January 2014

NBC News

As President Barack Obama enters his sixth year in the White House, 68 percent of Americans say the country is either stagnant or worse off since he took office, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll. Just 31 percent say the country is better off, and a deep pessimism continues to fuel the public's mood. Most respondents used words like “divided,” “troubled,” and “deteriorating” to describe the current state of the nation. On the eve of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, more than six-in-ten Americans believe that the nation is headed in the wrong direction and 70 percent are dissatisfied with the economy.

Rasmussen Reports

Just 21 percent of likely U.S. voters believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That's up four points from the all-time low of 17 percent last reached in August but is generally in keeping with regular surveying for the past four years. Sixty-three percent (63%) do not believe the federal government has the consent of the governed today, Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

Justin Raimondo

They call it the “Good War,” one supposes, in order to differentiate it from all the really bad wars we’ve been fighting – and losing – lately: Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the future wars our political class has up its collective sleeve ... It was the biggest mistake in our history as a nation, and yet it is glorified as our greatest moment, the singular achievement of the Greatest Generation – and warmongers inevitably refer to it in order to marginalize anti-interventionists, no matter what the context, conjuring up all the old smears of long-dead character assassins. Until and unless we debunk this tired yet persistent narrative, we shall never rid ourselves of the albatross of empire.

Adam Kirsch - The New York Times

... Even as the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made Americans less confident about the ways we use our military power, the struggle with the Axis remains the classic example of American might deployed for virtuous ends ... Even today, World War II helps underwrite our claim to that moral difference ... After all, the present is always lived in ambiguity. To those who fought World War II, it was plain enough that Allied bombs were killing huge numbers of German civilians, that Churchill was fighting to preserve imperialism as well as democracy, and that the bulk of the dying in Europe was being done by the Red Army at the service of Stalin.

Mark Weber

How accurate is this hallowed portrayal of America’s role in World War II? As we shall see, it does not hold up under close examination … The three Allied leaders accomplished what they accused the Axis leaders of Germany, Italy and Japan of conspiring to achieve: world domination … Presidential deception to justify war did not start with George W. Bush. Americans who express admiration for the US role in World War II, and for Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential leadership, have little moral right to complain when presidents follow his example and lead the country into war by breaking the law, subverting the Constitution, and lying to the people.

Peter Hitchens - Daily Mail (Britain)

... We shall soon be marking the 70 th anniversary of the end of the supposedly ‘Good’ Second World War ... The 1939-45 conflict is still wreathed in delusions, delusions often employed to try to justify modern wars which are alleged to have comparably ‘good’ aims. The belief in its goodness is in fact ludicrous. Our main ally (rejected at the beginning with lofty scorn, embraced later with desperate, insincere enthusiasm) was one of the most murderous tyrants in human history ... During and immediately after the war, as I have discussed here, we employed methods which would have disgusted our forebears and which ought to disgust us, but which were so frightful that we still lie to ourselves about them, or hide them from our consciousness.

John V. Walsh

... So the question is whether the United States wishes to remain the dominant military power in the world and to bring China down. Unfortunately, such anti-China strategies have already been put in place by the U.S. and they will be intensified ... If the United States insists on its status as the dominant and unchallengeable military power, then we are on the road to conflict, certainly a new Cold War the beginning of which the “pivot” represents, and quite possibly we are on the road to WWIII ... The answer is to abandon Empire, dismantle our overseas bases, end our occupation of foreign nations, including South Korea, Japan and Germany, adopt a defensive strategy to protect our land and come home. Trade and talk, yes. Military intervention, no.

Der Spiegel (Germany)

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen want Germany to assume a greater role in world affairs, including military missions abroad. Their stance marks a break with Angela Merkel's policy of restraint. / ... The French now want to follow the German example in economic policy, after two years of resisting it. Berlin in turn wants to provide Paris with stronger support in military missions in Africa in future ... That's a big step not just for France, but for Germany as well. The new German government, inaugurated just a month ago, is charting a new course in foreign policy.

Haaretz (Israel)

A wealthy American venture capitalist has come under fire for comparing criticism of the "successful one percent" to the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany. Thomas Perkins, a founder of leading venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who reportedly has a net worth of $8 billion, penned a letter to the Wall Street Journal that was published Friday. "Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its 'one percent,' namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the 'rich,'" Perkins wrote.

The Huffington Post

Maybe you thought rich maniac Thomas Perkins was kidding or drunk when he wrote that the Poors were basically Nazis preparing to Holocaust him to death. But no: He has doubled down on this claim in a new email to Bloomberg. “In the Nazi area it was racial demonization, now it is class demonization,” typed Perkins ...

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

... The offending illustration, of US President Barack Obama reaching out to Iran shackled to a congress emblem embossed with Stars of David ... first appeared in the magazine’s January 18 print edition ... Critics blasted the cartoon for suggesting that the US is controlled by Jews and Israel ... Middle East media expert Tom Gross told The Jerusalem Post ... “It is not the first time the Economist has employed anti-Semitism as part of what it pretends to be straightforward political commentary.” ...

USA Today

President Obama urged the nation and world Monday to remember the victims on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. "Each year on this day the world comes together to commemorate a barbaric crime unique in human history," Obama said in a statement ... Obama also said people should condemn "any attempts to deny the occurrence of the Holocaust” ... “On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Michelle and I join the American people and our friends in the State of Israel and around the world as we reaffirm our obligation not just to bear witness, but to act.”

Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch

... The most significant result of the Dieudonné uproar so far is probably the dawning realization, among more and more people, that the “Shoah”, or Holocaust, functions as the semi-official State Religion of France ... Constantly recalling the Shoah, in articles, movies, news items, as well as at school, far from preventing anything, can create a morbid fascination with “identities”. It fosters “victim rivalries” ... The Holocaust became the religion of the West at a time when the generation after World War II was in the mood to blame their parents. Now we are with the grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, of those who lived through that period, and they want to look ahead.

Gilad Atzmon

... Seemingly, Jewish organisations around the world are scared by the recent developments in France. Once again, they clearly failed to appreciate the growing mass fatigue of Shoah indoctrination and belligerent lobby politics ... Instead of whining about the “rise of anti-Semitism”, Jews better, once and for all, learn to ask why? Why the Jews again? Why are they hated? What is it in Jewish politics that evokes so much resentment? Why does it happen time after time? ... Jewish suffering is actually embedded in Jewish culture. In other words, Jews are actually destined to bring disasters on themselves.

The New York Times

There is no plot to speak of, and the characters are woefully undeveloped. On the upside, it can be a quick read — especially considering its 1,250 pages. The book, more art than literature, consists of the single word, "Jew," in tiny type, printed six million times to signify the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust. It is meant as a kind of coffee-table monument of memory, a conversation starter and thought provoker ... While many Jewish leaders in the United States have embraced the book, some Holocaust educators consider it a gimmick ... The book's backers do not deny its gimmickry — Chernofsky used the Yiddish word "shtick" — but see it as a powerful one.

AFP

More than a dozen European Union nations have failed to fully criminalise the denial of crimes against humanity and war crimes, the EU's executive said on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Though the bloc agreed in 2008 to outlaw the denial, condonement or gross trivialisation of such crimes, around half of its 28 members have failed to write these rules into their domestic legislation, the European Commission said.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Israel’s inhumane treatment of non-Jews, as well as the often arrogant outlook of the organized Jewish community, reflect a centuries-old mindset that has roots in the Hebrew scriptures (the “Old Testament”). As Weber explains in this hard-hitting broadcast, Judaism is not just “another religion.” Its character and core values are markedly unlike those of Christianity and the other great world religions. Jews are encouraged to regard themselves as separate from the rest of humanity, and as members of a community with interests distinct from those of everyone else.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Yet Kerry's own undiplomatic conduct may be imperiling two of his initiatives, and naivete and hubris may be blinding him to the coming collapse of the third ... Can Kerry explain why America's goal remains the ouster of Assad, when the offensive coordinator for the rebels who would take power is the successor to Osama bin Laden? ... As for an Israeli-Palestinian deal in which Kerry has invested 10 trips, Israeli economics minister Naftali Bennett calls it "a joke." Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon says that Kerry "is acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor," that his peace plan "is not worth the paper it is written on” ... Kerry is heading into a minefield. And so are we.

RFE/RL

As Russia prepared to mark the 70th anniversary of the lifting of the Leningrad Blockade this week, Dozhd TV asked its viewers a provocative query: Would more lives have been saved if Russia had surrendered the city to Germany? The poll question proved distasteful to many Russians, for whom the nearly 900-day Leningrad siege -- in which an estimated one million people died of starvation -- remains one of the grimmest chapters of the country's World War II history. Dozhd quickly removed the question and apologized for causing offense. But it was not enough to prevent a number of broadcasters in Russia -- including the Akado and NTV-Plus cable providers -- from taking Dozhd off the air.

Reuters

Actress Scarlett Johansson has quit her role as an ambassador for Oxfam, the charity said on Thursday, after she fell out with the group for endorsing an Israeli firm operating in the occupied West Bank. The Hollywood star has become the public face for soda-maker SodaStream, and is due to appear in an advert for the company that is set to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday. However, the multi-million dollar deal has caused a backlash amongst activists and humanitarian groups because SodaStream's largest factory is based in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank ... Settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are condemned by Oxfam, which has a large operation in the region.

The Associated Press

Scarlett Johansson has parted ways with the international charity Oxfam because of a dispute over her work for SodaStream, a company operating in a West Bank settlement that features the Hollywood star in an ad that will air during the Super Bowl. Johansson became the latest casualty of a widening campaign to boycott the settlements, drawing attention to a larger debate about whether Israel will become an international pariah, at a steep economic price, if it fails to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians ... European officials have warned that Israel could face deepening economic isolation if it presses forward with the construction of settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, war-won lands the Palestinians want for their state.

Avi Shlaim - The New York Times

... The simple truth is that Israel wouldn’t be able to survive for very long without American support. Since 1949, America’s economic aid to Israel amounts to a staggering $118 billion and America continues to subsidize the Jewish state to the tune of $3 billion annually. America is also Israel’s main arms supplier and the official guarantor of its “quantitative military edge” over all its Arab neighbors. In the diplomatic arena, Israel relies on America to shield it from the consequences of its habitual violations of international law ... America is going nowhere in the Middle East until it makes the provision of money and arms conditional on good manners and, more importantly, on Israeli respect for its advice.

Vijay Prashad - The Washington Post

... U.S. academics are not in the lead here. Matters are far more developed in Europe, where faculties have fought to divest and boycott Israel and where the European Union is moving toward labeling products from illegal Israeli settlements. But U.S. academics recognize a special mission: Israeli institutions that benefit from the occupation do so with impunity granted by U.S. financial, military and diplomatic support. If the United States underwrites the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lives, then U.S. scholars have a responsibility to call that support to account. That is why the ASA acted. I, for one, am glad it did.

JTA

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a bill that would enhance the already close U.S.-Israel defense relationship ... It names Israel a “major strategic ally” of the United States — no other nation has the status — and includes measures that would encourage enhanced cooperation such as missile development, energy and homeland security. The measure also calls for expanding the reserve of U.S. weapons stockpiled in Israel and recommends that Israel join the U.S. visa waiver program, allowing for unfettered travel between the countries once Israel meets its requirements.

Jews for Justice in the Middle East

As the periodic bloodshed continues in the Middle East, the search for an equitable solution must come to grips with the root cause of the conflict. The conventional wisdom is that, even if both sides are at fault, the Palestinians are irrational “terrorists” who have no point of view worth listening to. Our position, however, is that the Palestinians have a real grievance … This paper outlines the history of Palestine to show how this process occurred and what a moral solution to the region’s problems should consist of. If you care about the people of the Middle East, Jewish and Arab, you owe it to yourself to read this account of the other side of the historical record.

Unsolved Mysteries – Video

The sinking of the 'Wilhelm Gustloff’ is not well known, but this was one of the worst naval disasters in history. This 44-minute documentary tells the story of how this German vessel, packed with women and children refugees, was sunk by a Soviet submarine on Jan. 30, 1945. Estimates of the number of drowning victims run as high as 9,000 -- that is, more than the number of those who died in the Titanic and Lusitania sinkings combined.

Institute for Historical Review

Many of those who view "Titanic," the blockbuster motion picture, may leave the movie theater believing that the 1912 sinking of the great British liner, with the loss of 1,523 men, women and children, was history's greatest maritime disaster … But these disasters are dwarfed by the sinkings of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the General Steuben and the Goya, three German ships crowded with evacuated refugees and wounded soldiers that were struck by Soviet submarines during the final months of the Second World War.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... The average U.S. family has not seen a rise in real wages in 40 years. This is directly traceable to the loss of more than one-third of all U.S. manufacturing jobs. And that loss, that deindustrialization of America, is directly tied to the $10 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I ... The United States has not run a trade surplus in four decades, whereas, in the first 70 years of the 20th century, we never ran a trade deficit. Trade surpluses add to GDP; trade deficits subtract from GDP. And when in a company town the company closes the factory, the town often dies.

Bob Dreyfuss - The Nation

The November 24 interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1 world powers, which moved into its implementation phase in January, could be blown apart if Congress, backed by hawks and the Israel lobby, enacts yet another Iran sanctions bill, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act. Like a scene from The Walking Dead, 77 neoconservative pundits, analysts and former officials — almost all of them the same people who, as members of various committees and ad hoc think tanks, pushed for war against Iraq from the late 1990s to 2003 — sent a letter to congressional leaders backing the reckless scheme.

The Times of Israel

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said defending Israel was part of his “job description,” and urged Washington to boycott Saudi Airlines for denying Israeli citizens the right to fly with them. At a closed-door AIPAC function in New York, de Blasio, who succeeded Michael Bloomberg less than a month ago, said he felt a part of his job description was “to be a defender of Israel.” Addressing the pro-Israel lobby in what some media outlets termed a “secret” speech, de Blasio said his belief in Israel and the United States’ obligation to defend it not only had “a philosophical grounding,” but was also “something that is elemental to being an American.”

Daily News (New York)

... De Blasio was forced to defend himself Friday after a Thursday speech to the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee was left off his public schedule. A reporter from the website Capital New York who found out about the event and tried to cover it was ejected by security, the outlet said. Capital later obtained a tape of the speech, in which the mayor told the pro-Israel lobby: “There is a philosophical grounding to my belief in Israel and it is my belief, it is our obligation, to defend Israel, but it is also something that is elemental to being an American because there is no greater ally on earth.”

Andrew Sullivan

... And if you were to say that AIPAC was so powerful it could get a left-liberal mayor of New York to give a speech so fulsome in its cravenness and excess it adds whole universes of meaning to the word “pander” and also insist that it be kept secret, even to the extent of hauling a reporter out of the hall, then all bets would be off ... This preposterous bullshit is what a left-liberal mayor felt obliged to serve up ... Then the astonishing statement that “part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel.” Really? And there I was thinking he was mayor of New York City!

EJP

A rally against the government in Paris on Sunday turned anti-Semitic with thousands of protesters chanting ‘Jews go home’ and ‘Jews, France is not for you’ and crying slogans in support of anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala. According to Agence France Presse (AFP), 17,000 protesters marched in a ‘‘Day of Anger’’ against French President Francois Hollande. Security forces used tear gas to disperse several hundred youths who lobbed bottles, fireworks, iron bars and dustbins at police. Nineteen police officers were injured in clashes with the protesters, one seriously. At least 150 protesters were arrested.

Euro News (France)

French police say 250 people were arrested during clashes after an anti-Francois Hollande demonstration in Paris. Security forces used tear gas to disperse several hundred youths who lobbed bottles, fireworks and iron bars at police. Sunday’s so-called ‘day of anger’ attracted anti-abortion groups, fundamentalist Catholics, anti-same-sex marriage protesters, and supporters of the banned comedian Dieudonné ... A Jewish students union, the UEJF, condemned “anti-Semitic slogans and Nazi salutes” by some protesters.

Video

Youthful protesters in the Jan. 26 anti-regime “Day of Anger” demonstration in Paris shout anti-Jewish slogans. They chant “Jew! France does not belong to you!,” “Jew! Out of France!,” “Jew! Get Lost! France is not for you!,” and similar slogans. In clashes with police, more than 100 protesters were arrested, and 19 policemen were injured. Runtime: 1:10 mins.

F. G. Wisner, L. Gelb – Daily Beast

U.S. policy is going down the drain in Syria diplomatically and militarily. The choice: deal with Assad or fail. The Syria conference underway in Geneva to transition from the rule of President Assad will fail, and the Obama team knows it. There is no incentive now in the Assad or rebel camps for diplomatic compromise, and the U.S. knows that. Nothing the U.S. and its allies are doing or planning on the military front will compel President Assad to step aside, and the White House understands that full well. The reality on the ground today is that American-helped moderate rebels continue to flounder, while Assad’s forces and those of the jihadi extremists prosper.

AFP

Support for the "Yes" campaign backing an independent Scotland is growing sharply, eight months before a referendum on the issue, according to a poll published in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper. Some 37 percent of those surveyed said they supported independence, with 44 percent opposed and 19 percent undecided. This is a five point gain for the "Yes" campaign since the last ICM survey was conducted last September.

AFP

An employee of the museum at a former Nazi German death camp in Poland has been charged with anti-Semitism along with five other men, local media and police said Saturday. Officers detained the Poles in the eastern city of Lublin on Thursday and charged them with incitement to hatred, after three of them were caught putting up posters at bus stops reading "Zionists Leave Lublin" ... The group, who also included a local businessman and several unemployed individuals, had been putting up anti-Semitic posters around town since 2010. They face up to seven and a half years in prison.

Philip Giraldi

... The cash flow enabling the global war on terror which was launched in 2001 is astonishing, numbers that are too large to even imagine. Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz has estimated that the total cost of Iraq alone will exceed $5 trillion when all the borrowed money and legacy expenses for 30,000 wounded soldiers are finally paid off. And Iraq is only one part of the enormous shift in national resources that has taken place over the past twelve years. The direct costs of the Bush-Obama war are reflected in the Defense and intelligence budgets, both of which are more than twice as big as they were pre-9/11 [2001] ...

Patrick J. Buchanan

... As we look back at our interventions in the 21st century, where are the gains of all our fighting, bleeding and dying? We know the costs – 8,000 dead, 40,000 wounded, $2 trillion in wealth sunk. But where are the benefits? ... Last summer, Obama, goaded by democracy crusaders and the War Party, was about to launch strikes on Syria when America arose as one to call a halt.

S. McConnell - The American Conservative

... What struck me as most important in Gates’s memoir were the frequent references to the dangers of allowing the United States to get sucked into wars serving other country’s agendas, especially in the Mideast .... Worry about being drawn into wars on behalf of allies, (or perhaps “allies”) is (alongside such estimable things as duty, honor, country) the central theme of Gates’s work ... Those who follow the Iran issue will be interested in Gate’s account of the triangular interplay between Israel, Washington, and Iran ...

Smedley Butler

A classic polemic against war and US military interventionism. Butler joined the Marine Corps when the Spanish American War broke out, earned the Brevette Medal during the Boxer Rebellion in China, saw action in Central America, and in France during World War I was promoted to Major General. He served his country for 34 years, yet he spoke against American armed intervention into the affairs of sovereign nations. With audio documentary. Runtime: 29 mins.

R. Wright - Time

... Iran is today the world’s largest laboratory for the study of the effects of chemical weapons, in part because of the sheer numbers of Iranian victims ... A declassified CIA report estimated that Iran suffered more than 50,000 casualties from Iraq’s repeated use of nerve agents and toxic gases in the 1980s ... The lingering impact of a war that ended in a 1988 truce, at a cost of an estimated one million Iranian and Iraqi casualties, still defines Iran’s worldview ... The United States was complicit too. Washington provided Baghdad with intelligence on Iran’s equipment and troops strengths to help Iraq retake the Fao Peninsula in 1988. Iraq made widespread use of chemical weapons to win it back.

Lawrence Wittner

When it comes to war, the American public is remarkably fickle. The responses of Americans to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars provide telling examples ... In fact, this collapse of public support for once-popular wars is a long-term phenomenon. ... Of all America’s wars over the past century, only World War II has retained mass public approval ... There would certainly be less disillusionment, as well as a great savings in lives and resources, if more Americans recognized the terrible costs of war before they rushed to embrace it. But a clearer understanding of war and its consequences will probably be necessary to convince Americans to break out of the cycle in which they seem trapped.

Mark Weber – Podcast

In a carefully written and well-researched book published nearly 50 years after the author's death, former president Herbert Hoover details the folly, duplicity and great harm of US policy during World War II, and persuasively debunks the popular, entrenched view of America's role in the global clash as the "good war." In a book he considered his most important, Freedom Betrayed, Hoover examines president Franklin Roosevelt's record of deceit and lawlessness in promoting war in Europe, pushing the US into war, and aligning the US with Stalin's tyrannical regime. Runtime: 50 mins.

Mark Weber – Podcast

As ever more historians acknowledge, President Franklin Roosevelt broke the law and lied to the American people in a deceitful campaign to promote war in Europe, and then to get the US to join in the "Good War" against Germany. "Freedom Betrayed," the recently published book by former US President Herbert Hoover, is yet another authoritative debunking of the prevailing, official view of the US role in World War II. Runtime: 48 mins.

B. O'Neill -- The Telegraph (Britain)

... Censoring Holocaust denial turns it into a kind of forbidden fruit, making it seem dangerous and edgy, something that so freaks out the entire state, political class and mainstream of society that it must be stringently criminalised. This gives it a feeling of intrigue ... The worst thing about the censorship of Holocaust denial is that it gives the impression that the mainstream of society is defensive on the question of the Holocaust – so defensive that we feel the need to erect around this historical event a forcefield of censorship preventing people from questioning what happened. This hands a moral victory to the deniers ...

Robert Faurisson

The religion of “the Holocaust” is a secular one: it belongs to the lay world; it is profane; in actuality, it has at its disposal the secular arm, that is a temporal authority with dreaded power. It has its dogma, its commandments, its decrees, its prophets and its high priests. As one revisionist has observed, it has its circle of saints, male and female, amongst whom, for example, Saint Anne (Frank), Saint Simon (Wiesenthal) and Saint Elie (Wiesel). It has its holy places, its rituals and its pilgrimages. It has its sacred (and macabre) buildings and its relics …

David M. Buss – Edge.org

For most of the past century, mainstream social scientists have assumed that attractiveness is superficial, arbitrary, and infinitely variable across cultures. Many still cling to these views ... We now know that in species with preferential mate choice, from scorpionflies to peacocks to elephant seals, physical appearance typically matters greatly. It conveys critical reproductively valuable qualities such as health, fertility, dominance, and 'good genes.' Are humans a bizarre exception to all other sexually reproducing species? ... In mate selection, Job One, as someone in business might say, is the successful selection of a fertile partner. Those who failed to find fertile mates left no descendants.

Daily Mail (Britain)

A Chinese firm claims it is getting closer to allowing parents to pick the embryo most likely to succeed. Researchers believe that 50-80% of what determines IQ could be inherited. Now a Chinese firm is mapping the genes of people who are gifted in math in a bid to isolate the genes that make them smarter that the average person. Shenzhen-based BGI is mapping the genes of math geniuses, and appealing via its web site for more to take part in the controversial study ... In theory, this knowledge could then be used to allow parents to pick ‘smart embryos’.

Video

The members of the first Soviet government were overwhelmingly Jewish, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a gathering in Moscow on June 13, 2013. "I thought about something just now: The decision to nationalize this library was made by the first Soviet government, whose composition was 80-85 percent Jewish," Putin said during a visit to Moscow's Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. The politicians of that government, he went on to say, "were guided by false ideological considerations."

RFE/RL

With January 21 marking 90 years since the death of Vladimir Lenin, RFE/RL asked young people from various former Soviet republics what the Bolshevik leader means to them. Runtime: 4:23 mins.

Mark Weber

Ilya Ehrenburg, the leading Soviet propagandist of the Second World War, was a contradictory figure… During the War, he was a leading member of the Soviet-sponsored Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee … Ehrenburg's incendiary writings certainly contributed in no small measure to the orgy of murder and rape by Soviet soldiers against German civilians … This new revelation about one of the most influential figures of the Stalinist regime shows that, whatever he may have said for public consumption, Ehrenburg never privately disavowed Zionism or forgot his ancestry.

S. Sereda and C. Bigg – RFE/RL

... Statues of the Bolshevik leader have fallen victim to a string of assaults in Ukraine that have left them missing limbs, splattered with paint, covered in insults and swastikas, bullet-riddled, and even smeared with excrement ... Communists have pinned the blame squarely on nationalists. Ukrainian lawmaker Igor Miroshnichenko, a member of the ultranationalist Svoboda party who personally felled a Lenin statue in the northeastern city of Okhtyrka last year, says this is, in fact, correct. "Of course the dismantling of Lenin statues is directly linked to nationalists," Miroshnichenko says. "Any Ukrainian who loves his nation, remembers and respects its history, who remembers his ancestors, who loves and fights for his state, freedom, and independence, is a nationalist."

Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic

... Somewhere between 5.5 and 8 million people died during the famine. "The classic case of Soviet genocide," Rafael Lemkin would call it ... It is hard not to look at Ukraine, or look at dekulakization, or look at the Polish operation, or the Latvian operation, and not see -- if not racism -- a lethal ethnic bias ... We are taught that World War II was a battle between good guys and bad guys. I came out of that notion some years ago. But there's a difference between feeling something to be generally true, and being confronted with it in all the detail.

Times of Israel

A large majority of Israelis, nearly four in five, believes Israel’s future is dependent on the country’s ties to American Jewry, a new poll of Israeli public opinion has found. “Israelis really understand how important the American Jewish community is to them,” Ruderman Family Foundation president Jay Ruderman said. “In some ways, your average Israeli understands that better than the leaders.”

The Sacramento Bee

A group of California lawmakers have banded together to form a new legislative caucus focused on issues they believe matter to the Jewish community. The Legislative Jewish Caucus will also form a political action committee to raise money to support Israel-friendly candidates, said Sen. Marty Block, the San Diego Democrat who chairs the new group. "This isn't a religious based organization. We see this as an ethnic organization," he said. "My guess is very few of the members would define themselves as being terribly religious, but we all consider ourselves to be part of the Jewish people."

Andrew J. Bacevich

... No doubt the American public will forget Afghanistan as quickly as it forgot Iraq ... Confusing capability with utility, the United States knows how to start wars but has seemingly forgotten how to conclude them. Yet concluding war on favorable terms — a concept formerly known as victory — is the object of the exercise. For the United States, victory has become a lost art ... Those charged with formulating policy must think anew. For starters, that means lowering expectations regarding the political effectiveness of war, which is demonstrably limited ... Rather than categorizing violence as a preferred option, revive the tradition of treating it as a last resort.

Philip Giraldi

... Every call for a more cautious and responsible foreign policy has been ignored by the White House, which relies on a cadre of Establishment figures to shape its narrative. Dismissing all the negative history as "defeatist," many of the same people who have been consistently wrong since 2001 continue to dominate in the media and are now itching for a go at Iran ... Continuing policies that have flat out proven to be wrong is not a sign of strength, it is a sign of stupidity ... Abandoning saber rattling against Iran, pressing seriously for a peace deal in Syria, and delivering justice for the Palestinians will largely drain the swamp that has fed the contemporary terrorism crisis.

Mark Weber – Video

Long-suppressed documents and other detailed evidence shows that by June 1941 Soviet dictator Stalin had built the world's largest military machine, and had deployed an enormous strike force on the western Soviet frontier, in readiness for a massive attack against Germany that would roll on to overwhelm central and western Europe. Hitler's 'Barbarossa" attack, say a growing number of historians, was actually a preventive war to forestall an imminent Soviet strike. This 50-minute video has received more than 30,000 views.

Daniel Michaels – Institute for Historical Review

Revising the history of the Second World War's crucial Russo-German campaign is very much a work in progress, nowhere more so than in Russia and Germany. Ever since Viktor Suvorov (Vladimir Rezun) broke the ice a decade ago with his sensational Ledokol (published in English as Icebreaker… Russian historians have been reexamining the many myths, legends, and fantasies associated with the outbreak of the death duel between Communism and National Socialism. The role of Joseph Stalin, in particular, has aroused the most heated controversy. In Russia, the debate has involved two major groups.

Rodney Martin and Mark Weber – Podcast

A lively, informed look at the Second World War, and especially the titanic struggle on the eastern front – the greatest military clash in history. Host Rodney Martin and historian Mark Weber cite long-suppressed documents and other important but little-known evidence to establish that Germany’s June 1941 “Barbarossa” strike against the Soviet Union was a preemptive attack to forestall a Soviet assault against Germany and Europe. They also explain how and why World War Two, along with so much of twentieth century history, is systematically misrepresented in American media and educational life. Broadcast runtime: 106 mins.

Reviewed by Joseph Bishop -- Institute for Historical Review

How close did Hitler come to winning World War II? What was the real turning point in the war, and why? In this pathbreaking revisionist study [Hitler’s Panzers East], Professor Stolfi provides some startling answers to these questions. If Hitler had played his cards just a bit differently, contends the author -- a professor of Modern European History at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California -- he could have won the war. German forces came very close to defeating the Soviet Union in 1941. Because Britain alone posed no mortal threat to German power, the defeat of Soviet Russia would effectively have ended the war, resulting in German hegemony over all of Europe. The result would have been a drastic change in the course of world history.

AFP

Israel's parliament has given initial approval to a bill banning the use of Nazi terminology, media reported Thursday, with critics saying it violates freedom of expression ... According to the proposal ... a person who uses the word Nazi or a derivative, a Holocaust symbol such as concentration camp inmates garb or yellow stars of David, or a Nazi symbol, could be imprisoned for six months and fined the equivalent of $28,654 (21,015 euros). The bill's introductory note states, however, that using Nazi terminology or symbolism for educational or historic purposes is permitted.

Paul R. Pillar – The National Interest

... This is all pertinent to that bill before the Knesset, because one of the most prominent practitioners of invoking Nazi Germany comparisons is the current Israeli prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly applies this comparison as part of his unrelenting effort to demonize Iran and kill any accommodation with it. He and some of the other members of his government have continued to apply it as a preliminary agreement on limiting Iran's nuclear program was being reached last fall. The comparison is as baseless as most other loose applications of the Nazi simile. There is no equivalent to Adolf Hitler in the Iranian leadership ...

P. Thompson - The Guardian (Britain)

... Different reasons are adduced for the absence of religion in the east ... Another factor is that religion in eastern Germany is also overwhelmingly Protestant, both historically and in contemporary terms ... The Protestant church is in steep decline with twice as many people leaving it every year as joining ... Secularisation processes are under way throughout the continent and the role of religion and the church in modernity are being questioned everywhere, from gay marriage to women priests to abortion and on to whether the EU should identify itself as a Christian entity. The question should perhaps be whether it is actually folk atheism that represents the future of Europe.

Jim Goad – Taki’s Mag

... Ever since his 1968 murder, a carefully constructed religious aura has been fashioned around King like garland being wrapped tightly around a Christmas tree ... Compared to MLK, Jesus is not very sacred at all in this culture. He’s a much safer target to criticize ... I find it hard to be reverent about the Reverend. Whenever such a thick cloud of sanctimony enshrouds anyone or anything, my guts tell me to reach for the air freshener ... It’s been established that huge chunks of the good Doctor’s doctoral dissertation consisted of wholesale literary theft. The right Reverend clearly didn’t mind helping himself to things that belonged to other people.

Jim Lobe – IPS

... Combined with a grassroots lobbying campaign carried out by nearly 70 grassroots religious, anti-war, and civic-action groups that flooded the offices of nervous Democratic senators with thousands of emails, petitions, and phone calls, as well as endorsements of the administration’s position by major national and regional newspapers and virtually all but the neo-conservative faction of the U.S. foreign policy elite, the White House won a clear victory over AIPAC and thus raised anew the question of just how powerful the group really is.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency – JTA

... In the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s face-off with the Obama administration over new Iran sanctions, congressional support may not be so readily available and keeping a low public profile is proving impossible ... A source close to AIPAC said the stall in support for the legislation is due in part to the fact that of ten committee chairmen opposed to the bill, four are Jewish and have histories of closeness to the pro-Israel community. Non-Jewish lawmakers tend to take their cues on Israel-related issues from their Jewish colleagues — a common template with lawmakers from other communities — and this is no different, the source said.

Gary Sick – USA Today

Thirty-five years ago, when the Iranian revolution overthrew the shah and our diplomats were taken hostage, I was in the White House. Many of those taken prisoner remain personal friends of mine. With this experience, it is difficult to watch the foreign policy calamity taking shape in Washington. A combination of domestic politics and misguided intrusion is on track to derail an enormous opportunity to halt Iran's nuclear program. At worst, it could be setting us on the path to a third major Middle East war ... The Senate bill attempts to inject the Congress into a delicate international negotiation. That only risks derailing efforts to find a peaceful solution, bringing us closer to another war in the Middle East.

M. J. Rosenberg

... Democrats in Congress are moving to terminate the agreement by imposing new sanctions on Iran despite our government’s signed promise to lift sanctions. They are joining the Republicans who, as on health care, will sabotage anything the President supports ... This insane. Even more insane is the reason why more than a majority of senators (close to the two-thirds necessary to override the President’s promised veto) are cosponsoring new sanctions. The answer is the lobby. AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] wrote the bill. Its number one priority and it is telling Members of Congress that support for sanctions will determine whether AIPAC supporters will support their campaigns. This everyone knows.

Die Welt (Germany)

Heinrich Himmler was one of the most powerful Nazi leaders in Adolf Hitler's inner circle ... Himmler's private documents have been lost for decades. Only now hundreds of private letters, notes and photos from the private collection of the man who played the decisive role in the mass extermination of Jews have surfaced. "Die Welt" obtained copies of the previously unpublished documents that have been kept in the private home of an Israeli Jew for a very long time. Eventually they came into the possession of a private archive and are now stored in a bank vault in Tel Aviv.

BBC News

Calls are mounting for the [British] Home Secretary Theresa May to ban Hungarian far-right Jobbik party leader Gabor Vona from entering the UK. Labour MP Frank Dobson and London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore urged the Home Office and Metropolitan Police to act to prevent potential unrest. Mr Vona plans to stage a political rally in central London on Sunday, the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day ... Mr Vona's Jobbik party has been accused of holding strong anti-Semitic views, and of fuelling hatred against the Jewish and Roma communities. It is the most successful extreme right organisation in Europe, with three seats in the EU parliament and 44 in the Hungarian Parliament.

P. Kennedy - BBC News

Hungary has been gripped by an intense public debate on the role of the country during World War Two. A government proposal for a monument commemorating the German occupation of March 1944, has prompted critics to accuse it of trying to rewrite history, and deflect attention from Hungary's role as an ally of Germany up until that point, and its role in the Holocaust ... Hungary under Miklos Horthy - who ruled the country from 1920 until 1944 - enacted a whole series of anti-Semitic laws from 1920 onwards, and the authorities willingly organised deportations of Jews well before 1944.

Walid al-Moallem - Syria Foreign Minister

... The West is supporting some Arab countries to supply lethal weapons to al-Qaeda. The West publically claims to be fighting terrorism, whilst in fact it is covertly nourishing it. Anyone who cannot see this truth is either ignorantly blind or willfully so in order to finish what they have begun ... Nobody has the authority to grant or withdraw legitimacy from a president, a government, a constitution, a law or anything else in Syria except Syrians themselves; this is their constitutional right and duty.

Raymond Ibrahim – National Review Online

Prominent indicators confirm that the U.S. is the chief facilitator of the persecution of Christians around the world today ... [In] Syria the U.S. is actively sponsoring "freedom fighters" against the regime, many of whom would be better labeled "terrorists." ... While most Americans are shielded from the true nature of the war by the U.S. media's reluctance to report on it, Arabic media, websites, and activists daily report and document atrocity after atrocity — beheadings and bombed churches, Christians slaughtered for refusing to convert to Islam, and countless abducted for ransom or rape — at the hands of those whom the U.S. supports.

Reuters

Reported cases of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013 from the year before, with Syria accounting for more than the whole global total in 2012, according to an annual survey. Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, said on Wednesday it had documented 2,123 "martyr" killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. There were 1,213 such deaths in Syria alone last year, it said. "This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm," said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors. Estimates by other Christian groups put the annual figure as high as 8,000.

Reuters

Trust in governments worldwide took a dive last year with Washington's reputation a notable casualty as President Barack Obama grappled with a budget showdown, the Snowden spying crisis and the botched rollout of "Obamacare". Just 37 percent of college-educated adults told the Edelman Trust Barometer that they trusted the U.S. government - 16 points down on a year earlier and seven points below the global average. The United States was not quite at the bottom of the heap as levels of trust in governments in some Western Europe countries including France, Spain and Italy were even lower, but the scale of the American decline was particularly dramatic.

Time. com

The world’s 85 richest individuals now own as much as the poorest half of the seven billion global population, according to a report released by Oxfam on Monday. The leading anti-poverty charity called on the global economic elite gathering in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum to “counter the growing tide of inequality” and prevent a static future in which only the rich have access to the best education and healthcare. “It is staggering that in the 21st century, half of the world’s population own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all sit comfortably in a single train carriage,” said Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam Executive Director.

Julie V. Iovine - The Wall Street Journal

An engrossing assemblage of small but related exhibitions at the Wolfsonian museum here [in Florida] will have you wondering how your own aesthetic leanings could be so compatible with those of Benito Mussolini ... While Italian design of the same period now sometimes looks to us like kitsch, much of it manages to achieve a resonant modernity. Focusing on the years between the two world wars, the show, collectively called "Rebirth of Rome," sheds light on the staying power and indefatigable allure of Italian design produced in the 1920s, '30s and early '40s ...

J. R. Miller – Fox News

... Publishers of the book have acknowledged the concerns of Jewish groups before. Random House, which holds the U.K. copyright on the most popular English translation of "Mein Kampf," has donated in excess of $1 million to the Holocaust Survivors’ Memoirs Project. In 2000, under pressure from the World Jewish Congress, U.S. rights holder Houghton Mifflin also agreed to fund Jewish causes. But the WJC is now asking the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, to stop selling "Mein Kampf" and other books that promote hate altogether.

JTA

The Economist removed a cartoon from an article on its internet edition that has been characterized as anti-Semitic. The cartoon was removed Tuesday from the weekly publication, where it ran alongside an article published on Jan. 18. The cartoon appears in the print edition of the magazine ... The cartoon shows President Obama with a leg shackled to the seal of the U.S. Congress, which is covered with Stars of David ... The cartoon seems to indicate that Congress is run by Jews or Israel. The Anti-Defamation League called on the Economist to issue a “full-throated apology” for publishing the editorial cartoon.

The Times of Israel

... The message is that either American Jews or Israel (and it is unclear which, because the Star of David is both a Jewish and Israeli symbol) are holding the United States back from making peace with Iran – and moreover, that they are doing so through their control of the machinery of the American government, since the Star of David is incorporated into the official insignia of the US, alongside the stars and stripes. The Israel Lobby, as the cartoon rather nefariously hints, is not a separate influence on the US government – it is a constituent part of it.

Jonathan Cook

The Economist has found itself at the centre of another of those “anti-semitic cartoon” rows. The cartoon has upset the Israel lobby because it shows, well, that the Israel lobby has a lot of influence in Congress ... And just to prove how little influence the lobby really has, it has made a huge fuss (again) about anti-semitism and the Economist has … quickly pulled the cartoon ... To my mind, this cartoon underestimates the influence of the Israel lobby in Congress, certainly on issues relating to the Middle East – which, after all, is what the cartoon is about. Most analysts, even very conservative ones, nowadays concede that the lobby is extremely powerful in Congress, as occasionally do lobby members themselves.

Nick Turse – TomDispatch

... All over the planet, the Obama administration is waging a secret war whose full extent has never been fully revealed -- until now. Since September 11, 2001, U.S. Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way, from their numbers to their budget. Most telling, however, has been the exponential rise in special ops deployments globally. This presence -- now, in nearly 70% of the world's nations -- provides new evidence of the size and scope of a secret war being waged from Latin America to the backlands of Afghanistan, from training missions with African allies to information operations launched in cyberspace.

John J. Mearsheimer

... America’s national-security elites act on the assumption that every nook and cranny of the globe is of great strategic significance and that there are threats to U.S. interests everywhere. Not surprisingly, they live in a constant state of fear ... In other words, it must pursue a policy of global domination if it hopes to make the world safe for America. This perspective is influential, widespread — and wrong. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the United States is a remarkably secure country ... The national-security elites who execute and support them fervently believe in “American exceptionalism.” They are convinced that the United States is morally superior to every other country on earth.

Dwight Eisenhower - Video

In his farewell address, delivered to the American people on national television, Jan. 17, 1961, President Eisenhower spoke firmly, and in carefully chosen words, to warn against the dangers in the years to come of the great “military-industrial complex.” Excerpt. Runtime: 1:54 mins. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

The Telegraph (Britain)

... In his new book Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Mr Gates writes that he disliked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to such an extent that he once tried to ban the Israeli Premier from the White House. The former US Defence Secretary writes that he was offended by Netanyahu’s “glibness”, “criticism of US policy”, “arrogance and outlandish ambition”. “I told National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft that Bibi ought not be allowed back on White House grounds,” wrote Mr Gates. But Mr Gates’s animosity towards Netanyahu did not extend to Israel as a whole.

Philip Giraldi

Israel’s friends frequently claim that critics hold Tel Aviv to a higher standard than they do other countries that have similar or worse records on human rights. Actually the truth is quite the reverse, with Israel frequently able to escape censure for actions that would normally result in the imposition of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council and condemnation by other international bodies. I am of course referring to the continued brutal Israeli occupation of much of what remains of Palestine and the ongoing colonization of land that is being appropriated illegally, activity that is only allowed to continue because of Washington’s willingness to protect Israel no matter what cost to other American interests.

Postmedia News (Canada)

Canada has a “moral obligation” to support a secure homeland in Israel for the Jewish people and must also stop the rise of a “new anti-Semitism” emerging in some “dark corners” right here at home, says a senior member of the federal cabinet. In an interview with Postmedia News, Employment Minister Jason Kenney spoke bluntly about what motivates the Harper government’s fierce support for Israel ... “There is some kind of moral obligation on the entire world to support a secure homeland for the Jewish people — given not just the Holocaust, but the entire history of anti-Semitism. Both in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere.”

BBC News

Israel has summoned the ambassadors of Britain, France, Italy and Spain, accusing their countries of pro-Palestinian bias. The Foreign Ministry said the envoys would be told that their "perpetual one-sided stance" is unacceptable. On Thursday, the four European Union countries summoned Israeli ambassadors to object to plans to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank. The EU's Catherine Ashton has labelled the settlements "an obstacle to peace".

Daily Record (Scotland)

... According to a new book, it was the culmination of an elaborate con by British agents ... A team of amateur historians claim Hitler had been fooled into thinking a group of aristocrats had persuaded King George VI to oust Winston Churchill and seek peace with Berlin. By pretending Britain might enter talks, they hoped to stave off a German ­invasion. Authors John Harris and Richard Wilbourn say the plan involved a series of secret rendezvous in Madrid and Geneva between Nazi diplomats and Finnish agents claiming to ­represent the Royal family. It worked so well, they say, that Hitler sent his trusted aide to seal the deal.

New York Post

An Italy-based American diplomat brazenly bedded staffers and hookers, fabricated expense reports, and knowingly served rotten meat to a visiting British consul general, a blockbuster Brooklyn federal lawsuit charges. Naples Consul General Donald Moore even gave favored ladies of the night entry codes to secure areas at the embassy and told underlings that “women are like candy, they meant to be unwrapped and thrown away,” according to a $300,000 sex discrimination lawsuit filed by a whistleblower.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Congressional powers have eroded or been surrendered ... Congress was granted the power to "coin money" and "regulate the value thereof." But in 1913, Congress transferred that power to the Federal Reserve ... Though Congress was granted exclusive power "to declare war," our last declared war was in 1941 ... And unlike the president, Congress cannot act decisively or speak with a single voice. It's a cacophony. Sundered by party and ideology, with 535 members, and rules and regulations that inhibit decisions and impede action, Congress appears a 19th-century anachronism at sea in a 21st-century world.

J. Weissmann - The Atlantic

... Coffee, as we've all heard, is supposed to stunt a child's growth ... As Smithsonian's Joseph Stromberg recently explained in a great piece of pseudoscience debunkery, the idea that coffee is bad for youngsters was actually a myth first propagated by the early 20th century cereal Tycoon, C.W. Post.

J. Stromberg – Smithsonian

... But if the whole coffee stunting growth idea isn’t rooted in science, where did it come from? Shrewdly calculated advertising ... Modern concerns about coffee’s health effects in the U.S. can be traced to C. W. Post, an 1800s-era food manufacturer most well known for pioneering the field of breakfast cereal. He also invented a grain-based breakfast beverage called Postum, advertised as a caffeine-free coffee alternative ... Postum’s ads claimed that that coffee should never, under any circumstances, be served to children ...

JTA

The European Union’s agency for combating racism dropped its definition for anti-Semitism and now is unable to define the term, an agency spokeswoman said. “We are not aware of any official definition [of anti-Semitism],” Blanca Tapia of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency told JTA on Tuesday. Tapia was answering a query on the recent removal from the agency’s website of a “working definition” of anti-Semitism that was adopted in 2005 by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia — the EU entity that her organization has replaced.

Forward (New York)

Over the course of a decade, the letters poured into the Central Council of Jews in Germany like a river. “Is it possible that the excessive violence in Israel, including the murder of innocent children, corresponds to the long tradition of your people?” asked one. “For the last two thousand years, you have been robbing land and killing people!” exclaimed another. “... More than 60% of the hate mail came from well-educated Germans, including university professors, according to their study, “The Language of Hostility Towards Jews in the 21st Century,” released earlier this year. Only 3% came from right-wing extremists.

Kevin MacDonald

... A “siege mentality” goes a long way to explain Jewish political behavior in the U.S. as well as Israel — their fear and loathing toward an America dominated by White Christians ... When you feel you are under siege, anything is justified, and it is impossible to think critically about your behavior ... This is intense ethnocentrism with a peculiarly Jewish twist — ethnic paranoia might be a better term. Even when things seem really good, death and destruction are only moments away, and that justifies taking any and all measures to ensure the safety of the group. Every event is seen through the eyes of the group ...

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI ) - Video

In this interview, broadcast on Egypt’s Channel 1 television, a prominent Islamic scholar discusses the long history of strife between Jews and non-Jews. This record of discord is rooted in the peculiarly arrogant attitude of Jews, says Ahmed el-Tayeb, who is president of al-Azhar University in Cairo. He holds a Ph.D. in Islamic philosophy from the Paris-Sorbonne University, and has served as grand Mufti of Egypt. Runtime: 3:07 mins.

The Independent (Britain)

A devastating 250-page dossier, detailing allegations of beatings, electrocution, mock executions and sexual assault, has been presented to the International Criminal Court, and could result in some of Britain's leading defence figures facing prosecution for "systematic" war crimes ... The damning dossier draws on cases of more than 400 Iraqis, representing "thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" ... The formal complaint to the ICC, lodged yesterday, is the cumulation of several years' work by Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).

Bob Dreyfuss

... The power, prestige and influence of the United States in the broader Middle East and its ability to shape events there is in a death spiral. Twelve years after the US invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban and a decade after the misguided invasion of Iraq — both designed to consolidate and expand America’s regional clout by removing adversaries — Washington’s actual standing in country after country, including its chief allies in the region, has never been weaker.

Sheldon Richman

... If you haven’t noticed, American foreign policy is a shambles. Iraq and Afghanistan are engulfed in violence, and their corrupt, authoritarian governments are objects of suspicion and hatred. The suggestion that U.S. forces could make things better only shows how out of touch people in Washington can be. Anyone who was thinking clearly in 2001–2003 knew it would come to this ... U.S. foreign intervention aggravates conflicts and puts America on the side of oppressors. No wonder it’s falling to pieces.

Amb. Chas W. Freeman, Jr.

... The Arab uprisings, revolutions, and coups of the past two-and-a-half years have repeatedly demonstrated that, for all our unmatched military power, Americans no longer command the ability to shape trends in the Middle East. Almost no one now expects us to do so ... The movement to boycott, disinvest, and sanction Israel has already begun to take hold in Europe. It will gather global momentum ... Most of all, we cannot afford to assume that the future will resemble the past in the Middle East. Whatever it looks like, it will certainly differ from what we have seen over the past century. We no longer have automatic partners in the region. Neither Israel nor our Arab friends trust us or are willing to defer to us.

Stephen M. Walt

... The United States is the only major power that routinely appoints amateurs to ambassadorial rank, even though the Foreign Service Act of 1980 explicitly recommends against this practice ... Yet despite this strong and sensible recommendation, roughly 30 percent of all U.S. ambassadors are political appointees rather than trained professional diplomats. This practice is completely bipartisan, by the way, and it's one of the many reasons U.S. diplomacy is often ineffective. ... The U.S. government shouldn't appoint amateurs — no matter how smart, likable, public-minded and well-connected they are — to key diplomatic posts either.

Robert W. Merry - The National Interest

... It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that Bush belongs in the category of the country’s five worst presidents, along with such perennial bottom-dwellers, in the academic polls, as Buchanan, Franklin Pierce and Millard Fillmore. Harding also occupies that territory in these polls, but it’s difficult to credit such an assessment, given that he quickly dealt successfully with all the problems bequeathed to him by Wilson and presided over robust economic growth and relative societal stability. Thus do we come to one man’s assessment (mine) of the five worst presidents of our heritage (in ascending order): Buchanan, Pierce, Wilson, G. W. Bush and Fillmore.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... In World War I, Woodrow Wilson said we were fighting to “make the world safe for democracy.” Yet our foremost allies were five avaricious empires: the British, French, Italian, Japanese and Russian ... In America’s wars, cold and hot, the enemy of our enemy has often been our ally, if not our friend ... The greatest threat to U.S. interests there is not autocrats, Sunni or Shia, interested in getting rich, but radicals with the mindset of suicide bombers taking over a state and spreading revolution down the Gulf. War is the clear and present danger, and peace the necessary condition of securing those interests.

Karl Otto Braun – Institute for Historical Review

... How did America come to war against Germany, the heart of Europe? Could not Roosevelt have acted as a great peacemaker by mediating the Danzig conflict in 1939, instead of instigating the Poles against Germany? ... The American President could very possibly have saved the peace in 1939. Instead, he fed the American people inventions about a hypothetical German plot to take over the United States and the whole world. Of course, a Germany which was incapable of crossing the English Channel to conquer Britain had not the slightest ability (or intention) of conquering America from across the Atlantic ocean.

Eric Margolis

… History is the propaganda of the victors. Few photographs of the gulag have survived, evidence was destroyed, and witnesses have died. Churchill and Roosevelt could not admit they were allied to the greatest mass killer since Genghis Khan, and complicit in his crimes. Or reveal that Communist agents of influence had shaped White House policy. The feeble-minded Roosevelt even hailed Stalin as "Uncle Joe." … Those who considered the Jewish Holocaust a unique historical crime were not eager to bring attention to Stalin’s genocide lest it diminish or dilute their own people’s suffering.

D. A. Walsh - History News Network

Could the Common Core history standards spell disaster for some high school history teachers? ... For the past decade, teachers have been under extreme pressure to teach to multiple-choice knowledge tests, a product of the No Child Left Behind Act ... Nearly half of the history teachers in the state were primarily employed as coaches. That number has not changed significantly in the intervening years ... “The elephant in the room,” Anderson concluded, “is that there are a lot of teachers who can't do this stuff themselves. They can't meet the Common Core standards, so how are they going to teach them?”

T. Pratt - The Atlantic

... Under pressure to turn out more students, more quickly and for less money, and to tie graduates’ skills to workforce needs, higher-education institutions and policy makers have been busy reducing the number of required credits, giving credit for life experience, and cutting some courses, while putting others online. Now critics are raising the alarm that speeding up college and making it cheaper risks dumbing it down.

Ralph Nader

An epidemic of sky-rocketing medical costs has afflicted our country and grown to obscene proportions. Medical bills are bloated with waste, redundancy, profiteering, fraud and outrageous over-billing. Much is wrong with the process of pricing and providing health care ... In a news release, NNU revealed that fourteen hospitals in the United States are charging more than ten times their costs for treatment ... The United States spends $8,233 per person, per year ... [while] the average expenditure of the 33 other developed nations OECD tracked is just $3,268 per person.

Jim Lobe – IPS

In what looks to be a clear victory — at least for now — for President Barack Obama, a major effort by the Israel lobby and its most powerful constituent, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to pass a new sanctions bill against Iran has stalled in the U.S. Senate ... Several prominent newspapers, including the New York Times, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, USA Today, the Denver Post, and the strongly pro-Israel Washington Post, have also editorialised against the bill in recent days. The bill, moreover, appears to have created dissension within the organised Jewish community, which ordinarily rallies behind AIPAC’s legislative agenda.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... The Senate is about to vote Israel a virtual blank check – for war on Iran ... This bill virtually hands over the decision on war to Bibi Netanyahu who is on record saying: "This is 1938. Iran is Germany." Is this the man we want deciding whether America fights her fifth war in a generation in the Mideast? ... The bill repeatedly asserts that Iran has a "nuclear weapons program." Yet in both 2007 and 2011, U.S. intelligence declared "with high confidence" that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program ... This bill is a project of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby, designed to sabotage and scuttle the Geneva talks ...

Jim Lobe

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has published the list of senators who so far have agreed to co-sponsor the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, also known as the 'Wag the Dog Act of 2014.' ... It should be stressed that the 47 co-sponsors of this bill, most notably the 14 Democrats who have signed on to it, have effectively decided that Bibi Netanyahu and AIPAC are more credible sources about Iran and what it is likely to do in the P5+1 negotiations if this sanctions bill becomes law than either the U.S. diplomats who are directly involved in the talks or the U.S. intelligence community.

AFP

A Japanese soldier who hid in the Philippine jungle for three decades, refusing to believe World War II was over until his former commander returned and ordered him to surrender, has died in Tokyo aged 91. Hiroo Onoda waged a guerilla campaign in Lubang Island near Luzon until he was finally persuaded in 1974 that peace had broken out, ignoring leaflet drops and successive attempts to convince him the Imperial Army had been defeated. He died in a Tokyo hospital on Thursday of heart failure. Onoda was the last of several dozen so-called holdouts scattered around Asia, men who symbolised the astonishingly dogged perseverance of those called upon to fight for their emperor.

Julian Borger - The Guardian (Britain)

... In an extraordinary feat of subterfuge, Israel managed to assemble an entire underground nuclear arsenal – now estimated at 80 warheards, on a par with India and Pakistan – and even tested a bomb nearly half a century ago, with a minimum of international outcry or even much public awareness of what it was doing. ... Meanwhile, western governments have played along with the policy of "opacity" by avoiding all mention of the issue ... Israel, unlike Iran, never signed up to the 1968 NPT so could not violate it. But it almost certainly broke a treaty banning nuclear tests, as well as countless national and international laws restricting the traffic in nuclear materials and technology.

AFP

A leading figure in Austria's far-right scene since the 1970s lost a final appeal in the country's highest court Wednesday against his conviction for glorifying Nazism. But Gottfried Kuessel, 55, who has denied the Holocaust took place and who has praised compatriot Adolf Hitler, had his jail sentence trimmed to seven years and nine months from nine years. Kuessel was originally found guilty a year ago for creating a neo-Nazi blog and website but appealed ... The glorification of Nazi ideology and the denial of the Holocaust are crimes in Austria and Germany.

Rep. Ron Paul

... For Iraq, the US “liberation” is proving far worse than the authoritarianism of Saddam Hussein, and it keeps getting worse ... Unfortunately the Bush Administration took the advice of the neocons pushing for war and promising it would be a “cakewalk.” We continue to see the results of that terrible mistake, and it is only getting worse ... The neocons may be on the run from their earlier positions on Iraq, but that does not mean they have given up. They were the ones pushing for an attack on Syria this summer. Thankfully they were not successful. They are now making every effort to derail President Obama’s efforts to negotiate with the Iranians.

Max Blumenthal - The Nation

A central player in Israeli affairs since the state’s inception, Ariel Sharon molded history according to his own stark vision. He won consent for his plans through ruthlessness and guile, and resorted to force when he could not find any ... In a life acted out in three parts, Sharon destroyed entire cities, wasted countless lives and sabotaged careers to shape the reality on the ground. ... Now that Sharon’s unilateral vision appears to have been consolidated, Israel’s government must perpetually manage an occupation it has no intention of ending. It has no clear strategy to achieve international legitimacy and no endgame.

Interview with Max Blumenthal - CounterPunch

... Goliath is the first on-the ground, journalistic portrait of the real Israel that has been whitewashed and covered up by the mainstream American media. The book reveals a society overrun with extremism, with open racism emitting from the highest levels of government, inspiring anti-Arab and anti-African riots from the West Bank to Tel Aviv while the siege of Gaza deepens. Many of the pivotal events I detailed at length through background research and first-hand reporting were buried or ignored by the New York Times and have scarcely been examined even in progressive American media.

Scott McConnell - The American Conservative

... It would be more truthful to conclude that Sharon is a war criminal who should have been indicted and tried for his crimes. If one doesn’t want to speak ill of the dead, he could be deemed a brutal but crudely effective general, a type which has existed in many countries. But it is a stretch too far to call Sharon a “man of peace” and to go on about it as Secretary Kerry did, as if black were white ... By all rights, Americans should find their country’s obsequious lauding of this man a source of national shame.

N. Poller – Tablet magazine

... French Jews are widely known for being committed Zionists. Beyond the 59 percent increase in French aliyah this year, statistics do not include the thousands of families that live with one foot in France, another in Israel. Geographically, genealogically, politically, and sentimentally French Jews are connected to Israel — and it is unlikely they will be influenced by tactical considerations to downplay their Zionism anytime soon.

Der Spiegel (Germany) – Interview

I am pained to see that the French mode of European civilization is threatened. France is in the process of transforming into a post-national and multicultural society. It seems to me that this enormous transformation does not bring anything good ... I become sad and feel a growing sense of anxiety. Optimism would seem a bit ridiculous these days. I wish the politicians were able to speak the truth and look reality in the face.

Robert Faurisson

Alain Finkielkraut is a professor of philosophy at France's elite Ecole Polytechnique who for years has been a darling of a certain section of the Parisian intelligentsia ... "Ah, how sweet it is to be Jewish at the end of this 20th century! [he writes] We are no longer History's accused, but its darlings. The spirit of the times loves, honors, and defends us, watches over our interests; it even needs our imprimatur. " ... Obviously, it is "sweet" to be Jewish in these final years of the century, but only a Jew has the right to say so. In effect, as Finkielkraut acknowledges, it is no longer possible to publish without the imprimatur of organized Jewry.

Interview with R. Dawson

In fact, I actually argue that the so-called anti-Zionists are actually far more dangerous - and this is crucial. You see, I like to talk about Jewish power: there is no doubt that the Jewish power plays a major role in contemporary politics, banking and so on. The Jewish Lobby openly pushes for a war in Syria; and, before that, conflict with Iran and so on. There is no doubt about it ... The real meaning of Jewish power is the capacity to stop us from talking about Jewish power.

Reuters

Almost half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males are arrested in the United States by the time they are 23 years old, according to a study released this week. In findings published in the journal Crime & Delinquency, researchers at several universities studied a representative sample of 7,335 people who reported that they'd been arrested at a young age, said Robert Brame, criminology professor at the University of South Carolina and lead author of the study.

Philip Weiss

Ariel Sharon, who became prime minister of Israel despite a finding that he bore responsibility for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian civilians two decades before, has died at 85 after being in a coma for eight years. Sharon made a name for himself in 1953 by leading a massacre of Palestinian civilians in Jordan and in 1982, he led the Israeli invasion of Beirut, during which Israeli soldiers allowed Christian militias to enter two Palestinian refugee camps, Sabra and Shatilla, and massacres hundreds of civilians, including many women and children.

Juan Cole

.. Violent, impulsive, rash, and greedy, Sharon helped turn Israel from the ideal of a democracy governed by the rule of law into instead an arbitrary colonial power ... He committed war crimes. He pioneered elective wars for regime change, likely influencing George W. Bush. He was responsible for tens of thousands of deaths of innocents ... Sharon was peculiarly unimaginative. He thought that bullying people and using sadism and arbitrariness against them would convince them to comply. He probably helped doom the whole enterprise of Israel; the one he helped create, a site of the forever war and imperial domination, is intrinsically unstable.

European Jewish Press

Delegates to the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) annual convention in Chicago have passed a resolution blaming Israel for its “denials of entry to the West Bank by U.S. academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.’’ After an acrimonious debate, the MLA’s delegate assembly voted the resolution by 60-53. But they rejected another resolution expressing support with the American Studies Association (ASA) to boycott Israeli universities ... The MLA is the principal American organization for academics who teach language and literature.

The Guardian (Britain)

America is refusing to enter a bilateral no-spy agreement with Germany and has declined to rule out bugging the calls of German political leaders in the immediate future, according to reports in the German media ... Initial hopes in Germany that the US would enter into some kind of non-spying pact similar to the one between America and Britain have been dashed, according to information obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. "We are not getting anything," the newspaper quotes a source from within the German foreign intelligence agency. "The Americans have lied to us," said another source.

Sheldon Richman

The American people should know that pending right now in Congress is a bipartisan bill that would virtually commit the United States to go to war against Iran if Israel attacks the Islamic Republic. “The bill outsources any decision about resort to military action to the government of Israel,” Columbia University Iran expert Gary Sick wrote ... Americans should refuse to let Congress give Israel the power to drag the United States into war. American and Israeli intelligence agencies say repeatedly that Iran has no nuclear-weapons program. Though Iran champions the Palestinians, who live under Israeli occupation, it has not threatened Israel, which, remember, is itself a nuclear power.

C. Liphshiz and I. Tzur - JTA

... Speaking out against “Black Pete” is part of what van de Kamp calls his social mission, an effort that extends to reminding Dutch Jews of their ancestors’ deep involvement in the slave trade ... In one area of what used to be Dutch Guyana, 40 Jewish-owned plantations were home to a total population of at least 5,000 slaves, he says. Known as the Jodensavanne, or Jewish Savannah, the area had a Jewish community of several hundred before its destruction in a slave uprising in 1832. Nearly all of them immigrated to Holland, bringing their accumulated wealth with them.

The Washington Post

A researcher says she has uncovered vital testimony from a U.S. officer who in 1943 was forced by the Nazis to watch as they exhumed thousands of Polish officers killed on Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s orders. At a news conference Wednesday in Warsaw, U.S. researcher Krystyna Piorkowska said she found the Paris-dated May 10, 1945, testimony of former American prisoner of war Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet Jr. in the U.S. National Archives ... The sworn deposition provides evidence of Soviet responsibility for the 1940 massacre of some 22,000 Polish officers in the Katyn forest and other places in what was then the Soviet Union.

BBC News

New evidence appears to back the idea that the Roosevelt administration helped cover up Soviet guilt for the 1940 Katyn massacre of Polish soldiers. Historians said documents, released by the US National Archives, supported the suspicion that the US did not want to anger its wartime ally, Joseph Stalin. They showed the US was sent coded messages suggesting the Soviets, not the Nazis, carried out the massacre. More than 22,000 Poles were killed by the Soviets on Stalin's orders. Soviet Russia only admitted to the atrocity in 1990 after blaming the Nazis for five decades.

Video

French wartime newsreel report on the Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish officers by the Soviets. From a "France actualité" newsreel of 1943, which made use of German-supplied film footage. Runtime: 2:17 mins. While people in Germany, France and other European countries were told the truth about the atrocity, US officials made sure that Americans were kept in ignorance. In keeping with Allied wartime policy and propaganda, US officials and the American mass media blamed Germans for the killings.

RIA – Novosti (Russia)

Estonia granted a burial with full military honors Friday to a decorated Nazi SS veteran who distinguished himself in combat against Soviet troops during World War II. Harald Nugiseks, the last surviving Estonian recipient of Nazi Germany's Knight's Cross, died on January 2 at the age of 93 ... Nugiseks was buried at the Estonian Soldiers Memorial Church in the city of Tori. The ceremony was attended by Brigadier General Meelis Kiili, commander of the Estonian Defense League, retired high-ranking military officers and local officials ... An estimated 80,000 Estonians are believed to have fought alongside Nazi German forces during World War II.

VOA News

Getting back to nature is good for your mental health, according to new research, giving advocates of urban parks another reason to promote the value of green space ... Mathew P. White and colleagues from the University of Exeter decided to try to pin it down. They compared the mental health of hundreds of Britons who had moved from a grey city neighborhood to a greener one with those who had moved in the opposite direction. Looking at the data over the course of five years, they found that people who had moved to a greener area were happier — and stayed happier — after their move.

BBC News

The French comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who has convictions for anti-Semitic hate speech, has dropped a controversial show after it was banned. He told reporters in Paris he would no longer perform The Wall, after France's highest court upheld a ban on the opening night of his tour on Thursday. Citing "blatant political interference", he said he wanted to perform a new show devoted to Africa. This new show has already been banned by the authorities in Paris. Interior Minister Manuel Valls is seeking to keep Dieudonne kept off all stages in France, condemning the comic's "mechanics of hate".

The Observer/ The Guardian (Britain)

... To some, the gesture is simply the Gallic equivalent of a cheeky two fingers to the system. To others, it is a deeply offensive mockery of the Holocaust and Jewish suffering, and a symbol of a new wave of antisemitism in France ... Now campaigners in Bordeaux have launched a test case to force the courts to rule whether "targeted quenelles" – those clearly aimed at Jewish institutions or sites – constitute an illegal "insult of a racist nature". City police last week opened an investigation aimed at identifying the people pictured outside the synagogue, and bringing the culprits before a judge.

BBC News

Tel Aviv has become the first Israeli city to unveil a memorial in honour of gay and lesbian victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The monument in the centre of the city is designed around a pink triangle - the symbol gay prisoners were forced to wear in the concentration camps. ... Similar monuments in their memory have been erected in Amsterdam, Berlin, San Francisco and Sydney. Writing on the monument in English, Hebrew and German reads: "In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity."

C. Walton - Foreign Policy

... At the end of the [1939-1945] war the main priority for [Britain’s] MI5 was the threat of terrorism emanating from the Middle East, specifically from the two main Zionist terrorist groups operating in the Mandate of Palestine, which had been placed under British control in 1921 ... MI5's involvement with counterterrorism, which preoccupies it down to the present day, arose in the immediate post-war years when it dealt with the Irgun and Stern Gang ... The stance taken by the U.S. government over Palestine, and in particular the position of Jewish-Americans, sometimes made it difficult for MI5 to obtain cooperation from U.S. authorities on issues of Zionist terrorism.

Donald Neff

... The Irgun was not the only Jewish terrorist group but it was the most active in causing indiscriminate terror in pre-Israel Palestine. Up to the time of the Jaffa attack, its most spectacular feat had been the July 22, 1946, blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, with the killing of 91 people – 41 Arabs, 28 Britons and 17 Jews. The other major Jewish terrorist group operating in Palestine in the 1940s was the Lohamei Herut Israel – "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel," Lehi in the Hebrew acronym – also known as the Stern Gang after its fanatical founder Avraham Stern.

New Scientist (Britain)

Tourists entering English Heritage's new 27 million pound visitor centre at Stonehenge will quickly confront its most spectacular exhibit – a man who was born 500 years before the earliest stone monument appeared at the site. He may have a touch of Hollywood about him, but this "Stonehenge Man" was once real. His face has been reconstructed from a 5500-year-old skeleton found in the area. Local protest groups continue to press for him to be reburied, but forensic analysis has allowed scientists to create the most lifelike model yet of an individual from British prehistory. Their work reveals how he lived and ate, and may even shed light on the origins of Stonehenge itself.

M. Woodruff - Business Insider

In a society where success is often equated with being financially better off than the generation prior, young Americans today are way behind the pack. The under-40 crowd in the U.S. has seen its wealth come to a standstill even as the average American household income grew, according to new research from the Urban Institute's Opportunity and Ownership Project ... For millennials, the situation is even more grim. Compared to their parents at their age, the under-30 set is worth only half as much.

The Associated Press

A global retirement crisis is bearing down on workers of all ages. Spawned years before the Great Recession and the 2008 financial meltdown, the crisis was significantly worsened by those twin traumas. The crisis will play out for decades, and its consequences will be far-reaching. Many people will be forced to work well past the traditional retirement age of 65 to 70 or even longer. Living standards will fall, and poverty rates will rise for the elderly in wealthy countries that built safety nets for seniors after World War II. In developing countries, people's rising expectations will be frustrated if governments can't afford retirement systems to replace the tradition of children caring for aging parents.

Don’t Plan on Retiring: Work Until You're Dead?

Millions of older Americans say they will never be able to retire. They simply don’t have the savings ... A sizable chunk of the adult population is going to punch a clock until they keel-over in the office parking lot and get hauled off in the company dumpster. And those are the lucky ones, the so called baby boomers. By the time we get to the millennials it’ll be even worse ... Americans have always believed that their children would enjoy a higher standard of living than their own. Until now, that is. Now most people think things are going to get worse, much worse. You see it in all the surveys. Expectations have changed, the future looks darker than ever before, and people are scared.

European Jewish Press

French President François Hollande on Tuesday brought his support for attempts to ban shows by controversial comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala who the government accuses of threatening public order with his repeated anti-Semitic comments. Hollande’s call for local officials to ban Dieudonne from theatres comes after the French cities of Nantes, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Tours banned his forthcoming shows on the grounds of public order.

The Times of Israel

Supporters of the anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne hijacked three French pro-Israel websites in a coordinated cyber attack. The attack Thursday paralyzed the websites Israel-Flash.com, Europe-Israel.org and liguedefensejuive.com, the website of the French Jewish Defense League, and replaced their content with messages of support for Dieudonne, Le Nouvel Observateur reported.

H. Schofield – BBC News

Dieudonne M'bala M'bala - the man who inspired the controversial gesture known as the quenelle - is at the centre of a growing row in France over the acceptable limits of free speech. More generally known by his simple stage-name Dieudonne, the one-time comedian has travelled a vast political space in the last 15 years ... He now openly attacks the "Zionist-American axis of power" and named Jean-Marie Le Pen as godfather of his child. He has been condemned on seven occasions for anti-Semitic remarks ...

Diana Johnstone - Counterpunch

... Dieudonné’s surging popularity among young people [in France] illustrates a growing generation gap. Dieudonné has turned laughter against the entire political establishment. This has led to a torrent of abuse and vows to shut down his shows, ruin him financially and even put him in jail ... In the last twenty years, while religious faith and political commitment have declined drastically, the Holocaust, called the Shoah in France, has gradually become a sort of State Religion ... Much of this generation is sick of hearing about the period 1933-1945, while their own future is dim ... When French youth see a Franco-Israeli attempt to outlaw a simple gesture, when the Jewish community moves to ban their favorite humorist, anti-Semitism can only grow even more rapidly.

Institute for Historical Review

…Under these various names, Jewish activists for 15 years have unceasingly sown terror [in France] with total impunity. Provocations that have no other aim than to incite reprisals. As if certain people wanted the [French] Jewish community to feel threatened … The victims of the 50 cases listed by Le Choc du mois, who number in the hundreds, suffered: loss of life, an eye put out, acid throwing, numerous hospitalizations, injuries followed by deep coma, lifetime disabilities, and serious post-traumatic conditions, "the commission of barbaric acts," severe beatings in the presence of policemen who refused to intervene, and numerous ambush attacks …

The Telegraph

... Jeremy Clarkson was chosen by the BBC to front a serious documentary about the Navy Arctic convoys that delivered essential supplies from Britain to the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Mandrake can disclose that the programme has, however, led to a legal action over claims of plagiarism. David Irving, the controversial historian, alleges that Clarkson’s documentary, PQ17: An Arctic Convoy Disaster, used a wide range of material from his book The Destruction of Convoy PQ17, without permission or accreditation ... “At least half of Clarkson’s script and storyline is anonymously quarried from my book,” claims Irving.

AFP

Dutch pension asset manager PGGM, one of the largest in the country, said on Wednesday it was divesting from five Israeli banks because they finance Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The announcement comes a month after a major Dutch water supplier ended a partnership with an Israeli water company which supplies Israeli towns and Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The Times of Israel and AP

Former US defense secretary Robert Gates says in a new memoir that he worried Israel and Saudi Arabia had too much influence in the George W. Bush White House. He also writes in the book — “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” which is set for release next week by Knopf — that President Barack Obama grew frustrated with US policy in Afghanistan and that Vice President Joe Biden has been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue. Gates, who served as defense secretary from 2006 to 2011, in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, ... writes that he “worried about the influence of the Israelis and the Saudis in the White House … and their desire to have problems like Iran ‘taken care of’ while Bush was still president.”

Euro News (France)

.. Rebels are now fighting increasingly among themselves, which plays to the advantage of the Assad regime in the civil war. The complexities since the conflict’s beginning in 2011 have not stopped multiplying. Before, disparate anti-Assad forces were at least united against him. But now these movements are targeting a new enemy. This new enemy is the insurgent group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ... backed by al-Qaeda ... Early on in Syria, it was the revolution of the so-called Free Syrian Army, the original rebels whom Western powers hoped would remove Assad. Today, it is weak.

The Times of Israel

Various ebook English-language editions of Adolf Hitler’s magnum opus, “Mein Kampf,” first published in German in 1928, have over the last year become among the most downloaded political science tracts online. On Amazon alone, there are over ten different e-versions of the book, with one of them, a $.99 version, holding the #1 spot in the “Propaganda & Political Psychology” category. On Archive. org, a free ebook version has been downloaded over 100,000 times. The book has also been popular on iTunes ... The World Jewish Congress, which has little sway in the Muslim world, has tried to get Amazon and iTunes to stop carrying Hitler’s screed, but the mega-company, whose owner Jeff Bezos recently purchased The Washington Post, has declined to reply to the request.

The Independent (Britain)

Adolf Hitler’s fascist manifesto Mein Kampf has shot to the top of ebook bestsellers charts ... While the controversial book’s print sales have remained minimal for many years, its various eBook versions consistently appear in politics, history and philosophy “Top 20” lists for retailers like Amazon or iTunes. Just one of these digital editions on Amazon’s UK site ranks at number four in the History – Reference section, number six in the German history section and number 20 for Second World War biographies and memoirs.

Time

The infamous manifesto Adolf Hitler wrote while in prison after a failed coup in 1923, Mein Kampf or My Struggle, in which the dictator outlined his idea of a global Jewish conspiracy, is a surprise hit on the ebook market. While the book’s print copy sales remain stagnant, the ebook is in the top 20 on iTunes’s Politics & Events chart, next to books by Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, the number one Propaganda & Political Psychology book on Amazon, and the 17th bestseller in the company’s Nationalism list ... The number of different editions available – Amazon sells six ebook versions of Mein Kampf alone – coupled with the increased popularity of ebooks has also boosted sales.

Chris Faraone - Vocativ (New York)

... Trying to curb Hitler’s sales has proven a futile exercise worldwide. Since showing up in Asia 15 years ago, Mein Kampf has sold in excess of 100,000 copies in India. In 2005, the debut of the first-ever Turkish translation sold 100,000 copies in the first two months ... In 2000, members of the World Jewish Congress convinced Houghton Mifflin to share the wealth. Thirteen years later, the WJC has adjusted its strategy to the changing times. Rather than petitioning for philanthropic reparations, the international organization is now asking the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, to stop selling Mein Kampf and other hate books altogether.

NL Times (Netherlands)

Michiel van Eyck, an Amsterdam gallery owner who sells copies of Mein Kampf, announced today he must report to the police Tuesday. ”I will be interviewed by the police, they want to hear my side of the story,” says Van Eyck. Van Eyck has been selling copies of the infamous book, which was written by Adolf Hitler, in his Totalitarian Art Gallery for some time now. Jewish Federation Netherlands filed a police report against the gallery owner since the end of October. The organization states the trade is a form of hate speech and that it is forbidden by law to sell Mein Kampf.

Euro News (France)

Members of Bulgaria’s nationalist party Ataka protested outside the US Embassy in Sofia on the 70th anniversary of an Allied bombing raid. They want a monument honouring US airman who died in the Second World War in action over Sofia removed. They say it’s humiliating. Their demonstration ended with a minute’s silence at a war memorial to Bulgarian airmen.

UPI

For the first time, most members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires, an analysis of personal financial disclosure data indicated. Disclosures filed in 2012 by congressmen, senators and candidates indicate of the 534 current members, at least 268 averaged a net worth of at least $1 million in 2012, the Center for Responsive Politics said Thursday in a release. Last year, 257 members had a median net worth of at least $1 million, the center said. The median net worth for the 530 lawmakers in Congress as of Dec. 31, 2012 was $1,008,767, the report said.

J. M. Jones – Gallup

Forty-two percent of Americans, on average, identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Republican identification fell to 25%, the lowest over that time span. At 31%, Democratic identification is unchanged from the last four years but down from 36% in 2008. ... Americans are increasingly declaring independence from the political parties ... The rise in political independence is likely an outgrowth of Americans' record or near-record negative views of the two major U.S. parties, of Congress, and their low level of trust in government more generally.

CNS (USA)

... As 2013 ends a global poll finds that the country seen as representing the greatest threat to peace today is ... the United States. Not only did the U.S. top the list with an aggregate of 24 percent, but the runner-up threat country, Pakistan, was way behind at eight percent. China was third at six percent, followed by North Korea, Iran and Israel at five percent each. The survey of opinions across 65 countries by pollster Win/Gallup International ... The view that the U.S. poses the greatest threat to peace was also strongly held in some purported U.S. allies – such as NATO partners Greece and Turkey (45 percent each), and Pakistan (44 percent), which is also a top recipient of U.S. aid.

S. Lazare – Common Dreams

International polls shows that world, including significant portion of Americans, deem US as greatest obstacle to peace / ... In their annual End of the Year survey, Win/ Gallup International found that the United States is considered the number one "greatest threat to peace in the world today" by people across the globe. The poll of 67,806 respondents from 65 countries found that the U.S. won this dubious distinction by a landslide ...

JTA

Several French cities banned performances by the anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala following a recommendation by the interior minister of France to the country’s mayors. Shows were banned by mayors in Marseille, Bordeaux, Tours and Nantes, the opening venue of the comedian’s national tour that was to launch Thursday, Reuters reported. Interior Minister Manuel Valls in a circular on Monday sent the non-binding recommendation to French mayors to cancel Dieudonne performances.

BBC News

The French comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, viewed as a dangerous anti-Semite by the government, has appealed against a ban on his show. He lodged the appeal with the country's highest court, the Council of State, after it overruled a provincial judge on Thursday and reinstated the ban. The ban took effect as fans gathered for the first show of a tour, in the western city of Nantes on Thursday. Authorities in other cities on the tour have also banned the performance.

The New York Times

No one seems to know just what is meant by the “quenelle,” the vaguely menacing hand gesture invented and popularized by a French comedian widely criticized as anti-Semitic, but it is clearly nothing very nice, and it appears to be spreading. Fans of the performer, Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, send him photos of themselves performing the gesture ... Mr. M’Bala M’Bala, who goes by Dieudonné, insists it is nothing more than an “antisystem” joke for his initiates, most of them young men, some from the disaffected immigrant suburbs, some from the xenophobic far right.

AFP

More than 30,000 African asylum seekers who entered Israel illegally protested in Tel Aviv on Sunday, police said, in the biggest rally ever staged by migrants in the Jewish state. “More than 30,000 demonstrators marched peacefully in Tel Aviv," police spokeswoman Lubra Samri told AFP. Gathered in the coastal city's central Rabin Square, the protesters sharply criticised Israel's refusal to give them refugee status and the detention without trial of hundreds of asylum seekers.

The Associated Press

Americans enter 2014 with a profoundly negative view of their government, expressing little hope that elected officials can or will solve the nation's biggest problems, a new poll finds. Half say America's system of democracy needs either "a lot of changes" or a complete overhaul, according to the poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just one in 20 says it works well and needs no changes. Americans, who have a reputation for optimism, have a sharply pessimistic take on their government after years of disappointment in Washington ... In the new poll, 70 percent lack confidence in the government's ability "to make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014."

David Cole (“David Stein”)

File this one under “underreported stories of 2013.” A New York Democrat state assemblyman successfully lobbied to get Visa and Mastercard to withdraw credit card processing privileges from organizations he opposes ... What Hikind has done is shameful, as is the reluctance of the press to cover it ... One of the targeted organizations, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), successfully fought to regain its credit card processing privileges ... Publishing houses like the IHR, and historians like David Irving, are not just a boil on the ass of the First Amendment. They actually contribute something positive to the historiography of the Second World War.

Mark Weber – Institute for Historical Review

We’ve successfully fought back a malicious campaign by an “Israel first” politician that for nearly three months shut down the Institute’s ability to handle credit card orders and donations. It’s taken time and effort, but on Dec. 11 we restored our credit card processing. Behind the shutdown is Dov Hikind, a member of the New York state legislature who has a well-documented record of support for bigotry and Zionist terrorism. Earlier this year he launched a campaign to shut down credit card processing by the IHR and several other organizations he calls “hate groups.”

Daily News (New York)

Two state lawmakers want to strip aid from universities whose faculty participate in academic organizations that urge a boycott against Israel. Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) plan to introduce a bill that would give colleges and universities in New York 30 days to withdraw their support from groups like the American Studies Association, which recently voted for such an academic boycott. New York University, Cornell, Columbia, SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Stony Brook are among the institutions affiliated with the ASA, made up of 5,000 professors.

The Associated Press

About 15,000 people have taken part in a torch-lit march across Ukraine's capital Kiev to commemorate their leader Stepan Bandera [1909- 959]. Bandera is a deeply divisive figure in Ukraine, glorified by many in Western Ukraine as a freedom fighter and dismissed by millions in Eastern and Southeastern Ukraine as a traitor in the Soviet Union's struggle against the occupying German army. Carrying torches, the nationalists marched Wednesday night to mark his 105th birthday.

BBC News

Thousands of supporters of a far-right party in Ukraine have held a torch-lit procession through the capital, Kiev. The marchers from the Svoboda or Freedom Party were marking the birthday of a World War Two-era partisan leader. The marchers shouted "Glory to Ukraine!" and "Death to the enemies!" as they marched through Kiev ... The man whose birth the march commemorated, Stepan Bandera, is also a controversial figure, our correspondent adds. In western Ukraine, many revere him as a national hero, while in Russia and eastern Ukraine some accuse him of having co-operated with the Nazis.

R.M. Douglas -- The Chronicle of Higher Education

... Between 1945 and 1950, Europe witnessed the largest episode of forced migration, and perhaps the single greatest movement of population, in human history. Between 12 million and 14 million German-speaking civilians — the overwhelming majority of whom were women, old people, and children under 16 — were forcibly ejected from their places of birth in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and what are today the western districts of Poland ... By any measure, the postwar expulsions were a manmade disaster and one of the most significant examples of the mass violation of human rights in recent history.

Robert Clive – Institute for Historical Review

The grim fate of the 15 million German civilians who found themselves trapped in the path of the Red Army in the closing months of World War II, or on the wrong side of the re-drawn postwar borders, is not a topic that has tended to excite the interest of historians. And the general public, which is subjected to constant reminders about wartime Nazi brutality, is certainly not aware that at least two million Germans lost their lives in the course of flight and mass expulsion from their ancestral homes in Eastern Europe. Alfred de Zayas, a graduate of Harvard Law School who earned a doctorate in history at the University of Gottingen in Germany, has devoted much of his professional career to setting the record straight.

Michael Walsh

... The scale of abuse of prisoners-of-war was contrary to the Geneva and other conventions to which Britain and its allies were signatories. As late as 1948, three years after the war’s end, the British Government’s treatment of its foreign prisoners was subject to International Red Cross scrutiny and international condemnation. The IRC threatened to bring the British government before international tribunals for abuse and illegal enslavement. ... Tragically even civilians were illegally held, deported and murdered in the tens of thousands whilst the evil killers responsible have so far evaded justice.

C. Orr - The Atlantic

“I don’t think we really need another film about the Holocaust, do we? It’s like, how many have there been?” Thus lamented Kate Winslet ... And so another awards season brings another film (adapted from another international bestseller) offering up the unrelated and uncontroversial lessons that reading is good and Nazis are bad ... The Book Thief is a movie in which the Good Germans are very, very good (generous, anti-Hitler, eager to risk their lives for others), the Bad Germans are awful, and there is virtually no one in between ... The Book Thief is a movie about the transformative power of words that can’t even decide what language it speaks.

Mark Weber

… Holocaust remembrance is not, as its supporters claim, a noble effort motivated by sincere concern for humanity. Instead, this relentless campaign is an expression of Jewish-Zionist power, and is designed to further Jewish-Zionist interests … Jewish death and suffering do not deserve to be venerated more than the death and suffering of non-Jews. The Holocaust remembrance campaign deserves scorn, not support, because it is a one-sided effort that serves narrow Jewish and Israeli interests and bolsters Jewish-Zionist power.

Ben Urwand - The Telegraph (Britain)

... An important fact about Hollywood movies in this period, however, is that they were extremely popular in Nazi ­Germany. Between 20 and 60 new American titles hit the screens in Germany every year until the outbreak of the Second World War, and they infused all aspects of German culture. A casual observer walking the streets of Berlin could see the evidence everywhere ... But for all the success and hype, the American studios were forced to pay a terrible price. Like other American companies such as IBM and General Motors, the Hollywood studios put profit above principle in their decision to do business with the Nazis.

Jack Wikoff – Institute for Historical Review

... After reading Hollywood Goes to War, one cannot help but come away with the impression that the movie industry and various government agencies were very much in the propaganda business before and during World War II ... In 1939 Warner Brothers premiered Confessions of a Nazi Spy, which claimed in melodramatic fashion that Germany sought to conquer the entire globe ... In 1943 Warner Brothers premiered Mission to Moscow, based on the book of the same name by Joseph E. Davies, U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1936 to 1938. The authors of Hollywood Goes to War characterize this picture as the "most notorious example of propaganda in the guise of entertainment ever produced by Hollywood."

Is Bugs Bunny a Jew?

Bugs Bunny, the world’s most famous rabbit, is Jewish, a renowned British cinematic historian claims. Revealing his findings at a lecture held recently at Britain’s University of Warwick, Israeli daily newspaper Ma'ariv reported the film expert David Yehuda Stern claimed the cartoon character exhibits tell-tale Jewish traits: He lives in a Jewish neighborhood, has a distinctly New York/ Jewish accent and uses witty repartee to side-step all attempts to eliminate him ... Stern noted in his lecture that the both the cartoon's producer and the character's voice actor, Leon Schlesinger and Mel Blanc, were Jews.

Michael Shermer – Skeptic magazine

… This new revisionism aims to reconfigure “the good war” as “the unnecessary war” (Buchanan), combine the two world wars into one long ethnic and economic conflict that could have been avoided had England left Germany alone (Ferguson), and to demonstrate the moral equivalency between the Axis and the Allies in the outbreak and conductance of a war whose waging probably failed to help those who most needed it (Baker and Ferguson). Weber’s lecture – “The 'Good War’ Myth of World War Two” – in fact, echoed these three mainstream historians …

Institute for Historical Review

Two informed lectures on plans for the postwar era by leaders in Germany and other Axis nations during World War II, and their vision of a prosperous European community, highlighted the IHR meeting on July 31, 2010. Adrian Davies, an English attorney and lecturer, and Mark Weber, historian and director of the IHR, presented views on how Europe might have developed if the Soviet Union had been vanquished in 1941 or 1942, and British leaders had made peace with Germany … An Axis-dominated Pax Europa, Weber suggested, would have been economically prosperous, socially progressive, politically stable, and technologically advanced.

Fox News WITI (Milwaukee)

In Judaism, the Torah is a sacred set of rules and stories — but one Rabbi used it to steal more than $1 million from his congregation. Rabbi Menachem Youlus, who called himself the “Jewish Indiana Jones” told dramatic tales of rescuing Holocaust-era Torahs ... But it was all fiction. This anonymous fraud victim is still embarrassed by the fact that the “restored” Torah scroll her family thought they were buying for their father was a total fake ... Rabbi Youlus was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison.

Ivan Eland

... In the cases of both Syria and Iran, the Saudis and Israelis don’t really like the progress Obama has made by negotiation, because it ruins their not-so-hidden agenda of inciting the United States to attack, and thus weaken, their regional rivals. Thus, U.S. military action against either Syria or Iran may be in the interest of Saudi Arabia and Israel, but it is not the interest of the United States or its people, who may be subjected to further blowback retaliatory acts of terrorism.

Patrick Cockburn – The Independent (Britain)

Donors in Saudi Arabia have notoriously played a pivotal role in creating and maintaining Sunni jihadist groups over the past 30 years. But, for all the supposed determination of the United States and its allies since 9/11 to fight "the war on terror", they have showed astonishing restraint when it comes to pressuring Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies to turn off the financial tap that keeps the jihadists in business.

Haaretz (Israel)

Homosexual Jews have "higher souls" than gentiles, gay or straight, the deputy minister for religious services told the Israeli daily Maariv in an article published on Friday. Even so, he would oppose any same-sex marriage bill, just as he would oppose marriage between a Jew and a gentile, said Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, a member of the right-wing Habayit Hayehudi party. Same-sex marriage is "unnatural," the rabbi politician added, saying that "it is natural that the world wants continuity through relations between a man and a woman."

BBC – Video

A humorous, pointed portrayal, by BBC Three television, of the ever-expanding Zionist dispossession of Palestinians. In this sketch, agents of Israel’s embassy in London justify their takeover of neighborhood stores by claiming divine right – the same pretext used by Israel for its illegal “settlement” policy in occupied Palestine. Runtime: 1:58 mins.

Bob Dreyfuss - The Nation

Here’s a shocking fact from a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and reported by The Times of Israel: fully one-third of Israelis say that unlawful, vigilante violence against non-Jewish African immigrants is fine with them. Equally, 86 percent of Israelis who voted for the right-wing Shas party and 66 percent of Likud voters agree with the statements of far-right Israeli politician Miri Regev that African immigrants, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, are a “cancer” in the Israeli body politic.

Los Angeles Times

The U.S. and Iran may have miles to go in their negotiations over curtailing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the ease in hostility has already produced a boomlet in American travel to Iran. Three U.S.-based tour operators say they’ve seen a surge of bookings and questions about Iran in recent months ... Though it comes across in the popular press as “an unfriendly place for Americans,” Tennant said, GeoEx travelers have returned “raving about the warmth and openness of the Iranian people. Of all the places we at GeoEx send our clients, Iran stands out as the one with the biggest gap between pre-trip perceptions and on-the-ground reality.”

Mark Weber – Podcast

Weber tells what he learned and accomplished during a recent visit to Iran. Among the highlights of his nine-day stay was a guest appearance on a prime-time public affairs television show, a meeting with the nation's President, and a well-received two-hour lecture to a several hundred Tehran university students. In this 75-minute address at an IHR meeting, he also speaks about how Iranians live and work, and the country's social, cultural and political life. He also takes a look at the history of US-Iran relations, and the prospects for war against the country by Israel or the US.

The Nation

The Institute for College Access & Success, an independent nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California, recently released its eighth annular report on average student loan debt in the United States, and its findings are dire. College graduates who borrowed for bachelor’s degrees granted in 2012 have an average student loan debt of $29,400, the highest average student loan debt ever on record. Overall, seventy percent of college seniors graduated with debt in 2012.

Robert Parry

The New York Times has, kind of, admitted that it messed up its big front-page story that used a “vector analysis” to pin the blame for the Aug. 21 Sarin attack on the Syrian-government, an assertion that was treated by Official Washington as the slam-dunk proof that President Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people. But you’d be forgiven if you missed the Times’ embarrassing confession, since it was buried on page 8 ... The erosion of that “vector analysis” article has been underway for several months ... but few Americans knew about these challenges to the Official Story because the mainstream U.S. news media had essentially blacked them out.

CNN

Support for the war in Afghanistan has dipped below 20%, according to a new national poll, making the country's longest military conflict arguably its most unpopular one as well. The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicates that a majority of Americans would like to see U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan before the December 2014 deadline. Just 17% of those questioned say they support the 12-year-long war, down from 52% in December 2008. Opposition to the conflict now stands at 82%, up from 46% five years ago.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced on Monday its 2013 top-ten list of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs, giving the top two slots to the leaders of Iran and Turkey ... Also notable on this year’s list was the presence of two anti-Israel Jewish Americans whose language contributes to anti-Semitism, according to Hier ... European cartoonists from Norway, Germany and France landed the seventh slot for their depictions of Israel and Jews ... The American Studies Association was cited for singling out Israel for a boycott ... The United Church of Canada was listed ...

B. Weiss - The Wall Street Journal

“What you're seeing is how a civilization commits suicide," says Camille Paglia. This self-described "notorious Amazon feminist" isn't telling anyone to Lean In or asking Why Women Still Can't Have It All. No, her indictment may be as surprising as it is wide-ranging: The military is out of fashion, Americans undervalue manual labor, schools neuter male students, opinion makers deny the biological differences between men and women, and sexiness is dead. And that's just 20 minutes of our three-hour conversation ... But no subject gets her going more than when I ask if she really sees a connection between society's attempts to paper over the biological distinction between men and women and the collapse of Western civilization.

Elizabeth McCaw – Taki Mag

... Perversion or not, homosexuality has become respectable with astonishing speed. Before 1962, it was illegal in every state. As late as 2003, 14 states still had anti-sodomy laws on the books. Now the District of Columbia and 14 states (and eight American Indian tribes) recognize same-sex marriage, and four more states recognize same-sex “civil unions.” As recently as 1982, the Department of Defense stated bluntly: “Homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” Nowadays, open homosexuals serve in all branches of the military. Is this progress or decadence?

Philip Giraldi

It is hard to believe that even though 64 percent of the American public favors a negotiated settlement with Iran over its nuclear program fully 37% of those polled also believe that the United States actually needs Israel’s permission before coming to any kind of agreement ... That AIPAC and CRIF and their counterparts in other countries are little more than proxies for the Israeli government is apparent, and the people of the United States and France and elsewhere should begin to ask why such powerful organizations are able to operate without any restraint in promoting policies that actually harm local and national interests.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Behind the pro-Israel slant of US foreign policy and a domestic policy that promotes “diversity” is money power and media control. Three of the most important players in American political life are George Soros, Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson. They disagree about tactics and methods, but these super-wealthy Jewish activists -- and many others like them -- are united in promoting the interests of Israel and the organized Jewish community. Well-funded manipulation of the nation’s mass media, and cultural and educational life, is decisive in determining the basic policies and direction of American life, above all by molding the “accepted” social-ideological premises on which policies and laws are based.

Forward (New York)

... This was hardly the only cultural happening relevant to the Jewish population in Berlin this year. The German capital commemorated the 80th anniversary of the National Socialists’ seizure of power in 1933, the 75th anniversary of the November pogroms, and the end of World War II in 1945 with a yearlong array of approximately 900 events, subsumed under the title “Diversity Destroyed. Berlin 1933 – 1938 – 1945. A City Remembers.” The Jewish Museum was one of 170 partners in the initiative ... Eleven locations across the city featured steles with over 200 portrait posters that displayed photographs and biographies of artists, scientists, writers, politicians and other people who were persecuted by the Nazis.

Mike Whitney – CounterPunch

... Barack Obama now ranks among the least popular presidents in the last century. In fact, his approval rating is lower than Bush’s was in his fifth year in office. Obama’s overall approval rating stands at a dismal 43 percent, with a full 55 percent of the public “disapproving of the way he is handling the economy”. The same percentage of people “disapprove of the way he is handling his job as president.”

The Washington Post

President Obama is ending his fifth year in office matching the worst public approval ratings of his presidency, with record numbers of Americans saying they disapprove of his job performance and his once-hefty advantages over Republicans in Congress eroded in many areas, according to a new Washington Post – ABC News poll. His position is all the more striking when compared with his standing a year ago, as he was preparing for his second inauguration after a solid reelection victory. That high note proved fleeting as the president faced a series of setbacks ...

BBC News

If everyone over the age of 50 ate an apple a day, 8,500 deaths from heart attacks and strokes could be avoided every year in the UK, say researchers. Apples would give a similar boost to cardiovascular health as medicines, such as statins, yet carry none of the side-effects, the University of Oxford researchers say in the BMJ [British Medical Journal]. They base their assumptions on modelling, not direct scientific study. Any fruit should work, but getting people to comply could be challenging. More than two-thirds of adults do not eat the recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day, population surveys suggest.