July 2012

Stephen M. Walt -- Foreign Policy

... We keep wondering: "Why do they hate us?" Well, maybe some people are mad because we are doing things that we would regard as unjustified and heinous acts of war if anyone dared to do them to us ... I also don't think Americans should be so surprised or so outraged when others are angered by actions that we would find equally objectionable if we were the victims instead of the perpetrators. And if we keep doing unto others in this way, it's only a matter of time before someone does it unto us in return.

Pepe Escobar

... What’s certain is who would profit from Syria being progressively balkanized. The House of Saud and Qatar would love nothing better than to have the civil war exported to Iraq and Lebanon; in their very narrow calculations, that would eventually yield fellow Sunni regimes ... But most of all this is the US-NATO-GCC vs Iran. Israel’s motives go way beyond the Saudi-Qatari sectarian lust. Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has just excavated a Bushism — calling Iran-Syria-Hezbollah an “axis of evil”. What Tel Aviv wants in the long run is clear: for Washington, Obama administration or not, to bring down the axis.

Eric Margolis

... As fighting raged in Syria, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak disclosed that he had asked the military to prepare for a possible attack on targets in Syria to secure strategic weapons in the event the Asad regime collapses. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a similar threat to attack Syria ... The US, France, Turkey and Israel have all finalized their contingency plans for attacking Syria. The biggest winner in such a scenario would be Israel, as it was in the US war against Iraq. Sending Syria into turmoil would eliminate the most important supporter of the Palestinians resistance, cut off Hezbullah, leave it vulnerable to a final assault, and isolate Iran.

The Guardian (Britain)

A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary $21 trillion (13 trillion pounds) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network. James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has compiled the most detailed estimates yet of the size of the offshore economy in a new report, The Price of Offshore Revisited, released exclusively to the Observer. He shows that at least £13 trillion -- perhaps up to £20 trillion [$31 trillion] -- has leaked out of scores of countries into secretive jurisdictions as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands with the help of private banks ...


An independently made video based on a talk by historian Mark Weber, "A Straight Look at the Jewish Lobby." Runtime: 17:29 mins. “As long as the `very powerful’ Jewish lobby remains entrenched, there will be no end to the systematic Jewish distortion of current affairs and history, the Jewish-Zionist domination of the U.S. political system, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East, and the Israeli threat to peace."

CBS 2 News (New York)

... An explosive ad about Israel is now igniting a firestorm of controversy. The display shows shrinking Palestinian territory in Israel over the years and refers to 4.7 million Palestinians there as refugees. The ads are appearing in 50 Metro-North stations. At the train station in White Plains, the politically-charged ad was raising eyebrows ... Henry Clifford, the chairman of a group called the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine, spent $25,000 of his own money on the ads.


Text by Maidhc Ó Cathail. Runtime: 5:57 mins. "... The Iraq War has, of course, also been called 'Wolfowitz’s War.' But it could just as aptly have been named after Perle, Feith, Libby, Zelikow, Lieberman, or any of the other pro-Israeli insiders who took America to war by way of deception. ... "Unless Americans soon realize that they’ve been deceived by those for whom 'American greatness' is merely a means to advance 'the survival of the state of Israel,' that legacy promises to be an enduring one."

Fred Reed

... The narrative of the US military springs from the national narrative. American soldiers are brave, wholesome young men selflessly sacrificing to overthrow brutal dictators, to defeat terror, and to give the oppressed peoples the benefits of democracy ... Quite different is what might be called the World Narrative, held around the globe with differing intensities and emphases. It holds the US to be an endlessly aggressive military power that is out of control, hypocritically speaking of democracy and freedom while supporting dictators and overthrowing elected governments. America is arrogant, crassly materialistic, crime-ridden, vulgar, racially unjust, the world's only avowed practitioner of torture, economically exploitative, imperialistic and intolerant of other cultures.

Maribel Hastings -- National Journal

... By now, many Americans are familiar with the long-range projections that mark America’s transition into a world nation: By 2023, ethnic minorities will represent a majority of the under-18 population; by 2050, minorities will represent a majority of the entire population ... The basic trend toward new faces in new places seems irreversible: From 2000 to 2010, Hispanics accounted for at least 40 percent of the population growth in half of the 50 states. It’s probably not a surprise that minorities represent a majority of the elementary and secondary school children in Miami-Dade County and Los Angeles, but now they constitute 30 percent in Lincoln, Neb.; 50 percent in Des Moines, Iowa; and 53 percent in Salt Lake City.


President Obama named or renamed seven members of the US Holocaust Memorial Council, all donors to Democrats and including representatives from the entertainment, social media and human rights sectors, as well as a past AIPAC president ... Most are involved in communications, through involvement in the entertainment and social media industries, or through lobbying. Presidents tend to favor such appointees as effective fundraisers and conveyors of the memorial's message ... All of the appointees have given predominantly to Democrats, although a number have also given occasionally to Republicans.

Sky News (Australia)

Australia will contribute $500,000 to help preserve the World War II concentration camp sites, Auschwitz and Birkenau, in southern Poland. Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the camps continue to serve as a solemn reminder of the terrible crimes perpetrated against millions of people during the war ... Ms Gillard said Australia had joined the community of nations in contributing to the perpetual fund of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. 'The intention of the fund is simple, to ensure that the foundation will never want for money so that Auschwitz-Birkenau will always be conserved,' she said at the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne. 'We make this gift because Auschwitz is a place and a story for all humankind and for all time."

The Independent (Britain)

... On the whole, the [2008] exhibition makes Paris under Nazi occupation seem like a pleasant enough sort of place. There are few cars. Nazi propaganda posters, swastikas and strutting officers in German uniform occasionally intrude. Otherwise, people chat gaily at terrace cafés; children roller-skate and watch puppet shows; lovers sit beside the Seine ... The notion that the French capital suffered terribly under the Nazi yoke was first fostered by General Charles de Gaulle ... In truth, as the historian Jean-Pierre Azéema points out in the book which goes with the exhibition, Paris was deliberately treated with kid gloves by the Nazi propaganda machine.

André Zucca

Color photos by French photographer André Zucca show daily life in Paris during the years of the World War II German occupation, 1940-1944.

Newsreel (Video)

Estonians mark the anniversary of their nation’s liberation from Soviet tyranny.
At celebrations in 1943 in Tallinn, the country's capital and largest city, Estonians recall the liberation of their country by German forces in 1941. Large crowds line the streets to applaud sport and folkloric groups. Many are in traditional dress. And in a large stadium, decorated with Estonian and German swastika flags, people applaud girl gymnasts. From the wartime German weekly newsreel, "Die Deutsche Wochenschau," of Oct. 13, 1943. German-language narration. Runtime: 1:16 mins.

The Guardian (Britain)

Israel's ministry of defence has rejected an appeal to save eight West Bank Palestinian villages in the southern Hebron hills that are slated for demolition to make way for an Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) training ground. Defence minister Ehud Barak reiterated to Israel's high court on Sunday the state's position that the Palestinian villagers are not full-time residents of the land and should be removed to the nearby town of Yatta.

Carl O. Nordling – Institute for Historical Review

... It has been a common belief that about six million Jews died in these camps, intentionally killed in accordance with a grand program for the physical extermination of the entire Jewish population of Europe ... Our general conclusion must be that the question posed in this article's title cannot be answered with any precision as long as we have recourse only to the above-mentioned sources. The general magnitude was certainly half a million, but the actual number of Jews who died in the German concentration camps might well have been as low as 300,000 or as high as 600,000.

Carl O. Nordling – Institute for Historical Review

... There is, however, a certain substantial group, consisting of Jews whose individual fates are all fairly well known, so that the entire group may be studied statistically. From such a study, at least some general conclusions may be drawn. For convenience, this group will be called here the "Jewish Establishment Group," or EstG ... About one third of those [Jews] who did not emigrate were taken prisoner by the Nazis. As prisoners they were treated in various ways. It turns out that 13% were released, 28% survived imprisonment and 21% died under circumstances demonstrably excluding organized mass murder. The remaining 38% (7% of the EstG total) probably died from a variety of causes, possibly including gas chambers and most certainly also typhoid fever, starvation, ill-treatment and hypothermia.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ex-deputy said on Tuesday the Israeli leader's attempt to recruit hawkish rebels from former coalition partner Kadima was aimed at boosting cabinet support for striking Iran. Asked on Army Radio whether he believed such a political deal related to Iran had been in the works, Kadima chief Shaul Mofaz said: "I am saying this with a very heavy heart and with deep foreboding that this is happening in Israel." A spokeswoman for Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party accused Mofaz of making irresponsible comments on national security. Tzahi Hanegbi, a defector from centrist Kadima, called Mofaz's allegations fiction aimed at "stirring up fears that Israel is going to take action."

The Associated Press

A group of Orthodox rabbis warned Wednesday that the ancient Jewish practice of infant male circumcision could face further restrictions in Europe after some hospitals in Austria and Switzerland suspended the procedure by citing a German court ruling that it could amount to criminal bodily harm. Last month's verdict by a regional court in Cologne didn't ban circumcision. But it prompted angry protests from Jewish and Muslims groups, especially after the German Medical Association advised doctors not to perform unnecessary circumcisions until the legal situation is clarified — something Germany's government has pledged to do soon. Two weeks ago, a hospital in the Swiss city of Zurich also suspended circumcisions ...

Mark Weber -- Institute for Historical Review

In the months following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, many [Americans] expected an immediate attack against the West Coast. Fear gripped the country and a wave of hysterical antipathy against the Japanese engulfed the Pacific Coast … The Japanese were sent to concentration camps not by a group of West Coast racists seeking economic advantage, but by a popular and powerful government run by democratic liberals. At the top of the list of those responsible for not only authorizing the program, but also for keeping it in operation was President Franklin Roosevelt.


The rich are getting richer, and everyone else is going deeper into debt trying to keep up. The bottom 95 percent of Americans have seen debt levels balloon compared to their earnings over the past 20 years or so, as falling incomes made them more dependent on credit to maintain their lifestyles. In 1983, the bottom 95% had 62 cents of debt for every dollar they earned, according to research by two International Monetary Fund economists. But by 2007, the ratio had soared to $1.48 of debt for every $1 in earnings ... The debt divide is a result of the growing income gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else.

Paul Craig Roberts

... Americans got nothing out of the wars, but as the war debt will never be paid off, US citizens and their descendants will have to pay interest on $6,000 billion of war debt in perpetuity. Not content with these wars, the Bush/Obama regime is conducting military operations in violation of international law in Pakistan, Yemen, and Africa, organized the overthrow by armed conflict of the government in Libya, is currently working to overthrow the Syrian government, and continues to marshal military forces against Iran ... Washington is becoming an isolated and despised element of the world community.

Fact Check - The Associated Press

When Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney decried the “prairie fire” of U.S. debt Tuesday, he ignored some of the sparks that set it ablaze ... Romney's tax and spending plans don't support his vow to dampen the debt fire. He proposes to cut taxes and expand the armed forces, putting yet more stress on the budget, and his promise to slash domestic spending isn't backed by the big specifics ... A study by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget concluded earlier this year that Romney's plans would not make a dent in deficits, and could worsen them considerably. That study was done before Romney upped his tax cuts, inviting even deeper debt.

Derek Thompson -- The Atlantic

... For all the talk you hear about Obama's historic spree, government spending actually hasn't increased so dramatically under this president. The stimulus was big, but it's over. It's been replaced by, if not austerity (which has struck our states and cities) then a hard correction to the center ... Going by federal expenditures (and note these are nominal figures), it would seem that if Obama's a socialist, Ronald Reagan is Karl Marx with an ICBM ... It is really, truly time for the myth about Big Spender Obama to die. If anything, it is remarkable that, after a recession and a private sector implosion, the public sector expanded less under this administration than it did under Bush or Reagan, especially when you consider the government cuts made at the state and local levels.


... Federal debt as a share of the nation's income has varied. Historically, the nation has run up deficits during wars and recessions, but then debt has subsequently declined. For example, debt as a share of the economy peaked just after World War II (112.7% of GDP [Gross Domestic Product] in 1945), but then fell. In recent years, however, sharp increases in deficits and the resulting increases in debt have led to heightened concern about the long-term sustainability of the federal government's fiscal policies. As of May 2012, debt held by the public was $11 trillion, while the intra-governmental debt was $4.76 trillion, to give a combined total public debt outstanding of $15.77 trillion, roughly 102% of current dollar GDP.

The Wall Street Journal

Interactive chart tracks Standard & Poor's credit rating and outlook among advanced economies and emerging economies, as well each nation's debt-to-GDP ratio, starting in 2006 and projected through 2016.

Jonathan Cook

The recently published report by an Israeli judge concluding that Israel is not in fact occupying the Palestinian territories – despite a well-established international consensus to the contrary – has provoked mostly incredulity or mirth in Israel and abroad ... Annexation, however, poses its own dangers. Israel must either offer the Palestinians citizenship and wait for a non-Jewish majority to emerge in Greater Israel; or deny them citizenship and face pariah status as an apartheid state ... Israel could annex nearly two-thirds of the West Bank and still safely confer citizenship on Palestinians there. Adding 150,000 to the existing 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, a fifth of the population, would not erode the Jewish majority's dominance.

If Americans Knew

The U.S. is providing Israel with at least $8.2 million each day in military aid ... Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars.

Richard H. Curtiss

Americans have read that "Israel receives $3 billion in annual US foreign aid." That's true. But it's still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other US federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of US grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000. One can truthfully blame the mainstream media for never digging out these figures for themselves, because none ever have. But the mainstream media certainly are not alone.

The Christian Science Monitor

The Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip has been blamed for a multitude of problems facing the population there: malnutrition, unemployment, limited access to electricity and potable water. Gazan students and educators say that under the Israeli-imposed siege, education is suffering too. The blockade makes it so difficult to bring in books that they are forced to resort to bootlegging and smuggling, they say. The limited supply of original books has driven up costs, making them difficult for most Gazans to afford.

Alfred Lilienthal

... Americans of Jewish faith cannot visualize the extent to which their rabbis and secular leadership, operating through Organized Jewry, have totally deceived them into confusing humanitarianism with nation-building, religion and nationalism. A home could have been found in 1947 for the 285 000 survivors of Hitler's concentration camps without ever establishing a state; just as today security for the Jews of Israel can be obtained without the continued expansionism wrought by the West Bank settlements policy or the ruthless repression of the rights of the Palestinian people.

Tom Sunic - Institute for Historical Review

… Putting different people together into larger, unnatural entities brings disaster. Mutual vilification and name calling eventually become the norm. Among the similarities between the former Soviet Union and present-day America is a comparably linear and static view of history ... It seems to me that the only way to stop the process of Western collective suicide is by discarding the ideology of progress, the myth of egalitarianism, and the theology of market democracy. … The linear concept of the “end of history,” a currently fashionable notion that holds that liberal democracy is a final or a permanent form of social order, is a willful act of intellectual stupidity.

The Associated Press

The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net. Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections. The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent.

Der Spiegel (Germany)

Germany is Europe's paymaster because it committed the Holocaust, claims a new book by Thilo Sarrazin, a firebrand author and former board member of the German central bank. The claim by the controversial writer achieved the desired effect of stoking publicity for Tuesday's launch of 'Europe Doesn't Need the Euro.' ... Sarrazin writes that supporters of euro bonds in Germany "are driven by that very German reflex, that we can only finally atone for the Holocaust and World War II when we have put all our interests and money into European hands," ...

The Nation - Editorial

... Obama argued powerfully that “now is not the time for bluster,” yet his administration has adopted a strategic approach that is moving the United States closer to war ... Another questionable proposition is that an Iranian nuclear weapon is a threat to Israel, and therefore Israel and the United States have the right to launch a preventive military strike. This approach embraces the Bush administration’s illegal doctrine of preventive war — the claim that a country can start hostilities not to pre-empt imminent attack but merely to forestall a potential threat ... It must be troubling to the Obama administration that Netanyahu has this much influence over the fate of a second term: an Israeli military strike against Iran would almost certainly draw the United States into a new conflict in the Middle East and send oil prices soaring.

MSNBC - Video

Instead of a policy of threats and hostility, the US should pursue cooperative relations with Iran, says Zbigniew Brzezinski, scholar and former US National Security Adviser. With regard to the conflict in Afghanistan, he says, the US should take advantage of "openings" and "engage" Tehran. "We need" the Iranians, he goes on, to deal with "unresolved issues of the Middle East." Brzezinski appears with his daughter, Mika, and Joe Scarborough, on the MSNBC television show "Morning Joe," Oct. 25, 2011. Runtime: 6:53 mins.

The Associated Press

Some of the loudest cheers Saturday at San Diego's gay pride parade were for active-duty troops marching in military dress, the first time that U.S. service members participated in such an event while in full uniform. Dozens of soldiers, sailors, and Marines marched alongside an old Army truck decorated with a "Freedom to Serve" banner and a rainbow flag ... The Defense Department said it was making the allowance for the San Diego event even though its policy generally bars troops from marching in uniform in parades. The Defense Department said Thursday it did so because organizers had encouraged military personnel to march in their uniform and the parade was getting national attention.

Daily Mail (Britain)

White Americans feel they are more discriminated against than blacks, a new study reveals. Sociologists from Harvard and Tufts universities asked 209 white and 208 black men and women to rate 'racism' against both ethnic groups since the 1950s on a scale of one to ten. The results showed that while both blacks and whites saw anti-black racism decreasing over the decades, whites saw race relations as a 'zero sum game' where they were losing out as blacks 'gained' the advantage ... Despite predictions that Barack Obama's election in 2008 would herald a 'post racial' America, this had not in fact occurred.

The Associated Press

A Russian baritone who was due to sing the lead role in Richard Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" when the Bayreuth opera festival opens next week withdrew from the event Saturday after it emerged that he once had Nazi-related symbols tattooed on his body. A German television program broadcast Friday showed old footage of a bare-chested Evgeny Nikitin playing drums in a rock band, in which a swastika tattoo partly covered by another symbol could be seen. The festival said Nikitin made his decision amid questions from a German newspaper about the significance of some of his tattoos.


In a course at UCLA called “Tribal Worldviews,” Associate Professor David Delgado Shorter included in his syllabus a link petition that boycotts Israel. UCLA Faculty Senate Chairman Dr. Andrew Leuchter, a psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences professor at UCLA, accused Shorter of using his academic position to promote an anti-Semitic political agenda. The faculty itself ultimately sided with Shorter, vindicating him of wrongdoing. The UCLA Academic Senate's Committee on Academic Freedom ruled last week that Shorter’s actions fell well under the umbrella of academic freedom. According to UCLA policy, professors may present controversial material in class provided that it remains a tool of “teaching a controversy” rather than a persuasive device.


An Israeli artist is challenging boundaries — national, political and artistic — with his project to create a Jewish state in the former East Germany. Ronen Eidelman wants to raise questions about national identity, anti-Semitism and the complex relationship involving Germany, Jews and Israel ... Eidelman’s proposal for “Medinat Weimar” [Hebrew: "State of Weimar"] apparently has touched raw nerves ... There are some historical and artistic precedents. In 1934, Joseph Stalin established a Jewish region in the Soviet republic of Birobidjan. In 1940, Gestapo head Adolf Eichmann approved resettling Jews in Madagascar, but he never acted on it.

Mark Weber

America's image today of Benito Mussolini and his Italian Fascist regime is, to a considerable extent, a product of Second World War propaganda. The wartime image of the Duce (leader) as a clownish bully remains largely intact to this day. But this was not always so. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Mussolini and Fascist Italy were generally well regarded in the United States.

K. C. Gleason – Institute for Historical Review

... There are even those who insist that American officials were well aware of Hitler's crimes during World War Two, yet chose purposely not to stop them. Documentation made available only during the past decade, however, amply demonstrates that the volatile accusations of American indifference -- even collusion -- are unwarranted. That the Roosevelt administration (and, it is also charged, American Jews) did not act with dispatch to effect the rescue of European Jewry, shows essentially that the tales of extermination were not believed. This study will examine what was known of allegations of a German policy of mass murder in Europe, and whether the many wartime reports about such allegations were credible.

Mark Weber - Institute for Historical Review

Most of the important information assembled in this significant book has already been presented and evaluated by others … But in The Abandonment of the Jews, David Wyman goes further than any other historian to accuse the Allied wartime leadership of passive complicity in the Holocaust … As a result of this kind of coverage, The Abandonment of the Jews may have already put a real dent in the Roosevelt iconography. The book's greatest significance, though, is probably as an expression of a growing trend to shift the collective guilt for what is regarded as history's most evil deed from Hitler and the Germans to all of non-Jewish humanity, including the Americans.

Philip Ball – BBC News

... If there’s one characteristic shared by almost every human society, it is inequality: the existence of a social hierarchy ... Though some might dream of utopias in which no one has any more power or importance than another, these social hierarchies always rear their head eventually ... Is this, in fact, a law of nature? A paper in the Journal of Theoretical Biology by economist Tamas David-Barrett of Birkbeck College in London and anthropologist Robin Dunbar of Oxford University seems to say so. It shows that the existence of a social hierarchy in a community can be adaptive, in the sense that it helps the community to function more efficiently.


Israel is preparing for a possible military intervention in Syria in case the Syrian government hands missiles or chemical weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Friday. "I have instructed the military to increase its intelligence preparations and prepare what is needed so that ... (if necessary) ... we will be able to consider carrying out an operation," Barak said in an interview on Channel 10 television. "We are following ... the possible transfer of advanced munitions systems, mainly anti-aircraft missiles or heavy ground-to-ground missiles, but there could also be a possibility of the transfer of chemical means (weapons) from Syria to Lebanon," he added.

John Toland -- Institute for Historical Review

I've been called everything from an extreme liberal to an ultra-conservative. I am neither. I have been labeled a "Nazi" because of my numerous interviews with Hitler's adjutants, secretaries, doctors, and military leaders, both SS and Wehrmacht … I have tried to approach history as a non-partisan, ignoring nationality and ideology, and to portray the horrors of war through the sufferings of ordinary people as well as in the imaginations of the mighty. Throughout it all, I have tried to present living history, human history, with subjective objectivity, in my obsessive search for reality.

Joel Kotkin

Today's youth, both here and abroad, have been screwed by their parents' fiscal profligacy and economic mismanagement ... No generation has suffered more from the Great Recession than the young. Median net worth of people under 35, according to the U.S. Census, fell 37 percent between 2005 and 2010; those over 65 took only a 13 percent hit. The wealth gap today between younger and older Americans now stands as the widest on record ... The screwed generation also enters adulthood loaded down by a mountain of boomer- and senior-incurred debt - debt that spirals ever more out of control.

The Atlantic

... Muncie [Indiana] is the story of America. In this place -- dubbed "Middletown" by early 20th-century sociologists -- people have lost faith in their institutions. Government, politics, corporations, the media, organized religion, organized labor, banks, businesses, and other mainstays of a healthy society are failing. It's not just that the institutions are corrupt or broken; those clichés oversimplify an existential problem: With few notable exceptions, the nation's onetime social pillars are ill-equipped for the 21st century. Most critically, they are failing to adapt quickly enough for a population buffeted by wrenching economic, technological, and demographic change.

US News

... The annual Gallup poll gauging trust in institutions shows alarmingly weak support for many of the pillars of American society. That doesn't mean a revolution is brewing, but it suggests a profound shift in the way elected officials will be able to govern ... The proportion of Americans who say they trust Congress is at 13 percent. Those who trust the presidency and the Supreme Court: 37 percent. Only 21 percent of Americans trust big business or banks. Even educators breed suspicion these days, with just 29 percent of Americans saying they trust public schools. All of those numbers are at or near record lows.

Deadline Hollywood

Just 21% of adults say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in TV news, down from 27% last year — and the lowest percentage since Gallup started taking the poll in 1993 — the research firm says today. A whopping 46% of respondents gave a thumbs-up to TV news in 1993. It hovered in the mid-to-low 30% range until 2007, when it dropped to 23%. What’s striking about this year’s results, though, is that it’s the first time in years when conservatives hold TV news in slightly higher regard than do liberals and moderates.

BBC News

The end of the world is nigh. Or so you might think if you immersed yourself in American popular culture. From TV adverts to Hollywood movies, depictions of post-apocalyptic worlds are everywhere. There is a long tradition of such apocalyptic thinking in the US. But as Matthew Barrett Gross and Mel Giles argue in their book The Last Myth, it has now moved beyond religious prophecies into the secular world. The authors also claim that activists from both the political left and right have embraced apocalypse thinking, issuing dramatic warnings that everything from the traditional American way of life to the very existence of the planet is under threat.

Eric Margolis

... Germany's army and air force were broken on the Eastern Front's titanic battles. The numbers speak for themselves. The Soviets destroyed 75-80% of all German divisions -- 4 million soldiers -- and most of the Luftwaffe. Russia lost at least 14 million soldiers and a similar number of civilians. The Red Army destroyed 507 Axis divisions. On the Western Front after D-Day, the Allies destroyed 176 badly under-strength German divisions ... World War II was not a good and evil struggle between "western democracies" and "totalitarian powers," as we are still wrongly taught.

David Frum – National Review On Line

… Max Hastings’s book, Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-45, rates among the most tragic books I have ever read. Opening in September 1944, after the battle for Normandy, when the western Allies believes the war was all but over, Hastings plunges into seven months of violence more total than anything our planet had ever suffered before, or ever will again barring a nuclear war … The Germans resisted to the last as ferociously on the western as on the eastern front. And since the German army, man for man, was the best fighting force in Europe, this extended resistance prolonged the war months beyond all Allied expectations.

Eric Margolis

… History is the propaganda of the victors. Few photographs of the gulag have survived, evidence was destroyed, and witnesses have died. Churchill and Roosevelt could not admit they were allied to the greatest mass killer since Genghis Khan, and complicit in his crimes. Or reveal that Communist agents of influence had shaped White House policy. The feeble-minded Roosevelt even hailed Stalin as "Uncle Joe." … Those who considered the Jewish Holocaust a unique historical crime were not eager to bring attention to Stalin’s genocide lest it diminish or dilute their own people’s suffering.

The Algemeiner Journal (Brooklyn, New York)

A new study of anti-Semitic attitudes in Norway has triggered a lively debate over the degree of hostility toward Jews and Israel in that Scandinavian country. The controversy has left some Israelis wondering if Norway has joined the growing list of European countries that seem to be turning against the Jewish state ... Current tensions over Norwegian attitudes toward the Holocaust first emerged three years ago, when the Norwegian government launched a yearlong celebration of the life and work of a Nobel Prize-winning novelist who supported the Nazis.

The Independent (Britain)

... When Norway was under Nazi occupation, he [Knut Hamsun] met Hitler and gave Goebbels the Nobel Prize Medal for Literature that he had been awarded in 1920. Neither did he relent or apologise when the war was over. A week after Hitler committed suicide, Hamsun wrote an obituary praising him as "a warrior for mankind", "a prophet of the gospel of justice for all nations" and "a reformer of the highest sort".

CNS News

Briefly setting aside divisions over a multitude of issues, Republican and Democratic lawmakers Tuesday came together in a strong show of support for legislation reaffirming and strengthening America’s security relationship with Israel. By voice vote, the House of Representatives passed a bill that expands military and civilian cooperation with Israel, including joint missile-defense projects, authorizes an increase in the US stockpile of military equipment in Israel, and extends current loan guarantees to Israel four a further four years. The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act (S. 2165) states that it is U.S. policy to reaffirm commitment to Israel’s security “as a Jewish state" ...

Philip Giraldi - The Passionate Attachment

... Fast forward four years. I would argue that all of that has now changed due to the complete acceptance by Washington elites and the media that Israel’s enemies are also the enemies of the United States. Washington has absolutely no compelling national interest in bringing about regime change in Syria or in going to war against Iran, quite the contrary. But Israel and its US lobby support the removal of Assad because it will reduce Syria to a collection of feuding ethnicities and will therefore be no threat to Israel, so the White House obligingly does the heavy lifting by supporting the rebels ... One might call it the complete Israelization of US foreign and defense policy.

NewsyVoice – Video

What's behind Romney's seemingly boundless support for Israel.
Runtime: 3:09 mins.

Press-TV (Iran)

“Ninety percent of the people that were convicted of fraud, with regard to the S&L meltdown, were Jewish," says financial analyst Joachim Martillo. "We have to start looking at the ethnic manipulation, the corruption, and conspiracy on Wall Street," he goes on. Martillo is a Yale and Harvard graduate who developed Internet technology at MIT and worked with American and Israeli defense corporations. “There is an intimate connection between the collapse of the financial system, both in the United States and worldwide, and US international policy and its manipulation by a class of hyper-wealthy Jewish Zionists. And we have to start talking about this honestly, or there will never be a solution," he also says. Runtime: 4:19 mins.

K. C. Gleason – Institute for Historical Review

... There are even those who insist that American officials were well aware of Hitler's crimes during World War Two, yet chose purposely not to stop them. Documentation made available only during the past decade, however, amply demonstrates that the volatile accusations of American indifference -- even collusion -- are unwarranted. That the Roosevelt administration (and, it is also charged, American Jews) did not act with dispatch to effect the rescue of European Jewry, shows essentially that the tales of extermination were not believed. This study will examine what was known of allegations of a German policy of mass murder in Europe, and whether the many wartime reports about such allegations were credible.

Mark Weber - Institute for Historical Review

Most of the important information assembled in this significant book has already been presented and evaluated by others … But in The Abandonment of the Jews, David Wyman goes further than any other historian to accuse the Allied wartime leadership of passive complicity in the Holocaust … As a result of this kind of coverage, The Abandonment of the Jews may have already put a real dent in the Roosevelt iconography. The book's greatest significance, though, is probably as an expression of a growing trend to shift the collective guilt for what is regarded as history's most evil deed from Hitler and the Germans to all of non-Jewish humanity, including the Americans.

Aaron David Miller

... . Let's be clear about one thing. The intimacy of the U.S.-Egyptian relationship began as a direct result of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty ... The [Egyptian] military will abide by the letter of the treaty, but the spirit - comatose for some time now - may go into complete arrest as Egyptian public opinion plays a greater role in setting the tone on Israel ... In the latest Pew polls, 76 percent of Egyptians had an unfavorable view of the Obama administration; poll numbers from Shibley Telhami found only 25 percent favored Obama's re-election and 85 percent had an unfavorable view of the U.S. in general.


Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warns Newsmax.TV that a confrontation with Iran would be disastrous for the United States, lasting for years and possibly devastating America's economy. “A war in the Middle East, in the present context, may last for years,” Brzezinski, who served in the Carter White House, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “And the economic consequences of it are going to be devastating for the average American. “High inflation. Instability. Insecurity. Probably significant isolation for the United States in the world scene,” Brzezinski said. “Can you name me any significant country that’s going to be in that war together on our side? “That’s something no one can afford to ignore,” Brzezinski added.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

Two former Prime Ministers of Israel are in the news these days. They represent two of the many faces of Israel. They also raise a universal question: which is preferable – an honest fanatic or a corrupt pragmatist? Yitzhak Shamir died two weeks ago .. When I described him on TV as “the most successful terrorist of the 20th century”, the interviewer raised his eyebrows. But it was an accurate description ... Shamir, the dead honest fanatic, has many followers. Olmert, the living corrupt pragmatist, has very few. Netanyahu, their current successor, has the vices of both and the virtues of neither.

Robert John -- Institute for Historical Review

The Balfour Declaration may be the most extraordinary document produced by any government in world history. It took the form of a letter from the government of His Britannic Majesty King George the Fifth, the Government of the largest empire the world has even known, on which -- once upon a time -- the sun never set; a letter to an international financier of the banking house of Rothschild who had been made a peer of the realm … Malcolm's belief in the Balfour Declaration as a means of bringing the United States into the war was confirmed by Samuel Landman, secretary to the Zionist leaders Weizmann and Sokolow, and later secretary of the World Zionist Organization.

Ynet News (Israel)

Right-wing lawmaker tears up 'abominable' book sent to him by Christian organization, throws it in trash bin / MK [member of Israeli Knesset] Michael Ben Ari (National Union party), a member of the Israeli parliament tore up a copy of the New Testament and threw it in the trash, an act that was apparently caught on camera ... The rightist lawmaker chose to term the book a "provocation," tore it up into shreds and then threw it out. “This abominable book (the New Testament) galvanized the murder of millions of Jews during the Inquisition and during auto da fe instances,” Ben Ari said adding that “Sending the book to MK's is a provocation. There is no doubt that this book and all it represents belongs in the garbage can of history.”

Joseph Sobran

… Israel is based on the principle that Jews have rights “goyim” don’t have. Hence its abuse of Arab gentiles and its defiance of Western gentiles. Mark Weber, of the Institute for Historical Review, has summed up the situation in one pithy sentence: “The truth is that if we held Israel to the same standards that we apply to Serbia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, U.S. bombers and missiles would be blasting Tel Aviv, and we’d be putting Israeli prime minister Sharon behind bars for war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Mail & Guardian (South Africa)

Stephen Goodson has been on the South African Reserve Bank's board from 2003. He holds extremist views on Hitler's Germany and Gaddafi's Libya. / ... [He] holds contentious views that include admiring the economic policies pursued by Hitler in Nazi Germany, a belief that international bankers financed and manipulated the war against Hitler because they saw his model of state capitalism as a threat to their usurious ways, and that the Holocaust was a fiction invented to extract vast amounts of compensation from the defeated Germans.

BBC News

A pro-Nazi text has been discovered under a statue at a war memorial in Vienna, Austrian officials say. The document - expressing hopes of the German people's unification under the Sonnenrad ["sun wheel"] -- a reference to the Nazi swastika -- was found in a capsule under the statue of the Unknown Soldier. It was put there by sculptor Wilhelm Frass in 1935 -- three years before Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. The metal capsule has now been removed, and the memorial will be redesigned. Several times a year Austrian leaders and visiting dignitaries lay wreaths at the statue of the Unknown Soldier, the BBC's Bethany Bell in the Austrian capital reports.

BBC News

Hungarian authorities have put a 97-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect, Laszlo Csatary, under house arrest. He is number one on the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center's wanted list and is accused of assisting in the murder of 15,700 Jews. Mr Csatary was taken in for questioning on Wednesday. He has denied the accusations against him. State prosecutor Tibor Ibolya said: "One of his arguments in his defence is that he was obeying orders." Mr Ibolya said Mr Csatary was accused of a "war crime committed by unlawful torture of human beings", which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Marc Parry - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Most academic historians labor in obscurity. But in Poland last year, a Princeton professor's slim volume of Holocaust history became a controversial best seller ... Such is the radioactive celebrity of Jan T. Gross, whom one Polish critic has called "a vampire of historiography." Mr. Gross's latest book, just released in English by Oxford University Press, investigates a sensitive topic: how Poles colluded in the pillaging and murder of Jews "at the periphery of the Holocaust."


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday the United States and Israel were "on the same page" in their determination to prevent Iran from achieving what the West fears its goal of building a nuclear bomb. In Jerusalem on the last stop of an Asian and Middle East tour, Clinton said she and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "talked about concrete steps that we can take to continue to build the pressure" on Tehran. Israel is widely thought to be the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons capability and, citing threats made by Iran's leaders to destroy it, has made clear it would attack the Islamic Republic if diplomacy fails.

Danny Schechter

... It’s just one step of an ongoing process with many stages that usually leads to armed conflict even if it is always presented as a way to reduce conflict ... Behind all the feigned benevolence is a clear threat. “Barack Obama is a president that says what he means and does what he says ... Sanctions are only a first blow a global strategy -- a prelude to a stronger fistful of options that are being readied. How will Tehran respond? Does it understand the need for a less bellicose and more savvy media counter strategy? And in the USA, are the forces opposed to another war -- this time for an obvious domestic political objective -- aware enough and prepared enough to try to stop it?

Daily Mail (Britain)

... Although the Lusitania was certainly struck by a German torpedo, survivors reported hearing a second explosion, which caused the fatal damage. Now, as part of a TV documentary, a diving team has visited the wreck to find out what caused this mysterious second blast ... Soon after the sinking, rumours circulated that the ship had also been carrying explosives destined for the front. Endangering innocent civilians in such a way – if proved – could constitute a war crime almost as serious as the U-boat’s targeting of the passenger liner, an atrocity that helped bring the US into the war against Germany in revenge for the many Americans who died.

John Ries -- Institute for Historical Review

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.

Daily Mail (Britain)

With boarded up windows, peeling paint and crumbling bricks these deserted St. Louis buildings have been long forgotten. Residents seem to have fled years ago and the dilapidated properties now serve as a bleak reminder of the Missouri city's declining population and struggling industry. However, one local photographer -- keen to highlight the problems facing the Gateway City -- is now drawing attention to the abandoned buildings.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Once the center of the country's booming steel industry and known as the City of the Century, Gary, Indiana, now lies in ruins as a sad example of American industrial decline. Founded in 1906 by the US Steel Corporation, Gary's heyday was in the post-war boom of the 1950s when almost 200,000 people lived and worked in the bustling city, 25 miles from Chicago ... No one now uses the once bustling train stations, churches and auditoriums that are now decaying as they are left to the elements. The decay has been captured by photographer David Tribby in stunning photos.

The Hill (Washington, DC)

Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority. A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership. The results signal broad voter unease with the direction the nation has taken under Obama’s leadership and present a major challenge for the incumbent Democrat as he seeks reelection this fall.

Hengist – Focal Point

In 1981, Jack Glenn, director of the popular 1940's newsreel series "March of Time" died at age 76. His obituary ... let slip an amazing revelation: "As senior director for the popular movie house newsreel, he often created world events with actors and movie sets. One such news feature film, Inside Nazi Germany, made in 1938, included footage of a 'concentration camp' that was filmed on Staten Island with scores of New York City actors..." Millions of Americans watching the "news"-reels in their local theatres were convinced that they were seeing "the real thing." How many such images of "reality" that we see on a regular basis are actually the creation of movie magicians?

Mark Weber – Podcast

Decades of deceitful motion pictures have done much to produce a misinformed and compliant American public. A notable example of such film deceit is "Mission to Moscow," a major Hollywood production made with White House backing, that portrays Soviet dictator Stalin and the Soviet Russian regime as benevlolent, peace-loving and trustworthy. Another good example is the "Why We Fight" series of documentary-style films produced by the US War Department, which have been viewed by millions. Made during World War II, these seven films use staged scenes and fake quotations to present a grossly distorted view of history and the world.

Ingolf Vogeler -- University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

... According to the federal census of 1830, free blacks owned more than 10,000 slaves in Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia. The majority of black slaveowners lived in Louisiana and planted sugar cane. The majority of black masters had not been slaves themselves. Yet, the ranks of black slave masters were diverse: some acquired slaves as soon as they had accumulated enough capital after their own freedom, others received slaves with their own freedom from their white masters, and others had been free for several generations. Free black masters used slaves to work their farms as skilled and unskilled workers in urban centers and as hired workers to other employers.

Pathé newsreel (Britain) – Video

The high-profile wedding of Hermann Goering and Emmy Sonnemann, a prominent opera singer, is presented in this British "Pathé Gazette" newsreel report. The stately event on April 10, 1935, takes place in a large Lutheran cathedral in Berlin. Hitler is the best man. Goering, the regime's second most powerful personality, later headed the nation's air force during World War II. Runtime: 1:28 mins.

James R. Maxeiner – The Atlantic

... In other countries' systems of civil justice, judges actually judge. They frame issues, they take evidence (when needed), and they decide cases according to law. Judges do not leave procedural decisions in the hands of competing lawyers, who naturally seek advantage -- they guide process. From the beginning of the lawsuit, they impartially apply law to facts to determine parties' claims under the law. The parties are required to help. The German system in particular provides a clear example of how a civil justice system can work better.

Walter E. Williams

Our nation is rapidly approaching a point from which there's little chance to avoid a financial collapse ... Here's the question for us: Is the U.S. moving in a direction toward or away from the troubled EU nations? It turns out that our national debt, which was 35 percent of GDP during the 1970s, is now 106 percent of GDP, a level not seen since World War II's 122 percent. That debt, plus our more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, has led Standard & Poor's to downgrade our credit rating ... I am all too afraid that Benjamin Franklin correctly saw our nation's destiny when he said, "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

David Cay Johnston - Reuters

A broad swath of official economic data shows that America and its people are in much worse shape than when we paid higher taxes, higher interest rates and made more of the manufactured goods we use. The numbers since the turn of the millennium point to even worse times ahead if we stay the course ... My reading of this and tons more data is that the Bush tax cuts utterly failed, the Fed’s artificially low-interest rate policies under presidents Bush and Obama do far more damage than good (especially to savers), and that the United States is harmed both by the imbalance in the trade relationship with China and scores of trade agreements with South Korea and other low-wage countries that are deeply flawed at best.


President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the West's influence was waning as its economy declines but warned Russian diplomats to be on their guard against a backlash from Moscow's former Cold War enemies. In a biennial speech to Russian ambassadors, Putin also took a shot at the West by condemning any unilateral actions to solve international disputes and underlined the importance of resolving such conflicts through the United Nations.

Annenberg Public Policy Center - Videos

Check asks: “Could Abraham Lincoln win re-election in 1864 if today’s technology and methods were available to his opponent?” Not likely. This series of mock television "attack ads" suggests how opponents might portray Lincoln if he were a presidential candidate today.

JTA (New York)

Germany has agreed to provide restitution payments to an additional 80,000 Jews in what Claims Conference officials are describing as a historic breakthrough. The agreement, which was reached Monday in negotiations between German officials and Claims Conference representatives, is likely to result in additional payments of approximately $300 million. Most of the money will go to Nazi victims in the former Soviet Union who have never before qualified for pensions or payments from German restitution money.

Mark Weber (1998)

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

Der Spiegel (Germany) - 2008

Through the sale of property Nazis stole from Jews in eastern Germany that was later signed over to the organization, the Jewish Claims Conference has made a profit of about 1.5 billion euros. But not all of that money has been given to Holocaust survivors. Criticism of the powerful organization is growing in Israel and many are calling for greater transparency.

Der Spiegel (Germany) - 2007

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

Sun Sentinel (Florida)

The embattled Holocaust Documentation and Education Center [in Hollywood, Florida] wants an ailing 88-year-old Plantation woman to make good on an alleged $1 million pledge and has involved itself in her guardianship case, court records show. Ada Feingold’s guardian and attorneys dispute the pledge and say the center has relentlessly pursued Feingold and tried to influence her to “break” the guardianship. The center says the guardian and attorney are interfering with Feingold’s “charitable intent” and it’s trying “to ensure that [Feingold’s] philanthropic plans are not disrupted.” Over many years, Feingold has donated more than $260,000 to the center along with her late husband’s artwork.

Greenpark (Britain) - Video

Life in the British capital during World War II is presented in this film, released in early 1943. Changes brought on by the demands of war are shown, including blackouts, rationing, night shift work in factories, "mobilization of women," "home guard" troops, and young men in pre-military training. To ease food shortages, vegetables are grown in once unused roof-top spaces, and urban basements are turned into pig farms. In spite of war-imposed difficulties, Londoners still make time for entertainment and relaxation. This film was made for the semi-official "British Council" agency. Runtime: 13:53 mins.

Video (Germany)

This 1942 film, titled "Summer Sunday in Berlin," shows how ordinary Germans lived and played on a weekend day during World War II, but before the devastating Allied bombing raids of 1943-45. The film begins early in the morning, when the large city's streets are still empty. Berliners meet with friends in outdoor cafes and restaurants, visit the zoo, watch horseracing, or admire art in galleries. Young couples, older people, and children spend the day at outlying lakes, where they enjoy boating, swimming or sunning at the beach. With German-language narration. Runtime: 13:27 mins.


The number of births in Germany fell to a post-war low last year despite government incentives meant to reverse a population decline in the European Union’s biggest economy, and analysts blamed a lack of sufficient child care support. A third of all babies born in Germany, still the EU’s most populous member state, came from immigrant families, the analysts said, noting that without them the overall figure would have been much lower. The preliminary data released by Germany's Federal Statistics Office showed 663,000 children were born in 2011, down from 678,000 in 2010.

Middle East Media Research Institute (Washington, DC)

"Farewell, Defender of the Arabs" was the headline of an article in the Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' mourning the death of French philosopher, politician, and convicted Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, who passed away last month at the age of 98 ... Garaudy's death was reported widely in the Arab and Iranian press, and was marked by various Arab organizations. The reports and statements stressed his conversion to Islam, his support for the Muslims and especially the Palestinians, his condemnation of Zionism, and his denial of the Holocaust.


The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) called for German Jews to defy a controversial court ruling against the practice of religious circumcisions to secure a Jewish future in Germany. The three-day “emergency” meeting of some 40 Rabbis from across Europe was convened in Berlin after a controversial decision last month by Cologne District Court, which declared circumcision constituted minor bodily harm, cast continued practice of the ancient Jewish rite into uncertainty.

BBC News

The German government says Jewish and Muslim communities should be able to continue the practice of circumcision, after a regional court ruled it amounted to bodily harm. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said it was a case of protecting religious freedom. Steffen Seibert said: "Circumcision carried out in a responsible manner must be possible without punishment." European Jewish and Muslim groups had criticised the Cologne court ruling ... Mr Seibert said: "For everyone in the government it is absolutely clear that we want to have Jewish and Muslim religious life in Germany."

Robert Naiman

Thursday night, by what the Christian Science Monitor called the "thinnest of margins" the General Assembly of the 1.9 million member Presbyterian Church USA failed to approve a resolution requiring the church to divest its $20 million investments in Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard over the ties of these companies to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. The vote at the PCUSA's General Assembly in Pittsburgh was 333-to-331 ... The fact that the "American Jewish establishment" could only muster a two-vote majority at the PCUSA General Assembly shows what the future holds for the Likudniks if they do not change their policies towards the Palestinians.

Forward (New York)

Jewish institutions throughout the United States will receive $9.7 million in federal anti-terrorism grants this year out of a total of $10 million allocated to not-for-profit institutions by the Department of Homeland Security. That’s $6 million less than last year. But thanks to sharp cuts this year in the overall pool of money available through this program, the percentage of funds going to Jewish groups has nevertheless jumped substantially. A full 97% of the available funds in the Non-Profit Security Grant Program for 2012 have been allocated to Jewish organizations ...

Institute for Historical Review

For many years it has endured as a particularly striking example of the demeaning, racist way that Chinese were treated in their own country during the early decades of this century. At a time when Europeans, and especially the British, dominated much of China, a sign at the entrance to the Huangpu Park in Shanghai supposedly announced: "No Dogs or Chinese Allowed." For decades this story has been widely repeated. It is cited in numerous books …

Peter Hitchens – Daily Mail (Britain)

Now that we have a memorial at last to the thousands of men who flew and died in Bomber Command, can we please cart away the ugly statue of that unpleasant man Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, GCB, OBE, AFC? ... Arthur Harris had no such excuse. Nor did the architects of the deliberate bombing of German civilians in their homes. That, by the way, is what we did. As Harris himself said, the aim of his offensive should be unambiguously described as ‘the destruction of the German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany’ ... I find it hard to see what we got out of our victory. Do we rule the waves? Are we a great power? Do we control our borders, or our destiny? Is this tatty multicultural theme park a land in any way fit for the brave men who saved it?

Alexander Cockburn

There’s a myth now about the British hanging together in those dark days [of 1939-1941]. “London can take it,” Ed Murrow told America in his CBS broadcasts. Actually, morale was appalling. Most people correctly had little confidence in the competence of their government and thought Germany was going to win. In the Channel Islands, which the Nazis did take over, the people greeted them hospitably and turned in Jews with zest. The British Ministry of Information employed 10,000 people to read people’s mail surreptitiously, intercepting about 200,000 letters a week, and discovered that people were deeply pessimistic and thought Churchill was “played out.”

Scott McConnell -- Middle East Policy Council Journal

... To a great extent, a receptive American political class now views the Middle East and their country’s role in it through Israel’s eyes ... Today Iran is Israel’s preferred target, and Americans are witnessing an energetic campaign on the part of Israeli officials and Israel’s American backers to instigate an attack on that country ... The essence of the relationship is not its dollar cost, but the fact that the United States has come to perceive its interests in the Middle East through Israel’s eyes. This is what renders it special. One can debate how important Israel was in encouraging the United States to invade Iraq, but there is no doubt that, if Israel had opposed the invasion, no American politician would have supported it. The same can be said about the possibility of an attack on Iran.

Philip Giraldi

... Israel has not only shaped America’s perceptions, it has also supported policies both overseas and domestically that have fundamentally shifted how the United States sees itself and how the rest of the world sees the United States ... The U.S. government has taken on Israel’s enemies as America’s enemies, including resistance groups such as Hamas and states such as Iran. Nuanced diplomacy is not possible and the U.S. national interest is no longer relevant anywhere in the Middle East that Israel believes itself to have a security problem.

Joel Kotkin - Forbes

... Longer-term, the biggest threat to the European Union has less to do with government policy than what is – or is not – happening in the bedroom. In particular, southern Europe’s economic disaster is both reflected — and is largely caused by — a demographic decline that, if not soon reversed, all but guarantees the continent’s continued slide ... Without a major shift in policies that favor families in housing or tax policies, and an unexpected resurgence of interest in marriage and children, Spain and the rest of Mediterranean face prospects of a immediate decline every bit as profound as that experienced in the 17 th and 18 th Century when these great nations lost their status as global powers ...

The Telegraph (Britain)

Yitzhak Shamir, who has died aged 96, was a former terrorist who, a little to his own surprise, found himself Prime Minister of Israel in 1983 ... Shamir helped to reorganise the gang and became chief of operations. With him in this leading role, the gang attempted to assassinate Sir Harold MacMichael, the British High Commissioner, in August 1944. Three months later its members murdered Lord Moyne, British Resident Minister in the Middle East. Shamir was said to be involved in both operations, and according to an associate of those days, Israel Eldad, he was directly implicated in the murder, in September 1948, of the Swedish count, Folke Bernadotte, who was the UN mediator in the Arab-Israel war.

Philip Weiss

Israeli president Shimon Peres is calling the late Yitzhak Shamir, dead at 96, a "brave warrior." What does that mean? It means he used terrorism with very important political consequences. As head of the Stern Gang, Shamir authorized the assassinations of Lord Moyne, the British minister in Palestine, in 1944, and Folke Bernadotte, the U.N. envoy (and Swedish count) in 1948. The Bernadotte murder is particularly important: Bernadotte wanted to internationalize Jerusalem and limit the borders of the new Jewish state. His murder helped shift partition from 55 percent of Palestine to the Jewish state to 78 percent.

The Guardian (Britain)

As part of its attempt to digitalise world history and culture, Google has struck a deal with the Italian government to post 30,000 Italian newsreels and documentaries from the 20th century online, many of which glorify Benito Mussolini's fascist dictatorship. Google has dedicated a YouTube channel to the crackly news reports, which represent about a third of the newsreel and documentary archive held by Italy's Istituto Luce-Cinecittà. The core of the archive is short films made by the Istituto Luce, which was founded in 1924 and which became a propaganda tool for Mussolini, regaling cinema audiences with tales of Italian industrial prowess and the oratorical powers of Il Duce.

Alfred Lilienthal

... Americans of Jewish faith cannot visualize the extent to which their rabbis and secular leadership, operating through Organized Jewry, have totally deceived them into confusing humanitarianism with nation-building, religion and nationalism. A home could have been found in 1947 for the 285 000 survivors of Hitler's concentration camps without ever establishing a state; just as today security for the Jews of Israel can be obtained without the continued expansionism wrought by the West Bank settlements policy or the ruthless repression of the rights of the Palestinian people.

Ari Berman – The Nation

... Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. Many hail from the neoconservative wing of the party, were enthusiastic backers of the Iraq War and are proponents of a US or Israeli attack on Iran ... If we take the candidate at his word, a Romney presidency would move toward war against Iran; closely align Washington with the Israeli right; leave troops in Afghanistan at least until 2014 and refuse to negotiate with the Taliban; reset the Obama administration’s “reset” with Russia; and pursue a Reagan-like military buildup at home.

The New York Times – Editorial

No American is dedicating as much of his money to defeat President Obama as Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who also happens to have made more money in the last three years than any other American. He is the perfect illustration of the squalid state of political money, spending sums greater than any political donation in history to advance his personal, ideological and financial agenda, which is wildly at odds with the nation's needs ... Why is Mr. Adelson writing these huge checks? The first answer is clearly his disgust for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, supported by President Obama and most Israelis.

Eric Alterman – The Nation

If a Jew-hater somewhere, inspired perhaps by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, sought to invent an individual who symbolizes almost all the anti-Semitic clichés that have dogged the Jewish people throughout history, he could hardly come up with a character more perfect than Sheldon Adelson ... a gambling magnate who is reported to be under criminal investigation for official bribery and has been accused of having widespread ties to organized crime, including the use of prostitution for his business interests. He is openly deploying his $22 billion fortune to pervert our democracy on behalf of what he believes to be the best interests of Israel, which he defines as an endless war by the Jewish state against its adversaries, with America offering its unquestioning support.

Elad Nehorai ("Manny Friedman") -- The Times of Israel

... Let’s be honest with ourselves, here, fellow Jews. We do control the media. We’ve got so many dudes up in the executive offices in all the big movie production companies it’s almost obscene. Just about every movie or TV show, whether it be “Tropic Thunder” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is rife with actors, directors, and writers who are Jewish. Did you know that all eight major film studios are run by Jews? ... The truth is, the anti-Semites got it right. We Jews have something planted in each one of us that makes us completely different from every group in the world ... We no longer have to change our names. We no longer have to blend in like chameleons. We own a whole freaking country. Instead, we can be proud of who we are, and simultaneously aware of our huge responsibility — and opportunity.

Robert Faurisson

Alain Finkielkraut is a professor of philosophy at France's elite Ecole Polytechnique who for years has been a darling of a certain section of the Parisian intelligentsia ... "Ah, how sweet it is to be Jewish at the end of this 20th century! [he writes] We are no longer History's accused, but its darlings. The spirit of the times loves, honors, and defends us, watches over our interests; it even needs our imprimatur. " ... Obviously, it is "sweet" to be Jewish in these final years of the century, but only a Jew has the right to say so. In effect, as Finkielkraut acknowledges, it is no longer possible to publish without the imprimatur of organized Jewry.

Patrick J. Buchanan

“Iran is not seeking to have the atomic bomb, possession of which is pointless, dangerous and is a great sin from an intellectual and a religious point of view.” Thus did supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declare in February that Iran’s possession of atomic weapons would be a mortal sin against Allah. It is also the unanimous judgment of the U.S. intelligence community, declared in 2007 and affirmed in 2011, that Iran has abandoned any program to build nuclear weapons. Is the Ayatollah lying? Is the entire U.S. intel community wrong? ... Where, then, is the mortal threat to justify the U.S. preparations for war with Iran described in the national press this week?

The New York Times

In just five months, the Obama administration has freed schools in more than half the nation from central provisions of the No Child Left Behind education law, raising the question of whether the decade-old federal program has been essentially nullified. On Friday, the Department of Education plans to announce that it has granted waivers releasing two more states, Washington and Wisconsin, from some of the most onerous conditions of the signature Bush-era legislation. With this latest round, 26 states are now relieved from meeting the lofty — and controversial — goal of making all students proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014. Additional waivers are pending in ten states and the District of Columbia.


Hoping to quickly overwhelm German defenders in the Netherlands, and then strike into Germany itself, British and American military commanders in 1944 launched the largest airborne military operation ever. "Operation Market Garden" made large-scale use of airborne troops, who were to secure key bridges that would then enable a rapid advance by armored units into northern Germany. This daring Allied operation was supposed to be completed within 48 hours. What actually happened in the fighting of Sept. 17-25 turned out very differently than planned. Runtime: 8:34 mins.

Newsreel – Video

Dramatic front-line footage of the clash of German and Allied forces in Sept. 1944 at Arnhem and other sites in the Netherlands. The failure of “Operation Market Garden” was a major Allied setback. Footage shows fierce combat, downed aircraft, and many British and American soldiers taken prisoner. Portion of weekly German wartime newsreel, “Deutsche Wochenschau," of Oct. 4, 1944. With English subtitles (not entirely accurate). Runtime: 4:46 mins.

Der Spiegel (Germany)

... It saddens me that official Israel so doggedly refuses to allow Wagner to be performed -- as was the case, once again, at the University of Tel Aviv two weeks ago -- because I see it as a symptom of a disease. The words I'm about to use are harsh, but I choose them deliberately: There is a politicization of the remembrance of the Holocaust in Israel, and that's terrible ... Since the Six-Day War, Israeli politicians have repeatedly established a connection between European anti-Semitism and the fact that the Palestinians don't accept the founding of the State of Israel. But that's absurd! The Palestinians weren't primarily anti-Semitic. They just didn't accept their expulsion ... It's absurd [for Israel] to ban Wagner while buying German submarines at the same time.

Kathleen Christison (Former CIA analyst)

Words fail; ordinary terms are inadequate to describe the horrors Israel daily perpetrates, and has perpetrated for years, against the Palestinians… But the horror generally falls on deaf ears in most of Israel, in the U.S. political arena, in the mainstream U.S. media. Those who are horrified -- and there are many -- cannot penetrate the shield of impassivity that protects the political and media elite in Israel, even more so in the U.S., and increasing… Critics of Israel note increasingly that Israel is self-destructing, nearing a catastrophe of its own making. Israeli journalist Gideon Levy talks of a society in “moral collapse.”

Jimmy Carter

The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations -- but not in the United States. For the past 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticise policies of the Israeli government is due to the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.

Paul Craig Roberts

… Americans are a gullible and naive people. They have been complicit for 60 years in crimes that in Arnold Toynbee’s words "are comparable in quality" to the crimes of Nazi Germany. As Toynbee was writing decades ago, the accumulated Israeli crimes might now be comparable also in quantity. The US routinely vetoes United Nations condemnations of Israel for its brutal crimes against the Palestinians. Insouciant American taxpayers have been bled for a half century to provide the Israelis with superior military weapons with which Israelis assault their neighbors, all the while convincing America — essentially a captive nation — that Israel is the victim.

Philip Giraldi

Is it possible that Americans are finally waking up to the dangers resulting from Washington’s involvement in Israel’s foreign policy? ... I would add that it is about time that people in the United States begin to realize that unlimited support of Israel has turned US foreign policy into the poison that is bidding to destroy the republic.

David Irving – Institute for Historical Review

Twice this year [1992] I've come under the scrutiny of journalists, entirely through no doing of my own. The first occasion was my acquisition of the Eichmann papers, about which I'll be speaking shortly. The second occasion was in regard to the papers of Dr. Joseph Goebbels. I'll show you the Goebbels papers first because these have aroused enormous interest. It came about like this ...

David Irving – Institute for Historical Review

... If you're a historian dealing with the Third Reich, you know that Goebbels' diary must contain all the dirt from that era ... I've gone through the diary with a special interest in the Jewish issue, and particularly the "final solution." There's no question that whatever tragedy befell the Jews in Germany during the Third Reich, Dr. Goebbels himself was the prime moving force behind it ... More chilling is another diary entry a few weeks later. On March 27, 1942, Goebbels dictates a lengthy passage about another SS document that had been submitted to him, and which appears to have been much uglier in its content.

David Irving

This passage was extensively wrangled over in the Lipstadt trial in 2000. There is no doubt as to these pages' authenticity: the originals are in the Hoover archives' Goebbels collection at Stanford University; the microfilm of them was made in New York in 1947; and Irving also checked the microfiche copy made by the Nazis in 1944, in the Moscow archives where the microfiches have languished since 1945. "The Jews are now being pushed out of the General Government, beginning near Lublin, to the East. A pretty barbaric procedure is being applied here, and it is not to be described in any more detail, and not much is left of the Jews themselves..."

Der Spiegel (Germany)

Many have wondered for years about the exact capabilities of the submarines Germany exports to Israel. Now, experts in Germany and Israel have confirmed that nuclear-tipped missiles have been deployed on the vessels. And the German government has long known about it. / ... Research Spiegel has conducted in Germany, Israel and the United States, among current and past government ministers, military officials, defense engineers and intelligence agents, no longer leaves any room for doubt: With the help of German maritime technology, Israel has managed to create for itself a floating nuclear weapon arsenal: submarines equipped with nuclear capability.

Joseph Stiglitz

... One might feel better about inequality if there were a grain of truth in trickle-down economics. But the median income of Americans today is lower than it was a decade and a half ago; and the median income of a full-time male worker is lower than it was more than four decades ago. Meanwhile, those at the top have never had it so good. Some argue that increased inequality is an inevitable byproduct of the market. False: several countries are reducing inequality while maintaining economic growth ... America used to be thought of as the land of opportunity. Today, a child’s life chances are more dependent on the income of his or her parents than in Europe, or any other of the advanced industrial countries for which there are data.

Daily Mail (Britain)

These depressing images show how far an American industrial powerhouse has fallen. Once an east coast centre credited with creating some of the nation's largest warships, Camden in New Jersey is now a sad shadow of its former self. The shipyards where 36,000 workers would ply their trade now lie empty, surrounded by thousands of decaying and abandoned homes. The stench of sewage permeates the run-down streets, which have the second highest crime rates of anywhere across the country. Of its 70,390 residents, a staggering 40 per cent are out of work, with many having been 'on the scrapheap' from the 'formal economy' for generations.

Daily Mail (Britain)

These remarkable 19th century sepia-tinted pictures show the American West as you have never seen it before - as it was charted for the first time. The photos, by Timothy O'Sullivan, are the first ever taken of the rocky and barren landscape. At the time federal government officials were travelling across Arizona, Nevada, Utah and the rest of the west as they sought to uncover the land's untapped natural resources.

Stephen Walt -- Foreign Policy

If you are someone who is inclined to favor hawkish responses to foreign policy problems, then your choice for president should be Barack Obama ... As Glenn Greenwald and Greg Sargent have argued most forcefully, it's because Obama can do hawkish things as a Democrat that a Republican could not (or at least not without facing lots of trouble on the home front). It's the flipside of the old "Nixon Goes to China" meme: Obama can do hawkish things without facing (much) criticism from the left, because he still retains their sympathy and because liberals and non-interventionists don't have a credible alternative.

The Telegraph (Britain)

Adolf Hitler made a personal intervention to spare a Jew from the Holocaust that consumed millions of Jewish lives, it has been revealed. Hitler made the dramatic intervention to protect Ernst Hess, his old company commander from the Flanders trenches of the First World War, who had risen to be a judge in post-war Germany. In a letter from August 27, 1940, to the Dusseldorf Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, one of the architects of the Final Solution, instructed the secret police to grant Hess "the relief and the protection as per the Fuhrer's wishes". Himmler also instructed all authorities that Hitler's old comrade in arms was not "to be in-opportuned in any way whatsoever".

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

Eight years after the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, new clues point to a possible poisoning -- with radioactive polonium. With the approval of his widow, the PLO has agreed to exhume his body ... The first allegations that Israel was behind his mysterious and deadly disease were raised shortly after Arafat's death in 2004. Speculation was fuelled by the fact that there was never a clear, official cause of death. The 75-year-old Arafat suddenly took ill, and his condition deteriorated so dramatically in such a short time that he had to be flown to France via Jordan, where he died in a military hospital in the south of Paris on November 11.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

For me, there was no surprise. From the very first day, I was convinced that Yasser Arafat had been poisoned by Ariel Sharon. I even wrote about it several times. It was a simple logical conclusion ... Ariel Sharon's determination to kill Arafat was well known. Already during the siege of Beirut in Lebanon War I, it was no secret that agents were combing West Beirut for his whereabouts. To Sharon’s great frustration, they did not find him ... But beyond personal considerations, Arafat was the man who was able to make peace with Israel, willing to do so, and – more important - to get his people, including the Islamists, to accept it. This would have put an end to the settlement enterprise. That’s why he was poisoned.

The Globalist

... The United States broke with the foreign policy of its Founders in three wars of choice. We used guns to annex two-fifths of Mexico. We used guns to remove Spain from its colonies in the Caribbean and the Philippines. We used guns to replace Germany as the leading military power in Europe. In the seven decades between the start of the Mexican-American war in 1848 and America entering World War I in 1917, the die was cast ... We live with the choices made by those who went before us. Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was the worst President in American history: His intervention in the First World War was the equivalent of a European power coming to the United States during the Civil War and saying South wins, North loses.

Smedley Butler

A classic polemic against war and US military interventionism. Butler joined the Marine Corps when the Spanish American War broke out, earned the Brevette Medal during the Boxer Rebellion in China, saw action in Central America, and in France during World War I was promoted to Major General. He served his country for 34 years, yet he spoke against American armed intervention into the affairs of sovereign nations. With audio documentary. Runtime: 29 mins.

BBC News

A copy of a rare 16th century map known as "the birth certificate of America" has been discovered in Germany. The map, by the famous cartographer Martin Waldseemueller, is credited with being the first to document and name the newly-discovered land of America. It had been thought that Waldseemueller had only made four copies, but researchers at a Munich university have now discovered a fifth version. This new map was found in the pages of an unrelated 19th century book. Sven Kuttner, head of old books at Munich's Ludwig Maximilian University, said: "It seems to be a second edition and this is a unique map. Until now, we have no signs for a further map like this."

Robert Faurisson

Rudolf Höss was the first of three successive commandants of the Auschwitz concentration camp. He is often called "the Commandant of Auschwitz," and the general public knows of him from a book published under the title Commandant in Auschwitz. He appeared before the [Nuremberg] International Military Tribunal as a witness on April 15, 1946, where his deposition caused a sensation. … He estimated that at Auschwitz 3,000,000 people had been exterminated, 2,500,000 of them by means of gas chambers. His confessions were false. They had been extorted from Höss by torture …

Jonathan Sarna -- Tablet (New York)

On Dec. 17, 1862, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, concerned about smuggling and enraged by the discovery that his own father was conspiring with Jewish clothing manufacturers to move southern cotton northward, issued General Orders No. 11, which expelled “Jews as a class” from the territory under his command. As a result of this infamous order — the most anti-Semitic official order in American history — a small number of Jews were expelled from the territories in Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee under Grant’s command. More Jews would certainly have been expelled had Abraham Lincoln not overturned the order less than three weeks after it was issued.

William S. Lind

Sometime during the last half-century, someone stole our culture. Just 50 years ago, in the 1950s, America was a great place. It was safe. It was decent. Children got good educations in the public schools. Even blue-collar fathers brought home middle-class incomes, so moms could stay home with the kids. Television shows reflected sound, traditional values. Where did it all go? How did that America become the sleazy, decadent place we live in today - so different that those who grew up prior to the '60s feel like it's a foreign country? Did it just "happen"? It didn't just "happen." In fact, a deliberate agenda was followed to steal our culture and leave a new and very different one in its place.

Defense Intelligence Agency - Video

This US government video is designed to encourage US government employees to report suspicious behavior by fellow employees that might indicate espionage. This video highlights the case of Jonathan Pollard, a US government employee who used his sensitive position to steal many secret documents and pass them on to Israeli intelligence operatives. Pollard began his espionage work for Israel in June 1984. He was arrested in November 1985, and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987. Until 1998 Israel denied that it had bought classified information from Pollard. This video, produced by the "Office of Security and Counter-Intelligence" of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, was released under the Freedom of Information Act in June 2012. Runtime: 14:56 mins.

The Guardian (Britain)

A belief that every Palestinian child is a potential terrorist may be leading to a "spiral of injustice" and breaches of international law in Israel's treatment of child detainees in military custody, a delegation of eminent British lawyers has concluded in an independent report backed by the Foreign Office. The nine-strong delegation, led by the former high court judge Sir Stephen Sedley and including the UK's former attorney-general Lady Scotland, found that "undisputed facts" pointed to at least six violations of the UN convention on the rights of the child, to which Israel is a signatory. It was also in breach of the fourth Geneva convention in transferring child detainees from the West Bank to Israeli prisons, the delegation said.

The Independent (Britain)

The [British] Foreign Office revealed last night that it would be challenging the Israelis over their treatment of Palestinian children after a report by a delegation of senior British lawyers revealed unconscionable practices, such as hooding and the use of leg irons. In the first investigation of its kind, a team of nine senior legal figures examined how Palestinians as young as twelve were treated when arrested. Their shocking report, Children in Military Custody, details claims that youngsters are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, have their wrists bound behind their backs, and are blindfolded and made to kneel or lie face down in military vehicles.

The New York Times

... According to legend, the Germans warned the local team beforehand or at halftime that it had better lose the [1942] match, and when the Ukrainians ignored the threat and prevailed, key members of the team were killed in retribution ... Many academics and journalists dismiss the legend as Soviet-era propaganda and have sought to refute it. Still others seem unconcerned with the truth ... “The facts say the match took place, but there was no death match as such,” said Marina Shevchenko, a historian who works at Kiev's National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, as World War II is known in the former Soviet Union. “People want their legends, like Robin Hood.”

The Guardian (Britain)

The day after she made one symbolic gesture ... the Queen was applying balm to another historic wound. Alongside other senior members of the royal family, she attended the dedication of a memorial in Portland stone to Bomber Command and the unveiling of the nine-foot-high bronze sculpture at its heart – seven airmen gazing at a horizon from which their comrades would never return. A decade ago, the ceremony in London's Green Park might have seemed just as unthinkable as rapprochement with Sinn Féin. The courage of the then young men who believed they were striking at the heart of the German war machine during the Second World War was tarnished by post-war angst about the ethics of bombing civilians.

Lindsey German

... Today poppies were dropped in Green Park in memory of these airmen, and a memorial unveiled by the queen. Much has been made of the fact that this has taken so long, and that this is simply a mark of respect for the dead. But the memorial took so long because the bombing of Germany was so controversial. It involved the deliberate targeting of civilians, the deliberate destruction of homes, and a disregard for human life that is quite breathtaking. That is why it was regarded by many as a war crime. Its chief architect was Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris. Harris had a record of bombing in India and Mesopotamia (Iraq and Syria) in the period just after the First World War.

Kurt Vonnegut

… In February 1945, American bombers reduced this treasure to crushed stone and embers; disembowelled her with high explosives and cremated her with incendiaries … It is with some regret that I here besmirch the nobility of our airmen, but, boys, you killed an appalling lot of women and children. The shelter I have described and innumerable others like it were filled with them. We had to exhume their bodies and carry them to mass funeral pyres in the parks, so I know … The “Get Tough America” policy, the spirit of revenge, the approbation of all destruction and killing, have earned us a name for obscene brutality.

R. H. S. Crossman -- Esquire magazine (1963)

The long suppressed story of the worst massacre in the history of the world [the Feb. 1945 destruction of Dresden] / If the British Commonwealth and the United States last a thousand years, men may say that this was their darkest hour. Were all the crimes against humanity committed during World War II the work of Hitler's underlings? That was certainly the impression created by the fact that only Germans were brought to trial at Nuremburg … What is less widely recognized … is that the Western democracies were responsible for the most senseless single act of mass murder committed in the whole course of World War II.

Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

... Americans think of Iran as a police state, but that overstates its control: Iranians are irrepressible. ... Iran is a complex and contradictory country, in ways that don’t register at a distance. Iran imprisons more journalists than any other country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, yet it has a vigorous Parliament and news media with clashing views (within a narrow range) ... Iran’s regime sometimes embraces anti-Semitism, yet Parliament has a Jewish member ... Iran looks childish when it calls America the “Great Satan” or blusters “Death to America.”

Nathan Fuller -- Antiwar.com

... This is how American bipartisanship — or more accurately, duopoly — works. Both parties want war with Iran, the way both parties wanted war with Iraq. It is in both of their interests to appease Israel and its chief lobby, AIPAC, and posture for their respective bases. Republicans take the hard line on our “enemies,” using blatantly aggressive language, refusing to “apologize for America” and reducing our victims to less than human. Democrats take the more “pragmatic” approach, adopting “national security” rhetoric that disguises the exact same policies ... If you actually don’t want war with Iran, you have to help end the duopoly. Both establishment parties feed the military-industrial complex and scare voters into submission.

Theodore J. O'Keefe -- Institute for Historical Review

Nothing has been more effective in establishing the authenticity of the Holocaust story in the minds of Americans than the terrible scenes US troops discovered when they entered German concentration camps at the close of World War II. At Dachau, Buchenwald, Dora, Mauthausen, and other work and detention camps, horrified US infantrymen encountered heaps of dead and dying inmates, emaciated and diseased … But it is known today that, very soon after the liberation of the camps, American authorities were aware that the real story of the camps was quite different from the one in which they were coaching military public information officers, government spokesmen, politicians, journalists, and other mouthpieces.

BBC News

The UN's cultural agency, Unesco, has voted to add the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and its pilgrimage route to the list of World Heritage Sites. The Palestinian delegation welcomed the approval of its bid to get protected status for the church, built on a site some believe was Jesus's birthplace. Israel and the US opposed the move, saying it was politically motivated. It was the first such approval since Palestine was controversially granted membership of Unesco last year. Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity - originally constructed in 399 above a cave traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus and rebuilt after fire in the 6th Century - is among the holiest sites in Christianity

The Daily Beast (USA)

Between 1925 and 1945, thousands of ordinary Germans wrote letters to Adolf Hitler, many of them gushing love letters, though there were a few dissenters. The Soviet Secret Police carted the letters off to Moscow at the end of the war, and they were lost for decades. A large cache of these letters was recently discovered in the KGB Special Archive. Letters to Hitler, a book edited by University of Halle lecturer Henrik Eberle, is the first volume to be published in English.

BBC News

The European Union should "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states, the UN's special representative for migration has said. Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural. He also suggested the UK government's immigration policy had no basis in international law. He was being quizzed by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee which is investigating global migration. Mr Sutherland, who is non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former chairman of oil giant BP, heads the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which brings together representatives of 160 nations to share policy ideas.

Voice of America (Washington, DC)

The Pentagon on Tuesday [June 26] marked a major milestone by observing Gay Pride Month for the first time. It has been less than a year since the U.S. military ended the so-called “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military. Hundreds of servicemembers packed a Pentagon auditorium Tuesday as the Defense Department joined many other U.S. public and private institutions in marking June as Gay Pride Month.