Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oliver Kamm: 'wrong and intellectually dishonest'

This very revealing post on how Oliver Kamm deals with those challenging his claims has been sent to me.
Over the next week, I will be printing a series of posts on Kamm and the way he deals with those who question him. Those of you who have been urging me to do a thorough fisking of Kamm's work will not be disappointed!

http://representativepress.blogspot.com/2004/04/problems-with-oliver-kamm-pejman.html
Representative Press

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Problems with Oliver Kamm
Pejman Yousefzadeh points out that Oliver Kamm makes the mistake of claiming a paraphrase from Chomsky is a quote from the New York Times. The actual quote from the NYT was posted in a comment on Kamm's blog but Kamm deleted it:"Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive today. He is also a disturbingly divided intellectual. On the one hand there is a large body of revolutionary and highly technical linguistic scholarship, much of it too difficult for anyone but the professional linguist or philosopher; on the other, an equally substantial body of political writings, accessible to any literate person but often maddeningly simple-minded. The 'Chomsky problem' is to explain how these two fit together."A commenter at pejmanesque.com points out "Your point that this was an unjust criticism is therefore even stronger, shouldn't Kamm and Sully correct this?" -Posted by: MaB at November 19, 2003"At least you are substantially more honest than Mr. Kamm (who not only hasn't made a correction, but has also removed the comments) and Mr. Sullivan." -Posted by: MaB at November 21, 2003 a comment from linkOliver Kamm wrote, "The dust jacket bears the legend, which one can't be around a Chomsky fan for long without hearing: "Arguably the most important intellectual alive" - The New York Times This very old quotation from the newspaper of record is in fact truncated." Kamm claimed the full quotation was: "Arguably the most important intellectual alive, how can he write such nonsense about international affairs and foreign policy?" Kamm got it wrong. What Kamm quotes is not from the NYT but from a Chomnsky's paraphrase.
The fact is Oliver Kamm is wrong and intellectually dishonest because the real quote was, accourding to Mab, pointed out to him in a comment on his blog (and Kamm removed it): "Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive today. He is also a disturbingly divided intellectual. On the one hand there is a large body of revolutionary and highly technical linguistic scholarship, much of it too difficult for anyone but the professional linguist or philosopher; on the other, an equally substantial body of political writings, accessible to any literate person but often maddeningly simple-minded. The 'Chomsky problem' is to explain how these two fit together." -The New York Times Book Review, February 25, 1979 zmagWelll clearly this isn't the first time Oliver Kamm removes comments that point out facts he does not want to admit. I posted a comment that corrected his claim that Israel does not target civilians. HE REMOVED IT. (now I wonder if I am going to get a response to the email I sent him yesterday (see the previous post)) Here is that comment I REPOSTED yet he deleted it again. see here:Kamm wrote, "When it refers to 'violence against civilians' it means, astonishingly, the party in the conflict that doesn't target civilians in the first place"This is not true. Look at Yitzhak Shamir's attitude: “Neither Jewish morality nor Jewish tradition can be used to disallow terror as a means of war... We are very far from any moral hesitations when concerned with the national struggle. First and foremost, terror is for us a part of the political war appropriate for the circumstances of today...” - Yitzhak Shamir Israeli Prime MinisterPhysicians for Human Rights USA which investigated the high number of Palestinian deaths and injuries in the first months of the Intifada, concluded that:"the pattern of injuries seen in many victims did not reflect IDF [Israel Defense Forces] use of firearms in life-threatening situations but rather indicated targeting solely for the purpose of wounding or killing."[Source: PHR USA, 22 November 2000]This finding was based on "the totality of the evidence" the investigators collected about:"the high number of gunshots to the head; the volume of serious, disabling thigh injuries; the inappropriate firing of rubber bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets at close range; and the high proportion of Palestinian injuries and deaths."The findings of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch confirm this pattern. Israeli human rights group B'Tselem has documented and condemned the targeted use of violence against Palestinian civilians and has found evidence of systematic torture of thousands of Palestinian detainees, including children.What has been confirmed by human rights groups has also been observed directly by journalists.In October 2001, Harper's magazine published the "Gaza Diary" of journalist Chris Hedges. Hedges' entry for June 17, 2001 provides even more shocking evidence of the wanton and deliberate killing of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers at Gaza's Khan Yunis refugee camp.You don't seem to have a grasp on the conflict. Zionists moved into Palestine with the agenda of removing non-Jews and imposing a system of Jewish supremacy upon those within the land they grabbed. And that is exactly what they did and continue to do by force. Israeli land confiscation and settlement of Palestinian land has continued all through the so called "peace process". Is this not understood?After I noticed that Kamm removed my comment, I posted this question: "I noticed you removed my post, can you tell me why? It violates none of your rules. What it does do is point our facts you refuse to deal with. Is this what a moral person does? When presented with facts of the intentional killing of children you sweep it under the rug because of who the killers are? Mr. Kamm, do you realize what you are doing? You are mocking religious groups for standing up for human rights. What gives?"Oliver Kamm is a denier. He claims Israel "doesn't target civilians" when the fact is Israel does target and kill civilains.
posted by Tom at 4/28/2004 12:34:00 PM

2 comments:

RobBBB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Beyond the tedious game "who said what and when," Kamm is on the dollar in phrasing the initial conundrum. There is a huge intellectual gap between the level of argumentation in Chomsky's amazingly rich ans nuanced science v. his simplistic and mechanical political criticism (btw, I agree with the substance most of his views; I just think he is one of the worst out there in arguing and voicing them). That's a much more important riddle that the bloggers' war.