Feb 6, 2010
By Rich Benjamin, AlterNet
Editor's Note: Rich Benjamin's commentary on the underlying "white grievance" currents in the Tea Party movement were buttressed Thursday by the statements of Republican Tom Tancredo, the opening speaker at the Tea Party convention. Tancredo told attendees that President Barack Obama was elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country," an allusion to how Southern states used literacy tests as part of an effort to deny suffrage to African American voters before the civil rights era.
The Tea Party movement, holding its first convention this weekend, is angling to be the most revolutionary force in American politics in name and in deed, since at least the 1960s counterculture. Only this time, the political insurgents command a party of Flour Power, not flower power.
Rich Benjamin is the author of Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America.
© 2010 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
Seven Years Behind Bars: Anniversary of Ernst Zundel's Arrest
Seven years ago -- on Feb. 5, 2003 -- Ernst Zundel was arrested at his home in eastern Tennessee. Ever since he has been held behind bars, first in Canada and now in Germany, for his peaceful expression of non-conformist views. He is the most prominent "prisoner of conscience" in the western world today. Now 70 years of age, he is due to be released on or about March 5.
`Defamation' Film Looks at Contemporary `Anti-Semitism'
A provocative, irreverent video by Israeli film-maker Yoav Shamir about "anti-Semitism," real and invented, in today's world. Shows how Zionists use a manipulated historical narrative, especially of "the Holocaust," to inculcate Jews with a paranoid sense of victimhood and "otherness," and feelings of fear, disregard and even contempt for non-Jews. Includes interviews with: Abe Foxman, director of the Zionist "Anti-Defamation League"; Norman Finkelstein, author of The Holocaust Industry ; Stephen Walt, co-author of The Israel Lobby; Uri Avnery, Israeli peace activist. Runtime: one hour and 32 mins.
Popular iPhone App of Mussolini Speeches is Withdrawn
An iPhone application that allows users to download speeches by the former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini has been withdrawn. Its developer says he is removing it after legal threats. But the application has also faced protests from Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors who described it as offensive. IMussolini, as the application is known, has become the most popular iPhone download in Italy. It has even beaten video games based on the current film sensation Avatar. It is a 25-minute collection of video and audio clips from 100 of Mussolini's speeches. But now it has been withdrawn after a row with the film institute where the pictures came from.
US May Kill `Threatening' Americans, Says Intelligence Chief
The Washington Post
Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair acknowledged Wednesday that government agencies may kill U.S. citizens abroad who are involved in terrorist activities if they are "taking action that threatens Americans." Blair told members of the House intelligence committee that he was speaking publicly about the issue to reassure Americans that intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense "follow a set of defined policy and legal procedures that are very carefully observed" in the use of lethal force against U.S. citizens. Blair's unusually frank remarks come as the issue of targeting Americans for lethal action has attracted more notice.
Iraq `Littered' With High Levels of Nuclear and Dioxin Contamination
The Guardian (Britain)
More than 40 sites across Iraq are contaminated with high levels of radiation and dioxins, with three decades of war and neglect having left environmental ruin in large parts of the country, an official Iraqi study has found. Areas in and near Iraq's largest towns and cities, including Najaf, Basra and Falluja, account for around 25% of the contaminated sites, which appear to coincide with communities that have seen increased rates of cancer and birth defects over the past five years.
A Terrifying Legacy of the Vietnam War
The Telegraph (Britain)
Another Vietnam War shell has exploded - this time, in a schoolyard. No one was injured when the artillery shell exploded in a school playing field on Wednesday, shattering windows and terrifying hundreds of students. Unexploded ordnance and mines have killed more than 42,000 people and wounded some 62,000 since the Vietnam War ended in 1975.
Colorado City Cuts Into Services Considered Basic by Many
The Denver Post (Colorado)
This tax-averse city [Colorado Springs] is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric. More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops -- dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled ... City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends.
In England, `Heretical Two' Lose Appeal on Internet Racism Case
Two men have lost their appeals against the UK's first conviction for inciting racial hatred via a foreign website. Simon Sheppard, 51, was sentenced to four years and 10 months, and Stephen Whittle, 42, to two years and four months at Leeds Crown Court in July. However, the Court of Appeal has reduced Sheppard's sentence by one year and Whittle's jail term by six months. Sheppard, from Selby, North Yorks, and Whittle, of Preston, Lancs, controlled US websites featuring racist material. During their first trial in 2008, they skipped bail and fled to California, where they sought asylum claiming they were being persecuted for their right-wing views, but were deported.
In California, A New Campaign to Remove Prof. MacDonald
Daily 49er -- California State University - Long Beach
In the past week, psychology professor Kevin MacDonald had his class interrupted by an organization claiming his views and recent involvement in political organization the American Third Option party are seen as racist and anti-Semitic. MacDonald, a tenured professor at Cal State Long Beach, has been making headlines on the matter since he was investigated by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2006. The SPLC tracks hate crimes and groups across America ... Both Kauffman and Cabral are students at CSULB and members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), a Marxist and Leninist organization that advocates revolutionary change and progressive reform.
The Case Against Tony Blair
... It was striking in Blair's testimony that so many of his references to Iraq are inaccurate. In trying to prove some connection between the perpetrators of 9/11 and Saddam's regime, he mentioned Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, later head of the Iraqi branch of al Qa'ida, as being in Iraq before Saddam was overthrown. He failed to mention that he was in a camp in Kurdistan in part of the country not controlled by Saddam Hussein. He said Iran intervened in Iraq because it feared a Shia democracy on its doorstep. In fact, Iran supported the Shia government in Baghdad after it was elected in 2005, but opposed the presence of American and British forces ... A YouGov poll earlier this month shows that 23 per cent of the public think he should be tried as war criminal.
Jewish Groups Protest Popular iPhone App Sales of Mussolini Speeches
The Times (Britain)
Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors have protested to Apple over Italy's current best-selling iPhone application: a collection of the speeches of Benito Mussolini, the Fascist dictator. Demand for "iMussolini", subtitled "The man who changed the history of our country", has risen to the point where it is being downloaded 1,000 times a day according to Luigi Marino, 25, its creator. It is more popular than a video game based on the film Avatar and an X-ray machine app which "allows you to see your friends naked". The app, which costs 79 Euro cents, contains audio, video and text of 100 speeches ...
Jewish Complaints of Pro-Nazi Videos on YouTube
Daily Mail (Britain)
Video-sharing website YouTube has been condemned for showing video clips glorifying Nazi troops. The scenes, accompanied by militaristic music, have drawn millions of hits from potential Nazi sympathisers and voyeurs. YouTube, which hosts film clips from the public, has 2,880 items on the Waffen SS, the most fanatical of Hitler's soldiers who were indicted for war crimes throughout WW2. The entries have a string of 'Sieg Heil' comments and praise for the fighting prowess of the Waffen SS, recruited for their unswerving loyalty to Nazism. The videos, some from Nazi propaganda news reels, have angered Jewish organisations who have called for YouTube to remove the 'hugely offensive' postings.
US Grants Asylum to Home Schooling German Family
The Guardian (Britain)
A US judge has granted political asylum to a German family who said they had fled the country to avoid persecution for home schooling their children. In the first reported case of its kind, Tennessee immigration judge Lawrence Burman ruled that the family of seven have a legitimate fear of prosecution for their beliefs. Germany requires parents to enrol their children in school in most cases and has levied fines against those who educate their children at home. Christians Uwe Romeike, a piano teacher, and his wife, Hannelore, moved to Morristown, Tennessee, in 2008 after German authorities fined them thousands of euros for keeping their children out of school and sent police to escort them to classes, Romeike said.
Presidential Assassinations of US Citizens
Glenn Greenwald -- Salon
... American citizens are now being placed on a secret "hit list" of people whom the President has personally authorized to be killed: "After the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush gave the CIA, and later the military, authority to kill U.S. citizens abroad if strong evidence existed that an American was involved in organizing or carrying out terrorist actions against the United States or U.S. interests ... The Obama administration has adopted the same stance." ... Barack Obama, like George Bush before him, has claimed the authority to order American citizens murdered based solely on the unverified, uncharged, unchecked claim that they are associated with Terrorism and pose "a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests."
Cracking Down on 'Conflict Minerals': Millions Dying in Congo Conflict
Los Angeles Times -- Editorial
The deadliest conflict since World War II, in which 5.4 million people have died and 200,000 women have been raped, rages far from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where murderous militias are battling for control of valuable minerals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, which are essential to the worldwide production of consumer electronics. Congolese, in other words, are dying in extraordinary numbers for our cellphones and video games, digital cameras and laptop computers.
Wanted: Tony Blair For War Crimes
George Monbiot -- The Guardian (Britain)
The only question that counts is the one that the Chilcot inquiry won't address: was the war with Iraq illegal? If the answer is yes, everything changes. The war is no longer a political matter, but a criminal one, and those who commissioned it should be committed for trial for what the Nuremberg tribunal called "the supreme international crime": the crime of aggression ... Without legal justification, the war with Iraq was an act of mass murder: those who died were unlawfully killed by the people who commissioned it. Crimes of aggression (also known as crimes against peace) are defined by the Nuremberg principles as "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties".
Britain's Leaders Knew Impending Iraq Invasion Was Illegal, Says Former Official
The Telegraph (Britain)
Tony Blair and his ministers went to war in Iraq despite repeated warnings from senior Government advisers that they had "no leg to stand on" legally. During evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry into the war against Saddam, it emerged that Foreign Office lawyers were "unanimous" in their view that going to war without a United Nations mandate would be a "crime of aggression" likely to damage Britain's standing in the world. Sir Michael Wood, chief legal adviser at the Foreign Office, painted a vivid picture of how his team repeatedly intervened privately to correct ministers who were stating that a fresh UN resolution was not legally not legally necessary, but their advice was ignored.
U.S. Foreign Aid Summary
The US provides more aid to Israel than any other country. In 2006, the US gave $2.5 billion to the Zionist state, which has a population of about 7.5 million. By contrast, the impoverished nation of Haiti, with a population of more than eight million, received $163 million, and Peru, with a population of more than 27 million, received $133 million. Each year more American taxpayer money goes to Israel than to all of sub-Saharan Africa.
US Budget Deficit Set to Hit $1.35 Trillion
The US budget deficit is expected to reach $1.35 trillion in 2010, according to US Congress estimates. In 2009, the US deficit hit a record $1.4 trillion - equal to 9.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) - and the highest since the end of World War II. President Obama will make his first State of the Union address on Wednesday and will submit his budget plan on February 1. He is expected to announce a three-year partial spending freeze. The savings - expected to be about $15 billion off next year's budget and to amount to $250 billion during the next 10 years - are aimed at reducing the country's massive deficit.
Many Europeans Believe Jews Exploit History for Money
Nearly half of Western European believe that Jews exploit the persecution of their past as a method of extorting money, according to an annual Jewish Agency report released on Sunday. A joint report on anti-Semitism conducted by the Agency and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs found that 42 percent of those polled by the University of Bielefeld in Germany agreed that "Jews exploit the past to extort money." The countries in which the highest percentage of the population agreed with that statement were Poland and Spain. According to the Jewish Agency, there were more anti-Semitic incidents in 2009 than in any year since the Second World War.
German Court Summons Bishop Williamson for `Holocaust Denial' Remarks
A German court said on Wednesday it had summoned traditionalist Catholic bishop Richard Williamson to face charges he denied the Holocaust, an offence punishable by up to five years in jail. In comments broadcast on Swedish television last January, Williamson said he believed no more than 300,000 Jews perished in the Holocaust and that there were no gas chambers.
The Bishop Williamson Case: Behind the Headlines
Mark Weber and Jeff Rense
The IHR director and the host of the Jeff Rense program take a spirited and informed look at the much-publicized Bishop Williamson case. They review the Bishop's controversial remarks on "the Holocaust," and what this affair means for Americans, Christians and the world. As Weber explains, the uproar over Williamson's much-criticized "Holocaust denial" statements is not really about historical truth or "hate," but about Jewish-Zionist power and its role in our culture. Audio recording of broadcast of Feb. 24, 2009. Runtime: 38:17 mins.
Incarcerated Revisionists: Write to Europe's Prisoners of Conscience
Write to Europe's most prominent prisoners of conscience, including Ernst Zündel, Horst Mahler and Sylvia Stolz. Here are the addresses of individuals who are behind bars in Germany and Austria for expressing dissident, "banned" views.
Obama Ignores Key Afghan Warning
Nothing highlights President Barack Obama's abject surrender to Gen. David Petraeus on the "way forward" in Afghanistan more than two cables U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry sent to Washington on Nov. 6 and 9, 2009, the texts of which were released by the New York Times. No longer is it possible to suggest that Obama was totally deprived of good counsel on Afghanistan; Eikenberry got it largely right. Sadly, the inevitable conclusion is that, although Obama is not as dumb as his predecessor, he is no less willing to sacrifice thousands of lives for political gain.
U.S. Envoy's Cables Show Worries on Afghan Plans
The New York Times
The United States ambassador in Kabul warned his superiors here in November that President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan "is not an adequate strategic partner" and "continues to shun responsibility for any sovereign burden," according to a classified cable that offers a much bleaker accounting of the risks of sending additional American troops to Afghanistan than was previously known ... "Sending additional forces will delay the day when Afghans will take over, and make it difficult, if not impossible, to bring our people home on a reasonable timetable," he wrote Nov. 6.
Mussolini Speeches Are Apple iTunes Hit
The Telegraph (Britain)
A collection of speeches by Benito Mussolini has become an unlikely and controversial hit on the internet. The speeches, the last of which was delivered in 1938 when Italy introduced laws which discriminated against Jews, are the second-most downloaded application on the Italian version of Apple's iTunes website. ... Since the application was launched on Jan 21, it has been downloaded about 1,000 times a day. "The first day it was downloaded only 55 times, the second day more than 600 and from the third day I had on average 1,000 downloads a day," Mr Marino said.
A Heated Exchange on Zionism's `Holocaust Industry'
"Cross Talk" -- RT television (Russia)
A heated exchange between two Jewish scholars on the legacy of the Holocaust today. It its memory being abused? Does Israel use "the Holocaust" as a political weapon? Norman Finkelstein, Jewish scholar and author of The Holocaust Industry, says that Israel and its defenders have used "the Holocaust" as a "shakedown racket" and a tool of "blackmail" in extorting money, for example from Swiss banks. Israel Charny, director of Israel's Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, responds with pious evasions and attacks Finkelstein's style and character. Runtime: 25:47 mins.
Holocaust Remembrance is a Boon for Israeli Propaganda
Gideon Levy - Haaretz (Israel)
... Wednesday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and an Israeli public relations drive like this hasn't been seen for ages ... A thousand speeches against anti-Semitism will not extinguish the flames ignited by Operation Cast Lead, flames that threaten not only Israel but the entire Jewish world. As long as Gaza is under blockade and Israel sinks into its institutionalized xenophobia, Holocaust speeches will remain hollow. As long as evil is rampant here at home, neither the world nor we will be able to accept our preaching to others, even if they deserve it.
Jews Are A `Source of Problems,' Says Malaysian Ex-PM
Malaysia's former prime minister accused America's "Jewish lobby" of preventing President Obama from ending the war in Afghanistan. Local Malaysian media reported that Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled the Muslim nation between 1981 and 2003, ... went on to say that Jews "had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom. Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world," he said.
Iraq Invasion Violated International Law, Dutch Inquiry Finds
The Guardian (Britain)
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a violation of international law, an independent inquiry in the Netherlands has found. In a damning series of findings on the decision of the Dutch government to support Tony Blair and George Bush in the strategy of regime change in Iraq, the inquiry found the action had "no basis in international law." The 551-page report, published today [Jan. 12] and chaired by former Dutch supreme court judge Willibrord Davids, said UN resolutions in the 1990s prior to the outbreak of war gave no authority to the invasion. "The Dutch government lent its political support to a war whose purpose was not consistent with Dutch government policy. The military action had no sound mandate in international law," it said.
Obama: A Hawk On Military Spending
Anyone who was hoping the administration would bring a modest downsizing of the nation's defense establishment and global military role has to be feeling like Bernard Madoff's investors. Escalation is underway in Afghanistan, the Army is expanding and the Pentagon is on the all-you-can-
British Invasion of Iraq Was Illegal, Says Ex-Government Lawyer
Agence France Presse
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was illegal, a former top British government lawyer told a public inquiry into the war Tuesday, three days before ex-prime minister Tony Blair appears. "I considered that the use of force against Iraq in March 2003 was contrary to international law," Michael Wood, chief legal advisor to the Foreign Office between 1999 and 2006, told the Chilcot inquiry in London. "In my opinion, that use of force had not been authorised by the Security Council, and had no other legal basis in international law." Wood said he told ministers of his concerns but was brushed aside ...
Nazi Souvenirs on Sale in Israel
Ynet News (Israel)
If it happened in any other country, we'd be crying 'anti-Semitism!' but it's happening in the first Hebrew city in broad daylight. And yes, there are customers / ... Then I see medals, coins, banknotes and letters - all authentic, all from the time of the Third Reich, and all displayed in broad daylight in the first Hebrew city, on sale in exchange for Israeli currency. ... Hitler has yet to become a cultural icon - a situation soon to change, judging by the stalls at Tel Aviv's flea market.
Hitler's Fish Knife: The Trade in Nazi Memorabilia
A look at the robust and growing trade in Nazi memorabilia. Audio recording of BBC report, including an interview with historian David Irving.
Television Under the Swastika
Spiegel TV (Germany)
A documentary look, with memorable images, at television in Third Reich Germany, which was a world leader in television technology and broadcasting. Runtime: 54:44 mins.
Meritocracy and Jewish Kinship Networks
.. .. How much of Jewish achievement reflects the fact that Jews look out for one another? When I had to get a partner on this website to keep it going, I was most comfortable getting another Jew. Years ago when I was at the Harvard Crimson newspaper, my Irish-Catholic friend Mary Ridge informed me that it was a "Jewish club"- we selected for our own kind; and the Crimson produced a lot of professional journalism talent. I have gotten most of my journalism work from Jewish bosses. Jews have kinship networks as strong as other people's, maybe more strong .. .. So I think some of the amazing record of Jewish achievement reflects discrimination; and Jews are powerful enough in this society that we ought to be conscious of that.
Polish Bishop Accuses Jews of Exploiting Holocaust
Agence France Presse
A retired Polish bishop accused Jews of exploiting the Holocaust for propaganda purposes in remarks that appeared Monday on a Rome-based traditionalist Roman Catholic website ... "The Holocaust as such is a Jewish invention," said the former spokesman of Poland's Bishops Conference. The Shoah is "used as a propaganda weapon and to obtain advantages that are often unjustified," he charged. Pieronek, who was a friend of the late Polish pope John Paul II, added: "You could speak just as forcefully and establish a day of remembrance for the many victims of communism, persecuted Catholics and Christians and so on." Accusing Jews of "intolerable arrogance," he said they "enjoy good press because they are supported by powerful financial means, enormous power and the unconditional backing of the United States."
World Has `Privilege and Obligation' to Defend Israel, Says Israeli Leader
Israel National News - Arutz Sheva (Israel)
The [Israel] government has dedicated today's meeting to the memory of the six million Jews starved, tortured and massacred in the Holocaust. This Wednesday, the United Nations and at least 20 countries will mark International Holocaust Day. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, said, "I hope the United Nations will remember what happened when the Jews did not have a state - and the privilege and obligation of the international community to defend the Jewish State's existence."
Blair Was Warned That Attack on Iraq Needed UN Go-Ahead
The Independent (Britain)
Tony Blair [then British prime minister] was warned two months before the invasion of Iraq it would be illegal to go to war without United Nations' authority, the inquiry into the conflict heard today ... The inquiry heard how Mr Straw rejected the advice of his senior legal adviser at the Foreign Office, Sir Michael Wood, that an invasion without a UN Security Council resolution specifically authorising military action would be a "crime of aggression". Sir Michael's deputy Elizabeth Wilmshurst, who resigned in protest on the eve of the invasion in March 2003, described the Government's treatment of the legal advice as "lamentable".
British Legal Decision on 2003 Iraq War Was `Lamentable'
A [British] Foreign Office lawyer who resigned in protest at the Iraq war said the way ministers weighed up the legal case for the invasion was "lamentable". Elizabeth Wilmshurst told the Iraq inquiry she thought the war was unlawful without express UN backing. And she said it was "extraordinary" that Attorney General Lord Goldsmith had only been asked for his opinion days before British troops went in. Ministers argue that existing UN resolutions justified the use of force. The testimony of Ms Wilmshurst and her then boss Sir Michael Wood made it clear that the legal team at the Foreign Office believed that the war was illegal under international law.
Israeli Leader Vows to Keep Zionist Settlements In Occupied Land
The Israeli prime minister has taken part in tree-planting ceremonies in the West Bank while declaring Israel will never leave those areas. Benjamin Netanyahu said the Jewish settlements blocs would always remain part of the state of Israel. His remarks came hours after a visit by US envoy George Mitchell who is trying to reopen peace talks between Israel and Palestinians.
China Economy Sees Strong Growth
China has said its economy expanded by 8.7 percent in 2009, exceeding even the government's own initial expectations. The pace of change increased as the year went on, with growth in the final quarter of 2009 increasing by 10.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. China is now on course to overtake Japan and become the world's second-biggest economy.
Genetic Heritage Unites Jews, Says Author
Jewish Life Televsion - Video
Jews around the world have a remarkably high level of genetic unity, says Jon Entine in his new book, "Abraham's Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People." He cites up-to-date DNA research to show that what makes the "Chosen People" Jewish is largely a matter of shared ancestry. A JLTV "On the Hour" video report. Runtime: 7:25 mins.
Why They Hate Us? It's Not a Secret
Ron Smith -- The Baltimore Sun
You'll remember that shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush said the motivation of the hijackers was that they hated freedom. Hating freedom seemed then and now to be a pretty weak reason to give up one's own life to inflict death and destruction on others. People who had been paying attention knew what the real reasons for the Islamist radicals' actions were -- Osama bin Laden himself had laid them out in detail. They included America's support of Israel in its subordination of the Palestinians and its attacks on Lebanon; the propping up of pro-American kleptocracies in Muslim lands; and the presence of U.S. forces on the "sacred soil" of Saudi Arabia after the first Gulf War.
Accepting Various Truths
No one in the Obama administration is going to acknowledge that our foreign policy in the Middle East has alienated many Arabs. The U.S. pro-Israel policy and our shocking neglect of the beleaguered Palestinians underlie almost every initiative or tactical tilt that comes out of Washington ... The United States spends more for its arsenal than any other 10 countries combined. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. accounts for more than 40 percent of the world's total military spending. China is in second place, at a relatively puny 5.8 percent.