Mar 6, 2010

News & Comments --some twenty items...


Another Financial Crisis on the Way, Say Leading Economists 
ABC News 

Even as many Americans still struggle to recover from the country's worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, another crisis -- one that will be even worse than the current one -- is looming, according to a new report from a group of leading economists, financiers, and former federal regulators. In the report, the panel, that includes Rob Johnson of the United Nations Commission of Experts on Finance and bailout watchdog Elizabeth Warren, warns that financial regulatory reform measures proposed by the Obama administration and Congress must be beefed up to prevent banks from continuing to engage in high risk investing that precipitated the near collapse of the U.S. economy in 2008. 

U.S. Can't Afford Military Aid to Israel
Josh Ruebner -- The Huffington Post 

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama pledged to "go through the budget line by line to eliminate programs that we can't afford and don't work." One week later, he sent his FY2011 budget request to Congress, which included a record-breaking $3 billion in military aid to Israel. This requested increase in U.S. weapons to Israel -- part of a ten-year $30 billion agreement signed between the two countries in 2007 -- qualifies on both counts as a program that the United States can't afford, and that doesn't work in establishing a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. 

Israel Approves 600 New Homes in Occupied East Jerusalem
BBC News 

An Israeli planning committee has pushed forward plans for 600 new homes in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. The move comes as the Palestinians are refusing to restart peace talks unless Israel stops all building in the area, where they want their future capital. The plan will expand the Pisgat Zeev settlement in the city's north-east. The international community considers East Jerusalem occupied territory. Building on occupied land is illegal under international law. Palestinians regard Pisgat Zeev and neighbourhoods like it as settlements, and accuse Israel of using them to increase the Jewish presence in the mainly Arab east of the city. 

Ernst Zundel Released From Mannheim Prison

Supporters and well-wishers of Ernst Zundel greet him as he leaves the Mannheim prison on March 1, 2010, after having been held behind bars for seven years and three weeks for his beliefs, in the US, Canada and Germany. Runtime: 9:52 mins. 

Germany's Fear of Finkelstein
Ali Fathollah-Nejad 

Norman Finkelstein, an internationally renowned scholar of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was due to talk about the state of the decades-old conflict and the situation in Gaza one year after the Israeli assault last week in Munich and Berlin. As part of a European speaking tour which would have led him to Germany for the first time since 2002, Finkelstein has been invited to speak in Prague at a number of prestigious institutions ... The wave of cancellations came after a concerted campaign by neoconservative and Zionist pressure groups ... 

Austrian Politician Calls for Repeal of Anti-Nazi Law
The Associated Press 

A woman who has criticized anti-Nazi law and is married to an extreme rightist is running for president in Austria, and critics contend her candidacy could tarnish the reputation of a country still marred by its connection to the Holocaust. Barbara Rosenkranz, 51, is not expected to win the April 25 election ... She is most widely known for her belief that Austria's law banning the glorification of the Nazis is a hindrance to freedom of expression and violates the country's constitution. In the same vein, she also has defended doubts over Nazi gas chambers. 

Hitler Letter Hoping For `Cordial Relationship' With Britain For Sale
The Telegraph (Britain) 

A letter written by Adolf Hitler in 1931 hoping for a "truly cordial relationship" between Britain and Germany in place of the present "unhappy war-psychosis" is to be sold at auction. Hitler wrote the one-page letter, in German, to Sefton Delmer, a British journalist, 16 months before he became Chancellor and seized power in 1933. In it, he wrote: "I hope ... that out of this crisis a new readiness will grow up in Britain to submit the past 12 years to a reappraisal. I should be happy, if as a result of this, the unhappy war-psychosis could be overcome on such a scale as to permit the realisation of the truly cordial relationship between the British and the German peoples so eagerly desired by myself and my movement." 

Blair Warned in 2000 That Iraq War Was Illegal 
The Independent (Britain) 

An invasion of Iraq was discussed within the [British] government more than two years before military action was taken - with Foreign Office mandarins warning that an invasion would be illegal, that it would claim "considerable casualties" and could lead to the breakdown of Iraq, The Independent can reveal. The extent of Whitehall opposition to the policy eventually backed by Tony Blair emerges just three days before Gordon Brown will appear at the Iraq Inquiry, where he will be asked to explain his role in the Government's decision to invade. 

Nude Sketch by Young Hitler For Sale 
The Telegraph (Britain) 

Two sketches by Adolf Hitler of a young nude woman and the face of an elderly lady thought to be his mother are to be sold at auction. The two previously unseen pictures turned up in Europe and are expected to raise 20,000 pounds between them. Hitler drew them in the early 1900s when he was based in Vienna and was practising various styles so that he might win a place at art college. The picture of the elderly woman's face is similar to photographs of his mother and shows a lined and world-weary visage. 

Mossad's Murderous Reach: The Larger Political Issues 
James Petras 

... Israel has a publicly-stated policy of violating the sovereignty of any and all countries in order to kill or abduct its opponents. In both proclamation and actual practice, Israeli law, decrees and actions abroad supersede the laws and law enforcement agencies of any other nation. If Israel's policy becomes the common practice world-wide, we would enter a savage Hobbesian jungle in which individuals would be subject to the murderous intent of foreign assassination squads unrestrained by any law or accountable national authority. Each and every state could impose its own laws and cross national borders in order to murder other nation's citizens or residents with impunity. 

Protestant Churches Pose Growing Threat to Israel, Says Wiesenthal Center Rabbi 
The Jerusalem Post (Israel) 

Israel is facing a threat from theologians and activists in prominent Protestant churches throughout the world, in addition to the threats posed by "lawfare" and the Goldstone Report, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, charged on Tuesday ... "Theologians and activists in some prominent Protestant churches are seeking to destroy Israel from Above," Cooper warned ... According to Cooper, the center of the Protestant theological war against Israel is the Geneva-based World Council of Churches, an umbrella organization of liberal church bodies ... "Anti-Israel momentum is building," Cooper warned. 

Positive Views of Israel, Brought to You by Israelis 
The New York Times 

The Israeli government, deeply worried about the country's declining international image, began a campaign on Wednesday to turn every Israeli -- and ultimately every Jew -- into a traveling public relations agent. With a website backed by an advertising blitz, the Information and Diaspora Affairs Ministry began issuing Hebrew-language pamphlets to passengers on Israeli airlines and offering coaching courses to groups heading abroad. The message: "Are you fed up with the way we are portrayed around the world? You can change the picture." 

Publishing: The Revolutionary Future 
Jason Epstein - The New York Review 

The transition within the book publishing industry from physical inventory stored in a warehouse and trucked to retailers to digital files stored in cyberspace and delivered almost anywhere on earth as quickly and cheaply as e-mail is now underway and irreversible. This historic shift will radically transform worldwide book publishing, the cultures it affects and on which it depends ... The huge, worldwide market for digital content, however, is not a fantasy. It will be very large, very diverse, and very surprising: its cultural impact cannot be imagined. E-books will be a significant factor in this uncertain future, but actual books printed and bound will continue to be the irreplaceable repository of our collective wisdom. 

Ernst Zundel, Convicted `Holocaust Denier,' Is Released From German Prison 
The Associated Press 

Far-right German activist Ernst Zundel was freed after serving five years in prison for denying the Holocaust ever happened -- something he wouldn't speak about Monday. The 70-year-old had been extradited in 2005 from Canada, where he spent some additional time behind bars on the German warrant after having been deported from the United States for alleged immigration violations. A crowd of 20 supporters on Monday morning clapped and shouted "bravo" as Zundel emerged from the prison in Mannheim. Some handed him flowers as he passed through the prison's steel gates. "I'm back out after seven years, three weeks, three prisons and three countries," Zundel said, declining to comment when asked whether the Holocaust happened. 

Ernst Zundel: Seven Years a `Prisoner of Conscience' 
Mark Weber 

Ernst Zundel, a German-born publisher and author, was held for seven years behind bars, first in Canada and then in Germany, for his peaceful expression of non-conformist views. From February 2003 to March 2010, he was the western world's most prominent "prisoner of conscience." He is known worldwide as a publicist, organizer and defender of free speech, and as author countless booklets, newsletters and essays. He has been a major figure in the Holocaust revisionist movement. 

Finkelstein Banned in Berlin: A Democracy That Isn't a Democracy 
Anis Hamadeh 

... What is going on there, one wonders. Does [Jewish scholar Norman] Finkelstein call for violence? Are his views outside legal norms, does he disesteem the human rights? Nothing of all this. On the contrary. The reason for banning him is the veto of groups that seek to avert criticism of Israel, connecting this issue with the reproach of anti-Semitism. This is an old chestnut and not specifically interesting. What is interesting, though, is that the German public buys this nonsense and denies a man, who lost his family in German concentration camps, to talk on German soil, tolerating that he is labeled an anti-Semite for his reflections on violence in Israel. The same thing actually happened only some months ago to the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe in Munich ... 

US Military Suicides Rise, Despite Prevention Efforts 
McClatchy Newspapers 

Eight years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have etched indelible scars on the psyches of many of the nation's servicemen and women, and the U.S. military is losing a battle to stem an epidemic of suicides in its ranks. Despite calls by top Pentagon officials for a sea change in attitudes about mental health, millions of dollars in new suicide prevention programming and thousands of hours spent helping soldiers suffering from what often are euphemistically dubbed "invisible wounds," the military is losing ground. The Department of Defense Friday reported that there were 160 reported active-duty Army suicides in 2009, up from 140 in 2008. Of these, 114 have been confirmed, while the manner of death in the remaining 46 remains to be determined. 

Britain's Secret Torture Center: Interrogation Camp in Postwar Germany 
The Guardian (Britain) 

... The "London Cage" was a secret torture centre where German prisoners who had been concealed from the Red Cross were beaten, deprived of sleep, and threatened with execution or with unnecessary surgery. As horrific as conditions were at the London Cage, Bad Nenndorf was far worse ... Prisoners were systematically beaten and exposed to extreme cold, where some were starved to death and, allegedly, tortured with instruments that his fellow countrymen had recovered from a Gestapo prison in Hamburg. 

Elie Wiesel's Ignoble Recruits 
John Walsh 

Is there nothing that is safe from debasement by the propaganda machine of the U.S. and Israel? A full-page ad in the Sunday New York Times of February 7 provides the answer. Sponsored by Elie Wiesel's modestly named "The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity," and signed by 44 Nobel Laureates, 35 of them in the physical sciences, it urges brutal and lethal actions against Iran ... It asserts without evidence that such "ambitions" threaten "the entire world." This is certainly a very grave charge, and some scintilla of evidence should be offered for it. But none is provided, not one word, not even a footnote or reference in this spacious advert. 

In Hungary, A New Effort to Ban `Holocaust Denial'
The Associated Press 

Hungary's parliament has approved a bill making Holocaust denial punishable by up to three years in prison, but the measure may be unconstitutional. Lawmakers passed the bill submitted by Attila Mesterhazy, the prime ministerial candidate of the governing Socialist Party, by 197-1, with 142 abstentions. Earlier attempts to ban Holocaust denial have been rejected by the courts for infringing on freedom of speech. Efforts to modify the Constitution to ensure the bill's legality have also failed. Mesterhazy's proposal was backed by the Socialists and most of the Alliance of Free Democrats, a former coalition partner. An opposition proposal to include the denial of Nazi and Communist crimes in the bill was rejected. 

Mossad's Latest Blunder: The Dubai Assassination
Gwynne Dyer 

... The Dubai police say they are now "99 percent if not 100 percent sure" that [Israel's] Mossad was behind the murder, and most Western governments assume the same. Four Western governments are especially angry: Britain, France, Germany and Ireland, whose passports were used in the operation. Israel will doubtless promise once more never to do that again, and the fuss will eventually die down ... Many Israelis think they don't need to worry about this because everyone hates them anyway, but the wiser ones realise that the state's security and prosperity still depend heavily on the goodwill of Western countries. Actions like the Dubai operation, when they become public, erode that goodwill. But the wiser Israelis are not currently in the majority. 

The Mastermind Behind Mossad's Murder War 
The Sunday Times (Britain) 

... Mossad is now deeply embarrassed. Its use of the identities of British, French, German and Irish nationals as cover for agents to carry out the hit has angered western governments. In the ensuing diplomatic fall-out, sources close to Mossad said yesterday that it had suspended similar operations in the Middle East, mainly because of fear that heightened security would put its agents at greater risk. Dagan's job is also on the line. However, few believe that Mossad will give up the secret war it has long waged against Israel's enemies. 

Americans Concerned About Falling US Influence as China's Grows 
The Washington Post 

Facing high unemployment and a difficult economy, most Americans think the United States will have a smaller role in the world economy in the coming years, and many believe that while the 20th century may have been the "American Century," the 21st century will belong to China. 

Harvard Prof. Urges Genocide as Final Solution of Palestinian Problem 
M. J. Rosenberg - Huffington Post 

This has to be seen to be believed. Dr. Martin Kramer, a fellow at Harvard's National Security Studies Program, has posted a speech he delivered two weeks ago in Israel in which he urged solving the Palestinian refugee problem by population control, that is "stopping pro-natal subsidies to Palestinians with refugee status." In other words, starve the Palestinians so they don't have babies and, he seems to be saying, starving the babies so they don't grow up. That will help reduce the terrorist threat by preventing Palestinian babies from becoming "superfluous young men." It is, Kramer says, those "superfluous young men" who become radicals. 

Zionist Group Urges Donors and Student to Avoid UC Irvine
The Associated Press 

After months of growing tension between Jewish and Muslim students at the University of California, Irvine, the Zionist Organization of America is asking potential students to apply elsewhere and donors to stop sending contributions. The New York-based organization lambasted Chancellor Michael Drake in a statement Tuesday for not condemning anti-Semitic speech on campus and enabling a years-long history of "bigotry, discrimination and the violation of civil rights" by the school's Muslim Student Union. 

A Country of Serfs Ruled by Oligarchs
Paul Craig Roberts 

... The problems of the American economy are too great to be reached by traditional policies. Large numbers of middle class American jobs have been moved offshore: manufacturing, industrial and professional service jobs. When the jobs are moved offshore, consumer incomes and U.S. GDP go with them. So many jobs have been moved abroad that there has been no growth in U.S. real incomes in the 21st century, except for the incomes of the super rich who collect multi-million dollar bonuses for moving U.S. jobs offshore. 

Conspiracy Theories, History, and The State
Jeff Riggenbach 

On conspiracy theories, the impact of historical revisionism during the 1920s and 1930s, the role of Harry Elmer Barnes, and more. Audio recording of talk by a libertarian journalist, author, and educator. Runtime: 22 mins. 

I Am Israel 

Anti-Zionist video, made by Jihane Al Quds in Sept. 2009. Now available in a range of languages. Text by Hashem Said, an officer in the UW Palestinian student group Hayaat. Runtime: 6:27 mins. 

Liquidating the Empire 
Patrick J. Buchanan 

... We spend more on defense than the next 10 nations combined. Our Navy exceeds in firepower the next 13 navies combined. We have 100,000 troops in Iraq, 100,000 in Afghanistan or headed there, 28,000 in Korea, over 35,000 in Japan and 50,000 in Germany. By the Department of Defense's "Base Structure Report," there are 716 U.S. bases in 38 countries ... Is it not absurd to borrow hundreds of billion annually from China -- to defend Asia from China? Is it not a symptom of senility to borrow from all over the world in order to defend that world? 

Grandson of Israeli Prime Minister Rejects Zionism 
The Palestine Telegraph (Britain) 

"Murderous blood flows in Israeli arteries," says the grandson of former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Avindav Begin, who is also the son of the current Likud Knesset member Benny Begin, refuses to stand during the Israeli national anthem "Hatikva" and participates in protests against the Apartheid Wall. He does not see himself as a Jew or a Zionist ... 

New Issue of `Inconvenient History' Now Online 
Inconvenient History 

The new Spring 2010 issue of "Inconvenient History," a serious online "Journal for Free Historical Inquiry," is now available. Contents include: An analysis by Thomas Dalton of Joseph Goebbels' statements and diary remarks about Jews and Germany's Jewish policy; Paul Grubach on the non-Jewish stake in supporting Holocaust mythology; Joseph Bishop's consideration of the US atomic bombings of Japan as war crimes; Richard Widmann's review of David Irving's prison memoir. 

Eva Braun: Hitler's Devoted Companion 
The Observer (Britain) 

For decades she has been seen as a decorative companion to Adolf Hitler, an apolitical "dumb blonde" whose attentions served as an occasional diversion for the Führer. But the first academic biography of Eva Braun draws a different picture of the dictator's long-standing girlfriend, claiming historians have hugely underestimated the role she played in his life. Berlin historian Heike Görtemaker reveals her as a politically committed woman who won Hitler's affections, enjoyed a healthy sex life with him, sympathised with Nazi politics and gave him psychological support. Görtemaker spent three years researching her book, Eva Braun: Life With Hitler, due out this month. 

Eva Braun: Hitler's Devoted Partner
BBC News 

Interview with Heike Gortemaker, author of the much-discussed new book, Eva Braun: Life with Hitler. Runtime: 4:06 mins. The woman who was Hitler's lover, companion and wife has been portrayed for decades dismissively as an uninteresting, dumb blonde. This new book says that Eva Braun was anything but passive, and that historians have greatly underestimated her role in the German leader's life. 

Zionist Group Protests Romanian Film at Berlin Festival 
Der Spiegel (Germany) 

The Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania has protested against the inclusion of a Romanian film about anti-communist partisans in the Berlinale festival program. They say the main character was fascist and anti-Semitic ... The Romanian film "Portrait of the Young Man as a Fighter," which deals with anti-communist partisans in post-World War II Romania, has been accused of glossing over the anti-Semitism of its main character. 

Third Reich Film `Jew Suess' in Focus at Berlin Festival 
Agence France Presse 

A big-budget German movie about the Nazis' most successful propaganda picture and the pact with the devil sealed by its lead actor premiered to boos Thursday at the Berlin Film Festival. "Jew Suess - Rise and Fall" by Oskar Roehler tells the true story of a little-known actor who is offered the lead role in the main anti-Semitic smear film commissioned by propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. The new picture had been one of the most eagerly awaited at this year's Berlinale but a press preview drew scornful howls as the credits rolled. 

Myths of the `Good Wars': Three 'Holy' Wars
Howard Zinn - Video 

A noted dissident historian presents a critical view of three wars that most Americans have long regarded as "good" or "holy": the War for Independence, the Civil War, and World War II. Runtime: 67 mins. 

Israel Is Waging A Covert War Across the Middle East 
The Times (Britain) 

Israel is waging a covert assassination campaign across the Middle East in an effort to stop its key enemies co-ordinating their activities. Israeli agents have been targeting meetings between members of Hamas and the leadership of the militant Hezbollah group, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They are also suspected of recent killings in Dubai, Damascus and Beirut. While Israel's Mossad spy agency has been suspected of staging assassinations across the world since the 1970s, it does not officially acknowledge or admit its activities. 

A `Museum of Tolerance' We Don't Need 
Saree Makdisi 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center's plan to construct an outpost of Los Angeles' Museum of Tolerance atop the most important Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem is temporarily in disarray. This presents an opportunity to call on the center to abandon this outrageous project once and for all ... For all its sanctimoniousness, the center now presides over a big hole from which scores of bones have been unearthed. Those remains were disinterred without respect. 

New Evidence That Shakespeare May Not Have Written `His' Plays
Daily Mail (Britain) 

A prominent 17th-century nobleman, Greville was a renowned scholar, soldier, statesman and spy. Like his dearest friend Sir Philip Sidney, he was also an accomplished author. So talented, indeed, that some believe he was the true author of several of Shakespeare's works. For years this has been little more than conjecture ... Now, however, the tantalising prospect of a definitive answer has been raised. More intriguingly still, the explanation, hidden in a series of clues scattered throughout his work and on the Warwick monument, is said to come from Fulke Greville himself. 

A Glimpse Into Dr. Mengele's Diary 
Haaretz (Israel) 

A diary and a revealing letter written by notorious Auschwitz death camp Dr. Josef Mengele were put on auction in the United States last month. Mengele was the SS officer who supervised the selection of prisoner transports arriving at Auschwitz and performed bizarre medical experiments on camp inmates ... "Everything will end in catastrophe if natural selection is altered to the point that gifted people are overwhelmed by billions of morons," he warns ... 

Lessons of the Mengele Affair
Mark Weber 

With the possible exceptions of Hitler and Himmler, no man has been so vilified in recent years as the personification of Nazi evil as Dr. Josef Mengele. The Mengele legend was the basis for two novels that Hollywood turned into popular movies ... While no sane person would excuse or whitewash atrocities, no matter who commits them, a basic regard for truth and decency compels another, more thoughtful look at the Mengele legend. How much truth is there to the fantastic accusations? The stock allegation that Mengele "sent 400,000 Jews to the Auschwitz gas chambers" is a falsehood based in part on misrepresentation. 

Jewish Group Protests Ukraine Award to Nationalist Insurgent Leader 
The Associated Press 

A prominent Jewish human rights organization has criticized the Ukrainian president's decision to give a posthumous award to a nationalist leader it describes as a Nazi collaborator. The Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement Friday that Stepan Bandera and his followers were linked to the deaths of thousands of Jews in World War II's early stages. President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday bestowed the Hero of Ukraine award to Stepan Bandera for his role in fighting for an independent Ukraine. 

New `Defamation' Film Skewers the ADL 
Rev. Ted Pike 

Defamation is a film that reveals how the Anti-Defamation League and the government of Israel stimulate irrational fear of persecution from Gentiles within the minds of the Jewish people. Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir suggests such defamation of the motives and character of Gentiles (as well as "self-hating" Jewish critics of Israel) is necessary for the ADL. He says this helps generate ADL's $70 million annual budget and also deflects blame from the government of Israel in wake of "Operation Cast Lead" in Gaza. Shamir originally intended a film about anti-Semitism, a topic he says is mentioned everywhere in Israeli media but poorly defined or understood. 

The Murder in Dubai of a Hamas Commander
Gulf News TV - Video 

This remarkable film record, compiled by Dubai authorities, shows how an Israeli hit squad carried out the killing of Palestinian Hamas commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh. Footage from surveillance cameras at the hotel where the killing was carried out, and at the Dubai airport, enabled Dubai police to make a timeline chronology of the squad's preparations for the assassination, and their getaway. Runtime: 27 mins. 

Long History of Israel's `Covert Killing'
Heather Sharp -- BBC News 

The Islamic movement Hamas claims that the death of one its senior commanders, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, is the latest in Israel's history of assassinating individuals it believes to have been behind attacks on its citizens ... Among the best documented of Israel's assassinations were a wave of killings of pro-Palestinian militants in Paris, Nicosia, Beirut and Athens, carried out in response to the hostage crisis at the Munich Olympics in 1972 which resulted in the deaths of eleven Israelis. Methods used included a booby-trapped telephone, a bomb planted in a bed, and a raid in Beirut in which current Defence Minister Ehud Barak dressed as a woman. 

Mossad's License to Kill
Gordon Thomas -- The Telegraph (Britain) 

The Mossad assassins could have felt only satisfaction when the news broke that they had succeeded in killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a top Hamas military commander, in Dubai last month. The Israeli government's refusal to comment on the death has once more gained worldwide publicity for Mossad, its feared intelligence service. Its ruthless assassinations were made famous by the film Munich, which detailed Mossad's attacks on the terrorists who killed Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. Long ago, the agency had established that silence is the most effective way to spread terror among its Arab enemies. 

Suspects in Dubai Hotel Killing On Interpol Wanted List 
BBC News 

The eleven people suspected of killing a Hamas commander in Dubai have been placed on international police organisation Interpol's wanted list. Interpol has posted the photographs and names it suspects were used fraudulently by the individuals. Dubai's police chief says he is 99% sure Israeli secret service agents were involved in Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's death, but Israel says there is no proof. The UK has expressed "outrage" that six British passports were used. 

Zundel To Be Released Soon From German Prison
The Associated Press 

Far-right activist Ernst Zundel will soon be released from prison after serving his five-year sentence for denying the Holocaust, a German prosecutor said Wednesday. Mannheim prosecutor Andreas Grossmann said Zundel, 70, will be released on March 1, after receiving credit for time served before his 2007 trial. Zundel was deported from Canada in 2005. He was convicted in February 2007 of 14 counts of inciting hatred for years of anti-Semitic activities, including contributing to a website devoted to denying the Holocaust - a crime in Germany. Prosecutors were able to bring charges in Germany because the website was accessible there. 

College Makes Students More Liberal, But Not Smarter About Civics, Study Finds 
The Chronicle of Higher Education 

While many graduates of American colleges cannot answer basic civics questions, a higher education does make their opinions more liberal on controversial social issues, according to a new report issued on Friday by an academic think tank ... Previous surveys have found that, in general, college does not bring students up to a high level of civics knowledge. According to the institute's 2008 report, based on a survey of 2,500, people whose highest level of educational attainment was a bachelor's degree correctly answered 57 percent of the questions, on average. That is three percentage points lower than a passing grade, according to the survey's authors. 

In Germany, Authorities Vow to Keep Ban on Hitler's Mein Kampf 
The New York Times 

... Experts at the respected Institute of Contemporary History in Munich say they want to prepare a critical, annotated version of the book for release when the copyright expires 70 years after Hitler's suicide in his Berlin bunker ... But the Bavarian government opposed the idea, citing respect for victims of the Holocaust. In a statement Thursday, the Bavarian Finance Ministry said that permits for reprints would not be issued, at home or abroad. 

Nationalists March in Dresden on Anniversary of Allied Terror Bombing
The Associated Press 

Thousands of protesters formed a human chain in Dresden on Saturday, determined to stop neo-Nazis from exploiting the German city's painful history on the 65th anniversary of its deadly Allied bombing in the Second World War ... Some 5,000 far-right supporters poured into the city, according to police, who limited them to a rally near a railway station rather than a march for security reasons after opponents staged sit-down blockades in streets nearby. When that decision was announced, far-right demonstrators chanted "open the streets to the German youth." 

The Dresden Debate Won't Die 
The New York Times 

A year ago, this blog pointed to an interview with a British historian who contended that the destruction of Dresden, 65 years ago this past weekend, had a clear military rationale, since it was a communications and transit hub ... But recently in The New Statesman, Leo McKinstry sifted through archives that he says contradict the British government's longstanding denials that killing civilians en masse was a primary aim of wartime air raids on German cities. 

Warrants Issued in Apparent Israeli Hit Squad Murder in Dubai
ABC News 

All signs point to an Israeli hit squad, using fake passports and elaborate disguises, in the assassination of a top Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel room, according to current and former intelligence officials. Police in Dubai have issued international arrest warrants for eleven people wanted in the murder of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a Hamas military commander, who was found dead in his room at the five-star Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai. Police made public surveillance footage from inside the hotel showing members of the group disguised in wigs, with false facial hair. 

French Soldiers `Deliberately Exposed' to Nuclear Tests
BBC News 

French authorities deliberately exposed soldiers to nuclear testing in the Sahara, according to researchers citing a confidential French military report. At least one test aimed to "study the physiological and psychological effects of nuclear arms on man", they say. Le Parisien newspaper, which carried excerpts from the document on Tuesday, quoted the defence minister as saying he had no knowledge of the report. Some soldiers say they were made ill by French tests dating back to the 1960s. They have complained for decades that they were given insufficient protection from radioactive fallout during testing, with some claiming they were used as "guinea pigs". 

Hitler Painting May Have Hung in Freud's Office 
The Telegraph (Britain) 

The Jewish psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud might have had a painting by Hitler hanging on the wall of his office, it's been revealed. A watercolour by the German dictator has come to light that has an inscription on the back that bears the name of Freud's medical practice in Vienna. While Freud was based in the Austrian city in 1910 it is possible he or one of his staff bought the picture from the struggling artist. Hitler was a jobbing painter at the time, knocking out postcards and paintings and trying to make a living. This painting, that measures 8 inches by 4 inches, shows what looks like a small church with a background of mountains and is signed "A Hitler 1910." 

The Lessons of Iraq Have Been Ignored. The Target is Now Iran
Seumas Milne -- The Guardian (Britain) 

The US military buildup in the Gulf and Blair's promotion of war against Tehran are a warning of yet another catastrophe / We were supposed to have learned the lessons of the Iraq war. That's what Britain's Chilcot inquiry is meant to be all about. But the signs from the Middle East are that it could be happening all over again. The US is escalating the military build-up in the Gulf, officials revealed this week, boosting its naval presence and supplying tens of billions of dollars' worth of new weapons systems to allied Arab states. The target is of course Iran. 

Jews in US Sue Hungarian Railway For $1.24 Billion For Holocaust Role 
Agence France Presse 

A group of survivors and descendants of victims of the Holocaust victims of the Holocaust are suing the Hungarian state railroad company in US court for its role in transporting Jews to the Auschwitz death camp. The class action suit was filed Tuesday in a US district court in Chicago by attorneys representing the group of 95 plaintiffs. The suit, seen by AFP, seeks 1.24 billion dollars in compensation and punitive damages. According to the document, the Hungarian railroad company "knowingly provided the trains for delivering 437,000 Jews to their death in Auschwitz" between March and October 1944. 

More Fraudulent Holocaust-Era Claims Revealed 
The Jewish Week (New York) 

The Claims Conference fired three employees last week who allegedly approved more than 100 fraudulent Holocaust-era claims -- filed primarily by Russians now living in Brooklyn -- that bilked the German government out of more than $350,000, The Jewish Week has learned ... In the last two years, there has been a surge in Hardship Fund applications because Germany broadened the eligibility criteria to include Jews who were in Leningrad at any time during the Nazis' 900-day siege of the city from September 1941 through January 1944, or fled from Leningrad during those years; Germany paid 7,000 claims in 2008 and 18,000 last year. 

Billions Paid by Germany in Holocaust Restitution 
Der Spiegel (Germany) - 2007 

... For more than half a century, the Jewish Claims Conference has been responsible for dealing with the German government over compensation claims made by victims of the Holocaust. In 1965, Germany signed a treaty agreeing to pay individual victims; survivors had to file their claims before 1969. Since then, Germany has paid out over 63.2 billion euros -- including 1.5 billion euros in direct payments to the Israeli government. 

The Blood of Dresden 
Kurt Vonnegut 

... In February 1945, American bombers reduced this treasure to crushed stone and embers; disemboweled her with high explosives and cremated her with incendiaries ... It is with some regret that I here besmirch the nobility of our airmen, but, boys, you killed an appalling lot of women and children. The shelter I have described and innumerable others like it were filled with them. We had to exhume their bodies and carry them to mass funeral pyres in the parks, so I know ... The "Get Tough America" policy, the spirit of revenge, the approbation of all destruction and killing, have earned us a name for obscene brutality. 

Street Clashes Pending?: Rallies Set to Mark Dresden Bombing 
Der Spiegel (Germany) 

The German far right traditionally stages a march on Feb. 13 of each year to commemorate the bombing of Dresden. This year, however, authorities have moved to prevent counterdemonstrations by the left. In the night between Feb. 13 and 14, 1945, 796 Lancaster bombers of the Royal Air Force dropped more than 2,600 tons of bombs on Dresden, a city overflowing with thousands of refugees from the East. The next day, 311 American B-17 bombers dropped another 700 tons of bombs on the city's Baroque center. 

America Slides Deeper Into Depression as Wall Street Revels
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard -- The Telegraph (Britain) 

December was the worst month for US unemployment since the Great Recession began. The labour force contracted by 661,000. This did not show up in the headline jobless rate because so many Americans dropped out of the system. The broad U6 category of unemployment rose to 17.3 percent. That is the one that matters ... Realtytrac says defaults and repossessions have been running at over 300,000 a month since February. One million American families lost their homes in the fourth quarter. Moody's expects another 2.4 million homes to go this year. 

Obama, The War President 
Helen Thomas 

President Barack Obama does have a foreign policy. It's called war. The President has not defined any real difference between his hawkish approach to international issues and that of his predecessor, former President George W. Bush. Where's the change we can believe in? Bush left a legacy of two wars, neither of which was ever fully explained or justified. Obama has merely picked up the sword that Bush left behind in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Obama's State of the Union
Stephen Zunes -- Foreign Policy in Focus 

... Despite two ongoing wars, it was striking that Obama focused so little in his first State of the Union speech on the world outside our borders other than the call to be competitive in the global economy. Indeed, he dedicated only eight minutes of the 70-minute speech to foreign policy. Yet many of the pressing economic problems the country faces that were addressed in the speech are directly related to foreign policy. And, despite promises of change, much of this foreign policy shows disappointing continuity with previous administrations. 

Non-Natives Being Evicted: Mohawks Evict Whites to `Protect Identity' 
The Gazette (Canada) 

Saying there are too many non-natives living in Kahnawake, the local band council has issued eviction notices to 25 residents, giving them 10 days to leave the Indian reserve on Montreal's South Shore. About 25 non-natives - mostly white people involved in relationships with Mohawks - are being asked to leave the reserve because Mohawk law does not allow them to live there, said Joe Delaronde, press attaché for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. "They are people with no native ancestry at all," Delaronde said in an interview yesterday. According to Mohawk law, non-aboriginals have no residency rights. About 7,500 Mohawks live on the reserve. 

Citizen's Arrest of War Criminals Tony Blair and George W. Bush 
Prof. Anthony J. Hall 

Professor Boyle's intervention with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute the Bush War Cabinet for international crimes is welcome news. Professor Boyle's meticulously documented charges come shortly after news of a reward being set up in Great Britain for those who attempt citizens' arrests of credibly accused war criminal, Tony Blair. All over the world, citizens are mobilizing to take action to demand accountability from those who have been committing with impunity the highest order of international crime. About a year ago I joined this global movement 

President Obama Seeks Record $708 Billion Military Budget 

President Barack Obama on Monday asked Congress to approve a record $708 billion in defense spending for fiscal year 2011, including a 3.4 percent increase in the Pentagon's base budget and $159 billion to fund U.S. military missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The White House budget request also included $33 billion in additional funding for fiscal 2010 to pay for increasing military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and drawing down U.S. forces in Iraq. That comes on top of $129.6 billion already provided for the current fiscal year, which ends September 30. 

US Military Spending: A Path To Ruin 
Eric Margolis 

President Barack Obama calls the $3.8-trillion US budget he just sent to Congress a major step in restoring America's economic health. In fact, it's another potent fix given to a sick patient deeply addicted to the dangerous drug -- debt. More empires have fallen because of reckless finances than invasion ... Increasing numbers of Americans are rightly outraged and fearful of runaway deficits. Most do not understand their political leaders are also spending their nation into ruin through unnecessary foreign wars and a vainglorious attempt to control much of the globe -- what neocons call "full spectrum dominance." 

Shattering Lincoln's Dream 
Joseph Sobran 

... Lincoln, we should also remember, was a passionate segregationist, a fact Krannawitter barely touches on, though it might interest our new President to know that the Great Emancipator's preferred solution was to abolish slavery and to remove all "free colored persons" from the United States. In 1862 he proposed an amendment that would authorize Congress to pay for this huge project. 

Why is Revisionism Important? / The Vengeful `Morgenthau Plan' 
Institute for Historical Review - Video 

Mark Weber, historian and director of the IHR, speaks about the importance of historical revisionism, and Prof. Anthony Kubek speaks about the `Morgenthau Plan' for a brutal and vindictive Allied occupation of Germany after the end of World War II. From the Ninth IHR Conference (1989). Runtime: 9:44 mins. 

N o Dumb Blonde: A New Book About Eva Braun 
Daily Mail (Britain) 

She was the mystery figure at Hitler's side that the world never knew about during the lifespan of the Third Reich. Now the first comprehensive biography of Eva Braun reveals how the hidden First Lady of Nazism was the polar opposite of everything her beloved Adolf decreed should be found in a woman. 'Eva Braun: Life With Hitler,' by renowned German historian Heike B. Goertemaker, paints Eva not as an air-head besotted by a dominant man, but a fiercely loyal, independent thinker at odds with Hitler's public proclamations about 'the fairer sex'. 

Google's Problems May Help Dispel Illusions About China
John Naughton -- The Observer (Britain) 

One useful spin-off from the developing story of Google's difficulties with the Chinese communist regime is that it may finally spur the west to discard the rose-tinted spectacles through which it has chosen to view China in the past decade ... The regime is irredeemably authoritarian and never had any intention of ceding freedom of information to its people. Neither has it ever bought into the idea of market triumphalism. The whole Chinese economic "miracle" is a refutation of the link between capitalism and liberalism: Hu Jintao & Co believe it is perfectly possible to build a dynamic, prosperous economy without bothering with all that democracy nonsense. Recent developments confirm the indifference of the regime to western sensibilities. 

Israel Seeks German Arms-Aid Deal
Defense News 

Germany and Israel are intensifying negotiations over a nearly one billion euro ($1.45 billion) naval procurement package, a considerable portion of which Israel hopes to fund from a combination of German and U.S. aid. The Israeli-proposed arms-aid deal - to be discussed Jan. 18 in Berlin at a special joint meeting of the German and Israeli cabinets - involves an additional Dolphin diesel-electric submarine, torpedoes and two German-built warships. 



Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
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