Arnie opponent “has consistently defended terror groups”

August 08, 2003

[Note by Tom Gross]

This is a follow-up to my dispatch of yesterday Arnie and the Jews.

I attach 2 articles, with summarized extracts first for those who don't have time to read them in full:

“WHY WON’T HE REPUDIATE KURT WALDHEIM?”

"Arnold's Nazi Problem. Why won't he repudiate Kurt Waldheim?" By Timothy Noah (Thursday, August 7, 2003, Slate and MSNBC.com). This article was posted before I sent out my dispatch of yesterday. I attach it not because I have any opinion about whether Arnold Schwarzenegger would make a good governor of California, but as a matter of interest to show the attacks on him.)

After Waldheim's Nazi war criminal revelations had come out, "Schwarzenegger offered a tribute to Kurt Waldheim at his wedding that stunned the assemblage into shocked silence: 'My friends don't want me to mention Kurt's name, because of all the recent Nazi stuff and the U.N. controversy, but I love him and Maria does too, and so thank you, Kurt.'

"According to the New York Post's "Page Six" gossip column, Schwarzenegger was seen sitting beside Waldheim as recently as 1998, when the two attended the second inauguration of Waldheim's successor as president, Thomas Klestil."

"In 1988, Schwarzenegger was asked in a Playboy interview what he thought of Waldheim. He replied: 'I hate to talk about it, because it's a no-win situation. Without going into details, I can say that being half-Austrian and half-American, I don't like the idea that these two countries that mean so much to me are in such a disagreement.'"

(TG adds: Please note also that Esquire, the glossy magazine, has apologized to Schwarzenegger for the contrived photomontage showing Schwarzenegger giving a straight-arm salute under a spoof film title "Saturday Night Führer" that accompanied its December 1996 story headlined "Springtime for Arnold".)

ISSA: HIZBULLAH IS A “HUMANITARIAN” ORGANIZATION

"Terrorism Link in Davis Recall," by Debbie Schlussel, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. In this recent article, Schlussel warns that Rep. Darrell Issa - the main Republican party funder of the recall effort against California Gov. Gray Davis and the leading Republican candidate other than Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace him, has allies has "consistently defended terrorists, terrorist groups and terrorist sponsor states."

"Less than a month after Sept. 11, Issa visited Syrian President Bashar Assad, praising the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah and lauding Assad's policies...

The Tehran Times and IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency, the official Iranian news agency) quoted Issa's as calling Hezbollah a "humanitarian" organization.

"On May 9, 2001, during a House subcommittee discussion of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Extension Act of 2001, Issa praised Hezbollah, "in all candor, for the good things they do, too, the humanitarian, the hospitals, the schools they pay."

"In November 2001, Issa told the Financial Times of London, "Hezbollah does in fact have a limited scope. You must differentiate ... from other organizations that might have a global reach." Global reach? Hezbollah murdered 86 Jews and wounded hundreds of people in Buenos Aires in July 1994, in addition to murdering Israelis and U.S. Marines and civilians in Lebanon and Iran."

(Last night, Hizbullah again fired rockets into Israel.)

"In April 2003, Issa spoke of Arafat's "charm".

-- Tom Gross

 



FULL ARTICLES

ARNOLD'S NAZI PROBLEM

Arnold's Nazi Problem
Why won't he repudiate Kurt Waldheim?
By Timothy Noah
August 7, 2003

California voters can address their question directly to Schwarzenegger, if he will 'renounce' the Nazi Waldheim or not.

www.schwarzenegger.com/en/help/feedback/index.asp?subj=ask
www.msnbc.com/news/949666.asp?0cv=CB20
slate.msn.com/id/2086742/

Here's a question Jay Leno forgot to ask Arnold Schwarzenegger when he announced his candidacy for governor of California on last night's Tonight Show: "Will you renounce your support for Kurt Waldheim?"

A little refresher course may be in order. Kurt Waldheim, a widely esteemed former secretary general of the United Nations, was running for president of Austria in March 1986 when it came to light that he had participated in Nazi atrocities during World War II. Waldheim had always maintained that he had served in the Wehrmacht only briefly and that after being wounded early in the war, he had returned to Vienna to attend law school. In fact, Waldheim had resumed military service after recuperating from his injury and had been an intelligence officer in Germany's Army Group E when it committed mass murder in the Kozara region of western Bosnia. (Waldheim's name appears on the Wehrmacht's "honor list" of those responsible for the atrocity.) In 1944, Waldheim had reviewed and approved a packet of anti-Semitic propaganda leaflets to be dropped behind Russian lines, one of which ended, "enough of the Jewish war, kill the Jews, come over." After the war, Waldheim was wanted for war crimes by the War Crimes Commission of the United Nations, the very organization he would later head. None of these revelations prevented Waldheim from winning the Austrian election, but after he became president, the U.S. Justice Department put Waldheim on its watch list denying entry to "any foreign national who assisted or otherwise participated in activities amounting to persecution during World War II." The international community largely shunned Waldheim, and he didn't run for re-election. (This information comes from the1992 book Betrayal: The Untold Story of the Kurt Waldheim Investigation and Cover-Up, by Eli M. Rosenbaum and William Hoffer.)

One month after these revelations began to splash across the front pages of newspapers worldwide, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver exchanged wedding vows at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Mass. Schwarzenegger, a native of Austria, had invited Waldheim to the wedding, which of course can't be held against him because the invitations surely went out well before the war crimes story broke. (Schwarzenegger, who held dual citizenship in Austria and the United States, had also endorsed Waldheim.) Waldheim didn't attend, but he sent a gift-a statue of Arnold, in lederhosen, bearing off Maria, who wore a dirndl. Admiring it, Schwarzenegger offered a tribute that stunned the assemblage into shocked silence (this is reported in Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography, by Wendy Leigh):

My friends don't want me to mention Kurt's name, because of all the recent Nazi stuff and the U.N. controversy, but I love him and Maria does too, and so thank you, Kurt.

Schwarzenegger's name remained on Waldheim's campaign posters. After Waldheim was elected, Schwarzenegger paid him a visit and was photographed with him. According to the New York Post's "Page Six" gossip column, Schwarzenegger was seen sitting beside Waldheim as recently as 1998, when the two attended the second inauguration of Waldheim's successor as president, Thomas Klestil.

In 1988, Schwarzenegger was asked in a Playboy interview what he thought of Waldheim. He replied:

I hate to talk about it, because it's a no-win situation. Without going into details, I can say that being half-Austrian and half-American, I don't like the idea that these two countries that mean so much to me are in such a disagreement. Austria is a very important place for Americans, because it is a neutral country. With a little bit of good will, the problem will be straightened out. I think it's well on the way.

Why on Earth didn't Schwarzenegger take this opportunity to speak out against Waldheim? It surely isn't because Schwarzenegger himself had any Nazi sympathies (though during the filming of the documentary Pumping Iron, he reportedly once made a foolish comment praising Hitler). Rather, Schwarzenegger was likely playing politics-to be more specific, Austrian politics and family politics. For years it was rumored that if Schwarzenegger didn't run for governor of California, he would run for president of Austria. Because Austrians have long resented what they see as Waldheim's pointless scapegoating, any firm denunciation would have ruled the latter possibility out. In addition, Schwarzenegger's mother had for many years lived with Alfred Gerstl, a prominent Austrian politician who rose to the top post in the upper house of Austria's parliament. Schwarzenegger reportedly addressed him as "Uncle." (Schwarzenegger's father, who died three decades ago, was a police official who had belonged to the Nazi party.)

Rather than confront his Waldheim problem head-on, Schwarzenegger has proclaimed his disgust for Nazism, raised money for education about the Holocaust, traveled to Israel (where he met with then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin), and given generously to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, which in 1997 bestowed on him its National Leadership Award. "He wants no truck with . Waldheim," the Wiesenthal Center's Rabbi Marvin Hier told the Jerusalem Post. "He probably did not have any clue as to the seriousness of the allegations against Waldheim at that time [i.e., 1986]. To suggest that Arnold's an anti-Semite is preposterous. He's done more to further the cause of Holocaust awareness than almost any other Hollywood star."

Clearly, though, that won't be enough. If Schwarzenegger doesn't renounce Waldheim in a highly public way, he can forget about ever becoming governor of California.

Timothy Noah writes "Chatterbox" for Slate.

 

TERRORISM LINK IN DAVIS RECALL

Terrorism Link in Davis Recall
by Debbie Schlussel
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=10852

I'm a proud conservative Republican from Michigan, but I'm appealing to Californians of all political stripes not to support the recall of Gov. Gray Davis.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) - funder of the recall effort and the only announced candidate to replace Davis - might be the contemporary, real-life version of Frank Sinatra's "Manchurian Candidate." Instead of communists, Issa's allies are radical Islamists and supporters of terrorism against Americans, Israelis, Christians and Jews.

In a short political career, Issa's statements and actions consistently defend terrorists, terrorist groups and terrorist sponsor states.

Saudi Arabia's longtime lobbyist, James Gallagher, contributed to Issa's campaign in November 2002, and Issa tried to overturn key classified evidence portions of President Bill Clinton's 1995 counterterrorism bill. Issa is also credited with "declawing" the Patriot Act.

Then, there's Issa's dance with Hezbollah, an organization that is on the State Department's terrorist list and one of the largest components of Al Qaeda. In the 1980s, Hezbollah - which means "Party of Allah" - murdered more than 260 U.S. Marines while they slept in Beirut and tortured to death Col. Richard Higgins (in 1990) and CIA attache William Buckley.

Hezbollah endorses "the use of hostages," "suicide in jihad operations" and "the duty of all Muslims to engage in Islamic jihad if it ensures the ultimate goal [of] inflicting losses on the enemy."

Less than a month after Sept. 11, Issa visited Syrian President Bashar Assad, praising Hezbollah and lauding Assad's policies (Syria is on the State Department's terrorist list).

The Tehran Times and IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency, the official Iranian news agency) quoted Issa's statements to Assad in Damascus: "Hezbollah acts legitimately and has never been involved in terrorist activities.... Hezbollah and any other Lebanese group has the right to resist the occupation of its territory.... Hezbollah's humanitarian and governmental actions were legal.... Such behavior would be customary in any country."

Issa denies the statements, but as a recent Los Angeles Times cover story demonstrates he has a record of stretching the truth - about his military record, his criminal history, his business affairs and his political positions.

In November 2001, for instance, Issa told syndicated columnist Debra Saunders he was vehemently against Arabs suing the airlines and government over profiling. At the same time, he told the rest of the press of his plans to introduce legislation to make it easier for Arabs to collect monetary damages for airline and government profiling.

And Issa's other statements and actions corroborate their veracity:

Less than a month after Sept. 11, in an Oct. 9, 2001, interview with the Beirut Daily Star's Ibrahim, during a trip to Lebanon, Issa said, "It is Lebanon which will determine whether the party's [Hezbollah's] activities constitute terrorism or resistance ... If [Hezbollah] wants the world to understand that its activities are legitimate, they should say it.... Resistance is a legitimate right recognized [by the U.N.].... I have a great deal of sympathy for the work that Hezbollah tries to do." He expressed hope that Hezbollah would "reform" and become a "government" like the P.L.O.

Assad's state-run SANA (official Syrian news agency) covered Issa's November 2001 meeting with Assad, quoting Issa as saying: "Hezbollah or any other party has the right to resist occupation."

Occupation? Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon at least a year before, and the U.S. withdrew over a decade earlier.

Issa's January 2003 actions regarding Israelis captured by Hezbollah asserted the terrorist group's moral equivalence with Israel. According to The Guardian of London, per Hezbollah's demand, Issa asked Israel to allow the Red Cross to see captured Hezbollah terrorists in exchange for interceding with Hezbollah to allow the Red Cross to see four Israeli prisoners held by the group.

On Oct. 31, 2001, the London Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat, reported, "U.S. Congressman of Lebanese origin Darrell Issa, during his recent visit to Beirut in the mid of October," conveyed a proposal to Hezbollah leadership to remove Hezbollah from the State Department's terrorist list and "normalize U.S. relations with" the group. Hezbollah refused the offer.

On May 31, 2003, Issa publicly made a similar proposal to legitimize Hezbollah by giving Lebanon $500 million of taxpayer money to disarm the group and turn it into a political party.

On May 9, 2001, during a House subcommittee discussion of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Extension Act of 2001, Issa praised Hezbollah, "in all candor, for the good things they do, too, the humanitarian, the hospitals, the schools they pay."

On April 14, 2002, Issa told Fox News Channel's Rita Cosby that Hezbollah has done "some good things" (and he also praised Yasser Arafat).

In November 2001, Issa told the Financial Times of London, "Hezbollah does in fact have a limited scope. You must differentiate ... from other organizations that might have a global reach."

Global? Hezbollah murdered 86 Jews and wounded hundreds of people in Buenos Aires in July 1994, in addition to murdering Israelis and U.S. Marines and civilians in Lebanon and Iran.

In a Sacramento radio interview, Issa said, "They do supply little old ladies with heating oil in the winter and all kinds of other activities," characterizing terrorist Hezbollah as a mere "political party" and "farmers," and adding, "I'd like to see a lot of them just go back to their farms, go back to some honest living."

Then there's Issa's strange respect for Arafat and Palestinian terrorists.

Days after Sept. 11, Issa, during his House International Relations Committee's discussion of fighting terrorism, tried to draw a distinction between "Palestinian groups that are resisting Israeli occupation" and Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

During his November 2001 trip to the Middle East, Issa told his hometown newspaper, the North County Times, that he was "particularly impressed with Arafat."

"He is quite a charismatic individual, despite being a very small man and very old," the congressman said. "He has a wry sense of humor. He gives you food off his plate if you sit next to him."

Arafat's personal food taster as your next governor?

In April 2003, Issa spoke of Arafat's "charm" (also in the North County Times).

Issa's softness on Syrian-sponsored terrorism is legendary, too. Syria is home to several fugitives, including Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner, Hamas political director Moussa Abu Marzook, Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Abdullah Shallah and Jamil Al-Gashey, the only surviving perpetrator of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre - all wanted and/or indicted in the United States. However, Assad refuses their extradition.

Issa vehemently opposes the Syrian Accountability Act, which imposes sanctions on Syria until it stops sponsoring Hezbollah and other terrorists. Issa said Syria is "cooperative."

The Reform Party of Syria said Issa "helps Syria with [its] propaganda campaign" and "objects to Mr. Issa's presence in Syria. The Baath Party of Syria is duping Rep. Issa and using him as a propaganda tool."

In June 2003, Issa attended the Beirut signing of a major oil deal between Syria and two U.S. firms. The contract states the companies will spend $29 million in Syria and train the state-run Syrian oil company.

Issa hosted a pro-Syrian Capitol Hill event with a pro-Syrian Arab business group. The event was organized by former staffers to Reps. David Bonior and John Dingell, who now lobby for a "change" to U.S. Middle East policy.

After the Iraq War, during one of several frequent Syrian trips, Issa praised Assad, saying, "His word seems to be good."

Darrell Issa wants to be governor of California and ultimately president. With a record like this, do you want to help him?


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.