The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state, a victory decades in the making for the Palestinians after years of occupation and war. It was a sharp rebuke for Israel and the United States ... In an extraordinary lineup of international support, more than two-thirds of the world body's 193 member states approved the resolution upgrading the Palestinians to a non-member observer state. It passed 138-9, with 41 abstentions.
The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly endorsed a Palestinian Authority bid to upgrade its status to a "non-member observer state." The Palestinians sought the upgrade, despite stiff opposition and possible negative repercussions from Israel and the United States ... There also were 41 abstentions and nine “no” votes, which included the United States, Israel and Canada ... Europe was divided on the issue, with 14 countries supporting the initiative and 12, including Britain and Germany, abstaining. Only the Czech Republic voted against it in the European bloc.
... The question the international community should ask is not who wants negotiations, but who wants solutions. The answer is clear – one side wants to negotiate a permanent solution and the other wants permanent negotiations ... While we have met our commitments, Israel continues to renege on its obligations and to build on the 22% of the remaining Palestinian land designated for the free sovereign state of Palestine. Think for a moment of the absurdity of telling an occupied people to achieve their independence only by politely asking the occupier to kindly allow them to be free.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly criticized European nations for "acting without courage" and "capitulating to Arab intimidation and pressure" in voting in favor of or abstaining on the Palestinian upgrade to that of "non-member state" observer at the United Nations.
Israel has authorised the construction of 3,000 more housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to Israeli officials. It is also speeding up the processing of 1,000 planning permissions. The Palestinian Authority has said it will not return to peace talks without a freeze in settlement building. The decision comes a day after a vote at the UN General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians' status at the UN to that of non-member observer state.
The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to accord Palestine the status of "Observer State" ... The US and Israel were decisively marginalized, as Italy and Sweden joined France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and several other European countries in voting for the new status. Continental Western Europe and Scandinavia were almost unanimous in supporting the Palestinians, in a kind of declaration of independence from the Obama administration. Even Germany, which for historical reasons is typically reluctant to buck Israel, voted to abstain rather than to oppose. From the Israeli press, it appears that many government and press figures are absolutely stunned and in a state of angry disbelief over the magnitude of this diplomatic defeat.
In 2001, Bibi Netanyahu paid a condolence call on a group of Israeli settlers in the village of Ofra, widows whose husbands had been killed in the Intifada: the videotaped conversation has just been leaked, and broadcast by Israel’s Channel 10, and it is a blockbuster ... What’s interesting – and embarrassing – about this leak isn’t the “revelation” that Israel’s amen corner in America exerts a decisive influence on US policymakers: who didn’t know that? The Israel lobby constantly boasts of it, while critics of US subservience to Tel Aviv consistently decry it. What we didn’t know, however, is how much the Israelis disdain us for it ...
... To imply that the Palestinians have no cause to resist, when rather plainly they exist in circumstances no people on earth would tolerate, is not really different from an actual lie. Israel can lie about Gaza if it wants, as governments do. But should major U.S. newspapers do so in their editorial and opinion pages? It is hardly as if such journalistic distortions come without cost to Americans. Faced with a vast region of critical strategic importance, American readers are being deprived of information essential to understanding what is going on.
The way that American political leaders and the US mass media deal with the Israel-Palestine conflict is an expression of a corrupt, unhealthy society that ignores basic historical and political realities and betrays the principles it claims to uphold. America’s policy of ardent support for the Zionist state also puts the US increasingly at odds against the rest of the world. As the new US ambassador to Israel recently acknowledged, US policy in the Middle East is driven by concern for Israel’s interests -- and not by what’s best for America and humanity.
Though America may be [known as] the “land of opportunity,” Switzerland will be the best place to be born in 2013 according to a quality-of-life index from the Economist Intelligence Unit ... With its small but very stable economy, Switzerland comes in first, wealthy, healthy and trusting of its public institutions. The United States, "where babies will inherit the large debts of the boomer generation, languishes back in 16th place," the EIU explains ... Back in 1988, the United States was in first place, with France in second, and West Germany in third. Zimbabwe was last, with Iraq second to last and Iran third to last.
Do you want to understand the magnitude and imminence of America’s financial calamity? ... All one really needs to do is view the 2013 budget from a high level. Don’t worry about the details. Just take a peak from 30,000 feet to see the crisis.
The budget is 3.8 trillion. Projected revenues are $2.5 trillion. That leaves a $1.3 trillion deficit. The deficit will be borrowed – on top of more than $16 trillion in existing debt. It’s a fait accompli unless Americans awaken to this scam and stop it. ... The debt now exceeds America’s entire gross domestic product.
In this clearly and starkly presented five-and-a-half minute video, accountant Hal Mason clearly and starkly explains the dire seriousness of the national debt problem. Worth viewing by every American who cares about the future.
The US birth rate hit a record low last year, led by the decline in child-bearing among foreign-born women, according to a Pew study. The overall US birth rate decreased by eight percent between 2007-10, and by six percent among US-born women, found the data. The rate fell sharpest for those hardest hit by the recession: 14% among foreign-born women and 23% among Mexican immigrant women in particular. The 2011 rate was the lowest since 1920, when such records began. Previous research by Pew concluded that states with the largest economic downturn from 2007-08, were most likely to have experienced fertility declines.
... Dissatisfaction and downright hostility toward the European Union is undeniably on the rise, making British withdrawal from the 27-nation club a more real prospect than it has been for years, and creating a massive headache for the Conservative-led government. Upset at EU court rulings that trump British ones, health-and-safety regulations viewed as ridiculously onerous and Eastern European migrants "stealing" local jobs, many Britons feel that EU membership is now more a liability than an asset ... Polls increasingly show more Britons in favor of leaving the EU than staying in. Anti-EU sentiment pervades British politics, with some Cabinet ministers openly calling for Britain to pull out ...
Everybody knows that Europeans took a lot of land from Native Americans, but this animated GIF by Tumblr user sunisup gives a great sense of just how fast the people living in North America were pushed west after Christopher Columbus "discovered" the continent. She turned an old graphic by Louisiana State professor Sam B. Hillard into a mini-movie that viscerally demonstrates the gradual chopping away of Native American land through cessions, or a surrender of territory to another entity.
… Rabbi Baruch Efrati, a yeshiva head and community rabbi in the West Bank settlement of Efrat, believes that the Islamization of Europe is actually a good thing. "With the help of God, the gentiles there will adopt a healthier life with a lot of modesty and integrity, and not like the hypocritical Christianity which appears pure but is fundamentally corrupt," he explained … "Jews should rejoice at the fact that Christian Europe is losing its identity as a punishment for what it did to us for the hundreds of years [we] were in exile there," the rabbi explained ... "We will never forgive Europe's Christians for slaughtering millions of our children, women and elderly ...”
Since 2000, the Japanese government has surveyed public opinion toward a handful of foreign countries, and this year’s results found something surprising and potentially quite significant. The number of respondents who reported they feel “friendly” toward Japan’s two most important neighbors, China and South Korea, have hit record lows. Those holding negative views of South Korea exceed those with positive views for the first time in the survey’s history, a dramatic and rapid reversal of previous scores. The number of Japanese who lack “affinity” for China now exceed those with positive feelings for the country by a proportion of over four-to-one.
… What of World War II? Surely, it was necessary to declare war to stop Adolf Hitler from conquering the world and conducting the Holocaust. Yet consider … The Holocaust was not a cause of the war, but a consequence of the war. No war, no Holocaust. Britain went to war with Germany to save Poland. She did not save Poland. She did lose the empire. And Josef Stalin, whose victims outnumbered those of Hitler 1,000 to one as of September 1939, and who joined Hitler in the rape of Poland, wound up with all of Poland, and all the Christian nations from the Urals to the Elbe.
“I don’t think there is an implicit obligation for the United States to follow like a stupid mule whatever the Israelis do,” said Zbigniew Brzezinski. “If they decide to start a war, simply on the assumption that we’ll automatically be drawn into it, I think it is the obligation of friendship to say, ‘you’re not going to be making national decision for us.’ I think that the United States has the right to have its own national security policy.” Speaking before a conference sponsored jointly by the Arms Control Association and the National Iranian American Council, [former National Security Adviser] Brzezinski effectively ruled out a U.S. or Israel attack on Iran as “an act of utter irresponsibility” ...
... As long as Israel can count on its destructive policies being underwritten by the U.S. taxpayer it can continue to engage in reckless behavior, and as long as the Palestinians feel the one-sided U.S. policy lined up against them, they will continue to resort to more and more deadly and desperate measures. Continuing to rain down missiles on so many increasingly resentful nations, the U.S. is undermining rather than furthering its security. We are on a collision course with much of the rest of the world if we do not right our foreign policy. Ending interventionism in the Middle East and replacing it with friendship and even-handedness would be a welcome first step.
... This [‘fascist’ outlook] arose from the memory of comradeship in the trenches [of the First World War], uniting all classes in face of the machine-guns which struck down all irrespective of social class. It arose from his "socialist imperialism"; its dynamic thrust came from his synthesis of economic ideas; its method of government was inspired by Lloyd George's inner cabinet, a government of action which had won the war of 1914-18 and which Mosley would transform into "a machinery of government" to solve the problems left by that war.
The U.S. was ranked 17th in an assessment of the education systems of 50 countries, behind several developed Scandinavian and Asian nations, which claimed the top spots. Finland and South Korea grabbed the first and second places in a global league table published by the education firm Pearson while Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore followed the high-ranking education superpowers. The study, carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), combines international test results and data such as literacy rates and graduation rates between 2006 and 2010.
Dr. Grover Furr, an English professor at Montclair State University (New Jersey), crudely and emphatically insists that Stalin never committed a single crime, and that findings of historians that the Soviet premier was responsible for the deaths of millions is a “lie.” At a meeting on Oct. 25, 2012, Furr responds to question: “What you said is bullshit! It’s wrong! It’s a lie! ... But of all of the falsifications that go on in the school systems in this country — this world, Soviet history is falsified the most. I have spent many years researching this and similar questions that I have yet to find one crime — yet to find one crime that Stalin committed. I know they all say he killed 20 or 30 or 40 million people. It’s bullshit!”
So I’d heard all about “Lincoln,” and how great the movie was, but when I saw it over the weekend, I was sorely disappointed. Viewer Beware, 1: It’s tediously long ... Viewer Beware, 2: It’s misnamed. The title should be “Lincoln and the Passage of the 13th Amendment.” ... Calling the History Department, 1: The film depicts Lincoln as being forever and deeply anti-slavery, which is a distortion ...
... Ben Affleck’s 'Argo' is a nailbiting thriller based on the incredible true story of the CIA operation that rescued six American diplomats from the turmoil of a revolutionary Iran ... His film delivers its main points with a disingenuous candour that enables the audience to feel superior without feeling like a supremacist. But the pseudo Western self-criticism is undercut by the fact that, aside from one traitor, there is not one single Iranian who is remotely likeable in the entire film. The Iranians in 'Argo' are essentially a screaming, braying mass of hysterical mobs. They bang on cars, smash buildings, exploit children, torch flags and torment innocent people. They are scary, suspicious, and innately violent.
Whatever one thinks of WikiLeaks, it is an indisputable fact that the group has never been charged by any government with any crime, let alone convicted of one. Despite that crucial fact, WikiLeaks has been crippled by a staggering array of extra-judicial punishment imposed either directly by the US and allied governments or with their clear acquiescence ... Recall that all the way back in 2008, the Pentagon prepared a secret report (ultimately leaked to WikiLeaks) that decreed WikiLeaks to be a 'threat to the US army' and an enemy of the US ...
The Hungarian government has condemned comments by a leading nationalist MP, who said officials of Jewish origin should be listed because they might be a "national security risk". MP Marton Gyongyosi, deputy group leader of Jobbik, spoke during a parliamentary session on Monday ... Jobbik has 47 seats in the 386-seat parliament - the third-largest group. Jobbik, an opposition party purporting to protect Hungarian values and interests, also has three MEPs in the European Parliament.
Poland's top court Tuesday ruled that the ritual slaughter of animals, a key tenet of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, was illegal, but the government insisted that new EU rules would still allow the practice. The Constitutional Court's ruling appeared largely symbolic, as it enters into force on January 1, the same day it is over-riden by a European Union directive setting common rules for the production of kosher and halal meat across the 27-nation bloc. The Polish agriculture ministry, that has provided licenses to 16 slaughterhouses to carry out the ritual, says the practice is sanctioned by the European Union regulations.
... This is the same old tale Americans have been getting from their presidents, politicians, and press for decades: Those nasty Arabs, attacking Jews out of the blue for no good reason that we can see. Not a word about Israel’s economic blockade, which has inflicted so much misery on the people of Gaza for so many years ... The story has been told so often now that most Americans really can’t see the conflict any other way ... The American public lets their president give Israel that green light because the public swallows the story told by the president and the press.
... Should Obama begin to pressure Israel to remove settlers from the West Bank and accept a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem, he would ignite a firestorm among evangelical Christians, the Israeli Lobby, the neocons and a Congress that, not long ago, gave Bibi 29 standing ovations after he dressed-down Barack Obama right in the Oval Office ... Israel is as isolated as she has been in a region that is more hostile to her presence than perhaps at any time since the war of ’48 ... How would America’s vital interests be imperiled by staying out of this particular quarrel, conflict or war? Why are all of these crises somehow ours to resolve?
Israeli elections are coming up in January, so it is Palestinian hunting season again ... Israel is violating several UN resolutions along with international law, according to many experts including Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories. But the U.S. gives Israel its unwavering UN veto cover ... The Israeli government advocates dominate the U.S. media – the talk shows, the news slants, and the opinion columnists. This is becoming less easy in an internet age.
... The timing of the latest war on Gaza as in the previous one partly meant to push the subject of Israel’s security on the top of the new administration’s agenda, rife with crises and challenges. No US administration risks initiating its term in office with an open confrontation with Israel. The conventional wisdom in Washington is that in times of war, Israel is right even if it’s wrong, as it often is. Not even Barack Hussein Obama is strong enough to change that reasoning. ... Now that Israel once more pushing its agenda as an American priority, the time is ripe for further escalation and for more saber-rattling against Iran, Hezbollah and whomever else Israel perceives as an enemy.
More Americans will use food stamps to buy their Thanksgiving dinner this year than ever before, according to a new report from the nonprofit government watchdog group The Sunlight Foundation ... According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp program, has increased 70 percent since 2007. And economists have warned that usage of food stamps won't go down until unemployment improves. This Thanksgiving, 42.2 million Americans will be on food stamps, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
... Secession fever has struck parts of Texas, which Mitt Romney won by nearly 1.3 million votes ... In Texas, talk of secession in recent years has steadily shifted to the center from the fringe right. It has emerged as an echo of the state Republican leadership’s anti-Washington, pro-Texas-sovereignty mantra on a variety of issues, including health care and environmental regulations.
George F. Kennan, an outstanding twentieth-century American diplomat and scholar, played an important role in implementing and shaping US foreign policy, and earned well-deserved praise as a historian. He was a consistent advocate of a "realist" US foreign policy -- laid down by Washington, Jefferson, and other founders -- based on a prudent regard for US interests, and especially the long-term interests of the American people. In 1947-48, Kennan joined with State Department chief George C. Marshall and other high-ranking US officials in opposing US support for the Zionist takeover of Palestine.
... The most peculiar thing about Kennan, a man not short on peculiarities, is that he had little love for, or even curiosity about, the country whose fortunes he devoted his life to safeguarding ... He was firmly anti-majoritarian, not only in foreign affairs, where he considered public opinion a menace, but in governmental decision-making generally. ... In all his reports, Kennan’s repeated message to Washington was “Get real.” He didn’t just disapprove of idealistic policy talk. He deeply loathed it ... Throughout his life, Kennan was a prolific writer and an exceptional stylist, somewhat in the manner of his historian hero, Edward Gibbon.
… Nor did [George] Kennan show any sympathy for proposals to spread democracy around the world. To begin with, he rejected egalitarianism because it was predicated on an observable falsehood and appealed to base instincts … An unapologetic elitist, he argued that elites were indispensable, to be judged by the quality of their character and the degree of their competence. In any event, Kennan could think of no reason to suppose that democracy, in the European and American sense of the word, was the destiny of the world’s peoples.
The United States says a conference on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East will not be held because of current conditions in the region ... State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Friday "a deep conceptual gap persists in the region" on how to handle regional security and arms control. Nuland said the U.S. would not support a conference in which any regional state would be subjected to "pressure or isolation," a reference to U.S. concerns that participants would gang up on Israel. Iran and Arab states often say Israel's presumed nuclear arsenal poses a threat to Middle East peace and security.
... The government which Americans fund and elect, and for which they thus bear at least some responsibility, is anything but neutral in this conflict. That government - certainly including the Democratic Party - is categorically, uncritically, and unfailingly on the side of Israel in every respect when it comes to violence and oppression against the Palestinians. For years now, US financial, military and diplomatic support of Israel has been the central enabling force driving this endless conflict.
... I think the big change [says former US president Jimmy Carter] is that the Israeli leaders have decided to abandon the two-state solution. Their policy now is to confiscate Palestinian territory, and they've announced publicly that it the Palestinians have to recognize not just Israel but Israel as a Jewish state, even though 20% of the Israeli community are non-Jews. Netanyahu has also decided that even the Jordan valley has to be under Israeli control. So, those factors indicate quite clearly that Netanyahu has decided that the two-state solution is not what he wants. He wants what is being called Greater Israel, Eretz Israel. That's a new development, and I think everyone recognizes this.
... To portray Israel as some kind of victim with every right to "defend itself" from attack from "outside its borders" is a grotesque inversion of reality. Israel has after all been in illegal occupation of both the West Bank and Gaza, where most of the population are the families of refugees who were driven out of what is now Israel in 1948, for the past 45 years. Despite Israel's withdrawal of settlements and bases in 2005, the Gaza Strip remains occupied, both effectively and legally – and is recognised as such by the UN.
Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, wrote an op-ed on Sunday calling for even more aggressive Israeli strikes in Gaza. "We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza," states Sharon in The Jerusalem Post. ... After saying that Israel needs to "flatten all of Gaza," he goes on to say, "The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too." ... Sharon isn't alone in his militant tone. Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai is reported by The Yeshiva World News to have said, “We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water."
A senior Israeli politician provoked controversy today when he warned that Palestinians firing rockets from Gaza would be punished with a "bigger holocaust" from Israeli armed forces. The use of the Hebrew word for holocaust, "shoah", tends to be used exclusively in Israel to describe the Nazi persecution of Jews. Palestinian activists routinely claim to be suffering a "shoah" at the hands of Israel, but the Jewish state normally denies any moral equivalence between the suffering of Palestinians today and European Jewry under the Nazis. Matan Vilnai, deputy defence minister, broke that taboo when he used the term "shoah" during interview on Army Radio.
... Available economic, educational, and military data indicate that, when it comes to U.S. global power, negative trends will aggregate rapidly by 2020 and are likely to reach a critical mass no later than 2030. The American Century, proclaimed so triumphantly at the start of World War II, will be tattered and fading by 2025, its eighth decade, and could be history by 2030 ... Viewed historically, the question is not whether the United States will lose its unchallenged global power, but just how precipitous and wrenching the decline will be ... The future scenarios include: economic decline, oil shock, military misadventure, and World War III.
About this book ... As Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the European Union now rise in global influence, twenty leading historians from four continents take a timely look backward and forward to discover patterns of eclipse in past empires that are already shaping a decline in U.S. global power, including: Erosion of economic and fiscal strength needed for military power on a global scale; Misuse of military power through micro-military misadventures; Breakdown of alliances among major powers; Weakened controls over the subordinate elites critical for any empire’s exercise of global power; Insufficient technological innovation to sustain global force projection.
... The truth is that we simply no longer understand America. Looking at the country from Germany and Europe, we see a foreign culture. The political system is in the hands of big business and its lobbyists. The checks and balances have failed. And a perverse mix of irresponsibility, greed and religious zealotry dominate public opinion. The downfall of the American empire has begun. It could be that the country's citizens wouldn't be able to stop it no matter how hard they tried. But they aren't even trying.
The Golden State has reached a poverty rate that is now twice as bad as West Virginia’s and substantially worse than the rates of poverty in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, according to a new measure of poverty developed by the federal Census Bureau. Democrat-run California earned its last-place rank under the federal government’s new measure of poverty, which incorporates more detailed analyses of welfare payments and the local costs of food, gasoline and housing.
... Why America was the greatest country in the world - but no longer is. Here are the stats as he breaks them down: The U.S. is: 7th in literacy; 27th in math; 22nd in science; 49th in life expectancy; 178th in infant mortality; 3rd in median household income; 4th in labor force; 4th in exports.
Presidential candidates and other prominent politicians boast of their belief in “American exceptionalism.” This is more than “feel good” talk. Such rhetoric is used as a pretext or justification for otherwise inexcusable policies that actually harm America and the world. Most of the world understandably regards such talk as dangerously arrogant and foolish. America’s extraordinarily rapid rise, and its prosperity and eminence during the twentieth century, are due to objective historical factors, which are no longer as relevant as they were in the past.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch apologized for a tweet in which he slammed the "Jewish owned press" for its "anti-Israel" coverage of the Gaza conflict.
On Sunday, Murdoch tweeted, " 'Jewish owned press' have been sternly criticized, suggesting link to Jewish reporters. Don't see this, but apologize unreservedly." ... He reportedly received angry responses to his tweet from Saturday that asked, "Why Is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?" ... Murdoch is the founder and chief executive of News Corp., which owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and many other media properties.
As Confederate soldiers charged into battle during the American Civil War (1861-1865), they let out the famed “rebel yell” that bolstered their confidence and unsettled their enemies. Just what did it sound like? Decades later, these elderly Confederate veterans re-enact the cry before cameras.
Israel’s inhumane treatment of non-Jews, as well as the often arrogant outlook of the organized Jewish community, reflect a centuries-old mindset that has roots in the Hebrew scriptures (the “Old Testament”). As Weber explains in this hard-hitting broadcast, Judaism is not just “another religion.” Its character and core values are markedly unlike those of Christianity and the other great world religions. Jews are encouraged to regard themselves as separate from the rest of humanity, and as members of a community with interests distinct from those of everyone else.
Outwardly, he was a dashing young professor at Edinburgh University and one of Scotland's most highly-respected psychiatrists, but Professor Alexander Kennedy hid a dark wartime secret until just months before his early death. A new book by Ian Cobain has uncovered the murky past of the distinguished academic and medical practitioner, and details how Kennedy used brainwashing techniques on Nazi spies during the Second world war in an attempt to turn them into double agents ... The book, which is published this week, investigates Britain's use of torture in the past and present and challenges the official line that the UK does not participate in or condone human rights abuses.
Italian police have blocked access to a white supremacist website and arrested four people for allegedly inciting racial hatred and spreading anti-Semitism.
Authorities on Friday blocked Stormfront, a white supremacist website based in the United States, and shut down its Italian-language forum ... Prosecutors in Rome launched the investigation after the group published blacklists of religious leaders, politicians, journalists and judges citing their support of immigrants. They also published lists of prominent Jewish citizens.
... Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does ... It has long been the case that the central enabling fact in Israeli lawlessness and aggression is blind US support, and that continues, more than ever, to be the case under the presidency of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner ... It's just been staggering to see how tilted US media discourse is: Israeli officials and pro-Israel "experts" are endlessly paraded across the screen while Palestinian voices are exceedingly rare; the fact of the 45-year-old brutal occupation and ongoing Israeli dominion over Gaza is barely mentioned ...
... At the most basic level, Israel’s actions in Gaza are inextricably bound up with its efforts to create a Greater Israel that stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the endless palaver about a two-state solution, the Palestinians are not going to get their own state, not least because the Netanyahu government is firmly opposed to it ... Israel’s leaders have a two-prong strategy for dealing with their Palestinian problem. First, they rely on the United States to provide diplomatic cover, especially in the United Nations. The key to keeping Washington on board is the Israel lobby, which pressures American leaders to side with Israel against the Palestinians and do hardly anything to stop the colonisation of the Occupied Territories.
... At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the [Israel] government's aim had been accomplished: the social issues, which threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda of the elections campaign. Forgotten, too, is the brave attempt of Mahmud Abbas to address the Israeli public opinion. In the coming weeks, the headlines will be filled with constant war and death, destruction and bloodshed. When it ends at last, it will be revealed that no goal has been achieved and that the problems remain the same, or perhaps got worse."
Both Houses of the U.S. Congress unanimously passed resolutions expressing support for Israel's "inherent right to act in self-defense." The identical non-binding resolutions passed Thursday in the Senate and Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives. ... Each resolution "expresses unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes and strongly supports its inherent right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism."
In both domestic and foreign policy, the US has one standard for Israel and the organized Jewish community, and another for non-Jewish humanity. The decades-long US campaign against “Nazi war criminals” underscores the hypocrisy of US policy. When President Truman recognized the newly-founded Israeli state in 1948, he rejected the stern warnings of his own advisors and officials. He put narrow, partisan interests ahead of the interests of the US and the world, and betrayed the principles that he and other American leaders claim to support. This was the “original sin” of US Middle East policy.
… It is well-known in the West that the Allies hanged Nazis for crimes — the murder of Jews, the brutal mass expulsions, the deadly forced-labour camps, the starvation of entire nations. What is not generally known is that these occupying Allied armies carved off 25 percent of Germany's most fertile land and placed it under Russian and Polish control, forcibly expelling about 16 million people into what remained. It has also been forgotten — or hidden — that the Allies forbade emigration and kept millions of prisoners in forced-labour camps.
... The starting point must be private U.S.-Iran discussions, leading to an agreed agenda. Both sides have recently hinted that such talks are under consideration, and reactions from the European Union, Russia and even the American people have been undismayed, even openly supportive ... Even a preliminary [US-Iran] agreement -- establishing a mutually acceptable process with a defined end point -- would help to unravel some of the tangles of Middle East issues. The threat of a new war in the Middle East would be reduced. The possibility of getting Iranian cooperation on Syria would be improved. The threat of nuclear proliferation in the region would be tamped down at least temporarily.
In this eye-opening one-hour presentation, one of America’s most popular and influential travel guides takes a look at a particularly fascinating country, one that is viciously maligned in the US media. Steves also speaks about the character of the capable, hospitable and remarkably friendly people of Iran. He shows something of life in Tehran and other Iranian cities, as well as in the countryside. He shows some of the impressive monuments of a rich and glorious heritage, and he briefly reviews the history of this ancient but vital land, especially in the tumultuous twentieth century.
Israeli prime minister Netanyahu and the Jewish-Zionist "amen corner" in the US insist that Iran must not be allowed to acquire even the capability of developing a nuclear weapon, and they threaten war to keep that from happening. But diplomats, military leaders, scholars and specialists are warning of the catastrophic consequences of any military strike against Iran. Most Americans have been pursuaded to believe -- mistakenly -- that Iran already has nuclear weapons, and poses a grave threat to America and the world.
Weber tells what he learned and accomplished during a recent visit to Iran. Among the highlights of his nine-day stay was a guest appearance on a prime-time public affairs television show, a meeting with the nation's President, and a well-received two-hour lecture to a several hundred Tehran university students. In this 75-minute address at an IHR meeting, he also speaks about how Iranians live and work, and the country's social, cultural and political life. He also takes a look at the history of US-Iran relations, and the prospects for war against the country by Israel or the US.
Online activist group Anonymous said on Saturday it had downed the websites of dozens of Israeli state agencies and a top bank in protest over the Jewish state's deadly air assault on Gaza. The hackers said their operation "OpIsrael" had either damaged or completely erased the sites of more than 650 private and public institutions that included the Bank of Jerusalem -- one of the country's main finance houses. "Bank of Jerusalem database has been deleted," the group said in a tweet next to a link to the lender's non-functioning website. It also claimed to have briefly downed the foreign ministry website in protest over an alleged Israeli threat to cut the Gaza Strip's Internet communications.
Sixty years after a landmark accord started German government compensation for victims of Nazi crimes, fund administrators and German officials say payments to Holocaust survivors are needed more than ever as they enter their final years ... German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble signed off officially Thursday on revisions to the original 1952 compensation treaty, increasing pensions for those living in eastern Europe and broadening who is eligible for payments. Contributions to home care for survivors already have been increased ... Germany has paid — primarily to Jewish survivors — some $89 billion in compensation overall for Nazi crimes since the agreement was signed in 1952.
Germany and the Jewish Claims Conference have signed a new groundbreaking accord to help elderly Holocaust survivors who had never received compensation, most of them living in eastern Europe. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and JCC chief Julius Berman attended a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the Luxembourg Agreement, under which West Germany assumed responsibility for the Nazis' crimes and paid reparations ... They sealed a new pact widening the group of people to receive payments, taking in survivors long ineligible because they lived behind the Iron Curtain, and tailoring compensation to ageing recipients' needs.
... I think the answer is that the aging conservative movement needed, and acquired, a glue to substitute for the anti-communism that held its disparate factions together from the 1950s to the 1980s. Fear and hatred of Islam now serves that function. Many grassroots conservatives justifiably perceive an America besieged by demographic changes, globalization, and the collapse of job security, while Republicans have few answers to offer. As a substitute, talk radio and the activist right — the organs that link the GOP to the grassroots base — supply a belligerent attitude toward the Islamic world ... It is now perhaps the most critical element holding together the conservative coalition.
The Law in These Parts, an Israeli documentary awarded this year's Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury prize, examines how the country created a military-legal system to control the Palestinians in the lands Israel occupied in 1967. And at some point during the film, it becomes clear that it's the judges who are on trial. The documentary, which just screened as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival, features forceful archive footage, alongside a line-up of Israeli legal experts, explaining how they made Israel's occupation laws ... This film successfully depicts the dense, crushing absurdities of Israel's military rule in a way that words don't always manage.
The president of Spain’s Jewish community called for changes to the country’s penal code to better combat online anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. Isaac Querub, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE), said at a seminar on anti-Semitism in Barcelona on Thursday that article 510 of the Spanish penal code, which deals with racism, needs to be amended to address hate speech on the Internet. A similar amendment
Rep. Ron Paul, the iconic libertarian congressman from Texas, has delivered what will most likely be his final address to Congress. In a sprawling, 52-minute speech to the House chamber, Paul lambasted U.S. government, politicians and special interests, declaring that the U.S. people must return to virtue before the government allows them to be free, and that the Constitution has failed to limit the scope of an authoritarian bureaucracy. "Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed," Paul said. "The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified."
Israel's escalating air attacks on Gaza follow the depressingly familiar pattern that shapes this conflict ... In essence, what we find, yet again, is that the governments of the United States and Israel arrogate unto themselves the right to execute anyone they want, anywhere in the world, without any limitations, regardless of how many innocent civilians they kill in the process. "Rogue nation" is a term that is often casually tossed around in the discourse of foreign relations. Here, it is quite appropriate, and - when it comes to extra-judicial assassinations - clearly applies to the two countries who apply the term most frequently to others.
The latest attacks by Israel against Gaza have been condemned as a violation of international law. However the US and UK have given their unwavering support to the new strikes on Gaza ... The unwavering support by the US and the UK is astounding, considering Israel has yet to comply with to any of the resolutions passed by the United Nations in relation to the Middle East conflict ... In addition to the frequent air strikes and shelling, Israel has kept Gaza under blockade since 2010 which is seen as an infringement of the right of the people in Gaza to a decent living, work, health and education.
Following is a list of United Nations Security Council resolutions directly critical of Israel for violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Conventions, international terrorism, or other violations of international law ...
... Understanding that Israel’s real agenda is not to fight Iran or do anything to help stabilize Syria and accepting instead that Benjamin Netanyahu intends to expand and solidify a Greater Israel provides some clarity to developments in the Middle East ... Unfortunately, only the United States can influence the Israelis to rethink their destructive policies, which will ultimately also do grave damage to the American people, but there is no sign that any US politician has the courage to face the facts and do what is right.
Palestine, the Holy Land, is our homeland. Our roots here stretch for centuries. We, Palestinian Christians are the descendants of the first Christians. We are also an organic and integral component of the Palestinian people. And just like our Palestinian Muslim brothers and sisters, we have been denied our national and human rights for almost a century ... We Christians have a duty to confront oppression. In our Kairos document, we Palestinian Christians declare that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God.
... Spielberg’s daring enough to show us a Lincoln who can shout at his wife, Mary (Sally Field), and slap his son, Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and one who occasionally drives even his devotees batty with his habitual anecdotes ... “Lincoln” remains at war with itself, seesawing relentlessly between the image of the clever conniver who knew how to manipulate others, which emerges from his contemporaries, and the inscrutable anti-slavery demigod brooding alone in his chambers, the quasi-religious image that we already had of a martyred saint.
Asking a British actor to play one of America’s great orators was always likely to prove controversial to US audiences. But Daniel Day-Lewis may not have expected the level of criticism for the voice he has given to Abraham Lincoln in a new Steven Spielberg film. Americans have complained that the Oscar-winning actor has given the 16th president a high-pitched, wavering tone ... Day-Lewis has the backing of historians. Harold Holzer, a Lincoln scholar, told CBS News: ... “The most frequent things we read are that he had a nasal, high voice that somehow miraculously floated over large crowds.”
... The Lincoln cult has covered up Lincoln’s racism for over a century, pretending that he was not a man of his time ... The Lincoln cult, which has fabricated excuses for everything, argued for years that Lincoln mysteriously abandoned his obsession with "colonization" sometime around 1863. Magness and Page prove this to be the nonsense that it is ... All of these truths, and many more, have been ignored, swept under the rug, or buried under thousands of pages of excuses by the Lincoln cult over the past century and more in books and in films like the new Lincoln film by Steven Spielberg.
In a carefully written and well-researched book published nearly 50 years after the author's death, former president Herbert Hoover details the folly, duplicity and great harm of US policy during World War II, and persuasively debunks the popular, entrenched view of America's role in the global clash as the "good war." In a book he considered his most important, Freedom Betrayed, Hoover examines president Franklin Roosevelt's record of deceit and lawlessness in promoting war in Europe, pushing the US into war, and aligning the US with Stalin's tyrannical regime. Runtime: 50 mins.
As ever more historians acknowledge, President Franklin Roosevelt broke the law and lied to the American people in a deceitful campaign to promote war in Europe, and then to get the US to join in the "Good War" against Germany. "Freedom Betrayed," the recently published book by former US President Herbert Hoover, is yet another authoritative debunking of the prevailing, official view of the US role in World War II. Runtime: 48 mins.
A new survey to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day has found that only six percent of Israeli children cite history lessons as a significant source of learning about the Holocaust. The annual survey, conducted by the Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies among 919 students, shows school education has a very limited influence on shaping young Israelis' understanding of the Holocaust. ... The survey shows that only a minority of the children see the Holocaust's significance in its universal context. Only two percent said they were committed to keeping democratic values, 2.5 percent felt solidarity with the suffering of persecuted nations, and eight percent pledged commitment to universal moral values.
.... The public appears to be primed. A large majority of Americans believe that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons program, 71 percent in 2010 and 84 percent this March. Some surveys even indicate that a majority of Americans would support military action to stop Iran from developing nukes ... But there is a third reason Americans are primed for war: there exists in Washington what might be called the Bomb Iran Lobby -- a number of hawkish political types and groups actively working to make believers of us all when it comes to an Iranian weapons program and so pave the way for regime change.
... About the Iran war. Israeli hawks can kiss it goodbye. I doubt that even Romney, had he been elected, would have allowed Netanyahu to attack. Campaign speeches would not have trumped the vital interests of the USA. He, too, would have taken one look at the map of the Strait of Hormuz and shuddered. Be that as it may have been, there is no chance whatsoever that Obama will now tolerate an Israeli attack. It would have ignited a large scale war with incalculable consequences for the US and world economy.
Israel’s military planners have been forced to conclude that a conventional assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities might fail after evidence emerged that Tehran has hidden far more of its uranium enrichment capacity beneath a mountain than previously suspected. Western defence experts say much of Iran’s Fordow enrichment site near the city of Qom is now deep underground in a “zone of immunity” safe from conventional airstrikes. They claim this narrows Israel’s response to two options: the deployment of special forces in a ground attack, or the use of ballistic missiles carrying small tactical nuclear warheads.
... Not only is the Iranian government becoming more belligerent, but according to polling data collected in recent weeks, the Iranian public overwhelming supports many of the government's positions on the nuclear program and related issues. According to recent data collected by Ebrahim Mohseni, who is conducting research inside Iran as part of his dissertation at the University of Maryland, 85 percent of Iranians said it was very important for Iran to have a civilian nuclear program. This high statistic suggests that, despite the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, there is no hesitation with the public that it should continue.
Iran is weighing a more confrontational strategy at possible renewed nuclear talks with world powers, threatening to boost levels of uranium enrichment unless the West makes clear concessions to ease sanctions. Such a gambit — outlined by senior Iranian officials in interviews this week — could push Iran's nuclear program far closer to the "red line" set by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for possible military options. But it also suggests that economic pressures and diplomacy have pushed Iran to the point of considering an ultimatum-style end game in efforts to seek relief from the U.S. and European sanctions ...
... An exploration of the Islamic Revolution in Iran conveys two great truths with vast implications: religion can still be a more potent mobilizer of mass political action than can secular ideologies, and the longtime hegemony of Western social models has ended. The Iranian Revolution thus emerges as one of the most important events in modern history, on a par with the watershed French and Russian revolutions ... About the broad outlines of the history of Iran during the last 150 years there can be no doubt. Foreign powers have heavily influenced the country's international affairs to suit their own economic and strategic interests, with scant regard for the opinions and interests of the citizenry.
... Predicting a second world war, Spengler warned in Hour of Decision that the National Socialists were not sufficiently watchful of the powerful hostile forces outside the country that would mobilize to destroy them, and Germany ... Oswald Spengler, shortly after predicting that in a decade there would no longer be a German Reich, died of a heart attack on May 8, 1936, in his Munich apartment. He went to his death convinced that he had been right, and that events were unfolding in fulfillment of what he had written in The Decline of the West.
... Spengler, above all, has forced us to inquire into the nature of civilization and to ask ourselves by what means -- if any -- we can repair and preserve the long and narrow dikes that alone protect us from the vast and turbulent ocean of eternal barbarism. For that, we must always honor him.
Little as we know about the events of the future, one thing is certain: the moving forces of the future will be none other than those of the past -- the will of the stronger, healthy instincts, race, will to property, and power. / This is our task: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us, this reality with which fate has surrounded us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.
... In its wide range of propaganda materials, including videotapes and fund-raising mailings, and especially in its glossy magazine, Response, the Center conjures up a paranoid fantasy world in which a sinister international network of neo-Nazis, Islamic extremists and other anti-Jewish forces of "hate" are on the march everywhere, plotting a murderous new "Final Solution" of all Jews ... The phenomenal growth and impact of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is a reflection of the predominant financial-political forces in American society today, and consequently of its prevailing cultural values and historical outlook.
Petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of Americans seeking permission for their states to peacefully secede from the union have now been filed for all 50 states on the White House website ... As of Wednesday afternoon, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas -- all states that voted for former Gov. Mitt Romney -- as well as Florida each had accumulated more than 25,000 signatures, the threshold needed to trigger an official response from the Obama administration. Collectively, the secession petitions now have more than 700,000 digital signatures.
... The reality, as Netanyahu understands well, is that Obama’s hands are now tied as firmly in the Middle East as they were during his first term. Obama got burnt previously when he tried to impose a settlement freeze. There are no grounds for believing that Israel’s far-right lobbyists in Washington, led by AIPAC, will give the president an easier ride this time ... Obama may not have to worry about re-election but he will not want to hand a poisoned legacy to the next Democratic presidential candidate, nor will want to mire his own final term in damaging confrontations with Israel.
... The next president may also have to face up to the fact that there isn't going to be a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, and begin to think seriously about what an alternative U.S. policy should be ... American experts now discuss "preventive war" in remarkably casual terms, as if it were just one of many strategic options. They seem to forget that by definition, preventive war means attacking countries that have not attacked us and are not about to do so.
Israel tops the list of the world’s most militarized nations, according to the latest Global Militarisation Index released Tuesday by the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC). At number 34, Israel’s main regional rival, Iran, is far behind. Indeed, every other Near Eastern country, with the exceptions of Yemen (37) and Qatar (43), is more heavily militarized than the [Iran] Islamic Republic, according to the Index, whose research is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development. Singapore ranks second, followed by Syria, Russia, Jordan, and Cyprus, according to the Index ...
Books which portray ‘traditional’ images of mothers caring for their children or fathers going out to work could be barred from schools under proposals from [a European Union agency in] Brussels. An EU report claims that ‘gender stereotyping’ in schools influences the perception of the way boys and girls should behave and damages women’s career opportunities in the future ... The document, prepared by the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, also suggests EU-wide legislation is needed to tackle the way women are depicted in advertising during children’s television programmes.
... To act as though Muslim anger toward the US and Israel is primarily the by-product of crazy conspiracy theories is itself a crazy conspiracy theory. It's in the world of reality, not conspiracy, where the US and Israel have continuously brought extreme amounts of violence to the Muslim world, routinely killing their innocent men, women and children. Listening to Engel, one would never know about tiny little matters like the bombing of Gaza and Lebanon, the almost five-decade long oppression of Palestinians, the widely hated, child-killing drone campaign, or the attack on Iraq.
The Hanns-Seidel Foundation, the organisation which runs the "Day of Folk Music", has launched an investigation into the background of the late Max and Maria Wutz. The couple left a fortune to the foundation in 1983, stipulating it should be used to celebrate Bavarian musical culture. But Der Spiegel magazine has claimed that Max Wutz was an early supporter of Adolf Hitler, becoming the Nazi's party second treasurer in 1921, occasionally acting as chaperone for Hitler and contributing money to party funds. Inspired "by the presumptuous cheek of the Jews", Maria also signed up for the Nazi party.
A position paper by Israel's foreign ministry proposes "toppling" President Mahmoud Abbas if Palestine's bid for UN non-member state status is approved. The internal document says it is "the only option" if deterrence efforts do not succeed, despite the consequences. It also suggests that the Palestinians should be offered immediate recognition of statehood within provisional borders as an incentive to drop their UN bid. Mr Abbas plans to submit a request to the UN General Assembly on 29 November.
When the Hamas rulers of Gaza recently gave a hero's welcome to the ruler of Qatar, an arch foe of the Syrian regime, it sent a strong message reverberating across the capitals in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut. The powerful, anti-American alliance of Iran, Syria and militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas, once dubbed the "Axis of Resistance," is fraying. Iran's economy is showing signs of distress from nuclear sanctions, Syria's president is fighting for his survival, and Hezbollah in Lebanon is under fire by opponents who blame it for the assassination of an anti-Syrian intelligence official. Hamas - the Palestinian arm - has bolted.
Ireland would support a European Union ban on goods produced in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [Palestine], but “there is no prospect for reaching an agreement” on such a ban, the Irish foreign minister said. “Ireland would support such a ban [on goods from Israeli settlements in the West Bank] at E.U. level,” Eamon Gilmore said in a Nov. 2 letter ...
Throughout the campaign season, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama alike insisted that the 21st century must be another American century — that the U.S. should continue to be the world’s predominant military, economic, and political power for generations to come. After ten years of shattered hegemonic dreams, leaders of both parties still feel compelled to declare their loyalty to the vision that inspired the follies of the Bush era. Foreign-policy debate continues to turn on the question of how to preserve American hegemony, rather than how to secure U.S. interests once America is no longer so dominant.
... If an American Century ever did exist, it's now ended. History is moving on — although thus far most Americans appear loath to concede that fact ... I'm willing to bet that future generations will look back on the period between 2006 and 2008 as the real turning point. Here was the moment when what remained of the American Century ran out of steam and ground to a halt ... Among the conjurers of imperial dreams in Washington, the American Century might live on. In places like Newark or Cleveland or Detroit, where real people live, it's finished. ...
The United States is frittering away its role as a model for the rest of the world. The political system is plagued by an absurd level of hatred, the economy is stagnating and the infrastructure is falling into a miserable state of disrepair. On this election eve, many Americans are losing faith in their country's future ... For the longest time, Americans were buoyed by the certainty that their children would be better off than they were. At the beginning of the 21st century, this American dream, which consisted mainly of confidence and optimism envied the world over, is failing.
... Even though the Germans were the foe, more often than not, they treated us better than Stalin’s Reds. My dad was picked up by the Germans after being left for dead by Stalin’s troops, and was taken to one of their field hospitals. When he felt strong enough he left with the help of peasants and made his way home ... For many in the West it may seem hard to believe, but Nazi occupation, despite reprisals, was better than being under Stalin. Because, for the first time, farmers could work the land free of the disastrous Bolshevik collective system, bumper crops were harvested. The Germans organized efficient food distribution. At last there was no starvation in the land.
Former Soviet General Andrei Vlasov takes command of new units of volunteers of the German-sponsored, anti-Stalinist “Russian Liberation Army.” Portion of German weekly newsreel, “Deutsche Wochenschau,” March 16, 1945. With English subtitles.
Russian General Andrei Vlasov addresses the founding conference of the anti-Stalinist “Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia,” in Prague, Nov. 14, 1944. He reads, in Russian, the historic proclamation of the German-supported Committee. With English subtitles. Vlasov, a high-level Soviet commander who was taken prisoner, also headed the German-supported “Russian Liberation Army.” At the end of the war US authorities turned him over to the Soviets, who hanged him in Moscow.
... "Magda G" is intended to be done in a cabaret — eventually. Before staging it as a live opera, Fisher wants to release it as a film — hence the need for $2 million. The main character is Magda Goebbels, wife of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who was a sort of unofficial first lady of the Third Reich. Hitler kept his sweetheart, Eva Braun, hidden from public view, marrying her shortly before they, and then the Goebbels, committed suicide in the Nazi command's Berlin bunker as the Russian army closed in during the spring of 1945.
... "The cigarette is the deadliest artefact in the history of human civilisation," says Robert Proctor of Stanford University. "It killed about 100 million people in the 20th Century." Jordan Goodman, the author of Tobacco in History, says that as a historian he is careful about pointing the finger at individuals, "but in the history of tobacco I feel much more confident saying that James Buchanan Duke - otherwise known as Buck Duke - was responsible for the 20th Century phenomenon known as the cigarette." Not only did Duke help create the modern cigarette, he also pioneered the marketing and distribution systems that have led to its success on every continent.
Israel squirms and wriggles like a worm on a fishhook over the Turkish trial into the deaths of nine unarmed humanitarian aid volunteers on board a ship bound for Gaza. Tel Aviv has called the hearing in Istanbul a “show trial” with no legal foundation or meaning at all since, rather predictably, the four military commanders at the centre of the brutal air and seaborne assault are being tried in absentia ... This was not a show trial, a political stunt or a symbolic hearing. This was real.
Palestinians will submit a bid to the General Assembly this month for non-state membership of the United Nations, despite US opposition, president Mahmud Abbas said on Sunday ... "We're going to the United Nations in November 2012, not 2013, or 2014," Abbas said at an event commemorating the eighth anniversary of the death of Arafat. "Israel's hysterical reaction to our UN bid is due to its desire to continue the occupation and we are under pressure of late from multiple parties to waive our just demand, but we will not," Abbas added.
Immigrants have fueled a mini-baby boom in Britain over the last decade, with one in four children now born to a record 200,000 foreign mothers a year. New figures show that the number of immigrants having babies has doubled since 2001, largely driven by an influx of Polish, Pakistani and Indian mothers. This has been the main reason behind an increase in the overall UK birth rate to its highest level in decades, with 808,000 births last year, compared with 670,000 in 2001. The spike in the birth rate is biggest in London, where six in ten babies are now born to immigrants each year.
In 1998, the Defence Department vetoed a delegation of prominent U.S. nuclear specialists to go to Iran to investigate its nuclear programme at the invitation of the government of newly-elected Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, according to the nuclear scientist who was organising the mission. The Pentagon objected to the delegation’s mission even though it was offered the option of including one or more scientists of its own choosing on the delegation, according to Dr. Behrad Nakhai, the nuclear scientist who was organising it. The Pentagon veto of the nuclear scientists’ delegation eliminated the Khatami government’s most promising initiative to promote a thaw in U.S.-Iran relations by weakening a key U.S. argument for viewing Iran as a threat.
... The common thread running through the Iran-bashing movies, including Not Without My Daughter (1991), Peacemaker (1997), Syriana (2005), 300 (2006), and most recently Argo (2012), that is, the negative stereotype of the Iranian "other," as basically overemotional, angry and diabolically anti-western ... The new movie Argo is fundamentally bereft of any new insights about Iran, neither film even minimally capable of going beyond the facade of angry anti-American crowds and humanizing the Iranians. Instead, a persistent de-humanization of Iranians is detectable as these movies' sub-text ...
... Netanyahu and Obama don’t like each other. Nonetheless, the Israeli prime minister extended congratulatory best wishes ... Expect both leaders to continue working with each other normally. Personal likes and dislikes won’t interfere. Even when doing so harms US interests, American presidents and Congress yield to Israeli Lobby pressure ... Expect US/Iranian relations to be no different now than pre-election. Tehran's nuclear program is red herring cover for regime change. Iran knows it and will do whatever it takes to defend its national security and right to produce peaceful nuclear energy. It should do no less and won't. Washington has no right to dictate Iranian policy.
A factual, reasoned 16-minute talk on the immense power and influence of the “Jewish lobby” in the US, and its harmful role, especially in directing US Middle East policy. As long as this power remains entrenched, says Weber, there will be no end to the Jewish-Zionist domination of American political life and the mass media, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the Israeli threat to peace, and the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East.
... Yet whoever wins today [election day], it is hard to be sanguine about the future. The demographic and economic realities do not permit it ... From California to Wisconsin to New York, we see the process at work at the state level. Government salaries are frozen, government payrolls are cut, government pensions and programs are scaled back. California and Illinois are on the precipice of default. Cities like Detroit, Birmingham, Stockton and San Bernardino are already there.
... China is not to blame for the decline in US manufacturing. Offshoring is to blame, and, thus, the blame lies with US corporations, policymakers, and the economists and financial media who shill for “globalism.” The decision was made to sacrifice the US economy to the short-term profits of the few. A country so poorly led can do nothing but decline.
Major trends in American social, economic and political life are symptoms of a society on the path to ruin. In his 1993 book, Out of Control, former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warns of America’s moral and ethical decline, the corrosive role of American television and motion pictures, and much more. The Polish-born scholar and statesman stresses that American society today lacks any meaningful moral-ethical foundation. He writes of the “supremacy of decadence and hedonism” in today’s America, where “self-gratification is the norm.” A society that “puts a premium on individual self-satisfaction is a community threatened by dissolution.”
Our uniquely massive support for Israel has cost trillions of dollars and multitudes of lives. It has diminished our moral standing in the world, lessened our domestic freedoms, and exposed us to unnecessary and growing peril. The majority of Americans – as well as our diplomatic and military experts -- oppose this unique relationship. Yet, the lobby for Israel continues to foment policies that are disastrous for our nation and tragic for the region.
... A new study has found that at various times the British have invaded almost 90 per cent of the countries around the globe. The analysis of the histories of the almost 200 countries in the world found only 22 which have never experienced an invasion by the British ... The analysis is contained in a new book, All the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To. Stuart Laycock, the author, has worked his way around the globe ... Iceland, invaded in 1940 by the British after the neutral nation refused to enter the war on the Allies side. The invasion force, of 745 marines, met with strong protest from the Iceland government, but no resistance.
... Britain repressed Palestinian nationalism, which was exemplified by its crushing of the Arab revolt of 1936-1939 and the denial of the right of the Palestinian people to express their will through their own representation. In fact, Britain suppressed Palestinian political representation through a policy of systematic denial of Palestinian political rights. The dying days of Britain’s rule in Palestine were marked by destruction, blood, and the start of the Palestinian exile, meaning the expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian people against the backdrop of Zionist terrorism.
"Palestine is at present occupied not by German troops but by the English,” says Hitler in this 1939 address. “And the country is undergoing restriction of its liberty by the most brutal resort to force, is being robbed of its independence and is suffering the cruelest maltreatment for the benefit of Jewish interlopers … England is attempting to suppress a people that loves its freedom and is merely defending it ... One fact is surely certain. In this case England is not defending herself against a threatened Arab attack, but as an uninvited interloper, is endeavoring to establish her power in a foreign territory that does not belong to her." From Hitler’s address to the Reichstag, April 28, 1939. Palestine was then under occupation by Britain, which supported Zionist efforts to seize the country. With English subtitles. Runtime: 1:58 mins.
... “It was called the Xinyang Incident. It destroyed this area like the wrath of God on Judgment Day.” The Xinyang Incident is the subject of the first chapter of Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958–1962, the Chinese journalist Yang Jisheng’s epic account of the worst famine in history. Yang conservatively estimates that 36 million people died of unnatural causes, mostly due to starvation but also government-instigated torture and murder of those who opposed the Communist Party’s maniacal economic plans that caused the catastrophe ... The famine grew out of Mao’s desire to speed up China’s development and force it into a utopian Communist vision that few in the Communist Party’s leadership had thought possible or desirable.
Many of the nation's colleges and universities have become cesspools of indoctrination, intolerance, academic dishonesty and an "enlightened" form of racism. This is a decades-old trend. In a 1991 speech, Yale President Benno Schmidt warned: "The most serious problems of freedom of expression in our society today exist on our campuses. The assumption seems to be that the purpose of education is to induce correct opinion rather than to search for wisdom and to liberate the mind." Unfortunately, parents, taxpayers and donors have little knowledge of the extent of the dishonesty and indoctrination.
... The current system of preferences does discriminate against Asian and white students. But that isn't what most disturbs the authors. The real cost, they say [in their new book, Mismatch], is that years of "happy talk" about the educational value of diversity have obscured a terrible fact: If you place students who are less academically prepared in classes where most of the students are more academically prepared, the gap will be punishing and possibly humiliating to the less prepared students.
One of the odder aspects of present-day politics is the assumption that if you are antiwar you are on the left, and if you are conservative you are “pro-war.” Like labelling conservative states red and liberal states blue, this is an inversion of historical practice. The opposition to America’s entry into both World Wars was largely led by conservatives ... Conservatives’ detestation of war has no “touchy-feely” origins. It springs from conservatism’s roots, its most fundamental beliefs and objectives. Conservatism seeks above all social and cultural continuity, and nothing endangers that more than war.
In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower left office warning of the growing power of the military-industrial complex in American life. Most people know the term the president popularized, but few remember his argument ... But Eisenhower’s least heeded warning — concerning the spiritual effects of permanent preparations for war — is more important now than ever. Our culture has militarized considerably since Eisenhower’s era, and civilians, not the armed services, have been the principal cause. ... Were Eisenhower alive, he’d be aghast at our debt, deficits and still expanding military-industrial complex.
In his farewell address, delivered to the American people on national television, Jan. 17, 1961, President Eisenhower spoke firmly, and in carefully chosen words, to warn against the dangers in the years to come of the great “military-industrial complex.” Excerpt. Runtime: 1:54 mins. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
Sen. Wayne Morse was one of only two members of Congress to vote against the fateful Gulf of Tonkin resolution of August 1964, which gave President Lyndon Johnson blank check authority to wage war against North Vietnam. This authorization, warned Sen. Morse, was unconstitutional. Moreover, it was later established that the alleged North Vietnamese attack against US warships, which the White House cited to justify the sweeping resolution, either never took place, or had been greatly exaggerated.
Holocaust survivor and Nobel peace prize laureate Elie Wiesel has said he is writing a book with President Obama, fresh from election victory. Speaking to Israeli news site Haaretz, the author, 84, said he was working on a project which would pick up again after Tuesday's presidential elections were over. "Obama and I decided to write a book together, a book of two friends," said Wiesel, author of the bestselling memoir Night ... Wiesel went on to make a speech in which he said to Obama: "Mr President, we have such high hopes for you, because you, with your moral vision of history, will be able and compelled to change this world into a better place ... You are our last hope."
Is there a more contemptible poseur and windbag than Elie Wiesel? I suppose there may be. But not, surely, a poseur and windbag who receives (and takes as his due) such grotesque deference on moral questions. … This claim is a cheap lie and is known by Wiesel to be a lie. It is furthermore an utterly discredited lie, and one that Israeli officialdom no longer cares to repeat. Israeli and Jewish historians have exposed it time and again: … And of course the lie is a Big Lie, because Expulsion-Denial lies at the root of the entire problem and helps poison the situation to this day.
The religion of “the Holocaust” is a secular one: it belongs to the lay world; it is profane; in actuality, it has at its disposal the secular arm, that is a temporal authority with dreaded power. It has its dogma, its commandments, its decrees, its prophets and its high priests. As one revisionist has observed, it has its circle of saints, male and female, amongst whom, for example, Saint Anne (Frank), Saint Simon (Wiesenthal) and Saint Elie (Wiesel). It has its holy places, its rituals and its pilgrimages. It has its sacred (and macabre) buildings and its relics …
Since the end of World War II it’s been banned in a number of countries as a dangerous “Nazi” symbol of “hate.” But for centuries the swastika has been a venerated sign of good fortune, well-being, life and eternal recurrence. Shown in this video are hundreds of forms and variants of this enduring symbol – including from ancient Greece and Rome, Keltic and Slavic lands of Europe, east Asia, and India. Runtime: 21:12 mins.
More than half of young Britons are unable to name the years the First World War started and ended, according to a survey which highlights a “shaky” grasp of even basic details about the conflict. Only 46 per cent of respondents aged 16 to 24 were able to identify 1914 as the year war broke out, while just 40 per cent correctly stated that peace was reached in 1918 ... Only a quarter knew that Passchendaele was a First World War battle. The clash, which took place between July and November of 1917 and was also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, claimed 325,000 Allied and 260,000 German casualties ... Around 60 per cent of those interviewed were unaware that Australia, Canada and India had helped by sending men to fight alongside the British forces.
... Although Obama cannot seek re-election, Congress will be facing the electorate in two short years. And while Obama may no longer have to consider Jewish voters or donors, those in his party seeking re-election will need to do so, and are sure to make their voices heard to the president. In other words, do not expect any dramatic changes to the Administration’s policies toward Israel now that Obama has won a second term. What was is what will be, for better and for worse.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said he is ready to order a strike on Iran if international sanctions do not stop its nuclear programme. "I am, of course, ready to press the button if necessary," he said. Speaking on Israeli television, Mr Netanyahu also indicated Israel was prepared to act unilaterally. His government has failed to get the US to set a clear "red line" for military action against Iran. This has put a strain on relations with the administration of President Barack Obama.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Monday night to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear program by whatever means necessary — even in outright defiance of American objections — if neither sanctions, nor other international action, achieves that goal. “There is no doubt about Iran’s intention — to destroy us,” Netanyahu said. “I won’t be reconciled to that.” Asked in an interview whether, if reelected in January, he would “pledge that Iran won’t have a nuclear program by the end of your next term,” Netanyahu said simply, “Yes.”
One of US president's senior advisors is secretly making efforts to establish line of communication with Iran / A Chicago lawyer is the key player behind the secret talks between the US and Iran. Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday. A close friend of Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett is assisting the US government communicate behind the scenes with the representatives of Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei. Jarret, who was born in the Iranian city of Shiraz, is a senior advisor to US President Barack Obama. Last month, The New York Times reported that the US government is engaged in secret talks with Iran aimed at establishing a direct line of communication once the US presidential elections are over.
Voters in Puerto Rico have supported a non-binding referendum to become a full US state. The measure will require approval from the US Congress, but President Barack Obama has said he will respect the vote. The island is currently a US territory, which uses the dollar and whose citizens travel on US passports ... If Congress grants its approval, Puerto Ricans would have the right to vote in all US elections, but would also have to pay federal taxes, something at present they are excused from. The island came under US control in 1898 when Spain lost the island at the end of the Spanish-American war.
This tragic historical record was to become a treasure almost as soon as it was published in 1920. Even then, a few voices were already sounding the alert about the threat of Bolshevism, which had just recently taken power in Russia. This book [The Last Days of the Romanovs] was one of the first writings that attempted to tell the true story of how the Bolsheviks had come to power, and just who was behind the phenomenon. Robert Wilton, The Times of London’s man-in-Moscow from 1902 through 1919, in chronicling the cold-blooded murder in Ekaterinberg, Siberia, of the last Tsar, his wife, four daughters, son, physician, three servants and little pet dog, was fully aware of the true facts ...
While all are agreed that the overthrow of the Russian Empire in 1917 was one of the most important happenings in recorded history, honest attempts to find out exactly what did happen, how it was planned and carried out, have always been attended by difficulty and danger. In the Soviet Union the propagation of any opinions and ideas not approved by the state was for many years a punishable offense, incurring even the death penalty. And in the West methods of persuasion, pressure and intimidation have been used consistently to sustain the fiction that all that happened in Russia was the overthrow of a harsh Tsarist tyranny by Russia's long-suffering masses.
The Israeli housing ministry on Tuesday published tenders for the construction of 1,213 new homes in East Jerusalem and West Bank beyond the 1967 lines, dealing a fresh blow to the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks ... Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Xinhua Tuesday that Israel is working to undermine the peace process by continuing the building of new settlements in East Jerusalem ... The Palestinians and international community consider all settlements built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal because they are built on territories Israel occupied during the 1967 Six Day War.
It is now 70 years since GIs first landed on British soil to join their allies during World War II ... They were in for a shock. The first GIs landed on Britain's shores in 1942 and brought with them candy, Coca-Cola, cigarettes and nylon ... GIs were frequently described as "overpaid, oversexed and over here" ... He says that "there was often a lot of resentment towards them, about the way they would throw their money around indiscriminately". Many though, especially women, loved American culture - the music and consumerism, and had a view of "America as an ideal", says Wynn. But Reynolds notes that the more conservative Britons worried that the spread of American consumer culture was "undermining and eroding" British values.
Elie Wiesel and President Obama are writing a book together, the Holocaust survivor and author told an Israeli newspaper. The book, which the two men will resume writing after Tuesday’s presidential election, is “a book of two friends,” Wiesel, a Nobel laureate, told Haaretz. Haaretz reported that Wiesel and Obama became friends in 2009 when Wiesel joined Obama on a visit to the site of the Buchenwald concentration camp, where Wiesel was interned at the end of World War II following a death march from Auschwitz.
Israel has described as “political theatre” the trial in Turkey of four Israeli military commanders over the deadly storming of a Gaza-bound aid ship. Hundreds of protesters chanted as the court case began in Istanbul on Tuesday. Among those being tried in absentia is the former head of the Israeli army. Nine Turks were killed during the raid by Israeli marines in 2010. A Turkish state prosecutor has called for multiple life sentences over the officers’ alleged involvement in the killings and the wounding of 50 other people.
The British government opposed the establishment of the Nuremberg war crimes tribunals at the end of the Second World War because it wanted selected Nazi leaders to be summarily executed and others to be imprisoned without trial, according to a contemporary account that is declassified on Friday. Winston Churchill made the proposal at the "Big Three" conference at Yalta in February 1945, according to the account, but was overruled by Franklin D Roosevelt, who believed the US public would demand proper trials, and Joseph Stalin, who argued that public trials possessed excellent propaganda value.
Jewish supporters of Winston Churchill are to unveil a bust of the British wartime leader in Jerusalem this weekend in what they say is a long-overdue recognition of his staunch and unwavering support of the Jewish cause and their desire for a homeland. “As a passionate Zionist all his life and a philo-semite, Churchill has been under-recognised,” says Anthony Rosenfelder, a trustee of the Jerusalem Foundation, which is behind the project to commemorate the British leader ... It is perhaps ironic that a statue of Churchill should stand just yards away from the King David Hotel, scene of a deadly Jewish terror attack on British military headquarters in 1946 that was to hasten the demise of mandate rule in Palestine.
Winston Churchill, Britain’s premier during World War II, is honored for his stubborn “bull dog” hostility toward Hitler and Nazism, and his important role in ultimately destroying Third Reich Germany. In fact, his policies brought death and destruction on a mass scale, Soviet domination of central and eastern Europe, a shattered British empire, and Britain itself exhausted and bankrupt. The well-polished image of Churchill as a courageous and principled defender of freedom is based on a deceitful and ultimately dangerous narrative of history.
A striking expression of the corruption of America’s social-political life is the ignorance and arrogance of its prominent politicians. The presidential candidates who addressed a “debate” in Washington, DC (with the notable exception of Ron Paul) showed that they lack principle, a coherent worldview, or a reality-based understanding of history. Along with empty “feel good” rhetoric about “American exceptionalism,” they also showed a craven pandering to Jewish-Zionist power. In a healthy and educated society, such individuals would be considered unfit for any position of authority or responsibility.
... Of their serious presidential candidates, and even of their presidents, Americans demand constant reassurance that their country, their achievements and their values are extraordinary. Candidates and presidents generally oblige them, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney included. It is permissible, in the political major leagues, for candidates to talk about big national problems — but only if they promise solutions in the next sentence: Unemployment is too high, so I will create millions of jobs. It is impermissible to dwell on chronic, painful problems, or on statistics that challenge the notion that the United States leads the world ...
... These built-in difficulties to the making of U.S. foreign policy emanate primarily from one source: the widespread public belief, reiterated endlessly by our government and political parties, that the United States is uniquely virtuous in word and deed. This axiom derives from our historical democratic perspective and overwhelming power since World War II. Today, it assumes that we are the greatest force for good in the world and that the use of our power can be unbounded since it is profoundly moral. American politicians who do not affirm this are unlikely to prosper.
.... The biggest cheerleaders for the unprovoked, unconstitutional, pre-emptive attack and invasion of Iraq were evangelical Christians. Ditto for the war in Afghanistan, the bombing of Libya, the attacks in Yemen, drone attacks in Pakistan, etc. Who is calling for the bombing of Iran? Evangelical Christians ... And where are today’s evangelical Christians giving a second thought regarding their fellow Christian brothers and sisters in many of these Middle Eastern countries ...
The fundamentalist and evangelical Protestant Christians in the US who fervently embrace Israel are the single most important block of non-Jewish American supporters of the Zionist state and its policies. But few of these “Christian Zionists” realize just what an odd minority they are among the world’s Christians, and how out of step their views are with traditional Christian principles. Christian Zionists reject the ethical values of Jesus as laid out in the Gospels, and betray fellow Christians in Palestine who are victims of Israeli dispossession and oppression.
Readers of this blog will recall several previous battles I have been engaged in with Israel-Firsters intent on getting me fired from various jobs and banned from the media. In these efforts, the Israel-Firsters have had some success. Well, things on this score had been quiet for a while, but last week a new e-mail campaign began against me, one that is directed at Fox News and Georgetown University. I commented acidly or flippantly to most of these notes, but it became clear that this campaign was different from the others ...
A federal judge rebuffed a disbarred lawyer's second attempt to stake a claim against Nazi-looted art in Czech galleries on behalf of Holocaust survivors. Before his ouster, Edward Fagan successfully represented thousands of Holocaust survivors and their descendants in restitution lawsuits over bank accounts and property confiscated from Nazi victims during Hitler's occupation of Europe. Fagan's reputation and business, however, began to decline after former clients accused him of negligence and fraud. Fagan was dismissed from the New York and New Jersey Bars in 2008, after a federal judge found no trace of a Holocaust survivor group Fagan purported to represent and imposed sanctions that Fagan could not pay.
Thousands of nationalists marched through Moscow on Sunday chanting slogans such as "Russia for the Russians" to protest President Vladimir Putin's government, which they accuse of lavishing privileges on migrants and minorities while ignoring ethnic Russians ... Sunday's march took place on Unity Day, a national holiday established in 2005 to replace commemorations of the Bolshevik Revolution. It has become associated with the nationalist "Russian March," which has taken a stridently anti-Kremlin tone. More than 40 Russian Marches were held throughout the country during the day.
Britain’s Jewish leadership has made a formal complaint to the Church of England about one of its clergymen, accusing him of producing antisemitic material and posting links to antisemitic websites on his blog. Reverend Stephen Sizer is “an avid reader and publicizer of websites that are openly and virulently antsemitic, and Rev. Sizer has himself descended into making antisemitic statements,” according to the complaint, lodged by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the community’s main representative organization. The vicar’s behavior “threatens the important relationship between Christians and Jews in the United Kingdom… [and] can no longer go unchallenged,” it said.
A lawmaker for Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party has reportedly read out in parliament a passage from the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Ilias Kasidiaris, a spokesperson for Golden Dawn, read out Protocol 19 from the book: "In order to destroy the prestige of heroism we shall send them for trial in the category of theft, murder and every kind of abominable and filthy crime," according to Panayote Dimitras of the Greek Helsinki Monitor. Kasidiaris was addressing parliament on October 23 at a discussion on lifting his immunity in connection with suspicions of assault. “There was absolutely no reaction” to this in parliament, Dimitras said, which, makes “all parties held as accomplices.”
Authorities in the southern German state of Bavaria say they are considering legal ways to prevent Hitler's Mein Kampf being published when its copyright expires at the end of 2015. The Bavarian culture ministry said in a statement it would "see what legal options we have available to deal with the problem of the free publication of Hitler's book Mein Kampf after the copyright runs out."
In Latvia and Estonia today, people honor the men who fought and died in the ranks of the Waffen SS to halt the Soviet onslaught against their nations. This video provides some insight into the men of the Latvian and Estonia SS units and their enduring legacy. During the final years of World War II, the Waffen SS grew into a vast pan-European military force that included many soldiers from Ukraine, Netherlands, France, Belgium and other countries. World War II was not a simplistic clash of Allied “good guys” and “evil” Axis forces. For millions of people in Europe, Hitler’s soldiers were welcomed as liberators. Runtime: 4:38 mins.
Fidel Castro recruited former members of the Nazi SS to train Cuban troops during the Cold War, newly released German secret service files have revealed. The then Communist President of Cuba also bought Belgian-fabricated arms from two middle-men who had strong links to the extreme German right ... The documents, released by the BND and published online by German newspaper Die Welt, show a series of plans developed in October 1962 - at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. They reveal that two of the four former SS officers invited to La Havana had taken up the offer ... And regarding the purchase of right-wing linked arms, they show how Castro had dealt with two traffickers - Otto Ernst Remer and Ernst Wilhelm Springer - in buying 4,000 pistols.
Many Americans are rightly disgusted by the non-choice they are offered in the presidential race every four years. This year is no different despite the serious problems that the United States faces at home and abroad ... The presidential foreign policy debate on Oct. 22 appeared to be a consensus product, with challenger Mitt Romney agreeing to most policies supported by incumbent Barack Obama. As expected, Israel was repeatedly exalted as the most valued U.S. ally, even though it is a strategic liability. Iran was mentioned no less than 47 times, repeatedly described as the greatest international threat to the United States even though it has never actually threatened to harm the American people and has no capability to do so.
If we needed evidence of the impoverishment of American politics, the so-called debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney gave us all we could ask for. We normally expect a debate to highlight some disagreement, but in American politics disagreement is reserved for minor matters. The two parties — actually the two divisions of the uniparty that represents the permanent regime — agree on all fundamentals ... Obama and Romney are both conceited enough to think a U.S. president can and should orchestrate events in the Muslim world. That alone is reason enough to reject them both.
... One did not have to be an expert to notice that Romney did not present original ideas of his own. He parroted Obama’s positions, changing a few words here and there ... One could easily get the impression that the world is an American golf course, in which the US can knock the peoples around like balls, and the only question is which player has the more skill and selects the best club. The will of the peoples themselves is quite irrelevant ... Israel was mentioned in the debate 34 times – 33 times more than Europe, 30 times more than Latin America, five times more than Afghanistan, four times more than China. Only Iran was mentioned more often – 45 times – but in the context of the danger it poses to Israel.
... Even biased UN nuclear inspectors say Iran has no nukes. Even so, hysteria and disinformation about Iran’s nuclear program continues without relent, intensifying war fever in America which is in the midst of election fever ... President Obama has been a profound disappointment to those who hoped he would end America’s militarized foreign policy and the Bush era’s violation of rights. However, the blundering, ill-educated Romney now makes Obama look wise and saintly.
... Ample ink is spilled over debating whether the US media is biased in favor of Republicans or Democrats. It is neither. The overwhelming, driving bias of the US media is subservience to power, whoever happens to be wielding it. That is what explains why the US media has been so obsequious first with George Bush and now with his Democratic successor ... The central function, the religion, of the US establishment media is adulation of those who wield power, especially military power ...
Behind the pro-Israel slant of US foreign policy and a domestic policy that promotes “diversity” is money power and media control. Three of the most important players in American political life are George Soros, Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson. Well-funded manipulation of the nation’s mass media, and cultural and educational life, is decisive in determining the basic policies and direction of American life, above all by molding the “accepted” social-ideological premises on which policies and laws are based.
... Egalitarianism has triumphed over freedom. Hierarchy, the natural concomitant of freedom, is seen as undemocratic. Are we similar "in our manners and customs"? Are we agreed upon what is good or even tolerable in music, literature, art? Do we all seek to live by the same moral code? Abortion, a felony in the 1950s, is now a constitutional right. Homosexual marriage, an absurdity not long ago, is the civil rights cause du jour. Dissent from the intolerant new orthodoxy and you are a bigot, a hater, a homophobe, an enemy of women's rights ... Racially, morally, politically, culturally, socially, the America of Jay and the Federalist Papers is ancient history. Less and less do we have in common.
In July 1944 a group of German conspirators tried to kill Hitler and violently seize power in Berlin. In the US and Germany today, the anti-Hitler conspirators are portrayed as men of exemplary courage, conscience and principle. This prevailing, “politically correct" idealization is a gross distortion of reality. By today's standards, von Stauffenberg and the other leading conspirators were "Nazis." They supported the policies and principles of National Socialist government for at least five years, and only belatedly turned against the Hitler regime.
Was Germany's Second World War general, Erwin Rommel, really the chivalrous "Desert Fox" commander of legend who is reputed to have plotted against Hitler? Or was he a deeply convinced Nazi and anti-Semite driven by an egotistical desire for fame? German viewers will get an opportunity to make up their own minds on Thursday evening when Rommel, a controversial television drama about the celebrated wartime general, will be broadcast. The production has infuriated the surviving relatives of the general who committed suicide in 1944. Its authors stand accused of relying on the works of the discredited Holocaust-denying British historian David Irving.
A new film about Erwin Rommel has been shown on German television, depicting the general as a weak man undone by his links to Adolf Hitler. Dubbed the "Desert Fox" when he fought the Allies in North Africa during World War II, he was admired by enemies for his skills on the battlefield. He finally killed himself, under pressure from the Nazi leader, who suspected him of taking part in a plot. But the TV film questions depictions of Rommel as a tragic anti-Nazi hero ... On Friday morning, Rommel was the top trending topic among users of Twitter in Germany and the film has generated articles and comment in the media.
Miko Peled, son of a prominent Israeli military leader and author of “The General's Son,” takes a harshly critical look at the mythologized Zionist narrative of Jewish history, including the founding of the Israeli state, Israel’s wars, and the “peace negotiations” with Palestinians. Peled speaks to an audience in Seattle, Oct. 1, 2012. Runtime: 68 minutes.
... Many believe now, as they believed then, that Israel was forced to initiate a preemptive strike in 1967 because it faced an existential threat from Arab armies that were ready — and intending — to destroy it. As it happens, my father, Gen. Matti Peled, who was the Israel Defense Forces' chief of logistics at the time, was one of the few who knew that was not so ... Throughout the meeting, there was no mention of a threat but rather of an "opportunity" that was there, to be seized ... For 45 years, successive Israeli governments have invested billions of dollars in making the 1967 conquests irreversible, and they have eliminated any chance for the two-state solution to become a reality.
US military commanders have warned their Israeli counterparts that any action against Iran would severely limit the ability of American forces in the region to mount their own operations against the Iranian nuclear programme by cutting off vital logistical support from Gulf Arab allies. US naval, air and ground forces are dependent for bases, refueling and supplies on Gulf Arab rulers who are deeply concerned about the progress Iran has made in its nuclear programme, but also about the rising challenge to their regimes posed by the Arab spring and the galvanizing impact on popular unrest of an Israeli attack on Iran.
Iran has pulled back from the brink of achieving a nuclear weapon, opting to use over a third of its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told a British newspaper. Iran's decision to convert that uranium into fuel rods for a civilian research reactor avoided a crisis this summer, Barak said in an interview published Tuesday in the Daily Telegraph. Iran delayed its ability to assemble a nuclear bomb by eight to ten months, according to Barak, who said that he does not believe sanctions and diplomacy will succeed and that Israel and its allies will have to decide sometime in 2013 whether to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. He added that Israel reserves the right to act unilaterally to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.
... Tehran likely prefers a President Romney who would put neoconservatives back in charge of American foreign policy. That is because Iranian decision makers believe a neocon-oriented Romney administration would isolate the United States internationally and crack the unity among permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) — not unlike the George W. Bush administration ... Romney’s advisers — most of whom supported the Iraq war — have already concluded that war with Iran is essential. Often a president is only as smart as his or her advisers, and for that reason Iran should not dismiss as mere rhetoric Republican support for war.
... Still, not everyone is convinced that a Romney victory is necessarily a negative development for Iran and some Tehran pundits have pointed out that a president Romney would for sure antagonize both Moscow and Beijing and thus prompt a stronger pro-Iran tilt on the part of China and Russia. President Obama, on the other hand, has done little to earn Iran's trust, given the comprehensive "crippling sanctions" imposed on Iran during the past four years, the Obama-sanctioned cyber-warfare and his constant reminder that the "clock is ticking" on the nuclear issue and the window for diplomacy is closing. Besides, history is a factor too, ie, the fact that historically the republican administrations have been more successful in deal-making with Iran than the democrats.
...Despite his lucidity and widely attested personal decency, Hobsbawm also became an object lesson in the dangers of ideological devotion. His passion for justice drew him into a cause that would require him to excuse the many injustices that took place in the Soviet Union under Stalin. A lot of Western Communists abandoned ship after the Soviet crackdown on Hungary in 1956. Not Hobsbawm. Nor did he quit after the tanks rolled into Prague twelve years later. In a 1994 interview with Michael Ignatieff he famously claimed that if the Soviet Union had succeeded in creating a true communist society, it would have been worth the deaths of the twenty million people who perished under Stalin.
Members of Hungary’s Jobbik ultra-nationalist party have burned an Israeli flag in front of a major synagogue in the capital Budapest, calling on the government to cut diplomatic and economic ties with the Tel Aviv regime. The protesters gathered outside the Dohany Street Synagogue, which is regarded as the largest synagogue in Europe, on Tuesday, when the country marked the 56th anniversary of the anti-Communist revolution in 1956. Jobbik leader Gabor Vona denounced Hungary’s cooperation with the Israeli regime and said any “agreement between Hungary and Israel should be canceled.”