February 2018

Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss

With everyone talking about the Russia story again, fed by Michael Wolff’s bombshell new book [Fire and Fury] on the Trump White House, it must be pointed out that the book documents that a foreign leader not Vladimir Putin pushed one of the Trump administration’s most grievous foreign policy moves, the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the supposed capital of the Jewish people. Benjamin Netanyahu influenced that decision, and so did Trump mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. And they are also pushing Trump to end U.S. policy of opposing the Israeli occupation ... This is the great divide in U.S. foreign policy. Not over Russia; but over the extent of Israel’s influence. Realists and leftists are opposed to the Israel lobby. And realists are excommunicated by the Republicans, leftists by the Democrats.

Caitlin Johnstone - Consortium News

... America is responsible for the overwhelming majority of election interferences around the world in modern times, including an interference in Russia’s elections in the nineties that was so brazen they made a Hollywood movie about it, so clearly an environment has been created wherein the United States has declared that this acceptable. It amazes me that more people aren’t willing to call this like it is ... By asserting that it is acceptable for the CIA to meddle in other countries’ elections, the US has created an environment where that sort of thing is acceptable ... If Americans don’t like election meddling, they need to demand that their government stops doing it. As long as it remains the very worst offender in that department, the U.S. is entitled to nothing other than the entire world meddling in its elections.

New York / Daily Intelligencer

... Respondents to a national survey of registered voters were asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Black History Month. As a follow-up, they were asked if there should be a White History Month. Overall respondents favored Black History Month by a 57-18 margin, and opposed a White History Month by a 58-22 margin. Ho-hum. But if you break out responses by self-reported 2016 presidential voting, it gets more interesting. Trump voters support Black History Month by a meh 38-25 margin (Clinton voters support it 75-10). Meanwhile, a plurality of Trump voters (37-35) think we need a White History Month (Clinton voters oppose it 8-77).

Eric Margolis

... Journalists like myself who asserted that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction were fired or marginalized. I was blacklisted at CNN after the White House told the network to fire me at once. All the ‘presstitutes’, who acted as government boosters for the war, were promoted and lauded ... If this war crime was being properly litigated, Washington would likely end up being assessed something like $100 billion in damages just to replace physical infrastructure destroyed in the two wars, never mind the deaths of so many Iraqi civilians ... `Oops, I’m sorry we destroyed your country and children’ is not a sufficient mea culpa. The western leaders who engineered this criminal war against Iraq deserve to be brought to book. So far, they have gotten off scot free.

Henry Siegman - The National Interest

... The real issue raised by Trump’s declaration — the status of Israel’s borders, and not the location of Israel’s capital — is determined by international law, not by Trump’s whims nor by Israel’s unilateral actions. Clearly, East Jerusalem is on the Palestinian side of the pre-1967 Armistice line, and therefore not within Israel’s internationally recognized borders. What Trump was therefore saying to the world is that, like Netanyahu, he gives not a fig for international law. It is that disdain, and not anything else, that has utterly destroyed any possible basis for renewed peace talks.

AFP

France’s wartime leader Philippe Petain did not dishonor himself by signing the 1940 armistice that allowed Nazi forces to occupy the north of the country, former far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen says in his memoirs. Petain “was legal and legitimate,” the co-founder of the National Front (FN) party says in “Fils de la Nation” (Son of the Nation), the first volume of his memoirs set to be published on February 28. For four years after Marshal Petain — a World War I hero then aged 80 — announced France’s capitulation to Nazi Germany on June 17, 1940, he led so-called Vichy France in the center and the south of the country ... Le Pen, who in 1972 co-founded the far-right National Front now led by his daughter Marine Le Pen, adds that De Gaulle “remains for me a terrible source of suffering for France.”

Video

Remarkable footage of Parisians venting anger against Allied prisoners of war. Shortly after the Allied D-Day invasion of Normandy in June 1944, British and American soldiers who had been captured by German forces are marched through Paris, under German guard, apparently for transfer to a railroad station. Large crowds gather to watch. While most look on silently, some women and men jeer, harass, assault and even spit at the prisoners. German soldiers and French police keep Parisians from even more violent abuse of the PoWs. Silent footage. Runtime: 2:18 mins.

Politico

One of the Pentagon’s largest agencies can't account for hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending, a leading accounting firm says in an internal audit obtained by Politico ... Ernst & Young found that the Defense Logistics Agency failed to properly document more than $800 million in construction projects, just one of a series of examples where it lacks a paper trail for millions of dollars in property and equipment. Across the board, its financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums it's responsible for, the firm warned in its initial audit of the massive Pentagon purchasing agent. The audit raises new questions about whether the Defense Department can responsibly manage its $700 billion annual budget ...

Patrick J. Buchanan

... This Russian troll farm is "the equivalent (of) Pearl Harbor," says Cong. Jerrold Nadler, who would head up the House Judiciary Committee ... The Russians "are destroying our democratic process." While the Russian trolling may not equal Pearl Harbor in its violence, said Nadler, in its "seriousness, it is very much on a par" with Japan's surprise attack ... While Mueller's indictments confirm that Russians meddled in the U.S. election, what explains the shock and the fear for "our democracy"? ... What is the National Endowment for Democracy all about, if not aiding the pro-American side in foreign nations and their elections? Did America have no active role in the "color-coded revolutions" that have changed regimes from Serbia to Ukraine to Georgia?

Glenn Greenwald – The Intercept

... The claim that Russian meddling in the election is “an act of war” comparable to these events isn’t brand new. Senators from both parties, such as Republican John McCain and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, have long described Russian meddling in 2016 as an “act of war.” ... All of this underscores the serious dangers many have pointed to for more than a year about why all this unhinged rhetoric is so alarming. If you really believe that Russia — with some phishing links sent to Podesta and some fake Facebook ads and Twitter bots — committed an “act of war” of any kind, let alone one on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11, then it’s inevitable that extreme retaliatory measures will be considered and likely triggered ... This is reckless rhetoric of the most irresponsible kind ...

JTA

Billy Graham, the giant of American evangelism who was exalted by Jews for his championing of Israel at its hour of need and then condemned when a nasty anti-Semitic streak was revealed, has died ... “A lot of Jews are great friends of mine,” Graham told Nixon in 1972. “They swarm around me and are friendly to me. Because they know that I am friendly to Israel and so forth. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they’re doing to this country, and I have no power and no way to handle them.” Graham also said that the Jewish “stranglehold” on the media “has got to be broken or this country’s going down the drain.” In 2002, Graham apologized for the remarks, and Jewish community leaders accepted his apology — but the relationship would never again be the same.

J. Ditz - Antiwar

Israel’s mounting interest in Syria’s War, and in particular in picking fights with the Assad government, Iran, and any other Shi’ite factions in the country, have included reports by analysts of a growing amount of Israeli arms and ammunition flowing across the border for rebels ... Analysts say Israel is directly arming at least seven groups in the area. To be clear, no specific factions are named in any of these reports, but past reports have put Israel on the side of some very unfashionable groups, like al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which have been active in the area for some time. Israeli officials have been very public in the past saying they prefer ISIS over the Alawite government in Syria. Expressing such a preference and arming terrorists are two different things, and Israel’s effort to step up arming for Islamist groups risks regional blowback.

Mark Weber

The German soldiers of World War II have often been portrayed, both during the war and in the decades since, as simple-minded, unimaginative and brutish ... As specialists of military history who have looked into the matter agree, the men of Germany’s armed forces -- the Wehrmacht -- performed with unmatched ability and resourcefulness throughout the nearly six years of conflict ... High-ranking British military figures were similarly impressed with the skill, tenacity and daring of their adversaries. “Unfortunately we are fighting the best soldiers in the world – what men!,” exclaimed Lt. Gen. Sir Harold Alexander, commander of the 15th Army Group in Italy, in a March 1944 report to London ... It was the superiority of numbers that was ultimately decisive. The Second World War in Europe was a victory of quantity over quality.

John Glaser – Cato Institute

Neatly defining President Trump’s foreign policy has never been easy, characterized as it is by contradictory impulses, fragmentary ideas, and strains of paradox. However, on the two most arresting national security issues at the top of Trump’s agenda — Iran and North Korea — his approach is plain: aggressive confrontation is good; diplomacy is bad. The problem is that, even if Trump himself is not determined to go to war with either of these countries, he is making it far more likely ... Unfortunately, the president is as much a product as he is a driver of America’s political and media zeitgeist, which has inflated the threat from Iran and North Korea to pathological proportions. In reality, neither regime poses a clear and present danger to the security of the United States, certainly not one requiring military action.

Carol Swain - American Thinker

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) says its primary mission is to fight hatred, teach tolerance, and seek justice. These are noble goals for most Americans, but this is not a noble organization. It is the exact opposite. Given the SPLC’s power and influence over the media and members of Congress, this once highly-regarded civil rights organization deserves fresh scrutiny. Here are seven reasons why the SPLC fails to serve the public interest: The SPLC ignores basic standards of scientific research in selecting and classifying hate groups and extremists. The SPLC’s definition of “hate” is vague ... The SPLC attacks and smears mainstream public service organizations, including churches, ministries, and various pro-family entities.

Chris Hedges - Truthdig

The abolition of net neutrality and the use of algorithms by Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter to divert readers and viewers from progressive, left-wing and anti-war sites, along with demonizing as foreign agents the journalists who expose the crimes of corporate capitalism and imperialism, have given the corporate state the power to destroy freedom of speech ... AlterNet’s search traffic is down 71 percent, Consortium News is down 72 percent, Global Research and Truthdig have seen declines. And the situation appears to be growing worse. The reductions coincided with the introduction of algorithms imposed by Google to fight “fake news.” ... In the name of combating “fake news,” Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are censoring left-wing, progressive and anti-war sites.

Associated Press

German police are investigating a British woman for suspected incitement after she questioned the Holocaust during a far-right protest in the eastern city of Dresden. A spokeswoman for Dresden police says Australian-born Michele Renouf is one of two people being investigated for remarks made at a neo-Nazi rally Saturday commemorating those killed in the 1945 Allied bombing of the city. Videos of the rally posted online show Renouf saying the only Holocaust perpetrated in Europe was against German civilians ... Dresden police spokeswoman Jana Ulbricht said Sunday that officers ordered the rally dissolved after determining that two speakers had broken the law.

i24 News (Israel)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly condemned the Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki's comments that Jewish perpetrators were also responsible for the Holocaust as "outrageous" on Saturday ... Morawiecki attempted to defend Poland’s controversial new Holocaust law at the Munich Security Conference, explaining that it would not be criminal to say that “there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators” in the Holocaust ... Bergman told i24NEWS that for the Polish leader to deliver such statements at an international conference was "outrageous", amounting to a public "Holocaust denial” ... Israeli officials' reactions also started pouring in on Saturday, with Yair Lapid, parliament member and head of the Yesh Atid party, insisting again on the immediate recall of Israel’s ambassador in Poland ...

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News

Russia reacted seriously to yesterday's Knesset bill to recognize the Ukrainian genocide in the 1930's advanced by Druze MK Akram Hasson (Kulanu) and marking the Holodomor ("to kill by starvation"), the mass famine in Ukraine between 1932-3 in which millions were killed. The Russian Embassy reacted by saying the bill "sadly distorts history". Meanwhile, the Russians are applying additional pressure on the media ... The Ukrainian wholesale murder in the 1930s perpetrated by Stalin is an upsetting issue for the Russians ... Moscow over the years has exerted heavy pressure on many countries, including Israel, not to recognize the genocide ... Even though the law is only in its infancy and it is not certain whether it will be promoted, Moscow is already angry at Israel.

Philip Weiss

... Whatever you think of Russia’s actual influence over the 2016 election (I’m dubious), the running sideshow to the story has been Israel’s presence in our politics. As the Russia caper unfolds breathlessly, there have also been revelations about Israel’s interference in policymaking. But of course that interference is not a scandal worthy of investigation; that interference never draws the wrath of the liberal press. Here are three recent incidents that no one is investigating ... Many of those emails document the Clinton campaign’s deference in foreign policy positioning to Israel and its advocates ... Trump was of course involved in the same game: trying to please pro-Israel donors.

John Glaser – The American Conservative

... As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained last month, the Trump administration has committed to an indefinite military presence of roughly 2,000 U.S. boots on the Syrian battlefield. Are these troops present at the behest of the host government? Certainly not. Has Congress ratified their deployment in some way? Guess again. Are they there preempting an imminent threat of attack on America? Nope. Are they under the mandate of a UN Security Council resolution? No. In fact, the U.S. military presence in Syria has no legal authorization whatsoever.

VOA News

The third Monday of February is known as Presidents’ Day in the United States. For nearly 100 years, America honored its first president, George Washington, on February 22. That was his birthday. But the date was not a national holiday until 1968. That year, the U.S. Congress passed a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The measure meant that some public holidays would always fall on a Monday. Today, the country honors its first president on the third Monday in February -- and not on Washington’s actual birthday. The holiday is now commonly called Presidents’ Day ... The Uniform Monday Holiday Act gives workers a three-day weekend. It also gives shops and marketers a chance to have special Presidents’ Day sales.

JNS

Scandinavian Jewish leaders have slammed proposed legislation in Iceland that would ban ritual circumcision of boys in the country. In an open letter issued by the Jewish Communities in the Nordic Countries, which represents Jewish communities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, the Jewish leaders said that the proposed ban would make Iceland one of the only countries in the world “to ban one of the most central, if not the most central rite in the Jewish tradition in modern times” ... “But it would not be the first time in the long tradition of the Jewish people. Throughout history, more than one oppressive regime has tried to suppress our people and eradicate Judaism by prohibiting our religious practices.”

D. Sharkov - Newsweek

... When the battle ended, on February 2 [1943], as many as two million were dead on both sides, and Stalingrad was a battered shell of a city. But it also marked the first major German defeat, the moment the tide began to turn against the Nazis ... Seventy-five years later, Stalingrad retains a near-sacred status in Russian life, where decades of Soviet propaganda have fed from memories of the dogged battle on the banks of the Volga ... Victory in Europe Day, which marks the end of hostilities in Europe in 1945, has become Russia’s second biggest national holiday, commemorated with military rallies and speeches as it was in the days of the Soviet Union.

Video

Dr. Goebbels’ addresses a mass rally in Berlin on Feb. 18, 1943, just a few weeks after the catastrophic defeat of German and allied forces in the Battle of Stalingrad. The Reich Minister frankly explains the mortal danger that threatens all of Europe. Germany could lose the war, he solemnly warns. To counter the formidable Soviet threat from the East, he goes on, the nation must adopt stern and radical “total war” measures. With English narration and subtitles. Runtime: 2:41 minutes.

Mark Weber

Apart from Hitler himself, perhaps the most fascinating figure of Third Reich Germany is the regime’s chief publicist and spokesman, Joseph Goebbels. He is widely portrayed as a master of lies and deceitful propaganda. But this familiar image, which is particularly entrenched in the United States, is itself a propaganda falsehood.

James Carden - The Nation

In mid-January, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unveiled the administration’s new policy with concern to Syria. In a widely covered speech at Stanford, Tillerson declared an open-ended commitment of US forces in that country ... Currently there are, in the absence of congressional authorization and in violation of international law (since the United States was not attacked by Syria, nor are US troops there at the invitation of the sovereign Syrian government), an estimated 2,000 American troops based in Syria ... California Democrat Ro Khanna told The Nation on Tuesday that he believes “deploying US troops in Syria to counter the threat of Iran and see the end of the Assad government without congressional authorization is unconstitutional.”

Stephanie Savell

... Once you get past the shocking numbers, however, it becomes far harder to get media (or anyone else’s) attention for America’s wars. Certainly, the human and political costs in distant lands are of remarkably little interest here ... Do Americans really not care? ... In truth, this has become something like a fact of life in America today, one that’s only been made more extreme by the media’s full-time fascination with President Donald Trump ... We continue to face a grim reality of this twenty-first-century moment, one that long preceded the presidency of Donald Trump: the lack of connection between the American public (myself once included) and the wars being fought in our names in distant lands. 

Paul Gottfried

A controversy surrounds the new Polish law just signed by Polish President Andrzej Duda that criminalizes Holocaust denial and Holocaust trivialization but also extends the prohibition to anyone who ascribes Nazi atrocities to the “Polish government or Polish nation.” ... I certainly don’t find the Polish law any worse than the repeated attempts to muzzle open discussion by late modern Western democracies ... All of our nice, acceptable “liberal democratic” neighbors and allies have trampled on “the principle of free speech” so often and so blatantly that by now they’ve eviscerated it in the name of anti-fascism, sensitivity to designated minorities, or “overcoming the past.” Why has our State Department never exhibited the slightest “concern” about these earlier, even more glaring encroachments on free speech and free inquiry?

J. Mchangama - Foreign Policy

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

C. Woody – Business Insider

... On February 13, 14, and 15, 1945, more than 1,200 British and American heavy bombers dropped nearly 4,000 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the city. The intensity of the bombing devastated the city's historic center. The fire that raged during the bombing made superheated air rise with such force that it created a vacuum on the ground, ripping trees out of the ground, sucking people into the fires, and suffocating those spared the flames. Roughly 25,000 people, many of them civilians and refugees, were killed, and more than 75,000 buildings were destroyed .. Below, you can see some of the devastation wrought by Allied forces ...

Review by Richard J. Evans - The Guardian (Britain)

... There were hesitations about breaking agreed and, in effect, legally binding international sanctions against the use of air power to attack civilians. Hitler explicitly ruled out "terror bombing," and deployed the Luftwaffe to clear the way for the invasion of the British Isles by destroying the RAF – and then, when the job was done (as the Germans wrongly thought it had been by mid-September), to weaken the British economy in support of the blockade ... Yet [Britain’s bomber wing commander] Harris went beyond this to attack civil society in Germany itself, hoping that the devastation of its cities would lead to a popular uprising against the regime. He boasted regularly of the total destruction of German towns and cities by Bomber Command and its American allies ...    

Review by Keith Lowe - The Telegraph (Britain)

... Bombing was not exclusively a German phenomenon, it was a fact of life for almost every country on the Continent. Nearly a third of the bombs that the Allied air forces dropped on Europe fell not on Germany but on countries they were supposed to be liberating. France suffered as many casualties to bombing as Britain did during the Blitz ... The disproportionate nature of such campaigns caused enormous resentment among people who felt that they were being “bombed into liberation” ... Overy’s greatest criticism is reserved for the attempt by the Allies to terrorise the people of Germany into open revolt through the non-stop pounding of their cities. Not only did this quite consciously cross a moral and legal line, but it did so without any evidence that it would work.

Trita Parsi

In today’s Middle East, when parties look for a greater power to pressure regional actors not to escalate, they don’t turn to Washington. They turn to Moscow. With leverage over Israel, Iran, and Syria, Russia is in a unique position to stop the wider conflict that threatens to erupt ... And although the military situation could yet spin our of control, there are reasons to believe that the fight may turn political instead. At the root of the tensions is the shifting regional balance of power. Over the past fifteen years, Israel has steadily seen its own maneuverability in the region recede, while Iran’s has been bolstered ... Similarly, major powers in Europe, Russia, and China began treating Iran as a legitimate regional actor whose involvement and buy-in was necessary for stability.

Jonathan Marshall - Consortium News

President Donald Trump’s latest $4.4 trillion budget proposal calls for boosting military spending by nearly $200 billion over the next two years, and would balloon the national debt by more than $7 trillion over the next decade ... The recent budget accord calls for feeding the military about $80 billion more this year, and an additional $16 billion more the next. The increase alone exceeds Russia’s entire military budget ($69 billion in 2016, the most recent year for which comparative data are available). Even without these increases, the United States already spends more than twice as much on its military as China and Russia combined ... With some 800 military bases stationed in 172 countries, the United States is far and away the greatest empire the world has known.

J. Ray – Gallup

One year into Donald Trump's presidency, the image of U.S. leadership is weaker worldwide than it was under his two predecessors. Median approval of U.S. leadership across 134 countries and areas stands at a new low of 30 percent, according to a new Gallup report ... Out of 134 countries, U.S. leadership approval ratings declined substantially -- by ten percentage points or more -- in 65 countries that include many longtime U.S. allies and partners ... The losses in U.S. leadership approval may have implications on U.S. influence abroad. With its stable approval rating of 41 percent, Germany has replaced the U.S. as the top-rated global power in the world. The U.S. is now on nearly even footing with China (31%) and barely more popular than Russia (27%) ...

The Guardian (Britain)

Global confidence in US leadership has fallen to a new low, and the country now ranks below China in worldwide approval ratings, according to a new Gallup poll. The survey of opinion in 134 countries showed a record collapse in approval for the US role in the world, from 48 percent under Obama to 30 percent after one year of Donald Trump – the lowest level Gallup has recorded since beginning its global leadership poll over a decade ago ... Germany is now seen as a global leader by many more people (41% of the sample), with China in second place on 31 percent. Russia has 27% approval for its global role according to the poll.

L. Brinded - Quartz

Germany is creating a new position, as part of new legislation, to combat discrimination against the Jewish community. On Thursday (Jan. 18), Germany’s lower house of parliament (Bundestag) voted to create the role of anti-semitism commissioner. The commissioner is tasked with being a point of contact for Jewish groups, acting as a middleman for battling discrimination on a federal, state, and local level. They will also coordinate with the government on implementing certain measures to carry this out, which will include ramping up the education and awareness of current and historical forms of anti-Semitism ... The legislation notes that Germany has a “special responsibility” to fight anti-Semitism ... The Central Council of Jews in Germany welcomed the new commissioner role ...

Video – Democracy Now!

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

P. Harrison - Institute for Historical Review

... Kevin MacDonald, a professor of psychology at California State University at Long Beach, has published a remarkable volume [Separation and its Discontents] that tackles head-on what may be the most diligently suppressed question of our time: Why do people hate Jews? In contrast to the generally available treatments of this issue, MacDonald has produced a study of rare, even shocking forthrightness and scope ... MacDonald's brilliant, well-referenced study, with its bounty of eye-opening facts and insights, is the most important work on the perpetually troubling "Jewish question" to appear in many years ... Without an understanding of the real Jewish role in history, we remain dangerously ignorant of how the world actually works.

RT News (Russia)

German journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider. “I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service,” Ulfkotte told Russia Insider ... Ulfkotte reveals all this and more in his book 'Bought Journalists,' where he mentions that he feels ashamed for what he has done in the past ... “I was a journalist for 25 years and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.”

C. Bausman - Russia Insider

... His book caused a sensation in Germany, was a best-seller despite being completely ignored by the same media he was implicating, and was a major factor in turning German public opinion against the Ukraine war. Ulfkotte's book was extraordinary because it named names in the German establishment ... The English translation of German journalist Udo Ulfkotte’s best-selling book, Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists) appears to have been suppressed throughout North America and Europe ... Gekaufte Journalisten was almost completely ignored by mainstream German news media following its release in 2014. “No German mainstream journalist is allowed to report about [my] book,” Ulfkotte observed. “Otherwise he or she will be sacked. So we have a bestseller now that no German journalist is allowed to write or talk about.”

Philip Giraldi

How many Americans are aware that every two years the United States military engages in large scale exercises with the Israeli Defense Forces that simulate wars against Israel’s neighbors? Three thousand American soldiers are in Israel right now involved in maneuvers that are focused on countering a missile attack from Lebanon ... The truly most interesting aspects of the current exercises in Israel is that the United States has never had any formal alliance with Israel, and has absolutely no national interest in becoming involved in Israel’s wars at all ... That Washington is dancing to the tune being played by Israel to dismember the Middle East makes the American government an accomplice when the war actually does break out. And it will undoubtedly also have to do much of the fighting.

Patrick J. Buchanan

“The Western democratic system is hailed by the developed world as near perfect and the most superior political system to run a country,” mocked China’s official news agency. “However, what’s happening in the United States today will make more people worldwide reflect on the viability and legitimacy of such a chaotic political system.” There is a worldwide audience for what Beijing had to say about the shutdown of the U.S. government, for there is truth in it ... Less and less do nations look to the world’s greatest democracy, the United States, as a model of the system to best preserve and protect what is most precious to them.

UPI

... A new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities concluded that the U.S. government represents not the interests of the majority of citizens but those of the rich and powerful ... The resulting data empirically verifies that U.S. policies are determined by the economic elite. "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence," says the peer-reviewed study.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Harrowing footage from World War Two showing the annihilation of the German city of Dresden by Allied forces has resurfaced on the anniversary of the bombings which killed up to 25,000 people. Video from 1945, shown as part of an American news report, shows the fearsome bomb attacks undertaken by the [British] RAF [air force] on the night of February 13 ... At the start of the clip, with the American narrator describing the Allied attacks, British bombers are seen high above the Saxony city. Dresden is then seen at night, with the aerial view showing the terrifying sound and light of the explosions... The narrator said the Allied airmen were 'linking up their attacks with Marshal Stalin's army'. The bombings were also intended to cause a state of alarm and panic in the civilian population and weaken the German war effort.

Leo McKinstry -- New Statesman (Britain)

The British government has long denied that wartime air raids on German cities were intended to kill as many civilians as possible. In fact, the raids, led by Arthur Harris, were motivated largely by a desire to hit back and destroy indiscriminately / … “The aim of [Britain’s] Bomber Command should be unambiguously and publicly stated," he [Harris] wrote in 1943. "That aim is the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany." He wanted the government to declare its commitment to "the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale", and he expressed his contempt of the official eagerness "to downplay the obliteration of German cities and their inhabitants".

BBC Breakfast (Britain) - Video

Victor Gregg, 95 years old, movingly recalls the firebombing of Dresden. When the city was attacked by British and American bombers in mid-February 1945, he was being held there as a British prisoner of war. During this touching guest appearance on a morning television show, he relates that it took him 40 years to get over what he experienced and saw in this “evil” attack. Runtime: 7:29 mins.

Michigan State University – ScienceDaily

African American people who identify more strongly with their racial identity are generally happier, according to a study led by psychology researchers at Michigan State University (MSU). The study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), appears in the current issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology ... “This is the first empirical study we know of that shows a relationship between racial identity and happiness," said Stevie C.Y. Yap, doctoral candidate in psychology at MSU and lead researcher on the project. Previous research has found a relationship between racial identity and favorable outcomes such as self-esteem, Yap said, but none has made the link with happiness.

Associated Press

It’s the biggest budget the Pentagon has ever seen: $700 billion. That’s far more in defense spending than America’s two nearest competitors, China and Russia, and will mean the military can foot the bill for thousands more troops, more training, more ships and a lot else. And next year it would rise to $716 billion ... The budget bill that President Donald Trump signed Friday includes huge spending increases for the military: The Pentagon will get $94 billion more this budget year than last — a 15.5 percent jump ... The enormous increases in defense spending agreed to by lawmakers on Friday go beyond what Trump ask for ... The biggest winners in the military buildup are the country’s largest defense contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics, that spend millions of dollars each year lobbying Congress.

Patrick J. Buchanan

Candidate Donald Trump may have promised to extricate us from Middle East wars, once ISIS and al-Qaida were routed, yet events and people seem to be conspiring to keep us endlessly enmeshed ... Has President Trump thought through where we are going with this deepening commitment in Syria, where we have only 2,000 troops and no allies but the Kurds, while on the other side is the Syrian army, Hezbollah, Russia and Iran, and Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? ... What outcome would justify another U.S. war in a region where all the previous wars in this century have left us bleeding, bankrupt, divided and disillusioned? When he was running, Donald Trump seemed to understand this.

Marcus Alethia -- The Occidental Observer

... From my point of view, what is “best for the Jews” is to realize that while Jewish elites have been pushing a corrosive and destructive agenda for 50 years or more, the rest of us are under no obligation to support it. Being Jewish doesn’t mean one has to be a leftist or multiculturalist booster, or work to disenfranchise White majorities in traditionally White countries ... In my view, in 2018 what’s good for the Jews is for us to stop thinking about what’s good for the Jews and start thinking about the right to self-determination and survival for the people we live amongst: the people who have facilitated the most stunning successes of our tribe’s history in diaspora to date, Americans, Europeans, and people of European descent.

David Cole - Taki’s Mag

... When people on the far-right say “JQ” [Jewish Question], they’re referring not just to an overarching conspiracy theory, but a worldview. The JQ is a way of interpreting events in an easy and comprehensive way: The Jews are behind everything! ... The logical conclusion of JQ theory is that whites are so weak that a tiny group of people, using nothing more than words and money, can subjugate the entire race, stifle its ambitions, turn its women into whores, and use its men as soldiers to fight “proxy wars.” ... Keep in mind, my beef with JQers is not that they dare to say negative things about Jews. I do that myself (and not just Jews, but blacks, whites, Latinos, and, well, everyone else). The problem is, the JQers take reasonable gripes and turn them into something fantastical.

R. H. S. Crossman -- Esquire magazine

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

K. Reilly – Time

A Minnesota school district is removing To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn from its required reading list because they contain racial slurs. Both books have been staples on school reading lists in the U.S. for decades, but school leaders in Duluth, Minn., said the use of racial slurs in both books has made many students uncomfortable. While the books will still be available in Duluth schools as an option for students to read individually, they won’t be required next school year ... The decision was praised by the local chapter of the NAACP. “Our kids don’t need to read the ‘N’ word in school,” Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter ...

EJP

The Israeli foreign ministry said Sunday that Israeli diplomats in France would boycott the ceremonial opening of the Israeli Film Festival in Paris in May, after festival organizers rejected a ministry “suggestion” not to feature the film Foxtrot to open the festival. The film, directed by Samuel Maoz and starring Israeli actors Lior Ashkenazi and Sarah Adler, is the story of a Tel Aviv couple who receive news that their son, an IDF soldier, has been killed in the line of duty. Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev has been a strident critic of the film due to its portrayal of Israeli soldiers who conspire to cover up the murder of four Arab youths. The film won the Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival last September, prompting a furious condemnation from Regev, who has said the story “slanders” IDF soldiers.

EJP

The German government and the Conference for Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) reached an agreement over a one-time compensation payment for Jewish Nazi victims who lived in Algeria between 1940 and 1942 ... At the time, Algeria was a French colony and controlled by the Vichy regime, which was allied to Nazi Germany. The Vichy government enforced strict anti-Semitic laws, stripped Jews of their French citizenship and prohibited them from working in government and in certain professions. Moreover, Jewish pupils were expelled from state schools.

CNBC

The United States has witnessed a massive collapse in public faith in its institutions, according to a survey released Monday. The last year has seen an aggregate 37 percent slump in trust across government, media, businesses and non-government organizations (NGOs) in the U.S., the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer report said. Of all 28 countries measured, the U.S. saw the biggest fall by some margin. The Edelman survey offers an annual snapshot of a country's trust in its four main institutions. Its authors said the trust decline in the U.S. is the steepest ever measured among the "general population," and that among the "informed public" trust had also imploded. “The United States is enduring an unprecedented crisis of trust," said Richard Edelman, president and CEO of the Edelman Trust, in the report.

Xinhua (China) / China Daily

The Chinese government scored the highest among the governments of 27 countries on public trust, while the United States saw a massive decline, according to the results of a global survey. About 84 percent of the surveyed Chinese people said they have trust in the government, beating the rates in all other countries measured, the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer survey found. In the US, only 33 percent of the public expressed trust their government, down 14 percentage points from a year earlier, registering the biggest trust loss among the countries surveyed. On government leadership, 68 percent people said they believed the government in China could lead the country to a better future. Only 15 percent of the American people said they expect the government to achieve this.

Eric Margolis

Considering that a nuclear conflict over North Korea appeared imminent in recent weeks, the winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea, is a most welcome distraction – and might even deter a major war on the peninsula ... All this drama is happening as the Trump White House is advocating giving North Korea a `bloody nose.’ Meaning a massive bombing campaign that could very likely include nuclear weapons ... It’s hard to say how close the US was to attacking North Korea. Trump certainly backed himself into a corner by all his foolish threats to unleash ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea. The Olympics delayed the rush to war against North Korea. But once they are over, the war drums will resume beating.

BBC News

Israel says it has inflicted huge damage on Syrian air defences after one of its fighter jets was brought down during a raid over Syria. The response was the "most significant attack" of its kind against Syria since the 1982 Lebanon war, said senior Israeli air force general Tomer Bar. The F-16 jet went down during a mission that followed an Iranian drone launch into Israeli territory, Israel says. The two pilots parachuted to safety before the crash in northern Israel. Israel says it responded with a second wave of strikes on both Syrian and Iranian military targets operating inside Syria. Israeli air strikes in Syria are not unusual, BBC Middle East correspondent Tom Bateman says, but the loss of an Israeli fighter jet marks a serious escalation.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Abraham Lincoln is honored as “The Great Emancipator,” as a champion of equal rights for all, regardless of race, and as the president who waged war to “free the slaves.” In fact, he sought to make the US an all-white republic that would be “an outlet for free white people everywhere, the world over.” He supported ambitious efforts to resettle or “colonize” blacks in Africa or central America. A common mistake in trying to learn from the past is to evaluate the behavior and motives of people in history on the basis of attitudes and values that prevail in the present.

Associated Press

The U.S. has no evidence to confirm reports from aid groups and others that the Syrian government has used the deadly chemical sarin on its citizens, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday. ”We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. “We do not have evidence of it.” He said he was not rebutting the reports. “We’re looking for evidence of it, since clearly we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions,” Mattis said. Syrian President Bashar Assad denies his government has used chemical weapons. Mattis says it is clear that Assad’s government has weaponized and used chlorine gas in the Syrian civil war.

Associated Press

A Northern California school district is investigating how a science project correlating low intelligence with racial groups was on full display at a science fair, where it drew outrage from some students, parents and staff. The project by a Sacramento high school student enrolled in an elite magnet program, titled "Race and IQ," questioned whether certain races lack the intelligence for the program's academically challenging coursework ... His report concluded that the lower average IQs "of blacks, Southeast Asians, and non-white Hispanics" means they were not as likely as "non-Hispanic whites and Northeast Asians" to get into the academically rigorous program. He said the test results justified the racial imbalance in the program.

G. Greenwald and A. Fishman - The Intercept

... There is a very coordinated and well-financed campaign led by Israel and its supporters literally to criminalize political activism against Israeli occupation, based on the particular fear that the worldwide campaign of Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment, or BDS ... is succeeding ... This trend to outlaw activism against the decades-long Israeli occupation ... has permeated multiple Western nations and countless institutions within them ... In the U.S., unbeknownst to many, there are similar legislative proscriptions on such activism, and a pending bill would strengthen the outlawing of BDS ... This censorship effort to ban BDS and other forms of Israel criticism continues to grow, in multiple countries around the world.

Brenton Sanderson - Occidental Observer

... Intended for a mainly Jewish readership, the book is essentially an apologia for Jewish communist militants in Eastern Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century ... Knowing that outright denial of the pivotal Jewish role in the Bolshevik revolution and the murderous regimes it spawned is intellectually untenable, a growing number of Jewish historians concede the point, but insist this leading role was morally justified because it was essentially “defensive” in nature ... In other words, tens of millions may have died because of the actions of Jewish communist militants, but their hearts were pure ... Revolutionary Yiddishland is another example of that incredibly prolific literary genre: Jewish apologetic historiography.

R. Bergman – The New York Times

... As a reporter in Israel, I have interviewed hundreds of people in its intelligence and defense establishments and studied thousands of classified documents that revealed a hidden history, surprising even in the context of Israel’s already fierce reputation. ... In my reporting, I found that since World War II, Israel has used assassination and targeted-killing more than any other country in the West, in many cases endangering the lives of civilians ... No target thwarted, vexed and bedeviled the Israeli assassination apparatus more than Yasir Arafat, the charismatic P.L.O. leader who died in 2004. Sometimes he would simply escape, and sometimes the officials overseeing an effort would call it off because the target could not be confirmed or because the price in civilian lives was deemed too high.

EJP

Several members of the parliament of Iceland have backed a bill calling for a ban of the circumcision of young boys in the country. The bill would impose imprisonment of up to six years on offenders. The text was proposed by Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, a member of the Progressive Party, which is in the government coalition of Iceland. Among other individuals presenting the bill are members of the Pirate party, the Left Greens, which is also in coalition, and the People’s Party. In the bill, the only exception for circumcising a boy would be precisely to protect a child’s health.

EJP

Will Bulgaria’s government ban an annual neo-Nazi march in Sofia in honor of Hristo Lukov, a notorious Bulgarian anti-Semite whose movement helped the Nazis send more than 11,300 Jews to their deaths in Treblinka? The march is scheduled for February 13. Extremists from across Europe are expected to flock to Sofia and Nazi symbols put on display in the heart of the Bulgarian capital. Marchers in dark clothing shout vile slogans while parading through the city with torches. On Friday, World Jewish Congress (WJC) CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and handed him a petition signed by 175,000 people worldwide requesting that the Bulgarian government issue an administrative ban on the march.

Daily Mail (Britain)

... One of the enduring narratives of World War II is that during the invasion of the Third Reich, British and American troops largely behaved well, and it was the soldiers of the Soviet Union's Red Army who raped hundreds of thousands of German females, aged from eight to 80. However, a new book published in Germany makes the shocking and disturbing claim that the Americans raped a staggering 190,000 women in the decade from the invasion until West Germany became a sovereign country in 1955. In When The Soldiers Came, historian Professor Miriam Gebhardt also suggests the British raped 45,000 German women, and the French a further 50,000 ... Is it really possible that the numbers are so high?... Although France was an ally, that did not stop U.S. troops from raping an estimated 3,600 French women.

Der Spiegel (Germany)

... German historian Miriam Gebhardt, well known in Germany for her book about leading feminist Alice Schwarzer and the feminist movement, has now published a new volume casting doubt on the accepted version of America's role in German postwar history ... Gebhardt believes that members of the US military raped as many as 190,000 German women by the time West Germany regained sovereignty in 1955, with most of the assaults taking place in the months immediately following the US invasion of Nazi Germany ... Studies in recent years have shed light on incidents involving GIs plundering churches, murdering Italian civilians, killing German prisoners of war and raping women, even as they advanced across France.

Eric Margolis

... Why on earth are at least 2,000 US troops mixed up in this fracas in darkest Syria? Because the pro-Israel neocons in Washington, who pretty much run US foreign policy these days, are determined to have revenge for the defeat of US-backed rebel forces in Syria. So it’s once more into the breach near Afrin and the town Manbij though America has zero national interests in Syria. The US first tried to overthrow Syria’s governments in Damascus in 1948 because it was too independent and flirting with the Soviets. Today’s intervention is part of Israel’s plan to fragment Syria and gobble up its water and fertile land resources.

Deutsche Welle (Germany)

The Trump administration is signaling US plans to keep troops in Syria for the foreseeable future for a mission that extends well beyond the defined goal of defeating the "Islamic State" (IS). Any mission creep in Syria raises questions about violations of international and American law, as well as the trajectory of the United States' multi-trillion dollar 17-year global war on terror that has extended to dozens of countries with no end in sight ... Unlike Russia and Iran, key backers of the Assad regime, the United States is not in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government, which accuses Washington of "aggression on Syria's sovereignty." ... But critics say the US strategy looks a lot like the Trump administration is committed to a never-ending war in Syria, with the IS threat simply a cover for a continued military presence.

Lawrence Wilkerson

Fifteen years ago this week [Feb. 5, 2003], Colin Powell, then the secretary of state, spoke at the United Nations to sell pre-emptive war with Iraq. As his chief of staff, I helped Secretary Powell paint a clear picture that war was the only choice ... Just over a month ago, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said that the administration had “undeniable” evidence that Iran was not complying with Security Council resolutions regarding its ballistic missile program and Yemen ... It’s astonishing how similar that moment was to Mr. Powell’s 2003 presentation on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — and how the Trump administration’s methods overall match those of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney ... So far, news organizations have largely failed to refute false narratives coming out of the Trump White House on Iran.

The Times of Israel

In a 1970 article, pioneering Polish-Jewish historian Szymon Datner estimated that 200,000 Jews died at the hands of Poles during World War II. Attempting to flee the Germans’ cattle cars and camps, they found their deaths after being handed over to the authorities, informed upon while in hiding, or through murder by their Polish neighbors ... In recent years, however, researchers have uncovered increasing evidence of a darker side to the interactions of Jews and Poles during WWII. And their work has been met with growing criticism and outright rejection by the many Poles who are under the impression that their forefathers acted entirely honorably during the war.

The Times of Israel

American Jewish leaders are bracing themselves for a documentary series made by the Al Jazeera network expected to claim that pro-Israel groups in Washington are helping Israel to identify and discredit US citizens whom they see as anti-Israel, including supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] campaign. Senior pro-Israel activists in the US capital were surprised last week to receive a request by the network for comment on the documentary after having received what they claimed was a promise from the Qatari authorities that the series would not see the light of day, the Haaretz daily reported Thursday.

Peter Bradshaw - The Guardian (Britain)

... This new sentimental/ picturesque addition to the cult of Winston, scripted by historian and author Alex von Tunzelmann and directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, is more interesting than it could have been. As jowl-quiveringly portrayed by Brian Cox, Churchill betrays his private agony on the eve of the Normandy invasion of 1944. He is not portrayed as the usual indomitable war leader, but a has-been and maybe even a faintheart, objecting to the risks involved in the landings and sidelined by the actual military commander Eisenhower, played by Mad Men’s John Slattery ...

Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune

... It’s a lovely performance, and while the movie has its phony aspects, it’s never less than entertaining. “Darkest Hour” depicts Churchill’s life in 1940, as the newly installed prime minister succeeds Conservative Party statesman Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup, glowering over his mustache) amid the Nazi ravaging of Europe ... The most blatant narrative invention in “Darkest Hour” finds Churchill bailing out of his car amid heavy London traffic and taking the underground ... It’s balderdash. Yet Oldman’s wonderful here, delighting in the change of key. The scene may be balderdash, but it serves a dramatic purpose.

Patrick J. Buchanan

Our aim is to “starve the whole population — men, women, and children, old and young, wounded and sound — into submission,” said First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. He was speaking of Germany at the outset of the Great War of 1914-1918. Americans denounced as inhumane this starvation blockade that would eventually take the lives of a million German civilians ... After the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, however, the starvation blockade was not lifted until Germany capitulated to all Allied demands in the Treaty of Versailles. As late as March 1919, four months after the Germans laid down their arms, Churchill arose in Parliament to exult, “We are enforcing the blockade with rigor, and Germany is very near starvation.”

The Kansas City Star - Editorial Board

A federal judge in Topeka has ruled that Kansas cannot tell contractors what they can and cannot boycott. That would seem obvious to anyone familiar with free speech protections under the First Amendment. But last summer, Kansas passed a law requiring all those who contract with the state to certify that they are not boycotting Israel. Why? In his opinion blocking enforcement of the law while the suit by the American Civil Liberties Union continues, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree wrote that its supporters in the Kansas Legislature argued that it was intended “to stop people from antagonizing Israel.” ... A similar bill proposed in Congress, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, would criminalize such speech outright. Have we forgotten that the American Revolution grew out of boycott of British goods?

JTA

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed and finalized a law limiting rhetoric about the Holocaust, leading to a rebuke from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The United States is “disappointed,” Tillerson said Tuesday, following Duda’s final approval of a law introduced on Jan. 26 in the Polish parliament. It prescribes up to six years in prison to anyone who blames the Polish state or nation for crimes the law says were perpetrated exclusively by Nazi Germany during World War II. The “enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry,” Reuters reported Tillerson as saying ... Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia have passed similar laws since 2010. The State Department, in an unusual statement last week, said the law could have “repercussions” for U.S.-Polish relations.

Maggie Astor - The New York Times

... The events of 1918 still resonate today. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, the gunfire of World War I ceased over borders wholly transformed. The bodies of the fallen littered Europe from the English Channel to the Adriatic Sea ... All the while, the Spanish flu was ripping around the world, killing many victims within hours of their first symptoms. The deadliest pandemic since the Black Death six centuries earlier, it claimed more lives than all the battles of World War I ...The fact that [Woodrow] Wilson — the president of a nation more than 3,000 miles removed from the closest battlefront, a nation directly involved in the war for less than a year at that point — presumed to dictate conditions for peace at all was remarkable, and it presaged the outsize role the United States would soon take on.

Ralph Raico

With the onset of war in Europe [in 1914], hostilities began in the North Atlantic which eventually provided the context - or rather, pretext - for America's participation ... In their reply to the State Department note, the Germans observed that submarine warfare was a reprisal for the illegal hunger blockade; that the Lusitania was carrying munitions of war; that it was registered as an auxiliary cruiser of the British Navy; that British merchant ships had been directed to ram or fire upon surfacing U-boats; and that the Lusitania had been armed.

H. Day - Daily Mail (Britain)

A fascinating collection of photos have resurfaced showing the hardships faced by German-Americans at the brutal height of the First World War. As Europe was ravaged by fighting, German immigrants in the US suffered harassment, internment, lynchings - and even the humiliation of being tarred and feathered ... Before the war broke out, America had welcomed German immigrants and regarded them highly. German was the second most widely spoken language in the country and there were over 100 million first and second-generation German-Americans living in the United States ... Thousands lost their jobs and countless more stopped speaking German. Fourteen states banned schools from teaching the language ... Some Germans even saw their property seized by authorities ...

Review by Margaret MacMillan – The New York Times

... Robert Gerwarth, a professor of modern history at University College Dublin, looks at the turbulent five-or-so years especially in the center of Europe, between 1918, when World War I ended, and 1923, when peace seemed to come to the Middle East. His account [The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End] is both important and timely, and obliges us to reconsider a period and a battle front that has too often been neglected by historians ... The pressures of the war led to the disintegration of empires -- the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman -- that had endured for centuries, setting off a scramble for territory and control. Even stable societies buckled. Gerwarth counts 27 violent conflicts in Europe, from civil wars to coups, between 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution, and 1920 alone.

Review by Alex Burkhardt - Reviews in History

... As Gerwarth emphasises in The Vanquished, the conventional periodization of the First World War known to most western history students (1914–18) seems wholly inadequate when we consider the sheer scale of the violence and bloodletting that continued to blight much of central, eastern and southern Europe for half a decade after hostilities on the Western Front formally ended. His main purpose in this book, in fact, is to provide an account of these myriad national and transnational conflicts in a single concise volume; to bring renewed attention to and awareness of them ... Gerwarth’s point that many of these ancient hatreds have had continued ramifications long after 1923 – in the form of the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s or the ongoing civil conflicts in the Ukraine – is also grimly persuasive.

Peter Hitchens – Daily Mail (Britain)

I can’t blame the Army for trying to save itself from the current mad round of cuts, but could there be anything more ludicrous than a warning that we need to beef up the Army because it can’t cope with an attack on Britain by Russia? ... We have no land or maritime border. We have very little mutual trade or any other connection which might lead to war. We are far away from each other ... Many widely-believed myths about Russia are not true. Russia did not start the recent conflict between Russia and Georgia ... Russia has long regarded NATO eastward expansion as hostile and expansionist, and sought to counter it through diplomatic warnings at the highest level. These were ignored.

TMZ

Two things people despise – Adolf Hitler and taxes -- have merged for an online sale that's expected to pull in six digits. MomentsInTime.com -- a site that sells rare, historical documents -- is selling Hitler’s 1936 tax return ... According to the document, and excuse us if our German is a bit shaky, Hitler's gross income, or “bruttoeinkünfte,” was about 2,487 Reichsmarks, the German currency back then. The Nazi leader had been recently released from prison and his infamous autobiography, “Mein Kampf," was published only the year before, so he had some loot coming in. It was about four Reichsmarks to the dollar back then, so 2,487 Reichsmarks equaled around 600 U.S. dollars. Doesn't sound like a lot, but today that would've been around $7,000-$8,000.

Ron Paul

The release of the House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the FBI’s abuse of the FISA process set off a partisan firestorm ... In the end, both sides got it wrong. Here’s what the memo really shows us: First, the memo demonstrates that there is a “deep state” that does not want things like elections to threaten its existence ... Second, the memo shows us that neither Republicans nor Democrats really care that much about surveillance abuse when average Americans are the victims ... The neocons in both parties will soon find another excuse to keep us terrified and ready to flush away a trillion dollars a year on military spending and continue our arguments and new “Cold War” with Russia. In the meantime, be skeptical of both parties. With few exceptions they are not protecting liberty, but promoting its opposite.

Jonah Goldberg - National Review

What if diversity isn’t our strength? / “Diversity has always been our strength,” Graham allegedly said .... This makes Graham the bazillionth person to proclaim some variant of “diversity is strength.” But is it true? I think the only close to right answer is, “It depends.” ... There’s a growing body of evidence that even if diversity once made America stronger, it may not be doing so anymore, at least in the short and medium term. Robert Putnam, a liberal sociologist at Harvard, found that increased diversity corrodes civil society by eroding shared values, customs, and institutions. People tend to “hunker down” and retreat from civil society. Anyone of any race or national origin can be an American, but it requires effort and desire from both the individual and the larger society.

Jewish News Syndicate

In a direct response to a bill passed by Polish legislators criminalizing terms that link Poland to any involvement of the heinous crimes in the Holocaust, 61 members of Israel’s Knesset co-sponsored new legislation whereby exonerating Polish involvement in crimes against humanity during World War II will be considered a form of illegal Holocaust denial. Israel’s Law for Defense Against Holocaust Denial already criminalizes denial or minimization of crimes against the Jewish people in the Holocaust, and is punishable with up to five years in jail. The bill was co-sponsored by parliamentarians from parties across Israel’s broad political spectrum ...

Agencies / Times of Israel

The United States said Tuesday it was “disappointed” that Poland’s President Andrzej Duda authorized a law making it illegal to attribute Nazi crimes to the Polish state. The State Department had warned last week that such a law could have “repercussions” on Poland’s relationship with the United States. “The United States is disappointed that the president of Poland has signed legislation that would impose criminal penalties for attributing Nazi crimes to the Polish state,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement. The law has set off a furious diplomatic row with the United States and Israel ... “We believe that open debate, scholarship, and education are the best means of countering misleading speech,” he said.

Times of Israel / Agencies

Israeli opposition to a law prohibiting blaming the Polish nation for Holocaust crimes has continued to spark anti-Semitic statements from officials and others in Poland, with some accusing Jews of speaking out against the bill for monetary gain ... Many of Poland’s conservative lawmakers and commentators are now accusing Israelis and American Jews of using the issue as a pretext for getting money from Poland for prewar Jewish property seized in the communist era ... Last week, Israel’s embassy in Warsaw denounced what it said was a “wave of anti-Semitic statements” sweeping across Poland, many of them directed at the Israeli ambassador, Anna Azari ... In another case late last month, a Polish state radio commentator, Piotr Nisztor, suggested that Poles who support the Israeli position should consider relinquishing their citizenship.

A. Graham - Counter-Currents

Running Commentary [by Benjamin Balint] is a lively and well-researched work of intellectual history that is of interest both as an account of how a group of alienated dissidents came to revolutionize American politics, and as a history of neo-conservatism that details the movement’s Jewish origins ... At the heart of what was to become Commentary was a close-knit circle of New York Jewish intellectuals referred as “the Family,” united by their working-class immigrant upbringings and political radicalism ... The gradual displacement of traditional conservatism contributed to achieving Jewish hegemony across the political spectrum ... Balint’s Running Commentary lays bare the Jewish impetus behind such calls for military action on Israel’s behalf.

Daily Mail (Britain)

... Reinhard Heydrich was in the prime of his life and career. A general in the SS; the head of the Reich Security Main Office, which oversaw the Gestapo and most other Nazi security forces; and, since September 1941, the acting Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia ... This weekend sees the release of a film about Heydrich’s killing ... Called Anthropoid, after the codename of the operation given by Britain’s secretive Special Operations Executive (SOE) which had planned it ... In essence then, there was nothing abnormal about the young Heydrich, no sign that he was a ‘monster’ or sadistic in any way ... As Heydrich became more immersed in Nazism, he sincerely believed his actions were ethical. He really did regard Jews as a deadly threat to society, and that their destruction would benefit humanity.

Newsreel – Video

Wartime French newsreel report on the funeral of SS General Reinhard Heydrich, who was killed in Prague in June 1942 by British-trained assassins. In the Czech capital, tens of thousands of people pay tribute to the murdered acting Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia. And in Berlin, Hitler and Himmler honor Heydrich in a solemn ceremony in the Reich Chancellery. Portion of "France-Actualité" newsreel report, with French-language narrative. Runtime: 56 secs.

R. Downs – UPI

The wealthiest one percent in the United States now own 40 percent of the nation's wealth - the highest wealth disparity in the last 50 years, according to a paper published Thursday. New York University economist Edward N. Wolff used data from the federal Survey of Consumer Finances and found that the top one percent has been steadily increasing its share of the wealth since 1962, when it owned 33 percent ... Wolff also found that the nation's richest 20 percent own 90 percent of the wealth, a number that has also steadily increased since 1962, when that demographic owned 81 percent. If the next 60 percent of the population considered "middle class" and the bottom 20 percent the "lower class," then the middle class accounts for only ten percent of the nation's wealth ...

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Like the Romans, we have become an empire, committed to fight for scores of nations, with troops on every continent, and forces in combat operations of which the American people are only vaguely aware. “I didn’t know there were 1,000 troops in Niger,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham when four Green Berets were killed there. “We don’t know exactly where we’re at in the world, militarily, and what we’re doing.” No, we don’t, Senator. As in all empires, power is passing to the generals. And what causes the greatest angst today in the imperial city? Fear that a four-page memo worked up in the House Judiciary Committee may discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia-gate.

Mirror (Britain)

Protesters stormed a Winston Churchill- themed café before branding Britain's wartime Prime Minister "a racist". Nine activists burst into Blighty UK in Finsbury Park, North London, on Saturday to urge breakfast diners to boycott the cafe over its "unashamed colonial and gentrifying presence". Reading from a prepared script, the anti-colonial group also demanded an apology from the owner for "poorly thought and insensitive branding". Footage captured from the demonstration showed activists sang: '"It is our duty to fight for our freedom" and "We have nothing to lose but our chains". One woman declares: “We cannot accept the unashamed colonial and gentrifying presence of this cafe", before activists chant "You will never make colonialism palatable".

Heathcote Williams

Those keen on heroes
Often find they’ve feet of clay.
Here’s one example:
Someone who fought two world wars,
England’s greatest Englishman,
A national treasure
Who rivals the Crown Jewels.
Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill ...

Mark Weber – Video

Winston Churchill, Britain’s premier during World War II, is honored for his stubborn “bull dog” hostility toward Hitler and Nazism, and his important role in ultimately destroying Third Reich Germany. In fact, his policies brought death and destruction on a mass scale, Soviet domination of central and eastern Europe, a shattered British empire, and Britain itself exhausted and bankrupt. The well-polished image of Churchill as a courageous and principled defender of freedom is based on a deceitful and ultimately dangerous narrative of history.

Eric Margolis

… In his powerful new book, Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, veteran politician and author Pat Buchanan challenges many historic taboos by claiming that Winston Churchill plunged Britain and its empire, including Canada, into wars whose outcomes were disastrous for all concerned. Other writers, me included, have made the same point for decades, but Buchanan has marshalled a formidable array of facts and historians to support his case … Buchanan's book strips away lingering war propaganda and shows the cynicism, lust for power and foolishness of the "saintly" Allied war leaders and their "good" war.

Philip M. Giraldi

... Multiple moves are underway to get rid of Trump ... What would come next? The answer is President Mike Pence ... Pence’s views on the Middle East as influenced by his particular religiosity were on full display during his recent trip to Israel ... The scary thing is that Pence likely believes his own rhetoric. It would be hard to compress so much nonsense into a few sentences without looking completely ridiculous, but Pence in his zealotry seeks to convey a measure of rectitude relating to a whole basket of untruths without even breathing hard ... In truth, the Israeli special relationship is something that has been created and fostered by a corrupted-by-cash political class and a Jewish dominated media supported by a powerful and unscrupulous domestic Lobby backed up by an oligarchy of Jewish-Zionist billionaires.

Robert Philpot - The Times of Israel

... It is the Queen’s uncle, the Duke of Windsor, who probably fares worst from the blockbuster, which is due to run for six seasons ... In its telling, the Duke, as he became on his abdication, is nothing short of a treacherous Nazi sympathizer ... The Duke found kind words for Hitler both during and after the war. In late 1940, for instance, he gave an interview to an American magazine in which he dismissed the notion of the Fuhrer being overthrown by his own people: “There will be no revolution in Germany and it would be a tragic thing for the world if Hitler were to be overthrown. Hitler is the right and logical leader of the German people… Hitler is a very great man.” ... In the 1950s he reportedly blamed anti-appeasement politicians in Britain, “Roosevelt and the Jews” for a war that he continued to believe the UK should have sat out.

C. Cuthbertson - The Epoch Times

On any given day, there are about 750,000 people in jails across America. Most of them are connected to the opioid crisis in some way, says Jonathan Thompson, executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs’ Association. “It’s hard to put it into terms that words can even express the magnitude,” he said. “It’s consuming the jail population, it’s consuming the communities, it’s consuming the bandwidths of sheriffs and law enforcement across this country.” He said the jail population is clearly dominated by two coexisting problems — one, opioid-related overdoses or distribution, selling, trafficking, and/ or two, mental health-related issues.

Reuters

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned Israel on Wednesday that it faced growing frustration in Europe amid concern for the future of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ... In a thinly veiled threat about cutting off aid, he said some members of Israel’s cabinet were “explicitly against the two-state solution” but that such a solution “has always been the foundation of our engagement for Israeli-Palestinian peace and for the large amount of funding” from Germany and Europe ... Gabriel cited disagreements even within his own Social Democratic Party about what some see as “unfair” treatment of the Palestinians.

Haaretz (Israel)

In a highly critical speech, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel expressed concern Wednesday about the growing distance within Israel's current government from the two-state solution, saying that it exhibits "at best mixed signals [which] do not go unnoticed in Europe, where there is growing frustration with Israel's actions.” ... “How do you want Israel's future to look like? Are you prepared to pay the price of perpetual occupation and conflict - a price that will continue to grow if there is no hope for self-determination on the Palestinian side? Are you willing to bear the consequences of fully fledged annexation - a one-state reality of unequal rights? Or are you ready to accept a single democratic state between the sea and the river?"

The Independent (Britain)

Israel has criticised Poland for plans to outlaw statements describing Nazi death camps as Polish. Under the bill, which is an amendment to an existing law, the use of phrases such as “Polish death camps” could be punished by up to three years in prison or a fine. The proposals were voted through by the Polish lower house last week and are expected to pass the Senate, before being signed into law by the president. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday that Israel had “no tolerance for the distortion of truth, the rewriting of history and the denial of the Holocaust”.

The Times of Israel / AFP

The World Jewish Congress on Sunday sharply criticized a Polish bill that would make it illegal to blame Poles for crimes carried out during the Holocaust, calling the draft legislation “an act of historical obfuscation and an attack on democracy.” The bill, which also outlaws the term “Polish death camps,” has been roundly condemned by Israeli leaders and Jewish groups since it was approved by the Polish parliament Friday.

Mark Weber – Institute for Historical Review

… In Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and several other European countries, as well as in Israel, it is a crime publicly to dispute the official version of Holocaust history … “Holocaust denial” laws violate ancient and universal standards of justice. They criminalize even factual or truthful statements that “play down” or “whitewash” the Holocaust. They are selective and one-sided. In countries where they are on the books, the Holocaust is the only chapter of history that cannot be freely discussed. They inhibit historical inquiry and restrict free speech. They are a disgrace, and should be repealed.

Eric Margolis

While we agonize over such life and death questions as clumsy men groping women and the crucial need for gender and racial ‘inclusion,’ let me spare a few seconds thought to something really important and scary: Russia’s doomsday nuclear torpedo. Code-named by NATO ‘Kanyon,’ it’s reportedly something new and terrifying, a ‘third strike’ weapon designed to obliterate the US east and west coasts in a nuclear war. US intelligence seems to think this doomsday weapon is very real indeed ... 'Kanyon,' according to the right-wing Heritage Foundation, a cheerleader for military spending, is a mammoth 100-megaton nuclear device carried by an unmanned submarine. This monster weapon is designed to detonate on the US west coast, destroying the ports of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Daily Mail (Britain)

... [Ingvar] Kamprad — who has died aged 91 in his sleep at his bungalow in Smaland, Sweden — was the founder of Ikea, the low-cost flat-pack furniture company that brought stylish living to the masses ... In Sweden, he was considered an entrepreneurial genius, a demi-God, almost ... The Stockholm newspaper Expressen revealed that Kamprad had joined a Swedish fascist party in 1943 and become an enthusiastic Nazi sympathiser, at about the same time he founded the company. According to the paper, his name had popped up in the archives of Per Engdahl, a Swedish fascist leader who’d recently died. In neutral Sweden, Kamprad helped out at party meetings, stayed involved after World War II and, in 1950, even wrote to Engdahl, saying how proud he was of his participation.

JTA

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone, appearing on Iranian state television to discuss the topic “Has the Holocaust been exploited to oppress others?,” repeated his claim that Hitler worked with the Zionist movement to convince Jews to move to Israel. Livingstone appeared on the Press TV show on Saturday, which was observed as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The show, which was aired on Press TV’s YouTube channel, invited callers to offer their opinions. Several repeated anti-Semitic rhetoric and praised Hitler ... At the same time, host Roshan Muhammed Salih talked about how the Holocaust has become an “industry.” He also said, “I don’t know if 6 million died or 4 million or 2 million died … no point arguing over figures is there Ken?” Livingstone responded that there is “no credible alternative” to the 6 million figure.

BBC News

Poland's Senate has approved a controversial bill that makes it illegal to accuse Poles of complicity in the Nazi Holocaust. The bill also prohibits describing Nazi death camps in Poland as Polish. It sets fines or a maximum three-year jail term as punishment. The bill has outraged Israeli MPs who are now seeking to strengthen their own Holocaust denial laws ... The Israelis are furious about the bill, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described as an attempt to rewrite history and deny the Holocaust ... Now, Israeli MPs are backing a bill that would expand Israel's existing Holocaust denial laws to include a five-year jail sentence for anyone denying or minimising the role of Nazi collaborators, including Poles, in crimes committed in the Holocaust.

The Times of Israel

Israel on Thursday condemned the Polish Parliament’s passing of a law that would criminalize those accusing the Polish nation or state of complicity in the Holocaust, but stopped short of taking any concrete measures. “The State of Israel opposes categorically the Polish Senate decision. Israel views with utmost gravity any attempt to challenge historical truth. No law will change the facts,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. A diplomatic official added that Israel is “deeply disappointed” by the vote, especially given the otherwise strong bilateral relations between Jerusalem and Warsaw.

BBC News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has criticised a proposed bill that would make it illegal to describe Nazi death camps as Polish. "I strongly oppose it. One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied," he said in a statement. Under the bill, which is an amendment to an existing Polish law, anyone who suggests Poland was responsible for Nazi crimes could face a prison term ... Israeli officials are opposed to the proposed law, suggesting it will limit discussion of Polish involvement in the Holocaust. "This is a shameful disregard of the truth," said Israel's Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett. "It is a historic fact that many Poles aided in the murder of Jews, handed them in, abused them, and even killed Jews during and after the Holocaust."

The Times of Israel

The Trump administration urged Poland on Wednesday to reconsider a controversial bill that prescribes a prison sentence for anyone who refers to “Polish death camps” and forbids mention of Poland’s complicity in Nazi crimes, warning that its passage would impair Poland’s ties with the United States and Israel. “We encourage Poland to reevaluate the legislation in light of its potential impact on the principle of free speech and on our ability to be effective partners,” State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement ... “We are also concerned,” she continued, “about the repercussions this draft legislation, if enacted, could have on Poland’s strategic interests and relationships – including with the United States and Israel.”

Associated Press

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Kansas law barring state contractors from participating in boycotts against Israel, saying the state law violates their free speech rights. U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree wrote in his decision that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the "First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott like the one punished by the Kansas law." Several states have enacted laws in recent years amid an increasingly visible movement protesting Israel's policies toward Palestinians. Backers of boycotting Israeli companies argue they're defending Palestinians' human rights, while boycott critics contend the goal is to destroy the Jewish state.

Ali Abunimah

PayPal, already facing pressure for its refusal to provide services to Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation, appears to be going a step further in its anti-Palestinian efforts. Last week it abruptly shut down the account of a major Palestine solidarity group in France without providing an explanation. In taking this action, the global payment and money transfer firm appears to be caving in to pressure from Israel and its lobby groups. Association France Palestine Solidarité said in a statement on Saturday that it had just been informed of the “unexpected blocking” of its PayPal account ... AFPS said that on 26 January it received “a very succinct email from PayPal informing us of the closure of our account ‘because of the nature of our activities’.”

Philip Giraldi

The Donald Trump administration is planning to install a 30,000 strong armed “security force” in northern Syria along the borders with Turkey and Iraq. This presumably will tie together and support the remaining rag-tags of allegedly pro-democracy rebels, and will fit in with existing and proposed U.S. bases. The maneuver is part of a broader plan to restructure Syria ... The United States presence in Syria is completely illegal both under international law and under the U.S. government’s War Powers Act. Syria is a sovereign state with a recognized government and there is no U.N. or Congressional mandate that permits Washington to station its soldiers, Marines and airmen within the country’s borders.

Reuters

A Budapest church has called off a memorial mass it was planning to hold in honor of a former Hungarian leader and Nazi ally on Saturday - International Holocaust Remembrance Day - after protests from Hungarian Jews and the World Jewish Congress. Parliament’s deputy speaker who is member of the ruling Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, had been due to speak at the event called in memory of interwar Governor Miklos Horthy. The planned ceremony for Horthy, an admiral who led Hungary for 24 years until 1944, and handed over hundreds of thousands of Jews to the Nazis, triggered strong objections from Jewish organizations. With the WJC declaring it a provocative measure honoring an “unabashed anti-semite”, the Budapest church which had organized the Catholic ceremony, canceled the event on Thursday.

Video - 1944

Hungarian premier Miklos Horthy meets with German leader Adolf Hitler, March 1944, while German troops enter Hungary (“Operation Margarethe”) to strengthen European defenses against Soviet forces. In Budapest, people welcome the allied soldiers. From a “France Actualités” wartime newsreel, with French-language narration. Runtime: 44 secs.

Mark Weber

Over the years many malicious and untrue things have been said about me by people who don’t like my views. Perhaps the most widely circulated example is the lie that I said or wrote the following: “The Holocaust is a religion. Its underpinnings in the realm of historical fact are non-existent -- no Hitler order, no plan, no budget, no gas chambers, no autopsies of gassed victims, no bones, no ashes, no skulls, no nothing.” In fact, I never wrote or uttered those words. They do not represent what I think or believe ... This quote was first attributed to me by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an influential Jewish-Zionist organization ... Over the years several newspapers, including Israel’s daily Jerusalem Post, and some websites, including Wikipedia, have likewise tied this quote, or some version of it, to me.