August 2017

R. H. Sprinkle, B. A. Thayer - The National Interest

... China wants to be itself: Asia’s leader if not the world’s. China wants the United States to know its place, to go home and stay there, to keep Europe prosperous, to impose peace on the Middle East, and, obviously, to continue spending money in China — but not so irresponsibly as to default on the trillion dollars of its debt that China now owns. The United States, in contrast, is committed to its allies and, somewhat fitfully, to liberal internationalism, but it is also deeply and seriously and increasingly dependent on Chinese financing to run its own economy, even to finance its own defense modernization. Cold War verities are dangerously mismatched to this relationship.​

Ron Unz

During the three decades following Deng Xiaoping's 1978 reforms, China achieved the fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history, with the resulting 40-fold rise in the size of China's economy leaving it poised to surpass America's as the largest in the world. A billion ordinary Han Chinese have lifted themselves economically from oxen and bicycles to the verge of automobiles within a single generation. China's academic performance has been just as stunning ... Chinese people seem to be doing extremely well all over the world, across a wide range of economic and cultural landscapes ... China indeed may constitute the largest and longest-lasting instance of an extreme “Social Darwinist” society anywhere in human history, perhaps with important implications for the shaping of the modern Chinese people.

C. Binney - The Spectator (Britain)

Setting off to spend a year teaching English in Zhejiang province in south-eastern China, I expected plenty of surprises. But what struck me most was something they tend not to tell you about in the guidebooks: the racism ... To many Chinese, ideas about racial hierarchies are not outdated anathema but unquestioned belief ... The Chinese don’t make a big deal about their racism: it’s so commonplace it can seem almost cheerful ... Chinese racism is, in part, the extension of a long-standing association of wealth and pale skin: a near-universal construct that is particularly acute in a country that was for centuries ruled by various subsections of its pallid northern population.

Ari Feldman - Forward (New York)

... Judah Philip Benjamin, the most significant Jewish political figure in the United States during the 19th century, often called the “brains of the Confederacy” ... Benjamin was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, and in the Senate he gained a reputation as a legendary orator and as an apologist for slavery ... Benjamin had many roles in the Confederacy, moving from Attorney General to Secretary of War to Secretary of State. He was considered Jefferson Davis’ right-hand-man. Rosen called him the “smartest person in the whole Confederate government.” ... His face appears on the Confederacy’s two-dollar bill, issued in 1862 ... Robert Rosen, Benjamin’s biographer, thinks it’s a shame that more American Jews do not know about the Jewish Confederate, even with his support for slavery.

Ben Sales - JTA

... Amid the impassioned debate over whether, when and how to remove statues memorializing the Confederacy, an Israeli nonprofit is seeking a piece of the action. On Tuesday, Shurat HaDin, which represents terror victims in court, called on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to remove all memorials to [Peter] Stuyvesant, the last Dutch director-general of New Amsterdam (now New York), who was an anti-Semite ... The group’s complaint affects a range of locations and institutions around the city — from the elite Stuyvesant High School to Bedford-Stuyvesant, a Brooklyn neighborhood. The Dutchman also has a statue in Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Square. It’s true that Stuyvesant hated the Jews — to put it lightly ... He also called them “the deceitful race, such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ.”

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

Over 40 Nazi propaganda films have been listed as restricted in Germany and can only legally be screened under special conditions. Film expert Anne Siegmayer explains why that's still a good idea ... “This practice is still useful, simply because we're talking about sensitive, critical material. We, as the people responsible for it, don't want to toss it onto the open market without commentary ... Since the original list of restricted films was first made by the Allies, our foundation's board has continued to review these films with different criteria and according to its own history ... There were actually very few films during the Nazi dictatorship which were explicitly anti-Semitic in their overall message. There is, on the one hand, 'Jud Süss' and other well-known films, like 'The Rothschilds,' as well as 'The Eternal Jew,' ...”

J. Sheerin - BBC News

... As President Trump pointed out, George Washington was a slaveholder. So might the stone obelisk dedicated to the father of the nation, looming over the heart of his eponymous capital city, be the next battleground in the US culture wars? Or even Mount Rushmore? ... Washington and Jefferson are not the only American historical titans who can seem diminished when viewed through the lens of present-day values. Take Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator and Civil War leader who destroyed the South's slavocracy. He is immortalised in another neo-classical shrine on the National Mall. But as Hofstra University history professor Alan Singer points out, the nation's 16th president espoused racist opinions as his political soul evolved.

Henri Astier -- BBC News

In 2009 the US not only inaugurated its first black president - it also honoured the president who paved Barack Obama's way to the country's highest post. Events across the nation marked the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, celebrating a man widely seen as the greatest US president -- the secular saint who redeemed America's original sin of slavery … Despite his visceral hatred of slavery, Mr Yacovone says, Lincoln - like the overwhelming majority of his contemporaries - never believed in the equality of races. "He supported enactment of the anti-fugitive slave law, he supported exclusion of black jurors and all basic civil rights," Mr Yacovone says.

The Epoch Times

Ukraine has removed all 1,320 statues of Vladimir Lenin, the first Soviet dictator, following a government campaign to remove its Soviet-era symbols. In every village, town, and city controlled by Kiev, monuments to the communist leader — considered a dictator by many — were removed. The initiative was made law by President Petro Poroshenko in May 2015 ... Some streets were renamed, including Lenin Street in Zakarpattia, which was later renamed to Lennon Street in a tribute to Beatles singer John Lennon, the Telegraph reported. Another 1,069 Soviet-era monuments have also been removed, said Volodymyr Viatrovych, director of the Institute of National Remembrance.

John Laforge

The US public wants to know why North Korea is so paranoid, militarily hostile and boastful. And why do the leaders in the capital city Pyongyang point their fingers at the US every time they test another rocket or bomb? Sixty-five years after the US burned down every town in North Korea, the US military is now simultaneously bombing or rocketing seven different non-nuclear countries ... General Lemay wrote, "We burned down just about every city in North and South Korea both … we killed off over a million civilian Koreans …" Eighth Army chemical officer Donald Bode is quoted as saying, on an "average good day" … pilots in the Korean War "dropped 70,000 gallons of napalm” ... More bombs were dropped on Korea than in the whole of the Pacific theater during World War II – 635,000 tons, versus 503,000 tons.

Eric Cortellessa - The Times of Israel

The person US President Donald Trump chose to lead federal family-planning programs once referred to a defender of Holocaust deniers as a “national treasure.” Teresa Manning, Trump’s pick for deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services ... also has a history defending and praising Joe Sobran, a former columnist and editor for the conservative magazine National Review ... Through columns and speeches, Sobran has spoken fondly of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) ... Sobran, in defending this organization and it’s magazine The Journal for Historical Review, once wrote that, “Charges that the IHR is anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi are belied by the Journal’s calm and reasonable tone, in contrast to the shrillness and violence of its enemies. And I do mean enemies.”

David Corn - Mother Jones

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump appointed Teresa Manning, a leading anti-abortion activist, to be a deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services ... She had once praised a defender of Holocaust deniers ... Manning — who then went by the name Teresa Wagner — introduced Joe Sobran ... In a 2001 column, Sobran had denied that IHR was anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi and praised its magazine, The Journal of Historical Review, for publishing “long and fascinating articles.” He blasted “Jewish groups” for “reviling the IHR and trying to interfere with its activities.” ... At the 2002 IHR convention in Irvine, California, Sobran hailed the courage of the Institute for Historical Review and its leaders. He called critics of IHR “raving, hate-filled fanatics.”

Joseph Sobran

… Obviously, something disastrous happened to the Jews during World War II; even the revisionists don't deny that. But does the word "Holocaust" accurately sum up the Jewish misfortune? Maybe so; maybe the secular Jewish-Zionist thugs and pressure groups are essentially right. But that's a conclusion I'd want to reach as a free man, not because a different conclusion might result in my kneecaps being broken. And in this controversy, I know which side is appealing to my mind, and which is going for my kneecaps.

Simon Tisdall – The Guardian (Britain)

... By marching US troops back up the Afghan hill, having previously solemnly vowed to march them down and out of the country, Trump risks the worst of both worlds: leaving the US and its allies neither up nor down, without a clearly defined mission, and stuck in the middle of a worsening conflict. His speech on Afghanistan on Monday night was long delayed, and it is easy to see why. White House advisers had been arguing for months over what to do about the 16-year-old war, America’s longest. When the speech came, there were no new ideas or initiatives. Instead Trump retained the main planks of Barack Obama’s policy and tried to dress it up as something fresh ... Trump will find it difficult to convince his domestic supporters, and his foreign allies, that he has a workable policy.

Jacob Heilbrunn - The National Interest

Where, oh where, is the Donald Trump who once proclaimed that the United States should “leave Afghanistan immediately”? Last night it was an alternately vexed and boastful Trump who appeared before troops at Fort Myer, Virginia, declaring he would seek “outright victory” in that desolate and war-torn country, where the Taliban, abetted by their Pakistani benefactors, are seizing more territory by the day ... For all his talk of America First, Trump has been steadily expanding American commitments abroad, whether in Asia or the Middle East ... The truth is that if America really wanted to create some semblance of order, it would take decades and even then it probably would fail ... The more likely prospect is that Washington will remain mired for years in Afghanistan, engaged in a protracted holding action ...

Rick Klein – ABC News

It was as close as President Trump ever really gets to admitting he was wrong. His instinct, he told the American people last night, was to pull out of Afghanistan — in keeping with his position for many years as a private citizen and a candidate. It was only after intense meetings and behind-the-scenes wrangling with his "Cabinet and generals," he said, that he landed on a strategy that recommits American forces to the nation's longest-running war ... The plan itself is so vague — perhaps, if you believe the White House's take, intentionally so — that it may be impossible to judge its effectiveness. A war that has frustrated presidents, generals and tacticians for 16 years seems destined to linger, and Trump is already trying to limit his culpability for setbacks.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... War is the health of the state, but the death of empires. The German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires all fell in World War I. World War II ended the Japanese and Italian empires — with the British and French following soon after. The Soviet Empire collapsed in 1989. Afghanistan ... America voted for Trump’s promise to improve ties with Russia, to make Europe shoulder more of the cost of its defense, to annihilate ISIS and extricate us from Mideast wars, to stay out of future wars. ... Yet today we hear talk of upping and extending the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, of confronting Iran, of sending anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine to battle pro-Russia rebels in the east.

S. Heaver - South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

... It’s an odd twist of fate if you consider that, until 170 years ago, the only serious producer and exporter of tea was China and its virtual monopoly was sabotaged – by Britain. In 1847, a little known Scottish botanist called Robert Fortune published a book about his three years of exploration and plant hunting in the tea-growing provinces of China and it set in motion an audacious plan. The East India Company believed that if the finest seedlings could be obtained, together with the secrets of production, from the hinterland of China, it could grow precious tea in the British colony of India and control a trade that dominated 19th-century economics. “The task required a plant hunter, a gardener, a thief, a spy,” writes Sarah Rose, in her award-winning book, For All the Tea in China (2010), which charts Fortune’s great British tea robbery.

Huffington Post

The United States Holocaust Museum has added its voice to the growing condemnations of Saturday’s deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, asserting that “Neo-Nazism in any form is antithetical to American values and has no place in American society.” “Holocaust history teaches that the targeting of Jews was central to Nazi racist ideology and that it began with hateful rhetoric,” the museum’s statement continued ... The Washington, D.C.-based memorial museum went on to express hope that their efforts will encourage both leaders and citizens “worldwide to confront hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.”

D. Molloy - BBC News

... Bringing up Hitler or Nazi Germany in an argument is hardly new. But recently, it has appeared as part of political discussion on an international scale. Similar comparisons plagued the US presidential election, and they can be found in every medium, from Twitter to national parliaments. So why is it so widespread? ... Of course, nowhere are Nazi slurs more numerous than on the internet - and it's always been that way. In 1990, an American lawyer named Mike Godwin noticed that arguments on early internet forums would constantly resort to calling the other side a Nazi. And so Godwin's Law - that if an online discussion goes on long enough sooner or later someone will make a comparison to Hitler - was born, and became a "rule of the internet".

Patrick J. Buchanan

... “Where does this all end?” President Trump asked. It doesn’t. Not until America’s histories and biographies are burned and new texts written to Nazify Lee, Jackson, Davis and all the rest, will a newly indoctrinated generation of Americans accede to this demand to tear down and destroy what their fathers cherished. ,And once all the Confederates are gone, one must begin with the explorers, and then the slave owners like Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison, who seceded from slave-free Britain. White supremacists all ... While easy for Republicans to wash their hands of such odious elements as Nazis in Charlottesville, will they take up the defense of the monuments and statues that have defined our history, or capitulate to the icon-smashers? In this Second American Civil War, whose side are you on?

Paul R. Pillar - The National Interest

The biggest current threat to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement that limits Iran’s nuclear program, comes from Donald Trump’s obsession with killing the accord. That obsession is driven by his impulse to undo whatever Barack Obama did and to fulfill campaign rhetoric based on such contrarianism. The power of that impulse should not be underestimated, no matter how much it collides with truth, reason, and the best interests of the United States ... The game being played is so obviously concocted to get a predetermined result that anyone, either foreign or domestic, with a sense of integrity ought to have a hard time going along with it while keeping a straight face.

The Telegraph (Britain)

Anti-fascist activists gathered in the Berlin suburb of Spandau on Saturday to protest against a vigil by about 250 neo-Nazis commemorating the 30th anniversary of the death of Nazi convict Rudolf Hess. The neo-Nazis planned a march from the suburb's station to the former Spandau Prison where Hess, an early ally of Germany's wartime dictator Adolf Hitler, served out the life sentence he was handed down at the post-war Nuremberg war crimes trials. Far-right activists held up banners reading "I regret nothing" and hoisted the red, white and black flag of Hitler's Third Reich as about 1,000 police looked on.

Mark Weber

…. He spent 46 years -- half his life -- behind bars, a victim of a cruel victor's justice. More than any other man, Rudolf Hess symbolizes the vindictiveness and hypocrisy of the Nuremberg Tribunal … Known as the "conscience of the party," he often used what power and influence he had to intervene on behalf of victims of persecution by extremists in the National Socialist party. In his detailed study, Justice at Nuremberg, which is generally very critical of the German defendants, historian Robert E. Conot called Hess a "decent and honest" man and "a pacifist at heart." … Rudolf Hess was a prisoner of peace and a victim of a vindictive age.

Wolf Hess

When my father flew to Scotland on May 10, 1941, I was three-and-a-half years old. As a result, I have only very few personal memories of him in freedom. One of them is a memory of him pulling me out of the garden pond ... I am convinced that history and justice will absolve my father. His courage in risking his life for peace, the long injustice he endured, and his martyrdom, will not be forgotten. He will be vindicated, and his final words at the Nuremberg trial, "I regret nothing!," will stand forever.

The Washington Times

... Conservatives have repeatedly called out media outlets this year for uncritically repeating the SPLC’s “hate group” label, calling it inaccurate and arguing that it has put their organizations at risk for violence ... That [Southern Poverty Law Center ] “hate group” listing may be widely accepted on the left, but it’s widely rejected on the right ... Organizations can land on the SPLC’s “hate map” for a variety of reasons not limited to racism. Categories include being “anti-immigrant” or “anti-Muslim,” as well as being “racist skinhead,” “neo-Nazi” or “neo-Confederate.” ... ADF spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said most news outlets may not realize that the SPLC is not politically neutral but rather avowedly anti-right.

New York Post

Confederate monuments may be coming down across the country — but a majority of Americans say they should remain in place as historical symbols, a new poll found. Overall, 62 percent of Americans think the statues should stay, while just 27 percent believe they should be removed because they’re offensive to some people, according to the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist poll. Fierce debate over the country’s Confederate symbols is still raging after a “Unite the Right” rally last weekend protesting the planned removal of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Va., led to violent clashes and the death of a 32-year-old counter-protester. Overnight Wednesday into Thursday, vandals defaced a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee outside a chapel at Duke University in Durham, NC, breaking his nose and face.

A. Arutunyan - USA Today

While controversial statues of Confederate icons who fought for slavery come down in the United States, Russia is erecting new monuments to a once-disgraced Soviet Union dictator who killed millions: Josef Stalin ... Although condemned for his brutality after his death, Stalin is now getting new respect from both an older generation nostalgic for the lost Soviet empire, which collapsed in 1991, and a younger generation of nationalistic Russians ... Some of the renewed admiration comes from President Vladimir Putin ... Putin said attacks on Stalin amounted to "attacking the Soviet Union and Russia." ... The former Soviet leader's creeping rehabilitation is evidenced by the assortment of Stalin magnets, mugs, T-shirts, statues and other paraphernalia sold by street vendors ...

EJP

A plaque honoring French Nazi collaborator Philippe Petain in New York has been removed by order of the city's Mayor Bill de Blasio. Pétain was a hero French general in World War One, but then became a Nazi collaborator. The plaque, which was placed as part of New York’s “Canyon of Heroes” on Broadway in 2004, commemorated Petain’s 1931 ticker-tape parade in the city, which he earned for defending his country during WWI. In 1940, Marshal Petain became the leader of France’s Nazi-collaborationist Vichy government ... Jewish leaders have called on city hall to remove the sidewalk plaque ... New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who wrote a letter and met with De Blasio to discuss the issue, applauded the mayor ...

Henry Louis Gates Jr.

One of the most vexing questions in African-American history is whether free African Americans themselves owned slaves. The short answer to this question, as you might suspect, is yes, of course; some free black people in this country bought and sold other black people, and did so at least since 1654, continuing to do so right through the Civil War ... For a time, free black people could even "own" the services of white indentured servants in Virginia as well ... In 1830, the year most carefully studied by Carter G. Woodson, about 13.7 percent (319,599) of the black population was free. Of these, 3,776 free Negroes owned 12,907 slaves ... By the eve of the Civil War, "the phenomenon of free blacks owning slaves had nearly disappeared" in the Upper South, even if it had not in places such as Louisiana in the Lower South.

Haaretz (Israel)

Israel has attacked convoys bringing arms to Hezbollah and groups on several Israeli fronts dozens of times over the last five years, a top Israeli military commander has confirmed for the first time. The number of Israeli attacks on such convoys since 2012 is approaching triple digits, said Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, the outgoing commander of the Israel Air Force. Various people, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, have openly admitted to Israeli attacks on arms convoys to Hezbollah, but no numbers have been cited. Until now, Israel has been reluctant to talk about the scope of such attacks beyond its borders. This is the first time that a senior Israel Defense Forces officer has specifically revealed the practice.

Trita Parsi

Something extraordinary has happened in Washington. President Donald Trump has made it clear, in no uncertain terms and with no effort to disguise his duplicity, that he will claim that Tehran is cheating on the nuclear deal by October — the facts be damned. In short, the fix is in. Trump will refuse to accept that Iran is in compliance and thereby set the stage for a military confrontation ... Rarely has a sinister plan to destroy an arms control agreement and pave the way for war been so openly telegraphed ... This is a charade, a rerun of the machinations that resulted in the Iraq war. It doesn’t matter what Iran does or doesn’t do ... By revealing his hand, Trump has displayed his duplicity for all to see. That includes the American public, whose anti-war sentiments remain strong and are a key reason they supported the nuclear deal in the first place.

Philip Giraldi

... It is becoming increasingly clear that at least some in the Trump Administration are seeking to use the Syrian engagement as a stepping stone to war with Iran. As was the case in the months preceding the ill-fated invasion of Iraq in 2003, all buttons are being pushed to vilify Iran ... So the United States is moving seemingly inexorably towards war with a country [Iran] that itself constitutes no actual terrorist threat, unless it is attacked, in support of a country [Saudi Arabia] that very much is part of the threat, and also on behalf of Israel, which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.

Mark Fitzpatrick - LobeLog

Where were you when the US invaded Iraq 15 years ago? ... The invasion was a political decision supported fragilely by cherry-picked intelligence from Iraqi defectors with their own agendas. The cost of the blunder included half a million or more Iraqi casualties, 5,000 American combat deaths, over $2 trillion in US treasure, and a region in turmoil, with Iran the only winner ... Amazingly, many policymakers and pundits seem not to remember. The US appears now to be heading toward an analogous situation regarding Iran. Unfounded assumptions, false claims and ideologically-tinged judgements are driving a confrontational approach that could well lead to another war in the Middle East, this time against a more cohesive adversary.

Newsweek

Confederate monuments have been taken down in Baltimore overnight, with more slated to be removed in other towns and cities across the U.S. after a violent white nationalist protest in Charlottesville. CBS Baltimore reported that the four Confederate statues were being removed early Wednesday in the dead of night, after the city council voted unanimously Monday that they should go ... Other towns and cities across the U.S. are also moving to rid public spaces of monuments honoring the Confederacy. In Florida, a statue named Old Joe that had been standing since 1904 was removed Monday in Gainesville. Protesters took matters into their own hands Monday in Durham, North Carolina, toppling a statue of a Confederate soldier erected outside the city’s courthouse in 1924.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

... Hitler's legacy remains surprisingly ubiquitous in churches, public buildings, streets and military barracks. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen just this year ordered that the small number of military barracks that still bear the names of officers from the Second World War, including Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, be renamed to make crystal clear that the Bundeswehr "is not rooted in the tradition of the Wehrmacht," the Nazi military. Germany wants to rename the barracks named for Nazi Field Marshal Erwin Rommel ... An estimated 1,000 churches were refurbished or newly built after Hitler seized power in 1933, and the alterations reflected the force with which the country, including many of its clergy, embraced the ideology. Even Cologne's famous twin-towered cathedral contains some stones with swastikas engraved in them.

Doug Bandow

... What foreign leader would trust President Trump to take a position — any position —and stick with it? ... If Secretary Tillerson wants to convince Kim Jong-un that the United States does not seek the North Korean dictator’s ouster, America needs to act the part. That means reducing obvious military threats against the DPRK: warnings of potential attack, comments that all options are on the table, bomber overflights, carrier sail-byes, military exercises, bases and garrisons, and the like. More important, Washington should bring home its troops from South Korea. It is the bilateral alliance which puts American military units up against those of the North. The Republic of Korea is capable of defending itself. Seoul should construct the military and adopt the policies necessary to deter the North from attacking and win the war if one erupts.

C. Paton - Newsweek

Israel attempted to turn the U.S. and Russia around on their plans for a ceasefire in southern Syria at two top-level, clandestine meetings held last month over the continued presence of Iranian forces and Lebanese militia Hezbollah in the war-torn country ... The main sticking point between the tripartite group was the continued presence of Iran, which backs Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and its proxy forces in Syria. Israel considers the growing power of Shiite Iran to be its principal threat in the region, while the U.S. and Russia see defeating and degrading the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Syria and elsewhere their principal goal, with the ceasefire in Syria a means to that end ... On 16 July Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu came out publicly against the ceasefire, reiterating that it provided Iran a foothold in Syria.

S. Narwani - The American Conservative

... It isn’t hard to conclude that official Washington simply doesn’t want to answer the “international law” question on Syria ... Former Obama White House and NSC senior legal official Brian Egan believes the coming challenge for U.S. policymakers — in terms of international law — will be to justify clashes with Syrian forces and their allies ... In a stream of letters to the UN Security Council this year, the Syrian government asserts U.S. air strikes have also “systematically” destroyed vital infrastructure and economic assets throughout the country for months, and complains that the attacks are “being carried out outside the framework of international legality.” ... With U.S. legal arguments supporting military presence in Syria unravelling, the Pentagon’s untenable position has become noticeable, even within its own ranks.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Many Southern towns, including Alexandria, Virginia, have statues of Confederate soldiers looking to the South. Shall we pull them all down? And once all the Southern Civil War monuments are gone, should we go after the statues of the slave owners whom we Americans have heroized? Gen. George Washington and his subordinate, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, father of Robert E. Lee, were slave owners, as was [Thomas] Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Andrew Jackson. Five of our first seven presidents owned slaves ... And if being a segregationist disqualifies one from being venerated in our brave new world, what do we do with Woodrow Wilson, who thought “Birth of a Nation” a splendid film and who re-segregated the U.S. government?

Business Insider and Associated Press

Four Confederate monuments were quietly removed in Baltimore, Maryland overnight early Wednesday to avoid violence, after a White nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned deadly on Saturday. The statues -- including tributes to a Supreme Court justice and two Confederate generals -- were removed in darkness and hauled away on trucks ... Workers used cranes to lift the towering monument to Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson onto a flatbed truck in the dark. ... A commission appointed by the previous mayor recommended removing a monument to Marylander Roger B. Taney, the Supreme Court justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision denying citizenship to African-Americans, as well as a statue of two Virginians -- the Confederate generals Lee and Jackson.

R. Contreras - Associated Press

Confederate Army Gen. Robert E. Lee was vilified during the Civil War only to become a heroic symbol of the South's "Lost Cause" — and eventually a racist icon. His transformation, at the center of the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, reflects the changing moods in the United States around race, mythology and national reconciliation, historians say. Lee monuments, memorials and schools in his name erected at the turn of the 20th Century are now facing scrutiny amid a demographically changing nation ... The U.S. Mint issued a coin in his honor, and Lee has been on five postage stamps. No other Union figure besides President Abraham Lincoln has similar honors ... A generation after the civil rights movement, black and Latino residents began pressuring elected officials to dismantle Lee and other Confederate memorials ...

Associated Press

US President Donald Trump’s seemingly unscripted defense of Confederate statues during a press conference Tuesday echoed some right-wing talking points — and rhetoric from the far-right fringe. Trump said Tuesday there were “very fine people on both sides” of the violent confrontation at a white nationalist rally in Virginia on Saturday. Some of them, Trump said, were there to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. “So, this week, it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder: Is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really do have to ask yourself, ‘Where does it stop?'” Trump asked, noting that Washington and Jefferson were slave owners.

Ron Paul

... President Trump began last week by threatening “fire and fury” on North Korea. He continued through the week claiming, falsely, that Iran is violating the terms of the nuclear deal. He finally ended the week by threatening a US military attack on Venezuela ... When Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro tried to call President Trump for clarification he was refused ... For many years the United States government, through the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, and US government funded NGOs, have been trying to overthrow the Venezuelan government ... His threats of military action against a Venezuela that neither threatens nor could threaten the United States suggests a shocking lack of judgment.

If Americans Knew - Alison Weir

At least 53 Congressional representatives are on a week-long trip to Israel, paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), an arm of the powerful lobbying group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). AIEF’s budget is approximately $80 million, which it uses to take diverse groups to Israel. More than a dozen Latino leaders from the Southwest U.S. have just returned from an AIEF funded five-day trip to Israel that ended August 6, and a trip for top political operatives was conducted in June .... Both the Democratic House leader and the Republican leader refused to divulge the names of the Congressional representatives on the trip. Majority Leader’s office suggested we get the names from AIPAC. AIPAC, however, also refused to release them. So far, national media have ignored the trip.

Video

In this interview, an Anglican cleric identifies techniques used by Zionists to marginalize and silence critics of Israel and Zionist policies, as laid out in a leaked Zionist “Hasbara handbook.” (“Hasbara” is a Hebrew term for “explanation” or, more broadly, publicity or propaganda.) Stephen Sizer – a prelate of the Church of England who holds both MA and PhD degrees -- explains how Zionists systematically use deceit, smears and harassment. Runtime: 3:15 mins.

S. M. Jager - Politico

... The North Korean regime will never be induced into trading its nuclear weapons, its only bargaining chip. Nor will it be inhibited by threats of a military attack or economic pressures from Beijing. The idea has always been to throw off the yoke of the great powers’ “governing principals” — all of them — to achieve Korea’s reunification and independence on its own terms. The problem is that it’s in the rest of the world’s interest to keep the status quo: The division has a 70-year record of stability, and pulling out risks destabilizing the peninsula ... Even South Korea has no real interest in reuniting ... Preserving the division system should be our clearly stated goal, and the clearest route is to work with the Chinese in encouraging the North Koreans to accept the division system and to help them succeed within it.

A. Raihan - Foreign Policy In Focus

... Now, Americans’ right to boycott is under attack once again — thanks to a vicious anti-boycott bill making its way through the Senate. In particular, it appears to target the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is an international movement calling on individuals, institutions, and governments to boycott Israeli products until it ends its occupation of Palestinian lands. The boycott is explicitly nonviolent and is supported by activists, celebrities, faith-based groups, and political and social justice organizations around the world. The proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act would make it a felony for Americans to support BDS, with a penalty of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. Unfortunately, the bill enjoys bipartisan support ...

Scott McConnell - The American Conservative

... The United States generally shields Israel from UN criticism. That leaves the most recent peaceful Palestinian-led tactic — BDS, or the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, which was initiated twelve years ago. It seeks to build an international boycott of Israel, its private and public emissaries, and its products ... BDS’s advances worry Israel and its most uncritical U.S. supporters. Benjamin Netanyahu has called the movement an “existential threat.” Early this year AIPAC (America’s main pro-Israel lobby) has actually helped draft a bill (S. 720), The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which mandates civil and criminal penalties for participating in an anti-Israel boycott.

Time magazine

The history of the Statue of Liberty became the focus of a back-and-forth between Stephen Miller, an aide to President Donald Trump, and CNN's Jim Acosta during the White House Press Briefing on Wednesday. The broadcast journalist had argued that the President's support of a bill that would place new limits on legal immigration did not jibe with the spirit embodied by the monument, as expressed by the Emma Lazarus poem that has become synonymous with Lady Liberty ...The poem was engraved onto a plaque placed on the pedestal in 1903 — nearly two decades after the statue was unveiled ... Emma Lazarus was tapped to write the famous sonnet “The New Colossus” for a Statue of Liberty fundraiser ... inspired by her work with Russian Jews detained by immigration officials on Ward Island ...

Steve Sailer – Taki

... In reality, Dunkirk is a nationalist masterpiece. The Anglo-American Nolan (his father is English, his mother American) is an English nationalist, a reactionary elitist slightly to the left of Viscount Castlereagh and slightly to the right of the Duke of Wellington. ... In reality, Dunkirk is probably the least anti-Fascist British WWII movie ever. Nolan never mentions “the Germans,” much less “the Nazis.” They are just “the enemy.” Branagh, star of a film about a shameless war of English aggression in Europe, Henry V, is there to remind you that, no matter what the current ideological justifications, going over to the Low Countries to kick the Continentals around is just something the English periodically do.

YouGov.UK (Britain)

By three to one, British people think the British Empire is something to be proud of rather than ashamed of – they also tend to think it left its colonies better off, and a third would like it to still exist / Britain has long found it difficult to evaluate its former empire. Imperial nostalgia on television has been shamed by historians, and modern prime ministers have expressed ‘deep sorrow’ for Britain’s role in slavery – but they have also called on British people to celebrate the legacy of the Empire. Among the British public, feelings tend to be positive. A new YouGov survey finds that most think the British Empire is more something to be proud of (59 percent) rather than ashamed of (19 percent), while 23 percent don't know.

Under the Radar – Military.com

“1944” (out now on DVD and Digital) is yet another film that reminds us that the Pearl Harbor to D-Day to Hiroshima/Nagasaki narrative we all know barely scratches the surface of the story of World War II ... The movie follows Estonian troops fighting on both sides from July’s battle of the Tannenberg Line to the Red Army’s occupation of the Sorve peninsula at the end of November. It’s a Civil War tale, with neighbors and brothers fighting against each other for a cause that neither really supports. The movie was made by Estonian director Elmo Nüganen and it now stands as the country’s biggest domestic box office success.

Video

For seven months in 1944, Estonian, Latvian and German Waffen SS troops fiercely defended the strategically important Narva Isthmus against Soviet forces. This wartime newsreel shows Estonian and Latvian infantrymen in combat, artillery and rocket launchers in action, flaks guns firing at Soviet aircraft, tanks moving up for deployment, and captured Soviet prisoners. (Latvian-language narration. Runtime: 3:18 mins.) Some 124,000 Waffen SS men fought against 200,000 Soviet troops in this northern sector of the Eastern Front. The Soviets had about 100 tanks, against 32 for the defenders, and 800 combat aircraft, against 137 for the defenders. Casualties were heavy, with 68,000 for the defenders (including 14,000 dead or missing), and 480,000 on the Soviet side (including 100,000 dead or missing).

Video

In this cogent presentation Dena Takruri tells about Israel’s large, sprawling “separation wall.” Israel says it built this wall for security reasons -- to keep Palestinians from the occupied West Bank out of Israel. So why does 85 percent of the wall run inside the West Bank, rather than on the border with Israel? Takruri also explains how the wall has affected Palestinian communities. Runtime: 3:52 mins.

CNN

Federal authorities believe the 18-year-old man accused of making more than 100 threats to Jewish institutions earlier this year was paid by someone to make some of those threats, recently unsealed court documents reveal. The man advertised his bomb threat "services" through a major so-called "Dark Web" marketplace recently shutdown by the Justice Department, according to court records. Michael Kadar, a dual American-Israeli citizen, was arrested in March and later charged for his alleged involvement in the wave of bomb and active shooter threats that rattled Jewish community centers, schools and other institutions across the United States and abroad.

The Independent (Britain)

Tony Blair should be tried as a war criminal over the Iraq War, according to a third of Britons surveyed in a new poll. Carried out on the same day that the High Court blocked a bid by a former chief of the Iraqi Army’s staff to bring a private prosecution against the former prime minister, the YouGov survey asked 3,264 adults representative of the population in Britain to pick one of five statements that best summed up their views about him in respect of the Iraq War. A third – 33 per cent – of those taking part in the survey chose “Mr Blair knowingly misled Parliament and the public and should be tried as a war criminal”. The number of respondents who said Mr Blair should be tried as a war criminal was higher among those aged above 65, with 42 per cent choosing that answer compared with only 26 per cent of those aged 18 to 24.

Associated Press

Britain’s High Court has blocked a bid by an Iraqi ex-general to prosecute former Prime Minister Tony Blair for invading Iraq in 2003. Gen. Abdulwaheed Shannan Al Rabbat’s case centered around the concept that a “crime of aggression” would be recognized under English law. But the High Court said that while the concept exists under international law, it does not exist in domestic law right now. The former army general’s lawyers said in a statement Monday that the judgment “sets a dangerous precedent in times of global insecurity,” and called on Parliament to enact a law making accountability clear in the future. The United States and Britain were part of a coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, following accusations that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein held weapons of mass destruction.

Geoffrey Wheatcroft – The New York Review of Books

... Among its conclusions the [official British 'Chilcot'] report says that there was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein; that the British “chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted”; that military action “was not a last resort” ... It illuminates once more, but very clearly, the yawning gulf between what [prime minister Tony] Blair was saying publicly in the year before the war to Parliament, and even to his own Cabinet, and what he was saying in private to Bush ... What Blair knew well was that the Bush administration was determined to destroy Saddam, whether he possessed weapons of mass destruction or not. The purpose of the war was regime change for its own sake, even if in defiance of international law and the United Nations.

Fox News

The left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center has come under fire for its labeling of a Christian nonprofit organization -- dedicated to defending "religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family" -- as a hate group. But the Alliance Defending Freedom isn't the only conservative, traditional-value organization the SPLC smears as a hate group. Fox News found at least six other groups that are conservative and explicitly nonviolent but branded as hate organizations by the SPLC ... The organization's list also includes many conservative groups that -- while socially controversial -- are peaceful organizations that say they do not advocate hate or violence.

Eurekalert / AAAS (Washington, DC)

A new King's College London study suggests that genes account for nearly 50 per cent of the differences between whether children are socially mobile or not. One of the best predictors of children's educational attainment is their parents' educational level and in the past this association was thought to be environmental, rather than influenced by genes. Parents with higher levels of educational achievement, for example, are thought to access greater academic and social resources, enabling them to pass on better opportunities for their children than less educated parents. This new King's study, published today in Psychological Science, is the first to find substantial genetic influence on children's social mobility, which could have important implications for reducing educational inequality.

BBC News

A US clothing company has come under fire after T-shirts appeared online featuring swastikas in a move aimed at reclaiming the symbol as one of "love". The attempt to rebrand the Nazi emblem as a symbol of "peace" was criticised on social media as the public refused to support the campaign. Days after the design appeared, it was replaced with an "anti-swastika" print. The swastika is an ancient symbol said to have represented good fortune in almost every culture in the world ... “The swastika is coming back, together with peace, together with love, together with respect, together with Freedom," the company said in a video posted on Facebook ...

BBC News

In the Western world the swastika is synonymous with fascism, but it goes back thousands of years and has been used as a symbol of good fortune in almost every culture in the world ... By the beginning of the 20th Century there was a huge fad for the swastika as a benign good luck symbol. In his book The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption? US graphic design writer Steven Heller shows how it was enthusiastically adopted in the West as an architectural motif, on advertising and product design ... “Coca-Cola used it. Carlsberg used it on their beer bottles. The Boy Scouts adopted it and the Girls' Club of America called their magazine Swastika ...,” he says. It was used by American military units during World War One, and it could be seen on RAF planes as late as 1939.

Slovak Spectator (Slovakia)

The police charged far-right extremist leader Marian Magát with Holocaust denial, referring to his comments on a social network. If he is found guilty, he may spend up to eight years in prison, the public-service broadcaster RTVS reported. Despite the accusations, Magát still wants to run for the government post in Žilina Region in the November regional elections. Magát is one of the founders of Vzdor (Resistance) Kysuce, which the Interior Ministry classifies as an extremist group. In last year’s general election he unsuccessfully ran on the slate of People’s Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), led by Marian Kotleba ... Magát does not conceal his anti-semitism or admiration of Adolf Hitler, whom he has described as peacemaker and a person with his heart on the right place.

Leon Hadar - The National Interest

... Just like changes in economic conditions, changes in the global status and power of nations are not always immediately apparent, especially to the politicians and the generals who yield that power and to the journalists who cover them ... From that perspective, there is an eerie resemblance between the resistance of officials, lawmakers and pundits in London 1949 and that of their contemporary counterparts in Washington 2017 to adjust their nation’s foreign policies to the changing global balance of power ... The neoconservatives and liberal internationalists who bash President Trump’s foreign policies seem to give a bad name to the term Chutzpah. They not only fail to recognize that Washington’s global power has eroded, they also refuse to admit that they were responsible in large part for these changes.

Sheldon Richman

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of U.S. President Harry Truman’s atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. The atomic bombing of Nagasaki took place three days later [August 9] in 1945. Some 90,000-166,000 individuals were killed in Hiroshima. The Nagasaki bombing killed 39,000-80,000 human beings ... There isn’t much to be said about those unspeakable atrocities against civilians that hasn’t been said many times before. The US government never needed atomic bombs to commit mass murder, but it dropped them anyway. (Remember this when judging the official US moralistic stance toward Iran.) ... Conservatives, ironically, were among the earliest critics of Truman’s mass murder. It’s also worth noting that the top military leaders of the day opposed the use of atomic bombs.

Ward Wilson - Foreign Policy

The U.S. use of nuclear weapons against Japan during World War II has long been a subject of emotional debate ... The fact that Japan had 68 cities destroyed in the summer of 1945 poses a serious challenge for people who want to make the bombing of Hiroshima the cause of Japan’s surrender. The question is: If they surrendered because a city was destroyed, why didn’t they surrender when those other 66 cities were destroyed? ... The Soviet invasion invalidated the military’s decisive battle strategy, just as it invalidated the diplomatic strategy. At a single stroke, all of Japan’s options evaporated. The Soviet invasion was strategically decisive – it foreclosed both of Japan’s options – while the bombing of Hiroshima (which foreclosed neither) was not.

Video

In this quick-paced, hour-long session, Mark Weber speaks on the calamitous course of US foreign policy over the past century, the deceitful, two-faced agenda of influential Jewish-Zionist groups such as the ADL, President Trump’s erratic and confusing foreign policy, and more. In this “Daily Kenn” broadcast, July 26, 2017, the IHR director is the guest of host Kenn Gividen – 2004 Libertarian candidate for governor in Indiana -- and co-host Charles Edward Lincoln. Weber also talks about the harmful consequences the US-USSR alliance during World War II, and of the “Judeo-centric” view of history that prevails in today’s America. In his dissection of the “big lie” claim that Hitler tried to “take over the world,” Weber cites the work of such historians as Patrick J. Buchanan.

Boyd D. Cathey

... “Dunkirk,” then, is that rare creation in 2017: a film with no R-rated imagery, no pornographic language, no torrid love scenes, no PC jargon, no ideological manipulation of the past. Rather, it thrusts us back to 1940, to a more heroic time when there were real heroes who defended their country not because they wanted glory, but because it was their duty. “Dunkirk” stands out like an anomaly amongst current cinema: it reminds us of who we once were as a people and the deeds we once achieved, and of an English (and Western) culture and way of life, a civilization, quickly disappearing. And, at times, it seems to ask us if we will ever again possess that courage and that faith.

BBC News

Two Chinese tourists were arrested in Berlin for making Hitler salutes outside the German parliament on Saturday. Criminal proceedings have been started against the middle-aged men for using symbols from a banned organisation. The pair have been released on bail of 500 euros ($600) each. Germany has strict laws on hate speech and symbols linked to Hitler and the Nazis. The men - aged 36 and 49 - could face a fine or a prison sentence of up to three years, according to police. The same charges are most commonly used to prosecute members of the far right. A police spokeswoman told AFP news agency that the men could leave the country during the investigation and that if a fine is handed down, the bail money they had already paid would probably cover it.

Ron Paul

President Trump seems to be impatiently racing toward at least one disastrous war. Maybe two. The big question is who will be first? North Korea or Iran? ... Iran, which along with North Korea and Russia will face new sanctions imposed by Congress and expected to be signed into law by Trump, is also in President Trump’s crosshairs. He was reportedly furious over his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s certifying that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear deal – even though Iran was in compliance – and he seems determined to push a confrontation ... Although Trump’s bombastic rhetoric on Iran and North Korea has been pretty consistent, the American people voted Trump because he was seen as the less likely of the two candidates to get the US into a major war.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... North Korea is not the only potential adversary with whom our relations are rapidly deteriorating. After Congress voted overwhelmingly for new sanctions on Russia last week, and Trump agreed to sign the bill that strips him of authority to lift the sanctions without Hill approval, Russia abandoned its hopes for a rapprochement with Trump's America ... While wary of a war with North Korea, Washington seems to be salivating for a war with Iran. Indeed, Trump's threat to declare Iran in violation of the nuclear arms deal suggests a confrontation is coming ... Among the reasons Trump routed his Republican rivals in 2016 is that he seemed to share an American desire to look homeward. Yet, today, our relations with China and Russia are as bad as they have been in decades, while there is open talk of war with Iran and North Korea.

Eric Margolis

... The president has many faults and is a lousy judge of character. But he was absolutely right to read the riot act to the military brass for daring to ask for a very large troop and budget increase for the stalemated Afghan War that has cost $1 trillion to date. Of course, the unfortunate generals are not really to blame. They have been forced by the last three presidents to fight a pointless war at the top of the world that lacks any strategy, reason or purpose – and with limited forces ... Sixteen years later, the US is still chasing shadows in the Hindu Kush Mountains, rightly known to history as ‘Graveyard of Empires.’

Aluf Benn - Haaretz (Israel)

... The basis for Netanyahu’s diplomatic activism is his assessment that America is growing weaker and gradually withdrawing from the Middle East ... This is Netanyahu’s message: Anyone who wants to support Israel must accept it as it is, with the occupation and the settlements. Anyone who accepts Israel only in the pre-1967 lines, like the European Union, is “crazy” and not wanted here ... The main thing is for Germany to keep giving Israel the submarines that lend force to Netanyahu’s intensifying threats against Iran (“anyone who threatens our existence puts his own existence at risk,” “threaten destruction to anyone who threatens to destroy us”). And Germany’s support can always be bolstered with more Holocaust memorial ceremonies, as Netanyahu did this week in France and Hungary.

Richard H. Curtiss

... The networks were to explode small incendiary bombs in American installations in Egypt, presumably to set off a chain of mutual recriminations to spoil the budding Eisenhower-Nasser courtship. After completing their sabotage of American installations, the same networks next were to bomb public places in Cairo and Alexandria ... Members of the Israeli sabotage network took firebombs to the Cairo railway station and to movie theaters in Cairo and Alexandria ... The 1954 Israeli plot and cover-up that set in motion events leading up to the 1956 Suez War became known as the "Haessek Habish" (Ugly Affair) ... Few American journalists know, or will admit to knowing, about this first detected instigation by the Israel Defense Forces and intelligence agencies of anti-American incidents in preparation for an attack by Israel on its Arab neighbors.

Sputnik News (Russia)

Some European countries, namely Italy, Germany, France and the UK, are facing the so-called "substitution of nations," where the national ethnical majority is disappearing physically and biologically, and is being substituted by migrants, according to a recent report. Sputnik Italy discussed the issue with Daniele Scalea, the author of the report. The recent report of the Italian-based Machiavelli Center of Political and Strategic Studies (Centro studi politici e strategici Machiavelli), "How immigration is changing Italian demographics" has revealed that a number of European countries are facing the "biological and physical extinction" of their national ethnicities. Ethnic majorities in such countries as Italy, Germany, France and the UK, are gradually turning into ethnic minorities, while being "substituted" by incoming migrants.

Associated Press

Ernst Zundel, a far-right activist who rose to notoriety over decades of public neo-Nazi activity in Canada and the U.S. before being deported back to his native Germany on Holocaust denial charges, has died. He was 78 ... Born in Germany in 1939, Zundel emigrated to Canada in 1958 ... After leaving Canada, he moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee ... In 2003 he was deported back to Canada for alleged immigration violations. After he arrived in Toronto, he was arrested and held in detention ... He was deported to Germany, where he was being sought for Holocaust denial ... Zundel, who portrayed himself as a peaceful campaigner being denied the right to free speech, was convicted in Mannheim in 2007 of 14 counts of inciting hatred for engaging in years of anti-Semitic activities and sentenced to five years in prison.

Revisionists.com

Ernst Zundel, a German-born publisher and author, was held for seven years behind bars, first in Canada and then in Germany, for his peaceful expression of non-conformist views. From February 2003 to March 2010, he was the western world’s most prominent “prisoner of conscience.” He is known worldwide as a publicist, organizer and defender of free speech, and as author countless booklets, newsletters and essays. He has been a major figure in the Holocaust revisionist movement.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

The weekly news magazine Der Spiegel has decided to omit a controversial book from its bestseller list. Der Spiegel's deputy chief editor Susanne Beyer explained in a statement on Tuesday [July 25] that Rolf Peter Sieferle's collection of essays, "Finis Germania," (Latin, translating as The End of Germany), a book she had previously described as expressing "far-right views, anti-Semitism and historical revisionism," should not be further promoted through the magazine. A week ago, "Finis Germania" was listed as the sixth bestselling nonfiction book in the printed version of Der Spiegel. However, the book, criticized for its far-right conspiracy theories, was not to be found in the current issue's ranking.