October 2013

LifeSiteNews

A council of former heads of state and government leaders has called on the European Union to establish national surveillance units to monitor citizens of all 27 EU member states suspected of “intolerance”. The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a “tolerance watchdog” launched under the leadership of former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski and Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress, called for the establishment of government surveillance bodies to directly monitor the “intolerant” behavior of identified citizens and groups ... “There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant,” it states, especially “as far as freedom of expression is concerned.”

Slate

... The supposed panic was so tiny as to be practically immeasurable on the night of the broadcast. Despite repeated assertions to the contrary in the PBS and NPR programs, almost nobody was fooled by Welles’ broadcast. How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America’s newspapers ... The legend of the panic, however, grew exponentially over the following years. In 1940, an esteemed academic solidified the myth in the public mind.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

The [Israel] Foreign Ministry on Wednesday praised the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an association of 31 democratic countries dedicated to perpetuating the memory of the Nazi genocide, for promulgating a new working definition of Holocaust denial. The working definition is not legally binding, but has significant moral authority due to the composition of the IHRA ... According to the IHRA, distortion of the Holocaust is defined as: “Intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements, including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany” ...

Barbara Kulaszka

In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted to the supposed danger of "Holocaust denial." Politicians, newspapers and television warn about the growing influence of those who reject the Holocaust story that some six million European Jews were systematically exterminated during the Second World War, most of them in gas chambers. In several countries, including Israel, France, Germany and Austria, "Holocaust denial" is against the law, and "deniers" have been punished with stiff fines and prison sentences … Often overlooked in this controversy is the crucial question: Just what constitutes "Holocaust denial"?

Michael Moran - Slate

... The numbers, for decades now, have been quite clear: With some exceptions, what we regard as red [Republican-leaning] states are sent a whole lot more of your hard-earned tax dollars than the traditional blue [Democratic leaning] states. In effect, supposedly indolent, “tax and spend” liberals actually subsidize the individualistic, pure, and hard-working lifestyle of our conservative countrymen ... This is a far cry from what most people think.

AFP

A record-equaling 188 countries on Tuesday condemned the five-decade-old US embargo against communist Cuba in an annual UN General Assembly vote that signaled hardening opposition to US sanctions. Only Israel joined the United States in opposing resolution, the smallest number ever. Last year two allies voted with the US government. Three Pacific island states normally close to the United States -- Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau -- abstained as the barrage of criticism of the embargo reached a new peak in the 22nd annual vote at the UN Assembly.

Medical Xpress

The adult obesity rate in the United States remains as high as ever, with one in three Americans carrying unhealthy amounts of weight, according to a new federal report. The obesity rate has remained essentially unchanged for a decade, despite the large amount of attention focused on its threat to public health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Haaretz (Israel)

The Anti-Defamation League released a list of the top ten most "influential and active anti-Israel groups" in the U.S. on Monday, highlighting organizations it sees as being "fixated with delegitimizing Israel" and providing "misleading narratives" about Israel. The top ten anti-Israel groups, as identified by ADL [include] ... If Americans Knew/ Council for the National Interest, Jewish Voice for Peace, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Neturei Karta, Students for Justice in Palestine, U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

JTA (New York)

Jack Straw, a British lawmaker and former foreign secretary, said “unlimited” funds available to U.S. Jewish groups are used to control American policy in the Middle East. The comments reportedly were made last week during a debate in the British Parliament’s House of Commons. Former Israeli Knesset member Einat Wilf was at the debate and posted Straw’s remarks on her Facebook page. Straw said, according to Wilf, that the greatest obstacles to peace between Israel and the Palestinians and her Arab neighbors are the “unlimited” funds available to Jewish organizations and AIPAC in the United States, as well as Germany’s “obsession” with defending Israel.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Israel and not America was behind the hacking of millions of French phones, it was claimed today. In the latest extraordinary twist in the global eavesdropping scandal, Israeli agents are said to have intercepted more than 70 million calls and text messages a month. Up until now the French have been blaming the U.S., even summoning the country’s Paris ambassador to provide an explanation. But today’s Le Monde newspaper provides evidence that it was in fact Israeli agents who were listening in.

BBC News

Fresh reports in German media based on leaked US intelligence documents are prompting damaging new questions about the extent of US surveillance. Der Spiegel suggests the US has been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone since 2002. Another report says Mr Obama was told in 2010 about the surveillance and failed to stop it. The spy row has led to the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries in living memory. Leaked documents say a US listening unit was based in its Berlin embassy - and similar operations were replicated in 80 locations around the world. The German interior minister has been quoted as saying such an operation, if confirmed, would be illegal.

Philip Giraldi

... The US, which is struggling economically, desperately needs peace instead of another round of Asian wars. Most Americans are beginning to understand that. If Israel is threatened by anyone it certainly has itself at least partly to blame and Tel Aviv is, at the end of the day, responsible for its own security, which it is well equipped to do thanks to the generosity of the American taxpayer. In its own interests, Washington should be racing to talk to Iran to find an exit from the longest running unnecessarily sustained neither-war-nor-peace conflict since the cold war. American politicians and media talking heads who say otherwise are being led by the nose by the likes of Netanyahu, a charlatan who has contempt for a congress and White House that he believes he can control.

Robert Parry - Consortium News

When the largest donor to Republican political organizations urges the U.S. military to detonate a nuclear bomb in an Iranian desert with the explicit warning that “the next one is in the middle of Tehran,” you might expect that major American political figures and large U.S. media outlets would strongly denounce such genocidal blackmail ... The fact that the scattered outrage over Adelson’s remarks on Oct. 22 was mostly limited to the Internet and included no denunciations from prominent U.S. politicians, including leading Republicans who have benefited from Adelson’s largesse, suggests that many Muslims and especially Iranians are right to suspect that they are the object of obscene prejudice in some American power circles.

The Jewish Press (Brooklyn, NY)

The Palestine educational youth magazine Zayzafuna has published a list of ten short wisdom sayings that it claimed were said by Hitler. The magazine gave no introduction or comment on the list other than the title “Among Hitler’s Sayings.” Some of the sayings attributed to Hitler included: “If you were stabbed in the back, know that you are in front” “When the defeated smiles, he denies the winner the pleasure of victory” ...

Eric Margolis

... Israel’s constant alarms about Iran’s so far non-existent nuclear weapons serves to distract attention from its rapid absorption of the West Bank and Golan, and generate potent political and financial support from its North American partisans. ... Israel won’t admit it has nuclear weapons, a fairy tale backed by all US administrations. ... While what appear to be fruitful talks progress in Geneva, powerful special interests in America are trying to thwart any agreement with Iran. The US Congress, profoundly corrupted by political donations, is moving to impose new, draconian sanctions on Iran while Israel’s rightists and their allies in the US media thunder about the alleged dangers from Iran.

James Petras

... It is essential for the peace camp in the United States to expose the role of the ZPC [Zionist Power Configuration] in dictating the US negotiating terms with Iran and publicly repudiate its control over the US Congress and the White House. Otherwise the majority of Americans who favor peace and diplomacy will have no influence in shaping US-Iran relations. The problem is that the majority of anti-war Americans and the international community cannot match the billionaire Jewish Zionists in buying and controlling the members of the US Congress.

Jean Bricmont and Diana Johnstone

... An American friend who knows Washington well recently told us that “everybody” there knows that, as far as the drive to war with Syria is concerned, it is Israel that directs U.S. policy. Why then, we replied, don’t opponents of war say it out loud, since, if the American public knew that, support for the war would collapse? Of course, we knew the answer to that question. They are afraid to say all they know, because if you blame the pro-Israel lobby, you are branded an anti-Semite in the media and your career is destroyed.

Middle East Monitor

Former CIA officer Michael Scheuer - once senior advisor for the Osama Bin Laden department – recently testified at a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee hearing. When asked what he thought the primary motivators for Islamic jihadists were, Scheuer listed among his answers American support for the Israelis, military presence in countries in the Arab world, and the willingness to identify as terrorists any Muslim country US allies do not like. Scheuer also said that it was time to tell people that costs came with US support for Israel: "If it was up to me I'd dump the Israelis tomorrow," he said ...

BBC News

The music of ancient Greece, unheard for thousands of years, is being brought back to life by Armand D'Angour, a musician and tutor in classics at Oxford University. He describes what his research is discovering ... The instruments are known from descriptions, paintings and archaeological remains, which allow us to establish the timbres and range of pitches they produced. And now, new revelations about ancient Greek music have emerged from a few dozen ancient documents inscribed with a vocal notation devised around 450 BC, consisting of alphabetic letters and signs placed above the vowels of the Greek words.

Jeffrey Blankfort

The apparent ability of Israel, one of the world’s smallest countries, to shape the Middle East policies of the world’s remaining superpower has been a source of puzzlement, conjecture, and constant frustration on the part of those fighting for justice for the Palestinians and for the peoples of the region, as a whole…. In the arena of foreign policy, no lobby has proved more powerful than that of the organized American Jewish community in support of Israel; what is generally referred to as the Israel Lobby and in the halls of Congress, simply as “the lobby.” Its power is all the more impressive when one realizes the lobby represents no more than a third of America’s six million Jews.

Mark Weber – Podcast

The French President called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu “a liar” in a private conversation with President Obama that was overhead by journalists. “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy said. Obama replied: “You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day.” Behind this exchange is frustration over the routine deceit and arrogance of Israeli leaders, and the humiliation of bowing to Jewish-Zionist power. This same power determines US policy in the Middle East. The US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, bluntly acknowledges that US policy in the region is driven by concern for Israel’s security and identity as a Jewish ethno-religious state — and not by what’s best for America and the world.

Y. Dreazen, J. Hudson - Foreign Policy

The Obama administration is facing an unexpected hurdle in its new nuclear talks with Iran -- a sizeable bloc of Democratic lawmakers who have made clear that they would break with the White House and fight any effort to lift the current sanctions on Tehran ... A wide array of powerful Democrats -- including the top members of both the Senate and House foreign affairs committees -- strongly oppose lifting any of the existing sanctions on Iran unless Tehran offers concessions that go far beyond anything Zarif has talked about in Geneva. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, has also promised to do everything in its power to keep the punitive measures in place.

The Guardian (Britain)

The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden ... The document notes that one unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named. These were immediately "tasked" for monitoring by the NSA. The revelation is set to add to mounting diplomatic tensions between the US and its allies, after the German chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday accused the US of tapping her mobile phone.

The Huffington Post

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson told a crowd at Yeshiva University in New York on Tuesday that the only proper negotiating tactic with Iran would be fire a nuclear missile at the country and threaten to wipe out the entire population of Tehran, the nation's capital. Adelson, the largest donor to the Republican Party and its affiliated groups, made the comments during a panel discussion ... In the 2012 election Adelson and his family gave more than $100 million to super PACs and other groups supporting Republican candidates ... Adelson is also a staunch supporter and major funder of right-wing political parties in Israel ...

Volker Ullrich – Interview - Der Spiegel (Germany)

... We will never be able to understand the terrible things that happened between 1933 and 1945 if we deny from the outset that Hitler also had human characteristics, and if we fail to take into account not only his criminal energies, but also the appealing qualities he had. So long as we view him only as a horrifying monster, the allure he undoubtedly exerted will remain a riddle ... It's easy to underestimate the exceptional qualities and abilities he brought to bear in order to succeed in this field ... Very few recordings exist in which Hitler can be heard speaking normally. But in those that do exist, it's evident he possessed quite a warm, calm voice. It's a completely different tone from what he used in his public appearances.

S. Raphelson - The Washington Post

Wayne S. Cole, a leading scholar of the pre-World War II American isolationist movement who wrote a sympathetic biography of one of its staunchest defenders, the aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, died Sept. 16 ... The isolationists, despite their unsavory reputation, had legitimate concerns. In his biography, he wrote that Lindbergh’s “warnings against excessive Presidential power, secrecy and deception in foreign affairs have striking parallels with American concerns a generation later.”

Murray Rothbard

... The vast bulk of American Jewry was undoubtedly in favor of American entry into the war, and virtually deified Franklin Roosevelt for entering the war, as they thought, to "save the Jews.” Influential Jews and Jewish organizations helped agitate for war, and helped also to put economic pressure upon opponents of the war. This very fact of course served to embitter many isolationists against the Jews, and again create a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy; ... The most popular and charismatic of all opponents of the war and a man who was essentially nonpolitical, Lindbergh had been subjected to particular abuse by the interventionist forces.

The Szczecinian (Poland)

... A plaque commemorating the German actor Heinrich George was removed from his birthplace, the tenement building Łokieta 34, formerly Burscherstrasse 50 ... The reason for its removal was the controversial nature of celebrating famous people who had had a close association with Nazi Germany ... A Red Army court sentenced the actor to imprisonment in a NKVD camp, on the former site of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. George continued to act even in captivity, learning Russian to play a part in a Pushkin drama. He died in the camp in 1946. In 1998, he received a posthumous pardon from the Russian government.

CNN – Video

Iranians are amused and indignant over the claim by Netanyahu they are not allowed to wear jeans. If the Israeli leader can be so wrong about such an obvious reality, why should anyone trust him about less obvious matters?

The Mirror (Britain)

The Nazi past of Dr Oetker, the frozen pizza giant, will be revealed in a book published on Monday. It comes as a member of the Oetker family speaks for the first time about the company’s support for Hitler. In an interview with newspaper Die Zeit, the firm’s chairman, 69-year-old August Oetker admitted that his father was a Nazi. Rudolf-August Oetker, who ran Dr Oetker after World War Two and died in 2007, volunteered for Hitler’s SS and joined the Nazi Party in the thirties. The firm also profited from its close relationship with Hitler.

Der Spiegel (Germany)

The newest allegations of US spying have unleashed a torrent of criticism and concern in Europe. If suspicions unearthed by Spiegel that the US tapped Chancellor Merkel's cell phone turn out to be true, the ramifications for trans-Atlantic ties could be immense. / Leading politicians and media commentators in Germany expressed serious concern on Thursday following allegations that US intelligence agencies had tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone. Merkel's spokesman confirmed that she placed an angry call Wednesday night to United States President Barack Obama to discuss the suspicions ...

Reuters

An outraged Germany summoned the U.S. ambassador for the first time in living memory on Thursday over suspicions Washington bugged Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone, in the worst spat between the close allies in a decade. Merkel, at a summit of European leaders in Brussels, said the incident had shattered German trust in the United States: "It's not just about me but about every German citizen," she said. "Spying among friends is not at all acceptable." ... German media reports said domestic security sources believed the embassy had played a role in the monitoring of Merkel's phone, which is said to have taken place over a period of years.

AFP

German legislators and media voiced outrage on Thursday at news that the US may have spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, but anger also turned against her government for having played down the broader eavesdropping scandal. The conservative daily Die Welt called the alleged snooping a "diplomatic bomb" and "a punch in the face of German security agencies", while a Sueddeutsche Zeitung headline labelled it "the worst imaginable insult" in a play of words on worst-case scenario. Politicians across party lines condemned a betrayal of trust between decades-old allies ...

The Washington Post

A majority of students in public schools throughout the American South and West are low-income for the first time in at least four decades, according to a new study that details a demographic shift with broad implications for the country. The analysis by the Southern Education Foundation, the nation’s oldest education philanthropy, is based on the number of students from preschool through 12th grade who were eligible for the federal free and reduced-price meals program in the 2010-11 school year.

Daily Mail (Britain)

A statue that shows a Soviet soldier raping a pregnant woman as he holds a gun to her head has been removed and the artist arrested by authorities in northern Poland. The statue, entitled "Komm, Frau" (Come, Woman), appeared on Gdansk's Avenue of Victory on Saturday evening. Artist Jerzy Szumczyk told Polish Radio he had researched the subject of rape by the Red Army, as it made its way across Eastern Europe between 1944 and 1945 towards Berlin. The fifth-year student at Gdansk's Academy of Fine Arts was so emotionally affected by what he read, he felt compelled to express his feelings through art and created the sculpture.

BBC News

Some 6,000 history buffs in period military costume are re-enacting one of Germany's bloodiest battles, the Battle of the Nations. French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated near Leipzig in October 1813 by forces from Russia, Austria, Prussia and Sweden. Tens of thousands of spectators are attending the reconstruction, described as a "reconciliation" ... An estimated 600,000 soldiers took part in the series of battles from 16-19 October 1813 and almost 100,000 of them lost their lives. The victory of the allies - including a small British contingent - over Napoleon marked the end of his control of German territory.

Jonathan Cook

Two recent images encapsulate the message behind the dry statistics of last week’s report by the World Bank on the state of the Palestinian economy ... Israel is gradually whittling away the foundations on which the Palestinians can build an independent economic life and a viable state. This report follows a long line of warnings in recent years from international bodies on the dire economic situation facing Palestinians ... The idea that a financial lifeline – whether Kerry’s plan or Netanyahu’s economic peace – is going to smooth the path to the conflict’s end is an illusion. Peace, and prosperity, will come only when Palestinians are liberated from Israeli control.

The Folly of Empire Chris Hedges - Truthdig

The final days of empire give ample employment and power to the feckless, the insane and the idiotic. These politicians and court propagandists, hired to be the public faces on the sinking ship, mask the real work of the crew, which is systematically robbing the passengers as the vessel goes down ... Culture and literacy, in the final stage of decline, are replaced with noisy diversions and empty clichés ... It is more pleasant, I admit, to stand mesmerized in front of our electronic hallucinations. It is easier to check out intellectually. It is more gratifying to imbibe the hedonism and the sickness of the worship of the self and money. It is more comforting to chatter about celebrity gossip and ignore or dismiss what is reality.

JTA

Some 90 percent of the $10 million in funding announced by the Department of Homeland Security to help nonprofit organizations protect themselves from terrorism went to Jewish institutions. The total amount of grants, announced Aug. 29, is slightly up from last year’s $9.7 million. “The Department of Homeland Security has demonstrated a great commitment to protecting at-risk communities,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations of North America’s board of trustees.

Walter Pincus - The Washington Post

... Israel’s nuclear facility at Dimona, a city in the Negev desert, reportedly has six underground floors dedicated to activities such as plutonium extraction, production of tritium and lithium-6, for use in nuclear weapons. Whereas Iran signed the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), giving the international community the right to demand inspections and controls, Israel has not – and is therefore not subject to external oversight ... Cohen uses the Hebrew term amimut (opacity) to describe the taboo that developed within Israel around any sort of public acknowledgement of its nuclear arsenal – which estimates peg at up to 200 warheads. To this day, there is total censorship within Israel of any mention that the weapons exist, and the United States actively plays along.

AFP

France and Mexico have angrily demanded prompt explanations from Washington following fresh, "shocking" spying allegations leaked by former US security contractor Edward Snowden. The reports in French daily Le Monde and German weekly Der Spiegel revealed that the National Security Agency secretly recorded tens of millions of phone calls in France and hacked into former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's email account.

World Jewish Congress

The World Jewish Congress today demanded that Amazon.com remove from its website books that deny the Holocaust and promote anti-Semitism and white supremacy. "No one should profit from the sale of such vile and offensive hate literature. Many Holocaust survivors are deeply offended by the fact that the world’s largest online retailer is making money from selling such material," WJC Executive Vice President Robert Singer wrote in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. In April 2008, the WJC asked Amazon.com to remove merchandise that glorified the Nazi regime. At the time, the firm complied.

Ted Galen Carpenter - The National Interest

... More sensible analysts recognize the increasingly obvious point that the United States is overextended strategically and financially. It is imperative that American leaders become serious about setting both domestic- and foreign-policy priorities before that problem becomes a crisis ... In the two decades since the end of the Cold War, the United States has initiated nearly twice as many military interventions as during the more than four decades of the Cold War. Washington’s use of military force has become disturbingly promiscuous. That would be bad enough even if the United States were financially sound and its armed forces were not overextended.

BBC News

Iceland is experiencing a book boom. This island nation of just over 300,000 people has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world. It is hard to avoid writers in Reykjavik. There is a phrase in Icelandic, "ad ganga med bok I maganum", everyone gives birth to a book. Literally, everyone "has a book in their stomach". One in ten Icelanders will publish one.

The Atlantic

... Determining a death toll for Iraqi civilians during the eight-year U.S.-led occupation has proven especially challenging ... The latest estimates, detailed in a study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, come from an investigation into the total number of Iraqi deaths between 2003 and 2011 by the University of Washington Department of Global Health. Nearly 40 percent of deaths in Iraq that occurred in that time period were a result of the U.S. conflict, researchers say, putting the death toll at about 461,000.

The New York Times

... Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy on Monday warned that the rise of angry populism poses the greatest threat to stability on the Continent and could undermine critical efforts to build and strengthen the euro zone’s political and financial institutions. “We have the big risk to have the most ‘anti-European’ European Parliament ever,” Mr. Letta said in an expansive interview ... Italy’s public debt is forecast to exceed 130 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, the second-highest in Europe, trailing only Greece’s. Unemployment is at 12 percent, with youth unemployment recently hitting 40 percent for the first time.

Mitchell Plitnick

... In Israel, where any hint of rapprochement with the Islamic Republic is viewed as an apocalyptic security threat ... This is about maintaining sanctions on Iran to prevent it from regaining its economic stability and enabling it to pursue its ambitions of a stronger position in the region. More to the point, Netanyahu is very concerned that any deal with Iran could lead to a number of possibilities he will find unpalatable: far greater concessions to the Palestinians than he wants to make, compromise of Israel’s own nuclear arsenal, or an increased Iranian role in ongoing crises in the region.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Amazon has now been revealed to sell Holocaust denial and white supremacist literature. The online retailer has been shown to sell books denying the holocaust and promoting anti-Semitism and the superiority of the white race with titles such as The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews and Building a Whiter and Brighter World. The books and ebooks are on sale even in countries that ban such texts, according to an investigation by The Kernel - which first uncovered the hateful Holocaust denial screeds.

Canadian Jewish News

In a meeting with a couple of reporters from the Jewish press, Israeli diplomat Gideon Behar posed a challenge: Google the word “Jew” and search in YouTube. See what you find. Well, a Google search turned up a series of pretty benign websites about Jews, but the opening list on YouTube revealed a host of videos that were hostile to Jews in varying degrees. ... Then there’s a scene from the movie Borat, titled “Throw a Jew down the well.” Comedy, yes, but on its own and if you didn’t know any better ... Not a neutral or complimentary search result among them. And that’s Behar’s point. The Internet and other media have become forums where anti-Jewish content can easily be found.

David Swanson

... Without Hitler, the U.S. military would collapse. For 68 years, wars on poor countries have been justified by the pretended discovery of Hitler's reincarnation. Each time it has turned out to be a false alarm. Every post-WWII war looks disastrous or at least dubious in retrospect to most people. And yet, the justification of the next war is always ready to hand, because the real, original Hitler remains alive in our memories ... Much of what we think of as particularly Nazi evils (eugenics, human experimentation, etc.) could be found in the United States as well, before, during, and after the war. A recent book called Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America collects much of what is known.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

... The US strategy in Syria is that of an indirect war of attrition. America loses the conflict in Syria if either combating side in Syria wins. The US government and Israel want the fighting in Syria to continue as long as possible between all combating sides. Washington and Tel Aviv do not want to see anyone coming out totally victorious ... The US and Israeli objectives in Syria are to crush Syria as a nation-state, even if their own insurgent allies or Syrian National Coalition clients win and form the government in Damascus.

Michael Crowley – Time

... As Iran and Western negotiators sit down in Geneva today, it’s worth considering some of the reasons why Iran bears such animus toward America, and why cutting a deal with the U.S. won’t be easy for Tehran either ... When Iran fought a brutal eight-year war against Iraq from 1980 to 1988, Tehran felt that it was also fighting a shadow enemy: the U.S. Saddam Hussein was sustained for much of the war by arms, money and intelligence assistance that flowed from Washington. Most infuriating for some Iranians, the U.S. tolerated and even aided Saddam’s repeated large-scale chemical attacks on Iranian forces using sarin and mustard gas.

Mark Weber

One of the most widely quoted sources of information about Hitler's personality and secret intentions is the supposed memoir of Hermann Rauschning, the National Socialist President of the Danzig Senate in 1933-1934 who was ousted from the Hitler movement a short time later and then made a new life for himself as a professional anti-Nazi …Haenel was able to conclusively establish that Rausching's claim to have met with Hitler "more than a hundred times is a lie. The two actually met only four times, and never alone. The words attributed to Hitler, he showed, were simply invented or lifted from many different sources, including writings by Juenger and Nietzsche.”

UPI

Italian members of Parliament introduced an amendment to the country's criminal code that, if passed, would make holocaust denial a crime, officials said. The legislation was signed Tuesday by politicians across several parties, including the center-left Democratic Party, the center-right People of Freedom Party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, ANSA reported. ''It would be a significant response to all those episodes of revisionism, alas all too present in Italy and in Europe, that seek to distort history and memory," said Democratic Party Sen. Monica Cirinna.

Gareth Porter – IPS

In an effort to provoke any possible opposition in U.S. political circles to a nuclear deal with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has returned to exploiting an old claim that Iran is building intercontinental ballistic missiles that could hit the United States ... Independent specialists on the issue say, however, that no evidence supports Netanyahu’s claim. Michael Elleman of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, the author of an authoritative study on Iran’s missile programme, told IPS, “I’ve seen no evidence of Iranian ICBM development, let alone a capability.”

Daily Mail (Britain)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken of the merits of pre-emptive strikes in what has been seen as a warning to Iran after talks on its nuclear programme. Speaking at an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Netanyahu told law makers there are situations when a strike is justified. He said lessons had been learned since the war, which broke out when forces led by Syria and Egypt invaded Israeli land in 1973.

Andrew Cockburn – Harper’s

At the beginning of World War I, Britain set up a blockade designed, according to one of its architects, Winston Churchill, to “starve the whole population of Germany — men, women and children, old and young, wounded and sound — into submission.” ... Not until five months after the armistice did the Allies allow Germany to import food — not out of concern for the ongoing death and suffering, but out of fear that desperate Germans would follow the Russians into Bolshevism. By the time it was lifted, the peacetime blockade had killed about a quarter of a million people, including many children who either starved or died from diseases associated with malnutrition.

Mark Weber – Video

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.

BBC News

The brain uses sleep to wash away the waste toxins built up during a hard day's thinking, researchers have shown. The US team believe the "waste removal system" is one of the fundamental reasons for sleep. Their study, in the journal Science, showed brain cells shrink during sleep to open up the gaps between neurons and allow fluid to wash the brain clean. They also suggest that failing to clear away some toxic proteins may play a role in brain disorders. One big question for sleep researchers is why do animals sleep at all when it leaves them vulnerable to predators?

Haaretz (Israel)

Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin said this week the demand that Israel freeze construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is anti-Semitic. If such a demand were made of one group within any other country, it would be widely condemned as racist, Elkin said in an interview ... He criticized what he said is a preoccupation with preventing Jews from building in Jerusalem. Since Israel never accepted the 1967 borders and never will, it is unfair to expect the country to cease construction, he said, adding that in any other country it would be considered anti-Semitic to prevent “only” Jews from building.

The Guardian (Britain)

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has said there will never be peace with the Palestinians until they recognise Israel as a Jewish state, and has dismissed Israel's military occupation of Palestinian land and the growth of Israeli settlements as the root cause of the conflict. In an uncompromising speech, Netanyahu insisted the Palestinians must abandon their core demand of the right of refugees to return to their places of origin. "Unless the Palestinians recognise the Jewish state and give up on the right of return there will not be peace," the prime minister said in an address at Bar-Ilan University on Sunday. But, he added, even such recognition by the Palestinian leadership would be insufficient.

AFP

New settlement construction starts rose by 70 percent in the first half of 2013 compared with a year earlier, an Israeli NGO said Thursday, describing the increase as "drastic". According to figures released by the anti-settler group Peace Now, the construction of 1,708 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem began between January and June 2013, compared with 995 in the same period last year ... Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements since peace talks began.

Forward (New York)

The Anti-Defamation League and the rest of the American Jewish establishment owe Jesse Jackson a big apology. They put the man through the wringer, they made him apologize in every possible forum for his “Hymie” and “Hymietown” remarks back in 1984. Yet look at the kinds of things Israeli leaders — senior government ministers, chief rabbis — get away with without ever having to apologize, without ever being punished in the slightest ... Israeli public figures say the same kind of garbage, the difference is that they never, ever pay a price for it, in fact they usually manage to play the victim and get away with it, and at worst will be obliged to offer some backhanded apology.

Jonathan Cook

Israel will not recognize an Israeli nationality while it seeks to maintain Jewishness at all costs / … The need to maintain the state’s Jewishness at all costs, meanwhile, is emerging as the chief obstacle erected by Israel to prevent a peace agreement with the Palestinians from being reached … Nationality in Israel is based not on a shared civic identity, as it is in most places, but on one’s ethnic identity. That means for the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens, their nationality falls into one of two categories – Jewish or Arab.

D. Lazarus – Los Angeles Times

The richest one percent own nearly half of all global wealth. Let's get our heads around that. Only a tiny fraction of the roughly seven billion people in the world accounts for 46 percent of the estimated $241 trillion in money, property and other material resources available. The richest ten percent, meanwhile, can claim 86% of global wealth ... These extraordinary figures were included in a report this week from Credit Suisse Research Institute ... Wealth inequality was greatest in this country in 1928 and 2007. In both years, the top one percent represented about a quarter of total income. And shortly thereafter, in 1929 and again in 2008, the U.S. economy tanked, dragging down the rest of the world with it.

Video

Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is. This six and a half minute video, made by “Politizane” and based on a 2011 study by Dan Ariely and Michael Norton, has garnered more than eight million views.

The Telegraph (Britain)

The [British] government’s social mobility tsar, Alan Milburn, will this week warn that social mobility has gone into reverse. For the first time in a century, the middle classes are becoming worse off ... Even though I was earning more than my father had ever made in his life, I could never hope to afford to live in a house like the one I grew up in, nor give my children the kind of education he provided for me and my sisters ... What is happening to the middle class is happening to 99 per cent of the rest of the population, too. Anyone outside the gilded one per cent is seeing their relative position decline. That’s an awful lot of people looking ahead and seeing less, rather than more, on the horizon.

Institute for Historical Review

A campaign by a New York politician with a record of support for terrorism has shut down processing of credit card orders and donations by the IHR. MasterCard Worldwide, a major global credit card company, is supporting this initiative, and has “blacklisted” the IHR ... Behind the shutdown is Dov Hikind, a member of the New York state Assembly who for years was an activist of the Jewish Defense League, which the FBI describes as a terrorist group and a “violent extremist Jewish organization.”

Max Blumenthal – The Nation

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind was deeply involved in the Jewish Defense League, which the FBI listed as a “violent extremist Jewish organization.” Other officials should be questioning him, not the college / ... The press conference was organized by a man who has been suspected by the FBI of involvement in several terrorist bombings and who was a top cadre in an organization currently identified by the FBI as a “violent extremist Jewish organization.” He is Dov Hikind, a Democratic State Assemblyman who, despite his links to acts of terrorism and violence against racial minorities, has emerged as a political kingmaker in New York State politics.

Forward (New York)

Civil rights groups are demanding that the FBI solve a 28-year-old California murder long thought to be the work of Jewish extremists. Alex Odeh, the Palestinian-American regional director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, was killed in October 1985 by a pipe bomb that exploded when he opened his office door. No one has ever been charged in the case ... Reports in 1990 by Robert I, Friedman, a Village Voice journalist who has since died, named Jewish Defense League members then living in Israel as suspects.

Daily Mail (Britain)

More men are raped in the U.S. than woman, according to figures that include sexual abuse in prisons. In 2008, it was estimated 216,000 inmates were sexually assaulted while serving time, according to the Department of Justice figures. That is compared to 90,479 rape cases outside of prison ... In recent studies 4.5 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds in adult prison and 4.7 per cent of those in jail reported being the victims of sexual abuse ... Study author Allen J. Beck told New York Review of Books that the work shows almost 200,000 were sexually abused in detention in 2011. He said the figures are lower than those recorded in 2008 because fewer people are in prison.

Victor Gilinsky, Henry D. Sokolski – The New York Times

... Israel is not a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, despite having developed a formidable nuclear arsenal of its own, which will soon become the central fact in this drama, whether the United States likes it or not. An obstacle of America’s own making has long prevented comprehensive negotiations over weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. While the world endlessly discusses Iran’s nuclear capabilities and the likelihood that it will succeed in developing an atomic arsenal, hardly anyone in the United States ever mentions Israel’s nuclear weapons. Mr. Obama, like his predecessors, pretends that he doesn’t know anything about them.

Gilad Atzmon

... Welcoming Rouhani at the UN was a clear message to the Jewish State and its supportive lobby: beware, we are gradually becoming tired of your dirty politics and pushing for wars. Being an avid reader of Jewish history, I allow myself to say that the failure to read the writing on the wall is intrinsic to Jewish identity politics and culture. One might expect Israel and the Lobby to back off at this point. But this is not going to happen. Israel and the Lobby will act more obnoxiously. They will use every trick in their book to close this opening window of a dialogue and reconciliation. Israel is doomed to bring a tragedy on itself and the region. Even God won’t be able to save his chosen people from themselves.

The Atlantic

A new global report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that Americans rank well below the worldwide average in just about every measure of skill. In math, reading, and technology-driven problem-solving, the United States performed worse than nearly every other country in the group of developed nations ... When it comes to math, American adults aren’t any better. In fact, they’re far worse ... Americans are pretty behind when it comes to computer literacy, too. US adults scored toward the bottom in problem solving in a technology-rich environment ...

Breitbart

According to a study released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), American adults lag significantly behind other countries in their job skill sets. Young adults lag behind in literacy, math, and technology, as do middle-aged Americans ... The study found that Japan ranked first and Finland second in average scores, followed by countries like Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway. The United States was middling in literacy and near rock bottom on math and technology, with only nine percent of Americans scoring in the top two out of five proficiency levels, as opposed to 19 percent in Japan.

Euro News

The Swiss remain firmly at the top of the world’s rich list, and the USA is only in fifth place, but it is back on the up, the wealthiest region again, nudging ahead of the Asia-Pacific and European regions for the first time since 2005. North American wealth was boosted by rising real estate values and a boom in share prices ... Seven of the world’s richest per capita nations are in Europe, with Sweden sixth, France in seventh place, Belgium ninth, and Denmark tenth ... China will overtake Japan in 2016 to become the world’s second wealthiest economy ...

Ynet (Israel)

New details are being exposed about the Israeli Mafia in Romania The paper Evenimentul Zilei reported Thursday that Israelis involved in suspicions of violent crimes and false imprisonment in and around Bucharest blackmailed two million euros from their victims, including Israelis. The paper reported that the victims were beaten until they agreed to pay. The plan of the two extorting Israelis took place according to suspicion in several luxury apartments in northern Bucharest. The two suspects, who are married to Romanian women, invited rich individuals to the apartments and forced them to pay for protection. Ten further suspects aided the Israelis in locating their victims.

Mark Weber -- Institute for Historical Review

All prisoners of German wartime concentration camps who perished while in German custody are routinely regarded as "victims of Nazism" -- even if they lost their lives as direct or indirect result of Allied policy … Among the German concentration camp prisoners who perished at Allied hands were some 7,000 inmates who were killed during the war's final week as they were being evacuated in three large German ships that were attacked by British war planes. This little-known tragedy is one of history's greatest maritime disasters.

NSA Collects Millions Of E-Mail Address Books Globally The Washington Post

The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top – secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from instant messaging services as they move across global data links.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... The spirit of secession, the desire of peoples to sever ties to nations to which they have belonged for generations, sometimes for centuries, and to seek out their own kind, is a spreading phenomenon ... What are the forces pulling nations apart? Ethnicity, culture, history and language — but now also economics. And separatist and secessionist movements are cropping up here in the United States ... If America does not get its fiscal house in order, and another Great Recession hits or our elites dragoon us into another imperial war, we will likely hear more of such talk.

Jim Lobe - Inter Press Service

A week that began with a blistering denunciation by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Iranian duplicity ended with diminished prospects for Israel to take direct action to address Iran’s nuclear capabilities. “The Israelis find themselves in a far worse position now than they have been for several years,” concluded Elliott Abrams, a leading neo-conservative who served as George W. Bush’s main Middle East adviser, in Foreign Affairs ... Abrams’ assessment was widely shared among his ideological comrades who believe Israel will be the big loser if hopes for détente between Washington and Tehran gather steam ...

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... For weeks now Israeli propaganda has been telling the world’s leaders that they are childishly naive or just plain stupid. Perhaps they didn't appreciate being told that. Perhaps they were reinforced in their belief that the Israelis (or worse, the Jews) are overbearing, condescending and patronizing. Perhaps it was just one arrogant speech too many ... Geography, world economic and political circumstances make an attack on Iran impossible. Bur even if it had been real at some time – it is quite out of the question now. The world is against it. The US public is most definitely against it.

AFP

Swiss radiation experts have confirmed they found traces of polonium on clothing used by Yasser Arafat which “support the possibility” the veteran Palestinian leader was poisoned. In a report published by The Lancet at the weekend, the team provides scientific details to media statements made in 2012 that they had found polonium on Arafat’s belongings. Arafat died in France on Nov. 11, 2004 at the age of 75 ...

The Huffington Post

A poll released Wednesday found Americans' approval of Congress dropping near all-time lows as the government shutdown continues with no solution yet in sight. The Associated Press – GfK survey found that just five percent of the public approves of the job being done by senators and representatives, while 83 percent disapprove. Eleven percent said they neither approved nor disapproved .... The poll also found low numbers for President Barack Obama, with 53 percent saying they disapprove with how he is handling his job. The AP-GfK poll follows a trend of low ratings for members of Congress as the standoff over the budget and looming debt ceiling deadline presses on.

The Jewish Week (New York)

President Barack Obama will appoint Janet Yellen as the nation's top banker today, according to press reports. Yellen, a Brooklyn native, would be the latest in a succession of Jewish Americans to chair the Federal Reserve System since 1987, and the first woman in its 100-year history. Yellen, 67 is currently vice chairwoman, and will succeed Ben Bernanke, whose term ends in January ... She served as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1997 to 1999 under President Bill Clinton and was previously a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve from 1994 to 1997.

The White House

... To honor Leif Erikson and celebrate our Nordic-American heritage, the Congress, by joint resolution ... has authorized the President of the United States to proclaim October 9 of each year as "Leif Erikson Day."
 

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Iran, we are told, is the most dangerous enemy America faces. But is this true? ... Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has attacked no nation and gone to war once — to defend herself against Saddam Hussein's aggression that had the backing of the United States. In that war, the Iranians suffered the worst poison gas attacks since Gamal Abdel Nasser used gas in Yemen and Benito Mussolini used it in Abyssinia. Iran has thus condemned the use of gas in Syria and offered to help get rid of it ... Obama is being urged not to meet with Rouhani, as the man has a checkered past. Yet U.S. presidents met three times with Stalin, three with the Butcher of Budapest, once with Chairman Mao. Compared to these fellows, Hussein Rouhani looks like Ramsey Clark.

Mark Weber - Audio recording

Weber speaks about a recent six- day stay in Tehran (his second visit to Iran), including his role in the “Hollywoodism” conference. Addressing an IHR meeting on March 2, 2013, he also speaks about the campaign of economic warfare and threats against Iran by the US and Israel, the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, the impact of the US-organized sanctions campaign, the push for a new Middle East war, and what all this means for Americans.

Jason Rezaian - The Washington Post

... Iran’s large community of Jews, a lasting reminder to the long relationship between Persian and Jewish culture that complicates the tense relationship between the two countries over Iran’s nuclear program. ... Today there are fewer than 30,000 Jews living in Iran ... and they constitute the largest population of Jews in the Middle East outside Israel ... Community leaders say that Jews here have become more religious since Iran’s revolution say community leaders. With sixty active synagogues spread across Iran, and a dozen in Tehran alone, sermons and religious courses are perpetually filled.

The Washington Post

Sixty-eight years after the end of the Holocaust, Germany is asking itself what it still owes its Jews. The answer, as measured by a vote in this small southwestern city [Koblenz], is very little ... For decades, Germany has tried to make amends for the murder of more than six million Jews by supporting survivors and descendants, at home and around the world, including an unusual program to offer citizenship to nearly any Jew from the former Soviet Union — which has built the Jewish community back to more than 100,000 people. ... Once-taboo questions about what responsibility Germany has to Jews have come with increasing frequency in recent years ...

Mark Weber (1998)

Since 1951 Germany has paid more than 102 billion marks, about $61.8 billion at 1998 exchange rates, in federal government reparation payments to Israel and Third Reich victims. In addition, Germans have paid out billions in private and other public funds, including about 75 million marks ($49 million) by German firms in compensation to wartime forced laborers, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported. These figures are based on calculations by the German Finance Ministry.

The Huffington Post

A chemist and an actor — both with family roots in Senegal — have become Germany's first black federal lawmakers, according to official election results released Monday. They were among 34 lawmakers with immigrant backgrounds to win seats in Sunday's election, up from 21 in the previous term, said the Migration Media Service, a group that provides facts and figures on immigration in Germany ... Until now there were no black lawmakers in Parliament, despite more than 500,000 people of recent African origin believed to be living in Germany.

David L. Hoggan

In this scholarly article, excerpted from his book, The Forced War: The Origins and Originators of World War II, Dr. Hoggan examines the secret war aspirations of President Franklin Roosevelt. Hoggan also shows how Poland’s leaders, bolstered by assurances from London of military backing, sought to provoke war with Germany. During the months prior to the outbreak of war in September 1939, he explains, Poland’s provocation of Germany was frequent and extreme. Hitler had more than sufficient justification to go to war with Poland.

Dmytro Moroz and Claire Bigg - RFE / RL

In 1941, as Nazi German troops swept through Soviet-era Ukraine, Josef Stalin's secret police blew up a hydroelectric dam in the southern city of Zaporizhzhya to slow the Nazi advance. The explosion flooded villages along the banks of the Dnieper River, killing thousands of civilians ... The explosion also flooded villages and settlements along the Dnieper River. The tidal surge killed thousands of unsuspecting civilians, as well as Red Army officers who were crossing over the river. Since no official death toll was released at the time, the estimated number of victims varies widely. Most historians put it at between 20,000 and 100,000, based on the number of people then living in the flooded areas.

The Algemeiner Journal (New York)

A British survey on discrimination found that 15% of respondents don’t trust Jews, the BBC reported, while some 60% of respondents thought Muslims had a negative image in the country. The Comres survey of 1,001 Brits, aged between 18 and 24, conducted online in June, painted a surprising picture of discrimination across a broad spectrum of people, categorized by age, education, location and income, when asked to categorize their views. When asked about religious groups other than Jews, 12% said they didn’t trust Christians, 13% said they didn’t trust Buddhists, 16% said they didn’t trust Hindus or Sikhs, while 27% said they didn’t trust Muslims.

Olga Khazan - The Atlantic

... There are no attack ads, because, in post-reunification German culture, “the attacker would always turn out to be the loser,” Liebich explains. Each party creates just one 90-second ad for the entire election, and the number of times it airs on TV is proportional to the number of votes the party garnered in the last election. For smaller parties like Die Linke, that means about four times on each of the two major channels. Total ... Unlike in the U.S., where elected officials start campaigning almost as soon as they set foot in office, German campaigns last only six weeks.

The Washington Post

... The percentage of Jews who identify as Jewish solely by culture or ancestry rather than religion has jumped from seven percent to 22 percent since 2000, according to the poll, the first comprehensive survey of American Jews in more than a decade. The Pew Research poll also found a large increase in the number of interfaith marriages ... Offered a list of attributes and asked which were “essential” parts of being Jewish, respondents first chose remembering the Holocaust, followed by “leading an ethical and moral life,” “working for justice and equality,” and “being intellectually curious.” Lower down, in order, were caring about Israel, having a good sense of humor, being part of a Jewish community and observing Jewish law.

Forward (New York)

... In some of the most perplexing results returned by the survey, Jews seemed to have no clear idea of what it means to be Jewish. There are many more Jews who believe that having a good sense of humor is essential to being Jewish (42%) than there are those who believe that being a part of a Jewish community is essential to being Jewish (28%). Most Jews (73%) said that remembering the Holocaust was essential to being Jewish ... Despite decades of claims to the contrary by conservatives, American Jews remain overwhelmingly liberal — much more so than the rest of the American public.

Pew Research Center

American Jews overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Jewish and have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people, according to a major new survey by the Pew Research Center. But the survey also suggests that Jewish identity is changing in America, where one-in-five Jews (22%) now describe themselves as having no religion ... Overall, about seven-in-ten Jews surveyed say they feel either very attached (30%) or somewhat attached (39%) to Israel, essentially unchanged since 2000-2001. In addition, 43% of Jews have been to Israel, including 23% who have visited more than once. And 40% of Jews say they believe the land that is now Israel was given by God to the Jewish people.

Mark Weber

Defining "Jew" has never been simple. Is he someone who practices Judaism, the Jewish religion, or is he identified by his ancestry? While many Americans assume that Jews are essentially a religious group, Jews themselves take for granted that their community is much more ethnic-national than it is religious. Benjamin Netanyahu, who has served as Israel's prime minister, frankly regards Jews as members of a racial group. Speaking to a gathering of nearly a thousand Jews in southern California, he said: "If Israel had not come into existence after World War II then I am certain the Jewish race wouldn't have survived."

Eric Margolis

... Switzerland’s independence and horde of gold have been protected by their soldiers, not by treaties or the Alps. When I was a student in Switzerland in 1960, the Swiss could mobilize 700,000 soldiers in 48 hours. Each was trained to hit targets with his rifle 300 meters away (the US Army trains at 100 meters). Every Swiss soldier keeps his semi-automatic rifle and uniform at home in a secure compartment. Gun violence in law-abiding Switzerland is extremely rare.

The Atlantic (Washington, DC)

Recall the climactic scene from Dr. Strangelove, where Major Kong straddles the atomic bomb, riding it like a rodeo bull as it plummets toward nuclear apocalypse: ... What was the inspiration for that scene? It's impossible to know for sure. But as I was strolling through the Deutsches Historisches Museum [in Berlin], where there's a substantial section on World War I, I unexpectedly came across this American recruitment poster ...

Heather MacDonald – City Journal

... The college rape infrastructure shows no signs of a slowdown ... None of this crisis response occurs, of course — because the crisis doesn’t exist. During the 1980s, feminist researchers committed to the rape-culture theory had discovered that asking women directly if they had been raped yielded disappointing results — very few women said that they had been ... None of the obvious weaknesses in the research has had the slightest drag on the campus rape movement, because the movement is political, not empirical.

Philip Giraldi

The Edward Snowden March 2009 memo which reveals that the National Security Agency (NSA) is illegally spying on American citizens and then passing the raw information it obtains on to Israel is particularly shocking because it demonstrates with documentary evidence just how Washington’s inside the beltway crowd places its relationship with Israel above its responsibility to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States ... These are all symptoms of a government that has pari passu become only answerable to itself, particularly when the media is uninterested in a story that it finds embarrassing.

The Guardian (Britain)

Israel’s control of a huge swath of the West Bank is costing the Palestinian economy $3.4 billion a year, or 35 percent of its GDP, according to a report from the World Bank. Restrictions on Palestinian access and movement within Area C, the 61 percent of the West Bank that is under full Israeli military control, is stunting the Palestinian economy, says the report.

JTA

Israel called on the Council of Europe to rescind a resolution which is “fostering hate” by equating non-medical circumcision of boys with female genital mutilation. “This resolution casts a moral stain on the Council of Europe, and fosters hate and racist trends in Europe,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in a statement Friday ... Entitled “Children’s Right to Physical Integrity,” the report called non-medical circumcision of boys a “violation of the physical integrity of children” and mentioned it along with female genital mutilation.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Jewish groups spoke out harshly this week against a resolution passed on Tuesday by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calling male ritual circumcision a “violation of the physical integrity of children.” ... The Jewish ritual of brit mila was included in a long list of practices covered by the resolution, which also included female genital mutilation ... “This is a sign of anti-Semitism, in my opinion,” Benjamin Albalas, President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Politics.hu (Hungary)

“We know that we are responsible for the Holocaust, we cannot pass on the responsibility,” deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics declared at Tuesday’s international conference on anti-Semitism. Filling in for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who was injured in a football accident, Navracsics declared war on anti-Semitism. The two-day conference in the Upper chamber of Parliament is called Jewish Life and Anti-Semitism in Central Europe.

Express (Britain)

German publisher Bauer Media admitted defeat last night [Sept. 13] over one of its magazines accused of rewriting the Holocaust. Bowing the international pressure, it announced it would stop publication of Second World War title Der Landser ... The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has accused the weekly of making the Third Reich acceptable to a new generation of Germans. The magazine was dubbed the unofficial organ of neo-Nazis for articles that ignore war atrocities. Jewish leaders were appalled that the magazine even peddled tributes to the brutal Waffen-SS. Berlin-based Global Jewish Advocacy issued a warning after Bauer’s takeover of British station Absolute Radio.

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi

.... The documents (see a series of passages below) show how “the United States,” as the authors of the Foreign Policy article assert, “applied a cold calculus three decades ago to Saddam Hussein’s widespread use of chemical weapons against his enemies, who at the time were and still are our enemies, and his own people. The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the attacks continue if they might turn the tide of the war.” ... They worried that “any publicity about Iraq’s widespread use of chemical weapons could setback recent efforts to strengthen Iraqi-US ties.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

... By equating Iran's "nuclear program" with a "nuclear bomb" program, Graham reveals that his bottom line is not Obama's bottom line, but Benjamin Netanyahu's. Obama has said only that Iran must not be allowed to build a bomb. Bibi says Iran must not have a nuclear program. Yet, make no mistake. The goal of Graham, the neocons, Israel and Saudi Arabia is not a negotiated solution permitting a peaceful nuclear program in Iran. The goal is a U.S. war to smash Iran ... There is no conclusive proof Iran has decided to build a bomb. Twice, the U.S. intelligence community, in 2007 and 2011, has asserted with high confidence that Iran has made no such decision ... The true friends of America are those seeking to keep us out of wars, not those maneuvering us in.

Nima Shirazi

... President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani is making it increasingly difficult for American and Israeli propaganda against Iran to continue to work ... Due to these overtures and opportunities, the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is getting desperate. It has enlisted its dutiful Congress members and reliable propagandists to ramp up its push for an American-led war against Iran ... Israel is increasingly isolated and hypocritical – a colonial pariah with weapons of mass destruction and a constant outlier in international treaties ... The simple problem for Netanyahu and his administration is that, by and large, few are buying this pathetic fear-mongering anymore.

J. J. Goldberg - Forward (New York)

... Benjamin Netanyahu’s whirlwind, two-day United States visit at the end of September. The Israeli prime minister was on an urgent mission to halt the seduction of President Obama and other Western leaders by Iran’s silver-tongued new president, Hassan Rowhani ... His wakeup call to the world community barely managed to wake up the bored diplomats in the General Assembly hall ... The other problem is that Netanyahu’s argument for maintaining an aggressive posture toward the new Iranian government is based on substantial Israeli intelligence, but his own intelligence professionals think he’s drawing the wrong conclusions from the data, and everybody knows it.

BBC News

Iranians have used social media to mock Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, after he suggested they were not allowed to wear jeans. In an interview with BBC Persian TV Mr Netanyahu said that if Iranians were free they would wear blue jeans, and listen to Western music. Hundreds of Iranians both in Iran and abroad reacted on social media sites. Many posts showed mainly young Iranians wearing jeans and listening to Western music, some in comic poses ... Jeans are not banned in Iran, where an Islamic dress code requires women to cover their hair and wear modest outer clothing. Some Western music or Western-style music is tolerated.

Times of Israel

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the powerful, much-loved and sometimes controversial spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardi community, passed away in Jerusalem early Monday afternoon after being hospitalized repeatedly over the last several weeks. He was 93. Ovadia was laid to rest Monday night in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sanhedria, with some 800,000 mourners converging from all over the country to attend what became the largest funeral in Israeli history.

D. Murphy - The Christian Science Monitor ‎

... Yosef's undisguised bigotry and religious political extremism could also prove awkward for politicians like Mr. Netanyahu ... For instance, in 2010 he said in a weekly Saturday night sermon that the sole purpose God put non-Jews on earth was to be servants to Jews. "Goyim (gentiles, non-Jews) were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel," he said ... On Arabs in general, he said in 2001, "It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable."

CNN

Hundreds of Israelis on Monday bid an emotional farewell to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, 93, the former Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel ... He was revered by many Israelis, both secular and religious, in particular those of Eastern origin ... In a 2001 sermon, according to Israeli media, he referred to "evil and damnable" Palestinians, adding: "You must send missiles to them and annihilate them." And in August 2010, Israel Army Radio quoted Yosef as saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “and all these evil people should perish from this world ... God should strike them with a plague -- them and these Palestinians."

Mark Weber

… Judaism is not just “another religion.” It’s unique among the world’s major religions. The core values and ethos of Judaism are markedly unlike those of Christianity, Islam, and the other great faiths … A core message of the Hebrew scriptures is that Jews are a divinely “chosen” people -- a unique community distinct from the rest of humanity … The seemingly intractable Middle East conflict is more than just a problem of Zionism or politics, or a dispute over land. Israel’s often arrogant policies, and especially its inhumane treatment of non-Jews, have roots in centuries-old attitudes that are laid out in ancient Jewish religious writings.

R. Silverstein - Tikun Olam

The Israel Democracy Institute released its latest Democracy Index ... The findings, as I’ve reported before, confirm that by and large Israelis hold racist views and reject bedrock democratic principles, while believing that their country should be both Jewish and a democracy. Just under 50% (48.9%) believe Israel should privilege Jewish citizens over non-Jews. Of those, younger Israelis showed an even higher preference for Jewish privilege (65%) ... 65% of Israeli Jews believe that Jews are “the chosen people.” Of those, the majority tend to believe non-Jews should have no role in determining major national policy choices.

The Associated Press

Residents of a Palestinian village in the West Bank say masked Jewish settlers burst into a school, vandalized cars and torched olive trees during a rampage that forced schoolchildren to remain locked in classrooms to keep safe. Fawzi Ali, a teacher at the school in Jaloud, says the settlers entered on Wednesday and began throwing stones. He says teachers locked classroom doors to protect the school's 175 students as the doors were pelted. The settlers smashed the windshields of several cars outside, and then lit a fire that burned through a nearby olive grove.

J. Stephenson – Times Higher Education (Britain)

... One of Overy’s major preoccupations is with the morality of bombing civilians. At the start of the war, all sides agreed that the intentional bombing of civilians was illegal and that bombing should be confined to military targets. But desperate straits on the Western Front in spring 1940 (rather than the German bombing of Rotterdam) led the British to abandon this policy in favour of bombing targets in Germany for a military purpose even where civilians would undoubtedly be in the firing line. Both Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee were strongly in favour of this approach. For Overy, one of the many myths of the Second World War was that the Germans were the first to bomb civilians: in his view, the British got their retaliation in first.

Mark Weber - Press TV (Iran)

Press TV has conducted an interview with Mark Weber, with the Institute for Historical Review from California, to talk about the situation in Syria. / ... The United States and Israel miscalculated in underestimating the strength of the Syria government, which has proved firm and resilient and stronger than they had anticipated, and in addition, they miscalculated in underestimating the skill of both Russian and Iranian diplomats … Moreover, the Obama administration miscalculated and did not understand just how strong feeling in the United States and the rest of the world, but particularly in the United States, is to American involvement in this war.

The New York Times

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel tried to take his campaign against the Iranian leadership to Iran’s young population last week, saying that if they were truly free, they would be able to wear jeans, listen to Western music and participate in free elections. The problem is that Iranians do wear jeans and manage to listen to whatever music they want to listen to, just like people almost anywhere, except maybe in North Korea. That is to say, Mr. Netanyahu’s effort at outreach backfired, as Twitter lit up Sunday with retorts.

Farideh Farhi – LobeLog

... I have been in Tehran since the beginning of this month ... It usually takes a few seconds before the cacophonous discussion turns to the influence of Israel and Israeli lobbies in the US. “They would not allow it” is the repeated declaration and lament. But Obama’s UN speech and phone call is raising eyebrows — even a momentary silence. It’s now time to watch and be cautiously optimistic about Obama’s ability for a pushback ... Few expected this re-direction to have palpable results so soon. The mood remains patient, but clearly pleased.

BBC News

Long relegated to the dusty corners of history, mead - the drink of kings and Vikings - is making a comeback in the US. But what's brewing in this new crop of commercial meaderies - as they are known - is lot more refined from the drink that once decorated tables across medieval Europe. "Do we have any mead makers or home brewers in the group?" asks Ben Alexander, eying a crowd of a dozen or so people who have come to his Maine Meade Works, in Portland, on a rainy Friday for a tour.

Sheldon Richman

People ask whether the United States can trust Iran. The better question is whether Iran can trust the United States. Since 1979 the U.S. government has prosecuted a covert and proxy war against Iran. The objective has been regime change and installation of a government that will loyally serve U.S. state objectives ... As one can see, the Iranians are the aggrieved party in the conflict with the United States. Thus they have good reason to doubt the sincerity of recent conciliatory statements, especially when President Obama insists that “all options are on the table” — which logically includes a military and even nuclear attack.

IBTimes (New York)

... Perhaps the most controversial episode of De Valera's epic career took place in 1945 when – in light of Ireland's neutrality and independent foreign policy during the Second World War – he, as prime minister, extended his condolences to the vanquished German people over the death of Nazi dictator and architect of the Holocaust Adolf Hitler. On May 2, 1945, just two days after Hitler and his consort Eva Braun committed suicide in their Berlin bunker, De Valera, who also served as foreign minister, and his aide, Secretary of External Affairs Joseph Walshe, visited the German Embassy in Dublin to sign a book of condolences for the departed Fuhrer.

Tom Brook – BBC News

Harvard scholar Ben Urwand is a mild-mannered man in his mid-30s whose new book, The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler, has provoked some strong criticism – and to be fair – some praise too ... What Ben Urwand has attempted to do in his book, based on ten years of research in Germany and the United States, is shift the narrative on Hollywood in the 1930s. He makes the case that the men who ran the studios, far from being saintly figures opposed to Hitler’s growing power in Europe, acquiesced to the demands of the Nazis and even collaborated with them.

Charley Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them ... One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 235 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country ... Don't you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

Robert Parry - Consortium News

If a country with a large but undeclared nuclear arsenal threatens war against a country without a single nuclear bomb, you might think that a serious news organization would note the existing nuclear arsenal at least in passing. But if the country doing the threatening is Israel and the country being threatened is Iran, the New York Times can’t seem to find space to mention Israel’s rogue nuclear weapons ... Given the Times’ excoriation of Iran over its alleged secrecy, basic journalistic fairness would seem to require that the Times point out that Israel has hidden its actual nuclear weapons arsenal from the United Nations for longer than 20 years – and Israel has gone far beyond simply pursuing some related activities, but actually has put sophisticated delivery systems in place.

AFP

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday condemned the Holocaust as "reprehensible" in a new sign of a radical change by the Tehran government. "Any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis created toward the Jews, is reprehensible and condemnable," the newly elected leader told CNN in an interview. "Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews we condemn. The taking of human life is contemptible," he said, according to the US broadcaster's translation.

Anshel Pfeffer - Haaretz (Israel)

.... Has the man from Tehran actually uttered the H-word? Is he willing to attest to its uniqueness or is he simply referring to it as another crime of history? ... For some reason we have transformed acknowledgment of the Holocaust into a political litmus test, as if we need some Iranian to confirm that our great-grandparents were slaughtered 70 years ago. The whole exercise is a mockery of their memory ... The Iranian leadership believes that if they can cause the world to believe that the Holocaust was no greater an injustice than other war crimes, or that it was comparable to the Palestinian tragedy in 1948, Israel will suffer a fatal blow.

The Washington Post

Foreign fighters from across the Arab world and beyond are playing an increasingly dominant role in the battle for control of Syria, which has emerged as an even more powerful magnet for jihadist volunteers than Iraq and Afghanistan were in the past decade. The number of Syrians battling to overthrown the regime led by President Bashar al- Assad outstrips by a large margin the thousands of Arabs and other non-Syrian Muslims who have streamed into Syria over the past two years to join in the fight. But the flow of jihadist volunteers has accelerated, and non-Syrians have begun taking the lead in a variety of roles as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attempts to assert control over large areas of the rebel-held north.

Philip Giraldi

... To his credit, Obama has made his move in the face of heavy opposition from the Israel Lobby and its friends in congress and the media, which have begun to do battle over the issue ... In its own interests, Washington should be racing to talk to Iran to find an exit from the longest running unnecessarily sustained neither-war-nor-peace conflict since the cold war. American politicians and media talking heads who say otherwise are being led by the nose by the likes of Netanyahu, a charlatan who has contempt for a congress and White House that he believes he can control.

Daily Mail (Britain)

He is feted as a national hero, but new evidence has come to light that Winston Churchill once ordered 50,000 of the most devastating chemical weapons ever made to be dropped on Russia. In two months at the end of the First World War, Churchill authorised the M Device - shells with chemical tips - to be dropped over villages and military posts held by the revolutionary Bolsheviks in northern Russia. Then secretary of state for war, Churchill had wanted the British government to support the White Army in its civil bitter fight for power with the Bolshevik Red Army ... Although Churchill had wanted to help the White Army, the Government refused to take sides. Mr Milton, 47, has also revealed Churchill wanted to use chemical weapons against rebellious tribes in North India.

Mark Weber

A long-suppressed report written in June 1945 by the US Army's Chemical Warfare Service shows that American military leaders made plans for a massive preemptive poison gas attack to accompany an invasion of Japan. The 30-page document designated "gas attack zones" on detailed maps of Tokyo and other major Japanese cities. Army planners selected 50 urban and industrial targets in Japan, with 25 cities, including Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Kobe and Kyoto, listed as "especially suitable for gas attacks."

The Associated Press

U.S. lawmakers from both parties have expressed a willingness to give President Barack Obama’s outreach to Iran a chance to end to Tehran's nuclear standoff with the West, but at the same time they are crafting tough new U.S. economic sanctions to further isolate the Islamic republic ... In July, the House approved tough new sanctions on Iran's oil sector and other industries ... Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, is in favor of a tough new round of sanctions ... Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, credited America's "damaging sanctions" for getting Rouhani on the phone and said the U.S. must increase economic pressure "until Iran stops its nuclear drive."

Ryan Costello – The Huffington Post

... After the House passed new, embargo-like sanctions on Iran a mere four days before Rouhani's inauguration, the Senate is set to consider a companion bill in the weeks ahead ... Further, Sen. Graham and Rep. Trent Franks have vowed to introduce a war authorization in the weeks ahead, arguing that it would increase American leverage at the negotiating table. However, either new sanctions or a war authorization would be a major signal to Iran that the United States isn't committed to diplomacy or that President Obama couldn't deliver a deal with a hostile Congress.

Nima Shirazi – Wide Asleep in America

... CNN correspondent Reza Sayah has been reporting from Tehran, filing stories rarely seen in the mainstream Western media. He is letting Iranians speak for themselves. In his latest dispatch, Sayah sets up an “open mic” on a bustling street in the Iranian capital, asking ordinary Iranians – whom he describes as “some of the kindest and most educated in the region” – to tell Americans “what they really think.” “We Iranian people don’t have any problem with America,” a young man says, his sentiments echoed by an older woman with red hair, wearing a loosely-tied green head scarf. “We love Americans,” she insists in perfect English (like many of those interviewed), but explains that the government of the United States is “not fair,” imploring, “Be fair to the world.”

The Telegraph (Britain)

The Prime Minister announced that the Government will increase funding for the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) by an extra 300,000 pounds a year. The extra funds will allow more children to take part in the Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz Project, which allows students and teachers to visit the former Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. He also launched a new national Holocaust commission, which will set up a permanent Holocaust memorial in Britain. Mr Cameron told the Trust's Appeal Dinner: “At a time when anti-Semitism is returning in some parts of mainland Europe, it is more important than ever that – as a whole country – we do everything possible to make sure that the memory of the Holocaust is preserved from generation to generation.”

Ynet News (Israel)

Israeli parliament members to gather at memorial site of Nazi death camp, exactly 69 years after its liberation, in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day / ... The historic event was initiated by the management of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which has invited Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and all members of the Israeli parliament to participate in a discussion and memorial ceremony ... Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, a former Auschwitz prisoner, will deliver a speech at the special session.

The Guardian (Britain)

Not only was the work of Howard Phillips Lovecraft uniformly bleak, but what he did write was sometimes execrable ... The American writer, who died in 1937, is also widely considered today to have had unacceptable racist views. And yet, despite his prejudices and stylistic shortcomings, his work remains insanely popular.

K. Frankovic – YouGov

Many Americans think that Vladimir Putin was the most effective leader during the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, while approval for how Obama handled the crisis is still low. Although Syria appears to have met the first deadline in its agreement with the United States and Russia, beginning the process of turning over its chemical weapons, few Americans trust it will fulfill its promises. That leaves President Obama in a difficult position: he continues to have little support for action against Syria, and Americans continue to disapprove of how he is handling this crisis. Worse for him, perhaps, the latest Economist/ YouGov Poll finds twice as many Americans giving Russian President Vladimir Putin the nod over President Obama as the most effective leader in this crisis.

Paul R. Pillar

Benjamin Netanyahu will not support any agreement between the United States and Iran. Or to be more precise, he will not support any agreement that is at all reasonable and in both US and Iranian interests and thus has any chance of being negotiated. Give Netanyahu credit for consistency: he has long made it abundantly clear that he has no use at all for any negotiations with Iran or for any settlement of differences with Iran, on the nuclear issue or on anything else. Netanyahu thus is doing what he can to destroy the prospects for an agreement.

BBC News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned against working with the Iranian government. In a speech to the UN General Assembly, he described President Hassan Rouhani as a "wolf in sheep's clothing". He said Israel would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, even if it had to stand alone on the issue ... In his address to the UN, Mr Netanyahu said Israel's future was threatened by a "nuclear-armed" Iran, and urged other nations to keep up sanctions against the country. He accused Mr Rouhani of having the same goal as his more hard-line predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Associated Press

Iran’s foreign minister on Tuesday called the leader of Israel a liar who requires deception to promote his policies, saying Iran will not allow him to influence future talks with world powers about Tehran’s disputed nuclear activities ... “This is his nature, to lie ... Over the past 22 years, the regime, Israel, has been saying Iran will have nuclear arms in six months," said Zarif. "The continuation of this game, in fact, is based on lying, deception, incitement and harassment." He also called Netanyahu the "most isolated individual" in the U.N.

BBC News

A panel of French historians has called for the records of soldiers who were shot for cowardice and desertion in World War I to be rewritten. The historians' report, commissioned by the government, called for the cases of 650 men shot during the war to be reconsidered. Many of them are "worthy and deserving of moral, civic and public-spirited rehabilitation", the report says. Veterans' minister Kader Arif has promised to consider the issue. The report was sent to him ahead of next year's commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the war.

CNN

Three-quarters of Americans say they favor direct diplomatic negotiations with Iran in an attempt to prevent that country from developing nuclear weapons, according to a new national poll. Just one in five questioned in a CNN/ ORC International survey released Monday morning say they opposed negotiations with Tehran. ... "Large majorities in all major demographic categories favor negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program, including 87% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans. This is nothing new for the U.S. public -- in 2009, virtually the same number of Americans said they favored negotiations with Iran," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Reuters

Iran's parliament strongly endorsed President Hassan Rouhani's diplomatic bid to dispel mistrust at the United Nations last week during a visit which ended with an historic phone call with President Barack Obama, Iranian media said. The backing from the assembly, controlled by political factions deeply loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a further sign that Rouhani has the support of the Iranian establishment, though there are some rumblings from hardliners.

ČTK (Czech Republic)

Czech police have levelled charges against two heads of the Guidemedia publishers, author Lukas Beer and the firm itself for having published the book "Adolf Hitler: Speeches," south Moravia police spokeswoman Petra Vedrova told CTK yesterday. They were charged with denying, disputing, approving of and justifying genocide, Vedrova said ... Guidemedia published 10,000 copies of the 650-page book, but only online. The online promotion texts say Hitler always spoke about Czechs with respect and appreciation, saying that everyone had the right to life. The texts also say Hitler sought peace and friendship with England and had nothing against Russians.

AFP

A German court on Monday threw out an appeal by a British bishop convicted in a high-profile case for denying key facts about the Holocaust. The appeal, which opened at a court in the southern Bavarian city of Regensburg without Bishop Richard Williamson present, marked the fifth round of court proceedings in the case. "The appeal was rejected," court spokesman Johann Piendl told AFP. The 73-year-old bishop was convicted of incitement to hatred after telling Swedish television in a 2009 broadcast that "200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps" and disputing the existence of Nazi gas chambers.

Robert Self - BBC News

... After this monumental failure of policy Chamberlain's name became an abusive synonym for vacillation, weakness, immoral great-power diplomacy and, above all, the craven appeasement of bullies - whatever the price in national honour ... "Poor Neville" did come badly out of history - and largely because Churchill wrote that history to ensure his own carefully crafted version of the 1930s would become the one indelibly etched upon the collective consciousness ... The abiding popular image of Neville Chamberlain remains that of a naive tragicomic figure clutching a worthless piece of paper inscribed with the legend "Peace for our time".

Nick Baumann - Slate

... Today the prime minister is generally portrayed as a foolish man who was wrong to try to "appease" Hitler — a cautionary tale for any leader silly enough to prefer negotiation to confrontation. But among historians, that view changed in the late 1950s, when the British government began making Chamberlain-era records available to researchers ... Explains David Dutton, a British historian who wrote a recent biography of the prime minister. "The evidence was so overwhelming," he says, that many historians came to believe that Chamberlain "couldn't do anything other than what he did" at Munich.

Eric Margolis

President Barack Obama foolishly backed himself into a corner during the growing Syrian crisis by issuing fatwas about mythological red lines. When his bluff got called, the silver-tongued president was left twisting in the wind. Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize should be rescinded and given, instead, to Vladimir Putin. Add a warning to Obama’s amateur foreign policy advisors: “don’t play chess with the KGB!” ... Americans are rightly fed up with past crusades and increasingly disillusioned by President Obama and the tame US media. His indecisiveness and lack of a clear strategy have made him singularly unpopular.

The Guardian (Britain)

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider. It doesn’t take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s ... He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth ... He says investigative journalism in the US is being killed by the crisis of confidence, lack of resources and a misguided notion of what the job entails ... "The republic's in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple." And he implores journalists to do something about it.

Glenn Greenwald - The Guardian (Britain)

... The Oregon Democrat [Sen. Ron Wyden] condemned what he called "the intrusive, constitutionally flawed surveillance system" the NSA built. About Snowden's whistleblowing, he said that NSA officials should have known from "a quick read of history, in America, the truth always managed to come out." And his primary point was this: "the leadership of NSA built an intelligence collection system that repeatedly deceived the American people."

Uri Avnery (Israel)

Years ago I disclosed one of the biggest secrets about Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was an agent of the Mossad. Suddenly, all the curious details of his behavior made sense ... Rouhani is the very opposite of his predecessor. If the Mossad had been asked to sketch the worst possible Iranian leader Israel could imagine, they would have come up with someone like him .... Even before Rouhani could open his mouth after his election, he was condemned outright by Binyamin Netanyahu ... It is far too early to say much about the Decline of the American Empire, but one does not need a seismograph to perceive some movement in that direction.

Hassan Rouhani (President of Iran) - The Washington Post

... At their core, the vicious battles in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria are over the nature of those countries’ identities and their consequent roles in our region and the world. The centrality of identity extends to the case of our peaceful nuclear energy program. To us, mastering the atomic fuel cycle and generating nuclear power is as much about diversifying our energy resources as it is about who Iranians are as a nation, our demand for dignity and respect and our consequent place in the world. Without comprehending the role of identity, many issues we all face will remain unresolved.

Eric Margolis

... President Barack Obama, having just been wrong-footed over Syria, now faces a surprise Iranian diplomatic and public relations offensive that will be hard to resist. America’s war party is furious: its dreams of seeing US power crush Syria, then Iran are in jeopardy. Ever since a popular revolution ousted the US-installed regime of Shah Pahlavi in 1979, Washington has sought to overthrow Iran’s Islamic republic ... Israel has made it clear it wants the US to attack Iran and crush its nuclear and non-nuclear military capabilities.

M.J. Rosenberg

Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani have spoken. And they are on the same page. By that I mean not they agree about the issues dividing the two countries but that they are both ready to move forward, to test each other and see if an agreement is possible. As tentative as all this is, it is a major breakthrough – as anyone who has paid even a little attention over the past 34 years knows. However, I do not see this process leading anywhere because the Netanyahu government and its lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are determined to end the process and they have the ability to do it.

The Guardian (Britain)

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, declared that "peace is within reach" on Tuesday, in a hotly anticipated speech at the United Nations in which he offered immediate negotiations aimed at removing any "reasonable concerns" over his country's nuclear programme. Rouhani argued that in return, Iran wanted the international community to recognise its right to enrich uranium, the issue that has been at the heart of the diplomatic impasse over the past eleven years ... Obama assigned his secretary of state, John Kerry, to oversee negotiations with Tehran and offered Rouhani an important symbolic gesture, making the first official US acknowledgement of the CIA's well-documented role in the ousting of Iran's democratically-elected government in 1953.

The Guardian (Britain)

Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani held the first direct talks between American and Iranian leaders since the 1979 Islamic revolution, exchanging pleasantries in a 15-minute telephone call on Friday [Sept. 27] that raised the prospect of relief for Tehran from crippling economic sanctions. Speaking at the White House shortly after the historic call, Obama said his discussion with Rouhani had shown the "basis for resolution" of the dispute over Iran nuclear programme ... Both leaders expressed confidence their countries could reach a peaceful settlement to their standoff over Iranian nuclear programme.

The Telegraph (Britain)

... Hess’s journey to Britain by fighter aircraft to Scotland has traditionally been dismissed as the deranged solo mission of a madman. But Peter Padfield, an historian, has uncovered evidence he says shows that, Hess, the deputy Fuhrer, brought with him from Hitler a detailed peace treaty, under which the Nazis would withdraw from western Europe, in exchange for British neutrality over the imminent attack on Russia ... Mr Padfield, who has previously written a biography of Hess as well as ones of Karl Dönitz and Heinrich Himmler, believes the treaty was suppressed at the time, because it would have scuppered Churchill’s efforts to get the USA into the war, destroyed his coalition of exiled European governments, and weakened his position domestically ...

The American Mercury (1943)

… Hitler offered total cessation of the war in the West. Germany would evacuate all of France except Alsace and Lorraine, which would remain German. It would evacuate Holland and Belgium, retaining Luxembourg. It would evacuate Norway and Denmark. In short, Hitler offered to withdraw from Western Europe, except for the two French provinces and Luxembourg, in return for which Great Britain would agree to assume an attitude of benevolent neutrality towards Germany as it unfolded its plans in Eastern Europe. In addition, the Führer was ready to withdraw from Yugoslavia and Greece.

The Washington Post

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.

Voice of Russia - Interfax (Russia)

Russia has collected sufficient evidence to implicate Syrian rebels in using chemical weapons near Aleppo on March 19. According to Foreign Minister Lavrov, sarin gas that was unleashed against civilians outside the northern city was crudely-made, as the Russian investigation confirms ... “We have information that the tragic incident on August 21, where chemical weapons were used according to confirmed reports, involved sarin of the same origin as the chemical toxin fired on March 19, although it was far stronger ... The minister also reminded journalists about a phone call between two rebel fighters that was caught on tape and subsequently covered by the Kommersant newspaper.

Reuters

Israeli soldiers manhandled European diplomats on Friday and seized a truck full of tents and emergency aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week. A Reuters reporter saw soldiers throw sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers and locals in the occupied West Bank, and yank a French diplomat out of the truck before driving away with its contents. "They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity," French diplomat Marion Castaing said. "This is how international law is being respected here," she said, covered with dust.