist causes to gain traction in a disarmed Japan, leading to future incidents.
This site: http://www.jstor.org/pss/3023451
has the first page of this 11 page document and here is the full citation:
Japanese Reparations to the Philippines
J. L. Vellut
Asian Survey, Vol. 3, No. 10 (Oct., 1963), pp. 496-506
(article consists of 11 pages)
Published by: University of California Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3023451

@ Sachiko, I hope that the current anti-israeli monologue, returns to a dialogue as well. The Obama administration has offered many gestures and overtures to the most repressive regimes in the world to enter into dialogues on these and other issues, as well as other leaders throughout the world. I too hope that the level of propaganda regarding these issues of Racism/Zionism/Immigrants will be clarified. The boycott, was an attempt to highlight the untruthfulness of the continuing commentary by certain leaders, and try to get constructive discourse re-introduced as the bearing for future discussions of the topic. Whether any of these tactics will work to resolving anything or bringing the discussion of rectifying the subjects of hate worldwide, is unfortunately unknown.

This ridiculous statement, suggests that he will not…
“On 19 April, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad commented on the controversy surrounding the summit in a televised speech, implying that it was due to a Zionist plot. “It is clear that the Zionists and their backers will undertake everything possible so that the voices of those people suppressed will be silenced… [the] Zionists control an important part of the politics in the U.S. and Europe and used this influence, especially in the media, to force their demands, which are nothing more than the plundering of nations, onto the world,” he said.[25]”

Here is a review of the 2009 conference, again Wiki, but it is again fairly written and has references:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durban_Review_Conference

  
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Actually, I feel the Iranian President’s statement is an example of exactly what I was talking about – simply trying to suppress or (especially) boycott such people only gives them more ammunition.

  
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Thank you Akacra. You are most reliable.

  
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