September 2014

Valdis Bell – The Occidental Observer

We recently passed the 100th anniversary of the largest and most well-funded disinformation group in the history of mankind: the Anti-Defamation League ... The ADL operates as a private intelligence agency, sending spies, infiltrators, disruptors, and agents provocateurs into the camps — both Jewish and non-Jewish — of those who disagree with its view of Jewish interests. Also like an intelligence agency, it maintains a huge database containing personal information on politicians, writers, dissidents, activists, publishers, bloggers, and even unaffiliated private citizens so that — should any of these people “get out of line,” in the opinion of the ADL — they can be threatened, “exposed,” blackmailed, and thus silenced with maximum effectiveness.

J. Blankfort, A. Poirier and S. Zeltzer - Counterpunch

In 1993, the District of Attorney of San Francisco released 700 pages of documents implicating the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that claims to be a defender of civil rights, in a vast spying operation directed against American citizens who were opposed to Israel's policies in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza and to the apartheid policies of the government of South Africa and passing on information to both governments. Under great political pressure, Smith later dropped the charges.

Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey, Jr. -- Institute for Historical Review

… I was in politics for fifteen years, and I think you should start with the assumption: never trust a politician … When people finally learn the truth, they turn against those who have been lying to them. And I think that if the movement of which you people are the cutting edge can retain dispassion in the face of outrages, setbacks and humiliations, the truth can ultimately prevail. You are doing something worse than criticizing the government of the United States; you're threatening the security of the state of Israel. And the Jewish community is dedicated to preserve that state, and to destroy those who speak against it. Good luck!

Edward L. Van Roden -- The Progressive (1949)

American investigators at the U. S. Court in Dachau, Germany, used the following methods to obtain confessions: Beatings and brutal kickings. Knocking out teeth and breaking jaws. Mock trials. Solitary confinement. Posturing as priests. Very limited rations. Spiritual deprivation. Promises of acquittal … Royall appointed Justice Gordon Simpson of the Texas Supreme Court and me to go to Germany and check up on the reports. Accompanied by Lt. Col. Charles Lawrence. Jr., we went to Munich, Germany, set up offices there, and heard a stream of testimony about the way in which American atrocities were committed.

Robert Clive -- Institute for Historical Review

… That atrocities were committed by the Allies against Germans and non-combatant civilians on both the Eastern and Western fronts is not often acknowledged. In large measure this reflects the fact that "victors write the history." … POWs, whether Germans or Axis allies, were often shot out of hand, or shortly after they had been questioned. At Feodosiya, on the Black Sea, wounded soldiers were drenched with water and then left on the beaches to freeze to death … When the Red Army invaded German territory in late 1944, civilians who had been unable to flee before their advance were condemned to undergo a regime of ferocious brutality. At such towns as Goldap, Gumbinnen, and Nemmersdorf, even children were raped before being murdered by Russian soldiers.

Leon B. Poullada – Institute for Historical Review

... In his plea, Major Poullada systematically confronts one emotion-charged issue after another, calmly but persistently challenging the judges to set aside prejudice and presumption to consider all the evidence with an open mind. Poullada concludes with an eloquent defense of traditional Anglo-American standards of justice. As Poullada repeatedly emphasizes, these postwar "war crimes" trials violated basic principles of justice. With specific examples, he shows how the prosecution has encouraged witnesses to give clearly false hearsay testimony evidence. With prosecution connivance, Poullada establishes, some witnesses gave demonstrably perjured testimony.

Kevin MacDonald

This essay provides an overview of the history of the black-Jewish relationships in the twentieth century. The record shows quite clearly that Jewish organizations as well as a great number of individual Jews contributed enormously to the success of the movement to increase the power of blacks and alter the racial hierarchy of the United States ... Jewish activism played an essential and critical role in the revolution in ethnic relations that has occurred in the last fifty years in the US It is a revolution that in its major premises has also been internalized by a large portion of the whites in the US and other Western countries, particularly by the white elite, who have made alliances with Jews and other components of the multiethnic elites.

ABC News

A list of the top 20 “whitest”- and “blackest”-sounding girl and boy names in America.

G. Altschuler, I. Kramnick - Cornell Alumni Magazine

... Goldwin Smith, the Regius Professor of History at Oxford University, who left his prestigious chair in his prime, at age forty-five, to teach European and English history [at Cornell University] in Ithaca ... He is remembered by all Cornellians, of course, for the magnificent building on the Arts Quad that bears his name. In the lobby, a plaque proclaims him "everywhere a champion of liberty and progress." Smith bequeathed a stone bench to the University as well; set in front of the building, it is inscribed, per his instructions, "Above all nations is humanity." ... In a new book by McMaster University religious studies professor Alan Mendelson that Smith was "perhaps the most vicious anti-Semite in the English-speaking world"?

D. Davis – Cornell Sun (2009)

New light has recently been shed on the character of one of Cornell’s jeweled alumni and benefactors: Goldwin Smith, as revealed through his own and others’ writing, was an influential anti-semite ... Smith was a renowned intellect and professor at Oxford University at the time of Cornell’s inception. He left his post in 1868 to help launch Cornell’s humanities department and teach English and constitutional history, giving the new University instant credibility ... Author Alan Mendelson spends the first portion of his recently released book, Exiles from Nowhere: The Jews and the Canadian Elite, detailing Goldwin Smith’s anti-semitic politics and influence.

Goldwin Smith (1894)

…. Those who maintain that there is nothing in the character, habits, or disposition of the Jew to provoke antipathy have to bring the charge of fanatical prejudice not only against the Russians or against Christendom, but against mankind … Critics of Judaism are accused of bigotry of race, as well as of bigotry of religion. The accusation comes strangely from those who style themselves the Chosen People, make race a religion, and treat all races except their own as Gentiles and unclean … We have given up the fancy that the Jew is accursed. We must cease to believe that he is sacred.

Sploid – Video

This animated map show how the USA expanded across North America, from 1789 to the present.

William Pfaff

… The Empire of the United States was launched in 1898, and has since traversed a mere century, experiencing increasing ambition, and suffering increasing difficulties. Could it too last 406 years? The current evidence is not reassuring … This is what the War on Terror has come to mean. It is an attempt to create a universal empire that exists only in the American imagination, by an effort that, because its aim is impossible to achieve, is unlimited in the damage it could do to Americans and others.

Sheldon Richman

From 1898 to 1931, Smedley Darlington Butler was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. By the time he retired he had achieved what was then the corps’s highest rank, major general, and by the time he died in 1940, at 58, he had more decorations, including two medals of honor, than any other Marine ... Noting that “until 1898 [and the Spanish-American War] we didn’t own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America,” he observed that after becoming an expansionist world power, the U.S. government’s debt swelled 25 times and “we forgot George Washington’s warning about ‘entangling alliances.’ We went to war. We acquired outside territory.”

Stephen Moore - The Washington Times

... Mr. Burns’ docudrama on the Roosevelts — for those who weren’t bored to tears — repeats nearly all the worn-out fairy tales of the FDR presidency, including what I call the most enduring myth of the 20th century, which is that FDR’s avalanche of alphabet-soup government programs ended the Great Depression ... U.S. unemployment averaged a rate of 18 percent during Roosevelt’s first eight years in office. In the decade of the 1930s, U.S. industrial production and national income fell by about almost one-third. In 1940, after year eight years of the New Deal, unemployment was still averaged a god-awful 14 percent. Think of it this way. The unemployment rate was more than twice as high eight years into the New Deal than it is today ...

Herbert Hoover

… The fourth abysmal loss of statesmanship was when the British and French guaranteed the independence of Poland and Rumania at the end of March 1939. It was at this point that the European democracies reversed their previous policies of keeping hands off the inevitable war between Hitler and Stalin. It was probably the greatest blunder in the whole history of European-power diplomacy. Britain and France were helpless to save Poland from invasion … The fifth major blunder in statesmanship was when Roosevelt, in the winter of 1941, threw the United States into undeclared war with Germany and Japan in total violation of promises upon which he had been elected a few weeks before … Indeed the greatest loss of statesmanship in all American history was the tacit American alliance and support of Communist Russia when Hitler made his attack in June 1941.

D. Babb - The Washington Post

Fifty years ago, on Sept. 7, 1964, a political ad called "Daisy" aired on behalf of President Lyndon Johnson. The commercial opened with a little girl in a meadow, then a horrific nuclear blast filled the screen. We've been feeling the fallout ever since. It was only a minute long. The paid ad ran on national television only once, and only on one network, NBC. But that's all it took.

Michael Axworthy (Review) - The Telegraph (Britain)

This is a small book, but written with Peter Oborne’s characteristic brutal clarity, it roars like the proverbial mouse. Co-written with David Morrison, it sets about destroying a series of myths and distortions that have enabled Western and other policymakers to depict Iran as a major nuclear threat, suggests that any military action against Iran would be unjustified, and argues that the current sanctions that are crippling Iran are illegitimate.

Peter Oborne and David Morrison - Harper's Magazine

... When it comes to foreign affairs, of course, it is quite impossible to overstate the ignorance of average American voters ... This widespread ignorance is fostered, if not created, by some exceptionally low-caliber journalism ... This torrent of fabrication has surely helped the United States to wage a low-level war against Iran for at least thirty years — a war that has wrecked the nation’s economy with sanctions and given covert support to Iranian resistance groups.

W. Burr, A. Cohen (eds.) - National Security Archive

During the spring and summer of 1969, officials at the Pentagon, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the White House debated and discussed the problem of the emergence of a nuclear Israel. Believing that Israel was moving very close to a nuclear weapons capability or even possession of actual weapons, the Nixon administration debated whether to apply pressure to restrain the Israelis ... Nixon opposed pressure [on Israel] and was willing to tolerate Israeli nuclear weapons as long as they stayed secret ... The view that it would be a danger to US security interests if Israel acquired nuclear weapons was at that time a largely non-partisan matter. Senior Democrats and Republicans within both the Johnson and Nixon administrations held that view ...

The New York Times

... "The Israelis, who are one of the few peoples whose survival is genuinely threatened, are probably more likely than almost any other country to actually use their nuclear weapons," Henry A. Kissinger, the national security adviser, warned Mr. Nixon in a memorandum dated July 19, 1969 ... "This is one program on which the Israelis have persistently deceived us,” Mr. Kissinger said, “and may even have stolen from us.” ... “On the other hand, if we withhold the Phantoms and they make this fact public in the United States, enormous political pressure will be mounted on us,” Mr. Kissinger went on.

RT News (Russia)

Everyone makes mistakes. Freudian slips, misspellings, we forget things ... we're all human. However, when the world’s most powerful army wants to 'help out', but can’t quite remember where, it should be a cause for concern

Breitbart

More people from Africa have entered the United States in the last decade than were forced to come to America during “more than three centuries of the slave trade.” According to the New York Times, “between 2000 and 2010, the number of legal black African immigrants in the United States about doubled, to around one million,” and “more black Africans arrived in this country on their own than were imported directly to North America during the more than three centuries of the slave trade.”

The New York Times

This interactive map shows the racial makeup of each county in the United States, as well as the changes in population between 2000 and 2010.

Masha Gessen - New York Review of Books

... The two-and-a-half decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union are the longest period of depopulation, and also the first to occur, on such a scale, in peacetime, anywhere in the world ... Russia has long had a low birth rate ... After 1989, however, it fell and still has not recovered: despite financial inducements introduced by the Putin government, the Russian fertility rate stands at 1.61, one of the lowest in the world ... Male life expectancy at age fifteen in Russia compares unfavorably to that in Ethiopia, Gambia, and Somalia.

Ömer Faruk Topal - Journal of Turkish Weekly

Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq who ruled with an iron fist for 24 years, is still a matter of debate in the Arab world ... There are a number of reasons for people to yearn for Saddam Hussein. The first reason is his antagonism toward Israel ... His supporters throughout the Arab world have legitimized his rule with the current situation. They claim that under Saddam’s rule, Iraq was a tyranny with security. Then, car explosions, suicide bombers, and looting were strange to Iraqis. Now, Iraq is a tyranny with insecurity. There is no improvement to democracy, rule of law, or liberties. Furthermore, growing insecurity divides the country. Last but not least, Saddam’s stance against the West, especially against the U.S., increases his postmortem popularity.

Paul R. Pillar - The National Interest

... In fact there are conspicuous parallel interests that the United States and Iran share in the region, and they have just gotten more conspicuous and parallel with the surge of alarm about ISIS ... The potential for — and the need for — greater coordination and communication between the United States and Iran should be obvious, and a nuclear agreement would open the door to more such coordination and communication ... Movement toward a more normal U.S.-Iranian relationship would be a step toward making possible the practice of U.S. regional diplomacy without having one hand tied behind our back — tied by ourselves because we have subordinated so much else to the nuclear obsession.

L. Carl Brown (Review) - Foreign Affairs

... [In August 1953] the United States carried out a secret operation to overthrow the Iranian prime minister, Muhammad Mosaddeq, and restore the shah to his throne. Iranians were aware of this "secret" at the time, and its basic facts have been well known since the 1960s. The story, however, is worth retelling: its repercussions are felt to this day. [In this book] Kinzer deftly uses scholarly accounts, memoirs, and official records (including the CIA's once-classified internal history of the coup, written by the late Donald Wilber) to produce a crisp, readable narrative ... By concentrating on those Americans, British, and Iranians who hatched and carried out the plot, All the Shah's Men reads like a morality play or a le Carre spy story.

Paul Gottfried

... In the cultural and social sphere, the US has moved dramatically toward the left, so much so that the left center in my youth would be well to the right of where “conservatives” have placed themselves. ... The starvation blockade that Churchill placed around Germany resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and led to the unrestricted U-Boat sinking carried out by the Germans in the Atlantic, which was intended to divert the blockading British fleet. This misstep handed Wilson’s never really neutral government the excuse to go to war, a step the Anglophile Republican Party had been calling for since 1914.

Ralph Raico

The question of the causes of the outbreak of the First World War — known for many years during and afterwards as the Great War — is probably the most hotly contested in the whole history of historical writing ... [Christopher] Clark [in his book, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914] explains his title: the men who brought Europe to war were “haunted by dreams, yet blind to the reality of the horror they were about to bring into the world.” The origins of the Great War is, as he states, “the most complex event of modern history” ...

David A. Stockman

... Had President Woodrow Wilson not misled the U.S. on a messianic crusade, Europe’s Great War would have ended in mutual exhaustion in 1917. Both sides would have gone home battered and bankrupt — but would not have presented any danger to the rest of mankind. Indeed, absent Wilson’s crusade, there would have been no allied victory, no punitive peace — and no war reparations. Nor would there have been a Leninist coup in Petrograd — or later on, the emergence of Stalin’s barbaric regime. Likewise, there would have been no Hitler, no Nazi dystopia, no Munich ... no final solution and Holocaust, no global war against Germany and Japan ...

E. Callaway – Nature

Scientists looking for the genes underlying intelligence are in for a slog. One of the largest, most rigorous genetic studies of human cognition has turned up inconclusive findings, and experts concede that they will probably need to scour the genomes of more than one million people to confidently identify even a small genetic influence on intelligence and other behavioural traits. Studies of twins have repeatedly confirmed a genetic basis for intelligence, personality and other aspects of behaviour. But efforts to link IQ to specific variations in DNA have led to a slew of irreproducible results.

Robert Fisk - The Independent (Britain)

So a bit more of Palestine has slidden down the plughole. A thousand more acres of Palestinian land stolen by the Israeli government – for “appropriation” is theft, is it not? – and the world has made the usual excuses ... Israel has been getting away with theft, albeit not on quite this scale – it is the biggest land heist in 30 years – ever since it signed up to the Oslo agreement in 1993 ... Israel takes land, Palestinians lose land; that’s the way it works. And thus it has been since 1948, and that is how it will continue ... The latest territorial robbery is merely another small punctuation mark in the book of sorrow which the Palestinians must read as their dreams of statehood wither.

D. Larison - The American Conservative

Dan Drezner draws attention to some of the more remarkable results from a new survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He was surprised by how limited the public’s support for Israel was, and cites the results: 64 percent of Americans say they prefer not to take sides in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. 53 percent of Americans oppose sending U.S. troops to defend Israel if it is attacked by one of its neighbors. More Americans prefer cutting economic and military aid to Israel than increasing it (although the plurality is fine with the status quo).

Mao Yushi - The Washington Post

There’s a mystery in China that’s decades old: how many people died during the Great Famine [1958-1961]? It’s almost impossible to say. Some historians call it the worst man-made disaster in human history, killing one out of every eight people in some places. But much about the time period is actively suppressed in China ... It’s also important to understand because the Great Famine was caused by avoidable human mistakes, not inescapable natural disasters ... Researchers debate the number of people killed, estimating it’s anywhere from 18 million to more than 42 million. The official Chinese government estimate hovers around 20 million ... If this is right, the Great Famine killed about as many people as the Second World War.

Stephen R. Platt - The Wall Street Journal (Review)

... In 1839, China cracked down on the illegal opium trade at Canton (now Guangzhou), which was dominated by private British merchants who smuggled the drug in huge quantities from India. An imperial commissioner confiscated and destroyed British-owned stocks of the drug worth millions of pounds. In response, London sent a fleet of modern warships to hammer the unprepared Chinese into submission and force them, at the war's end in 1842, to pay for the opium and give up Hong Kong, among many other concessions ... Strip away the layers of nationalist myth-making from the Opium War and what remains is a heartbreaking story of a war that China could never have won and that Britain should never have fought.

Scott S. Smith – Investor’s Business Daily

Albert Gallatin was one of the most important Founding Fathers, serving America for 60 years. Today he's barely remembered. He remains the longest-serving Treasury secretary. He held the job more than twice as long as his contemporary, Alexander Hamilton. Like Hamilton, Gallatin was one of the few founders born overseas. Together they laid the financial foundation of the vigorous new nation ... Gallatin (1761-1849) grew up in Geneva, an independent state that would become part of Switzerland ... Upon Jefferson's becoming president in 1801, Gallatin took over the Treasury Department. America's new man in charge of money was vigilant in paying down the national debt ...

Jake Flanagin - The New York Times

Whitewashing the Bible is nothing new. It has been a mainstay of Western culture for centuries — from pallid Byzantine icons to Leonardo da Vinci’s lily-white “Madonna of the Rocks” to Charlton Heston’s roles in “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben-Hur.” These depictions always provoke debate. What did Jesus really look like? What color was Mary’s hair? God doesn’t actually look like Gandalf, does he? Historians, anthropologists and geneticists have all weighed in — and the consensus seems to be that Moses probably looked nothing like Charlton Heston and Jesus little like his Byzantine portraits.

The Huffington Post

America may be exceptional in many ways, but it also tops the charts of a new, troubling ranking. The U.S. has more low-paying jobs than any other country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an economic group of 34 developed countries, according to a research note released by Morgan Stanley on Monday ... The OECD defines "low-paying" as jobs that earn less than two-thirds of a country's median income. On average, around 16 percent of jobs in OECD countries are considered low-paying. In the U.S., over 25 percent of all jobs qualify as such ... The ranking reflects America's problem with income equality.

William O’Connor - Daily Beast

History teaches us that the Vikings were brutal, thieving invaders, but much of that history was written by Viking victims: European monks. New evidence says otherwise. / ... The image we have today of the marauding Vikings is both wildly off the mark, and ignores the major contributions they made in shaping Europe during the Middle Ages. That demystification and deep dive into the world of one of history’s most iconic people is the subject of a new book, The Age of the Vikings, by Anders Winroth. Not only are the Vikings completely misunderstood, he argues, but they may have saved Europe.

Philip Giraldi

... Criminalization of criticism of Israel is also on the agenda in a number of countries ... Of course the new “Stand by Israel” narrative is wrong in nearly every detail: the Israelis have rejected Arab offers for a comprehensive peace agreement; Israel started terrorism in the Middle East when it ethnically cleansed the Palestinians starting in 1948; the Israeli army epitomizes state sponsored terrorism in its brutal and illegal occupation of the West Bank; Israel is a true democracy only for its Jewish citizens; Israel provoked the carnage in Gaza ...

P. A. O'Keefe - The New York Times

... Can interest help us perform our best without feeling fatigued? My research with the psychologist Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia of Michigan State University, which we published recently in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, suggests that it can ... Those who read the first statement, and who also thought the task would be enjoyable, solved the most problems. Moreover, their work didn't flag, meaning they did not perform best simply because their interest made them want to work on it longer, thereby causing them to solve more problems. Instead, their engagement was more efficient. In other words, they were "in the zone."

Robert Parry - Consortium News

Official Washington’s ever-influential neoconservatives and their “liberal interventionist” allies see President Barack Obama’s decision to extend U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists into Syria as a new chance to achieve the long-treasured neocon goal of “regime change” in Damascus ... That would get the neocons back on their original track of forcing “regime change” in countries seen as hostile to Israel. The first target was Iraq, with Syria and Iran to follow.

NPR

... The attitude of the West and of Russia towards a crisis like Ukraine is diametrically different. The West is trying to establish the legality of an established border. For Russia, Ukraine is part of the Russian patrimony. A Russian state was created around Kiev about 1,200 years ago. Ukraine itself has been part of Russia for 500 years, and I would say most Russians consider it of Russian patrimony. The ideal solution would be to have a Ukraine like Finland or Austria that can be a bridge between these two rather than an outpost.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Though women are more likely to be the victims of rape in the military, male-on-male rape is still a serious problem sweeping the U.S. armed forces. In a recent GQ article, more than a dozen veterans and current service men came forward to tell of their sexual assault, and how the military institution failed time and time again to bring their predators to justice or get them the psychiatric help they needed. When a man enters the military he is ten times likelier to be sexually abused, and in 2012 alone there were an estimated 14,200 reports of male rape.

Eric Margolis

... While the White House may be hoping that the wily Vladimir Putin will again rescue it from its own folly, as he did over Obama’s threats to attack Syria in 2013, it seems likely that the US will be quickly drawn ever deeper into the mess in the Levant and Mesopotamia ... As for NATO, many Europeans wonder why the North Atlantic Treaty Organization still exists, given that it was created at counter the very real threat in the early Cold War years of a Soviet invasion of western Europe. NATO, says top American strategist Zbig Brzezinski, is the key to American domination of Europe. Washington pays 75% of NATO’s bills. NATO has allowed Europe to skimp on military spending. No wonder Europe is reluctant to get into new Mideast war.

Jacob G. Hornberger

... Once you realize that chaos, crises, conflicts, tensions, and wars are an inherent part of imperial life, you don’t tend to get so upset over the latest crisis. You instead say to yourself: Well, here we go again — another official enemy who is the gravest threat to “national security” in the history of the national-security state apparatus that was grafted onto our governmental system after World War II. Think about all the official enemies that have scared the dickens out of the American people since the advent of the national-security state.

Giles Worsley - The Telegraph (Britain)

... What could be more in the spirit of Art Deco than Albert Speer's dramatic use of searchlights to create columns of light for grandly choreographed Nazi spectacles? The zig-zag lines of the SS collar flash are self-evidently Art Deco, as indeed is the SS uniform as a whole, with its flashy glamour, its modern take on traditional imagery. The Nazis were brilliant in their ability to unite past and future in what was presented as a compelling vision of modernity, and to sell those ideas through the latest techniques of film, advertising and image-making. That was the essence of Art Deco.

Washington’s Blog

Terrorism Is a Real Threat … But the Threat to the U.S. from Muslim Terrorists Has Been Exaggerated / An FBI report shows that only a small percentage of terrorist attacks carried out on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 were perpetrated by Muslims. Princeton University’s Loon Watch compiled the following chart from the FBI’s data: ... According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%). These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion. These were not terrorists who happened to be Jews; rather, they were extremist Jews who committed acts of terrorism based on their religious passions, just like Al-Qaeda and company.

The Times of Israel

Ten organizations have announced a coordinated effort to convince Congress to reform the Higher Education Act to prevent federal funding of anti-American and anti-Israel activity. Congress currently is considering the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, or HEA, which includes the allocation of federal funds to 129 international studies and foreign language centers at universities nationwide. Most of the ten organizations working on the reform effort are Jewish.

Bruce Ackerman – The New York Times

President Obama’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris ... But for now the president seems grimly determined to practice what Mr. Bush’s lawyers only preached. He is acting on the proposition that the president, in his capacity as commander in chief, has unilateral authority to declare war. In taking this step, Mr. Obama is not only betraying the electoral majorities who twice voted him into office on his promise to end Bush-era abuses of executive authority. He is also betraying the Constitution he swore to uphold.

Robert Parry

... The action of arming and training rebels and unleashing them against a sovereign state like Syria is an act of aggression (if not terrorism depending on what they do), similar to what U.S. officials have piously condemned the Russians of doing in Ukraine. But this hypocrisy is never acknowledged either by U.S. policymakers or the mainstream U.S. press ... At the center of the neocons’ strategy at least since the mid-1990s has been the idea that “regime change” in Middle East governments hostile to Israel would eventually starve Israel’s close-in enemies, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of support and free Israel’s hand to do what it wanted with the Palestinians.

Mike Masnick - TechDirt

Almost exactly a year ago, one of the many Snowden revelations came out, this time concerning the fact that the NSA was giving raw domestic communications data to Israeli military intelligence. This was somewhat shocking, because it basically was allowing Israeli intelligence to sift through communications data (both metadata and actual communications), including on Americans, without any restrictions.

Press Association (Britain)

Richard III died in the thick of battle after losing his helmet and coming under a hail of blows from vicious medieval weapons, new research has shown. Detailed scans of the king's bones show that he sustained eleven wounds at or near the time of his death, nine of them to the skull. The blows to the head were clearly inflicted in battle and suggest that he was not wearing his helmet ... Richard III, the last English monarch to die fighting, perished at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 ... Evidence suggests he was not the hunchbacked, deformed monstrosity depicted by William Shakespeare.

The Economist (Britain)

“Do not talk to me of gold…[it] brings more dissension, misfortune and unexpected plagues in its trails than benefits.” So said Paul Kruger, president of the small Boer republic of the Transvaal in 1885 when he was told that gold had been found on the country’s eastern border. Kruger went on: “Every ounce … taken from the bowels of our soil will yet have to be weighed up with rivers of tears.” His prescience was remarkable. Within scarcely a decade his country’s independence had been snuffed out by Britain, which lusted to control the world’s richest gold mines ... Africa’s profusion of natural wealth — whether gold, ivory or the very bodies of its inhabitants — served not to enrich its peoples but to impoverish and enslave them.

M. Redden – Mother Jones

In an unprecedented move, Attorney General Eric Holder has intervened in a defamation lawsuit, seeking to have the case thrown out on the grounds that it will reveal state secrets -- without publicly explaining how it would do so. On Wednesday, a lawyer for the plaintiff in the case, a Greek business mogul accused of doing business with Iran, fired back at Holder in a letter to the court that essentially says: Prove it. Dismissal of the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in 2013, would be highly unusual. Neither party in the suit is connected to the government, and the Justice Department insists on keeping its interest in this case a mystery.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

For six decades my friends and I have warned our people: if we don’t make peace with the nationalist Arab forces, we shall be faced with Islamic Arab forces. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will turn into a Jewish-Muslim conflict. The national war will become a religious war. National conflicts are basically rational. They concern territory. They can usually be solved by compromise. Religious conflicts are irrational. Each side believes in an absolute truth, and automatically considers everybody else as infidels, enemies of the only true God. There can be no compromise between True Believers, who believe that they are fighting for God and get their orders straight from Heaven.

Ted Galen Carpenter - The National Interest

... There is ample reason to wonder whether Congress and the American people are being stampeded into supporting a new war in the Middle East without considering the possible adverse consequences. Citing the admittedly odious behavior of ISIS is not sufficient reason to launch another military crusade ... But the principal reason to avoid rushing into another Middle East war is the dismal record of our previous interventions. Each time the United States has meddled in that turbulent region, it seems to have made the situation a bit worse (and sometimes a lot worse) than it was before.

Robert Faurisson

… The thirty-year-old French-Israeli Gregory Chelli, member of the Jewish Defence League, works, notably by means of the Internet, at making the life of men and women whom he considers anti-Semitic miserable … In our turn, we – my wife and I, along with some members of our family – have had to endure his provocations. I am 85 and my wife, who is nearly 83, is in poor health … From March 8, 2012 if not before, and for as long as he was able to phone us at our old number, this Chelli assailed us with a hundred calls of insults, abuse, threats (including death threats) and – I stress this point – on some of those occasions committed numerous actual assaults …

Revisionists.com

For more than 20 years, Robert Faurisson has been Europe's foremost Holocaust revisionist scholar … After years of private research and study, Dr. Faurisson first made public his skeptical views about the Holocaust extermination story in two items published in December 1978 and January 1979 in the influential Paris daily Le Monde … On September 25, 1997, Faurisson came to trial for a statement made in April 1996 about the Garaudy-Abbé Pierre affair in which he mentioned "the imposture of the Nazi gas chambers." … For his views Faurisson has repeatedly been a victim of physical assault.

Finian Cunningham

Forget about alleged Russian aggression and land grabbing in Ukraine – the real problem for the United States is Vladimir Putin. To be more precise, the real problem is a strong, independent Russia under the leadership of President Putin, a Russia that stands up for its national rights, respect for international norms, and which is not prepared to simply roll over to placate American hegemonic selfish interests ... A revived NATO means a revived US presence in Europe, which is essential for American global hegemony ... This is the context for why Washington is corralling NATO with the “crisis in Ukraine.”

Spencer Ackerman -The Guardian (Britain)

Barack Obama's announcement last night [Sept. 10] about the war against the Islamic State (Isis) – which he prefers to call Isil – was filled with euphemisms, questionable statements, caveats, omissions and even the occasional truth. Here's an annotated version of the speech to serve as a guide to the fine print.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... People like Barack Obama and John Kerry, and their equivalents all over Europe, are quite unable to understand what it is all about [in the Middle East] ... They really seem to believe that they can vanquish a revolutionary new idea by forming a coalition with Arab dictators and corrupt politicians, bombing the rebels and finishing the job by employing local mercenaries. That is a ludicrous misreading of the new reality ... What is the answer? Frankly, I don't know. But the first step for Westerners, as well as for Israelis, is to discard their arrogance and try to understand the new phenomenon they are facing. They are not facing "terrorists" - the magic word that seems to solve all problems without the need to strain the brain.

Business Insider

A new poll surveying young Americans' political attitudes released by Harvard University's Institute of Politics Tuesday found millennials have less trust in government than ever before. Harvard's poll showed millennials, which the pollsters defined as peopled aged 18 to 29, have lost trust in a variety of different major public institutions including the President, the military, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the federal government as a whole ... Overall, the pollsters said the level of trust millennials have in "most American institutions tested in our survey" had dropped below even "last year’s historically low numbers."

Reuters

Outgoing President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday blamed the United States for Afghanistan's long war in a final swipe at the country that helped bring him to power 13 years ago but towards which he has become increasingly bitter ... Karzai blamed both the United States and neighboring Pakistan for the continuing war with the Taliban-led insurgency, and warned the new government to be "extra cautious in relations with the U.S. and the West.” The conflict kills thousands of Afghans each year ... “One of the reasons was that the Americans did not want peace because they had their own agenda and objectives," Karzai said. He did not elaborate, but in the past has suggested continued violence has been an excuse for the United States to keep bases in the country.

Daily Caller (Washington, DC)

The man who was the top Marine general from 2006 until his retirement in 2010 says President Barack Obama’s strategy to defeat the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is doomed to fail. “I don’t think the president’s plan has a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding,” retired Marine General James Conway, who served as the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps during the end of the Bush administration and the beginning of the Obama administration, said at the Maverick PAC Conference in Washington, D.C. Friday, according to a source in attendance.

Philip Gourevitch - The New Yorker

Every American President in the past quarter century has now gone on television during prime time to tell the nation and the world that he has decided to bomb Iraq. Last night [Sept. 10] was Barack Obama’s turn, and it was a vexing performance. This is a President who has been stubbornly dedicated to extricating the United States as much as possible from its post-9/11 wars ... [but who is now] effectively declaring a new war of staggering scope and complexity ... Obama said flat out that ISIS poses no immediate threat to our national security. But then he sowed confusion, saying that he would not hesitate to order strikes against ISIS in Syria, as well as Iraq ...

Robert Fisk - The Independent (Britain)

Resurrection, reinvention and linguistics. Barack Obama did the lot. And now he’s taking America to war in Syria as well as Iraq. Oh yes, and he’s going to defeat Isis, its “barbarism”, “genocide”, its “warped ideology” – until the bad guys are “vanquished from the earth” ... One can see, of course, how difficult these lessons in Middle East history must be for the average American. All these forces of evil being vanquished over and over again, and then – bingo – there’s another force of evil to vanquish ... It’s the same old US policy: confronting the greatest crisis in the Middle East since the last greatest crisis in the Middle East.

Paul Lewis - The Guardian (Britain)

... Obama, the president who twelve months ago pulled the US back from the cusp of a war – and who just three months ago was promising the US would not get “dragged back” into a military conflict in Iraq – now appears to be preparing the country for a long-haul campaign. “[It] will take time to eradicate a cancer like Isil,” he said on Wednesday [Sept. 10] ... This time, Obama’s position has shifted. Even though there is no direct or imminent threat to US national security posed by Isis, the White House does not believe congressional approval is a prerequisite for strikes.

The Associated Press

President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law legislation authorizing the U.S. military to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State militants in the Middle East. Obama acted a day after a Senate vote capped congressional action on the request, which passed by wide margins despite reservation about whether his strategy will do enough to stop the surging terrorist group, which has seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria. Congress will revisit the issue after the midterm elections.

Ron Paul

... Although the Syrian government has also been fighting ISIS and related extremist groups for three years, the US refuses to speak to the Syrians and has warned Assad not to interfere with the coming US attack on sovereign Syrian territory. ... There are 200 million people bordering the countries where ISIS is currently operating. They are the ones facing the threat of ISIS activity and expansion. Let them fight their own war, rather than turning the US military into the mercenary army of wealthy Gulf states. Remember, they come over here because we are over there. So let’s not be over there any longer.

i24news (Israel)

US Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill upgrading the ties with Israel and designating the long-time ally as a "major strategic partner." The full title of the bill, which passed a House of Representatives vote in May with a 410 to 1 majority, is the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. The new law will upgrade Israel's status, granting it a series of economic and security benefits, boosting cooperation in energy, water, science, homeland security and agriculture. Militarily, Israel stands to gain advanced combat aircraft and military tanker transports, as well as priority in receiving American weapons surpluses. The bill also provides for assistance for the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

An omnibus bill full of measures to improve the relationship between Israel and the United States has passed the US Senate, after being delayed since May. The bill declares Israel a “major strategic partner” of the US; enhances Israel’s trade status to expedite export licensing; increases cooperation on energy, water engineering, research and development; and expands authority for forward-deployed US weapons stockpiles in the Jewish state.

The Associated Press

The number of American men and women with big-bellied, apple-shaped figures - the most dangerous kind of obesity - has climbed at a startling rate over the past decade, according to a government study. People whose fat has settled mostly around their waistlines instead of in their hips, thighs, buttocks or all over are known to run a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related ailments. Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults have abdominal obesity, up from 46 percent in 1999-2000, researchers reported in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

Newsmax

The Episcopal chaplain at Yale University has resigned just over a week after he wrote a controversial letter to The New York Times ascribing blame for rising anti-Semitism in Europe to Israel, says an announcement from the Episcopal Church at Yale. The Sept. 4 statement says that the Rev. Bruce M. Shipman "on his own initiative" has resigned as priest-in-charge of the Episcopal Church at Yale and that the Right Rev. Ian T. Douglas, president of the Board of Governors, and the Right Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, bishop, have accepted the resignation "with sadness."

F. Mazelis - WSWS

After a two-week campaign, the Yale University Episcopal chaplain was forced to resign over a letter to the New York Times in which he explained that actions such as the recent Israeli war on Gaza were breeding anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. The Rev. Bruce Shipman, in a three-sentence letter that was published in the Times on August 26, responded to an Op-Ed article by scholar Deborah Lipstadt discussing European anti-Semitism.

Fox News

A college professor who lost his job over anti-Semitic tweets is angry about losing the gig, but not sorry about his Twitter missives. Steven Salaita, who was set to begin teaching at the University of Illinois this fall, says he was simply speaking his mind when he tweeted out messages during Israel’s military conflict in Gaza earlier this year. But the school deemed the tweets offensive and pulled its offer of a tenured position in its American Indian studies program.

European Jewish Press

Jewish leaders from several dozen countries have urged Germany to ban Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf’ and to step up the fight against anti-Semitism. In resolutions discussed at a meeting of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) Governing Board in Berlin, the delegates urged “authorities, publishers and book sellers in Germany to take appropriate steps to prevent the re-publication and sale of ‘Mein Kampf’ in book stores, including as an annotated edition, in the light of Germany’s special responsibility towards the victims of the Nazi crimes and in order to send a strong signal that books inciting to hatred against Jews cannot be sold legally in Germany.”

JTA

An archaeological dig at Sobibor has uncovered the Nazi death camp’s gas chambers. The excavations in Poland have been going on since 2007, and thousands of inmates’ personal items have been found at the site. They include rings, pendants, earrings, jewelry, perfume bottles, medicine cases and food utensils, Yad Vashem said Wednesday ... David Silberklang, senior historian at the International Institute for Holocaust Research and editor in chief of Yad Vashem Studies, called the discovery of the gas chambers “a very important finding in Holocaust research.”

Andrew J. Bacevich

... Destroying what Obama calls the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant won’t create an effective and legitimate Iraqi state ... It won’t dissuade Saudi Arabia from funding jihadists ... It won’t end the Syrian civil war ... It certainly won’t resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All the military power in the world won’t solve those problems. Obama knows that. Yet he is allowing himself to be drawn back into the very war that he once correctly denounced as stupid and unnecessary — mostly because he and his advisers don’t know what else to do. Bombing has become his administration’s default option. Rudderless and without a compass, the American ship of state continues to drift, guns blazing.

Ivan Eland

... It is almost impossible to win against guerrillas by only attacking from the air. Some damage can be done to armored vehicles, fixed targets such as supply depots, etc. if the guerrillas have any (IS [ISIS] does) ... The best option is for the US government to do nothing. IS is a threat to Iraq, Syria, and neighboring countries, but not a direct threat to the United States ... Regional countries should be able to handle a regional threat ... In sum, boots on the ground are needed to effectively fight IS. However, inserting US military personnel for fighting or training locals likely would be counterproductive and would paint a big, red bulls-eye on the United States.

BBC News

Fighting anti-Semitism is every German's duty, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told a rally in Berlin ... The rally at the Brandenburg Gate - under the banner "Stand Up: Jew Hatred - Never Again!" - coincided with a World Jewish Congress (WJC) meeting in the capital. On stage, Chancellor Merkel began her speech saying the 100,000 Jews living in Germany were a "national treasure". "Jewish friends, neighbours and colleagues, consider yourselves at home here," she told the crowd, put at up to 5,000 people.

The New York Times

Thousands of Germans, many wrapped in Israeli flags, gathered at Berlin’s historic Brandenburg Gate on Sunday for a rally against anti-Semitism, which has flared up in Europe following Israel’s invasion of Gaza. The Central Council of Jews in Germany organized the rally in response to the anti-Semitism seen in cities like Berlin, as well as Paris and London ... Jews from across the country traveled to the capital by the busload to take part in the demonstration that many viewed as an important chance to show their solidarity with Israel, as well as publicly acknowledge their religion.

Newsmax

A Washington, D.C., schoolteacher will apologize after assigning students homework that prompted them to compare Adolf Hitler and former President George W. Bush using a Venn diagram ... Images of the assignment ... show that the McKinley Middle School teacher intended to form a deep connection in the students' minds between the two figures. "Now that we have read about two men of power who abused their power in various ways, we will compare and contrast them and their actions. Please refer to your texts, "Fighting Hitler — A Holocaust Story" and "Bush: Iraq War Justified Despite No WMD" ... We will use this in class tomorrow for an activity!" read the homework assignment.

Allan C. Brownfeld

... When the term "anti-Semitism" is casually used to silence those who are critical of the government of Israel and its policies, it should be noted that Zionism's history of alliance with real anti-Semitism has been long-standing, and this has been so precisely because Zionism and anti-Semitism share a view of Jews which the vast majority of Jews in the United States and elsewhere in the world have always rejected. This rarely discussed chapter of history deserves study, for it illuminates many truths relevant to the continuing debate, both with regard to Middle East policy and the real nature of Jews and Judaism.

Mark Weber – Podcast

In spite of a basic hostility between Third Reich Germany and international Jewry, German National Socialists and Jewish Zionists shared similar views about ethnicity and nationhood, and worked together in the years 1933 through 1940-41 for what each group believed was in its own best national interest. The Hitler government vigorously promoted Zionism and Jewish emigration to Palestine. In collaborating with the Zionists for a mutually desirable and humane solution to a complex problem, Third Reich Germany was willing to make foreign exchange sacrifices, impair relations with Britain, and anger Arabs.

Patrick J. Buchanan

No matter how the vote turns out on Thursday in Scotland, either for independence or continued union with Britain, the disintegration of the Old Continent appears almost inevitable ... The decomposition of the nations of Old Europe is the triumph of tribalism over transnationalism ... The call of blood, history, faith, culture and memory is winning the struggle against Economism, the Western materialist ideology that holds that the desire for money and things is what ultimately motivates mankind.

Eric Margolis

... Every so often, the Scots like to rise up and give the Sassenachs [English] a big scare. Next week, they are threatening to break their union with England and Wales which has been in effect since 1707. The United Kingdom may be no more ... Ordinary Scotts bear a deep, historic grudge against London’s ruling class which, like its colleagues in Washington, has lost all touch with the common man and local issues. Proud Scots are sick of being lorded over, or plain ignored, by Britain’s distant elite, which they see as insufferably arrogant and incompetent.

Peter St. Onge

... One core debate is whether Scotland is too small and too insignificant to go it alone ... According to numbers from the World Bank Development Indicators, among the 45 sovereign countries in Europe, small countries are nearly twice as wealthy as large countries ... Why would this be? There are two reasons. First, smaller countries are often more responsive to their people ... As an economist, what we can say is that Scotland’s big enough to “survive” on its own, and indeed is very likely to become richer out of the secession. Nearer to the small-is-rich Ireland than the big-but-poor Britain left behind.

Johns Hopkins University – ScienceDaily

A significant gap has been found in demographics, experience and partisanship between Washington insiders and the Americans they govern ... Surveying 850 people who either work in the federal government or directly with it, researchers found that the inside-the-Beltway crowd has very little in common with America at large. Washington insiders are more likely to be white. They are more educated. Their salaries are higher, they vote more often and they have more faith in the fairness of elections. They are probably Democrat and liberal.

S. Evans - BBC News

... The dispute is, of course, not over just any old church but one of the most significant in German history. The Garrison Church, or Garnisonkirche, was the parish and regimental church of the Prussian royal family. Bach played the organ there and the kings of Prussia, including Frederick the Great, were buried there. But this is not why it is controversial. It is also the church in which Hitler was legitimised in the eyes of Germany's upper class ... The church was partially destroyed by the Royal Air Force in 1945 and then obliterated in 1968 by the official dynamiters of communist East Germany. But now the money's being raised for a full reconstruction. A foundation stone has already been laid.

The Associated Press

A 93-year-old man has been charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an SS guard at the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp, prosecutors said Monday. Oskar Groening is accused of helping operate the death camp in occupied Poland between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 almost immediately gassed to death ... Groening himself has openly talked about his time as a guard and said while he witnessed horrific atrocities, he didn't commit any crimes himself.

The Guardian (Britain)

Protesters who are boycotting Israeli goods over Gaza need to be reminded that the Nazi campaign against Jewish goods ended with a campaign against Jewish lives, senior Tory Michael Gove has said. Warning of a "resurgent, mutating, lethal virus of antisemitism", the Conservative chief whip also claimed those who compare Israel’s actions to Nazi war crimes are engaging in a form of Holocaust denial. Gove made his intervention in a speech at the Holocaust Education Trust on Tuesday night, in response to findings that there had been a fivefold increase in antisemitic incidents in the wake of Israel's latest conflict with Hamas.

EJP

The extreme-right and anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats became Sunday the country's third largest political party after making strong gains at parliamentary elections Sunday ... Despite the gains, the Sweden Democrats are unlikely to attain their main goal of sharply reducing immigration because all the other parties are in favor of a liberal asylum policy. This year, Sweden expects up to 80,000 asylum-seekers from Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries — the highest number since 1992. The rise of the Sweden Democrats has unnerved many Swedes, who regard the party as racist ...

JTA

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) walked out of a conference on Middle East Christians after he was booed for saying Christians “have no greater ally than Israel.” Prior to Cruz’s speech on Wednesday, the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news website, reported that the “In Defense of Christians” conference was organized by Christian Lebanese with ties to Hezbollah, the militia that has fought several wars with Israel. The Daily Caller reported that Cruz was booed when he said “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.” After the booing continued, despite appeals from an organizer, Cruz decided to leave. “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you,” he said.

Newsmax

A billboard that displayed an Adolf Hitler quote has been taken down in Alabama after the message raised eyebrows and sparked a firestorm of complaints on social media. The signage, posted Friday by Life Savers Ministries in Auburn, features a picture of children with the quote, "He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future." The line is from one of the Hitler's 1930 speeches and has historically been tied to Nazi youth groups, according to the Columbus [Georgia] Ledger-Enquirer. On the billboard, it was coupled with a Bible verse from Proverbs ... and was reportedly meant to serve as an ad for the ministry's Big Brothers/Big Sisters-esque program.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... From 1945 to 1989, no president would have dreamed of issuing a blank check for war in Eastern Europe ... None believed there was any vital U.S. interest in Eastern Europe worth a war with Russia. And, truth be told, there was no vital interest there then, and there is no vital interest there now. If we would not risk war with a nuclear-armed Russia over Hungary or Czechoslovakia half a century ago, why would we risk it now over Estonia? ... In 1994, George Kennan called the expansion of NATO into the old Soviet bloc “a strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.” Yet we not only brought into NATO all the Warsaw Pact nations, George W. Bush brought in the Baltic republics.

RT News (Russia) - Video

Willy Wimmer, former State Secretary of Germany’s Minister of Defence, comments on the fighting in Ukraine, and the likely response in his country and Europe. The German people, he says, are “fed up with Nato lies and they are fed up with wars organized by the United States.” This sentiment is shared by people across the continent, he adds. Runtime: 5:16 mins.

Philip Giraldi

... I know of no former or current intelligence official who believes that the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe was a good idea, that toppling Bashar al-Assad would bring anything but chaos, or that bombing ISIS will actually accomplish anything. Given the current national security environment, I think I can state with some certainty that a solid majority of lower and mid-level employees would regard the administration responses to the ongoing series of crises, including both Ukraine and ISIS, as poorly conceived and executed.

Anders Aslund - Peterson Institute (Washington, DC)

Adopting the mantle of Great Russian nationalism, President Vladimir Putin’s speech in the Kremlin on March 18 offered a sharp break from his or any other modern Russian public statements ... Twelve similarities stand out between the Putin speech on March 18 and Nazi Germany’s public advocacy in 1938–39. One: Putin’s fundamental point is that nationality is defined by language and ethnicity and not by statehood or passport ... Two: Putin’s argument that Crimea and Sevastopol are historically important to Russia, giving Russia a special right to them, was stated this way ... Four: In particular, borders were drawn wrongly ... Ten. Putin invoked the controversial principle of self-determination ...

Neil Irwin - The New York Times

... It’s a lot easier to give up that autonomy when you are giving it to people who look like you and talk like you ... If Scotland chooses to go independent, it will shed the advantages that come from being part of a relatively large global power (Britain’s population: about 64 million. Scotland’s population: about 5 million) for the chance to be governed by people with whom they share a deeper cultural affinity ... The Scottish referendum isn’t just about whether a few million Scots will govern themselves. It is a fight over the world of multicultural modernity that makes today’s global economy possible, but also leaves many people with a deep hunger for the sense of national identity it obliterates.

Brian Fink – The Times of Israel

... Historically Jews have not been oppressed in Scotland but there is palpably much animosity to them north of the border. This is sometimes disguised as anti-Zionism but often without even this fig-leaf ... Should the Scots vote for independence and the restraining hand of Westminster be removed, one wonders how long it might be before motions to ban schechita (kosher animal slaughter) and brit milah are debated in the Scottish Parliament ... Would Scottish Jews be required to swear an oath of non-allegiance to Israel? ... Scottish Jews, I’m sure are worried, very worried. As always, and as reaction to this summer’s events in Gaza has thrown into sharp relief, prudent Diaspora Jews need to keep a bag packed at all times.

Chip Smith – Inconvenient History

Republican Party Animal is a layered chronicle of David Cole’s short but storied public career as a “Jewish Holocaust denier” and of his equally unlikely “second life” as David Stein, when he would come to play an influential role as an event organizer and Op-Ed dynamo among the guarded ranks of Hollywood conservatives before having his heretical past exposed by a vindictive ex-girlfriend ... Cole’s telling is breezy, surefooted, and entertaining throughout; he gives the impression of a natural raconteur, punctuating his episodic memoir with revealing anecdotes, ironic observations, and self-effacing humor ...

The New York Times

Before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Emperor Hirohito criticized plans to go to war with the United States as “self-destructive” and opposed an alliance with Nazi Germany, though he did little to stop the war that Japan waged in his name, according to the long-awaited official history of his reign released on Tuesday. The 12,000-page history of Hirohito, who served as emperor from 1926 to 1989, including during World War II, also shows him exalting over the victories of his armies in China. However, despite its length and some new details, the report contains little that will surprise historians or challenge the established view that Hirohito had little say in Japan’s decision to go to war ...

Eric Margolis

Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 71 years ago this month was a “day that will live in infamy” according to US President Franklin Roosevelt. Seven decades later, it increasingly appears that the president’s surprise and outrage may have been synthetic. Roosevelt had been maneuvering for more than a year to bring the United States into World War II ... Historians will long battle over whether Roosevelt lured Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor ... At minimum, the embargo of strategic material to Japan was a huge provocation. Japan foolishly took the bait and paid a terrible price.

John V. Denson

A book entitled The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable, by George Victor and published by Potomac Books Inc. of Washington, D.C. is well researched and gives a very clear picture of how and why the Pearl Harbor myth was created … Based on a good summary of the up-to-date research the author, who is an approving admirer of Roosevelt, concludes that Roosevelt deliberately provoked the attack and that he and his key military and administrative advisers clearly knew, well in advance, that the Japanese were going to attack both Pearl Harbor and the Philippines.

Justin King

George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half a century old, show the depth of understanding an enlightened mind can have about the future.

Bloomberg

Germany has decided its gold is safe in American hands. Surging mistrust of the euro during Europe’s debt crisis fed a campaign to bring Germany’s entire $141 billion gold reserve home from New York and London. Now, after politics shifted in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, the government has concluded that stashing half its bullion abroad is prudent after all ... Ending talk of repatriating the world’s second-biggest gold reserves removes a potential irritant in U.S.-German relations. It’s also a rebuff to critics including the anti-euro Alternative for Germany party, which says all the gold should return to Frankfurt so it can’t be impounded to blackmail Germany into keeping the currency union together.

BBC News

Archaeologists have unveiled the most detailed map ever produced of the earth beneath Stonehenge and its surrounds. They combined different instruments to scan the area to a depth of three metres, with unprecedented resolution. Early results suggest that the iconic monument did not stand alone, but was accompanied by 17 neighbouring shrines. Future, detailed analysis of this vast collection of data will produce a brand new account of how Stonehenge's landscape evolved over time. Among the surprises yielded by the research are traces of up to 60 huge stones or pillars which formed part of the 1.5 km-wide "super henge" previously identified at nearby Durrington Walls.

JTA

Lawmakers in Greece passed a law that bans Holocaust denial and imposes stricter penalties for hate speech. The government had been trying to enact the bill for more than a year in an effort to confront the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party and a surge in anti-immigrant violence. Passed late Tuesday with 55 of the 99 lawmakers present in the 300-member Parliament voting in favor, the measure criminalizes the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust or other recognized genocides. It also increases jail time for instigating racist violence from two years to three years and imposes fines on individuals and groups.

Mick Hume – Spiked

... Holocaust denial is currently a crime in almost 20 countries, most of which are EU members, led by France and Germany ... Self-serving European politicians plucked it out of its past setting and turned it into a rare ahistorical moral absolute, a universal symbol of evil to be exploited for political purposes today ... Whether some like it or not, treating Holocaust denial as a crime is a straightforward free-speech issue ... In recent decades, the authorities across Europe and America have sought to erect a ring-fence around the question of the Holocaust, treating it as a religious relic that cannot be touched, re-examined or in any way disrespected without calling down wrath from above.

Mark Weber – Podcast

A close, critical look at the campaign against “Holocaust denial,” including the bizarre laws in some countries that punish dissidents as “thought criminals.” The IHR director reviews the outrageous treatment of Ernst Zundel, Germar Rudolf, and many others who have been imprisoned, fined and forced into exile for non-conformist views on this politicized chapter of history. This well-organized global campaign, explains Weber, underscores a well-entrenched Jewish-Zionist bias in the cultural life of modern Western society, and points up the power behind that bias.

The Associated Press

... While they’re still optimistic about their own personal prospects, a new study finds that today’s youth are often more skeptical of the country’s institutions than the young generations that preceded them. The Millennials also are as mistrusting of other people as the gloomy “slackers” of Generation X were 20 years ago – or even more so ... “Young people today feel disconnected and alienated," says Twenge, a psychologist and professor at San Diego State University, who wrote a book on Millennials called "Generation Me” ... While Americans of all ages had growing trust issues in recent years, the researchers found that young people's trust dropped more steeply in several categories.

Patrick J. Buchanan

The strategy that President Obama laid out Wednesday night to "degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL," is incoherent, inconsistent and, ultimately, non-credible ... Now Obama wants to lead the West and the Arab world straight into Syria's civil war. Only this time we bomb ISIL, not Assad ... If Assad falls, do the Alawites and Christians survive? Does Syria disintegrate? Who will rule in Damascus? ... Among all the nations involved here, the least threatened is the United States. Our intelligence agencies, Obama, says, have discovered no evidence of any planned or imminent attack from ISIL. As the threat is not primarily ours, the urgency to go to war is not ours.

Ralph Raico

... There were a number of anti-Nazi films during and even before U.S. entry into the war. But the attitude of the motion picture community to Communism and the Soviet Union was quite different. The Boy from Stalingrad (1943), Song of Russia (1944), and other productions informed Americans of the happy life led by the citizens of the Marxist utopia, and of their death-defying resistance to the German invaders ... The Longest Day [1962] gives the impression to the easily impressionable and historically clueless (the vast majority) that the Second World War was won on the western front, principally by the United States and Britain.

JTA

Brigitte Bardot published an open letter in several leading French newspapers calling for a ban on shechitah, or Jewish ritual slaughter. The one-time French actress terms the practice “ritual sacrifice” in the letter that appeared Monday in newspapers such as Le Parisien, Le Figaro and Le Monde. The letter also calls for a ban on halal Muslim ritual slaughter as well as on horse meat. Jewish and Muslim religious laws require that animals be conscious when their necks are cut — a practice deemed cruel by some animal welfare activists. The letter drew condemnation from the European Jewish Congress.

JTA

The publishers of a book containing Adolf Hitler speeches were cleared of hate-crime charges in the Czech Republic, spurring concerns from the country’s Jewish community. The Brno municipal court ruled Wednesday that it found no evidence that the 2012 book put out by a Brno-based publishing house, Guidemedia, promoted Nazi ideology. The court said the publication of historical documents cannot be considered a criminal act. Under Czech law, propagating Nazism is a crime that carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. The book features 18 speeches delivered by Hitler between 1939 and 1942.

The Guardian (Britain)

Polls out in the past few days in France have shown far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen topping a presidential poll for the first time. This matters as supporters of main parties may no longer be doubling up to push out Front National. Meanwhile, President Hollande’s popularity has hit an unprecedented low. An Ifop poll released by Le Figaro on Friday placed far-right Front National (FN) leader Marine Le Pen ahead of President François Hollande in a hypothetical second round runoff.

The Telegraph (Britain)

Far-right extremists led hundreds of protesters in an anti-migrant demonstration in Calais on Sunday night which saw riot police step in to end a tense confrontation. The stand-off between the protesters and a group of about 50 left-wing activists highlighted rising tensions in Calais over the presence of up to 1,500 migrants, mainly from Eritrea and other impoverished African countries, who are trying to reach Britain illegally ... The anti-migrant group was led by an activist holding a blue flare and wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Charlemagne 1944” a reference to an SS division that was composed of French volunteers. Those around him sang La Marseillaise and chanted "bleu, blanc, rouge" (blue, white, red), the colours of the French flag.

Philip Giraldi

Recently declassified documents reveal that consideration of how and when the White House can or should pressure Israel over policies damaging to the United States has been a contentious issue for quite some time. The 107 pages of formerly top secret memos, dating from 1968-9, relate to deliberations over what to do about the Israeli nuclear weapons programme. Prior to that time, the US position had been clear, supporting the principle that nuclear weapons should not be introduced into the Middle East.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... U.S. policy should be designed to do the maximum damage to ISIS and the least damage to us. Which means we ought not plunge back into Iraq or drop the 82nd Airborne into Syria. That is what ISIS seeks, to be seen by the Islamic world engaging American soldiers on Islamic lands ... The United States has to ask itself whom do we prefer in Damascus: Bashar al Assad or ISIS? For in the near term, these are the only realistic options. Second, if ISIS is the main enemy, the principal enemy, the enemy with whom reconciliation is impossible, are we prepared to work not only with Assad, but his allies — Iran, Hezbollah, the PKK, and Vladimir Putin's Russia, for the defeat of ISIS?

Seumas Milne - The Guardian (Britain)

... It was precisely the threat that Ukraine would be drawn into a military alliance hostile to Russia, despite the opposition of most Ukrainians and its then elected government, that triggered this crisis in the first place. Instead of keeping the peace, Nato has been the cause of escalating tension and war ... It's not necessary to have any sympathy for Putin's oligarchic authoritarianism to recognise that Nato and the EU, not Russia, sparked this crisis – and that it's the western powers that are resisting the negotiated settlement that is the only way out, for fear of appearing weak.

The Guardian (Britain)

Steven Salaita, a university professor whose appointment at the University of Illinois was withdrawn last month after he was critical of Israel on Twitter, spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday, saying he should be reinstated on the grounds of academic freedom ... Salaita, a former tenured professor of English at Virginia Tech, accepted a faculty appointment at the University of Illinois in October 2013 to teach in the American Indian Studies program starting January 2014. But his appointment was revoked in early August, after Salaita posted to Twitter several messages criticising Israel.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

... Two political scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a colleague from Rice University say that neither conscious decision-making nor parental upbringing fully explain why some people lean left while others lean right. A growing body of evidence shows that physiological responses and deep-seated psychology are at the core of political differences, the researchers say in the latest issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences. "Politics might not be in our souls, but it probably is in our DNA," says the article written by political scientists John Hibbing and Kevin Smith of UNL and John Alford of Rice University ... Many scientists appear to agree with the findings by Hibbing, Smith and Alford.

Christopher Ketcham -- Counterpunch

On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, an FBI bulletin ... was issued with regard to three suspicious men who that morning were seen leaving the New Jersey waterfront minutes after the first plane hit World Trade Center 1 ... Three individuals with van were seen celebrating after initial impact and subsequent explosion ... It was New York's venerable Jewish weekly The Forward that broke this story in the spring of 2002, after months of footwork. The Forward reported that the FBI had finally concluded that at least two of the men were agents working for the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and that Urban Moving Systems, the ostensible employer of the five Israelis, was a front operation.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Putting Nine Eleven in historical perspective, Weber takes a look at terrorism in history. He compares and contrasts the 9/11 horror with the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the British-American fire-bombing of Hamburg in July 1943, which took the lives of 40,000 civilians. Weber compares how Americans marked the tenth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack with the tenth anniversary remembrance of Nine Eleven, and explains why the national commemorations have been so different.

Defense News - Gannett

Flagging their unflinching bipartisan support for Israel, leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee pledged strengthened cooperation in countering common strategic threats. Visiting here less than a week after Israel’s 50-day war in Gaza and just a day after it downed a Syrian-launched drone that had breached its northern border, lawmakers vowed to stand “side by side” with the “our only true friend in the Middle East.” Meeting Monday in Jerusalem, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that despite partisan differences, “If there’s one thing that we concur on … [it’s] support for our only true friend in the Middle East, and that’s Israel.”

BBC News

Israel is unlawfully coercing almost 7,000 Eritrean and Sudanese nationals into leaving the country at great personal risk, Human Rights Watch says. They have been denied access to fair and efficient asylum procedures and detained unlawfully, a new report says. Earlier this year, African asylum seekers in Israel staged mass protests over their treatment. Israel says its policies on illegal immigrants and refugees comply with international law. It insists that the Africans are not asylum seekers but economic migrants who see Israel as an attractive destination because it is the nearest developed country where they can find jobs.

Eric Margolis

... The American Imperium can no longer enforce the international status quo that had given it immense power and wealth since 1945 ... Speaking as an old Mideast hand and veteran war correspondent, I say no plan is a good plan. Washington has made such an awful mess of its foreign policy that inaction is an increasingly attractive option. More little wars will mean the US falling into the trap set by Osama bin Laden ... After losing wars in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the US should reconsider its overly militarized foreign policy and exaggerated international pretensions. You can’t rule the globe on money borrowed from China and Japan.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Jack the Ripper was a mentally unstable Polish-Jewish immigrant, the Mail on Sunday has revealed, citing the work of an amateur sleuth who claims to have cracked the 126-year-old case through the help of DNA evidence. Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Jew who had fled from Poland to London with his family, escaping pogroms in Russia in the early 1880s, has long been a suspect in the gruesome murder of five women in the Whitechapel district of the English capital. The key piece of evidence was a shawl found on the body of victim Catherine Eddowes which was found to contain blood from the victim and semen from Kosminski.

Grant F. Smith - IRMep

On July 19, 2013 Greek shipping magnate Victor Restis sued the U.S. based nonprofit American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., which is more popularly known as United Against Nuclear Iran ... The Justice Department intervention is no surprise to those who have watched Israel lobbying organizations twist and turn their way out of public accountability before warranted civil and criminal processes for decades ... The Justice Department has observably developed a soft spot for protecting information wielded on behalf of Israel and its many U.S. lobbyists. DOJ has recently issued a blanket prohibition on the FBI from releasing any counterintelligence information about Mossad operations in the United States under the Freedom of Information Act.

Reuters

The U.S. government is considering using a powerful national security law to halt a private lawsuit against a non-profit group, United Against A Nuclear Iran, according to a source familiar with the case ... Earlier this year, U.S. government lawyers declared their interest in the lawsuit, warning that information related to UANI could jeopardize law enforcement activities. An intervention by the government in a private civil lawsuit is rare, and its use of a privilege under state secrets statutes to clamp down on the case would be a highly unusual move.

Owen Jones - The Guardian (Britain)

The so-called war on terror is nearly 13 years old, but which rational human being will be cheering its success? ... One element has been missing, and that is the west’s relationship with Middle Eastern dictatorships that have played a pernicious role in the rise of Islamist fundamentalist terrorism. And no wonder: the west is militarily, economically and diplomatically allied with these often brutal regimes, and our media all too often reflects the foreign policy objectives of our governments ... Our allies are up to their necks in complicity with terrorism, but as long as there is money to be made and weapons to sell, our rulers’ lips will remain stubbornly sealed.

Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would do everything she could to fight anti-Semitism in Germany, amid reports of attacks and a spike in anti-Israel sentiment since the Gaza conflict. In her weekly podcast, Merkel said she was alarmed that Jewish institutions in Germany still needed police protection and called for a big turnout at a rally against anti-Semitism that she was planning to address in Berlin next weekend. Authorities and media in Germany, ultra-sensitive about anti-Semitism because of the Holocaust, have criticized chants against Israel and Jews during rallies against Israel’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Robert Parry - Consortium News

If you wonder how the world could stumble into World War III – much as it did into World War I a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire U.S. political/ media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats vs. black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason ... From the start, Putin was the target of the Ukraine initiative, not the instigator.

Finian Cunningham - Strategic Culture Foundation

... The crisis in Ukraine – which continually threatens to spin out of control into a self-fulfilling wider war – is the result of Western hubris, hypocrisy and doublethink. Western leaders seem paralysed by a chronic inability to see their own contradictions, no matter how brazen and fatuous these contradictions. The Cuban missile crisis more than half a century ago provides an instructive analogy with today’s standoff between West and East ... At least John F Kennedy had a rudimentary grasp of reality and a degree of empathy with his Russian opponent Khrushchev, which eventually helped dissipate that distant crisis.

The Guardian (Britain)

A short video animation on the origins, expansion and changing role of the “North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” Nato has often seemed to lack purpose, but Kosovo and Afghanistan gave the military alliance a second wind at the end of the 20th century.

Eric Margolis

President Barack Obama is being lambasted by US Republicans for admitting that “we don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with the rise of the militant group, ISIS, or Islamic State, as it’s now known. Given that the US had made an unbelievable mess of its Mideast policies, the president is right to pause and think, something his shoot- from- the- lip Republican critics rarely do ... These are the Republicans who ardently supported George Bush’s catastrophic invasion and destruction of Iraq. The problem is that too many cooks in Washington are spoiling its Mideast soup ... But it’s clear the American public does not want new wars no matter what the pro-war media and bought Congress may say.

Stephen M. Walt - The New York Times

... Rushing in to “destroy” ISIS will facilitate its efforts to recruit among those who believe the United States is still bent on dominating the region, and give its leaders greater incentives to attack us here at home. The smarter course is to let local actors deal with this problem, because they have an immediate stake in the outcome and the only long-term solution is the reestablishment of effective state authority in these areas ... Given America’s exceptional position, “do no harm” is a good first rule for a successful foreign policy. This is not an argument for isolationism – it is an argument for the prudent use of American power, and for sending the U.S. military into harm’s way only when vital interests are at stake.

Catholic News Service (2003)

A papal envoy met with President Bush and reiterated the Vatican's opposition to a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, saying a war without U.N. approval would be "immoral, illegal, unjust." Italian Cardinal Pio Laghi, who delivered a personal message from Pope John Paul II to Bush during the March 5 meeting at the White House, said the Vatican believes that "peaceful avenues" still exist to end the Iraqi crisis ... Cardinal Laghi said ... that before declaring war, the international community must take into account "the grave consequences" of armed conflict, including the suffering of the Iraqi people and troops on both sides, increased instability in the Middle East and a new gulf between Islam and Christianity.

G. O’Connell - Vatican Insider/ La Stampa (Italy)

On March 5, 2003, Pope John Paul II sent the Italian Cardinal, Pio Laghi, to intervene with President George W. Bush and ask him not to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein, but the US leader rejected the appeal claiming he was “convinced it was God’s will” ... When the Cardinal arrived, the source said, he handed Pope John Paul II’s letter to the President, “who immediately put it on a side table without opening or reading it.” ... Cardinal Laghi told Bush that three things would happen if the United States went to war, the source recalled. First, it would cause many deaths and injuries on both sides. Secondly, it would result in civil war. And, thirdly, the United States might know how to get into a war, but it would have great difficulty getting out of one.

Doug Bandow - The National Interest

... President Wilson was a modern liberal in the Obama mold, a foreign-policy activist who took the nation into war after promising to keep the peace and sacrificed domestic liberties for the national-security state ... Wilson got the casus belli he desired, but his plan to reorder the world failed even more disastrously than did Berlin’s war plans. President Barack Obama appears to be heading down the same path ... In this case, the administration appears to be choosing war, with “safeguarding Americans” as the excuse therefor. ... He apparently hopes to make U.S. participation inevitable through a time-honored bootstrap: keep Americans at risk and then intervene to save them. Woodrow Wilson would be proud.

Ralph Raico

... The term most frequently applied to Woodrow Wilson nowadays is “idealist.” In contrast, the expression “power-hungry” is rarely used. Yet a scholar not unfriendly to him has written of Wilson that “he loved, craved, and in a sense glorified power.” ... In large part Wilson's reputation as an idealist is traceable to his incessantly professed love of peace. Yet as soon as he became president, prior to leading the country into the First World War, his actions in Latin America were anything but pacific.

Charles J. Moore - The New York Times

The world is awash in plastic ... It’s choking our future in ways that most of us are barely aware. I have just returned with a team of scientists from six weeks at sea conducting research in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — one of five major garbage patches drifting in the oceans north and south of the Equator at the latitude of our great terrestrial deserts. Although it was my tenth voyage to the area, I was utterly shocked to see the enormous increase in the quantity of plastic waste since my last trip in 2009 ... Plastics are now one of the most common pollutants of ocean waters worldwide.

The Wall Street Journal

Declassified documents from the 1970s provide new evidence that federal officials believed bomb-grade uranium that disappeared from a Pennsylvania nuclear facility in the 1960s was likely taken for use in a clandestine Israeli atomic-weapons program. The documents, obtained earlier this year through public-records requests by a Washington-based nonprofit group, also indicate that senior officials wanted to keep the matter under wraps ... Though the Central Intelligence Agency's case for the suspected theft wasn't conclusive, it was sufficiently persuasive that "I do not think that the President has plausible deniability" regarding the question, said a memo dated July 28, 1977, by a National Security Council staffer in President Jimmy Carter's administration.

Reuters

Rates of adult obesity increased in six U.S. states and fell in none last year, and in more states than ever - 20 - at least 30 percent of adults are obese, according to an analysis released on Thursday. The conclusions were reported by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and were based on federal government data. They suggest the problem may be worsening despite widespread publicity about the nation's obesity epidemic ... plus countless programs to address it ... The 2013 adult obesity rate exceeds 20% in every state, while 42 have rates above 25%.

McClatchy

An announcement by Israel that it was appropriating nearly 1000 acres of land in the West Bank, a preparatory step toward further settlement construction, has drawn criticism from the United States and protests from the Palestinian leadership. The announcement on Sunday, which the Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now called the biggest appropriation of West Bank land in 30 years, had been ordered by the government after the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the territory in June ... The U.S. has opposed expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, arguing that it undermined prospects for a viable Palestinian state in the territory as part of a future peace agreement.

EJP

The European Union condemned ‘’the new appropriation of land in the West Bank, relating to plans for further settlement expansion’’, announced by the Israeli government on Sunday. It called on the Israeli authorities ‘’to reverse this decision and to engage in good faith towards a lasting peace based on a two-state solution." On Sunday, Israel announced the appropriation of land in the Gush Etzion (Bloc) of settlements south of Jerusalem ... A statement issued by an EU spokesperson said: ‘’Settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to render the two-State solution impossible.’’

The Moscow Times (Russia)

Russia's Foreign Ministry has asked social media users to help teach U.S. President Barack Obama a history lesson after he claimed Russia is trying to regain territories that it lost in the 19th century ... In fact, the only lands that Russia lost in the 19th century were the Fort Ross settlement on the coast of California, which it sold to a U.S. businessman for $30,000, and Alaska, which it sold to the U.S. government for $7.2 million ...

Forward (New York)

Germany and the Claims Conference are establishing a $250 million fund for child survivors of the Holocaust. The fund will provide one-time payouts of approximately $3,280 (2,500 euros) to Jews born in 1928 or later who spent at least six months in Nazi concentration camps, in ghettos, in hiding or living under a false identity during World War II. The payouts are in addition to any other payments the survivors receive or have received. Slated to open Jan. 1, the new fund is meant to recognize “psychological and medical trauma caused during their deprived childhoods,” Claims Conference President Julius Berman said. Germany will provide approximately 75 percent of the money for the program.

Dr. Ibrahim Alloush -- The Journal of Historical Review

… The "Holocaust" ceased long ago to be about the Jews who died in that war. The "Holocaust" is about Zionist power and policies. As stated, the "Holocaust" myths serve specific objectives: justifying Zionist settlement in Palestine; cultivating a guilt complex in the West over the "Holocaust" as the result of Western anti-Semitism; mobilizing Western public opinion behind financial, political, and military support for the Zionist movement; and condoning Zionist infractions of international law under the pretext that the wartime deaths of the Jews were unique and unparalleled in human history.

Philip Giraldi

... Confronting ISIS currently means working in good faith with Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey to first contain and then defeat the Islamic State. There is no other way to do it. If it means that Washington has to hold its nose while dealing with Damascus and Tehran, then so be it as the potential danger coming from a metastasizing ISIS is more serious than that represented by either Iran or Syria, neither of which actually threatens the US ... ISIS does not endanger the United States in any serious way even if a one-off terrorist “lone wolf” incident carried out by a repatriated jihadi volunteer were to take place.

The Jewish Chronicle (Britain)

A Jewish man repeatedly punched George Galloway in the face because he "was an enemy to Judaism," a court heard this week. Former BBC manager Neil Masterson, 39, is alleged to have shouted about the Holocaust and then assaulted Mr Galloway as he posed for pictures with members of the public in Golborne Road, west London. He is also accused of pushing away another man who tried to stop the attack. Mr Galloway was taken to St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, for treatment on Friday and kept in hospital overnight. The Respect MP for Bradford West suffered bruising and swelling to his face.

BBC News

Poland has marked the 75th anniversary of the start of World War Two with a wreath-laying ceremony at Gdansk port. Prime Minister Donald Tusk commemorated the dead of the war's first battle. Nazi Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, shelling a Polish garrison at Gdansk. Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. Polish and German presidents Bronislaw Komorowski and Joachim Gauck will also meet to honour the war dead and discuss the war with young Poles and Germans.

Daily Mail (Britain)

An early version of the 'King's Speech' reveals Britain was preparing to declare war on Germany before Hitler invaded Poland. George VI's address to the nation, depicted in the 2010 movie starring Colin Firth as the stammering monarch, had been written at least nine days beforehand. The three-page document that has come to light is entitled 'Draft King's Speech' and is dated August 25, 1939. The document, which was written on August 25, 1939 - seven days before Germany's invasion of Poland - has come to light after 74 years ... In the Oscar-winning film, Colin Firth's royal character was given little time to prepare for his defining address to the nation but in reality it appears the speech was being readied for him more than a week beforehand.

Movietone News - Video

This “Movietone News” newsreel of Sept. 1939 shows how the British public was told that that their country, and along with it the many countries of the far-flung British empire, had declared war against Germany. Runtime: 1:11 mins.
 

Time/ Life.com

A selection of 32 rare color photos of the German military campaign against Poland, which began on the morning of Sept. 1, 1939. Two days later, Britain and France declared war against Germany, transforming the local conflict into a continental one. Two weeks later, Soviet troops invaded from the East. In the following weeks and months, German photographer Hugo Jaeger traveled extensively throughout the vanquished country, making color pictures of the chaos and destruction that the five-week battle left in its wake.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Much of what we're told about the how World War II began is misleading, distorted or just plain untrue. It's often claimed, for example, that after taking power Hitler moved quickly to build a large army and air force to conquer Europe. In fact, and as reputable scholars have quietly acknowledged, Third Reich rearmament in the years before the outbreak of war in 1939 was remarkably modest. Hitler neither wanted nor planned for a major war. The British and French declarations of war against Germany, which were secretly encouraged by US President Roosevelt, transformed the limited German-Polish conflict into a major, European-wide war.

Rodney Martin and Mark Weber – Podcast

The dispute that triggered the conflict in Sept. 1939 was over the status of the ethnically German city-state of Danzig, which had been detached from Germany in 1919. Poland’s leaders, backed by Britain, rejected Hitler’s demand for self-determination and freedom for the Germans of Danzig and the “Corridor” region of Poland. Britain, with secret US backing, made the Danzig dispute a pretext for war. In this fact-packed podcast, historian Weber and host Martin also speak about Pres. Roosevelt’s secretive, illegal efforts to foment war in Europe, as well as German-Polish relations during the 1930s, Britain’s duplicity in its treatment of Poland, and more. Runtime: 71 mins.

Fox News

California is looking to bar the “Stars and Bars.” A bill sits on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk to ban California from displaying or selling the Confederate flag or objects with images of it. The state’s Legislature passed the bill nearly unanimously last week. Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-Compton, introduced the legislation after his mother discovered the Capitol gift shop sold a replica of Confederate money that contained a picture of the flag, according to the L.A. Times. The lone dissenting vote among the 67 cast was from former California GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks. He argued the bill would infringe on free speech.