January 2018

Review by Harriet Hall, MD - Science Based Medicine

... Freud’s impact on 20th century thought is undeniable, but he got almost everything wrong. He was not only not scientific; he was a liar and a fraud. A new book, Freud: The Making of an Illusion, by Frederick Crews, may put the final nail in his coffin ... Freud was trained as a scientist, but he went astray, following wild hunches, willfully descending into pseudoscience, covering up his mistakes, and establishing a cult of personality that long outlived him ... His vaunted psychoanalyses never objectively helped a single patient. It is astounding that his ideas and his cult were so influential for so long. Freud was a fraud, a liar, a bad scientist, and a bad doctor; but Crews’ book about him is excellent.

James Petras

In accordance with the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (CAA) the Office of Compliance (OC) compiled and published shocking statistics listing (1) the number of settlements paid to its employees and interns after allegations of abuse by legislators; (2) the total amount of dollars paid by US Treasury to the victims of Congressional workplace abuse. The US taxpayers were made to pay millions of dollars in financial settlements for hundreds of incidents of Congressperson abuse, including gross sexual harassment, against interns, staff and office employees, of both sexes. This ‘slush and shush’ fund was hidden from the American people. Many abused victims were paid-off and intimidated into silently watching the elected officials parade themselves as paragons of virtue and champions of their voters.

Newsweek

Muslims will be the second-largest religious group in America by 2040 because of higher birth rates, according to a new study. The data published last week by the Pew Research Center shows that Islam will surpass Judaism as the second biggest religion in the country, behind Christianity, within two decades. According to Pew, the Muslim population will more than double in that time period, from 3.45 million in 2017 (1.1 percent of the total population) to 8.09 million in 2050 (2.1 percent of the total population) ... The growth is being fueled by higher fertility rates and high levels of immigration. Pew’s research said that a record number of Muslims had immigrated to the country in 2016 and that as many as 75 percent of the Muslim population is an immigrant or part of an immigrant family.

John F. Schumaker - New Internationalist

... As it is absorbed, consumer culture imposes numerous influences that weaken personality structures, undermine coping and lay the groundwork for eventual demoralization. Its driving features – individualism, materialism, hyper-competition, greed, over-complication, overwork, hurriedness and debt – all correlate negatively with psychological health and/ or social wellbeing. The level of intimacy, trust and true friendship in people’s lives has plummeted ... Research shows that, in contrast to earlier times, most people today are unable to identify any sort of philosophy of life or set of guiding principles ... At its heart, demoralization is a generalized loss of credibility in the assumptions that ground our existence and guide our actions.

Betrand M. Roehner

A French scholar looks at the occupation of Iceland by British and then American military forces during World War II, and afterwards. Local civilians were victims of violent assault, brawls and vandalism by occupation troops. “American soldiers, particularly sailors and the regular army enlisted men, are belligerent with the Icelanders,” one official protested. “Very often the soldiers trail Icelanders for several blocks endeavoring all the while to pick a fight. Attacks are usually without provocation and seemingly without motive.” “The reception of British and Canadian troops in Iceland was anything but warm,” Time magazine reported. “The Icelanders so resented them that soldiers had to go out in parties of three, well-armed and on their guard against stabbing and shootings.”

J. D. Heyes – Natural News

If you’re not familiar at all with the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC], it’s nothing more than a Left-wing hate factory ginning up angst and even violence against conservative-minded, America-first types who voted for President Donald J. Trump. But the organization disguises itself as an anti-hate group allegedly battling “white supremacy,” “fascism” and “nationalism” in America. As reported by Frontpage Magazine, a new video released by Prager U fully exposes the SPLC for the hate mill that it is, always on the attack against traditional, Christian, family-values America ... The primary vehicle for this is an annual list the group puts out — a list that is seldom fact-checked but eagerly parroted by the equally Left-wing “mainstream” media — of organizations, people and charities it claims are “extremists” and “haters.”

BBC News

... At first glance, Novgorod (located roughly 200 km south of St Petersburg along the Volkhov River) appears frozen in Soviet times, with nothing to suggest it could be anywhere special ... It is only inside the fortified Novgorod Kremlin -- one of the oldest fortified citadels in Russia – that you get a sense of this place’s historical significance. This, the Novgorodians say, is where Russia was born. In the 9th Century, Novgorod was a thriving trading settlement along a major Varangian (the medieval term for Viking) trade route between Scandinavia and Greece ... Looking to establish order, the Novgorodians invited the then powerful Varangian chief Prince Rurik to establish a fair and just government. Rurik obliged, travelling from Scandinavia to take control of the city in 862.

Max Hastings – The Spectator

Few 20th-century historians doubted that the 1917 Russian revolution was one of the most influential events of their time, indeed of all time. As the centenary commemoration approaches, however, it seems remarkable how far and how fast the ideology that inspired Lenin and millions of his worldwide followers has receded in significance ... No modern reader can set down the works of Solzhenitsyn, Robert Conquest, Robert Service or Anne Applebaum without a sense of awe at the cruelties committed in the name of ‘the people’, the cause of Russian communism; cruelties indulged almost to this day by their western defenders. It bears notice that German people under the Nazis, with the exception of Jews, enjoyed much greater personal freedom than did Russians at any time after 1917.

Eric Margolis

... Stalin was the biggest murderer of modern history – and maybe in of all mankind’s past. His number of victims was only rivaled by Genghis Khan and, in our era, Mao Zedong ... While the world remembers the Jewish Holocaust, it has almost totally forgotten the other Holocausts.... No one knows the exact figure of deaths in the Soviet Union. But it far exceeded in numbers and scope Hitler’s killings. Yet these epic Soviet crimes have all but vanished from our collective memories. No should have a monopoly on suffering. Almost equally disturbing, the US, Canada and Britain have never squarely faced the ugly fact that their close wartime ally, Stalin, was a far worse mass murderer than enemy Adolf Hitler ... Ever since, Hitler has been relentlessly demonized while Stalin has faded from our understanding.

Patrick J. Buchanan

Informing Iran, “The U.S. is watching what you do,” Amb. Nikki Haley called an emergency meeting Friday of the Security Council regarding the riots in Iran. The session left her and us looking ridiculous. France’s ambassador tutored Haley that how nations deal with internal disorders is not the council’s concern. Russia’s ambassador suggested the United Nations should have looked into our Occupy Wall Street clashes and how the Missouri cops handled Ferguson ... The episode exposes a malady of American foreign policy. It lacks consistency, coherence and moral clarity, treats friends and adversaries by separate standards, and is reflexively interventionist.

David Swanson

The case against Iraqing Iran includes the following points: Threatening war is a violation of the U.N. Charter. Waging war is a violation of the U.N. Charter and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Waging war without Congress is a violation of the U.S. Constitution ... War supporters said the U.S. urgently needed to attack Iran in 2007. It did not attack. The claims turned out to be lies. Even a National Intelligence Estimate in 2007 pushed back and admitted that Iran had no nuclear weapons program. Having a nuclear weapons program is not a justification for war, legally, morally, or practically ... In the Gallup poll, people within the U.S. chose Iran as the top threat to peace on earth — Iran which had not attacked another nation in centuries and spent less than one percent of what the U.S. spent on militarism.

Trita Parsi - The Nation

... Even though protests appear to have fizzled out over the past two days, the population’s anger and frustration will remain until the Rouhani government takes concrete steps to address the protesters’ legitimate grievances. While Rouhani can — and should — make changes to the budget, he has less control over the deeper problem of unemployment and the absence of foreign investment ... Precisely because Trump doesn’t care about the protesters and is more interested in destabilizing Iran and undoing anything and everything with Barack Obama’s name on it, he may well use the protests as a pretext to do what he has always intended to do: Kill the nuclear deal. The only deviation from Trump’s original plan is that he could now pretend to do it out of love for the people of Iran.

J. Nathan-Kazis – Forward

A new entry ban for the leaders of 20 international not-for-profit organizations puts Israel in the company of a group of mostly authoritarian nations that are cracking down on foreign nongovernmental organizations. Since 2006, restrictions on foreign NGOs have become increasingly prevalent worldwide, spreading from Russia to other authoritarian regimes, like China and Egypt, and a few democratic states, including India ... In Israel, the ban targets the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social service group that works in 17 countries and in cities across the United States. Leftist activist groups Jewish Voice for Peace, CODEPINK, National Students for Justice in Palestine and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights were also banned.

A. Rehman - The Guardian (Britain)

Israel’s “BDS blacklist,” published in the Israeli media on Sunday [Jan. 7], bans 20 charities and human rights groups from entering the country, because they support the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement – a campaign that holds Israel to account over violations of Palestinian rights and international law ... First and foremost, the ban calls for a robust condemnation from people of conscience around the world – and the UK government, which continues to conduct “business as usual” with Israel ... The UK government has a heavy responsibility. While Israel is violating international law and Palestinian human rights, the UK government continues its bloody arms trade with Israel, encouraging repression against Palestinians, and the demonisation of groups abroad that condemn the repression.

Jonathan Cook

Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi ... was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as they refused to leave the courtyard of her family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident. The video quickly went viral. Ahed lashed out shortly after soldiers nearby shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, seriously injuring him ... Distinctive for her irrepressible blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, Ahed has been filmed regularly since she was a small girl confronting soldiers who tower above her. Such scenes inspired one veteran Israeli peace activist to anoint her Palestine’s Joan of Arc.

Uri Avnery

... There are two possibilities [for the future of Israel-Palestine], and only two: an apartheid state or a binational state. That is so obvious, that even the most fanatical right-winger cannot deny it. No one even tries to ... Already now, there live between the sea and the river, in the Greater Israel of the dream, according to the last count (July 2016): 6,510,894 Arabs and 6,114,546 Jews ... Sooner or later, the disenfranchised majority would rise, world opinion would condemn and boycott Israel, and the apartheid system would break down. What would remain? What would remain is the thing almost all Israelis dread: the binational State. One person – one vote. A country very different from Israel ... This is not propaganda, but simple fact.

BBC News

One of France's main publishing houses has suspended plans to republish a collection of anti-Semitic writings by author Louis-Ferdinand Céline. After a public outcry, Gallimard said the "conditions were not right" for the texts to be issued "dispassionately." Céline is regarded as one of France's greatest 20th-century novelists, but his reputation was tarnished by his anti-Semitic writings. Jewish campaigners said the essays incited racist and anti-Semitic hate. The vitriolic pamphlets were written between 1937 and 1941 ... Céline, who died in 1961, is regarded as a literary innovator and most famous for his 1930s novels Journey to the End of the Night and Death on Credit. His pamphlets are not banned in France but have not been reissued since 1945.

JTA

Four current and former flight attendants have filed a federal lawsuit against Delta Air Lines alleging that the company’s management has “an anti-Jewish, Hebrew and ethnic Israeli attitude.” The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York’s Westchester County. The plaintiffs worked on the airline’s New York-Tel Aviv route. Two are Jewish and two say there were disciplined or subjected to a hostile work environment for their association with Jewish flight attendants and passengers, attorney Brian Mildenberg said in a statement issued Tuesday. In the suit, the plaintiffs allege that Delta management “through words and deeds, operate under an express assumption that ethnic Jews and Israelis, as employees and passengers, cannot be trusted, are aggressive and inappropriate ...”

Reuters

New migrants to Germany must visit Nazi concentration camp memorials to help tackle a perceived rise in anti-Semitism, Germany’s Central Council of Jews said on Wednesday, supporting a proposal by a Palestinian-German politician ... The government decried as shameful the spectacle of the Israeli flag being burned at demonstrations last month against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews expressed support for a proposal by Sawsan Chebli, a Berlin state senator, for mandatory visits by newly arrived refugees to Nazi concentration camps memorials.

A. Wilkins - Vocativ

... Suicide rates have been increasing since 2000 after decades of decline, as documented in a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 1999 to 2015, approximately 600,000 U.S. residents died by suicide, with 2015 being the deadliest year. And not all groups are suffering equally, as those in rural communities — especially white and Native Americans — are dealing with the highest suicide rates. The CDC report, based on county-level mortality data between 2000 and 2015, reveals first a slow rising trend and then a noticeable spike around 2008.

American Council for Science and Health

... New data released by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] highlights the hardship of modern teenage life. Since 2007, the suicide rate among boys aged 15 to 19 has increased by 31 percent (from 10.8 to 14.2 per 100,000), while the suicide rate among girls has more than doubled (from 2.4 to 5.1 per 100,000). In fact, the suicide rate for teenage girls is at a 40-year high ... Complicating the picture is the fact that, according to other data from the CDC, suicide rates have increased for all age groups in the United States, with the lone exception of those aged 75 and older ... Additionally, rural Americans have been hit hardest by the suicide epidemic, witnessing an increase of 40 percent in 16 years.

Eric Margolis

Listen to the state-'guided' US media this past week and you’d believe a series of spontaneous anti-government protests broke out across Iran. The protests, according to President Donald Trump and his Israeli allies, were caused by `anger over Iran’s spending billions on wars in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and helping the Palestinian movement Hamas.’ Trump tweeted that Iranians were finally rising up against what he called their hated, brutal regime. Talk about manufactured news ... High unemployment is a result of US economic warfare and bullying other nations not to do business with Iran, producing 13 percent overall unemployment and a 40 percent inflation rate. The latter and wide-scale corruption were the spark that ignited the latest riots.

J. Ditz – Antiwar. com

An emergency meeting at the UN Security Council on the subject of week-long protests in Iran saw a series of speeches, including the US reiterating its previous public statements backing demonstrators and threatening Iran, and other nations wondering why this was worth an emergency meeting. French Ambassador Francois Delattre insisted the Iran protests had nothing to do with international peace and security, warning against “attempts to exploits this crisis for personal ends,” which many see as a direct rebuke of the US. Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya was even more frank, saying the meeting amounted to the US abusing its position at the UN to “mess with Iran,” and noting the UN didn’t have any emergency meetings after the US crackdowns in Ferguson.

James George Jatras – Strategic Culture

In just the past few days during which Iran has seen anti-government protests, much has been written and said about Iranians’ desire for freedom, mixed with speculation about whether or not the ayatollahs’ Islamic republic is in danger of collapse ... Revolts and revolutions almost always occur when things are getting better but expectations have outpaced performance. Or when things had been getting better but there’s been a setback, either economically (like in Iran today ...) or in 1917 Russia (problems with the conduct with the war and the economy) ... The conversion from revolt to revolution almost never happens unless there is a split in l’ancien régime to create what Alexander Shtromas called “the second pivot,” a second source of official power.

The Jewish Chronicle (Britain)

Henry Kissinger described the relationship between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump’s Jewish family members as a “war between the Jews and the non-Jews”. The former Secretary of State ... made the remark to the author Michael Wolff when describing the White House feuds between Mr Bannon and Mr Trump’s Jewish family members, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Mr Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, was given a prominent role devising a new plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. “For Trump, giving Israel to Kushner was not only a test, it was a Jewish test ... Saddling him with an impossible hurdle for being Jewish - and, too, defaulting to the stereotyping belief in the negotiating powers of Jews,” Mr Wolff wrote in his book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” ...

L. Cerulus - Politco

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance has said it will propose beefed-up legislation to deal with anti-Semitism among migrant groups, which would include the possibility of deportation. The draft legislation calls on the “absolute acceptance of Jewish life” to be considered a “benchmark” for integration, and stipulates that “those who refuse Jewish life in Germany or question the right of existence of Israel, cannot have a place in our country,” German newspaper Die Welt reported Saturday ... The proposal comes in the wake of protests against the Israeli state in Berlin last month, sparked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The protestors burned Israeli flags and chanted anti-Semitic slogans, prompting strong responses from officials in Germany ...

Jacob G. Hornberger

… In truth, [President Franklin] Roosevelt was doing everything he could to involve the United States into the war. Knowing that Congress would never declare war without an attack on the United States, he attempted to induce a German attack on American ships. When that failed, he turned to the Pacific for a “backdoor” to war, with policies designed to corner, maneuver, manipulate, and humiliate the Japanese rulers into firing the first shot.

William Henry Chamberlin

… American involvement in war with Germany was preceded by a long series of steps [by FDR, including] … the orders to American warships to shoot at sight at German submarines, formally announced on September 11 [1941]. The beginning of actual hostilities may be dated from this time rather than from the German declaration of war, which followed Pearl Harbor … The promises to "keep America out of foreign wars" were a deliberate hoax on the American people, perpetrated for the purpose of insuring Roosevelt's re-election and thereby enabling him to proceed with his plan of gradually edging the United States into war.

Life magazine (1938)

Ten months before the outbreak of war in Europe, the most influential US illustrated weekly magazine was psychologically preparing Americans for war with alarmist claims that Germany threatened the United States. This major article in the October 31, 1938, issue of Life magazine, headlined “America Gets Ready to Fight Germany, Italy, Japan,” told readers that Germany and Italy “covet … the rich resources of South America,” and warned that “fascist fleets and legions may swarm across the Atlantic.” In fact, at the time Hitler and all other high-level German officials fervently sought to avoid any conflict with the US, Britain or France. But President Franklin Roosevelt was secretly pushing for war. In September 1939 Britain and France -- encouraged by the US -- declared war against Germany.

AFP

The Israeli ringleader of a global gang of organ traffickers has been arrested in Cyprus, Kosovan police say. Moshe Harel is suspected of organising dozens of illegal kidney transplants at the Medicus clinic in the capital Pristina in 2008 and is the man being held, according to local media ... The authorities have been looking for Harel for almost a decade for exploiting victims, often recruited from poor areas in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, by promising 15,000 euros for their organs. Recipients, mainly Israelis, would pay up to 100,000 euros for the transplant ... Donors, whose organs were illegally removed, were left without proper medical care and treated "like waste," prosecutors said at the time of the trial.

Anatoly Karlin - Unz Review

At the tail end of the Cold War, there was an incredible atmosphere of Americanophilia throughout the USSR, including amongst Russians. Around 75-80 percent of Russians approved of the United States around 1990 ... By modern standards, this would have put Russia into the top leagues of America fans ... The poll was redone in 2015, keeping the same questions, which allows a direct comparison between the two dates ... These results speak for themselves and hardly need more commentary. Nowadays, of course, things are rather different. Suffice to say the numbers of America fans have plummeted, while the percentage of Russians with actively negative views emerged essentially out of nowhere to constitute majority opinion.

Andrew J. Bacevich - The American Conservative

... The [George H. W.] Bush administration assured the Soviets that they had nothing to fear from a Western alliance that included a united Germany. NATO no longer viewed the USSR as an adversary. Apart from incorporating the territory of the former East Germany, the alliance was going to stay put. Washington was sensitive to and would respect Russia’s own security interests. So at least U.S. officials claimed. Thanks to newly classified documents published by the National Security Archive, we now have a clearer appreciation of just how explicit those assurances were ... Today’s NATO consists of 29 nations, nearly double what its membership was when Secretary Baker promised Gorbachev that the alliance would not advance a single inch eastward.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Coco Chanel, once one of the world's richest women, used her Nazi links to regain ownership of her perfume empire from her Jewish business partners. The French designer's dark past has been uncovered in recent years, which included a lengthy love affair with a senior Nazi officer. But a new film by French director Stephane Benhamou called The No 5 War has revealed further dealings between Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel and the Vichy regime that ruled wartime Paris. ... The Germans refused to comply with her demands, not wanting to upset their relationship with Amiot as he manufactured military aircraft. When Paris was finally liberated from the Nazis in 1944 Chanel was investigated for collaborating with the enemy, but was never prosecuted due to a lack of evidence.

Canadian Jewish News

German-Canadian Holocaust denier and former Green Party of Canada candidate Monika Schaefer was arrested on Jan. 3 in Munich, reportedly while attending the trial of a lawyer accused of Holocaust denial. According to an open letter written by her brother Alfred Schaefer – a German-Canadian who was also charged last year in Germany for criminal incitement due to his anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying activities – his sister was attending the trial of Holocaust-denier Sylvia Stolz, when she was arrested during a recess in the proceedings ... In the 2016 YouTube video, Monika Schaefer – a musician from Jasper, Alta. – referred to the Holocaust as “the biggest and most pernicious and persistent lie in all of history.”

Alissa Wilkinson - Vox

... Oldman is excellent in the movie, playing a jolly, idiosyncratic, sometimes conflicted version of the British prime minister. But the movie Oldman is in isn’t as good as his performance ... Its director is more interested in myth-spinning than retreading history ... That Underground scene, as it turns out, is both heartwarming and totally fabricated. Watching it, it’s hard not to feel your heart swell with courage. Yes! We must stand against the fascists, and it’s the ordinary people who must hold their leaders accountable ... Throughout the film, Churchill and a few others struggle with whether it’s okay to fudge the truth in order to bolster the spirits of the population, a quandary made concrete in a radio address from Churchill to the nation that plainly misrepresents the facts of the war for reasons of public morale.

The Times of Israel

... Now a museum to the country’s wartime savior, this month saw the opening of a new permanent exhibition on Churchill’s relationship with the Middle East. Supported by the Balfour 100 committee, it offers a timely — if at times incomplete — account of the key role played by Churchill in honoring the pledges made by Britain in 1917 to help establish a Jewish national home in Palestine ... As Colonial Secretary in the early 1920s, Churchill would “play a key role in translating [the Balfour Declaration] into policy.” ... In 1941, he wrote to the War Cabinet of his hopes for the postwar establishment of “the Jewish State of Western Palestine,” which would have the opportunity “for expansion in the desert regions to the southwards which they would gradually reclaim.”

Daniel Mandel – HNN

... Michael J. Cohen, Professor of History Emeritus at Bar-Ilan University, has contributed the contention that Winston Churchill’s support for Jews and Zionism is a myth ... Cohen wrote in the epilogue of his book that there is a “glaring anomaly” between Churchill’s wartime expressions of sympathy for the Jews, and the “absence, almost, of any practical measures on their behalf.” This strikes me as a false, defective verdict. I would argue that Churchill’s reputation as friend of the Jews and Zionism withstands scrutiny. Despite some undoubted inconsistencies, the pattern is clear: Churchill admired the Jews, believed they contributed to Britain and Western civilization, and sought to support their national aspirations.

Theodore J. O’Keefe - Institute for Historical Review

… Irving went on us describe several sources of secret financial support enjoyed by Churchill. In addition to money supplied by the Czech government, Churchill was financed during the "wilderness years" between 1930 and 1939 by a slush fund emanating from a secret pressure group known as the Focus … Irving then revealed further details of Churchill's financing by the Czechs, as well as the facts of Churchill’s financial rescue by a wealthy banker of Austro-Jewish origins, Sir Henry Strakosch … Irving then gave a detailed account of the cynical maneuverings of Churchill to escalate the aerial campaign against Germany's civilian population …

Pepe Escobar - Asia Times

... If we consider the Islamic Republic experiment, a sort of “theocracy with democratic characteristics,” the most striking element is how deeply rooted it is in the country ... What is happening now in Iran is that legitimate protests related to economic hardships have been hijacked by the usual suspects in a move to influence the minority. After all, Rouhani’s administration is comparatively liberal compared to the populist Ahmadinejad government. So, what we have is a concerted attempt to turn legitimate protests into a “revolutionary” movement with the aim of bringing about a regime change. In all practical purposes, this would be civil war. Well, it will simply not work. Anyone familiar with Iran knows the country’s civil society is far too sophisticated to fall into such a crude and obvious trap.

Philip Giraldi

... Israel has consistently been able to make whoever is in the White House dance to its tune without suffering any serious consequences ... The Israeli media is reporting that the Trump and Netanyahu have signed a secret agreement to actively target and go after Iran over its alleged military programs. A war in which Americans will fight and die, not Israelis, is certainly being planned behind the scenes ... Unlike the situations with Russia and North Korea, where the United States has gotten itself maneuvered into a corner where there are actual interests at stake, there is absolutely no national interest that compels Washington to do anything for Israel ... Let’s tell it like it is. If Americans are exposed to the hard truths about Israel it is hard to imagine that they will want to associate with it in any capacity.

Reuters

A new law meant to curtail hate speech on social media in Germany is stifling free speech and making martyrs out of anti-immigrant politicians whose posts are deleted, the top-selling Bild newspaper said on Thursday. The law which took effect on Jan. 1 can impose fines of up to 50 million euros ($60 million) on sites that fail to remove hate speech promptly. Twitter has deleted anti-Muslim and anti-migrant posts by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), and blocked a satirical account that parodied Islamophobia. “Please spare us the thought police!” read a headline in Wednesday’s Bild above an article that called the law a “sin” against freedom of opinion enshrined in Germany’s constitution ... Intended to prevent radical groups from gaining influence, it was having precisely the opposite effect, [Bild Editor-in-Chief Julian Reichelt] said.

The Guardian (Britain)

Nazi war criminals held in the infamous Spandau prison after the Second World War were treated “exceedingly harshly”, and could not sleep because of constant security searchlights, according to Konrad Adenauer, West Germany’s first postwar chancellor, in a letter released by the [British] National Archives. Inmates at the Berlin jail – the running of which was shared on monthly rotation between the Allied powers of UK, US, France and Soviet Union – were also prohibited from conversing or reading, Adenauer complained to Allied officials in the letter, dated 21 June 1950 ... Adenauer’s intervention on behalf of the prisoners, which at that time included Albert Speer and Rudolf Hess, is among a cache of documents from the Allied administration of Berlin that have been declassified.

Review by Daniel W. Michaels – Institute for Historical Review

... In writing this “intimate look at the origins and conduct” of the 1945–1946 International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Irving has relied heavily on many hitherto neglected papers and documents ... As Irving shows [in his book, Nuremberg: The Last Battle], the victorious Allies who sat in judgment at Nuremberg were guilty of many of the same actions or crimes for which they tried (and hanged) the German defendants. Indeed, the Allies very probably outdid the Germans in crimes and atrocities ... In some cases, the Nuremberg defendants were charged with or held guilty of crimes that were actually committed by the Allies ... Irving tells the story of the Nuremberg Tribunal with great style and verve, painting a broad and vivid portrait.

Peter Van Buren - The American Conservative

... After a quarter-century of American conflict in Iraq, the U.S. seems to have less influence there than it ever did before. How did this happen? The Tweetable version: Our wars in Iraq — from Desert Storm in 1991 to the present — thrust the region into chaos while progressively erasing American dominance. Iran is picking up the pieces ... After five administrations and 26 years, the United States paid a high price for what will have to pass as a “victory.” Some 4,500 American dead, hundreds of thousands killed on the Iraqi side, and $7.9 trillion taxpayer dollars spent ... The Iraq wars changed the way we look at conflict. There would never again be a need for a formal declaration of war, such decisions now clearly were within the president’s whims and ordinations.

Eric Margolis

... Trump’s campaign to return manufacturing to America and repatriate profits held overseas makes good business sense. The ravaging of America’s once mighty industrial base to boost corporate profits was a crime against the nation by unscrupulous Wall Street bankers and short-sighted, greedy CEO’s ... Today, America’s primary business has become finance, the largely non-productive act of paper-passing that only benefits a tiny big city parasitic elite ... But the president’s mania to wreck international trade agreements and impose tariff barriers will result in diminishing America’s economic and political influence around the globe ... However, a degree of wage unfairness is the price Washington must pay for bringing lower-cost nations into America’s economic orbit.

Trita Parsi

... The current protests appear much more sporadic, with no clear leadership and with objectives that have shifted over the course of the past four days ... Frustrations with corruption and falling living standards appear to have given way to much sharper political slogans -- such as "Death to the dictator!" and "Down with the Islamic Republic!" ... The fact that reformists -- who have been at the center of most of the large-scale protests in Iran for the past two decades -- appear to be neither driving nor even particularly involved presents a new political phenomenon in Iran. The protestors likely include some disillusioned Rouhani supporters. But remember that Rouhani won re-election with 57 percent of the vote (and 70 percent voter participation) only seven months ago.

The Times of Israel

A recent Holocaust exhibition at the National Library in Tunis met with fierce opposition, with demonstrators tearing down posters and condemning what they called “propaganda” for the “decades-old myth about a genocide of the Jewish people.” In a video published by Meem Magazine on December 15, shortly after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, activists could be seen slamming the attempt to educate their “little children to get to know the history of the Jews,” according to a translation of the video published Monday by the Middle East Media Research Institute [MEMRI]. The exhibition, which was supported by the Holocaust Museum in Washington, UNESCO, the United Nations and the German Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, was the initiative of Tunisian historian Habib Kazdaghli.

RT News

After a wave of anti-Israeli protests, German authorities feel arriving refugees and migrants must be firmly reminded of the country's responsibility to the Jewish state accrued during the Nazi Holocaust. Anti-Israel and anti-US rallies and the sight of Israeli flags burned on German streets have triggered the German politicians' concerns. All people who live in Germany must understand its historical responsibility to Israel, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday at an event marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Jewish state ... Justice Minister Heiko Maas took the idea further, suggesting that the issue of Holocaust should be a central part of the German integration courses for refugees and migrants.

T. C. Williams - The New Yorker

... A demographic influx was clearly no longer confined to France’s inner suburbs and industrial regions; it was ubiquitous, and it was transforming the entire country ... In Europe, which in recent years has absorbed millions of migrants fleeing wars in the Middle East or crossing the Mediterranean from Africa, opposition to immigration is less a cohesive ideology than a welter of reactionary ideas and feelings. Xenophobic nationalism can be found on both the left and the right ... Distrust of multiculturalism and a professed interest in preserving European “purity” is often called “identitarianism” ... In Paris, left-wing intellectuals often seem reluctant to acknowledge that the recent arrival of millions of refugees in Europe, many of them impoverished, poses any complications at all.

Ian B. Warren - Institute for Historical Review

... Since the late 1960s, a relatively small but intense circle of youthful scholars, intellectuals, political theorists, activists, professors, and even a few elected parliamentarians, has been striving -- quietly, but with steadily growing influence -- to chart a future for Europe that rejects the universalism and egalitarianism of both the Soviet Marxist and American capitalist models ... No one has played a more important role in this movement than Alain de Benoist, a prolific French writer born in 1943. As the chief philosopher of the Nouvelle Droite, he serves as a kind of contemporary Diogenes in European intellectual life.

V. Hale – Breitbart

Brussels has said that Europeans must accept mass migration from the third world as the “new norm”, warning that neither walls nor policies will allow any part of the European Union to remain “homogenous and migration-free”. “It’s time to face the truth. We cannot and will never be able to stop migration,” writes EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, in a piece for Politico, published Monday entitled, “Europe’s Migrants Are Here to Stay”... Pointing to migrants from the world’s poorest countries who were granted refugee status in Europe, Avramopoulos made clear that Brussels sees asylum not as a way to offer temporary respite from war but instead as another method of permanently transplanting third world populations into EU nations.

BBC News

The Israeli government has issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment. The migrants will be given up to $3,500 for leaving within the next 90 days. They will be given the option of going to their home country or third countries. If they do not leave, the Israeli authorities have threatened that they will start jailing them from April ... A spokesperson for Israel's Population and Immigration Authority told the BBC there were currently 38,000 "infiltrators" in Israel, of whom just 1,420 were being held in detention facilities ... Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that an unchecked influx of African migrants could threaten Israel's Jewish character.

Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept

In September of last year, we noted that Facebook representatives were meeting with the Israeli government to determine which Facebook accounts of Palestinians should be deleted on the ground that they constituted “incitement.” ... Ever since, Facebook has been on a censorship rampage against Palestinian activists who protest the decades-long, illegal Israeli occupation, all directed and determined by Israeli officials ... Facebook will submit to and obey the censorship demands of governments and officials who actually wield power over it, while ignoring those who do not. That’s why declared enemies of the U.S. and Israeli governments are vulnerable to censorship measures by Facebook, whereas U.S. and Israeli officials (and their most tyrannical and repressive allies) are not ...

M. Reza Behnam - Antiwar.com

On the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, Israelis celebrated, while Palestinians mourned. British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, on November 2, 1917, signed away the ancestral home of the Palestinians in a letter assuring Britain’s Zionist community of his government’s support for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people ... A small cadre of single-minded Jewish intellectuals and businessmen in Manchester, England, used the discord and upheaval of the war to convince the British government that it would serve Britain’s wartime aims to officially sanction a Jewish homeland in Palestine ... Conspicuous in the declaration is its arrogant presumption that the British government had the right to give away another people’s land.