U.S. congressional report says Israel and U.S. do not know exact location of Iran nuclear facilities, which may be dispersed in such a way that an Israeli attack would not be successful. / Iran could probably rebuild most of its centrifuge workshops within six months after an attack on its nuclear sites, according to a new report by U.S. congressional researchers, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The report by analysts at the Congressional Research Service, citing interviews with current and former U.S. officials, said that the Islamic Republic’s centrifuge “workshops” are widely dispersed and hidden, which could complicate a potential Israeli military strike.
Pre-emptive military strikes aimed at forcing Iran to abandon its nuclear activities may end up having the opposite effect: convincing the Islamic Republic's leaders they need an atomic arsenal to secure their hold on power. That is the argument from those in the West and elsewhere who say the negative impact of an Israeli or U.S. attack would eventually outweigh any gains -- pushing Iran towards a decision that Western intelligence services believe it has not yet taken. "It is difficult to see a single action more likely to drive Iran into taking the final decision to acquire nuclear weapons than an attack on the country," the foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland said in an opinion piece in the New York Times.
When John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman join forces, you can be sure of one thing: It will involve state-sponsored violence ... The Senate’s three most predictable and least credible warmongering “moderates” frequently join forces to publish joint Op-Eds or hold press conferences and the one thing they always, invariably want is for the United States to have just a little bit more war than it currently has, somewhere far away.
This is the anniversary of the ground-breaking television miniseries, Roots. Based on Alex Haley’s wildly successful novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, the epic miniseries [of 1977] starred an ensemble cast ... In fact, to describe Roots merely as “fiction” is to treat Haley with more charity than he deserves. In at least three critical respects, Haley was downright dishonest.
The tombstone marking the grave of Adolf Hitler's parents in Austria has been removed, officials say, to end its use as a pilgrimage site for right-wing extremists. The grave is in Leonding, 10 km (six miles), from the city of Linz. A descendant of the family made the decision, the mayor of Leonding, Walter Brunner, said. Adolf Hitler was born near Braunau, 100 km away, but spent much of his childhood in Leonding. Mr Brunner said he had no more details of the decision by the descendant, but welcomed it, the Associated Press reported. The relative has given up her rights to the rented plot.
Cultural stereotypes may be deep rooted in our genetic makeup, say scientists. Common traits like British individualism and Chinese conformity could be attributed to genetic differences between races according to a new study. The study, by the department of psychology at Northwestern University in Illinois, suggests that the individualism seen in western nations, and the higher levels of collectivism and family loyalty found in Asian cultures, are caused by differences in the prevalence of particular genes ... If they are confirmed, the findings made by Chiao and her colleagues would suggest that races may have a number of inherent psychological differences — just as they differ in physical appearances.
... In fact, we haven't had a proper, constitutional declaration of war since 1942, yet the US military has been engaged in Korea, Lebanon, Iraq, Bosnia, Liberia, Haiti, and Libya with only UN resolutions as the authority. Congress's only role has been authorizing funds, which it always does without question, because one must "support the troops". Of course we should reserve our harshest criticism for Congress rather than the Administration. If the people's branch of government abrogates its Constitutional authority to the Executive branch, who is to blame? Who is to blame that Congress as a body will not stand up and demand that the president treat the Constitution as more than an anachronistic piece of paper, or merely a set of aspirations and guidelines?
Many of those who view "Titanic," the blockbuster motion picture, may leave the movie theater believing that the April 15, 1912, sinking of the great British liner, with the loss of 1,523 men, women and children, was history's greatest maritime disaster … But these disasters are dwarfed by the sinkings of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the General Steuben and the Goya, three German ships crowded with evacuated refugees and wounded soldiers that were struck by Soviet submarines during the final months of the Second World War.
For many people, the image of a great maritime disaster calls to mind the well-known sinking of the Titanic, which went down in April 1912 after striking an iceberg, taking the lives of 1,503 men, women and children … Dwarfed by the little-known sinkings of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the General Steuben and the Goya - converted German liners crowded with refugees and wounded soldiers that were sunk by Soviet submarines during the final months of the Second World War. In each case, more lives were lost than in the sinkings of either the Sultana, the Lusitania or the Titanic.
What was the worst maritime disaster on record? Most people would say the Titanic. But the real answer is a German cruise liner, the “Wilhelm Gustloff.” During World War II it served both as a medical ship and floating barracks. Its final voyage came as the Russians attacked what was then East Prussia. The Gustloff was used to evacuate desperate soldiers and civilians. A ship built for 1,500 passengers took on more than 10,000. It was hit with three torpedoes from a Russian submarine. More than 9,000 people were killed. An estimated 4,000 of those were children. This video is about one child who survived. Runtime: 3:17 mins.
All prisoners of German wartime concentration camps who perished while in German custody are routinely regarded as "victims of Nazism" -- even if they lost their lives as direct or indirect result of Allied policy … Among the German concentration camp prisoners who perished at Allied hands were some 7,000 inmates who were killed during the war's final week as they were being evacuated in three large German ships that were attacked by British war planes. This little-known tragedy is one of history's greatest maritime disasters.
After a series of violent episodes and setbacks, support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped sharply among both Republicans and Democrats, according to the latest New York Times/ CBS News poll. The survey found that more than two-thirds of those polled — 69 percent — thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. Just four months ago, 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, more than a decade old. The increased disillusionment was even more pronounced when respondents were asked their impressions of how the war was going. The poll found that 68 percent thought the fighting was going “somewhat badly” or “very badly."
The British military planned to secretly arm Vichy France during the Second World War behind Churchill’s back, despite the fact they were fighting for enemy forces, new documents have revealed. Confidential papers, unseen until now, show senior members of the Allied forces held a clandestine meeting with representatives of Vichy France - even as their opposing forces were fighting in Madagascar ... The Vichy regime, officially a neutral power, was formed to rule a large part of southern France after Nazi invasion in June 1940 under a compromise deal with Hitler. It was furnished with a limited “Armistice Army”, but was caught up in various military battles, including fighting the British in Syria in 1941 and Madagascar in 1942.
The United States was the only Western democracy that executed prisoners last year, even as an increasing number of U.S. states are moving to abolish the death penalty, Amnesty International announced Monday. America's 43 executions in 2011 ranked it fifth in the world in capital punishment, the rights group said in its annual review of worldwide death penalty trends. U.S. executions were down from 46 a year earlier. "If you look at the company we're in globally, it's not the company we want to be in: China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq," Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told The Associated Press. The United States seems deeply divided on the issue.
... The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That’s not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to ten times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and Britain - with a rate among the highest - has 153. This wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is relatively recent. In 1980 the U.S.’s prison population was about 150 per 100,000 adults ... More than half of America’s federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions. In 2009 alone, 1.66 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, more than were arrested on assault or larceny charges. And 4 of 5 of those arrests were simply for possession.
Welfare recipients in New York explain what they want and why in these on-the-street interviews by Alexandra Pelosi. Shown on "Real Time," with Bill Maher.
... Perhaps the closest analogy for these resurgent warmongers are the economists who failed to predict even the vaguest problems with the sub-prime mortgage market, let alone the global financial crisis. Yet somehow they still shamelessly populate the airwaves, spouting predictions and judgments, which unfathomably never end with the anchor saying: "Mmm. We're going to interrupt you to hear from a cauliflower, because you've got to think it knows more about this stuff than you." And so with the creatures of the US military-industrial complex, somehow able to pick themselves up from the what should have been career-ending humiliation and call for more of the same.
... In my opinion there’s a better than even chance that in the course of a second Obama term, America would put its own best interests first, which would mean an end to unconditional American support for the Zionist state of Israel right or wrong ... Behind closed doors there are now many in the top levels of America’s military, intelligence and foreign policy establishments who are aware that an Israel which has no interest in peace with the Palestinians, and is led by men who want war with Iran, is an Israel that is much more of a liability than an asset for the U.S.
On paper, it was one of Berlin’s oldest shuls, a rare independent congregation on the east side of this once-divided city that with the help of government subsidies said it maintained services for 1,000 members. But in reality it’s not clear how many Jews, if any, attended the Adass Yisroel synagogue, located behind a courtyard on Tucholskystrasse in this city's Mitte section. Nor is it clear what, exactly, the people behind the shul did with the money they received from the government of the state of Berlin. Last week, a Berlin court ruled that Adass Yisroel cheated the state and must pay back about $265,000 in state subsidies, as well as all legal costs resulting from a lawsuit filed by the congregation against the government in 2010.
... Schlafly [in his new book, "How Einstein Ruined Physics"] presents compelling evidence that other leading physicists and mathematicians before and concurrent with Einstein made equally important breakthroughs in relativity theory and related fields. Further, [Roger] Schlafly suggests that Einstein may have purloined some of his most famous insights ... Schlafly contends that Einstein borrowed many ideas from others and claimed them as his own, including the postulate that the speed of light is constant as well as special relativity, the idea that energy and mass are interchangeable (E=MC2). “Einstein’s understanding of special relativity … was inferior to Poincare’s. On every essential part of special relativity, Poincare published the same idea years earlier, and said it better.”
Buoyed by a home win, Jewish fans of football club Beitar Jerusalem this week rampaged through a nearby shopping centre following an evening match, attacking Arab workers and shoppers in one of the worst racial brawls seen in the city in recent years ... Hundreds of fans, mostly teenagers, descended on busy Malha Mall, jumping on tables, waving scarves, and chanting "Death to Arabs" ... Many believe the shopping mall riot is part of a wider malaise in Israeli society, where the country's Arab minority, 20 per cent of all Israelis, is discriminated against, often with impunity.
... I am one of those Palestinian Christians living inside Israel to whom Oren refers. At no time in my life have I ever felt the 'respect and appreciation' by the Jewish state, which [Israeli envoy] Oren so glowingly references. Israel's Christian minority is marginalized in much the same manner as its Muslim one or, at best, quietly tolerated. We suffer the same discrimination ... I would like to remind him and others that this founding [of Israel] expelled thousands of Palestinian Christians from their homes in 1948 and displaced them, either forcing them to flee across the border or making them internal refugees. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that comprised the founding of Israel is, too, an injustice of historic magnitude.
... This expressed wish is largely ignored by the Nobel Foundation, who award excessive numbers of Prizes to Jewish scientists (who traditionally belong to “One Nation” even if they live in different countries around the World), thus creating the large Jewish-Bias (J-bias) ... Higher IQs and preferential choice of science as a profession among Jews do not fully explain this J-bias. It is more likely that extensive and well-organized personal networking of a marketing type among Jewish scientists, together with the egalitarian-liberal, nonchalant attitude of the Swedish representatives of the Donor, are responsible for this unfortunate phenomenon.
America's ever more obvious cultural disintegration and social paralysis, and its erosion of national identity and purpose, are not minor or temporary problems, but are symptoms of a deep-rooted social-political illness and a systemic failure of the country's democratic-capitalist System. In large measure, this sickness is the predictable, inevitable consequence of America's basic ideology of "pursuit of happiness" individualism. This ideology, laid out in the US Declaration of Independence, greatly encouraged this country's astonishing dynamism, growth, inventiveness and prosperity, especially during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But the core outlook that once contributed to this country's development is incapable of sustaining a stable and healthy society.
During the 1930s German Americans in southern California met for social get-togethers and other events organized by the "German-American Bund," which supported Third Reich Germany. Runtime: 2:13 mins. From “Rancho La Canada: Then & Now,” a documentary by John Newcombe about the history of the Crescenta-Canada Valley.
President Obama likes to emphasize that the US has many "close and strong allies" in the world, and that all the smaller allied countries "punch above their weight." On the Danish television show "Detektor," host Thomas Buch-Andersen takes a humorous look at how the US President views the world.
Even the liberal Talking Points Memo criticized a recent speech in which President Obama revealed his ignorance of U.S. and world history and disparaged a past U.S. President while denouncing the alleged ignorance of others. In a recent green energy speech, Obama mocked Republicans, “comparing their skepticism of alternative energy to the ‘Flat Earth Society’ in Christopher Columbus’ day and President Rutherford B. Hayes’ apparent dismissal of the telephone. But while Obama thinks the GOP is in need of a science lesson, he may need to bone up on history himself,” TPM notes ...
Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has joined the chorus of past and current officials warning that a military strike against Iran could produce dire consequences. "If you think the war in Iraq was hard, an attack on Iran would, in my opinion, be a catastrophe," he said in a keynote speech to some 400 donors at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's campaign event last week ... Gates' assessment of the Iranian situation was part of a wide-ranging analysis of the Middle East, where he painted an overall grim picture ... For the foreseeable future, he predicted, the recent developments in the Middle East "present the United States and Israel with far more problems than opportunities."
The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead. Those conclusions, drawn from extensive interviews with current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran, contrast starkly with the heated debate surrounding a possible Israeli strike on Tehran's nuclear facilities. ... That led to a bombshell conclusion in a controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate: American spy agencies had "high confidence" that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.
Once again the United States is trying to throw its weight around and impose its unilateral vision on other countries. The US imposed tough new sanctions at the turn of the year, aimed at preventing other countries from importing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with its central bank in a bid to reduce Iran's oil revenues, which the US claims Iran is using to fund a nuclear weapons program ... The US doesn't have right to impose its will on other countries in this way. It is only natural that the US' presumptuous demand that China should stop trading with Iran should meet with strong opposition from China.
Convicted war criminal John Demjanjuk, who died in Germany on Saturday [March 18], is deemed innocent there, despite being convicted last year of killings in a Nazi death camp. ... Under German law, Demjanjuk is "still technically presumed innocent," because he died before his final appeal could be heard, and "a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty." Asked by Haaretz if that means there is no record of Demjanjuk's conviction, Noetzel replied, "Yes, it means Mr. Demjanjuk has no criminal record."
A Turkish shampoo commercial featuring Adolf Hitler has drawn outrage from Jewish groups worldwide and calls for it to be withdrawn immediately. “It’s totally unacceptable to make use of Hitler, the most striking example of cruelty and savagery…” said the Turkish Jewish Community in a statement, blasting the twelve-second ad that has been aired since last week. The commercial for Biomen, a men’s shampoo, shows a gesticulating Hitler deliver an enthusiastic speech, urging male customers to buy the product that is “a 100 percent male shampoo.”
Israel thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday for selling the country its sixth Dolphin submarine at a subsidized price ... The Israeli Globes business daily reported the submarine will be delivered by 2018. At delivery, it will be one of the most advanced submarines in the world, and will be the most expensive weapon procured by the Israel Defence Forces, at a cost of 400 million euros. Germany will finance a third of the cost, it said. Israel currently has three submarines in its fleet, it said. The fourth and fifth Dolphin submarines are in advanced stages of construction in German shipyards and scheduled to arrive in mid-2013 and in the second half of 2014.
More than ten years after going to war against Islamic extremists in Afghanistan, and more than ten years after deposing the Taliban, Americans may have finally had enough of the Afghanistan war. In a new poll released today by Rasmussen, a majority of likely voters contacted on Thursday and Friday want an immediate withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan, and not coincidentally, the exact same majority now find it impossible to “win” a war there: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters support the complete pullout of U.S. forces from what has become America’s longest-running war. Just 31% are opposed, while 16% are not sure.
More than half of Americans queried in a recent national poll doubt that the United States will be considered the world leader in health care by 2020, and nearly 60% believe that a country other than the United States will lead the world in science and technology by that time. Results from a poll, conducted by JZ Analytics on behalf of the health-research organization Research!America, were released this afternoon at the organization's annual health research forum in Washington, D.C.
Two "realist" scholars lead the resistance to the Israeli campaign to drag the U.S. into another Mideast conflict / Before they became famous — or infamous, depending on one’s perspective — for their article (later turned into a book) called "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer were best known for their prescience about the Iraq War ... Even if diplomacy didn’t produce a grand bargain, however, Walt and Mearsheimer believe a military strike [against Iran] would be disastrous for the United States, and what’s worse, it wouldn’t be successful. “Even if we somehow destroyed all of Iran’s nuclear capability, they will simply rebuild it, in locations that are harder to find and harder to destroy,” says Mearsheimer.
... Iran has no nuclear weapon, has not made a decision to acquire one, and may not even have the technical ability or financial resources to do so even if its government decides to move in that direction. Yet, AIPAC has succeeded in convincing the American public that Iran is already a nuclear power and is somehow a threat to the United States, all despite the fact that Iran, far from being an aggressor, has been on the receiving end of covert operations run by Washington and Tel Aviv that have killed scores of Iranians. President Barack Obama has unhesitatingly endorsed the AIPAC line ... If Israel attacks Iran next week and Iran retaliates, a virtual certainty, then the United States will inevitably become involved in the conflict, with Congress and the media leading the charge, just as they did against Iraq.
... The Olympic Games themselves are a bit fascist. Essentially, both Olympism and fascism are secular religions that venerate the human body and seek the triumph of the will ... Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, celebrations of the Olympiads and fascist rallies grew increasingly indistinct. Both were quasi-religious experiences, complete with increasingly sophisticated rites and rituals, and adorned with striking iconography. Even their salutes looked the same ... When the Games went to Berlin in 1936, the union between the two movements was blessed. In many ways, the Berlin Olympics were the ultimate Olympic Games, because the Nazis were the only people who really "got" Olympism.
Opening ceremonies of the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin. The large, enthusiastic crowd welcomes the various national teams as they enter the stadium. Hitler formally announces the opening of the games. Excerpts from the Leni Riefenstahl film, “Olympia.” Runtime: 6:09 mins.
It has long been regarded as the greatest sporting snub in history -- when Adolf Hitler stormed out of the Olympic Stadium in Berlin because Germany had been humiliated by a black man ... Now a veteran sports reporter in Germany has come forward to claim that, though Hitler did indeed leave the stadium after the race, it was not before shaking Owens' hand. Siegfried Mischner, 83, claims that Owens carried around a photograph in his wallet of the Fuehrer doing just that. Owens, who felt the newspapers of the day reported 'unfairly' on Hitler's attitude towards him, tried to get Mischner and his journalist colleagues to change the accepted version of history in the 1960s. Mischner claimed Owens showed him the photograph and told him: 'That was one of my most beautiful moments.'
Hitler’s snub of sprinter Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics is well known: Unwilling to recognize a black runner’s prowess, the story goes, Hitler refused to acknowledge Owens after the American athlete won the 100-meter dash. Indeed, Owens himself repeatedly recounted the incident late in his life. There’s only one problem: The story is most likely apocryphal. As sports journalist Jeremy Schaap points out in his vividly written “Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics,” American newspaper accounts filed by onsite journalists reported that Owens and Hitler exchanged waves after Owens won the 100-meter dash.
... The Fabians, Sidney and Beatrice Webb and their ilk were not attracted to eugenics because they briefly forgot their leftwing principles. The harder truth is that they were drawn to eugenics for what were then good, leftwing reasons. They believed in science and progress, and nothing was more cutting edge and modern than social Darwinism. Man now had the ability to intervene in his own evolution. Instead of natural selection and the law of the jungle, there would be planned selection.
German troops defend the homeland during the war’s final months. In furious combat, regular soldiers and “Volkssturm” home guard men fight off much larger Soviet forces advancing in Silesia and East Prussia. German refugees flee westwards. Excerpt from the “Deutsche Wochenschau” weekly wartime newsreel of Feb. 10, 1945. With English subtitles. Runtime: 4:42 mins.
Color film footage of Germans who sacrificed, suffered and, in many cases, gave their lives, in a titanic military struggle against quantitatively superior enemy forces. They fought with exemplary tenacity, skill and heroism in a struggle that, they believed, would decide the future of their nation and Europe. Runtime: 3:15 mins.
Israel’s prime minister likes to draw on history to dramatize the threats the Jewish people have faced throughout the ages. So the coincidence that he was discussing the Iranian nuclear threat with U.S. leaders on the eve of a holiday celebrating the Jewish people’s rescue from annihilation in ancient Persia was not lost on Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader told reporters on Monday that he presented President Barack Obama with the Book of Esther, the story of the Jewish queen of Persia who foiled a plot to destroy the empire’s Jews in the 5th century B.C.
... While I'm not sure foreign policy is well-crafted with ancient biblical texts as a guide, the lessons of the Esther story are taken seriously by Netanyahu and millions of Jews ... Some Jewish traditions say Hitler is not a historical aberration, but a descendent of Haman (who, in turn, was a descendant of the Jews' enemies in Egypt). The story of a proposed genocide of the Jews in ancient Persia? Evidence for why the modern state of Israel had to be established – there could be no guaranteed security or safety for Jews living in a Gentile-majority state ... The context of his speech was that Iran, the modern successor to Persia, presents the greatest danger to peace and security on the planet.
... Suppose you ordered an electric shaver from a store owned by non-Jews, and by accident the store sent you two shavers. Would you return the second shaver? Nine said they would not. One said he would. What is critical to understand is why they answered the way they did. The nine who would not return the second shaver were not crooks. They explained that halachah (Jewish law) forbade them from returning the other shaver. According to halachah, as they had been taught it, a Jew is forbidden to return a lost item to a non-Jew. The only exception is if the non-Jew knows a Jew found the item and not returning it would cause anti-Semitism or a Khilul Hashem (desecration of God’s name).
The focus of this paper is the oppression and persecution which the rulers of the Soviet Union inflicted on the Baltic nation of Latvia, from its declaration of independence in 1918 to 1987. The Red Army invaded and occupied Latvia three times in seventy years. Its last aggression, in 1944, resulted in continuing, illegal Soviet occupation of Latvia. Each Soviet incursion was accompanied by mass killings and deportations of Latvians, and Soviet authorities sought to destroy Latvian nationhood by the illegal annexation of Latvia to the USSR and through measures aimed at eradicating the Latvians' historical, cultural, and religious traditions.
... Hidden in the pine forests of central Ukraine is one of Hitler’s clandestine bunkers, from which he and his generals monitored the Eastern Front during the World War II. Built in 1941, about eight kilometres from the town of Vinnitsa (three-and-a-half hours southwest of Kiev), the site today is overgrown; frequented by history buffs and illegal diggers ... Plans to sanction the digs and turn the site into a memorial have not gotten very far. When news broke that the Ukrainian government wanted to open a museum on the site in May 2011, indignant, local residents and communists protested against it.
A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran forecasts that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead, according to American officials. ... The game has raised fears among top American planners that it may be impossible to preclude American involvement in any escalating confrontation with Iran, the officials said. In the debate among policy makers over the consequences of any Israeli attack, that reaction may give stronger voice to those in the White House, Pentagon and intelligence community who have warned that a strike could prove perilous for the United States.
Despite Israel's escalating war rhetoric against Iran, the Zionist regime is too small to survive even one week of real war, says Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. “If Israel ever makes that mistake [attacking Iran's nuclear sites], that will set the time for the end of Israel. They know it very well ... We don’t consider Israel a country. Israel is an entity, the extension of the US influence in the Middle East ... So, the real threat is the US,” he said.
Israeli prime minister Netanyahu and the Jewish-Zionist "amen corner" in the US insist that Iran must not be allowed to acquire even the capability of developing a nuclear weapon, and they threaten war to keep that from happening. But diplomats, military leaders, scholars and specialists are warning of the catastrophic consequences of any military strike against Iran. Most Americans have been pursuaded to believe -- mistakenly -- that Iran already has nuclear weapons, and poses a grave threat to America and the world. Such mass ignorance is understandable, given how the US public is systematically misinformed, misguided and misled.
Tehran will retaliate against any attack by Israeli or American forces "on the same level," Iran's top leader said Tuesday in a defiant address just moments after U.S. President Barack Obama appealed directly to the Iranian people with a message of solidarity. The contrasting approaches highlighted the broad range of political posturing and tactics as the standoff deepens over Tehran's nuclear program. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking on state TV to mark the Iranian new year, repeated his claims that the country does not seek atomic weapons, but said all of Iran's conventional firepower was ready to respond to any attack.
... What to do about Iran – and whom to trust to deal with Iran – seems fated to be the foreign policy issue of 2012. And the battle lines are drawn. Bibi Netanyahu, the Israeli lobby and its allies in Congress will be demanding ever harsher sanctions and military action before November. For they assume, rightly, that the president does not want war and, if he wins, there will be no war with Iran. The Republicans will portray Obama as dithering, vacillating and weak, no true friend of Israel, though the U.S. military and intelligence community are behind Obama in his belief that a war now on Iran would be unnecessary, unwise and potentially calamitous.
It has been 25 years since leading Nazi Rudolf Hess died in a Berlin prison but a newly-declassified report into how it happened has apparently failed to answer unexplained questions about whether he really did kill himself. / The publication of what is said to be a suicide note written “a few minutes before my death” by Hitler’s former deputy appears to add weight to claims that it had actually been penned nearly 20 years before when he was seriously ill ... Conspiracy theories have long suggested that he was murdered and the evidence covered up amid fears he was on the brink of being released – and might disclose embarrassing secrets about his time in British captivity.
The gravesite of Hitler’s deputy had become such a popular shrine that authorities recently had the dead man’s bones dug up and cremated, with the ashes then strewn at sea. In this review of Rudolf Hess’ life and legacy, Weber explains why so many still honor his memory. In the aftermath of World War II, the Allied powers condemned Hess to life imprisonment for “crimes against peace,” even though he had risked his life in a daring attempt to end war between Britain and Germany. His treatment also underscores the injustice and hypocrisy of the inter-Allied Nuremberg Tribunal.
The son of Hitler's faithful Deputy talks about the dramatic life and mysterious death of his father. Rudolf Hess' bold 1941 flight to Scotland seeking to end World War II resulted in 46 years of imprisonment, until his death in 1987. His fate as the 20th century’s `Prisoner of Peace’ points up the vindictiveness and hypocrisy of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Here his son presents evidence to show that Hess was murdered at the hands of his British captors.
The remains of what may be a previously unknown human species have been identified in southern China. The bones, which represent at least five individuals, have been dated to between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago. But scientists are calling them simply the Red Deer Cave people, after one of the sites where they were unearthed. The team has told the PLoS One Journal that far more detailed analysis of the fossils is required before they can be ascribed to a new human lineage.
German authorities have started reinforcing hundreds of concrete blocks at Berlin's Holocaust memorial with steel collars after a study revealed they were at risk of crumbling. The memorial to Jews killed in World War Two has become one of Berlin's most popular tourist attractions, drawing coach loads of visitors each day to wander through the maze of gravestone-like blocks a short walk from the Brandenburg Gate. A survey by engineers found about one in seven of the 2,711 blocks is in danger of breaking up due to cracks in the concrete.
... Even at the end of his life questions remained in a case that had always been riddled with mysteries. Had he been, as he and his family claimed, a Ukrainian prisoner of war in Germany and Poland who made his way to America and became a victim of mistaken identity? Or had he been, as prosecutors charged, a collaborating guard who willingly participated in the killing of Jews at the Treblinka, Majdanek and Sobibor death camps? ... He was placed on trial, convicted in 1988 of crimes against humanity and sentenced to be hanged. But five years later, the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the conviction when new evidence showed that another Ukrainian was probably the notorious Ivan.
A look at the decades-long ordeal of John Demjanjuk, and the outrageous record of fraud and vengeful, one-sided “justice” of the US government’s “Nazi hunting” agency. In this April 2009 "Worldwatch" broadcast, Weber also looks at Washington’s shameful campaign against Kurt Waldheim, Frank Walus, and other “Nazis.” This entire campaign, says Weber, is an expression of the privileged status in the US for Jewish concerns and interests, and of the Jewish-Zionist grip on America’s cultural and social-political life.
... John Demjanjuk has been a victim of an unprecedented travesty of justice. The US Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, working with the Soviet government, and those who might be called "Holocaustians" have carried on a campaign to portray this innocent man as "Ivan the Terrible" of Treblinka.
An annual march commemorating Latvian veterans who fought with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union in World War II drew protests Friday, though police reported no major disruptions. The annual march is meant to commemorate the approximately 50,000 Latvians who died fighting alongside Germany's Waffen-SS troops during World War II. Latvia was occupied by the Red Army in 1940 and many saw the invading German soldiers as saviors in 1941 when they pushed out the Soviets. About 140,000 Latvians eventually joined the Latvian Legion, a unit of the Waffen-SS. The modern marches started in 1990 and immediately drew protests from those who say the marches celebrate Nazi ideology.
Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it ... When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.
... Smith, a wunderkind who spent the 12 years after he graduated from Stanford University rising through the ranks at Goldman, has revealed the firm’s culture to be so fundamentally venal that were financial industry shenanigans not generally exempt from effective legal regulation, Goldman’s executives could have been rounded up Wednesday morning on organized-crime charges. The law that exempted what would have been illegal trading in the murky derivatives that the Smith article denounced was the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, enthusiastically signed by Bill Clinton in the waning months of his administration. The legislation shielded from any regulatory law the very activities that led to the financial meltdown from which Americans are still reeling.
A British publisher is vowing to fight a Munich court's decision to permanently ban his publication of excerpts of Hitler's "Mein Kampf." Peter McGee wanted to print excerpts last January in a 16-page insert to his German publication "Zeitungszeugen," or "Newspaper Witnesses," together with critical commentary from historians. The insert, one of three planned supplements, also would have been sold separately. But the Munich Regional Court last week upheld a restraining order issued by a lower court that barred McGee from fulfilling his goal. The court said the right to “cite” a text does not mean it is acceptable to publish excerpts.
Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" has come out in Albania for the first time, printed by a local publisher who now risks possible charges for stirring racial hatred, officials said this week. Ermir Nika of the culture ministry said Hitler's book would be "judicially treated as it violates Albanian legislation" for inciting racial hatred. Nika said it also breached copyright regulations. The anti-Semitic book has been available in bookstores for a week. The editor of the book said it was published as a "warning for future generations in order not to repeat such madness ever again." The Association of Jews in Albania condemned the publishing of the book and warned it would file a complaint to demand it be banned.
Since his return from Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mainly been preoccupied with one thing: Preparing public opinion for war against Iran. Netanyahu is attempting to convince the Israeli public that the Iranian threat is a tangible and existential one, and that there is only one effective way to stop it and prevent a "second Holocaust": An Israeli military attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure, which is buried deep underground. ... Just as David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol and Menachem Begin said "no" to the White House, Netanyahu also needs not be alarmed by President Obama's opposition to an attack on Iran. Netanyahu believes that, as in the previous incidents, the U.S. may grumble at first, but will then quickly adopt the Israeli position and provide Israel with support and backing in the international community.
The US has asked Russia to carry an ultimatum to the leaders of Iran, warning that upcoming six-nation talks on the Iranian nuclear program will be the "last chance" for progress before it pursues a military option, the leading Moscow daily Kommersant reported today (in Russian) ... The diplomatic source told Kommersant that American and Israeli preparations for a military strike against Iran are well underway, and that the attack is almost certain to happen before US presidential elections in November unless some major diplomatic breakthrough occurs. "The invasion will happen before year’s end," Kommersant quoted the diplomat as saying. "The Israelis are de facto blackmailing [President Barack] Obama. They’ve put him in this interesting position – either he supports the war or loses the support of the Jewish lobby."
Israeli commentators speculated yesterday that the country's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is preparing the public for war against Iran after he delivered his most decisive speech yet on the nuclear threat posed by its arch foe. Just over a week after returning apparently empty-handed from Washington, where he tried to enlist US support for a pre-emptive strike, Mr Netanyahu appeared to hint that he might strike Iran's nuclear facilities even without backing from the US, potentially signalling a decision to attack within weeks or months ... The speech coincided with reports that Israel's Cabinet is arranged eight to six in favour of a pre-emptive strike on Iran, even without Washington's open support.
The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies. The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people's ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts.
... In Why America Failed, noted historian and cultural critic Morris Berman’s brilliant, raw and unflinchingly accurate postmortem of America, he concludes that this hustling model, literally woven into the American DNA, doomed the country from the start, and led us inevitably to this dysfunctional point. It is not just the American Dream that has failed, but America itself, because the dream was a mistake in the first place. We are at our core a nation of hustlers; not recently, not sometimes, but always ... "The book is basically a postmortem for a dying nation. The argument is that we failed for reasons that go back more than 400 years. As a result, the historical momentum to not undertake a reassessment, and just continue on with business as usual, is very powerful."
... Post–cold war triumphalism produced consequences that are nothing less than disastrous. Historians will remember the past two decades not as a unipolar moment, but as an interval in which America succumbed to excessive self-regard. That moment is now ending with our economy in shambles and our country facing the prospect of permanent war. Don’t expect triumphalists to recant or apologize. Yet their time has passed. The Age of Triumphalism has ended. The Age of Muddling Through has commenced.
History has condemned him as the megalomaniac who brought death and misery to millions. But for one woman, the name Adolf Hitler evokes a smile not a shudder. She is Rosa Mitterer, who worked as a maid for the Fuhrer at his mountain retreat in Bavaria in the 1930s. Rosa is 91 and until now has kept a vow of silence about her experiences. She has chosen to break it after realising she is the last survivor of the circle who served the tyrant in the years before he launched the Second World War ... And her verdict on her former master: 'He was a charming man, someone who was only ever nice to me, a great boss to work for. You can say what you like, but he was a good man to us.'
One of the most enduring myths of our age is the story that the Nazis set the Reichstag building on fire as a “false flag” operation to generate popular support for measures of the Hitler government to suppress dissent and consolidate power. Even some prominent historians have accepted the often repeated smear, which was invented and vigorously promoted by Communists, that Goering and other Nazi officials set the German parliament building ablaze on Feb. 27, 1933, and then cynically blamed the crime on enemies.
... Netanyahu’s "red line" comes much sooner: whenever Iran has enough enriched uranium to build a bomb, whether it does so or not. It is, of course, quite legal for Iran to enrich uranium (which it says is solely for use in civilian nuclear reactors), while an unprovoked attack on Iran would be a crime under international law ... If Netanyahu and his fellow hawks truly believed that Iranian nuclear weapons would mean the extinction of the Jewish state, then their wish to attack Iran would be defensible, but they don’t. That’s just for public consumption. What’s actually at stake here is not the survival of Israel, just the preservation of the huge strategic advantage Israel enjoys as the sole nuclear weapons state in the Middle East.
Amidst persistent speculation over a possible Israeli military attack against Iranian nuclear facilities in the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit here, a detailed new public opinion survey released Tuesday suggests that such a move would enjoy little support in the United States. According to the survey by the University of Maryland's Programme on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), only one in four U.S. respondents favours an Israeli strike, while nearly seven in ten (69 percent), including a strong majority of Republicans (59 percent), said they prefer continuing negotiations with Tehran ... Asked what the U.S. should do if Israel conducted its own unilateral strike, a 47 percent plurality said Washington should support the Jewish state ...
Few Americans sense widespread Afghan support for what the United States is trying to do in that country, a perception that bolsters public backing of a troop withdrawal, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Overall views of the war in Afghanistan are in the pits: 60 percent of Americans see the war as not worth its costs, nearly double the 35 percent saying the decade-long effort has warranted the expense and lost lives. There has been consistent majority opposition to the war for nearly two years.
The massacre of 16 villagers by a U.S. soldier has triggered angry calls for an immediate American exit from Afghanistan as Washington tries to negotiate a long-term presence to keep the country from sliding into chaos again ... The attack, the latest American public relations disaster in Afghanistan, may be a turning point for the United States in a costly and unpopular war now in its eleventh year. Afghanistan's parliament condemned the killings, saying Afghans had run out of patience with the actions of foreign forces and the lack of oversight.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week cited the Roosevelt administration's failure to bomb Auschwitz as part of his explanation of Israeli policy regarding Iran's nuclear weapons program. At AIPAC, Netanyahu showed letters from the World Jewish Congress to the War Department in 1944, written as Hungarian Jews were being annihilated ... The Prime Minister's analogy to the danger of relying on the United States and holding off, at Obama's request, while Iran threatens Israel, was patently clear, as he continued.
Fighter planes and flak defend the homeland against ruthless attack by American bombers. From the wartime German weekly newsreel "Die Deutsche Wochenschau" of Jan. 20, 1944. With English subtitles. Runtime: 5:18 mins.
... In fact, the Egyptians have a right to be suspicious. America's attempt to promote democracy around the world through private organizations has unsavory beginnings and a sometimes troubling history. The program stems from a discredited CIA operation ... More important, the motives underlying the U.S. funding should be evaluated as well. There is an American smugness that assumes everyone else must benefit from emulating our political system. In fact, advising our friends about their politics demands great sensitivity. Not everyone appreciates our interference. These private though U.S.-government-funded institutes should not be in a country where, as seems to be the case in Egypt, they are not wanted.
Much of what we're told about the how World War II began is misleading, distorted or just plain untrue. It's often claimed, for example, that after taking power Hitler moved quickly to build a large army and air force to conquer Europe. In fact, and as reputable scholars have quietly acknowledged, Third Reich rearmament in the years before the outbreak of war in 1939 was remarkably modest. Hitler neither wanted nor planned for a major war. The British and French declarations of war against Germany, which were secretly encouraged by US President Roosevelt, transformed the limited German-Polish conflict into a major, European-wide war.
We're often told that Hitler started World War II. In fact, the German leader did not want and did not prepare for a general war in 1939. He sincerely sought peace with Britain and France. US President Franklin Roosevelt secretly encouraged Britain, France and Poland to adopt belligerently anti-German policies, and reject any peaceful resolution of Germany's valid grievances. The British and French declarations of war against Germany transformed a limited German-Polish conflict into a global war.
.. . But if Hitler was out to conquer the world - Britain, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, South America, India, Asia, Australia - why did he spend three years building that hugely expensive Siegfried Line to protect Germany from France? Why did he start the war with no surface fleet, no troop transports and only 29 oceangoing submarines? ... Why did he offer the British peace, twice, after Poland fell, and again after France fell? Why, when Paris fell, did Hitler not demand the French fleet, as the Allies demanded and got the Kaiser's fleet? Why did he not demand bases in French-controlled Syria to attack Suez?
Several former high-ranking military, intelligence and State Department officials took out an ad in the Washington Post today urging President Obama to stand fast against political and lobbying pressure to attack Iran over claims it is trying to develop nuclear weapons. The letter, signed by five retired generals, two senior intelligence analysts and a senior State Department official, is accompanied by a photo and quotes from other current military and defense officials warning against such an attack.
Israel's recently retired spy chief says more time and efforts are needed before considering a military strike on Iran. Meir Dagan, who served as Mossad's head from 2002 to 2010, told CBS's 60 Minutes that he believes Tehran is being "rational" and "very careful" now, and is considering the consequences of continuing the country's controversial nuclear program. Dagan also says world powers should assist opposition groups in Iran to foment regime change. He would not say if Israel supported protest groups against the regime in the past. Mossad is thought to have played a role in the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists and computer viruses that disrupted Iranian research facilities.
... Strip away the bellicosity and political rhetoric, and what one finds is not rigorous analysis but a mixture of fear, fanciful speculation, and crude stereotyping ... An Iran with a bomb would not be anywhere near as dangerous as most people assume, and a war to try to stop it from acquiring one would be less successful, and far more costly, than most people imagine ... An Iranian nuclear weapon would not be an existential threat to Israel and would not give Iran a license to become more of a regional troublemaker. But a war with Iran, begun by either Israel or the United States, would push Israel farther into the hole of perpetual conflict and regional isolation.
As the push for war with Iran rolls on, rhetoric demonizing the Iranian government is rampant, particularly among Israeli leaders and most Republican presidential candidates — so much so that former Israeli Mossad director Efraim Halevy recently complained that Mitt Romney is “making the [Iran] situation worse” with his statements ... Alarmist notions about Iran's foreign and nuclear policy that spread through the media perpetuate a negative image that is oftentimes inaccurate -- and help pave the path to war, which experts say would have disastrous consequences for Israel, the broader Middle East and the U.S. AlterNet decided to look at ten myths about Iran, many of them created by these alarmist notions — and explain why they're dead wrong.
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, in Moscow, is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world. Completed in 1883, it had taken nearly 20 years to build, and another 20 years to finish decorating its marble, granite, and gold-plated interior. In 1931 it was dynamited by order of Stalin and the Soviet government, which planned to build on the site an immense "Palace of the Soviets," topped by a gigantic statue of Lenin. It was never completed. After the collapse of Soviet power, the Cathedral was rebuilt. In August 2000 the restored Cathedral was consecrated.
The great famine in the Ukraine in 1932-1933 -- called the Holodomor — is known by relatively few people. This was a man-made famine during Joseph Stalin’s reign, where an estimated six to ten million people, mostly Ukrainian peasants, were left to starve to death as the world was kept in the dark. Even less known than this atrocity, was the role that the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones played in revealing it. Behind the story of Gareth Jones and the reporting of the famine is the world press corps that suppressed the truth and “forgot” the man most responsible for exposing the Holodomor.
Egypt's Islamist-dominated parliament has unanimously voted in support of the expulsion of Israel's ambassador in Cairo and for a halt to gas exports to the Jewish state. The motion is largely symbolic because only the ruling military council can make such decisions, and it is not likely to impact Egypt's relations with Israel. But the move signals the seismic change in Egypt after the ouster of longtime leader and Israeli ally Hosni Mubarak a year ago. The Monday vote was taken by a show of hands on a report by the chamber's Arab affairs committee that declared that Egypt will "never" be a friend, partner or ally of Israel. The report described the Jewish state as the nation's "number one enemy."
In France, Germany, Austria or Hungary, it would have been illegal. But in a converted church in Bristol on Tuesday, there was laughter and applause as the star lot in a sale of Nazi memorabilia sold for more than 40 times its estimate. ... "The trade is booming," said Malcolm Claridge, an expert on militaria for Dreweatts. "There's always interest in the big names: it used to be Wellington and Napoleon; now it's Hitler, Goering and Himmler. The trade always gets good money for quality things, and the design and quality of the German stuff is particularly good. But I had no idea it was going to go mad like that." And yet, the signs have been there. In November, a single bedsheet "believed" to have belonged to Hitler sold for £2,000.
For more than a decade, Israel has systematically built up its military specifically for a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. It has sent its air force on long-distance training missions, procured American-made "bunker-busting" bombs and bolstered its missile defenses. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's threats to strike Iran, voiced last week during a high-profile visit to the White House, were not empty bluster. Although a unilateral Israeli attack would probably not destroy Iran's nuclear program, it appears capable, at least for now, of inflicting a serious blow.
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz said Wednesday that Washington has prepared military options to strike Iran's nuclear sites should conflict erupt, Bloomberg reported ... According to Bloomberg, which quoted Pentagon officials, some of the preparations include providing aerial refueling for Israel Air Force planes and attacking the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iranian military bases, and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security ... Meanwhile on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. military is increasingly confident that its air force's "bunker-buster" bombs could take out Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Fordo, which is deeply buried underground.
The American radical right grew explosively in 2011, a third consecutive year of extraordinary growth that has swelled the ranks of extremist groups to record levels ... The rise was led by a stunning expansion of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. “The dramatic expansion of the radical right is the result of our country's changing racial demographics, the increased pace of globalization, and our economic woes,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC and editor of the new report. ... Many Americans are enraged by what they see as America's decline, and opportunistic politicians have done their best to stoke those fears and demonize President Obama in the process.
Peter Beinart's "The Crisis of Zionism" is an important new book that rejects the manipulation of Jewish victimhood in the name of Israel's domination of the Palestinians and asserts that the real issue for Jews today is not the challenge of weakness but the demands of power. "We are being asked to perpetuate a narrative of victimhood that evades the central Jewish question of our age: the question of how to ethically wield Jewish power," he writes. That power, for 45 years now, has been exercised over millions of Palestinians who enjoy none of the rights of citizenship and all the humiliations of an occupied people.
Latvia's capital said it was banning demonstrations on March 16, the date of a controversial annual march honouring the Baltic state's troops who fought the Soviets under the banner of Nazi Germany during World War II. Riga city council said it had received applications from eight different organisations that want to stage demonstrations and counter-demonstrations on the date, but had rejected them all. The blanket ban had been imposed to "avoid possible provocations and threats to public security," the council said in a statement. Latvia attracts international attention -- and condemnation, notably from Russia and Jewish groups -- every March 16 for a parade that pays tribute to the Latvian Legion, a combat unit of Nazi Germany's Waffen-SS.
Those who hoped President Obama might bring a new approach to foreign policy have been repeatedly disappointed. On Sunday, Obama had a chance to partially redeem himself. He failed ... Thus the idea that Iran — even if it managed to build a warhead — represents an “existential threat” to Israel or the United States is laughable ... In light of Obama’s obeisance before AIPAC, he has now dashed all hope that he’d do what needs to be done: resist Israel and its lobby, and rescind the war threat, along with the immoral sanctions and CIA-sponsored terrorism.
... But why, when the U.S. intelligence community still claims to have no hard evidence Iran has even decided to build a bomb? Since Ronald Reagan went home, the United States has attacked or invaded Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and Libya. How have Americans benefited from all this war? How have the Chinese suffered these 20 years by not having been in on the action?
Seven in ten Americans believe that Iran currently has nuclear weapons, according to a new national poll. Friday's release of the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey .... indicates that 71 percent of the public says Iran has nuclear weapons, with just over one in four disagreeing. More than six in ten think the U.S. should take economic and diplomatic efforts to get Iran to shut down their nuclear program, with only a quarter calling for immediate military action.
... At home, however, Netanyahu is not so strong, not as a prospective wartime prime minister, at any rate. Having no formidable rival, he is secure in office, but his public image, more and more, is that of an indecisive, deceitful, endlessly suspicious leader who’s under the sway of his wife ... What’s more, signs are that he doesn’t have the Israeli public behind him for a unilateral attack on Iran, and his military/intelligence chiefs, along with the great majority of his cabinet ministers, are showing no eagerness to board the war train ... Netanyahu’s duplicity, disloyalty, arrogance and rashness, as testified to by numerous former colleagues and supporters – went a long way toward losing him the 1999 election after three years as prime minister.
... So even if everything else is destroyed, and only Fordow remains, Iran's nuclear project will be set back by two years at most - and not even that long in practice, because Iran will switch from inching toward a bomb to rapid enrichment of military-grade uranium ... Those Israeli planners who believe in an attack have one hope only - that the United States will be dragged in and complete the Israeli move ... Sometime between early June and mid-August, just before the Republican nominating convention, will be the ideal moment to drag the United States into war, the planners believe.
For all the myriad challenges facing Israel over the past decade it is the potential threat from a nuclear-armed Iran that has preoccupied the country's military planners. It is this that in large part has guided the development of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) over recent years. The IAF has purchased 125 advanced F-15I and F-16I warplanes, equipped with Israeli avionics and additional fuel tanks - tailor-made for long-range strike missions. In addition, Israel has bought specialised bunker-busting munitions; developed large, long-endurance, unmanned aircraft; and much of its training has focused on long-range missions. Israel has a track-record of pre-emptive strikes against nuclear targets in the region.
... When Germany challenged British supremacy and Japan began building its empire in the Pacific and East Asia in the early 20th century, the transition involved two world wars – and resulted in the de facto division of the world between two non-European superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union ... The United States has no truly vital interests on the Asian mainland, or at least none that it could protect by fighting China. It was entirely safe from foreign attack before it became the world's greatest power, and it will still be militarily invulnerable long after it loses that distinction.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said there are too many foreigners in France and the system for integrating them is "working worse and worse". In a TV debate, Mr Sarkozy defended his plan to almost halve the number of new arrivals if re-elected next month. Mr Sarkozy is trailing in the opinion polls behind the Socialist candidate Francois Hollande. He is also competing for conservative voters with the far-right National Front party led by Marine le Pen. The president said while immigration could be a boon for France, it needed to be controlled more tightly through tougher qualification rules for residency.
Award-winning Hungarian-Jewish writer Akos Kertesz has confirmed that he has applied for political asylum in Canada. Harassment and threats following the author’s controversial statements last summer about Hungary's role in the Holocaust have led him to seek asylum in Canada ... Writing in the American Hungarian-language newspaper Amerikai Nepszava, Kertesz said that Hungarians alone can now be blamed for the Holocaust because they, unlike the Germans, have failed to admit to and to repent for their crimes. He also referred to Hungarians as “genetically subservient” because they “do not feel the slightest remorse for the gravest of historical crimes, they shift their responsibility to others and always put the blame on others.”
Authorities are being stonewalled by the family of a newborn boy who died after contracting herpes through a controversial religious circumcision ritual, the Daily News has learned. Multiple sources in the Orthodox Jewish community said the two-week-old boy’s parents were related to a herpes-infected rabbi who conducted the circumcision according to tradition — using one’s mouth to remove blood from the wound. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is investigating the death and trying to identify the rabbi, or mohel, but family members have not been cooperative, sources said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked on as President Obama spoke this morning in the Oval Office of the White House. With Iran and its nuclear program looming over the discussions, President Obama said this morning that "the United States will always have Israel's back." The president's comment came with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is at the White House for talks today, by his side. For his part, Netanyahu told reporters that the U.S. and Israel stand together on policy toward Iran, The Associated Press reports.
... Four years ago, I stood before you and said that, "Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable." That belief has guided my actions as president. The fact is my administration's commitment to Israel's security has been unprecedented. Our military and intelligence cooperation has never been closer. Our joint exercises and training have never been more robust. Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance has increased every single year ... Israel's place as a Jewish and democratic state must be protected.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu immediately responded favorably to US President Barack Obama’s speech on Sunday, highlighting Obama’s remarks about Israel’s right to defend itself as it saw fit. “I appreciated the fact that he said Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat,” Netanyahu told reporters before meeting Canadian Jewish leaders. "I appreciated the fact that he said Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat,” Netanyahu told reporters before meeting Canadian Jewish leaders. "I appreciated the fact that President Obama reiterated his position that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, and that all options are on the table,” Netanyahu said.
With more than eight months to go before Election Day, California bundlers [major, wealthy donors] already might have rounded up more money for President Barack Obama's re-election bid than they did during the entire 2008 campaign, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Voluntary disclosures by the Obama campaign show that as of late January, Obama's California bundlers had raised at least $17.8 million, compared with just more than $15 million during the 2008 campaign ... Among the high-profile names on this year's bundling list are DreamWorks executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and Salesforce.com executive Marc Benioff ...
Thousands met recently at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, DC. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama addressed the gathering. The two also met to discuss Iran. Brian Becker, national coordinator of the anti-Zionist A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, gives his take on the conference. Runtime: 8:40 mins.
Russia would regard any military intervention linked to Iran's nuclear programme as a threat to its own security, Moscow's departing ambassador to NATO warned on Friday. "Iran is our neighbour," Dmitry Rogozin told reporters in Brussels. "And if Iran is involved in any military action, it's a direct threat to our security." Rogozin was speaking two days after the killing of a nuclear scientist in Tehran by a hitman on a motorcycle. Kremlin Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev, who is close to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said Israel was pushing the United States towards war with Iran, according to the Interfax news agency.
Long before the outbreak of the Second World War, and certainly long before the outcome of this European slaughter of brothers was foreseeable, the victors-to-be and their hangers-on had made plans for the disposition of Germany that contained fundamental violations of the Law of Nations. In addition to demilitarization and de-nazification projects there were plans for the destruction or expulsion of Germans from territories they have had inhabited for many centuries.
Latvian President Andris Berzins on Tuesday defended a controversial annual parade that honours troops from the Baltic state who fought the Soviet Union under the banner of Nazi Germany. Speaking on the LNT television channel, Berzins said veterans of the World War II Latvian Legion, a 140,000-strong unit of Germany's Waffen SS, deserved respect not condemnation ... Though not an official holiday, the day sees a parade by veterans and their families, as well as far-right activists.
In Riga, the capital of Latvia, joyful crowds welcome German troops as liberators from Soviet oppression, July 1, 1941. Brief video clip, with Latvian narration. Runtime: 37 secs.
... Whoever fashioned that blade was not supposed to be here. Its makers probably paddled from Europe and arrived in America thousands of years ahead of the western migration, making them the first Americans, argues Smithsonian Institution anthropologist Dennis Stanford. ... At the height of the last ice age, Stanford says, mysterious Stone Age European people known as the Solutreans paddled along an ice cap jutting into the North Atlantic. They lived like Inuits, harvesting seals and seabirds. The Solutreans eventually spread across North America, Stanford says, hauling their distinctive blades with them and giving birth to the later Clovis culture, which emerged some 13,000 years ago.
Some experts have called the nation's soaring college debt load a "ticking time bomb" — a looming crisis threatening young adults, their families and the broader economy. A new report raises even more alarms: It's likely that as many as one in four borrowers was carrying a past-due student loan balance in the third quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday. That's a much higher delinquency rate than previously thought.
Black students, especially boys, face much harsher discipline in public schools than other students, according to new data from the Department of Education. Although black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once and 39 percent of all expulsions ... One in five black boys and more than one in ten black girls received an out-of-school suspension. Over all, black students were three and a half times as likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers.
Here's the proof that photo fakery is nothing new. These days magazine 'artists' can indulge every whim of the vainest covergirls, but pictures involving celebrities have been modified for many a long year. Take this 150-year-old portrait of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, in which he looks every bit the all-American hero ... It has led to claims the 1860 portrait, stitched together from two pictures as 'no sufficiently heroic portrait of Lincoln had yet been taken', could be the first ever Photoshopped image. And a study of interesting images from down the years show how the art of photograph trickery has developed over time.
New evidence from France and Germany supports the story of Jean-Marie Loret, a man who believed Adolf Hitler was his father. Loret’s mother, Charlotte Lobjoie, is said to have had an affair with the future dictator in 1917, when she was 16. Loret died in 1985 ... Recent evidence reported by Le Point magazine has given Loret’s story even more credence. These include official military documents that show cash deliveries to Lobjoie during the German occupation of France. Paintings found in Lobjoie’s attic bear Hitler’s signature. A picture of a woman whom Hitler painted looks just like Lobjoie.
A tray presented to Hitler as a 50th birthday present which was expected to sell for 1,000 pounds has fetched a staggering 28,000 pounds at auction. The silver piece, with the Nazi leader's personal German eagle crest and initials on, was a gift from his chief architect Albert Speer, who later became the Fuhrer’s Minister of Armaments. A bidding frenzy sent the price spiralling as collectors from around the world battled over the phone and on the internet. There was spontaneous applause when the hammer eventually went down yesterday with an anonymous bidder paying an incredible sum of £28,000. The price doesn’t include VAT or commission to auctioneers.
Interracial marriages in the U.S. have climbed to 4.8 million – a record one in twelve – as a steady flow of new Asian and Hispanic immigrants expands the pool of prospective spouses. Blacks are now substantially more likely to marry whites. A Pew Research Center study, released Thursday, details an America where interracial unions and mixed-race children are challenging typical notions of race. “The rise in interracial marriage indicates that race relations have improved over the past quarter-century,” said Daniel Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University.
... Since early colonial times, and until just a few decades ago, virtually all Whites believed race was a fundamental aspect of individual and group identity. They believed people of different races had different temperaments and abilities, and built markedly different societies. They believed that only people of European stock could maintain a society in which they would wish to live and they strongly opposed miscegenation. For more than 300 years, therefore, American policy reflected a consensus on race that was the very opposite of what prevails today.