June 2014

K. vanden Heuvel, S. F. Cohen – The Nation

Future historians will note that in April 2014, nearly a quarter-century after the end of the Soviet Union, the White House declared a new Cold War on Russia — and that, in a grave failure of representative democracy, there was scarcely a public word of debate, much less opposition, from the American political or media establishment ... No modern precedent exists for the shameful complicity of the American political-media elite at this fateful turning point ... Future historians will certainly find some merit in Moscow’s arguments, and wonder why they are being widely debated in, for example, Germany, but not in America.

Video

Sen. Wayne Morse was one of only two members of Congress to vote against the fateful Gulf of Tonkin resolution of August 1964, which gave President Lyndon Johnson blank check authority to wage war against North Vietnam. This authorization, warned Sen. Morse, was unconstitutional. Moreover, it was later established that the alleged North Vietnamese attack against US warships, which the White House cited to justify the sweeping resolution, either never took place, or had been greatly exaggerated.

Eric Margolis

... After 20 years of difficult talks, Russia and China had just signed a huge deal that called for Russia to export 38 billion cubic meters of gas worth some $400 billion to China. The agreement begins in 2018 and will involve one of the globe’s largest engineering projects that links Russia’s remote gas fields to China’s pipeline system. In addition, China will invest at least $20 billion in Russian industry and boost imports of Russian products, notably military systems. China will become Russia’s largest trade partner ... Most important, the Sino-Russian energy deal may further alter the world’s balance of power to the East. Russia and China working in tandem could offset the great power and wealth of the US and its rich allies. It is a major geopolitical event.

John W. Traphagan

... This cult of ignorance is the most serious national security issue facing the U.S. today. It is more important than the external threats from terrorists or the rise of a politically and economically powerful China. And a major part of the reason it is such an major issue for Americans to fix is that our immediate competitors, particularly those in Asia, have managed to create a culture in which rather than a cult of ignorance, a cult of intelligence plays a major role in shaping attitudes about the world and, thus, policies about dealing with other countries ... The troubles lie in the cult of ignorance and anti-intellectualism that has been a long-standing part of American society and which has become increasingly evident and powerful in recent years ...

A. Jogalekar - Scientific American

In this book [A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History] New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade advances two simple premises: firstly, that we should stop looking only toward culture as a determinant of differences between populations and individuals, and secondly, that those who claim that race is only a social construct are ignoring increasingly important findings from modern genetics and science ... Ultimately Wade’s argument is about the transparency of knowledge. He admonishes some of the critics – especially some liberal academics and the American Anthropological Association – for espousing a “culture only” philosophy that is increasingly at odds with scientific facts and designed mainly for political correctness and a straitjacketed worldview.

Red Ice Radio (Sweden)

The organized Jewish community wields greater power and influence in the US than any other ethnic or religious group, says Mark Weber, director of the IHR, in this interview with Henrik Palmgren, host and founder of Sweden-based "Red Ice Radio." Weber begins by reporting on the Zionist campaign, headed by a New York politician, against the IHR. Weber goes on to talk about the dangers of applying “morality” to international policy, which in practice means using noble-sounding slogans to justify war and hegemony. Runtime: 55:48 mins.

Dr. Susmit Kumar

... One of the greatest myths, first propagated by the Indian Congress Party in 1947 upon receiving the transfer of power from the British, and then by court historians, is that India received its independence as a result of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence movement. This is one of the supreme inaccuracies of Indian history because had there been no Hitler and no World War II, Gandhi’s movement would have slowly fizzled out because gaining full independence would have taken several more decades.

Srinidhi Anantharamiah -- Institute for Historical Review

… In terms of his courageous determination and the broad scope of his effort, probably no one did more to free India from British colonial bondage than Bose, who was affectionately known by his followers as Netaji (Hindi: "respected leader"). In his effort to deliver self-rule to India through armed struggle, Bose risked everything during the Second World War by forming a political and military alliance with the Axis powers. In this carefully researched and well documented 807-page biography [Brothers Against the Raj], Leonard Gordon, a professor of history at Brooklyn College, examines the lives of Subhas Chandra Bose and his elder brother, Sarat Bose.

BBC News

… Thousands of Indian soldiers who had joined Britain in the fight against fascism swapped their oaths to the British king for others to Adolf Hitler - an astonishing tale of loyalty, despair and betrayal that threatened to rock British rule in India, known as the Raj. The story the German officers told their interrogators began in Berlin on April 3, 1941. This was the date that the left-wing Indian revolutionary leader, Subhas Chandra Bose, arrived in the German capital … By the end of 1941, Hitler's regime officially recognised his provisional "Free India Government" in exile, and even agreed to help Chandra Bose raise an army to fight for his cause.

Ranjan Borra -- Institute for Historical Review

The arrival of Subhas Chandra Bose in Germany in 1941 (during the turbulent period of World War II) and his anti-British activities in that country in co-operation with the German government, culminated in the formation of an Indian legion. This marks perhaps the most significant event in the annals of India's fight for independence.

A. Dugan – Gallup

Americans' faith in each of three major news media platforms -- television news, newspapers, and news on the Internet -- is at or tied with record lows in Gallup's long-standing confidence in institutions trend. This continues a decades-long decline in the share of Americans saying they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in newspapers or TV news, while trust in Internet news remains low since the one prior measure in 1999 ...The three major sources of news ranked in the bottom third of 17 different U.S. institutions measured in the poll. Confidence in newspapers has declined by more than half since its 1979 peak of 51%, while TV news has seen confidence ebb from its high of 46% in 1993 ...

Video

It’s one more sign of how the mainstream American media is out of touch with reality: Sarah Elizabeth Cupp, a perky, photogenic panelist of the widely-viewed CNN television show “Crossfire,” recently told millions of viewers that referring to Israel’s rule over Palestine as “occupation” is a “doozy” – that is, something extraordinary or bizarre. In this video clip she goes on to disparage a reference by Hillary Clinton, in her recently published memoir, to Israel’s occupation policy, and seriously contends that Clinton might have to apologize for using the term. This warped take on reality by a supposedly responsible and “moderate” television news service is not confined to the media, of course. It’s also reflected in the chronically calamitous policies of America’s political leadership.

A. Robbins – Mondoweiss

Is Germany fed up with Israel? Berlin has nixed a deal to give Israel a 30 percent discount on a $1 billion purchase of German gunboats, allegedly to be used for the protection of Israeli offshore gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea ... According to [the Israeli daily paper] Haaretz, Heusgen told Cohen that there was “no chance” Germany’s parliament would approve the deal “given the breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which has been blamed at least partly on Israeli settlement construction.” For anyone following the trajectory of German-Israeli relations, this is long overdue.

The Local Germany

US Vice President Joe Biden suggested Germany was hostile towards immigrants in a speech on Tuesday, in which he described the US as the only "non-xenophobic" major economy in the world. In the speech in Washington DC at the National Association of Manufacturers' annual summit, Biden said the US needed to reform immigration policy to maintain its competitive edge. “We have to pass an anti-immigration bill. Look at Germany. Look at the rest of the world. We're the only non-xenophobic nation in the world that's a major economy,” he said.

Video

Konrad Adenauer served as Chancellor of the German Federal Republic 1949-1963. In this interview he says (in English translation): "One should not underestimate the power of the Jews, even today, especially in America. Accordingly, and it has long been my view, after careful and conscientious consideration, I devoted all my effort to help bring about, as much as possible, a reconciliation between the Jewish people and the German people.”

Moon of Alabama

... George Kennan was the U.S. diplomat and Russia specialist who developed the cold war strategy of containment of the Soviet Union, though he later criticized its militaristic implementation. In 1998, when the Senate voted to extend NATO to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, Kennan was asked to comment. He responded: "I think it is the beginning of a new cold war," said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home. "I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever ... It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history.”

J. H. Sims - American Renaissance

... Kennan is known as a realist who did not believe in idealistic schemes to make the world a better place. He believed that the sole purpose of foreign policy was to promote the interests of the American nation. It was not to wage crusades abroad, to feed the hungry, heal the sick, build bridges and roads – much less to welcome the world’s misery and ethnic chaos to our shores ... In 1988, Kennan listed the three factors that had distorted American diplomacy since WWII: “a Manichean view” of the world, “a militarized view of ... external relationships,” and putting “foreign policies so extensively at the service and prejudices of ethnic minorities.” He believed that American postwar policy in the Middle East and Africa, in particular, had been largely formulated to appeal to, or at least not offend, black and Jewish voters.

Gareth Porter – The Nation (2008)

... After spending several months interviewing officials at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires familiar with the Argentine investigation, the head of the FBI team that assisted it and the most knowledgeable independent Argentine investigator of the case, I found that no real evidence has ever been found to implicate Iran in the bombing. Based on these interviews and the documentary record of the investigation, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the case against Iran over the AMIA bombing has been driven from the beginning by US enmity toward Iran, not by a desire to find the real perpetrators.

D. Damon - BBC News

Tourists, historians and diplomats have been arriving in Sarajevo to commemorate the shots fired by a young Bosnian Serb assassin on June 28, 1914 -- shots that sparked World War One. But the city and country are uneasy in the historical spotlight, as the tensions behind those events are still alive today. / ... Tour guide Vedran Grebo told me: "It's absolutely political. The different communities here - Bosniak Muslim, Orthodox Serb and Catholic Croat - just don't agree on what to call what Princip did, 'heroism' or 'terrorism'."

Eric Margolis

One would think the neoconservatives who engineered the Iraq War – the worst disaster for the United States since Vietnam – would never emerge from hiding. Not so. With dazzling chutzpah, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the real power in the Bush administration, just claimed President Barack Obama was responsible for the growing mess in Iraq ... Remember Henry Kissinger’s pithy quip, “it’s more dangerous being America’s ally than its enemy.” Maliki will be the next useless puppet to be swept aside by Uncle Sam ... Few Americans are yet aware that the Iraq War cost over $1 trillion – financed by loans from China and Japan. – that our grandchildren will be paying.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Obama is about to make a decision fateful for himself and for his country. Does he not realize that he is on the edge of an abyss, about to stumble into a tribal and religious war across the Middle East? The Iraq we left behind three years ago no longer exists ... Who wants U.S. troops back in Iraq? The American people do not. Congress does not. Tehran does not. The Shia extremists do not. The Sunnis do not. And ISIS does not. We would be fighting in a war with enemies in all directions ... If Barack Obama wants to take us into a new war, with air attacks and drone strikes, or with ground troops, he has a constitutional duty to get Congress to authorize that war.

Der Spiegel (Germany)

... More than a decade after the American invasion, Iraq is facing the prospect of a new civil war between Sunnis and Shiites ... The advance of the ISIS forces is not the reason for the country's collapse, but rather a consequence of it ... The country's lack of cohesion prompted the Iraqi army to largely dissolve when faced with pressure, despite the roughly $25 billion the United States spent to arm Iraqi troops and the years of training they received to fight Islamist extremists.

Red Ice Radio (Sweden)

Mark Weber speaks about US foreign policy, World War Two, the Israel-Palestine conflict, conspiracy, and more, in this interview with Henrik Palmgren, host and founder of Sweden-based "Red Ice Radio." The American historian also talks about the origins of World War I and the fateful betrayal of promises by the US and the other victorious powers in the war's aftermath. He discusses Britain's deceitful "Balfour Declaration" of 1917, which promised a "Jewish homeland" in Palestine. Leaders in modern "democratic" societies can mobilize public support for war policies, Weber says, only with intense propaganda that appeals to base emotions and which exaggerates alleged dangers. Runtime: 57:43 mins.

F. A. Ferdman - The Washington Post

... Americans on average eat nearly 2,600 calories a day, almost 500 more than they did thirty years ago, according to the USDA, which uses food production data, along with spoilage and waste estimates, to approximate per capita consumption ... Over 92% of the uptick in per capita caloric intake since 1970 is attributable to oils, fats, and grains. Thirty years ago, the combination was responsible for roughly 37% of our daily calories; today, it makes up closer to 47% of our diet.

Theodore J. O'Keefe – Institute for Historical Review

In September 1991 the Institute for Historical Review prevailed in a lawsuit brought by Mel Mermelstein, a southern California businessman and self-professed eyewitness to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. This victory closed more than ten years of wrangling in two legal cases ... In the second case, Mermelstein brought an $11 million suit for defamation (libel) because of an IHR Newsletter item by Bradley Smith that called him a "demonstrable fraud," a "vainglorious prevaricator," and a "false-tale spinner.” On Sept. 19, 1991, Mermelstein was obliged to drop what remained of his suit after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed a substantial portion of it.

The Local (Germany)

Reprinting or selling Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf is illegal in Germany, but with the copyright term on the 90-year-old book set to run out next year, lawmakers are mulling whether to ban or reprint the highly controversial work. / Regional and national German justice ministers met on Wednesday on the island of Rügen to discuss whether Germany should make a new law banning Hitler's National Socialist manifesto once the 70-year copyright term, which started in 1945, runs out. Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany told The Local he would strongly oppose ever publishing the work.

The Independent (Britain)

Activists angered by the closing of water accounts for thousands of people behind in their payments have taken their fight to the United Nations. In March, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) announced that it would start cutting off the services of homes, schools and businesses that were at least 60 days overdue or more than $150 behind. It said it wanted to start recouping $118 million owed from unpaid bills and that a fierce approach was needed to coax money from delinquent accounts, which make up almost half of the city’s total. The move, in which as many as 3,000 properties were expected to be cut off each week, has outraged campaigners.

The Guardian (Britain)

Gary Oldman has apologised for offending Jewish people after a US campaign group accused the Oscar-nominated British actor of peddling antisemitic stereotypes in a conversation about the disgraced star Mel Gibson. Oldman said that he was "deeply remorseful" that comments made in a recent interview with Playboy magazine had caused distress. His apology came after the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement on Tuesday rebuking the actor for stating: "Mel Gibson is in a town that's run by Jews, and he said the wrong thing because he's actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him."

J. Frater - Listverse

I believe that we can safely say that the period of man’s history from 476 AD to 1000 AD is the most maligned of all. This period, known to historians as the Early Middle Ages, is still referred to by most laymen as the Dark Ages ... Here are ten reasons that the dark ages were, in fact, a period of great progress and light.

Scott McConnell - The American Conservative

... All mainline Protestant churches are in decline since their heyday, which could be loosely dated at sometime between the 1920s and the 1950s. Protestantism, or to be more precise, liberal establishment Protestantism, used to be something of a state religion in America. Protestant clerics were widely quoted, featured on the covers of news magazines ... They [Presbyterian Church USA] are a smaller group than two generations ago, but the Israel lobby obviously cared enough about them to make a major effort to defeat the divestment vote. The Israel lobby failed, suffering a significant public defeat. Presbyterians made themselves more visible and relevant than they’ve been in decades.

AFP

A Nazi-themed cafe in Indonesia that closed shop after sparking international outrage reopened Saturday with its walls still bearing swastikas and a painting of Adolf Hitler. Henry Mulyana voluntarily shut down his SoldatenKaffee last year after media reports exposed his swastika-clad establishment, prompting death threats and accusation of inciting racial hatred. Following the closure, his lawyer told AFP that Mulyana would later reopen his business with a broader World War II theme and said he would remove all swastikas. But at the opening on Saturday, three huge iron eagles bearing swastikas were on display, as were WWII propaganda posters bearing the Nazi symbol.

JTA

A special panel tasked with examining the governance and strategic vision of the Claims Conference is recommending that the organization shift its long-term focus to Holocaust education and remembrance, JTA has learned ... The central question the panel examined was what the Claims Conference should do after the last of the survivors dies ... Given the Claims Conference’s successes at convincing Germany to increase its funding for survivors, the panel concluded that “to close down without attempting to leverage its position and significant experience in the service of Holocaust education and remembrance would be to miss a major opportunity.”

Reuters

A Polish news magazine said on Sunday it had obtained a secret recording of Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, in contention for a senior European Union job, saying that Poland's relationship with the United States was worthless. The Wprost news magazine said the recording was of a private conversation earlier this year ... According to a transcript of excerpts of the conversation that was published by Wprost on its Internet site, Sikorski told Rostowski: "You know that the Polish-US alliance isn't worth anything. It is downright harmful, because it creates a false sense of security ... Complete bullshit. We'll get in conflict with the Germans, Russians and we'll think that everything is super, because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers."

VOA News

The U.S. Presbyterian Church has voted to divest its financial holdings from three American companies doing business in parts of Israel considered by Palestinians to be occupied territory. The governing General Assembly voted Friday 310-303 to remove holdings in Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard and Motorola from the church’s portfolio of investments, according to a statement posted on its website. Though largely symbolic, the decision comes amid building pressure on other churches, companies, organizations, universities and others by the “Boycott, Divest and Sanctions” movement, known as BDS.

EJP

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has condemned a resolution adopted Friday by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA which endorses divestment from three American companies that allegedly “profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.” ... Another major advocacy Jewish group, The American Jewish Committee, said the vote was "driven by hatred of Israel."

Victor Davis Hanson

Employment rates for college graduates are dismal. Aggregate student debt is staggering. But university administrative salaries are soaring. The campus climate of tolerance has utterly disappeared. Only the hard sciences and graduate schools have salvaged American universities’ international reputations ... The liberal-arts curricula are likewise fossils of the 1960s, the era of their professors’ race, class, and gender activism. Such therapeutic courses short the very skills — written and oral proficiency, historical knowledge, and math and science mastery — that alone prepare graduates for a chance at a successful career trajectory. Most disturbing is the inability of the modern university to adjust to the 21st-century workplace.

Tom Engelhardt

... It was all to be a kind of war-fighting miracle. The American invaders would be greeted as liberators, the mission quickly accomplished, and “major combat operations” ended in a flash ... The Busheviks entered Iraq with a powerful sense that they were building an American protectorate ... The arrogance of those occupation years should still take anyone’s breath away. Bush and his top officials remade reality on an almost unimaginable scale and, as we study the region today, the results bear no relation to the world they imagined creating. None whatsoever ... The Middle Eastern system as once known has, with the singular exception of Israel, largely evaporated and where it was, there is now increasingly chaos. In all likelihood, it will only get worse.

Jacob Heilbrunn – Politico

Don’t look now, but the latest installment in the decades-old neocon saga is currently taking place. Reviled as serial bunglers and amateurs after the Iraq war went south, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and a host of other neoconservatives are seizing the spotlight to conduct their own very personal war of liberation. They want to free themselves from the rap that they got it all wrong. And so they are going into overdrive to pin the blame for the collapse of Iraq on anyone other than themselves. Only this time, the American people, unlike in 2003, seem primed to ignore them.

Katrina vanden Heuvel

"Can someone explain to me why the media still solicit advice about the crisis in Iraq from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)? Or Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)? How many times does the Beltway hawk caucus get to be wrong before we recognize that maybe, just maybe, its members don’t know what they’re talking about?" ... But if so many were wrong about Iraq in 2003, why are they still being invited (and trotting themselves out) on Sunday morning talk shows and op-ed pages as authorities on U.S.-Iraq policy? Where is the accountability for the politicians’ and pundits’ warmongering of eleven years ago?

Mark Weber

One of postwar Germany's most influential writers has been Sebastian Haffner. This successful wordsmith has written half a dozen books on political and historical issues, several of which have been translated into English ... But Haffner's real character came through in an extraordinary article published during the Second World War while he was living as an emigré in Britain. In the August 1942 issue of the reputable London monthly World Review, Haffner called for the mass murder of at least half a million young Germans by the victorious Allies at the end of the war ... A comprehensive "re-education" program would also be necessary to make sure that defeated Germany stayed in line permanently.

Theodore Kaufman

In this 1941 book, a Jewish-American author calls for the genocidal elimination of the German people through a program of mass sterilization, and the territorial dismemberment of Germany. Complete text, with an introductory note by Mark Weber.

AFP

An Amsterdam antiques gallery owner has been charged with putting up for sale a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which is banned in the Netherlands. Prosecutors have charged gallery owner Michiel van Eyck with inciting racial hatred and discrimination following a complaint from a Jewish group last year. “Police issued him with a subpoena to appear in court on August 26,” the Dutch prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The decision comes after an eight-month investigation, with prosecutors saying Van Eyck planned to sell the 1944-45 edition for profit, not for “scientific or journalistic reasons.”

Daniel Michaels – Institute for Historical Review

… Thus, when German forces struck [the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941], the bulk of Red ground and air forces were concentrated along the Soviet western borders facing contiguous European countries, especially the German Reich and Romania, in final readiness for an assault on Europe. In his second book on the origins of the war, "M Day" (for "Mobilization Day"), Suvorov details how, between late 1939 and the summer of 1941, Stalin methodically and systematically built up the best armed, most powerful military force in the world -- actually the world's first superpower -- for his planned conquest of Europe. Suvorov explains how Stalin's drastic conversion of the country's economy for war actually made war inevitable.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Important evidence has come to light in recent decades that shatters the official, endlessly repeated view that Hitler, bent on world conquest, launched a treacherous surprise attack against a peaceful Soviet Union. In 1941 Soviet dictator Stalin 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 in Russia, Germany and other countries, was actually a preventive war to forestall an imminent Soviet strike.

Institute for Historical Review

... The moment has now come when to continue as a mere observer would not only be a sin of omission but a crime against the German people -- yes, even against the whole of Europe. Today something like 160 Russian divisions are standing at our frontier ... The task of this front, therefore, is not merely the protection of individual countries, but the safeguarding of Europe, and thereby the salvation of all. I therefore decided today to once again lay the fate and future of the German Reich and our people in the hands of our soldiers. May the Lord God help us especially in this fight!

Joseph Bishop – Institute for Historical Review

… In 'Icebreaker’ Suvorov takes a close look at the origins and development of World War II in Europe, and in particular the background to Hitler’s “Operation Barbarossa” attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 … Above all, this book details the vast Soviet preparations for an invasion of Europe in the summer of 1941 with the goal of Sovietizing central and western Europe. Suvorov is not alone in his view. It is also affirmed by a number of non-Russian historians … A central tenet of Soviet ideology was that the Soviet Union, as the world’s first Marxist state and bulwark of “workers’ power,” would eventually liberate all of humanity from the yoke of capitalism and fascism.

Joseph Sobran

... We hear a lot about the evils of “Holocaust denial.” But those who question the conventional version of Nazi history are only retrospective and speculative. They don't influence events. That can't be said for those who assisted and glorified the Soviet Union under Stalin while it was still active and thereby facilitated its enormous crimes. I don't mean Warner Brothers. I mean Joseph Davies. I mean Walter Duranty. And I especially mean the man who inspired this movie, Franklin Roosevelt. Stalin's victims were in part his victims too.

Andrew Bacevich - Commonweal

... As it dragged on, the Iraq War exposed as hollow any American aspirations to global hegemony. Left behind when U.S. troops finally withdrew was their reputation for military supremacy. Meanwhile as reports of prisoner abuse, torture, and the killing of noncombatants mounted, American moral confidence lost its luster. As for the Iraqis themselves, although few Americans are inclined to take notice, today they enjoy neither security nor peace ... Without accountability there can be no credibility.

James Fallows – The Atlantic

... Am I sounding a little testy here? You bet. We all make mistakes. But we are talking about people in public life — writers, politicians, academics — who got the biggest strategic call in many decades completely wrong. Wrong as a matter of analysis, wrong as a matter of planning, wrong as a matter of execution, wrong in conceiving American interests in the broadest sense ... We now live with (and many, many people have died because of) the consequences of their gross misjudgments a dozen years ago. In the circumstances, they might have the decency to shut the hell up on this particular topic for a while. They helped create the disaster Iraqis and others are now dealing with. They have earned the right not to be listened to.

R. W. Merry - The National Interest

The Pew Research Center, or PRC, is in the process of exploding one of the most persistent and misguided myths to overtake American political discourse in many a long year— the idea, bandied around with abandon of late, that Washington has somehow divorced itself from the American people in becoming polarized and dysfunctional. An extensive Pew survey now makes clear that the polarization emanates from the people themselves, and Washington’s dysfunction is merely a reflection of that political reality.

Pew Research Center

Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades. These trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life. And a new survey of 10,000 adults nationwide finds that these divisions are greatest among those who are the most engaged and active in the political process. The overall share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades from 10% to 21%. And ideological thinking is now much more closely aligned with partisanship than in the past. As a result, ideological overlap between the two parties has diminished ...

The Guardian (Britain)

Mordechai Vanunu, incarcerated for more than a decade in solitary confinement after exposing Israel’s nuclear weapons programme, has been prevented from attending meetings in Britain to promote the protection of whistleblowers, including Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. A decision by the Israeli supreme court to uphold a travel ban on Vanunu, 28 years after he first revealed Israel's nuclear secrets, was sharply criticised on Tuesday by Amnesty International.

Saree Makdisi - Los Angeles Times

... The Jewish state (for so it identifies itself, after all) maintains a system of formal and informal housing segregation both in Israel and in the occupied territories ... Jewish residents of the occupied territories enjoy various rights and privileges denied to their Palestinian neighbors. While the former enjoy the protections of Israeli civil law, the latter are subject to the harsh provisions of military law. So, while their Jewish neighbors come and go freely, West Bank Palestinians are subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, and to the denial of freedom of movement ... It is not legally possible in Israel for a Jewish citizen to marry a non-Jewish citizen.

Apartheid Adventures - Video

This ironic, funny promotion video encourages tourists to make their next vacation in Israel, and explains why it’s a great place to visit – if you are of the “right” ethno-religious group. Runtime: 2:08 mins.

BBC News

A Palestinian Christian family that preaches non-violence from a farm in the West Bank is battling to hold on to land it has owned for 98 years. Now surrounded by Israeli settlements, the family is a living example of the idea of peaceful resistance. On his farm outside Bethlehem, Daher Nassar is picking apples from the ruins of the orchard he planted at least eight years ago ... "Nobody can force us to hate," she says. "We refuse to be enemies." ... Bishara also came to believe that the Christian community had a special role to play in building a more peaceful future.

Alcibiades Bilzerian

This timeline – one that the Zionist lobby doesn’t want you to see -- highlights important events in the history of the “special relationship” between Israel and the US since the founding of the Zionist state 66 years ago.

Grant F. Smith

Newly declassified postwar Naval Intelligence files shine new light on a little-known chapter of U.S.-Israel relations. Massive supplies of American WWII military surplus under liquidation by the War Assets Administration were an irresistible target for Israel’s government-in-waiting the Jewish Agency and nascent military the Haganah in the years immediately preceding Israel’s declaration of statehood in 1948 ... The stories these newly declassified files tell not only foreshadow the institutionalized immunity of crimes committed in the name of Israel, but major challenges the US would later have to confront ...

David Cole

Very few people know the name Joseph M. Ribakoff. Yet in the decades-old fight to make “hate speech” a crime, his presence is certainly felt. Mr. Ribakoff holds a unique place in the movement to criminalize speech that “defames” minority religious and ethnic groups. He created what is still, to this day, the model statute for “group defamation” laws. “Group defamation” means that a person can be criminally prosecuted or tried civilly for “defaming” not an individual, but a racial or ethnic group ... These days, Mr. Ribakoff has come to reject the “ADL-type thinking” behind anti-speech laws ...

Forward (New York)

The Metropolitan Opera has decided to cancel its global simulcast of the controversial work ‘The Death of Klinghoffer,’ which some critics say is anti-Semitic. The Met will still stage the production about the victim of a Palestinian terror attack but will scrap plans to beam it around the world. “I’m convinced that the opera is not anti-Semitic,” Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said in a statement. “But I’ve also become convinced that there is genuine concern in the international Jewish community that the live transmission of ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ would be inappropriate at this time of rising anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe.”

Haaretz (Israel)

A Christian-Jewish fellowship organization that contributes generously to Israel and to Jewish communities abroad is being maligned and boycotted by rabbis in Israel, according to the group’s founder. “It makes me think of Nazi Europe in the past and about the wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment we see in Europe today,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. The fellowship is a philanthropic organization that donated about a quarter of a billion shekels ($75 million) to Israel and Jewish communities in the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2013 alone. Many Israeli ultra-Orthodox rabbis accuse it of proselytizing, and refuse to accept its donations.

R. Riffkin - Gallup

Americans' confidence in Congress has sunk to a new low. Seven percent of Americans say they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress as an American institution, down from the previous low of ten percent in 2013. This confidence is starkly different from the 42% in 1973, the first year Gallup began asking the question ... Americans' current confidence in Congress is not only the lowest on record, but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend ... About one-third of Americans report having "some" confidence, while half have "very little," and another 7% volunteer that they have "none."

Daily Mail (Britain)

Pope Francis has launched a scathing attack on the global economic system, warning it is near collapse because of a 'throwaway culture' of greed and the 'atrocity' of youth unemployment. The Roman Catholic leader openly blasted the 'idolatrous' economy for disregarding the young, which he says has led to shocking levels of youth unemployment and will lead to a lost generation. The 77-year-old also criticised the economy - which he said had 'fallen into a sin of idolatry, the idolatry of money' - for surviving on the profits of war.

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

The explosive ascendance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) underscores the thoroughgoing failure of America’s political class to devise an effective and sustainable strategy for the United States after 9/11. The failure cuts across Democratic and Republican administrations, with the most self-damaging aspects of each administration’s policies roundly endorsed by the opposing party in Congress. Both sides deny responsibility for unfolding catastrophe in Iraq ... It is also imperative that U.S. policymakers rethink — and rebalance — their Middle East diplomatic strategy, in at least three critical respects.

Patrick J. Buchanan

.. If it is an unwritten rule of republics not to commit to war unless the nation is united, America has never been less prepared for a Mideast war. Our commander in chief is a reluctant warrior who wants his legacy to be ending our two longest wars. And just as Obama does not want to go back into Iraq, neither does the U.S. military. The American people want no new war, and Congress does not want to be forced to vote on such a war. Our foreign policy elites are split half a dozen ways ... Only the Americans seem conflicted and confused. In Iraq we are on the side of the Shia regime fighting ISIS. In Syria we are de facto allies of ISIS fighting to overthrow the Shia regime.

Scott McConnell

... It’s a bitter pill to swallow — there is a visceral impulse to want to do something, in an area where the United States has spent trillions of dollars and shed a fair amount of blood; this impulse arises in some — myself for instance — who opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning. But there is little militarily we can do that wouldn’t make things worse. The answers, if they exist, are almost certainly political ... But a great deal of responsibility for America’s disasters in the Mideast can be laid at the feet of excessive deference to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sound and cooperative relations with Iran would do more to ward off a deepening catastrophe in Iraq than any policies suggested by Tel Aviv or Riyadh.

J. Matthew Roney - Earth Policy Institute

In the last two years, countries around the world have added almost as much new solar photovoltaics (PV) capacity as had been added since the invention of the solar cell. Nearly 38,000 megawatts of PV came online in 2013, a new annual record ... China — the leading manufacturer of PV — had until recently installed very little solar power at home. Those days are over. Between 2010 and 2012, China’s PV capacity grew nearly ninefold to 7,000 megawatts. Then in 2013, China added at least 11,300 megawatts, the largest PV addition by any country in a single year. With 18,300 megawatts, China now trails only Germany (at 36,000 megawatts) in overall capacity.

Association for Psychological Science

Social class is more than just how much money you have. It’s also the clothes you wear, the music you like, the school you go to — and has a strong influence on how you interact with others, according to the authors of a new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science ... People from lower classes have fundamentally different ways of thinking about the world than people in upper classes — a fact that should figure into debates on public policy, according to the authors ... People from lower-class backgrounds are better at reading other people’s emotions. They’re more likely to act altruistically.

John Cassidy - The New Yorker

... The greatest mistake was the initial one. In invading Iraq and toppling Saddam, the Bush Administration opened Pandora’s Box. Given what has happened since 2003, it is almost comical to read the prewar prognostications of the neocons and paleocons for what would happen after Saddam was gone. There was talk of turning Iraq into a democratic model for other Middle Eastern countries ... The Iraq invasion and occupation was ill-conceived, ill-executed, and ill-fated. It had terrible consequences not just for Iraq but for many other countries.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... This is preeminently Iraq’s problem, not ours. And if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his 900,000-man army, and Shia militia cannot defend Baghdad from a few thousand Islamist warriors, America is under no obligation to do it for them ... What should America do? Take a hard look at our entire Middle East policy. Consider. We are now providing weapons to the Free Syrian Army to oust Bashar Assad. “Assad must go!” blared Barack Obama in one of his many ignored ultimata. But should Assad fall, the result will be the persecution of the Syrian Christians, a massacre of the Alawites, and a possible takeover of the country by the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front and ISIS. Is any of that in America’s interests?

Gilad Atzmon

It is amusing to witness the energy and effort mainstream news outlets are investing in diverting attention from the fact that the current mess in Iraq is the direct outcome of Jewish political domination of the West for the last two decades ... If America and Britain want to remain major powers, each must identify corrosive factors within its own politics, media and finance. They must scrutinize the motives of the Jewish lobby and recognize its dangers. It is time to develop the necessary antidote to deal with this acute political poison.

Walter E. Williams

Calls for slavery reparations have returned with the publication of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations” in The Atlantic magazine ... What moral principle justifies punishing a white of today to compensate a black of today for what a white of yesterday did to a black of yesterday? There’s another moral or fairness issue. A large percentage, if not most, of today’s Americans — be they of European, Asian, African or Latin ancestry — don’t even go back three or four generations as American citizens. Their ancestors arrived on our shores long after slavery. What standard of justice justifies their being taxed to compensate blacks for slavery? ... I think the call for slavery reparations is simply another hustle.

BBC News

An 89-year-old accused of aiding and abetting the killing of hundreds of thousands of Jews has been arrested. Johann Breyer is being held without bail in Pennsylvania after Germany issued a warrant for his arrest following new evidence. While admitting he was an Auschwitz guard, he says he was stationed outside and had nothing to do with the deaths. His lawyer told a Philadelphia court his client was too frail to be held while awaiting extradition hearings. But the retired toolmaker was refused bail on Wednesday after his arrest at home in Philadelphia. Mr Breyer emigrated to the US in 1952 and during the 1990s, the US attempted to strip him of his citizenship and deport him.

The Associated Press

A decade after a court ruling allowed him to live out his quiet, middle-class life in the U.S., an 89-year-old Philadelphia man faces possible extradition to Germany on charges he aided in the killing of 216,000 Jewish men, women and children at a Nazi death camp. Johann "Hans" Breyer, a retired tool-and-die maker, is being held without bail on allegations stemming from his suspected service as an SS guard at Auschwitz during World War II ... “I didn't kill anybody, I didn't rape anybody — and I don't even have a traffic ticket here," he told the AP in a 2012 interview. "I didn't do anything wrong."

Mark Weber

… At one time it was seriously claimed that at Auschwitz Jews were systematically killed with electricity. American newspapers in February 1945, citing a Soviet eyewitness report from the recently-liberated camp, told readers that the methodical Germans had killed Jews there using an "electric conveyor belt on which hundreds of persons could be electrocuted simultaneously [and] then moved on into furnaces. They were burned almost instantly, producing fertilizer for nearby cabbage fields." At the Nuremberg Tribunal, chief US prosecutor Robert Jackson charged that the Germans had used a "newly invented" device to instantaneously "vaporize" 20,000 Jews near Auschwitz "in such a way that there was no trace left of them."

Philip Giraldi

... [US Congressman Eric] Cantor is a pure neoconservative in his foreign policy views, favoring the military option against Iran and supporting bombing Syria, strengthening sanctions against Tehran, condemning the Palestinians, and consistently deferring to Israel on its security needs ... He was putting unconditional support of a foreign nation ahead of his own country’s interests ... Cantor also always made sure that he played the Israel card when traveling on congressional junkets ... The list of bills that he has sponsored or co-sponsored is heavily weighted in favor of legislation relating to Israel or to Jewish issues. ... Eric Cantor also supported all Israeli policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians.

J. Stein - Newsweek

… Despite strident denials this week by Israeli officials, Israel has been caught carrying out aggressive espionage operations against American targets for decades, according to U.S. intelligence officials and congressional sources. And they still do it. They just don’t get arrested very often. As Newsweek reported on Tuesday [May 6], American counter-intelligence officials told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees at the end of January that Israel’s current espionage activities in America are “unrivaled and unseemly,” going far beyond the activities of other close allies, such as Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan.

Ron Paul

... The same foreign policy “experts” who lied us into the Iraq war are now telling us we must re-invade Iraq to deal with the disaster caused by their invasion! They cannot admit they were wrong about the invasion being a “cakewalk” that would pay for itself, so they want to blame last week’s events on the 2011 US withdrawal from Iraq. But the trouble started with the 2003 invasion itself, not the 2011 troop withdrawal. Anyone who understands cause and effect should understand this ... We must follow a third choice: ally with the American people and spend not one more dollar or one more life attempting to remake the Middle East. Haven’t we have already done enough damage?

Dennis J. Kucinich

As Iraq descends into chaos again, more than a decade after "Mission Accomplished," media commentators and politicians have mostly agreed upon calling the war a "mistake." But the "mistake" rhetoric is the language of denial, not contrition: it minimizes the Iraq War's disastrous consequences, removes blame, and deprives Americans of any chance to learn from our generation's foreign policy disaster. The Iraq War was not a "mistake" -- it resulted from calculated deception. The painful, unvarnished fact is that we were lied to. Now is the time to have the willingness to say that. In fact, the truth about Iraq was widely available, but it was ignored.

Robert Parry - Consortium News

After Islamic militants captured the major Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday, the danger of Official Washington’s false narratives again asserted itself, a direct consequence of the failure to enforce any meaningful accountability on the neocons and others who pushed the Iraq War ... If Obama is to be criticized for his handling of the Middle East, it would make more sense to excoriate him for not making a clean break with the neocon strategies of the Bush years and for not purging the U.S. government of hawks who are too eager to use military force.

RFE/ RL

Russian President Vladimir Putin is enjoying almost unprecedented job-approval ratings in his country. And the only reason for this popularity surge, sociologists say, is Russia's tough stance on Ukraine ... According to a survey published last week by the Levada Center, a staggering 83 percent of Russians approve Putin's performance as president.

B. Kendall - BBC News

... All glossy and well funded, each [Russian television news outlet] with their own slightly different but ultimately similar versions of the news - hours of slick, punchy and emotionally charged reports, set to thumping music, making your heart race. It's hard not to get drawn in. And on Ukraine there's one message - that the violence in Eastern Ukraine is all Kiev's fault, that Ukraine is crawling with Russian hating neo-Nazis and fascists, and that it's the US government which is fuelling the crisis behind the scenes while Russia tries to act as peacemaker. "Aggressive and deceptive propaganda ... worse than anything I witnessed in the Soviet Union," is the verdict of Lev Gudkov, the director of the Levada Centre, Russia's most well respected polling organisation.

C. Maddux, M. Eckel – VOA News

... As the Ukraine crisis has unfolded, Putin appears to have put fascism in vogue again ... The resurgence of fascism -- the word, the ideas it purveys -- in the public debate over the Ukraine crisis is no accident, said Frida Ghitis, world affairs columnist ... "Putin is crafting a narrative for Ukraine that resonates in Russia. Fascism is an enemy that resonates deeply," Ghitis said. "The greatest glory of the Russians, of the Soviets, was in fighting against fascism in World War II, the Great Patriotic War."

George Orwell (1946)

... Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration ... Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words Democracy, Socialism, Freedom, Patriotic, Realistic, Justice, have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another ... Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way.

Philip Giraldi

Even well-informed Americans are unlikely to know much about the level of corruption prevalent within the member states of the European Union (EU). A fascinating article in the London Review of Books by UCLA professor Perry Anderson opens with a tour de force run-through of the high crimes and misdemeanors featuring recent heads of state and heads of government across Europe ... It is depressing to have to acknowledge that corruption in government is so accepted even in politically advanced nations that those who engage in it are rarely held accountable in any serious way.

Joachim Hoffmann – Institute for Historical Review

... Above all the United States, which is in the forefront of the accusatory critics, should permit itself to be reminded of the great extent to which, for years, it violated Swiss neutrality. From 1943 onwards American war planes flew at will over the neutral country, sometimes in flight formations, in attacks on targets in the German Reich. Time and again they also carried out offensive operations against Swiss territory. Thus, on April 1, 1944, Schaffhausen was the victim of an intense American air attack, with considerable losses and heavy destruction of property.

Eric Margolis

... The 2003 invasion of Iraq, the stupidest war in US history, which was rousingly backed by Congress and the media, has produced a monumental mess of mind-numbing complexity as Washington trips over its own feet ... This awful mess can be directly traced to neoconservative strategists in Washington clustered around Vice President Dick Cheney. In 2002, their primary goal, according to Cheney, was to wreck Iraq, the most industrially advanced and progressive Arab state, so removing a major foe of Israel, and then grabbing Iraq’s oil ... In fact, Israel emerged as the sole strategic victor of the Bush/Cheney war against Iraq ... No senior American or British official has faced trial for this disastrous, trumped-up war.

Institute for Historical Review

When a prominent American political figure speaks boldly about Jewish-Zionist power, that's news. So the remarks by South Carolina's senior Senator that Iraq was invaded "to secure Israel," and that "everybody" in Washington knows it, are indeed remarkable … Bush's motive in going to war for Israeli interests, charged Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, was to get Jewish support in election campaigns.

Patrick Cockburn - The Independent (Britain)

Even the fanatics of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) are astonished at the extent of their own victory in taking control over Iraq's second city, Mosul, in the past week ... It is a rout without precedent. I have written frequently in the past in this newspaper that the Iraqi security forces were a corrupt patronage machine that exploited and persecuted the local population ... Much attention is given in the media to what the US will now do. But Americans are not the players they once were in Iraq. More important is how Iran reacts ... US and Britain must work with Iran if they are to stop an extreme Sunni state emerging in north and west Iraq extending into eastern Syria.

Ron Paul

... In the last 60 years, the American people have had little say over decisions to wage war. We have allowed a succession of presidents and the United Nations to decide when and if we go to war, without an express congressional declaration as the Constitution mandates. Since 1945, our country has been involved in over 70 active or covert foreign engagements ... The endless costs resulting from our foolish policies, in human lives, injuries, tax dollars, inflation, and deficits, will burden generations to come. For civilization to advance, we must reduce the number of wars fought.

Sheldon Richman

... Except for the nod to “collective action,” it is hard to see how this policy distinguishes Obama from the people he calls interventionists. There is always trouble in the world to stir our conscience, and in a globalized marketplace, it is not hard to conjure up threats. So grounds for intervention — unilateral or multilateral — will never be hard to come by ... Licensing the U.S. government to police the world — Obama calls it “leadership” and “American exceptionalism” — is a surefire path to disaster, even if it means only enlisting local proxies to do the dirty work. History demonstrates this.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... In the endless struggle between populism and the establishment, and between nationalists and internationalists, populists and nationalists appear, at least temporarily, to be in the ascendancy worldwide ... According to every national poll, Americans believe that our country is on the wrong course, that it is less respected than it has ever been abroad and that our children and their children will most likely not know the good life that we have had. Americans disapprove of the president and have little confidence in either party or in Congress.

J. J. Goldberg - Forward (New York)

Did Eric Cantor lose because of his Judaism? Everybody’s been tiptoeing around the question for the last two days, so let’s just come out and say it: Of course he did. That and redistricting. ... What the GOP’s redistricting mavens forgot to factor in — what’s eluded pretty much the entire chattering class wrestling with this earthquake — is that the prairie fire that’s turned so much of middle America red is as much about Christianity as anything else ... It’s not that they don’t like Jews ... It’s just that they love Jesus. They want more religious values guiding and governing our public life. And by religious values they mean Christian values. That’s David Brat’s main calling card.

Redress Information & Analysis

The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, has signed an agreement that will allow Israeli propagandists to promote apartheid Israel and its racist, Zionist policies through the pages of Wikipedia, the world’s largest and most popular free encyclopedia. The agreement was signed by Rabbi Shai Piron, the Israeli education minister ... Israelis are already making extensive use of Wikipedia to promote their views. “In the framework of cooperation that is already in place between Wikimedia Israel and the Ministry of Education, several pilot projects are being conducted.”

The Algemeiner (Brooklyn, New York)

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights group, on Monday demanded an apology from the directors of state-owned Russia Today Television for airing anti-Semitic programming that contravened Russia’s membership obligations under the 2004 Berlin Declaration on Anti-Semitism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Known as RT, the outlet has long come under criticism for serving as a Kremlin mouthpiece and for vicious attacks on Israel.

Nicholas Kristof - The New York Times

We in the United States grow up celebrating ourselves as the world’s most powerful nation, the world’s richest nation, the world’s freest and most blessed nation ... We’re No. 1! In some ways we indisputably are, but a major new ranking of livability in 132 countries puts the United States in a sobering 16th place. We underperform because our economic and military strengths don’t translate into well-being for the average citizen. In the Social Progress Index, the United States excels in access to advanced education but ranks 70th in health, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal safety.

CNS News

The percentage of 18- to 64-year olds who live below the poverty level has increased 30.5% since 1966, two years after Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. "We have declared unconditional war on poverty. Our objective is total victory. I believe that 30 years from now Americans will look back upon these 1960s as the time of the great American Breakthrough toward the victory of prosperity over poverty," said then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 ... When looking at all ages, the House Budget Committee Report shows that, since 1965, the poverty rate decreased from 17.3% to 15%.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... There is truly something rotten in the state. But, rest assured, this scandal of deceit, dishonor and betrayal is not going to go away soon ... Perhaps the largest of all government programs is education. Yet despite the trillions of dollars plunged into public education at the local, state and federal levels from the Great Society to No Child Left Behind to Race to the Top, U.S. test scores continue to plummet in international competition and the gap between black and Hispanic and Asian and white continues to persist ... In the last century, communism was The God That Failed. It should be a cause for concern that in the new century the god that appears to be failing is American democracy.

Gareth Porter - The Nation

The key "evidence" of an Iranian nuclear weapons program comes via the MEK, a cult-like terrorist group -- and was likely produced by Israel / ... The unquestioning acceptance of this false narrative has shifted the political discourse surrounding the nuclear negotiations sharply toward the Israeli position. As a result, the Obama administration is more vulnerable to the propaganda war against negotiations that Israel’s clients in Congress are waging. ... The success of the false narrative on Iran has been facilitated by the disappearance of the investigative function of Congress and the corporate media.

S. Meir - Haaretz (Israel)

In a new book and in a conversation with Haaretz, U.S. historian Gareth Porter charges that U.S. and Israeli policies on Iran have been based on fabricated evidence / ... Running through Porter’s book is the well-substantiated claim that U.S. and Israeli policies on Iran derived from their political and organizational interests, and not necessarily from careful factual analysis of the Iranian nuclear program, which was subject to IAEA monitoring, or of the intentions of the Iranian leadership.

J. Mirkinson - The Huffington Post

Columnist George Will thinks that being a rape victim is now a "coveted status" on college campuses. No, really. The conservative titan wrote about "the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. 'sexual assault,'" in a piece on Friday. He put this trend down to increased political correctness on college campuses, which, he said, was proving that when universities "make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate."

PBS

We don’t know how many Americans who died while serving during wartime are buried on foreign soil. Why? For one, there isn’t a single organization that tracks the burials. There is no database of every American service member buried overseas. And the reason why there is no database is because finding all of America’s war dead is a complicated process. While some are buried in formal memorial cemeteries, others are in private cemeteries, mass graves and isolated burial sites.

Robert Parry - Consortium News

Sometimes in dealing with the U.S. government and its compliant mainstream media, I’m left with the feeling that if it weren’t for double standards, there would be no standards at all. From President Barack Obama to the editors at the Washington Post and the New York Times, it’s obvious that what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander. An election in an embattled country is valid and even inspiring if it turns out the way Official Washington wants, as in Ukraine last month; otherwise it’s a sham and illegitimate, as in Syria this month ... The United States also presents itself as the great guardian of democracy and constitutional order, except when those democratic impulses conflict with U.S. interests.

Ron Paul

President Obama’s recent foreign policy speech, delivered at this year’s West Point graduation ceremony, was a disappointment to anyone who hoped the president might be changing course. The failure of each US intervention thus far in the 21st century might have inspired at least a bit of reflection. However, the president made it clear that interventionism and American exceptionalism would continue to guide his administration in its final two years ... There is much to disappoint in Obama’s big foreign policy speech. It represents a continuation of the policy of “do what we say and we will subsidize you, disobey us and we will bomb you.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

... What Obama has is less a foreign policy doctrine than a foreign policy disposition. He is a reluctant interventionist. He got us out of Iraq and is taking us out of Afghanistan. Yet he was pushed into a war on Libya that turned out disastrously and is now dipping his toe into what he has called "somebody else's civil war" in Syria ... Broadly speaking, Americans are delighted our soldiers are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. They were passionately opposed last August to U.S. action in Syria. They dislike Iran, but like that the president is negotiating with Iran.

Sheldon Richman

A lot of people are warning against America turning “isolationist.” ... President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are the latest to express concern that the American appetite for managing foreign conflicts is waning. ... Those high costs in blood and treasure were the consequences of intervention, not “isolationism.” That’s why the case for political and military disengagement is so strong. The butcher’s bill and the money price cannot be tolerated. America’s record of death, injury, and destruction has on net created enemies ... The law of unintended consequences makes fools of so-called leaders. Danger, then, lies not in “isolationism” — a misnomer if global trade and travel are freed. Rather, it lies in a rogue and delusional U.S. government that tries to police the world.

B. Turbeville - Activist Post

... Speaking out against terrorism is now enough to cause you to be labeled as a supporter of terrorism. At least, that is, in certain instances. This is particularly the case with Mimi Al-Laham (aka SyrianGirl), a young Syrian woman who has been active on YouTube, social media, and her own website in speaking out about the Western-backed destabilization of Syria ... Her statements against terrorism, beheadings, rapes, slavery, and wholesale slaughter have caused her to be labelled as a potential "extremist" and purveyor of "extremist rhetoric." For that reason, Australian security agencies have been closely monitoring Laham’s online statements and, presumably, much more than that ... Harris-Hogan also categorized Laham’s statements as anti-US and anti-Israel.

The Australian Jewish News

A Holocaust denying Catholic bishop who was due to visit Australia this month has had his visa cancelled after The AJN alerted the government to his views. British cleric Richard Williamson has described Jews as “enemies of Christ” and claimed there’s no evidence to support the fact that six million Jews were killed during the Shoah. At most, he said, the number if Jewish victims was 200,000 to 300,000, none of whom were killed in gas chambers. Williamson, who was found guilty by a German court of inciting racial hatred, was scheduled to attend a number of services in rural Victoria later this month.

E. Swanson - Huffington Post

... A new set of HuffPost/ YouGov polls suggests that most Americans aren't prepared to take the step of making reparations, either for slavery alone or for the century-plus of institutionalized racism that followed. In one survey, Americans said by a 68 percent to 15 percent margin that the government should not make payments to black Americans who are the descendants of slaves ... Public opinion on the issue appears unchanged in the past decade ... The poll did find that Americans support reparations in certain cases -- for example, more than half of respondents said the German government was right to pay reparations to Jews who survived the Holocaust.

The Associated Press

Israeli President Shimon Peres was met by political anger and protests over his country's policies in the occupied territories during a visit to Norway Monday [May 12] ... Norwegian-Israeli relations have soured over the past decade as Norway's left-leaning governments took a critical stance against Israel. Unlike many western countries, Norway refused to classify Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers as terrorists, and the government's rich oil fund has divested shares in companies accused of contributing to building Israeli homes in the West Bank.

Eric Margolis

... How remarkably childish and silly all this was. Obama and America’s European allies are cold-shouldering Putin for re-absorbing Crimea into Russia, to which it had belonged for 300 years, and for stirring the pot in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, US military forces are in action or based in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Djibouti, the Philippines, Yemen, Somalia, Uganda, Central African Republic, Colombia, Kenya, Europe, South Korea, Japan – in fact, around the globe ... We have developed the pernicious habit of branding anyone who tried to oppose our world domination as a “terrorist.” This has boxed us into a propaganda corner: by so demonizing our enemies we deny ourselves the ability to negotiate with them.

Scott McConnell - The American Conservative

... The prominence of Hillary [Clinton], and more, the absence of anyone who is willing to challenge her quest for the Democratic nomination, is a depressing indication about the state of the Democratic Party and the country. It tells us that there is no lasting impact of the Iraq war on elite Democratic party attitudes, it might as well have never happened ... Not only has Hillary not learned any lessons; no one else of prominence has either. There is no rethinking whether the United States needs to be poking its nose militarily in every spot in the globe — not by Hillary certainly, but seemingly not by any other leading Democrat, either.

Robert Dreyfuss - The Nation

The crisis now engulfing Iraq provides the ultimate condemnation of the decision by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their cohorts — backed, of course, by Hillary Clinton and John Kerry — to invade Iraq in 2003. That action, which destroyed virtually all of Iraq’s institutions and created a power vacuum that led directly to an ethnic and sectarian civil war, is now playing out all of its terrible consequences.

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

The debate over America’s Middle East policy has reached a new level of surreality ... In Iraq, the resurgence of sectarian violence stems not from the 2011 American withdrawal. It is, rather, the fruit of America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, the subsequent U.S. occupation, and the much vaunted “surge” of 2007-2008. The U.S. invasion and occupation destroyed the Iraqi state and ignited tensions among Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic communities ... Unfortunately, Washington seems determined to compound its appalling policy choices in Iraq with equally grievous choices regarding Syria ... Neither the interests of ordinary Syrians and Iraqis nor the interests of ordinary Americans will be served by Washington doubling down on its ill-considered arming of brutal and unrepresentative militias.

RT News (Russia)

The events in Iraq are a result of the actions carried out by the US and the UK, and the situation has spiraled out of control, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists ... Lavrov noted that eleven years ago the US president announced the victory of democracy in Iraq, and that “the situation has deteriorated in geometrical progression.”

Audio Recording (1944) - YouTube

Live news coverage of the Allied D-Day invasion of France begins in this CBS radio network broadcast in the early morning hours of June 6th, 1944. The first reports of this historic event were from Germany’s “Transocean” and “DNB” news services, broadcast by Berlin radio. Some time later the German reports were confirmed by the Supreme Allied Command in Britain. Runtime: 6:32 mins.

European Jewish Press

One of the main pro-Israel voice in the US Congress and a veteran politician, Republican Eric Cantor, was defeated in a primary election on Tuesday by a rightist Tea Party favorite, David Brat ... The defeat came as a test for the outcomes of midterm Congressional elections in November. Cantor, 51, who was on a track to be the highest-ranking Jewish official in American history, was the House of Representatives only Jewish Republican legislator.

Mondoweiss

House Majority leader Eric Cantor’s stunning defeat in the Republican primary in a Richmond, Virginia, district last night is big news, and it has a Middle East angle. Cantor is a leading defender of Israel’s rightwing government in the Congress; he once said he would side with Israeli prime minister Netanyahu against Obama. Cantor is also one of the most prominent Jews in American politics, the leading Jew in the Republican Party, highest-ranking Jew ever in the Congress.

Forward (New York)

A coalition of Cleveland Jewish leaders are protesting a graphic mural painted on a gas station wall that depicts a rabbi performing a controversial circumcision ritual. Anti-Defamation League regional director Anita Gray, and Cheryl Davis, chair of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Community Relations Committee, slammed the mural as anti-Semitic ... The mural appears on the side wall of Biggie’s Foodmart and gas station in Cleveland. Written above the graphic image of are the words: “Talmudic Priests in Church: Sex With Minors Permited [sic].” It apparently depicts the metzitzah b’peh ritual, the controversial practice in which a mohel sucks the blood from an infant’s penis after circumcision.

BBC News

It has been a taboo subject in France for 70 years but in his D-Day commemoration speech on 6 June, President Francois Hollande will pay tribute to the terrible civilian casualties suffered by the French due to Allied bombing up to and during the liberation of France. Historians believe Allied bombardments killed almost as many French people as German bombs killed Britons during the Blitz. According to research carried out by Andrew Knapp, history professor at the UK's University of Reading, British, American and Canadian air raids resulted in 57,000 French civilian losses in World War Two ... The most disturbing example is the bombing of Le Havre in September 1944. Nearly all of the city was reduced to ash and 5,000 French men, women and children were killed.

G. Hope - Ohio State University

The Normandy Invasion (June 6, 1944) was the supreme joint effort of the Western Allies in Europe in World War II and remains today one of the best known campaigns of the war ... This year we mark the 70th Anniversary of Overlord. To commemorate the battle, Origins offers ten of the most important things to know about the invasion ... 2. The invasion was a compromise ... 4. Allied intelligence successes and failures ... 6. The pre-invasion bombardment from air and naval forces was ineffective ... 7. But Allied air superiority ultimately proved a decisive element in victory ... 9. The invasion did not decide the war, but it did shape the post-war world ...

Mark Weber – Podcast

The great D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944, was a high point of World War II and of the US role in defeating Hitler's Germany. The anniversary of this greatest amphibious assault in history is a good opportunity to take a sober look at some comfortable falsehoods and myths about the "good war." The familiar American portrayal of World War II, and the "good war" mythology of the US role in it, is not just bad history. It has helped greatly to support and justify a series of arrogant US foreign policy adventures, with harmful consequences for both America and the world.

Ray McGovern

On June 8, 1967, Israeli leaders learned they could deliberately attack a U.S. Navy ship and try to send it, together with its entire crew, to the bottom of the Mediterranean – with impunity. Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty, a state-of-the-art intelligence collection platform sailing in international waters off the Sinai, killing 34 of the 294 crew members and wounding more than 170 ... Israeli messages intercepted on June 8, 1967, leave no doubt that sinking the USS Liberty was the mission assigned to the attacking Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats as the Six-Day War raged in the Middle East. Let me repeat: there is no doubt – none – that the mission of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) was to destroy the USS Liberty and kill its entire crew.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... What are the identifying marks of these populist parties that have sprouted up now in almost every European country? There is first the rejection of universalism and transnationalism, and a reversion to patriotism and its songs, symbols, holidays, history, myths and legends. To peoples such as these, the preservation of the separate and unique ethnic and cultural identity of the nation supersedes all claims of supranational organizations, be it the EU or U.N. This sentiment is reflected not only in fierce resistance to further integration within the EU, but in visceral hostility to further immigration from the Third World, Islamic world or Eastern Europe. These people want to remain who and what they are.

Haaretz (Israel)

In Newsweek's most recent report on Israeli espionage on the United States, the magazine claims that Israel listened in on phone calls between former U.S. President Bill Clinton and other leaders during critical stages of the Middle East peace talks in 1999. According to the report, which cites British-Israeli political scientist Aharon Bregman's upcoming book "Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories," Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on conversations between Clinton and the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad ... The Newsweek reports have claimed that Israel's alleged espionage against the U.S. has continued for decades, despite Israeli and U.S. denial.

Los Angeles Daily News

Fifty-four percent of people surveyed around the world have heard of the Holocaust -- and 32 percent of those believe it’s a myth or greatly exaggerated, according to a new Anti-Defamation League report. In the Middle East and North Africa, 63 percent of survey respondents who have heard of the Holocaust believe it’s a myth or greatly exaggerated, according to the “ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism.” It also found that younger people around the world are less aware of the Holocaust, with less than half (48 percent) of all respondents under age 35 aware of the Holocaust and 61 percent of those age 50 and older aware of the Holocaust.

JNS

King’s College London has canceled a May 19 lecture intended to glorify a Holocaust denier in response to pressure from pro-Israel students. The event was organized by the pro-Hamas publication Middle East Monitor Online (MEMO) to honor the late Egyptian Holocaust denier, Abdelwahab Elmessiri, and was going to feature speaker Azzam Tamimi, who is reported to be Hamas’s “special envoy to the UK.” Elmessiri led the opposition organization Kefaya in Egypt until he died in 2008. In his book, Zionism, Nazism and the End of History, he wrote that far fewer than six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

AFP

Arab Israelis are increasingly voicing a Palestinian identity and national demands, as hate attacks by Jewish extremists and laws perceived as discriminatory have multiplied. Some 10,000 Arab Israelis rallied in northern Israel earlier this month [May 2014] for the right of return for Palestinian refugees who fled or were driven from their homes during the war that led to the creation of the Jewish state in 1948. It was a much higher than usual turnout for the annual commemoration of the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) ...

Nick Carnes – Talking Points Memo

... We also have to remember another big reason why the wealthy have more influence in politics: Wealthy people are the ones in office themselves. If millionaires in the United States formed their own political party, that party would make up just three percent of the country, but it would have a majority in the House of Representatives, a filibuster-proof super-majority in the Senate, a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court and a man in the White House ... By the time most Americans get to the polls, the only options on their ballots are wealthy, white-collar professionals. Do you want to vote for a millionaire lawyer or a millionaire business owner?

The Council for the National Interest

On June 8, 1967, 34 American servicemen were killed and 174 were wounded during an Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. According to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer, “Those men were then betrayed and left to die by our own government.” The survivors are still awaiting justice ... Israel claimed the attack was “a case of mistaken identity”; that they didn’t know it was an American ship ... The Navy’s chief attorney to the original 1967 military Court of Inquiry has issued a statement that orders to cover-up the incident were issued by President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

James Bamford

... Geis was shocked by what he heard next. "President Lyndon Johnson came on with a comment that he didn't care if the ship sunk, he would not embarrass his allies." Geis told Lieutenant Commander David Lewis, head of the NSA group on the Liberty, about the comment but asked him to keep it secret until after Geis died. It was a promise that Lewis kept ... Despite the overwhelming evidence that Israel had attacked the ship and killed the American servicemen deliberately, the Johnson administration and Congress covered up the entire incident. Johnson was planning to run for president the following year and needed the support of pro-Israel voters.

BBC Television (Video)

British television documentary about the June 1967 attack by Israel against the USS Liberty. Shows that US and Israel authorities continue to suppress important facts about the murderous attack. Also includes revelations about the still secret Israel-US “Operation Cyanide” project, in which the US military deceitfully aided the Zionist state in its devastating “preemptive” assault against Egypt. Runtime: one hour, nine minutes.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Ralph Nader, in “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State,” believes that ad hoc alliances of left and right to achieve common goals can, should, and, indeed, shall be our political future ... From the subtitle, as well as text, of his most recent book, one may instantly identify whom it is Ralph sees as the main enemy. It is megabanks and transnational corporations without consciences whose highest loyalty is the bottom line ... But if the issue is keeping America out of unnecessary wars and restoring American sovereignty, surely common ground is not impossible to find.

The Associated Press

The announcement Friday that the National Park Service will begin installing markers at places of importance to the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans is a step toward including them in the national narrative - and components of education, supporters said. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell made the announcement Friday at the Stonewall Inn, the scene of riots in June 1969 that are widely credited with starting the modern gay rights movement. Stonewall was made a national historic landmark in 2000, and June is widely celebrated as LGBT Pride Month. Jewell said the nation is on a journey to expand civil rights to underrepresented groups.

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie - Time

... Why then do some American Jews obsess about anti-Semitism in the U.S. and exaggerate the vulnerability of their community? An important reason is that we live in the shadow of the Holocaust, which has colored our thinking in indelible ways, thereby enhancing the chronic insecurity characteristic of earlier generations ... American Jews are not always able to distinguish clearly between their condition here and Jewish realities in other places. Yet there can be no excuse for seeing our situation as different from what it really is. And our reality, as American Jews, is that we are not a community under siege. Let us say it plainly: the anti-Semitism that is festering elsewhere poses no danger to us.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Anti-Semitism is still prevalent in Germany with some 19 million adults harbouring negative sentiments towards Jews, according to a new study. The Anti-Defamation League's Global 100 Index found that 27 per cent of German adults answered 'probably' or 'definitely' true to six or more of eleven stereotypes about Jews in the survey. The finding places Germany - which has an adult population of around 69 million - among the countries with the highest levels of anti-Semitism in western Europe. Austria (28%), Spain (29%), France (37%) and Greece (69%) were higher.

Adrienne LaFrance - The Atlantic

Sixty-nine years ago this month [May], world leaders tried to delay the reporting of one of the biggest stories of the 20th century. They might have been successful, too, if not for one rogue journalist. On May 7, 1945, Edward Kennedy, Paris bureau chief for the Associated Press, went around American censors to report the news that Germany had surrendered in World War II. Naturally, his decision frustrated the military officials who were trying to control the timing of the story, but Kennedy's decision infuriated his fellow journalists, too.

Yahoo News

More Americans say they oppose former National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden's actions than support them, a new national poll reveals. According to the survey released Sunday by NBC News, more than a third (34%) of respondents said they disagreed with Snowden's decision to flee the United States and release information about how the NSA collects intelligence data, while 24% said they supported him. Forty percent said they do not have an opinion. Somewhat shockingly, given the amount of media coverage Snowden has received, more than a quarter (27%) of Americans said they were not aware of the case.

The Times of Israel

A newly revealed NSA document highlights and corroborates allegations carried by Newsweek that Israel aggressively spies on the US, the magazine reported Saturday ... “The Israelis are extraordinarily good [Signals Intelligence] partners for us,” the NSA document says, as reported in Newsweek, “but on the other [hand], they target us to learn our positions on Middle East problems.” The document also said that a 2013 National Intelligence Estimate on cyber threats “ranked Israel the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US” behind only China and Russia, Newsweek reported.

B. Cosgrave – Time

... In almost any World War II-era issue of any [American] magazine, you’ll notice two striking characteristics of the ads that differentiate them from those in most contemporary publications ... Almost without exception, the ads one encountered in the midst of WWII referenced the conflict, obliquely or directly, to an extent that is mind-boggling today ... Here, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, are ten examples of ads from Time in June 1944 — ads that illustrate the era’s intricate nexus of commerce, patriotism and warfare as clearly, and as candidly, as we’re ever likely to see.

The Guardian (Britain)

Peter Macdiarmid has taken photographs of locations in France and England to match with archive images taken before, during and after the D-day landings. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during the second world war took place on 6 June 1944. Operation Overlord was the largest seaborne invasion in military history, with more than 156,000 Allied troops storming the beaches of France. Photography then and now lets you move through time by tapping or clicking on a historic image to reveal the modern view. You can drag or swipe to control the speed of the transformation.

VOA News – Video

Most of the documentary footage of the 1944 Allied invasion in Normandy, better known as D-Day, was shot on black and white film, by a group of Army cinematographers led by the late Hollywood director, George Stevens. But Stevens was also filming a personal diary, using at that time still rare color film. A documentary using his color images gives a new dimension to the campaign to drive Nazi forces from France. VOA’s George Putic reports. Runtime: 2:49 mins.

The Associated Press

A Nazi salute is not illegal racial discrimination provided that it is intended as a personal statement, Switzerland’s top court ruled. The federal tribunal's ruling, entitled “Hitler salute in public not always punishable,” said on Wednesday that the gesture was a crime only if someone was using it to spread racist ideology, not simply declaring one's own conviction ... For more than a decade, the Swiss have grappled with right-wing extremists disrupting Swiss National Day celebrations on Ruetli with Nazi symbols. The August 2010 incident occurred two months after the Swiss Federal Council of seven ministers, including the president, decided not to ban the Nazi salute and swastika symbol in Switzerland.

Prague Post - ČTK (Czech Republic)

The Brno Municipal Court will have to decide between the right to information and a ban on its release in the case of the publication of a Czech book of speeches of Adolf Hitler, Karel Steigerwald writes in daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) today. Court proceedings with three representatives of the Guidemedia publishing house started June 2. The editors may go to prison for up to ten years for promotion of Nazism and Holocaust denial, and their publishing house may be shut down if the charges filed against them are proved.

The Times of Israel

A New York cab driver who was suspended for wearing a Nazi armband defended himself to local media Saturday, saying it was his First Amendment right to wear a swastika as a National Socialist. In a far-ranging interview, Gabriel Diaz said he doesn’t hate Jews, but believes the American public has been lied to about Adolf Hitler. “I am a National Socialist, what you guys call a Nazi. I am a believer of it,” Diaz told CBS New York. “I didn’t mean to offend anybody, I’m just expressing my first amendments, my freedom of expression.” ... “The media portrays it as hate, but not to us,” said Diaz, a 26-year-old black man of Dominican extraction who lives in the Bronx.

The Associated Press

For all the serious flaws in Syria's election, it underscored the considerable support that President Bashar Assad still enjoys from the population ... Assad's supporters offered insights into why they still back him. These include fatigue over the conflict, mistrust among many toward a disorganized opposition, and the growing power of Islamic extremists in the rebel ranks ... Many credit him with opening up the economy. Under free-market reforms, Damascus and other cities saw a flourishing of malls, restaurants and consumer goods, increasing tourism. For many of his die-hard supporters, he is a nationalist hero fighting Western imperialism and ensuring stable, secular rule in a turbulent region wracked by sectarian wars.

David Frum

... As dramatic as D-Day was, on any measure of scale, it does not rank among the ten biggest battles of World War II. (All of the top ten were fought on the eastern front.) Yet it has to be regarded as among the very most decisive battles of the war -- and certainly one of the most stupendous accomplishment of American arms in particular ... Hastings points out that, except for artillery, Allied equipment was consistently inferior to its German counterpart: Despite the huge Allied investment in technology, the Germans produced better rifles, better grenades, better machineguns, better antitank weapons, better tanks, and better aircraft. Most serious of all: the Germans consistently outmaneuvered and outfought the Allies in Normandy, especially the British.

Eric Margolis

... Germany's army and air force were broken on the Eastern Front's titanic battles. The numbers speak for themselves. The Soviets destroyed 75-80% of all German divisions -- 4 million soldiers -- and most of the Luftwaffe. Russia lost at least 14 million soldiers and a similar number of civilians. The Red Army destroyed 507 Axis divisions. On the Western Front after D-Day, the Allies destroyed 176 badly under-strength German divisions ... World War II was not a good and evil struggle between "western democracies" and "totalitarian powers," as we are still wrongly taught.

V. Walt – Time

It may surprise the many Americans who have arrived in Normandy in France this week to commemorate the 70 the anniversary of the D-Day landings, but the largest burial place here is not, in fact, the iconic U.S. war cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer ... Instead, among the many cemeteries for the 100,000 or so soldiers killed in the mammoth seaborne invasion on June 6, 1944 known as D-Day, and the three-month Battle for Normandy that followed, the biggest number of graves by far honor 21,222 soldiers who fought on the losing side: The Germans.

Daily Mail (Britain)

... A new book has revealed the dark side of Europe’s liberation after the Second World War. Professor Mary Louise Roberts, from the University of Wisconsin, said within months of D-Day ordinary French women came to fear their American ‘liberators’. She tells how, by the summer of 1944, large numbers of women in Normandy filed complaints about rapes by US soldiers. And their arrival prompted a wave of crime all over France, with American soldiers caught committing robberies and petty thefts ... The locals of Le Havre were shocked by the soldiers’ behaviour and wrote letters of protest to their mayor.

Newsreel (1944) – Video

Large crowds cheer French Head of State Pétain during his visit to Paris in April 1944. Parisians cry out "Vive Pétain" and sing the national anthem, "La Marseillaise.” Pétain also attends a memorial service in the Notre Dame Cathedral for victims of Allied bombing. This visit is just a few weeks before the D-Day landing of British and American troops at Normandy. From “France-Actualités” newsreel, with narration in French. Runtime: 7:28 mins. Philippe Petain, who was a revered military commander during the First World War, was named French Head of State in 1940 by overwhelming vote of the National Assembly.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

According to press reports, President Barack Obama has decided to let Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas “stew in their own juice.” ... In this reality, speaking of “both” is at best ignorant, at worst cynical. ... What does it mean for “both” [Israelis and Palestinians] to stew in their own juice? For Israel, it means that it can continue to build new settlements on Arab land in the occupied West Bank without foreign interference. It can make life in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ever harsher, in the hope that more and more Palestinians will prefer to leave. Arbitrary killings of civilians by occupation troops occur every few days. Some of us realize that this course is leading to disaster ...

Nikkei Asian Review (Japan)

Israel is working hard to build stronger security and economic ties with China and India, looking to broaden its options as the U.S., its closest ally, starts to play a smaller role on the world stage. Israel has high hopes for help from Beijing in dealing with Iran's nuclear weapons development ... Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited China last May, and top defense officials from the two countries have been deepening their ties. The high-profile visits underscore Israel's aim of improving its diplomatic position in the United Nations by growing closer to China, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

Euro News (France)

Seventy years ago, on June 6, 1944, thousands of men and women were preparing to take part in an operation that marked the start of the end of World War II. The D-Day landings had been planned for more than a year and involved more than 130,000 allied troops. By the end of the day more than 10,000 people had been killed, injured or taken prisoner. Today it is still the largest seaborne military operation the world has ever seen. As part of our coverage of the commemoration we have put together a list of some of the most incredible and surprising D-Day facts and photos.

J. Schuessler – The New York Times

The soldiers who landed in Normandy on D-Day were greeted as liberators, but by the time American GIs were headed back home in late 1945, many French citizens viewed them in a very different light. In the port city of Le Havre, the mayor was bombarded with letters from angry residents complaining about drunkenness, jeep accidents, sexual assault — “a regime of terror,” as one put it, “imposed by bandits in uniform.” This isn’t the “greatest generation” as it has come to be depicted in popular histories. But in “What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American G.I. in World War II France,” the historian Mary Louise Roberts draws on French archives, American military records, wartime propaganda and other sources to advance a provocative argument ...

Mark Weber -- Institute for Historical Review

… Chamberlin opens America's Second Crusade with the words: "Americans, more than any other people, have been inclined to interpret their involvement in the two great wars of the twentieth century in terms of crusades for righteousness." In the pages that follow, Chamberlin deftly and devastatingly tears apart the folly of such arrogance. He exposes the mendacity of American leaders such as Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, the fraud of the Nuremberg trials, and the hypocrisy and bad faith of the Allied leaders in their Second World War "crusade."

The Guardian (Britain)

It is an image that will define Pope Francis’s first official visit to the Holy Land. Head bowed in prayer, the leader of the Catholic church pressed his palm against the graffiti-covered concrete of Israel’s imposing "separation wall", a Palestinian girl holding a flag by his side. It was, as his aides conceded later, a silent statement against a symbol of division and conflict. The powerful gesture was made minutes after an appeal to both sides to end a conflict that the pope said was "increasingly unacceptable". The unscheduled, conspicuous stop halfway through his three-day visit to the Holy Land – made en route to an open-air mass in Manger Square, Bethlehem – confirmed Francis's reputation for determined independence.

M. D’Ancona - The New York Times

The European Union is still reeling from the insurgency of this past week’s elections to its 751-member Parliament. But after a political “earthquake,” as the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, called it on Sunday, it is also worth sifting through the rubble of hyperbole in search of resilient continuities ... In Denmark, the far-right Danish People’s Party topped the poll, and doubled its number of members in the European Parliament. In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Front also achieved the best results. Across the Channel, the United Kingdom Independence Party, known as UKIP, did the same, beating all the main parties.

H. Schofield - BBC News

A party that just two or three years ago was regarded as not just contemptible, but untouchable, has won a national election. Today the Front National (FN) really is - as the posters rushed out at party HQ put it - the biggest force in the land. Up until Marine Le Pen's take-over in 2011, the party was effectively under an establishment banning order ... Today - unbelievably - it has the largest number of French MEPs. In a legislative body that is an integral part of the European system of government, the FN - the historic pariah - is stronger than both the Gaullists and the Socialists.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel) – Editorial

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the far-right and populist advances in European Parliament elections this week “remarkable and regrettable.” ... The results are worrying for those who hoped that in the wake of World War II, Europeans were gradually moving away from nationalist, ethno-centric political identities toward a more liberal, universalistic political arrangement. Inevitably, Europe’s Jews are likely to be worse off as a result ... After this week’s elections, the inevitability of European integration is looking implausible. And this is bad for the Jews.

J. Bowen - BBC News

The Assad regime is radiating a new sense of confidence. The elections would not be held without it. Central Damascus looks less like the capital of a country fighting a civil war than at any time since the war started. The souks are full and ice cream shops are doing a lot of business now that the summer is here ... The reasons for the Assad regime's current self-esteem start with the fact that the Americans blinked first ... One Western diplomat in the region told me that if victory equalled survival, President Assad had already won. But victory also means destroying an enemy, and that has not happened yet.

Rick Sterling – CounterPunch

US Secretary of State Kerry has pronounced the Syrian election to be a “farce.” As if on cue, National Public Radio, Associated Press, ABC and other western media have presented stories which support that claim. A closer look reveals the media has been exaggerating, distorting and lying about the Syrian elections ... John Kerry and those seeking regime change in Damascus know the significance of the Syrian elections. That’s why Kerry has been so crude and forceful in his denunciation. The media, as in the past, has fallen into line and failed to report objectively.

The Guardian (Britain)

The US, Britain, and European and Arab states are to increase all aspects of support for the mainstream Syrian opposition fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, John Kerry said on Thursday. Speaking after talks in London, the US secretary of state said he would not discuss specific weapons systems or who might supply them, though Saudi Arabia is understood to be playing the lead role in co-ordinating efforts to arm carefully vetted rebel units. The US and Britain say they provide only "non-lethal aid".

Rick Sterling – CounterPunch

... Why are Kerry and the “Friends” so upset and fearful of Syrian elections? If they are such a farce, then much of the public will not participate in them. If the vote is seen by the public as meaningless, then voter turnout will be very low such as in Egypt this week. As to the issue of holding an election during a time of conflict, this was done right here in the USA. The 1864 election which re-elected Abraham Lincoln was held during the midst of the extremely bloody US civil war ... The turnout in Beirut was massive, with tens of thousands of people marching, chanting and singing through the avenue and along the highway to the Syrian Embassy compound east of the city center.