October 2017

Associated Press

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doubled down Thursday on Washington’s call for Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power, looking past recent battlefield gains by his Russian-backed forces to insist that “the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.” ... The top US diplomat used the occasion to reiterate Washington’s longstanding, hardline position against Assad ... Syria’s civil war has left at least 400,000 people dead and driven more than eleven million people from their homes, and the United States has been calling for Assad to go nearly from the start of the uprising against him more than six and a half years ago. But this time, facts on the ground are playing more in his favor than at any time in years.

Amitai Etzioni

You should cringe whenever you hear that the United States is calling upon some government to do this or that, which happens very often these days. It usually means that the United States has found no way to convince, incentivize or pressure that government to do what needs to be done (from the viewpoint of the United States). Indeed, “calling upon” is often a public affairs cover-up for inaction. Thus, most recently Secretary of State Tillerson called upon the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq to “go home” now that the territorial war against the Islamic State is being won ... One notes that every time the United States calls on a government or party to do something and its request is ignored, it loses more of its credibility.

Eric Margolis.

The so-called Islamic State organization was primarily a bogeyman encouraged by the western powers. I’ve been saying this for the last four years. I asserted, as a former soldier and war correspondent, that IS would collapse like a wet paper bag if proper western ground forces attacked their strongholds in Syria and Iraq. This week, the western powers and their local satraps finally took action and stormed the last IS stronghold at Raqqa. To no surprise, IS put up almost no resistance ... The canard promoted in the west that IS was a dire military threat was always a big joke. I said so on one TV program and was promptly banned from the station. I’m also the miscreant who insisted that Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction and was consequently blacklisted by a major cable TV news network.

B. Woodruff - The Daily Beast

The death of four U.S. Special Operations Forces troops in Niger has generated a raucous conversation ... Why were U.S. troops in the country [Niger] in the first place, and does Congress need to exert more authority when it comes to such deployments? Many lawmakers assiduously duck these questions. But on the Sunday shows, several were forced to address them in the aftermath of four soldiers dying under still-mysterious circumstances near the small town of Tongo Tongo. In the process, two powerful Senators tacitly admitted that they hadn’t even known the extent of U.S. involvement in Niger in the first place ... Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the chamber’s most powerful Democrat, admitted later on the same show that he was just as ignorant as Graham about the number of U.S. troops in Niger.

Timothy P. Carney - Washington Examiner

... The search for the shooter's motive keeps turning up nothing. The nothing here may actually tell us something, though. This was a man untethered to society ... The context was cultural alienation, which is the backdrop of so much of America's current tumult ... There's no support structure, no sense of purpose ... Our political story is the same ... "No affiliation. No religion. No politics." ... The predominant scandal in 2017 America is the dissolution of civil society. It is leaving millions of Americans as displaced persons in their own land. Most of the individuals do what it takes to get by, even without the support structure community provides. A shocking and growing number turn to drugs and suicide -- bringing about deaths of despair as leading sociologists call them.

Morten Frisch, MD, PhD - The Huffington Post

... The one Western country that is out of sync with its international peers is the United States, whose federal health authorities and national associations of pediatricians, obstetricians, family physicians and urologists endorse and perform most of these medically unnecessary operations in the country. Amputation of healthy infant foreskins constitutes the single most common surgical procedure in the United States ― a several hundred million dollars a year industry. Internationally, several medical associations have issued policies and recommendations that contradict the popular belief in the United States that infant male circumcision is a harmless, health-promoting procedure. In fact, not one medical association in the whole world recommends circumcision of healthy boys.

Review by Tobias Grey – The Spectator (Britain)

... Up until Churchill’s appointment as prime minister both Germany and Britain had stuck to a pledge not to attack targets in each other’s cities where civilians were at risk. Overy dismisses the long-held belief 'firmly rooted in the British public mind' that Hitler initiated the trend for indiscriminate bombings. Instead, he says, the decision to take the gloves off was Churchill’s, ‘because of the crisis in the Battle of France, not because of German air raids [over Britain].’ Ethical restraints which had been imposed at the start of the war became slowly eroded as a result of Britain’s decision to initiate ‘unrestricted’ bombing of targets located in Germany’s urban areas.

John Moffat

... Surely, generations after the cataclysm of the Second World War, Germans would be entitled to feel at least some diminution of the guilt attached to their country’s supposed single-handed initiation of a world war (no, make that total blame for two world wars) and the alleged attempted genocide of a charmingly innocent racial/ religious group. But no, this peculiar brand of evil appears to have leached into the very DNA of the Germans. It is as though babies born in Germany of White mothers arrive with indelibly blood-stained hands. Like children born into religions, they are born into guilt ... It is an accepted fact that history is written by the winners, but it beggars belief that the losers could be acquiescing so enthusiastically ... This lack of pride is truly astounding ... Germans will forever remain “Hitler’s willing executioners.”

Tass (Russia)

Combat aircraft of the US and the coalition bombarded Syrian Raqqa like Germany’s Dresden was destroyed during World War II. In the operation to liberate the city from terrorists of the Islamic State (IS, terrorist organization outlawed in Russia), thousands of Syrian civilians were killed, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry General-Major Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday. "Raqqa has repeated the fate of Dresden of 1945, which was erased in the British-American bombarding," the general said.

Alan Taylor – The Atlantic

In the last months of World War II, Allied bombers from the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force conducted several major bombing raids on the eastern German city of Dresden. Beginning on the night of February 13, 1945, more than 1,200 heavy bombers dropped nearly 4,000 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the city in four successive raids. An estimated 25,000 people were killed in the bombings and the firestorm that raged afterward. More than 75,000 dwellings were destroyed, along with unique monuments of Baroque architecture in the historic city center. With photographs.

Associated Press

A Houston suburb has removed a requirement from a hurricane repair grant program that homeowners must agree to not boycott Israel as a condition of receiving money. The Galveston County Daily News reports that the Dickinson City Council on Tuesday voted to remove the requirement from the application of the city's Hurricane Harvey repair grant program. Dickinson had initially included the boycott requirement to comply with a new state law that prohibits Texas agencies from contracting with companies that boycott Israel. City management assistant Bryan Milward says businesses in Dickinson will still have to refrain from boycotting Israel in order to get relief funding, because the city interpreted that as a requirement of the new state law.

Max Hastings - The Washington Post

... The inescapable truth is that Hitler's Wehrmacht was the outstanding fighting force of World War II, one of the greatest in history. For many years after 1945, this seemed painful to concede publicly ... The Allied leaders invited their ground troops to fight the Wehrmacht with equipment inferior in every category save artillery and transport. German machine-guns, mortars, machine-pistols, antitank weapons and armored personnel carriers were all superior to those of Britain and America. Above all, Germany possessed better tanks ... One of the more absurd propaganda clichés of the war was the image of the Nazi soldier as an inflexible squarehead. In reality, the German soldier almost invariably showed far greater flexibility on the battlefield than his Allied counterpart.

Eric Margolis

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


Color film footage of Germans who sacrificed, suffered and, in many cases, gave their lives, in a titanic military struggle against quantitatively superior enemy forces. They fought with exemplary tenacity, skill and heroism in a struggle that, they believed, would decide the future of their nation and Europe. Runtime: 3:15 mins.

L. Pasha-Robinson - The Independent (Britain)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to usher in a "new era" that will be proudly Chinese, amid "complex changes" at home and abroad. Speaking at the opening of the Communist Party congress, Mr Xi laid out his vision for an increasingly prosperous China, calling for the party to safeguard China's sovereignty and pledging to become a modern socialist "strong power". Striking a decidedly nationalist tone, he said China must revitalise its culture, oppose "erroneous" ideology and promote religion that is "Chinese in orientation." ... “Through a long period of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, this is a new historical direction in our country's development," he said, using the term "new era" 36 times.

Andrew J. Bacevich

Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven. Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less. ... When it comes to foreign policy, American public discourse is — not to put too fine a point on it — vacuous, insipid, and mindlessly repetitive ... Such grandiose posturing makes it unnecessary to probe too deeply into the actual origins and purposes of American wars, past or present, or assess the likelihood of ongoing wars ending in some approximation of actual success. Cheerleading displaces serious thought ... A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America.


The Iraqi government has dismissed a call from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for Iranian-backed paramilitary units that helped Baghdad defeat Islamic State to end operations in Iraq. Speaking after a meeting on Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Tillerson said it was time for the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation forces and their Iranian advisers to “go home”. Washington, which backed Baghdad against Islamic State, is concerned Iran will use its expanded presence in Iraq and in Syria to expand its influence in the region. But Abadi showed unwillingness to meet Tillerson’s demand. “No party has the right to interfere in Iraqi matters,” the statement from his office read.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... After 4,500 U.S. dead, scores of thousands wounded and a trillion dollars sunk, our 15-year war in Iraq could end with a Shiite-dominated Baghdad aligned with Tehran ... Would President Trump be willing to fight a new war to keep Iran from consolidating its position in Iraq and Syria? Would the American people support such a war with U.S. troops? Would Congress, apparently clueless to the presence of 800 U.S. troops in Niger, authorize a new U.S. war in Syria or Iraq?

The Times of Israel

Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine warned Friday of rising nationalism in the country after the erection of a new statue of a Ukrainian nationalist who is blamed for the murder of tens of thousands of Jews during the Russian Revolution. On Saturday, officials unveiled the monument to Symon Petliura in Vinnitsa ... “What really matters is not this specific statue in Vinnitsa, but the trends. There is a trend, nationalism is on the rise,” said Israeli Ambassador Eliav Belotzercovsky ... The erection of the statue is part of an ongoing move by Ukrainian authorities to replace Russian street names and monuments with Ukrainian ones ... Last year, Ukraine observed a minute of silence for Petliura on the 90th anniversary of his assassination in Paris ... Ukraine’s prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, is Jewish on his father’s side.

James Whisker

... Fascism was touted by Mussolini as a unique combination of thought and action, yet fascism was still seeking an ideology after the Second World War was over. The roots of fascism are many and complex. The fascist leadership, notably Mussolini, admitted the multi-faceted influences of liberalism, marxism, syndicalism, risorgimento, socialism, catholicism and nationalism on their ideology ... Italian fascism was the first application of what would become a generic ideology encompassing, or allegedly encompassing, movements of the political right in every nation of Western Europe, the United States, the British Commonwealth nations and even Japan.

Dallas News (Texas)

Applicants for Hurricane Harvey relief grants for the storm-battered city of Dickinson are asked as part of the terms of the agreement to not boycott Israel, a move the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] has called unconstitutional ... “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement," the form states ... The language is reflective of a law passed in the last legislative session that prohibits all state agencies from contracting with or investing in companies that boycott Israel. The law, which is similar to laws in at least a dozen other states, took effect Sept. 1. In January 2016, Gov. Greg Abbott met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and said that he wanted legislators to work to approve such a ban.

NBC News

In the Houston suburb of Dickinson, residents are struggling to get their lives back on track. Hurricane Harvey devastated the city ... Officials there are accepting applications for relief grants “from funds that were generously donated to the Dickinson Harvey Relief Fund." But there's a catch. The application, recently posted online, includes a provision requiring Dickinson residents to vow in writing that they will not boycott Israel ... The city attorney, David Olson, said Dickinson officials are following a Texas law that blocks state agencies from contracting with or investing in companies that boycott Israel ... Gov. Greg Abbott signed that legislation in May, declaring that "anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies." The so-called Anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions) law took effect on Sept. 1.


Residents of one Texas city are being asked to sign a loyalty oath to Israel if they want to receive any public funds for Hurricane Harvey relief — and civil liberties experts are saying the approach is illegal ... Similar rules are approved in at least 20 U.S. states and New York City, but most specify a ban on companies that push back against Israel. The state laws are a response to a global campaign called the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, or BDS, movement, which uses economic pressure to force Israel to stop building settlements on Palestinian land. Kansas approved a stronger version of the company law in July. It prohibits the state from entering into a contract with any individual or company boycotting Israel, requiring school teachers to swear support of Israel.

Paul Pillar - The National Interest

... The misrepresentations in the [President’s] speech [Oct. 13] were too numerous to catalog entirely, but one of the biggest was Trump’s assertion that “the previous administration lifted sanctions just before what would have been the complete collapse of the regime.” There is no evidence whatsoever that the Iranian regime was on the brink of any such collapse ... This line in the speech points to the vacuity of what Trump is offering for a policy toward Iran: endless hostility and confrontation, and with it the risk of war, sustained by a baseless hope of regime change — a hope that has brought costs and chaos that the United States knows all too well.

CBS News – Video

Interview with Iran’s Foreign Minister on President Trump’s recent speech denouncing the 2015 multi-lateral nuclear accord. In this “Face the Nation” interview, CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer speaks in Tehran with Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, who negotiated the nuclear agreement on behalf of his country. Runtime: 6:33 minutes. “I believe the Trump administration is closing its eyes on the realities of our region. And it's getting into a quagmire that would harm U.S. national interests and would harm, because of the significance of the United States as a global player, will harm our region. We believe it would be important for the United States for the Trump administration to exercise a reset in its cognitive disorder with regard to our region.”


A passage from “The Diary of Anne Frank” will be read before the start of all soccer matches in Italy after fans of one Rome team plastered a stadium with stickers showing the teenage Holocaust diarist wearing the uniform of a rival city club. The decision to hold a moment of silence and read from the diary at professional, amateur and youth matches was announced Tuesday by Italy’s sports minister, Luca Lotti, and will be carried out by the Italian soccer federation ... Lazio [team] President Claudio Lotito said Tuesday that in response to the incident, his club will take 200 fans every year to visit Auschwitz ... Prior to the decisions being announced, Lotito laid a wreath in front of Rome’s main synagogue in memory of Holocaust victims and condemned the actions of the fans.

D. Davison - LobeLog

If Donald Trump succeeds in pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), he won’t just face opposition from Tehran or from America’s European allies: he’ll have to deal with opposition from the American people. That’s one takeaway from a new poll, “American Attitudes on Middle East Policies,” released by the Middle East Institute this week. The survey, conducted in June by the polling firm Ipsos, found that 30 percent of Americans strongly support and 45 percent somewhat support “the deal with Iran to limit their development of nuclear weapons.” That level of support was relatively consistent across gender, age ranges, geography, and income and education levels.

The Telegraph (Britain)

Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, hailed a “new era” for his country at the opening of a crucial Communist Party Congress ... Mr Xi spoke of a “new historical direction” for China as it achieves increased prosperity and prestige on the world stage in coming decades ... “Through a long period of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, this is a new historical direction in our country's development," said Mr Xi said, who also pointed to “complex changes” abroad. He said China was on course to become a "moderately well-off society" by 2021 - the 100th anniversary of the party's founding – and would emerge as a modern socialist "strong power" by 2050. Mr Xi’s speech, which was both nationalist and firm, but also positive on China’s development, had been hotly anticipated across the country.

Jonathan Cook

At first glance, the decision last week by the Trump administration, followed immediately by Israel, to quit the United Nation’s cultural agency seems strange. Why penalise a body that promotes clean water, literacy, heritage preservation and women’s rights? Washington’s claim that the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) is biased against Israel obscures the real crimes the agency has committed in US eyes. The first is that in 2011 Unesco became the first UN agency to accept Palestine as a member. That set the Palestinians on the path to upgrading their status at the General Assembly a year later ... The US is not an “honest broker” of a Middle East peace. Rather it is the biggest obstacle to its realisation.

Patrick Cockburn

As President Trump withdraws certification of the nuclear agreement with Iran, commentators across the world struggled for words to adequately convey their outrage and contempt ... The US-led coalition of states that once isolated Iran has disintegrating and today it is the US that risks isolation. Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China and the UN nuclear watchdog all say that Iran has abided by the terms of the agreement ... As if this was not damaging enough to the US, turning over the whole mess to a dysfunctional Congress only highlights the implosion of US influence in the world ... So much of what Trump says turns out to be the soon-to-be forgotten tweet of the day, that the impact of decertification is impossible to predict.

John Glaser - The National Interest

President Trump’s decision not to certify the Iran nuclear deal is reckless and dangerous ... Undermining a successful nonproliferation agreement in this way isolates America, sows doubt about its credibility and trustworthiness, signals to other rogue regimes, like North Korea, the imperative of a nuclear deterrent, and worst of all, needlessly puts the United States and Iran back on the road to confrontation ... If Iran’s reward for compliance with the JCPOA is American duplicity, why should Tehran put any stock in negotiations? ... With the United States isolated and the rest of the world intent on enforcing the JCPOA, Iran still has reason to keep to the deal. However, the Trump administration’s approach is undoubtedly tipping the scales in the opposite direction.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Winston Churchill's powerful speeches have long been credited with helping to win the war, but one leading academic says there is 'little evidence' his oratory inspired the British to beat Nazi Germany. Professor Richard Toye also claims that the Second World War leader's 'finest hour' radio address, one of his most famous, lacked impact 'because many people thought that he was drunk' ... Prof Toye's new book - The Roar Of The Lion - examines government documents and surveys, as well as the diaries of ordinary people ... And he admitted that even he was surprised by the results.

Mark Ellis – Under the Radar

It is not a widely known fact that the Second World War was a boom time for criminals in Britain. Between 1939 and 1945, reported crime on the home front in England and Wales grew by nearly sixty per cent. A number of factors contributed to this large rise ... People today tend to have a rather rosy-tinted view of life in Britain during the war. The suggestion that looting went on during or after bombing raids usually provokes an incredulous response. Looting certainly did, however, go on, and on a very large scale ... Looting culprits included not only criminals and ordinary citizens but, notoriously, air raid wardens, firemen and other members of the home defence forces .... The war did not dent the activities of the large scale crime gangs ...

Alexander Cockburn

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

Kevin Myers - Irish Independent (Ireland)

... An even vaster falsehood – that in 1940, Hitler wanted to invade Britain. But he didn't. He actually admired the British Empire ... We know from the diaries of Lord Halifax, the British foreign minister, that Hitler offered terms that did not involve German control of Britain. Churchill refused to allow these terms to be read to the cabinet ... And far from wanting to continue the war, in June 1940 Hitler ordered 20 percent of his army to be demobilised, in order to get the German economy going again ... Just about everything that people believed about Hitler's intentions towards Britain in 1940 -- and still believe today -- was a myth created by Churchill, which he probably came to believe himself.

The Gazette (Colorado)

... We remain confounded and slightly scandalized by the mainstream media's routine reliance on this outfit [the Southern Poverty Law Center], and the propensity of reporters to present the "hate map" and assorted blacklists as sources of objective findings. Don't expect the legacy media to accept this polite warning from 47 conservatives, but the general public should know: The Southern Poverty Law Center is a private, wealthy, activist law firm with a far-left political agenda. By labeling opponents as monsters, the law firm foments hate.

Ira Katznelson – The Atlantic

... Every day brings fresh reminders that liberal and illiberal democracy can entwine uncomfortably, a timely context for James Q. Whitman’s [new book] Hitler’s American Model, which examines how the Third Reich found sustenance for its race-based initiatives in American law ... Whitman, a professor at Yale Law School, wanted to know how the United States, a country grounded in such liberal principles as individual rights and the rule of law, could have produced legal ideas and practices “that seemed intriguing and attractive to Nazis.” ... During the 1933–45 period of the Third Reich, roughly half of the [US] Democratic Party’s members in Congress represented Jim Crow states, and neither major party sought to curtail the race laws so admired by German lawyers and judges.

Patrick J. Chaisson - Warfare History Network

... The flicker of cigarettes at night was but one of many problems facing Truscott and the 9,100 [American] soldiers he commanded. Put ashore by the U.S. Navy after dawn on Sunday, November 8, 1942, these assault troops had as their objective a military airport at Port Lyautey, French Morocco ... Worst was the French response to Truscott’s invasion. Instead of welcoming his men with brass bands, as one sergeant predicted, Vichy France’s colonial forces fought back with everything they had. French fighter planes attacked U.S. troops on the beachhead, while coast artillery guns dueled with American warships offshore. Allied soldiers could only watch helplessly as well-led French reinforcements rushed in from all directions.

Channel 4 (Britain) – Video

In this remarkable documentary, Britain’s one-time “chief enforcer” of equality confronts some uncomfortable truths about racial stereotypes, and suggests that attempts to promote equality have brought serious unwanted negative consequences. “In this film I’m going to say some things about race that we normally never say on television,” says Trevor Phillips, who for ten years was chair of Britain’s “Equality and Human Rights Commission.” He adds: “I’m going to say some of the things that we once told you were forbidden.” “Now I am convinced that we were utterly wrong,” he says, about key assumptions that he and other promoters of “equality” once held. This 2015 British “Channel 4” television documentary is written and produced by Trevor Phillips. Runtime: one hour and six minutes.

Forward (New York)

A Houston suburb will not approve grants to repair homes or businesses damaged in Hurricane Harvey if the applicant supports boycotting Israel. The city of Dickinson’s application form for storm damage repair funding includes a clause stating that “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.” No other clauses about political affiliations or beliefs are included in the form. The state of Texas passed a law in May banning state entities from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel. The law, one of 21 passed in states around the country in the past few years, has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union as unconstitutional.

The Times of Israel

The London underground has banned a Palestinian poster campaign marking 100 years since the signing of the 1917 Balfour Declaration in which the British government declared its support for establishing a Jewish state. Transport for London (TfL) said the banners, which were to be displayed at main underground stations and on buses ahead of the November 2 centenary, did not meet guidelines that ban “images or messages which relate to matters of public controversy or sensitivity,” the Guardian reported ... The poster campaign, titled “Make It Right,” was organized by the Palestinian Authority representative to the UK.

The Gazette (Colorado)

Even the kids in America's fittest state are too fat to fight their nation's wars, a pro-military nonprofit argues in a new study. The military has long bemoaned America's tubby youth, and the Council for a Strong America says Colorado is part of the problem, with more than 27 percent of the state's children categorized as overweight. “Low levels of physical activity and the obesity epidemic are contributing to an unprecedented readiness problem for our armed forces," the nonprofit said. Those extra candy bars compound a complex problem for military recruiting. Between other health issues, criminal records and other troubles from facial tattoos to drug habits, a full 70 percent of Colorado teens are ineligible for military service.

The New York Times

Rather than a sudden lurch to the right, the victory of conservative and far-right parties in Austria’s elections Sunday was another reflection of the new normal in Europe, where anti-immigration populism and nationalism are challenging the European Union’s commitment to open borders for trade and immigration. Nearly 58 percent of Austrians who voted cast ballots for center-right or far-right parties, with the far-right Freedom Party running neck-and-neck for second place with the establishment center-left. But the theme of the election was identity — anti-immigration and anti-Islamization ... The message is clear: populism is vibrant in democratic Europe, and especially so in its eastern precincts.


The city of Vinnitsa, in west central Ukraine, once a historic center of Jewish life in the country, has decided to celebrate an anti-Semitic nationalist leader and to unveil a monument in his honor this weekend. Symon Petilura and his Ukrainian People’s Republic are blamed for the murder of tens of thousands of Jews in programs under his watch in 1918-1921. The memorial for Symon Petliura was unveiled Saturday in Vinnitsa, on Defender of Ukraine Day, a national holiday ... In a statement, the World Jewish Congress denounced the move to celebrate Petilura ... Petliura was murdered by Sholom Schwartzbard, a Russian-born Jew, in Paris

Fred Kaplan - Slate

President Trump’s statement Friday on the Iran nuclear deal may be the most dishonest speech he has ever given from the White House — and, depending what happens next, it could be his most damaging. It flagrantly misrepresents what the deal was meant to do, the extent of Iran’s compliance, and the need for corrective measures ... If anyone is in violation of this deal, it is Trump. During the Cold War, five American presidents negotiated arms-control treaties with the Soviet Union, even while Moscow spouted a communist ideology dedicated to the overthrow of capitalism, armed and otherwise supported revolutionary regimes and movements all over the world, and persecuted domestic minorities.

Philip Giraldi

... The real objective of the Trump White House is not to “fix” the Iran deal, which would be impossible both because Iran and the other signatories would not agree to it and because there is nothing that needs repair. As Paul Pillar and Fred Kaplan note, it is working. The real objective is to blow up the agreement completely as it is an impediment to going to war and bringing about regime change in Tehran by force. That is what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Senators like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton have been intent on doing and they have hardly been shy about expressing themselves.


US President Donald Trump said Monday that the “total termination” of the Iran nuclear deal remains possible, after refusing to recertify the 2015 accord and leaving its fate to Congress. Speaking to reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting, he said: “I feel strongly about what I did. I’m tired of being taken advantage of. It might be total termination, that’s a real possibility, some would say that’s a greater possibility.” His comments came as the EU announced it was sending its chief diplomat to Washington next month to fight to save an accord that saw Tehran dramatically scale back its nuclear ambitions in return for an end to punishing sanctions. Trump alarmed allies across the Atlantic with his speech on Friday in which he stopped short of pulling out of the agreement, but warned he could do so at any time ...

RT News (Russia)

The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned Donald Trump’s refusal to adhere to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, saying that the move poses a threat to international security and nuclear non-proliferation, and exposes the US as an unreliable partner. “Such policy aimed at the erosion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and its credibility in fact deals a heavy blow to the global non-proliferation efforts,” Mikhail Ulyanov, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department on Non-proliferation and Arms Control, told Interfax ... The Russian diplomat denounced the US move as “irresponsible” and said Washington’s attempt to once again heighten the tensions around Iran’s nuclear program looks like “unmotivated aggression.”

Eric Margolis

President Donald Trump has put the United States on the course for war with Iran. That was clearly his objective last Friday when he refused to certify the international nuclear accord with Iran ... Israel has just scored a major triumph by using Trump to sabotage the Iran nuclear pact ... If the Iran nuclear deal is abrogated, America will have shot itself in the foot and shown the world it has fallen under the control of special interests for whom America’s national interests do not come first. Europe, already disgusted by the Trump carnival in Washington and its religious supporters, will pull further away from the US and closer to Russia and China ... Israel is determined to destroy Iran so that it can never pose a military or political challenge to the Jewish state.


The United States cannot unilaterally cancel the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday in reaction to President Donald Trump's decision not to certify the accord. “We cannot afford as the international community to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working," said Mogherini, who chaired the final stages of the landmark talks. “This deal is not a bilateral agreement ... The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will, continue to be in place," Mogherini told reporters.

Briana Alongi - Pace Law Review

... Hate crime laws may actually be accomplishing the opposite effect of tolerance and equality because they encourage U.S. citizens to view themselves, not as members of our society, but as members of a protected group. The enactment of hate crime legislation at the federal and state levels has led to unintended consequences and unfair practices ... The misconception that hate groups, which include skinheads, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and black separatists groups, cause hate crimes is unfounded ... In reality, these laws promote inequality and exacerbate societal divisions and identity politics. Hate crime legislation pits protected and unprotected groups against each other by declaring that certain groups of people are more deserving of legal protection than others.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... The New York and D.C. subway systems are crumbling. Puerto Rico is bankrupt. Some states, such as Illinois, cannot balance their budgets. The murder rates are soaring in Baltimore and Chicago. Congress this month will have to raise the debt ceiling by hundreds of billions and pass a budget with a deficit bloated by the cost of [hurricane] Harvey. And the foreign crises seem to be coming at us, one after another ... Great as America is, there are limits to our wealth and power, to how many global problems we can solve, to how many wars we can fight and to how many hostile powers we can confront. The "indispensable nation" is going to have to begin making choices.

R. Roberts - The Washington Post

... She was America's best-known anthropologist ... Author Deborah Beatriz Blum, who was a graduate student when she met Mead in 1972, promises [in her new book] a tale of sexual discovery ... By the end of the book, I didn't much care for Mead as a person or as a scholar. It's surprising to read such a detailed biography without finding something to like about the subject. I got through it without finding a single real example of unselfishness or generosity. Mead, it seems, was brilliant, charismatic and a spoiled brat ... Just two months before she was scheduled to return home, Mead spent a few days with two young Samoan girls who told her what she wanted to hear: that tropical adolescents were sensual and carefree, just as she had imagined.

Patrick J. Buchanan

With his declaration Friday that the Iran nuclear deal is not in the national interest, President Donald Trump may have put us on the road to war with Iran. Indeed, it is easier to see the collisions that are coming than to see how we get off this road before the shooting starts ... If Iran wanted a bomb, Iran would have had a bomb. She remains a non-nuclear-weapons state for a simple reason: Iran’s vital national interests dictate that she remain so ... Thus, the Congressional battle to kill, or not to kill, the Iran nuclear deal shapes up as decisive in the Trump presidency ... Few Americans are aware of what is going on there. Even fewer care. Our erstwhile allies in the Middle East naturally want us to fight their 21st-century wars, as the Brits got us to help fight their 20th-century wars. But Donald Trump was not elected to do that.

Ron Paul

President Trump has been notoriously inconsistent in his foreign policy. He campaigned on and won the presidency with promises to repair relations with Russia, pull out of no-win wars like Afghanistan, and end the failed US policy of nation-building overseas. Once in office he pursued policies exactly the opposite of what he campaigned on. Unfortunately Iran is one of the few areas where the president has been very consistent. And consistently wrong ... Nearly every assertion in the president’s speech was embarrassingly incorrect ... Unfortunately the American people are being neoconned into another war. Just as with the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq, the media builds up the fear and does the bidding of the warmongers without checking facts or applying the necessary skepticism to neocon claims.


U.S. President Donald Trump struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement on Friday in defiance of other world powers, choosing not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal and warning he might ultimately terminate it. Trump announced the major shift in U.S. policy in a speech in which he detailed a more aggressive approach to Iran over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its support for extremist groups in the Middle East ... Trump’s hardline remarks drew praise from Israel, Iran’s arch-foe, but was criticized by European allies ... His Iran strategy angered Tehran and put Washington at odds with other signatories of the accord - Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union - some of which have benefited economically from renewed trade with Iran.

BBC News

US President Donald Trump has condemned Iran as a "fanatical regime" and refused to continue signing off on a landmark international nuclear deal. In a combative speech on Friday, Mr Trump accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and proposed new sanctions. He said Iran had already violated the 2015 deal, which imposed curbs on Iran's nuclear capability in return for easing international embargoes. International observers say Iran has been in full compliance with the deal. Speaking at the White House, Mr Trump said he was acting in order to deny Iran “all paths to a nuclear weapon.” ... Congress requires the US president to certify every 90 days that Iran is upholding its part of the agreement. Mr Trump had already recertified twice, but refused to sign a third time ahead of a Sunday deadline.


"I congratulate President Trump for his courageous decision today. He boldly confronted Iran's terrorist regime," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a reaction to US President Donald Trump’s decision not to recertify the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. While not withdrawing from the deal for now, in a speech on Friday, Trump announced a new tougher policy towards Tehran as he left the US Congress to decide whether or not to impose new sanctions against Iran. The deal, known, as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Heather MacDonald - City Journal

... The increase in black homicide deaths last year comes on top of a previous 900-victim increase between 2014 and 2015. Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks ... Violent crime has now risen by a significant amount for two consecutive years ... Four studies came out in 2016 alone rebutting the charge that police shootings are racially biased. If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. That truth has not stopped the ongoing demonization of the police — including, now, by many of the country’s ignorant professional athletes.

The Times of Israel – AFP

Austria’s Sebastian Kurz, 31, looked on course Sunday to become Europe’s youngest leader, likely in coalition with the anti-immigration far right, after his conservative party was projected to come first in elections. The projections sparked immediate concern from Jewish groups over the anticipated return of “xenophobes and racists” to the Austrian government ... Kurz’s People’s Party (OeVP) won 30.5 percent of the vote, followed by Chancellor Christian Kern’s Social Democrats (SPOe) with 27.1 percent, and the Freedom Party (FPOe) with 25.9 percent, projections on public TV showed ... Like the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which last month became the third-largest party in the Bundestag, and France’s National Front, the FPOe has stoked concerns about a record influx of migrants into Europe.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

A Berlin court has sentenced serial Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck to six months in jail for denying the Nazis' extermination of Jews. She has never spent time in prison despite several previous convictions. The 88-year-old Ursula Haverbeck, who has several previous convictions all related to Holocaust denial, was on Monday found guilty of once again denying the mass murder of millions of Jews during the Nazi era in Germany, this time at an event in Berlin on January 30, 2016. Haverbeck will also stand trial in the western town of Detmold again on November 23. She had appealed two verdicts by a Detmold court, handed down for incitement to hatred after she sent a letter to Detmold’s mayor and various media in which she refutes the genocide of Jews between 1941 and 1945.

Jewish News / The Times of Israel

Alison Chabloz penned the song (((Survivors))), which describes notorious death camp Auschwitz as “a theme park”. She performed it, along with another called Nemo’s Anti-Semitic Universe, at a conference hosted by a group called The London Forum in September last year. The London Forum describes itself as “a conference group for nationalists, identitarians, thinkers and commentators”. During Wednesday’s hearing Chabloz was arrested and taken for questioning on suspicion of further offences and proceedings continued without her ... She is charged with two counts of sending by a public communications network an offensive, indecent or menacing message or material.

Trita Parsi

... The most dedicated force behind Trump’s obsession with killing the Iran deal is not his base, but a tiny group of top Republican donors ... The billionaire Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus, for instance, has given Trump $101,700 to help pay Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s legal fees following the probe into Russian election interference. Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer is another major donor to pro-war groups in Washington who Trump has relied upon for financial support. The most famous billionaire donor, of course, is Sheldon Adelson who has contributed $35 million to pro-Trump Super PAC Future 45. All of these donors have pushed for war with Iran, though only Adelson has gone as far as to suggest the US should strike Iran with nuclear weapons as a negotiating tactic.

Eli Clifton

President Donald Trump’s latest denunciation of the Iran nuclear deal (also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) at the United Nations was hardly a surprise. Indeed, attacking the agreement was a mainstay of Trump’s campaign rhetoric from the early days of his candidacy ... A review of the statements and activities of some of Trump’s key donors also helps explain why he is considering reneging on the agreement. A small number of his biggest campaign and legal defense donors have made extreme comments about Iran and, in at least one case, advocated for the use of a nuclear weapon against the Islamic Republic.

U.S. Institute of Peace (Washington, DC)

The majority of Americans think the United States should participate in an agreement with Iran that lifts some sanctions in exchange for strict limits on its nuclear program, according to a new survey from The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Notably, public opinion has remained consistent from 2016 to 2017 regarding the Iran deal. Overall, 62 percent of respondents said that nuclear proliferation, from friendly or unfriendly countries, is a critical threat. Some 60 percent thought the United States should continue to honor the Iran deal, helping to deter the threat of nuclear proliferation ... Nearly three quarters of Democrats wanted to participate in a deal with Iran as opposed to 48 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Independents.

The Algemeiner (Brooklyn, NY)

Oscar-winning film producer Harvey Weinstein expressed his deep love and appreciation for the Jewish state on Monday [Sept. 18], saying, “I am an Israeli in my heart and mind.” Speaking on the red carpet at The Algemeiner‘s fourth annual gala in New York City, Weinstein emphasized, “I love that country, I love what it stands for, I am proud to be Jewish.” The Hollywood mogul recounted his appearance at The Algemeiner’s gala in 2013, when he presented Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel with the “Warrior for Truth” award. Wiesel served as chairman of The Algemeiner’s Tribute Committee until his passing in 2016.

If Americans Knew

The New York Times, New Yorker, and numerous other news outlets have been reporting widely on accusations that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, sometimes called one of the most powerful people in Hollywood, sexually assaulted actresses for decades. Some of the news stories point out that Weinstein has been known as a supporter of progressive causes and raised money for Hillary Clinton, but none mention his longtime support for Israel ... In Weinstein’s rambling acceptance speech [at a 2015 gala of the Simon Wiesenthal Center] he said that Jews should get “as organized as the mafia” in fighting anti-Semitism, saying it was essential to “start acting now ... if we don’t, we will perish.” ... At a gala last month for Algemeiner, Weinstein proclaimed: “I am an Israeli in my heart and mind.”

New American View

… The Jewish denial that Hollywood is controlled by Jews is a great lie which can be attested to by anyone who has ever been associated with the film industry … It is positively insulting for them to deny their influence and power -- particularly when they themselves are continually boasting in their own circles about their "overrepresentation" in these fields. And it is absolutely infuriating when this denial reaches the point that non-Jews are attacked by Jewish agitators and Zionist zealots for stating obvious facts and truth.

Huffington Post

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says that if Confederate monuments are taken down, there’s no telling how far America might go — Native Americans could call for the removal of statues commemorating leaders who orchestrated violence against their ancestors. “Where do you start and where do you stop?” Zinke asked in an interview with Breitbart published Sunday. “It’s a slippery slope. If you’re a native Indian, I can tell you, you’re not very happy about the history of General Sherman or perhaps President Grant.” ... But Zinke’s remarks seem to ignore the fact that Native Americans have already been calling for the removal of monuments that commemorate white supremacy and historical figures who committed violence against indigenous people.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Americans are coming to accept our new reality: On the essentials of nationhood --ancestry, morality, faith, culture, history, heroes -- we really are no longer one nation and one people ... “President Trump has a duty to unite us, not divide us" is the mantra of our elites. Yet, since the '60s, it is these elites who have been imposing the social, moral and cultural revolution the American people never voted for and which has by now divided us irretrievably. Call them "deplorables" if you will, but Trump does seem to relish going out to defend the views, values and beliefs of the people who put him where he is. He does not recoil from political conflict. People who stand by you in a fight are not all that common in politics. When Trump exhibits this quality, he receives in reciprocity the kind of loyalty even his enemies concede he has.

BBC News

... It is here, on the northern tip of Newfoundland [Canada], that a significant moment in human migration and exploration took place. In the year 1000, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus set sail, a Viking longboat, skippered by Leif Erikson, brought 90 men and women from Iceland to establish a new settlement – the first European settlement in the New World ... The settlement didn’t last long, however; the community abandoned the settlement after less than a decade after repeated clashes with the island’s native tribes, known to the Vikings as ‘Skraelings’.

Sputnik News (Russia)

The majority of the educated European public believes that the US exerts its influence over elections in other countries, according to Sputnik's latest public poll, conducted by the leading French pollster Ifop. Sputnik asked French pollster Ifop (French Institute of Public Opinion), a renowned international market researcher ... to discover what Europeans think about the issue of interference in foreign elections in the wake of the accusations of Russia's alleged meddling in other countries ... One-third of the UK residents think it is the US which exerts influence on the elections in other countries. However the percentage is significantly higher in Germany and France (over 40 percent). Interestingly, both countries held elections this year. In Poland ... 43 percent also point their suspicions towards the US.

BBC News

Israel has said it will join the US in pulling out of the UN's cultural organisation Unesco, after US officials cited "anti-Israel bias". Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US decision as "brave and moral", a statement said. The agency is known for designating world heritage sites such as Syria's Palmyra and the US Grand Canyon ... The US withdrawal will become effective at the end of December 2018 - until then, the US will remain a full member ... The decision follows a string of Unesco decisions that have drawn criticism from the US and Israel. In 2011 the US cut its funding to the agency in protest at its decision to grant full membership to the Palestinians.

NBC News

President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room ... According to the officials present, Trump’s advisers, among them the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised. Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to a nuclear buildup and how the current military posture is stronger than it was at the height of the buildup. In interviews, they told NBC News that no such expansion is planned. The July 20 meeting was described as a lengthy and sometimes tense review of worldwide U.S. forces and operations.

Robert W. Merry - The American Conservative

Word is out that President Trump this week will “decertify” the nuclear deal with Iran, also known as JCPOA, for Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ... Trump hates the deal, as he has made clear since the beginning of the 2016 election cycle, and he doesn’t want to go on record saying Iran is living up to it. But it is. That’s the judgment of all the other signatories to the agreement, as well as the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, which has issued eight separate certifications of compliance since the deal was struck in 2015 ... One remarkable aspect of this was how little any Americans seemed to care about their country entering into an agreement with a foreign leader and then reneging on it ... Don’t forget America’s recent history of regime change promiscuity — upending rulers, or helping to do so, or trying to do so.

Jacob G. Hornberger

To many mainstream pundits, the solution to the crisis in Korea is for U.S. officials to sit down and “talk” to North Korea in the hopes of negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement. While it won’t guarantee that a deal will be worked out, they say, “talking” is the only chance there is to resolve the crisis. They ignore an important point: Any deal that would be reached would involve trusting the U.S. government to keep its end of the bargain. And trusting the U.S. government would be the stupidest thing North Korea could ever do. That’s because as soon as U.S. officials found it advantageous, they would break the deal and pounce on North Korea, with the aim of achieving the regime change they have sought ever since the dawn of the Cold War more than 70 years ago.

Metro News (Canada)

... According to a new study published in the journal Child Development, babies as young as six months old can be racist, too – just in a different way than older children and adults are. Very tiny tots tend to react positively to adults of their own ethnicity and negatively to others, said University of Toronto psychologist Kang Lee, lead author of the study. The researchers believe it’s simple familiarity: Most babies rarely see adults of any ethnicity other than their own. By preschool, kids absorb social attitudes and start to show a preference for white people, and hold negative views about people of colour, regardless of their own race. Lee’s study found when happy music was played, babies spent more time looking at faces of people of their own race. They also looked longer at other-race faces when scary music was played.

Nicholas Shakespeare - The Telegraph (Britain)

Thirstily swallowed by a humiliated France, the dominant narrative of the French Resistance was cooked up by General de Gaulle – “Joan of Arc in trousers”, Churchill testily called him – when he addressed the crowds outside the Hôtel de Ville on August 25, 1944. “Paris liberated! Liberated by its own efforts, liberated by its people with the help of the armies of France, with the help of all of France.” Yet, as Robert Gildea exposes in this comprehensive survey of the French Resistance [Fighters in the Shadows], the myth that the French freed themselves is largely poppycock ... It is not hard to see why the Resistance, in Gildea’s estimation, “mobilised only a minority of French people. The vast majority learnt to muddle through under German Occupation and long admired Marshal Pétain.”

Seattle Times

IBM dominated the early decades of computing with inventions such as the mainframe and the diskette. Its offices and factories, stretching from upstate New York to Silicon Valley, were hubs of U.S. innovation long before Microsoft or Google came along. But over the past decade, IBM has shifted its center of gravity halfway around the world to India, making it a high-tech example of the globalization trends that the Trump administration has railed against. The company employs 130,000 people in India — about one-third of its total workforce, and more than in any other country. Their work spans the gamut of IBM’s businesses, from managing the computing needs of global giants like AT&T and Shell to performing cutting-edge research in fields such as visual search, artificial intelligence and computer vision for self-driving cars.

Associated Press

Just 24 percent of Americans believe the country is heading in the right direction ... That’s a ten-point drop since June, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The decline in optimism about the nation’s trajectory is particularly pronounced among Republicans. In June, 60 percent of Republicans said the country was headed in the right direction; now it’s just 44 percent. The broader picture for the president is grim, too. Nearly 70 percent of Americans say Trump isn’t level-headed, and majorities say he’s not honest or a strong leader. More than 60 percent disapprove of how he is handling race relations, foreign policy and immigration, among other issues. Overall, 67 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Trump is doing in office, including about one-third of Republicans.

BBC News

President Donald Trump could put the US "on the path to World War Three", the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has warned. Senator Bob Corker said Mr Trump was treating the presidency like "a reality show". The retiring Tennessee lawmaker also said White House staff struggle to "contain" Mr Trump. Mr Corker's comments are a remarkable attack on a sitting president from a member of his own party ... “I don't know why the president tweets out things that are not true," he added. “You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does." “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it's a situation of trying to contain him," Mr Corker told the newspaper.

Eric Margolis

... I like the idea of an independent Catalonia. But what is it good for? Modern Catalonia is not an oppressed nation though its taxes are too high. Its biggest problem these days is being utterly swamped by armies of littering foreign tourists. It could stand on its own economically but to what benefit? Catalan independence would surely enflame separatist movements in Canada, Scotland, Wales, France, eastern Europe, even Switzerland. The French say, ‘the heart has reasons that reason does not understand.’ That’s the story with Catalan independence.

Michael Hoffman

Last week was the American Library Association’s annual “Banned Books Week,” the eponymous celebration of books forbidden by censors and pressure groups in the United States ... Missing from this largely self-congratulatory liberal exercise are the most interdicted books of our time, the contrarian World War II revisionist histories luridly emblazoned with the literary equivalent of the Mark of Cain, “Holocaust denial.” ... Consider the current controversy over Google’s manipulation of its search engine results. “Holocaust-denial,” the 800-pound gorilla that cannot be mentioned in regard to banned books, has also been banned from the current debate over Google’s corruption of its search engine ... Denying web traffic to World War II revisionist web pages would appear to be unworthy of notice by the fake news media ...


The New York Times’s explosive report last week alleging sexual harassment by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has resulted in the Oscar-winning producer being ousted from his own company. But a former reporter for the newspaper has claimed that she could have exposed Weinstein’s purported misdemeanors 13 years ago, but that editors killed a story she had reported on the subject, perhaps under pressure from Weinstein himself. Sharon Waxman, editor of Hollywood business trade website TheWrap, wrote Sunday that she investigated “oft-repeated allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein” while a relatively new reporter at the Times in 2004.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center said it has not considered withdrawing an award given to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was fired by the production company he founded following a string of sexual harassment allegations. However, the head of the organization denounced Weinstein’s actions. Weinstein received the 2015 Humanitarian Award from the group, which promotes tolerance, and was honored at its annual gala dinner. Weinstein received the award due in part to his contributions to the group, which have totaled nearly $100,000. That year’s dinner brought in $1.75 million. “We honored Harvey Weinstein because he and his company, like many other leaders in the entertainment world, have been longtime supporters of the Wiesenthal Center and its work,” Simon Wiesenthal Center spokesman Marcial Lavina wrote ...

Mark Oppenheimer - Tablet

At first squint, Harvey Weinstein seems like a very familiar type. Isn’t he the old, same old, another rich, entitled, powerful man with a bad dye job abusing his might to coerce women into sex? Isn’t Harvey just like Roger Ailes, or Bill O’Reilly, or, for that matter, Bill Clinton? But look at the details of the case and you’ll see that the answer is no. Harvey is different. Harvey, sadly, is a deeply Jewish kind of pervert ... If you want to understand this bizarre behavior, don’t look to Roger Ailes, or David Vitter, or Paul Crouch — look to Philip Roth. Better than perhaps any other author, Roth captured the particular anxiety of the Jewish American man in the twentieth century, finally coming into power but, having not grown up with it, unsure of what he’s supposed to do now. All those years craving unattainable Gentiles, but never before the means to entice them.

USA Today

... Columbus Day [Oct. 9] controversy has flared up every fall since, this year with new fervor: Columbus statues from New York to Minnesota to California have faced vandalism or removal amid newly heightened debate on Confederate monuments, sweeping up the 15th century figure tied to genocide and slavery. In an age of toppling statues, what happens to Columbus? ... America looks remarkably different than it did that first Columbus Day, he said, and so its collective memory — what matters to citizens — will look different, too. “Revision is not the same as lying, which people think it is,” Grossman said. “Revisionism happens when we find new information or ask new questions, when you come up with a different narrative.”

Fox News

Harvard University is the latest of a growing number of colleges to add "Indigenous Peoples' Day” to its calendar, an effort, proponents say, to reject colonialism represented by Columbus Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first adopted in Berkeley, Calif. in 1992, but it's recently become more popular on campuses nationwide. Instead of celebrating explorer Christopher Columbus, students demonstrate against colonialism through events such as planting trees, hosting open mics to condemn so-called exploitation of weaker countries, and providing guest lectures on Native American grievances. Harvard’s decision comes a year after the Cambridge City Council unanimously decided to rename Columbus Day, The Harvard Crimson reported.

Harvey Rachlin - The Jewish Press

... Where is the public remonstrance against celebrated anti-Semites of history? Across the U.S. there are statues, busts, and plaques honoring automaker Henry Ford who, through his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, ran a series of articles, later published as a book titled The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem, that blamed Jews for inciting the first World War ... Should the National Gallery of Art in Washington remove its bust of the poet Ezra Pound, who during World War II made anti-Semitic radio broadcasts in Italy? ... Should we boycott the works of Shakespeare, whose Shylock (a Jewish money-lender) character in his 1596 comedy “The Merchant of Venice” is widely seen as embodying the vilest anti-Jewish stereotypes? ... The list of history’s anti-Semites is a long one.

Ron Paul

Now that the defeat of ISIS in Syria appears imminent, with the Syrian army clearing out some of the last ISIS strongholds in the east, Washington’s interventionists are searching for new excuses to maintain the illegal US military presence in the country. Their original rationale for intervention has long been exposed as another lie ... That was three years ago and the US military became steadily more involved while Congress continued to dodge its Constitutional obligations. The US even built military bases in Syria despite having no permission to do so! Imagine if Syria started building military bases here in the US against our wishes. .. The US is not about to leave on its own. With ISIS all but defeated in Syria, many in Washington are calling for the US military to continue its illegal occupation of parts of the country to protect against Iranian influence!

Alastair Crooke

Plainly, Syria’s success – notwithstanding the caution of President Bashar al-Assad in saying that signs of success are not success itself – in resisting, against the odds, all attempts to fell the state suggest that a tipping point in the geopolitics of the region has occurred. We have written before how the Syria outcome dwarfs that of Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, significant though the result of that war was, too. Both events taken together have brought America’s unipolar moment in the Middle East to an end (though not globally, since the U.S. still retains its necklace of military bases across the region). The successes have corroded badly the reputation of the Gulf States and have discredited fired-up Sunni jihadism as a “go-to” political tool for Saudi Arabia and its Western backers.

RT News (Russia)

The Israeli defense minister has urged Washington to engage more in Syria, where President Bashar Assad “is winning.” The official has asked for increased US involvement, saying Israel is struggling to deal with the “Russians, Iranians, and also the Turks and Hezbollah.” “We hope that the United States will be more active in the Syrian arena and in the Middle East in general,” Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview ... The minister went on to express his apparently grave concerns that "in spite of everything, Assad is winning the battle." He also called the situation in Syria "one of the greatest absurdities." "The United States has quite a few challenges of their own, but as a trend, the more active the US is, the better," Lieberman said.

Chris Hedges

The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements ... The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding ... Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals ... Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two.

R. Klett - The Journal of Historical Review

... The inspiration for it is the report that the Irish Prime Minister, Eamon de Valera, has visited the German Minister, at Dublin, to convey his condolences on the news of Adolf Hitler's death. This is Shaw's letter, published May 18, 1945, The Times, London ... "The correctness of the Taoiseach's [Prime Minister's] action when the death of the head of the German State was reported has been vindicated by Commander MacDermott ... Eamon de Valera comes out of it as a champion of the Christian chivalry we are all pretending to admire. Let us recognize a noble heart even if we must sometimes question its worldly wisdom.”

University of Chicago / Science Daily

New research at the University of Chicago and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that children begin to show signs of higher-level thinking skills as young as age four and a half. Researchers have previously attributed higher-order thinking development to knowledge acquisition and better schooling, but the new longitudinal study shows that other skills, not always connected with knowledge, play a role in the ability of children to reason analytically. The findings, reported in January in the journal Psychological Science, show for the first time that children's executive function has a role in the development of complicated analytical thinking. Executive function includes such complex skills as planning, monitoring, task switching, and controlling attention.

Washington Free Beacon

The British Labour Party is once again embroiled in an anti-Semitism scandal, this time thanks to a speaker who compared Israel to Nazi Germany. The event, "Free speech on Israel: why we oppose the witch hunt," was listed in the official handbook of Labour’s annual conference, and the party is now trying to control the damage, the Daily Mail reports. Miko Peled, an Israeli-American who is a long-time anti-Israel activist, said during the event that the pro-Israel lobby is against Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. He further argued that Zionists should not be allowed in Labour circles. "It's about the limits of tolerance: We don't invite the Nazis and give them an hour to explain why they are right," Peled said.

The Guardian (Britain)

Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, has said the party will investigate how it gave a platform at a conference fringe event to a speaker who said people should be allowed to question whether the Holocaust happened. The remarks by the Israeli-American author Miko Peled have renewed alarm about antisemitism in the Labour party ... Speaking at an event on free speech and Israel, Peled is reported to have said: “This is about free speech, the freedom to criticise and to discuss every issue, whether it’s the Holocaust: yes or no, Palestine, the liberation, the whole spectrum. There should be no limits on the discussion.”

The Times of Israel

Nearly one in three Britons holds at least one anti-Semitic attitude, and more than half endorse at least one hard-line anti-Israel statement, finds a major new study published today. It also establishes an “unambiguous” link between anti-Semitism and hostility towards Israel – suggesting that the stronger the level of anti-Israel feeling, the more likely it is to be accompanied by anti-Semitic attitudes – and probes the attitudes of those who support the far-left and the far-right, as well as British Muslims. But the report – the largest and most detailed survey of attitudes towards Jews and Israel ever conducted in Britain – also concludes that the proportion of what it terms “hardcore anti-Semites” in the population is small ...

Philip Giraldi

Two weeks ago, I wrote for Unz.com an article entitled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” It sought to make several points concerning the consequences of Jewish political power vis-à-vis some aspects of U.S. foreign policy ... My article proved to be quite popular, particularly after former CIA officer Valerie Plame tweeted her approval of it, and was viciously and repeatedly attacked, resulting in a string of abject apologies on her part ... The Editor of The American Conservative (TAC) magazine and website, where I have been a regular and highly rated contributor for nearly 15 years, called me and abruptly announced that even though my article had appeared on another site, it had been deemed unacceptable and TAC would have to sever its relationship with me.

Eric Margolis

... Vietnam was not a 'tragedy,' as the PBS series asserts, but the product of imperial geopolitics ... Poor generalship, mediocre officers, and lack of discipline ensured that the US war effort in Vietnam would become and remain a mess. Stupid, pointless attacks against heavily defended hills inflicted huge casualties on US troops and eroded morale ... This same dark cloud hangs over our political landscape today. We have destroyed large parts of the Mideast, Afghanistan and northern Pakistan without a second thought – yet wonder why peoples from these ravaged nations hate us ... In spite of all, our imperial impulse till throbs. The nightmare Vietnam War in which over 58,000 American soldiers died for nothing has been largely forgotten. So we can now repeat the same fatal errors again without shame, remorse or understanding.

Steve Postal - The Times of Israel

Pandering to the regressive mob, Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to give a straightforward answer on how New York City should treat monuments to President and General Ulysses S. Grant ... De Blasio’s dithering comes in the wake of his declaring a 90-day review of “hate symbols” in New York City for ultimate removal. While he was a hero and was integral to the Union’s survival and victory in the U.S. Civil War, Grant ordered Jews to be expelled from three southern states during the Civil War. If New York removes these “hate symbols” towards Jews, the world should follow in a logically consistent way. Perhaps through the stewardship of the infinitely wise United Nations, the world should remove the following from the face of the Earth: ... All remaining ruins and artifacts from ancient Rome, as the Romans oppressed the Jews ...

Associated Press

A Jewish rights group is urging a Polish state historical institute to fire an official who has published several books by notorious British Holocaust denier David Irving. But the Polish historical body, the Institute of National Remembrance, says the official, Arkadiusz Wingert, is not a Holocaust denier himself so there is no reason to dismiss him. Wingert was appointed earlier this year as deputy director of the publishing office of the institute ... The Simon Wiesenthal Center, headquartered in the United States, said it was a “shameful farce” to give Wingert responsibility for publishing works devoted to the victims of World War II, given that he had published the works of Irving and also of a Belgian Nazi collaborator, Leon Degrelle.

The Guardian (Britain)

Manchester University censored the title of a Holocaust survivor’s criticism of Israel and insisted that her campus talk be recorded, after Israeli diplomats said its billing amounted to antisemitic hate speech. Marika Sherwood, a Jewish survivor of the Budapest ghetto, was due to give a talk in March about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, headlined: “You’re doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to me.” But after a visit by Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador, and his civil affairs attaché, university officials banned organisers from using the “unduly provocative” title and set out a range of conditions before it could go ahead. Students had booked Sherwood to speak as part of Israeli Apartheid Week, a series of events organised by the university’s student committee of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

The Times of Israel

US Defense Secretary James Mattis told US senators on Tuesday the United States should remain a party in the Iran nuclear deal. Asked at a Senate Armed Serviced Committee hearing by Sen. Angus King, an Independent from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats, whether he believed it was in America’s national security interests to stay in the deal, Mattis said: “Yes, senator, I do.” ... “I believe, at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with.” ... While Trump has repeatedly castigated Iran for not honoring “the spirit of the deal,” both International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and the US intelligence community have said Tehran is complying.

USA Today

The good news on America's report cards: More high school teachers are handing out A's. But the bad news is that students aren't necessarily learning more. Recent findings show that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average — that includes an A-minus or A-plus — has grown sharply over the past generation, even as average SAT scores have fallen ... Recent research suggests that the problem isn’t just showing up in high school. In colleges nationwide, the most popular grade is now an A, according to Stuart Rojstaczer, a former Duke University scholar ... According to Rojstaczer, close to 50% of all college grades given are A’s, a far cry from even two decades ago, when the average GPA at a four-year college was 3.11. He recently told USA Today that A’s are now three times more common than they were in 1960.

Don Hazen – AlterNet

... In June, Google announced major changes in its algorithm designed to combat fake news ... Google’s update of its search engine would block access to “offensive" sites, while working to surface more “authoritative content.” ... But little did we know that Google had decided, perhaps with bad advice or wrong-headed thinking, that media like AlterNet — dedicated to fighting white supremacy, misogyny, racism, Donald Trump, and fake news — would be clobbered by Google ... Since the June Google announcement, AlterNet’s search traffic has plummeted by 40 percent — a loss of an average of 1.2 million people every month who are no longer reading AlterNet stories. AlterNet is not alone. Dozens of progressive and radical websites have reported marked declines in their traffic.

Jonathan Cook

Alternet has gone public with concerns about the way Google and Facebook have limited traffic to its website and, more generally, undermined access to progressive and independent media. Its traffic from web searches has dropped precipitously – by 40 per cent – since Google introduced new algorithms in the summer. Other big progressive sites have reported similar, or worse, falls ... Google and Facebook have been coming under relentless and well-documented pressure from traditional media corporations and the political establishment to curb access to independent news and analysis sites, especially those offering highly critical perspectives on the policies and behaviour of western corporations and state bureaucracies.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... America has no divinely mandated mission to democratize mankind. And the hubristic idea that we do has been a cause of all the wars and disasters that have lately befallen the republic. If we do not cure ourselves of this interventionist addiction, it will end our republic. When did we dethrone our God and divinize democracy? And are 21st-century American values really universal values? ... For the State Department to declare America’s mission to be to make all nations look more like us might well be regarded as a uniquely American form of moral imperialism.

David Cole - Taki’s magazine

... Essentially, what we’re seeing now is the domestic version of “denazification.” Denazification was a program initiated by the Allies [in Germany] after World War II ... Its transmogrified into a massive exercise in thought policing, the goal being to “cure” the conquered Germans of any and all “Nazi” impulses by beating, imprisoning, censoring, threatening, and scaring them into submission ... It became an inquisition in which anyone charged with having “pro-Nazi” thoughts would be removed from public life, often imprisoned, sometimes physically harmed. And it became a massive exercise in book burning and censorship ... Certain organizations have a vested interest in spreading the “Nazi next door” hysteria. And now those groups are pushing for internet speech suppression to rid us of the phantom threat they themselves manufactured.


President Donald Trump has been attacking the Iran nuclear deal basically since it was signed, even suggesting that his administration would formally declare that Iran was in violation of the pact by a key October deadline ... But yesterday, Trump’s criticism of the deal was contradicted by one of the most important officials imaginable: Marine Gen. James Dunford, of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ... When asked by the committee whether Iran was complying with the Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, America’s top general unequivocally said yes ... Inconveniently for Trump, generals have facts on their side. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which is in charge of monitoring the deal, has repeatedly certified that Tehran is complying with the limits on its nuclear program imposed by the deal.

Chris Crookes - Quora

Yes he did. The details of his final peace offer to Churchill are still protected under the British Official Secrets act, which was due to become public in 2017, but which has been extended for another unprecedented twenty years. The Foreign Office has never revealed why these British files remain sealed. Usually, under the UK Official Secrets Act, documents considered to be sensitive 'secret' files can be kept from the public for either 30 years, 50 years or for the lifetime of persons mentioned in them. None of which apply in this case. So another pertinent question would be: ‘Why haven't any of these peace proposals from Hitler ever been made public, and why are they still not available to historians?’

Associated Press / The Times of Israel

Samuel (Si) Newhouse Jr., the low-profile billionaire media mogul who ran the parent company of some of the nation’s most prestigious magazines, died Sunday. He was 89. Newhouse’s death was confirmed by his family, who said he died at his New York home. The grandson of Russian Jewish immigrants was the chairman of Conde Nast since 1975. In that time, Si Newhouse bought and remade The New Yorker and Details magazines, and revived Vanity Fair. Other magazines in the Conde Nast stable included Vogue, Wired, Glamour, W, GQ, and Self ... Newhouse and his brother, Donald, owned Staten Island, NY-based Advance Publications Inc., the owner of Conde Nast, daily newspapers in about 20 cities, and a cable television company.

BBC News

A rally of neo-Nazis in Sweden has ended in clashes with both anti-fascist counter-demonstrators and police. The Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) group had planned a march through the city of Gothenburg on Saturday. Scuffles broke out between police and the shield-carrying NMR group when, police said, members attempted to deviate from the agreed route. Dozens of people have been arrested, including the group's leader, Swedish media reported. Counter-demonstrators are also believed to be among those detained. Several hundred neo-Nazis gathered in Gothenburg for the rally, along with a large group of counter-protesters who lined the route. Some Swedish media outlets reported that the scuffles broke out after stones were thrown by counter-protestors, prompting the attempt by NMR members to break police lines.