... Which brings us to Woodrow Wilson, whose failures of commission probably had the most dire consequences of any U.S. president. His great flaw was his sanctimonious nature, more stark and distilled than that of any other president ... He thought he always knew best, because he thought he knew more than anybody else. Combine that with a powerful humanitarian sensibility, and you get a president who wants to change the world for the betterment of mankind. Watch out for such leaders ... While proclaiming U.S. neutrality, he favored Britain by observing the British blockade of Germany (imposed, said a young Winston Churchill, to starve Germans, including German infants, into submission) and by allowing armed British merchant ships entry to U.S. ports, which in turn fostered a flow of U.S. munitions to the Allied powers.
My humble thesis tonight is that the entire 20th Century was a giant mistake. And that you can put the blame for this monumental error squarely on Thomas Woodrow Wilson – a megalomaniacal madman who was the very worst President in American history …. well, except for the last two. His unforgiveable error was to put the United States into the Great War for utterly no good reason of national interest ... There was absolutely nothing noble that came of Wilson’s intervention. It led to a peace of vengeful victors, triumphant nationalists and avaricious imperialists ... By so altering the course of history, Wilson’s war bankrupted Europe and midwifed 20th century totalitarianism in Russia and Germany.
... Woodrow Wilson, activist Princeton president and eloquent leader of wartime America, also held repugnant racial views, strove to keep blacks out of the University, and presided over the segregation of the federal workforce ... Princeton’s reassessment of Wilson comes as other campuses reckon with their own racial histories ... Georgetown plans to rechristen two campus buildings named for slaveholding university presidents. Both Harvard and Princeton have stopped referring to the heads of their residential colleges as “masters,” calling the title a potentially offensive anachronism ... But others wonder where to draw the line ... Should the town of Princeton rethink streets named for slaveholders George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Witherspoon?
The following 1869 Harvard entrance exam was supposed to be a breeze, believe it or not. In those days colleges had to go out of their way to attract students. Harvard pointed out in a newspaper ad that 185 of 210 candidates passed the entrance test and were accepted in the previous year. But those candidates had the benefit of a focused prep school education. You will find this exam, which ranges from geography to geometry to Latin, extremely difficult. Take a stab at the answers in the comment section.
The birthplace of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini could soon start building a museum of fascism, a move likely to stir controversy in a country that already has an uneasy relationship with its World War II leader. Predappio, a small rural community in the northern Emilia Romagna region, currently maintains the house in which Mussolini was born and his tomb. Now its mayor, Giorgio Frassineti, says the town is a step closer to opening a new facility examining the history of fascism. The project has already drawn criticism from some who fear it will become another place to celebrate the Adolf Hitler's wartime ally in a place that's already a magnet for neo-fascists ... The visitor's book at the wartime dictator's tomb is filled with messages of appreciation and nostalgia for "Il Duce," (the leader) as Mussolini was once known.
America's image today of Benito Mussolini and his Italian Fascist regime is, to a considerable extent, a product of Second World War propaganda. The wartime image of the Duce (leader) as a clownish bully remains largely intact to this day. But this was not always so. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Mussolini and Fascist Italy were generally well regarded in the United States.
A recent poll showed that Britons regarded Israel less favorably than any other country besides North Korean. The results came as a shock to Israelis and supporters of Israel, but they shouldn’t have ... Why the animosity against Israel, which extends from the political left to the right, and across all social classes? Four sources may be suggested, each with roots in the 20th century ... A second reason for current British attitudes is the gradual conversion of the British labor movement to the Palestinian cause ... The dramatic changes in British Christianity must be counted as a third cause. Jews like to point to British Christian Zionism, but in truth this was a spent force even before the Balfour Declaration in 1917. Indeed, Anglicanism is deeply supersessionist, and regards Judaism as retrograde, a community forsaken by God.
... If rape is really as rampant on American college campuses as the activists claim, why do young women continue to apply to college en masse? Because the campus rape epidemic doesn’t exist ... It is impossible to overstate the growing weirdness of the college sex scene ... While there may be few actual rape victims on college campuses, there are undoubtedly thousands of girls feeling confused, betrayed, and exploited by partners who leave their bed with no emotional pang whatsoever ... While few college students are guilty of rape, despite what feminists tell us, they are almost certainly guilty of taking remorseless advantage of the sexual caravansary.
More like "alien tribes" than rival parties. That's how the Pew Research Center describes how the two sides in an increasingly divided America see each other. They can't stand the other side's viewpoint - and because hyper-partisan news and social media enables them to live in ideological isolation - they don't even have to try to understand it. The BBC's Franz Strasser looks at the demographic trends that have made the US increasingly divided.
... In an era of head-snapping racial, social, cultural, economic, religious, gender, generational and technological change, Americans are increasingly sorted into think-alike communities that reflect not only their politics but their demographics. The result has been a rise in identity-based animus of one party toward the other that extends far beyond the issues ... It’s as if they belong not to rival parties but alien tribes ... The U.S. is on its way to becoming a majority nonwhite nation, and at the same time, a record share of Americans are going gray. Together these overhauls have led to stark demographic, ideological and cultural differences between the parties’ bases ... Democrats and Republicans have become much more ideologically polarized.
While the Republican candidates for president have loudly lamented the steep decline of America, new research by a GOP pollster suggests young people are far more optimistic about the country’s future. “They’re refreshingly, resoundingly sunny about America’s future,” Frank Luntz writes ... However, this youthful optimism does not extend to politicians and corporate America. Sixty-six percent of young people believe corporations embody “everything that is wrong about America”. Elected officials fare only slightly better ... All of this is a cause for alarm, according to Luntz, who writes, “The hostility of young Americans to the underpinnings of the American economy and the American government ought to frighten every business and political leader.”
Hungary’s prime minister vented his anger against the influx of migrants on a visit to Russia on Wednesday, saying that it threatens the identity of European Union nations and raises terror threats. Viktor Orban made the comments during a visit to Russia, speaking a day before a EU summit where the migrant crisis is expected to feature prominently on the agenda. Orban said after talks with President Vladimir Putin that Hungary disagrees with those in the EU who see the flow of migrants as something good ... Asked about his view, Putin said that he wouldn't weigh in on an EU domestic issue, but praised Orban for his stance. "We sympathize with the stance of the Hungarian leadership, the prime minister of Hungary to defend the European identity, the identity of their country, their people" he said.
“By giving refugees 670 euros per month and free accommodation," German Chancellor Angela Merkel is committing economic suicide," said Andrej Babiš, Czech Finance Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister. According to Babiš, the only solution of the refugee crisis is hermetically to seal the external borders of the European Union. “When your bath tub is leaking, you must block the hole," said Babiš on television [Sept. 27, 2015]. In his view, the refugee quotas cannot work because no refugees want asylum in the Czech Republic. They all want to go to Germany.
A study has found that an increase in "diversity" makes existing residents of an area feel unhappier and more socially isolated, while those leaving for more homogenous areas populated by their own ethic group often get happier. Among the reasons for residents feeling insecure as their area diversifies, is that people tend to spend time with those they perceive as like them, and feel less secure when experiencing rapid change, the authors explained. Already around a fifth of people in the UK are non-white or non-British. This is expected to rise to a quarter by 2025, a third by 2040, and could reach up to 38 per cent by 2050. The large- scale sociological study, undertaken by the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research at the University of Manchester, drew on 18 years of data of more than 10,000 people.
It has become increasingly popular to speak of racial and ethnic diversity as a civic strength ... But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam -- famous for "Bowling Alone," his 2000 book on declining civic engagement -- has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.
For nearly 2,500 years, the Athenian general and historian Thucydides has been a popular source of strategic wisdom in the West. Lately, his name has popped up in Asia, too, especially in reference to U.S.–China relations ... Thucydides helped to invent history as a discipline. The Athenian general clearly believed that understanding the past would be useful for ordinary citizens, decision-makers, institutions and societies. We live today in a time of great change in international politics. Regional orders are under pressure in East Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Knowledge of history should matter greatly — competent statecraft is impossible without it — but it doesn’t seem to matter at all. In Europe and in the U.S., historical ignorance has become almost a badge of honor.
Less than a week after coming under criticism for saying that he would approach the conflict between Israel and Palestinians as a “neutral” party, Donald Trump appeared at the Evangelical Christian Regent University in Virginia Beach and declared his “100 percent” support for Israel. And he said that his past tussles with New York City Zoning Board officials might help him strike a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. ... As Trump quickly learned, anything that smacks of less than complete support for Israel is a no-go zone for would-be GOP nominees, and at Regent University on Wednesday, he took full advantage of an opportunity to correct that impression ... He went on to criticize the [Iran] deal further, and concluded, “I’m with Israel 100 percent.”
Republican front-runner Donald Trump called himself Israel’s biggest friend this week, saying his ties to the Jewish state are stronger than those of any other presidential candidate. Speaking to the Sheldon Adelson-controlled Israel Hayom newspaper, Trump cited his daughter’s marriage to Jared Kushner, who is Jewish. And he added that he, himself, had participated in various pro-Israel rallies ... Trump told the paper, which is strongly supportive of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that he wanted to work to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. Though he didn’t know if this was possible, he said he would make efforts to resolve the conflict if elected. He also blasted the Iran nuclear deal, as he has in the past, calling it the worst possible accord for Israel.
... With the exception of Trump, none of the GOP candidates seems willing to debate, defend or denounce the policies that eviscerated America — and empowered the People's Republic. Workers, however, know what our politicians refuse to discuss. They are being sold out for the benefit of corporate elites who pay off those politicians with the big cash contributions that keep the parties flush. Politicians who play ball with Wall Street and K Street know they will be taken care of, if they are defeated or when they retire from public office, so long as they have performed ... America is on a path of national decline because, while we have been looking out for what is best for the "global economy," our rivals have been looking out for what is best for their own nations.
... First celebrated in 1976, Black History Month was the result of a growing racial pride and consciousness of black Americans and Woodson’s association pushing to expand the weekly celebration. Now a well-entrenched, nationally recognized observance, Black History Month is a commemoration that might be short in days but is increasingly long on controversy. In the last month — in examples that cross racial boundaries — the black actress and conservative commentator Stacey Dash called to eliminate Black History Month, labeling it a vestige of segregation, while Republicans in the Kansas legislature questioned if an entire month dedicated to honoring black history was “too long.”
The unveiling of a statue of a World War II-era Hungarian politician -- seen as anti-Semitic by Hungary's largest Jewish group -- was cancelled Wednesday after a protest. Several dozen protestors holding placards reading "Racism out" surrounded the covered statue of Gyorgy Donath, a member of Hungary's wartime government which was allied with Nazi Germany and brought in anti-Jewish laws ... A senior member of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's governing party Fidesz due to deliver a speech at the unveiling announced at the scene, some 100 metres (yards) away from the city's Holocaust museum, that the ceremony had been cancelled ... Donath was executed for treason in 1947 at a show trial orchestrated by the communist regime which seized power at that time.
A Dutch watchdog group on anti-Semitism called on owners of event halls not to host Holocaust denier David Irving, who reportedly is planning a lecture in The Hague. Irving, who has been barred from several countries and was jailed in 2006 in Austria for denying or minimizing the Jewish genocide, is scheduled to speak somewhere in The Hague on Feb. 25, the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, wrote in a Feb. 20 statement. It called on “all owners of event halls in The Hague to offer no platform to the convict” from Britain. The topic of the lecture that Irving plans to deliver is “Hitler, Himmler, and the Homosexuals,” according to CIDI ... In 2011, CIDI brought about the cancellation of a planned lecture by Irving at Amsterdam University College. The city’s mayor forbade the gathering, leading to its cancellation.
American musicians who support boycotting Israel over the issue of Palestinian rights are terrified to speak out for fear their careers will be destroyed, according to Roger Waters. The Pink Floyd star – a prominent supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel since its inception ten years ago – said the experience of seeing himself constantly labelled a Nazi and anti-Semite had scared people into silence. “The only response to BDS is that it is anti-Semitic,” Waters told The Independent, in his first major UK interview about his commitment to Israeli activism. “I know this because I have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite for the past ten years.
Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why ... Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the “moderate opposition” will win. This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media ... The United States has the power to decree the death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many Americans — and many journalists — are content with the official story.
... You see, the US strategic goal in Syria is not as your faithful mainstream media servants (led by that redoubtable channeler of Neo-Con smokescreens at the NYT Michael Gordon) might have you believe to save the Syrian people from the ravages of the long-standing Assad dictatorship, but rather to heighten the level of internecine conflict in that country to the point where it will not be able to serve as a regional bulwark against Israeli regional hegemony for at least another generation. How do we know? Because important protagonists in the Israelo-American policy planning elite have advertised the fact with a surprising degree of clarity in documents and public statements issued over the last several decades. The key here is learning to listen to what our cultural training has not prepared us to hear.
... Trump is winning because, on immigration, amnesty, securing our border and staying out of any new crusades for democracy, he has tapped into the most powerful currents in politics: economic populism and "America First" nationalism. Look at the crowds Trump draws. Look at the record turnouts in Republican caucuses and primaries. If Beltway Republicans think they can stop Trump and turn back the movement behind him, and continue on with today's policies on trade, immigration and intervention, they will be swept into the same dustbin of history as the Rockefeller Republicans. America is saying, "Goodbye to all that." For Trump is not only a candidate. He is a messenger from Middle America. And the message he is delivering to the establishment is: We want an end to your policies and we want an end to you.
Bradley Smith’s life was a varied and colorful one. But he is best remembered for his courageous, steadfast battle of more than 30 years to promote public awareness of the Holocaust issue. In spite of privation, relentless smears and many setbacks, he persisted in this daunting struggle with exemplary dedication, calmly confident of ultimate victory and vindication. In his personal life as well, he endured poverty, recurring illnesses and many disappointments with buoyant stoicism ... What drove this incorrigible idealist and modern-day Don Quixote? “Simply put,” he once explained, “I do not believe in thought crimes, in taboos against intellectual freedom. I do not believe it is thought crime to express skepticism about the ‘gas chamber’ stories.”
British police have promised not to tolerate any speech that could cause offence on social media regarding Syrian migrants, after arresting a man for Facebook comments made about recent arrivals on his small Scottish Island. The tiny Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, which had a total population of just 6,498 in 2011, is expected to take in around one thousand Syrian migrants, with twelve families already arriving since December last year ... Police have confirmed they have confirmed they have arrested a 41-year-old local man under the Communications Act, after receiving a report of a supposedly “offensive” comment made on Facebook regarding the migrants. A police spokesman was unequivocal, that any harsh criticism of the Muslim influx would not be “tolerated”.
... What is distinctive about Mein Kampf is, rather, its personal tone, suggesting that it holds the key to Hitler the man. It is this quality that gives it its symbolic power and which still causes so much concern today. Hitler was unique in writing a major personal and ideological memoir before he came to power and then continuing to issue that same work throughout the lifespan of the Third Reich, with only minimal changes ... Hitler drew on mainstream conservative, occasionally liberal and, at times, even socialist works. To these he added numerous references to key texts of western thought, from Homer and the Bible to Francis Bacon and Ernst Jünger. Hitler incorporated such references into his personal voice ... Even when Mein Kampf moves beyond the personal, it defines politics in the widest possible sense.
In the conventional survey course, Martin Luther leaps onto the historical stage out of nowhere: an unknown monk in an obscure German provincial town who, by performing the rather routine academic exercise of nailing a thesis to the doors of the local church, triggers the Protestant Reformation ... A new book [“Brand Luther”] by British historian Andrew Pettegree reveals a central and heretofore little-appreciated aspect: Luther’s master role in the imagination and execution of what had to have been the world’s first mass-media-driven revolution. Luther didn’t just reimagine the Christian faith, he figured out how to share his vision through the innovative use and manipulation of a nascent communications technology: the printing press.
As is well-known, Israel is a "Jewish and democratic state". That is its official designation. Well … Since 1967, Israel has been a hybrid creation – half democratic, half dictatorial ... The population in "Greater Israel" is by now half Jewish and half Arab, with the Arabs gaining. Israel proper is still more or less democratic. In the occupied Palestinian territories, a dictatorial "military government" is in charge, with hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers trying to push out the Palestinian Arab population by all means available, including fraudulent acquisition of land and terrorism (called "retaliation").
More than 91,000 asylum seekers arrived in Germany last month, the government said Thursday, underlining the pressure the country faces to diminish the influx of migrants. The Interior Ministry said 91,671 people were registered as asylum seekers in January, compared to 127,320 who arrived in December. Officials have said that winter weather was the driving force behind the decline. Germany, which has some 80 million inhabitants, has seen more migrants arrive than any other European country. Nearly 1.1 million came last year and officials are keen to ensure that the figures are lower this year. Chancellor Angela Merkel insists that diplomacy is the key to a solution, and has resisted pressure for unilateral measures such as a cap on refugee numbers.
Germany's liberal refugee policy which ushered in 1.1 million asylum-seekers last year is not sustainable, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned Friday, as Chancellor Angela Merkel said a group of EU countries may take more in. "This policy, which is justified temporarily, is unsustainable in the long term," Valls told German regional media group Funke, pointing to the limited capacity not just in Germany, but also across Europe, to receive newcomers. "We have to say this clearly: Europe cannot take in all migrants from Syria, Iraq or Africa. It has to regain control over its borders, over its migration or asylum policies," said Valls, who is travelling to southern Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has condemned German Chancellor Angela Merkel's liberal policy on migrants as "quite simply stupid", in an interview due to appear this weekend. “It's quite simply stupid to open Europe's doors wide and invite in everyone who wants to come to your country," Medvedev said in an interview with the economic daily Handelsblatt. "European migration policy is a total failure, all that is absolutely frightening," Medvedev added. Merkel's immigration policy has sparked a heated public debate in Germany about the country's ability to integrate the nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers it took in last year.
... Like most people around the world, we naturally like to think of ourselves as a peace loving country. Unfortunately, the record does not bear this out. It, in fact, indicates something quite opposite: The United States has had a long and bloody history of aggression and war making. A survey of history shows that America has either been involved in armed conflict or conducted some form of military operations during 223 years of its 240 years of existence as a nation ... Almost all America’s foreign wars have been initiated against countries who posed no direct threat to the United States. Most American wars have been acts of unprovoked aggression against sovereign nations.
Citing little-known reports and remarks of Polish, British and French officials, and other evidence, Weber traces President Franklin Roosevelt's secret campaign to provoke war in Europe prior to the outbreak of hostilities in September 1939. By pressing Britain, France and Poland into war against Germany, the US President bears at least some responsibility for World War II. Weber also discusses the role of Jewish power and influence on US foreign policy during those years. Roosevelt's record of deceit, lies and lawlessness is routinely suppressed by those who control the US media and American cultural life. Runtime: 49 mins.
... Sanders’s shots at Clinton haven’t inflicted much damage this time around, largely because there’s so little breathing space between the two candidates on foreign policy. Both Clinton and Sanders are seasoned interventionists, often advancing their hawkish policies under the ragged banner of “humanitarianism.” ... More problematic for the Senator in Birkenstocks is the little-known fact that Bernie Sanders himself voted twice in support of regime change in Iraq ... Even though Sanders markets himself as an “independent socialist,” in fact, he has rarely dissented against the Democratic Party orthodoxy, especially when it comes to military intervention.
Hamilton Jordan, President Jimmy Carter’s wunderkind adviser and chief of staff, discovered at age 20 that his family’s story wasn’t a straightforward Christian Southern experience. At the cemetery service for his maternal grandmother, Helen, Jordan was puzzled to discover her plot was nestled alongside that of a Jewish family. They weren’t strangers; they were his ancestors. A bit of digging revealed that his beloved grandmother was herself Jewish. She had married his Baptist grandfather in the years immediately preceding the 1915 lynching of Leo Frank — a Jewish man who was framed for a murder he did not commit — in a South that viewed Jews as unacceptably different. His own mother would never speak of her Jewish roots.
A video shows “politically challenged” college students are unable to identify former President Ronald Reagan in a photograph. “Was that a former president?” a student majoring in government and international politics at George Mason University asked when shown the picture of Reagan. “Nixon, maybe?” Numerous students at George Mason University, located near Washington, D.C., in Fairfax, Va., were unable to identity America’s beloved 40th president in the same classic photo. One student guessed Bill Clinton. “I’ve seen that guy before,” another student stalled before giving up. Texas Tech University’s nonpartisan political organization PoliTech and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a nonprofit organization that promotes civic education at America’s colleges and universities, conducted the survey.
If the tentative agreement on a Syrian ceasefire negotiated by the United States and Russia falls apart before it can be implemented, the reason will be the Obama administration’s insistence that Russian airstrikes are targeting “legitimate opposition groups.” ... The Obama administration portrayed the Russian campaign in support of Syrian operations as hitting “moderate” opposition forces, suggesting that only strikes against ISIS would be legitimate ... Information from a wide range of sources, including some of the groups that the United States has been explicitly supporting, makes it clear that every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces is engaged in a military system controlled by Nusra.
Israel is aiming to build an international coalition to force the world’s leading social media giants to prevent their platforms from being abused to peddle incitement to terrorism. The move, which was unveiled by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, aims at requiring Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other social networks to take greater responsibility for such content. While some experts consider the idea unworkable — arguing that the terms of service of such platforms protect them from any legal threat, and that the preventative measures Erdan wants to see introduced are not possible technologically, others say a coalition pushing for change could be effective, and certainly stands more of a chance than an effort led by Israel alone.
... Despite controversy surrounding his decision to remain in Germany during World War II, he is recognized globally today as one of the greatest musical masters of the twentieth century. From 1922 to 1945, and again after 1950, he conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. His subsequent and wide-ranging influence over modern orchestral direction has been immense ... Consequently, discussion of his life still provokes heated debate about the role of art and artists under Hitler and, on a more fundamental level, about the relationship of art and politics.
Conductors in our time fall readily into two categories: Wilhelm Furtwängler and all the others. Among those who recognized this truth early on was Adolf Hitler, possessor of perhaps the best musical ear of any contemporary statesman -- except for Ignaz Paderewski ... That the next century is likely to appreciate the centrality of Furtwängler to our civilization, or what is left of it, most likely accounts for the recent renewal of attacks upon his memory -- some of which have appeared in the form of reviews of this book.
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is performed by the famed Berlin Philharmonic , under the direction of Wilhlem Furtwängler. This April 1942 performance in honor of Hitler’s 53 rd birthday is organized by the National Socialist Party, with an introductory address by Dr. Goebbels. From the German wartime newsreel, "Die Deutsche Wochenschau," of April 22, 1942. Runtime: 4:39 mins.
Ever since the remains of the last czar, Nicholas II, and most of his family were exhumed 25 years ago from a dirt road in the Urals, investigators, historians and surviving members of the Romanov dynasty have anticipated the day when all the murdered royals would be laid to rest. They thought that moment had finally arrived when a funeral was scheduled last October for two long-lost children — Czarevitch Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria, whose remains were found in nearby woods many years later. But it was not to be. The Russian Orthodox Church interceded, questioning — not for the first time — whether any of the remains were authentic, and the service was postponed indefinitely. The nearly 100-year saga of murder, mystery and myth lived on.
... The book’s publication last month has triggered the first major public debate in Lithuania about local Lithuanians’ complicity in the genocide of the Jews. It currently tops the best-seller list of the Pegasas chain of bookstores and has prompted officials to promise to publish this year the names of 1,000 Holocaust perpetrators they have been keeping under wraps for years. Vanagaite, who is 61 and not Jewish, visited killing fields in Lithuania and Belarus to research the book, which she co-authored with Efraim Zuroff, the renowned Nazi hunter and director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office ... Vanagaite’s book also has highlighted the fact that despite ample evidence and testimonies of widespread complicity, not a single person has been imprisoned in Lithuania for killing Jews during the Holocaust.
Donald Trump said Wednesday night he'd be “a neutral guy" when it comes to negotiating the Israel-Palestinian conflict, during an MSNBC-hosted town hall. In an exchange about the potential for a peace agreement, anchor Joe Scarborough asked the Republican front-runner, "Whose fault do you think it is?" "I don't want to get into it for a different reason, Joe, because if I do win, there has to be a certain amount of surprise, unpredictability," he said at a town hall Wednesday, adding that by declining to tip his hand, he would be in a better position to negotiate. "Let me be sort of a neutral guy, let's see what -- I'm going to give it a shot. It would be so great," Trump said. The remark contrasts with the many Republicans -- and some Democrats -- who often pledge unequivocal support for Israel.
Bernie Sanders is far too easy on Hillary Clinton in their debates. Clinton flaunts her record and experience in ways that Sanders could use to expose her serious vulnerabilities and disqualifications for becoming president. Sanders responds to Clinton’s points, but without the precision that could demolish her arrogance ... Whether as Senator on the Armed Services Committee or as Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton has never met a war or raid she didn’t like, or a redundant, wasteful weapons system she was willing to aggressively challenge. As president, Hillary Clinton would mean more wars, more raids, more blowbacks, more military spending and more profits for the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower so prophetically warned about in his farewell address.
Hillary Clinton supporters in southern California readily sign a petition to approve Karl Marx, who died in 1883 in London, as Vice President. As a social experiment, media analyst Mark Dice asks randomly selected people to sign a mock petition approving the 19th century socialist philosopher as vice president if Hillary Clinton is elected president. “We’re getting signatures from citizens,” Dice tells potential signees, “to make sure he gets on the ballot with her.” Runtime: 4:13 mins.
Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of both the CIA and the NSA, claims the goal of a potential Israeli strike on Iran would be to drag the US into war. Hayden made the remarks in a documentary film premiering this week at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film also quotes other sources in the US intelligence community who accuse Israel of disrupting a joint covert operation to sabotage computers used in Iran’s nuclear program by acting rashly and in opposition to agreed-upon plans. As a result, hundreds of millions of dollars that were invested in the operation went to waste. The film, Zero Days, was directed by Alex Gibney ... The film contains testimony from NSA and CIA operatives who worked together with Israeli colleagues ...
While he is best remembered as an activist for open inquiry on the Holocaust issue, Bradley Smith’s life was a varied and colorful one ... For more than 20 years he was active as director of the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), a group dedicated to defending free speech and free inquiry on the Holocaust issue, to encouraging greater public access to revisionist scholarship, and to promoting awareness of the controversy regarding the Holocaust story ... Smith spoke about these issues as a guest on more than 400 radio talk shows and news broadcasts, as well as on nationwide television, including a March 1994 appearance as a guest, along with Michael Shermer and David Cole, on the widely viewed Phil Donahue Show ... Smith died on February 18, 2016 -- his 86th birthday.
In September 1991 the Institute for Historical Review prevailed in a lawsuit brought by Mel Mermelstein, a southern California businessman and self-professed eyewitness to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. This victory closed more than ten years of wrangling in two legal cases ... In the second case, Mermelstein brought an $11 million suit for defamation (libel) because of an IHR Newsletter item by Bradley Smith that called him a "demonstrable fraud," a "vainglorious prevaricator," and a "false-tale spinner.” On Sept. 19, 1991, Mermelstein was obliged to drop what remained of his suit after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed a substantial portion of it.
A long-distance cargo train has travelled from China to Iran as part of an attempted revival of the ancient Silk Road, a trans-Asian trade route connecting the east to Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. The 32-container train, which arrived in Tehran on Monday, took 14 days to complete the 6,462 mile (10,399 km) journey from China’s eastern Zhejiang province through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan -- one month less than the sea route from Shanghai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Iranian officials have indicated that the ultimate aim is to extend the rail route to Europe, positioning Iran on a key stretch to the continent. The train, which departed from Zhejiang’s trading hub Yiwu, travelled an average of more than 700 km a day.
... While leading the UK in the 1950s, Churchill was responsible for several crimes. One of these was the CIA- and MI6-engineered coup in Iran, which saw the democratically elected Mohammad Mossadeq overthrown in 1953 after he nationalized British oil holdings in the country ... During World War Two, at the same time that he was rallying the British public with the inspirational speeches cited by Senator Sanders, Churchill produced a secret memorandum that made clear his desire to “drench” German cities with poison gas ... Churchill didn’t get his wish, but he did get to play a hand in another World War Two atrocity that would arguably come to be most associated with his name: the carpet bombing of Germany.
In a secret wartime memorandum, Winston Churchill told his advisers that he wanted to "drench" Germany with poison gas. Churchill's July 1944 memo to his chief of staff Gen. Hastings Ismay was reproduced in the August-September 1985 issue of American Heritage magazine … Churchill's directive bluntly stated: "I want a cold-blooded calculation made as to how it would pay to use poison gas ... One really must not be bound within silly conventions of the mind whether they be those that ruled in the last war or those in reverse which rule in this."
Readers of the History News Network have voted David Barton’s The Jefferson Liese: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson the least credible history book in print in a week-long HNN poll. The book edged out Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States by nine votes at the end of polling -- 650 votes versus 641. Commentators criticized the book for its gross factual errors and political agenda ... The most intense discussion -- on HNN's boards, at least -- centered on the runner-up, Zinn's A People's History ... Gavin Menzies's 1421: The Year China Discovered America finished a distant third, with 370 votes, followed by Thomas DiLorenzo's The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War at 334.
There's no doubt that Hillary is the candidate of Wall Street. Even more dangerous, though, is that she is the candidate of the military-industrial complex ... Her so-called foreign policy "experience" has been to support every war demanded by the US deep security state run by the military and the CIA ... Perhaps the crowning disaster of this long list of disasters has been Hillary's relentless promotion of CIA-led regime change in Syria. Once again Hillary bought into the CIA propaganda that regime change to remove Bashir al-Assad would be quick, costless, and surely successful ... Hers is a record of disaster. Perhaps more than any other person, Hillary can lay claim to having stoked the violence that stretches from West Africa to Central Asia and that threatens US security.
As Turkey and Saudi Arabia edge closer to sending ground forces into Syria at the behest of the United States, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned that an escalation of the conflict could lead to another war in the world. During an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Medvedev warned of dire consequences if the United States and its allies abandon Syrian peace talks in favor of deploying ground forces. “All ground operations, as a rule, lead to permanent wars," he said. "Look at what is going on in Afghanistan and a number of other countries. I don’t even mention the ill-fated Libya. "The Americans must consider — both the US president and our Arab partners — whether or not they want a permanent war." All sides should instead focus on implementing peace talks.
Academics have rallied to the defence of one of the world’s leading Holocaust historians after reports that Poland intends to strip him of a national honour because he claimed that Poles were complicit in Nazi war crimes. Princeton University professor Jan Tomasz Gross, 69, was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 1996. He is best known for his 2001 bool Neighbors, which describes in graphic detail the 1941 massacre by Polish villagers of up to 1,600 Jewish men, women and children. The book inspired Aftermath (Pokłosie), a 2012 film directed by Władysław Pasikowski. The move against the historian comes as the nationalist Law and Justice government, elected in 2015, comes under European scrutiny for law changes that, critics say, threaten democracy.
Poland is drawing up new regulations to punish use of the phrase "Polish death camps" when referring to wartime Nazi concentration camps on Polish soil, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said on Saturday. Poland has long sought to eliminate the misleading phrase from historical and newspaper accounts since it suggests the country, which was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War Two, was responsible for Holocaust-era camps on its territory. The Nazis operated their most infamous death camps, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor and Treblinka complexes, mostly in occupied Poland rather than in Germany.
Ben Carson, toward the end of Saturday's CBS Republican presidential debate, decided for some reason to quote Joseph Stalin. "Joseph Stalin said if you want to bring America down, you have to undermine three things: our spiritual life, our patriotism and our morality," Carson said. Carson was making a point about the country needing someone like him to stop its decline -- we think. It was kind of a weird use of the quote, to be honest. It was even weirder considering there is no solid proof that Stalin ever said it ... If Stalin had truly made this statement, we would expect to find references to it dating back to his lifetime. However, although Stalin died in 1953, the oldest expression of the "healthy body" quotation we've yet located is from 1983 ...
On Monday the U.S. national debt hit a new record: $19,012,827,698,418. This is the first time the national debt has ever exceeded $19 trillion. That’s more than $58,000 for each person who lives in the U.S. today (including children). The main culprit behind the rising deficits and debt is growing federal spending — especially among Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare ... The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that [annual] outlays will grow from $3.7 trillion in 2015 to $6.4 trillion in 2026. Moreover, spending growth is projected to outpace economic growth, as outlays are expected to grow from 20.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 to 23.1 percent of GDP in 2026.
There is no longer any question that Woodrow Wilson’s record on race, before and after the presidency, was often evaded or explained away by historians. The same was true of many popular US history textbooks. In the last several decades, however, the racial views of Wilson the man and the policies of Wilson the president, particularly the establishment of racial segregation in the D.C. federal departments, have been recognized as an important part of his historical legacy ... Wilson was more likely aiming, whether consciously or not, to legally reestablish the natural social order— namely the white supremacy which had been disrupted by the Civil War and Reconstruction.
It’s open season on American icons — Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson. Who’s next? Abraham Lincoln? Impossible, you may say. Surely the “Great Emancipator” can fend off any complaint that he supported slavery or rejected equal rights for black Americans. But there’s a hitch. Lincoln was a man of his time ... So Lincoln does not measure up to the modern standard ... Does this mean that the sixteenth president must be included on the growing list of national embarrassments? Has the time come to rename the Lincoln Memorial, cart away its massive seated statue, and find someone else to depict on the penny and the five-dollar bill?
In 2009 the US not only inaugurated its first black president - it also honoured the president who paved Barack Obama's way to the country's highest post. Events across the nation marked the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, celebrating a man widely seen as the greatest US president - the secular saint who redeemed America's original sin of slavery … Despite his visceral hatred of slavery, Mr Yacovone says, Lincoln - like the overwhelming majority of his contemporaries - never believed in the equality of races. "He supported enactment of the anti-fugitive slave law, he supported exclusion of black jurors and all basic civil rights," Mr Yacovone says.
Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz’s campaign said it “welcomes support” from faith leaders across the country, including that of Mike Bickle who has said that God sent Hitler to hunt Jews, who works energetically to convert Jews to Christianity, and who espouses views that biblical prophesy suggests a new era of concentration camps for Jews will unfold before the Second Coming. Bickle, the founder and director of the controversial Kansas City ministry International House of Prayer, endorsed Cruz before the Iowa caucuses, and Cruz proudly touted his endorsement in a press release ... In numerous sermons over the years, Bickle has predicted a new era of Holocaust-like conditions for Jews before the Second Coming, insisting that Jews who do not recognize Jesus as their messiah will either die or be sent to prison or concentration camps.
... Since September 11, 2001, there has been an explosion of Christian fundamentalist support for Israel in America. The Christian Right (there are approximately 40 million on this side of the political spectrum in the U.S.) has had some influence on U.S. policy over the last three decades ... There are today over 200 different evangelical organizations committed to Christian Zionism in the U.S. and Canada ... Christian Zionists resist every move of the U.S. government, international agencies and civil-society associations to press Israel for the implementation of UN Resolution 242 — that Israel leave the Occupied Territories. Inevitably, too, Christian Zionists applaud the settlement movement ... The final tenet of Christian Zionism is its nihilist longing for Armageddon.
If you believed America’s longest war, in Afghanistan, was coming to an end, be advised: It is not. Departing U.S. commander Gen. John Campbell says there will need to be U.S. boots on the ground “for years to come.” ... Fifteen years in, and we are stuck. Nor is America about to end the next longest war in its history: Iraq ... There is thus no end in sight to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, nor to the U.S.-backed Saudi war in Yemen, where ISIS and al-Qaida have re-arisen in the chaos. Indeed, the West is mulling over military intervention in Libya to crush ISIS there and halt the refugee flood into Europe ... America is creeping ever closer to war with the other two great nuclear powers because we have made their quarrels our quarrels, though at issue are tracts and bits of land of no vital interest to us.
... Why doesn’t anyone care that Sanders is Jewish? The simple answer is that the American elite – who Bernie skewered again last night! – live in a world filled with empowered Jews, so Bernie’s rise is nothing new to them ... Americans are now very accustomed to seeing Jews in positions of power, from Rahm Emanuel to Elena Kagan to Paul Wolfowitz to Alan Greenspan and his wife Andrea Mitchell. The expert and correspondent desks on the cable networks include lots of Jews ... Then too, Bernie is hardly any more Jewish than other people in the race ... Hillary Clinton’s daughter is married to a Jew, so is Donald Trump’s daughter ... Having Jewish grandchildren is often held up as a criterion of being Jewish by the Jewish press – so that makes Trump more Jewish than Bernie Sanders.
We are witnessing the slow agony of the dream of European integration, disintegrating without a single demonstration occuring anywhere, among its 500 millions of citizens. It is clear that European institutions are in an existential crisis, but the debate is only at intergovernmental level. This proves clearly that European citizens do not feel close to Brussels ... There are now two countries, first Hungary and now Poland, which explicitly reject the “European model and values”, one to defend an autocratic model of governance, and the other Christian values, ignoring any declarations emanating from Brussels ... The refugee crisis has been the last blow to an institution which was already breathing with great effort.
... It is a global phenomenon. Wherever one goes – Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States – there is a well-organized and funded lobby ready, willing and able to go to war to protect Israel ... The Israeli Foreign Ministry has a corps of paid “volunteers” who monitor websites worldwide and take remedial action, and there is a similar group working out of the Prime Minister’s office. That is why any negative story appearing in the U.S. about Israel is immediately inundated with pro-Israel comments, many of which make exactly the same coordinated points while exhibiting the same somewhat less than perfect English ... The sayanim, local Jews in their countries of residence, are essential to this process, having been alerted by emails from the Israeli Foreign Ministry about what to do and say.
The Israeli Ministry of Education has struck a book from students’ reading lists. .. It is a gentle novel by an appreciated female author, Dorit Rabinyan. Her cardinal sin was the plot: a love story between a Jewish girl and an Arab boy. They meet on American soil. The Ministry shuddered. What? A kosher daughter of Israel with an Arab Goy? Unthinkable ... What is happening is the retreat of the new Israeli nation which we created in the 30s, 40s and 50s of the last century, into a new edition of the Jewish ghetto – an armed ghetto, a nuclear ghetto, but a ghetto nonetheless. It is the opposite of what Zionism was all about: a secular, democratic, egalitarian, liberal country, as opposed to a closed, religious, nationalist, racist, even semi-fascist society. In such a society, "assimilation" is indeed seen as a mortal danger.
A Virginia school district has banned the use of an educational video about racial inequality after some parents complained that its messaging is racially divisive. The four-minute, animated video — “Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race” — was shown last week to students at an assembly at Glen Allen High School, in Henrico County, as a part of the school’s Black History Month program ... In Glen Allen, about 14 miles north of Richmond, some parents complained, calling it a “white guilt video.” Henrico County Public Schools officials initially defended the video, saying it was “one component of a thoughtful discussion in which all viewpoints were encouraged.” But after the story began to spread nationally, school officials switched gears, labeling the video “racially divisive” two days later.
One of the biggest viral stories on social media last week was a laughably idiotic Finnish “how to” video that ostensibly demonstrates the proper way for women to defend themselves against rapists. The video, produced by state-run broadcaster Yle, reveals the top three police-certified methods that women should use against an attacker: “No,” “Push,” and “Handbag.” ... U.S. government leftists produced a much worse version of that Finnish video, and they did it back in 2013 ... Our “be kind to rapists” video was produced by the United States Department of Defense! And it makes the Finnish video look like a Charles Bronson film ... At least the Finnish video allows the victim to touch the prospective rapist. The Department of Defense video prohibits any physical contact.
Concentration camp survivors voiced indignation on Wednesday at an Austrian prosecutor's statement that it was justifiable for a far-right magazine to call people who were liberated from the Nazi camp at Mauthausen a criminal "plague.” An article in the July/ August edition of the far-right Die Aula magazine said that description applied to a significant number of freed inmates, saying they committed a range of crimes nearby after Nazi guards fled at the end of World War Two.
Seldom in American history has the political status quo taken a hammering like the one it is taking in this campaign year. This is reflected not just in the results of the New Hampshire primaries, but also in exit-poll results and expressions of candidate defiance ... Consider the number of voters who went to the polls in New Hampshire in both parties combined. The total exceeded 500,000, and the two winners — Sanders for the Democrats and billionaire developer Donald Trump for the Republicans— captured between them almost half of the total. That’s a lot of New Hampshirites with the courage to reject the status quo ... In exit polls, a majority of New Hampshire voters said their most important issue was income inequality, and the candidate quality they cared most about was honesty.
What will the 2016 election mean for U.S. foreign policy? I’ve been trying to avoid that question, because I find the entire spectacle of the campaign disheartening. I don’t just mean Donald Trump; it’s more the sad reality that my country is spending more than a year and billions of dollars selecting a new leader, with the media breathlessly reporting every twitch in the polls and every goofy moment in the debates. No other advanced democracy does business this way ... Here’s the real worry: Clinton and her advisors are deeply committed to the familiar strategy of liberal hegemony the United States has followed ever since the end of the Cold War ... A Trump presidency would be a leap in the dark, and I have no desire to participate in a social science experiment on such a vast scale.
... Based on the current trajectory, war between the United States and China in the decades ahead is not just possible, but much more likely than recognized at the moment. Indeed, judging by the historical record, war is more likely than not. Moreover, current underestimations and misapprehensions of the hazards inherent in the U.S.-China relationship contribute greatly to those hazards ... In fact, in 12 of 16 cases over the last 500 years in which there was a rapid shift in the relative power of a rising nation that threatened to displace a ruling state, the result was war ... The preeminent geostrategic challenge of this era is not violent Islamic extremists or a resurgent Russia. It is the impact that China’s ascendance will have on the U.S.-led international order ...
... Washington’s senseless policy in Syria has been hanging out there like overripe fruit for quite some time with the mainstream media instead marching at lockstep to the tune being whistled by a large disengaged and unaccountable White House ... The apparent willingness among policy makers to put U.S. troops on the ground in Syria against both its government and ISIS flies against all reason given the poor track record of White House initiated military interventions over the past fifteen years. The creation of a “stabilization force” without any current Syrian government participation is laughable, as even President Obama has conceded that the identification and deployment of “moderate rebels” is a bit of fantasy.
Celebrations of Valentine’s Day and the other “dominant holidays” are ending at one St. Paul elementary school, according to a letter from the principal addressed to families. Principal Scott Masini of Bruce Vento Elementary School, whose student body is overwhelmingly nonwhite, explained in the letter that “my personal feeling is we need to find a way to honor and engage in holidays that are inclusive of our student population.” ... Masini said there will be no cards or treats brought to school to mark Valentine’s Day. The letter listed the holidays that the East Side school will no longer celebrate as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Masini said the decision was made in consultation with his staff.
So now we have another anti-Semite. Mazal Tov ("good luck") as we say in Hebrew. His name is Ban Ki-moon, and he is the Secretary General of the UN. In practice, the highest international official, a kind of World Prime Minister. He has dared to criticize the Israeli government, as well as the Palestinian Authority, for sabotaging the peace process, and thereby making Israeli-Palestinian peace almost impossible ... The formulation sounded neutral, but Ban made it quite clear that almost the entire fault lies with the Israeli side. Since the Palestinians are living under a hostile occupation, there is not much they can do one way or the other ... Netanyahu may have disliked Ban’s statement that the "Two State Solution" is now the consensus of the entire world. The world except Netanyahu and his cohorts.
He was the most infamous traitor of the Second World War who tormented the British public with pro-Nazi speeches on German radio. Yet a BBC Radio 4 programme has suggested that William Joyce, better known as Lord Haw-Haw, was the victim of a miscarriage of justice when he was executed for treason 70 years ago. Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC told Radio 4’s Treason On Trial: “It’s one of those regrettable episodes, listed with Stephen Ward and the Birmingham Six. British justice has gone terribly wrong on a number of occasions.” ... Mr Robertson argues he could not have been guilty of treason against Britain because he was not a UK citizen. “Joyce, when he made these broadcasts, was an American living in Germany,” he said.
The Israel-based Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Croatia's government on Friday to dismiss its culture minister, saying he took a disdainful attitude toward Croatian resistance to fascism during World War Two. The Jewish human rights group expressed "shock and indignation at several actions taken and comments made" by minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic. Hasanbegovic has previously dismissed similar criticism as unfounded ... Zuroff accused Hasanbegovic, a historian who is also involved in publishing, of failing to recognise the genocidal nature of the Nazi-sponsored Ustasha regime, and showing disdain for Croatians who fought against it.
The next American president will almost certainly be bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby. Hillary Clinton has already declared that when she is elected president she intends to take relations with Israel “to the next level” and has also promised to invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit on her very first day in office. It is difficult to imagine what the next level might actually be in America’s already servile deference to Israeli interests so she should perhaps be careful regarding what she commits herself to do ... [Sheldon] Adelson is the Republican version of Saban. He believes that the United States should nuke Iran as a “negotiating tactic,” has an estimated $23.8 billion fortune derived mostly from casinos in Las Vegas and in Asia. He is a Republican funder for those prospective candidates who promote unlimited US support for Israel.
Former US lawmaker Cynthia McKinney says every candidate for Congress must pledge to support Israel’s military superiority in the region and continued large-scale US funding for the Zionist state, or risk losing the ability to raise funds for election campaigns. “If you don’t sign the pledge, you don’t get money,” she says in this in this interview with Marzieh Hashemi, an American-born journalist who lives in Iran. "You make a commitment that you would vote to support the military superiority of Israel, that the economic assistance that Israel wants, that you would vote to provide that," she adds. If a candidate does not sign the pledge or perform accordingly, "then you do not get money to run your campaign,” McKinney says. After she made the pledge public, she says, the tactic changed, but the basic requirement remained. Runtime: 4:35 mins.
... Washington’s expensive dream of remaking Central Asia almost certainly is dead. The decline has come with extraordinary speed ... The nation-building mission always was Quixotic. Even before Afghanistan the U.S. had an awful record of trying to turn impoverished, war-torn Third World states into respectable members of the “international community.” Most of Afghanistan’s people don’t want foreign rule ... The U.S. has been fighting in Afghanistan for more than 14 years ... It is time to turn the conflict over to the Afghans and let them determine their future. Americans may not like the result, but attempting to establish a liberal Western outpost in Central Asia never made sense. The U.S. has no security need to do so, and the task can’t be done at reasonable cost in lives and money.
Almost five years after the United States and its NATO allies launched a campaign in Libya to overthrow Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the United States is on the verge of massively escalating its military operations in the war-torn country. According to the New York Times, the new effort is “expected to include airstrikes and raids by elite American troops.” It is unclear how long this newest effort will last. The announcement comes on the heels of U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announcing combat troops were going back to Iraq last week ... All this with neither the corporate media nor Congress, which hasn’t yet brought military authorization to a vote, paying much attention.
Former senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton is the only candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination who supported the invasion of Iraq ... Moreover, the primary reasons Clinton gave for supporting President George W. Bush’s request for authorizing that illegal and unnecessary war have long been proven false ... Even many months after the Bush administration itself acknowledged that Iraq had neither WMDs nor ties to Al-Qaeda, Clinton declared in a speech at George Washington University that her support for the authorization was still “the right vote” and one that “I stand by.” ... Electing Hillary Clinton – or anyone else who supported the invasion of Iraq – would be sending a dangerous message that reckless global militarism needn’t prevent someone from becoming president ...
A documentary gem at the Jewish Film Festival is Peter Miller’s “Movies in Wartime: Projections of America,” the behind-the scenes narrative about the dramatic U.S. “propaganda” films made 70 years ago by Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Riskin, whose mission was to show WWII-liberated Europeans what America and Americans were really like. Riskin — who was married to Fay Wray of 1933 “King Kong” fame — had worked with Frank Capra on “Meet John Doe”” and had also created a 1942 film “Why We Fight?” Americans were going into countries where people did not know America. An idealist, his mission was to portray Americans to liberated European populations as being “people like you.”
... 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  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.
Decades of deceitful motion pictures have done much to produce a misinformed and compliant American public. A notable example of such film deceit is "Mission to Moscow," a major Hollywood production made with White House backing, that portrays Soviet dictator Stalin and the Soviet Russian regime as benevlolent, peace-loving and trustworthy. Another good example is the "Why We Fight" series of documentary-style films produced by the US War Department, which have been viewed by millions. Made during World War II, these seven films use staged scenes and fake quotations to present a grossly distorted view of history and the world.
The 50 most dangerous cities in the world have been named and shamed, and an astonishing 21 of them are in Brazil. Latin America features highly in the ranking, released by Mexico’s Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, as it is home to some 41 of the cities listed. Drug trafficking, gang wars, political instability, corruption and poverty are to blame for the high homicide rates across the region, which has just eight per cent of the world’s population, according to UN data. But the list doesn’t just include Latin America, with U.S. cities St Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans also featuring.
A retired media boss at a major German state broadcaster has admitted his network and others take orders from the government on what — and what not — to report. National public service broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), which was recently forced into a humiliating apology for their silence on migrant violence and sex assault is being drawn into a fresh scandal after one of their former bureau chiefs admitted the company takes orders from the government on what it reports. He said journalists received instructions to write news that would be “to Ms. Merkel’s liking”. Former head of ZDF Bonn Dr. Wolfgang Herles make the remarks during a radio event ... “... The topics about which are reported are laid down by the government.” ... Today, one is not allowed to say anything negative about the refugees” said Dr. Herles ...
A sense of accelerating chaos now hangs over the continent. As the influx across the eastern Mediterranean grows to more than 3,000 new arrivals every day, on top of all the other waves of mass immigration, the very fabric of European civilisation is disintegrating. The traditional bonds of solidarity and shared identity are collapsing. In their place there are fully justified fears about terrorism, extremism, alien customs and savage misogyny ... The EU’s whole existence is predicated on the abolition of patriotism, frontiers, self-government and nationhood. In its drive to create a multicultural superstate it has left us defenceless against the migrant floodtide. Our only hope of escaping this meltdown is to vote for our exit.
Americans are generally known for having a positive outlook on life, but with the countdown for November's presidential election now well under way, polls show voters are angry. This may explain the success of non-mainstream candidates such as Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders ... A CNN / ORC poll carried out in December 2015 suggests 69 percent of Americans are either "very angry" or "somewhat angry" about "the way things are going" in the US ... Here are five reasons why some voters feel the American dream is in tatters ... America's demographics are changing ... By 2055 non-Hispanic white people will make up less than half the population ... When asked if they trust the government, 89 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats say "only sometimes" or "never", according to Pew Research.
Whoever wins the nominations, the most successful campaigns of 2016 provide us with a clear picture of where the center of gravity is today in both parties and, hence, where America is going. Bernie Sanders, with his mammoth crowds and mass support among the young, represents, as did George McGovern in 1972, despite his defeat, the future of the Democratic Party ... Thus, on both trade and foreign policy, there is common ground between the rebellions in the Democratic and Republican parties ... Populism, patriotism, nationalism, defying political correctness and dissing the establishment and the elites that monitor PC are where it's at. And there are reasons for such populist rage. Put bluntly, the nation seems almost everywhere on an unsustainable path.
For nearly a year Israel has been offering African migrants cash and the chance to go and live in what is supposed to be a safe haven in a third country - but the BBC has spoken to two men who say that they were abandoned as soon as they got off the plane ... Israel - which has approved fewer than one percent of asylum applications since it signed the UN Refugee Convention six decades ago - has not offered asylum to a single person from Sudan ... The Israeli government has deals with two countries in Africa to host its unwanted migrants. It promises that people who take the option of "voluntary departure to third countries" will receive papers on arrival that give them legal status in the country. As an extra incentive, they're given $3,500 in cash, handed over in the departure lounge of the airport in Tel Aviv.
... Stalin was the biggest murderer of modern history – and maybe in of all mankind’s past. His number of victims was only rivaled by Genghis Khan and, in our era, Mao Zedong ... While the world remembers the Jewish Holocaust, it has almost totally forgotten the other Holocausts.... No one knows the exact figure of deaths in the Soviet Union. But it far exceeded in numbers and scope Hitler’s killings. Yet these epic Soviet crimes have all but vanished from our collective memories. No should have a monopoly on suffering. Almost equally disturbing, the US, Canada and Britain have never squarely faced the ugly fact that their close wartime ally, Stalin, was a far worse mass murderer than enemy Adolf Hitler ... Ever since, Hitler has been relentlessly demonized while Stalin has faded from our understanding.
We’re relentlessly told that we must “never forget” the “Six Million.” But we hear far less about the vastly greater number of victims of Lenin and Stalin, and the grim legacy of Soviet Communism. Some 20 million people perished as victims of the Soviet regime, historians acknowledge. Jews played a decisive role in founding and promoting the egalitarian-universalist ideology of Marxism, in developing the worldwide Marxist political movement, and in brutally imposing Bolshevik rule in Russia. With the notable exception of Lenin, who was one-quarter Jewish, most of the leading Marxists who took control of Russia in 1917-20 were Jews, including Trotsky, Sverdlov, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Radek.
Our "present" has to a large degree been shaped by the events of 1939-45. The outcome of the contest between Stalin and Hitler, as "relevant" to so many of our contemporaries as those earlier struggles between Persia and Greece or Carthage and Rome, does cast its shadow over our lives ... Stalin was haunted by the fear that the Communist state was essentially a house of cards that could easily collapse. His overriding concern was to shore up the position of the regime, largely through a policy of terrorizing the various peoples who inhabited the USSR.
With ever-growing hysteria, the Establishment is begging, cajoling and warning American voters not to elect a rogue President from the Right or the Left, neither Donald Trump nor Bernie Sanders, but to accept instead one of the “sane” mainstream options. Yet, the unspoken truth is that the American Establishment has been off its rocker for decades. It was, after all, Official Washington’s Establishment – led by the neoconservatives and their sidekicks, the liberal interventionists – that embraced President George W. Bush’s catastrophic invasion of Iraq in 2003. However, as costly as that decision was in terms of blood and money and cascading chaos – now destabilizing Europe – the Wise Men and Women imposed virtually zero accountability on themselves or other chief culprits.
Even considering that no one is fit to be president – in that no one should be able to command a state, which rules by threatening and committing violence against innocents – Hillary Clinton is especially unfit. No one who has done what she has done as a government official should be rewarded with power. Many things in her career could impose this special disqualification. Her vote for George W. Bush’s criminal and lie-based Iraq war, for example, would be more than enough to rule her out ... Likewise, her declaration of open-season on Syrian President Assad gave a boost to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliates. But if no other horrors were on her record, one should be enough to bar her from office: Libya. It would be hard to find a better example of how one person can wreak havoc on a society and create far-ranging catastrophes beyond.
Hillary Clinton likes to extol her foreign policy credentials, particularly her experience as Secretary of State. She attaches herself to Barack Obama’s coattails, pledging to continue his policies. But she is even more hawkish than the President. Like Obama, Clinton touts American exceptionalism, the notion that the United States is better than any other country. In his State of the Union addresses, Obama has proclaimed America “exceptional” and said the U.S. must “lead the world.” Clinton wrote in her book Hard Choices that “America remains the ‘indispensable nation.” It is this view that animates U.S. invasions, interventions, bombings and occupations of other countries ... There is little doubt that a President Hillary Clinton would continue our “perpetual war.” She would do everything in her power to ensure the robust survival of the American empire.
... Historical blindness has been much on display in the primary season. On the Republican side, candidates promised to “kick ass” in Iraq, make the “sand glow” in Syria, and face down the Russians in Europe. While the Democratic aspirants were a little more measured, they generally share the pervasive ideology that binds together all but “cranks” like Ron Paul: America has the right, indeed the duty, to order the world’s affairs. This peculiar view of the role of the US takes on a certain messianic quality in candidates like Hillary Clinton, who routinely quotes former Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s line about America as “the indispensable nation” whose job is to lead the world.
Billionaire George Soros contributed $6 million to a super-PAC supporting Hillary Clinton last month, according to the committee's latest financial statement. The investor has now contributed a total of $7 million in this election cycle to Priorities USA Action, which raised $41 million on behalf of Clinton in 2015. In the last six months, the super-PAC raised $25.3 million, meaning that Soros's contribution accounted for almost a quarter of its fundraising haul. Also making large contributions to the committee in 2015 were media mogul Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl, who gave a total of $5 million, philanthropist Laure Woods, who gave $2.3 million, and investor Donald Sussman, who contributed $2.5 million. This group, along with Soros, accounted for two-fifths of Priorities total fundraising in 2015.
American billionaire George Soros donated $6 million to a super-PAC financing US Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton last month, a report says. Soros has now provided a total of $7 million in this election cycle to Priorities USA Action, a super-PAC which raised $41 million on behalf of Clinton in 2015, according to the committee’s statement issued on Sunday. The super-PAC raised $25.3 million during the last six months, and Soros’s contribution accounted for almost a quarter of its funding haul. Haim Saban, an Israeli-American media tycoon, and his wife Cheryl have contributed a total of $5 million to Clinton’s super-PAC. Clinton has written a letter to Saban, pledging to speak out publicly against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign aimed at Israel.
... Over the past 30 years, and especially in the last decade, the GOP’s attachment to Israel has become remarkably fierce, to an extent that is basically unprecedented in modern American politics. On issue after issue — from military aid to settlement policy — the GOP now offers Israel unconditional and unquestioning support, so much so that some Republicans now liken the country to America’s “51st state.” The person most responsible for this development is the multibillionaire casino magnate and Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson ... According to Forbes, Adelson, who owns a majority of Sands stock, is worth about $26 billion ... Adelson has been known to boast that he is still “the richest Jew in the world.” ... All told, Adelson reportedly spent $100 million against Obama in 2012.
The US House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a Republican-led bill targeting the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran. Lawmakers voted 246-181 Tuesday to pass the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act, ignoring a veto threat from President Barack Obama ... The House bill would bar the removal of certain individuals and financial institutions on a restricted list until the president certifies to Congress that they weren’t involved in Iran’s ballistic missiles program or in terrorist activities ... The White House has said the bill could cause “the collapse” of the nuclear agreement.
Nearly six months after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1 was agreed, seven out of ten Iranians approve of the deal, but only 34 percent believe the U.S. will comply with its terms, according to a new poll released here Wednesday by the University of Maryland’s Center for International & Security Studies (CISSM) ... The survey found that President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif enjoy remarkably high approval ratings among the public ... The poll also found enduring distrust of the United States, although a majority of respondents (53%) said they had either a “very” (13%) or “somewhat” (40%) favorable view of “the American people.” That did not extend to the “U.S. government,” however, for which only one in ten respondents reported a favorable opinion.
... Americans, raised on action movies, seem to think the nation will be seen as weak internationally if it is not constantly bombing someone, leading presidential candidates, in a democracy, to give the public what it demands – macho hot air. Of course, this disease among the people leads the nation to an exhausting state of perpetual war for no good reason. Many other empires have gone into the graveyard of history because of such exhaustion – both financial and psychological – all the while believing that they were special and that it could never happen to them. Unfortunately ... the American Empire, without a major retraction and renewal, will likely travel down the same road to ruin.
Has Benjamin Netanyahu gone bananas? I don’t mean this as an aberration, like a politician who loses his marbles during a particular crisis. No, it was when I read the Israeli Prime Minister’s response to Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, that I realised he just might be a bit insane. Ban referred to “the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians … especially young people” since an increase in attacks on Israelis began last October. What Ban was saying was the truth, that “Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half-century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process”. And he spoke of how “oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation …”
The demonization of Iran is arguably the most bizarre and self-defeating of all U.S. foreign policies. Americans view Iran not simply as a country with interests that sometimes conflict with ours, but as a relentless font of evil. This is true across the political spectrum ... The intensity of anti-Iran feeling in the United States is based only in small part on Iran’s actual behavior. It is the logical result of conditioning: Thirty-five years of relentless anti-Iran rhetoric from across our political spectrum, including both political parties and most of the news media, and the stigmatizing of anyone who dissents from the paradigm of hostility. Beyond that is our lack of experience in dealing with countries that have different interests from ours. We feel good having an enemy, and Iran fits our bill.
... Since Jan. 16, when sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program were eased, Tehran has started to feel more like a business destination ... Largely absent from the festivities were Americans. While Europeans and Asians seek deals, most U.S. companies will have to watch from the sidelines ... The U.S. has left in place a host of restrictions on commercial dealings with Iran because of its ballistic missile program and its support for some groups the U.S. links to terrorism ... As European automakers jump back in, they’ll find a landscape changed by new competitors from China, which weren’t affected by the sanctions ... The bottom line: As sanctions against Iran ease, and European and Asian companies are pouring in, their American rivals face more restrictions.
Iran could have better relations with the United States, but it was up to Washington to change its "hostile" stance towards Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday. "It's possible that Iran and the United states might have friendly relations. But the key to that is in Washington's hands, not Tehran's," Rouhani said in a news conference in Rome before flying to Paris to continue his first trip to Europe since the lifting of sanctions. He also accused the "Israeli lobby" for being responsible for U.S. hostility towards Iran. Rouhani is looking to rebuild Iranian relations with the West some two weeks after financial sanctions on Tehran were rolled back following the implementation of its nuclear deal with world powers. "Iran does not just want trade, but also investment and technology," he said.
For the past several decades the centerpiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread 'democracy' throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? The thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the 'Israel Lobby'.
Fully 60 percent of Frenchmen believe that Jews bear at least some responsibility for recent rises in anti-Semitism, according to a new poll by the Ipsos market research firm. According to French media reports, the 18-month study, which was sponsored by the Fondation du judaïsme français, also found that 56 percent of Frenchmen believe that Jews have a “lot of power” and are richer than average while more than 40 percent said that Jews are “a little too present in the media.” About 13 percent agreed that “there are a few too many Jews in France,” perhaps helping to explain why “three-quarters consider it difficult to be a Jew in France” and 40 percent are considering emigration.
French controversial comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who has been several times convicted for racist and anti-Semitic remarks, was barred from entering in Hong Kong where his two scheduled shows were cancelled. Dieudonne was detained by immigration officials at Hong Kong International Airport shortly after arriving on a flight from Bangkok. The block on Dieudonne’s entry came reportedly after high-level diplomatic interventions by Israel and France, who warned that his planned appearances could have led to disorder and even violence if they went ahead ... Israeli consul general in Hong Kong Sagi Karni praised the government for “taking the right measures.”
Passage of Senator Mitch McConnell’s authorization for war against ISIS will not only lead to perpetual US wars across the globe, it will also endanger our civil and economic liberties. The measure allows the president to place troops anywhere he determines ISIS is operating. Therefore, it could be used to justify using military force against United States citizens on US territory ... The only way to protect both liberty and security is to stop trying to impose our will on other countries by military force. The resentment created by America’s militaristic foreign policy is ISIS’ most effective recruiting tool. Adopting a noninterventionist foreign policy that seeks peace and free trade with all would enable the government to counter legitimate threats to our safety without creating an authoritarian police state.
... Since then, Libya — so predictably — has all but completely collapsed, spending years now drowning in instability, anarchy, fractured militia rule, sectarian conflict, and violent extremism ... Just as there was no al Qaeda or ISIS to attack in Iraq until the U.S. bombed its government, there was no ISIS in Libya until NATO bombed it. Now the U.S. is about to seize on the effects of its own bombing campaign in Libya to justify an entirely new bombing campaign in that same country ... As it turns out, one of the few benefits of the NATO bombing of Libya will redound to the permanent winners in the private-public axis that constitutes the machine of Endless Militarism: It provided a pretext for another new war.
This is an interesting moment in relations between the United States and Israel. Call it a poisonous lull. The vitriol around the Iran nuclear deal has subsided. But something is rotten in the special bond. The American ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, was recently dismissed as a “little Jew boy” by a former aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for saying that “two standards” seem to apply in the way the law is applied to Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and that “too much Israeli vigilantism in the West Bank goes on unchecked.” Shapiro was stating the obvious ... If Netanyahu is now an Israeli moderate, what does that say about the extent of Israeli Messianic nationalism? ... The current situation is unsustainable.
Dan Shapiro, the US ambassador to Israel – an American Jew who speaks Hebrew and who does not hide his deep bond with the country – made a simple observation last week [Jan. 18]: Israel, he said, seems to have “two standards of adherence to the rule of law: one for Israelis and another for Palestinians.” This is a simple fact ... Not only were Shapiro’s comments condemned by Binyamin Netanyahu as “unacceptable and wrong”, but a former spokesman for the prime minister called Shapiro a “Jew boy” on an Israeli talk show – a derogatory term that essentially accuses him of being a self-hating Jew, a sellout, a traitor. Shapiro was personally and publicly attacked for uttering not his opinion, but a basic description of the reality on the ground.
... Israel flouts the global consensus supporting a two-state solution by appropriating and incorporating the last remnants of Palestine; Israel’s current head of state is an obnoxious loudmouth Jewish supremacist, while the Israeli people “shoot and cry,” “love themselves to death and pity themselves ad nauseam” (Gideon Levy) — don’t Israel’s singular warmongering, brazenness and self-righteous arrogance themselves accentuate the conflict’s image as one of pure good versus pure evil? If Palestine has become the emblematic cause of our time, it’s not because of a new “New Anti-Semitism,” although no doubt some anti-Semites have infiltrated its ranks. It’s because the martyrdom of Palestine and the meanness of Israel are so wrong.
... [David] Bowie isn’t getting nearly as much press for his extensively documented mid-1970s fascist obsessions ... A string of comments he made in 1975-6 really dribbled the Nazi basketball straight up to the hoop: “Rock stars are fascists. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars ... Think about it. Look at some of his films and see how he moved. I think he was quite as good as Jagger. It’s astounding. And boy, when he hit that stage, he worked an audience. Good God! He was no politician. He was a media artist ... The world will never see his like again.” ... He told a Swedish journalist “I believe Britain could benefit from a fascist leader.” What drew him the most infamy, however, was an alleged Sieg Heil he flashed the adoring crowd that greeted him at London’s Victoria Station ...
A vast exhibit of posts, pictures and plaudits have been compiled and revealed by Israeli Students Combatting Anti-Semitism (ISCA), with campaigners seeking to highlight “a little known issue”. The work analyses social media platforms, websites, blogs and online merchandise, with researchers warning that “glorifying Hitler is a widespread trend on the internet”. Students said that many sites go further, “drawing a complete outline of Hitler’s ideology, interpreting his thought and presenting him as a visionary”. Examples of Hitler’s presence online include image and video libraries, podcasts, articles and news pages, with neo-Nazis given a wealth of ammunition, including references and contacts.
A collection of paintings by Adolf Hitler is up for auction in Nuremberg, Germany, and is expected to sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, British media reported. Sixteen pieces of art created by the German dictator in his youth will go under the hammer next week, according to The Times. They include watercolors of towns, castles and countryside scenes, as well as several still lifes. Last June, watercolor paintings and drawings by the Nazi leader were sold at auction in Germany for nearly 400,000 euros ($450,000). The most expensive was a painting of King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, now a tourist magnet, which went to a buyer from China for 100,000 euros ($108,000). A still life of carnations changed hands for 73,000 euros ($79,000).
In this reasoned, well-researched lecture, Weber explains how and why Adolf Hitler and Third Reich Germany are portrayed in such a distorted and unbalanced way in the American mass media and schools, and by politicians. Grotesque distortions and even outright lies about Hitler and his regime are widespread and unchallenged in today’s America, Weber points out, even in supposedly authoritative history books and reference works. He gives clear, specific examples. In this address, titled "Is an Objective View of Hitler Possible?," Weber says that the portrayal of the Third Reich, as well as other important aspects of modern history, reflects the interests and agenda of those who wield power. Runtime: One hour, seven minutes.