August 2011

Israel Lobby Dominates Congress, Media Covers it Up
Alison Weir

... No other lobby on behalf of a foreign country comes anywhere near controlling such wealth or taking so many of America's elected representatives on a propaganda trip to its favorite country ... The staffer said that the Israel Lobby is far too powerful to ignore and that American voters have no knowledge of what's going on. It's no surprise that voters are unaware that their representatives are being propagandized and pressured by a foreign lobby. Their news media almost never tells them.

Another Big Lincoln Lie Exposed
Thomas Di Lorenzo

... These are the words of the real Lincoln, who was as much a white supremacist as any man of his time. In fact, he was a much more extreme white supremacist than most, for he advocated "colonization" or the deportation of black people from America for his entire adult life ... Based on newly-rediscovered documents in the American and British National Archives, including letters signed by Lincoln himself, these researchers have established that Lincoln continued to pursue colonization right up to the days before his assassination, when he discussed plans with General Benjamin Butler to deport the freed slaves.

Shattering Lincoln's Dream
Joseph Sobran

... Lincoln, we should also remember, was a passionate segregationist, a fact Krannawitter barely touches on, though it might interest our new President to know that the Great Emancipator's preferred solution was to abolish slavery and to remove all "free colored persons" from the United States. In 1862 he proposed an amendment that would authorize Congress to pay for this huge project.

True Cost of Afghan, Iraq Wars Is Anyone's Guess
McClatchy Newspapers

... There's also a more fundamental problem: It's almost impossible to pin down just what the U.S. military spends on war. To be sure, the costs are staggering. According to Defense Department figures, by the end of April the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- including everything from personnel and equipment to training Iraqi and Afghan security forces and deploying intelligence-gathering drones -- had cost an average of $9.7 billion a month, with roughly two-thirds going to Afghanistan. That total is roughly the entire annualbudget for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Growing US National Debt Burden
US Debt Clock

A sobering overview of the US financial crisis.

US Becoming a 'Food Stamp Nation'

... Altogether, there are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population. That's an increase of 74 percent since 2007, just before the financial crisis and a deep recession led to mass job losses. At the same time, the cost doubled to reach $68 billion in 2010 - more than a third of the amount the U.S. government received in corporate income tax last year - which means the program has started to attract the attention of some Republican lawmakers looking for ways to cut the nation's budget deficit.

The 'Knockout Game': Racial Violence and Media Silence
John T. Bennett -- American Thinker

... Most Americans have heard of recent violent "flash mobs," which are the bands of black teens that attack mostly white victims and white businesses, as even The New York Times once noted. But the flash mobs, which are more accurately called "race riots" or "racial mob violence," are not the only interesting topic to cover in our national conversation about race. There is also the "knockout game," which is stunning in its brutal simplicity and stark racial significance. ... Local media outlets have failed to report on the racial aspect of the attacks. At best, the media will allow the race of attackers to be revealed by mugshots, or quotations from police or victims. This follows a conscious policy of self-censorship that has been openly admitted by major newspapers.

Second-Largest US Indian Tribe Expels Slave Descendents

The nation's second-largest Indian tribe formally booted from membership thousands of descendants of black slaves who were brought to Oklahoma more than 170 years ago by Native American owners. The Cherokee nation voted after the Civil War to admit the slave descendants to the tribe. But on Monday, the Cherokee nation Supreme Court ruled that a 2007 tribal decision to kick the so-called "Freedmen" out of the tribe was proper ... The move to exclude the Freedmen has rankled some African American members of Congress, which has jurisdiction over all Native American tribes in the country.

Something Rotten This Way Comes
Philip Giraldi

The issue of Israel is of critical importance to the antiwar movement, as frequenters of this website are surely aware ... I really don't care what America's hypocritical evangelicals do except insofar as they waste my tax money on their divinely sanctioned wars and demand my grandson for cannon fodder. The fact that they ignore Christian teachings of love and forgiveness and seem to gravitate instead towards Old Testament bloodshed because of their skewed and ridiculous interpretation of what they think it says in the bible is a symptom of their ignorance and hubris.

British Minister Backs Down After Accusing Israelis of 'Land Grab'The Telegraph (Britain)

The international development minister, Alan Duncan, has been forced to remove a video from a government website in which he accused Israelis of a "land grab" in the middle-east, after protests from Jewish leaders. Mr Duncan, Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton, also accused Israeli settlers of "deliberately" taking water away from the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The Board of Deputies of British Jews criticised Mr Duncan for his remarks about Israel's controversial security wall while the Israeli Embassy appeared to question whether the minister was suitable as a spokesman for the UK government.

Racist Comments on Internet Could Become illegal
TV One News (New Zealand)

Denying there was a holocaust and posting racist comments online could become illegal if New Zealand signs up to an international treaty. Adopting the Europe Cybercrime Convention is up for consideration in Police Minister Judith Collins' three-year plan to stamp out organised crime. The convention criminalises "the dissemination of racist and xenophobic material" on the internet.

Archaeologists Discover Roman Port in Wales
The Guardian (Britain)

Archaeologists have discovered only the second known port of Roman Britain, where soldiers would have arrived in numbers from the Mediterranean to aid in the fight against some of the most stubborn and hostile of all the tribes they had to face. Over the last year, archaeologists have been digging near the Roman fortress of Caerleon, just north of Newport, south Wales, and have made some remarkable discoveries. On Tuesday, the site was declared the only known Roman British port outside London.

Guam Could 'Tip Over and Capsize,' Says US Congressman
The Hill - The Washington Scene

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) is afraid that the U.S. Territory of Guam is going to "tip over and capsize" due to overpopulation. Johnson expressed his worries during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the defense budget Thursday. Addressing Adm. Robert Willard, who commands the Navy's Pacific Fleet, Johnson made a tippy motion with his hands and said sternly, "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize." Willard paused and said: "/we don't anticipate that."

Israeli Rabbinical Court Orders Woman Jailed For Refusing to Accept Divorce
Haaretz (Israel)

In a rare move, the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court ordered a 59-year-old woman jailed this week for refusing for 15 years to accept a ritual divorce from her husband and release him from their marriage. Disputes over refusals to grant a get, or Jewish religious separation, are common, but usually involve a husband holding back the bill of divorce, making this a rare case. The woman, who lives in the center of the country, is refusing to accept the divorce from her husband because of an ongoing property dispute between the two.

Holocaust Is 'Big Lie' To Justify Israel, Says Iran President Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Friday that the Holocaust was a "big lie" used to justify establishment of the state of Israel. "The Zionist regime's establishment was based on numerous deceptions and lies and one of the biggest lies was the Holocaust," Ahmadinejad said in a speech after an anti-Israeli rally in Tehran and other Iranian cities ... The international isolation of the Islamic republic escalated after Ahmadinejad held a Holocaust conference in 2006 in which he questioned whether the killing of six million Jews in Europe during World War II actually happened.

Is Democracy as We Know It on Its Way Out?
Frank Viviano -- New America Media

Is Western democracy coming apart at the seams? A decade ago, only paranoid alarmists would have posed that question. Today, it may be an expression of cold, brutal realism. On both sides of the Atlantic -- from the fires that raged in large stretches of London, to the political chicanery that brought the U.S. economy to its knees in early August -- the institutional framework that came to define modern democracy in the 19th century is in deep trouble ... Faith in elected leaders and legislatures, the central and defining institutions of democracy, has never been lower. According to the Pew Research Center, the proportion of the U.S. public expressing trust in the federal government has fallen from just under 80 per cent in the late 1960s to barely 20 per cent today.

Texas Gov. Perry Abuses His Office for Israel
Philip Giraldi

... Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who has yet to declare his candidacy but who is seen by many as a potential front-runner, is apparently also sharpening his foreign policy credentials. And he is doing it in the traditional way by cozying up to the Israel Lobby ... When a government believes itself to be empowered to go after its own people on trumped-up charges, watch out. When it does so on behalf of a foreign government, all kinds of warning flags should be going up. That no one in the media or punditry seems to care is a tribute to the grip that Israel and its friends have over politics in the United States.

Ads Calling For End To US Aid to Israel Now on San Francisco Cable Cars
Henry Norr - Mondoweiss

A new series of ads calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel now greets commuters, tourists, students, and shoppers traveling on the San Francisco Bay Area's public transit systems. The ads, part of a growing national campaign, went up this week on the Powell Street cable car, a popular tourist attraction in downtown San Francisco; in three of the busiest stations on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) - San Francisco's Civic Center, 12th St. Oakland, and Downtown Berkeley; and on the Muni level of the Embarcadero station in San Francisco. Next week the same ad will be posted in the 16th St./ Mission station in San Francisco.

Australia Prosecutor Says Greens' Israel Boycott is 'Anti-Semitic'
The Australian

NSW [state] Attorney-General Greg Smith has accused the Greens of echoing the worst aspects of historical anti-Semitism in Europe in their bid to ban economic, sporting and cultural contacts with Israel. In a speech at Sydney University today, Mr Smith will argue the party's support for the BDS [boycott, divestment, sanctions] campaign reveals "an ugly underbelly of the Australian Greens' agenda" ... Nationals senator Ron Boswell yesterday accused the Greens of trying to justify a "blatantly anti-Semitic boycott" of Max Brenner stores as part of a global protest aimed at Israel.

Munich Still Haunted by Nazi-Era Buildings
The Telegraph (Britain)

... Near the information board on Arcistrasse is the Munich Conservatoire, which I have driven by many times looking for a parking place, not knowing it was previously the Führerbau, the building housing Hitler's offices, built by the architect Paul Ludwig Troost between 1933 and 1937 ... I then turned left into Karlstrasse, where the buildings that housed the offices of the Hitler Youth remain intact. The building housing the Reich's Press Office remains too, now premises of the Lutheran Church in Bavaria. Further on, modern offices stand where other Nazi institutions once stood. Turning north to Karolinenplatz, I saw the former offices of the Nazis' supreme court, today the administration building of the Bavarian State Lottery.

IKEA Founder's Nazi Ties Highlighted in New Book
BBC News

The founder of the Ikea furniture chain, Ingvar Kamprad, is facing further questions about his Nazi past following claims in a new book. Author Elisabeth Asbrink says Mr Kamprad was an active recruiter for a Swedish Nazi group, and stayed close to sympathisers well after World War II. The details go beyond what Mr Kamprad has previously admitted. The Swedish billionaire has said his involvement was youthful "stupidity", and the "greatest mistake" of his life. In her book, Ms Asbrink says Mr Kamprad actively recruited people to the fascist Sweden's Socialist Union (SSS). She says the activity prompted security police to set up a file on him in 1943 when he was 17 - the same year that he founded Ikea.

'Jewish Indiana Jones' Charged In Torah Fraud Case
The Associated Press

A Jewish charity co-founder who claimed he crisscrossed the globe rescuing Torahs as a "Jewish Indiana Jones" surrendered Wednesday to face mail and wire fraud charges after authorities said he duped benefactors by fabricating dramatic stories about sometimes dangerous trips, including to concentration camp sites in Poland and Germany ... Ghiozzi wrote that his investigation of Youlus' globe-trotting found no facts to support claims that Youlus rescued the "Auschwitz Torah" in Poland from inside a metal box that he located and unearthed in 2004 using a metal detector. There was also no evidence that he discovered a Torah in 2002 that had been hidden during World War II under the floor of a barracks at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany ...

First Stanza 'Nazi' German Anthem Played at Championship

The Germany canoeing team were left 'appalled' after organisers at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Hungary played the banned 'Nazi anthem' at a medal ceremony. Anne Knorr and Debora Nich won gold for Germany in the 1000 meters K2 women's final race but after receiving their medals they were shocked to hear the Germany anthem played with the [first] verse "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles / über alles in der Welt," ("Germany, Germany above all / Above everything in the world,") The music for the German national anthem was composed in 1797 by Joseph Haydn with lyrics written by Hoffmann von Fallersleben in 1841.

More Details of Failed 'Bay of Pigs' Invasion of Cuba Revealed
Epoch Times (New York)

Friendly fire, bad, scaled-back strategy, and a decision to go ahead after secrecy was lost, all contributed to the failure of America's 1961 invasion of Cuba, according to new information released Monday. The National Archives just published the fifth and final volume of CIA files about the Bay of Pigs ... The goal was to overthrow Fidel Castro and establish a non-communist government friendly to the United States, with the support of the Cuban people and the Cuban military. President Kennedy authorized the plan. He was determined to disguise America's support and the landing point at the Bay of Pigs on the southern coast.

Egyptians Allege Israeli Scheme to Destroy Fertility
Ynet News (Israel)

Israeli citizen Ofir Harrari, recently accused by Egypt of spying for Israel, was allegedly involved in a complicated scheme intended to harm Egyptian reproduction abilities. Egypt's offical state paper Al-Ahram has claimed. Harrari, accused by Egypt of being an agent of the Mossad, is set to be tried in absentia on charges of "spying for a foreign country with the purpose of harming Egyptian national interests," news agency MENA reported on Sunday. ... "Mossad agent Ofir Harrari instructed Jordanian [telecom engineer] Ibrahim abu-Zaid to set up a company in Egypt which would exclusively import an Israeli hair product, for both men and women, which causes infertility. This in order to completely destroy Egyptian reproduction abilities," al-Ahram states.

The Greatest Elected Body That Money Can Buy
Stephen M. Walt -- Foreign Policy

Just when you think your contempt for Congress could not get any higher, our elected representatives manage to do something to ratchet it up another notch ... They are off on junkets to Israel, paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, an AIPAC spinoff that has been funding such trips for years. That's right: during the August recess nearly a fifth of the U.S. Congress will visit a single country whose entire population is less than that of New York City ... Why do Congresspersons do this, especially at a moment when it is obvious that they ought to be worrying about coditions here at home? Mostly because such junkets burnish a legislator's 'pro-Israel' credentials and facilitate campaign fundraising.

Madame Tussauds Under Fire For Allowing Hitler Salutes
Daily Mail (Britain)

Their arms raised in a Nazi salute, two young tourists pose alongside a waxwork of Adolf Hitler. This was the sight which greeted an Israeli couple on a visit to Madame Tussauds in London. The couple, whose grandparents survived the Holocaust, photographed the incident and complained about the tourists' behavior, which they described as "an unequivocal demonstration of anti-Semitism and bigotry." But while Tussauds apologized for any offence caused, it insisted: "/we proactively encourage our visitors to interact with the waxworks should they so choose." ... Its comments were described as appalling and insensitive by Lord Janner, chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Ian Kershaw's Life of Writing: Enduring Fascination With Hitler
Stephen Moss -- The Guardian (Britain)

Ian Kershaw's latest book is called The End -- and it's the end in more than one sense. Kershaw, biographer of Hitler and anatomist of the Nazi regime, has documented the last nine months of the Third Reich ... Even on the brink of collapse, some aspects of normal life in Germany continued: Bayern Munich were still playing football matches a week before Hitler's suicide; the Berlin Philharmonic gave a concert just four days before the war ended; and the bureaucrats were being paid until the very end ... He [Kershaw] had perhaps reckoned without the enduring popular fascination with the figure of Hitler, who dominates the history sections of bookshops and is covered in so many documentaries on the History Channel that it is sometimes referred to as the "Hitler channel".

The Thing About Hitler
Ian Kershaw -- The Guardian (Britain) - 2003

... It seems as if scarcely a day goes by without Hitler and the Nazis in one way or another - in newspapers, films, books, on radio and television - entering into our public consciousness. This is so not just in Germany itself, where Hitler might be expected to have cast a long shadow, but in this country, in other parts of Europe, in the US, and elsewhere ... However great its historical significance, it will at some future point be possible to view it with detachment, much as we now look back at the French revolution. But this day is still far off. Probably in ten years' time, on the 80th anniversary of Hitler's takeover of power, we shall still be asking: is there no end to Hitler?

Hitler as 'Enlightenment Intellectual'
Mark Weber

A specter is haunting the world -- the specter of Hitlerism. That, in short, is the stern warning of this provocative book, Hitler as Philosophe: Remnants of the Enlightenment in National Socialism, by Lawrence Birken... In spite of decades of vehement vilification, says author Birken, Hitler's views have enduring and dangerous appeal -- not because they are bizarre and alien, but precisely because they are rational and well grounded in Western thought.

Is The Media Treating Ron Paul Unfairly?
Joe Pompeo -- The Outline

The Republican congressman and 2012 presidential candidate was shut out of the Sunday public affairs shows this past weekend despite his neck-and-neck second place finish to tea party favorite Michele Bachmann in Saturday's Ames, Iowa straw poll. He was likewise excluded from most of the second-day newspaper headlines about the preliminary political contest, leaving some news watchers to question whether Paul is receiving unfair treatment from the mainstream press. "Ron Paul just got shafted," Politico's Roger Simon wrote ...

Why Arabs Attacked Israeli Solders Riding on a Public Bus
Charles E. Carlson

On August 18, high noon, Arabs operating from Egyptian territory attacked, killed and wounded an unknown number of Israeli soldiers on a bus that the world was made to believe carried only civilians. ... Why do Palestinian human bombs so often pick "public buses" as targets? Not one news report I had ever read told the simple truth: every Israeli bus is a military transport; therefore, for any Palestinian who considers himself to be at war with the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces], every Israeli bus is a legitimate military target.

London Riots: When Multiculturalists Tolerate Gang Culture
Damian Thompson -- The Telegraph (Britain)

The roots of these appalling events are many and tangled, but for the moment let's just focus on one: the way Britain's educational establishment has cringed helplessly in the face of a gang culture that rejects every tenet of liberal society. It's violent, it's sexist, it's homophobic and it's racist. But it is broadly tolerated by many people in the black community, which has lost control of its teenage youths ... We should and must blame those schools and education authorities that have made extra space for gang culture in children's lives because they believe it is an authentic expression of Afro-Caribbean and Asian identity.

Riots Stoke British Ethnic Tensions
The Wall Street Journal

Three Birmingham men died early Wednesday as they sought to protect local businesses from rioters, showing how the violence that began four days ago in London and spread to the U.K.'s other big cities has stoked long-simmering ethnic tensions in some of the country's most racially diverse communities. ... In Birmingham, the deaths led to an outpouring of anger from the city's large population of Asians. "People are saying it's a race issue now -- blacks against Asians," said Mykel Douglas, a black youth worker and resident of Winson Green, the working-class district northwest of Birmingham city center where the incident occurred. "It's like the ethnic groups are at war with each other."

They Died in Vain: Deal With It
Ray McGovern

Many of those preaching at American church services Sunday extolled as "heroes" the 30 American and eight Afghan troops killed Saturday west of Kabul, when a helicopter on a night mission crashed, apparently after taking fire from Taliban forces. This week, the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) can be expected to beat a steady drumbeat of "they shall not have died in vain." But they did. I know it is a hard truth, but they did die in vain. As in the past, churches across the country will keep praising the fallen troops for protecting "our way of life," and few can demur, given the tragic circumstances. But, sadly, such accolades are, at best, misguided -- at worst, dishonest.

In England, Iron Age Road Link to Iceni Tribe
BBC News

A suspected Iron Age road, made of timber and preserved in peat for 2,000 years, has been uncovered by archaeologists in East Anglia. The site, excavated in June, may have been part of a route across the River Waveney and surrounding wetland at Geldeston in Norfolk, say experts. Causeways were first found in the area in 2006, during flood defence work at the nearby Suffolk town of Beccles. It is thought the road is pre-Roman, built by the local Iceni tribe. Exact dating has yet to be carried out but tree-ring evidence suggests a date of 75 BC.

British Teachers Undergo Holocaust Training in Israel
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Twenty high-school teachers brought to Israel by the UK-based Holocaust Education Trust will complete on Sunday a ten-day education training seminar at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem ... Now in its sixth year, the 10-day course at Yad Vashem is part of a three-week Holocaust Education Trust program involving a week-long introductory course in the UK, the visit to Israel, and a final week back in Britain to integrate the knowledge and skills acquired during the entire course.

Neocons Trade Medicare for War
Robert Parry

For decades now, America's neoconservatives have pushed for higher military spending and baited their political opponents as being "soft" on whatever the enemy-of-the-day was: Moscow, Nicaragua, Cuba in the 1980s; al-Qaeda, Iraq, Iran, Libya in recent years. The neocons happily smeared Americans who opposed the huge Pentagon budgets, tagging them as anti-American or disloyal ... Today, however, as those deficits reach a crisis point, hard choices are finally being forced on the American political system. Yet, the neocons retain their place of extraordinary influence in Washington and are determined to keep military spending "skyward."

A Generation of Amoral, Uneducated, Brutalized Youth
Max Hastings - Daily Mail (Britain)

... They are victims of a perverted social ethos, which elevates personal freedom to an absolute, and denies the underclass the discipline -- tough love -- which alone might enable some of its members to escape from the swamp of dependency in which they live. Only education -- together with politicians, judges, policemen and teachers with the courage to force feral humans to obey rules the rest of us have accepted all our lives -- can provide a way forward and a way out for these people ... Unless or until those who run Britain introduce incentives for decency and impose penalties for bestiality which are today entirely lacking, there will never be a shortage of young rioters and looters ...

Social Breakdown; Breaker Morant and the Boer War
Mark Weber -- Podcast

Social breakdown in the western world, manifest in the recent orgy of rioting in Britain, is the inevitable consequences of a society based on an ideology of individualism, consumerism and the "pursuit of happiness." Weber cites the analysis of British journalist and historian Max Hastings. Weber also talks about "Breaker Morant," a memorable 1980 Australian film about a shameful episode of the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. British imperialists and businessmen, together with Jewish financiers and "gold bugs," conspired to launch the rapacious and unnecessary conflict. Waging the war with "methods of barbarism," the British established "concentration camps" in which some 28,000 people, most of them infants and children, perished.

Media Ignores Racial Element of British Riots
Diana West - Breitbart

I've been keeping watch on the fiery vortex of British rioting at "View from the Right," where Lawrence Auster is tracking events with a close and critical eye on the reportorial blind spot on race that has marked most if not all of the news coverage. (He has also been noting similar blind spots in Stateside reporting on this summer's spate of "flash mobs," in which the unifying theme of the flash-mobbers' race is omitted as a matter of course. The stories themselves, even the widespread black-on-white violence at last week's Wisconsin State Fair, have failed to penetrate the national MSM.) Such omissions, seemingly designed not-to-make-things-worse, are an affront to reality.

China Tells US 'Good Old Days' of Borrowing Are Over

China bluntly criticized the United States on Saturday one day after the superpower's credit rating was downgraded, saying the "good old days" of borrowing were over. Standard & Poor's cut the US long-term credit rating from top-tier AAA by a notch to AA-plus on Friday over concerns about the nation's budget deficits and climbing debt burden. China -- the United States' biggest creditor -- said Washington only had itself to blame for its plight and called for a new stable global reserve currency. "The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone," China's official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

US 'Democratization' Initiative in the Middle East is Insincere
Mark Weber

... In countries where popular sentiment has been able to express itself politically, the government is usually more anti-American. This is true not only in the Middle East, but also in Europe, Asia and Latin America ...To suppose that the United States, or any outside power, can impose its own notion of democracy or freedom on another country is both arrogant and stupid. Every nation naturally has its own concept of a just and free society. In the short run, the prospects for democratization in the Middle East are poor, because the U.S. will continue to carry out policies in the region that are motivated primarily by concern for Israel.

Once Upon a Time in the West
Jakob Augstein -- Der Spiegel (Germany)

... By any definition, America is no longer a Western nation. The US is a country where the system of government has fallen firmly into the hands of the elite. An unruly and aggressive militarism set in motion two costly wars in the past ten years. Society is not only divided socially and politically -- in its ideological blindness the nation is moving even farther away from the core of democracy. It is losing its ability to compromise. America has changed. It has drifted away from the West.

Economic Crisis Won't Affect US Aid To Israel, Says Rep. Hoyer
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

The current economic crisis in the US will have no impact at all on US financial assistance to Israel, US Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said Thursday. However, the Democratic Whip, is leading the delegation of 26 US congressmen on a one week visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. At a press conference in Jerusalem, Hoyer said he wanted to make it "very clear" that no financial challenges faced in the US "/will have any adverse effect on American determination to meet its promise to Israel in the form of aid for its qualitative [military] superiority, or for its economic security."

A Zionist Guided Visit to Israel for 81 US Congress Members
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Eighty-one congressmen, or about 20 percent of the US House of Representatives, will visit Israel over the next three weeks during Congress's summer recess, with the first group of 26 Democrats scheduled to arrive on Monday ... For many of them, this will be their first trip to Israel. The week-long trips are sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, a charitable organization affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which brings large delegations of congressmen here every other August.

Crisis, Shmisis: 81 Congressmen Head to Israel
Mya Guarnieri -- Huffington Post

The American economy is in a crisis. Suburbs are falling into poverty. Schools are struggling. Cities teeter on the edge of bankruptcy. And 81 U.S. Congressmen are off in Israel when they should be here, dealing with the mountain of problems facing the American people -- you know, the men and women who elected them. ... They're on a junket funded by the American Israel Education Foundation, a supporting organization of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) ... This trip isn't shocking. It's just one more outrageous example of American politicians putting special interest groups ahead of the dire needs of the American people.

It's Still Occupied Territory
Philip Giraldi

That twenty per cent of the House of Representatives will be spending its recess holiday on American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) paid tours of Israel does not seem to have made the mainstream news. ... Americans who really like Israel and everything that pertains to it are certainly free to express their views, but there is something unseemly and even grotesque about the continuous promotion of foreign and ethnic group interests ahead of those of the United States and other American citizens. AIPAC is a lobby dedicated to maintaining uncritical US government support for a foreign country and it can be argued that Washington entered into at least one foreign war because of it.

Coco Chanel Was a Nazi Spy, Says New Biography

A new book about the life of Coco Chanel published in the United States on Tuesday aims to strengthen claims the French designer collaborated with the Nazis during World War II as a spy code-named "/westminster." The book, "Sleeping With The Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War," by Paris-based American journalist Hal Vaughan, claims that not only was the designer the lover of a German officer, Hans Gunther von Dincklage, which has been well-documented, but they were spies who went on missions to Madrid and Berlin. In addition, the book claims Chanel was deeply anti-Semitic ... But a representative for the Chanel fashion house on Tuesday poured doubt on the book's allegations.

Fashion Icon Coco Chanel 'Worked For Nazis,' Says Author
Daily Mail (Britain)

Coco Chanel spent World War II collaborating with the Nazis, says a new book that outlines her life. According to US journalist Hal Vaughn, author of 'Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War' the fashion icon was: 'Fiercely anti-Semitic long before it became a question of pleasing the Germans, she became rich by catering to the very rich, and shared their dislike of Jews, trade unions, socialism, Freemasons, and communism.' ... She joins reams of esteemed French artists who collaborated with the murderous Nazis - including Maurice Chevalier, Jean Cocteau, Sacha Guitry, Serge Lifar, and Edith Piaf. Staff and owners of many great French businesses like Cartier are also reported to have been enablers and sympathisers.

US Government Funding To 'Monitor' Anti-Semitism and 'Holocaust Denial
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

The US State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor has announced a $200,000 grant to the Middle East Media Research Institute [MEMRI]. According to a statement issued by the office of Hannah Rosenthal, the State Department's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, the funds will be used "to conduct a project that documents anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and Holocaust glorification in the Middle East." ... Rosenthal, who was named President Obama's anti-Semitism czar in 2009, is responsible for combating and monitoring US-based and global anti-Semitism.

Special US Official Works to 'Combat Anti-Semitism' Worldwide
Voice of America

Hannah Rosenthal is the United States' Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. In this role, said Ms. Rosenthal, "I have been tracking anti-Semitism around the world, and have witnessed its alarming presence and growth." ... "One of my primary goals this year," said Ms. Rosenthal, is to address the issue of intolerance in textbooks and in the media in the Middle East." It is critical to educate youth about the Holocaust - the systematic murder of six million Jews during World War Two. Most national curricula in Middle East Countries unfortunately do not teach about the Holocaust.

The Myth of a Judeo-Christian Tradition
New Dawn Magazine (1994)

... Since the end of the Second World War we have been bombarded from all sides with references to the Western world's "Judeo-Christian religion," and "our Judeo-Christian heritage." We are told by both church leaders and scholars that our society is based on a supposed "Judeo-Christian tradition." ... Yet such a decidedly Christian Zionist outlook is to say the least, wildly simplistic and profoundly ahistoriccal ... "Judeo-Christianity" should be seen for what it is - another secular twentieth century fraud, manufactured for narrow political ends, that is supremely disrespectful to all true believers.

Our Commando War in 120 Countries: Secret US Military Operations
Nick Turse -- Alternet and TomDispatch

... Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world's countries. This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now ... U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120.

World War I Propaganda Deceit: A Journalist Recalls
George Seldes

Of the first war years I will say just this: I made a total fool of myself when I accepted as true the news reports from New York and Europe which by their volume and repetition overwhelmed what little objective intelligence I had... There was the Lusitania. All the Allied reports told of a "dastardly" and "heinous" crime against civilians, but the German news bureau said the ship carried munitions. Today the sworn statement of the former Collector of the Port of New York, Dudley Field Malone, gives the exact character and tonnage of these munitions, but in 1915 I played the Allied side ... In short, in common with about ninety per cent of the American press, I had become a blind but willing agent of the powerful and finally victorious Allied propaganda machine.

Can Obama Beat The Israel Lobby?
Henry Siegman

... I served on the executive committee of AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] for nearly thirty years -- from 1965 to 1994 -- while heading the Synagogue Council of America and then the American Jewish Congress. ... Today, AIPAC gives full and unqualified support to an Israeli government most of whose members deeply oppose a two-state solution. The lip service that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, pay to such an accord is a cover for their government's overriding goal of foiling one. In fact, it is a goal that Israeli governments have pursued since 1967, when the Palestinian territories came under Israel's control.

Rioting in Britain, and the Hiroshima Bombing
Mark Weber -- Podcast

The recent orgy of looting and destruction in London and other British cities is a stern indictment of a failed social-political system. It's also an predictable consequence of large-scale non-European immigration. In a prophetic speech given in 1968, Enoch Powell, a prominent British political figure, warned that the "mad" policy of non-European immigration would have terrible long-term consequences. If the history of the twentieth century teaches anything, says Weber, it's the falsehood of the ideology of multiculturalism, egalitarianism and "diversity." Weber also takes a critical look at the atomic bombing of Japan in August 1945, and shows that this mass killing of civilians was not necessary to end the war.

Too Many Immigrants, Say Most Britons
Daily Mail (Britain)

Nearly three quarters of Britons think there are too many immigrants in the country, a survey revealed yesterday. The international poll, by IPSOS Mori, put the UK third highest in a league table of 23 countries according to concerns about migrant numbers. And it showed Britain topped the table of countries according to concerns over the impact of migrants on public services. Some 76 per cent of those questioned said immigration had put too much pressure on hospitals, transport services and schools. The poll exposes the huge on-going scale of public worry over migration levels in recent years. Under Labour's open door immigration policy, the population was boosted by more than 3.2 million arrivals from overseas.

U.S. Debt Crisis Sidelines an Emergency Attack on Iran
Haaretz (Israel)

The American trigger finger is itchy. Itchy, but flinching ... Under the current economic and political circumstances, the Obama administration will not be in any hurry to do Israel a favor and pull the nuclear chestnuts out the Iranian fire by means of a preemptive strike against Tehran's nuclear facilities, material storage locations and missile sites. America's national debt crisis and Pentagon budget cuts are pushing to the margins emergency plans for an operation against Iran.

Swedish Queen Says Father Is Hero, Not Nazi

Sweden's Queen Silvia says an investigation into her father's links to the Nazis show that he is a hero. A report commissioned by the queen determined that Walter Sommerlath helped at least one Jewish man escape the Nazis. The 34-page report was released on Tuesday. Sommerlath exchanged his coffee plantation in Brazil for the Berlin factory of Efim Wechsler in 1939, which allowed Wechsler to immigrate to Brazil and escape the Nazis, according to the report. The report also found that Sommerlath was a member of the Nazi Party, but apparently inactive. Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, called the report "self-serving and lacking in credibility," and said that Holocaust survivors reject it.

US Holocaust Survivors to Receive Federal Funds: 'Preferred Treatment'
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Holocaust survivors in the US will receive federal funds designed to help them age at home, rather than having to move to an institution, according to a new congressional bill drafted by Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). The bipartisan proposal calls for survivors to be added to a list of elderly citizens receiving preferred treatment under the Older Americans Act, to designate an individual within the Administration on Aging to overlook programs offered to survivors and create a grant program helping them with their transportation needs.

In Iran, Tehran Street Named For Rachel Corrie
The Associated Press

Tehran's municipal council has named a street after an American activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003, local newspaper reported on Thursday. The report in Hamshahri, a daily affiliated with Tehran municipality, said the council decided to name the street Rachel Aliene Corrie. It said the street would be in central Tehran, but did not specify when the sign bearing the new name would be hung. Corrie, a pro-Palestinian activist from Washington state, was trying to prevent what she and other activists believed was an Israeli military push to demolish nearby Palestinian homes. She was 23 at the time of her death.

Schools To Get 'No Child' Testing Waivers
The Associated Press

State and local education officials have been begging the federal government for relief from student testing mandates in the federal No Child Left Behind law, but school starts soon and Congress still hasn't answered the call. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he will announce a new waiver system Monday to give schools a break. The plan to offer waivers to all 50 states, as long as they meet other school reform requirements, comes at the request of President Barack Obama, Duncan said. More details on the waivers will come in September, he said. The goal of the No Child Left Behind law is to have every student proficient in math and reading by 2014.

Eighteen Signs The Collapse Of Society Is Accelerating
Michael Snyder - Hawaii News Daily

As the U.S. economy collapses, the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is going to begin to disappear. In fact, there are already an increasing number of signs that the collapse of society is accelerating. In cities such as Chicago, roving packs of young people are "mob robbing" local businesses, randomly assaulting tourists and shoppers and are even pulling people out of vehicles ... During this past Memorial Day weekend, cities all over the United States experienced a stunning wave of mass violence. We are supposed to be an "example" for the rest of the world, but as our economic wealth crumbles we are witnessing the collapse of society all around us.

How Washington's Politicians Downgraded America
Mark Mardell -- BBC News

The downgrading of America is a humiliation for a nation constantly fretting about its potential decline. It reinforces a very common belief here [in the US], that the squabbling politicians in Washington are to blame for many of the country's ills. It was indeed a major theme of candidate Obama that "business as usual" couldn't continue and, by an effort of will, America had to come together. The decision by Standard & Poor's to push America into the second division, when it comes to trustworthiness about paying its bills, puts the USA below the UK, Germany, France, Singapore, Finland and 14 other countries. The reason it gives is what all America has been saying: Washington doesn't work.

Jewish Group Protests Dictionary Definition of 'Anti-Semitic' Word
The Associated Press

A prominent Jewish group urged the Romanian Academy on Monday to change its dictionary definition of an anti-Semitic slur to make it clear it is pejorative. Maximilian Katz, director of the Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism, told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that the commonly used Romanian word is offensive, but that is not explained in the official DEX dictionary ... Usage of the word is illegal in Romania because it falls under a law banning symbols with a fascist, racist or xenophobic character. Breaking the law is punishable by fines and prison ... The word is the most offensive that exists in the Romanian language for a Jew ...

Hitler's Stealth Bomber
Daily Mail (Britain)

With its smooth and elegant lines, this could be a prototype for some future successor to the stealth bomber. But this flying wing was actually designed by the Nazis 30 years before the Americans successfully developed radar-invisible technology. Now an engineering team has reconstructed the Horten Ho 2-29 from blueprints, with startling results. It was faster and more efficient than any other plane of the period and its stealth powers did work against radar.

Hitler's Stealth Fighter Recreated
National Geographic News

Top stealth-plane experts have re-created a radical, nearly forgotten Nazi aircraft: the Horten 2-29, a retro-futuristic fighter that arrived too late in World War II to make it into mass production. The engineers' goal was to determine whether the so-called stealth fighter was truly radar resistant. In the process, they've uncovered new clues to just how close Nazi engineers were to unleashing a jet that some say could have changed the course of the war. To replicate the Ho 2-29 late last year for a documentary premiering Sunday, a team from the Northrop Grumman defense-contracting corporation used original Nazi blueprints and the only surviving Ho 2-29, which has been stored in a U.S. government facility for more than 50 years.

Perspective on World War II, an IHR Update, and More
Mark Weber -- Podcast

Defying protests by Russia and Jewish groups, Estonians honor the memory of SS troops who fought and died for their nation's freedom during World War II. This small Baltic country's wartime fate discredits the simplistic view of the conflict that prevails in the US. Citing new insights on the Pantheon in Rome, Weber also talks about social-cultural achievements of the ancient Greco-Roman world, and stresses that awareness of past helps to better understand our own age, society and culture. Recent news items re-confirm America's accelerating social-cultural decline.

On the Sixty-Sixth Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima
Gar Alperovitz

Today [August 6] is the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Though most Americans are unaware of the fact, increasing numbers of historians now recognize the United States did not need to use the atomic bomb to end the war against Japan in 1945. Moreover, this essential judgment was expressed by the vast majority of top American military leaders in all three services in the years after the war ended: Army, Navy and Army Air Force. Nor was this the judgment of "liberals," as is sometimes thought today. In fact, leading conservatives were far more outspoken in challenging the decision as unjustified and immoral than American liberals in the years following World War II.

Misreading History: Lessons of the Great Depression
Robert S. McElvaine

... There is a genuine danger that the already weak economy could turn into a second coming of the hard times of the 1930s. The focus of many politicians today on cutting spending and avoiding tax increases on the wealthy is based on a misunderstanding of what led to and extended the Great Depression -- and it is setting us up for a new collapse ... It is plain that the reason the New Deal failed to end the Depression is not that Roosevelt and Congress overspent, but that they underspent. The New Deal was not too reckless in its spending; it was too cautious. The war ended the Depression precisely because it obliged Roosevelt and Congress to spend greater and greater amounts without worrying about where the money was coming from.

Moscow Outraged by Estonia's 'Glorification of Fascists'
RT (Russia)

A sports and military competition called Erna Rekt 2011 is underway in Tallinn. The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned the event as an "act glorifying fascists." ... Erna Rekt is named after a Nazi international subversive group in Hitler's Abwehr intelligence service, which operated in the rear of the Soviet army in 1941 ... Thirty teams from Estonia, Denmark, Lithuania, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland and Georgia are taking part in the event ... The three-day Erna Rekt competition, Moscow says, "serves as yet more proof" of the "dangerous trend" of Nazi revivalism.

British Riots Spread on Third Night of Violence

Rioting and looting spread across London on Monday as hooded youths set buildings and cars ablaze, smashed shop windows and hurled bottles and stones at police in a third night of violence in Britain's worst unrest in decades. Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his holiday to fly home to tackle the violence, which appeared to be led by youths alienated by years of underemployment which left them feeling marginalized even before the economic downturn.

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire
Paul Craig Roberts

... Every country in the world now worries about the judgment and sanity of the country with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world ... Why is the economy not rising? It is not rising, because it has been off-shored ... The other destroyer of American economic prospects was the deregulation of the financial sector. Economists theorized that markets were self-regulating and created the illusion that greed was never a problem ... What in the world is a country facing bankruptcy and default doing conducting military exercises in Mongolia and Central Asia?

In Britain, Controversy Over Training College Teacher
Daily Mail (Britain)

The head of studies at the Royal Air Force pilot training college is a convert to Islam who has criticised Nato air strikes on Libya in a Muslim magazine. Dr Joel Hayward is dean of the college at Cranwell, the RAF's equivalent of Sandhurst, and has taught many of the pilots spearheading the military operation against Colonel Gaddafi. But, to the dismay of defence chiefs, he has cast doubt on the widely held belief that the Nato actions averted the mass killing of civilians in Benghazi. He also warned against the RAF becoming 'the air corps of a rebel army'. Dr Hayward has previously expressed remorse after appearing to claim that far fewer Jews were killed by the Nazis than generally thought and that the gas chambers of the Holocaust were British propaganda.

Signs That American Society Is Coming Apart
The American Dream

There is wild disagreement about what is causing it, but what most people can agree on is that there is something fundamentally wrong with America. The fabric of American society just does not seem to be as strong as it used to. In fact, many would argue that society is coming apart at the seams. Corruption and decay seem to be everywhere ... The truth is that those who are leading us are a reflection of what we have become as a nation. If you got rid of all of our corrupt leaders that would not suddenly "fix" this country. Millions of ordinary Americans have become deeply corrupt as well.

Number One? Twenty Not So Good Categories That The US Leads The World In
The Economic Collapse

Is the United States "number one"? ... We are number one in divorce, drug addiction, debt, obesity, car thefts, murders and total crimes. We have become a slothful, greedy, decadent nation that is exhibiting signs of advanced decay. Until we understand just how bad our problems really are, we won't be able to come up with the solutions that we need ... America is like an aging, bloated rock star that has become addicted to a dozen different drugs. America is a shadow of its former self and it desperately needs to wake up before it plunges into oblivion.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the U.S. Terror State
Anthony Gregory

... The propaganda that the atomic bombings saved lives was nothing but a public relations pitch contrived in retrospect. These were just gratuitous acts of mass terrorism. By August 1945, the Japanese were completely defeated, blockaded, starving. They were desperate to surrender. All they wanted was to keep their emperor, which was ultimately allowed anyway. The U.S. was insisting upon unconditional surrender, a purely despotic demand. Given what the Allies had done to the Central Powers, especially Germany, after the conditional surrender of World War I, it's understandable that the Japanese resisted the totalitarian demand for unconditional surrender. A 1946 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey determined the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nukings were not decisive in ending the war.

Was Hiroshima Necessary?
Mark Weber

America's leaders understood Japan's desperate position: the Japanese were willing to end the war on any terms, as long as the Emperor was not molested. If the US leadership had not insisted on unconditional surrender -- that is, if they had made clear a willingness to permit the Emperor to remain in place -- the Japanese very likely would have surrendered immediately, thus saving many thousands of lives. ... General Curtis LeMay, who had pioneered precision bombing of Germany and Japan (and who later headed the Strategic Air Command and served as Air Force chief of staff), put it most succinctly: "The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war."

U.S. Debt Impasse: Fake and Real
Gary North

... The political impasse has to do with voters' expectations. The politicians ever since 1965 have made promises that cannot be met: stable prices, Medicare benefits, and a solvent government. This is true throughout the West, including Japan. The bills are now coming due. The voters demand that the promises be fulfilled by the government at pain-free tax rates. This cannot be done if Treasury interest rates rise. Ultimately, it cannot be done even at low rates. Social Security and Medicare are both in negative cash flow conditions. The voters think deals can be worked out to deliver on the promises at low prices. At some point, reality will set in. Then the real political battles will begin.

Jewish Group Urges Uruguay To Expel Iran Envoy for 'Holocaust Denial'

The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Uruguay Wednesday to expel an Iranian diplomat over his alleged denial of the Nazi Holocaust, the US-based Jewish group said in a statement. The group accused the diplomat, Hojjatollah Soltani, of denying that six million Jews were killed in the Nazi genocide during World War II, in a statement issued from the Jewish group's regional office in Buenos Aires. It quoted Soltani as saying during a public conference: "The Nazis killed two million, four, six... There are different figures. They call it Holocaust... Maybe thousands of Jews were killed, but millions... That is a lie."

The Strange Life of Ilya Ehrenburg
Mark Weber

Ilya Ehrenburg, the leading Soviet propagandist of the Second World War, was a contradictory figure... During the War, he was a leading member of the Soviet-sponsored Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee ... Ehrenburg's incendiary writings certainly contributed in no small measure to the orgy of murder and rape by Soviet soldiers against German civilians ... This new revelation about one of the most influential figures of the Stalinist regime shows that, whatever he may have said for public consumption, Ehrenburg never privately disavowed Zionism or forgot his ancestry.

Nine-Eleven Attack Not An 'Inside Job,' Says Russia's Putin
RT (Russia)

Claims that the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 were orchestrated by US intelligence agencies are "complete nonsense," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told attendees of a youth forum. ... "This is complete nonsense, it is impossible," Putin said on Monday, responding to a question posed by an attendee of the Seliger 2011 youth forum. "To imagine that US intelligence services did it deliberately, with their own hands, is complete nonsense," the prime minister said. "Only people who do not understand the workings of security agencies can say that. It would be impossible to conceal it."

Dynamic, Divided Korea
Eric Margolis

... Dynamic, optimistic, high-tech South Korea is flying at Mach 9: it reminds me of Japan 25 years ago. Over 85% of Koreans are online ... In spite of US warnings about North Korea's nuclear weapons, many South Korean analysts believe these arms are entirely defensive, designed only to deter any possible US nuclear attack. This strategy is working: the US has refrained from military action against North Korea. The fact that Iraq and Libya did not have nuclear weapons has not been lost on the North Koreans ... South Koreans worry that having to feed and build a liberated North Korea will bankrupt them.

In Germany, Police Raid Homes of 'Far-Right Extremists'
Deutsche Welle (Germany)

Police in southern Germany raided 21 homes and properties on Wednesday, seizing weapons in an investigation against right-wing extremists. Around 140 police officers took part in the search in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, confiscating ammunition, a gun, computers, knives and neo-Nazi propaganda from 18 members of a group known as "Standarte Württemberg." The suspects, aged 17 to 49 years, were all known to investigators for previous far-right links, state prosecutors said in Stuttgart

In Canada, New Calls To Counter 'Anti-Semitism'
The Canadian Times

A new Parliamentary report is urging the government to take immediate action on the unprecedented increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Canada, especially on university campuses. The report by the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat anti-Semitism, which held two years of hearings, concluded that legislators and others need "a clear and concise definition of what anti-Semitism entails." Just last month, Statistics Canada released a study documenting a 42 per cent increase in hate crimes in 2009 compared to 2008, with 71 per cent of the crimes motivated by religion targeting the Jewish community.

Rome's Pantheon May Have Been Built As Massive Sundial, Researchers Say
The Telegraph (Britain)

It is one of the best preserved buildings from the Roman world, a 2,000-year-old testament to the immense power and wealth of the empire. But mystery has always surrounded what lies behind the unusual design of the Pantheon, a giant temple in the heart of Rome that was built by the Emperor Hadrian. Now experts have come up with an intriguing theory that the temple acted as a colossal sun dial, with a beam of light illuminating its enormous entrance at the precise moment that the emperor entered the building.

New Calls for Judicial Inquiry Into Execution of 'Breaker' Morant
The Telegraph (Britain)

Immortalised by Edward Woodward on the silver screen, the fate of 'Breaker' Morant and his two cohorts is widely known - sentenced to death by firing squad by the British military. Now descendants of the executed Boer War soldier and his co-accused have added their voices to growing calls for a judicial inquiry in Australia into the trial of the men 109 years ago. For several years campaigners have been calling for an independent review into the convictions of Harry Morant and fellow soldiers Peter Handcock and George Witton. The men were convicted in 1902 of shooting 12 Boer prisoners of war. They claimed that they were following orders from British officials, a claim that Britain denies.

The Boer War Remembered
Mark Weber

The Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 was more than the first major military clash of the 20th century. Pitting as it did the might of the globe-girdling British Empire, backed by international finance, against a small pioneering nation of independent-minded farmers, ranchers and merchants in southern Africa who lived by the Bible and the rifle, its legacy continues to resonate today. The Boers' recourse to irregular warfare, and Britain's response in herding a hundred thousand women and children into concentration camps foreshadowed the horrors of guerilla warfare and mass detention of innocents that have become emblematic of the 20th century.

US Wastes $34 Billion in Afghan and Iraq Contracting

The United States has wasted some $34 billion on service contracts with the private sector in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a study being finalized for Congress. The findings by a bipartisan congressional commission were confirmed to Reuters by a person familiar with the draft of the study, which is due to be completed in coming weeks ... The report blames a lack of oversight by federal agencies for misuse of funds and warns of further waste when the programs are transferred to Iraqi or Afghan control as the United States withdraws its troops.

Estonia Bars 'Anti-Fascists' From Disrupting SS Veterans' Reunion
RT (Russia)

A convention of Estonian SS Division veterans has found its guardian angel in the form of the Estonian authorities, who are protecting it from any unpleasant meddling by the international anti-fascist movement .. .. The traditional get-together of the former 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian) servicemen is being held at Sinimae village where in 1944 Nazi troops, including the Estonian SS division, made a fierce stand against the advancing Red Army. The casualties on both sides reached 200,000 servicemen and 17,000 Red Army soldiers are buried in Sinimae. During WWII, 80,000 Estonians joined the Nazi forces and 3,000 fought against the USSR in the Finnish Army.

Downtown LA: A Nightmare On Every Street
Mike Armstrong -- Los Angeles Times

I've lived in big cities before: Boston, New York, Toronto. I've been mugged, and I've seen things on subway platforms at night that
I'm still trying to forget. But downtown Los Angeles exists in its own separate category. It's the low-grade horror movie of American cities. At night it's an odyssey of sirens, police helicopters and, if you're unfortunate enough to find yourself out on the sidewalk, a particular class of zombie-like human being seemingly so devastated by drugs or mental illness or both that he or she can't even form the words to ask for money.

Broke! Financial Condition Of American Families
Michael Snyder -- The Economic Collapse

The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families. For many Americans, "flat broke" has become a permanent condition. Today, over half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck. Unemployment is rampant and those that do actually have jobs are finding that their wages are rising much more slowly than prices are. The financial condition of average American families continues to decline and this is showing up in all of the recent surveys ... The following are ten facts about the financial condition of American families that will blow your mind.

Wealth Gap in US Widens Between Whites and Non-Whites
The Associated Press

The wealth gaps between whites and minorities have grown to their widest levels since the U.S. government began tabulating them a quarter-century ago. The recession and uneven recovery have erased decades of minority gains, leaving whites on average with 20 times the net worth of blacks and 18 times that of Hispanics, according to an analysis of new Census data. The analysis shows the racial and ethnic impact of the recent economic meltdown, which ravaged housing values and sent unemployment soaring.

Identity, Individualism and Ideology in America
Tom Sunic and Mark Weber -- Voice of Reason Radio -- Podcast

Sunic and Weber talk about national identity, ideology and individualism in the US, as well as important long-term trends, some encouraging developments, and prospects for the future. The American form of individualism, Weber says, has been an important factor in promoting this country's rapid growth and spectacular development. But it's also hastening America's ever more obvious decline. In this broadcast of March 23, 2010, Sunic and Weber agree that, as history shows, a shared and vital cultural-ethnic heritage is a hallmark of a healthy and enduring society.

In Germany, Authorities Worried About 'Neo-Nazi' Summer Camps
Daily Mail (Britain)

The children of German neo-Nazis could soon be removed from their families and taken into care - in a bid to beat a rise in the glorification of Hitler and the Third Reich. German authorities are becoming increasingly concerned with the number of summer camps and special schools brainwashing youngsters into worshipping a movement that killed six million Jews in the Holocaust ... "Volk und Vaterland' - people and fatherland - camps have sprung up all over Germany in recent years to 'educate' the impressionable children of these extremists. The rise of neo-Nazism is a worrying trend in Germany, which also involves 'circling the wagons' where supporters move in with in-laws and grandparents into areas where all support one another.

Mengele's Diaries Bought For $300,000

The diaries of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele, the so-called "Angel of Death" who tortured prisoners at Auschwitz death camp, were bought Thursday by an Orthodox Jew for almost $300,000. Connecticut-based Alexander Autographs, which organized the auction, said the journals were sold to a private collector who is planning to open a museum. The diaries, written after World War II once Mengele had fled from the Allies' clutches to Latin America, contain his philosophical reflections, autobiographical stories and poems penned between 1960 to 1975.

Long-Missing Portraits of Hitler's Parents Up For Auction
KTLA Fox (Los Angeles)

Missing since the end of World War II, the original portraits of Adolf Hitler's parents have surfaced and will soon be put up for auction in Solana Beach. The portraits of Alois and Klara Hitler could go for $100,000 or more, according to Craig Gottlieb, a WWII memorabilia expert and the man helping to put the set up for auction.

Fight Against 'Holocaust Denial' is 'Far From Over,' Says US Congresswoman
The Washington Times

The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday denounced Iran's "genocidal threats" against Israel and warned that the fight against Holocaust deniers "is far from over." Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, said the United States must confront anti-Semitism, especially from those who claim the Nazis never killed millions of Jews during World War II. "The fight against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is far from over," she said.

Facebook Rejects Plea To Remove 'Holocaust Denial' Pages

Facebook, citing free speech, has rejected a request by Holocaust survivors to remove some pages that espouse Holocaust denial. "/we think it's important to maintain consistency in our policies, which don't generally prohibit people from making statements about historical events, no matter how ignorant the statement or how awful the event," the popular social networking site said in response to a letter from Holocaust survivors dated July 8.

Israel's Grumpy Diplomats
Ilan Pappe

... The last one [Israeli ambassador] from Spain topped them all. Like his colleagues in Dublin and in London he blamed his dismal time on local and ancient anti-Semitism. His two friends in the other capitals were very vague about the source of the new anti-Semitism as both in British and Irish history it is difficult to single out, after medieval times, a particular period of anti-Semitism. But the ambassador in Madrid without any hesitation laid the blame for his trials and tribulations on the fifteenth century Spanish Inquisition. Thus the people of Spain are anti-Israeli because they are either unable to accept their responsibility for the Inquisition or they still endorse it by other means in our times.

Section of Hitler's 'Atlantic Wall' Sent to World War II Museum
The Associated Press

The gray, concrete, heavily scarred slabs that arrived at the National World War II Museum this week are more than just chunks of an old wall to historians. The slabs are part of Nazi Germany's Atlantic Wall, a string of defenses ordered by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in 1940. The defenses, also known as "Hitler's wall," stretched 3,200 miles from France to Norway and were designed to stop, or at least slow, the Allies from advancing inland during an invasion.