July 2016

Victor Davis Hanson - National Review

Have we reached a point of no return? Multicultural societies — from 19th-century Austria–Hungary to contemporary Iraq, Lebanon, the former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda — have a poor record of keeping the peace between competing tribes. They usually end up mired in nihilistic and endemic violence. The only hope for history’s rare multiracial, multiethnic, and multireligious nations is to adopt a common culture, one that artificially suppresses the natural instinct of humans to identify first with their particular tribe. America, in the logical spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, was exceptional among modern societies ...

AFP

Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday described the arrival of asylum seekers in Europe as “a poison,” saying his country did not want or need “a single migrant.” “Hungary does not need a single migrant for the economy to work, or the population to sustain itself, or for the country to have a future,” he told a joint press conference in Budapest with Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern. “This is why there is no need for a common European migration policy: whoever needs migrants can take them, but don’t force them on us, we don’t need them,” Orban said ... “For us migration is not a solution but a problem… not medicine but a poison, we don’t need it and won’t swallow it,” he said. Orban is a fierce opponent of the European Union’s troubled plan to share migrants across the 28-nation bloc under a mandatory quota system.

Associated Press

Denmark should halt immigration from Muslim countries to stem the threat of violence from extremists, the nation’s second-largest party argued Thursday. The deputy party leader of the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party, Soeren Espersen, and other officials said the existing 270,000 Muslims in Denmark, a country of less than six million people, already posed a severe risk of harboring sympathizers to the Islamic State militant group. Denmark’s largest party, the opposition Social Democrats, condemned the comments and compared them to the anti-immigrant policies of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Xenia Zinoviev - Russia Insider

... I grew up in Munich in the 90’s and remember walking on the streets where there were always a lot of non-German looking people, mostly Turkish. Today, almost every third person looks very foreign, the streets are black with burqas. I’ve seen not a single taxi-driver of German origin, in restaurants, there are no German waiters and waitresses. According to the Statistical Board of the City of Munich, in the 90’s, the percentage of foreigners in Munich was around 17, today it’s 27. If you don’t want to be understood in Germany — just speak German. But that’s not the main problem. Europe is being flooded, literally.

Samuel Taylor

... In today's America, where competing racial, cultural and linguistic claims now make it nearly impossible even to speak of national identity, questions about history have become a struggle for the possession of America's past ... Something that well-meaning whites did not understand is that an "inclusive" history -- one that would be all things to all people -- is impossible ... How, for example, is a multicultural history to treat the discovery and settlement of North America by Europeans? The old history called it a triumphant advance for civilization. But for Indians, the same historical events are an unending sequence of defeats and disaster. Does a multicultural textbook call this a triumph or a disaster or both or neither?

D. Evon - Snopes

... The Plantain published an article reporting that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had plagiarized his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention from Adolf Hitler's 1933 inaugural address as Chancellor of Germany: “Melania Trump isn't the only one in her family accused of pilfering parts of their convention speech from a greater orator.” ... While "Dr. Lazer"'s analysis employed real quotes from Donald Trump's speech at the RNC, the quotes he compared them to did not come from Hitler's "inaugural address," which likely refers to the German dictator's first radio address a few days after being named chancellor on 30 January 1933. (The full transcript of it can be viewed here.)

P. Hasson - Daily Caller

Internal DNC emails released by WikiLeaks reveal at least one Democratic party staffer seemingly annoyed at having to commemorate the Holocaust ... Banfill forwarded Schultz’s email to another DNC staffer, Kate Houghton. “Flagging for you. The chair is asking for a statement on Yom Hashoah,” Banfill wrote. “We aren’t going to do statements for every Jewish holiday unless she wants to do them for every religious holiday and trust me, this Catholic can give you a list of them,” Houghton replied ... Banfill replied: “This is about remembering the Holocaust. Never forget.” “Yup… or Darfur or Armenia or Rwanda or Bosnia (which PS is where my husband served),” Houghton replied. “Does she want us to do one for each other those remembrance days as well?”

The Economist (Britain)

Across the globe, schoolchildren study the industrialised slaughter of Jews by the Nazis. Holocaust museums in America, Israel and Poland each draw more than a million visitors annually. The UN has passed two resolutions in the past decade to institutionalise memory of the Holocaust worldwide. Yad Vashem, an Israeli museum and remembrance authority, trains 10,000 domestic and foreign teachers every year ... Membership of the Association of Holocaust Organisations (AHO) has increased from 25 in the late 1980s to over 300. Commemorative museums have opened from Germany and France to Brazil and Japan. Of the 16,000 books on the Holocaust listed in America’s Library of Congress, more than two-thirds were published in the past two decades.

EuroScience Open Forum - ScienceDaily

Dutch men and Latvian women are the tallest on the planet, according to the largest ever study of height around the world. The research, led by scientists from Imperial College London and using data from most countries in the world, tracked height among young adult men and women between 1914 and 2014. Among the findings, published in the journal eLife, the research revealed South Korean women and Iranian men have shown the biggest increases in height over the past 100 years ... The research also revealed once-tall USA had declined from third tallest men and fourth tallest women in the world in 1914 to 37th and 42nd place respectively in 2014.

CNN

Violent crime is on the rise so far this year in major cities across the US compared to the number of homicides, rapes, robberies, assaults and shootings that occurred in the same cities by this point in 2015, a new report has found. The midyear violent crime survey released Monday by the Major Cities Chiefs Association shows 307 more homicides so far in 2016, according to data from 51 law enforcement agencies from some of the largest US cities. In addition to a large increase in homicides, major cities in the US have experienced more than 1,000 more robberies, almost 2,000 more aggravated assaults and more than 600 non-fatal shootings in 2016 compared to this time last year.

JTA / The Times of Israel

A Bipartisan group of 36 US senators that includes Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, is calling on Congress to add $320 million for Israeli missile defense to the Senate version of a defense appropriations bill. Sens. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, are leading the effort, which would bring the Senate version in line with one from the House of Representatives. Kaine, D-Virginia, is among the 36 senators — 19 Republicans and 17 Democrats — who have signed on, The Hill reported Tuesday. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto legislation with that level of funding.

N. Guttman - Forward

A brief mention at a Jewish gathering on July 26 demonstrated how fast and dramatic the fall was for the Democrat Party’s top Jewish official ... In many ways, Wasserman Schultz embodied the enormous influence that American Jews have within the Democratic Party. A Jew with deep communal involvements, she was a key pillar of support for the mainstream pro-Israel lobby in Congress and within the party. As both chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a member of Congress sitting on the powerful House Committee on Appropriations — a panel that votes on all major government expenditures — Wasserman Schultz was at the nexus of U.S. policy, politics and political fundraising in a way that few others matched.

James J. Zogby

To understand why the United States fails so miserably in efforts to achieve an Israeli/ Palestinian peace, all you need to do is take a look at the mix of bad policy and bad politics found in the Israel/ Palestine sections of platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties. The Republican document is particularly extreme, even bizarre. Finding opportunities to mention Israel in five different sections, the GOP platform: refers to Israel as “beacon of democracy and humanity”; claims that “support for Israel is an expression of Americanism”; “recognizes Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and calls for the American embassy to be moved there; terms the BDS movement “anti-Semitic; “rejects the faulty notion that Israel is an occupier” ...

The Times of Israel

The Palestinian Authority is preparing a lawsuit against the British government over the issuing of the 1917 Balfour Declaration that paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel. The PA’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told Arab League leaders gathered in Mauritania Monday that London is responsible for all “Israeli crimes” committed since the end of the British mandate in 1948. Signed by British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour in 1917, the declaration was seen as giving the Zionist movement official recognition and backing on the part of a major power, on the eve of the British conquest of the then-Ottoman territory of Palestine. The decision, al-Malki said, “gave people who don’t belong there something that wasn’t theirs.”

New York Post

On the last day of school, Principal Darlene Cameron of Star Academy-PS 63 in the East Village gave her small faculty a chart defining racist and non-racist institutions and asked them to think about where their school fits in. A non-racist institution, among other things, is conscious of and aims to wipe out a culture of “white power,” “white privilege” and “inherent white advantage.” “We fit into the category of white power and privilege!” a white teacher at the K-5 school told her colleagues. The concept that whites enjoy everyday benefits simply because of their skin color has become the rage. Elite private schools have grappled with the notion ... Now public schools are jumping on the bandwagon.

Walter E. Williams

... Some argue that it is the “legacy of slavery” and societal racism that now explain the social pathology in many black neighborhoods ... At a time when blacks were closer to slavery, faced far more discrimination, faced more poverty and had fewer opportunities, there was not the kind of social pathology and weak family structure we see today ... If the Ku Klux Klan wanted to destroy black academic achievement, it could not find a better means of doing so than encouraging the educational status quo in most cities. Intellectuals and political hustlers who blame the plight of so many blacks on poverty, racial discrimination and the “legacy of slavery” are complicit in the socio-economic and moral decay.

Jonathan Marshall - Consortium News

... Since President Barack Obama recently announced his intention to keep at least 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of his presidency, the only debate will be over why he never withdrew but chose instead to bequeath an unwinnable war — the longest in U.S. history — to his successor. The U.S. war in Afghanistan will officially pass the 15-year mark in a few months ... Like Vietnam, our ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has become a hopeless quagmire ... Like Vietnam, Afghanistan represents a staggering waste of lives (more than 300,000 direct casualties through early 2015) and resources (more than two trillion dollars). Even more than Vietnam, it is a conflict for which no one in Washington bothers to offer any strategic rationale.

Ted Galen Carpenter - The National Interest

The attempted military coup in Turkey sent shock waves through NATO. No matter how the coup turned out, it would have bad news for the alliance ... NATO still confronts the problem of a member state that is now a dictatorship in all but name. That is likely to be unpalatable to several fellow members and cause serious tensions and divisions in the alliance. But Turkey’s descent into authoritarianism is hardly the only sign of illness in the alliance. There are noticeable uncertainties about the most pressing security issue: how to deal with Russia ... Germany is not the only NATO member to exhibit doubts about the increasingly hardline policy toward Russia. Both Hungary and the Czech Republic have shown some reluctance.

Daily Mail (Britain)

The progress of the Allied bombing campaign which helped to win the Second World War has been graphically illustrated in an extraordinary animation. The map pinpoints the exact location of every bombing raid by either the Royal Air Force or the United States Army Air Forces from the start of the conflict in 1939 until its end six years later. It vividly demonstrates the importance of the 1.6 million tonnes of explosive deployed against the Nazis and their allies - and the way Britain and America collaborated in the war ... The bombing campaign is often credited with winning the Second World War for the Allies - but the tactics were also controversial because they led to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, with British commander 'Bomber' Harris eschewing precision targeting in favour of area bombing.

J. Stephenson – Times Higher Education (Britain)

... One of Overy’s major preoccupations is with the morality of bombing civilians. At the start of the war, all sides agreed that the intentional bombing of civilians was illegal and that bombing should be confined to military targets. But desperate straits on the Western Front in spring 1940 (rather than the German bombing of Rotterdam) led the British to abandon this policy in favour of bombing targets in Germany for a military purpose even where civilians would undoubtedly be in the firing line. Both Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee were strongly in favour of this approach. For Overy, one of the many myths of the Second World War was that the Germans were the first to bomb civilians: in his view, the British got their retaliation in first.

R. H. S. Crossman -- Esquire magazine

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.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

... On February 23, 1945, [British] RAF aircraft dropped 1575 tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs on Pforzheim, setting off a firestorm that is widely seen as one of the most devastating in military history. According to official statistics, 17,600 people died, and tens of thousands of others were injured. The market square and old town area were destroyed and completely depopulated. In the entire city, over 80 percent of the architecture that existed in 1945 was defaced, making Pforzheim, proportionally speaking, the worst instance of destruction at the end of WWII. The Allied bombardments of Dresden and Hamburg have been well documented and remain in the public consciousness today, both in Germany and abroad. But Pforzheim doesn't.

Feuerwehr Hamburg - Video

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

Video

Crew members of a US B-17 bomber during a raid over Germany in World War II are startled when they encounter a German jet fighter for the first time. The Messerschmitt Me 262 was the world's first operational turbojet fighter aircraft. It was deployed during the final months of the war in Europe, but too late and in numbers too small to significantly alter the outcome. Runtime: 1:23 mins.

Video

Dramatic footage of German Me-262 jet fighters strike against American B-17 bombers over Germany during World War II. Runtime: 1:57 mins.

Rasmussen Reports

As the nation reels from angry protests and deadly violence against police officers, voters are more pessimistic than ever about the state of race relations in this country since the election of its first black president. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 60 percent of Likely U.S. Voters think race relations are worse since President Obama’s election nearly eight years ago. That’s an 18-point jump from 42 percent in late 2014, and up from 43 percent when we first asked the question in August 2013. Just nine percent believe race relations are better now, little changed from the previous survey, while 28 percent say they have stayed about the same.

C. Stanwood - Institute for Historical Review

... As author Jared Taylor graphically relates in [Paved With Good Intentions] this meticulously documented, closely argued and powerfully written review of the lamentable state of race relations in America, a system of “prevailing taboos” has been allowed to evolve, a dangerous consequence of which is that honest and intelligent discussion of race and related issues has largely been proscribed ... In any case, Taylor argues, only by confronting the true dimensions of a failed policy can we hope to resolve the many daunting problems that are its consequence.

Doug Bandow – The National Interest

... Washington policymakers seem addicted to intervention and war, unable to imagine there is any international problem they cannot solve. In fact, such an admission would be seen as almost obscene in Washington culture. Despite the repeated failure of social engineering at home, leading officials believe that they can transcend culture, history, religion, ethnicity, geography and more in order to forcibly transform other peoples and nations ... While horror is the appropriate reaction to Syria’s civil war, the United States has no solution to offer ... The United States should adopt a policy of first do no harm. Stay out of the conflict. Don’t add to the tragedy.

Breitbart

United Nations (UN) representative and former Goldman Sachs banker Peter Sutherland has declared that European countries must open their borders to all, including economic migrants. Mr. Sutherland said that refusal to accept everyone who wants to live in Europe is an affront to the European values of dignity and equality of man. Economic migrants, he claimed, are “survival fighters” and the future of Europe. Speaking on a panel about immigration in Berlin, Mr. Sutherland, the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, also argued that European leaders must tackle populism, which he said runs counter to European Union (EU) values.

Pew Research Center

The surge of refugees to Europe has helped make it a region of increasing cultural diversity and foreign-born populations, just as immigration to the United States has pushed its foreign-born share to near record levels. But a new Pew Research Center survey paints a picture of a Europe that is far less positive about what greater diversity means for many of its countries. The most common view among the ten European countries surveyed is that cultural diversity is neither a plus nor a minus in terms of quality of life ... Americans have a sharply different view on the same question posed in the Europe survey ... About six-in-ten Americans say increasing diversity makes the country a better place to live (58%), compared with just seven percent who say it makes the U.S. a worse place to live and 33% saying it doesn’t make a difference either way.

Stephen M. Walt

Once upon a time -- that is, back in the 1990s -- a lot of smart and serious people believed liberal political orders were the wave of the future and would inevitably encompass most of the globe ... It is also abundantly clear that post-Cold War liberals underestimated the role of nationalism and other forms of local identity, including sectarianism, ethnicity, tribal bonds, and the like. They assumed that such atavistic attachments would gradually die out, be confined to apolitical, cultural expressions, or be adroitly balanced and managed within well-designed democratic institutions. But it turns out that many people in many places care more about national identities, historic enmities, territorial symbols, and traditional cultural values than they care about "freedom" as liberals define it.

Jason Willick - The American Interest

... The views of the general public on issues of national identity differ significantly from those of many elites. The public, overall, is concerned with physical security but also with societal security, which involves the sustainability -- within acceptable conditions for evolution -- of existing patterns of language, culture, association, religion and national identity. For many elites, these concerns are secondary to participating in the global economy, supporting international trade and migration, strengthening international institutions, promoting American values abroad, and encouraging minority identities and cultures at home ... Huntington described this wide and allegedly growing gap as a major source of the decline in trust in democratic institutions since the 1960s.

The New York Times

After more than 30 years of excavating the remains of a Philistine city, a team of archaeologists says it believes it has found a cemetery belonging to the ancient people on the outskirts of Ashkelon in Israel. The team has unearthed skeletons and artifacts that it suspects had rested for more than 3,000 years in the cemetery, potentially offering clues to the Philistines' lifestyle and perhaps providing some answers to the mysteries of where the Philistines came from. Much has remained unknown about their origins ... “The victors write history," Dr. Master said. "We found these Philistines, and finally we get to hear their story told by them rather than by their enemies."

Victor Davis Hanson - National Review

... The basket of California state taxes — sales, income, and gasoline — rates among the highest in the U.S. Yet California roads and K-12 [elementary] education rank near the bottom ... One in three American welfare recipients resides in California. Almost a quarter of the state population lives below or near the poverty line ... One in four state residents was not born in the U.S. Current state-funded pension programs are not sustainable ... Excessive state regulations and expanding government, massive illegal immigration from impoverished nations, and the rise of unimaginable wealth in the tech industry and coastal retirement communities created two antithetical Californias.

Jacob Heilbrunn - The National Interest

If anything underscored the uniqueness of Donald Trump’s campaign, it was his contention in Cleveland that Hillary Clinton is the puppet of big business. It was simply extraordinary to hear a Republican candidate for the presidency directly assail big business in populist tones as a threat to American democracy — and praise Bernie Sanders along the way, arguing that he “never had a chance” because the system is “rigged.” Instead of pivoting from his unorthodox stands, Trump went all-in last night ... Trump, as Sam Tanenhaus regularly observes, did not create his movement. He is its creation.

N. Confessore - The New York Times

... Trump has also opened the door to assertions of white identity and resentment in a way not seen so broadly in American culture in over half a century, according to those who track patterns of racial tension and antagonism in American life ... The resentment among whites feels both old and distinctly of this moment. It is shaped by the reality of demographic change ... It is mingled with patriotism, pride, fear and a sense that an America without them at its center is not really America anymore ... In making the explicit assertion of white identity and grievance more widespread, Mr. Trump has galvanized the otherwise marginal world of avowed white nationalists and self-described "race realists."

K. Eichenwald - Newsweek

... Last week, the independent British committee established to delve into the blunders that led to that country joining the Iraq misadventure released a report astonishing for its breadth and sobriety ... The report’s shocking conclusion is obvious: The White House, the Pentagon and, to a lesser extent, the State Department had no idea what they were doing. Incompetence permeates the tale, with Bush officials arrogantly waving aside warnings and pleas for better planning. The march toward war took on an unstoppable political momentum as evidence piled up that this invasion would be a colossal catastrophe.

Philippe Sands - London Review of Books

The Iraq Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot and composed of five privy councillors, finally published its report ... It offers a long and painful account of an episode that may come to be seen as marking the moment when the UK fell off its global perch, trust in government collapsed, and the country turned inward and began to disintegrate ... Contrary to most expectations, the inquiry had delivered a report of devastating clarity. Chilcot’s answer to the first question the inquiry had been asked set the scene: ‘The UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.’ ... Chilcot didn’t mention a single positive outcome ... Chilcot portrayed the Iraq War as a total failure of government.

Institute for Historical Review - Audio-Video

Best-selling British historian David Irving draws parallels between aspects of the war in Iraq and World War II, and how the US invasion of Iraq has fueled global hostility toward America. Address at an IHR meeting in southern California, Dec. 2003. Runtime: 55:06 mins.

King's College London - ScienceDaily

The degree to which students' exam scores differ owes more to their genes than to their teachers, schools or family environments, according to new research. The study, which took place in the UK, looked at students' scores for their GCSE's (General Certificate of Secondary Education), a UK-wide examination at the end of compulsory education at 16 years old ... The researchers found that for compulsory core subjects (English, Mathematics and Science), genetic differences between students explain on average 58 percent of the differences between GCSE scores. In contrast, 29 percent of the differences in core subject grades are due to shared environment -- such as schools, neighbourhoods or families which twins share. The remaining differences in GCSE scores were explained by non-shared environment, unique to each individual.

Robert W. Merry - The National Interest

An era ended for the Republican Party Thursday night with the delivery of Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the GOP’s Cleveland convention ... Trump made clear that, if elected, he will govern as no Republican has governed before. And, if he is defeated, he still has redefined the party ... The significance of the speech was in its departure from traditional Republicanism in major areas of policymaking. Donald Trump didn’t just defeat sixteen rivals in getting the GOP nomination; he also set in motion a redefinition of his party. It isn’t clear precisely where the party is going, or what role Trump will play in getting it there. But it is clear that the GOP isn’t going back to the days before the billionaire builder audaciously rode down that Trump Tower escalator and entered the maelstrom of American politics.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... The crisis of today’s Republican Party stems from a failure to recognize, after Reagan went home, and during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, that America now faced a new set of challenges ... What paralyzed the Republicans of a generation ago? What blinded them from seeing and blocked them from acting on the new realities? Ideology, political correctness, a reflexive recoil against new thinking, and an innate inability to adapt ... The political correctness stemmed from a fear of being called racist and xenophobic so paralyzing, so overpowering, that some Republicans would ship the entire Third World over here, rather than have it thought they would ever consider the race, ethnicity or religion of those repopulating America.

Scott McConnell - The American Conservative

... Trump clearly has some gifts as a candidate — a good public performer, enormously energetic, courageous ... But his weaknesses are obvious as well — a shallow grasp of policy, a tendency frequently to say things that are probably not true, an impulse to personalize conflicts and create unnecessary antagonisms ... Donald Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee because he won the GOP’s untapped residue of nationalist voters, in a system where the elites of both parties are, as if by rote, extreme globalists ... He won the support of white working-class voters whose social and economic position had been declining for a generation. He won many who consciously or unconsciously identified with the pre-multicultural America that existed for most of the last century.

Trita Parsi - Consortium News

A year has passed since diplomats from Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus Germany) defied conventional wisdom and struck a deal aimed at both preventing Iran from getting the bomb and preventing it from getting bombed. At the time, the deal’s detractors were apoplectic; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “historic mistake” that would pave the way for Iran to obtain a bomb ... Today, however, the talk of war is gone. Even the hawkish government of Netanyahu has gone silent on the matter. Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, a hawk in his own right, announced a few weeks ago that “at this point, and in the foreseeable future, there is no existential threat facing Israel.” ...

Robert Higgs

... When people are offended or otherwise greatly displeased by historical analysis, they often employ the term "historical revisionism" as a synonym for falsified, distorted, or doctored accounts that fly in the face of what they, their history teachers, and perhaps even the most respected university historians believe to have been the case. The irony of such use of the term "historical revision," which makes it practically a swear word, is that revisionism is and always has been an integral part of historical research and writing.

Mark Weber

Uncompromisingly hostile to war and war propaganda, Rothbard was one of the few who remained true to his convictions even during the stifling Cold War era. Along with Garet Garrett, John T. Flynn and Harry Elmer Barnes, he continued steadfastly to oppose the US military-industrial complex and the military adventurism that is an integral part of its "perpetual war for perpetual peace" policy. Rothbard embraced historical revisionism in all its facets, including taboo issues of the Second World War.

J. Eisner - Forward (New York)

... Instead, it’s the GOP that has broken with the long-standing bipartisan approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by rejecting a call for a two–state solution and further rejecting “the false notion that Israel is an occupier.” Sadly, this isn’t the Old Republican Party anymore. While a party platform is a largely symbolic document, this development puts to rest the notion that a common vision of what’s best for Israel’s future is shared across the political spectrum ... AIPAC is now philosophically closer to the party of Obama and Clinton on this key issue. And the Republican Party has positioned itself to the right of Netanyahu. Who could have imagined that?

EJP

As the Republican party convention kicked off on Monday in Cleveland, a subcommittee of the GOP has overwhelmingly adopted a new national stronger pro-Israel platform. The committee voted 14-2 in favor of the so-called Clemmons Amendment that made an end to long-standing GOP policy toward Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians ... The platform rejects the automatic implementation of the so-called two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and removed the label of “occupier” from Israel for returning to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). The amendment puts the GOP squarely behind an undivided Jerusalem, and speaks out against any form of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish state.

Sputnik (Russia)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has backtracked from his neutral position on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and is now “committed” to supporting Israeli settlement expansion on territories it has seized illegally, according to an advisor. David M. Friedman, a real-estate attorney serving as Trump’s main advisor on Israel, said the Republican presidential candidate and reality television star would not support the recognition of the Palestinian state without "the approval of the Israelis." ... Trump made Friedman a part of his campaign staff in April, at a meeting with Orthodox Jews, naming him and Jason Greenblatt, another real-estate lawyer and Trump’s chief attorney, as his advisors on Israel.

The New York Times

... A 35-year-old real estate developer, investor and newspaper publisher, Mr. [Jared] Kushner derives his authority in the campaign not from a traditional resume but from a marital vow. He is Mr. Trump's son-in-law. Yet in a gradual but unmistakable fashion, Mr. Kushner has become involved in virtually every facet of the Trump presidential operation, so much so that many inside and out of it increasingly see him as a de facto campaign manager ... Much about the Trump candidacy seems at odds with Mr. Kushner's personality and biography: An Orthodox Jew and grandson of Holocaust survivors, Mr. Kushner is now at the center of a campaign that has been embraced by white nationalists and anti-Semites.

Paul Gottfried

... It appears that just about any step toward self-expression that comes from (let us be frank) the Cultural Marxist Left, morphs into a “conservative” position, if one waits a few seconds, until “conservatism” moves one step further into our LGBT new world. This continuing transformation of respectable conservatism in the US and throughout the Western world into variations of the simultaneously mutating Left has been quite noticeable for decades. In my most recent work on the “American conservative movement” I list all the onetime leftist positions that media and political conservatives are now celebrating ... Both relations have pushed the acceptable Right leftward, mostly on social questions, and resulted in the elevation of onetime leftist heroes such as Martin Luther King and John Brown into “conservative” icons.

Jeffrey D. Sachs - Boston Globe

... Brexit is part of a deep trend in the United States and Europe: a rejection by roughly half of the population of globalization as currently implemented. Almost every country in Europe now has a rising populist, anti-immigrant party, while the United States has Donald Trump ... They believe that immigration is out of control, culturally destabilizing, and adverse to their economic interests. They believe that the political and financial elites have joined forces to abuse power, evade taxes, and twist globalization toward narrow ends. These attitudes are not racist, xenophobic, or fascist (despite claims to the contrary, and despite enough racists and xenophobes in our midst). They are based on facts on the ground.

Francis Carr Begbie - Occidental Observer

Anyone wondering about the priorities of Mrs Theresa May should follow her actions from the moment she learned she was to become Britain’s next Prime Minister. Her first act was to sign a pledge committing her to remember the Holocaust and “stand up to hatred and intolerance” ... In a parliamentary career marked by cowardice and a tendency to go along with whichever political wind is blowing, it is hard to say which has been Mrs Theresa May’s most inglorious moment ... For many nationalists, the most egregious moment in this wretched woman’s career came in a speech she gave at the Finchley United Synagogue in April 2015 when she defiled the memory of British servicemen killed in Palestine 1939- 1948 by praising, instead, their Jewish terrorist killers.

EJP

Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been surprisingly appointed Foreign Minister in the cabinet set up by new British Prime Minister Theresa May. 51-year-old Johnson, a former Brussel-based correspondent, led the Brexit campaign for Britain to leave the EU. He is widely considered as a pro-Israel politician who supports stronger tech ties with Israel and has blasted ‘‘foolish’’ BDS. He also managed to alienate Palestinians with his statements. Johnson visited Israel in November 2015 ... During his visit to the Western Wall he confirmed that he has Jewish ancestry. “Yes, I have Jews in my family from Moscow, some of them rabbis,” he told Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites. “That’s on my mother’s side.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

Neither George W. Bush, the Republican Party nominee in 2000 and 2004, nor Jeb, the dethroned Prince of Wales, will be in Cleveland. Nor will John McCain or Mitt Romney, the last two nominees ... Bush Republicans feel unappreciated, and understandably so. For Trump’s nomination represents not only a rejection of their legacy but a repudiation of much of post-Cold War party dogma. America crossed a historic divide and entered a new era. Even should Trump lose, there is likely no going back ... Who represents the future of the GOP? On trade and immigration, the returns are in. Should the GOP go back to globalism, amnesty or open borders, it will sunder itself and have no future.

CNN

A long-classified U.S. report released Friday found that some of the 9/11 hijackers were in contact with and received support from individuals likely connected to the Saudi government. Known as the "28 pages," the secret document was part of a 2002 Congressional Joint Inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks and has been classified since the report's completion, despite repeated calls for its release ... The pages also say that the inquiry obtained information "indicating that Saudi Government officials in the United States may have other ties to al-Qa'ida and other terrorist groups," but the commission that authored the document acknowledged that much of the info "remains speculative and yet to be independently verified.”

The Guardian (Britain)

The release Friday of a long-classified congressional report on possible ties between Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 terrorist plot has the potential to do lasting damage to the US relationship with the oil-rich Arab kingdom. The so-called “28 pages” suggest a much larger web of connections between al-Qaida and the Saudi royal family than had previously been known. Even as the White House – and the Saudi ambassador to the US – insisted that the 13-year-old report did not implicate senior Saudi officials in supporting al-Qaida, family members of the 9/11 victims who have long demanded the report’s release, as well as some of their congressional allies, said they believed the report demonstrated the need for a new investigation of a possible Saudi government role in the 2001 terror attacks.

Mark Weber – Audio recording

In July 1944 a group of German conspirators tried to kill Hitler and violently seize power in Berlin. In the US and Germany today, the anti-Hitler conspirators are portrayed as men of exemplary courage, conscience and principle. This prevailing, “politically correct" idealization is a gross distortion of reality. By today's standards, von Stauffenberg and the other leading conspirators were "Nazis." They supported the policies and principles of the National Socialist government for at least five years, and only belatedly turned against the Hitler regime.

Otto Ernst Remer

… About an hour and a half after the "Valkyrie" order was given [by the von Stauffenberg conspirators], my regiment, by then combat-ready, moved into the areas to be sealed off in accordance with its orders. The normal guard units, such as those at the War Memorial and the Bendlerblock, the headquarters of the Commander of the Replacement Army and of the Defense Production Office, remained at their posts … Goebbels asked me to address the troops assembled there, which I did. Their outrage at the traitorous goings-on was so great that they would have torn every single conspirator to pieces, had they been there.

Garrett Nada – U.S. Institute of Peace

The nuclear deal, signed in July 2015, has been a game changer for Iran. A year later, the Islamic Republic is again a player on the international circuit. Top Iranian leaders have visited Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Tehran has hosted a steady stream of heads of state or foreign ministers, many from the West, interested in upgrading relations ... Yet implementing the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has been rocky — at best. The challenges are often based on disparate interpretations of what the deal requires, particularly in Tehran and Washington. Both capitals allege that the other is violating the spirit of the historic accord, one of the most important non-proliferation agreements in more than a quarter century.

K. Joki - Grammarly

Though we might not think much about them in the context of all the issues discussed during elections, rhetoric and language play a critical role in the success of U.S. presidential candidates. The 2016 presidential election process has been particularly fascinating and prompted us to take a closer look at how election language has changed over time and how it influences candidate success. In our study, we found: the complexity of politicians’ language is decreasing, according to analysis using seven different Grammarly clarity algorithms, such as sentence length and frequency of the passive voice, and; less complex language correlates with higher poll results for Republican politicians, while simpler rhetoric corresponds to lower poll results for Democrats.

Stephen Zunes - The Progressive

... While former Secretary of State Clinton would be among the most experienced and knowledgeable nominees on foreign policy in modern history, she is probably the most hawkish Democratic nominee in decades ... In certain areas, Clinton has even placed herself to the right of the incipient GOP nominee ... Clinton, throughout her career, has been a hawk. Not only did she support the Iraq War, she has backed the Israeli and Moroccan occupations, the Honduras coup, various allied dictatorships, higher military spending, and a more interventionist foreign policy ... Yet, ironically, her foreign policy agenda will likely be treated as the “left” wing of the debate by the mainstream media this fall, and perhaps for the next four to eight years.

Steve Chapman

... Clinton has gotten endless criticism for her handling of the 2012 attacks on a U.S. facility in Benghazi. She deserves more, but has gotten far less, for recommending an intervention that led to that attack and left Libya in violent turmoil that continues today. The question is why a child of the 1960s, whose husband strenuously avoided being drafted for the Vietnam War, would grow so fond of military power. Obama needs a compelling reason to use force. Clinton needs a compelling reason not to. Landler attributes this bias to several factors, including her conservative Midwestern upbringing, her rapport with generals and, in the words of one staffer, "a textbook view of American exceptionalism."

Jon Basil Utley - The American Conservative

... The establishment Republican leadership that Trump is challenging is virtually addicted to perpetual war, while Democrats are so afraid of being called wimpy that they too end up supporting more wars. Just consider how many nations Obama now bombs. Yet Hillary Clinton would be even worse; it was she who pushed Obama into attacking Libya and was an architect of his Syria policy ... She also supports unilateral American attacks ... Although Trump’s foreign-policy talk is all over the map, he dared to attack the Republican establishment’s consensus support for the Iraq War and, alone among major Republicans, talked of restraint in launching new wars ... Perhaps only Trump has the strength of will to cut the Gordian Knot in Washington.

Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept

... Hillary Clinton herself has covertly run one of the most anti-Palestinian, pro-Israeli-aggression presidential campaigns in modern history – from either party. That’s not surprising given her general militarism and the dominance of American-Israeli billionaire Haim “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel” Saban in funding her campaign and the Democratic Party generally. Surprising or not, though, the Clinton-led Democratic Party’s hostility toward the most basic precepts of equality and dignity for Palestinians, and their willingness – their eagerness – to support and cheer for the most extremist Israeli acts of oppression, racism and decades-long occupation, is nothing short of despicable.

Michael D. Hull - Warfare History Network

A diminutive blonde with bright blue eyes and a ready smile ... She was the world’s first female test pilot, the first woman to fly a glider over the Alps, the first woman to fly a helicopter, the first woman to be named a flight captain, the first woman to pilot a rocket plane and jet fighter, and the first and only woman in German history to be awarded the Iron Cross, first and second class. After setting more than 40 distance and altitude records as Germany’s leading woman glider pilot in the 1930s, she tested all types of fighters, bombers, and transports for the German Air Force, and flew the last airplane out of Berlin before Soviet forces captured the German capital in the spring of 1945 ... She was a brave and tireless aviatrix who won universal respect.

Aircrew Remembered

... With the outbreak of war in 1939 Hanna was asked to fly many of Germany’s latest designs. Among these were the rocket-propelled Messerschmitt Me 183 Komet, and several larger bombers, on which she tested various mechanisms for cutting barrage balloon cables. She became Adolf Hitler’s favourite pilot and was one of only two women awarded the Iron Cross First Class during World War II ... In 1961 Reitsch was invited to the White house by US President John F. Kennedy. From 1962 to 1966 she lived in Ghana, where she founded the first black African national gliding school ... “I am not ashamed to say I believed in National Socialism [she said in an interview]. I still wear the Iron Cross with diamonds Hitler gave me.”

Video

Hanna Reitsch (1912-1979) was a German aviator and the only woman awarded the Iron Cross First Class and the Luftwaffe Combined Pilots-Observation Badge in Gold with Diamonds during World War II. Reitsch was the first woman to fly a helicopter, a rocket plane, and a jet fighter. She set over forty aviation altitude and endurance records during her career, both before and after World War II, and several of her international gliding records are still standing to this day. Runtime: 3:35 mins.

R. E. Van Patten - Aviation History

... From early on, Hanna Reitsch was an intense, determined and intelligent individual ... In 1937 she was designated as a Luftwaffe civilian test pilot, a post she would hold until the end of World War II ... In February 1938, at Udet’s bidding, Reitsch would become the first person to fly a helicopter, the Focke-Achgelis Fa-61, inside a building, Berlin’s Deutschlandhalle ... Throughout the remainder of her life, Reitsch remained a controversial figure, tainted by her ties — both real and suppositious — to the dead Führer and his henchmen ... Throughout her life, she remained passionately committed to aviation, especially gliding. She set more than 40 records during her lifetime, many of them in gliders.

Chris Matthews - Fortune

From Brexit to Donald Trump, if there’s anything that current events tell us, it’s that the man on the street is angry and wants change. A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute, with the chilling title “Poorer than their Parents: Flat or Falling Incomes in Advanced Economies,” shows just why this is the case. According to the paper, the trend in stagnating or declining incomes for middle class workers is not just confined to the United States, but is a global phenomenon hurting workers across the wealthy world. The report found that as much as 70 percent of the households in 25 advanced economies saw their earnings drop in the past decade ... A huge swath of the world’s population, one that had been taught to expect their material wealth to grow through their lifetimes and across generations, has learned that this promise was a lie.

New York Post

An elite Manhattan school is teaching white students as young as six that they’re born racist and should feel guilty benefiting from “white privilege,” while heaping praise and cupcakes on their black peers. Administrators at the Bank Street School for Children on the Upper West Side claim it’s a novel approach to fighting discrimination, and that several other private New York schools are doing it, but even liberal parents aren’t buying it. They complain the K-8 school of 430 kids is separating whites in classes where they’re made to feel awful about their “whiteness,” and all the “kids of color” in other rooms where they’re taught to feel proud about their race, and are rewarded with treats and other privileges.

R. Silverstein – Tikun Olam

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s new defense minister, has announced a series of military promotions. The most glaring one is the religious figure elevated to be the army’s new chief rabbi. He is Eyal Krim. His main claim to infamy is that in a religious publication (Hebrew), he was asked if the Book of Deuteronomy permits an Israelite to rape women of an enemy tribe, how does this correspond to modern military policy. He told readers that it would be permissible for Jewish soldiers to rape attractive Arab women among the enemy because it would improve military morale and redound to the greater good of the nation in pursuing its military objectives ... Haaretz also reports that Krim told his Orthodox audience that wounded Palestinian attackers were not human, but rather animals who should be summarily executed.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... Today, some 120 years after the beginning of the Zionist experiment, the hatred between the two peoples [Israelis and Arabs] is abysmal. The conflict dominates our lives. More than half of all news stories in the media concern this conflict ... When the Arabs realized that the new Zionist immigrants were not a repeat of the Templars, but a new aggressive colonialist implantation, conflict became inevitable. It grows worse from year to year. The hatred between the two peoples seems to reach new heights all the time ... Most Palestinians are now ready to make peace and even to live in a reduced Palestinian state side by side with Israel, but are rebuffed by the Israeli government, which wants to keep "all of Eretz Israel" for Jewish colonization, leaving only some disconnected enclaves to the Palestinians.

Charles W. Freeman

... The essays in America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East reveal my own gradual and grudging realization that I had been wrong in my presumption that Israel desired peace and reconciliation with those its Western-backed establishment and military consolidation in the Middle East had injured or offended. As events unfolded, it became increasingly hard to deny that the absence of peace was explained not by the unwillingness of the victims of Israeli colonialism to compromise, but by Israel’s own view that it had no need to make concessions as long as it had the backing of the United States. With great reluctance, I came to see that, given U.S. enablement, Israel has never been prepared to risk peace with those it displaced from their homes in Palestine.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

In the last four years Israel has advanced plans to legalize 14 West Bank outposts and has approved 20 such fledgling hilltop communities, Peace Now said in a new report it issued on Monday. “The retroactive legalization of illegal outposts is a slap in the face of the Quartet,” asserted Peace Now, referencing a report issued by the Quartet earlier this month on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ... For Netanyahu to continue settlement activity in the wake of such a report, Peace Now said, is a signal to “Israel’s most important allies that he is not interested in peace and two states but rather in the continuation of the occupation.” Settlement activity continues unabated, it said ...

Mark Weber - Video

Judaism is not just another religion. Its core values are markedly unlike those of Christianity and the other great faiths. A central message of the Hebrew scriptures is that Jews are a divinely "chosen" people — a unique community distinct from the rest of humanity. Some recent news items reconfirm this point, which is important for an understanding of the reality of cultural and political life in the United States, the US relationship with Israel, and the issue of war and peace in the Middle East and in the world. Runtime: 48 mins.

Middle East Media Research Institute (Washington, DC)

On July 1, 2016, the Iranian regime marked the 37th Qods (Jerusalem) Day ... In addition to the regime's usual messages stressing the need for the annihilation of the State of Israel, this year anti-semitic messages stood out in statements by senior Iranian officials, in newspapers such as the regime mouthpiece Kayhan, and on signs carried in regime-organized marches ... In its editorial on June 30, the eve of Qods Day, Kayhan, which is affiliated with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, discussed the circumstances that led to the state of the Jews, Israel, depicting the Jews as cheating, cunning, subversive, racist, plundering, and satanic, and as exploiting the "myth of the Holocaust" in order to steal Islamic lands.

ABC News

Sixty-nine percent of Americans say U.S. race relations are generally bad, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll -- meaning Americans have reached a similar level of dissatisfaction as they felt after the [1992] Rodney King verdict 24 years ago. The opinion of race relations today are twelve percent worse than at this time last year, the poll said, in response to the question: "Do you think race relations in the United States are generally good or generally bad?" The poll was conducted with 1,600 Americans from July 8 to July 12 ... In May 1992, 68 percent said race relations were bad, the New York Times/CBS News poll reported ... Today, black and white Americans have similar views on the current state of race relations ...

CBS News

... Negative views of race relations in the U.S. have risen to a level not seen since the 1992 Los Angeles riots that followed the Rodney King verdict. Now just 26 percent of Americans think race relations in the U.S. are mostly good -- an eleven point drop from a year ago -- while 69 percent say they are mostly bad. Back in May 1992, 68 percent said race relations were bad. Positive opinions of race relations rose above 50 percent in the 2000s, and reached a high of 66 percent in April 2009 ... But those positive assessments have been dropping steadily since mid-2014 ... Whites are just as pessimistic as blacks about the state of race relations in the U.S. And there is growing pessimism about whether race relations are improving. Now just 9 percent of Americans think race relations are getting better, while 59 percent think they are getting worse.

Pew Research Center

... A new Pew Research Center survey finds profound differences between black and white adults in their views on racial discrimination, barriers to black progress and the prospects for change ... An overwhelming majority of blacks (88 percent) say the country needs to continue making changes for blacks to have equal rights with whites, but 43 percent are skeptical that such changes will ever occur ... A much lower share of whites (53 percent) say the country still has work to do for blacks to achieve equal rights with whites, and only eleven percent express doubt that these changes will come. Four-in-ten whites believe the country will eventually make the changes needed for blacks to have equal rights ...

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

... There is no denying that the interventionist wars in Iraq and Libya that were propagated as necessary to relieve human suffering actually increased human suffering in those countries  —  many times over ... Unfortunately, even after seeing how disastrous those wars in Iraq and Libya were, many people who championed those wars are behind the ongoing war to overthrow the Syrian government  —  even pushing to escalate that war, saying yet again that humanitarian concerns justify overthrowing yet another dictator we don’t like ... We must stop wasting our valuable, limited resources on these regime change wars, and instead focus our resources on investing in and rebuilding our nation and communities here at home.

L. Ramirez - VOA News

Unlike some central and eastern Europe nations, Poland has not seen a major push for an exit from the European Union in the wake of Brexit, but the country's nationalist movements, whose influence continues to rise, are calling for deep reforms in the EU. Those calls are being led largely by young people, members of the post-communist freedom generation, whose views are often and paradoxically much more traditionalist and conservative than the older generations that suffered under Nazi and later communist repression ... For young nationalists, modern western European social liberalism is the enemy. “I think our culture is a hope for western Europe because western European culture is dying,” said Edyta Luty, 30, at a march attended by scores of young nationalists in Warsaw this week.

JNS

Polish Education Minister Anna Zalewska has come under fire for remarks appearing to deny Polish responsibility for two massacres of Jews, one during the Holocaust and the other after the end of World War II. Zalewska had addressed the Jedwabne massacre of 1941, during which Poles burned alive more than 300 Jews inside a barn, and the Kielce massacre in 1946, in which 42 people were shot by Polish police because of a false blood libel accusation. The anniversaries of both pogroms were observed in Poland last week. For many years, Poles tended to avoid discussing these pogroms, and when they did address them, they denied that Polish antisemitism had been a motive, and instead blamed the Germans for the massacres.

C. Silver – The Electronic Intifada

For the fourth time in seven years, the British government has intervened to protect Tzipi Livni, Israel’s former foreign minister, from a possible a war crimes investigation into her role in Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip in December 2008. Last week, ahead of her planned trip to London for a conference organized by the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, Scotland Yard’s War Crimes Unit telephoned Livni to invite her to come in for a voluntary police interview. After receiving the summons, Israel initiated “diplomatic contact” with Britain, according to Haaretz, and the UK’s Foreign Secretary arranged for Livni to receive, once again, the status of a “special diplomatic assignment.” The police summons was prompted by the police and Crown Prosecution Service’s review of a war crimes complaint that was originally filed in 2009 ...

International Business Times

German police have arrested 60 suspected far-right extremists after conducting its first ever nationwide operation against hate speech. Morning raids in all but two of Germany's 16 states on Wednesday targeted dozens of properties thought to be connected with extremist groups promoting Nazism and anti-Semitic views on social media. One group under investigation was said by officers to have violated a number of German laws, including the glorification of Nazism and exchange of "xenophobic, anti-Semitic or other far-right extremist content". Its members, from the southern state of Bavaria, were alleged to have used a secret Facebook page to exchange "hate messages" and far-right material.

Fox News

The number of Americans proud of their country has dropped significantly in the last five years, according to the latest Fox News Poll. Pride is down 19 percentage points: 69 percent of voters were proud of America in 2011. It’s 50 percent today. And 46 percent say they aren’t proud, up from 28 percent. Even so, more voters feel proud than think the Founders would be. When asked how the Founding Fathers would feel if they could see the country today, just 19 percent think they would be proud. That’s also down – it was 26 percent in 2011. Three quarters (75 percent) say the Founders wouldn’t be proud of the nation.

The Times of Israel‎

Home Secretary Theresa May, set to succeed David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister this week, is widely regarded as a good friend of the Jewish community, and of Israel. May, who will become the UK’s second woman prime minister after Margaret Thatcher, emerged Monday as the Conservative Party’s unchallenged candidate to take over from Cameron in the chaotic political aftermath of Britain’s referendum vote last month to leave the European community ... She was the guest speaker for the Bnei Akiva youth group’s Independence Day event this year, and spoke of her “honor” in celebrating Israel’s independence ... Without its Jews, she said, “Britain would not be Britain.”

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

British Conservative Party leader Theresa May, who is expected to succeed David Cameron as prime minister when he resigns Wednesday, is being welcomed as a longtime friend of Britain’s Jewish community and a strong advocate for Israel ... As the country’s home secretary, May was known to be a frequent guest at Jewish communal events, where she would praise Israel and British Jewry’s contributions to the country ... May has also pledged to defend kosher slaughter, which is under attack in many parts of Europe on animal cruelty grounds ... Eric Pickles, a member of Parliament and chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, said Monday: “As a politician not known for hollow platitudes, Israel can rest assured that a UK led by Theresa May will be there in its moments of need.”

Garikai Chengu - CounterPunch

After seven years, the Chilcot report has delivered a damning verdict on Tony Blair’s role in the war on Iraq, but British Prime Ministers playing a destructive role in Iraq is a centuries old practice. Britain has used its military might and commercial prowess to subjugate Iraq and control its oil resources for over one hundred years. Churchill invented Iraq ... Churchill’s imperial foreign policy has caused a century of instability in Iraq by arbitrarily locking together three warring ethnic groups that have been bleeding heavily ever since. In Iraq, Churchill bundled together the three Ottoman vilayets of Basra that was predominantly Shiite, Baghdad that was Sunni, and Mosul that was mainly Kurd. Britain set up a colonial regime in Iraq.

G. Milton – The Guardian (Britain

The use of chemical weapons in Syria has outraged the world. But it is easy to forget that Britain has used them – and that Winston Churchill was a powerful advocate for them / … Britain's imperial general staff knew there would be outrage if it became known that the government was intending to use its secret stockpile of chemical weapons. But Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, brushed aside their concerns. As a long-term advocate of chemical warfare, he was determined to use them against the Russian Bolsheviks. In the summer of 1919, 94 years before the devastating strike in Syria, Churchill planned and executed a sustained chemical attack on northern Russia. The British were no strangers to the use of chemical weapons.

Robert Parry - Consortium News

... Publicly, Hillary Clinton has toyed with both the democracy and humanitarian arguments but one of her official emails – released by the State Department – explains that the underlying reason for the Syrian “regime change” war was the Israeli government’s desire to remove Syria as the link in the supply chain between Iran and Israel’s foe, Lebanon’s Hezbollah ... The email explains the need for “regime change” in Damascus as important to Israel, which wanted to blunt Iranian regional influence and protect Israel’s “nuclear monopoly,” ... So, based on the logic expressed in the email, Clinton’s goal of “regime change” in Syria was driven in large part by Israel’s perception of its strategic interests ...

Jonathan Marshall - Consortium News

The recent call by 51 dissenting State Department officials for U.S. military escalation in Syria is merely one of dozens of similar demands by neoconservatives and anguished liberals who accuse President Obama of moral failure for not dictating peace in Syria at the end of a gun ... Their claims reflect magical thinking. Champions of intervention cling to the wishful belief that if the world’s one superpower wants something badly enough, we must be able to attain it. But as our disastrous experiences in Iraq and Libya — not to mention Vietnam — should have made abundantly clear to any sentient being, America simply lacks the capability to find and empower suitable local partners and then dictate political outcomes ... So what exactly makes interventionists think that doubling down on a failed strategy will produce a different and better outcome?

Andrew J. Bacevich – Boston Globe

Reduced to a Tweet, the just-released Iraq Inquiry might read like this: “#Tony Blair a poodle? Verily.” That’s the key finding that emerges from the 2.6 million-word official investigation into Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War, informally known as the Chilcot Report. In the wake of 9/11, the British prime minister and his colleagues fancied that by supporting the George W. Bush administration in its determination to overthrow Saddam Hussein they could exercise a positive influence over US policy more generally. Instead, they allowed their country to be dragged into an unnecessary, poorly planned, ultimately unsuccessful, and arguably illegal war. In the end, the United Kingdom and its people gained nothing and paid dearly ... On their side of the Atlantic, there has finally been an accounting. On our side, there’s been none — nor is there likely to be anytime soon.

Reuters

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has told Pokemon Go fans not to play the popular new mobile game in its premises, describing it as "extremely inappropriate" in a memorial dedicated to the victims of Nazism. The game involves using a mobile device to find and capture virtual Pokemon characters at real life locations, including apparently inside the Washington-based museum. The idea of players roaming its halls, eyes glued to phones in search of the computerized figures, shocked many after an image was posted online showing one of the characters located outside the doors to the museum's Helena Rubinstein Auditorium. "We are attempting to have the museum removed from the game," the museum's communications director, Andy Hollinger, said in a statement.

M. Fleury - BBC News

The US economic recovery is now seven years old. So why don't many Americans feel like they've recovered? On paper, all the indicators are there ... Statistics show the jobs market is improving and the unemployment rate has fallen ... Yet despite her reassuring words, all the supposedly encouraging data, the question vexing economists is why the country isn't in better shape. You don't have to look far to see signs of the economy's fragility ... Even the improving unemployment rate doesn't tell the whole picture. The country's labour participation rate - the share of the workforce in employment or looking for a job - is woefully low. Currently it stands below 63 percent, the lowest level since the 1970s. The bottom line is that the recovery is more fragile than anyone would like.

Ron Paul

The longest war in US history just got even longer. As NATO wrapped up its 2016 Warsaw Summit, the organization agreed to continue funding Afghan security forces through the year 2020. Of course with all that funding comes US and NATO troops, and thousands of contractors, trainers, and more ... The neocons argue that Iraq, Libya, and other US interventions fell apart because the US did not stay long enough. As usual they are wrong. They failed and they will continue to fail because they cannot succeed. You cannot invade a country, overthrow its government, and build a new country from the ground up. It is a fool’s errand and Washington has turned most Americans into fools. It’s time to end this game and get back to the wise foreign policy of the founders: non-intervention in the affairs of others.

Stephen Kinzer - Boston Globe

... NATO has become America’s instrument in escalating our dangerous conflict with Russia. We need less NATO, not more. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in 1949 as a way for American troops to protect a war-shattered Europe from Stalin’s Soviet Union. Today Europe is quite capable of shaping and paying for its own security, but NATO’s structure remains unchanged. The United States still pays nearly three-quarters of its budget. That no longer makes sense ... Russia threatens none of America’s vital interests. On the contrary, it shares our eagerness to fight global terror, control nuclear threats, and confront other urgent challenges to global security.

Eric Margolis

This week’s Chilcot report on Britain’s role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq was as polite and guarded as a proper English tea party. No direct accusations, no talk of war crimes by then Prime Minister Tony Blair or his guiding light, President George W. Bush. But still pretty damning ... The biggest lie on both sides of the Atlantic was that the invasion and destruction of Iraq was the result of 'faulty intelligence.' The Bush and Blair camps and the US and British media keep pushing this absurd line ... The men and women responsible for this biggest disaster in our era should be brought to account. As long as Bush and Blair swan around and collect speaking fees, we have no right to lecture other nations, including Russia and China, on how to run a democracy or rule of law. Bush and Blair should be facing trial for war crime at the Hague Court.

Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept

... Nobody should need official reports or statements from attackers to confirm what common sense makes clear: If you go around the world for years proclaiming yourself “at war,” bombing and occupying and otherwise interfering in numerous countries for your own ends — as the U.S. and U.K. have been doing for decades, long before 9/11 — some of those who identify with your victims will decide – choose – to retaliate with violence of their own ... Not only did Tony Blair’s attack on Iraq provoke subsequent attacks on his own country, but he knew at the time he decided to attack Iraq that this would happen, because he was warned of it. The anniversary of these attacks is the ideal time to reflect on this causal connection ...

BBC News

Austria's government is to seize the house where Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 to prevent it becoming a site of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis. The owner, a retired local woman, has refused repeated offers to buy the house in Braunau am Inn in the past. However, there is disagreement over what to do with the house next. The interior minister wants it demolished but others say a museum or even a supermarket would more effectively "depoliticise" it. "The decision is necessary because the Republic would like to prevent this house from becoming a 'cult site' for neo-Nazis in any way, which it has been repeatedly in the past, when people gathered there to shout slogans," Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said. "It is my vision to tear down the house," he added.

Breitbart

Another prominent Democrat has trashed Elie Wiesel — the Holocaust survivor, author, and Nobel Peace laureate who died on Saturday. Dorothy Reik, president of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains and a member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee, wrote an email quoting a reference to Wiesel as a “Holocaust whore” and adding: “I had met people who made their livings from the holocaust [sic] but never to the extent that Wiesel did.” Reik had been defending Max Blumenthal, the virulently anti-Israel writer and son of Hillary Clinton adviser Sid Blumenthal, who had tweeted: “Elie Wiesel is dead. He spent his last years inciting hatred, defending apartheid & palling around with fascists.” ... In her e-mail, Reik also wrote: “Sadly I have to agree with Max Blumenthal.

Anti-Defamation League (New York)

The number of violent anti-Semitic assaults taking place in the United States rose dramatically last year, contributing to a three percent rise in the total number of anti-Jewish incidents reported in 2015, according to new data from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents recorded a total of 941 incidents in the U.S. in 2015, an increase of about three percent from the 912 incidents recorded in 2014. Fifty-six incidents were assaults, the most violent anti-Semitic category – representing a more than 50 percent rise from the 36 assaults reported in 2014. Another troubling finding: anti-Semitic incidents at colleges and universities nearly doubled last year. A total of 90 incidents were reported on 60 college campuses in 2015, compared with 47 incidents on 43 campuses in 2014.

Pew Research Center

As the Obama era comes to a close, the overall image of the United States among key publics in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region is generally favorable. In addition, U.S.-led military action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria wins broad approval, and many say America is as important a world leader as it was a decade ago. U.S. image, in part, is linked to impressions of the American people. In general, Americans are perceived as optimistic and hardworking, although those outside of the U.S. are divided as to whether Americans can be described as tolerant. When looking at negative characteristics, many people around the globe associate Americans with arrogance, greed and violence.

T. Welsh - McClatchy

A worldwide survey found that majorities of people in the U.K., Canada, Spain and Australia think of Americans as violent, greedy and arrogant. The poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center, found that a median of 54 percent of people in countries surveyed associated the negative trait of arrogance with Americans. Fifty-two percent associate greed, and 48 percent say Americans are violent. People in Australia and Greece were most likely to see Americans as being violent, while those in India were the least likely to view U.S. citizens that way. Americans themselves don’t deny these attributions: Fifty-five percent said Americans are arrogant, 57 percent said they are greedy and 42 percent said they are violent.

Owen Jones - The Guardian (Britain)

... One legacy of Chilcot should be to encourage us to be bolder in challenging authority, in being sceptical of official claims, in standing firm against an aggressive agenda spun by the media. Lessons must be learned, the war’s supporters will now declare. Don’t let them get away with it. The lessons were obvious to many of us before the bombs started falling. For what Chilcot has done is illustrate that assertions from the anti-war movement were not conspiracy theories, or far-fetched, wild-eyed claims ... This was not a blunder, not an error, not a mistake: whatever the law decides, this was – from any moral standpoint – one of the gravest crimes of our time.

Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss

Last week’s Aspen Ideas Festival often seemed like a rightwing Jewish event. Accounts of the high-altitude leadership conclave included a lot of obnoxiously-chauvinist Jewish comments, notably this one from Leon Wieseltier, a contributing editor of The Atlantic ... “If Merrick Garland is appointed to the Supreme Court, there will be four Jews on it. Eventually, there won’t be any goyim.” (laughter) Anti-goyim-ism is par for the course ... I understand the Jewish tradition of being wary of populists. This is because Jews have, like it or not, been linked to western elites in the last 150 years; and populist resentment of those elites fed anti-Semitism and helped to create the Jewish question in Europe.

Time/ Life.com

Twenty-one color photos, by German photographer Hugo Jaeger. / A powerful insignia alone, Adolf Hitler once noted, “can spark interest in a political movement.” ... The Nazi flag -- one of the single most powerful ideological emblems ever devised ... these all meld into one astonishingly powerful visual marker. In this gallery, LIFE.com takes a long, hard look at the aesthetics of the Reich’s propaganda machinery, from the single swastika to the epic torchlit celebrations that marked Hitler’s 50th birthday.

T. Welsh - McClatchy

Christians are the most persecuted of any religious group around the world, facing harassment in 108 countries. A study by Pew Research Center found that harassment of Christians in 2014 by both governments and society as a whole increased from 102 countries in 2013. The study considered harassment to be both verbal and physical assaults as well as arrests, detentions and desecration of holy sites. Discrimination on religious grounds was also found in employment, education and housing decisions. There are 2.3 billion Christians worldwide, and it is estimated 8,000 are martyred each year. This is equivalent to one person dying in the name of the faith each hour of every day.

John Stauber - CounterPunch

... It was of course George Bush and his neocons from the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) gang that seized on the September 11, 2001, attacks to manipulate events into an opportunity to wage offensive war on Iraq. And it was the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, led by Clinton, Kerry, Biden et. al., who provided the votes a year after 9/11 that green-lighted the war ... In the pathetic giddiness that overtook progressives after Obama’s election, there was little notice given to his announcement that there would be no investigation of how America was led to and lied into war, that page would be turned and we would move forward. After all, the war was a bipartisan venture, and his soon to be cabinet members Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, and future Secretary of State Kerry were all pro-war culprits.

Patrick Cockburn - The Independent (Britain)

... In all wars propagandists get free range, but a distinctive feature of the Iraq war saw the blatancy and mendacity of official attempts to manipulate American and British public opinion which were probably worse than anything seen in either country since the First World War. The US and Britain justified going to war in Iraq in 2003 by claiming that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the world because he possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It swiftly emerged that this was untrue and evidence for the charge had been fabricated or taken at face value when all the indications were that it was false. A further justification for the war was regime change on the grounds that Saddam was an evil dictator and mass murderer and his overthrow could only benefit of the Iraqi people.

Robert Fisk – The Independent (Britain)

... Our concentration on the iniquitous Blair and his lies, while itself an understandable response to Chilcot, has provided a worrying diversion from the mendacity that still today afflicts our political class, our prime ministers and party leaders, and their insulting attitude towards those they claim to represent ... It is impossible not to be shocked by some of his [Joseph Goebbels’] observations. “The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence,” he wrote in 1941. “Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” ... What is frightening is that Goebbels’s words apply so painfully to English politicians today.

Joseph Grosso - CounterPunch

... Wiesel had a soft spot for war, at least war in the Middle East. Four years before giving his acceptance speech of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, where even an Israel commission found the Israeli military indirectly responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacre, [he said] “I support Israel-period. I identify with Israel-period.” ... Some years later Wiesel would be wheeled into the spotlight by the Bush administration to endorse the forthcoming invasion of Iraq. His statement at the time read: ‘Isn’t war forever cruel, the ultimate form of violence ... And yet, this time I support President Bush’s policy of intervention when, as is this case because of Hussein’s equivocations and procrastinations, no other option remains’.

Max Blumenthal - Alternet

The news of Elie Wiesel’s death in the early morning of July 2 ushered in veneration and reflections from figures across the political spectrum ... The outpouring of high-level praise aimed at consolidating Wiesel as the eternal voice of the Holocaust and the central preceptor of its lessons ... Through Oprah, Wiesel secured his brand as the high priest of Holocaust theology, the quasi-religion he introduced some 30 years earlier ... “My loyalty to my people, to our people, and to Israel comes first and prevents me from saying anything critical of Israel outside Israel,” Wiesel wrote ... Wiesel’s unwavering commitment to Israel undoubtedly influenced his vocal support for President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

Scientific Reports

We have previously shown that individual differences in educational achievement are highly heritable throughout compulsory education. After completing compulsory education at age 16, students in England can choose to continue to study for two years (A-levels) in preparation for applying to university and they can freely choose which subjects to study. Here, for the first time, we show that choosing to do A-levels and the choice of subjects show substantial genetic influence, as does performance after two years studying the chosen subjects. Using a UK-representative sample of 6584 twin pairs, heritability estimates were 44 percent for choosing to do A-levels and 52–80 percent for choice of subject. Achievement after two years was also highly heritable (35–76 percent).

BBC News

China spends more on infrastructure each year than North America and Western Europe combined. That’s according to a new study published last week by global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The fact that China is investing so much in roads, rails, ports — and everything else that keeps society up and running —hints at big trends that could shape the global economy in the coming decades ... Between 1992 and 2013, China spent 8.6 percent of its GDP on building roads, railways, airports, seaports, and other development projects that are key to keep people and goods on the move, and keeping the economy strong. That same spending figure was just 2.5 percent for Western Europe, and 2.5 percent for the US and Canada put together.

Trevor Timm – The Guardian (Britain)

As the UK parliament released its long-awaited Chilcot report on the country’s role in the Iraq war on Wednesday, there have been renewed calls all over Britain to try former prime minister Tony Blair for war crimes. This brings up another question: what about George W Bush? The former US president most responsible for the foreign policy catastrophe has led a peaceful existence since he left office ... Beyond Bush, the political elite in the US has faced almost no punishment for supporting the invasion of Iraq. Dick Cheney and company are also living comfortably in retirement, and both political parties have nominated people who supported the invasion in 2003.

Daniel Larison – The American Conservative

... None of that is really news to anyone that was paying attention in 2002-03. It is good to have these fairly obvious truths confirmed in the official record, but the inquiry doesn’t tell us much that we didn’t already know. Many of us saw at the time that the U.S. and British governments were determined to invade Iraq and were simply searching for a pretext that would give them political cover to do so. Of course the U.S. and its allies started military action before diplomatic alternatives were exhausted ... Even if Iraq had retained its unconventional weapons programs as Bush and Blair claimed, attacking Iraq would not have been justified. Even if the “threat” they identified had existed, it would not have justified the invasion and occupation of another country, the overthrow of its government, and the ensuing years of devastation and bloodshed.

The Guardian (Britain)

French media viewed the Chilcot report as a grim vindication of Jacques Chirac’s opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq, with a leading newspaper remarking that Tony Blair had gone to war against “the wise and prophetic advice” of France’s then president ... The French ambassador to the US, Gérard Araud, tweeted to remind everyone how France, vilified at the time for not supporting the war in Iraq, had been right ... In Germany, Daniel Haufler, writing in the Berliner Zeitung, said the report confirmed what sceptics had been saying all along: that military intervention “did not bring democracy and peace but a failed state in which hunger, chaos and a lack of perspective reigns.” ... Italy’s business newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, said the report vindicated those who were against the conflict.

Gilad Atzmon

It took seven years for Sir Chilcot and his team to reach a set of conclusions that every Brit capable of thought understood back in November, 2013. The inquiry produced a damning assessment of Blair’s conduct as well as the British military. But the Chilcot Inquiry failed to expose the crucial close ties between Blair’s criminal war, the Jewish Lobby and Israel. At the time Britain entered the criminal war against Iraq, Blair’s chief funders were Lord ‘cashpoint’ Levy and the LFI (Labour Friends of Israel). The prime advocates for the immoral interventionist war within the British press were Jewish Chronicle writers David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen. The attorney general that gave the green light for the war was Lord Goldsmith.

The Guardian (Britain)

The full extent of government anxiety about the state of British-Israel relations can be exposed for the first time today in a secret document seen by the Guardian. The document reveals how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial, now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel's nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN's authority on weapons of mass destruction. The dossier was made public this week, but the FCO succeeded before a tribunal in having the handwritten mention of Israel kept secret.

JTA

France’s highest court affirmed a one-year prison sentence for a professor who questioned the Holocaust’s veracity. The Court of Cassation rejected the appeal last week of Vincent Reynouard, who has since fled the country and is presumed escaped. It was the last of several appeals by Reynouard to the sentence imposed last year by a Caen court over a 2014 video in which he said the Holocaust may not have happened and called state commemorations of the deportation of French Jews ”manipulation of memory,” France 3 reported. Reynouard has lost his license to teach in the public education system over repeated Holocaust denials. The court’s ruling came amid protests over a Paris university readmitting a student who had been expelled for anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Agencies and Times of Israel

Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, on Thursday renamed its Soviet-era Moscow Avenue after a Russian [?] figure accused by the Kremlin of siding with the Nazis during World War II. Kiev’s local council decided that one of the bustling city’s main northern arteries will now honor Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera ... Bandera, who died 55 year ago, remains a deeply divisive figure in Ukraine, glorified by many in western Ukraine as a freedom fighter, but dismissed by millions in eastern and southeastern Ukraine as a traitor to the Soviet Union’s struggle against the occupying German army. Bandera was a leader of Ukraine’s nationalist movement in the 1930s and 1940s, which included an insurgent army that fought alongside Nazi soldiers during part of the Second World War.

BBC News

Tony Blair [British prime minister in 2003] overstated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, sent ill-prepared troops into battle, and had "wholly inadequate" plans for the aftermath, the UK's Iraq War inquiry has said. Chairman Sir John Chilcot said the 2003 invasion was not the "last resort" action presented to MPs and the public. There was no "imminent threat" from Saddam, and the intelligence case was "not justified", he said ... UK military commanders made "over-optimistic assessments" of their capabilities which had led to "bad decisions"; There was "little time" to properly prepare three military brigades for deployment in Iraq ... ; Policy on the Iraq invasion was made on the basis of flawed intelligence assessments. It was not challenged, and should have been; Mr Blair overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq.

CNN

A long-awaited official inquiry delivered a devastating indictment of Britain's decision to invade Iraq Wednesday, finding that the war was based on flawed intelligence and had been launched before diplomatic options were exhausted. The findings of the 2.6 million-word Iraq Inquiry -- seven years in the making -- were released following a statement by probe chairman John Chilcot in London Wednesday. The former civil servant said that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein posed "no imminent threat" when the U.S-led invasion was launched in March 2003 ... Blair's decision to invade Iraq was influenced by his interest in protecting the UK's relationship with the United States, the report said.

The Guardian (Britain)

The Bush administration repeatedly overrode advice from the UK on how to oversee Iraq after the invasion, including the involvement of the United Nations, the timing of the invasion, the control of Iraqi oil money and the extent to which the UK was given a formal role in the reconstruction of the country, the Chilcot inquiry concludes. The report finds that “many of the difficulties which the coalition encountered after the successful military campaign had been, or could have been, foreseen”. It finds that the UK was given no role in the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the chief body based in Baghdad for the oversight of postwar reconstruction ... The report also highlights a number of tensions between the US and UK over how to deal with the aftermath of the invasion.

AFP

Britain's then prime minister Tony Blair promised US George W. Bush in 2002 that he would be with him on Iraq "whatever" happened, nearly a year before the invasion, Britain's Iraq War Inquiry report said on Wednesday. “On 28 July (2002), Mr Blair wrote to president Bush with an assurance that he would be with him 'whatever'", retired civil servant John Chilcot said as he presented his report.

Daily Mail (Britain)

A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the ‘deal in blood’ forged by Tony Blair and George Bush over the Iraq War. The sensational leak shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the invasion started. It flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis. He told voters: ‘We’re not proposing military action’ – in direct contrast to what the secret email now reveals. The classified document also discloses that Blair agreed to act as a glorified spin doctor for the President by presenting ‘public affairs lines’ to convince a sceptical public that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction – when none existed.

Associated Press

The number of violent crimes jumped ten percent across California last year, reversing several years of declines, the state’s attorney general reported Friday. Homicides increased nearly ten percent, while robberies and aggravated assaults were up more than eight percent from 2014 to 2015, Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a series of crime reports. Aggravated assaults with a firearm jumped 15.7 percent, while assaults on peace officers increased by ten percent. The number of reported rapes increased from 9,397 in 2014 to 12,793 last year, though the attorney general’s office said the legal definition has changed so the two numbers can’t be directly compared. The number of property crimes increased more than eight percent, led by double-digit increases in vehicle and other thefts.

The Washington Post

... Overall weight gain since 1960 is slightly greater for women (18.5 percent) than for men (17.6 percent). And both sexes have gained roughly an inch in height over the same period, which accounts for some of that weight gain. But story is mostly one of growing girth, and it basically boils down to three factors: we're eating less healthy food, we're eating more of it, and we're not moving around as much. According to a study published in 2012 in the journal BMC Public Health, Americans are now the world's third-heaviest people, behind only the Pacific island nations of Tonga and Micronesia. The average American is 33 pounds heavier than the average Frenchman, 40 pounds heavier than the average Japanese citizen, and a whopping 70 pounds heavier than the average citizen of Bangladesh.

Boston Globe

... Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the Boston-based publisher of Hitler’s notorious anti-Semitic manifesto “Mein Kampf,” has decided to donate the book’s proceeds — reportedly tens of thousands of dollars annually in past years — to a local organization that works directly with aging survivors of the Holocaust. The decision marks a sharp shift for the publishing firm, which was criticized this spring after the Globe reported its plans to give royalties and profits from the book to Boston-area cultural organizations for projects to promote general themes of tolerance, not necessarily linked to Holocaust issues or combatting anti-Semitism.

Robert W. Merry - The National Interest

... The status quo in the West is not working. That’s the meaning of the seminal “Brexit” vote in the United Kingdom on Thursday. It wasn’t merely that those who voted for Britain’s exit from the European Union didn’t like the status quo. Or that it wasn’t serving their particular interests and needs. It was that the status quo is broken. Old structures are crumbling. The West is in a crisis of the old order. And those pleading with UK voters to cast their ballots for the status quo had essentially placed themselves on the side of dysfunction, of chaos, of menacing threats to the very essence of the West. Uncontrolled immigration. Economic stagnation. A loss of national identity. These constitute the legacy of Europe’s seventy-year march toward more and more integration.

Video

As Americans prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, media analyst Mark Dice visited a beach at San Diego, southern California, to find out what randomly selected people know about Independence Day, and what it means. As this video shows, there were a lot of shrugs, grimaces, nervous laughter and many answers that make clear how little most beach-goers knew about the holiday, beyond their plans to enjoy it. This sampling suggests that many Americans don’t know why Independence Day is celebrated, what country the US declared independence from, and other basic knowledge.

Linh Dinh

... All historical events and figures should be reexamined endlessly, for the official or commonly accepted narratives are often deceptive. The sanity of any society can be measured by its capacity for historical questioning. You can’t probe history, though, if you don’t care about it. One in four Americans don’t even know which country the American War of Independence was fought against, and more than a third can’t tell you in which century it occurred ... Historical ignorance is especially severe among our youths, which means cluelessness is on the rise. Our masters have engineered this, of course, since nitwits are easier to fool. Inducted from infancy into the cult of progress, we’re also conditioned to see the past as benighted, befouled and irrelevant to our march towards an ever brighter future.

The Telegraph (Britain)

... On Friday, exactly 100 years after the opening day of the Battle of the Somme, everyone remembered the men who got on and did it, without stopping to question their orders, the men who watched their comrades climb out of their trenches and walk towards their deaths before doing the same themselves. The commemorative service at the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of that battle began at noon on Friday. By that time a century ago, nearly 20,000 British men lay dead or dying on these fields.

Marc H. Ellis - Mondoweiss

Elie Wiesel is dead. The Holocaust world I cut my teeth on is coming to an end... In the end, Wiesel was deeply corrupted by his use of the Holocaust he suffered so deeply from. Once an insurgent in Jewish life by insisting on the overriding importance of the Holocaust, in his later years, Wiesel became a cheerleader for an apartheid Israel and American military sanctions and intervention in the Middle East, all revolving around his support for Israel. Wiesel became a caricature of himself... Elie Wiesel was hardly alone in becoming so stuck in Holocaust suffering that he failed to realize or care about what Jewish power was and is doing to the Palestinian people. We, the Jewish people, averted our eyes. We, the Jewish people, became corrupted through our use of unjust power against others.

Habib Siddiqui - Asian Tribune

Elie Wiesel has died. I was never a fan of him in spite of his many successes in life, mostly selling the Holocaust industry. I found him fake and considered him a disingenuous person: a hypocrite of our time. He was in the habit of making things up ... Yet Wiesel, the self-adulating guardian of the weak and the innocent, is in conflict with Wiesel, the Zionist and shameless apologist for Israel’s on going ethnic cleansing campaign and serial butchery in Lebanon and Gaza. He was criminally silent on such crimes ... Wiesel was for war against Iraq when the case was not there for invading Iraq for the supposed WMDs. He urged George Bush for the war on Iraq as a necessary moral act, declaring that “the world faced a moral crisis similar to 1938” and “the choice is simple”. He was wrong, and delusional!

Jonathan Cook

... The trends underpinning the Brexit vote should disturb Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, just as they already are troubling the political class in Europe and the US ... Whereas the US has propped up Israel diplomatically and militarily, the European Union has underwritten Israel’s economic success. It has violated its own constitution to give Israel special trading status and thereby turned Europe into Israel’s largest export market ... If the EU starts to unravel, and US neoliberal hegemony weakens, Israel will be in trouble ... But more immediately, Israel ought to fear the new climate of polarised, unpredictable politics that is becoming the norm. In the US, in particular, a cross-party consensus about Israel is gradually breaking down.

Gilad Atzmon

“With Brexit, Israel Loses a Major Asset in the European Union,” Haaretz reports today. “Britain helped moderate and balance EU decisions about the peace process, blunt criticism and even harness the member states against anti-Israel moves at the UN; voices sympathetic to the Palestinian cause could now become more dominant.” The Israelis have started to recognize that the Jewish State: “has lost a significant asset in the European Union ... Britain leaving would not serve Israeli interests, especially on the Palestinian issue.” But why was Britain an Israeli asset? How was Britain reduced to act as an Israeli colony? Simple. British foreign affairs are dominated by the Jewish Lobby.

Yascha Mounk - Slate

... We are entering a new political era — one in which popular support for the core institutions of liberal democracy can no longer be taken for granted ... In the coming years, copycat referenda on EU membership are likely to be held in countries at the European core, such as the Netherlands. There can no longer be any doubt that the European Union is in an existential crisis ... The decision of the British electorate to leave the European Union constitutes the most significant rebellion of the citizens of an affluent liberal democracy against their political system since the end of World War II. It signals the beginning of an era in which we can no longer be assured that the citizens of countries from Sweden to the United States will reliably choose liberal democracy over far-right populism and xenophobia.

Matt Taibbi - Rolling Stone

... Because the vote was viewed as having been driven by the same racist passions that are fueling the campaign of Donald Trump, a wide swath of commentators suggested that democracy erred, and the vote should perhaps be canceled, for the Britons' own good ... The reaction to both Brexit and Trump reveals a problem potentially more serious than either Brexit or the Trump campaign. It's become perilously fashionable all over the Western world to reach for non-democratic solutions whenever society drifts in a direction people don't like. Here in America the problem is snowballing on both the right and the left ... We're gripped by a broader mania for banning and censoring things that would have been unthinkable a generation ago ... If you think there's ever such a thing as "too much democracy," you probably never believed in it in the first place.

Francis Carr Begbie - Occidental Observer

... Most of all it was a victory for the White working class of England over, not just Cameron, but their Labour Party overseers and a media establishment that has never bothered to hide its contempt ... What used to be the traditional working class have watched in disbelief as their country has been taken away from them and their neighbourhoods transformed without ever being consulted. They have seen how their objections have been ignored by a party system designed to ensure their views are sidelined but which has always smeared them as being morally deficient ... The lower order Whites have been patronised, ignored and betrayed by a colour blind bureaucratic elite which no longer bothers to conceal the contempt with which it regards the less fortunate amongst its own ethnic group.

BBC News

The Battle of the Somme, fought in northern France [one hundred years ago, in 1916], was one of the bloodiest of World War One. For five months the British and French armies fought the Germans in a brutal battle of attrition on a 15-mile front. The aims of the battle were to relieve the French Army fighting at Verdun and to weaken the German Army. However, the Allies were unable to break through German lines. In total, there were over one million dead and wounded on all sides.

Reuters

Activist and writer Elie Wiesel, the World War Two death camp survivor who won a Nobel Peace Prize for becoming the life-long voice of millions of Holocaust victims, died on Saturday. He was 87. Wiesel was a philosopher, speaker, playwright and professor who also campaigned for the tyrannized and forgotten around the world. He died at his home in New York City, the New York Times reported. The Romanian-born Wiesel lived by the credo expressed in "Night," his landmark story of the Holocaust ... Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Wiesel as a ray of light, and said his extraordinary personality and unforgettable books demonstrated the triumph of the human spirit over the most unimaginable evil.

Alexander Cockburn - CounterPunch

... The trouble here is that in its central, most crucial scene, [Elie Wiesel’s book] Night isn’t historically true, and at least two other important episodes are almost certainly fiction ... Wiesel made things up, in a way that his many subsequent detractors could identify as not untypical of his modus operandi: grasping with deft assurance what people important to his future would want to hear and, by the same token, would not want to hear ... In Wiesel’s eyes, as in the eyes of his disciples, Night assumed a level of sacrosanctity, next in importance to the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai ... Although the Nobel committee extolled him as a “messenger to mankind” it is difficult to find examples of Wiesel sending any message on behalf of those victimized by the policies of the United States, and virtually impossible when it comes to victims of Israel.

Christopher Hitchens (2001)

Is there a more contemptible poseur and windbag than Elie Wiesel? I suppose there may be. But not, surely, a poseur and windbag who receives (and takes as his due) such grotesque deference on moral questions … This claim is a cheap lie and is known by Wiesel to be a lie. It is furthermore an utterly discredited lie, and one that Israeli officialdom no longer cares to repeat. Israeli and Jewish historians have exposed it time and again: … And of course the lie is a Big Lie, because Expulsion-Denial lies at the root of the entire problem and helps poison the situation to this day.

Robert Faurisson

Elie Wiesel passes for one of the most celebrated eyewitnesses to the alleged Holocaust. Yet in his supposedly autobiographical book Night, he makes no mention of gas chambers. He claims instead to have witnessed Jews being burned alive, a story now dismissed by all historians. Wiesel gives credence to the most absurd stories of other "eyewitnesses." He spreads fantastic tales of 10,000 persons sent to their deaths each day in Buchenwald. When Elie Wiesel and his father, as Auschwitz prisoners, had the choice of either leaving with their retreating German "executioners," or remaining behind in the camp to await the Soviet "liberators," the two decided to leave with their German captors.

Robert Faurisson

... Here one can see Elie Wiesel's typical phraseology, but his statement that "on the day I received the Nobel Prize there were hundreds in the street demonstrating against me" is something new, and constitutes yet one more lie by this "prominent false witness” ... As someone who was present in Oslo at the site of the award ceremony in December 1986, I am able to report that the number of protesters there was precisely zero. Three persons did show up to distribute a leaflet, printed in both Swedish and English, entitled "Elie Wiesel: A Prominent False Witness.” All three of these persons were Frenchmen: Pierre Guillaume, Serge Thion and myself.

JTA

A group working to safeguard kosher slaughter in Britain warned of uncertainty surrounding its mission following the British vote to exit the European Union. A spokesman for Shechitah UK said Tuesday that he fears losing the European Union’s protections of “faith communities” or seeing kosher slaughter put to a vote in Parliament that might be influenced by critics of Jewish and Muslim techniques for slaughtering animals ... Shechitah, the Hebrew word for kosher slaughter, and the Muslim variant of the practice are facing attack in Europe because they are deemed by many to be cruel to animals since stunning is prohibited prior to slaughter.