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“The Holocaust” Is a Myth That Conceals Our Shame

By Kevin Barrett • Unz Review • April 15, 2019

Most of the time ‘history’ is institutionally engaged in concealing our shame.” —Gilad Atzmon

I love the words, music, and soul of my Israeli-born truth jihadi brother Gilad Atzmon. In fact, I enjoy his company so much that just about every year I take up the largely thankless task of organizing a public event for him here in Israeli-occupied Madison, Wisconsin. Last year the local Israeli Occupation forces got Gilad banned at the last minute from Wil-Mar Community Center. The director refunded our money and told us, in so many words, that Wil-Mar’s obligatory suppression of free speech was all about the Benjamins. So we directed people down the block to the Orton Park rotunda, the local equivalent of Hyde Park Speakers Corner.

One of Gilad’s most memorable lines was: “History exists to conceal our shame.” Citing Lyotard, who asserts that the real historian’s task is to unveil the shame, Gilad has analyzed such events as the Balfour Declaration. According to Gilad, the official history of the Balfour Declaration as a magnanimous gesture by the powerful British toward the oppressed Jews exists to conceal the shameful truth: It is the Britons (not to mention the Palestinians) who were and still are oppressed by the Zionist Jews, not the other way around.[1] This truth is shameful to both Britons and Jews. It is shameful to Britons that they have allowed themselves to be used in such degrading fashion. It is even more shameful that they have been unable to face the awful reality for 100 years and counting. Likewise, it is shameful to Zionist Jews that they have profited mightily by posing as the oppressed, when in truth they are the oppressor. And of course there is the shared British-Jewish shame at enabling and perpetrating the Palestinian Holocaust.

Now some might argue that Gilad’s analysis is correct insofar as it uncovers British shame. The Brits, after all, are the world’s leading experts in hyper-politeness and its shadow, shame, which emerges into the light when polite pretenses fail.

But the Jewish Zionists, the argument continues, are utterly shameless. Their intelligence agency’s motto is “By way of deception thou shalt do war.” How shameless is that? About as shameless as the Lavon Affair, the USS Liberty massacre, and 9/11, that’s how shameless. The Zionists’ one-word slogan (and future epitaph) is chutzpah, a word whose definition is: “That quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.” Like the psychopath, the guy with chutzpah always plays the victim, especially when he is victimizing others.

French historian Laurent Guyénot analyzes Jewish-Zionist shamelessness rather brilliantly in his article “Israel, the Psychopathic Nation.” (For the full story, read his masterpiece From Yahweh to Zion.) Guyénot notes that this psychopathic shamelessness is orchestrated by a manipulative, profiteering tribal elite. Most ordinary Jews are not aware that their collective behavior is so shamelessly psychopathic. Guyénot’s insight helps us understand how Zionist Jews, like Britons, are being manipulated by the lying, shame-concealing historiographers.

The notion that “’history’ is institutionally engaged in concealing our shame” obviously applies to the Holocaust. This fact is admitted, even highlighted, by official historiographers. But they look only at one side of the story.

The Official Story: “Holocaust Denial” Conceals Nazi Shame

Defenders of orthodox Holocaust history claim that holocaust revisionists conceal their shameful sympathy with Nazis who killed six million Jews. This is in fact the main argument against “holocaust denial” in such books as Shermer and Grobman’s Denying History and Deborah Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust. That this argument is an empty ad-hominem with no relevance to the empirical issues in question does not seem to have occurred to these authors.

The reductio ad absurdum of “Holocaust denial conceals the shame of the gas chambers” is Keith Kahn-Harris’s Denial: The Unspeakable Truth. The author claims that “Holocaust denial is not just eccentricity; it is an attempt to legitimate genocide through covert means. Denials of the harmfulness of tobacco, of the existence of global warming, and other denialisms, are, similarly, projects to legitimate the unspeakable.” This suggests a very useful all-purpose argument, suitable for any occasion or topic: “Anyone who disagrees with me does so to conceal their secret love of mass murder.” The next step: “Anyone who disagrees with me is a mass murderer and should be executed.” A fine excuse to kill your opponents en masse! This would be funny if they weren’t already locking people in maximum security prison, destroying YouTube livelihoods, and burning books because the individuals so targeted had the temerity to disagree with the likes of Keith Kahn-Harris. It may be only a matter of time before the executions commence. One hopes they will try to use Nazi-style hydrogen cyanide gas chambers, which would drastically limit their ability to actually kill significant numbers of dissidents.

But Kahn-Harris, Lipstadt, Shermer and Grobman, and other gatekeepers are not entirely wrong. There is a grain of truth somewhere in those vast, arid sand dunes of ad hominem bullshit. It is true that some people of German heritage like Ernst Zundel, Germar Rudolf, and Monika Schaefer voice their own versions of history in part to dispel the guilt and shame that the sacred narrative of the Holocaust has laid on the heads of the German people. Monika Schaefer speaks eloquently about this legacy of shame in her masterful YouTube Sorry Mom I Was Wrong About the Holocaust, which should have have been awarded “best foreign short documentary” at the Oscars, but instead won her a year in maximum-security lockup.

If it is partly true that some Holocaust revisionists spin their histories to conceal or absolve shame—and I personally believe that National Socialist Germany’s treatment of Jews among others was in fact shameful, regardless of the extent to which the conventional history of the Holocaust may be false or exaggerated—it is obvious that the conventional story is “institutionally involved in concealing our shame.” By focusing so relentlessly on the metaphysical evil of the big-H Holocaust, our cultural custodians conceal the at least equally shameful behavior of World War II’s victors.

“The Holocaust” Conceals the Shame of World War II

The real Holocaust, of course, was the war itself. 70 million people were massacred, two thirds of them civilians. Those nearly 50 million civilians were singled out for extermination on the basis of their ethnicity, just as surely as a vastly smaller number of Jews, Gypsies, and Slavs may have been by the Reich. When the Allies firebombed Dresden, which was not a military target, more than 100,000 innocent civilians were deliberately burned to death for the crime of being German. Centuries of German cultural achievement, too, went up in flames. Now that is a real holocaust: a gratuitous burnt offering.

And Dresden is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Anyone who honestly explores the history of the deliberate Allied firebombings of civilians, the respective treatment of prisoners by both sides, the atrocities against Germans during the invasion and occupation of their homeland, the firebombings and nuclear bombings of Japanese civilians, the brutal torture that elicited false confessions from “Nazi war criminals,” and so much more, will inevitably conclude that, as Pogo might say, “We have met the Nazis and they are us.”

Not convinced? Listen to my interviews with:

For those who would rather read than listen, I recommend Ron Unz’s “American Pravda: Post-War France and Post-War Germany” and more generally the excellent collection of World War II articles at Unz.com. And concerning the shameful way the US was hoodwinked into joining the demonic bloodbath euphemistically known as World War II, Gore Vidal’s novel The Golden Age offers more truth, disguised as fiction, than most supposedly nonfictional histories.

We Americans, of course, are not the only ones who recount dubious histories of World War II to conceal our shame. Russia, too, demonizes Hitler and bans “holocaust denial” to hide its own shameful Stalinist history and its own war crimes against Germans. Japan minimizes both its own crimes and the crimes committed against it—the former for obvious reasons, the latter to save face in light of seven decades of shamefully abject submission to its criminal civilian-nuking occupiers. France pretends that most 1940s Frenchmen were partisans of the “heroic resistance” and that only a tiny minority supported the “evil Nazi collaborator Pétain,” when the reality was precisely the opposite.

What broader conclusions might we draw about the role of history as a shame-concealment mechanism? Our best guide along these dark and twisted paths is René Girard, the recently-deceased Stanford professor who taught that all culture is based on a murder and a lie. The primordial murder, according to Girard, is the lynching of a scapegoat. This act of human sacrifice forms the basis of every culture, the foundation of every myth. It occurs when the group’s mimetic-desire-driven rivalries get so out of hand that mass mayhem is in the offing. Suddenly the group turns in unison against a scapegoat—usually a marginalized or powerless figure—and murders them. Shared blood-thirst, murderous exaltation, and guilt solves the rivalry problem and re-unites the group. But the unifying blood-guilt cannot be admitted to. The reality is too tawdry and horrible. So a myth—a sacred lie—gradually takes shape around the memory of the victim. Surely the victim must have had some sort of miraculous sacred power, since (by being murdered) the victim has solved the rivalry problem and brought unity and cohesion to the group! Soon a monument is designated or erected in honor of the “sacred victim,” who eventually becomes a minor or even major deity, to be propitiated in annual sacrificial rites that commemorate and disguise the original act of primordial slaughter.

Every culture is held together by foundational myths based on this template. Pagan gods are just distorted memories of slaughtered scapegoats. The Abrahamic religions sublimate sacrifice by asking Abraham and his descendants to stop scapegoating and sacrificing their children (a ubiquitous practice in the ancient Mediterranean and elsewhere) and to kill and roast a sheep instead. Christianity goes one step further and makes Christ the scapegoat to end all scapegoats and the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. (That didn’t work out too well, did it?) In all of the above cases, foundational sacred stories, a.k.a. myths, arise to explain how the society in question began, and to justify its current ways.

Secular mythologies, too, are rooted in repressed memories of sacrifice and blood-guilt. The foundational myth of the Enlightenment, with its deities of reason, progress, and tolerance, grows out of the sacrificial bloodletting of the Wars of Religion and the accompanying witch-burnings and heretic-huntings. The foundational American myth of the Revolution and its Founding Fathers conceals the shame of equally horrific fratricidal bloodletting of a scale and ferocity that most Americans today have never heard about—because the “history” taught in our schools exists precisely to erase that shame. Likewise with the Civil Rights mythologies that emerged from the oceans of gore spilled in the Civil War.

Girard’s theory explains the otherwise inexplicable “sacred victim syndrome.” Why is Arlington Cemetery so sacred, especially on Memorial Day?[2] Why are people who ask questions about 9/11 silenced by screams of “You’re insulting the victims”?[3] And why is it sacrilege and blasphemy, punished by maximum-security-prison time in many leading Western countries, to question the sacred six-million-victim Holocaust?

Differences between political cultures are largely based on the degree of divergence of their foundational mythologies. For Zionists, Jews in general, and the sacred six million in particular, are eternally sanctified victims, in whose name the most appalling excesses are legitimate and necessary. For Palestinians, by contrast, the martyrs murdered by the Zionists, emblematic of all displaced and thus “sacrificed” Palestinians, are the sacred victims at the foundation of the political mythos of Resistance.

Similarly, for Americans, the nearly 3000 people murdered on 9/11/2001 are sacred victims who deserve honor and commemoration on each anniversary of “Black Tuesday.” (The 9/11 sacrificial rites, designed by Philip Zelikow and other specialists in “the creation and maintenance of public myths,” were engineered to bring about this convergence of Israeli and American mythology.) Non-Westerners, especially Muslims, are more likely to remember Madeleine Albright’s comment that America’s murder of half a million Iraqi children under the Clinton regime was “worth it.” Many are aware that the US has killed 27 million Muslims in the continuing holocaust set off by 9/11. For them, it is America’s victims, not its victimized, who are more notable as well as vastly more numerous.

If, as Girard said, all culture is based on murder and lies, can we ever stop killing and lying? Marxists think a materialist utopia would do the trick. But murderous and uncontrollable mimetic-desire-driven envy is ubiquitous, even (especially) among those whose material needs are fully satisfied.

Liberal-progressive types seem to think that exposing relatively harmless bits and pieces of their own culture’s shameful histories might help. Take Howard Zinn—please! When liberal progressives reveal the shame of slavery and oppression of women, they are really buttressing the modern secular-progressive myth that celebrates the “progress” that “we” have supposedly made—concealing our shameful slaughter of 27 million Muslims in the 9/11 wars on the grounds that “they” oppress women, adhere to traditional religion, and in other ways remind us of our own hated, barbarous ancestors. If people like Zinn really wanted to stop their own countries from murdering millions, they would attack and annihilate the myths of the Holocaust and 9/11. But that is the furthest thing from their minds. Why? Because they are complicit in the murder of millions, and they desperately desire to conceal that complicity.

Likewise all of the supposed “identification and sympathy with victims” displayed in today’s fashionable deification of sexual deviance serves to cover our ongoing mass murders of dozens of millions of real victims. By casting homosexuals, an economically privileged class, as sacred victims, we conceal our shameful massacres, displacements, and exploitations of the genuinely poor and downtrodden (most of whom don’t care much for homosexuality) including those in our own country. It seems that the scam of leveraging fabricated or exaggerated victimhood for tribal solidarity and profit, which should have been copyrighted by the Jews, has now been subjected to multiple copyright infringements—which would certainly make for an interesting and revealing series of lawsuits. But even the ADL doesn’t have quite that much chutzpah.

If Marxism and secular-progressive materialist liberalism can’t solve the murder-and-lies problem, whatever possibly could? Traditional religion seems to have a mixed record. Though Girard argued that Christianity exposes the scapegoating mechanism (“Oh shit! We just lynched God!!”) and is responsible for all of the alleged progress in humanitarianism since then, the historical record does not really bear this out. Still, it must be admitted that real Christians, like the Mennonite, Amish, and Quaker farmers here in western Wisconsin, excel at eschewing participation in America’s periodic orgies of sacrificial carnage. Likewise, real Muslims, unlike secularized Uncle Toms and obscurantist Wahhabis, are blessed with unusually peaceful souls and communities, as anyone who has lived among them knows.

Ultimately it is the mystical dimension of traditional religion that holds the most hope for overcoming the murderous lies at the heart of human nature and culture. The mystics have a novel interpretation of sacrifice: Instead of materially murdering the Other, we must learn to spiritually sacrifice the Self. The Sufis call this fana’, the annihilation of the ego (the Self that Commands Evil). This spiritual self-sacrifice liberates us from desire, the goal of Buddhist teaching as well. Those who have achieved such an overcoming-of-self enjoy the freedom to reject the desire-driven Girardian scapegoating mechanism, and step outside of its myth-based cultural constructs into the light of al-Haqq: an Islamic term that translates as Truth, God, Reality.

Notes

[1] One obvious example of Jewish power and British powerlessness is the ongoing witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and the non-Zionist wing of the Labor Party. Another was related to me by Gilad Atzmon himself: When he fled Israel and arrived in London, Gilad, despite his anti-Zionism, was born Jewish, and therefore able to plug into the local Jewish network and make lots of easy money playing rigged games in London real estate. There was so much kosher money available, Gilad said, that he eventually had to quit in order to save his soul and his sanity. Obviously nobody of any other ethnicity could land in London nearly penniless and friendless and receive such a lavish sinecure on a silver platter. But well-connected Jewish nepotism networks exist everywhere where wealthy Jewish communities are established, offering Jews power and privileges that non-Jews do not enjoy.

[2] Answer: Because we still sacrifice our children—only now in wars instead of on bloody altars—and are lying about it, as we must if we are to live with ourselves.

[3] And why have the forces of repression been so successful at deplatforming alternative media using the “insulting the victims” ploy? Those figures in the alternative media who have come off as insensitive in the way they talk about alleged victims and survivors at Sandy Hook and elsewhere have provided their opponents with a perfect excuse to silence critical voices in general.

April 14, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular | | 4 Comments

Hamas: New Fatah government “separatist and unconstitutional”

Palestine Information Center – April 14, 2019

GAZA – The Hamas Movement has described the formation of a new Fatah-dominated government as “persistence in monopolizing power and excluding other political forces,” saying it will deepen the national division.

In a press release on Saturday, Hamas said the government of Mohamed Shtayyeh would work on fulfilling the desires of Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas at the expense of the Palestinian people’s interests, unity, struggle and sacrifices.

Hamas also described the government of Shtayyeh as “a separatist body that lacks constitutional and national legitimacy.”

The Movement warned that the new government would increase the chances of separating the West Bank from Gaza as a practical step towards executing the deal of the century.

April 14, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

The Japanification of the World

By Charles Hugh Smith | Of Two Minds | April 4, 2019

A recent theme in the financial media is the Japanification of Europe. Japanification refers to a set of economic and financial conditions that have come to characterize Japan’s economy over the past 28 years: persistent stagnation and deflation, a low-growth and low-inflation economy, very loose monetary policy, a central bank that is actively monetizing debt, i.e. creating currency out of thin air to buy government debt and a government which funds “bridges to nowhere” and other stimulus spending to keep the economy from crashing into outright contraction.

The parallels with Europe are obvious, but they don’t stop there: the entire world is veering into a zombified financial, economic, social and political status quo that is the core of Japanification.

While most commentators focus on the economic characteristics of Japanification, social and political stagnation are equally consequential. If we only measure economic/financial stagnation, it appears as if Japan and Europe are holding their own, i.e.maintaining the status quo via near-zero growth and near-zero interest rates.

But if we measure social and political decay, the erosion is undeniable. Here’s one example. Few Americans have access to or watch Japanese TV, so they are unaware of the emergence of the homeless as a permanent feature of urban Japan. The central state propaganda media is focused on encouraging tourism, a rare bright spot in Japan’s moribund economy, and so you won’t find much media coverage of homelessness or other systemic signs of social breakdown.

If you watch Japanese detective / police procedural dramas, however, you’ll find constant references to homeless people and homeless encampments: detectives seek witnesses to a crime in the nearby homeless encampment; a homeless man living in an abandoned warehouse is found murdered, etc.

Here’s the core dynamic of zombification / Japanification: the top 25% are doing whatever is necessary to maintain the status quo because it works well for them, but the system is failing the bottom 75%, who must be politically, socially and economically neutered so they can’t upset the apple cart.

Depending on the economy/society in question, one could argue that it’s the top 40% defending the status quo and disenfranchising the bottom 60%, or it’s the top 20% disenfranchising the bottom 80%. The exact ratio doesn’t matter; what matters is the status quo no longer works for the majority, but they are powerless to change the system because it’s controlled by the minority who benefit so greatly from it being locked in its present setting.

The other dynamic of zombification / Japanification is: past success shackles the power elites to a failed model. The greater the past glory, the stronger its hold on the national identity and the power elites.

And so the power elites do more of what’s failed in increasingly extreme doses. If lowering interest rates sparked secular growth, then the power elites will lower interest rates to zero. When that fails to move the needle, they lower rates below zero, i.e. negative interest rates.

When this too fails to move the needle, they rig statistics to make it appear that all is well. In the immortal words of Mr. Junker, when it becomes serious you have to lie, and it’s now serious all the time.

The necessity of neutering the majority politically, socially and economically manifests in two destructive ways: young people who opt out (or are frozen out) of the failed status quo do not mate and have children, do not buy houses, new cars, etc. This sets off a demographic time bomb that guarantees the implosion of the financial promises made by the self-serving status quo.

This is social depression, and once it is embedded it is essentially impossible to reverse.

Needless to say, if young people no longer have kids and no longer make enough money to buy houses, cars, etc., the economy is doomed to stagnation and decline as old people don’t spend much. That leaves the entire economy’s spending and borrowing on the top 10% who are doing splendidly. But the top 10% cannot hold up the entire economy for long. That fragility is exposed once one of the many rotten props holding up the status quo collapses.

The second option is political upheaval, i.e. populism. When the losers in the winner-take-most economies of the world (and every economy is now winner-take-most once you scrape away the PR and propaganda) have had enough, they take to the streets.

Beating them, shooting them, vilifying them and so on only hardens their resolve to bring the status quo crashing down, regardless of the damage.

Either way, the brittle status quo collapses from either political rebellion or social depression or the fragility that arises from pursuing ever more extreme measures of defending the status quo’s winners at the expense of the many losers.

Zombification / Japanification is not success; it is only the last desperate defense of a failing, brittle status quo by doing more of what’s failed. Japan has perfected the art of managing decline while maintaining the illusion that the status quo is solid and permanent.

In this, the entire global status quo is embracing Zombification / Japanification. By all the usual economic measures–growth, national debt, percentage of tax revenues devoted to interest on the debt, and so on–the status quo can continue to maintain the facade of solidity essentially forever.

Beneath the surface solidity, however, all the buffers are thinning. The great irony of zombification / Japanification is that the success of maintaining the illusions of permanence only masks the increasing fragility of the status quo; it doesn’t actually fix what’s broken or obsolete.

April 14, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

How the U.S. Navy Sold the Vietnam War

Dr. Tom Dooley. (YouTube screen shot)
By Gareth Porter | TruthDig | March 27, 2019

Dr. Tom Dooley, whose best-selling book “Deliver Us From Evil” helped create a favorable climate of opinion for U.S. intervention in South Vietnam, has long been linked to legendary CIA officer Edward G. Lansdale and his black operations in Vietnam between 1954 and 1955. But the real story about Dooley’s influential book, which has finally emerged from more recent scholarly research, is that it was engineered by an official of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command, Capt. William Lederer.

Lederer is best known as the co-author, with Eugene Burdick, of the 1958 novel “The Ugly American,” which was turned into a 1963 movie starring Marlon Brando. Far more important, however, is the fact that from 1951 through 1957 Capt. Lederer was on the staff of the commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC), Adm. Felix Stump.

The Pacific Command was intensely interested in Dooley, because the U.S. Navy had the greatest stake of all the military services in the outcome of the conflict between the communists and U.S.-backed anti-communist regimes in Vietnam and China during the mid-1950s. And the Pacific Command was directly involved in the military planning for war in both cases.

Adm. Arthur Radford, the former CINCPAC and then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led the senior officials pressing President Dwight D. Eisenhower to approve a massive U.S. airstrike against the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu in April 1954. And between 1954 and 1955, Adm. Stump called for increasing the size of the Nationalist Chinese raids on the Chinese mainland from offshore islands. He also pushed for a U.S. attack on the mainland, including the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary, to defend those same offshore islands.

Capt. Lederer met Dooley in Haiphong, Vietnam, in 1954 after the Navy launched “Operation Passage to Freedom” to help transport more than 300,000 Vietnamese civilians, soldiers and members of the French Army from the French-controlled North to Saigon. A CIA psychological warfare team led by Lansdale had slipped into Hanoi and Haiphong to sabotage the Ho Chi Minh government takeover and to spread propaganda to provoke fear among Catholics and other residents.

The key tactic of the Lansdale team was to print a series of “black propaganda” leaflets—designed to appear as though they came from the Viet Minh—to frighten residents of the North into leaving for South Vietnam. The most dramatic such deception involved spreading the rumor that the U.S. military was going to bomb Hanoi, a story that was further promoted by leaflets showing concentric circles of destruction of the city by an atomic bomb.

Lt. Tom Dooley, a young Irish Catholic Navy doctor, was “loaned” by the U.S. Navy to Lansdale for the operation, although Dooley apparently thought the team’s function was to gather intelligence. Dooley’s job was ostensibly to manage medical supplies needed for the movement of North Vietnamese to the South, but in fact Dooley functioned as the team’s propagandist, briefing visiting news media and sending out out reports through Catholic media in the United States that supported the CIA’s anti-Viet Minh mission.

Lederer quickly recognized Dooley as a potentially valuable propaganda asset because of his connection with Vietnamese Catholics and his penchant for telling tales of Viet Minh atrocities. It was Lederer who suggested that Dooley write a book about his experiences with North Vietnamese refugees who wanted to move to the South. The Navy gave him a leave of absence to write it, and Lederer became Dooley’s handler for the project. Dooley was a charismatic public speaker but needed Lederer’s help with writing. Lederer also introduced Dooley to Reader’s Digest—by far the most popular magazine in America, with 20 million readers. Chief of Naval Operations Arleigh Burke officially embraced the book and even wrote the introduction to it.

Reader’s Digest published a highly condensed 27-page version of the book in its April 1956 edition, and Farrar, Straus and Cudahy immediately published the full-length version. It became a runaway bestseller, going through twelve printings.

The constantly reiterated theme of Dooley’s book “Deliver Us From Evil” was that the Ho Chi Minh government was determined to suppress the Catholic faith in Vietnam and used torture and other atrocities to terrorize Catholics into submission. That was a grotesque distortion of actual Viet Minh policy. The Ho Chi Minh government had worked hard from the beginning of the war to ensure that there was no interference with Catholics’ exercise of their faith, even establishing severe legal penalties on any infringement of that freedom.

But Dooley’s book was full of lurid descriptions of North Vietnamese Communist atrocities against Catholics that Dooley claimed to have known about from treating the victims. It told of the Viet Minh having partially torn off the ears of several teenagers with pliers and left them dangling—supposedly as punishment for their having listened to the Lord’s Prayer.

And he described the Viet Minh taking seven youths out of their classroom and forcing wooden chopsticks through their eardrums. The children, he wrote, had been accused of “treason” for having attended a religious class at night. As for the teacher, Dooley claimed the Viet Minh had used pliers to pull out his tongue, as punishment for having taught the religious class.

But it was widely recognized within the U.S. government that these stories were false. Six U.S. Information Agency officials who had been in North Vietnam during that period, as well as former Navy corpsmen who had worked in the Haiphong camp with Dooley, all said they had never heard of any such events. And in 1992 Lederer himself, who had made 25 fact-finding trips to Vietnam since 1951, told an interviewer, “[T]hose things never happened. … I traveled all over the country and never saw anything like them.”

Many years later, in an interview with scholar Edward Palm, Lederer disclaimed any significant influence on the content or tone of Dooley’s book, even though Dooley had credited Lederer with helping put the book in final form. Lederer also told Palm he didn’t remember any such stories appearing in the first draft of the book he read.

But Palm, who obtained the first draft of the manuscript from Dooley’s papers, confirmed to this writer that the first draft did contain those stories of atrocities. And Palm’s monograph documented the fact that the last draft chapter was dated the end of July 1955 and that communications from both men at the time indicated that Lederer had met repeatedly with Dooley during June and July to help him finish the draft.

Palm also quoted from Dooley’s first draft to show that it concluded with a call for Americans to be ready for a U.S. war against communism. If negotiations with the Soviet Union failed to bring “lasting peace,” Dooley’s draft warned, “Communism will have to be fought with arms … it must be annihilated….”  Dooley concluded, “[T]here can be no concessions, no compromise and no coexistence.”

Palm pointed out that the published version of the book dropped that rabidly warlike rhetoric and instead introduced a new character named “Ensign Potts” to represent the view that America must be ready to fight a war to destroy communism. The role of the “Potts” character was to be converted to Dooley’s argument that service to the ordinary Vietnamese would be the most effective way to prevail in the Cold War—after Dooley’s tearful recounting of the story of the Viet Minh puncturing the Catholic youths’ ears with chopsticks, reduced “Potts” to tears as well.

Lederer and Burdick popularized the idea that personal kindness to the people of Southeast Asia from American could help defeat Communism in “The Ugly American” and that same idea infused Lederer’s own March  1955 Reader’s Digest article on the interactions between U.S. sailors and Vietnamese aboard a U.S. Navy ship. Lederer told Palm in a 1996 interview that he had suggested that Dooley model his book on that article.

Palm wrote that he didn’t believes Lederer’s personal preference was to promote a U.S. war in Vietnam. But Lederer had obviously approved Dooley’s portrayal of the Vietnamese Communists as an alien horde terrorizing the Catholics. Catholics were the fastest-growing religious denomination in America from 1940 to 1960, during which time their numbers doubled, and Dooley’s message was an obvious way of mobilizing American Catholics to support Adm. Stump and the Navy’s agenda for Vietnam.

Marine Lt. Col. William Corson, who was detailed to the CIA during much of his career and knew Dooley during the writing of his book, told fellow former Marine Edward Palm in a 1997 telephone interview, “Dooley was programmed toward  a particular end.” He did not say specifically what that end was, but he appeared to mean building popular support for U.S. intervention in Vietnam.

While on a nationwide book tour, Dooley was one of the featured speakers at the first conference of The American Friends of Vietnam—later known as the “Vietnam Lobby”—in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 1956. The meeting was held at a crucial moment in U.S. Vietnam policy. Eisenhower was still supporting the election for a government throughout Vietnam as called for by the 1954 Geneva Agreement, with strict conditions for a free vote. Meanwhile, hardliners in the administration were pushing for opposing that election outright on the ground that Ho Chi Minh would certainly win it, regardless of conditions.

Dooley’s contribution was to describe “Communism” as an “evil, driving, malicious ogre” and recount the “hideous atrocities that we witnessed in our camps every single day.” And he retold the story of the Viet Minh punishing the schoolchildren by puncturing their eardrums.

A few weeks after the meeting, Eisenhower reversed his previous position of supporting the all-Vietnamese Vietnamese, opening the path to deeper U.S. political and military intervention in Vietnam.

Dooley had just learned that his secret life as a gay man in the Navy had been discovered by Naval intelligence, and he was forced to quietly resign. At Lansdale’s suggestion, Leo Cherne of the International Rescue Committee helped Dooley establish a primitive medical clinic near the Chinese border in northern Laos. But Dooley had to agree to cooperate with CIA in Laos by allowing it to smuggle arms into the site of the clinic to eventually be distributed to local anti-Communist militiamen.

The Dooley Clinic in Laos helped make him a hugely popular celebrity, with two more best-selling books, feature stories in popular magazines and network television appearances. By the time Dooley died of cancer in 1961, a Gallup Poll found that Americans viewed him as the third most admired person in the world, after Eisenhower and the pope. But his role in the larger tragedy of U.S. war in Indochina was to serve as the instrument of a highly successful campaign by the U.S. Navy to create the first false propaganda narrative of the conflict—one that has endured for most of Dooley’s fans for decades.

But Dooley’s popularity and saintly image increased the power of his tales of Viet Minh atrocities against Catholics that represented the first major false U.S. propaganda narrative of the Vietnam conflict—one that helped build public support for the U.S. military intervention in Vietnam that began under President John F Kennedy in 1962.

April 14, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Gradually Re-establishing Historical Truth about Jeju Uprising

By Konstantin Asmolov – New Eastern Outlook – 14.04.2019

On 3 April, 2019 a commemoration ceremony to honor victims of a bloody suppression by government forces of the people’s uprising in 1948-1954 was held on the island of Jeju. More than 10,000 people, including representatives of the government and the National Assembly, revolt participants and offspring of the victims of its clampdown, took part in the memorial. South Korea’s Prime Minister, Lee Nak-yeon, gave a speech at the ceremony. He proposed to honor the memory of all those lost and expressed his deepest condolences to their families. The minister also referred to the incident in Jeju as the worst event in South Korea’s modern history. Lee Nak-yeon emphasized that Moon Jae-in’s administration has undertaken the monumental task of uncovering the truth behind the Jeju massacre, and of restoring the victims’ dignity.

The head of South Korea’s National Police Agency, Min Gap-Ryong, participated in a commemoration ceremony in Seoul. He wrote the following words in the visitor’s book: “I humbly share my condolences before the spirits of all those innocent people who were killed during Jeju April 3, and I respectfully share my wishes that they rest in peace.” Vice Minister of National Defense Seo Joo-seok, who made the aforementioned statement, was also in attendance. He highlighted that the army was fully committed “to the government investigation efforts going forward” and would “take part in healing the wounds and suffering of the family members while restoring the honor of those who were slain”. This was the first comment about the incident made by a South Korean military agency.

Officially, at least 10,000 Jeju residents were killed and almost 3,600 went missing, as a result of the tragedy that stemmed from Korea’s ideological split following its emancipation from Japanese colonial rule, which lasted from 1910 to 1945. In reality, the situation was even more complex.  Propaganda from both North and South Koreas portray the uprising as a communist revolt against elections, which were to take place in the South on dividing the peninsula. However, in reality, the uprising was instigated by actions of the police and agitators from so-called “youth groups”, who used racketeering and violence to bring the region, with a powerful left-wing movement, under control.

South Korea’s current strategic policy has its origins at the start of the rebellion, 1 March 1947, when a child who suffered a blow from a police horse’s hoof died during a street protest in celebration of May Day. This led to a confrontation with the police and the crowd was fired on. In response, the Workers’ Party of South Korea declared a general strike. Instead of calming people down, the government made a decision to destroy the left-wing forces once and for all, which led to an even tougher response from the people.

On 3 April 1948, more than 350 armed civilians simultaneously attacked 12 police precincts and homes of representatives of legislative bodies, in order to free detained relatives and force the government to reconsider its policy. The leadership reacted even more violently in turn.  Death squads mercilessly dealt with protesters and local residents who helped them. On 17 October 1948, a ban on movement in inner and mountainous regions of the island, with the exception of its 5-km coast line, was introduced. All the villages outside this perimeter were completely destroyed and so were their residents if they refused to leave these territories. 2,500 islanders were imprisoned although there were no charges against them or any written verdicts.

The bloodshed continued during the Korean War too. The truth is, however, in 1953 armed units had only approximately 60 people in them, and by the beginning of 1954, this number decreased to 5. 21 September 1954 is viewed as the last day of the uprising, when the ban on movement was finally lifted. The last guerrilla member was arrested on 2 April 1957.

Since a substantial portion of the population was massacred, and their bodies were often submerged or burned, the number of estimated victims ranges from 14,000 to 30,000 people. And if those who were indirectly affected by the government’s crackdown (i.e. victims of hunger or subsequent social cleansing) are added to the total, the number is even higher. Incidentally, only 14% of protesters were killed.

For decades after the uprising, memories of this event and the atrocities committed during the rule of Syngman Rhee were hidden from the public by means of censorship and repression. And only on 12 January 2000, a Special Act was decreed, in accordance with which a truth committee was established to investigate the Jeju massacre and to exonerate its victims. Approximately 14,000 people applied to have the status of a victim of those events. On 28 August of the same year, the special committee for investigating causes of death of the residents and their exoneration began their work.

In 2006, Roh Moo-hyun’s government issued an official apology for its role in the massacre. The leadership also promised reparations for the victims, but by the end of 2018 nothing had been done to this end.

On the plus side, a lot of work is being done to clear the good name of people, who, during the uprising, were preemptively jailed and tortured, without a single charge brought against them. Those who were released had to live under the umbrella of suspicion. And, finally, in January 2019, the Jeju District Court dismissed military court’s rulings with regard to the 18 plaintiffs, who survived, and recognized them as victims instead. The accusations levelled against them were deemed unsubstantiated since the military court did not follow prescribed legal procedures. This conclusion, in the opinion of those who issued the verdict, is supported by the fact that the plaintiffs were not aware of the criminal charges against them. Also the sheer number of people brought before the military courts-martial within a short period of time indicated relevant investigations were unlikely to have been carried out.

The plaintiffs demanded that their cases be reviewed as far back as 2017, as they claimed to have been arrested and jailed for a period of up to 20 years without as much as a fair trial. Since that time not a single court record has been found to indicate why the plaintiffs received such harsh sentences. Even after researchers had travelled to the peninsula and accessed central archives, they were unable to find any existing records about the investigation at that time. It turns out that people were detained and tortured without being charged for any crimes , which is consistent with the practice of preemptive arrests.

The court decided to retry the case in September 2018 due to renewed interest in the incident following the commemoration of its 70th anniversary and the official apology issued by President Moon Jae-in.

A few months later, on 17 January 2019, the Jeju court exonerated all the participants of the people’s uprising on 3 April 1948, who had served the sentences handed down to them by the military courts-martial.

This policy, exercised by Moon Jae-in’s government towards residents of Jeju, is part of a common trend.  As part of this new shift, “a former police investigation building in Namyeong-dong, Seoul”, where intelligence agents “tortured hundreds of pro-democracy” and anti-government “activists in the 1970s and 1980s, has been turned into a memorial hall for human rights and democracy.” The Ministry of the Interior and Safety plans to outsource the building’s “operation to the Korea Democracy Foundation”. Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon participated in the transfer ceremony, along with Minister of the Interior and Safety Kim Boo-kyum; Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon; Commissioner General of the Korean National Police Agency Min Gap-Ryong, and victims of torture and their family members.

In 1976, the anti-communism investigation division office was located where the current facility stands now. During both the Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan administrations, the building was used to detain, interrogate and torture anti-government activists. Over a period of approximately 30 years, a combined total of 391 activists were tortured there. Their ranks included Seoul National University student Park Jong-chul, whose death resulted in mass protests that led to the fall of the Fifth Republic of South Korea.

In response to criticism, in 2005 the National Police Agency closed the Namyeong-dong division and transformed it into a human rights police center. However, civic groups demanded that the police stop operating this facility. This process began in earnest in June 2018, when Moon Jae-in promised to convert the building into a memorial for human rights and democracy.

In his speech, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said that Namyeong-dong “will forever contribute to the people and history as a place to warn against the state’s abuse of power”.

A similar policy is being used with respect to persecuted members of the Bodo League. This political organization was comprised of “re-educated” left-wing activists. But once the Korean War began, most of its members were subject to repression (as a preventative measure), and the majority were executed by firing squads. Groups, such as the Korean War Bereaved Family Members’ Association, claim that after this war 200,000 members of the League were killed throughout the country.

Numerous testimonies from family members of victims paint a grim picture: activists were gathered together under the pretense of going on an excursion to the mountains or to a ceremony. They were then transported out of town or city, executed by a firing squad and buried in unmarked graves.

Only in June 2014, did a number of residents gather enough courage to corroborate evidence of a civilian massacre, which local witnesses remembered. They carried out an excavation and unearthed burial sites, but there have not been any official exhumations so far.

On 22 June 2016, a testimony by prosecutor Song Jung-won (1918-2014), who is viewed as the founder of the Bodo League, became public knowledge. On 18 October 2007, he testified in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and said that many members of the League were not partisans and, in fact, did not even know what a communist party was. As a rule, these were simple peasants or intellectuals, who wished to expunge the “Red Menace” label from their family name.

Civilian activists think this testimony may be viewed as proof of the fact that the government massacred countless numbers of innocent people knowing full well that they were not members of the Communist Party.

In addition, as far back as 2009, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission confirmed mass killings of at least 3,400 civilians and inmates held in prisons in Busan, Masan and Jinju from July to September 1950.  Jail employees, police officers and members of counterintelligence services took part in these reprisals. Victims were either killed inside prisons or taken to the mountains, executed, and their bodies were disposed of in the sea. Only in a few cases were executions carried out after an official sentence was handed down by a military tribunal. Incidentally, most of these victims were prisoners sentenced to less than three years in jail, and they were killed only because of concerns that they would collaborate with DPRC.

Most investigations of this nature were conducted in the course of the work performed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It was established in December 2005 and tasked with researching information connected with the anti-Japanese independence movement; mass killings of civilians during the Korean War, and violation of human rights by government forces during the military dictatorship. During a fairly short 5-year period, the commission uncovered the truth about 8,468 cases by concluding that extrajudicial massacres had taken place during the Korean War and earlier. In addition, the commission ascertained that evidence in a number of espionage cases from the 1980s was either distorted or completely fabricated.

However, during Lee Myung-bak’s presidency the work conducted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was discontinued. The final report highlighted the fact that both sides were responsible for atrocities, but failed to mention the fact that there were twice as many victims of the “White Terror”, and many culprits were absolved of responsibility. “As a result, true reconciliation and reckoning with the past ended up being put off until another day.”

And now, possibly, this day has arrived. Although old political myths often have a tendency to transform into new ones during Moon Jae-in’s presidency, hope remains that the final picture will be an accurate reflection of the historical truth.

Konstantin Asmolov, Ph.D. in History, is a leading research fellow at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of the Far East at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

April 14, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Zarif Slams EU over Not Fulfilling Nuclear Deal Commitments

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamamd Zarif
Al-Manar | April 14, 2019

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohamamd Javad Zarif slammed the EU on Sunday over delays in the implementation of the new mechanism for non-dollar trade with the Islamic Republic.

In comments on Sunday, the top Iranian diplomat deplored the European signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal for failing to fulfill their commitments under the agreement, saying it is long overdue.

The Europeans are far behind on fulfilling their commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Zarif said, adding: “They (EU) should not assume that the Islamic Republic of Iran will be waiting for them.”

Describing INSTEX -a payment channel that the three EU signatories to the JCPOA have set up to maintain trade with Iran- as a preliminary measure, Zarif said the Europeans need to work hard for a long time to honor their commitments.

The Iranian minister further noted that Iran has maintained close ties with its neighbors and has launched mechanisms similar to the INSTEX with many other countries.

“While the European countries have proposed INSTEX to maintain business ties with Iran in defiance of the US sanctions, the payment channel has not been put into practice yet,” he added.

On the other hand, Zarif said Iran will ask the international community to take a position on the US designation of its Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization.

“Today … we will send messages to foreign ministers of all countries to tell them it is necessary for them to express their stances, and to warn them that this unprecedented and dangerous U.S. measure has had and will have consequences,” Zarif was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

The Iranian diplomat said he had also sent letters to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the United Nations Security Council to protest against “this illegal U.S. measure”.

April 14, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Russia expands ties in Lebanon’s oil and gas sector

Michal Kranz – Al Monitor – April 10, 2019

During a Middle East tour last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo focused primarily on Iran’s influence in the region, but on Mar. 20 in Jerusalem he also labeled Russia an adversary of US regional allies in addition to Iran and China when speaking about energy and security in the eastern Mediterranean. “Revisionist powers like Iran and Russia and China are all trying to take major footholds in the East and in the West,” Pompeo said, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of Greece and Cyprus.

Pompeo had also reportedly planned to set “red lines” on Russian projects in Lebanon while in Beirut March 22-23. Yet, whatever plans Pompeo may have had to counter Russia in Lebanon, they seem to have had little effect. Lebanese leaders have doubled down on working with Russian companies in their country’s expanding oil and gas sector in the weeks since Pompeo’s visit.

Although the United States maintains an important degree of diplomatic clout in Lebanese energy matters, Russian economic investments in the sector have far outpaced those of the Americans, and Russian officials and business leaders have expressed their desire to take further steps to cement roles as key players like the United States continue to lag behind.

“The Russians have an advantage over the Americans not only in Lebanon, but in the region as well,” Amal Abou Zeid, adviser for Lebanese-Russian affairs at Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry, told Al-Monitor.

Lebanon and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on oil and gas in October 2013, and since then cooperation between them has deepened. In December 2017, the Lebanese government awarded its first contracts for offshore oil and gas exploration to a consortium of three firms that included Novatek, Russia’s second-largest gas company.

This past January, Russia’s majority state-owned oil giant Rosneft signed a deal to manage, operate and potentially rehabilitate and expand part of the oil storage terminal in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city, as part of a 20-year lease. Rosneft is also competing in a bidding process along with other consortiums, including an American company, for an offshore gas terminal off the Lebanese coast.

Days after Pompeo’s visit, Lebanese President Michel Aoun traveled to Moscow, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, who said the company is interested in “elevating the oil facilities in north Lebanon.” According to Abou Zeid, Sechin is interested in building up to three additional oil storage facilities in Tripoli and potentially investing in a future refinery in the north.

Cesar Abi Khalil, a parliamentarian who served as energy minister when Lebanon signed the Tripoli deal with Rosneft, told Al-Monitor that there is “high interest” in Lebanon to work with companies, including American ones, on refinery construction and rehabilitation. He added that ultimately, contracts will be awarded to companies that present the best proposals, as Rosneft did for the Tripoli terminal.

Russia’s interest in Lebanon is tied to its regional strategy. Since 2016, Rosneft has steadily expanded its operations into Iraq, Egypt and Libya, and Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas company, has been making inroads in Syria’s gas market during the civil war there. While Syria’s oil and gas reserves are dwarfed by those in neighboring Iraq, its location is highly strategic for Russia, which has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the civil conflict since 2015. Hundreds of Russian mercenaries have reportedly been killed securing oil fields in the country [actually that is a myth], and Russia has begun exploring for oil and gas off the Syrian coast.

Abou Zeid confirmed that the rehabilitation of a long-disused oil pipeline connecting Tripoli with oilfields in Iraqi Kurdistan, where Rosneft is active, was one of the topics discussed by Aoun and Sechin in Moscow. It is likely that gaining access to oil infrastructure in Lebanon in addition to offshore reserves in the country will enhance Russia’s strategic position in Syria and across the eastern Mediterranean, but it remains possible that it could also use the Tripoli facilities to try to bypass US sanctions on fuel shipments to Syria.

Meanwhile, American companies have been unable or unwilling to secure stakes in Lebanon’s new offshore prospects, which the US Department of Energy estimates will produce almost $254 billion between 2020 and 2039. Abou Zeid said that he had heard that ExxonMobil had entered into a consortium before the first bidding process for the offshore exploration contract began, but ultimately they and many other American companies failed to submit bids once they were eligible.

“I am certain that the Americans are interested, and they were not very happy with the Russian presence in this sector,” Abou Zeid said, speculating that political issues, like Hezbollah’s role in Lebanese politics, may have scared off potential American investors.

Mona Sukkarieh, a political risk consultant and co-founder of Middle East Strategic Perspectives, told Al-Monitor that other factors were more likely to be involved.

“Repeated delays resulting from frequent vacuums within the executive branch, an incomplete legal framework, changes in blocks offered and a change in market conditions all affected companies’ enthusiasm for the first licensing round,” she said.

Abi Khalil agreed that market forces were partially to blame for the lack of interest from the United States during the first round of bidding, but he also said that he had found ongoing interest by American firms in Lebanese oil and gas during his three official visits to the States, including in potential refinery projects across the country.

Despite these difficulties, the Novatek consortium followed through on its interest and secured rights to two blocks in Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), one of which is in a disputed zone that Israel has claimed as part of its own EEZ since 2010. On April 4, Lebanese Energy Minister Nada Boustani announced the opening of a second round of bidding for contracts to five additional offshore blocks, two of which lie along the disputed border area. Lebanese leaders have long maintained that Israel is encroaching on Lebanon’s maritime boundary.

On April 1, parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said that Lebanon won’t give Israel “one cup” of its water. According Berri’s office, on March 22 the speaker and Pompeo discussed the issue of Lebanon’s southern maritime border and efforts to settle the dispute with Israel.

Abou Zeid claims that all the involved parties are interested in seeing the United States play a mediating role in the boundary issue. Regardless, US influence over matters related to energy in Lebanon are quickly diminishing given American companies’ absence in the country’s oil and gas sector and the lack of trust among Lebanese leaders, who believe Washington is biased toward Israel’s geopolitical positions.

“The US is really, one, not that interested, and two, the space that the US used to have in Lebanon in terms of influence and shaping decisions, it’s been lost,” Hanin Ghaddar, a researcher specializing in Lebanon and Iran at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Al-Monitor. She added that in her view, it is unlikely that American firms will gain any offshore contracts.

So far, US efforts to counter Russian expansion in the eastern Mediterranean through diplomacy have proven inadequate. Unless American companies get serious about acquiring stakes in Lebanon’s offshore reserves, it will likely be almost impossible for the United States to overcome the head start Russia has gotten in Lebanon’s oil and gas sector, allowing Moscow to continue to strengthen its economic position across the Middle East.

Michal Kranz is a freelance journalist who has covered politics in the United States, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He was formerly based in New York City, where he wrote for Business Insider, and is currently reporting on politics and society in Lebanon for a variety of media outlets. On Twitter: @Michal_Kranz

April 14, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pakistan Should Not Blindly Surrender to Modi Over Sikh Demonstrations

By Adam Garrie – EurasiaFuture – 2019-04-14

Sikh civil society groups have condemned Pakistan’s decision to ban activities of Sikhs peacefully campaigning for “Referendum 2020”  in which Sikhs plan to defy New Delhi and exercise their democratic right to vote on the issue of self-determination. Next year, Sikhs intend vote “yes or no” on the question of whether Khalistan should be formed as an independent state that would separate from the Indian state of Punjab. Similar votes have happened throughout the world with a wide array of results.

In 2014, Scotland narrowly voted to remain part of the United Kingdom in such a vote whilst in 2017, in a vote that was not recognised by Spain, Catalonia voted to become an independent republic.

In Indonesia’s Western New Guinea (often referred to as West Papua internationally), there have long been calls for a new referendum after the initial vote in 1969 in which the region voted to integrate with Indonesia has been described as un-free and unfair to ordinary people in the region. Even more recently, the French overseas territory of New Caledonia voted to remain politically united with France. Perhaps the most politicised referendum in recent years was when Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia. The result of this vote has been recognised by Russia, the DPRK and Syria but few other nations.

Of course, the world’s most controversial self-determination referendum is one that the UN first called for in 1948. This is the yet unrealised vote for self-determination in Kashmir.

In 2020, Sikhs in Indian Punjab are planning to hold a referendum on whether they want to form an independent nation known as Khalistan or whether they want to remain within India. India’s reaction thus far has been to browbeat, bully and threaten those who allow pro-Khalistan activities on their soil. Canada, Britain and some mainland European countries have refused to ban the Khalistan movement but India seems to have forced Pakistan’s hand in the matter.

While Pakistan has generally warm relations with the global and domestic Sikh community, it appears that Pakistan effectively succumbed to bullying from its militant BJP ruled neighbour. Of course, it is Pakistan’s domestic right to ban whatever political or activist groups it desires, including peaceful ones like the Khalistan movement. In this sense, the biggest problem is that Pakistan moved against a very small group of Sikhs who planned on hoisting banners and handing out literature at a time when India’s RAW continues to work with the Kabul regime to promote terrorism in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Likewise, Indian occupation forces continue to inflict supreme violence against the civilians of Kashmir.

In this sense, Pakistan has leverage that it refused to exercise against India. If New Delhi is so desperate for Islamabad to prohibit insignificantly small groups of Sikhs from handing out non-violent political literature outside their places of worship, Islamabad could have said ‘we will only prohibit Khalistan activism if India gives Pakistan all of the details of the last 50 years worth of Indian meddling in Balochistan, ceases its promotion of terrorism in Balochistan via Kabul, begins a ceasefire in occupied Kashmir and renounces all forms of military violence as a means of conflict resolution with Pakistan’.

In other words, it takes two to tango. If India wants Pakistan to ban peaceful symbols of a Khalistan referendum on its soil, India had better cease fomenting violent separatism in south-western Pakistan. But in typically anti-strategic fashion, Pakistan simply capitulated to India’s bullying and got less than nothing for it. The concept of getting less than nothing for it can be proved by the fact that major pro-government Indian media outlets continue to claim (without evidence) that Pakistan is officially promoting the Khalistan movement in Indian Punjab when in fact the Khalistan movement’s presence outside of India is almost all in either Canada or the UK with other activists present in the United States and parts of continental Europe.

Forgetting any moral arguments, from a purely strategic view, Pakistan made a blunder. Islamabad could have asked India for something in return for actively prohibiting low level Khalistan activists and instead, Pakistan asked for nothing.

April 14, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment