September 2011

Americans Express Historic Negativity Toward U.S. Government
Gallup

A record-high 81 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed, adding to negativity that has been building over the past ten years. Majorities of Democrats (65%) and Republicans (92%) are dissatisfied with the nation's governance ... The findings are from Gallup's annual Governance survey, updated Sept. 8-11, 2011. The same poll shows record or near-record criticism of Congress, elected officials, government handling of domestic problems, the scope of government power, and government waste of tax dollars.

Britain's Nazi Obsession Betrays Our Insecurity
Simon Jenkins - The Guardian (Britain)

... Small wonder Hitler is now the ruling obsession of the national curriculum ... In 2000 there were 380 English-language titles on the Third Reich, adding to some 30,000 with the word Hitler in the title. We might have hoped that the new century would see this phase of Germany's past set in some historical context. It was not to be. Last year the tally of Hitler books rose by 850. ... The enduring Nazification of evil was best summed up by the American Mike Godwin in his "law of Nazi analogies." This stated: "As any online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 100%." The topic is immaterial, but someone will sooner or later characterise someone else's point of view with a reference to the Nazis, or "reductio ad hitlerum".

Why Obama Has Turned Towards Israel
Paul Adams -- BBC News

President Barack Obama's speech at the UN on Wednesday was welcomed by almost all major American Jewish organisations and billed in the media as his most pro-Israel yet. But, if you listen to the current crop of Republican presidential hopefuls, you get a rather different impression ... Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney called events at the UN "an unmitigated diplomatic disaster," and repeated a much-quoted line from earlier in the year. "It is the culmination of President Obama's repeated efforts over three years to throw Israel under the bus," he said. These are bold, incendiary claims, but the candidates clearly feel there is much to be gained from highlighting the president's alleged hostility to the state of Israel.

Obama's UN Speech, Abu Mazen's Gamble
Uri Avnery (Israel)

... A work of art. The art of hypocrisy. Almost every statement in the passage [of President Obama's speech at the UN] concerning the Israeli-Palestinian issue was a lie. A blatant lie: the speaker knew it was a lie, and so did the audience. It was Obama at his best, Obama at his worst. Being a moral person, he must have felt the urge to vomit. Being a pragmatic person, he knew that he had to do it, if he wanted to be re-elected. In essence, he sold the fundamental national interests of the United States of America for the chance of a second term ... Barack Obama's miserable performance was a nail in the coffin of America's status as a superpower. In a way, it was a crime against the United States.

Israeli Chess Record Bogus?
Ynet News (Israel)

Israeli officials bent the rules in order to ensure the breaking of a Guinness chess record, Yedioth Ahronoth revealed Friday in a special investigative report. Last month, local chess grandmaster Alik Gershon was said to have broken a record previously held by Iran in a marathon 19-hour match against more than 500 players ... Most of the children were not members of the chess association, and some supposedly learned the rules of chess only a day before the competition. Some of the students who were approached by Yedioth Ahronoth were unable to answer fundamental questions about chess.

Ukrainian Nationalists Protest Influx of Jewish 'Pilgrims'
The Associated Press

Police have detained about 100 activists of Ukraine's nationalist party who protested the annual pilgrimage of Hasidic Jews in southern Ukraine. About 300 supporters of the nationalist party Svoboda, or Liberty, demanded that Hasid Jews not be allowed to gather in the town of Uman, about 125 miles south of the capital. Close to 30,000 Hasidic Jews from around the world are expected in Uman this week to celebrate Rosh Hoshana at the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, who died in 1810. The protesters shouted "Ukraine for Ukrainians" at Sunday's rally.

In California, Muslims Convicted of Disrupting Israeli Envoy's Speech
BBC News

Ten Muslim students have been convicted of unlawfully disrupting a speech last year by Israel's ambassador to the US. They shouted prepared statements at Michael Oren in February 2010, defying calls for order from officials at the University of California, Irvine. The students' lawyers say they had a right to protest, but prosecutors said it curbed Mr Oren's right to be heard. The ten could face up to six months in jail, in a case that has sparked a heated debate about free speech. The students stood up one by one, shouting slogans such as: "It's a shame this university has sponsored a mass murderer like yourself." Their supporters say the case has unfairly criminalized student protest.

German Authorities Ban 'Neo-Nazi' Group That Helps Prisoners
BBC News

Germany has banned its biggest neo-Nazi association, the HNG, which supports far-right prisoners in German jails. The Interior Ministry said the group, with its racist, anti-Semitic agenda, was a threat to German society and the constitution. The ban is the latest step by the government to curb the influence of far-right groups. It follows raids last year when the police seized material from HNG members across Germany. The HNG, or Help Organisation for National Political Prisoners and Their Families, was founded in 1979 and is thought to have about 600 members. It calls itself a charity and helps those who have been imprisoned for their ultra right-wing views.

Muslim Nations Demand Israel Open Its Nuclear Program to IAEA Review
The Associated Press

Muslim nations at a 151-nation conference have demanded that Israel open its nuclear program to international view, asserting that its undeclared atomic arms program is a threat to Mideast peace. Iran says Israel's "nuclear arsenal threatens the world." Lebanon, speaking for the Arab group, says Israel's refusal to open up its secretive nuclear program could lead to a Mideast arms race "with unpredictable consequences." They spoke Friday as the International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution calling on all Middle East states to adopt the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That's an indirect demand on Israel, the only country in the region not bound by the treaty.

Palestinian President Makes 'Historic' Plea For Statehood
CNN

The time has come for a "Palestinian Spring," to join the Arab Spring in reshaping the Middle East, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday in a historic plea for support for his application for full membership in the international organization. "My people desire to exercise their right to enjoy a normal life like the rest of humanity," Abbas said. The speech provoked cheers and chants of "With all our souls we sacrifice for the state of Palestine" from flag-waving Palestinians who watched the address on a big-screen television in a square in Ramallah, in the West Bank.

Why The Middle East Will Never Be the Same Again
Robert Fisk -- The Independent (Britain)

The Palestinians won't get a state this week. But they will prove - if they get enough votes in the General Assembly and if Mahmoud Abbas does not succumb to his characteristic grovelling in the face of US-Israeli power - that they are worthy of statehood ... This vote at the UN - General Assembly or Security Council, in one sense it hardly matters - is going to divide the West - Americans from Europeans and scores of other nations - and it is going to divide the Arabs from the Americans. It is going to crack open the divisions in the European Union ...

US Desperate to Thwart Palestinian Statehood Bid
Linda S. Heard

... The Palestinians are doing nothing wrong. They are merely taking the only channel legitimately left open to them. They've abandoned armed struggle; they've spent decades talking to Israeli leaderships and have made generous concessions to no avail, they've tried peaceful protest only to be shot at or jailed. What's left to them other than an appeal to the international community? And why should such appeal elicit fear in both the Israeli and American corridors of power? The problem is if the US turns out to be the lone UNSC [Security Council] member state to flourish its veto to protect Israeli interests as it was earlier this year, Israel's diplomatic isolation will be highlighted along with Washington's slavish posture and its unsuitability to be any kind of Middle East broker let alone an honest one.

War On The 'Red Empire': 1930 US Plan For Attack on Britain
Daily Mail (Britain)

Details of an amazing American military plan for an attack to wipe out a major part of the British Army are today revealed ... In 1930, a mere nine years before the outbreak of World War Two, America drew up proposals [known as War Plan Red] specifically aimed at eliminating all British land forces in Canada and the North Atlantic, thus destroying Britain's trading ability and bringing the country to its knees. Previously unparalleled troop movements were [to be] launched as an overture to an invasion of Canada, which was to include massive bombing raids on key industrial targets and the use of chemical weapons ...

Secret 1930 American Plan For War Against Britain and Canada
Institute for Historical Review (1992)

American military officials drew up a secret plan in 1930 for war against Britain in which Canada would be the main battleground. "Joint Plan Red," as it was known, envisaged the elimination of Britain as a trading rival. Professor Floyd Rudmin of Queens University in Ontario, Canada, charges that the plan was a blueprint for an American invasion of Canada. According to the plan, the United States was prepared to invade Canada if political unrest brought on by Quebec's secession threatened American access to Canada's fresh water and cheap hydroelectric power. The war plan document was drawn up by the Joint Board of the Army and Navy in May 1930, when Herbert Hoover was President ... Its aim was to dismember the British empire on the grounds of "competition and interference with American foreign trade."

US 'Policy Coup' to Remake Middle East Planned Years Earlier, Says Wesley Clark
Fora.tv - Video

General Wesley Clark explains how US policy to "destabilize" the Middle East and impose American power in the region was planned as far back as 1991. "This country was taken over by a group of people with a policy coup," says the former NATO Supreme Commander in Europe in a 2007 address in San Francisco. The drastic change in US policy was laid out years earlier in the "Project for a New American Century" by men who "wanted to destabilize the Middle East" and "make it under our control." The 2001 Nine Eleven attacks were merely a useful pretext.

The Changing Story: Early Doubts About Wartime Extermination Reports
Mark Weber

From the very beginning there were grave doubts about allegations of mass killings of European Jews. Although such reports were a major feature of the Allies' "psychological warfare" campaign during the Second World War, top British and American officials in a position to know what was going on in German-ruled Europe did not believe what their own governments were telling the world. ... More remarkable, there is no mention of "extermination" or "gas chambers" in the early postwar editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, published from 1947 to 1956 (and perhaps earlier and later).

Falling SAT Scores, Widening Achievement Gap
The Atlantic

The class of 2011's SAT scores are in, and they're not good. The College Board announced Wednesday that mean SAT reading scores have fallen to their lowest levels in nearly 40 years, dropping four points in the last four years to 497. Furthermore, only 43 percent of test takers achieved a total score indicating they are likely to succeed in college. In a press release, the testing company claims this decrease is due to greater participation by a more diverse group of students, and cushions the news with information that our top-achieving students are doing even better.

Tapping the Israeli Embassy
Philip Giraldi

... What the FBI uncovered was a massive and highly focused campaign referred to by the Israelis as "perception management," but which the CIA would refer to as a covert action. Much of the activity was illegal or incompatible with the role of foreign diplomats in the United States, which is why Leibowitz took action after his supervisors refused to proceed with prosecution. The focus was on Iran, with Israeli officials intent on preparing the American public for war against the mullahs ... Leibowitz's concern that the illegal activity would not be prosecuted by the Justice Department proved correct. No Israeli or American named in the extensive FBI investigative dossier has been in any way punished.

The Democracy Worshipers
Patrick J. Buchanan

... Yet what our fathers feared we embrace. For it may fairly be said of this generation that it worships democracy. Indeed, the fanaticism of this faith in democracy as the path to worldly salvation causes many to hail any and all revolutions against any and all autocrats. One wonders: How is it that this childlike faith endures? ... Democratists who demand we distance ourselves from the kings of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Bahrain, who do they think will replace these monarchs? Do they care, or is democracy the right way, results be damned?

U.N. Experts Say Israel's Blockade of Gaza Illegal
Reuters

Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip violates international law, a panel of human rights experts reporting to a U.N. body said on Tuesday, disputing a conclusion reached by a separate U.N. probe into Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship ... The blockade had subjected Gazans to collective punishment in "flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law". The four-year blockade deprived 1.6 million Palestinians living in the enclave of fundamental rights, they said ... An earlier fact-finding mission named by the same U.N. forum to investigate the flotilla incident also found in a report last September that the blockade violated international law. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says the blockade violates the Geneva Conventions.

Britain Amends Law to Protect Israelis From Prosecution
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

The British government has approved a change to the controversial universal jurisdiction law, used by activists to obtain arrest warrants for alleged war crimes aimed at Israeli dignitaries who visit the UK.The law previously allowed private complaints of war crimes to be lodged against military personnel even if they were not British citizens and the alleged crimes were committed elsewhere. High profile targets in recent years have included [Israel] Kadima [party] leader (and former foreign minister) Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Today's Europe Lacks Leaders, Says Helmut Schmidt
Handelsblatt (Germany)

... I would say that, in general, Europe lacks leaders. It lacks people in high positions in the national states or in the European institutions with sufficient overview of domestic and international questions and sufficient power of judgment ... Over the next 20 years, I think it is rather likely, at least 51 percent likely, that a hard core of the European Union will emerge. And it would comprise the French, the Germans, the Dutch - I'm not so sure about the Italians. I'm rather sure than the British would not be part of it, the same may come true of the Poles.

Rising Poverty Reflects Diminishing American Dream
San Francisco Chronicle - Editorial

Even Americans who have become numbed by the monthly release of perpetually pessimistic unemployment numbers -- a "jobless recovery" is the ultimate oxymoron -- should be jolted by the release of the latest Census Bureau figures on the economic state of the nation's households. The report offers a portrait of a nation that is drifting steadily into a land of haves and have-nots ... Perhaps the biggest toll is on this nation's innate sense of optimism that, no matter how bleak or bullish the moment, better times lie ahead. Median household income, adjusted for inflation, dropped to 1997 levels -- the longest span of flat wages since the Great Depression.

Labor's Demise As A Countervailing Power
Paul Craig Roberts

... In a word, the US economy has been de-industrializing, moving from a developed to an underdeveloped economy, for the past two decades ... The long-term deterioration in the US economy has been covered up by "reforming" the official measures of unemployment and inflation. The U3 measure of unemployment, the current 9.1% unemployment rate, only measures unemployment among those who are actively seeking a job ... John Williams estimates this number and adds it to the U6 measure to produce a current rate of US unemployment of 22.7%, an unemployment rate 2.5 times higher than the official rate. Similar understatement exists in the measure of inflation known as the Consumer Price Index.

Al-Jazeera Director Resigns After Ties to US Intelligence Disclosed
The Associated Press

The Al-Jazeera satellite TV channel has announced Tuesday that its director has stepped down after serving the network for eight years. Wadah Khanfar's resignation follows release of documents by Wikileaks, purporting to show he had close ties with the U.S. and agreed to remove some content in response to American objections. The leaked 2010 U.S. diplomatic cable indicated that Khanfar was in constant contact with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, responding to U.S. complaints of negative coverage and promising to tone down items on the station's website.

Hugo Boss Apology for Nazi Past as Book is Published
BBC News

The German fashion firm Hugo Boss has apologised for its maltreatment of forced workers during World War II when it supplied the Nazis with uniforms. It issued the apology to coincide with the publication of a new history of the company during the Hitler years, which it commissioned itself. Its factory used 140 Polish and 40 French forced workers. The book concludes that company founder Hugo Boss, whose past is already well documented, was a loyal Nazi. "It is clear that Hugo F Boss did not only join the party because it led to contracts for uniform production, but also because he was a follower of National Socialism," wrote the author ...

Philip Weiss On the Disintegration of WASP Society
Kevin MacDonald, Ph.D.

Philip Weiss, whom I once described as "a Jew without all the usual rationalizations and blind spots - at least most of them," has a Mondoweiss column commenting on the collapse of WASP America. ... They don't think of their loss of power as a catastrophic blow that will make them vulnerable to non-White ethnic coalitions with festering historical grudges against people like them. One of the characteristic flaws of WASPs, as noted by Eric Kaufmann, was to think that other peoples are "just like them," so that the people who replace them will be just like them in the sense that they will uphold the same ideals. The republic will live on but with different faces -- a utopian idea, to say the least.

Israel Seeks to Boost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Strike Power
UPI

The Israeli air force is expanding its wing of unmanned aerial vehicles built by Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Systems, some to be used as missile-armed gunships. Meantime, The Jerusalem Post reports that state-run IAI, Israel's leading defense contractor, is working with Rheinmetall Defense of Germany to develop a new weapons system for aerial drones to cope with proliferating threats facing the Jewish state. The air force plans to form a new squadron of medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs consisting of Elbit's Hermes 900 and IAI's Heron 1 to enhance its drone capabilities.

Broad Global Support For Palestinian State, BBC Poll Shows
BBC News

A BBC-GlobeScan poll suggests more people back UN recognition of Palestine as an independent state than oppose it. Across the 19 countries surveyed, 49% supported the proposal while 21% said their government should oppose it. The Palestinians say they will ask for full membership at the UN this week, but the US says it will veto the move... Even in countries where opposition was strongest, more people polled supported the resolution than were against it. The United States and the Philippines both polled 36% against the resolution. But 45% of Americans and 56% of Filipinos backed recognition.

US Says State Veto In 'Interests' of Palestinians
AFP

The United States said Thursday it would block a Palestinian drive for recognition in the United Nations Security Council because it was the only way to help Palestinians frame a genuine state ... Washington is believed to fear that vetoing the Palestinian statehood move could undercut its calls for reform in other parts of the Arab world as people rise up against autocratic leaders. But President Barack Obama is under heavy domestic pressure from Israel and domestically to prevent the statehood drive at the United Nations.

Americans Need The Truth About 9/11
Eric S. Margolis

... In short, the motive for the assault was entirely political. But the Bush administration and then Congress were unable or unwilling to accept the fact that America's Mideast policies were the cause of the attacks. The US media cowered from discussing the true reasons for the attack as a third-rail that had to be avoided. Instead, 9/11 was spun by the White House and a remarkably tame media into an assault on America by crazed Muslim fanatics who hated, as President Bush said, our freedoms, values, religion and way of life. Islam was to blame.

How an Anti-Terror Program Became a Jewish Earmark
Forward (New York)

... Since 2005, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has provided $118 million to not-for-profit organizations to become better prepared for a terror attack. ... There's good reason for the Jewish community to be proud ... Here, too, Jewish groups were the big winners, with 81% of those awards. This disproportionate distribution is no accident. Examining the grants program provides a window into Jewish organizational and political power. It is this power that allowed a small community to create and maintain a government program tailored specifically for its needs and catering almost exclusively to its members.

The War on Terror's Financial Cost: Trillions
Orange County Register (California)

There's a great range among expert-types over precisely what the War on Terror has cost America in hard cold cash. Suffice to say the price has been great, and will mount for decades to come ... The low-end estimate comes from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which put the tab at $1.3 trillion in a March analysis. A report by the Joint Economic Committee pegs costs at $3.5 trillion through 2017; Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard University professor Linda Bilmes pegged the total at $3 trillion back in 2008 in their book, "The Three Trillion Dollar War" -- and now put the tab at somewhere between $4.1 trillion to $4.4 trillion.

How to Save the United States and Israel From Themselves
William Pfaff

Most Americans would likely agree that the main shock delivered to Americans and the American government by the 9/11 attacks was that of vulnerability. Another such shock is impending. It is the national vulnerability that will be revealed this month by the American veto of a Palestinian demand for full United Nations membership ... Public confidence in President Obama on Middle Eastern issues may not be high today, while confidence in the Republicans seems even lower, but few Americans feel vulnerable to Middle Eastern risk. Least of all do they feel threatened by Israel's actions. This is likely to prove a serious mistake. National vulnerability has returned.

Secretly Recorded Hitler Conversation Helped Actor Prepare for Movie Role
Helsingen Sanomat (Finland) - 2004

The voice on the tape is low-pitched and somewhat hoarse, with sentences rambling, and breaking off repeatedly into pauses for thought. In the world's only recording in which Adolf Hitler speaks privately, taken in 1942, he has a "conversation" with the Finnish military commander, Marshal Carl Gustav Mannerheim, on progress on the war front -- its victories, and its setbacks. Hitler's voice modulation and use of the language on the tape is quite different from the intensity of his public speeches ... This recording was used by German actor Bruno Ganz when he rehearsed Hitler's manner of speaking for the role of the F¸hrer in the controversial new film, Der Untergang or The Downfall.

Hitler's Normal, Conversational Voice: A Unique Recording
Audio-Video Recording

Audio-video recording, with English text translation, of Hitler speaking during a luncheon with Finnish leaders. This is the only recording of the German leader talking at length in his normal, conversational voice. Hitler visited Finland on June 4, 1942, to meet with that country's military commander, Marshal Mannerheim, and Finnish President Ryti. (Finland and Germany were World War Two allies against the Soviet Union.) Over lunch the three men discussed the background of the conflict, including their astonishment at the magnitude of Soviet military might. A Finnish radio technician secretly recorded their conversation, but his recording was made public only years later. Runtime: 11:40 mins.

Finland's Marshal Mannerheim Meets With Hitler At His HQ
Newsreel - Video

Finland's great military commander, Marshal Mannerheim, visits the German leader at his headquarters on June 27, 1942. (This return visit followed one by Hitler to Finland three weeks earlier.) From the weekly German wartime newsreel, "Deutsche Wochenschau," No. 618. With English subtitles. Runtime: 2:55 minutes.

'Jew or Not Jew' App Pulled By Apple in France
AFP

Apple said Wednesday that an iPhone application called "Jew or Not Jew" which drew criticism from anti-racism and Jewish groups has been removed from the App Store in France. "This app violates local law and is no longer available on the App Store in France," Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told AFP. The application, which went on sale on August 9 and cost 0.79 euros, was denounced in France by SOS Racisme, Jewish groups and other organizations. The app provided information about whether some 3,500 people from various walks of life in 50 countries were Jewish or not. The creator of the application, Johann Levy, told AFP in Paris that he is Jewish and the app was not intended to be offensive.

U.S. Tax-Evasion Probe Turns to Israeli Banks
Reuters

The U.S. pursuit of offshore tax evaders is widening to include Israel, where U.S. authorities are scrutinizing three of Israel's largest banks over suspicions their Swiss outposts helped American clients evade taxes, people briefed on the matter said. The banks under scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department's criminal tax division are Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi le-Israel BM and Mizrahi-Tefahot, the sources said. ... The shift also opens up a potential sore spot in the historically close relationship between the United States and Israel, a key diplomatic and military ally in the Middle East that is the biggest recipient of U.S. aid -- $3.1 billion last year.

US State Dept. Funding To Counter 'Holocaust Denial' and Promote 'Holocaust Education'
JTA

The U.S. State Department awarded $200,000 grants each to the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, and the Central Europe Center for Research and Documentation, known as Centropa. The grants, from the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, were announced last week. MEMRI, a Washington-based group that translates and researches anti-Semitic trends in the Middle East and South Asia, was awarded the grant to document and translate anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in the Middle East. Centropa, a Vienna-based organization that uses technology and interactive social media to teach about the Holocaust in Hungary, Lithuania and Poland, was given the grant for Holocaust education programs.

Guatemala Tests on Humans Were 'Unconscionable,' Says US Health Commission
BBC News>

US researchers who exposed hundreds of Guatemalans to sexually transmitted diseases committed "unconscionable basic violations of ethics", a US health commission has found. Some 1,300 were infected with syphilis, gonorrhoea and other STDs without their knowledge in the 1940s ... It has already emerged that 5,500 Guatemalans were involved in the research by the US Public Health Service. Of these, some 1,300 prisoners, psychiatric patients and sex workers were deliberately infected with syphilis, gonorrhoea or another sexually transmitted disease, chancroid ... The tests were carried out with a view to applying the research to soldiers abroad.

Lapses by American Leaders Seen in Syphilis Tests
The New York Times

The highest medical and legal officials of the American government and experts at Harvard and other top medical schools approved venereal disease experiments on people in the 1940s, which led to the deliberate infection of Guatemalan prisoners and mental patients with syphilis to test penicillin, a White House bioethics panel reported Tuesday. The experiments were "gross violations of ethics" not just by today's standards but by those of the time, said the report from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. It called the experiments "especially egregious moral wrongs because many of the individuals involved held positions of public institutional responsibility."

Israel Does Not Want a Palestinian State. Period.
Gideon Levy -- Haaretz (Israel)

What will we tell the world next week, at the UN? What could we say? Whether in the General Assembly or the Security Council, we will be exposed in all our nakedness: Israel does not want a Palestinian state. Period. And it doesn't have a single persuasive argument against the establishment and the international recognition of such a state ... Israel's excuses became increasingly empty and the naked truth was increasingly exposed. Israel does not want to reach a peace arrangement that would involve the establishment of a Palestinian state. This can no longer be covered up in the UN.

Firebombing Hamburg, Pearl Harbor and Nine Eleven
Mark Weber - Podcast

Putting Nine Eleven in historical perspective, Weber takes a look at terrorism in history. He compares and contrasts the Nine Eleven horror with the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the British-American fire-bombing of Hamburg in July 1943, which took the lives of 40,000 civilians. Weber compares how Americans marked the tenth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack with the tenth anniversary remembrance of Nine Eleven, and explains why the national commemorations have been so different.

Vivid Color Film of 1943 Firebombing of Hamburg
Feuerwehr Hamburg - Video

Remarkable color film, with graphic images -- made by firefighter Hans Brunswig -- of the devastating summer 1943 bombing of Hamburg. In this ferocious aerial attack, some 3, 000 British and American aircraft dropped 9,000 tons of bombs, killing 42,600 civilians and wounding 37,000. Many were burned to death or killed by poisonous carbon monoxide gas. Only about half the dead bodies could be identified. This "firestorm" bombing -- the first ever-- incinerated eight square miles of the city with flames of up to 800 degrees Celsius fanned by winds of 150 mph. More than 250,000 homes and houses were destroyed, as well as 24 hospitals, 277 schools and 58 churches. Runtime: 6:06 mins.

A British View of the 1943 Bombing of Hamburg
Video

A British presentation, with English-language narration, of the Allied aerial assault on Hamburg in late July 1943. The British-American "Operation Gomorrah" bombings killed 42,600 civilians and wounded 37,000. It created a 1,500-foot-high tornado of fire, a firestorm. A million civilians fled the city. This was an example of Allied "area bombing," which targeted for death all Germans -- including all women and children. British prime minister Winston Churchill himself wrote in a memo of the Allied policy of "bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror."

Turkish PM in Cairo Rebukes Israel, Supports Palestinian State
BBC News

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that recognition of a Palestinian state is an obligation not an option. He told the Arab League that before the year's end "we will see Palestine in a very different situation". Mr Erdogan made a new attack on Israel, saying its government's mentality was a barrier to peace in the Middle East. The Palestinians are currently preparing a bid for United Nations membership despite Israeli and US opposition ... He accused Israel of behaving like a spoilt child and building a blockade round its own people through its policies. "Israel will break away from solitude only when it acts as a reasonable, responsible, serious and normal state," he said.

Egypt Declares Camp David Accords With Israel 'Not a Sacred Thing'
The Telegraph (Britain)

Egypt's prime minister triggered angry consternation in Israel on Thursday after declaring that the historic Camp David accords underpinning peace between the two countries were "not a sacred thing". Dramatically heightening tensions during an increasingly volatile time in Israel's relations with the Arab world, Essam Sharaf's suggestions that the 32-year treaty could be revised prompted disbelief in the Jewish state. "The Camp David agreement is not a sacred thing and is always open to discussion with what would benefit the region and the case of fair peace," Mr Sharaf told Turkish television. "We could make a change if needed."

Israel Fears Complete Isolation
Der Spiegel (Germany)

Israel's relations with Turkey are ruined, the Palestinians plan to seek UN recognition for their own state, the embassy in Cairo was stormed: Jerusalem is under massive pressure ... If Netanyahu is now backing down, it is because the situation is serious. Very serious. The Israelis are no strangers to crisis, but they will remember the last few weeks for a long time. Rarely has the Jewish state suffered so many setbacks and blows as this month: ... On Sept. 6, it became known that former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates had described Netanyahu as "ungrateful" in a meeting of the National Security Council. By refusing to acknowledge Israel's growing isolation, Netanyahu was endangering his country, Gates said.

Federal Authorities Order Cherokees To Take Back Slaves' Descendants
The Associated Press

A federal order for one of the nation's largest American Indian tribes to restore voting rights and benefits to about 2,800 descendants of members' former slaves threw plans for a special election for a new chief into turmoil Tuesday. The federal government sent the sternly-worded letter to the Cherokee Nation after it sent letters last week kicking the descendants out of the tribe and stripping them of benefits including medical care, food stipends and assistance for low-income homeowners. The tribe also barred the descendants from voting in a Sept. 24 special election for principal chief.

Most Americans Say US Government Encourages Illegal Immigration
Rasmussen Reports

Most voters nationwide continue to believe government policies encourage illegal immigration and support using the military along the U.S.-Mexican border. But they remain divided as to whether the federal government or individual states should enforce immigration laws. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 59% believe the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration. Just 23% disagree while another 18% are not sure.

Half of Britons Have German Blood
The Telegraph (Britain)

Geneticists claim that as many as half of Britons have German blood, a consequence of Anglo-Saxon migration after the Roman Empire fell ... University College London academics studied a segment of the Y chromosome that appears in almost all Danish and north German men. They found that half of British men also have the segment. Researchers following up the UCL study claim that Anglo-Saxons swiftly took over Britain and changed the genetic make-up of its inhabitants. Heinrich Härke, an archaeologist at the University of Reading, said that "up to 200,000 emigrants" came to south east England in the fifth and sixth centuries. In a study of a Saxon cemetery near Oxford, he found that a quarter of its artefacts matched those discovered along the Elbe.

Impact from 9/11 Still Felt A Decade Later
The Associated Press

The significance of Sept. 11 has not waned for many Americans, even a decade after the attacks ... More Americans now say Sept. 11 had an impact on their lives than said so five years ago - 57% compared with 50% in 2006 ... The horror that unfolded in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa., still evokes a stir of emotions -- from anger at so many innocent lives lost to pride in the heroes who emerged on hijacked planes, in the rubble of fallen skyscrapers and at a shattered Pentagon.

Chamberlain's Secret Bid to Reach a Deal With Hitler Revealed
Daily Mail (Britain)

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain held secret talks with Hitler's henchmen to work out ways of making the Nazis look more sympathetic to ordinary Britons, classified documents released last week reveal ... Two newly-declassified documents show Chamberlain was ready to make more deals with Hitler after Munich, which would have the 'happiest and most far-reaching effects for the relationship between the two countries'. The papers reveal Chamberlain told Hitler that it would have 'the greatest effect on public opinion in England' if, in the event of war, they had a pact in place not to use poison gas, not to bomb each other's civilians and to spare cities with cultural treasures.

German Forces Occupy Denmark, April 1940
German newsreel -- Video

The German occupation of Denmark on April 9, 1940, is presented in this weekly German newsreel, "UFA Tonwoche." With clear English subtitles.

Support for Israel Drives US Mideast Policies, Says US Ambassador
Alison Weir

While many Americans may believe that US policies are designed to address American needs, America's new Ambassador to Israel explains that this is far from the case. In a recent speech before the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), Ambassador Daniel Shapiro clarified what drives US policies: "The test of every policy the Administration develops in the Middle East is whether it is consistent with the goal of ensuring Israel's future as a secure, Jewish, democratic state. That is a commitment that runs as a common thread through our entire government." Shapiro went on to say: "This test explains our extraordinary security cooperation, our stand against the delegitimization of Israel, our efforts on Iran, our response to the Arab Spring, and our efforts on Israeli-Palestinian peace."

Surprising Remarks By Jackie Kennedy In Just-Released Interviews
BBC News

Audio tapes of Jackie Kennedy, made just months after the assassination of her husband President John F Kennedy, have been released for the first time. In the interviews with a White House historian, she says civil rights leader Martin Luther King is "a terrible man". The former first lady is also scathing about Lyndon Johnson, her husband's vice-president, and world leaders. In the eight hours of tapes, she recalls, too, how her husband joked about the threat of assassination. Jackie Kennedy opened her heart to White House aide Arthur Schlesinger at her Washington home, four months after JFK was killed in Dallas, Texas, in 1963.

Martin Luther King Jr. Was 'Phony,' Said Jackie Kennedy
CBS / AP

President John F. Kennedy openly scorned the notion of Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson succeeding him in office, according to a book of newly-released interviews with his widow, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. In the interviews, she also called civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. "terrible," "tricky" and "a phony." "This book shows Jackie Kennedy unplugged," historian and CBS News analyst Douglas Brinkley told "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill Monday.

Nine Eleven Wars March of Folly
Patrick J. Buchanan

... Osama, though he wounded and provoked America as she had not been since Dec. 7, 1941, did not bring down the American imperium. We did that to ourselves ... So it was that George W. Bush sent an army halfway around the world to invade and occupy a country that did not threaten us, did not attack us, and did not want war with us -- to strip it of weapons it did not have. The ultimate unnecessary war ... So, off we went into Panama, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya. And here we are, 20 years on, more isolated than we have ever been -- and bankrupt.

Lessons of Nine Eleven
Mark Weber - Podcast

The perpetrators of the 2001 Nine Eleven attacks harmed the United States. But the response to those attacks by President George W. Bush and other American political leaders has proven to be even more damaging. The U.S. response has weakened this country's security, undermined its economy, degraded its standing and credibility, and violated the principles it claims to uphold. The calamity of September 11 was a consequence, above all, of the Jewish-Zionist grip on American political life and the U.S. media.

Hitler's Atlantic Wall: Should France Preserve It?
BBC News

Sections of Hitler's Atlantic Wall are being restored by French enthusiasts. But should the Nazi fortification be fully embraced as part of the country's heritage? Along 800 miles (1,287 km) of French coast lie some of the most substantial and evocative vestiges of war-time Europe. The so-called Atlantic Wall -- Hitler's defensive system against an expected Allied attack -- stretched all the way from the Spanish border to Scandinavia. Inevitably, it was in France that the most extensive building took place. Today there are still thousands of blockhouses, barracks and gun emplacements visible along the French shore.

Most 9/11 Commission Records Still Kept Secret
Reuters

Ten years after al Qaeda's attack on the United States, the vast majority of the 9/11 Commission's investigative records remain sealed at the National Archives in Washington, even though the commission had directed the archives to make most of the material public in 2009, Reuters has learned. ... The 575 cubic feet of records were in large part the basis for the commission's public report, issued July 22, 2004. ... More than a third of the material has been reviewed for possible release. But many of those documents have been withheld or heavily redacted, and the released material includes documents that already were in the public domain, such as press articles.

Egypt Unrest, Turkey Row Deepen Israeli Isolation
AFP

Already embroiled in a fierce diplomatic row with former friend and ally Turkey, Israel found itself in fresh crisis on Saturday with southern neighbour Egypt after crowds trashed its Cairo embassy. Israel has few friends in the Muslim world, and the chill on two fronts further deepens its isolation ahead of Palestinian plans to seek full membership in the United Nations. The overnight attack on the mission, in which crowds smashed through an outside security wall, tossed embassy papers from balconies and tore down the Israeli flag, was the worst since Israel set up its mission in Egypt, the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state, in 1979.

New Poll Shows Drop in Americans' Support for Israel
Jim Lobe

... A new survey by the venerable Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) that was released last Thursday deserves some attention ... The survey also found that views of Israel, while still generally quite favorable, have slipped over the last several months (65% favorable, including 23% "very favorable," according to a CNN poll in May, down to 56% favorable, 15% "very favorable," according to the PIPA poll. Six in ten (61%) said they believe the U.S. should be even-handed in its approach to the Israel-Palestinian conflict -- another example of how the views of the general public are not translated into policy -- while 27 percent said it should lean toward Israel and 5% toward the Palestinians.

Oakland Museum Cancels Palestinian Kids' War Art
San Francisco Chronicle

An Oakland children's museum, citing pressure from the community, canceled a planned exhibit of artwork by Palestinian youth that depicted the Israeli assault during the 2008-09 Gaza conflict. The Museum of Children's Art was scheduled to display the art from Sept. 24 to Nov. 13. The exhibit had been in the works for several months, with an opening reception to feature poetry and special art activities for children. The drawings in the exhibit were created by children ranging in age from about 9 to 11 and included bombs dropping, tanks and people getting shot ... The complaints came from Jewish groups as well as others in the community, board members said.

Veto a State, Lose an Ally
Turki Al-Faisal -- The New York Times

The United States must support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations this month or risk losing the little credibility it has in the Arab world. If it does not, American influence will decline further, Israeli security will be undermined and Iran will be empowered, increasing the chances of another war in the region.

The True Cost of 9/11
Joseph E. Stiglitz

The Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks by al-Qaida were meant to harm the United States, and they did, but in ways that Osama Bin Laden probably never imagined. President George W. Bush's response to the attacks compromised America's basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security. The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely unconnected to al-Qaida-as much as Bush tried to establish a link. That war of choice quickly became very expensive -- orders of magnitude beyond the $60 billion claimed at the beginning -- as colossal incompetence met dishonest misrepresentation.

Lies We Still Tell Ourselves About 9/11
Robert Fisk -- The Independent (Britain)

... I'm drawn to Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan whose The Eleventh Day confronts what the West refused to face in the years that followed 9/11. "All the evidence ... indicates that Palestine was the factor that united the conspirators - at every level," they write. One of the organisers of the attack believed it would make Americans concentrate on "the atrocities that America is committing by supporting Israel". Palestine, the authors state, "was certainly the principal political grievance ... driving the young Arabs (who had lived) in Hamburg". The motivation for the attacks was "ducked" even by the official 9/11 report, say the authors.

Israel Wages Massive Spy War Against the US
Carl Cameron and Brit Hume - Fox News - Video - Dec. 2001

... Fox News has learned [Dec. 2001] some U.S. investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much engaged in spying in and on the U.S., who may have known things they didn't tell us before September 11. ... Since September 11, more than 60 Israelis have been arrested or detained, either under the new patriot anti-terrorism law, or for immigration violations. A handful of active Israeli military were among those detained, according to investigators, who say some of the detainees also failed polygraph questions when asked about alleged surveillance activities against and in the United States. There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that they Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it.

Five Israelis Detailed For 'Puzzling Behavior' After WTC Attack
Haaretz (Israel) - Sept. 2001

Five Israelis who had worked for a moving company based in New Jersey are being held in US prisons for what the Federal Bureau of Investigation has described as "puzzling behavior" following the terror attack on the World Trade Center in New York last Tuesday ... The mother of one of the young men ... said that the five had worked for the company, which is owned by an Israeli, for between two months and two years. They had been arrested some four hours after the attack on the Twin Towers while filming the smoking skyline from the roof of their company's building, she said. ... They are said to have had been caught videotaping the disaster and shouting in what was interpreted as cries of joy and mockery.

Five Celebrating Israelis Arrested On 9/11
BlogginForTheTruth - Video

Did some Israelis know in advance that the Twin Towers would be hit? Three of the "dancers" explain on Israeli television why they were at the scene of the terror attack on September 11, 2001. "Our purpose was to document the event," says one.

Number of Americans in Poverty Hits Record High
BBC News

The number of Americans living in poverty rose to a record 46.2 million last year, official data has shown. This is the highest figure since the US Census Bureau started collecting the data in 1959. In percentage terms, the poverty rate rose to 15.1%, up from 14.3% in 2009. The US definition of poverty is an annual income of $22,314 or less for a family of four and $11,139 for a single person. The number of Americans living below the poverty line has now risen for four years in a row, while the poverty rate is the biggest since 1993. Poverty among black and Hispanic people was much higher than for the overall US population last year, the figures also showed.

Beyond Cairo Embassy Attack, Israel Senses A Wider Siege
The New York Times

With its Cairo embassy ransacked, its ambassador to Turkey expelled and the Palestinians seeking statehood recognition at the United Nations, Israel found itself on Saturday increasingly isolated and grappling with a radically transformed Middle East where it believes its options are limited and poor. The diplomatic crisis, in which winds unleashed by the Arab Spring are now casting a chill over the region, was crystallized by the scene of Israeli military jets sweeping into Cairo at dawn on Saturday to evacuate diplomats after the Israeli Embassy had been besieged by thousands of protesters. ... Facing crises in relations with Egypt and Turkey, its two most important regional allies, Israel turned to the United States.

Broad Public Support in Europe For Palestinian State
The Guardian (Britain)

The majority of people in the UK, France and Germany want their governments to vote in favour of recognising a Palestinian state if a resolution is brought before the United Nations in the next few weeks, according to an opinion poll. The three European countries are seen as crucial votes in the battle over the Palestinians' bid for statehood at the UN, which meets next week ... Support for the Palestinians' right to have their own state, without reference to the UN vote, was even higher: 71% in the UK, 82% in France and 86% in Germany.

New Book Disputes Claim Jefferson Fathered Children of Slave Hemings
The Washington Times

In a book due out Thursday, eminent scholars say it's unlikely that Thomas Jefferson fathered Sally Hemings' children, disputing a decade's worth of conventional wisdom that the author of the Declaration of Independence sired offspring with one of his slaves. The debate has ensnared historians for years, and many thought the issue was settled when DNA testing in the late 1990s confirmed that a Jefferson male fathered Hemings' youngest son, Eston. But, with one lone dissenter, the panel of 13 scholars doubted the claim and said the evidence points instead to Jefferson's brother Randolph as the father.

Los Angeles Rabbi Defies Court, Refuses to Testify Against Jews
JTA

A federal court judge said she will rule at a later date in the case of a Chasidic Jew who will not testify because he says it would violate "mesira," the injunction against turning Jews over to non-Jews. Margaret Morrow of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles heard arguments Wednesday in the case involving Rabbi Moshe Zigelman. Prosecutors want Morrow to imprison Zigelman for contempt unless he testifies against others in an alleged tax fraud scheme that involved his Spinka sect, The Los Angeles Times reported. Zigelman, an executive assistant to the sect's leader, already has served a two-year sentence for his role in the scheme, which involved soliciting large tax-deductible donations and secretly funneling most of the money back to the donors.

German Court Sentences 'Neo-Nazi' Girl, 16, to Read Anne Frank Diary
Daily Mirror (Britain)

A neo-Nazi girl of 16 has been ordered to read Anne Frank's diary to learn about the evils of fascism. A [German] judge handed her the sentence after she was caught daubing Swastikas on posters even though she had no idea what the SS was. She was told to read the book, which details a Jewish girl's life in hiding during the Second World War, and write an essay on the Nazis, rather than serve a jail term. A spokesman for the court in Kassel, Germany, said: "Our aim is to make her think. Hopefully, she will learn."

Is This The Face of Jack the Ripper?
BBC News

Jack the Ripper is the world's most famous cold case - the identity of the man who brutally murdered five women in London's East End in autumn 1888 remains a mystery. More than 200 suspects have been named. But to Ripper expert Trevor Marriott, a former murder squad detective, German merchant Carl Feigenbaum is the top suspect. ... Why does Marriott think Feigenbaum is Jack the Ripper? Evidence, in the form of police documents and hundreds of letters to the authorities and newspapers, give us some clues.

Austrian Court Frees 'Holocaust Denier' Honsik on Parole
The Associated Press

An Austrian court official says a far-right author who questioned the Holocaust has been paroled after serving three years in prison for glorifying Nazi ideology and backing Nazi-era beliefs. Gerd Honsik was serving concurrent four-year and two-year terms for writing books and in right-wing publications that praised the Hitler era and contained anti-Jewish sentiments. He still had over a year left to serve. Court official Gerhard Hinger said Thursday the decision to release the 68-year-old Honsik was reached Monday.

Town of Swastika in Canada Refuses to Change Its Name
Wikipedia

During World War II the Ontario provincial government sought to change the town's name to Winston in honor of Winston Churchill, but the residents refused, pointing out that their town had held the name long before the symbol was used by the Nazis in Europe. Even today residents continue to resist calls to change their town's name.

Jewish Leaders Slam Mel Gibson, Warner Bros. for 'Judah Maccabee' Movie
The Hollywood Reporter


Prominent Jewish leaders are beginning to speak out against Mel Gibson and Warner Bros. over their planned movie based on the life of religious icon Judah Maccabee.


'White Flight' and Growing 'Minority' Role in Biggest US Metro Areas
Daily Mail (London)>

Ethnic minorities now form a majority in eight of America's biggest metropolitan areas, according to new statistics. Washington D.C. joins New York, San Diego, Las Vegas and Memphis in showing a 'white flight' from some of the countries most populated zones. The results highlighted a much wider national trend as it emerged non-Hispanic whites are now a minority in 22 of the country's 100-biggest urban areas ... One of the reasons suggested for the shift was the ageing of the white population coupled with the relative youth of the Hispanic and Asian populations. Demographers have been shocked by the rapid changes seen in Washington D.C., particularly in the area's schools.

A Ten-Year Reckoning
Philip Giraldi

This weekend will mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the day that changed the United States forever ... The U.S. imperial project of the past ten years has killed as many as one million people while displacing millions of others, has nearly bankrupted the United States with major costs still to come, has rendered the world even more unstable than it was in 2001, and has made Washington hated by nearly everyone nearly everywhere. It is difficult to find a plus side to all the activity unless one is a defense contractor or a government employee, because all the fun has also grown the government into a Leviathan ... Everything has gone wrong, and it all started with 9/11.

Charles Lindbergh: A Courageous American's Prophetic Voice
Mark Weber

... During his lifetime he made a mark not only as a pioneering global aviator, but also as an award-winning author, environmentalist and anti-war activist. Given the scarcity of truly heroic Americans during the past century, he towers as a man of exemplary accomplishment and courage. He deserves to be remembered today not only as an authentic American hero, but also because much of what he wrote and said is relevant in our own age. Indeed, some of his remarks have proven to be prophetic.

Former US Government Scientist Admits Spying for Israel
BBC News

A former government scientist charged with attempting to sell technology secrets to Israel has confessed to one count of attemptedespionage. Stewart Nozette is expected to serve a sentence of 13 years in prison after making a plea deal with prosecutors. He has been in jail since his arrest in 2009 after a sting operation by an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer. Nozette, 54, was accused of seeking millions of dollars to sell secrets ... The former scientist's top-secret knowledge reportedly covers America's nuclear missile programme.

Christian Zionism
Mark Weber - Podcast

The fundamentalist and evangelical Protestant Christians in the US who fervently embrace Israel are the single most important block of non-Jewish American supporters of the Zionist state and its policies. But few of these "Christian Zionists" realize just what an odd minority they are among the world's Christians, and how out of step their views are with traditional Christian principles. Christian Zionists reject the ethical values of Jesus as laid out in the Gospels, and betray fellow Christians in Palestine who are victims of Israeli dispossession and oppression.

New Revelations Prompt US-Israeli Diplomatic Storm
The Independent (Britain)

A court case against a translator who leaked US government secrets was conducted in secret because it centred on the revelation that the FBI had eavesdropped on Israeli embassy phone calls, it was revealed yesterday ... Leibowitz passed him about 200 pages of verbatim records of phone calls and conversations between embassy officials, saying that he believed the documents revealed Israeli officials trying unlawfully to influence US policy and edging towards military action against Iran ... In addition to the prosecutions, the Obama administration classified more than 77 million government documents last year, a one-year increase of 40 per cent.

US Eavesdropping on Israeli Embassy in Washington Revealed
The New York Times

When Shamai K. Leibowitz, an F.B.I. translator, was sentenced to 20 months in prison last year for leaking classified information to a blogger, prosecutors revealed little about the case ... The reason for the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Obama administration's first prosecution for leaking information to the news media seems clear: Mr. Leibowitz, a contract Hebrew translator, passed on secret transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington ... Former counterintelligence officials describe Israeli intelligence operations in the United States as quite extensive, ranking just below those of China and Russia, and F.B.I. counterintelligence agents have long kept an eye on Israeli spying.

Comparing Economic Output of US States With Countries
The Economist (Britain)

Which countries match the GDP and population of America's states? / It has long been true that California on its own would rank as one of the biggest economies of the world. These days, it would rank eighth, falling between Italy and Brazil on a nominal exchange-rate basis. But how do other American states compare with other countries? Taking the nearest equivalent country from 2009 data reveals some surprises. Who would have thought that, despite years of auto-industry hardship, the economy of Michigan is still the same size as Taiwan's?

Europe's Rights Chief Decries EU Complicity With US War Crimes
The Associated Press

Europe's human rights chief launched a blistering attack Thursday on European governments' counterterrorism actions, accusing them of helping the United States commit "countless" crimes in the past ten years. The ten-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks is an occasion to analyze whether the official responses have been proper and effective, said Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's rights commissioner. "In attempting to combat crimes attributed to terrorists, countless further crimes have been committed in the course of the US-led 'global war on terror,'" he said in a statement.

Some 9/11 Charities Failed Miserably
The Associated Press

Americans eager to give after the 9/11 terrorist attacks poured $1.5 billion into hundreds of charities established to serve the victims, their families and their memories. But a decade later, an Associated Press investigation shows that many of those nonprofits have failed miserably. There are those that spent huge sums on themselves, those that cannot account for the money they received, those that have few results to show for their spending and those that have yet to file required income tax returns. Yet many of the charities continue to raise money in the name of Sept. 11.

Secret of the Lusitania: World War I Deceit Revealed
Daily Mail (Britain)

Her sinking with the loss of almost 1,200 lives caused such outrage that it propelled the U.S. into the First World War. But now divers have revealed a dark secret about the cargo carried by the Lusitania on its final journey in May 1915. Munitions they found in the hold suggest that the Germans had been right all along in claiming the ship was carrying war materials and was a legitimate military target ... Winston Churchill, who was first Lord of the Admiralty and has long been suspected of knowing more about the circumstances of the attack than he let on in public, wrote in a confidential letter shortly before the sinking that some German submarine attacks were to be welcomed. He said: "It is most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores, in the hope especially of embroiling the U.S. with Germany."

Polish-Jewish Sociologist Compares West Bank Separation Fence to Warsaw Ghetto Walls
Haaretz (Israel)

Sygmunt Bauman, the Jewish sociologist and one of the greatest philosophers of our time, castigated Israel harshly this week, saying it did not want peace and was afraid of it. Bauman said Israel was "taking advantage of the Holocaust to legitimize unconscionable acts," and compared the separation fence to the walls surrounding the Warsaw Ghetto, in which hundreds of thousands of Jews perished in the Holocaust. In a long interview to the important Polish weekly "Politika," Bauman said Israel was not interested in peace.

You Know Harry: The Third Man
Joseph Sobran

For my money, the greatest movie ever made is The Third Man ... There really are people like Harry in this world. He may remind you of a certain politician of similar personality: charming, cunning, ruthless, knowing all the angles, profoundly self-centered and treacherous, yet somehow able to retain the loyalty even of people he has deceived and betrayed. Evil doesn't usually appear with horns and cleft hooves. Often it comes with a winning smile, an exaggerated warmth, an offhand joke, and an offer that's hard to refuse.

Robert Gates Says Israel Is an Ungrateful Ally
Jeffrey Goldberg - Bloomberg

... It was Robert M. Gates, the now-retired secretary of defense, who seemed most upset with Netanyahu. In a meeting of the National Security Council Principals Committee held not long before his retirement this summer, Gates coldly laid out the many steps the administration has taken to guarantee Israel's security -- access to top- quality weapons, assistance developing missile-defense systems, high-level intelligence sharing -- and then stated bluntly that the U.S. has received nothing in return, particularly with regard to the peace process ... Gates argued to the president directly that Netanyahu is not only ungrateful, but also endangering his country by refusing to grapple with Israel's growing isolation and with the demographic challenges it faces if it keeps control of the West Bank.

Whose Congress and State Department?
Phillip Giraldi

... America will someday have to figure what its genuine interests might be and act accordingly after the soldiers and money run out. Then it will be lights out for international regime-change, democracy-promotion, nation-building, and peace-processing. Two recent news stories relate to the United States government and how it has been corrupted by its deference to Israel and wasted tax dollars pandering to the Lobby, almost as if it cannot help itself ... Thanks to Hillary Clinton, it [MEMRI] is now being funded by the United States government to begin a hunt for anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers worldwide. It will certainly find them, even if it has to be inventive to do so.

London No Longer An English City, Says John Cleese
Daily Mail (Britain)


Mass immigration has turned London into a city that is 'no longer English', John Cleese claims. The former Monty Python star says he now feels like a foreigner walking through the capital's streets. ... "I'm not sure what's going on in Britain. Or, let me say this - I don't know what's going on in London, because London is no longer an English city. That's how we got the Olympics. They said we were the most cosmopolitan city on Earth. But it doesn't feel English."

Hitler's 'Eagles Nest' Café Is Surprise Tourist Attraction
Daily Mail (Britain)

The dark allure of Adolf Hitler has turned his tea house at the top of a Bavarian mountain into one of the most visited sites in Germany. Tourism authorities announced that over 300,000 people visited the retreat on the peak of the Kehlstein mountain which was built for him as a 50th birthday gift by Nazi party secretary Martin Bormann in 1939. This is nearly 30,000 up on last year. Although Hitler's Berghof home on the mountain was destroyed by the Allies in bombing raids and after WW2, the tea house survived to become a tourism magnet in peacetime. Officials said that most visitors to the mountain are Americans followed by Britons.

Turkey Expels Israeli Ambassador Over Gaza Flotilla Row
BBC News

Turkey has expelled Israel's ambassador and suspended all military agreements over its refusal to apologize for last year's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. This came as the UN published a report saying that Israeli commandos used excessive force when they boarded an aid ship. Nine Turkish activists died. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said it was "time Israel pays a price for its illegal actions". Israel has refused to apologize and said its troops acted in self-defence.

Turkey Does the Right Thing
Prof. Lawrence Davidson

... The Israelis define all acts of resistance to their aggression as attacks which require their defending themselves. The Mavi Marmara action fits neatly into this Zionist world of peculiar logic. In this sense, they turn the world upside down ... Not only do the Israelis disregard international law, be on the high seas, in the maintenance of the obscene ghetto of Gaza, or through their colonial impositions in the West Bank, but they assiduously seduce others to support their criminal behavior anywhere and everywhere they have lobby influence. Everywhere they go they are the poor victims who need carte blanche to protect themselves. They are the victims who victimize others in the name of self-defense.

Likelihood of War in Middle East Is Growing, Says Israeli General
Ynet News (Israel)

Recent revolutions in the Arab world and the deteriorating ties with Turkey are raising the likelihood of a regional war in the Middle East, IDF Home Front Command Chief, Major General Eyal Eisenberg warned Monday. "It looks like the Arab Spring, but it can also be a radical Islamic winter," he said in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. "This leads us to the conclusion that through a long-term process, the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing," the IDF general said. ... Referring to what he characterized as the possibility of a "radical Islamic winter," Major-General Eisenberg said: "This raises the likelihood of an all-out, total war, with the possibility of weapons of mass destruction being used."

The Vast and Expansive US Secret Army
The Washington Post

The CIA's armed drones and paramilitary forces have killed dozens of al-Qaeda leaders and thousands of its foot soldiers. But there is another mysterious organization that has killed even more of America's enemies in the decade since the 9/11 attacks. CIA operatives have imprisoned and interrogated nearly 100 suspected terrorists in their former secret prisons around the world, but troops from this other secret organization have imprisoned and interrogated ten times as many, holding them in jails that it alone controls in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, this secretive group of men (and a few women) has grown tenfold while sustaining a level of obscurity that not even the CIA managed.

The CIA Rendition Flight Network
The Guardian (Britain)

Global map shows extent to which US intelligence was able to pick up and transport suspects with ease and send them to 'black sites' where many of them faced torture.

Gaddafi Regime's US-Britain Spy Links Revealed
BBC News

US and UK spy agencies built close ties with their Libyan counterparts during the so-called War on Terror, according to documents discovered at the office of Col Gaddafi's former spy chief. The papers suggest the CIA abducted several suspected militants from 2002 to 2004 and handed them to Tripoli. The UK's MI6 also apparently gave the Gaddafi regime details of dissidents.

China's High Speed Rail System
CNN

As our train raced through the familiar scenery of rural and small-town China on this sunny Monday morning -- alternating between green farmland and red tiled-roofs, my Chinese seatmate proudly pointed to a coffee cup on the tray table. "Look, it's not moving at all," he said. "Impressive, isn't it?" An amazingly smooth ride indeed -- considering we were traveling at 300 kilometers (186 miles) an hour, more than double the average speed of America's fastest train. The shiny CRH380 model we rode serves the new 1,318-kilometer (819-mile) Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway -- completed in just three years ...

Did Jefferson Father His Slave's Son? New Study Shows Father Was Actually the President's Brother
Daily Mail (Britain)

One of America's most famous historical figures who wrote the Declaration of Independence might not have fathered his slave's children after all. It had been believed for more than a decade that former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson fathered his slave Sally Hemings's youngest son, Eston. But DNA evidence that showed a Jefferson male fathered the boy actually suggests Mr Jefferson's brother Randolph was the dad, a new book says. It's an important debate because of America's history of slavery and race - and Mr Jefferson's controversial ownership of slaves. The scholars' book also disputes beliefs that Ms Hemings's children received special treatment from the president, which suggested a special bond with the president.

Thomas Jefferson and the Sally Hemings Myth
Mark Weber

Probably the most notorious accusation against Thomas Jefferson is the persistent allegation that he secretly took a mulatto slave named Sally Hemings (or Hemmings) as a mistress, and fathered several children by her.... To those who knew Jefferson, his high moral standards and his deep devotion to his dead wife's memory, the entire story was absurd and contemptible. Nevertheless, it soon gained widespread circulation and many believers.

US Medical Experiments in 1940s Guatemala Killed 83
The Telegraph (Britain)

At least 83 people died in US medical experiments in Guatemala during the 1940s involving sexually transmitted diseases, a commission investigating the program concluded on Monday. Nearly 5,500 people were subjected to diagnostic testing, and more than 1,300 were exposed to venereal diseases by contact or inoculations, the commission found. Within that group, "we believe that there were 83 deaths," said commission member Stephen Hauser. Among the 1,300 exposed to STDs, "under 700 received some form of treatment as best as could be documented," Hauser added.

Ministry of Illusion?: Film in the Third Reich
Lyle Burkheard

... I can only conclude that the Third Reich was almost the opposite of what everybody thinks it was. That's the only way to make sense of these movies. ... These movies are a window into Nazi Germany as the Germans themselves experienced it. They gave me a rare opportunity to see beyond the stereotypes and get a look at life is it was lived at that time. The Nazi Germany of our imagination has very little to do with the Nazi Germany that actually existed. I have been laboring under the same misconceptions as everybody else.

Deceit, Propaganda and Journalism in the World Wars
Mark Weber -- Podcast

A look at lies and deceit in the two world wars. Fantastic stories about German atrocities in World War I were promoted to mobilize public opinion in the US, Britain and France. In World War II, the disastrous British evacuation of Dunkirk was portrayed as a great success. Another durable propaganda myth is the story of "merciless" German bombing of Coventry. Actually, it was the British who first began indiscriminate bombing of civilians. As historian Phillip Knightley points out, German news reports about the war were generally more accurate and reliable than those of the Allies.

Leaked US Documents Confirm Dangers of Israeli Organized Crime
Ali Abunimah

Known Israeli organized crime bosses are able to travel feely to the United States, unlike counterparts from Italy, China and Central America, because the State Department has failed to apply US law to them ... This revelation comes in a May 2009 cable from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv titled "Israel: A Promised Land for Organized Crime?" The cable, which was released by Wikileaks on August 26, details the growing alarm of American officials that "Organized crime in Israel now has global reach, with direct impact inside the United States." Israel, according to the cable, is a world center of money laundering, drug trafficking, and trafficking in women for prostitution; and Israeli crime families operate international criminal syndicates involved in gambling, credit card and technology fraud spanning the globe.

Famous London Wax Museum Puts Guard Next to Hitler Figure
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)


The British capital's famous waxwork museum Madame Tussauds has been forced to employ a guard to stop visitors making Nazi salutes next to a waxwork of Hitler. It comes after the museum was forced to apologize to an Israeli family who contacted them last month to express their dismay after seeing visitors performing Nazi salutes for photos with the wax model.

First Federal Reserve Audit Reveals Trillions in Secret Bailouts
Inter Press Service

The first-ever audit of the U.S. Federal Reserve has revealed 16 trillion dollars in secret bank bailouts and has raised more questions about the quasi-private agency's opaque operations. "This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you're-on-your-own individualism for everyone else," U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, said in a statement ... In recent days, 'Bloomberg News' obtained 29,346 pages of documentation from the Federal Reserve about some of these secret loans, after months of fighting in court for access to the records under the Freedom of Information Act.

Unpopular 'No Child' Law Leaves Many Students Behind
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Nearly a decade after Congress enacted the No Child Left Behind Act, a sweeping mandate to ramp up standards and accountability in the nation's public schools, more than a third of black, Latino and Native American students in Minneapolis public schools don't graduate, records show. On state test scores, the district hasn't budged the needle on No Child Left Behind's central goals, which target the achievement gap that separates white and nonwhite students and disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers. In fact, the chasm on state test scores has widened as Minneapolis' white students continue to outperform their peers around the state.

Life Magazine Prepares Americans for War
Life magazine (1938)

Ten months before the outbreak of war in Europe, the most influential US illustrated weekly magazine was psychologically preparing Americans for war with alarmist claims that Germany threatened the United States. This major article in the October 31, 1938, issue of Life magazine, headlined "America Gets Ready to Fight Germany, Italy, Japan," told readers that Germany and Italy "covet ... the rich resources of South America," and warned that "fascist fleets and legions may swarm across the Atlantic." In fact, at the time Hitler and all other high-level German officials fervently sought to avoid any conflict with the US, Britain or France. But President Franklin Roosevelt was secretly pushing for war. In September 1939 Britain and France -- encouraged by the US -- declared war against Germany.

Melbourne, Vienna, Vancouver Top List of Most Livable Cities
BBC News

The Australian city of Melbourne has beaten Canada's Vancouver to the title of world's most liveable city for the first time in almost a decade. Vancouver has topped the annual Global Liveability Survey since 2002, but this year fell to third behind Vienna. Overall, Australian and Canadian cities did well, capturing seven of the top ten spots. Harare, Port Moresby and Dhaka occupied the bottom of the table. The cities were assessed in five categories - stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

From Motown to Ghost Town: Detroit's Long, Slow Road to Ruin
Peter Hitchens -- Daily Mail (Britain)

This was once the capital city of capitalism, the great roaring furnace at the very centre of America's rise to world power and greatness ... Most of the great buildings are ghosts: hotels that haven't seen a guest in years, department stores where the last customer left decades ago, abandoned dentists' surgeries where the elaborate Forties chairs moulder in echoing solitude. Where there was optimism, there is now nothing but melancholy ... For more than two centuries, America balanced on top of a wave of growth and power like a triumphant surf rider. Now she wallows in decline and the rest of us wait to see what that will bring.

American Hellholes
The Economic Collapse

The US economy is dying and we are heading for the next Great Depression. The talking heads in the mainstream media love to spin the economic numbers around and around and they love to make it sound like the economy is improving, but the truth is that it doesn't take a genius to see what is happening to the US economic system. All over the nation many of our greatest cities are being slowly but surely transformed into post-apocalyptic wastelands. All over the mid-Atlantic, all along the Gulf coast, all throughout the "rust belt" and all over the entire state of California cities that once had incredibly vibrant economies are being turned into rotting, post-industrial hellholes.

Britain's MI5 Agency Told Blair Iraq Was No Threat to UK
The Telegraph (Britain)

Britain faced no threat from Iraq when Tony Blair decided to take the country to war, the head of MI5 at the time of the invasion has declared / Baroness Manningham-Buller disclosed that she had warned the then Labour Prime Minister that the UK would be at greater risk of terrorist attacks if he pursued military action against Saddam Hussein's regime. The former director general of the domestic security service, who retired in 2007, described the Iraq conflict as a "distraction" from efforts to tackle al Qaida and warned that more terrorist attacks on British soil seemed likely.

Obama's Race-Based Spoils System
Patrick J. Buchanan

... A racial spoils system in federal hiring and promotions has been imposed by Democratic presidents, unresisted by Republicans who rarely exhibit the courage to stand up for their principles when the subject is race. A week ago, an item buried in The Washington Post reported that Obama had "issued an executive order requiring government agencies to develop plans for improving federal workforce diversity." Obama, wrote Isaac Arnsdorf, is targeting "a problem that has been on the administration's radar. Whites still hold more than 81 percent of senior pay-level positions."

Did Spielberg Get Megan Fox Fired For Hitler Comment?
MSNBC


Megan Fox should have stuck to the script. When the actress said director Michael Bay "wants to be like Adolf Hitler" in an interview, she may have angered someone other than the Transformers auteur. Like Steven Spielberg. Bay says it was Spielberg -- the Schindler's List director and founder of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute -- who objected the most strenuously to the insult, according to an inteview with The Daily Mail.

Rick Perry and the Neocons
Philip Giraldi

The only change anyone can believe in in Washington is that nothing ever changes. The choice between Republican and Democrat in 2012 will likely boil down to who will be making what kind of cuts in social programs to support continuous warfare overseas ... The fact is, apart from Paul, all of the Republican candidates, like President Barack Obama, support a strong and assertive U.S. military and intelligence presence worldwide.