Obama's Approval Rating Slips Below 50 Percent
... According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll ... For the first time, Obama's overall job approval rating has fallen below 50 percent (to 47 percent). In addition, for the first time since Sept. 2007, a plurality (45 percent) sees the Democratic Party in a negative light. And the percentage believing the country is on the wrong track (55 percent) is at its highest level in the Obama presidency ... What's more, six in ten say the country is in a state of decline, and a whopping two-thirds say they're not confident that life for their children's generation will be better than it was for them.
House Approves $290 Billion Increase In Debt Limit
The Associated Press
The U.S. House has approved legislation giving the federal government the ability to borrow a whopping $290 billion to finance its operations for just six additional weeks. The vote sends the must-pass bill to the Senate, which is expected to approve it as its last act before adjourning for the year. The alternative would be a market-rattling, first-ever default on U.S. obligations. The measure is needed as a result of the out-of-control budget deficit, which registered $1.4 trillion for the budget year that ended in September. The current debt ceiling is $12.1 trillion.
Four Big Mortgage Backers Swim in Ocean of Debt
The New York Times
Even as the biggest banks repay their government debt in what is being heralded as a successful rescue program, four troubled giants of the financial world remain on government life support. These companies, the American International Group, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and GMAC, are not only unable to repay the government, they are in need of continuing infusions that make them look increasingly like long-term wards of the state. And the total risk they pose to the taxpayer far exceeds that of the big banks. Fannie and Freddie, in the final days of the year, are even said to be negotiating with the Treasury about greatly expanding the money available to them.
White Americans' Majority To End by Mid-Century
The Associated Press
The estimated time when whites will no longer make up the majority of Americans has been pushed back eight years -- to 2050 -- because the recession and stricter immigration policies have slowed the flow of foreigners into the U.S. Census Bureau figures released Wednesday update last year's prediction that white children would become a minority in 2023 and the overall white population would follow in 2042. The earlier estimate did not take into account a drop in the number of people moving into the U.S. because of the economic crisis and the immigration policies imposed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Detroit: A Once Great America City in Ruins
Al Jazeera - Video
A startling look at a once great American city. Entire neighborhoods are falling apart, and grand, majestic buildings from Detroit's golden age are empty and crumbling. Runtime: 2:54 mins.
Britain Vows to End Arrest Threats to Top Israeli Officials
Britain pledged Tuesday to reform a peculiar legal power that lets judges order the arrest of visiting politicians and generals - a threat currently focused on Israeli visitors that, one day, might be invoked against Barack Obama or Vladimir Putin. Lawyers working with Palestinian activists in recent years have sought the arrest of senior Israeli civilian and military figures under terms of universal jurisdiction. This ill-defined legal concept empowers judges to issue arrest warrants for visiting officials accused of war crimes in a foreign conflict ... Foreign Secretary David Miliband later announced that Britain would no longer tolerate legal harassment of Israeli officials in this fashion.
For Palestinians, Every Day Is Kristallnacht
Paul Craig Roberts
... The US, "the world's only superpower," has no independent voice in Middle Eastern affairs. The real power rests in the hands of the settler thug, Avigdor Lieberman, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is the man who controls the Obama government's Middle East policy. Lieberman forced the "all-powerful President of the US, Barack Obama," to rescind his order to Israel to halt the illegal settler settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama was given the bird and submitted to his master. Macho Americans who prance around as if they owned the world are nothing but the puppets of Israel. The US is not a country. It is a colony.
Our Murderers in the Sky
Scott Ritter -- Truthdig
... In many ways, Obama's presentation before the Long Gray Line at West Point, in which he explained his decision to conduct the Afghanistan surge, represented an insult to the collective intelligence of the American people. The most egregious contradiction in his speech was the notion that the people of Afghanistan, who, throughout their history, have resisted central authority whether emanating from Kabul or imposed by outside invaders, would somehow be compelled to embrace this new American plan ... The reality is that, yet again, American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are being sacrificed for the political advantage of an American politician.
US Faces Similar Afghan Fate, Says Soviet Commander
A former commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan has warned history is being repeated in the war-ravaged country as the United States and its allies become increasingly mired in an "unwinnable war." Gen. Victor Yermakov commanded the Soviet Union's 40th army in Afghanistan from May 1982 to November 1983, one of six commanders to preside over the Soviet task force after its 1979 invasion. The Kremlin's bloody nine-year campaign to support the Marxist government in Kabul cost the lives of more than 15,000 troops and brought the Soviet economy to its knees before its 100,000-strong army was forced into a humiliating withdrawal.
A Just Cause Does Not Equal a Just War
Howard Zinn -- The Progressive
I want to talk about three holy wars. They aren't religious wars, but they're the three wars in American history that are sacrosanct, that you can't say anything bad about: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. Let's look carefully at these three idealized, three romanticized wars. It's important to at least be willing to raise the possibility that you could criticize something that everybody has accepted as uncriticizable .. .. I volunteered to be in World War II and flew bombing missions over Europe. I did it because it was the Good War, it was the right war, it was a just war. After I got out of the war, I began to go back over things and learn about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Jewish Lobby Wages War on Christmas Trees
Ynet News (Israel)
A new front for religious battles: Hotels and restaurants. The "Lobby for Jewish values" this week began operating against restaurants and hotels that plan to put up Christmas trees and other Christian symbols ahead of Christmas and the civil New Year. According to the lobby's Chairman, Ofer Cohen, they have received backing by the rabbis, "and we are even considering publishing the names of the businesses that put up Christian symbols ahead of the Christian holiday and call for a boycott against them." Fliers and ads distributed among the public read, "The people of Israel have given their soul over the years in order to maintain the values of the Torah of Israel and the Jewish identity.
Israel Settlement `Freeze' Shields Dismantling of Illegal Outposts
The Christian Science Monitor
Israel's settlement freeze is supposed to clamp down on new housing starts in the West Bank, but it's also shielding illegally built outposts and settler houses from demolition. The enforcement of an order to evacuate outposts - a step demanded by the US to help restart peace talks with the Palestinians - has been put off for years. Palestinians and Israeli peace groups have been challenging the delay in Israel's Supreme Court, which requested from Israel a timetable for the demolitions. .. .. The statement is fueling concern that, despite public clashes with Jewish settlers over the partial freeze, the moratorium will prove to be little more than a public relations mirage.
Czech Court Acquits Man in Holocaust Challenge Case
CTK (Czech Republic)
A Czech court yesterday acquitted Vladimir Stwora, a Czech Canadian who placed a Czech translation of an article allegedly challenging the Holocaust on his website. Stwora faced the charges of support and promotion of movements aimed to suppress human rights and freedoms. The court, however, said there has been no evidence to prove the suspect's intention to challenge the Holocaust. The verdict has not taken effect yet as the state attorney has appealed it on the spot. Originally the court imposed a suspended ten-month prison sentence with two-year probation on Stwora but he appealed the verdict.
Send Cards to Europe's Prisoners of Conscience
Send Christmas cards to Europe's most prominent prisoners of conscience: Ernst Zündel, Horst Mahler, Gerd Honsik, Wolfgang Fröhlich and Sylvia Stolz. Here are the addresses of five men and one woman who are behind bars in Germany and Austria for expressing dissident, "banned" views. Brighten their lives! Show that they're not forgotten!
British Court Issued Arrest Warrant for Israel's Ex-Foreign Minister
The Guardian (Britain)
A British court issued an arrest warrant for Israel's former foreign minister over war crimes allegedly committed in Gaza this year - only to withdraw it when it was discovered that she was not in the UK, it emerged today. Tzipi Livni, a member of the war cabinet during Operation Cast Lead, had been due to address a meeting in London on Sunday but cancelled her attendance in advance .. .. The warrant marks the first time an Israeli minister or former minister has faced arrest in the UK and is evidence of a growing effort to pursue war crimes allegations under "universal jurisdiction."
When Does `History' Begin?
BBC History Magazine
We asked a panel of BBC magazine readers when they thought the past became history -- and the results are in. The very recent past should be considered history. That's the result of a BBC History Magazine survey, which found that the majority of respondents believe the cut-off between current affairs and history occurred no more than ten years ago. Close to a third insisted that even a second before the present counts as history. We commissioned this poll to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a momentous event that has perhaps only recently begun to be thought of as history.
Liberals Are Useless
Chris Hedges -- TruthDig
Liberals are a useless lot. They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement .. .. I save my anger for our bankrupt liberal intelligentsia of which, sadly, I guess I am a member. Liberals are the defeated, self-absorbed Mouse Man in Dostoevsky's "Notes From Underground." They embrace cynicism, a cloak for their cowardice and impotence .. .. The gravest danger we face as a nation is not from the far right, although it may well inherit power, but from a bankrupt liberal class that has lost the will to fight and the moral courage to stand up for what it espouses.
What is `Political Correctness'?
William S. Lind
... Political Correctness is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms .. .. In the 1950s and 1960s, Herbert Marcuse translated the abstruse work of the other Frankfurt School thinkers into books college students could understand, such as Eros and Civilization, which became the Bible of the New Left in the 1960s. Marcuse injected the Frankfurt School's cultural Marxism into the baby boom generation, to the point where it is now that generation's ideology. We know it as "multiculturalism," "diversity" or just Political Correctness.
Holocaust Survivors Lack Objectivity, Says German Govt Committee
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
A newly formed blue-ribbon [German] government committee to combat anti-Semitism is embroiled in a dispute over a discussion of whether to avoid working with survivors of the Holocaust because they are not "objective" and "too emotional" The Jerusalem Post has learned from sources who have access to committee meetings. That revelation last week, along with statements from Dr. Juliane Wetzel, an academic and member of the government commission, who allegedly said in the meeting that she will not allow herself to be "blackmailed by lobby-groups," caused turbulence among the committee members.
You Want to Understand Anti-Semitism? Just Look In The Mirror
.. .. Holocaust denial laws in Germany and anywhere else must be abolished immediately. It doesn't make any sense that a certain historical chapter within our living memory should be legally restricted. Holocaust denial laws are an assault against humanism and free thought. Leave alone the fact that they make the Zionist Shoa narrative look highly suspicious .. .. It is also depressingly notable that Germany didn't produce a single major philosophical work or a great symphony since the end of WWII. Due to its guilt and the constant Zio-centric pressure, Germany is wary of its own greatness or even greatness in general.
Russia Sheds New Light on Kirov Murder That Sparked Stalin Purges
.. .. Historians have long suspected that Stalin had Kirov killed to eliminate a rival and a potential threat. But documents released on Tuesday by Russia's domestic intelligence agency -- including Nikolayev's diary, published with the permission of his son -- painted a picture of a disillusioned Communist Party functionary acting alone, out of bitterness and revenge. Nikolayev had tried hard to rise to the top of the Leningrad Party hierarchy but instead was told to go and work at a factory in a lower position. He decided to take revenge on Kirov after he was thrown out of the party for "breaching party discipline," denied treatment in a sanatorium despite having heart problems, and could no longer get food rations available to party apparatchiks.
The World's Least Powerful Man
Paul Craig Roberts
It didn't take the Israel Lobby very long to bring President Obama to heel regarding his prohibition against further illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama discovered that a mere American president is powerless when confronted by the Israel Lobby and that the United States simply is not allowed a Middle East policy separate from Israel's. Obama also found out that he cannot change anything else either, if he ever intended to do so .. .. In less than one year, President Obama has betrayed all of his supporters and broken all of his promises. He is the total captive of the oligarchy of the ruling interest groups.
The Obama Presidency, Globalization, Revisionism, the Zionist Push for War, and More
Audio Archive - Institute for Historical Review
Recordings of some recent radio interviews with the IHR director, covering a range of topical and historical issues. In these probing, thought-provoking broadcasts, Mark Weber and the hosts examine the Zionist push for war, the harmful impact of Globalization, historical revisionism, "the Holocaust," the looming danger of war with Iran, the Obama administration's record, Jewish-Zionist power, and much more. Also here are many older interviews, broadcasts and lectures.
American Jews Eye Obama's 'Anti-Israel' Appointees
Every appointee to the American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community. In the case of Obama's government in particular, every criticism against Israel made by a potential government appointee has become a catalyst for debate about whether appointing "another leftist" offers proof that Obama does not truly support Israel. A few months ago, boisterous protests by the American Jewish community helped foil the appointment of Chas Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council, citing his "anti-Israel leaning."
Orrin Hatch: A US Senator Who `Loves the Jews'
The New York Times
... "Anything I can do for the Jewish people, I will do," Mr. Hatch said in an interview before heading to the Senate floor to debate an abortion amendment. "Mormons believe the Jewish people are the chosen people, just like the Old Testament says." In short, he loves the Jews. And based on an early sampling of listeners, the feeling could be mutual.
Obama's Unjust Iran Policy
... Iran has at least as much right to possess nuclear weapons as the far smaller Israel. The very existence, for over 40 years now, of Israeli nuclear weapons is almost certainly the dominant reason why Iran, while alleging the contrary, continues to move toward acquiring its own nuclear deterrent. If the U.S. president really wants to stop Iran from going nuclear, he has plenty of means and power to pressure Israel to dismantle its own nukes. He is simply unwilling to do so. Obama has obviously concluded that, for his own political future, the top priority of his Middle East policies must be to continue strengthening the Israeli-U.S. partnership.
Israel `Illegally' Annexing East Jerusalem, Says European Union Report
In a confidential report obtained by AFP on Thursday, the European Union accused Israel of "actively pursuing the annexation of Arab east Jerusalem and undermining hopes for peace with Palestinians." The annual report drafted by the EU heads of missions in Jerusalem accused Israel of implementing in 2009 an intricate policy which includes expanding Jewish settlements and demolishing Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem. "Developments in east Jerusalem in 2009 were marked by the continued expansion of Israeli settlements and a considerable number of Palestinian house demolitions and eviction orders," said the report ...
Russia's Putin Praises, Criticizes Stalin
The Times (Britain)
Joseph Stalin sent millions to their deaths during his reign of terror, and his name was taboo for decades, but the dictator is a step closer to rehabilitation after Vladimir Putin openly praised his achievements. The Prime Minister and former KGB agent used an appearance on national television to give credit to Stalin for making the Soviet Union an industrial superpower, and for defeating Hitler in the Second World War ... "Certainly, in this period we encountered not only a cult of personality, but a massive crime against our own people. This is also a fact. And we must not forget this."
Spitting Mad Jews and Angry Artists
Dr Lasha Darkmoon
My article, "The Plot Against Art," elicited an unprecedented number of emails. These came mostly from angry artists who believed that they had produced works of high quality that had been spurned by the art establishment. The artists who had achieved world fame, on the other hand, had in many cases done so only because they had produced decadent works of trash designed to deprave and corrupt the public ... These puerile charlatans had set out to destroy traditional values, promote sexual perversion, mock Christianity, and, in general, create ugliness and despair -- a sorry situation promoted by an art establishment that has been dominated since the early 20th century by Jewish art critics, collectors and dealers.
Book by Israeli Historian Calls Jewish People an `Invention'
The New York Times
Despite the fragmented and incomplete historical record, experts pretty much agree that some popular beliefs about Jewish history simply don't hold up ... Professor Sand, a scholar of modern France, not Jewish history, candidly states his aim is to undercut the Jews' claims to the land of Israel by demonstrating that they do not constitute "a people," with a shared racial or biological past. ... A mingling of myth, memory, truth and aspiration similarly envelopes Jewish history, which is, to begin with, based on scarce and confusing archaeological and archival records.
Revisiting the `Good War's' Aftermath
Dwight D. Murphey
.. .. The American public has long thought of the Allied effort in World War II as a "great crusade" that pitted good and decency against Nazi evil. Even after all these years, it is likely that the last thing the public wants to learn is that vast and unspeakable wrongs were committed by both the Western Allies and the Soviet Union during the war and its aftermath. It flies in the face of that reluctance for MacDonogh to tell "the brutal history" at great length [in his book, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation]. That willingness is commendable for its intellectual bravery.
New Look at Nazi Ties of Finnish Composer Sibelius
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The composer Jean Sibelius is arguably as important to early 20th-century music as Ezra Pound was to literary modernism. Now, more than 50 years after the Finnish composer died, in 1957, at the age of 91, a musicologist in Texas is claiming that Sibelius was culpably entangled with Nazi Germany, and should join Pound, Richard Wagner, and Louis-Ferdinand Céline in the select group of artists who have been cast into anti-Semitic ignominy. Sibelius's associations with National Socialism amount to active support of Nazism and its propaganda efforts in Germany and the Nordic countries, says Timothy L. Jackson, a professor of music at the University of North Texas.
Most Israeli Jews Favor `Ethnic Cleansing' of Non-Jews, New Poll Shows
Israeli National News
Transfer of Arabs from the Palestinian Authority to actual Arab countries was the most popular solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, according to a poll this week by Israel National News. Of the more than 6,400 people surveyed, 53.2 percent said 'Transfer of Palestinians to another Arab country' when asked, "What's the best solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict?" The "two-states for two peoples" solution being pushed by the United States and the international community received 30.8 percent support, while the idea of giving Palestinians Jordanian citizenship was approved by 14.5 percent.
Who Wants War?
Rep. Ron Paul
If anyone still doubted that this administration's foreign policy would bring any kind of change, this week's debate on Afghanistan should remove all doubt. The President's stated justifications for sending more troops to Afghanistan and escalating war amount to little more than recycling all the false reasons we began the conflict ... We now find ourselves in another foreign policy quagmire with little hope of victory, and not even a definition of victory. Eisenhower said that only an alert and informed electorate could keep these war racketeering pressures at bay. He was right, and the key is for the people to ensure that their elected leaders follow the Constitution.
Iraqi Taxi Driver May Have Been Source of Discredited Iraq WMD Claim
The Guardian (Britain)
An Iraqi taxi driver may have been the source of the discredited claim that Saddam Hussein could unleash weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes, a Tory MP claimed today. Adam Holloway, a defence specialist, said MI6 obtained information indirectly from a taxi driver who had overheard two Iraqi military commanders talking about Saddam's weapons. The 45-minute claim was a key feature of the dossier about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction that was released by Tony Blair in September 2002. Blair published the information to bolster public support for war.
Hostility Between British and American Military Leaders Revealed
The Telegraph (Britain)
The deep hostility of Britain's senior military commanders in Iraq towards their American allies has been revealed in classified government documents leaked to the Daily Telegraph. In the papers, the British chief of staff in Iraq, Colonel J. K.Tanner, described his US military counterparts as "a group of Martians" for whom "dialogue is alien," saying: "Despite our so-called 'special relationship,' I reckon we were treated no differently to the Portuguese." .. .. Top British commanders angrily described in the documents how they were not even told, let alone consulted, about major changes to US policy which had significant implications for them and their men.
Obama Thanksgiving Proclamation First Ever to Omit Direct Mention of God
Life Site News
President Obama's brief proclamation of Thanksgiving Day on November 26 was unique among all recorded Thanksgiving proclamations by his predecessors: it is the first one that fails to directly acknowledge the existence of God. The beneficence shown by God to America is a theme that traditionally defines the Thanksgiving holiday, and this theme is strongly emphasized in the original Thanksgiving Day proclamations and consistently acknowledged even by modern presidents.
Stalin's War Against His Own Troops
Yuri Teplyakov (Russia)
... In August 1941 Hitler permitted a Red Cross delegation to visit the camp for Soviet POWs in Hammerstadt. It is these contacts that resulted in an appeal to the Soviet government, requesting that it should send food parcels for our officers and men. We are prepared to fulfill and comply with the norms of the Geneva convention, Moscow said in its reply, but sending food in the given situation and under fascist control is the same as making presents to the enemy ... How great was Stalin's hatred for those who had found themselves behind enemy lines. It made no difference: who, where, how and why? Even the dead were considered to be criminals.
President Obama's Afghanistan Election Speech
Phyllis Bennis -- Foreign Policy in Focus
... Everything else in this politically and militarily defensive speech reflected accountability not to President Obama's base, the extraordinary mobilization of people who swept this anti-war and anti-racist candidate into office, but rather to the exigencies of Washington's traditional military, political, and corporate power-brokers who define "national security." ... The speech assumed Afghan support for the U.S. occupation, ignoring the massive evidence to the contrary ... He did not remind us that the cost of this war, with the new escalation, will be about $100 billion a year, or $2 billion every week, or more than $11 million every hour.
Israel Under Fire for Pushing Arabs Out of East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem, at the crux of the conflict between Jews and Palestinians for more than 40 years, is more contested than ever this week in light of several reports that suggest Israel is pursuing a deliberate policy of "judaizing" the city Palestinians view as their future capital. A classified European Union report, leaked to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, slams Israeli policy in East Jerusalem and calls on EU countries to help strengthen Palestinian claims to the city. The Israeli government is particularly concerned at indications that the EU may soon officially recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. In addition, an Israeli human rights group says Israel is stripping more and more Palestinians of their Jerusalem residency permits.
The Bishop Williamson Case: Behind the Headlines
Mark Weber and Jeff Rense -- Video
The IHR director and the host of the Jeff Rense program take a spirited and informed look at the much-publicized Bishop Williamson case. They review the Bishop's controversial remarks on "the Holocaust," and what this affair means for Americans, Christians and the world. As Weber explains, the uproar over Williamson's much-criticized "Holocaust denial" statements is not really about historical truth or "hate," but about Jewish-Zionist power and its role in our culture. Broadcast of Feb. 24, 2009. Runtime: 38:17 mins.
Dumbing Down Our Schools
Ruth Mitchell - The Washington Post (2004)
... On one trip to a Midwestern city, I found one out of eight assignments at grade level in two high schools. A colleague popped in on about 40 English classes in the course of a day at a West Coast high school and found one -- just one -- class where real learning was going on. This is the dirty secret in the wars over teacher quality: the low level of academic work at all levels in far too many schools. The consequences of low-level work are seen in poor test results: Students given only work that is below their grade level cannot pass standardized tests about material they have never seen.
Extinction: Every 20 Minutes We Lose an Animal Species
Jeff Corwin -- Los Angeles Times
There is a holocaust happening. Right now. And it's not confined to one nation or even one region. It is a global crisis. Species are going extinct en masse. Every 20 minutes we lose an animal species. If this rate continues, by century's end, 50% of all living species will be gone. It is a phenomenon known as the sixth extinction. The fifth extinction took place 65 million years ago when a meteor smashed into the Earth, killing off the dinosaurs and many other species and opening the door for the rise of mammals. Currently, the sixth extinction is on track to dwarf the fifth.
Poland Imposes Strict Ban on Communist Symbols
The Associated Press
Poland's president has approved legislation that allows for people to be fined or even imprisoned for possessing or buying communist symbols, two decades after communist rule ended. The new law says that people who posses, purchase or spread items or recordings containing communist symbols could be fined or be imprisoned for up two years ... The law expands on legislation that already made it a crime to promote Nazism or other totalitarian systems. Communist symbols, however, were not specifically named in the earlier legislation.
Isolationist Sentiment Soars in America
The Associated Press
Americans are turning away from the world, showing a tendency toward isolationism in foreign affairs that has risen to the highest level in four decades, a poll out Thursday found. Almost half, 49 percent, told the polling organization that the United States should "mind its own business" internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own, the Pew Research Center survey found. That's up from 30 percent who said that in December 2002. Results of the survey appear to conflict with President Barack Obama's activist foreign policy .. .. Only 32 percent of the poll respondents favored increasing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, while 40 percent favored decreasing them.
Stop!: An Open Letter to President Obama
Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow [Tuesday] night and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do -- destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they've always heard is true -- that all politicians are alike.
Afghans Unimpressed by Obama's Troops Surge
Thirty thousand more U.S. troops for Afghanistan? Esmatullah only shrugged. "Even if they bring the whole of America, they won't be able to stabilise Afghanistan," said the young construction worker out on a Kabul street corner on Wednesday morning. "Only Afghans understand our traditions, geography and way of life." U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement of a massive new escalation of the eight-year-old war seemed to have impressed nobody in the Afghan capital, where few watched the speech on TV before dawn and fewer seemed to think new troops would help.
`We Are a Nefarious People,' Says Prominent Israeli Political Figure
Ynet News (Israel)
Former Meretz [party] leader Shulamit Aloni told Ynet on her 81st birthday Sunday that she was dissatisfied with the condition of the State of Israel. "It's hard for me to say a kind word about the state today," she said. "We are in great distress morally and socially, as well as in the realms of politics and law." .. .. The former prominent politician added, "We are a nefarious people. What we are doing in the West Bank is worse than all the pogroms done to the Jews." .. .. "The US administration does not want to say how it perceives us, but we are lucky there is such a large Jewish lobby there that maintains support for us. Everyone wants to come out all right with the Jews because no one wants to be accused of anti-Semitism."
Christianity in the Third Reich, and Hitler's View of Religion
Mark Weber - Institute for Historical Review -- Video
A specialist of twentieth-century European history, addressing an IHR meeting, responds to a question about Hitler's view of religion, and the role of the churches and Christianity in Third Reich Germany. Runtime: 6:05 mins.
Demjanjuk Trial Postponed Due to Defendant's Illness
The trial in Munich of alleged Nazi guard John Demjanjuk has been adjourned after the 89-year-old was taken sick. The retired Ohio carworker had a fever that had continued to rise after medication, said the court, adding that his trial would resume on 21 December. Mr Demjanjuk denies helping to murder 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp. His lawyer has called for the trial to be abandoned on grounds of poor health. Holocaust survivors have said Mr Demjanjuk is playing up his illness. Prosecutors say the defendant volunteered to join the Nazis and shared their racist ideology.
Mein Kampf a Hit in Bangladesh
Booksellers touting their wares amid the heavy traffic in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, have discovered an unusual best-seller. Adolf Hitler's autobiography manifesto Mein Kampf is selling as well as Dan Brown's latest novel, The Lost Symbol .. .. Last week, Mein Kampf did unusually well because many bought the book to give it away as an Eid present. Mabul, 15, is among many boys who risk the chaos of Dhaka's roads to earn a living selling pirated copies of popular paperbacks. .. "For some reason Hitler's book is all the rage among educated people - on a typical day I can sell as many as five or six," Mabul told the BBC.
Two Jailed British `Web Racists' Challenge Convictions
Two men have started appeals against the UK's first convictions for inciting racial hatred via a foreign website. Simon Sheppard, 51, was sentenced to four years and ten months, and Stephen Whittle, 42, to two years and four months at Leeds Crown Court in July. Sheppard, from Selby, North Yorks, and Whittle, of Preston, Lancs, controlled US websites featuring racist material. Sheppard's counsel Adrian Davies told the Appeal Court on Thursday the sites were "entirely lawful" in the US. He said that there was no evidence that anyone in England and Wales - except for the police officer in the case - had ever seen any of them.
Here We Go Again
It is already a 30-year war begun by one Democratic president, and thanks to the political opportunism of the current commander in chief the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose. President Barack Obama's own top national security adviser has stated that there are fewer than 100 al-Qaida members in Afghanistan and that they are not capable of launching attacks ... To suggest that the Afghan government will be in seriously better shape 18 months after 30,000 additional U.S. and perhaps 5,000 more NATO troops are dispatched is bizarrely out of touch with the strategy of the McChrystal report, which calls for American troops to restructure life down to the level of the most forlorn village.
It's Obama's War Now
... Make no mistake about it, this is Barack Obama's war now. With this announcement he will have personally increased the force in Afghanistan by over 50,000 troops in response to appeals from his generals. Obama's mantra about the conflict in Afghanistan is that it is a "war of necessity." But this is really just a version of the neocon "War on Terror" trope, which is to say that it implies that it is the natural, reasonable retaliatory response to the 9-11 attacks. (They started it, after all, so we have to take the war to them.) But neocon strategy has always required the simplistic conflation of disparate phenomena, and the exploitation of public ignorance and fear, in the execution of policy.
Demjanjuk Is a Victim of Double Standard, Lawyer Says
John Demjanjuk's lawyer told a German court that the 89-year-old is the victim of a double standard that allowed prosecutors to charge him in the country's most prominent Holocaust-related trial in decades. The German SS officers who trained or supervised Demjanjuk during World War II were acquitted at trials in the 1960s and 1970s over the same allegations that Demjanjuk is charged with today, his attorney, Ulrich Busch, said on the first day of trial. Demjanjuk, a suspected Nazi death-camp guard, is accused of aiding in the killing of 27,900 people at the Sobibor concentration camp in German-occupied Poland.
Mouths Filled With Hatred
Larry Derfner -- The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
... For Christian clergy in the Old City [of Jerusalem], being spat at by Jewish fanatics "is a part of life," said the American Jewish Committee's Rabbi David Rosen, Israel's most prominent Jewish interfaith activist. "I hate to say it, but we've grown accustomed to this. Jewish religious fanatics spitting at Christian priests and nuns has become a tradition," said Roman Catholic Father Massimo Pazzini, sitting inside the Church of the Flagellation on the Via Dolorosa.
Swiss Minaret Ban May Signal New Right-Wing Surge
A Swiss vote to ban the construction of new minarets puts the spotlight on the Alpine country's social and political divisions and could herald a new surge in populist, anti-immigrant sentiment. The unexpected vote and high turnout in Sunday's referendum gives a boost to the right-wing populist Swiss People's Party (SVP), a relatively new political force that has shaken up the country's traditionally cozy power-sharing system. "It could well be the beginnings of a new right-wing surge," said Clive Church, a Swiss politics expert from Kent University. The SVP, which has grown rapidly since the 1980s to become Switzerland's largest party, has been accused of racism ...
Suspect in Nazi Trial Proud of His World War II SS Service
The Associated Press
A man accused of murdering Dutch civilians as a member of a Waffen-SS hit squad said at his trial Friday that he was proud about being chosen as a volunteer to fight for the Nazis. Heinrich Boere, 88 ... said he remembered his mother waking him up the night in 1940 that Germany invaded his hometown in the Netherlands and seeing Stuka dive-bombers overhead. Instead of fearing the German bombs, Boere, whose father was Dutch and mother German, said his family was elated as the attack unfolded. "(My mother) said 'they're coming; now things will be better," he told the court, speaking animatedly to the panel of judges. "It was better," he added later.
The Rise of China's Auto Industry
"In recent years, China has become the world's fastest growing automotive producer," according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service. "[China's] annual vehicle output has increased from less than 2 million vehicles in the late 1990s to 9.5 million in 2008. In terms of production volume in 2008, China has surpassed Korea, France, Germany, and the United States, trailing only Japan." "China's automobile industry has continued to expand despite the global economic downturn. From January to October 2009, more than 10 million vehicles were sold in China. If such growth continues, China is on its way to becoming world's largest auto market," the CRS said.
Three Key Lessons from Obama's China Tour
... China's Star Has Risen and America's Has Ebbed, But the U.S. is 'Too Big to Fail' ... When Bill Clinton visited Beijing a decade ago, the U.S. owed more money to Spain than it did to China. President Obama's America owes China some $800 billion and counting. China's economy is humming again, while America's is likely to remain sluggish for years. The sharp economic downturn, and the failure of the U.S. to impose its will in two very costly ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have shrunk America's global leverage. Today, far less powerful countries than China routinely decline to follow Washington's lead.
`This Isn't The Britain We Fought For,' Say Britons of World War II Era
Daily Mail (Britain)
.. .. Nearly 400,000 Britons died. Millions more were scarred by the experience, physically and mentally. But was it worth it? Her answer - and the answer of many of her contemporaries, now in their 80s and 90s - is a resounding No. They despise what has become of the Britain they once fought to save. It's not our country any more, they say, in sorrow and anger .. .. They feel, in a word that leaps out time and time again, 'betrayed' .. .. "Those comrades of mine who never made it back would be appalled if they could see the world as it is today." .. .. "Our British culture is draining away at an ever increasing pace," wrote an ex-Durham Light Infantryman, " and we are almost forbidden to make any comment."
Global Warfare: U.S. Military Operations in All Major Regions of the World
Rick Rozoff -- Center for Research on Globalization
... Already presiding over the world's largest military budget, officially 41.5% of world expenditures in 2008 and far larger with non-Defense Department spending factored in, in April the new president requested from Congress an additional $85 billion in supplemental funding for the war in Afghanistan and the occupation of Iraq. ... With the authorization of $106 billion in July, the last official supplemental appropriation for the wars, and $130 billion last month for Afghanistan and Iraq the combined official spending for both wars will exceed $1 trillion.
The Israel Lobby and The Jewish Kings
When people ask why Obama has capitulated to the prime minister of a tiny state - Bibi Netanyahu - various theories are offered about health care first, or the economy, or Afghanistan, or oil. Few say directly: Netanyahu feels invulnerable because of the Israel lobby in the U.S. As readers of this site know, I am a bull on this issue: I think the lobby has a tremendous amount of power ... As former AIPAC boss Tom Dine told Helena Cobban lately of a political epiphany he had on the Kennedy campaign in 1980: "[Jews] were the kings in every city!" The Jews were kings because of money. As I insist on stating, more than half of the money in Democratic politics comes from Jews, the richest group by religion in the U.S.
Iraq: If It Was a War for Oil, the US Lost
Although the Bush administration denied it, the conventional wisdom on the part of the anti-war movement was that the war on Iraq was launched in order for the US to take over Saddam's oil supplies which would give Washington an even more dominant position in the region. That there was no concrete evidence that the war was supported by the oil companies was discounted and, as it had been in 1991 during the first Gulf War, "No blood for oil!" became the battle cry. If the war was indeed about oil, then, as the New York Times reported on Friday, the US lost. "If true," writes the Times' Rod Nordland. "then the war failed in more ways than some critics charge."
Recession Creating A Lost Generation: High Unemployment and America's Youth
Bright, eager -- and unwanted. While unemployment is ravaging just about every part of the global workforce, the most enduring harm is being done to young people who can't grab onto the first rung of the career ladder ... Only 46 percent of people aged 16-24 had jobs in September, the lowest since the government began counting in 1948. The crisis is even hitting recent college graduates.
California's Budget Woes Will Continue For Years, Report Says
The Associated Press
Despite multiple attempts to balance California's budget, the state can still expect to confront shortfalls approaching $20 billion during each of the next five years, according to a long-range forecast released Wednesday. The report by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office warned that the nation's most populous state will face huge fiscal challenges even as the national economic outlook improves and the state economy heads toward a recovery in a year or two. In his report, Mac Taylor, the Legislature's nonpartisan budget analyst, urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers to act swiftly on permanent solutions by making deeper reductions in all state programs and looking to raise revenue.
Political Correctness, or Why the Fifties Were Better
William S. Lind
Most Americans look back on the 1950s as a good time. Our homes were safe, to the point where many people did not bother to lock their doors. Public schools were generally excellent, and their problems were things like talking in class and running in the halls ... Were they able, our 1950s family would head back to the 1950s as fast as they could, with a gripping horror story to tell. Their story would be of a nation that had decayed and degenerated at a fantastic pace, moving in less than a half a century from the greatest country on earth to a Third World nation, overrun by crime, noise, drugs and dirt. The fall of Rome was graceful by comparison.
Same Song, Different Verse
The American people, barely coping with nearly 20% in actual as opposed to statistical unemployment, a broken health care system, a skyrocketing federal deficit, and a collapse in home values really don't need another war, but another war is what they are going to get. Blame the usual players in Congress and the mainstream media for a lot of it, but the case being made that Iran is a threat to the remainder of the world is largely being cranked up by Israel and its yapping poodles loosely described as the Israel lobby.
Stalin Prepared for Summer 1941 Attack
Institute for Historical Review
... Suvorov assembles impressive evidence to show that Stalin was preparing to attack Germany in 1941. Suvorov writes that on June 13, 1941, Stalin secretly began "the biggest troop movement in the history of civilization," transferring enormous military forces to the Soviet-German frontier. The Soviet troops were deployed there not for defense, but in preparation for a surprise invasion. "It seems certain," writes Suvorov, "that the Soviet concentration on the frontier was due to be completed by July 10. Thus, the German blow which fell just 19 days earlier found the Red Army in the most unfavorable situation -- in railway waggons."
Who Was Planning to Attack Whom in June 1941, Hitler or Stalin?
Viktor Suvorov -- RUSI Journal (1985)
... Between August 1939 and April 1941, the number of armies on the Soviet Western border increased from zero to 11. Three more joined them during May together with five airborne corps. If Hitler had not attacked first, Stalin would have had 23 armies and more than 20 independent corps facing him. This took place before general mobilization ... If all this is viewed in the context of the Zhukov doctrinal framework outlined earlier, then it becomes clear that the only credible military intention which Stalin could have had was to begin the war himself in the summer of 1941.
Exposing Stalin's Plan to Conquer Europe
Daniel Michaels - Institute for Historical Review
... Thus, when German forces struck [the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941], the bulk of Red ground and air forces were concentrated along the Soviet western borders facing contiguous European countries, especially the German Reich and Romania, in final readiness for an assault on Europe. In his second book on the origins of the war, "M Day" (for "Mobilization Day"), Suvorov details how, between late 1939 and the summer of 1941, Stalin methodically and systematically built up the best armed, most powerful military force in the world -- actually the world's first superpower -- for his planned conquest of Europe. Suvorov explains how Stalin's drastic conversion of the country's economy for war actually made war inevitable.
Israel Could Annex More Palestinian Land, Says Israeli Minister
Israel warned the Palestinians on Monday that declaring a state without concluding a peace agreement would lead to Israeli counter-measures that could include annexation of more of the occupied West Bank. "If the Palestinians take such a unilateral line, Israel should also consider ... passing a law to annex some of the settlements." Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahyu told Israel Radio.
Department of Meaningless Gestures
Stephen M. Walt -- Foreign Policy
... Israel is going to get what it has long sought: permanent control of the West Bank (along with de facto control over Gaza). The Palestinian Authority is increasingly irrelevant and may soon collapse, General Keith Dayton's mission to train reliable and professional Palestinian security forces will end, and Israel will once again have full responsibility for some 5.2 million Palestinian Arabs under its control. And the issue will gradually shift from the creation of a viable Palestinian state -- which was the central idea behind the Oslo process and the subsequent "Road Map" -- to a struggle for civil and political rights within an Israel that controls all of mandate Palestine. And on what basis could the United States oppose such a campaign, without explicitly betraying its own core values?
Jewish `Kapparot' Ritual Killing of Animals
PETA - Video
Every year, devout Jews around the world engage in an age-old ritual called kapparot, in which an individual swings a chicken over his head imbuing it with his sins. The chicken is then slaughtered. In this video, the animal rights activist group PETA documents abuses in an attempt to convince the Jewish public that the ritual should no longer be practiced. Runtime: 9:58 mins.
California Faces $21 Billion Deficit Next Year
The Associated Press
California will face a nearly $21 billion budget gap over the next year and a half, extending a fiscal crisis that already has led to steep cuts to public schools, social services and health programs. In a report Wednesday, the Legislature's nonpartisan budget analyst pins the blame on the deep recession and poor decisions by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers over the past year. Many of the steps they said would patch previous budget deficits have failed, creating a $6.3 billion hole in the current fiscal year ending June 30.
China's High Speed Rail Will Leave U.S. in the Dust
Alex Pasternack -- TreeHugger
While it attempts to kick-start its struggling auto industry, the U.S. is talking about building a high-speech rail network with an initial $8 billion in stimulus funds. Meanwhile, China is investing over $300 billion in high-speed rail through 2020, in a bid to speed ahead of the rest of the world's train systems. The numbers alone are head-spinning: 16,000 miles of new track by 2020, requiring 117 million tons of concrete just to construct the buttresses on which the tracks will lie. Top speeds from Beijing to Shanghai will approach 220 miles an hour, halving the current travel time to four hours. This year China Railway Company plans to hire 20,000 young engineers.
Israeli Rabbi Approves Murder of Non-Jews
Vita Bekker -- The National (UAE)
A book published this week by a radical Jewish rabbi from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and endorsed by prominent religious right-wing figures suggests killing any non-Jew, including children and babies, who pose a threat to Israel ... Children, the authors insist, should not be exempt from this fate. They add: "There is a reasonable explanation for killing infants if it is clear that they will grow up to hurt us - and in this situation, the strike should be directed at them." ... The rabbis added that non-Jews could also be killed if they "violate ... commandments" such as the prohibition against stealing, murdering or idol-worshipping.
The Complete Guide to Killing Non-Jews
When is it permissible to kill non-Jews? The book Torat ha-Melekh [The King's Teaching], which was just published, was written by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, the dean of the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in the community of Yitzhar near Nablus, together with another rabbi from the yeshiva, Yossi Elitzur ... "Anyone who weakens our own state by word or similar action is considered a pursuer ... There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults."
Troops Who Show Mercy to Enemy Will be `Damned,' Says Prominent Israeli Rabbi
The Israel Defense Forces' chief rabbi told students in a pre-army yeshiva program last week that soldiers who "show mercy" toward the enemy in wartime will be "damned." Brig. Gen. Avichai Rontzki also told the yeshiva students that religious individuals made better combat troops. Speaking Thursday at the Hesder yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, Rontzki referred to Maimonides' discourse on the laws of war. That text quotes a passage from the Book of Jeremiah stating: "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord with a slack hand, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood."
True Extent of 1930s Ukraine Famine Revealed in British Journalist's Diaries
The Times (Britain)
Millions of peasants were starving. Children were turned against adults as they were recruited to expose people accused of hoarding grain. Stalin sealed the border between Russia and Ukraine to ensure that news of the famine would not spread, but one journalist was able to break through to discover the truth. Gareth Jones, who revealed the story of the forced famine that claimed the lives of four million people in Ukraine in the 1930s, recorded the words of Stalin's victims in his diaries, which he then used to prepare his dispatch.
Israel Ranks 32 in Global Corruption Index
The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
Israel was ranked 32nd in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which was released Tuesday. Israel moved up one spot from its 2008 ranking, with a score of 6.1 out of 10. The index ranks the 180 participating countries according to the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians ... At the top of the list stands New Zealand, with a CPI score of 9.4, and at the bottom lies Somalia, with a score of 1.1. Rounding up the top three are Denmark in second and Singapore, tied with Sweden in third ... The United States ranked 19th, with a score of 7.5.
Mussolini Regarded Hitler as a `Sentimentalist,' Diary Claims
The Telegraph (Britain)
Benito Mussolini regarded Adolf Hitler as a teary-eyed "sentimentalist" but was jealous of the Nazi dictator's power and fame, diaries written by the Italian leader's mistress reveal. Claretta Petacci's journals, which will be published this week, describe a meeting he had with the German leader in 1938 after British prime minister Neville Chamberlain agreed to Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland. The diaries also show Mussolini was irritated by being regarded as a junior partner to Hitler, maintaining that his fascism and anti-Semitism dated back to the 1920s, before Hitler rose to prominence.
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Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides By Thomas Dalton
In this remarkable, balanced book, the author skillfully reviews and compares "traditional" and "revisionist" views on the "The Holocaust."
On one side is the traditional, orthodox view -- six million Jewish casualties, gas chambers, cremation ovens, mass graves, and thousands of witnesses. On the other is the view of a small band of skeptical writers and researchers, often unfairly labeled "deniers," who contend that the public has been gravely misled about this emotion-laden chapter of history.
The author establishes that the arguments and findings of revisionist scholars are substantive, and deserve serious consideration. He points out, for example, that even the eminent Jewish Holocaust scholar Raul Hilberg acknowledged that there was no budget, plan or order by Hitler for a World War II program to exterminate Europe's Jews.
This book is especially relevant right now, as "Holocaust deniers" are routinely and harshly punished for their "blasphemy," and as growing numbers of people regard the standard, Hollywoodized "Holocaust" narrative with mounting suspicion and distrust.
The author of this book, who writes under the pen name of "Thomas Dalton," is an American scholar who holds a doctoral degree from a major US university.
This is no peripheral debate between arcane views of some obscure aspect of twentieth century history. Instead, this is a clash with profound social-political implications regarding freedom of speech and press, the manipulation of public opinion, how our cultural life is shaped, and how power is wielded in our society.
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Dec 19, 2009
Obama's Approval Rating Slips Below 50 Percent