Republican frontrunner Donald Trump devoted his major foreign policy address Wednesday to a theme, “America First,” that has been discredited through its association with Charles Lindbergh’s isolationist efforts to keep the U.S. out of the Second World War ... But Trump’s most vociferous critics will see the phrase as a “dog whistle” to the far right. In an infamous speech in Des Moines, Iowa on Sep. 11, 1941, Lindbergh blamed “foreign interests” and “a small minority of our own people” for attempting to drag the U.S. into the war. He did not mince words: “The three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration,” Lindbergh declared.
In embracing “America First’’ as his guiding foreign policy philosophy, Donald Trump appropriated — spontaneously, it seems — one of the most denigrated political slogans of the last century, and one that evokes an isolationism Trump himself explicitly rejects ... With hundreds of chapters and thousands of members, America First was the largest anti-war group in U.S. history. But as the war went on, opinion slowly swung against isolationism. And the movement was crippled by a speech Lindbergh gave on Sept. 11, 1941, in which he complained about American Jews’ support for intervention, saying, “Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government.’’
An indication of how far removed most of the current presidential campaign has been from intelligent and useful debate on important public issues is the speech on foreign policy that Donald Trump gave in Washington on Wednesday ... The general policy direction laid out was so general and vague as to be platitudinous, expressed in such phrases as “America first” (evidently with no intent to associate with the earlier isolationist use of that term), and that the United States should always endeavor to “win.” He called, again in general terms, for a coherent foreign policy, but the speech itself did not constitute such a policy ... There are, perhaps most obviously, blatant contradictions and inconsistencies ... There also are flights from factual reality — or in other words, making things up.
... A new book, published this week in Berlin, has traced the whereabouts of the world's most infamous dictator from his birth in 1889 until his death in 1945. In a staggering 2,432 pages, "Hitler — The Itinerary. Whereabouts and Journeys from 1889 to 1945," [by Harald Sandner] paints the picture of a highly mobile politician, who seemed to be everywhere at once, didn't keep regular office hours and, in fact, seemed to shun offices most of the time. It also portrays Hitler, to some extent, as a regular person who liked to eat bread soup (a local Weimar specialty), got haircuts and took his future wife, Eva Braun, out to the opera. And that's exactly the problem for some.
Labour has suspended a party member who described the Holocaust as “a useful political tool” of Israel to “establish a financial racket”. John McAuliffe is the latest in a string of party members to have faced similar action in recent weeks. Dublin-based McAuliffe, who is understood to have been an international member of the UK party, wrote ton Facebook: “The Holocaust has been the most useful political tool of the Zionist government in Israel to establish a financial racket in the West, whereby Israel receives an unlimited sum for the duration of its existence ...” ... This further paints a clearer picture of the divide between Zionism and Judaism, and their incompatibility.” His Facebook profile describes him as a “foreign affairs heavyweight” and columnist at Digital Journal and the Cambridge Globalist.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif appeared to defend his country’s Holocaust denial cartoon contest. The annual contest, which was introduced by former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad and is sponsored by the Tehran Municipality, offers a prize of tens of thousands of pounds. In an interview this week with the New Yorker Magazine, Zarif, who headed Iran’s negotiations of July’s accord with the international community over Tehran’s nuclear programme, was pressed on the cartoon contest. Rather than criticise the contest or its content, Zarif countered ... Ira Forman, the US State Department’s special envoy to combat and monitor anti-Semitism commented, “We’re really concerned this contest is used as a platform for Holocaust denial … and anti-Semitic speech.”
Republican White House frontrunner Donald Trump promised a top-to-bottom overhaul of US foreign policy Wednesday to put "America first" and make its allies pay up. In a major foreign policy speech short on specifics that left Washington experts scratching their heads, Trump warned that Europe and Asia may have to defend themselves. He vowed to tear up trade deals, retool NATO to oppose migration and "radical Islam" and put US national interests ahead of all other considerations. "'America First' will be the major and overriding theme of my administration," Trump told supporters, co-opting the slogan of America's pre-World War II isolationists ... “Our foreign policy is a complete disaster," the billionaire businessman said, dismissing the record of all presidents since the Cold War, both Republicans and Democrats.
Whether the establishment likes it or not, and it evidently does not, there is a revolution going on in America. The old order in this capital city is on the way out, America is crossing a great divide, and there is no going back ... Two minutes into his speech before the Center for the National Interest, Trump declared that the “major and overriding theme” of his administration will be — “America first.” ... Gutsy and brazen it was to use that phrase, considering the demonization of the great anti-war movement of 1940-41 ... By what he castigated, and what he promised, Trump is repudiating both the fruits of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, and the legacy of Bush Republicanism and neoconservatism.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged presidential candidate Donald Trump to reconsider his use of the phrase “America First” as a slogan describing his approach to foreign affairs, citing its anti-Semitic use in the months before Pearl Harbor by a group of prominent Americans seeking to keep the nation out of World War II. The most noteworthy leader of the “America First Committee” was Charles Lindbergh, who sympathized with the Nazis and whose rhetoric was characterized by anti-Semitism and offensive stereotypes, including assertions that Jews posed a threat to the U.S. because of their influence in motion pictures, radio, the press, and the government.
Former London mayor and veteran Labour politician Ken Livingstone is the latest Labour politician to be suspended for controversial remarks on Zionism, one day after lawmaker Naz Shah's suspension for her anti-Israel comments. Labour MPs called on Thursday to suspend Livingstone from the party after he rushed to his colleague's defense and allegedly calling Hitler a Zionist, the BBC reported. Sky News said that Livingstone, a former lawmaker and mayor of London, had also angered colleagues by asserting Shah's remarks comparing Hitler's policies to those of Israel toward Palestinans, and for suggesting Israel be relocated to the United States, were not anti-Semitic ... The former London mayor was accused by Labour MP John Mann of being a "Nazi apologist" as he arrived at the BBC's Westminster studios.
The Labour party has suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone in the wake of a new anti-Semitism row. The suspension came after several party figures, including Labour’s candidate for London mayor, called for Livingstone suspension for his comments in a BBC London Radio interview in which he claimed Hitler had supported Zionism ‘’before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.” He also charged that for decades in the UK there has been a “well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticizes Israel policy as anti-Semitic.” ... Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “Ken Livingston’s comments were abhorrent and beyond disgraceful. His latest comments combine Holocaust revisionism with antisemitism denial, when the evidence is there for all to see. He lacks any sense of decency. He must now be expelled from the Labour Party.”
A little-known chapter of history is the wide-ranging collaboration between Zionism and Hitler's Third Reich. During the 1930s, Jewish Zionists and German National Socialists shared similar views on how to deal with the “Jewish Question.” They agreed that Jews and Germans were distinctly different nationalities, and that Jews did not belong in Germany. During the 1930s no nation did more to substantively further Jewish-Zionist goals than Hitler's Germany.
The controversy surrounding the infamous “28 pages” on the possible Saudi connection with the terrorists that were excised from the joint Congressional report on the 9/11 attacks is at fever pitch. But that controversy is a distraction from the real problems that Saudi Arabia’s policies pose to the United States and the entire Middle East region ... It is unlikely that the declassification of the redacted 28 pages would add any dramatic new revelation to the story of the Saudis and the hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks ... The 28 pages should be released, but at a time when the contradictions between US and Saudi interests are finally beginning to be openly acknowledged, the issue is just another diversion from the real debate on Saudi Arabia that is urgently needed.
Syria has strongly criticized the United States for the deployment of a contingent of troops on its soil, saying the move amounts to aggression against national sovereignty. A Syrian Foreign Ministry official on Thursday called the reported deployment of 150 US troops to Rumeilan airport east of Syria as “an unacceptable and illegal intervention” which came without authorization from the Syrian government. “We received with great concern the reports about the entry of 150 American soldiers to the Syrian territory of Rumeilan,” said the official, adding, “The Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns this blatant aggression, which represents a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty.” The official said the deployment clearly violated the territorial integrity of Syria and ran contrary to internationally recognized norms and conventions.
In an apparent rejection of the basic principles of the U.S. economy, a new poll shows that most young people do not support capitalism. The Harvard University survey, which polled young adults between ages 18 and 29, found that 51 percent of respondents do not support capitalism. Just 42 percent said they support it. It isn't clear that the young people in the poll would prefer some alternative system, though. Just 33 percent said they supported socialism ... Capitalism can mean different things to different people, and the newest generation of voters is frustrated with the status quo, broadly speaking ... A subsequent survey that included people of all ages found that somewhat older Americans also are skeptical of capitalism.
... By characterizing the events of Sept. 11 as a bolt out of the blue unrelated to past actions by the United States, the version of truth constructed in the wake of those events served both purposes. Rather than prompting a reassessment of prevailing U.S. policies — the problematic U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia among them — it upheld those policies, justifying their perpetuation and not incidentally affirming the wisdom of those who devised them in the first place. No wonder the foreign policy establishment insists that the 28 pages remain secret; not only might the document challenge the state's preferred Sept. 11 narrative, but the demands for its declassification also call into question the establishment's very authority to control that narrative.
… In all the buckets of media gabble about the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, not once have I heard any journalist ask any expert the simple question, "Why did the terrorists attack us?" … The blunt and quite ugly truth is that the United States has been at war for years — that it started the war in the name of "spreading democracy," "building nations," "waging peace," "stopping aggression," "enforcing human rights," and all the other pious lies that warmongers always invoke to mask the truth, and that it continued the war simply to save a crook from political ruin. What is new is merely that this week, for the first time, the war we started came home — and all of a sudden, Americans don't seem to care for it so much.
A poll commissioned by Hungary’s Action and Defense Foundation discovered that a third of all Hungarians, and a staggering 41 percent of all Fidesz supporters, hold antisemitic views. The poll was conducted by Medián, one of Hungary’s most prominent polling and research firms. The organization’s director, Endre Hann, presented the findings: 23 percent of adult Hungarians hold “strongly antisemitic” views, while an additional twelve percent are “moderately antisemitic.” ... One quarter of Hungary’s population believes that the number of Jewish victims of the Holocaust is actually “much lower than previously thought.” Thanks in large part to the activities of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government, 40 percent of Hungarians now believe that the Hungarian state bears no responsibility for what happened to Hungarian Jews during World War II.
... On top of this, having listened to the outdated U.S. mantra of “all options are on the table” for 37 years, our people understand that we need to be prepared to prevent that illegal and absurd threat from ever becoming a reality … It is against this backdrop that we develop and test our indigenous defensive capabilities. We have no other choice, as we continue to face major hurdles in fulfilling our military hardware needs from abroad, even as our neighbors procure such hardware in mind-boggling quantities … We have not launched a war in more than two centuries and continue to make an unequivocal commitment of never commencing such foolishness. We challenge all our detractors — large and small — to commit likewise.
... He is the first American leader or potential leader of recent times not to feel the need or obligation to insist that the United States, the “sole” superpower of Planet Earth, is an “exceptional” nation, an “indispensable” country, or even in an unqualified sense a “great” one. His claim is the opposite. That, at present, America is anything but exceptional, indispensable, or great, though he alone could make it “great again.” ... Donald Trump, in other words, is the first person to run openly and without apology on a platform of American decline ... “Make America Great Again!” is indeed an admission in the form of a boast.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has convincingly advocated a reassessment of U.S. alliances around the world. President Obama’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia should prompt such a reevaluation of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The United States no longer needs to coddle the despotic monarchy, and should end this alliance of convenience ... Yet the United States mutes its criticism of such practices because of the pervasive myth among US policymakers that the Saudis can manipulate world oil prices and that the American economy will crash if the Saudis wink and create a world price spike. Neither is true. Contrary to popular belief, Saudi Arabia provides only 11 percent of US oil imports.
A British Parliament member who in a 2014 Facebook post called for relocating the entire State of Israel to the United States has been suspended from the Labour Party. Naz Shah, who is Muslim, was suspended Wednesday by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a day after she resigned from her post as private secretary to the Parliament’s shadow chancellor ... Shah published an apology in the Jewish News on Wednesday after previously apologizing for any offense she had caused with her post. Her suspension comes amid increasing complaints about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. It also comes a week after Malia Bouattia, a Muslim woman who is fiercely critical of Israel, was elected president of Britain’s national student union.
British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to "do everything in my power to stamp out anti-Semitism, in a special message for Passover in which he wished British Jew a ‘’happy and peaceful’’ holiday ... “Jewish communities, wherever in the world they are, must not be left to live in fear. Sadly, even here in the U.K., we still see cases of anti-Semitic abuse. I am determined to do everything in my power to stamp it out. Part of that is remembering the horror of the Holocaust, because to ignore history is to risk repeating it." Cameron called the Jewish community a "true British success story," saying British Jews are "excelling in every field and working constantly to build a fairer society for everyone."
Eighty-Three Republican and Democratic US Senators – representing 80 percent of the Senate -- have sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to increase military aid package to Israel, given dramatically increased defence challenges in the region. “In light of Israel’s dramatically rising defence challenges, we stand ready to support a substantially enhanced new long-term agreement to help provide Israel the resources it requires to defend itself and preserve its qualitative military edge,’’ said the letter, initiated by Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris Coons and which was signed by 51 Republican and 32 Democratic Senators. The current memorandum of understanding between the United States and Israel details a defence package worth more than $2.9 billion, but is due to expire in 2017.
Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court marks a continuation and deepening of the lopsided ethno-religious representation in the US judicial system. If Garland is appointed, Jewish justices will comprise 45 percent of the Court, even though they represent less than two percent of the overall population. Roman Catholics comprise the other 55 percent of the Court - even though they represent approximately 30 percent of the population. Protestants (historically the authors and signers of the country’s foundational documents, and the major confessional group) are totally absent from this august body of jurists.
... Video of two political veterans describing the overwhelming role of Jewish money on the Democratic side of US politics. The scene was a J Street panel Sunday night about the 2016 election ... J. J. Goldberg of the Forward ... said he had just read something “that knocked my socks off.” The Center for Responsive Politics issued a list of the top 50 donors to 527’s and super-PACs, and eight of the 36 Republican bigs were Jewish, and of the 14 Democrats, only one was not Jewish. “There was one non-Jew who was giving big money to the Democrats. That’s gigantic in the terms of American politics.” ... The financial role that Goldberg and Schriock are describing is mirrored in the Jewish role in the media.
... Hillary Clinton is going to have a fundraiser in Tel Aviv. Her Jewish outreach director will hold it ... Clinton has also been raising a ton of pro-Israel money in Los Angeles. Haim and Cheryl Saban have just kicked in another $2 million on top of $5 million they gave last year to her SuperPac, Priorities USA Action. Yahoo [reports]: “Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg have each given $1 million to Priorities, and Katzenberg has been lining up donors to the group ... Saban, Katzenberg and Spielberg were all co-hosts of a fundraiser featuring Hillary Clinton at the home of George Clooney on Saturday.” All these men (Clooney excepted) are ardent Zionists ... The big giving is a reminder that Jewish “weight” in our politics, as the Forward’s J. J. Goldberg said last weekend, is chiefly through the checkbook and not at the polls ...
These days everyone is talking about Donald Trump, the clear Republican Party front-runner in this year’s presidential election campaign ... At our March 19 IHR meeting, the Trump phenomenon, and what it means for our future, was the focus of well-presented talks by several speakers, and a lively exchange of views during an open discussion session. This gathering – the first IHR event of the new year – brought together 40-50 men and women who also enjoyed food, drink and good fellowship. ... As we’ve reported, 2015 was an exceptionally active year for us, with productive visits to Britain, Sweden, Turkey and Mexico ... During 2015 I conducted dozens of broadcast interviews with US and overseas media, appearing as a guest on radio and television broadcasts to talk about topical and historical issues.
Austria’s anti mass immigration party triumphed Sunday in the first round of presidential elections, dealing a wake-up call to Vienna’s cosy political establishment two years before the next scheduled general election. Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPOe) won 36.7 of the vote, projections showed, with candidates from the two governing parties failing to even make it into a runoff on May 22, projections showed. The result, if confirmed, means that for the first time since 1945, Austria will not have a president backed by either the Social Democrats (SPOe) or their centre-right coalition partners the People’s Party (OeVP) ... It was the best-ever result at federal level for the FPOe, whose entry into government in 2000 under the late SS-admiring Joerg Haider sent shock waves through Europe.
In a dramatic demonstration of the state of European politics, Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the far-right Freedom party, came out on top in the first round of voting in Austria's presidential elections. He secured 36 percent of the vote, which, though not an outright majority, placed him far ahead of candidates from the country's two main centrist parties ... The election verdict is an illustration of popular dissatisfaction with the country's political establishment, stoked by increasing economic woes and the government's response to a refugee crisis that has polarized public opinion throughout the continent and fanned populist fury. In a recent poll cited by Politico Europe, only twelve percent of Austrians think the country is moving in the right direction, with 52 percent saying it isn’t.
The number of people shot in Chicago so far this year has already passed 1,000, a grim milestone as gun violence in the city continues at a pace not seen since the 1990s. The city reached that dubious mark Wednesday, six to nine weeks earlier than in the previous four years, according to data compiled by the Tribune. The day saw one 14-hour stretch in which 13 people were shot, including a four-year-old boy hit in the foot as he walked with his mother in the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side. In the nearby Austin police district alone, four people were injured in three shootings during the day.
... While I do not believe we have any business telling the Saudis how to run their country, the decades-long special arrangement must come to an end. No more US-taxpayer subsidized arms deals to a Saudi Arabia that slaughters civilians in Yemen, transfers weapons to ISIS and other Islamist extremists in Syria and elsewhere, beheads its own citizens for minor offenses, finances terrorism overseas, and threatens other countries in the region. It should be known that no longer will the US guarantee the security of the Saudi kingdom. ... Yes, Prince Faisal. By all means let’s "recalibrate" our relationship. No more entangling alliances with Saudi Arabia!
According to the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, an Israeli NGO, the Israeli government has demolished 28,000 Palestinian structures since the Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began in 1967, resulting in the homelessness and suffering of untold numbers of people. There is little ambiguity about the morality of this form of ethnic cleansing, and even most Israeli legal scholars agree that it is in contravention of international law.
Graduate students at New York University have overwhelmingly voted to boycott Israel in protest of its violation of Palestinian human rights. Exactly two-thirds of voting members of the graduate student union the Graduate Student Organizing Committee, or GSOC-UAW 2110, supported a referendum on Friday that calls for New York University and United Auto Workers International to withdraw their investments from Israeli state institutions and international corporations complicit in violations of Palestinian human and civil rights. At least 645 union members participated in the vote. An additional 57 percent of voting members pledged to uphold the academic boycott of Israel, refraining from participating in research and academic programs sponsored by institutions funded by the Israeli government.
The suicide rate in the US has surged to its highest level in almost three decades, according to a new report. The increase is particularly pronounced among middle-age white people who now account for a third of all US suicides. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report did not offer an explanation for the steep rise. However, other experts have pointed to increased abuse of prescription opiates and the financial downturn that began in 2008 as likely factors. The report did not break down the suicides by education level or income, but previous studies found rising suicide rates among white people without university degrees ... In the past, suicides have been most common among white people, but the recent increases have been sharp.
The Soviet Union’s occupation of Latvia cost the country 185 billion euros, according to a report published on Monday. The findings reopen a longstanding debate about the debts that former imperial powers owe to the countries they once occupied, and whether they should be repaid ... The figure of 185 billion euros is of course a shocking one, but it is focused primarily on the economic costs. Through deportations and imprisonment the occupation also exacted a heavy human toll which is much harder to put a price on ... Just as difficult to quantify is the environmental impact of Soviet occupation. A remarkably green, densely forested country, Latvia was subjected to reckless industrialisation by the Soviet Union.
... So what does an IQ test – which might consist of, for example, shape-based puzzles, timings of how quickly you can check through lists of meaningless symbols, memory tests, and vocabulary measures – actually tell you? The strongest correlation is perhaps unsurprising: an IQ score is highly predictive of how people will do in school ... But that’s just the beginning: higher IQ scores are predictive of more occupational success, higher income, and better physical and mental health ... We know from studies of twins, and from studies done directly on DNA, that intelligence test scores are heritable: a substantial portion of the intelligence differences between people are due to genetics.
When it comes to population, quality matters more than quantity ... Richard Lynn [in his book Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations] brings together studies and data from the last 200 years dealing with the connection between fertility and intelligence/ socioeconomic status from all over the world ... Reviewing various studies and using findings from twin and adoption cases showing that IQ is 82 percent heritable, Lynn calculates a genotypic IQ decline of five points in Britain from 1890-1980. In the US he calculates a drop of 2.5 IQ points for whites and 6.2 for blacks over three generations.
Although many people across the globe traditionally choose to celebrate April 20th in a quite greener fashion, the date also marks Adolf Hitler's birthday, with some citizens and restaurants in Austria marking the day by serving up Hitler's favorite food, Vice News reported on Thursday. The rumor that Hitler's favorite food was Eiernockerl, an Austrian dumpling served with scrambled eggs and a salad, was popularized by a former Austrian district council member ... The dish, which is not illegal and is regularly served at restaurants, is particularly popular on April 20th due to its well-known association with the Nazi dictator ... Restaurants gleefully advertised the dish as a daily special for April 20th.
Standard narratives of the Third Reich have long emphasized the concept of “subhumans” (Untermenschen) as central to National Socialist thought and policy on race ... In this article, I would like to put the Untermensch concept and its actual use by Hitler in its historical context, as free as possible from the baggage of the victors’ mythology of the Second World War ... The notion of a “master race” (Herrenvolk) is also heavily emphasized in mainstream accounts of the Third Reich. In fact, Hitler never used the term “master race” in either his books, speeches, or recorded private Table Talk.
The rectangular plaques are small and simple. Etched into the metal there is a name, date of birth and occupation: radio technician, journalist, student. Then come the dates of arrest and execution. Fixed to buildings across Russia, the nameplates are gradually restoring the memory of some of the hundreds of thousands of victims of Joseph Stalin's political repressions. The initiative of a group of activists, it is also a direct challenge to the growing number of Russians who see the Soviet leader in a positive light ... The Great Terror reached its frenzied height in 1937 and 1938. As well as Communist Party officials, factory workers, artists and even housewives were among the vast numbers imprisoned or killed as "counter-revolutionaries". The government is drawing up a new state policy to commemorate the victims of political repression.
During 1967’s Six-Day War, the Israel Defense Forces captured Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights … No international entity recognized Israeli sovereignty over these areas. UN Security Council Resolution 242, “land for peace,” is based on the inadmissibility of obtaining territories by force … The argument that decades of occupation grant possession of a territory for all eternity is not accepted anywhere in the world. According to this principle, all colonial countries would have an inherent right to their colonies – and even the Jewish state wouldn’t have had the right to establish its independence. Netanyahu is in love with his vacuous statement that he always achieves his goals.
In its report on the still-censored “28 pages” implicating the Saudi government in 9/11, “60 Minutes” last weekend said the Saudi role in the attacks has been “soft-pedaled” to protect America’s delicate alliance with the oil-rich kingdom. That’s quite an understatement. Actually, the kingdom’s involvement was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of our government. And the cover-up goes beyond locking up 28 pages of the Saudi report in a vault in the US Capitol basement. Investigations were throttled. Co-conspirators were let off the hook ... Those sources say the pages missing from the 9/11 congressional inquiry report ... details “incontrovertible evidence” gathered from both CIA and FBI case files of official Saudi assistance for at least two of the Saudi hijackers who settled in San Diego.
... While dishonoring Andrew Jackson, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is putting on the U.S. currency six women — three white, three African-American — and King. No Catholics, no conservatives, no Hispanics, no white males were apparently even considered. This is affirmative action raised to fanaticism, a celebration of President Obama’s views and values, and a recasting of our currency to make Obama’s constituents happy at the expense of America’s greatest heroes and historic truth ... While King already has a holiday and monument in D.C., were the achievements of any of these six women remotely comparable to what the six men honored on our currency — Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Jackson, President Grant and Ben Franklin — achieved?
President John F. Kennedy worried that Israel’s nuclear program was a potentially serious proliferation risk and insisted that Israel permit periodic inspections to mitigate the danger, according to declassified documents published today ... Kennedy pressured the government of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to prevent a military nuclear program, particularly after stage-managed tours of the Dimona facility for U.S. government scientists in 1961 and 1962 raised suspicions within U.S. intelligence that Israel might be concealing its underlying nuclear aims. Kennedy’s long-run objective, documents show, was to broaden and institutionalize inspections of Dimona by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In this secret internal memo of July 19, 1969, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger explains to President Richard Nixon the "dangers" of Israel's nuclear weapons program. Kissinger notes that Israel had broken its pledge to the US not to "introduce" nuclear weapons in the region. He also notes that if the US tries to force Israel to live up to its commitment by withholding delivery of US warplanes, "enormous political pressure will be mounted on us." This memo, declassified in 2007 after being "sanitized," lays out US policy regarding the Zionist state's nuclear arsenal: "While we might ideally like to halt actual Israeli possession, what we really want at a minimum may be just to keep Israeli possession from becoming an established international fact."
... There is ample reason to be terrified of Donald Trump’s possible ascension to the presidency. Yet because he has dared to question ossified principles of our foreign policy, he deserves our gratitude. Trump steadfastly refuses to accept the world affairs catechism that President Obama recently called “the Washington playbook.” This has spread panic through the inbred American foreign policy establishment. It is a delight to watch. The “Washington playbook” posits a series of delusional principles that are not only outdated, but undermine America’s national security. Our leaders reflexively genuflect before these false idols: The world is in endless conflict between good and evil; people everywhere look to the United States to fight for the good; and this fight must be waged with force or the threat of force, since only force can crush evil.
Montreal will become the latest Quebec city to erase any trace of a Nobel Prize-winning doctor because of his alleged Nazi ties. Alexis Carrel's name will be stricken from a park and a street in the city, Mayor Denis Coderre said Wednesday. The French surgeon and biologist won the Nobel Prize in 1912 for work in vascular suturing and transplants, but became the subject of controversy for supporting eugenics and the Vichy regime, which collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War. Coderre told an executive committee meeting that Carrel, who died in 1944, was "at minimum, a Nazi sympathizer.” Last year, Gatineau officials removed Carrel's name from a street and did likewise for Philipp Lenard, a German physicist who won the Nobel in 1905 but was also an adviser to Adolf Hitler and a known believer of Nazi ideology.
If there were any doubts that Hillary Clinton favors a neoconservative foreign policy, her performance at Thursday’s debate should have laid them to rest. In every meaningful sense, she is a neocon and – if she becomes President – Americans should expect more global tensions and conflicts in pursuit of the neocons’ signature goal of “regime change” in countries that get in their way ... Clinton made clear – both at the debate and in her recent AIPAC speech – that she is fully in line with the neocon reverence for Israel and eager to take out any government or group that Israel puts on its enemies list. While waxing rhapsodic about the U.S.-Israeli relationship – promising to take it “to the next level” – Clinton vows to challenge Syria, Iran, Russia and other countries that have resisted or obstructed the neocon/ Israeli “wish list” for “regime change.”
... In my view and that of other veteran observers, such as Jacob Heilbrunn, the defense of Israel has been a central pillar of the neoconservative worldview from the outset. The fact that neoconservatism began as — and remains — a largely Jewish movement is one very relevant reason ... Although strong defenders of Israel, neoconservatives are not necessarily “Israel-Firsters.” They believe that both the U.S. and Israel are morally exceptional. That means that neither one should necessarily be bound by international norms or institutions, like the UN Security Council, that would constrain their ability to defend themselves or pre-empt threats as they see fit ... So, Manicheanism, moral exceptionalism, a benevolent Pax Americana backed up by huge military budgets, Israel’s security — these are all central to the neoconservative worldview.
… For eight decades, the greatest mass murder in modern history has been shamefully covered up or ignored … If we keep demanding that Germany and Japan atone for their wartime crimes, is it not time for our governments to finally recognize and atone their alliance with the biggest mass murderer in history, Josef Stalin, a man whose crimes exceeded those of Adolf Hitler by a factor of at least three or four times? Particularly so in the United States, where World War II has become something of a state religion and is endlessly invoked by conservatives and neocons to justify foreign military adventures.
Thirty years of wage stagnation followed by one wealth-eviscerating asset bubble after another has drained the optimism from the collective American psyche. Most people now think things are going to get worse for themselves and their children ... Donald Trump’s meteoric rise in the GOP can be traced back to the failed economic policies of prior administrations ... Let’s summarize: A higher percentage of Trump supporters think they are getting screwed-over by an unfair system. They think “free trade” only benefits the rich, they think the government is unresponsive to their needs, they think the system is rigged, they think the economy stinks, and they’re really, really mad.
Israel’s ambassador to Hungary wrote to a newspaper editor condemning what he said was a columnist’s anti-Semitic writings. Ilan Mor’s April 4 letter to Peter Petan, editor-in-chief of Magyar Hirlap, were about articles by Zsolt Bayer, a co-founder of the ruling Fidesz party, that “openly advocate anti-Semitic sentiments and incite against the Jewish People and the State of Israel,” the Jewish weekly Szombat reported Monday after obtaining a copy of the letter. Mor’s protest, which is unusual for an Israeli ambassador, concerned specifically a series of more than a dozen op-eds that Bayer has published since February in Magyar Hirlap, a major daily ... Titled “intolerable,” the series examines the historical roots of anti-Semitism in Hungary, often asserting it as a natural reaction to actions by Jews against non-Jews.
Microsoft is taking no chances with its latest artificial-intelligence (AI) experiment ... The company’s latest project — a bot that tells you what's in photos — refuses to even look at photos of Adolf Hitler. CaptionBot is the latest in a series of periodic releases from Microsoft's AI division to show off its technical prowess in novel ways. You can upload photos to it, and it will tell you what it thinks is in them using natural language ... But the bot appears to have a block on photos of Adolf Hitler. If you upload a photo of the Nazi dictator to the bot, it displays the error message: "I'm not feeling the best right now. Try again soon?" This error message popped up multiple times when we tried uploading photos of Hitler — and at no point did it appear when we tested other "normal" photos — suggesting there's a deliberate block in place.
... I learned that the Office of State Security [in Poland] ran 227 prisons for German civilians like Lola's. It also ran 1,255 concentration camps, and I interviewed four of the commandants. They were also Jews ... He picked up a wooden stool and he started beating the Germans to death. For this one camp, I found the death certificates for 1,583 Germans. In other camps and other prisons, thousands of German civilians died. German men, women, children, babies. At one camp there was a barracks for fifty babies.
The US vice-president, Joe Biden, has delivered an unusually sharp critique of the government of Binyahim Netanyahu, saying the Israeli prime minister is leading Israel in the wrong direction through his policies, including settlement building. Biden described the Obama administration’s “overwhelming frustration” with Israel, adding that “profound questions” existed about how the country could remain both Jewish and democratic. Although Biden’s comments, made in a speech to the Jewish American group J-Street, also criticised Palestinians for the failure of the last round of Middle East peace talks, his remarks about the Netanyahu government were particularly pointed ... Biden insisted, however, that the US remained committed to Israel’s security.
... Vice President Biden praised Jewish leaders in the media Tuesday night [May 2013], crediting them with helping change American attitudes on gay marriage with contributions to television and technology like “Will and Grace” and social media. "I believe what affects the movements in America, what affects our attitudes in America, are as much the culture and the arts as anything else," Biden said at a Democratic National Convention reception celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month ... “I bet you 85 percent of those changes, whether it's in Hollywood or social media, are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry," the gaffe-prone Veep said ... Biden also praised Jewish contributions to civil rights, science and immigration reform.
Celebrated former slave Harriet Tubman will replace the late president Andrew Jackson on the $20 banknote, the first time an African-American has appeared on US currency, a Treasury official said Wednesday. The Treasury is expected to announce the change later Wednesday along with a long-awaited redesign of the $10 bill, which is also expected to feature depictions of women on one side. Plans made last year to remove first Treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton -- the inspiration for a hit Broadway musical -- from the $10 bill were dropped, however, in the face of popular opposition. US Senator Jeanne Shaheen cheered the choice of Tubman on Twitter.
The United States on Monday objected to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that the Golan Heights will forever remain under Israeli control, reiterating that it does not recognize the Jewish state’s claims to the strategic plateau. US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the Obama administration does not consider the Golan Heights to be part of Israel ... Earlier Monday, Germany said a unilateral decision by Israel to keep the Golan Heights would breach international law while the Arab League denounced Netanyahu’s comments as an “escalation.” German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said “it’s a basic principle of international law and the UN charter that no state can claim the right to annex another state’s territory just like that.”
The Obama administration accused Israel of using excessive force against Palestinians during a wave of deadly violence, in an annual report that pointed to a global decline in human rights. The annual report by the State Department into human rights abuses around the world accused Israeli forces of “excessive use of force” in the Palestinian territories, and “arbitrary arrest and associated torture and abuse, often with impunity,” by the IDF, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. According to numbers cited in the report, 149 Palestinians were killed in 2015 by Israeli security forces, but only 77 were in the course of attacking Israelis.
A Russian YouTuber has written a viral protest song in support of one of her fans. Why? The fan was summoned for questioning by the police after sharing a picture of her standing next to an anime character wearing a swastika armband. Wait. What? Yes, this one's weird. In short, it's a story about the way social media is being policed in Russia, and a teenage singer who's fighting back. The singer goes by the name of Monetochka -- or Little Coin - on YouTube. She's 17, lives in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, and has picked up a pretty decent following by singing about everything from fashion to literature and politics ... .Now Kochkin has been summoned for questioning by the police, accused of the "public display of Nazi symbols," which is outlawed in Russia. So far he hasn't been charged, but could face up to 15 days in jail.
The percentage of Americans who prayed or believed in God reached an all-time low in 2014, according to new research led by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge. A research team ... analyzed data from 58,893 respondents to the General Social Survey, a nationally representative survey of U.S. adults administered between 1972 and 2014 ... Americans in recent years were less likely to engage in a wide variety of religious practices, including attending religious services, describing oneself as a religious person, and believing that the Bible is divinely inspired, with the biggest declines seen among 18- to 29-year-old respondents ... The one exception to the decline in religious beliefs was a slight increase in belief in the afterlife.
Israel has approved plans for more than 200 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, adding to a sharp increase in settlement projects so far this year, Israeli campaigners said Thursday. Hagit Ofran, a spokeswoman for settlement watchdog Peace Now said the government had given the green light for at least 229 homes, which are at various stages in the technical process. Settlements are considered illegal under international law, and are seen as major stumbling blocks to peace efforts since they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state. "This policy is killing the two-state solution," Ofran told AFP ... Peace Now said this week that the number of West Bank settlements Israel plans to build more than tripled in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.
... The incident, once more, highlights a culture of impunity that exists in the Israeli army, which is not a new phenomenon. Not only is Israeli society supportive of the soldier behind this particular bloody incident, almost a vast majority is in support of field executions as well ... According to a recent Pew survey, nearly half of Israelis want to expel Palestinians Arabs - Muslims and Christians - from their ancestral homeland. The danger of impunity is not merely the lack of legal accountability, but the fact that it is the very foundation of most violent crimes against humanity, including genocide. This impunity began seven decades ago and it will not end without international intervention, with concerted efforts to hold Israel accountable in order to bring the agony of Palestinians to a halt.
The Zionist narrative exists to justify the existence of the state of Israel. It is the narrative that dominates the perspectives of the US and Canadian governments as well as the mainstream media in North America. This narrative accepts as its starting point the right of a Jewish state to exist based on the fact that Jews lived in the biblical lands 2,000 years ago and that these lands belong to God’s chosen people: the Jews. But does this narrative reflect the truth? Or is it self-serving propaganda? ... The Zionists have effectively re-written the history of Israel and it is this misrepresentation of the past and present that has dominated the Israel-Palestine narrative.
Sorry to burst everyone’s branding bubble, but there is a “Jewish lobby.” It happens to be pro-Israel because it’s Jewish — not the other way around. Jews don’t like hearing non-Jews use the term in public, and perhaps they shouldn’t. But as an interest group, Jews as such are ably represented (most of the time) by a close-knit network of advocacy organizations. Most of these are purely or predominantly Jewish, judging by their branding, supporters and staff.
The way that American political leaders and the US mass media deal with the Israel-Palestine conflict is an expression of a corrupt, unhealthy society that ignores basic historical and political realities and betrays the principles it claims to uphold. America’s policy of ardent support for the Zionist state also puts the US increasingly at odds against the rest of the world. As the new US ambassador to Israel recently acknowledged, US policy in the Middle East is driven by concern for Israel’s interests -- and not by what’s best for America and humanity.
... The world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs ... We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side. There are many reasons for this. You [Americans] have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity ... I believe that you do not realize how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism.
One of the Israeli government’s secrets to manipulating the American media has been revealed for the first time by new research. Israel habitually launches its most unpopular and, sometimes, deadly attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to coincide with big news events here in the U.S., so that they don’t get too much public attention, according to the study ... Too cynical? Maybe — or, maybe not. Bibi Netanyahu, who was just re-elected as Israeli prime minister after a stunning last- minute rally, boasted as long ago as 2001 about Israel’s ability to play American public opinion. “I know what America is,” Netanyahu boasted during a meeting that was caught on camera. “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.”
... This island nation of just over 300,000 people has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world. It is hard to avoid writers in Reykjavik. There is a phrase in Icelandic, "ad ganga med bok I maganum", everyone gives birth to a book. Literally, everyone "has a book in their stomach". One in ten Icelanders will publish one ... Dating from the 13th Century, Icelandic sagas tell the stories of the country's Norse settlers, who began to arrive on the island in the late 9th Century. Sagas are written on napkins and coffee cups. Each geyser and waterfall we visit has a tale of ancient heroes and heroines attached. Our guide stands up mid-tour to recite his own poetry - our taxi driver's father and grandfather write biographies.
... Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, this country has been steadily bled and slowly bankrupted. We are now as overextended as was the British Empire in the 1940s. And like that empire, we, too, are being challenged by nations that seek to enlarge their place in the sun — a resurrected Russia, China, Iran. And we are being bedeviled by fanatics who want us out of their part of the world, which they wish to remake according to the visions of their own faiths and ideologies. Time for a reappraisal of all of the war guarantees this nation has issued since the beginning of the Cold War, to determine which, if any, still serve U.S. national interests in 2016. Alliances, after all, are the transmission belts of war. This is not isolationism. It is putting our country first, and staying out of other people’s wars. It used to be called patriotism.
We invaded Iraq 13 years ago on Sunday, but you would barely know from watching the news. Perhaps because there are so many war anniversaries these days it’s hard to keep track, or perhaps, it’s because our country has learned virtually nothing from the biggest foreign policy debacle of our generation. The US government celebrated the Iraq war anniversary by announcing that they were sending more troops to the country ... In all, the US has been bombing Iraq for 25 years, which includes the last four presidents ... And if you listen to the leading candidates for both political parties, you can bet that streak will reach five on their first day in office. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have called for an expansion of military action in the Middle East in response to Isis.
... The cause of our misadventures is homemade, not foreign. And it is structural, not a consequence of the party in power or who’s in the Oval Office ... Americans will not regain our national composure and the respect of our allies, friends, and adversaries abroad until we recognize their interests and perspectives as well as our own, stop lecturing them about what they need to do, and concentrate on fixing the shambles we’ve made here at home. There’s a long list of self-destructive behavior to correct and an equally long list of to-dos before us. Americans need both to focus on getting our act together domestically and to rediscover diplomacy as an alternative to the use of force.
... At the heart of bitter US-Cuban relations was the Castro brothers’ adamantine refusal to take instruction from Washington. Before Fidel Castro seized power in 1959, Cuba had been an obedient semi-colony of the US. This was the era when Big Brother in Washington told Latin America what to do and allowed US business to exploit the region. The US seized Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay during the 1898 Spanish-American War as a naval coaling station. Cuba was forced to grant the US a perpetual lease. The Panama Canal was acquired in a similar imperial manner. Over half the lush island’s agricultural land was owned by US corporate interests; many hotels came under control of American mobsters ... US tourists will soon inundate the island, eradicate its seedy 1950’s charm, and see Cuba returned to American tutelage.
… The overwhelming history of U.S. conduct in other countries rarely occurs to the average American. Aside from some obvious instances, such as the Vietnam War and the nearly universally approved U.S. intervention into World War II, the history of U.S. foreign policy does not get the attention and consideration it deserves. Stephen Kinzer, in his new book, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq … sketches out an engaging, very tightly written narrative of U.S. involvement in overthrowing the governments of Hawaii, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
For more than a century, US foreign policy was based on the principle of non-intervention in overseas wars and disputes, and rejection of “entangling alliances.” In 1898 the US -- seizing on a pretext -- declared war against Spain. The US acquired the Philippines and Puerto Rico, and also took Hawaii and established hegemony over Cuba. This was a landmark transition from a republic to an imperial power. Later, in two world wars, the US pushed a globalist foreign policy, justifying military intervention everywhere in the name of “democracy.” Today America’s “exceptionalist” role as a “world policeman” is increasingly resented everywhere as arrogant and hypocritical.
Why do the angry white poor and working class support the unlikely populist Donald Trump — a spoiled bully who made and lost fortunes in part by gaming the system, who seems to take gratuitous rudeness and cruelty as a birthright, whose lifestyle is symptomatic of American excess, and who for the last half-century has embraced no ideology other than Trump, Inc.? ... In sum, the white lower and middle classes are angry, and they are tired of being blamed for the unhappiness of other tribes. In our world, in which uncouth tribal leaders can say almost anything, these whites wanted their own Sharpton or Ramos, and finally got him with Donald J. Trump. As is true of most revolutionary movements, the aggrieved are not as angry at their perceived opponents as they are contemptuous at the enablers of them.
In the course of an interview with the New York Times, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had his foreign policy boiled down to two words: “America First.” ... Trump explained that what he meant by the idea was that his administration would prevent other nations from taking advantage of the United States. But whatever he meant, those words come with nearly a century’s worth of political baggage ... In April of 1941, after the Lend-Lease Act was passed over America First objections, Charles Lindbergh — the most famous face of U.S. isolationism and the America First Committee --- spoke to a Manhattan rally, laying out the America First take on the global situation.
… There is a policy open to this nation that will lead to success -- a policy that leaves us free to follow our own way of life, and to develop our own civilization. It is not a new and untried idea. It was advocated by Washington. It was incorporated in the Monroe Doctrine. Under its guidance, the United States became the greatest nation in the world. It is based upon the belief that the security of a nation lies in the strength and character of its own people … The time has come when those of us who believe in an independent American destiny must band together, and organize for strength. We have been led toward war by a minority of our people. This minority has power. It has influence. It has a loud voice. But it does not represent the American people.
Charles Lindbergh became an instant world celebrity at the age of 25 when he made a grueling 33-hour flight from New York to Paris. His daring flight, and his aviation pioneering afterwards, made him, for some time, the most admired man in America. He was also a prolific, prize-winning author, inventor, explorer, and social activist. But his greatest act of courage was in speaking out -- eloquently and frankly -- against the deceitful campaign to push the United States into war. Lindbergh deserves to be remembered and honored today, not only as an authentic American hero, but also because much of what he wrote and said is instructive and relevant in our own age.
... In a magnificently researched new book titled No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money, David Lough, a retired banker who read history at Oxford University, recounts the unbelievable story of the former prime minister's fiscal excesses. After years of sifting patiently through Churchill's bank statements and bills, Lough, a skilled financial gumshoe, has amassed a trove of material that he deploys to great effect in his book. We learn of Churchill's ruinous stock market speculation circa 1929 and the inheritances he squandered; his gambling rousts at the casinos in Biarritz and Monte Carlo; the thousands of pounds he sank into the upkeep of Chartwell, his beloved country mansion in Kent; and the unceasing torrent of cash he poured into maintaining a first-rate cellar.
In the fateful spring and early summer of 1940 the people of Britain clustered around their wireless sets to hear defiant and uplifting oratory from their new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill ... A close reading of the increasingly voluminous revisionist literature discloses many further examples of events that one thinks cannot really be true, or cannot be true if the quasi-official or consecrated narrative is to remain regnant ... If he has a titanic place in history, it is largely because he was instrumental in engaging the United States in two world wars, and thus acted as (inadvertent) midwife to the successor role of America as an imperial power.
Winston Churchill, Britain’s premier during World War II, is honored for his stubborn “bull dog” hostility toward Hitler and Nazism, and his important role in ultimately destroying Third Reich Germany. In fact, his policies brought death and destruction on a mass scale, Soviet domination of central and eastern Europe, a shattered British empire, and Britain itself exhausted and bankrupt. The well-polished image of Churchill as a courageous and principled defender of freedom is based on a deceitful and ultimately dangerous narrative of history.
The use of chemical weapons in Syria has outraged the world. But it is easy to forget that Britain has used them – and that Winston Churchill was a powerful advocate for them / … Britain's imperial general staff knew there would be outrage if it became known that the government was intending to use its secret stockpile of chemical weapons. But Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, brushed aside their concerns. As a long-term advocate of chemical warfare, he was determined to use them against the Russian Bolsheviks. In the summer of 1919, 94 years before the devastating strike in Syria, Churchill planned and executed a sustained chemical attack on northern Russia. The British were no strangers to the use of chemical weapons.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it's good for the student. That's the conclusion of a new study published in Perspectives in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The authors show that curiosity is a big part of academic performance. In fact, personality traits like curiosity seem to be as important as intelligence in determining how well students do in school. Intelligence is important to academic performance, but it's not the whole story ... The researchers performed a meta-analysis, gathering the data from about 200 studies with a total of about 50,000 students. They found that curiosity did, indeed, influence academic performance. In fact, it had quite a large effect, about the same as conscientiousness. When put together, conscientiousness and curiosity had as big an effect on performance as intelligence.
... Arab countries are having an affair with her [Israel], but don’t want to be seen with her in public. Too embarrassing. The main Arab country in question is Saudi Arabia. For some time now, the oil kingdom has been a secret ally of Israel, and vice versa. In politics, national interests often trump ideological differences. This is so in this case ... Now the US is having second thoughts (if all this mess has much to do with "thoughts"). Its traditional alliance with Saudi Arabia against Iran does not look so attractive anymore ... For Saudis, their competition with Iran for hegemony in the Muslim world is vastly more important than the old fight with Israel ... Netanyahu’s advisers boast that never has the geopolitical situation of Israel been better than it is now. The Arabs are busy with their quarrels. Many Arab countries want to strengthen their secret ties with Israel.
... What I do know is that Putin is authentic and authoritarian, the type who wins wars, a spontaneous and courageous leader who has shown up the West as a paper tiger. Let’s face it. When was the last time a world leader did something really bold? And he didn’t declare mission accomplished, either, a declaration that has proved fatal in the case of Iraq and Libya ... His standing by Assad has shown up Uncle Sam yet again as an unreliable ally when the going gets tough. No matter how hard the Americans and Europeans have tried to show Russia as a busted flush, the joke’s on them. And by leaving the playing field, Vlad has shot across the Assad bow, warning him to negotiate or else.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered the creation of a national foundation to "popularise" history, seen as the Kremlin's latest bid to rehabilitate the Soviet legacy. The new Fatherland History Foundation comes as Russian historians who criticise the role of Stalin are often accused of disrespect for war veterans and can even be prosecuted under a 2014 law. The Soviet role in WWII, particularly its secret pact with Nazi Germany to partition eastern Europe, remains a thorny issue, and Moscow rejects all attempts to portray the Red Army as anything other than Europe's liberator. The foundation will "popularise Russian history in our country and abroad, safeguarding the historical heritage and traditions of the peoples of Russia", according to Putin's decree.
Two Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists were convicted by a Montpellier court for incitement and Holocaust denial and fined 3,000 euros ($3,400), according to the French news site Libération. Saadia Ben Fakha, 26, and Husein Abu-Zaid, 58, will also have to pay each of the civil parties that joined the case against them a symbolic one euro in damages: League of Human Rights (LDH), International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA), France-Israel Association, Movement against Racism (MRAP), Lawyers without Borders, and the anti-Semitism watchdog BNVCA. In August 2014 the members of BDS France 34, the local branch in Hérault, posted on social media an image comparing the IDF to Nazi Germany along with a caption saying "The Nazis and Zionists are two sides of the same coin" ...
In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted to the supposed danger of "Holocaust denial." Politicians, newspapers and television warn about the growing influence of those who reject the Holocaust story that some six million European Jews were systematically exterminated during the Second World War, most of them in gas chambers. In several countries, including Israel, France, Germany and Austria, "Holocaust denial" is against the law, and "deniers" have been punished with stiff fines and prison sentences … Often overlooked in this controversy is the crucial question: Just what constitutes "Holocaust denial"?
A Labour councillor suspended from the party over anti-Semitic comments on her Twitter account has resigned. Luton councillor Aysegul Gurbuz said messages claiming Hitler was the “greatest man in history” made when she was "just 16 or 17" were "ill judged and offensive". She said "multiple people" had had access to her account. "I am horrified to read back what was written and I apologise for them in their entirety", she said. The tweets, which date back to 2011, were made before Ms Gurbuz, a student at University of Warwick, was elected to Luton Borough Council in May 2015, aged 20. Another tweet suggested Iran could develop a nuclear weapon to "wipe Israel off the map".
Austria says it wants to seize Adolf Hitler's birthplace from its private owner in a bid to end a bitter legal battle and stop the house from becoming a neo-Nazi shrine. "We are currently examining the creation of a law, which would force a change of ownership and pass the property to the Republic of Austria," interior ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck told AFP. "We have come to the conclusion over the past few years that expropriation is the only way to avoid the building being used for the purposes of Nazi" sympathisers, he said. The plan would involve the state making an offer of compensation to the current owner, he added. The building in the quaint northern town of Braunau am Inn has been empty since 2011 when the government became embroiled in a dispute with owner Gerlinde Pommer, a local resident.
... American politicians, Trump included, like to accuse Europe of “not carrying their rightful defense burden.” What they really mean is that Europe is not paying enough to support the American Imperium. The US is not in Europe and Asia for humanitarian reasons; they form the two key spheres of US world power. This writer has long advocated ending the obsolete NATO alliance ... Trump directly threatens America’s military-industrial-Wall Street complex and its role as a world hegemon. Trump questions carte blanche for Israel, and America’s entire system of government which has been profoundly corrupted by oceans of money. Trump is not owned by anyone. That is practically un-American. In the US, politics are business by another name.
... If one dares to point out that Africans were vastly complicit in the African slave trade, one is accused of trying to “deny” white guilt or to “absolve” whites of guilt, or of trying to argue that “two wrongs make a right.” ... Nearly all modern historians agree that the scenario depicted by Alex Haley in Roots — that of white raiders penetrating the African interior to rout African villages for slaves — is fraudulent. Instead, European slave traders nearly always bought slaves from African vendors at coastal markets. We hear much about the brutal “Middle Passage” across the Atlantic Ocean, but almost never about the estimated ten million or so indigenous Africans who perished while being marched to the sea in chains and yokes by their African captors ... About 90 percent of Africans transported to the New World had initially been enslaved by other Africans.
One third of the nation’s 50 states now have immigrant populations over 15 percent, with six over 25 percent, raising new questions about the country’s ability to absorb the immigrant flood in schools and the job market, a new report on government immigration data said. The new Center for Immigration Studies analysis of the 61 million immigrants and their children now in America revealed the speed at how the nation’s population has changed since 1970 ... Today one third of the nation’s states register over 15 percent immigrant ... And the population of immigrants and their children in six are over 25 percent immigrant: California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New York and New Jersey. California, for example, went from 13 percent immigrant in 1970 to over 37 percent last year. Texas went from five percent to 25 percent over that same period.
A pair of new polls show Donald Trump's more controversial ideas gaining traction on both sides of the political aisle even as the his Republican supporters grow more rabid in their enthusiasm for their billionaire populist hero. The Morning Consult's tracking poll of more than 2,000 Americans found half of them support a temporary ban on non-citizen Muslims traveling to the U.S. – the proposal that has earned GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump daily condemnation from editorial writers and TV pundits. In addition to 71 per cent of likely Republican voters, 34 per cent of likely Democratic voters and 49 per cent of independents now hold the view that Trump is right.
London, Paris, Stockholm and Berlin are among the European cities featuring some 900 'no-go areas' of large immigrant populations, Hungary’s government has claimed. On a new website aimed at drumming up opposition to the EU’s proposed migrant distribution scheme, the country claimed authorities in the regions had 'no control' over residents. It also claimed that in these areas 'with a high number of immigrants', the 'norms of the host society barely prevail,' the site said ... 'The mandatory European quotas increase the terrorist risk in Europe and imperils our culture,' the website says ... Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government voted against an EU plan in September to distribute 160,000 asylum-seekers among member states via quotas, and in December joined Slovakia in filing a legal complaint.
... Nearly one quarter of Sweden's population is currently of foreign background. If trends continue, within 15 years foreigners in Sweden will make up nearly one-third of the Swedish population ... The majority of foreigners in Sweden come from outside of Europe, specifically Africa and Western Asia ... Since 1975, when Sweden introduced mass-immigration, there has been a rapid rise in crime ... Today, Sweden has the second highest number of reported rapes in the world ... The surge in gang-related immigrant crime and riots, the rise of crime by migrants and asylum seekers, asylum center unrest and riots, the threat of Islamic terrorism, Muslim radicalisation, and problems with border controls have stretched police resources, whose capability to deal with these issues is often too little and ineffective.
In this 1941 book, a Jewish-American author calls for the genocidal elimination of the German people through a program of mass sterilization, and the territorial dismemberment of Germany. Complete text, with an introduction by Mark Weber.
... Who among the candidates would be the most likely to lead the United States into another war or wars? Who would be least likely to do so? ... The problem with Americans in general is that they have never experienced close up the full horror of modern warfare. The images of ruined buildings and the shattered lives in today’s Gaza or Aleppo bear witness to what war means on the ground for those on the receiving end. That American presidential candidates can promote carpet bombing, annihilation of families, and going to war to remove an undesirable government tells one that they are willfully ignorant of the consequences of their words.
Murders in the nation's third-largest city are up about 72 percent, while shootings have surged more than 88 percent in the first three months of 2016 compared with the same period last year, according to data released Friday by the Chicago Police Department. Police said the disturbing rise in violence is driven by gangs and mostly contained to a handful of pockets on the city's South and West sides ... The city has seen 141 murders this year, compared with 82 murders at the same point last year. Police reported 677 shootings this year compared with 359 at the same point last year. The grim rise in violence comes after the Chicago Police Department reported 468 murders in 2015, a 12.5 percent increase from the year before. There were 2,900 shootings in 2015, 13 percent more than the year before, according to Police Department records.
… This is, by any measure, an outstanding study … This 750-page volume [Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939], which transports the reader from Hitler’s curious Austrian antecedents to the start of the second world war, is in turns learned, calm and riveting. All the huge, and terrible moments of the early Nazi era are dissected, from the early beer hall speeches, to the failed putsch, through the economic and social dislocation of Weimar, and the opportunities that presented … [Author Volker] Ullrich deconstructs the various canards, as he calls them: no, he was not gay; no, he didn’t have abnormal genitalia, yes he did have relationships, but all were awkward. The most likely reason was his reluctance to devote much energy to his private life “so as to prevent his personal concerns from limiting his political latitude”.
... David Irving’s Hitler’s War is interesting on several levels. An independent, non-academic historian, Irving has been victimized to an unimaginable degree over many decades by the Jewish power structure ... The most important thing to note is that Hitler’s War is not a biography per se, but a military history of WWII from Hitler’s perspective ... Toland’s Adolf Hitler was based upon a great deal of original research, including previously unpublished documents, diaries, notes, photographs, and interviews with Hitler’s colleagues and associates ... I guess I’ll go with Toland’s biography, evidently the most objective, despite owning several others instead.
Israel’s military export contracts exceeded $5.7 billion last year with Europe receiving the second largest portion of the sales worth $1.6 billion, Tel Aviv says. The Israeli ministry of military affairs made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the figure was up from $5.66 billion in 2014 ... The announcement came just one day after the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released new figures showing that the world military expenditure totaled almost $1.7 trillion in 2015, a rise of one percent from the previous year. According to the figures, Saudi Arabia spent $87.2 billion on weapons last year and came in third after the United States and China, which respectively spent $596 billion and an estimated $215 billion on arms last year.
A 93-year-old former guard at Auschwitz has died a week before he was due to stand trial in Germany. Ernst Tremmel was accused of 1,075 counts of accessory to murder for his time working at the death camp in German-occupied Poland. Tremmel worked at the camp from November 1942 to June 1943. The trial was to have started on Wednesday in the western city of Hanau, where Auschwitz survivors were expected to give testimony ... The legal foundation for prosecuting ex-Nazis changed in 2011 when German authorities convicted former death camp guard John Demjanjuk solely on the basis of his having worked at the Sobibor camp in occupied Poland.
In an unusual move, Israel’s embassy in Romania protested the appointment to Romania’s state television board of a journalist who expressed reverence for a Nazi collaborator. The B1TV station on Saturday quoted a statement by the embassy that it “views with concern” Oana Stanciulescu’s appointment to the Romanian Public Television Station board in light of her “public expressions of anti-Semitic sympathies” for the Legionary Movement – a World War II-era militia that is “responsible for the horrors of the Holocaust in Romania." Jewish and anti-racism groups have recently protested another of Stanciulescu’s statements during a television debate ...
No one knows for sure how much Donald Trump is worth, but if the New York businessman ends up winning the 2016 president election, we do know he’d be the country’s richest president ever ... Looking back at all of America’s leaders, the nation’s first president, George Washington, was also the richest. He’d be worth $525 million in today’s dollars, according to a recent estimate. President Barack Obama wasn’t born rich, but he’s worth about $5 million, most of that income coming from book royalties. But not all U.S. leaders are wealthy men. President Harry S. Truman may have been the poorest of all U.S. presidents. He was worth less $1 million in today’s dollars.
It might have been a moment that jolted Israelis to their senses. Instead the video of an Israeli soldier shooting dead a young Palestinian man as he lay wounded and barely able to move has only intensified the tribal war dance of the Israeli public. Last week, as the soldier was brought before a military court for investigation, hundreds of supporters protested outside. He enjoys vocal support too from half a dozen cabinet ministers, former army generals, rabbis and – according to opinion polls – a significant majority of the Israeli Jewish public ... This was not a killing in the fog of war; it was a cold-blooded execution. As Amnesty International noted, such an act constitutes a war crime. And yet, for most Israelis the soldier is the victim of this story.
... Be that as it may, one thing Hezbollah definitely is not: it is not a terrorist organization. What is “terrorism"? By now, it has become a cuss-word without real content. Originally, terrorism just meant a strategy of striking fear to achieve a political end. In this sense, every war is terrorism. But the term is more precisely applied to individual acts of violence, the aim of which is to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy population. By now, every country and every party calls its enemies "terrorists". It is the fashionable expletive. It has no real meaning. If at all, every army is an instrument of terrorism. In times of war, armies always try to frighten the enemy into accepting their demands. Dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima was a terrorist act, and so was the incineration of Dresden.
... The Irgun was not the only Jewish terrorist group but it was the most active in causing indiscriminate terror in pre-Israel Palestine. Up to the time of the Jaffa attack, its most spectacular feat had been the July 22, 1946, blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, with the killing of 91 people – 41 Arabs, 28 Britons and 17 Jews. The other major Jewish terrorist group operating in Palestine in the 1940s was the Lohamei Herut Israel – "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel," Lehi in the Hebrew acronym – also known as the Stern Gang after its fanatical founder Avraham Stern.
“My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza,” says British Jewish Zionist MP Gerald Kaufman, in a speech to the House of Commons, Jan. 15, 2009. “The current Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count ... Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism ...”
The University of California’s governing board adopted a statement condemning anti-Semitic behavior on Thursday [March 24], becoming the first public university system to do so since campaigns for academic and economic boycotts of Israel have taken root on many U.S. college campuses. The board also unanimously and without discussion adopted a companion report urging campus leaders to confront intolerant anti-Zionism, or the rejection of Israel’s right to exist. It stopped short of equating anti-Zionism with the hatred of Jewish people after that language alarmed critics. Many have raised concerns that the statement and report will stifle free speech.
Carefully adorned in the language of moderation and tolerance, the final report of the UC regents working group on principles against intolerance is a thinly disguised attempt to suppress academic freedom and stifle open debate on our campuses ... Scholarship and teaching that include critical perspectives deemed "anti-Zionist" could be branded illegitimate, and open discussion shut down. The report is merely the latest manifestation of a well-funded and increasingly desperate — even panicky — political campaign to eradicate criticism of Israeli policy from American campuses.
Jeffrey Goldberg’s newly published book-length article on Barack Obama and the Middle East includes a major revelation that brings US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Syrian diplomacy into sharper focus: it reports that Kerry has sought on several occasions without success over the past several months to get Obama’s approval for cruise missile strikes against the Syrian government. That revelation shows that Kerry’s strategy in promoting the Syrian peace negotiations in recent months was based on much heavier pressure on the Assad regime to agree that President Bashar al-Assad must step down than was apparent ... Kerry suggested to Obama that the US wouldn’t have to acknowledge the attacks publicly, according to Goldberg, because Assad “would surely know the missiles’ return address”.
A recent book fair in Saudi Arabia backed by the US government that exhibited and sold anti-semitic literature is a “tragedy for the Jewish people,” one of the heads of an international human rights organization told The Algemeiner on Monday. The Riyadh International Book Fair 2016, which took place in March saw some 500 local and international publishers displaying literature on a host of topics. ... In its report, Elder of Ziyon provided a photo of booth F66, which displayed books for sale on Jewish conspiracy theories, such as the antisemitic propaganda tome The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Jews and Freemasonry, and Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Before introducing Donald Trump to roughly a dozen Republican lawmakers at the Washington law offices of Jones Day, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions paused to acknowledge the man he said had facilitated the closed-door talks. He said it was Jared Kushner, a 35-year-old real estate investor and newspaper owner, who had suggested the get-together last month, arguing that it would enable Trump to win more allies on Capitol Hill, according to a person in the room. Kushner is also Trump's son-in-law, having married the Republican presidential front-runner's daughter Ivanka in 2009 ... An Orthodox Jew, whose wife Ivanka converted to Judaism before they married, Kushner and his family have connections to Israel.
Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly served as an adviser for the Republican presidential primary front-runner on his recent American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference speech. Prior to last month’s AIPAC conference, Kushner, a 35-year-old real estate investor and newspaper owner, advised Trump to outline specific policies that would improve his relationship with the Jewish community, according to two sources cited in a report by Reuters. Trump’s use of a teleprompter for the AIPAC speech, instead of his usual conversational style, was also reportedly a choice guided by Kushner. The editor of the Kushner-owned New York Observer, Ken Kurson, confirmed to Reuters saying that he also reviewed Trump’s AIPAC speech before it was given.
... The unsurpassed love that American politicians appear to have for Israel, a sentiment that was on display in its most effusive form at the annual summit meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC ... The obscene pandering to a bunch of wealthy and politically connected fifth columnists who are in love with a country and government that is not their own is shameful, particularly as the speakers are de facto ceding national sovereignty by committing Washington to become militarily engaged no matter how Israel behaves ... Excluding only Bernie Sanders, that every other man and woman currently in the running for the presidency of this country representing America’s two major parties should be complicit in this outrage defies belief, but their own words tell the tale.
... Many American Jews – especially the elderly – feel more attached to Israel than to the US ... This was the audience of Trump at the AIPAC mass meeting. AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] is the embodiment of Jewish might and Jewish complexes ... The American political process, once the envy of democrats around the world, is by now basically corrupt. Political advertising is both necessary and expensive. Anyone running for office needs heaps of money. Looking for money is now the main job of an American politician. In today's America, almost every politician can be bought. Literally ... If there were such a thing as political terrorism, AIPAC would take the crown ... Perhaps I should put the blame on American Jewry in general. It's not just AIPAC, but millions of other Jews. They all support Israel, wrong or worse.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the former leader of France’s far-right Front National, has once again been convicted of contesting crimes against humanity for saying the gas chambers used to kill Jews in the Holocaust were only a “detail” of history. A Paris court fined Le Pen 30,000 euros [$34,000] on Wednesday for the comments he reiterated on a French television programme in April last year. Le Pen, 87, had told the TV interviewer he had no regrets over calling the gas chambers a mere detail of the history of the second world war, saying he stood by that view “because it’s the truth”. Le Pen already has two civil court convictions for making the same comments about gas chambers. He first stated the view in 1987, and in later years repeated it in Germany and then in the European parliament.
Konrad Adenauer served as Chancellor of the German Federal Republic 1949-1963. In this interview he says (in English translation): "One should not underestimate the power of the Jews, even today, especially in America. Accordingly, and it has long been my view, after careful and conscientious consideration, I devoted all my effort to help bring about, as much as possible, a reconciliation between the Jewish people and the German people.”
There is a deep well of dissatisfaction among American voters who say the U.S. has lost its identity, that they are falling behind financially, that their beliefs and values are under attack, and that public officials don't care what they think, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today. A total of 57 percent of all voters "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" with the statement, "America has lost its identity," as 43 percent "somewhat disagree" or "strongly disagree." Among all Republicans, 79 percent agree, while only 36 percent of Democrats agree ... Among all American voters, 57 percent agree with the statement, "I'm falling further and further behind economically," with 67 percent of all Republicans and 48 percent of Democrats agreeing "strongly" or "somewhat." Trump voters stand out with 78 percent strongly agreeing.
... Some 60,000 Americans were killed fighting in that war more than 8,000 miles away. More than a million Vietnamese military and civilians also lost their lives. The US government did not accept that it had pursued a bad policy in Vietnam until the bitter end. But in the end the war was lost and we went home, leaving the destruction of the war behind ... Like Vietnam, the 2003 Iraq war was a disaster. More than 5,000 Americans were killed in the war and as many as a million or more Iraqis lost their lives. There is nothing to show for the war but destruction, trillions of dollars down the drain, and the emergence of al-Qaeda and ISIS. Sadly, unlike after the Vietnam fiasco there has been almost no backlash against the US empire.
Twelve current and former Detroit school principals were among 14 people accused of bribery and other crimes Tuesday by federal officials. Investigators allege that Norman Shy, the owner of longtime Detroit Public Schools vendor Allstate Sales, would submit fraudulent invoices for chairs, paper and other supplies. To ensure the invoices would be approved, prosecutors claim Shy paid out more than $900,000 in cash, gift cards and checks to school officials. In return, Shy’s company received $2.7 million from the district for supplies that were delivered in far lesser quantities than promised or were never delivered at all ... Shy, 74, and Clara Flowers, 61, an assistant superintendent in the Office of Specialized Student Services, are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and tax evasion.
On Tuesday [March 29], Marquette University President Michael Lovell announced that tenured professor John McAdams would be suspended without pay and would be fired should he fail to give a loyalty oath to the university's vaguely defined "guiding values." The university claims that McAdams' "reckless" behavior was the problem, but the political science professor maintains that this is really about his conservative ideology. The incident that led to the punishment dates back about a year when McAdams — known for his openly conservative views, many of which he airs on his popular blogsite Marquette Warrior — posted a story on his site about a conservative student who was told by a graduate student instructor in the Philosophy Department that he could not express any opposition to gay marriage in class (excerpt below).
... There is no going back for America. For, whatever his stumbles of the last two weeks, Trump has helped to unleash the mightiest force of the 21st century: nationalism. Transnationalism and globalism are moribund. First among the issues on which Trump has triumphed — "We will build the wall — and Mexico will pay for it!" — is border security. Republican candidates who failed to parrot Trump on illegal immigration were among the first casualties ... Patriotism, preserving and protecting the unique character of our nation and people, economic nationalism, America First, staying out of other nation's wars — these are as much the propellants of Trumpism as is the decline of the American working and middle class.
Princeton University has rebuffed calls to remove Woodrow Wilson's name from its public policy school. A group of black students pushed for the name change, saying the former US president was a segregationist and held racist views. The university said on Monday that Wilson's accomplishments deserved to be recognised along with his faults. Wilson led the US during World War I and is often credited with inspiring the United Nations. The decision concludes a university review of Wilson's past ... While the public policy school will remain named for Wilson, the university pledged to increase the number of minority students enrolled in its doctoral programmes and to diversify campus symbols and art.
Russian authorities have summoned the Polish diplomatic mission’s highest-ranking officials to account for the dismantling of a monument in the Polish town of Pieniezno which honored a Soviet Army World War II general. Both Russia's Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry have condemned the dismantling of the monument to General Ivan Chernyakhovsky, who was one of the leaders of the Soviet campaign against Nazi Germany in Poland.
University students across the country — at Amherst, Georgetown, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UC–Berkeley, and dozens of other campuses — are caught up in yet another new fad. This time, the latest college craze is a frenzied attempt to rename campus buildings and streets. Apparently some of those names from the past do not fit students’ present litmus tests on race, class, and gender correctness ... Students fail to realize that revolutionary tastes change quickly, and yesterday’s PC hero can become today’s pariah. Based on students’ own expanding definition of sexual assault and the curtailment of freedom of speech, former president and notorious womanizer Bill Clinton would not be allowed to set foot on any campus because of his past exploitation of women.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni publishes occasional reports on what college students know. Nearly ten percent of the college graduates surveyed thought Judith Sheindlin, TV’s “Judge Judy,” is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than 20 percent of the college graduates knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than a quarter of the college graduates did not know Franklin D. Roosevelt was president during World War II; one-third did not know he was the president who spearheaded the New Deal ... College administrators are short on guts and backbone. But there is a glimmer of hope every now and then.
... We have a country where criminals are being paid $1000 a month not to shoot people, and the highest paid public employee in more than half the states is a football coach. Hardly anyone takes time to read a book anymore, and yet the average American spends 302 minutes a day watching television. Seventy-five percent of our young adults cannot find Israel on a map of the Middle East ... Out of 22 countries that were part of the study, the Educational Testing Service found that Americans were dead last in tech proficiency, dead last in numeracy, and only two countries performed worse than us when it came to literacy proficiency ...
At the annual AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] convention, the Democratic and Republican front-runners engaged in what might be called a “pander-off” as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tried to outdo the other in declaring their love and devotion to Israel. Yet, what was perhaps most troubling about the two dueling speeches was the absence of any significant sympathy for the Palestinian people or any substantive criticism of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. By contrast, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who did not attend the AIPAC convention, delivered a foreign policy speech in Salt Lake City, Utah, that struck a more balanced tone and placed part of the blame for the Mideast problems on the policies of Netanyahu’s right-wing government ... Trump then took on the challenge of out-pandering Clinton.
... What this means is that the substance of Clinton’s speech at the AIPAC convention was mere propaganda – an effort to rationalize, or perhaps simply to cover up, deeper and more base motives. Therefore, if supporting “shared democratic values” is not what motivates Clinton’s kowtowing, what does? The answer is naked political opportunism ... An alliance with the Zionists is politically profitable while incurring their anger is sometimes politically fatal. Of course, such an alliance means the abandonment of any objective or even rational consideration of U.S. policy toward Israel and much of the rest of the Middle East. And indeed, the national interest relating to this increasingly dangerous part of the world has long ago been tossed overboard.
... Though only two percent of the population, American Jews nevertheless wield enormous economic and political power which understandably translates into media access and influence over policies ... Washington’s Holocaust Museum, undeniably a political statement vis-à-vis Israel, was built using private contributions but the taxpayer covers its operating costs, $52 million in 2014, making it the most expensive museum in Washington. The State Department has a Special Adviser to the Secretary on Holocaust Issues as well as a Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues. The two offices are headed respectively by Stuart Eizenstat and Nicholas Dean. There is also a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, a position held by Ira Forman, a former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Political Director.
Of all the pro-Israel forces active on U.S. college campuses today, none has poured as much energy, resources and sheer audacity into the battle for the hearts and minds of young Americans as StandWithUs, headquartered here in Southern California. And perhaps none has turned up the heat on the Israel-Palestinian debate at universities quite this high, for better or worse, or used such controversial tactics ... StandWithUs has expanded into a global enterprise with 18 offices on three continents, a multimillion-dollar budget and a social media presence (up to 100 million interactions on Facebook each week, according to its CEO) that has left other institutions engaged in advocacy work on behalf of the Jewish state – including Israel’s own government – gaping in awe.
... This new Trump talk is definitely career-threatening for the military-industrial complex ... The Donald, usually bellicose in style and substance, is singing, “Give peace a chance.” What does his detour portend for national policy? We can’t know for sure, since Trump also has a tendency to casually contradict himself before different audiences ... But Trump has, in his usual unvarnished manner, kicked open the door to an important and fundamental foreign-policy debate. It is far more profound than the disputes we usually hear between hawks and doves. He’s proposing a radical standard for testing US policy abroad, both in war and peace: Is it actually in America’s interest? ... Trump insists that this US ambition always to be in charge is now actively damaging our country, wasting scarce treasure and drawing us into other people’s conflicts.
... Exactly what Trump as president would do is hard to predict. He can seamlessly contradict himself, denouncing the nuclear agreement with Iran while promising to implement it. He can make no sense, criticizing the disastrous interventions in Iraq and Libya while proposing to put up to 30,000 American troops into Iraq and Syria ... Ideological self-fulfillment has replaced protection of the American people as the chief objective of U.S. foreign policy. Constant war over the last 15 years has resulted only in more death, conflict, instability, terrorism, and war. Every new intervention has created more problems than solutions ... Trump’s foreign policy views are inconsistent and ill-formed, but they offer the basis for a more coherent strategic approach which emphasizes American security and allied self-sufficiency.
In his farewell address, delivered to the American people on national television, Jan. 17, 1961, President Eisenhower spoke firmly, and in carefully chosen words, to warn against the dangers in the years to come of the great “military-industrial complex.” Excerpt. Runtime: 1:54 mins. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
The rise of Donald Trump has led to predictions that the neoconservative dominance of Republican foreign policy is about to end, whether or not Trump wins. The Donald has challenged the perpetual military interventionism aspect of neocon-think without doing any damage to his campaign ... All neoconservatives support military buildups and interventions, plus they all are zealous in their uncritical support of Israel, to such an extent that the two issues define them. Confronting the neocons requires first of all exposing the fact that they are not actually conservatives by any reasonable definition ... Donald Trump has for all his faults opened the door just a crack in bringing about that kind of change, including in his rant a direct criticism of the neocons. In that respect, one should most certainly wish him success.
... Americans, unlike most nationalities, are not accustomed to their government being incompetent and embarrassing. History could be ransacked without unearthing the slightest precedent or parallel for the rise of America in two long lifetimes (1783-1945), from two and a half million colonists to a place of power and influence and prestige greater than any nation has ever possessed — everywhere victorious and respected, with an atomic monopoly and half the economic product of the world ... And then it turned into a nation of idiots, incapable of doing anything except conduct military operations against primitive countries ... The people turned out rascals and got worse rascals.
The left’s grip on reality has never exactly been vise-like. But it seems to me that leftists are losing it — more than usual -- over Trump ... There’s no question that leftists have gone plumb loco over his candidacy. After decades of calling every Republican under the sun “Hitler,” leftists have now started to believe their own slur ... Conservatives living in today’s world are surrounded, pretty much in all corners of mainstream society, by leftists who celebrate communism and deny or ignore its murderous history. On college campuses, in the media, in the arts, in “community activism” ... whitewashing the history of those who supported Stalin, and outright evangelizing for the most destructive ideology of the 20th century, an ideology that cost over 100 million lives ... Leftists have managed to blind themselves to the reality of the human cost of communism.
… History is the propaganda of the victors. Few photographs of the gulag have survived, evidence was destroyed, and witnesses have died. Churchill and Roosevelt could not admit they were allied to the greatest mass killer since Genghis Khan, and complicit in his crimes. Or reveal that Communist agents of influence had shaped White House policy. The feeble-minded Roosevelt even hailed Stalin as "Uncle Joe." … Those who considered the Jewish Holocaust a unique historical crime were not eager to bring attention to Stalin’s genocide lest it diminish or dilute their own people’s suffering.
Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter 5-year-old civil war. The fighting has intensified over the past two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other as they have maneuvered through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, U.S. officials and rebel leaders have confirmed.
... The West is actually supporting — by way of arms and military assistance — this all-but-invisible war ... Whatever one makes of those ambitions, it's undeniable that the Saudis are violating international law as they carry out attacks with no apparent military target and use banned weapons, such as cluster bombs ... It's relatively well known that the U.S. and Britain are contributing to the war effort as the lead providers of the Saudi coalition's arsenal. Saudi Arabia has been on a global arms shopping spree and is now the world's largest purchaser of weapons ... So even as the U.S. leads the charge for international justice against the Assad government in Syria, it turns a blind eye to or actually stymies international inquiries into abuses by Saudi Arabia.
Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi has sparked controversy after saying non-Jews should not be allowed to live in Israel unless they follow a set of Jewish laws. Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef said non-Jews who fail to live by the seven Noahide laws should be expelled to Saudi Arabia, The Times of Israel reports. Speaking in a sermon on Saturday, the Chief Rabbi said: “If our hands were firm, if we had the power to rule, then non-Jews must not live in Israel.” “If a gentile does not agree to take on the seven Noahide Laws, we should send him to Saudi Arabia.” ... Rabbi Yosef added that non-Jews who do agree to abide by the laws will be allowed to remain in Israel in order to serve Jews. “Who, otherwise be the servants? Who will be our helpers? This is why we leave them in Israel, ” he said.
As someone who has long urged the media to openly discuss the competing claims of Zionism and anti-Zionism, I am gratified that those words are breaking into the mainstream at last. Though right now the discussion chiefly centers on the assertion that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Many officials have lately charged that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism; even Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have echoed that claim. In doing so, they have accepted the idea that Judaism now entails a commitment to the idea of a Jewish state in historical Palestine ... Yesterday both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were critical of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel, a campaign many anti-Zionists support.
These kinds of atrocities, and particularly the scale of the repression, did not spring full-blown out of some terrorist provocations by Palestinians. These atrocities grew out of a political philosophy that says whatever advances the interests of Jews is acceptable as policy. This is a racist philosophy. What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is not genocide, it is not a holocaust, but it is, unmistakably, ethnicide. It is, unmistakably, racism.
... The alternative right, more commonly known as the alt-right, is an amorphous movement. Some — mostly Establishment types — insist it’s little more than a vehicle for the worst dregs of human society: anti-Semites, white supremacists, and other members of the Stormfront set. They’re wrong ... Although initially small in number, the alt-right has a youthful energy and jarring, taboo-defying rhetoric that have boosted its membership and made it impossible to ignore ... The alternative right are a much smarter group of people — which perhaps suggests why the Left hates them so much. They’re dangerously bright ... Delving into the depths of the alternative right, it quickly becomes apparent that the movement is best defined by what it stands against rather than what it stands for.
Many Americans are apparently quite ready to accept that “The Holocaust” is a Bar & Grill restaurant. As a social experiment, media analyst Mark Dice talks with randomly selected people in southern California. He tells them that the “The Holocaust” is serving kosher hamburgers with “Zyklon B” barbeque sauce, and that the eatery is highly rated on the “Schindler’s List’ of outstanding restaurants.” No one questions Dice’s pitch. Runtime: 5:31 mins.