June 2017

C. Raasch - St. Louis Post Dispatch

... Mustard was not used on the battlefields of World War II, but Allied armies, gearing for its possible use or other chemical warfare, conducted mustard gas experiments on their own soldiers during that war. And, possibly, to a degree much larger than already disclosed, according to a new book, “Toxic Exposures,” by Susan L. Smith, a history professor at Canada’s University of Alberta in Edmonton. Quoting recent public estimates of experiments conducted on more than 2,500 Canadians, 2,500 Australians, 7,000 Britons and 60,000 Americans, Smith writes: “These are all likely low estimates due to incomplete records and government restrictions on still classified military records.” ... “Americans engaged in poisoning themselves in the name of saving lives,” she writes.

Ron Paul

... Thanks to public apathy, combined with aggressive politicians, we get wars, even when so much of the population doesn’t want them. The ordinary people — the ones who suffer the most from war and who pay for it — aren’t the ones making policy. It may be true that a large majority of the people don’t want war. But it’s unfortunately also true that the minority that does want war is especially influential in Washington. I’ve seen a lot of people with good intentions come to Washington ... In fact, the reality in Washington should make it clear to us now that simply “sending the right people” to Washington isn’t going to solve the problem.

Doug Bandow - The National Interest

It’s a time of trial and tribulation for America’s allies and adversaries alike. Just what is U.S. policy these days? More fundamentally, who is deciding U.S. policy? ... The Trump administration has turned foreign policy into an embarrassing spectacle. It wouldn’t matter if Bhutan, Slovenia, Chad, Fiji or Chile behaved that way; no one would much care if such nations so ostentatiously mismanaged their foreign policy. But as the globe’s dominant economic, political and military power, America’s actions can transform, for good or ill, countries and regions. Today, no one knows what to expect or even who is the “decider,” in Bush-speak. That’s not good for the United States, and it’s not good for those affected by Washington’s decisions — which means the rest of the world.

James Bovard - USA Today

Last year on the campaign trail, crowds roared when Donald Trump denounced his opponent as “trigger-happy” Hillary. But President Trump is rapidly incarnating the vice he condemned. Nowhere is this more evident than in Syria, where Trump’s recklessness risks dragging America into a major war ... Four years ago, Trump warned in a tweet: “If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay." But the Trump administration has sharply increased U.S. bombing while curtailing restrictions that sought to protect innocents. A British-based human rights monitoring group estimated Friday that U.S.-led coalition strikes had killed almost 500 civilians in the past month ... The Syrian government has never threatened the United States, and Congress has not approved attacking it.

William Van Wagenen -- Libertarian Institute

... A closer examination of US policy toward Syria, as well as of the development of the Syrian conflict over time, suggest that in fact there was (and still is) a Western plot to overthrow the Assad government and replace it with one more friendly to US interests. This plot has resulted in US support for Islamic militant groups that, in other contexts, would be considered terrorists by the West ... Evidence of such a plot is abundant and openly available in the Western press if one takes the care to look ... It is Syria’s challenge to US and Israeli aggression and hegemony in the region that necessitates regime change, from the US perspective. The US desire to topple the Syrian government reaches back to at least 2001, when prominent neoconservatives in the US government threatened to invade not only Iraq, but also Syria and Iran.

LCP Television (France)

The war in Syria was planned years in advance, and the motive was to overthrow a regime that Israel regards as hostile, says former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas. “I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria,” said Dumas in a recent interview with French television LCP ... Responding to a question on the motive behind the war, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives, Dumas said, "Very simple! With the very simple aim! To overthrow the Syrian government, because in the region, it's important to understand, that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance. Consequently, everything that moves in the region -- and I have this from the former Israeli prime minister, who told me ‘We’ll try to get on with our neighboring states, but those who don’t get along, we will take them down’.”

Press TV (Iran)

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has censured Israel for supporting terrorism, saying the regime is, either covertly or overtly, complicit in almost all crises gripping the Middle East region. “Today, it happens rarely for Zionists not to have a hand, either behind the scenes or openly, in rifts among regional countries,” Rouhani said in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Wounded terrorists receive treatment in Israeli hospitals, he said, adding that the Tel Aviv regime arms terrorists and bombards the region in favor of them. “It is clear that they (Israelis) support terrorism in the region,” President Rouhani said. “Undoubtedly, the split between regional countries and the Muslim world, such as the ones between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and Egypt and Turkey eventually benefits global Zionism and usurping Israel.”

World Israel News

Facebook will not block Holocaust-denying content on its platform in countries where it remains legal, saying it is merely the expression of an opinion. / Facebook will continue to allow Holocaust-denying content on its platform in in countries where Holocaust denial is legal, a Facebook executive announced. Israel’s NRG news reported Monday that Facebook’s head of policy in Israel, Jordana Cutler, in a letter to Member of Knesset (MK) Uri Maklev, wrote that Holocaust denial is illegal in Israel, and therefore such content is blocked for Israeli users as well as in other countries where it is illegal. However, where Holocaust denial is permitted, the social media platform will not block the content.

M. O’Hara - The Guardian

... Ciccarone is on the frontline of efforts to understand and combat the US’s rapidly escalating opioid crisis and he makes no bones about the scale and impact of what he says is an unprecedented public health emergency. “We are moving beyond an epidemic. I would call it a crisis,” he says. According to official statistics opioids, including heroin and prescription versions of the drug, killed more than 33,000 people in the US in 2015 – a record surge that is expected to see yet more increases. A New York Times analysis earlier this month estimated that overdose deaths are rising faster than ever. And, as the Guardian has reported, more US citizens die from overdoses than from gun fatalities or car crashes. It is now becoming the leading cause of death for the under-50s.

C. Calacal – Alternet

Senior Israeli Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu believes the Israeli army should stop arresting Palestinians and execute them instead. “It must execute them and leave no one alive,” Eliyahu wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday, according to Defend Democracy Press. Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of the city of Safed, has a record of making racist remarks about Arabs and Muslims. He once said Israel should take “revenge” against Arabs, and that Palestinians, whom he once labeled enemies of Israel, must be “destroyed and crushed in order to end violence.” “If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1,000,” Eliyahu told the Jerusalem Post in 2007 ... “If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000, even a million.” In a previous Facebook post, Eliyahu argued Palestinians who are arrested should not be kept alive.

Jason Ditz - Antiwar.com

Last night [June 26], the White House issued a surprise statement accusing the Syrian government of preparing a chemical weapons attack and threatening to make them pay “a heavy price” for doing so. This immediately suggested another US attack on Syria was imminent. No one saw this coming, including the Pentagon and the State Department. Pentagon officials say they were totally unaware if this putative evidence of a chemical attack until the moment the White House issued the statement, something they completely didn’t see coming ... The White House has since offered a secondary comment insisting that all of the officials who are quoted in the media saying they didn’t know about the announcement are lying, and that the White House did, somehow, consult with everybody without anybody knowing about it.

RT News (Russia)

Moscow has warned the US against taking unilateral action in Syria, as there is no threat from the Syrian military, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said. The statement comes after the US accused Syria of preparing for a chemical attack, without giving any evidence. Asked if Russia had warned the US administration against any unilateral action in Syria, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Gennady Gatilov, replied that Russian officials have “always spoken about that, including in relation to their [US] latest strikes on Syrian armed forces.” “We believe that it’s unacceptable and breaches Syria’s sovereignty, isn’t caused by any military need, and there is no threat to the US specialists from the Syrian Army. So it’s incendiary, provocative action,” Gatilov said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Glenn Greenwald – The Intercept

Three prominent CNN journalists resigned Monday night after the network was forced to retract and apologize for a story linking Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund under congressional investigation. That article — like so much Russia reporting from the U.S. media — was based on a single anonymous source, and now, the network cannot vouch for the accuracy of its central claims ... CNN is hardly alone when it comes to embarrassing retractions regarding Russia. Over and over, major U.S. media outlets have published claims about the Russia Threat that turned out to be completely false — always in the direction of exaggerating the threat and/ or inventing incriminating links between Moscow and the Trump circle ... Several of the most humiliating of these episodes have come from the Washington Post.

Associated Press

Dozens of international historians have come to the defense of a Holocaust scholar who is accused of slandering Poland’s reputation with research that focuses on the participation of some Poles in the killing of Jews during World War II. The Polish League Against Defamation says that Jan Grabowski’s scholarship “falsifies the history of Poland, proclaiming the thesis that Poles are complicit in the extermination of Jews.” The group made its claim in a public statement earlier this month signed by dozens of Polish academics. Since then Grabowski, who is based at the University of Ottawa in Canada, has received several death threats, leading to security patrols in his department.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

European Parliament members from more than 20 EU [European Union] member- states and five European political groups have backed a pledge to increase support for Holocaust survivors and their families who are seeking the return of stolen and looted WWII property, the World Jewish Restitution Organization told The Jerusalem Post. Seventy-one MEPs from across the political spectrum issued a joint declaration promising to work together on Holocaust-era restitution and to address the growing welfare needs of survivors, many of whom live in poverty. The statement calls on the European Commission and EU member-states to appoint special envoys for Holocaust-related issues.

JTA

The U.S. State Department’s office to monitor and combat anti-Semitism will be unstaffed as of July 1 ... The Trump administration, which has yet to name an envoy to head the office, would not comment on the staffing change ... The State Department told JTA in a statement that it remained committed to combating anti-Semitism ... “We want to ensure the Department is addressing anti-Semitism in the most effective and efficient method possible and will continue to endeavor to do so,” the statement said ... “The Department, our Embassies, and our Consulates support extensive bilateral, multilateral, and civil society outreach to Jewish communities,” the statement continued. “Additionally, the State Department continues to devote resources towards programs combating anti-Semitism online and off, as well as building NGO coalitions in Europe.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

If Gov. Bruce Rauner and his legislature in Springfield do not put a budget together by Friday, the Land of Lincoln will be the first state in the Union to see its debt plunge into junk-bond status. Illinois has $14.5 billion in overdue bills, $130 billion in unfunded pension obligations, and no budget. “We can’t manage our money,” says Rauner. “We’re like a banana republic.” ... Deficits and national debts as a share of GDP are rising. Almost nowhere does one see the old robust growth rates returning. And the infrastructure of the West — roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, airports, subways, train tracks — continues to crumble for lack of investment. The days of interstate highway systems and moon shots seem to be behind us. Are Puerto Rico and Illinois the harbingers of what is to come?

Seymour M. Hersh - Welt (Germany)

On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon ... Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president's determination to ignore the evidence. "None of this makes any sense," one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. "We KNOW that there was no chemical attack ... the Russians are furious ... I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.”

Jon Queally – Common Dreams

In the wake of new reporting suggesting that the Trump administration's decision to target the Syrian government with cruise missiles in early April was conducted without sufficient evidence and over the objections of some in the U.S. intelligence community, the White House on Monday night threatened President Bashar al-Assad's government with further military action. In a message that, according to the New York Times, "appeared designed to set the stage for another possible military strike," the White House statement made a claim (though it offered no evidence to support it) that the Syrian military appeared to be planning a chemical attack similar to one that took place in the village of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4.

Ray McGovern

Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is challenging the Trump administration’s version of events surrounding the April 4 “chemical weapons attack” on the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun – though Hersh had to find a publisher in Germany to get his information out. In the Sunday edition of Die Welt, Hersh reports that his national security sources offered a distinctly different account, revealing President Trump rashly deciding to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian airbase on April 6 despite the absence of intelligence supporting his conclusion that the Syrian military was guilty.

Jonathan Cook

Veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the man who exposed the Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and the US military’s abuses of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004 ... His latest investigation questions whether Assad was responsible for another alleged gas attack – this one at Khan Sheikhoun in April. Again a consensual western narrative was quickly constructed after social media showed dozens of Syrians dead, apparently following the dropping of a bomb by Syrian aircraft. For the first time in his presidency, Donald Trump received wall-to-wall praise for launching a military strike on Syria in response, even though, as Hersh documents, he had no evidence on which to base such an attack, one that gravely violated international law.

RNS

It’s one of the most enduring symbols of the Roman conquest of Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago, and millions of tourists are drawn to see it in Rome every year. The Arch of Titus, a marble monument in the heart of the Roman Forum, commemorates the general and later emperor Titus’ triumph over the Jews in 70 A.D. ... Steven Fine, professor and cultural historian at New York’s Yeshiva University, said the arch as it stands today is a washed-out version of the original. In 2012 Fine set to work with an international team of scientists, art historians and other experts ... to identify the arch’s true colors ... Fine said few people realize that ancient Rome was a virtual “carousel of color” and not the bland white stone that we see among so many ancient ruins today.

Andrew Joyce, PhD

... For many centuries Jews have engaged in the construction of false narratives that act to reinforce in-group identity while simultaneously disarming or disinhibiting out groups. The most powerful of these narratives can be grouped under the broad heading of the ‘victimhood narrative.’ ... For these and lesser reasons, Jewish culture has come to master the art of the victimhood narrative, and one often finds it remarked that the entire history of Jews is a history of constant suffering — the “lachrymose history of the Jews.” ... Ultimately, the key to bringing down the phenomenon of the Jewish hoax will not lie in the exposure of single incidents or historical events, but in the conclusive elimination of the narrative of Jewish victimhood. Jews are a powerful, protected, and very privileged elite — and they always have been.

BBC News

German Muslim schoolgirls who went on a visit to Holocaust memorials in eastern Poland say they were racially abused by locals during their trip. The girls, from a Berlin school, spoke on Deutschlandfunk radio about their experience. Four were wearing Muslim headscarves - and say they were abused. One girl said a man had spat on her in the street in Lublin, as police stood by grinning and did nothing ... They were among a group of 20 children - mostly Muslims - from the Theodor Heuss Community School in Berlin-Moabit. The Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims because Jewish survivors settled in British-mandate Palestine, on land which later became the state of Israel. The Poland trip was arranged by a German Holocaust memorial body, the House of the Wannsee Conference.

Eric Margolis

What a scary week in the Mideast. The epicenter of the world’s energy resources and the land-bridge between Asia and Africa is spinning out of control as the danger of a shooting war between the US and Russia grows daily. A US F-18 warplane shot down a Syrian Air Force SU-22 ground attack aircraft over eastern Syria. This was a grave, reckless provocation clearly authorized by Washington. Russia, Syria’s ally, threatened to begin targeting its supposedly deadly S-300 missiles against US warplanes over Syria ... The US Navy is challenging – or provoking – the Iranians in the Gulf. US technicians and crews are keeping Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen, where half the population faces starvation.

Robert Parry – Consortium News

The U.S. mainstream media’s near universal demonization of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin – along with similar hatred directed toward Iran and Hezbollah – has put the world on a path toward World War III ... If you follow The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other big U.S. news outlets, perhaps the most striking groupthink that they all share is that the U.S. government and its allies have the right to intervene militarily anywhere in the world. Their slogan could be summed up as: “International law – that’s for the other guy!” In this upside-down world of American hegemony, Assad becomes the “aggressor” when he seeks to regain control of Syrian territory against armed insurgents ...

Associated Press

The Israeli military on Sunday said it attacked a series of targets belonging to the Syrian military, after several projectiles from neighboring Syria landed in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights for a second day. The military said it targeted two Syrian artillery positions and an ammunitions truck ... It was the second straight day that Israel responded to what it has described as errant fire from Syria ... In Saturday's fighting, Israeli aircraft struck various positions, destroying two tanks, in response to more than ten projectiles that landed in its territory, the military said ... Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war. It subsequently annexed the strategic plateau overlooking northern Israel, but that annexation is not internationally recognized.

Philip Giraldi

At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that “Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them.” ... Does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests?” It is a question that might well be asked today, as the subservience to Israeli interests is, if anything, more pervasive in 2017 Washington than it was in 2002 ... To put it succinctly, there is an Israeli hand in much of what the United States does internationally, and the involvement is not intended to do anything good for the American people.

Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss

... A survey by an American Zionist group says that Israeli PR (or hasbara) isn’t working, and the more Americans learn about Israel, the less favorably they feel about the country. The Times of Israel describes the data as devastating ... The study is titled, “Sounding the Alarm: The American-Israeli Relationship.” Fern Oppenheim, head of the Brand Israel Group, which produced the survey, “repeatedly used the word ‘devastating’ — each time without hyperbole.” ... The study says that Americans have learned a lot more about Israel since 2010, but that knowledge has fostered the country’s unfavorable reputation ... The marvel is that these changes are not reflected in our political establishment or our media ... The problem is the Israel lobby, the extent to which the media and political elites are dominated by Israel supporters.

The Times of Israel

... Since its initial coalescence in 2002, Brand Israel has commissioned a large-scale segmentation study in 2010 and a follow-up in 2016. For anyone with the slightest Zionist impulse, the downward slope of Israel support [by Americans] is disturbing ... In sum, the gap between Israel-supporters and detractors is widening. The current Israel advocacy programs are not working, and Jewish college students are the leading defectors from Israel support ... The picture is even more dire when looking at the next generation of potential Jewish leadership. Between the 2010 and the 2016 surveys, Jewish college students dropped 27 percentage points on the question of whether they lean towards the Israeli side ... “The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. This is huge! Devastating,” she said.

G. Smith -- Antiwar.com

An unprecedented poll reveals the gaping void between American identification with Israel and the official positions taken by both major political parties. A majority of American adults – 70.3 percent – do not consider themselves Zionists when defined as "A Zionist is a person who believes in the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel." Only 24.9 percent say, "I consider myself a Zionist" while 4.8% provided other responses ... In contrast to their constituents, members of both major US political parties have long operated under overwhelmingly Zionist party platforms ... Other recent polling reveals the enormous divide between the views of Americans and the actions taken by their members of Congress.

Mark Weber -- Institute for Historical Review

No aspect of the American Civil War left behind a greater legacy of bitterness and acrimony than the treatment of prisoners of war. "Andersonville" still conjures up images of horror unmatched in American History. And although Northern partisans still invoke the infamous Southern camp to defame the Confederacy, the Union had its share of equally horrific camps. Prison camps on both sides produced scenes of wretched, disease-ridden and emaciated prisoners as repulsive as any to come out of the Second World War.

BBC News

An "extremely rare" signed copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf has been sold at auction for £17,000 [US$ 21,420]. The swastika-embossed 1935 edition bears the Nazi dictator's signature on the front fly leaf. It was presented to former BBC and Oxford Mail journalist Peter Cadogan on a visit to Munich in the late 1930s. An unknown online bidder bought it from Silverwoods in Clitheroe, Lancashire. Auctioneer James Thompson said he thought it would fetch £2,500 [$3,150] at most. The book price for the item was between £1,000 and £1,500, but it is thought to be especially rare because Hitler was known to be reluctant to sign documents or souvenirs.

James Carden - The Nation

On Sunday [June 18], US troops shot down a Syrian fighter jet in the skies above southwest Syria ... The recent events in Syria represent a remarkable break from the policy candidate Donald Trump campaigned on last year, during which he repeatedly signaled his intention to work with Russia in the fight against ISIS in Syria ... Yet candidate Trump had it right: It is in the US national interest to cooperate with Russia in the fight against ISIS in Syria. (I would go a step further and say it is in the US national interest also not to overthrow sovereign governments.) But upon assuming office Trump quickly became prisoner of the foreign-policy orthodoxy he had once so vigorously derided.

A. Trevor Thrall, E. Goepner – Cato Institute

After President Trump gave Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced it will send an additional 4,000 troops to the embattled nation. Mattis, who has acknowledged that the United States is “not winning in Afghanistan right now,” is believed to favor a more aggressive strategy that would require thousands more troops beyond the 9,800 already deployed ... But worst of all is the fact that the Trump administration, led by a commander in chief who campaigned for President by expressing consistent skepticism about overseas engagements, hasn’t offered a single serious argument for the continued U.S. mission in Afghanistan ... The honest reason for America’s enduring military commitment is that no President wants to be the one who “lost Afghanistan.”

EJP

Anti-Semitic attitudes have risen sharply in Mexico in the past three years amid challenges the country is facing with a faltering economy and growing pessimism about the country’s direction and future, according to a new poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). ADL’s Global 100 Index Survey in Mexico found anti-Semitic attitudes have increased by eleven points compared to a similar poll three years ago. Today, a total of 35 percent of the adult population in Mexico – or approximately 31 million people -- harbors anti-Semitic attitudes, up from 24 percent in a similar poll in 2014. The most commonly held negative stereotype, that “Jews have too much power in the business world,” is held by 56 percent of the Mexican population, an increase from 40 percent in 2014.

The Times of Israel

Anti-Semitism is taking on potentially “pandemic” dimensions globally, even in the US, and if left unchecked could grow into an immensely serious threat, one of American Jewry’s most senior leaders said this week, calling on world leaders to convene a global summit to forcefully denounce the phenomenon. “I think we’re seeing a pandemic in formation,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, who heads the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “I don’t think it’s here. I think America’s situation is different from Europe. But the potential is there.” In a far-reaching interview, Hoenlein, who is currently in Israel, also spoke about widespread concerns over the Israeli government’s total alignment with US President Donald Trump, which some fear could turn Israel into a partisan issue in the United States.

Eric Margolis

… A fascinating book, 'The Chief Culprit' by Viktor Suvorov (US Naval Institute Press), the pseudonym of a defector from Soviet military intelligence GRU, makes explosive new revelations about Stalin’s role in igniting World War II … I poured through Suvorov’s meticulous military analysis. To me, as a veteran military analyst, his figures appear to confirm that Stalin was just about to attack when Hitler pre-empted him … Had Hitler not attacked first in 1941, Stalin’s thirty-million man army, backed by mammoth industrial production, would have overwhelmed all of Europe in a 1941 surprise blitz. Suvorov’s unstated conclusion: Hitler saved Western Europe from Stalin.

Victor Suvorov - Video

In this lecture, Viktor Suvorov shows that Stalin should be considered the “chief culprit” of World War II. In his much-discussed book “Icebreaker,” and in several follow-up works, the Russian historian presents extensive evidence to show that the German attack against the Soviet Union in June 1941 was a preventive strike because Stalin was preparing to launch a massive Soviet assault against Germany and Europe. This lecture by Suvorov was given at the US Naval Academy in Oct. 2009. This video presentation is in four parts. Runtime of this first part: 13 mins.

Daniel Michaels – Institute for Historical Review

… This prolific writer [von Thadden] concisely and cogently explains why Hitler was compelled, for both political and military reasons, to launch his preemptive strike against the Soviet Union when and how he did. "Stalin's Trap" is also his final legacy to future generations … Many Soviet documents captured by the Germans during the course of the war, as well as German intelligence reports on the Soviet buildup in 1941, amply justify Hitler's decision to strike. Presented before an impartial tribunal, this evidence surely would have exonerated the German military and political leadership. Unfortunately, all of these documents were confiscated and kept by the victorious Allies.

D. Ladinsky -- BBC News

Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz (c. 1320-1389) is one of the most beloved poets of the Persians, and is considered by many – from different cultures – to be one of the seven literary wonders of the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe both agreed ... Hafiz poems were also admired by such diverse notables as Nietzsche and Arthur Conan Doyle, whose wonderful character Sherlock Holmes quotes Hafiz. Garcia Lorca praised the Sufi poet. Johannes Brahms was so touched by his verse he used several in his compositions. And even Queen Victoria was said to have consulted Hafiz in times of need – which has been a custom in the Middle East for centuries ... The range of Hafiz is indeed stunning and provocative at times ...

RT News (Russia)

US Senator Rand Paul has spoken out during the debate on war powers, saying that the current wars the US is leading are “illegal,” and that he isn’t “voting to go to war in 50 or 60 countries” where terrorist powers are now based. The hearing during which Rand Paul spoke out was the latest one in a year-long string of debates over what to do with the open-ended 9/11 Proclamation on war authorization. The divide between the members of Congress over the issue has been growing, with some using “this debate for the singular purpose of imposing limitations on our president — it’s just a fact,” according to Republican Senator Bob Corker, while “others may refuse to limit a president at war in any way.” Paul first of all argued about the role and specifics of Article II of the US Constitution, detailing the president’s duties as commander-in-chief.

J. Bier - The Wall Street Journal

... Aided by a veneer of objectivity, the SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center] has for years served as the media’s expert witness for evaluating “extremism” and “hatred.” But while the SPLC rightly condemns groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Westboro Baptist Church and New Black Panther Party, it has managed to blur the lines, besmirching mainstream groups like the FRC, as well as people such as social scientist Charles Murray ... A clear illustration of the SPLC’s pervasive and insidious influence is the March riot at Middlebury College, where Mr. Murray had been invited to speak ... Although the SPLC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and therefore statutorily prohibited from engaging in partisan politics, even a cursory review of its website belies its nonpartisan status ... The SPLC’s work arguably contributes to the climate of hate it abhors ...

JTA

An online petition launched by B’nai Brith Canada aiming to prevent an American Holocaust denier from speaking in Toronto has garnered nearly 2,000 signatures. Kevin Barrett, who has called the 9/11 attacks an “inside job,” is due to address the city’s annual Al-Quds Day rally on Saturday. Al-Quds is the Muslim name for Jerusalem, and the annual march during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is generally a call for the destruction of Israel. In the petition, B’nai Brith demanded that Canada’s Border Services Agency keep out Barrett ... Barrett, a teacher at the University of Wisconsin in Madison until 2006, was barred from Canada in 2015. At the time, he reportedly referred to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris as a “false flag” operation.

Video

At dawn on June 22, 1941, Germany and allied countries launched the greatest military attack in history. Ground and air forces struck along a broad front of some 1,800 miles stretching from the Arctic Circle in the north to the Black sea in the south. The terrible struggle that raged for four years was the decisive clash of the Second World War. It ended in May 1945 with Soviet troops storming Berlin, Hitler’s suicide, and the surrender of Germany’s armed forces. This 15-minute presentation, apparently British-produced, includes dramatic color footage.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Important evidence has come to light in recent decades that shatters the official, endlessly repeated view that Hitler, bent on world conquest, launched a treacherous surprise attack against a peaceful Soviet Union. In 1941 Soviet dictator Stalin deployed an enormous strike force on the western Soviet frontier in readiness for a massive attack against Germany that would roll on to overwhelm central and western Europe. Hitler’s “Barbarossa” attack, say a growing number of historians in Russia, Germany and other countries, was actually a preventive war to forestall an imminent Soviet strike.

Press TV (Iran)

A former American ambassador to Syria says the Syrian government and its allies, including Iran, will ultimately frustrate attempts by the United States to influence Syrian matters and will drive the US out of the Arab country. Robert Ford, who served as the US’s envoy to Syria under former US president Barack Obama, made the remarks in an interview with the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday. He said the US was, first of all, mistaken in giving support to the opposition in Syria back in 201, and demanding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster. Ford said he knew that that expression of support would encourage certain elements of the opposition to take up arms and expect a US invasion against Damascus, which he said would not be forthcoming.

Review by W. Gene Smiley - The Independent Review

In the darkest days near the end of the Great Depression of 1929–33, Franklin Delano Roosevelt emerged to become the nation’s savior ... But that myth has always had cracks in its foundation ... To these critics, we can now add Burton Folsom Jr., with his new book New Deal or Raw Deal? How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America ... The result is a far from flattering portrait of a president who knew little about how business operated and was concerned about large businesses only to the extent that he could exploit them for his administration’s programs. This is a Roosevelt whose public face differed considerably from his private face.

Review by David Gordon - Mises Review

[In his new book, New Deal or Raw Deal?, Burton] Folsom advances new and important arguments. His anti–New Deal verdict is hard to dispute: levels of unemployment at the end of the 1930s remained at depression levels. In May 1939, Treasury Secretary Henry J. Morgenthau Jr., one of Franklin Roosevelt's best friends, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee: "I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started … And an enormous debt to boot.” When he spoke, unemployment exceeded 20 percent ... Folsom places great emphasis on Roosevelt's character, and the president comes off very poorly indeed. Politicians are hardly noted for honesty, but even judged by the low standards of the breed, Roosevelt was mendacious.

Victor Davis Hanson

... America is no more immune from collapse than were some of history’s most stable and impressive consensual governments ... Widely unchecked immigration comes at a time when the country has lost confidence in its prior successful adherence to melting-pot assimilation and integration. The ultimate result is a fragmenting of society into tribal cliques that vie for power, careers, and influence on the basis of ethnic solidarity rather than shared Americanness. History is not very kind to multicultural chaos — as opposed to a multiracial society united by a single national culture. The fates of Rwanda, Iraq, and the former Yugoslavia should remind us of our present disastrous trajectory. Either the United States will return to a shared single language and allegiance to a common and singular culture, or it will eventually descend into clannish violence.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Major trends in American social, economic and political life are symptoms of a society on the path to ruin. In his 1993 book, Out of Control, former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warns of America’s moral and ethical decline, the corrosive role of American television and motion pictures, and much more. The Polish-born scholar and statesman stresses that American society today lacks any meaningful moral-ethical foundation. He writes of the “supremacy of decadence and hedonism” in today’s America, where “self-gratification is the norm.” A society that “puts a premium on individual self-satisfaction is a community threatened by dissolution.”

Doug Bandow - The National Interest

It’s sadly evident that President Donald Trump doesn’t know much about other nations or international affairs. Still, during the campaign he had at least one very sensible foreign policy belief: the United States should stay out of purposeless wars in the Middle East. Now his own appointees are dragging the country into the Syrian conflict. Jumping into a multisided civil war, filled with parties who deserve to lose, would be dubious even if America had some recognizable interest at stake. But the United States does not. Worse, if Washington becomes an active combatant, it would find itself in a military standoff with Shia-giant Iran, NATO ally Turkey and nuclear-armed Russia over minimal geopolitical stakes. In short, the administration’s slide toward confrontation in Syria policy is mad.

Patrick J. Buchanan

Sunday, a Navy F-18 Hornet shot down a Syrian air force jet, an act of war against a nation with which Congress has never declared or authorized a war. Washington says the Syrian plane was bombing U.S.-backed rebels. Damascus says its plane was attacking ISIS. Vladimir Putin’s defense ministry was direct and blunt: "Repeated combat actions by U.S. aviation under the cover of counterterrorism against lawful armed forces of a country that is a member of the U.N. are a massive violation of international law and de facto a military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic." An ABC report appears to back up Moscow’s claims ... If Moscow is not bluffing, we could be headed for U.S.-Russian collision in Syria. Sunday’s shoot-down of a hostile aircraft was the first by U.S. planes in this conflict.

Gary Leupp - CounterPunch

... In any case, Assad’s is an internationally recognized regime, as legitimate as the Trump regime, and the U.S. and its allies are plainly violating Syrian sovereignty by their presence. The Russian position is that the Syrian Arab Army (the national army) is the guarantor of Syrian unity and sovereignty, and the alternative is an Islamist regime that would destroy Palmyra, blow up the churches of Damascus, behead children, etc. (This is a rational position.) The U.S. position has been that the Assad regime, to which army is loyal, is the main problem to be solved ... The State Department shapes the cable news coverage to insure that the Assad regime is routinely vilified, assumed to be an evil. The Syrian army is presented, not as the most respected institution in the country, but as the enemy of its people, barrel-bombing them.

Gilbert Doctorow - Consortium News

... It perhaps should go without saying that under international law the Syrian government has the right to operate inside Syrian airspace and that the U.S. military has no legal right to have personnel inside Syria (since they lack the Syrian government’s permission) let alone to attack the Syrian military or its allied forces. Another curious feature about this situation is that the U.S. mainstream media sees nothing illegal or unusual about the U.S. military operating inside another country uninvited and shooting down government aircraft.

Arutz Sheva (Israel)

Israel has been regularly supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel and medical supplies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. According to the report, the IDF [Israel’s armed forces] is in regular communication with rebel groups, and its assistance includes undisclosed payments to commanders that help pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons, according to interviews with about half a dozen Syrian fighters. An unnamed source told the newspaper that Israel has established a military unit that oversees the support in Syria, and set aside a specific budget for the aid. Israel has not confirmed the report.

I. Beacock - The New Republic

... This is the story narrated with great erudition and grace by Benjamin Martin in his new book The Nazi-Fascist New Order for European Culture ... German and Italian officials believed that modern states had the sacred duty to defend national art against the degenerative force of global cosmopolitanism. This made the Axis not merely a military alliance — it was also the founding charter of a dynamic civilization ... Against vulgar American consumerism, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal democracy, and the threat of revolutionary Bolshevism, Nazi–fascist leaders offered an alternative framework for European society: spiritual rather than materialistic, organic and traditional rather than abstract and cosmopolitan, overseen by strong and racially pure states.

Eric Margolis

Tiny Qatar, the mouse that roared, has now managed to enrage the larger part of the Arab world and defy the newly-minted Mideast expert, Donald Trump ... Here in a nutshell is what’s happening. Qatar has been the most progressive, modern-thinking Gulf state. Its rulers, the al-Thani family, have tried to support moderate, progressive movements in the Arab world and Afghanistan with money and media support. Qatar’s efforts at modernizing are being met with furious opposition by the leaders of Mideast reaction – feudal kingdom Saudi Arabia, military dictatorship Egypt and their feudal satraps in the UAE and Bahrain. Trump’s green-lighting this foolish venture shows how poorly informed and dunderheaded he is. The other Gulf States should grow up and stop acting like feuding Bedouins.

G. Smith – Antiwar.com

Americans view South Korea and Israel as two U.S. allies most likely to "embroil the US in an unnecessary, protracted and costly war." Thirty-six percent of Americans believe South Korea is "most likely," while 28.5 percent of Americans believe Israel is "most likely." ... These results are based on an IRmep poll fielded through Google Analytics Solutions May 13-15 ... Americans worrying that creeping US involvement in Syria is a proxy fight against Iran at Israel’s behest can point to some evidence ... Belief that the US is attacking Syria and Iran to advance Israel builds on views that emerged since 2003. Many Americans believe that Israel and its US lobby were critical factors supporting the US invasion of Iraq to improve Israel’s strategic situation.

Institute for Historical Review

When a prominent American political figure speaks boldly about Jewish-Zionist power, that's news. So the remarks by South Carolina's senior Senator that Iraq was invaded "to secure Israel," and that "everybody" in Washington knows it, are indeed remarkable … Bush's motive in going to war for Israeli interests, charged Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, was to get Jewish support in election campaigns.

David R. Contosta

Three times in just over one hundred years, the United States fought three unnecessary wars: the conquest of the Philippines in the years around 1900; the War in Vietnam during the 1960s and 1970s; and the Iraq War beginning in 2003 — all within the course of a very long modern lifetime. These wars took the lives of nearly 76,000 Americans, and the death toll for those on the other side was at least two million ... Although they were fought at different times, in different places, and for differently stated reasons, the decision makers acted out of ignorance, arrogance, and unreasoning fears, combined with partisan gamesmanship and the failure of media to inform the public accurately about the drive to war and its possible consequences.

Jonathan Cook

New legislation to cement the definition of Israel as a state belonging exclusively to Jews around the world is a “declaration of war” on Palestinian citizens of Israel, the minority’s leaders warned this week. The bill, which defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people”, passed its first vote in the Israeli parliament, after it received unanimous backing from a government committee. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to get the measure on to the statute books within 60 days ... The legislation affirms that world Jewry has a “unique” right to national self-determination in Israel ... The Law of Return of 1950 allows only Jews to immigrate to Israel and receive citizenship.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... In general parlance, the Jewish People consists of all the Jews in the world, more than half of whom live outside Israel and are citizens of other states. They are not asked if they want the State of Israel to represent them. Goes without asking ... Jewish religious law says that "a Jew, even if he commits a sin, is still a Jew." Adopting the Christian – or any other - faith is certainly a sin, but the convert still remains a Jew, whether he wants it or not. The Nation-State of the Jewish People belongs to all of them. Or, rather, they all belong to the Nation State of the Jewish People ... The fact is that every Jewish child in Israel carries the Bible deep in their consciousness. Meaning: Jews are special. Jews are unique. It's "them" and "us". The whole world against us.

Haaretz (Israel)

A new catalog published by the Kedem Auction House [in Israel] contains a valuable historical item: six previously unknown photographs from a visit by the mufti of Jerusalem to Nazi Germany. Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini’s connection to Nazi Germany has made headlines several times in recent years thanks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who used him as an example of Palestinian attitudes toward Israel to bolster his claim that Israel has no Palestinian partner. Granted, Netanyahu exaggerated when he claimed in 2015 that Husseini had persuaded Hitler to launch the Final Solution, but the storm that erupted over that statement did raise awareness of Husseini’s Nazi ties ... The opening bid is set at $10,000, but Kedem predicts that the photos could ultimately fetch up to $30,000.

German newsreel (1941) -- Video

Narration: “The Führer receives the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (Amin al-Husseini), one of the most influential leaders of Arab nationalism. The Grand Mufti is the religious leader of the Arabs in Palestine, and at the same time their chief judge and financial administrator. Because of his nationalist position, he has been harshly persecuted by the British, who have offered a reward of 25,000 pounds for his capture. After an adventurous journey he reached Germany by way of Italy.” From the German weekly newsreel, “Die Deutsche Wochenschau,” Dec. 10, 1941.

B. Sales – JTA

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem prior to the establishment of Israel, for inspiring Hitler to exterminate the Jews of Europe, he meant to show the long history of Palestinian anti-Semitism ... When the rebellion was suppressed, he [al-Husseini] fled to Italy and continued his contacts with the Axis powers from there, famously meeting with Adolf Hitler in November 1941. He continued to support the Nazis in various ways throughout the war ... Contrary to Netanyahu’s assertion, nowhere in the record is there a suggestion that Husseini told Hitler to exterminate Europe’s Jews. The record does report that Hitler announced his intentions, noting that he planned to “ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem.”

Video

"Palestine is at present occupied not by German troops but by the English,” says Hitler in this 1939 address. “And the country is undergoing restriction of its liberty by the most brutal resort to force, is being robbed of its independence and is suffering the cruelest maltreatment for the benefit of Jewish interlopers … England is attempting to suppress a people that loves its freedom and is merely defending it ... One fact is surely certain. In this case England is not defending herself against a threatened Arab attack, but as an uninvited interloper, is endeavoring to establish her power in a foreign territory that does not belong to her." From Hitler’s address to the Reichstag, April 28, 1939. Palestine was then under occupation by Britain, which supported Zionist efforts to seize the country. With English subtitles. Runtime: 1:58 mins.

The Times of Israel

A year before the 1967 Six Day War, a Jewish-American scientist reportedly gave Israel groundbreaking technology that facilitated eavesdropping on secret communications between the surrounding Arab nations, ultimately leading to a decisive victory. Just before he died last July, nuclear scientist Zalman Shapiro told a reporter from Pittsburgh’s Tribune-Review that he gave Israel advanced batteries that could be used for long-distance surveillance ... Shapiro told the Tribune-Review that he had supplied Israel with batteries for other top-secret projects, but would not provide details, saying the information was still classified ... Shapiro’s admission that he gave Eitan nuclear batteries revives a decades-old rumor that Shapiro gave Israel the uranium it used to start its secret nuclear program.

Grant F. Smith

On May 3, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security released the most detailed files to date on the 1979-1983 Richard Kelly Smyth/ Arnon Milchan/ Benjamin Netanyahu krytron smuggling ring ... A lightly-enough-redacted synopsis of the affair with biographical details makes it clear the Department of Justice knew Arnon Milchan was implicated. "At some time in 1979 [Arnon Milchan] and [Richard Smyth] entered into a conspiracy to illegally export certain U.S. Munitions List items, specifically, krytrons from the United States to the Republic of Israel without the required authorization of the United States Department of State." In August 19, 1985, diplomatic correspondence with US Customs, the Israeli Ministry of Defense confirmed that it was the end user of the krytrons ...

Ted Galen Carpenter - The National Interest

The U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan is now well into its sixteenth year, making it America’s longest foreign war. Worse, there is no end in sight. In fact, military leaders are trying to convince President Trump to escalate U.S. involvement once more by sending several thousand additional troops into the fray. Pundits and foreign-policy commentators are engaged in a cottage industry to formulate yet more strategies to make the Afghanistan mission finally succeed ... Although the public endorsed a punitive war against Al Qaeda, it was never asked to sign-up for a crusade against the Taliban — much less for a quest to bring modernity, democracy and gender equality to Afghanistan through military force. Yet that is what the Afghan intervention has become.

Eric Margolis

... Midway marked the high point of Japan’s Pacific offensive. After the battle, Japan lost the military imitative and went on the defensive for the rest of the war. Japan could not replace the carriers or aircrews lost in battle. As the war continued, America’s mighty industrial base produced more than eight times more warships and transports than battered Japan. There were many more naval battles after Midway, but no other nation on earth would dare challenge the US Navy. America’s sailors and airmen had won the Pacific War in a day that will reverberate in history.

Jim Goad - Taki's Magazine

“The Jewish Question’ is a phrase that has been around since at least the 1750s, and it is deceptive in its simplicity ... Wait — aren’t they a religion rather than a race? It’s a sticky question ... In his often misquoted and misrepresented passage on the “Big Lie” in Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler — I’ve heard he’s unpopular — said that the “Big Lie” was that Jews were merely members of a religion rather than an ethnic tribe ... It appears that there is no fixed answer to this particular Jewish Question because it has changed to suit the times. Back when it was advantageous in American society to be white, Jews were able to “pass.” But now that being white is considered the Worst Thing on Earth, Jews are rapidly rediscovering and embracing their nonwhite roots.

David Cole

... Race? Religion? Ethnicity? Nationality? A Jew can be any one of those things at any given time, so it’s best to see us as all of those things at once ... And I’ll be frank — one of the coolest aspects of being a Jew is the ability to play any number of identity cards as the circumstance warrants ... Now, while I admit to taking pleasure in the whole multiple and utilitarian identities thing, I have to add that Jews abuse it a lot ... While most Jews are more than happy to have their identities subsumed by white when it comes to Hollywood statistics, those same Jews distinguish themselves from whites whenever it’s convenient.

Associated Press

More and more Americans are marrying people of different races and ethnicities, reaching at least one in six newlyweds in 2015, the highest proportion in American history, a new study released Thursday showed. Currently, there are 11 million people — or one out of ten married people — in the United States with a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. This is a big jump from 50 years ago, when the Supreme Court ruled interracial marriage was legal throughout the United States. That year, only three percent of newlyweds were intermarried — which means they had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. In 2015, 17 percent of newlyweds were intermarried, a number which had held steady from the year before.

K. Irby - McClatchy

In the past seven years, the amount of Americans saying interracial marriages are good for society has risen by 15 percent, according to a newly published study, but it’s still not a majority opinion. A study on intermarriage by Pew Research Center published Thursday interviewed about 1,800 people about their perceptions on interracial marriage and analyzed census information over the years. It found white Americans were the least likely to marry someone of another race ... General opposition to interracial marriage has decreased sharply ... A narrow majority of Americans surveyed in February say interracial marriages don’t make a difference in society, with 39 percent saying it’s a good thing and nine percent saying it’s bad for society.

Bruce Cumings - London Review of Books

.... This is the source of the North Korean leadership’s legitimacy in the eyes of its people: they are revolutionary nationalists who resisted their country’s coloniser; they resisted again when a massive onslaught by the US air force during the Korean War razed all their cities, driving the population to live, work and study in subterranean shelters; they have continued to resist the US ever since ... Every US administration since 1991 has challenged North Korea with frequent flights of nuclear-capable bombers in South Korean airspace, and any day of the week an Ohio-class submarine could demolish the North in a few hours. Today there are 28,000 US troops stationed in [South] Korea ... Since the very beginning, American policy has cycled through a menu of options to try and control the DPRK ...

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

Iran is frequently at odds with Israel, despite having the second biggest Jewish community in the Middle East. DW's Theresa Tropper spoke with ... Siamak Morasadegh, a doctor, member of parliament, and director of Tehran's Jewish Committee ... “Jews are a recognized minority here, so we can practice our religion freely. We have more than 20 working synagogues in Tehran and at least five kosher butcheries ... Generally speaking, the Jews' condition in Iran has always been better than in Europe. In our country's history, there was never a time when all Iranians had the same religion, race or language, so there is a high degree of tolerance. Jews and Muslims respect each other, but at the same time, we know there are differences.”

Ron Paul

Just when you thought our Syria policy could not get any worse, last week it did. The US military twice attacked Syrian government forces from a military base it illegally occupies inside Syria. According to the Pentagon, the attacks on Syrian government-backed forces were “defensive” because the Syrian fighters were approaching a US self-declared “de-confliction” zone inside Syria. The Syrian forces were pursuing ISIS in the area, but the US attacked anyway ... But the Pentagon has forgotten one thing: it has no authority to be in Syria in the first place! Neither the US Congress nor the UN Security Council has authorized a US military presence inside Syria.

James W. Carden – Quartz

Well, that was fast. In the space of roughly three months, president Donald J. Trump went from voicing much-needed skepticism of American foreign policy to embracing previous administrations’ foreign-policy orthodoxy of endless military interventions abroad ... Trump had also asserted, particularly at the Republican primary debates, that he was “the most militaristic guy on the stage.” But many people critical of American interventionism overlooked these moments, hoping — in vain as it turns out — that real change was in the offing. Now, hopes for a policy truly based on narrower, more realistic, and more ethical conception of US national interests have foundered on the shoals of post-election reality.

Ted Galen Carpenter - The National Interest

A vicious feud between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been raging for years. The two governments support opposite sides of several civil wars, in what amounts to a regional power struggle between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam ... Although neutrality would be the best option for America, if U.S. leaders feel that they must meddle in a Middle East power struggle, then they should at least pick the less objectionable side. Instead, they have consistently backed the more dangerous, corrupt, vicious and duplicitous regime. Such an approach deserves an award for myopia ... The anti-Iranian, pro-Saudi bias has helped entangle America in the complex, bloody conflicts of the Middle East.

Walter E. Williams

George Orwell said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” ... Today there are efforts to rewrite history in the U.S., albeit the punishment is not so draconian as that in the Soviet Union ... Removing statues of Confederates and renaming buildings are just a small part of the true agenda of America’s leftists ... Will the people who call for removal of statues in New Orleans and Richmond also call for the removal of the Washington, D.C., monuments honoring slaveholders Jefferson and Washington? ... The hate-America types use every tool at their disposal to achieve their agenda of discrediting and demeaning our history. Our history of slavery is simply a convenient tool to further their cause.

The Times of Israel

A proposed budget cut by President Donald Trump of $3 million to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum has sparked a bipartisan backlash in the nation’s capital. Sixty-four members of Congress sent a letter to the president Friday demanding the budget proposal be amended to maintain the museum’s current funding levels, while Anti-Defamation League chief Jonathan Greenblatt issued a statement calling the cuts “a mistake.” ... The proposed cuts include $3 million in federal support that goes to the Washington, D.C. Holocaust museum, roughly a five percent decrease in the museum’s budget ...“In our view, the mission of the museum has never been more important, particularly as the number of anti-Semitic attacks around the world rises,” the Congressional letter said. “Now is not the time to cut funding for this national treasure.”

Jonathan Cook

... The purpose of exposing children at an impressionable age to so much gore and killing is not hard to divine. It creates traumatised children, distrustful and fearful of anyone outside their tribe. That way they become more pliant soldiers, trigger-happy as they rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories. A few educators have started to sense they are complicit in this emotional and mental abuse. Holocaust Memorial Day, marked in Israeli schools last month, largely avoids universal messages, such as that we must recognise the humanity of others and stand up for the oppressed. Instead, pupils as young as three are told the Holocaust serves as a warning to be eternally vigilant – that Israel and its strong army are the only things preventing another genocide by non-Jews.

The Herald/ Sunday Herald (Scotland, UK)

The Holocaust should be a mandatory part of the Scottish curriculum, teachers have said. The genocide, in which some six million Jews were killed, is currently taught in many primary and secondary schools, but is not compulsory. Primary pupils already routinely learn about the Holocaust through the study of Anne Frank’s diary and the subject is discussed in religious and moral education classes and is a feature of the history curriculum. Some senior pupils also get the chance to visit death camps such as Auschwitz as part of educational school trips. However, members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union said the Holocaust was so important it should be embedded in Curriculum for Excellence.

Gilad Atzmon

British Jews have made no secret of their united political opposition to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party under his direction. Since Corbyn’s selection as its leader, the Labour party has been subjected to a relentless defamation campaign by the MSM and Jewish bodies. The Jewish anti Corbyn campaign rapidly devolved into a ruthless purge conducted by the Jewish Labour Movement and the Labour Friends of Israel ... The reaction of many prominent Jewish voices and Jewish media outlets to Corbyn's recent electoral success leaves no room for doubt - we are witnessing an emerging clash between the Brits and Judea. On June 9th just a few hours after Corbyn’s popularity amongst Brits was formally established, Stephen Pollard, the editor of the staunch Zionist Jewish Chronicle, wrote in The Daily Telegraph (AKA The Daily Tel Aviv) an extended tirade about the Brits, the gist of which is captured in the headline: “to the millions of people who voted for Jeremy Corbyn: you scare me.”

EJP

Manlio Di Stefano, who is the head of the Italian Five Star Movement's Foreign Affairs Committee, has raised a lot of controversy for publishing a comment on his Facebook page against the Italian vote at UNESCO in favor of Israel ... Di Stefano, who is 36 years old, writes that "Zionism is synonymous with racism". In his comments, the parliamentarian, who declared that ''Islamist terrorism doesn't exist'' also published a list of Jewish journalists, actors and personalities titled "Zionist Influenza in Italian Media", including the names of Roberto Saviano, Paolo Mieli, Enrico Mentana, Gad Lerner, and others.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

Prominent Holocaust denier Horst Mahler was extradited to Germany from Hungary on Tuesday. The 81-year-old right-wing extremist was handed to German officials at Budapest airport after being arrested in May, according to the news agency MTI, which cited Hungarian police. He was greeted by lawyers after landing in Berlin and transferred to a Brandenburg prison. Mahler, once a lawyer, was jailed for ten years in 2009 for repeated incitement to racial hatred and Holocaust denial, a crime in Germany. He was temporarily released in the summer of 2015 due to a serious illness (the lower part of his left leg was amputated as a result of an infection), but this release was rescinded at the end of 2016 for other offences committed while in prison. Instead of returning to prison he fled to Hungary in April this year.

Mehdi Hasan - The Intercept

Fifty years ago, between June 5 and June 10, 1967, Israel invaded and occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights ... “The existence of the Israeli state hung by a thread,” the country’s prime minister, Levi Eshkol, claimed ... There is, however, a problem with this argument: It is complete fiction, a self-serving fantasy constructed after the event to justify a war of aggression and conquest ... Mordechai Bentov, a member of the wartime government and one of 37 people to sign Israel’s Declaration of Independence, had made a similar admission. “This whole story about the threat of extermination was totally contrived, and then elaborated upon, a posteriori, to justify the annexation of new Arab territories,” he said in April 1971.

Guy Laron - CounterPunch

... It was Israel that opened the war with a stealth air attack that caught Arab air forces unawares. Israel used the element of surprise to bomb Arab aircraft while they were on the ground. This was the key to its resounding victory ... Moreover, this storyline has been challenged by none other than Yitzhak Rabin. In 1968, Rabin, the Chief of Staff during the June 1967 War, told a French journalist that: “The two divisions that [Gamal Abd al-] Nasser [the Egyptian President] sent to Sinai on May 14 [1967], would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” ... How could these public officials be so sure? Because they read the intelligence reports ... For Israel, the Six Day War was a war of choice. It did not have to fight it.

Dan Perry - Associated Press

It may well be remembered as a pyrrhic victory for Israel: in six days it stunned the world by vanquishing several Arab armies, only to be saddled with a deeply corrosive 50-year fight with the Palestinians for the Holy Land ... Many in Israel are coming to the conclusion that the “Six-Day War” may have planted the seeds of doom. That’s because Israel seized the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, now ruling over a Palestinian population roughly equal in number to that of the Jews. It has since faced charges that its treatment of the Palestinians is a form of apartheid, and has gone from being a darling of the West in the 1960s to one of the world’s most ostracized nations.

American Upbeat (Los Angeles)

You can't help but wonder how these vintage advertisements, which appeared in general circulation magazines, newspapers and other periodicals, and as posters, ever made it to print. These disturbing ads – discriminatory, racist, sexist and offensive – surely would not be allowed today.

Video – Democracy Now!

A former high-level Israeli official says that Israeli Jews routinely use “the Holocaust” and the charge of anti-Semite to intimidate and silence critics of Israel’s policies. “It’s a trick. We always use it,” says Shulamit Aloni. When Europeans criticize Israeli policy, she goes on to explain, “we bring out the Holocaust,” and when Americans are critical of Israel’s policies, they are called anti-Semitic. Jews routinely bring up “the Holocaust and the suffering of the Jewish people” to “justify everything we do to the Palestinians.” This is effective, she adds, because the Jewish-Zionist organizational structure in the US “is strong and has a lot of money.” Aloni, who held several Israeli government ministerial posts, makes these comments during an interview with Amy Goodman during a “Democracy Now!” broadcast, Aug. 8, 2002. Runtime: 1:47 mins.

L. Bayer, L. Cohler-Esses – Forward (New York)

For over a year now, Hungary’s leader, Viktor Orbán, has been waging an increasingly shrill campaign against billionaire George Soros, using classical anti-Semitic imagery to signal to his listeners that the Hungarian-born American businessman is a shadowy foreign Jew exercising sinister influence over their country ... “Through his organizations in Hungary, and hidden from the public gaze,” the prime minister declared in an April 15 interview, “George Soros is spending endless amounts of money to support illegal immigration … He maintains a regular network, with its own promoters, its own media, hundreds of people, and its own university ... He is a powerful billionaire of enormous determination who, when it comes to his interests, respects neither God nor man.”

The Independent (Britain)

Free speech on Israel is being suppressed by individuals and groups who deliberately seek to conflate criticism of the country with anti-Semitism, hundreds of academics have clamed. In an open letter, professors at dozens of UK universities flagged concerns about the definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the current government, which they said universities Minister Jo Jonson asked be "disseminated" throughout the higher education system. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, currently favoured by [prime minister] Theresa May’s party, “can be and is being read as extending to criticism of Israel and support for Palestinian rights," they said.

Alison Weir - If Americans Knew

As the world has witnessed the oppression and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, many people have risen in protest. In response, the Israeli government and certain of its advocates have conducted a campaign to crack down on this activism ... The mechanism of this crackdown is the redefinition of “anti-Semitism” to include criticism of Israel, and the insertion of this definition into the bodies of law of various countries ... That definition can then be used to block speech and activism in support of Palestinian human rights as “hate.” Various groups are applying this definition in law enforcement evaluations of possible crimes ... The definition is increasingly being used to curtail free speech and academic freedom, as well as political activism.

Nathan Cofnas - Quillette

... This is part of a worrying trend of self-appointed representatives of the Jewish people using the memory of Holocaust victims to bash conservatives and advance whatever happens to be the latest platform of the Democratic Party ... The conflation of organized Holocaust remembrance/ anti-anti-Semitism with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is deep ... Charges/insinuations of anti-Semitism or insensitivity to Jews should be made extremely carefully... If Greenblatt and others continue to lob accusations of anti-Semitism and insensitivity at conservatives as a political weapon, the accusations will lose their bite. Two-and-a-half thousand years ago Aesop taught us why that might be dangerous.

D. Shahtahmasebi

The Global Peace Index, which bases its annual assessment on a complex analysis of social, economic, and political factors, has found that the United States of America is the 114th most peaceful nation on the planet. This most recent ranking sees the U.S. down 11 places from the previous year ... “Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark ...,” the report said ... “The U.S. deterioration is primarily driven by the growing intensity of internal conflict within the country, which was partly seen in the divisive 2016 Presidential election, as well as increases in the perceptions of criminality across American society,” the analysis said.

Bruce Riedel - Brookings Institution

Last month, President Trump visited Saudi Arabia and his administration announced that he had concluded a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom. Only problem is that there is no deal. It’s fake news. I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. So far nothing has been notified to the Senate for review. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arms sales wing of the Pentagon, calls them “intended sales.” None of the deals identified so far are new; all began in the Obama administration.

Jeffrey St. Clair - CounterPunch

... In [the book] Assault on the Liberty, a harrowing first-hand account by James Ennes Jr., [US Defense Secretary] McNamara’s version of events is proven to be as big a sham as his concurrent lies about Vietnam ... It’s a story of Israel aggression, Pentagon incompetence, official lies, and a cover-up that persists to this day. The book gains much of its power from the immediacy of Ennes’s first-hand account of the attack and the lies that followed. Now, decades later, Ennes warns that the bloodbath on board the Liberty and its aftermath should serve as a tragic cautionary tale about the continuing ties between the US government and the government of Israel ... How tightly does the Israeli lobby control the Hill? For the first time in history, an attack on an American ship was not subjected to a public investigation by Congress.

Chuck Baldwin and Ron Kukal

Today [June 8] is the 50th anniversary of the unprovoked attack of the USS Liberty by the State of Israel, which killed 34 American sailors and Marines and wounded 174. To this day, Israel has never been held accountable for this despicable and dastardly attack against the people of the United States. In fact, the U.S. government and news media have covered up this horrific attack for all of these decades ... I am using my column to print a recorded interview -- my interview with a USS Liberty survivor. His name is Ron Kukal ... He served eight years in the Navy and had served seven years when he was assigned to the Liberty. He was a first class petty officer and a communications supervisor on board the Liberty. Here is my interview with Ron Kukal ...

Express (Britain)

When Winston Churchill saw himself lionised in 1955 classic film “The Dam Busters,” he thought it just the thing to boost his profile in the Tory party. He had retired as prime minister that year but was backing Anthony Eden’s election campaign. After seeing the film, which came out in May, he demanded that he be reminded of everything about his role. However, after an exhaustive search he was told that the most famous bombing raid of the Second World War was nothing to do with him ... He was so flattered by the film’s suggestion that he was the guiding light of the raid he decided to use his old contacts in Downing Street to highlight his role. ”

Daily Mail (Britain)

Winston Churchill urged the United States to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union to win the Cold War, a newly released document reveals. The previously unseen memorandum from the FBI archives details how Britain’s wartime leader made his views known to a visiting American politician in 1947 ... Churchill urged Right-wing Republican Senator Styles Bridges to persuade President Harry Truman to launch a nuclear attack which would ‘wipe out’ the Kremlin and make the Soviet Union a 'very easy problem' to deal with ... The FBI document shows Churchill’s belligerence towards Britain’s former wartime ally ran so deep that he was prepared to tolerate the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Soviet civilians in a nuclear strike.

Paul R. Pillar – The National Interest

... For anyone looking beyond rhetoric and at reality, the [June 7 terrorist] attack [by Isis in Iran] is no surprise. Iran has been one of the staunchest and most active foes of ISIS ... Iran has, partly with its own personnel but mainly through material support of clients and allies, been a leader in combating ISIS, especially in Iraq and to a lesser extent in Syria. Many Iraqis give Iran, with good reason, the main credit for saving Baghdad from ISIS ... If the United States could overcome its current hang-up about doing any business with Iran, it would find a worthwhile partner in many aspects of counterterrorism, especially as far as the fight against ISIS is concerned. There has long been a willingness, and a necessary awareness of shared interest, on the Iranian side.

VOA News

Drug deaths in the U.S. rose at the steepest rate ever to the highest level in recorded history in 2016, claiming more than 60,000 lives, and early data suggest deaths from opioids and other drugs will continue to increase in 2017. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Tuesday. "Drug abuse is crippling families and communities throughout our country," Rosenstein said at a joint news conference with Drug Enforcement Agency officials. "We are not talking about a slight increase. There is a horrifying surge in drug overdoses."

Medical Xpress - Phys.org

US drug overdose deaths surged 19 percent to at least 59,000 last year as deadly manufactured drugs like fentanyl intensified a national opioid addiction crisis, New York Times data showed Tuesday. The data compiled by the Times showed that for the first time, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old. The addition of fentanyl, which can be 50 times more powerful than heroin, to heroin and addictive prescription opiates like Oxycontin is one of the key factors in the surge in deaths. The Times said its data showed between 59,000 and 65,000 people could have died from overdoses in 2016, up from 52,404 in 2015, and double the death rate a decade ago. "And all evidence suggests the problem has continued to worsen in 2017," the Times said.

Eric Margolis

... Trump has been hammering Europe’s NATO members over their skimpy contributions to the alliance and its arms programs. But here is another example of Trump’s poor understanding of world affairs. NATO is not a business partnership. The alliance, founded in 1949, was designed to shore up war-battered Europe and form a united front against the very real threat of Soviet invasion. Today, the very successful NATO alliance, 70 percent funded by the US, remains the most concrete expression of America’s geopolitical domination of western Europe. As the recently deceased thinker Zbigniew Brzezinski aptly put it to me, Europe provides strategic ‘stepping-stones’ to the expansion of US influence into Eurasia through NATO. The alliance is not an equal partnership, it’s the primary tool for enforcing US power in Europe.

Peter Jenkins - LobeLog

... It is not hard to understand why [German Foreign] Minister Gabriel may have lost patience with the one-sided nature of US Middle East policy, or to imagine Chancellor Merkel sharing his irritation. Since 9/11, Middle East problems have more often divided Germany and the United States than brought them together. Germany declined to support the US and UK bid for UN Security Council approval to invade Iraq in 2003 and viewed the invasion as a blunder. Under Chancellor Merkel, Germany did not participate in military operations in Libya in 2011 and has not shared US, UK, and French ambitions for regime change in Syria. Within Europe, Germany has borne the brunt of the humanitarian consequences of those ambitions. Furthermore, Germany does not regard Iran as the malign source of all instability in the Middle East ...

The Council for the National Interest

On June 8, 1967, 34 American servicemen were killed and 174 were wounded during an Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. According to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer, “Those men were then betrayed and left to die by our own government.” The survivors are still awaiting justice ... Israel claimed the attack was “a case of mistaken identity”; that they didn’t know it was an American ship ... The Navy’s chief attorney to the original 1967 military Court of Inquiry has issued a statement that orders to cover-up the incident were issued by President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

BBC Television (Video)

British television documentary about the June 1967 attack by Israel against the USS Liberty. Shows that US and Israel authorities continue to suppress important facts about the murderous attack. Also includes revelations about the still secret Israel-US “Operation Cyanide” project, in which the US military deceitfully aided the Zionist state in its devastating “preemptive” assault against Egypt. Runtime: one hour, nine minutes.

Paul R. Pillar – The National Interest

... Today, as far as U.S.-Iranian relations are concerned, the clenched fist is found in Washington, in the form of the Trump administration’s vehement, relentlessly expressed, and unqualified hostility toward Iran. This hostility is one of the few constants in a Trump foreign policy that otherwise is laden with inconsistencies and flip-flops ... The costs are first and foremost to U.S. interests, and to what most Americans would agree are U.S. interests. But more specifically, the costs include damage to some of the very objectives that President Trump has enunciated. Costs of the tightly clenched fist include the following ten.

Danny Sjursen

“Everywhere you look, if there is trouble in the region,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters on a mid-April visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, “you find Iran.” ... The truth is that Iran is simply not behind most of the turmoil in the Middle East, and until Washington’s policymakers change their all-Iran-all-the-time mental model, they are doomed to failure ... There’s an uncomfortable truth that Washington needs to face: U.S. policy toward Iran hasn’t achieved its goals despite almost four decades of effort since an American-installed autocrat was overthrown there in 1979 ... In sum, U.S. policy in the Middle East is confused, contradictory, counterproductive, and dangerous. It could leave Washington involved in a war with Iran.

Press TV (Iran)

US President Donald Trump’s claim that Iran supports terrorism will not lead anywhere, says Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, citing Moscow’s own anti-terror work with Tehran. Trump made the allegation during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, where he accused Iran of destabilizing the Middle East and supporting what he called terrorist groups such as the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah, which has been fighting Saudi-backed Takfiri terrorists in Syria. “This [claim against Iran] does not help stabilize the situation,” Zakharova told reporters on Wednesday. “The United States accuses Iran of supporting terrorism, while Moscow has been closely cooperating with Tehran in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East.”

James North - Mondoweiss

I am old enough to remember clearly how the Six-Day War [June 5-10, 1967] was reported at the time. Just about everything we were told then was wrong, as the major historians of the period all acknowledge today ... Norman Finkelstein, the distinguished scholar, has done as much as anyone to uncover the truth about the Six-Day War ... Finkelstein emphasizes that no genuine academic today, whatever their political orientation, endorses the Mainstream Narrative. He starts by identifying what he has called the “Two Biggest Lies”: The truth is that Nasser and the other Arab leaders had absolutely no intention of invading Israel in June 1967; And Israel’s existence was never in the slightest doubt, as both Israeli and American leaders knew that Israel could easily win any conflict, even against a coalition of Arab states.

Melvin A. Goodman -- CounterPunch

... In 1967, Israeli officials at the highest level lied to the White House about the start of the Six-Day War. As a junior analyst at the CIA, I helped to draft the report that described Israel’s attack against Egypt on the morning of June 5, 1967. There were sensitive communications intercepts that documented Israeli preparations for an attack, and no evidence of an Egyptian battle plan ... The Israeli government lied to the White House about how the war started. President Johnson was told that the Egyptians had initiated firing on Israeli settlements, and that an Egyptian squadron had been observed heading toward Israeli. Neither statement was true ... The CIA, meanwhile, had the benefit of satellite photography that showed Egyptian planes parked on airfields wingtip-to-wingtip, which pointed to no plan to attack.

The New York Times

On the eve of the Arab-Israeli war, 50 years ago this week, Israeli officials raced to assemble an atomic device and developed a plan to detonate it atop a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula as a warning to Egyptian and other Arab forces, according to an interview with a key organizer of the effort that will be published Monday. The secret contingency plan, called a “doomsday operation” by Itzhak Yaakov, the retired brigadier general who described it in the interview, would have been invoked if Israel feared it was going to lose the 1967 conflict. The demonstration blast, Israeli officials believed, would intimidate Egypt and surrounding Arab states — Syria, Iraq and Jordan — into backing off. Israel won the war so quickly that the atomic device was never moved to Sinai.

Eric Margolis

The Great White Father came to Saudi Arabia last week to harangue some 50 Arab and African despots on the glories of Trumpism, democracy and the need to fight what the Americans call terrorism. Having covered the Mideast for many decades, I cannot think of a more bizarre or comical spectacle ... As I tried to explain in my second book, 'American Raj,' the brutal, corrupt regimes we westerners have imposed on the Arab world and Africa are the main cause of what we call 'terrorism.' So too the wars we have waged in the region to impose our will and economic exploitation. It’s blowback, pure and simple. So-called terrorism is not at all about Islam as our politicians, led by Trump of Arabia, falsely claim.

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

... Stockholm has stepped up efforts to teach about the Holocaust as a means of fighting against antisemitism, the director of a government-run program targeting the issue said. “The Swedish government is investing a lot of money to combat the phenomenon of antisemitism and Islamophobia,” Ingrid Lomfors, director of the Living History Forum in Sweden added, in an interview ... The Forum is a public authority established by Sweden some 15 years ago with the aim of “promoting democracy, tolerance and human rights using the Holocaust as a starting point.” In November the government announced an additional 156 million Krona [US$ 18 million] stipend to develop a new national program for Holocaust remembrance, with the aim of combating antisemitism and racism.

Forward (New York)

With the European far-right on the march, Italian scholars have released their country’s first annotated version of Adolf Hitler’s infamous manifesto, “Mein Kampf.” “We decided to translate 'Mein Kampf' since we found the book to be the perfect example of how dangerous modern politics can be. Hitler can be considered the father of European populism,” Vincenzo Pinto, one of the historians behind the effort, told the Times of Israel. “Today we are living in a post-factual world and it seems a sort of posthumous victory for Hitler,” he added. With the Italian title of “La Mia Battaglia,” the new edition of “Mein Kampf” includes copious introductory notes to each of Hitler’s chapters and pictures inserted throughout the text.

JTA and Times of Israel

Some 40,000 people from over 250 organizations took part in a parade along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday to show their support for Israel. The “Celebrate Israel” parade was held under the banner of “Celebrate Israel All Together.” The parade also recognized 50 years of the reunification of Jerusalem. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Senator Charles Schumer marched in the parade. Some 30 floats and eleven marching bands took part of the parade. Nine members of Israel’s Parliament, including Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, also participated in the parade, as well as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump discussed trade with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a White House visit on Wednesday [May 31], and welcomed the signing of business deals worth billions of dollars and the jobs they would bring ... Communist Vietnam has gone from being a bitter adversary of the United States during the Cold War to an important partner in the Asia-Pacific, where both countries share concerns about China's rising power ... While Hanoi and Washington have stepped up security cooperation in recent years, trade has become a potential irritant, with a deficit widening steadily in Vietnam's favor, reaching $32 billion last year, compared with $7 billion a decade earlier.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County’s homeless population has soared 23 percent over last year despite increasing success in placing people in housing, according to the latest annual count released Wednesday. The sharp rise, to nearly 58,000, suggested that the pathway into homelessness continues to outpace intensifying efforts that — through rent subsidies, new construction, outreach and support services — got more than 14,000 people permanently off the streets last year. “Staggering,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement ... The startling jump in homelessness affected every significant demographic group ... Homelessness also increased sharply in the city of Los Angeles, where the count of just over 34,000 was up 20% from 2016.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... After investing hundreds of billions and 2,000 U.S. lives in the 15 years since 9/11, we are further from victory than we have ever been ... Obama fell short, leaving President Trump with 8,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and Kabul’s control more tenuous than ever. The Taliban hold more territory and are active in more provinces than they have been since being driven from power in 2001. And Afghan forces are suffering casualties at the highest rate of the war. Stated starkly, the war in Afghanistan is slowly being lost. Indeed, Trump has inherited what seems to be an unwinnable war, if he is not prepared to send a new U.S. army to block the Taliban from taking power. And it is hard to believe that the American people would approve of any large reintroduction of U.S. forces.

JTA

An Estonian nationalist politician vowed in his election campaign to decriminalize denial of the Holocaust and outlaw instead revisionism on the Soviet domination of this country. Georg Kirsberg, who is running for a lawmaker’s seat for the Conservative People’s Party in Estonia’s elections in October, was quoted as saying this on Wednesday by the Estonian National Broadcasting Company. “We will decriminalize Holocaust denial and enter a correct teaching of the history of the Third Reich,” Kirsberg said. His far-right party supports deporting and revoking the citizenship of what it defines as “Russians hostile to Estonia” – a reference to Ethnic Russians or mother-tongue speakers of that language living in Estonia, including most of the country’s Jews.

J. Mchangama - Foreign Policy

... It is, of course, the Holocaust that has been the driver of European memory laws ... This is where the story becomes complicated. Despite pressure from former communist states, the EU has rejected including the denial of communism’s crimes in its 2008 framework decision ... European memory laws have spread and metamorphosed to the extent that they now serve as the model for criminalizing accurate but nationally inconvenient historical accounts, as well as entrenching deeply flawed histories used as foundations for specific national ideologies and repressive political agendas ... Given the role that memory laws have come to play in undermining both academic freedom and political speech, the EU should urgently reconsider its approach.

Cox Media

Former host of iconic game shows, such as “Wheel of Fortune” and “Love Connection,” and self-proclaimed “Hollywood Conservative” Chuck Woolery is causing a stir with a string of tweets that appear to attempt to connect communism and Judaism. On Memorial Day and the day following, Woolery fired off a round of tweets on his apparent theory that Judaism contributed to the rise of Soviet communism and that the religion is still fueling other socialist movements today. He did so by pointing out that Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx and Bernie Sanders are all Jewish. The tweets prompted social media users to accuse Woolery of anti-Semitism ...

Video

Gilad Atzmon – Israeli-born author and musician -- speaks about the assault against him on Tuesday, May 30, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Three “Antifa” (“anti-fascist”) activists attacked him from behind while he was on his way to an event with political commentator David Scott. Police have been informed of the crime. Runtime: 5:29 mins.

Gilad Atzmon

... Jewish power is actually far more sophisticated than simply a list of Jewish lobbies or individuals performing highly developed manipulative skills. Jewish power is the unique capacity to stop us from discussing or even contemplating Jewish power. It is the capacity to determine the boundaries of the political discourse and criticism in particular. Contrary to popular belief, it is not 'right wing' Zionists who facilitate Jewish power, It is actually the 'good', the 'enlightened' and the 'progressive' who make Jewish power the most effective and forceful power in the land.