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‘Eco-fascism’ Troubles Climate Alarmists

By Robert Bradley Jr. | MasterResource | April 14, 2020

We’re the virus.’ How eco-fascism hurts climate action,” rang the title of a ClimateWire piece by Jennifer Hijazi of April 8, 2020.

Her article begins:

Sharp declines in emissions from the coronavirus pandemic are a vivid illustration of the challenge of addressing climate change, rather than a silver lining, according to experts.

As the health crisis drags on, there’s a growing effort to recast the downward trajectory of carbon dioxide as a warning about the depth of action that’s needed to slow global temperature increases. It comes as extreme reactions to the pandemic, like grounded airplanes and empty streets, have been widely interpreted as a beneficial side effect that’s resulted in less pollution.

And ends:

A parade of stories emerged in the early days of the pandemic pointing to the virus’s seemingly positive impact on the environment — some of which were fake.

Celebrating the environmental benefits of the pandemic’s response comes dangerously close to rooting for a virus that could kill 1 million people or more, some experts caution.

Others say it resembles eco-fascism.

She then describes eco-fascism, which surely includes Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren; Al Gore in Earth in the Balance; and scary-eyed Bill McKibben (and a lot of others, including Thomas Friedman, and Paul Krugman, on their angry days). [1]

Eco-fascism is a totalitarian ideology that advocates for authoritarian governance for the greater environmental good. Some who ascribe to the philosophy sometimes say that human population control — often in the most marginalized communities — is needed to preserve the planet.

Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion had to disavow fake flyers bearing its logo that read, “Corona is the cure humans are the disease.” One tweet that gained attention on social media said: “Earth is recovering. We’re the virus.”

Falling emissions are often wed to difficult times. Dale Jamieson, professor of environmental studies at New York University, noted that periods of suffering, like the Great Recession of 2008, usually result in temporary pollution dips.

“But of course, it’s not anywhere along the lines of the solution path,” he said, referring to climate change.

Extreme narratives that celebrate the environmental benefits of the pandemic can damage efforts to address rising temperatures, even if they’re not prevalent. That’s especially true if it creates the impression that environmentalists are seen as “anti-people,” Klopp said.

“It is important for people to speak out at this moment, but they should not be framing this as the pandemic is our [climate] policy response,” she said. “They should be framing this as the pandemic is teaching us why our policy responses as a planet are inadequate.”

The Progressive Left is at war with itself. Instead of incrementally getting to where they want to go in a period of general prosperity, the Pandemic has offered up a destination that deep ecologists have celebrated. It is, rightfully, a PR disaster for climate alarmism.

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[1] Jeff Sparrow, author of the book Fascists Among Us (2019), also described the environmental civil war: “It’s not difficult to imagine ‘eco-authoritarianism’ or what Naomi Klein calls ‘climate barbarism’: a politics centred on the state making “our way of life” sustainable as the environment disintegrates. Future governments committed to this project will be able to draw upon the vast array of coercive powers they’ve acquired over the past decades: draconian anti-protest laws; secret trials and imprisonment; the deployment of the army to quell civil disturbances; and so on.”

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 1 Comment

A Postmortem on Bernie Sanders and Palestine

Now that the Sanders campaign has ended, Palestinian Americans should reflect on why our organizations so readily abandoned anti-imperialism.

By Steven Salaita | April 15, 2020

Let me start with a story about the Democratic primary. Now, I’m no operative, so this story has nothing to do with voting choices or electability. It’s about how Palestine disappears in US electoral discourses, even when people who identify as Palestinian purport to make it visible.

Sometime ago, I was added to an online group of Palestinian Americans organizing for Bernie Sanders’ campaign. The specific identity of the group is immaterial. Many such groups existed and as far as I can see the outcome of their work fit a standard template:  we’re Palestinian (and thus purport to speak for all Palestinians from within the United States); Bernie’s not perfect (but he really is kinda perfect); Bernie’s by far the best on Palestine (trust us); this isn’t merely about Palestine (Palestine is merely the pretext); we’ll be sure to hold him accountable (even though we just finished giving him unqualified support). I don’t want to put Palestinians on the spot; all statements supporting presidential candidates look more or less the same. Let’s call it a limitation of the genre and leave it at that.

So, members of this group were working on a statement explaining why Palestinians should support Sanders. Somebody put up a shared document with various points exaggerating Sanders’ record as an advocate for Palestinian rights and some fantasizing about Palestine’s future under a Sanders presidency. Again, pretty typical stuff, which is to say a whole lot of bullshit.

In the margin of the document, a user asked, “Is Sanders a Zionist?,” to which another person replied, “Yes he is.” No discussion ensued. The question and answer hung in silence until the document went public, at which point any consideration of Sanders’ Zionism had been scrubbed.

I’m less interested in the question of Sanders’ Zionism than I am in the reasons for scrubbing Zionism from the conversation about Sanders. Sanders doesn’t call himself a Zionist, and the label can flatten a pretty wide range of thought, but if we examine Sanders’ positions against what the Palestine solidarity movement understands to be Zionism, then Sanders unambiguously fits the description. He constantly affirms Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. He opposes right of return. He treats Netanyahu as the aberration from a humanistic norm. Yeah, he’s a Zionist. This fact wasn’t lost on his Palestinian American champions.  It just didn’t seem to bother them very much.

But let’s leave the question of Sanders’ Zionism to the side, for it has proved effective at putting colleagues at loggerheads. Whatever Sanders or any other politician thinks about Palestine should have no influence on how Palestinians think about Palestine. In fact, according to the mythography of electoralism, it’s the community’s duty to educate the politician. In order to accomplish that goal, the community needs to convey principles it considers nonnegotiable. For Palestinians, those principles would include right of return and full equality in all of historic Palestine.

That’s not what happened in the various statements of support.  Instead, their authors instrumentalized Palestine as an abstract commitment—an idea mobilized through performances of ethnic verisimilitude—in order to boost a campaign extraneous to the actual work of decolonization. Rather than pressuring the politician, they made demands of the audience and assured people opposed to Zionism that voting for someone pledging to uphold Israel’s “Jewish character” wasn’t a pragmatic concession, but an act of virtue, a feat of devotion to Palestine.

What does it mean that groups visibly and proudly identifying as Palestinian felt it necessary to scrub Zionism in order to boost a politician jockeying to supervise US Empire? By what moral calculus did those groups take vital demands off the table? Did they have the consent of refugees for whom right of return is sacrosanct? Of rank-and-file Palestinians in the United States? Or was it an exercise in unilateral leadership by the diasporic professional class?

I know what the response is:  we didn’t mythologize anyone; we regularly pointed out his weaknesses. Well, not really. (I didn’t see you pointing out that Sanders is a Zionist, for example.) Exerting tremendous energy to conceptualize Sanders as a benevolent uncle figure and then occasionally saying “he needs more work on this issue” or “we need to keep pushing him” was a cardinal feature of mythologization, as was running interference with points of view more palatable to the mainstream when fellow anti-Zionists dissented from the consensus. Saying “he’s the best on Palestine even though he’s not perfect” was the rankest kind of mythmaking. It confused “being better than a terrible field” with “being good.”

I saw in these statements a yearning to matter, a desire to at long last be taken seriously after decades of abuse and disregard. It’s a normal response to subordination, to the pain of continuous betrayal, but no amount of high-minded talk about an electoral revolution will compel sites of power to care about Palestinian Americans. They shouldn’t be our audience, anyway. Palestinians are admired by people around the world who value justice and resilience and dignity. Let’s not forgot our place, which isn’t among consultants and technocrats, but with the ignominious, the surplus, the unbeloved.

During the primary, and during the 2016 election cycle, whenever I expressed skepticism about deploying Palestine in service of a presidential campaign, other Palestinian Americans quickly intervened: “Well, I mean Steve’s making an, ahem, important point, but, here, let me butt in and do it, you know, more responsibly.” I found it to be a pathetic move. The idea was to keep radicalism in check, or to snuff it out. Decolonization, however, is inherently radical in the metropole. The interventions were thus a form of ostracism: we don’t want disreputable elements of our community running a bus over this good foot we’re trying to put forward. The limits of US electoralism came to define the parameters of Palestinian liberation.

Electioneering requires compromise, but compromise isn’t a neutral practice. The people are made to sacrifice for the affluent. That’s how compromise works under capitalism. Every time, every single time, it’s some aspect of Palestinian freedom that must be compromised. Never the candidate’s position. Never the system’s inherent conservatism. Never the ongoing march of settler colonization. We’re volunteering to be captured by the settler’s notion of common sense.

And what would have happened if your guy won? You already gave up right of return. A one-state solution. Anti-imperialism. Nobody was talking about general strikes until the pandemic. And nobody ever talks about armed struggle. How did you plan to get these things back on the table after having surrendered them to a person whose first, second, and third priority is appeasing power? You gave up something Palestinians have struggled and died for over the course of decades, and for what? Just to make the apocryphal and frankly useless point that this politician is a more tolerable Zionist than the other ones?

And when your guy loses? This is the question of the moment, isn’t it? You gave up all that leverage for nothing (except for individual benefits). What happens next? God knows I can’t answer that question.  I’m not saying don’t participate, don’t vote, don’t be interested in a candidate. That’s not the point. I dislike coercive forms of persuasion. I’m simply trying to convince you not to give up the idea of freedom as it’s articulated by the downtrodden. Not for any reason. Certainly not for a goddamn politician.

There’s a question you ought to ask as necessary (which is to say constantly):  what happens to Palestine? When we humor a system calibrated to exclude us, when we pretend that liberation is possible on the margins of a hostile polity, when we imagine liberal Zionism as a prelude to freedom, then what happens to Palestine?

Raising this kind of skepticism is a good way to get branded a hater. (Treating the recalcitrant as irrational is a central feature of electoral discipline.) I hate this sensibility precisely because I’m not a hater, because I recognize that defiance is a priceless asset in conditions of loss and dispossession. Let’s please abandon this smug idea that skepticism ruins the party for sensible people. It’s an ugly form of internal colonization. Recalcitrance can be a deep, abiding act of love, in this case a devotion to life realized in the form of a simple question:  what happens to Palestine?

The system you deign to reform ranks nothing above ruling class accumulation—the system, in other words, is designed to betray, and performs its mandate with brutal efficiency. And so the answer to that timeless question never changes:  Palestine goes away. Any group that doesn’t facilitate a flow of capital into the imperial core is fit for disappearance. Our mandate, in turn, isn’t to seek the approval of our oppressor, but to earn his contempt.

Instrumentalizing the persecuted is a critical feature of electoralism. Promoting a Zionist presidential candidate and remaining faithful to the core tenets of anti-Zionism? Forget it. It’s not happening. It can’t happen. Electoralism is salted against insurgency. It’s not a space for ideas, for creativity, for the simple decency of not asking the least powerful among us to defer their freedom; it’s hostile to anything that impedes the reproduction of orthodoxy. Liberation has always required tremendous imagination. That’s not on offer when David Sirota is authoring the narrative.

You have no cause to be angry with Sanders. Not now. He hasn’t broken a single pledge. He never hid his intentions. There was plenty of reason for concern when he kept repeating liberal Zionist platitudes.  It was you, not Sanders, who folded Palestine into a campaign that always promised to maintain the status quo. The outcome was easy to predict because it has many decades of precedent. Palestinians, victim of a million betrayals, should know this better than anyone. We also know that struggle has no easy trajectory. Mass movements predicated on voting make for attractive sources of relief. Then they go up in smoke and you’re left to find the next shiny figure to exploit, the next fount of excitement and pageantry and social capital.  This isn’t a serious politics. It’s terminal naivete, or industrial self-promotion.

And now what? You disposed of the most radical members of our community, systematically excluding so many brethren from the life-sustaining pleasure of shared resistance, in order to assuage a bunch of faceless assholes waiting for the first opportunity to dispose of you, all that love sacrificed for no reward beyond some retweets and an evanescent sense of importance, your moment of being accepted by the polity now replaced by angry regret for having again succumbed to the gravitational pull of authority, of the state and its functionaries, of the very institutions that maintain our dispossession. But our nation, Palestine, is neither temporary nor ephemeral. Our politics should match the condition.

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 2 Comments

The False Tale of Killing Osama bin Laden

Tales of the American Empire | February 13, 2020

On April 4, 2011, President Barak Obama announced his reelection campaign despite having lied about every campaign promise. The President and the Pentagon were criticized in Congress and the press for their pointless surge in Afghanistan that resulted in no military progress. Criticism suddenly ended on April 30th when the President announced the killing of Osama bin Laden.

President Obama repeatedly suggested that bin Laden was responsible for the 9-11 attacks, even though the FBI has never released evidence that bin Laden was involved in the 9-11 attacks nor has anyone else. The corporate media ignored this and congratulated everyone in his administration. President Obama’s approval ratings soared and deterred Democratic primary challengers and potential Republican candidates. The American military raid to kill bin Laden was obviously a staged event.

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“Osama Bin Laden Dead”; The full text and video of President Obama’s glorious announcement to kick off his reelection campaign; https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/…

“Another Fake bin Laden Story”; Paul Craig Roberts; November 7, 2014; https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014…

“The Strange Death of Osama bin Laden”; Linh Dinh; unz.com ; May 18, 2015; http://www.unz.com/ldinh/the-strange-…

“CIA Closes Unit Focused on Capture of Bin Laden“; Mark Mazzetti; New York Times; July 4, 2006; https://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/04/wa…

“Bin Laden Died Long Before 2007”; BBC interview with former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-2u1…

Notice the interviewer ignores her comment that bin Laden was murdered. “The Killing of Osama bin Laden”; Seymour Hersh; London Review of Books; May 21, 2015; https://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour…

CNN International 2015 interview with Seymour Hersh (not seen on American CNN); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp7G1…

Sy Hersh’s bin Laden Story First Reported in 2011; The Intercept ; May 11, 2015; https://theintercept.com/2015/05/11/f…

Related tale: “The Empire’s Fake War on Terror”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI1ks…

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Churchill’s War: the Real History of World War II

By Paul Craig Roberts • Institute for Political Economy • April 19, 2020

All truth-tellers are denounced, and most end up destroyed. Truth seldom serves the agendas of powerful interests.

The one historian from whom you can get the unvarnished truth of World War II is David Irving.

On the bookjackets of Irving’s books, the question is asked: What is real history?

The answer is that real history is history that travels straight from history-maker to the history-maker’s documents and from the document archives to the historian’s book without political input and free of academic and patriotic prejudice. It is history that cannot be bought.

Irving’s Hitler’s War was published in 1977. Irving was an archaeologist digging in history who located and dug up previously unknown documents and archives. He lets the factual record tell the history. He is exact and scrupulous and does not curry favor. The Board of Deputies of British Jews wrote: “The book was thoroughly researched . . . It confirmed Irving’s reputation as one of the world’s most thorough researchers and an exciting and readable historian.”

The first volume of Irving’s Churchill’s War was published in 1987. The second volume in 2001. The third and final volume is awaited.

These works far surpass all previous histories of the war and all accounts of the agendas and events that produced the war. Irving is not motivated to curry favor with the ruling establishment, to make us feel self-righteous in our victory by demonizing the opponent or to grind any personal, ideological, or political axe. He lets the history-makers speak for themselves in their own words, and it is seldom a pretty picture.

Irving’s books sold millions of copies, and he was well-to-do. But he fell foul of Zionists, oddly enough because he documented actual atrocities against Jews. The problem was the attrocities he found differed from the official holocaust story. He documented a holocaust of a sort, but it is a different one than the Zionists prefer. If I understand correctly, infuriated Zionists with plentiful funds used unethical tactics and brought lawsuits, the defense against which eventually bankrupted him. Little wonder most historians choose to suck up to powerful interests by validating their claims and explanations. The fake history they write is a self-protective device like a bullet-proof vest.

I previously reported on Hitler’s War and the first volume of Churchill’s War in my most widely read article — The Lies About World War II. As I quoted Irving’s account that Jews were killed, but in a more ad hoc than organized way, Zionists rushed to my already defective Wikipedia biography to attribute Irving’s words to me, thereby labeling me a “holocaust denier.” When I complained of the misrepresentation, I was fobbed off with the reply that I would not have quoted Irving if I had not agreed with him. In other words, if you report in a book review what a writer says, it means you agree with him. I am not qualified to agree or to disagree with Irving. Indeed, few people are.

People in the Western world have been indoctrinated for 75 years into a white hat/black hat story of World War II that exonerates the “allies” and demonizes Hitler and Germany. To tell people, especially elderly ones whose memory of the war was formed by war propaganda, that the “allies” were as bad or worse war criminals than the Germans brings fire and brimstone down on one’s head. It nevertheless needs to be done, because our view of ourselves reflects the make-believe story of the war with which we are inculcated. In the false history comes strength for the opinion that we Americans and our country are exceptional and indispensable and that these traits justify Washington’s hegemony over the world. Our destruction in whole or part of seven countries in the 21st century, our withdrawal from arms limitation agreements, our dangerous demonization of militarily powerful countries such as Russia and China all rest in our self-righteous view of ourselves. Of course, not all Americans share these self-righteous views, but the views are the basis for both Republican and Democrat foreign policy. Even the left-wing, or whatever remains of it, believes in war in order to overthrow dictators and “bring democracy and human rights.”

In what follows I am not going to attempt a review of Irving’s second volume on Churchill. Instead, I will report some of the findings that documents reveal, findings that will be new information for most readers. But first a preface.

Hitler did not start World War II. England and France launched World War II with a declaration of war against Germany. Hitler did not want a war with Britain and France and tried to avoid it and then end it with a peace agreement very favorable to Britain and France. Hitler regarded the British Empire as essential to the survival of European dominance. He promised Churchill in exchange for an end of hostilities that Germany would defend the British Empire with the German military anywhere in the world that it was in jeopardy. Hitler left a large part of France and French North Africa unoccupied. He left the French fleet in French hands.

Hitler’s aim was to restore the integrity of the German nation which had been torn apart and distributed to Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, and France by the Versailles Treaty which had been forced on Germany after World War I by a policy of starvation. Germans in the territories turned over to Czechoslovakia and Poland were being persecuted and murdered. Hitler had no choice but to do something about it. He recovered German territory from France, Czechoslovakia, and Denmark without war.

The same outcome was likely in Poland except the British interfered. The British gave the Polish military dictatorship a “guarantee” to come to Poland’s aid if Poland refused Hitler’s demands. Consequently, the Polish dictatorship broke off negotiations with Germany. Germany and the Soviet Union then split Poland between them.

The guarantee compelled “British honor” to declare war on Germany—but not on the Soviet Union—and the hapless French were pulled along.

The British relied on the “powerful French military” and sent an expeditionary force which was promptly trapped at Dunkirk where Hitler let them go, thinking that an act of magnanimity and his refusal to humiliate the British would bring an end to the conflict. However, Churchill kept Hitler’s overly generous peace terms from the British people and from Parliament. Churchill had wanted war and had worked hard for one and now that he had power and a chance to repeat the military leadership of his great ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough, he was determined to keep his war.

With Hitler in control of Europe, Churchill began working harder to get the US into the war. All along the way President Roosevelt had given Churchill war encouragement but without promising any definite course of action from America. Roosevelt wanted Britain at war. He knew it would bankrupt the British and place them economically in Washington’s hands, which would permit the US to break up the British system of trade preferences that allowed Britain to control world trade, destroy the British Empire, dethrone the British pound and replace it with the dollar. Roosevelt was an enemy of empire except America’s own. From FDR’s standpoint, World War II was an attack by the US on British trade preferences that were the backbone of the British Empire.

So Churchill got his war which cost Britain her empire, and Roosevelt replaced the British Empire with an American one. FDR paid a cheap price—about 300,000 US combat deaths. In her defeat of Germany, Russia lost about 9,000,000 soldiers in combat deaths and 26 million people altogether,

After the Russians stopped the German offensive, the war could have ended, but FDR and Churchill had established a policy of unconditional surrender, which shackled allied wartime foreign policy to two more years of death and destruction.

As Pat Buchanan said, it was The Unnecessary War. The war served Churchill’s path to power and Washington’s empire.

Volume 2 begins in 1941. Irving has tracked down and unearthed many documents that permit a better understanding of the war. Many official papers are still under lock and key and many have been destroyed. The effort to suppress truth from coming out continues 75 years after the war.

Secrecy is used to hide crimes. It is reputations that are protected, not national security.

Churchill used secrecy to protect his war crime of ordering the bombing of civilian residential areas of German cities with his emphasis on bombing the homes of the working class as they were closer together which helped the conflagation to spread. Churchill would first have the civilian areas firebombed, and then when firemen and rescue workers were engaged the British would drop high explosives. Churchill ignored military targets, preferring instead to break the morale of the German population by bombing civilian areas. He tried to get the British Air Force to include poison gas when dropping incendiary and high explosive bombs on civilian residential areas.

As the British people did not know Churchill was bombing civilians, Churchill hoped Hitler would be provoked into replying in kind. Hitler refused for three months to take the bait, but finally his military insisted that unless he bombed the British they would keep on bombing German civilian areas. Hitler gave in but initially insisted that only British industrial targets be bombed. Once a few bombs went astray, Churchill had his rallying cry that the Nazi barbarians were bombing civilians. He got away with this, but officials in the know worried that the British Air Force, especially “Butcher” Harris, would face war crimes trials when the war was over. British generals and admirals disagreed with Churchill’s bombing policy. They regarded it as unprofessional and unprincipled. They complained that it harmed the war effort by denying the army and navy needed air support.

In November 1942 British Air Chief Portal compared the German bombing of Britain with the British bombing of Germany. The Germans had dropped 55,000 tons of bombs, killing 41,000 British and destroying 350,000 homes. The British had dropped 1,250,000 tons of bombs, killing 900,000 German civilians, maiming one million more, and destroying 6,000,000 German homes. The UK/US firebombing of Dresden at the end of the war stands as one of the worst war crimes in history. It killed as many or more civilians as the atomic bombs Washington dropped on the two Japanese cities, also at war end.

Churchill was determined to bomb Rome, but was resisted by the British Air Force. In contrast, Hitler ordered the German military not to risk the destruction of Rome by defending it.

Churchill ordered the bombing of the French fleet, which Hitler had left in the hands of Vichy France, killing around 3,000 French sailors. Churchill together with FDR and Eisenhower invaded French Northwest Africa which was in the hands of Vichy France. Vichy France Admiral Darlan used his influence to persuade the French not to resist the invasion, thus minimizing British and American casualties. Darlan cooperated in every way. His reward was to be assassinated in a plot organized by Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, later one of Britain’s disastrous prime ministers. The assassin protested that he was promised immunity by the British, but was quickly executed to silence him. Eden, whose ambition was larger than his intelligence, was in DeGaulle’s pocket, and DeGaulle wanted Darlan out of his way to power.

The military schemes that Churchill imposed on the British military, such as his invasion of neutral Norway, always came to a bad end, but he rescued himself with masterful speeches in Parliament.

The British had a poor opinion of Eisenhower, and FDR had a poor opinion of Eden. There was so much conflict between the British and the Americans that it is amazing they were able to agree to any plan of action. The American people disliked the British for drawing them into “their war.” The British disliked the Americans for the Negro troops sent to England where they were believed to be responsible for rapes and a crime wave. A lot of propaganda was necessary to focus the hate on the Germans.

The British did not want to sacrifice Arab interests to Zionists but usually did because Zionists had the money. Churchill himself was indebted to a multimillionaire Jew who bailed him out when he faced bankruptcy. Zionists attempted to use their leverage over Churchill to force his approval of both more Jewish immigration to Palestine and for the formation of a “Jewish fighting force,” allegedly to fight the Germans but in reality to drive Palestinians out of Palestine. Zionists promised Churchill that if he would agree to their demands, they would bring the US into the war against Germany. Such was their power.

The British saw Zionists’ interests as detrimental to their hold on their Arab colonies. When deportations of Jews and their mistreatment began leaking out, the British Foreign Office saw the reports as the work of the international Zionist campaign to create sympathy and to use the sympathy in behalf of their Palestinian purpose. When 700 Jews found incapable of work were shot in a work camp, the Foreign Office responded, “Information from Jewish refugees is generally coloured and frequently unreliable.” Eisenhower was pleased with Darlan and was unaware of Eden’s plot against him. An American newsman told Eisenhower’s staff that the agitation against Admiral Darlan came from “Jews of press and radio who wish to make certain we were fighting a war to make the world safe for Jews.” The Jews cried wolf so often that when he actually showed up they were not believed.

Much information emerges in the second volume about Churchill’s character, personal habits, excessive drinking—he was dependent on alcohol—and autocratic ways. He could turn people against him and then with a speech or by taking special notice of them put them back in his pocket. Churchill had flaws and the ability to survive them. Irving does not excoriate Churchill. He merely shows us what he was like. There are things to admire and things to disapprove.

Moreover, it is not only Churchill who was ambitious. All were. It is a mystery that organization survived ambition. Somehow officers were able to devote time to war against the Germans from the time they spent warring against one another for commands and promotions. The same with cabinet ministers. The same for the military services fighting one another for resources. And the same for the Germans. The Italian and German generals were so jealous of Rommel’s initial successes in North Africa that they worked to undermine him.

And German efficiency also bites the dust. German intelligence never caught on that the British were reading their codes and knew precisely every shipment to resupply Rommel which the British seldom failed to send to the bottom of the Mediterranean. One would think that after nothing gets through time and again that a light would come on.

Volume 2 has 200 pages of footnote references. It has a 35 page index. It is the kind of history that only gets written once in a century. Irving is clearly the master of historical documentation. When you disagree with Irving, most likely you are disagreeing with the documented historical record.

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 14 Comments

US commander claims major naval buildup in Caribbean not aimed at toppling Maduro

A map produced by the US Southern Command shows that most drug routes enter the US via the Pacific and then Central America (Business Insider)
Press TV – April 19, 2020

The top US military commander for Latin America has claimed that the Navy’s purported expansion of counter-narcotic operations in the Caribbean is not a military force aimed at toppling Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro despite Washington persisting provocations against Caracas.

Chief of US Southern Command Adm. Craig Faller asserted in an interview that Washington’s recent decision to double anti-narcotics assets in Latin America was planned months ago and not “directly” tied to Maduro’s indictment in a US court on allegations of leading a “narco-terrorist” conspiracy that supposedly sent 250 metric tons of cocaine a year to the United States.

“This is not a shift in US government policy,” Faller further claimed, despite boasting that enhanced interdiction efforts would harm Maduro’s finances and staying power. “It’s not an indication of some sort of new militarization in the Caribbean.”

The naval deployment announced this month is reportedly one of the largest US military operations in the region since its invasion of Panama in 1989 to topple its president and former CIA operative Gen. Manuel Noriega from power and take him to the US to face drug charges.

The operation involves major war-making resources such as Navy warships, AWACS surveillance aircraft and on-ground Special Forces rarely deployed before in the region.

Faller, however, further claimed that economic and diplomatic pressure — not the use of military force — continue to be Washington’s preferred instruments to oust the Venezuelan president from power.

He then went on to claim that growing instability in Venezuela is leading to an “uptick” in piracy in the Caribbean without citing any statistics or evidence to support his assertion.

Faller also said the recent sinking of a Venezuelan naval ship after it allegedly rammed an Antarctic-hardened cruise ship without passengers near Curacao reflected the readiness of the Venezuelan armed forces.

“It was a bad day for them,” he mockingly said. “Their lack of seamanship and lack of integrity is indicative of how it all played out.”

The hawkish US commander also pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic did force some in the US military to rethink the timing of the current deployment out of concern for the safety of American troops, adding that while controls to protect the workforce have been enhanced, it was determined that over the long term, the US is positioned to take advantage of the disruption in narcotics supply chains caused by the coronavirus outbreak as drug cartels scramble to source precursor chemical and other inputs.

“We thrive in uncertainty and are going to try and capitalize on that,” Faller boasted.

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , | 6 Comments

Corporate Media Cover for US Mob Threats Against Venezuela

By Lucas Koerner and Ricardo Vaz | FAIR | April 15, 2020

The Trump administration unveiled on March 31 a “democratic transition” plan to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from office, in favor of a “council of state” composed of both opposition and ruling party loyalists.

The plan was, however, less an offer to negotiate than a diktat, with the US State Department (3/31/20) vowing that “sanctions will remain in effect, and increase, until the Maduro regime accepts a genuine political transition.”

Despite the obvious mafioso overtones, Washington’s stenographers in the corporate press were quick to present the initiative as “sanctions relief,” once again whitewashing murderous US economic warfare against Venezuela (FAIR.org2/6/196/14/196/26/19).

Western journalists’ callous obfuscation of sanctions’ deadly toll, especially amid a global pandemic (FAIR.org3/25/20), goes hand in hand with their parroting of bogus “narco-terrorism” charges leveled against Maduro and top Venezuelan officials, which butresses Washington’s ever-illicit casus belli.

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

The New York Times (3/31/20) jumped at the opportunity to furnish the Trump administration’s plan with a varnish of reasonability. “The proposal…offers to ease American sanctions intended to pressure President Nicolás Maduro and his loyalists over the past year,” Lara Jakes wrote, misconstruing the unilateral measures destroying Venezuela’s economy as well-intentioned steps to bring about “fair elections.”

At no point did the paper of record mention Washington’s threat to ramp up illegal sanctions if Maduro refuses the “offer” to replace his government with a five-person junta, in flagrant violation of Venezuela’s constitution. Other Western media likewise covered up the US blackmail, praising Donald Trump’s bayonet-hoisted ultimatum as a “roadmap to relief” (Washington Post3/31/20), a “more toned-down approach” (Reuters3/31/20) and a “conciliatory framework” (Economist4/2/20).

Having dutifully whitewashed US sanctions, the Times and its counterparts were free to cast war criminal Elliott Abrams, rehabilitated last year as Trump’s Venezuela envoy (CounterSpin3/1/19), as an honest broker committed to good-faith dialogue:

But Mr. Abrams was careful to say that the plan was an opening offer for talks between the two sides, “not a take-it-or-leave-it proposition,” and that no single issue was a deal breaker—except the demand for Mr. Maduro’s departure.

By contrast, Maduro—reelected in internationally monitored elections with a greater percentage of the electorate than Trump won in 2016, or Barack Obama in 2012—is for the Times “reminiscent of mid-20th century Latin American strongmen,” whose 2018 victory was “self-declared.”

The Times went on to accuse the Venezuelan leader of “creating one of the world’s largest refugee populations,” concealing the role of criminal sanctions in driving migration (FAIR.org2/18/18).

This vilification of Maduro and the Chavista poor people’s movement does not merely reflect reporters’ professional class bias, but is structurally necessary to justify US economic warfare and more overt criminality in the first place.

It is therefore no coincidence that the Trump administration’s gunpoint “proposal” to overturn Venezuela’s constitutional order came on the heels of Department of Justice “narco-terrorism” charges against the Venezuelan head of state and other top officials, which corporate journalists trumpeted enthusiastically.

Most outlets regarded the timing as a symptom of “contradictory” (Washington Post4/14/20) or “erratic” (New York Times4/10/20) US policy, which could “make it harder to remove Maduro” (Economist4/2/20), but the underlying regime change (ir)rationality never comes into question.

Indeed, even liberal imperialist academics like David Smilde and Abraham Lowenthal (Washington Post4/14/20) declined to call for scrapping the indictments, let alone easing sanctions, as a goodwill gesture aimed at securing Chavista support for the US plan, which they hailed as a “step in the right direction.” Rather, they merely recommend that the Trump administration offer “guarantees for indicted officials” against extradition, as if Maduro would be inclined to negotiate while Washington continues its collective punishment and maintains a $15 million bounty on his head.

Smilde and his Washington Office on Latin America colleague Geoff Ramsey’s  (Washington Post3/27/20) refusal to demand the immediate annulment of the drug charges and illegal sanctions is hardly surprising, given both men’s long-running support for US coup efforts (Common Dreams3/5/19).

(Left) The NYT found Maduro’s white suit and being flanked by ministers as “reminiscent of dictators” (Right) The WaPo found an unconstitutional plan to remove an elected president on the basis of threats “a step in the right direction”

Calling the Kettle Black

The DoJ’s indictment of 14 current or former senior Venezuelan officials on “narco-terrorism” charges provided the Western media with fresh grist for its imperial propaganda mill.

This is hardly the first time that the corporate media have reported the Washington’s evidence-free drug allegations against official enemies, which they have frequently done without any pretense of journalistic rigor (Extra!1/909/12FAIR.org,  9/24/195/24/19).

The New York Times (3/26/20) dedicated no less than 12 paragraphs to repeating prosecutors’ claims, which are centered on the outlandish notion that Maduro secretly heads a drug cartel that conspired with Colombia’s FARC guerrillas to “‘flood’ the United States with cocaine.”

Despite marshaling a crack team of three writers and four contributing reporters, the Times proved incapable of citing any contrarian perspectives, let alone basic facts, that cast doubt on the “narco-terrorism” narrative.

The Guardian (3/26/20) and the Washington Post (3/27/20) were virtually the only outlets to mention the US government’s own publicly available data showing that just a small fraction of drug routes pass through Venezuela, with the overwhelming majority of cocaine entering the United States via Mexico and Central America. Furthermore, Colombia remains the world’s largest cocaine producer, right under the nose of large US military and DEA contingents, which have long waged a “war for drugs and of terror” in the country.

The DoJ’s case looks like a reheated version of equally unfounded accusations against former President Hugo Chávez, which corporate journalists eagerly promoted last year (FAIR.org9/24/19).

A map produced by the US Southern Command shows that most drug routes enter the US via the Pacific and then Central America (Business Insider)

As with prior allegations against Socialist Party Vice President Diosdado Cabello (Wall Street Journal5/18/15), the indictments hinge on the testimony of defectors, whose claims are echoed in the Western press without scrutiny.

In the most recent case, retired Maj. Gen. Cliver Alcalá and former intelligence chief Hugo “El Pollo” Carvajal were also charged by the DoJ and pledged to cooperate with US authorities. Both had previously broken with the Maduro government and endorsed self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó.

Alcalá, who swiftly surrendered to DEA agents and was flown to the US, boasted of plotting a coup in conjunction with Guaidó and “US advisers.”

In an exposé of the coup plot, the Financial Times (4/4/20) cast doubt on the general’s “rambling and contradictory” account, quoting several US officials denying the coup attempt and alleging Alcalá was “acting on the orders of Caracas.”

The outlet conveniently ignored that this would not be the first time Alcalá conspired to invade Venezuela with a paramilitary force.

According to Bloomberg (3/6/19), there was a plan for the general to lead a contingent of 200 Venezuelan exile soldiers to clear the way for the entry of “humanitarian aid” on February 23, 2019, which was vetoed at the last minute by Colombia, suggesting high-level coordination with Washington, Bogotá and Guaidó.

By repeating the US narrative of Alcalá as a Maduro “plant,” corporate journalists paradoxically legitimize the general as a reliable source of current information on Venezuelan “narco-terrorism,” while concealing his embarrassing ties to the US and its opposition proxies.

As we have exposed for FAIR.org (5/24/19), Carvajal has already proved his worth in the past by serving up to credulous reporters highly dubious allegations about Venezuelan leaders’ Hezbollah ties (New York Times2/21/19).

(Left) The NYT (and other outlets) accepted the DoJ’s “narco-terrorism” charges at face value (Right) An AP headline endorsed Trump’s dubious justification for an aggression

Imaginary Cartels, Real Warships

The uncritical coverage of the DoJ charges paved the way for a further US escalation shortly after the “transition” plan was unveiled.

On March 31, the Trump administration announced a military deployment to the Caribbean described by Associated Press (4/1/20) as “one of the largest in the region since the 1989 invasion of Panama.”

One might have expected such an obscenely expensive display of force amid a deadly pandemic currently killing thousands of Americans to be met with widespread rebuke across the media spectrum.

In fact, the opposition was largely muted. Newsweek (4/3/20) and Foreign Policy (4/2/20) gave voice to the Pentagon’s concern that the operation was wasteful and politically motivated, while the New York Times (4/10/20) published an op-ed raising polite proceduralist quibbles. Agreeing with the Trump administration that Maduro is a “dictator” who “must go,” Michael Shifter and Michael Camilleri nonetheless placed a vague call for Washington “to reboot sanctions policy, provide aid through accountable channels, and press the country’s leaders to work together.” Evidently, demanding the immediate lifting of (arguably genocidal) sanctions was too unreasonable to ask.

Referring to the Venezuelan military as “deeply involved in corruption and criminality,” Shifter and Camilleri exemplify the decadent imperial intelligentsia’s psychology of displacement.

From social democratic left to neoliberal right, Global North journalists and intellectuals remain invested in the self-serving illusion that besieged Southern nations such as Venezuela and Iran are more “criminal,” “corrupt” and “authoritarian” than the US empire (FAIR.org2/12/20).

For all their polite critiques of illegal US sanctions and military escalation–whose monstrosity has been laid bare by the current pandemic–the cult of Western exceptionalism goes unchallenged.

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 8 Comments

Coronavirus Testing Delayed Due to Contamination in CDC Labs – Reports

Sputnik – April 19, 2020

The production of coronavirus test kits by the CDC was delayed for nearly a month, as the laboratories developing the kits had violated manufacturing practices that led to contamination of one of the three testing components, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

The problems with the tests were allegedly found in January at 24 of the 26 public health labs that had received test kits from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), media reported, citing unnamed sources.

The violation reportedly occurred after chemical mixtures were assembled into the kits in the same lab space where synthetic coronavirus material had been handled earlier.

The CDC efforts “were not sufficient in this circumstance” and the agency has “implemented enhanced quality control to address the issue”, the CDC said, as quoted in the article.

According to a New York Times report, citing the officials of the national Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the faulty testing kits were created at two of the three CDC laboratories in Atlanta.

“CDC did not manufacture its test consistent with its own protocol”, Stephanie Caccomo, spokesperson for the FDA, said in Saturday’s statement to the paper.

The Department of Health and Human Services is now investigating the production and dissemination of the test kits.

The US has so far confirmed more than 690,000 cases of COVID-19, including at least 35,400 fatalities, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 3 Comments

South Korea blocks test kits for Iran on Saudi-funded TV’s request

Press TV – April 19, 2020

Iran says South Korea has rejected a SWIFT payment request by Tehran for purchase of coronavirus testing kits over the US sanctions.

Iran’s Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour late Saturday released a document that shows a Saudi-funded TV had asked a Korean bank to reject the request.

“As a result, the Korean bank rejected Iran’s request and the kits were not delivered to Iran,” he said.

According to the document, London-based Iran International television channel falsely claimed that the SWIFT request had been made by a software company which sought to export non-medical goods to Iran.

Jahanpour released a second document which shows South Korea’s Mico BioMed, which develops and sells medical kits, had in fact presented the SWIFT request to the bank.

“The SWIFT request related [to Iran’s purchase of test kits] has been rejected by the Korean bank under the pretext of sanctions,” he said.

“This shows claims of medicine and medical equipment not being subject to sanctions are lies. The bank has officially stated that the purchase is not possible due to the sanctions,” Jahanpour added.

Belgium-based SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is used to transmit payments and letters of credit.

The US government has intensified its sanctions on Iran despite international calls on Washington to suspend them to allow the Islamic Republic to secure necessary medicine and equipment in the midst of the coronavirus fight.

Washington claims the sanctions do not target medicine for Iran, but they make it all but impossible for importers to obtain letters of credit or conduct international transfers of funds through banks.

Last week, Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York dismissed the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) which the Europeans belatedly announced with much fanfare to have made operational in coordination with the US to barter medicine and food with Iran.

The mission said the United States has forced SHTA to pursue a very tight and tough procedure, making it practically very difficult for companies to trade with Iran.

“Additionally, almost impossible or cumbersome nature of transferring Iran’s reserves blocked outside the country to the designated Swiss bank, not only does not allow the SHTA to function properly now but may actually render it redundant in a matter of few months,” it said.

According to the mission, several companies that supply the medical equipment required to fight the coronavirus have recently stopped shipping to Iran because the current US sanctions regime makes the shipping of such items to Iran almost impossible.

Washington has imposed new sanctions in the midst of the coronavirus, targeting trade with Iran, even as President Donald Trump has claimed that the US was ready to help with the outbreak if Tehran asked for it.

The Islamic Republic has rejected the offer as hypocritical while the US is refusing to lift the sanctions and even intensifying them. Officials have said Washington’s demand that Tehran make a direct plea for the removal of sanctions shows the United States seeks “nothing short of surrender”.

Iran’s UN mission said last week the only message the US is sending with intensifying its sanctions amid the coronavirus is that companies must avoid doing any business with Iran, even if their work is humanitarian in nature.

Meanwhile, certain sections of mainstream media act as a virtual arm of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which is responsible for administering the US sanctions regime.

They have been on a witch hunt to identify Iran’s financial institutions and report them to the US government for possible sanctions.

Iran International, launched in May 2017, is a regular megaphone for separatists and terrorist groups operating against Iran. It is best known for airing disparaging reports about Iran and trying to stoke unrest in the country.

In October 2018, The Guardian cited a source close to the Saudi government as saying that Iran International had received an estimated $250 million from the Saudi royal court for its launch.

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment