November-December 2009 Headlines
Ben Stein Says Ron Paul Uses `Anti-Semitic' Arguments
Thomas R. Eddlem -- New American

Ben Stein, former actor turned economic and political advisor, accuses Congressman Ron Paul of using an "anti-Semitic" argument in saying that the US should reconsider its Middle East policies, and in asking why there is so much hatred and terrorism against the US in Arab and Muslim countries. The heated exchange between Stein and Paul is during an appearance on CNNs "Larry King Live."


Iran Sanctions Are Precursor to War
Rep. Ron Paul

Last week the House overwhelmingly approved a measure to put a new round of sanctions on Iran. If this measure passes the Senate, the United States could no longer do business with anyone who sold refined petroleum products to Iran or helped them develop their ability to refine their own petroleum ... This policy is pure isolationism. It is designed to foment war by cutting off trade and diplomacy. Too many forget that the quagmire in Iraq began with an embargo. Sanctions are not diplomacy. They are a precursor to war and an embarrassment to a country that pays lip service to free trade. It is ironic that people who decry isolationism support actions like this.


Lazy Afghanistan Army
Journeyman Pictures -- Video

Top NATO commander General McChrystal calls training local soldiers and cops "our main effort" in Afghanistan. But whipping recruits into shape is a whole lot harder when they're stoned out of their minds. "You walk into a whole squad of ANA [Afghan National Army] smoking hashish. They don't understand that the use of drugs, it effects the way that they accomplish their mission," says one disgusted marine. "Soldiers come out without helmets, soldiers come out missing a lot of gear." Runtime: 6:28 mins.


Iraq Inquiry Reveals Chaos That Led Britain To War
The Guardian (Britain)

Some will always believe that Tony Blair took the country to war in Iraq on a lie, but the most damning charge emerging from the Iraq war inquiry so far is that Britain went to war on a wing and a prayer. The main charges, after four weeks of cross examination, are that Britain had minimal influence over American diplomatic and military strategy, did not plan correctly for the aftermath of war, and utterly misconstrued post-war Iraqi society.


Israel's Jewish Settlements are Illegal, Says European Union
Xinhua (China)

The European Union (EU) expressed its dismay on Wednesday for Israel's decision on the expansion of the settlement of Gilo in East Jerusalem. "The presidency recalls that settlement activities, house demolitions and evictions in East Jerusalem are illegal under international law," said Sweden, which is current rotating presidency of the EU, in a statement. Such activities also prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations and threaten the viability of a two-state solution. The presidency recalls that the European Union has never recognized the annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967 nor the subsequent 1980 basic law," said the statement.


Religious Leaders vs. Members: Contrasting Views on Immigration
Center for Immigration Studies

In contrast to many national religious leaders who are lobbying for increases in immigration, a new Zogby poll of likely voters who belong to the same religious communities finds strong support for reducing overall immigration. Moreover, members strongly disagree with their leaders' contention that more immigrant workers need to be allowed into the country. Also, most parishioners and congregants prefer more enforcement to cause illegal workers to go home, rather than legalization of illegal immigrants, which most religious leaders prefer.


Madoff's Wife Blames `The Gentiles'
ABC television - Video


"The Gentiles" are responsible, says Ruth Madoff, wife of infamous financial crook Bernie Madoff. This and other details are related by Brian Ross from his new book, The Madoff Chronicles. Runtime: 4:37 mins.



China Begins to Flex Political Muscle
The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

Deng Xiaoping set forth a so-called 24-Character Plan for securing China's place in the world. "Hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership," the then Chinese leader espoused early last decade. But this year will be remembered, say analysts, as the year China abandoned its diplomatic quietism and Beijing displayed a clout on the international stage to match its global economic weight; the year Deng's maxims were renounced. The lesson for Australia and the United States, as China's audacious diplomatic manoeuvring at Copenhagen demonstrated, is that they will increasingly have to accept a world in which China is willing - and able - to assert interests at odds with those of the West.


Iran Nuke Document Was Forged, Say Intelligence Specialists
Inter Press Service

U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a "neutron initiator" for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official. Philip Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told IPS that intelligence sources say that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect ... "The Rupert Murdoch chain has been used extensively to publish false intelligence from the Israelis and occasionally from the British government," Giraldi said.


World Jewish Congress Denounces Vatican Move on Wartime Pope
AFP

The World Jewish Congress hit out at weekend Vatican moves to raise controversial wartime pope Pius XII to sainthood. "As long as the archives of Pope Pius about the crucial period 1939 to 1945 remain closed, and until a consensus on his actions -- or inaction -- concerning the persecution of millions of Jews in the Holocaust is established, a beatification is inopportune and premature," said WJC President Ronald Lauder in a statement. He added that "strong concerns about Pope Pius XII's political role during World War II ... should not be ignored." The Vatican sparked anger amongst the Jewish community on Saturday with moves to nudge Pius -- whose beatification process was launched in 1967 -- closer to sainthood.


Iran To Seek Compensation From WW II Victors for Damages
PressTV (Iran)

Iran's president says he will soon write to the UN Secretary-General asking for his country to be compensated for World War II damages ... Ahmadinejad told the reporters that the countries that won the Second World War had inflicted a lot of damage on Iran by invading the country and using its resources. The president added that while the former Soviet Union, the United States and Britain received compensation after the conflict, Iran had been given nothing to make up for the suffering its people had endured ... At the start of World War II, Iran declared its neutrality, but the country was invaded by both Britain and the Soviet Union in August 1941.


China Unveils 245 MPH Train Service: World's Fastest
Daily Mail (Britain)

In the week that Britain's high speed rail link closed down because the wrong sort of snow interfered with the engine's electronics, China unveiled the world's fastest train service on one of the coldest days of the year. Days after thousands of passengers were left stranded when Eurostar services were cancelled, China's new system connects the modern cities of Guangzhou and Wuhan at an average speed of 217 mph - and it took just four years to build. The super-high-speed train reduces the 664-mile journey to just a three-hour ride and cuts the previous journey time by more than seven-and-a-half hours, the official Xinhua news agency said.


Welcome to London: Except If You're an Israeli official
The Economist (Britain)

Israeli bigwigs may not be visiting Britain much in the months ahead following the near arrest on December 13th of Tzipi Livni, the leader of the opposition, for alleged war crimes. A London judge issued an arrest warrant for Ms Livni for her role as foreign minister in Israel's "Operation Cast Lead", the assault on the Gaza Strip earlier this year ... Well-placed Israeli observers said Israel, like other countries, would have no choice but to take account of the growing internationalisation of criminal justice when they plan their campaigns and their travels. A report by Richard Goldstone on the Gaza war for the UN Human Rights Council, published in September, and now Ms Livni's brush with Britain's legal system, were examples of a trend that Israelis could not ignore.


She Died for Palestine: In Memory of Rachel Corrie
Lasha Darkmoon -- The Occidental Observer

Like all things pure and precious

Like holy bread and wine

I love the radiant Rachel

Who died for Palestine.



Israel Again Arrests Nuclear Whistleblower Vanunu
The Associated Press

Israeli police say that nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has been arrested. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Vanunu was detained on suspicion he met with several foreigners, in violation of the conditions of his 2004 release from prison. He's to appear in a Jerusalem court later today. Vanunu was a former low-level technician at an Israeli nuclear plant who leaked details and pictures of the operation to the Sunday Times of London in 1986. From the material, experts concluded that Israel had the world's sixth-largest nuclear arsenal. Vanunu was later kidnapped by Israeli intelligence agents in Rome and brought back to Israel to stand trial.


British Newspapers Misquote German Hitler Historian
Der Spiegel (Germany)

German historian Joachim Riecker recently published a book about Hitler's hatred of Jews. British newspapers soon printed articles containing inaccurate information about the book. Now the researcher is battling to save his reputation ... "Of course. The Holocaust is a highly sensitive subject. False reports like this can quickly destroy a journalist's credibility. I don't even want to imagine what else could happen at this point."


Obama Authorizes More Billions For Israel
Ynet News (Israel)

US President Barack Obama this week signed the 2010 foreign aid budget law which includes $2.775 billion in security aid to Israel. This is the second year the budget is transferred to the Jewish state as part of understandings that the American assistance to Israel in the coming decade will total $30 billion ... For the first time, the American foreign aid budget law includes a clause forbidding American export and import banks to use the aid funds for providing guarantees, insurance or credit to companies sullying refined oil to Iran.


U.S. Tax Dollars Fund Rabbi Who Excused Killing Gentile Babies
Akiva Eldar -- Haaretz (Israel)

The White House condemns the torching of a mosque, yet respectable Americans contribute to a yeshiva whose rabbi said it's okay to kill gentile babies ... How can President Barack Obama object to furthering education in a settlement like Yitzhar, located in the heart of the West Bank? After all, his own tax revenues contribute to the flourishing of the Od Yosef Chai Shechem yeshiva, the settlement's crowning glory. This is the same yeshiva whose rabbi said it is permissible to kill gentile babies because of "the future danger that will arise if they are allowed to grow into evil people like their parents."


Lithuania Hosted Secret CIA Prisons
BBC News

The CIA used at least two secret detention centres in Lithuania after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the US, a Lithuanian inquiry has found. The report by a Lithuanian parliamentary committee says that in 2005 and 2006 CIA chartered planes were allowed to land in Lithuania. It says that no Lithuanian officials were allowed near the aircraft, nor were they told who was on board. Poland and Romania hosted similar CIA "black sites", say reports by ABC News in the US. In Lithuania, at least eight terror suspects were held at one centre on the outskirts of the capital Vilnius, the parliamentary investigation found.


Israel Demands More `Holocaust' Money From Germany
Haaretz (Israel)

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz will demand between 450 million to one billion euros in reparations from Germany on behalf of Jews forced into slave labor during the Holocaust, it emerged on Sunday. Minister Steinitz will reportedly present German government with the demand on behalf of 30,000 Israeli survivors of forced labor in wartime ghettos, during a joint session scheduled to take place in early 2010 in Berlin.


Billions Paid by Germany in Holocaust Restitution
Der Spiegel (Germany) - 2007

... For more than half a century, the Jewish Claims Conference has been responsible for dealing with the German government over compensation claims made by victims of the Holocaust. In 1965, Germany signed a treaty agreeing to pay individual victims; survivors had to file their claims before 1969. Since then, Germany has paid out over 63.2 billion euros -- including 1.5 billion euros in direct payments to the Israeli government.


Germany's Payoff of Billions in Holocaust Reparations
Mark Weber (1998)

Since 1951 Germany has paid more than 102 billion marks, about $61.8 billion at 1998 exchange rates, in federal government reparation payments to Israel and Third Reich victims. In addition, Germans have paid out billions in private and other public funds, including about 75 million marks ($49 million) by German firms in compensation to wartime forced laborers, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported. These figures are based on calculations by the German Finance Ministry.


Germany Pledges 60 Million Euros to Auschwitz Endowment
AFP

Germany has donated 60 million euros (88 million dollars) to a global fund that aims to preserve the site of the Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland, authorities said Wednesday. In a statement, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum said that the money represented half the total it needs to ensure the future of the World War II site as a permanent memorial to the Nazis' victims.


Unclear Writing: Actual Letters Received by the Welfare Department


"I am writing the welfare department to say my baby was born 2 years old. When do I get my money?" "I can't get any sick pay. I have six children. Can you tell me why?" "This is my eight child. What are you going to do about it?" "I am very much annoyed to find that you branded my son illiterate. This is a dirty lie as I was married a week before he was born." "I am forwarding my marriage certificate and my three children, one of which is a mistake as you can see." "Unless I get my husband's money pretty soon, I will be forced to lead an immortal life."


Israel Admits Harvesting Palestinian Organs
The Guardian (Britain)

Israel has admitted that pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others without the consent of their families - a practice that it said ended in the 1990s, it emerged at the weekend. The admission, by the former head of the country's forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs - a charge that Israel denied and called "antisemitic". The revelation, in a television documentary, is likely to generate anger in the Arab and Muslim world and reinforce sinister stereotypes of Israel and its attitude to Palestinians.


Israeli Organ Trafficking and Theft: From Moldova to Palestine
Alison Weir

In August Sweden's largest daily newspaper published an article containing grisly evidence suggesting that Israel had been taking Palestinian internal organs. The article, by veteran photojournalist Donald Bostrom, called for an international investigation to discover the facts. Israel immediately accused Bostrom and the newspaper of "anti-Semitism," and charged that suggesting Israelis could be involved in the illicit removal of body parts constituted a modern "blood libel" (medieval stories of Jews killing people for their blood) ... The fact is, however, that Israeli organ harvesting - sometimes with Israeli governmental funding and the participation of high Israeli officials, prominent Israeli physicians, and Israeli ministries - has been documented for many years.


Major European Bank Suggests Global Economic Collapse In Next Two Years
The Telegraph (Britain)

Soci�t� G�n�rale [based in Paris, and one of Europe's largest banks] has advised clients to be ready for a possible "global economic collapse" over the next two years, mapping a strategy of defensive investments to avoid wealth destruction. In a report entitled "Worst-case debt scenario", the bank's asset team said state rescue packages over the last year have merely transferred private liabilities onto sagging sovereign shoulders, creating a fresh set of problems. Overall debt is still far too high in almost all rich economies as a share of GDP (350 percent in the US), whether public or private. It must be reduced by the hard slog of "deleveraging", for years.


Police Find Auschwitz `Arbeit Macht Frei' Sign in Pieces
AFP

Polish police said Monday they found the Nazi sign "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work Will Set You Free") from the Auschwitz death camp cut in three pieces after it was stolen by five suspects with no neo-Nazi links. Andrzej Rokita, commander in the nearby southern Polish city of Krakow, told reporters that "from the information we have none of the five belong to a neo-Nazi group nor hold such ideas".


Auschwitz Yet Again
Gilad Atzmon

Early on Friday the famous "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free) sign that hung over the entrance gate to the Auschwitz camp, was stolen ... Every person who happens to be brave enough to step into the muddy topic known as Holocaust history, is quick to discover the embarrassing fact that lies at the heart of the Auschwitz museum experience: the gas chamber on display is no less than a reconstruction built after the war by the soviets ... It is in Auschwitz where young Israelis fuel themselves with enough hatred so they can punish the Palestinians for crimes committed by Europeans.


Vikings Raided, Pillaged ... And Wrote Love Poems
The Wall Street Journal

Mention the Vikings and most people will immediately think of horned helmets, blood eagles, and grizzled barbarians raiding and pillaging their way across the seven seas. It's a clich�, of course, but one embedded with an element of truth ... Yet these warriors had an artistic side that's long been overlooked. They spun out intricately decorated shields, finely worked silver jewelry and woven wall tapestries depicting scenes from heathen mythology. And a mastery of poetry was a must for any young Viking who wanted to make a name for himself. Most Viking poems praised the deeds of a king or patron, but a few of them even dwelled on love.


Afghanistan: It's Time to Leave
Rep. Ron Paul

I have serious concerns about the president's decision to add some 30,000 troops and an as yet undisclosed number of civilian personnel to escalate our Afghan operation. This "surge" will bring US troop levels to approximately those of the Soviets when they occupied Afghanistan with disastrous result back in the 1980s. I fear the US military occupation of Afghanistan may end up similarly unsuccessful ... The only solution to the Afghanistan quagmire is a rapid and complete US withdrawal from that country and the region. We cannot afford to maintain this empire and our occupation of these foreign lands is not making us any safer. It is time to leave Afghanistan.


Las Vegas Teacher Accused of `Holocaust Denial'
The Associated Press

A Las Vegas teacher has been told to stay home while district officials investigate a claim that she denied in class the Holocaust happened, a newspaper reported Friday. Clark County [Nevada] schools spokesman Michael Rodriguez said Northwest Career and Technical Academy teacher Lori Sublette was assigned to remain home, and appropriate action would follow an investigation. Student Katie Piranio told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Sublette said during a Nov. 25 class that history books were inaccurate and Nazis in World War II lacked the technology to kill millions of Jews.


John Demjanjuk: The Last Nazi
Scott Raab -- Esquire

Funny thing is, he was never a Nazi, nor Ivan the Terrible, nor even German. So why now is he standing trial in Munich as accessory to 27,900 Nazi murders? Is this one last blow struck for justice for the Holocaust? Or is it a farce? ... We [Jews] didn't just let the Holocaust define us. We insisted on it. Our history? Persecution. Our inheritance? Genocide. We own it: Count the corpses. Read our books. Visit our museums. Pay homage to our pain.


Prosecution Will Use Testimony From The Dead in Demjanjuk Trial.
The Telegraph (Britain)

The trial of alleged Nazi mass murderer John Demjanjuk starts next Monday without a single eyewitness to his crimes. Munich prosecutors who built the case against former death camp guard Mr Demjanjuk, 89, put 23 witnesses on their list, some of them from Russia and Ukraine. But all members of the list are dead. It means that Demjanjuk, charged with assisting in 27,900 murders during his time as an SS guard at the extermination camp of Sobibor in occupied Poland, will be judged on records such as his identity card and on the statements of the dead. His lawyer Guenther Maull said the defence would contest the witness statements may have been made under pressure from Soviet KGB interrogators.


The Map That Changed the World
BBC News

Almost exactly 500 years ago, in 1507, Martin Waldseemuller and Matthias Ringmann, two obscure Germanic scholars based in the mountains of eastern France, made one of the boldest leaps in the history of geographical thought - and indeed in the larger history of ideas. Near the end of an otherwise plodding treatise titled Introduction to Cosmography, they announced to their readers the astonishing news that the world did not just consist of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the three parts of the world known since antiquity. A previously unknown fourth part of the world had recently been discovered, they declared, by the Italian merchant Amerigo Vespucci, and in his honour they had decided to give it a name: America.


American Leaders Planned Poison Gas Attack Against Japan
Mark Weber

A long-suppressed report written in June 1945 by the US Army's Chemical Warfare Service shows that American military leaders made plans for a massive preemptive poison gas attack to accompany an invasion of Japan. The 30-page document designated "gas attack zones" on detailed maps of Tokyo and other major Japanese cities. Army planners selected 50 urban and industrial targets in Japan, with 25 cities, including Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Kobe and Kyoto, listed as "especially suitable for gas attacks."


Finkelstein's `Holocaust Industry'
Richard Hoste

... The US is the muscle behind organized Jewry. Bronfman, the World Jewish Congress president, in 1998 claimed that his organization alone had amassed around $7 billion in Holocaust compensation. It's not a coincidence that the only countries who've fallen for this scam are White ones, and not Arab nations that expelled Jews in the 20th century ... It takes a special sort of goyim to fall for the scam: Holocaust propaganda helps create a people prone to extortion, and the money stolen goes to fund more Holocaust propaganda. Not to excuse the behavior of the thieves themselves, but the success of the Holocaust Industry is simply another symptom of a people that has lost its way.


Spot the Difference: Prussia and Israel
Uri Avnery

... The Prussian state became proverbial. Demonized by its enemies, it was, however, exemplary in many ways - a well organized, orderly and law-abiding structure, its bureaucracy untainted by corruption. The Prussian official received a paltry salary, lived modestly and was intensely proud of his status. He detested ostentation. A hundred years ago Prussia already had a system of social insurance - long before other major countries dreamed of it. It was also exemplary in its religious tolerance ... After the fall of the Third Reich, the four occupying powers decided to break up Prussia and divide its territories between several German federal states, Poland and the USSR. That happened in February 1947 - only 15 months before the founding of the State of Israel.


Jewish Families Control Honduran Economy, Says Major Spanish Newspaper
The American Jewish Committee

The American Jewish Committee is condemning an article in one of Spain's leading newspapers, El Mundo, alleging that the Honduran economy is controlled by five Jewish families. / AJC denounced today's El Mundo news article asserting the alleged "control by five Jewish families" of the Honduras economy. The article in one of Spain's leading daily newspapers claims that these families represent "the oligarchy" in one of the poorest nations of the Americas. "El Mundo owes an apology to its readers for publishing such hateful garbage," said Dina Siegel Vann, director of AJC's Latino and Latin American Institute.


Obama's Approval Rating Slips Below 50 Percent
NBC News

... According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll ... For the first time, Obama's overall job approval rating has fallen below 50 percent (to 47 percent). In addition, for the first time since Sept. 2007, a plurality (45 percent) sees the Democratic Party in a negative light. And the percentage believing the country is on the wrong track (55 percent) is at its highest level in the Obama presidency ... What's more, six in ten say the country is in a state of decline, and a whopping two-thirds say they're not confident that life for their children's generation will be better than it was for them.


House Approves $290 Billion Increase In Debt Limit
The Associated Press

The U.S. House has approved legislation giving the federal government the ability to borrow a whopping $290 billion to finance its operations for just six additional weeks. The vote sends the must-pass bill to the Senate, which is expected to approve it as its last act before adjourning for the year. The alternative would be a market-rattling, first-ever default on U.S. obligations. The measure is needed as a result of the out-of-control budget deficit, which registered $1.4 trillion for the budget year that ended in September. The current debt ceiling is $12.1 trillion.


Four Big Mortgage Backers Swim in Ocean of Debt
The New York Times

Even as the biggest banks repay their government debt in what is being heralded as a successful rescue program, four troubled giants of the financial world remain on government life support. These companies, the American International Group, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and GMAC, are not only unable to repay the government, they are in need of continuing infusions that make them look increasingly like long-term wards of the state. And the total risk they pose to the taxpayer far exceeds that of the big banks. Fannie and Freddie, in the final days of the year, are even said to be negotiating with the Treasury about greatly expanding the money available to them.


White Americans' Majority To End by Mid-Century
The Associated Press

The estimated time when whites will no longer make up the majority of Americans has been pushed back eight years -- to 2050 -- because the recession and stricter immigration policies have slowed the flow of foreigners into the U.S. Census Bureau figures released Wednesday update last year's prediction that white children would become a minority in 2023 and the overall white population would follow in 2042. The earlier estimate did not take into account a drop in the number of people moving into the U.S. because of the economic crisis and the immigration policies imposed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.


Detroit: A Once Great America City in Ruins
Al Jazeera - Video

A startling look at a once great American city. Entire neighborhoods are falling apart, and grand, majestic buildings from Detroit's golden age are empty and crumbling. Runtime: 2:54 mins.


Britain Vows to End Arrest Threats to Top Israeli Officials
Haaretz (Israel)

Britain pledged Tuesday to reform a peculiar legal power that lets judges order the arrest of visiting politicians and generals - a threat currently focused on Israeli visitors that, one day, might be invoked against Barack Obama or Vladimir Putin. Lawyers working with Palestinian activists in recent years have sought the arrest of senior Israeli civilian and military figures under terms of universal jurisdiction. This ill-defined legal concept empowers judges to issue arrest warrants for visiting officials accused of war crimes in a foreign conflict ... Foreign Secretary David Miliband later announced that Britain would no longer tolerate legal harassment of Israeli officials in this fashion.


For Palestinians, Every Day Is Kristallnacht
Paul Craig Roberts

... The US, "the world's only superpower," has no independent voice in Middle Eastern affairs. The real power rests in the hands of the settler thug, Avigdor Lieberman, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is the man who controls the Obama government's Middle East policy. Lieberman forced the "all-powerful President of the US, Barack Obama," to rescind his order to Israel to halt the illegal settler settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama was given the bird and submitted to his master. Macho Americans who prance around as if they owned the world are nothing but the puppets of Israel. The US is not a country. It is a colony.


Our Murderers in the Sky
Scott Ritter -- Truthdig

... In many ways, Obama's presentation before the Long Gray Line at West Point, in which he explained his decision to conduct the Afghanistan surge, represented an insult to the collective intelligence of the American people. The most egregious contradiction in his speech was the notion that the people of Afghanistan, who, throughout their history, have resisted central authority whether emanating from Kabul or imposed by outside invaders, would somehow be compelled to embrace this new American plan ... The reality is that, yet again, American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are being sacrificed for the political advantage of an American politician.


US Faces Similar Afghan Fate, Says Soviet Commander
CNN

A former commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan has warned history is being repeated in the war-ravaged country as the United States and its allies become increasingly mired in an "unwinnable war." Gen. Victor Yermakov commanded the Soviet Union's 40th army in Afghanistan from May 1982 to November 1983, one of six commanders to preside over the Soviet task force after its 1979 invasion. The Kremlin's bloody nine-year campaign to support the Marxist government in Kabul cost the lives of more than 15,000 troops and brought the Soviet economy to its knees before its 100,000-strong army was forced into a humiliating withdrawal.


A Just Cause Does Not Equal a Just War
Howard Zinn -- The Progressive

I want to talk about three holy wars. They aren't religious wars, but they're the three wars in American history that are sacrosanct, that you can't say anything bad about: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. Let's look carefully at these three idealized, three romanticized wars. It's important to at least be willing to raise the possibility that you could criticize something that everybody has accepted as uncriticizable .. .. I volunteered to be in World War II and flew bombing missions over Europe. I did it because it was the Good War, it was the right war, it was a just war. After I got out of the war, I began to go back over things and learn about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Jewish Lobby Wages War on Christmas Trees
Ynet News (Israel)

A new front for religious battles: Hotels and restaurants. The "Lobby for Jewish values" this week began operating against restaurants and hotels that plan to put up Christmas trees and other Christian symbols ahead of Christmas and the civil New Year. According to the lobby's Chairman, Ofer Cohen, they have received backing by the rabbis, "and we are even considering publishing the names of the businesses that put up Christian symbols ahead of the Christian holiday and call for a boycott against them." Fliers and ads distributed among the public read, "The people of Israel have given their soul over the years in order to maintain the values of the Torah of Israel and the Jewish identity.


Israel Settlement `Freeze' Shields Dismantling of Illegal Outposts
The Christian Science Monitor

Israel's settlement freeze is supposed to clamp down on new housing starts in the West Bank, but it's also shielding illegally built outposts and settler houses from demolition. The enforcement of an order to evacuate outposts - a step demanded by the US to help restart peace talks with the Palestinians - has been put off for years. Palestinians and Israeli peace groups have been challenging the delay in Israel's Supreme Court, which requested from Israel a timetable for the demolitions. .. .. The statement is fueling concern that, despite public clashes with Jewish settlers over the partial freeze, the moratorium will prove to be little more than a public relations mirage.


Czech Court Acquits Man in Holocaust Challenge Case
CTK (Czech Republic)

A Czech court yesterday acquitted Vladimir Stwora, a Czech Canadian who placed a Czech translation of an article allegedly challenging the Holocaust on his website. Stwora faced the charges of support and promotion of movements aimed to suppress human rights and freedoms. The court, however, said there has been no evidence to prove the suspect's intention to challenge the Holocaust. The verdict has not taken effect yet as the state attorney has appealed it on the spot. Originally the court imposed a suspended ten-month prison sentence with two-year probation on Stwora but he appealed the verdict.


Send Cards to Europe's Prisoners of Conscience


Send Christmas cards to Europe's most prominent prisoners of conscience: Ernst Z�ndel, Horst Mahler, Gerd Honsik, Wolfgang Fr�hlich and Sylvia Stolz. Here are the addresses of five men and one woman who are behind bars in Germany and Austria for expressing dissident, "banned" views. Brighten their lives! Show that they're not forgotten!


British Court Issued Arrest Warrant for Israel's Ex-Foreign Minister
The Guardian (Britain)

A British court issued an arrest warrant for Israel's former foreign minister over war crimes allegedly committed in Gaza this year - only to withdraw it when it was discovered that she was not in the UK, it emerged today. Tzipi Livni, a member of the war cabinet during Operation Cast Lead, had been due to address a meeting in London on Sunday but cancelled her attendance in advance .. .. The warrant marks the first time an Israeli minister or former minister has faced arrest in the UK and is evidence of a growing effort to pursue war crimes allegations under "universal jurisdiction."


When Does `History' Begin?
BBC History Magazine

We asked a panel of BBC magazine readers when they thought the past became history -- and the results are in. The very recent past should be considered history. That's the result of a BBC History Magazine survey, which found that the majority of respondents believe the cut-off between current affairs and history occurred no more than ten years ago. Close to a third insisted that even a second before the present counts as history. We commissioned this poll to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a momentous event that has perhaps only recently begun to be thought of as history.


Liberals Are Useless
Chris Hedges -- TruthDig

Liberals are a useless lot. They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement .. .. I save my anger for our bankrupt liberal intelligentsia of which, sadly, I guess I am a member. Liberals are the defeated, self-absorbed Mouse Man in Dostoevsky's "Notes From Underground." They embrace cynicism, a cloak for their cowardice and impotence .. .. The gravest danger we face as a nation is not from the far right, although it may well inherit power, but from a bankrupt liberal class that has lost the will to fight and the moral courage to stand up for what it espouses.


What is `Political Correctness'?
William S. Lind

... Political Correctness is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms .. .. In the 1950s and 1960s, Herbert Marcuse translated the abstruse work of the other Frankfurt School thinkers into books college students could understand, such as Eros and Civilization, which became the Bible of the New Left in the 1960s. Marcuse injected the Frankfurt School's cultural Marxism into the baby boom generation, to the point where it is now that generation's ideology. We know it as "multiculturalism," "diversity" or just Political Correctness.


Holocaust Survivors Lack Objectivity, Says German Govt Committee
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

A newly formed blue-ribbon [German] government committee to combat anti-Semitism is embroiled in a dispute over a discussion of whether to avoid working with survivors of the Holocaust because they are not "objective" and "too emotional" The Jerusalem Post has learned from sources who have access to committee meetings. That revelation last week, along with statements from Dr. Juliane Wetzel, an academic and member of the government commission, who allegedly said in the meeting that she will not allow herself to be "blackmailed by lobby-groups," caused turbulence among the committee members.


You Want to Understand Anti-Semitism? Just Look In The Mirror
Gilad Atzmon

.. .. Holocaust denial laws in Germany and anywhere else must be abolished immediately. It doesn't make any sense that a certain historical chapter within our living memory should be legally restricted. Holocaust denial laws are an assault against humanism and free thought. Leave alone the fact that they make the Zionist Shoa narrative look highly suspicious .. .. It is also depressingly notable that Germany didn't produce a single major philosophical work or a great symphony since the end of WWII. Due to its guilt and the constant Zio-centric pressure, Germany is wary of its own greatness or even greatness in general.


Russia Sheds New Light on Kirov Murder That Sparked Stalin Purges
Reuters

.. .. Historians have long suspected that Stalin had Kirov killed to eliminate a rival and a potential threat. But documents released on Tuesday by Russia's domestic intelligence agency -- including Nikolayev's diary, published with the permission of his son -- painted a picture of a disillusioned Communist Party functionary acting alone, out of bitterness and revenge. Nikolayev had tried hard to rise to the top of the Leningrad Party hierarchy but instead was told to go and work at a factory in a lower position. He decided to take revenge on Kirov after he was thrown out of the party for "breaching party discipline," denied treatment in a sanatorium despite having heart problems, and could no longer get food rations available to party apparatchiks.


The World's Least Powerful Man
Paul Craig Roberts

It didn't take the Israel Lobby very long to bring President Obama to heel regarding his prohibition against further illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama discovered that a mere American president is powerless when confronted by the Israel Lobby and that the United States simply is not allowed a Middle East policy separate from Israel's. Obama also found out that he cannot change anything else either, if he ever intended to do so .. .. In less than one year, President Obama has betrayed all of his supporters and broken all of his promises. He is the total captive of the oligarchy of the ruling interest groups.


The Obama Presidency, Globalization, Revisionism, the Zionist Push for War, and More
Audio Archive - Institute for Historical Review

Recordings of some recent radio interviews with the IHR director, covering a range of topical and historical issues. In these probing, thought-provoking broadcasts, Mark Weber and the hosts examine the Zionist push for war, the harmful impact of Globalization, historical revisionism, "the Holocaust," the looming danger of war with Iran, the Obama administration's record, Jewish-Zionist power, and much more. Also here are many older interviews, broadcasts and lectures.


American Jews Eye Obama's 'Anti-Israel' Appointees
Haaretz (Israel)

Every appointee to the American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community. In the case of Obama's government in particular, every criticism against Israel made by a potential government appointee has become a catalyst for debate about whether appointing "another leftist" offers proof that Obama does not truly support Israel. A few months ago, boisterous protests by the American Jewish community helped foil the appointment of Chas Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council, citing his "anti-Israel leaning."


Orrin Hatch: A US Senator Who `Loves the Jews'
The New York Times

... "Anything I can do for the Jewish people, I will do," Mr. Hatch said in an interview before heading to the Senate floor to debate an abortion amendment. "Mormons believe the Jewish people are the chosen people, just like the Old Testament says." In short, he loves the Jews. And based on an early sampling of listeners, the feeling could be mutual.


Obama's Unjust Iran Policy
Bill Christison

... Iran has at least as much right to possess nuclear weapons as the far smaller Israel. The very existence, for over 40 years now, of Israeli nuclear weapons is almost certainly the dominant reason why Iran, while alleging the contrary, continues to move toward acquiring its own nuclear deterrent. If the U.S. president really wants to stop Iran from going nuclear, he has plenty of means and power to pressure Israel to dismantle its own nukes. He is simply unwilling to do so. Obama has obviously concluded that, for his own political future, the top priority of his Middle East policies must be to continue strengthening the Israeli-U.S. partnership.


Israel `Illegally' Annexing East Jerusalem, Says European Union Report
AFP

In a confidential report obtained by AFP on Thursday, the European Union accused Israel of "actively pursuing the annexation of Arab east Jerusalem and undermining hopes for peace with Palestinians." The annual report drafted by the EU heads of missions in Jerusalem accused Israel of implementing in 2009 an intricate policy which includes expanding Jewish settlements and demolishing Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem. "Developments in east Jerusalem in 2009 were marked by the continued expansion of Israeli settlements and a considerable number of Palestinian house demolitions and eviction orders," said the report ...


Russia's Putin Praises, Criticizes Stalin
The Times (Britain)

Joseph Stalin sent millions to their deaths during his reign of terror, and his name was taboo for decades, but the dictator is a step closer to rehabilitation after Vladimir Putin openly praised his achievements. The Prime Minister and former KGB agent used an appearance on national television to give credit to Stalin for making the Soviet Union an industrial superpower, and for defeating Hitler in the Second World War ... "Certainly, in this period we encountered not only a cult of personality, but a massive crime against our own people. This is also a fact. And we must not forget this."


Spitting Mad Jews and Angry Artists
Dr Lasha Darkmoon

My article, "The Plot Against Art," elicited an unprecedented number of emails. These came mostly from angry artists who believed that they had produced works of high quality that had been spurned by the art establishment. The artists who had achieved world fame, on the other hand, had in many cases done so only because they had produced decadent works of trash designed to deprave and corrupt the public ... These puerile charlatans had set out to destroy traditional values, promote sexual perversion, mock Christianity, and, in general, create ugliness and despair -- a sorry situation promoted by an art establishment that has been dominated since the early 20th century by Jewish art critics, collectors and dealers.


Book by Israeli Historian Calls Jewish People an `Invention'
The New York Times

Despite the fragmented and incomplete historical record, experts pretty much agree that some popular beliefs about Jewish history simply don't hold up ... Professor Sand, a scholar of modern France, not Jewish history, candidly states his aim is to undercut the Jews' claims to the land of Israel by demonstrating that they do not constitute "a people," with a shared racial or biological past. ... A mingling of myth, memory, truth and aspiration similarly envelopes Jewish history, which is, to begin with, based on scarce and confusing archaeological and archival records.


Revisiting the `Good War's' Aftermath
Dwight D. Murphey

.. .. The American public has long thought of the Allied effort in World War II as a "great crusade" that pitted good and decency against Nazi evil. Even after all these years, it is likely that the last thing the public wants to learn is that vast and unspeakable wrongs were committed by both the Western Allies and the Soviet Union during the war and its aftermath. It flies in the face of that reluctance for MacDonogh to tell "the brutal history" at great length [in his book, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation]. That willingness is commendable for its intellectual bravery.


New Look at Nazi Ties of Finnish Composer Sibelius
The Chronicle of Higher Education

The composer Jean Sibelius is arguably as important to early 20th-century music as Ezra Pound was to literary modernism. Now, more than 50 years after the Finnish composer died, in 1957, at the age of 91, a musicologist in Texas is claiming that Sibelius was culpably entangled with Nazi Germany, and should join Pound, Richard Wagner, and Louis-Ferdinand C�line in the select group of artists who have been cast into anti-Semitic ignominy. Sibelius's associations with National Socialism amount to active support of Nazism and its propaganda efforts in Germany and the Nordic countries, says Timothy L. Jackson, a professor of music at the University of North Texas.


Most Israeli Jews Favor `Ethnic Cleansing' of Non-Jews, New Poll Shows
Israeli National News

Transfer of Arabs from the Palestinian Authority to actual Arab countries was the most popular solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, according to a poll this week by Israel National News. Of the more than 6,400 people surveyed, 53.2 percent said 'Transfer of Palestinians to another Arab country' when asked, "What's the best solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict?" The "two-states for two peoples" solution being pushed by the United States and the international community received 30.8 percent support, while the idea of giving Palestinians Jordanian citizenship was approved by 14.5 percent.


Who Wants War?
Rep. Ron Paul

If anyone still doubted that this administration's foreign policy would bring any kind of change, this week's debate on Afghanistan should remove all doubt. The President's stated justifications for sending more troops to Afghanistan and escalating war amount to little more than recycling all the false reasons we began the conflict ... We now find ourselves in another foreign policy quagmire with little hope of victory, and not even a definition of victory. Eisenhower said that only an alert and informed electorate could keep these war racketeering pressures at bay. He was right, and the key is for the people to ensure that their elected leaders follow the Constitution.


Iraqi Taxi Driver May Have Been Source of Discredited Iraq WMD Claim
The Guardian (Britain)

An Iraqi taxi driver may have been the source of the discredited claim that Saddam Hussein could unleash weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes, a Tory MP claimed today. Adam Holloway, a defence specialist, said MI6 obtained information indirectly from a taxi driver who had overheard two Iraqi military commanders talking about Saddam's weapons. The 45-minute claim was a key feature of the dossier about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction that was released by Tony Blair in September 2002. Blair published the information to bolster public support for war.


Hostility Between British and American Military Leaders Revealed
The Telegraph (Britain)

The deep hostility of Britain's senior military commanders in Iraq towards their American allies has been revealed in classified government documents leaked to the Daily Telegraph. In the papers, the British chief of staff in Iraq, Colonel J. K.Tanner, described his US military counterparts as "a group of Martians" for whom "dialogue is alien," saying: "Despite our so-called 'special relationship,' I reckon we were treated no differently to the Portuguese." .. .. Top British commanders angrily described in the documents how they were not even told, let alone consulted, about major changes to US policy which had significant implications for them and their men.


Obama Thanksgiving Proclamation First Ever to Omit Direct Mention of God
Life Site News

President Obama's brief proclamation of Thanksgiving Day on November 26 was unique among all recorded Thanksgiving proclamations by his predecessors: it is the first one that fails to directly acknowledge the existence of God. The beneficence shown by God to America is a theme that traditionally defines the Thanksgiving holiday, and this theme is strongly emphasized in the original Thanksgiving Day proclamations and consistently acknowledged even by modern presidents.


Stalin's War Against His Own Troops
Yuri Teplyakov (Russia)

... In August 1941 Hitler permitted a Red Cross delegation to visit the camp for Soviet POWs in Hammerstadt. It is these contacts that resulted in an appeal to the Soviet government, requesting that it should send food parcels for our officers and men. We are prepared to fulfill and comply with the norms of the Geneva convention, Moscow said in its reply, but sending food in the given situation and under fascist control is the same as making presents to the enemy ... How great was Stalin's hatred for those who had found themselves behind enemy lines. It made no difference: who, where, how and why? Even the dead were considered to be criminals.


President Obama's Afghanistan Election Speech
Phyllis Bennis -- Foreign Policy in Focus

... Everything else in this politically and militarily defensive speech reflected accountability not to President Obama's base, the extraordinary mobilization of people who swept this anti-war and anti-racist candidate into office, but rather to the exigencies of Washington's traditional military, political, and corporate power-brokers who define "national security." ... The speech assumed Afghan support for the U.S. occupation, ignoring the massive evidence to the contrary ... He did not remind us that the cost of this war, with the new escalation, will be about $100 billion a year, or $2 billion every week, or more than $11 million every hour.


Israel Under Fire for Pushing Arabs Out of East Jerusalem
Sphere News

East Jerusalem, at the crux of the conflict between Jews and Palestinians for more than 40 years, is more contested than ever this week in light of several reports that suggest Israel is pursuing a deliberate policy of "judaizing" the city Palestinians view as their future capital. A classified European Union report, leaked to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, slams Israeli policy in East Jerusalem and calls on EU countries to help strengthen Palestinian claims to the city. The Israeli government is particularly concerned at indications that the EU may soon officially recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. In addition, an Israeli human rights group says Israel is stripping more and more Palestinians of their Jerusalem residency permits.


The Bishop Williamson Case: Behind the Headlines
Mark Weber and Jeff Rense -- Video

The IHR director and the host of the Jeff Rense program take a spirited and informed look at the much-publicized Bishop Williamson case. They review the Bishop's controversial remarks on "the Holocaust," and what this affair means for Americans, Christians and the world. As Weber explains, the uproar over Williamson's much-criticized "Holocaust denial" statements is not really about historical truth or "hate," but about Jewish-Zionist power and its role in our culture. Broadcast of Feb. 24, 2009. Runtime: 38:17 mins.


Dumbing Down Our Schools
Ruth Mitchell - The Washington Post (2004)

... On one trip to a Midwestern city, I found one out of eight assignments at grade level in two high schools. A colleague popped in on about 40 English classes in the course of a day at a West Coast high school and found one -- just one -- class where real learning was going on. This is the dirty secret in the wars over teacher quality: the low level of academic work at all levels in far too many schools. The consequences of low-level work are seen in poor test results: Students given only work that is below their grade level cannot pass standardized tests about material they have never seen.


Extinction: Every 20 Minutes We Lose an Animal Species
Jeff Corwin -- Los Angeles Times

There is a holocaust happening. Right now. And it's not confined to one nation or even one region. It is a global crisis. Species are going extinct en masse. Every 20 minutes we lose an animal species. If this rate continues, by century's end, 50% of all living species will be gone. It is a phenomenon known as the sixth extinction. The fifth extinction took place 65 million years ago when a meteor smashed into the Earth, killing off the dinosaurs and many other species and opening the door for the rise of mammals. Currently, the sixth extinction is on track to dwarf the fifth.


Poland Imposes Strict Ban on Communist Symbols
The Associated Press

Poland's president has approved legislation that allows for people to be fined or even imprisoned for possessing or buying communist symbols, two decades after communist rule ended. The new law says that people who posses, purchase or spread items or recordings containing communist symbols could be fined or be imprisoned for up two years ... The law expands on legislation that already made it a crime to promote Nazism or other totalitarian systems. Communist symbols, however, were not specifically named in the earlier legislation.


Isolationist Sentiment Soars in America
The Associated Press

Americans are turning away from the world, showing a tendency toward isolationism in foreign affairs that has risen to the highest level in four decades, a poll out Thursday found. Almost half, 49 percent, told the polling organization that the United States should "mind its own business" internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own, the Pew Research Center survey found. That's up from 30 percent who said that in December 2002. Results of the survey appear to conflict with President Barack Obama's activist foreign policy .. .. Only 32 percent of the poll respondents favored increasing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, while 40 percent favored decreasing them.


Stop!: An Open Letter to President Obama
Michael Moore

Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow [Tuesday] night and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do -- destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they've always heard is true -- that all politicians are alike.


Afghans Unimpressed by Obama's Troops Surge
Reuters

Thirty thousand more U.S. troops for Afghanistan? Esmatullah only shrugged. "Even if they bring the whole of America, they won't be able to stabilise Afghanistan," said the young construction worker out on a Kabul street corner on Wednesday morning. "Only Afghans understand our traditions, geography and way of life." U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement of a massive new escalation of the eight-year-old war seemed to have impressed nobody in the Afghan capital, where few watched the speech on TV before dawn and fewer seemed to think new troops would help.


`We Are a Nefarious People,' Says Prominent Israeli Political Figure
Ynet News (Israel)

Former Meretz [party] leader Shulamit Aloni told Ynet on her 81st birthday Sunday that she was dissatisfied with the condition of the State of Israel. "It's hard for me to say a kind word about the state today," she said. "We are in great distress morally and socially, as well as in the realms of politics and law." .. .. The former prominent politician added, "We are a nefarious people. What we are doing in the West Bank is worse than all the pogroms done to the Jews." .. .. "The US administration does not want to say how it perceives us, but we are lucky there is such a large Jewish lobby there that maintains support for us. Everyone wants to come out all right with the Jews because no one wants to be accused of anti-Semitism."


Christianity in the Third Reich, and Hitler's View of Religion
Mark Weber - Institute for Historical Review -- Video

A specialist of twentieth-century European history, addressing an IHR meeting, responds to a question about Hitler's view of religion, and the role of the churches and Christianity in Third Reich Germany. Runtime: 6:05 mins.


Demjanjuk Trial Postponed Due to Defendant's Illness
BBC News

The trial in Munich of alleged Nazi guard John Demjanjuk has been adjourned after the 89-year-old was taken sick. The retired Ohio carworker had a fever that had continued to rise after medication, said the court, adding that his trial would resume on 21 December. Mr Demjanjuk denies helping to murder 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp. His lawyer has called for the trial to be abandoned on grounds of poor health. Holocaust survivors have said Mr Demjanjuk is playing up his illness. Prosecutors say the defendant volunteered to join the Nazis and shared their racist ideology.


Mein Kampf a Hit in Bangladesh
BBC News

Booksellers touting their wares amid the heavy traffic in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, have discovered an unusual best-seller. Adolf Hitler's autobiography manifesto Mein Kampf is selling as well as Dan Brown's latest novel, The Lost Symbol .. .. Last week, Mein Kampf did unusually well because many bought the book to give it away as an Eid present. Mabul, 15, is among many boys who risk the chaos of Dhaka's roads to earn a living selling pirated copies of popular paperbacks. .. "For some reason Hitler's book is all the rage among educated people - on a typical day I can sell as many as five or six," Mabul told the BBC.


Two Jailed British `Web Racists' Challenge Convictions
BBC News

Two men have started appeals against the UK's first convictions for inciting racial hatred via a foreign website. Simon Sheppard, 51, was sentenced to four years and ten months, and Stephen Whittle, 42, to two years and four months at Leeds Crown Court in July. Sheppard, from Selby, North Yorks, and Whittle, of Preston, Lancs, controlled US websites featuring racist material. Sheppard's counsel Adrian Davies told the Appeal Court on Thursday the sites were "entirely lawful" in the US. He said that there was no evidence that anyone in England and Wales - except for the police officer in the case - had ever seen any of them.


Here We Go Again
Robert Scheer

It is already a 30-year war begun by one Democratic president, and thanks to the political opportunism of the current commander in chief the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose. President Barack Obama's own top national security adviser has stated that there are fewer than 100 al-Qaida members in Afghanistan and that they are not capable of launching attacks ... To suggest that the Afghan government will be in seriously better shape 18 months after 30,000 additional U.S. and perhaps 5,000 more NATO troops are dispatched is bizarrely out of touch with the strategy of the McChrystal report, which calls for American troops to restructure life down to the level of the most forlorn village.


It's Obama's War Now
Gary Leupp

... Make no mistake about it, this is Barack Obama's war now. With this announcement he will have personally increased the force in Afghanistan by over 50,000 troops in response to appeals from his generals. Obama's mantra about the conflict in Afghanistan is that it is a "war of necessity." But this is really just a version of the neocon "War on Terror" trope, which is to say that it implies that it is the natural, reasonable retaliatory response to the 9-11 attacks. (They started it, after all, so we have to take the war to them.) But neocon strategy has always required the simplistic conflation of disparate phenomena, and the exploitation of public ignorance and fear, in the execution of policy.


Demjanjuk Is a Victim of Double Standard, Lawyer Says
Bloomberg

John Demjanjuk's lawyer told a German court that the 89-year-old is the victim of a double standard that allowed prosecutors to charge him in the country's most prominent Holocaust-related trial in decades. The German SS officers who trained or supervised Demjanjuk during World War II were acquitted at trials in the 1960s and 1970s over the same allegations that Demjanjuk is charged with today, his attorney, Ulrich Busch, said on the first day of trial. Demjanjuk, a suspected Nazi death-camp guard, is accused of aiding in the killing of 27,900 people at the Sobibor concentration camp in German-occupied Poland.


Mouths Filled With Hatred
Larry Derfner -- The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

... For Christian clergy in the Old City [of Jerusalem], being spat at by Jewish fanatics "is a part of life," said the American Jewish Committee's Rabbi David Rosen, Israel's most prominent Jewish interfaith activist. "I hate to say it, but we've grown accustomed to this. Jewish religious fanatics spitting at Christian priests and nuns has become a tradition," said Roman Catholic Father Massimo Pazzini, sitting inside the Church of the Flagellation on the Via Dolorosa.


Swiss Minaret Ban May Signal New Right-Wing Surge
Reuters

A Swiss vote to ban the construction of new minarets puts the spotlight on the Alpine country's social and political divisions and could herald a new surge in populist, anti-immigrant sentiment. The unexpected vote and high turnout in Sunday's referendum gives a boost to the right-wing populist Swiss People's Party (SVP), a relatively new political force that has shaken up the country's traditionally cozy power-sharing system. "It could well be the beginnings of a new right-wing surge," said Clive Church, a Swiss politics expert from Kent University. The SVP, which has grown rapidly since the 1980s to become Switzerland's largest party, has been accused of racism ...


Suspect in Nazi Trial Proud of His World War II SS Service
The Associated Press

A man accused of murdering Dutch civilians as a member of a Waffen-SS hit squad said at his trial Friday that he was proud about being chosen as a volunteer to fight for the Nazis. Heinrich Boere, 88 ... said he remembered his mother waking him up the night in 1940 that Germany invaded his hometown in the Netherlands and seeing Stuka dive-bombers overhead. Instead of fearing the German bombs, Boere, whose father was Dutch and mother German, said his family was elated as the attack unfolded. "(My mother) said 'they're coming; now things will be better," he told the court, speaking animatedly to the panel of judges. "It was better," he added later.


The Rise of China's Auto Industry
Secrecy News

"In recent years, China has become the world's fastest growing automotive producer," according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service. "[China's] annual vehicle output has increased from less than 2 million vehicles in the late 1990s to 9.5 million in 2008. In terms of production volume in 2008, China has surpassed Korea, France, Germany, and the United States, trailing only Japan." "China's automobile industry has continued to expand despite the global economic downturn. From January to October 2009, more than 10 million vehicles were sold in China. If such growth continues, China is on its way to becoming world's largest auto market," the CRS said.


Three Key Lessons from Obama's China Tour
Time magazine

... China's Star Has Risen and America's Has Ebbed, But the U.S. is 'Too Big to Fail' ... When Bill Clinton visited Beijing a decade ago, the U.S. owed more money to Spain than it did to China. President Obama's America owes China some $800 billion and counting. China's economy is humming again, while America's is likely to remain sluggish for years. The sharp economic downturn, and the failure of the U.S. to impose its will in two very costly ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have shrunk America's global leverage. Today, far less powerful countries than China routinely decline to follow Washington's lead.


`This Isn't The Britain We Fought For,' Say Britons of World War II Era
Daily Mail (Britain)

.. .. Nearly 400,000 Britons died. Millions more were scarred by the experience, physically and mentally. But was it worth it? Her answer - and the answer of many of her contemporaries, now in their 80s and 90s - is a resounding No. They despise what has become of the Britain they once fought to save. It's not our country any more, they say, in sorrow and anger .. .. They feel, in a word that leaps out time and time again, 'betrayed' .. .. "Those comrades of mine who never made it back would be appalled if they could see the world as it is today." .. .. "Our British culture is draining away at an ever increasing pace," wrote an ex-Durham Light Infantryman, " and we are almost forbidden to make any comment."


Global Warfare: U.S. Military Operations in All Major Regions of the World
Rick Rozoff -- Center for Research on Globalization

... Already presiding over the world's largest military budget, officially 41.5% of world expenditures in 2008 and far larger with non-Defense Department spending factored in, in April the new president requested from Congress an additional $85 billion in supplemental funding for the war in Afghanistan and the occupation of Iraq. ... With the authorization of $106 billion in July, the last official supplemental appropriation for the wars, and $130 billion last month for Afghanistan and Iraq the combined official spending for both wars will exceed $1 trillion.


The Israel Lobby and The Jewish Kings
Philip Weiss

When people ask why Obama has capitulated to the prime minister of a tiny state - Bibi Netanyahu - various theories are offered about health care first, or the economy, or Afghanistan, or oil. Few say directly: Netanyahu feels invulnerable because of the Israel lobby in the U.S. As readers of this site know, I am a bull on this issue: I think the lobby has a tremendous amount of power ... As former AIPAC boss Tom Dine told Helena Cobban lately of a political epiphany he had on the Kennedy campaign in 1980: "[Jews] were the kings in every city!" The Jews were kings because of money. As I insist on stating, more than half of the money in Democratic politics comes from Jews, the richest group by religion in the U.S.


Iraq: If It Was a War for Oil, the US Lost
Jeffrey Blankfort

Although the Bush administration denied it, the conventional wisdom on the part of the anti-war movement was that the war on Iraq was launched in order for the US to take over Saddam's oil supplies which would give Washington an even more dominant position in the region. That there was no concrete evidence that the war was supported by the oil companies was discounted and, as it had been in 1991 during the first Gulf War, "No blood for oil!" became the battle cry. If the war was indeed about oil, then, as the New York Times reported on Friday, the US lost. "If true," writes the Times' Rod Nordland. "then the war failed in more ways than some critics charge."


Recession Creating A Lost Generation: High Unemployment and America's Youth
MSNBC

Bright, eager -- and unwanted. While unemployment is ravaging just about every part of the global workforce, the most enduring harm is being done to young people who can't grab onto the first rung of the career ladder ... Only 46 percent of people aged 16-24 had jobs in September, the lowest since the government began counting in 1948. The crisis is even hitting recent college graduates.


California's Budget Woes Will Continue For Years, Report Says
The Associated Press

Despite multiple attempts to balance California's budget, the state can still expect to confront shortfalls approaching $20 billion during each of the next five years, according to a long-range forecast released Wednesday. The report by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office warned that the nation's most populous state will face huge fiscal challenges even as the national economic outlook improves and the state economy heads toward a recovery in a year or two. In his report, Mac Taylor, the Legislature's nonpartisan budget analyst, urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers to act swiftly on permanent solutions by making deeper reductions in all state programs and looking to raise revenue.


Political Correctness, or Why the Fifties Were Better
William S. Lind

Most Americans look back on the 1950s as a good time. Our homes were safe, to the point where many people did not bother to lock their doors. Public schools were generally excellent, and their problems were things like talking in class and running in the halls ... Were they able, our 1950s family would head back to the 1950s as fast as they could, with a gripping horror story to tell. Their story would be of a nation that had decayed and degenerated at a fantastic pace, moving in less than a half a century from the greatest country on earth to a Third World nation, overrun by crime, noise, drugs and dirt. The fall of Rome was graceful by comparison.


Same Song, Different Verse
Philip Giraldi

The American people, barely coping with nearly 20% in actual as opposed to statistical unemployment, a broken health care system, a skyrocketing federal deficit, and a collapse in home values really don't need another war, but another war is what they are going to get. Blame the usual players in Congress and the mainstream media for a lot of it, but the case being made that Iran is a threat to the remainder of the world is largely being cranked up by Israel and its yapping poodles loosely described as the Israel lobby.


Stalin Prepared for Summer 1941 Attack
Institute for Historical Review

... Suvorov assembles impressive evidence to show that Stalin was preparing to attack Germany in 1941. Suvorov writes that on June 13, 1941, Stalin secretly began "the biggest troop movement in the history of civilization," transferring enormous military forces to the Soviet-German frontier. The Soviet troops were deployed there not for defense, but in preparation for a surprise invasion. "It seems certain," writes Suvorov, "that the Soviet concentration on the frontier was due to be completed by July 10. Thus, the German blow which fell just 19 days earlier found the Red Army in the most unfavorable situation -- in railway waggons."


Who Was Planning to Attack Whom in June 1941, Hitler or Stalin?
Viktor Suvorov -- RUSI Journal (1985)

... Between August 1939 and April 1941, the number of armies on the Soviet Western border increased from zero to 11. Three more joined them during May together with five airborne corps. If Hitler had not attacked first, Stalin would have had 23 armies and more than 20 independent corps facing him. This took place before general mobilization ... If all this is viewed in the context of the Zhukov doctrinal framework outlined earlier, then it becomes clear that the only credible military intention which Stalin could have had was to begin the war himself in the summer of 1941.


Exposing Stalin's Plan to Conquer Europe
Daniel Michaels - Institute for Historical Review

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


Israel Could Annex More Palestinian Land, Says Israeli Minister
Reuters

Israel warned the Palestinians on Monday that declaring a state without concluding a peace agreement would lead to Israeli counter-measures that could include annexation of more of the occupied West Bank. "If the Palestinians take such a unilateral line, Israel should also consider ... passing a law to annex some of the settlements." Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahyu told Israel Radio.


Department of Meaningless Gestures
Stephen M. Walt -- Foreign Policy

... Israel is going to get what it has long sought: permanent control of the West Bank (along with de facto control over Gaza). The Palestinian Authority is increasingly irrelevant and may soon collapse, General Keith Dayton's mission to train reliable and professional Palestinian security forces will end, and Israel will once again have full responsibility for some 5.2 million Palestinian Arabs under its control. And the issue will gradually shift from the creation of a viable Palestinian state -- which was the central idea behind the Oslo process and the subsequent "Road Map" -- to a struggle for civil and political rights within an Israel that controls all of mandate Palestine. And on what basis could the United States oppose such a campaign, without explicitly betraying its own core values?


Jewish `Kapparot' Ritual Killing of Animals
PETA - Video

Every year, devout Jews around the world engage in an age-old ritual called kapparot, in which an individual swings a chicken over his head imbuing it with his sins. The chicken is then slaughtered. In this video, the animal rights activist group PETA documents abuses in an attempt to convince the Jewish public that the ritual should no longer be practiced. Runtime: 9:58 mins.


California Faces $21 Billion Deficit Next Year
The Associated Press

California will face a nearly $21 billion budget gap over the next year and a half, extending a fiscal crisis that already has led to steep cuts to public schools, social services and health programs. In a report Wednesday, the Legislature's nonpartisan budget analyst pins the blame on the deep recession and poor decisions by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers over the past year. Many of the steps they said would patch previous budget deficits have failed, creating a $6.3 billion hole in the current fiscal year ending June 30.


China's High Speed Rail Will Leave U.S. in the Dust
Alex Pasternack -- TreeHugger

While it attempts to kick-start its struggling auto industry, the U.S. is talking about building a high-speech rail network with an initial $8 billion in stimulus funds. Meanwhile, China is investing over $300 billion in high-speed rail through 2020, in a bid to speed ahead of the rest of the world's train systems. The numbers alone are head-spinning: 16,000 miles of new track by 2020, requiring 117 million tons of concrete just to construct the buttresses on which the tracks will lie. Top speeds from Beijing to Shanghai will approach 220 miles an hour, halving the current travel time to four hours. This year China Railway Company plans to hire 20,000 young engineers.


Israeli Rabbi Approves Murder of Non-Jews
Vita Bekker -- The National (UAE)

A book published this week by a radical Jewish rabbi from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and endorsed by prominent religious right-wing figures suggests killing any non-Jew, including children and babies, who pose a threat to Israel ... Children, the authors insist, should not be exempt from this fate. They add: "There is a reasonable explanation for killing infants if it is clear that they will grow up to hurt us - and in this situation, the strike should be directed at them." ... The rabbis added that non-Jews could also be killed if they "violate ... commandments" such as the prohibition against stealing, murdering or idol-worshipping.


The Complete Guide to Killing Non-Jews
Maariv (Israel)

When is it permissible to kill non-Jews? The book Torat ha-Melekh [The King's Teaching], which was just published, was written by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, the dean of the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in the community of Yitzhar near Nablus, together with another rabbi from the yeshiva, Yossi Elitzur ... "Anyone who weakens our own state by word or similar action is considered a pursuer ... There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults."


Troops Who Show Mercy to Enemy Will be `Damned,' Says Prominent Israeli Rabbi
Haaretz (Israel)

The Israel Defense Forces' chief rabbi told students in a pre-army yeshiva program last week that soldiers who "show mercy" toward the enemy in wartime will be "damned." Brig. Gen. Avichai Rontzki also told the yeshiva students that religious individuals made better combat troops. Speaking Thursday at the Hesder yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, Rontzki referred to Maimonides' discourse on the laws of war. That text quotes a passage from the Book of Jeremiah stating: "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord with a slack hand, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood."


True Extent of 1930s Ukraine Famine Revealed in British Journalist's Diaries
The Times (Britain)

Millions of peasants were starving. Children were turned against adults as they were recruited to expose people accused of hoarding grain. Stalin sealed the border between Russia and Ukraine to ensure that news of the famine would not spread, but one journalist was able to break through to discover the truth. Gareth Jones, who revealed the story of the forced famine that claimed the lives of four million people in Ukraine in the 1930s, recorded the words of Stalin's victims in his diaries, which he then used to prepare his dispatch.


Israel Ranks 32 in Global Corruption Index
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Israel was ranked 32nd in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which was released Tuesday. Israel moved up one spot from its 2008 ranking, with a score of 6.1 out of 10. The index ranks the 180 participating countries according to the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians ... At the top of the list stands New Zealand, with a CPI score of 9.4, and at the bottom lies Somalia, with a score of 1.1. Rounding up the top three are Denmark in second and Singapore, tied with Sweden in third ... The United States ranked 19th, with a score of 7.5.


Mussolini Regarded Hitler as a `Sentimentalist,' Diary Claims
The Telegraph (Britain)

Benito Mussolini regarded Adolf Hitler as a teary-eyed "sentimentalist" but was jealous of the Nazi dictator's power and fame, diaries written by the Italian leader's mistress reveal. Claretta Petacci's journals, which will be published this week, describe a meeting he had with the German leader in 1938 after British prime minister Neville Chamberlain agreed to Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland. The diaries also show Mussolini was irritated by being regarded as a junior partner to Hitler, maintaining that his fascism and anti-Semitism dated back to the 1920s, before Hitler rose to prominence.


Pro-Israel Lobby Group Bankrolling Tories, British TV Documentary Shows
The Guardian (Britain)

Pro-Israeli organisations in Britain look set to see their influence increase if the Conservatives win the next election, a film scrutinising the activities of a powerful but little-known lobby warns today. At least half of the shadow cabinet are members of the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), according to a Dispatches programme being screened on Channel 4. The programme-makers describe the CFI as "beyond doubt the most well- connected and probably the best funded of all Westminster lobbying groups". Inside Britain's Israel Lobby claims that donations to the Conservative party "from all CFI members and their businesses add up to well over ten million pounds over the last eight years".


Inside Britain's Israel Lobby
Dispatches - Channel 4 (Britain) -- Video

Britain's Channel 4 television program "Dispatches" investigates one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel. Runtime: 48:20 mins.


Israel Brushes Off Obama Criticism Over Jerusalem
The Associated Press

Israel broke ground on a new housing complex for Jews in east Jerusalem on Wednesday, brushing off President Barack Obama's criticism that construction in the disputed part of the holy city undermines efforts to relaunch Mideast peace talks. The groundbreaking came a day after Israel defied American, European and Palestinian demands to stop settlement activity by announcing it will press forward with construction of 900 apartments in another Jewish area in east Jerusalem. Speaking to Fox News in Beijing on Wednesday, Obama criticized the plan to build hundreds of homes in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood, saying such moves make it harder to achieve peace in the region and embitter the Palestinians in a way he said could be dangerous.


Is Israel Too Strong for Obama?
The Economist (Britain)

Five months after Barack Obama went to Cairo and persuaded most of the Arab world, in a ringing declaration of even-handedness, that he would face down Israel in his quest for a Palestinian state, American policy seems to have run into the sand. The American president's mediating hand is weaker, his charisma damagingly faded. From the Palestinian and Arab point of view, his administration -- after grandly setting out to force the Jewish state to stop the building of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land as an early token of good faith, intended to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiation -- has meekly capitulated to Israel.


Italian Professor Defiant Despite Criticism for `Holocaust Denial'
United Press International

A professor at a Roman university who argues there is no proof the Nazis killed Jews in gas chambers said Thursday he is a victim of "Zionist groups." Antonio Caracciolo, a researcher on philosophy of law at Sapienza University, said he has a right to freedom of speech .. .. When the newspaper La Repubblica published excerpts from Caracciolo's blog, Gianni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome, and leaders in the Jewish community called for him to be suspended or dismissed. ''No one seriously believes any more that 6,000,000 Jews died,'' Caracciolo said in one post. After the calls for his job, Caracciolo blamed "Zionist groups" and said Jews are "exploiting the guilt they think the whole world owes them."


Sarah Palin Urges Israel Settlement Expansion
The Christian Science Monitor

.. .. Her latest bombshell: to effectively call for an end to 40 years of official government policy on Israel in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters .. .. "I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow .. .. And I don't think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand." .. .. The West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered to be illegally occupied by the UN and most world governments. Direct support for settlements would be a stunning departure for the US. The administrations of Presidents Nixon, Johnson, Ford, Carter, and Clinton all considered the annexation of land seized in 1967 illegal.


Women Are Overtaking Men in the U.S.
David Knowles - Sphere

The United States may have officially entered the age of woman. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this fall, for the first time in U.S. history, women have surpassed men and now make up more than 50 percent of the nation's workforce. In 1967, by comparison, they accounted for just one-third of all workers .. .. Double the number of single women are now purchasing homes in America than there are single men .. .. "Women really have become the dominant gender," said Guy Garcia, author of "The Decline of Men." "Women are becoming better educated than men, earning more than men, and, generally speaking, not needing men at all. Meanwhile, as a group, men are losing their way."


Answering Victors' Lies About German War Guilt
J�rgen Rieger

.. .. Unlike the Western leaders, Hitler had realistically evaluated the dangers posed by the Bolshevik Soviet Union. He realized that Germany would be unable resist the Soviet Union without an alliance with Poland. For this reason he signed a non-aggression treaty with Poland in 1934 .. .. Since the British guarantee of March 31, 1939, gave Poland carte blanche in its dealings with Germany, Poland intensified its persecutions of the German minority. Abductions became common, speaking German in public was proscribed, German associations and newspapers were suppressed, the German consul in Krakow was murdered, etc.


Species' Extinction Threat Grows
BBC News

More than a third of species assessed in a major international biodiversity study are threatened with extinction, scientists have warned. Out of the 47,677 species in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 17,291 were deemed to be at serious risk. These included 21% of mammals, 30% of amphibians, 70% of plants and 35% of invertebrates. Conservationists warned that not enough was being done to tackle the main threats, such as habitat loss. "The scientific evidence of a serious extinction crisis is mounting," warned Jane Smart, director of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Biodiversity Conservation Group.


Does a Nazi Deserve a Place Among Philosophers?
The New York Times

For decades the German philosopher Martin Heidegger has been the subject of passionate debate. His critique of Western thought and technology has penetrated deeply into architecture, psychology and literary theory and inspired some of the most influential intellectual movements of the 20th century. Yet he was also a fervent Nazi. Now a soon-to-be published book in English has revived the long-running debate about whether the man can be separated from his philosophy. Drawing on new evidence, the author, Emmanuel Faye, argues fascist and racist ideas are so woven into the fabric of Heidegger's theories that they no longer deserve to be called philosophy.


Remember the IHR Your Will
Institute for Historical Review

Please consider a bequest to the IHR in your will. Your thoughtfulness now will help to keep the Institute fighting for truth and freedom for years to come. Leaving money to the IHR in this way is not complicated. Over the years the IHR has benefited from numerous bequests by men and women who have remembered the Institute in their wills.


Jewish Settlers Cut Down More Palestinian Olive Trees
Ynet News (Israel)

Palestinian farmers from the West Bank village of Burin, located near the settlement of Yitzhar, discovered Thursday morning that dozens of their olive trees were cut down. Akram Amram of Burin told Ynet that at around 5:30 am he had discovered 97 uprooted olive trees on his land. "I am not embarrassed to admit that when I discovered the massacre which took place on my land, I cried," he said .. .. According to Amram, settlers were responsible for the damage. "We didn't see them because they must have infiltrated the area in the night, but no one else could have done this," he said.


French Comedian's London Show Axed for Anti-Jewish Content
The Jewish Chronicle (Britain)

A theatre has cancelled a planned performance by an anti-Zionist French stand-up comedian after he was fined by a court for making anti-Semitic jokes. Dieudonn� M'bala M'bala had been due to appear in a one-man show about domestic violence at the Leicester Square Theatre, central London, in March next year. But theatre director Martin Witts called off the show on Wednesday after learning of the increasing controversy surrounding Dieudonn�, which has seen him described as "the French Jim Davidson".The Holocaust Educational Trust had earlier attacked the theatre for accepting the booking.


Fifty-Two Percent Say America's Best Days Are in the Past, Survey Shows
Rasmussen Reports

Fifty-two percent of voters feel that America's best days are in the past, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. This marks the highest level of voter pessimism in two years and is up 13 points from a year ago when Barack Obama was elected president ... Fifty percent of Democrats believe America's best days are in the future compared to just 22% of Republicans and 28% of unaffiliated voters. A majority of GOP and unaffiliated voters feel America's glory days are behind us ...Thirty-four percent of voters now say the United States is heading in the right direction.


Hackers Break Into David Irving's Website and Post Private E-mails
Wired

A group identifying themselves as "anti-fascist hackers" broke into the web site and AOL e-mail account of controversial British historian and accused Holocaust-denier David Irving and obtained his private communications as well as attendee lists for his current U.S. speaking tour. The hackers posted Irving's e-mail correspondence online, as well as the user name and password for his web site account and AOL e-mail account, which shared the same password. The hackers also posted the e-mail addresses and other personal information -- such as names and shipping addresses -- of people who made donations through his web sites, purchased his books or bought tickets for his appearances.


Reluctant Partners: Global Crisis Makes US More Dependent on China
Der Spiegel (Germany)

When US President Barack Obama visits China this weekend, he will encounter a rival that sees the financial crisis as more of an opportunity than a threat. America, on the other hand, has been fundamentally weakened by the global crunch -- and is more dependent on the goodwill of the rising superpower than ever ... China is bursting with self-confidence. The new world power sees itself as a winner in the financial crisis, with its economy growing by an impressive nine percent in the third quarter, while the economies of the West struggle to recover from a deep recession. And while the Americans are focused on their own problems, China is expanding its influence, both in Asia and among resource-rich African countries.


A Line in the Sand
Uri Avnery (Israel)

Mahmoud Abbas is fed up. The day before yesterday he withdrew his candidacy for the coming presidential election in the Palestinian Authority. I understand him. He feels betrayed. And the traitor is Barack Obama. A year ago, when Obama was elected, he aroused high hopes ... As high as the hopes were then, so deep is the disappointment now. Nothing of all these has come about. Worse: the Obama administration has shown by its actions and omissions that it is not really different from the administration of George W. Bush. From the first moment it was clear that the decisive test would come in the battle of the settlements.


Director Reignites Hitler Film Controversy
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

When intimate colour film of Adolf Hitler cuddling a pet dog and smiling as a baby reached out to play with his moustache was shown for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival 36 years ago, a scuffle broke out in the audience and the screening had to be abandoned. The documentary, Swastika, by the Australian director Philippe Mora, contained never-before seen footage of Hitler entertaining friends, family and his inner circle - including Hermann Goering and Joseph Goebbels. Much of it was shot by his lover Eva Braun at Hitler's mountain home in Obersalzberg, Bavaria.


Many Young Britons Are Ignorant of Twentieth Century History
The Mirror (Britain)

A shocking one in six pupils think Auschwitz was a Second World War amusement park - while others think Adolf Hitler coached Germany's football team. Disturbingly, 12 percent believe McDonald's Golden Arches are a symbol for Remembrance Day, and 40 percent asked were unaware that it falls on November 11. The astonishing results also show one in 20 thought the Holocaust, in which Hitler ordered the slaughter of millions of Jews at camps such as Auschwitz, was the end-of-war celebration. And more than one in 20 thought the Nazi leader was a football manager.


Israel's Right To Exist?
Alan Hart

The truth of the time [1948] was that the Zionist state, which came into being mainly as a consequence of pre-planned ethnic cleansing, had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist UNLESS ... Unless it was recognised and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved. And that legitimacy was the only thing the Zionists could not and cannot take from the Palestinians by force. No wonder Prime Minister Netanyahu is more than a little concerned on this account. Israel's leaders have always known the truth summarised above. It's time for the rest of the world to know it.


Israel Is Not a Tolerant Society, Says U.S. State Department Report
Haaretz (Israel)

Israel dismally fails the requirements of a tolerant pluralistic society, according to a new report from the U.S. State Department. Despite boasting religious freedom and protection of all holy sites, Israel falls short in tolerance toward minorities, equal treatment of ethnic groups, openness toward various streams within society, and respect for holy and other sites .. .. Israel discriminates against groups including Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Reform Jews, Christians, women and Bedouin .. .. The report notes that more than 300,000 immigrants who are not considered Jewish under rabbinical law are not allowed to marry and divorce in Israel, or be buried in Jewish cemeteries.


Losing Ground: Hispanic Children Fall Behind Their Peers Quickly
National Review Online

A forthcoming study on Hispanic children's cognitive skills underlines the challenges the country faces in aspiring to close the achievement gap between these children and their white and Asian counterparts. Hispanic "children fall behind their peers in mental development by the time they reach grade school, and the gap tends to widen as they get older," reports the New York Times. "The drop-off in the cognitive scores of Hispanic toddlers, especially those from Mexican backgrounds, was steeper than for other [low-income] groups and could not be explained by economic status alone.. .."


Jews Can Kill Gentiles Who Threaten Israel, Says West Bank Rabbi
Haaretz (Israel)

Just weeks after the arrest of alleged Jewish terrorist, Yaakov Teitel, a West Bank rabbi on Monday released a book giving Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel. Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, wrote in his book "The King's Torah" that even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation. Shapiro based the majority of his teachings on passages quoted from the Bible, to which he adds his opinions and beliefs .. .. "If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments - because we care about the commandments - there is nothing wrong with the murder."


Hollow Victory: Afghanistan and Vietnam
John Mearsheimer -- Foreign Policy

.. .. The real tragedy of Vietnam is not that the United States lost, but that it became involved in the first place. It pains me to say this, as someone who served in the American military from 1965 to 1975, but the anti-war movement was right: It did not matter to U.S. security whether North Vietnam conquered the south and unified that country under communist rule. More than 58,000 American soldiers and more than two million Vietnamese died in an unnecessary and foolish war. A similar logic applies today with regard to Afghanistan.


In Munich, Authorities Seek to Silence Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe
Ynet News (Israel)

Anti-Zionist historian Prof. Ilan Pappe, one of the most important "New Historians", was scheduled to speak last weekend at the Pedagogical Institute of Munich. But a letter received from the "Israeli-German Association of Munich", claiming that Pappe's lecture would turn into "an anti-Israeli propaganda show," led the Munich Municipality to reconsider the event. The municipality eventually did not let Pappe use the room, claiming its decision was prompted by fears of violent clashes breaking out in the area. The Munich police insisted that there was no danger of fear for the security of those attending the lecture.


Palestinians Breach Israeli Wall to Mark Berlin Wall Anniversary
BBC News

Palestinians and foreign peace activists have broken apart a section of the West Bank barrier. They used ropes and at least one truck to pull down some of the concrete blocks forming the Israeli-built wall. The activists carried out the protest to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The barrier, which separates Israel from the West Bank, is a mixture of fences, barbed wire, ditches and concrete slabs up to eight meter (26 feet) high. Israeli armed police, who are reported to have arrived shortly afterwards, are believed to have used tear gas to force the activists to stop ... In 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague issued an advisory ruling that the barrier was illegal and should be removed.


America, Stop Sucking Up to Israel
Gideon Levy -- Haaretz (Israel)

.. .. As long as Israel feels the United States is in its pocket, and that America's automatic veto will save it from condemnations and sanctions, that it will receive massive aid unconditionally, and that it can continue waging punitive, lethal campaigns without a word from Washington, killing, destroying and imprisoning without the world's policeman making a sound, it will continue in its ways .. .. Israel of 2009 is a spoiled country, arrogant and condescending, convinced that it deserves everything and that it has the power to make a fool of America and the world. The United States has engendered this situation, which endangers the entire Mideast and Israel itself.


Israeli Officials Could Face War Crimes Arrest if Visiting Britain
The Guardian (Britain)

Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister during the Gaza war, would probably face arrest on war crimes charges if he visited Britain, according to a UK lawyer who is working to expand the application of "universal jurisdiction" for offences involving serious human rights abuses committed anywhere in the world. Neither Olmert nor Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister during the Cast Lead offensive, and a member of Israel's war cabinet, would enjoy immunity from prosecution for alleged breaches of the Geneva conventions, predicted Daniel Machover, who is involved in intensifying legal work after the controversial Goldstone report on the three-week conflict.


Recent Broadcast Interviews With Mark Weber
Institute for Historical Review

Some recent radio interviews with the IHR director, covering a range of topical and historical issues. In these probing, thought-provoking broadcasts, Mark Weber and the hosts examine the Zionist push for war, the harmful impact of Globalization, historical revisionism, "the Holocaust," the looming danger of war with Iran, the Obama administration's record, Jewish-Zionist power, and much more.


There's No Such Thing as Free Speech in Politics: The Business of Political Speech-Writing
The Times (Britain)

.. .The payments are more than a wrinkle in Downing Street's expenses. They reflect the rapid commercialisation of the speechwriting craft -- and its absorbtion into a PR industry worth �26 billion in Britain and the US alone -- in an age when a single speech can make or break a political career and a single word in a chief executive's address can sink a blue-chip stock. The top writers form a select clique dependent above all on word-of-mouth recommendations, but the proof of their power is written across recent history. Barack Obama saved his presidential candidacy with a single speech on race in Philadelphia.


Black US AIDS Rates Rival Some African Countries
CNN

The AIDS epidemic among African-Americans in some parts of the United States is as severe as in parts of Africa, according to a report out Tuesday. "Left Behind - Black America: A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS" is intended to raise awareness and remind the public that the "AIDS epidemic is not over in America, especially not in Black America," says the report, published by the Black AIDS Institute, an HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on African-Americans. "AIDS in America today is a black disease," says Phill Wilson, founder and CEO of the institute .. .. Although black people represent only about one in eight Americans, one in every two people living with HIV in the United States is black, the report notes.


The Evil Empire
Paul Craig Roberts

The US government is now so totally under the thumbs of organized interest groups that "our" government can no longer respond to the concerns of the American people who elect the president and the members of the House and Senate. Voters will vent their frustrations over their impotence on the president, which implies a future of one-term presidents. Soon our presidents will be as ineffective as Roman emperors in the final days of that empire .. .. The US House of Representatives has just voted to show the entire world that the US House of Representatives is nothing but the servile, venal, puppet of the Israel Lobby.


Labour Party Wanted Mass Immigration to Make Britain More `Multicultural,' Says Former Adviser
The Telegraph (Britain)

Labour threw open Britain's borders to mass immigration to help socially engineer a "truly multicultural" country, a former Government adviser has revealed. / The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity", according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett. He said Labour's relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to "open up the UK to mass migration" but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its "core working class vote".


U.S. Can't Trace Foreign Visitors on Expired Visas
The New York Times

Eight years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and despite repeated mandates from Congress, the United States still has no reliable system for verifying that foreign visitors have left the country .. .. Last year alone, 2.9 million foreign visitors on temporary visas like Mr. Smadi's checked in to the country but never officially checked out, immigration officials said. While officials say they have no way to confirm it, they suspect that several hundred thousand of them overstayed their visas. Over all, the officials said, about 40 percent of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States came on legal visas and overstayed.


Most U.S. Youths Unfit for Military Service, Data Shows
Army Times

U.S. military-age youth are increasingly unfit to serve -- mostly because they're in such lousy shape. According to the latest Pentagon figures, a full 35 percent, or more than one-third, of the roughly 31.2 million Americans aged 17 to 24 are unqualified for military service because of physical and medical issues. And, said Curt Gilroy, the Pentagon's director of accessions, "the major component of this is obesity. We have an obesity crisis in the country. There's no question about it." .. .. The group, Mission: Readiness, will release a report that draws on Pentagon data showing that 75 percent of the nation's 17- to 24-year-olds are ineligible for service for a variety of reasons.


Two More German Warships for Israel
Focus (Germany)

Israel is ordering two more German war ships, paid for by Germany, reports the daily newspaper "Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung." The US is providing the ships' weapons systems. These are not the only military items for Israel that Germany has been financing. Between 1999 and 2000, Germany delivered three submarines to Israel. Two additional U-boots, now under construction, are scheduled for delivery in 2012. Germany is paying one-third of the cost of these new submarines.


More German Submarines For Israel
Defense Industry Daily

In November 2005, reports surfaced that Germany would sell Israel two AIP-equipped SSK Dolphin Class submarines. In 2006, the deal was finalized at a total of $1.27 billion, with the German government picking up one-third of the cost. The new boats were built at the Howaldtswerke-Deutche Werft AG (HDW) shipyard, in the Baltic Sea coastal city of Kiel. Now, reports indicate that both submarines have been delivered early .. .. Germany had already donated two Dolphin submarines to the Israeli navy after the Gulf War in the early 1990s. The first-of-class INS (Israeli Naval Ship) Dolphin was commissioned in 1999, while INS Leviathan was commissioned in 2000.


House Shames Itself on Goldstone Report
The Progressive

Shame on the House of Representatives, and on the Democratic leadership of the House, for pushing through a resolution once again blindly taking the side of Israeli aggression. I'm referring to the vote on Tuesday [Nov. 3], by a lopsided 344-to-36 margin, to condemn the Goldstone report on Gaza. That report, by South African jurist Richard Goldstone for the UN, showed that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes in the lead-up to and during Israel's invasion of Gaza almost a year ago. It noted that Israel deliberately attacked civilian targets, and did not take sufficient action to minimize civilian loss of life.


After the Wall: A Debate Over Democracy's Reach
The Wall Street Journal

To many observers, the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, symbolized the triumph of liberal democracy and free markets over their last serious ideological rival. Two decades and one financial crisis later, a new debate is growing over whether that assessment was premature. Some Western thinkers now argue that democracy is in a new competition with unexpectedly robust authoritarian regimes over which form of government can better deliver prosperity, security and national strength .. .. Indeed, by switching from Communist economics to capitalism -- albeit a state-controlled kind that Adam Smith wouldn't recognize -- China and Russia have adopted "a far more efficient brand of authoritarianism" than they had during the Cold War, says Prof. Gat.


Russia's Leaders See China as Template for Ruling
The New York Times

.. .. The Russians also seem almost ashamed that their economy is highly dependent on oil, gas and other natural resources, as if Russia were a third world nation, while China excels at manufacturing products sought by the world .. .. Today, both countries govern with a potent centralized authority, overseeing economies with a mix of private and state industries, although the Russians have long seemed less disciplined in doing so. Corruption is worse in Russia than China, according to global indexes, and foreign companies generally consider Russia's investment climate less hospitable as well, in part because of less respect for property rights. Russia has also been unable to match China in modernizing roads, airports, power plants and other infrastructure.


History Books Rewritten 20 Years After Fall of Berlin Wall
The Telegraph (Britain)

"For young people, the Communist era is as exotic as ancient Greece," said Anna Dzierzgowska, a history teacher in Warsaw .. .. In Latvia, what was once called "the voluntary incorporation" of countries in the former Soviet bloc, is now qualified as a Soviet "occupation". The deportation of tens of thousands of Latvians to Soviet camps in 1941 and 1949, once unheard of, is also now part of the school curriculum .. .. Another subject that was a taboo during Communism finds its place in modern textbooks in the Czech Republic: the expulsion of three million Sudeten Germans from then Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II, as a consequence of growing hostility against all Germans following the Nazi occupation.


Hitler's `Favorite' Pianist
The Telegraph (Britain)

Elly Ney (1882-1968), it is said, was a "fanatical supporter" of Hitler. She voluntarily joined the Nazi party in 1937, participated in 'cultural education camps', became an honorary member of the League of German Girls, and wrote adoring letters to "mein F�hrer". According to the pianist Edward Kilenyi, who was a captain in the US Army at the time, she would read extracts of Hitler's writings and soldiers' letters from the concert stage; and in Salzburg, where she taught during the war, she used to honour Beethoven's bust with a Nazi salute.


US Used `False Pretext' to Invade Iraq in 2003, ElBaradei Says
DPA (Germany)

Outgoing UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei criticized the United States on Monday for using a 'false pretext' to invade Iraq, costing 'the lives of possibly hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.' US President George W Bush ordered US troops into Iraq in March 2003 to overthrow dictator Saddam Hussein, citing evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in that country. No such weapons were found after the invasion.


West Bank Land Belongs to Jews, Says Israeli Army Judge
The Guardian (Britain)

... In an unusually frank interview, which offers insights into the melding of religion, politics and law that underpins land seizures in the occupied territories, Agassi has laid out his belief that Israel has a biblical claim to territory beyond its borders and that he, even as an immigrant, has a right to live on it when those born there do not. "When we [Israelis] say that this is a political conflict, then we lose the battle," he told the Guardian, adding that it should be remembered that the ancient land of Israel is "given to us by the Bible, not by some United Nations".


Russia's President Condemns Stalin
The Telegraph (Britain)

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has publicly condemned Josef Stalin's bloody rule even as some in Russia are seeking to rehabilitate his image. Using his video blog on the Kremlin website to wade into a debate that still divides Russia more than half a century after Stalin's death, Mr Medvedev said it was wrong to be an apologist for someone who had destroyed their own people and sent millions of innocents to die in the gulag or be shot. "Even now you can hear people say that what happened to the many victims was justified by certain higher government aims," said a sombre-faced Mr Medvedev.


Israel Denies Water to Palestinians, Says Human Rights Group
BBC News

Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic minimum of clean, safe water, Amnesty International says. In a report, the human rights group says Israeli water restrictions discriminate against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. It says that in Gaza, Israel's blockade has pushed the already ailing water and sewage system to "crisis point". Israel says the report is flawed and the Palestinians get more water than was agreed under the 1990s peace deal. In the 112-page report, Amnesty says that on average Palestinian daily water consumption reaches 70 litres a day, compared with 300 litres for the Israelis.


Former Hitler Aide's Memoir Set for Publication
The Telegraph (Britain)

Fritz Darges died at the weekend aged 96 with instructions for his manuscript about his time spent at the side of the F�hrer to be published once he was gone. Darges was the last surviving member of Hitler's inner circle and was present for all major conferences, social engagements and policy announcements for four years of the war ... Darges died on Saturday still believing in the man who engineered the Jewish Holocaust as "the greatest who ever lived." His memoirs will be published now in accordance with his will ... "I first met the F�hrer at the Nuremberg party rally in 1934," he said in an interview given to a German newspaper shortly before his death at his home in Celle. "He had a sympathetic look, he was warm-hearted... I must say I found him a genius."


US Jobless Rate Rises to Over Ten Percent
BBC News

The unemployment rate in the US rose to 10.2 percent in October, which was its highest rate since April 1983, according to figures from the US Labor Department. It rose from September's figure of 9.8 percent. The economy lost 190,000 jobs in the month. Since the recession began in December 2007, the number of unemployed has risen by 8.2 million, while the jobless rate has risen from 4.9%. President Barack Obama described the rise in unemployment as "sobering".


Nearly Half of US Children Will Get Food Stamps, Study Shows
The Associated Press

Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood, and fallout from the current recession could push those numbers even higher, researchers say. The estimate comes from an analysis of 30 years of national data, and it bolsters other recent evidence on the pervasiveness of youngsters at economic risk. It suggests that almost everyone knows a family who has received food stamps, or will in the future, said lead author Mark Rank, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis.


The Day London Played Host to a Nazi Funeral
Daily Mail (Britain)

It looks like a scene from Britain's worst wartime nightmare. German soldiers parade down The Mall in sight of Buckingham Palace, hailed by arms raised in Nazi salutes. The flag on the coffin bears a swastika. The respectful silence is broken only by the stamp of military boots. Were it not for the Grenadier Guardsmen, the extraordinary top photograph might have been taken after Hitler's plans to dominate Britain and Europe came to fruition in London. But this was 1936, three years before the start of the Second World War, and the event was the funeral of the German ambassador, Leopold von Hoesch.


Fort Hood Shootings: How Often Do Soldiers Kill Soldiers?
The Christian Science Monitor

The shootings at the Army's Fort Hood in Texas Thursday were an "isolated incident," according to military officials. But there have been other attacks by military personnel in recent years - some in the United States, some in the war zone in Iraq - and they happened over a period of sustained combat and multiple deployments when increasing numbers of soldiers are experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and committing suicide. ... Attacks on fellow soldiers - particularly officers - was dubbed "fragging" in Vietnam. Between 1969 and 1971, the Army reported 600 fragging incidents that killed 82 Americans and injured 651 ...


China Marks `National Day' With Massive Celebration in Beijing
ABC News (Australia) -- Video

China marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic with a massive celebration that includes an awesome presentation of military might and the world's largest fireworks display. Australian television news reports Runtime: 5:25 mins.



Italian Court Sentences 23 American CIA Agents Over Rendition Flight
The Times (Britain)

An Italian court sentenced 23 former CIA agents to up to eight years in prison today for their role in the abduction of an Egyptian terrorist suspect in the first trial over "extraordinary renditions". The Americans were all tried in absentia, but the verdicts were nevertheless hailed by human rights campaigners as an important victory that could open the way to further prosecutions. Two lower-ranking agents of the Italian military agency SISMI were sentenced to three years each. None of the convicted CIA agents is in Italy, and successive Italian governments have refused to ask for their extradition. Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA station chief in Milan, was given an eight-year sentence while 22 other agents received five years each.


Convicted CIA Spy Says `We Broke the Law'
ABC News (USA)

One of the 23 Americans convicted today by an Italian court says the United States "broke the law" in the CIA kidnapping of a Muslim cleric Abu Omar in Milan in 2003. "And we are paying for the mistakes right now, whoever authorized and approved this," said former CIA officer Sabrina deSousa in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson. DeSousa says the U.S. "abandoned and betrayed" her and the others who were put on trial for the kidnapping. She was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.


German Court Fines Bishop for `Holocaust Denial' Remarks
Deutsche Welle (Germany)

A German court has imposed a fine on an ultra-conservative British bishop for denying that Jews died in Nazi gas chambers. If Richard Williamson challenges the order, he could face a trial in Germany. A court in the Bavarian city of Regensburg imposed the 12,000-euro ($17,00) fine, Williamson's lawyer Matthias Lossmann said on Tuesday. The bishop has until November 9 to react to the court order. Williamson told Swedish television in an interview late last year that he believed no more than 300,000 Jews were killed in the Holocaust and that none died in gas chambers.


Italian Professor Faces Legal Action for `Holocaust Denial' Comments
AKI (Italy)

The Holocaust-denying views of an Italian academic at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza,' Antonio Caracciolo, has sparked calls for him to resign. The 59-year-old philosophy of law researcher's blogs have described the World War II Nazi Holocaust - or extermination of six million Jews - as "a legend" and claim the gas chambers "are one of many 'truths' which need to be verified." The head of Rome's Jewish community, Riccardo Pacifici, said it will take legal action against the academic ... "We are confident the university won't be the only institution to act and that the whole of civil society will react." In 2007, Italy's previous center-left government, headed by Romano Prodi, passed a law making Holocaust-denial a crime.


Why Liberals Kill
Thaddeus Russell

The left may be pressuring President Obama to exit Afghanistan. But their heroes -- from FDR to JFK -- promoted U.S. involvement in more wars than all modern GOP presidents combined. Should President Barack Obama continue his escalation of the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it will be the liberal thing to do ... Though opponents of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cheered loudly when Obama spoke reverentially in his campaign speeches of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy, those heroes of the president promoted and oversaw U.S. involvement in wars that killed, by great magnitudes, more Americans and foreign civilians than all the modern Republican military operations combined.


U.S. Using Goldstone Report to Punish Netanyahu
Aluf Benn -- Haaretz (Israel)

... The calls to boycott Israel are getting louder. Turkey is shirking off its strategic alliance with Israel and is presenting IDF soldiers as horrible murderers of children. Hamas is gradually winning recognition as a legitimate player, as it continues to amass a stock of rockets without hindrance. Meanwhile Israel's leaders are busy defending the country against the United Nations' Goldstone report (that accuses Israel and Hamas of perpetrating war crimes), and some even have to worry now about being the object of arrest warrants in Europe.


Americans Fail the Test of Civic Literacy
Intercollegiate Studies Institute

... Of the 2,508 Americans taking ISI's civic literacy test, 71% fail. Nationwide, the average score on the test is only 49%. The vast majority cannot recognize the language of Lincoln's famous speech. The test contains 33 questions designed to measure knowledge of America's founding principles, political history, international relations, and market economy. While the questions vary in difficulty, most test basic knowledge. ... The results reveal that Americans are alarmingly uninformed about our Constitution, the basic functions of our government, the key texts of our national history, and economic principles: Less than half can name all three branches of the government.


Ten Myths About The Middle Ages
Listverse

The Middle Ages spanned roughly from the 5th century to the 16th century - a total of 1,100 years. During the time following the Middle Ages (which is often referred to as the Enlightenment), the previous millennium was criticized and condemned - just as we now condemn the actions of some during the Victorian Period (sexual prudishness for example). Many of the writers of the newly invented Protestant movement harshly attacked the Middle Ages because of its Catholicity. Unfortunately many of the myths and misconceptions that sprung up at the time are still believed today. This list aims to set things straight.


Staggering Need, Striking Neglect: Millions Squandered in US Capital
The Washington Post

In a city ravaged by the highest rate of AIDS cases in the nation, the [Washington] D.C. Health Department paid millions to nonprofit groups that delivered substandard services or failed to account for any work at all, even as sick people searched for care or died waiting ... All told, the Health Department's HIV/AIDS Administration awarded more than $25 million from 2004 to 2008 to nonprofit agencies marked by questionable spending, a lack of clients, or lapses in record-keeping and care, a ten-month Washington Post investigation found. Many of the groups have since closed or are no longer providing AIDS services.


Web Discourages American Jews' Love for Israel, Says Historian
Haaretz (Israel)

Israeli news websites in English contribute in part to the waning love between American Jews and Israel, a prominent U.S. historian asserted this week, adding that Anglos in Israel can help counter the trend. Since the advent of the Internet and exposure to more critical coverage of Israel, the once-utopian view of Israel Americans held has eroded, according to Jonathan Sarna, who teaches American Jewish history at Brandeis University and is currently on sabbatical in Jerusalem.


Churchill Wanted to `Drench' Germany With Poison Gas
Mark Weber

In a secret wartime memorandum, Winston Churchill told his advisers that he wanted to "drench" Germany with poison gas. Churchill's July 1944 memo to his chief of staff Gen. Hastings Ismay was reproduced in the August-September 1985 issue of American Heritage magazine ... Churchill's directive bluntly stated: "I want a cold-blooded calculation made as to how it would pay to use poison gas ... One really must not be bound within silly conventions of the mind whether they be those that ruled in the last war or those in reverse which rule in this."


Flames From Afghanistan Ignite Pakistan
Eric Margolis

... Like the proverbial bull in the china shop, the Obama administration and U.S. Congress chose this explosive time to try to impose yet another layer of American control over Pakistan as Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama appears about to send thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Tragically, U.S. policy in the Muslim world continues to be driven by imperial arrogance, profound ignorance, and special interest groups ... Washington seems unaware of the fury its crude, counter-productive policies have whipped up in Pakistan. The Obama administration keeps listening to Washington-based neoconservatives, military hawks, and "experts" who tell it just what it wants to hear, not the facts.


Can Any Counterinsurgency in the Afghan Countryside Succeed?
Gilles Dorronsoro -- Los Angeles Times

... History is not encouraging. In two centuries, the Pashtuns have never once tolerated a permanent presence of armed foreigners. Defending families and villages is a cultural duty of local men, and the presence of outsiders is generally perceived as a threat, especially when they are non-Muslim. Historical memories are long in this part of the world. Some Afghans still say prayers for mujahedin who fought against the British -- in the 19th century. Because the Afghan culture highly values politeness, Westerners rarely understand how unpopular they are in the region.


War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength
John Pilger

... Within weeks of his inauguration, Obama started a new war in Pakistan, causing more than a million people to flee their homes. In threatening Iran - which his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said she was prepared to "obliterate" - Obama lied that the Iranians were covering up a "secret nuclear facility", knowing that it had already been reported to the International Atomic Energy Authority. In colluding with the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, he bribed the Palestinian Authority to suppress a UN judgment that Israel had committed crimes against humanity in its assault on Gaza - crimes made possible with US weapons whose shipment Obama secretly approved before his inauguration.


Writers Who Make Up Stories About the Holocaust
The Independent (Britain)

Researching a book about literary hoaxes led me to investigate a sub-section of the misery-memoir genre which often left me reeling in amazement: the Holocaust hoaxers. Special privilege must be given to those increasingly few witness-writers who survived the Second World War in Europe, but they have certain duties too. It is their right to write how and when they want (perhaps many decades later, if they are ready) and, as with Elie Wiesel, with their own definitions of truth and fiction. It was he who said that "Some stories are true that never happened." ... All these hoaxers had difficult childhoods but, feeling that their truth was shamefully small, they sought the grand signifier of the Holocaust to attract the compassion that they desired.


An Ordinary Israel: A State of `Perpetual Exceptionalism'
Roger Cohen -- The New York Times

... More than 60 years after the creation of the modern state, Israel has no established borders, no constitution, no peace. Born from exceptional horror, the Holocaust, it has found normality elusive. The anxiety of the diaspora Jews has ceded not to tranquility but to another anxiety ... Israel does not see itself as normal. Rather it lives in a perpetual state of exceptionalism. I understand this: Israel is a small country whose neighbors are enemies or cold bystanders. But I worry when Israel makes a fetish of its exceptional status. It needs to deal with the world as it is, however discomfiting, not the world of yesterday ..."Never again" is a necessary but altogether inadequate way of dealing with the modern world.


Israel's Dangerously Battered Image
Patrick Seale

... Few outside Israel itself -- and outside the shrinking ranks of its diehard supporters in the United States and Europe -- would today be prepared to defend its arrogant militarists, its fanatical land-grabbing settlers, its racist politicians. Astonishingly, there is no sign that Israel's political leaders have understood the magnitude of the problem or are doing anything serious to address it. On the contrary, they are busy digging deeper into a hole of their own making. Turkey's sudden cancellation this week of a major air force exercise with Israel was a salutary wake-up call.



© 2005 Institute for Historical Review