Saturday, March 31, 2012

Disclosing The Fifth Column

A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group from within. A key tactic of the fifth column is the secret introduction of supporters into the whole fabric of the entity under attack.” Wikipedia definition 

I recognize that the concept ‘honour-killings’ is racist-bound, and that it obscures the real problem represented by the increasing violence against women. [‘Honour-killings’] is used as denomination for homicide cases where persons from other cultures than the Swedish one are involved. I am feminist and Member of the European Parliament. I do not betray victims of violence against women” MP (EU) Eva-Britt Svensson, in Newsmill
“Not all extreme "feminists" are cultural-racists, although many fascists are. But some trolls of both gender are both fascists and racist, although they pose as just extreme "feminists". By the way, extreme "feminism" that proclaims gender supremacy and privilege is fascist per definition. Is all I say” Professors blogg

Refugees returning to Warland. Detaglio. Ferrada de Noli. Inchiostro e aquerello, Estocolma 2003

by Marcello Ferrada de Noli

Professors blog has published, republished or linked works by a number of academic authors, all of them recognized leading feminists or adherents to true feminist positions, aimed to gender equality and reciprocal gender respect -- equality ethics which I warmly subscribe.  Particularly, my analyses have repeatedly contained a clear disclaimer with regard to the Feminism/feminists issue in those occasions in which I have criticized misrepresentation of such true feminist positions of gender equality, or debating certain ideological excesses from the part of some extreme voices.

Those disclaimers have in the main stated that when referring extreme "feminism" I am NOT referring to “Swedish feminism” as such, or to all Swedish feminists at large; and that I do not equate "State Feminism" with "feminism", etc.

Some examples of texts in fact being published by Professors blogg:
  • "Critic to extreme "feminists" or "feminist" gender-supremacists is one thing. Support to the principles and the struggle for gender equality is another.  We instead promote and practice the struggle for a society with equal opportunities for all regardless gender, social class, ethnicity. This includes fighting towards the final achievement of equal opportunities for women and men in all spheres of society, such as equal salary; But this column have been also, and always shall be, opposing all forms of authoritarianism and oppression, which includes the vigilance towards those "who merely seek to replace one authoritarian system with another".  [1]
  • "Professors blogg – a publication (see banner on top) “On Human Rights For All” - have clearly stated that strongly support the same struggle for gender equality in society that true egalitarian feminists pursue. This have included active propositions on equality in salary form the part of the Swedish State towards academics with similar merits regardless gender. My positions on these regards are well known." [2]
  • "One of the main myths spread refer to Julian Assange as “enemy of feminism”. The statement cannot be more far from truth. His liberationist platform clearly comprises the struggle for equal rights as identified by the international feminist movement. Conspicuous feminists, such as Naomi Wolf or in Sweden Helene Bergman have expressly given their support to Julian Assange’s struggle for justice in the context of the Swedish case against him. In strict ideological sense, left radical-feminists would find in true an identification of their societal purposes for justice and equality for all genders in the liberationist message of WikiLeaks as well as the actual statements of Julian Assange. Radical-feminists should not permit their spirit been kidnapped by right-wing opportunists, which in the base defend a political system opposing equality of all kinds. What has happened in Sweden is that a limited number of self-proclaimed “radical feminists”, for the most part right-wingers, have initiated or participated in campaigns ad-hominem against the WikiLeaks founder. And that in my opinion is NOT left radical feminism; it is simply opportunism." [3]
  • My conviction is still that the campaign in Sweden against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been initiated/implemented by a limited number of political officials, a limited number of journalists, or a limited number of opportunist feminist activists. Altogether they do not represent Sweden as a whole, their political parties as a whole, all Swedish feminists, or the total ranks in the journalist collegium. The main part have not yet express their opinion and as the happenings approach they will most certain feel ethically obliged to declare their stand, about what is truth, what is justice, and what is history. [4]
Over and over again I have made clear what my positions are on those regards. And also cared to give some concrete examples about my own participation in such struggle for gender equality and social justice. The site Justice For Assange has even linked an article that especially treats this disclaimer under the title "Professor Ferrada Noli on the nature of 'State Feminism' in Sweden".

Nevertheless, in spite of the above, the Fifth Column operating within or outside contingents of WikiLeaks-supporters over and over again continue using the straw man fallacy [5] aimed to deceiving the public by means of:
  • Trying making scorn of our writings alleging and “discussing against” positions we actually do not have:
  • Trying to associate those nonexistent positions as also held by WikiLeaks or its founder Julian Assange: The so-called guilt by association strategy, another item in psychological ops, here with the particular feature that the items to be associated are blunt fabrications.

The strategy behind that campaign is no other than erode the social support to the Julian Assange cause by means of alienate feminists sectors. For equal chauvinistic-implementaion purposes they have pursued to present WikiLeaks founder as Sweden Enemy Number 1, trying to alienate the population at large behind nationalistic calls.

The tactics have consisted in that we are thus accused from time to time - and also WikiLeaks for that part (for it in certain cases have linked articles published in these columns) - of being staunch anti-feminists; but not only that, also misogynists! This tactic recalls so vividly the demagogic used against Swedish citizens when criticizing the immigrant-integration policies of this or the past government as inadequate: they were labelled as “racists” for having a different idea from the State or established parties as to how dealing with immigration problems which resulted in discrimination! 

Is there an epidemic of Muslims honour-killers in Sweden?

The same regarding the issue of honour killings in Sweden.  I have NEVER denied, neither any other author in Professors blog, that such deeds have occurred or might occur in Sweden in the future. The only thing I have put forward, and demonstrated, is that the epidemiological prevalence of the phenomenon “honour-killings” in Sweden has not an “endemic” or “pan endemic” character.  In clear terms, the actual prevalence of "honour-killings" among Muslims in Sweden is, expressed in rate: 0,1 cases per 10,000 individuals in the Muslim population! That the rate is lesser that previously estimated is a “positive” finding, which was supposed to bring about some relief to those who have believed such figures of being alarmingly higher. 
Instead, the findings have clearly upset a couple of obsessive voices that in their prejudice against the Muslim culture as a group (which constitutes criminal racism in Sweden) are paradoxically denoting disappointment that no more honour-killings have occurred. And how do these fascist individuals respond to our epidemiological findings? By accusing Professors blogg of being a supporter of honour-killings!
The same as the above, now with regard to the issue of honour-related violence.  I have NEVER said that the victims of honour-related violence should not be protected, or the phenomena neglected by scholars. The ONLY thing I have said is that the research applications (that extreme-feminist researchers put forward in order to get grants from the State or getting their applications approved by the Ethics Committee) should be based in proven or realistic findings; and not in racial prejudices or augmented in cultural-racist formulations.

I have also said that Swedish government agencies, such as the Ministry of Research and Education, should treat the subject of Muslim honour-related violence in the context of both all foreign-born and Swedish related violence against family members, and not (Muslim-related only) as a priority issue per se. And that all victims of violence of this sort should be in the priority, and all perpetrators – not principally Muslims – be given emergent investigative attention. And how do those individuals respond to these sound scientific-ethic stands? Accusing Professors blogg’s authors of opposing the solution for honour-related violence and of actively being against of the victims!
A special number in this crazy, I repeat, literarily crazy smearing campaign, is accusing me of denying the existence of Posttraumatc stress disorder, PTSD! This considering that what I precisely demonstrated in my doctoral dissertation (in the subject Psychiatry at the Swedish Karolinska Institute), was the existence of PTSD in association with suicidal behaviour among victims of torture inflicted in prisoners camps of fascist dictatorships. An important cohort represented immigrant women abused or raped under captivity!

Not all Swedish politicians are sold the Nation's interests to a foreign power
And then there is the subject “Sweden hostility”. After that a high official representing FOA presented (in the main news-analysis program at the National Swedish Television) Assange and WilkiLeaks as hostile to Sweden and even accused them of blackmailing Sweden, the same characters presenting themselves as WikiLeaks supporters started spreading the false notion that Professors blogg would be “xenophobic” against Sweden. Based on what?
Because in a brief interview with RT in January 2012 and for instance in these columns [9], [10], [11], I have declared that Swedish Neutrality is to be preferred for the Swedish people to the vassal positions that some government officials have demonstrated towards NATO and their contribution with Swedish troops NATO-led occupations of Third World countries.
No matter how many times I have said in these columns that my critique DOES NOT involve all the Swedish people – to whom I personally regard  for the most part amiable and sincere, hard working and honest [12] - and that instead my critic regards only some of our politicians, or some of Swedish journalists and bloggers. The trolls will comeback with the "xenophobic" number. Who are these people, which interests do they serve?
Is it a coincidence that they are exactly the same individuals of the Fifth Column trying to persuade the WikiLeaks organization of ceasing to link or twittering the Professors blog articles (which in certain occasions WL has done)? Is it a coincidence that the very same demand to WikiLeaks - for their “disengagement“ in spreading writings from "voices in the Internet" (referring to Professors blogg) - has been also made by Expressen (“for the best of WikiLeaks”), and also - rhetorically - by the SwedishRadio? [13]. In the particular case of Expressen, they have at least honestly stated who is the owner and where do they stand.
The question is, which interests do all these troll-individuals represent? Are they really “friends” of WikiLeaks who wants WikiLeaks’ best? Who would believe in such “friendly” intentions while at the same time seeing their proxy-participation in campaigns to personally discredit the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange?
And if the positions in Professors blogg were any such way so far from describing reality, and its reading so “incomprehensible”, as one of the above mentioned maintain, why would they care that Professors blog would exist at all?

In fact Professors blog has reached over one hundred fifty thousand readers (153,333 the 31st of March 2012), visitors that not only have read the article they looked for but also visited other pages (Total page views = 220,815). Figures according to
Further, each time WikiLeaks has linked a Professors blogg article this has reached one and a half million twitter-users. WikiLeaks have also linked some articles I published in Newsmill or Second-Opinion, directly to these sites.
We are not here to pass judgement about our own impact in neutralizing such vilifying campaigns or in disclosing its political or geopolitical backgrounds. However, these apparently desperate attacks from the part of individuals or organizations representing the very powers targeted by the WikiLeaks disclosures, make us to conclude that we are really succeeding in our contribution for truth and justice.
The declarations above, directed to our international readers, will surely not deter these trolls. Neither is it intended to, as their conduct - for being possibly expression of obsessive behaviour, or simply politically or lobby-motivated - will persist in repeating over and over the same distortion of the theses published in Professors blog. This will end only when the Swedish case against Julian Assange is over. The cause for justice, which is the reason for our writing, shall overcome.
Following suit, I will publish in these columns a rebuttal made by Traci Birge of a remarkable comment to her last post in the Professors blog on the issue honour-killings in Sweden.       
Clarification: Professors Blogg is a Sweden-based independent blog devoted to Human Rights issues. These columns have recently devoted considerable space analyzing the Swedish case against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the authors of their respective articles and are in no way affiliated to WikiLeaks

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