... New research provides strong evidence that suicide terrorism such as that of 9/11 is particularly sensitive to foreign military occupation, and not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology independent of this crucial circumstance. Although this pattern began to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s, a wealth of new data presents a powerful picture. More than 95 percent of all suicide attacks are in response to foreign occupation, according to extensive research that we conducted at the University of Chicago's Project on Security and Terrorism ... The first step is recognizing that occupations in the Muslim world don't make Americans any safer -- in fact, they are at the heart of the problem.
... Meanwhile, it is damned clever of the Israelis to make the peace talks go away, while simultaneously shooting unarmed Palestinian demonstrators and announcing the building of 1,500 new houses on the West Bank. It almost makes someone suspect that they might have been somehow behind the apparent use of chemicals on Syrian civilians since they also provided the intelligence implicating the Syrian government and sure are pushing hard for the United States to "do something" about al-Assad. That is called narrative shifting. Having a little war going on in the neighborhood is not half bad if you are up to no good yourself.
… The quantity and scope of his productive output would alone stamp Harry Elmer Barnes as a memorable scholar, but this alone barely begins to scratch the surface of how remarkable a man he was. For he was that rarity among scholars: a passionately committed man. It was not enough for Harry to discover and set forth the truth; he must also work actively and whole-heartedly in the world on behalf of that truth … Like Beard and Flynn, Barnes found himself hounded by former friends and colleagues and denounced as a "Nazi" merely for cleaving to the liberal and pro-peace principles which all alike had shared a few short months before.
… Revisionism continued to be suppressed and obscured for most of the rest of Barnes' life, but before he passed away in late 1968 he had the gratifying experience of seeing revisionism make something of a come-back among the New Left who were beginning to criticize American war-making in general and not just the Vietnam war. I think it can be safely stated that if the foreign policy advocated by those such as Harry Elmer Barnes had been followed, we would not be in the dire situation we are in today, with the U.S. military occupying Iraq and preparing to take Iran …
… The “London Cage” was a secret torture centre where German prisoners who had been concealed from the Red Cross were beaten, deprived of sleep, and threatened with execution or with unnecessary surgery. As horrific as conditions were at the London Cage, Bad Nenndorf was far worse … Prisoners were systematically beaten and exposed to extreme cold, where some were starved to death and, allegedly, tortured with instruments that his fellow countrymen had recovered from a Gestapo prison in Hamburg.
Bardèche’s Nuremberg or the Promised Land (Nuremberg ou la Terre Promise) was the first book-length critique of the Nuremberg Trial. This pioneering work was first published in Paris in 1948. For a Frenchman to criticize that trial in those years, and especially the French role in it, took great courage. For having written this book, the author was sentenced by a Paris court to one year in prison and fined 50,000 francs. (However, he served only a few weeks behind bars before being pardoned.) Copies of the book were seized and sale of the work was prohibited.
In this hard-hitting, hour-long broadcast, host Karen Kwiatkowski and Mark Weber discuss historical revisionism, US-Israel relations, the background of US support for Israel, including Pres. Truman's fateful decision to recognize the new Zionist state, and the corruption of politicians who put their careers ahead of US and world interests. Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., is a retired US Air Force Lt. Colonel who was with the Pentagon's Near East/ South Asia bureau, and worked on policy papers for the Secretary of Defense. She was assigned to the Pentagon's "Office of Special Plans," which promoted war with Iraq.
... Belying the blustery rhetoric about Iran’s supposed preoccupation with martyrdom, Israeli leaders constantly imagine themselves in the shoes of their Iranian counterparts and invariably conclude that it is only rational for the Islamic Republic to acquire the bomb ... That crude logic also characterizes how Israelis view Iran’s atomic venture. Put simply, if Tel Aviv had been in Tehran’s place, it would have done everything within its means to go fully nuclear. And indeed, it did: Israel remains the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East ... Apparently, nothing short of a powerless and pliant Iran under a different regime will pacify Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ramped up pressure on the White House on Sunday [July 14] to put the buildup of Iran’s nuclear program ahead of other crises in the Middle East, complaining of a lack of urgency on the issue and saying that the Obama administration must demonstrate “by action” to Iran’s newly elected president that “the military option which is on the table is truly on the table.” ... Mr. Netanyahu said those demands “should be backed up with ratcheted sanctions,” adding, “They have to know you’ll be prepared to take military action; that’s the only thing that will get their attention.”
Rising inequality over the past decades led Americans to lose faith in some key aspects of the “American Dream” of a future that will inevitably be better than the past ... Between 1973 and 1994 (the first and last times these questions were asked in a major national survey) the share of Americans who believed that the “lot of the average person is getting worse” rose from 56 percent to 69 percent ... Between 1968 and 2006 the share of Americans who believed that “most people can be trusted” fell from 56 percent to 34 percent. ... In 1968, 63 percent of Americans believed that the government in Washington could be trusted to do the right thing, but only 14 percent agreed in 2008.
... Talking with average Iranians and shop keepers, and especially students, one gets a fairly good idea of just how engaged public opinion is in Iran on current events. It offers a very different picture than that presented by the western media ... One finds also among Iranians a smoldering anger over the current chemical weapons ‘red line’ issue in Syria, along with an awareness that this may well lead to regional war. The American campaign to bomb Syria is viewed here as utmost American governmental hypocrisy ... Given the Islamic Republic’s role as a key pillar of resistance to the Zionist occupation of Palestine and US-Israel regional hegemonic goals, few here, if any, believe the US attack on Syria is not aimed at them.
... In its most recent census, Germany discovered it had lost 1.5 million inhabitants. By 2060, experts say, the country could shrink by an additional 19 percent, to about 66 million. Demographers say a similar future awaits other European countries, and the issue grows more pressing every day as Europe’s seemingly endless economic troubles accelerate the decline. But bogged down with failed banks and dwindling budgets, few are in any position to do anything about it.
The CIA has publicly admitted for the first time that it was behind the notorious 1953 coup against Iran’s democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, in documents that also show how the British government tried to block the release of information about its own involvement in his overthrow ... “The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government," reads a previously excised section of an internal CIA history titled The Battle for Iran.
... If we want to identify and understand the minority, which secures its own militarist agenda in the White House and Congress against the majority of Americans, it is clearly marked by its swaggering, consistent and intrusive presence. It is a smaller, more cohesive new version of the’ 1%’-- and best described as the Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) ... With Obama’s fall, we learn that the mass media are not all powerful and that Israel’s smiling well-wishers among the elite will not cool their insatiable appetite for power even though they comprise a tiny 1% minority. The majority can bring down the regime. The question is: Can they create an alternative?
... One of the problems is that absolutely nobody knows what Netanyahu really wants. Perhaps not even he. The Prime Minister is now the loneliest person in Israel. He has no friends. He trusts nobody, and nobody around him trusts him. His colleagues in the Likud leadership quite openly despise him, regarding him as a man of no principles, without a backbone, giving in to every pressure ... There is not the slightest indication of any peace orientation. Quite the contrary. Our government is using the new “peace process” as a smoke screen behind which the settlement bulldozer is working full time.
Legislation that would make Holocaust-denial committed overseas an offense under Israeli legal jurisdiction was approved unanimously in first reading by the Knesset on Tuesday [July 20, 2004]. The passage of the measure would enable Israel to demand the extradition of Holocaust-deniers for prosecution. The bill was drafted by MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) as a move against former Palestinian Authority prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) for his doctoral dissertation 20 years ago in which he estimated that the Nazis killed less than a million Jews ... The legislation expands the territorial jurisdiction of the Israeli law against Holocaust-denying outside of it borders.
A major factor in America’s ever more obvious decline, says Weber in this insightful, informed and vigorously presented talk, is that the guiding ideologies and operative historical narratives of both conservatives and liberals are fundamentally defective. The often-repeated boast of American “exceptionalism,” he says, is not just ignorant and arrogant, it’s dangerous. Address given at an IHR meeting.
... History provides grounds for skepticism about the Obama administration's claims. Many wars in U.S. history have been fought on fraudulent pretexts, with the government stage-managing events that provided a rationale for intervention. ... The most famous case of the US going to war under fraudulent pretexts is the Spanish-American Cuban War after the McKinley administration charged the Spanish with sinking an American battleship, the Maine, near Havana harbor following an explosion on deck. It is likely the explosion however was caused by a fire, not the Spanish, and sunk on its own.
In April 1898 the United States went to war with Spain for the stated purpose of liberating Cuba from Spanish control. Several months later, when the war had ended, Cuba had been transformed into an American protectorate, and Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines had become American possessions… That American forces were engaged in a colonial war to suppress another people's independence led to a great deal of soul-searching among important American thinkers, writers, and journalists. What eventually became the American Anti-Imperialist League began at a June 1898 meeting at Boston's Faneuil Hall…
In this focused, hour-long broadcast, IHR director Mark Weber and host Daniel Davies review the long record of deceit by American presidents to generate public support for war, and the complicity of politicians and the media in this deceit. Weber looks at the lies of George W. Bush and other high-ranking US officials for the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq, President Johnson's campaign of deceit to build support for the Vietnam war, and President Franklin Roosevelt's fear-mongering campaign for war against Germany and Japan.
... Leading one of the most astonishing double lives in history, King was not just the Bible-thumping champion of the rights of man, but also an inveterate womaniser who cheated on his wife throughout their marriage ... Though it is beyond question that King was charismatic, tireless and courageous, it is also indisputably true that this brilliant man had a seamier side, as one of Dr King’s closest associates confirmed ... Abernathy related an extraordinary story that indicated King spent the last night of his life enjoying the attentions of not one but two lovers, followed by an encounter with a third woman whom he knocked sprawling across his motel room bed.
Six days after the end of World War II in Europe, this color footage was taken of the war-ravaged, Soviet-occupied German capital city. This five minute color video, which includes aerial shots, shows a city in ruins. Editing and background music by “Romano Archives.”
... When it’s time to fire up the Great American Fear Factory for another “lobbying blitz” and bellicose “product launch,” America’s policymakers conjure up the darkest star of human history. They say “Hitler.” Saddam Hussein? Say “Hitler.” Slobodan Milosevic? Say “Hitler.” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Say “Hitler.” And now, as if on cue, Secretary of State John Kerry said “Hitler.” Faced with sparse domestic and international support for launching expensive cruise missiles into the middle of a civil war, Kerry re-booted the Hitler franchise by comparing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to history’s first name in unchecked evil ... Evoking Hitler is the foreign policy equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.
Across the globe, schoolchildren study the industrialised slaughter of Jews by the Nazis. Holocaust museums in America, Israel and Poland each draw more than a million visitors annually. The UN has passed two resolutions in the past decade to institutionalise memory of the Holocaust worldwide. Yad Vashem, an Israeli museum and remembrance authority, trains 10,000 domestic and foreign teachers every year ... Membership of the Association of Holocaust Organisations (AHO) has increased from 25 in the late 1980s to over 300. Commemorative museums have opened from Germany and France to Brazil and Japan. Of the 16,000 books on the Holocaust listed in America’s Library of Congress, more than two-thirds were published in the past two decades.
Scotland Yard was given the names of British agents who allegedly murdered the Nazi Rudolf Hess in the infamous Spandau Prison but was advised by prosecutors not to pursue its investigations, according to a newly-released police report. Written two years after Hess’s death in 1987, the classified document outlines a highly-sensitive inquiry into the claims of a British surgeon who had once treated Adolf Hitler’s deputy that, rather than taking his own life, the elderly Nazi was killed on British orders to preserve wartime secrets.
... Gabor Vona the leader of Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik) talks about the crisis of globalized capitalism, the Syrian conflict and the struggle against the US-controlled world order / ... Globalized capitalism is in fact an economic-political world order controlled by the United States, which imposes its own rules of the game (liberal democracy, free trade, multinational capital, international bank networks, liberal cultural policy) on the rest of the world ... The American empire is trying to spread an order that was sick and distorted in the first place ... Today's "Rome", the USA, spreads a subhuman culture which has nothing but economic interests.
President Obama’s June 13 decision to send light weapons and ammunition to Syrian rebels reflects a fundamental reality in the dialectic of American foreign policy. Within this administration and indeed throughout official Washington, humanitarian interventionism is the inevitable default position for policy makers and political insiders. There is no intellectual counterweight emanating from either party that poses a significant challenge to this powerful idea that America must act to salve the wounds of humanity wherever suffering is intense and prospects for a democratic emergence are even remotely promising.
The maternal roots of presidential hopeful Sen. John Forbes Kerry (D-Mass.) go back to colonial Massachusetts. What Kerry did not know was that his paternal grandfather, born Fritz Kohn, came to Chicago from Europe and quickly became a successful businessman. ... Kerry only learned last month from a Boston Globe reporter that his grandfather was Jewish and that he committed suicide in 1921 in a Boston hotel washroom. Kerry learned about 15 years ago that his paternal grandmother, Ida Lowe, a Catholic convert, was born Jewish.
Henry Herskovitz, a pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist peace activist of Jewish ancestry, talks frankly about Jewish power in this 28 minute conversation with Bill Alford, host of the Seattle community-access show, Moral Politics. Contrary to what many believe, says Herskowitz, the problem of Zionism is rooted in the Jewish outlook. Jewish power, he also says, is not directed by a central group or cabal. Jews do not need a manipulating center to act as they do. Similarly, he says, a swarm of locusts acts in a concerted way without central direction.
... Just a few years ago, most experts estimated that state and local governments owed about $2.5 trillion, mostly in the form of municipal bonds and other debt securities. But late last year, the States Project, a joint venture of Harvard’s Institute of Politics and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, projected that if you also count promises made to retired government workers and money borrowed without taxpayer approval, the figure might be higher than $7 trillion.
... A broader and more general way of posing the question the U.S. Congress now faces is: does the United States want to follow its powerful and privileged Israeli client on a path that not only brushes aside international law, international organization, and the peaceful pursuit of international objectives but also entails perpetual warfare, much isolation, and all of the costs and risks that go with that? ... Netanyahu's incessant saber-rattling on Iran is increasing the chance of the United States going to war against Syria, which in turn would increase his ability to sell a future U.S. war against Iran. That game works well for Netanyahu. It is an awful game for the United States.
Some truths about the use of force: one, it is easier to start than to finish; two, public support for military operations wanes quickly; three, force is not a policy; fourth, military operations always have unintended consequences. A solution to the massive tragedy of the Syrian civil war will not arise from a foreign-policy establishment banging on about the need to “do something.” ... Unless we want to kill a great many people, and remain in Syria for much longer than in Iraq or Afghanistan, we cannot determine the outcome of this civil war. In neighboring Lebanon, a similar war raged for almost two decades ... The use of force is not a policy; it is a substitute for policy.
... So AIPAC and the other components of the Israel Lobby, which are marching in lock step on this issue, are basically advocating a series of wars in which the United States will do the fighting and dying to make the world safe for Israel. They have chosen to go on the offensive over the issue of Syria to head off any developing peace agenda ... If congress eventually approves the Obama program, now temporarily on hold, it will be because it fears AIPAC more than it does the voters in this country ... If the United States is ever again to be free of the danger posed by well-funded special interests like AIPAC it must first recognize that it has a problem and then take steps to find a remedy.
These are the never-before-seen pictures of the Auschwitz commandant's daughter as a young fashion model before she moved to the U.S. where she succeeded in keeping her dark family secret for 40 years. Brigitte Höss, whose father Rudolf was in charge of the deadliest of the Nazi regime's concentration camps, smiles for the camera during what is thought to have been the early days of her Balenciaga modelling career. Now aged 80 and dying of cancer, she has revealed the full extent of what is a remarkable story in her first ever interview. Living in anonymous retirement in Northern Virginia, Höss, who gave an interview to the Washington Post, fears for her life should her identity ever be revealed.
That Rudolf Höss’s daughter lives in Northern Virginia is not the only family story kept secret. ... When I point out that her father confessed to being responsible for the death of more than a million Jews, she says the British “took it out of him with torture.” “And your father, how do you remember him?” I ask. “He was the nicest man in the world,” she says. “He was very good to us.” She remembers them eating together, playing in the garden, and reading the story of Hansel and Gretel. Brigitte is convinced that her father was a sensitive man, and had guessed that he was involved with something bad. “I’m sure he was sad inside,” she recalls.
Rudolf Höss was the first of three successive commandants of the Auschwitz concentration camp. He is often called "the Commandant of Auschwitz," and the general public knows of him from a book published under the title Commandant in Auschwitz. He appeared before the [Nuremberg] International Military Tribunal as a witness on April 15, 1946, where his deposition caused a sensation. … He estimated that at Auschwitz 3,000,000 people had been exterminated, 2,500,000 of them by means of gas chambers. His confessions were false. They had been extorted from Höss by torture …
In his typically fervent and articulate style, British parliamentarian George Galloway speaks out against the Obama administration’s push for a US military attack against Syria. In discussion with RT host Abby Martin, Galloway stresses the US government’s brazen hypocrisy and utter disregard for principle. Runtime: 14 mins.
Washington doesn't merely lack the legal authority for a military intervention in Syria. It lacks the moral authority. We're talking about a government with a history of using chemical weapons against innocent people far more prolific and deadly than the mere accusations Assad faces from a trigger-happy Western military-industrial complex, bent on stifling further investigation before striking. Here is a list of ten chemical weapons attacks carried out by the U.S. government or its allies against civilians.
The income gap between the richest one percent and the rest of America widened to a record last year. The top one percent of U.S. earners collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, their largest share in Internal Revenue Service figures going back a century. U. S. income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. But until last year, the top one percent's share of pre-tax income had not yet surpassed the 18.7 percent it reached in 1927, according to an analysis of IRS figures dating to 1913 by economists ...
The dispute that triggered the conflict in Sept. 1939 was over the status of the ethnically German city-state of Danzig, which had been detached from Germany in 1919. Poland’s leaders, backed by Britain, rejected Hitler’s demand for self-determination and freedom for the Germans of Danzig and the “Corridor” region of Poland. Britain, with secret US backing, made the Danzig dispute a pretext for war. In this fact-packed podcast, historian Weber and host Martin also speak about Pres. Roosevelt’s secretive, illegal efforts to foment war in Europe, as well as German-Polish relations during the 1930s, Britain’s duplicity in its treatment of Poland, and more. Runtime: 71 mins.
... Obama's failure to be honest about his nation's record of destroying international norms and undermining international law, his myth-making about the role of the US in world affairs, and his one-sided interventions in the Middle East, all render the crisis in Syria even harder to resolve. Until there is some candour about past crimes and current injustices, until there is an effort to address the inequalities over which the US presides, everything it attempts – even if it doesn't involve guns and bombs – will stoke the cynicism and anger the president says he wants to quench.
Historian and former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer speaks with experience and insight on the push for deeper US involvement in the Syria conflict. He emphasizes the central role of the American Jewish community and the Jewish-Israel lobby in the Washington in pressing for a US military strike against Syria. There is no authentic American interest in plunging into the Syria conflict, he says in this 20 minute interview. Instead, US policy in the Middle East is driven by concern for Israel’s interests. The US Congress, he says, is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby and the Jewish community.
... Here are some of the top talking points that should be raised before members of Congress as to why authorizing US airstrikes on Syria would be a bad idea: 1) A US military attack would be illegal ... 2) There is little strategic rationalization ... 3) Military intervention likely would lead to more death and destruction ... 4) The US has little credibility regarding chemical weapons ... 5) A military attack likely would strengthen the Syrian regime ... 6) A military strike likely would reduce the chances of successfully ending the war ... 7) The United States is isolated in the international community ... 8) The American public opposes military intervention in Syria ...
Despite the Obama administration’s supposedly “high confidence” regarding Syrian government guilt over the Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus, a dozen former U.S. military and intelligence officials are telling President Obama that they are picking up information that undercuts the Official Story / ... Contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this.
The Obama administration’s public case for attacking Syria is riddled with inconsistencies and hinges mainly on circumstantial evidence, undermining U.S. efforts this week to build support at home and abroad for a punitive strike against Bashar Assad’s regime. The case Secretary of State John Kerry laid out last Friday contained claims that were disputed by the United Nations, inconsistent in some details with British and French intelligence reports or lacking sufficient transparency for international chemical weapons experts to accept at face value.
In a parking lot behind a Pico Boulevard building, inside a makeshift tent made of metal poles and tarps, a man in a white coat and black skullcap grabs a white-feathered hen under the wings and performs an ancient ritual. He circles the chicken in the air several times and recites a prayer for a woman standing nearby whose aim is to symbolically transfer her sins to the bird. The young man then uses a sharp blade to cut the hen's throat. ... But the practice is increasingly drawing the ire of animal rights activists, and some liberal Jews, who say the custom is inhumane, paganistic and out of step with modern times
... Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden are the world's happiest countries, according to the survey of 156 countries. Rwanda, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Benin and Togo -- all nations in Sub-Saharan Africa -- are the least satisfied with their lives, the report said. The United States came in at number 17 in the world in terms of overall happiness, but it still lags behind Canada (6), Australia (10), Israel (11) the United Arab Emirates (14) and Mexico (16), according to the Earth Institute. The report ranks the United Kingdom as the 22nd happiest country in the world. Other major nations included Germany (26), Japan (43), Russia (68) and China (93).
The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals. Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.
The National Security Agency routinely shares “raw” intelligence data with Israel that can include sensitive information about Americans, according to the latest top-secret document leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden. The 2009 document, a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart, says the U.S. government regularly hands over intercepted communications that have not first been reviewed by U.S. analysts, and are likely to contain phone calls and emails of U.S. citizens.
... We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement ... If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues ... It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
How unique is the United States? Is the American way of life superior to all others? Is America specially blessed by God? In this broadcast, Weber looks at origins and consequences of the notion of “American exceptionalism.” But first he provides an update on the IHR and efforts to disrupt a meeting at which Weber and David Irving spoke. In spite of threats of protest demonstration and intimidation, the event was a success. At this event, British historian Irving spoke about Heinrich Himmler, and Weber spoke about Joseph Goebbels.
CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been secretly training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and antiaircraft weapons since late last year, months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming them, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders. The covert U.S. training at bases in Jordan and Turkey, along with Obama's decision this month to supply arms and ammunition to the rebels, has raised hope among the beleaguered Syrian opposition ... The training has involved fighters from the Free Syrian Army, a loose confederation of rebel groups that the Obama administration has promised to back with expanded military assistance, said a U.S. official ...
... The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has joined the Israeli lobby AIPAC in an all-out public campaign for a U.S. war on Syria. Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League have invoked the Holocaust ... Is it really wise for Jewish organizations to put a Jewish stamp on a campaign to drag America into another war that a majority of their countrymen do not want to fight? ... The idea of launching missiles based on evidence we will not reveal about Syria’s use of chemical weapons ... would be an act of such paralyzing stupidity one cannot believe that even this crowd would consciously commit it.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington, plans to dispatch 300 of its members to Capitol Hill on Tuesday as part of a broad campaign to press Congress to back President Obama’s proposed strike on Syria, the group said Monday. The push by the group, known as Aipac, which included asking its supporters to call members of Congress, came as Israeli newspapers reported Monday that President Obama urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get personally involved in lobbying Congress ... Israelis are deeply worried about being blamed by a wary American public for another military gambit in the Middle East ...
... Syria is clearly the next target of the American imperial bulldozer. After two years of brutal rebellion armed and financed by the US and its regional allies, Syria now faces devastation ... Syria is not about poison gas or human rights: it’s about a proxy war against Iran, the only nation now challenging total US and Israel military domination of the Mideast ... Look at current events in Syria in this historical light rather than all the indignation over chemical weapons in Syria ... Israel is pushing the US hard to destroy its old foe Syria – which would remove the last Arab state capable of offering even modest military resistance to Israel.
Last week, hell came to the tiny Christian village of Maaloula where they still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus ... “Where is President Obama?” wailed a refugee. And, indeed, where is Obama? He is out lobbying Congress for authority to attack the Syrian army that defended Maaloula ... The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard are all up for air strikes. In the think tanks of D.C., the corridor talk is all about “On to Teheran!” ... The American people do not want war on Syria, and such a war makes no sense. Who is trying to stampede Congress into war on Syria, and then on Iran – and why? Therein lies the real question.
Many of the United States’ most influential pro-Israel and Jewish groups on Tuesday backed the Obama administration’s call for military action in Syria, putting strong momentum behind the effort to persuade reluctant lawmakers to authorize a strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime ... After a period of conspicuous silence on the issue, major groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called for bipartisan consensus Tuesday around the use of force.
... The reason Israel (and its lobby) are going all out to push the United States to attack Syria is as a precedent for a much larger attack on Iran. As AIPAC admits in its own statement of support for the Syria attack ... To put it simply, AIPAC fears that if it if lets President Obama go wobbly on Syria, it is impossible to imagine that he would undertake a war with Iran that could ignite the entire Middle East and lead to the commitment of U.S. troops in a third major Middle Eastern war in a little over a decade. And that is why AIPAC and its satellites are turning the screws on Congress, especially on progressive and liberal Democrats who tend to be antiwar except when AIPAC comes knocking.
... Last night, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Congress would delay its vote on a military strike against Syria and consider Russia’s proposal that Syria hand over its chemical weapons arsenal to the international community. But judging from headlines and editorials across the globe, not everyone is celebrating America’s decision.
The US and European countries should attack Syria, but Israel should not be involved in the assault, two polls in weekend Hebrew newspapers found. While polls in the US and United Kingdom have found overwhelming opposition to their countries attacking Syria, a Gal Hadash poll published in Israel Hayom found that 66.6 percent of respondents would be in favor of American and European military intervention in Syria ... A separate Ma’agar Mohot poll published in Friday’s Ma’ariv found that Israelis overwhelmingly oppose an Israeli strike on Syria.
In this much-discussed interview, Syria’s President Bashar al Assad speaks calmly and persuasively about the accusation that his government carried out chemical weapons attacks against civilians. He denies any involvement by his government in the attack, and compares the US allegations to earlier alarmist claims by the US that turned out to be untrue. If the US government has real evidence, he says, it should be made public. US military intervention in Syria is not in America’s interest, Assad tells Americans. He also warns that a US military strike against his country will have harmful consequences for the US. Runtime: 8 mins.
... Life appears on the surface fairly normal but tensions are rising and people are alarmed at the prospects of an American attack. This observer was educated by these Syrians about many views of the conflict raging here and how events locally and internationally are apt to unfold ... This observer was dumbfounded by the sophistication and quality of interventions by the impromptu gathering ... The people of the Syrian Arab Republic are politically very sophisticated and amazingly well informed about the details of the current crisis and with specifics about external players and their plans.
Over just the past week, the share of Americans who oppose U.S. airstrikes in Syria has surged 15 points, from 48% to 63%, as many who were undecided about the issue have turned against military action. By contrast, the share of Americans who support airstrikes remains virtually unchanged: Just 28% favor U.S. military airstrikes against Syria in response to reports that its government used chemical weapons ... This growing opposition to Syrian airstrikes is intense: 45% say they oppose airstrikes very strongly. That is roughly three-times the percentage (16%) that strongly favors airstrikes.
... Wars are always treacherous in their facts, and for the US to launch a military strike without Security Council sanction (which it will not get) would constitute an illegal “act of war” against a sovereign state – and a crime ... Does anyone seriously imagine that a cruise missile attack on their homeland would make ordinary Syrians long for the inchoate, warring, and violent opposition factions to take over their country? It will of course do the reverse. It will strengthen Assad.
The Vatican is ramping up its opposition to threatened military strikes against Syria as it draws attention to Pope Francis' plans to host a day of fasting and prayer for peace this weekend ... The cardinal in charge of the Vatican's office for Eastern rite Catholics warned in an interview with the Vatican newspaper that Christian minorities in the region would suffer the most from any military intervention ... In recent speeches, tweets and remarks, Francis has called for a negotiated settlement in Syria but has also condemned the use of chemical weapons.
John Kerry is not exactly inspiring confidence as Secretary of State. He’s become the biggest cheerleader for war against Syria in the entire administration. At the Senate hearings yesterday, he wouldn’t even rule out putting boots on the ground in Syria, even though President Obama had assured us on Saturday that this wouldn’t happen ... Kerry also repeated Obama’s falsehood from Saturday that the President has the authority to attack Syria without authorization from Congress. By saying so, Kerry shows himself to be ignorant or disdainful of the Constitution and of the War Powers Act. Once more, a majority of the American public doesn’t want war. And once more, the political class is intent on dragging us into it.
... The reality of modern Britain is that we are a medium sized European power that no longer has a world role, or responsibilities that extend beyond the shores of our islands. We have plenty of problems of our own to be getting on with, before we meddle in Syria’s affairs, or anyone else’s ... Instead of the insane adventurism of David Cameron and William Hague, all true patriots should sing along with John Lennon, who advocated a much better foreign policy for our country. All we are saying is give peace a chance!
For decades Israel has cited vital security concerns to justify its seizure of the Golan Heights [region of Syria]. Israelis have claimed that from 1948 to June 1967, Syrian military forces repeatedly used the Heights to shell Jewish settlements and installations below. These artillery bombardments, in the widely accepted Israeli and American view, justified Israel's conquest of the Heights in 1967, and its occupation ever since. Actually, Israel's seizure and occupation of this territory is based on a historical lie. This was frankly acknowledged by Israel General and cabinet minister Moshe Dayan in an interview given in 1976, but which was not made public until April 1997.
German justice officials have said 30 former Auschwitz death camp guards should face prosecution ... An official said the focus was now on bringing to justice the thousands of people who helped to manage the Nazi camps. "The accused... are all former guards at the concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau and we take the view that this job - regardless of what they can be individually accused of - makes them guilty of complicity in murder," said chief prosecutor Kurt Schrimm.
... I disagree with the idea that every conflict, every dictator, and every insurgency everywhere in the world is somehow critical to our national security. That is the thinking of an empire, not a republic. It is the kind of thinking that this president shares with his predecessor and it is bankrupting us and destroying our liberties here at home ... We are rapidly headed for the same collapse as the Roman Empire if we continue down the president's war path. What we desperately need is an overwhelming Congressional rejection of the president's war authorization. Even a favorable vote, however, cannot change the fact that this is a self-destructive and immoral policy.
It’s a potent sign of how low the American political bar is set that gratitude is expressed because a US president says he will ask Congress to vote before he starts bombing another country that is not attacking or threatening the US. That the US will not become involved in foreign wars of choice without the consent of the American people through their representatives Congress is a central mandate of the US Constitution, not some enlightened, progressive innovation of the 21st century ... It's hard to imagine a more potent sign of a weak, declining empire than having one's national "credibility" depend upon periodically bombing other countries.
A sort of roller coaster atmosphere pervades Damascus these days with “good” and “bad” news rising and falling, often by the quarter hour. Much of the population is monitoring closely the news and quickly expressing their interpretations of the latest media reports and rumors as well as predicting the fairly precise timing of the now assumed American attack on their country ... There is also a distinct growing esprit de corps and a broad coming together of much of the population here as the countdown to the American attack on Syria begins. An evident rallying around the Assad regime, which one presumes is the opposite of what the White House was hoping would result from its threats.
... The support Obama is getting from pro-Israel groups in the U.S. is important because of their history of political influence. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other Jewish groups have long helped secure continued U.S. aid to Israel, mobilizing activists who visit or call lawmakers. The effort is supplemented by several political action committees that donate to candidates depending on their support for Israel. The pro-Israel community contributed $14.5 million to federal campaigns for the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s more than the $11.1 million in donations by the defense aerospace industry, one of the biggest and most consistent political contributors.
Leading rabbis covering the religious and political spectrum urged lawmakers in Congress to support President Obama’s plans to strike Syria to stop its use of chemical weapons. “We write you as descendants of Holocaust survivors and refugees, whose ancestors were gassed to death in concentration camps,” said the letter sent Wednesday, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. “We write you as a people who have faced persecution for many centuries, and are glad to have found a safe refuge where we can thrive in the United States.”
A former bodyguard of Adolf Hitler who witnessed the Nazi dictator's final hours has died in Germany aged 96. Rochus Misch was the last survivor from Hitler's bunker in Berlin. The former SS man had operated the telephones in the bunker and had proudly reminisced about his wartime duties for the "boss". He had called Hitler "a very normal man... he was no brute, he was no monster", according to the Associated Press news agency. For five years, Misch was part of the Fuehrer's inner circle, as a bodyguard, a courier and telephone operator.
Things aren't exactly warming up between the Obama administration and Vladimir Putin, even as President Obama arrives in St. Petersburg for the G-20 summit. Putin called Obama Secretary of State John Kerry a liar over Kerry's testimony this week before Congress. The question may be al-Qaeda's influence on the Syrian rebels, an issue Kerry has downplayed. Speaking to his human rights council Wednesday, Putin said, "This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them (the Americans), and we assume they are decent people, but he is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad." Putin has criticized Obama administration claims that Bashar Assad's government attacked the rebels with chemical weapons.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the US and its allies against taking one-sided action in Syria. He said any military strikes without UN approval would be "an aggression". US President Barack Obama has called for punitive action in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack ... In a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press and Russia's state Channel 1 television, Mr Putin said it was "ludicrous'' that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Russia, would use chemical weapons at a time when it was gaining ground against the rebels. "If there is evidence that chemical weapons were used, and by the regular army... then this evidence must be presented to the UN Security Council. And it must be convincing," Mr Putin said.
Former Texas Congressman and perennial GOP presidential contender Ron Paul is scheduled to keynote a conference in Canada next weekend [Sept. 8-13] of a “radical traditionalist” Catholic organization that’s described by human rights organizations as a major center of anti-Semitism. Other scheduled conference speakers include John McManus, president of the John Birch Society, the hoary staple of the far right, and Italian politician Roberto Fiore, founder of the neo-fascist Forza Nuova and a close ally of the British National Front.
... The Syrian conflict is a proxy war being waged against Iran by the United States, conservative Arab oil producers, and three former Mideast colonial powers, Britain, France and Turkey who are seeking to restore their domination in the region. Israel, hoping to isolate Hezbollah and cement its annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights, cheers from the sidelines. Syria and Hezbollah are Iran’s only Arab friends. The US and allies ignited the anti-Assad uprising two years ago, using the underground Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and imported jihadis. But Assad’s forces, with some limited help from Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, held on and are now beating the US-backed rebels.
The Obama administration is using a time-tested pitch to get Congress to back military strikes in Syria: It will help protect Israel. Israel’s enemies, including Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah, could be emboldened if Congress fails to approve action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, senior administration officials said Saturday. And for the second day in a row, President Barack Obama publicly cited the threat against Israel if Assad’s reported use of chemical weapons goes unchecked ... Secretary of State John Kerry also referred to Israel repeatedly as he made the rounds on all five major Sunday morning news shows — as well as comparing Assad to Adolf Hitler.
... Obama, like Bush and Blair, seems ready to ignore the [UN Security] council and order armed strikes on Syria with political support from only the UK, France and some others. Such action could not be "in self-defence" or "retaliation", as the US, the UK and France have not been attacked. To punish the Assad government for using chemical weapons would be the action of self-appointed global policemen – action that, in my view, would be very unwise ... A quick punitive action in Syria today without UN authorisation would be another precedent, suggesting that great military powers can intervene militarily when they feel politically impelled to do so. (They did not intervene when Iraq used chemical weapons on a large scale in the war with Iran in the 1980s.)
... Are we really, as a nation, required to go to war to make good the simple-minded statements of an untutored president who had no constitutional authority to issue his impulsive ultimata? Are we really required to go to war to get the egg off Obama's face? ... Even if Congress approves a war resolution, the president should think long and hard about diving into a war he sought to avoid and stayed out of for over two years. Make no mistake; if Obama attacks Syria, be it for hours or days, we are in that blood-soaked abattoir for the duration ... Have we forgotten that Churchill wanted to drop anthrax on Germany and settled for two days of firebombing the defenseless city of Dresden?
The use of chemical weapons in Syria has outraged the world. But it is easy to forget that Britain has used them – and that Winston Churchill was a powerful advocate for them / … Britain's imperial general staff knew there would be outrage if it became known that the government was intending to use its secret stockpile of chemical weapons. But Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, brushed aside their concerns. As a long-term advocate of chemical warfare, he was determined to use them against the Russian Bolsheviks. In the summer of 1919, 94 years before the devastating strike in Syria, Churchill planned and executed a sustained chemical attack on northern Russia. The British were no strangers to the use of chemical weapons.
In a secret wartime memorandum, Winston Churchill told his advisers that he wanted to "drench" Germany with poison gas. Churchill's July 1944 memo to his chief of staff Gen. Hastings Ismay was reproduced in the August-September 1985 issue of American Heritage magazine … Churchill's directive bluntly stated: "I want a cold-blooded calculation made as to how it would pay to use poison gas ... One really must not be bound within silly conventions of the mind whether they be those that ruled in the last war or those in reverse which rule in this."
President Barack Obama has failed so far to convince most Americans that the United States should launch a limited military strike against Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, a Reuters/ Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday. Some 56 percent of those surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria, while only 19 percent supported action, the online poll found ... In the United States, 65 percent of those surveyed in a separate tracking poll agreed with a statement that said "the problems of Syria are none of our business."
Officials in the German city of Nuremberg have announced controversial plans to spend up to 70 million euros on renovating the city’s vast yet dilapidated Nazi Party rally grounds, used by the documentary filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl as a haunting backdrop for her Hitler propaganda film Triumph of the Will ... The complex, which is visited by more than 200,000 tourists a year, has been slowly disintegrating since the end of the Second World War, and several structures are now in danger of collapsing altogether.
U.S. spy agencies have built an intelligence-gathering colossus since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but remain unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats, according to the government’s top-secret budget. The $52.6 billion “black budget” for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, maps a bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny. Although the government has annually released its overall level of intelligence spending since 2007, it has not divulged how it uses the money or how it performs against the goals set by the president and Congress.
Before the stupidest Western war in the history of the modern world begins – I am, of course, referring to the attack on Syria that we all now have to swallow – it might be as well to say that the Cruise missiles which we confidently expect to sweep onto one of mankind’s oldest cities have absolutely nothing to do with Syria. They are intended to harm Iran. They are intended to strike at the Islamic Republic now that it has a new and vibrant president ... and when it just might be a little more stable. Iran is Israel’s enemy. Iran is therefore, naturally, America’s enemy.
The Obama administration’s plan to launch a military strike against Syria is being received with serious reservations by many in the U.S. military, which is coping with the scars of two lengthy wars and a rapidly contracting budget, according to current and former officers ... Former and current officers, many with the painful lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan on their minds, said the main reservations concern the potential unintended consequences of launching cruise missiles against Syria.
Since reports surfaced of an apparent chemical attack outside Damascus, Israeli leaders have called for an American response, both on moral grounds and as a warning to Iran over its nuclear program ... Israel is gravely concerned about America’s waning influence in the Middle East. Israel sees Syria as a test case for Mr. Obama’s credibility in enforcing “red lines,” given his promise to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon ... “It would be a mistake to overplay the Israeli interest,” said Itamar Rabinovich, who was Israel’s ambassador to the United States and also its chief negotiator with Syria in the 1990s. “It’s bad for Israel that the average American gets it into his or her mind that boys are again sent to war for Israel. They have to be sent to war for America.”
... If Obama cannot convince Congress, we cannot — and ought not — go to war. The last thing America needs is an unnecessary, unconstitutional war in that God-forsaken region that both Congress and the country oppose ... Does Obama really want to start a war, the extent and end of which he cannot see, that is likely to escalate, as its promoters intend and have long plotted, into a U.S. war on Iran? Has the election in Iran of a new president anxious to do a deal with America on Iran's nuclear program caused this panic in the War Party?
Last March, President Barack Obama spoke about how Syria’s use of chemical weapons would be a “game-changer.” It has, except not quite in the sense that he meant. It has been an event that has confused and confounded the Obama administration. Whatever your views on the larger issues, it’s hard not to conclude that the administration’s handling of Syria over the last year has been a case study in how not to do foreign policy ... In truth, Obama – and many others – miscalculated. They believed that al-Assad’s regime was near the end, misreading both its strength and brutality, but also the level of support it has from several segments of Syria. ...
... Before he even gets to Himmler, Irving laments his treatment and standing alongside what he calls “conformist” historians, and the financial hardship imposed by numerous court cases. But he insists he is a crusader for truth, writing “what I call real history”. The two-hour talk about Himmler, who he refers to as “Heiney”, unfolds without a break. Irving claims, among other things, that Himmler did not commit suicide but was murdered by his British captors ... An impressive speaker, he produces carefully selected evidence to back up each claim – photos, intercepted telegrams, diaries and Himmler’s own notes. The assembled guests nod in silence.
... It’s crucial to understand that everyone also seems to agree that no good outcome from U.S. intervention is possible. There are no “good guys” to aid in this bloody and chaotic civil war; if we are successful and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is toppled, we won’t like the people likely to fill the vacuum. A limited strike, most agree, will accomplish little or nothing. A more intense engagement will result in heavy civilian casualties and possibly American service members coming home in caskets. Escalating and internationalizing the conflict will further destabilize an already unstable region. The Russians are warning of “extremely dangerous” consequences if Syria is attacked ...
... America prepares for battle with sheer lies. In the 21st century alone, Washington has rolled out a heavy arsenal of lies, misinformation, and dubious intelligence to sell war to the American people. On September 13, 2001, while the country was digesting 9/11, JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) already had a statement/ plan ready for Washington. Their policy called for America to be involved in disputes far and wide for the unforeseen future not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, the Palestinian Authority, Libya, Algeria and eventually Saudi Arabia and Egypt'. Washington heeded.
Russia dramatically escalated its denunciations of American threats to attack Syrian military targets on Saturday, as President Vladimir Putin called the arguments about chemical weapons that underlie the U.S. case “utter nonsense.” The Foreign Ministry said a U.S. attack would be a “gross violation” of international law. Speaking out for the first time since an alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21, Putin called on President Obama to find a nonviolent way out of the crisis ... “Russia is urging you to think twice before making a decision on an operation in Syria,” he said.