This November 11th at 11 a.m. will mark 95 years since World War I ended. Next July 28th will mark 100 years since it started. The world war, the great war, the war for no good reason, the war of poison gas, the war to end all wars, the war of mass stupidity, the war that went on for days after the Germans agreed to end it, the war that continued until 11 a.m. as that time had been set to end it, the war whose last man killed in action was a suicidal American who ran at the Germans at 10:59, the war that in fact was intentionally not ended but extended into mass-punishment of the German people until World War II could be commenced, this century-old piece of historical stupidity that shames our species is about to be commemorated on a serious scale — so dust off your gas masks and get ready.
A hundred years. A hundred ever-loving years, and we’ve neither learned that wars don’t end wars nor ever really ended World War II, ever brought the troops home from Japan and Germany, ever scaled back the taxation and military spending and foreign basing and war profiteering.
The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten War by Richard Rubin is 500 pages of excellent history of World War I but without the appropriate rejection of the decision to go to war or the embarrassment one should feel for those who thought they could find glory or goodness by joining in that mass murdering madness. We tend to look down on all sorts of aspects of early 20th century morality. Colonialism, sexism, racism, corporal punishment in schools, creationism — you name it, we’ve moved on. Yet writers still recount wars as if the decision to take part in them were neutral or admirable.
In a way this makes sense, given what we’re all taught about history. The Khan Academy is a wonderful website for kids (or anyone) to use in learning math. But if you click over to the section on history it’s literally nothing but wars. Perhaps they plan to add in a few unimportant things that happened during the pauses in between wars, but they haven’t done so yet. It’s nothing but war after war after war. That’s history. President Kennedy supposedly said Lincoln would have been nothing without the Civil War — it takes war to make greatness. It takes war to be in the history books.
Richard Rubin found and interviewed the last remaining U.S. veterans of World War I before they died. As he spoke with them their average age was 107. Everything he learned and recorded is of great interest, but much of it is simply about what it’s like to become 107. Such a study could have been done of non-veterans. A comparison could have been made of veterans and non-veterans. Or a study like this one could have looked at World War I resisters. That there’s not a similar book about them, and now can never be, says little about them and a great deal about all of us. A comparison of the lifespans of veterans and refuseniks would have been an interesting test of the author’s theory that going along to get along increases your life.
It is perhaps not too late to track down and interview the last remaining survivors of the strongest peace movement the United States has known — that of the 1920s and 1930s — but somebody would have to do it and do it soon.
Perhaps Richard Rubin will take up that idea, but I tend to doubt it. His fascination is with war, not wisdom. And not just his fascination, but most people’s. The sad fact is that, in Rubin’s telling, these World War I veterans didn’t tend to develop an appropriate sense of regret over a period of 85 years. There are, no doubt, cases of slave owners who by 1950 were able to express some regret over slavery. But slavery was on its way out. War is ever on its way in.
Despite my lengthy caveat, The Last of the Doughboys really is an excellent book, for what it is. The discussions of World War I songs and World War I books, and so forth, are quite wonderful. And Doughboys is not blatantly dishonest war hype. It includes the facts about the Lusitania (that Germany had warned Americans not to get on a ship with arms and troops as it would be sunk). It doesn’t look closely at the war propaganda, but it is straightforward enough on the clampdown on speech and civil liberties, and the vicious demonization of Germans and the Kaiser. It doesn’t mention the Wall Street coup or the name Smedley Butler, but its coverage of the Bonus Army is otherwise good. It doesn’t focus on opposition or alternatives, but it does convey the pointlessness of the horror, and it does recount the badly misguided way in which the war was ended.
Yet, ultimately, Rubin is striving to give more credit and honor to warriors unfairly overshadowed by the glorification of World War II. The heroes of the original world war saved the world in the snow and shoeless and uphill both ways. Rubin wants World War I to get its due — unlike some wars. The war on the Philippines, for example, he calls “not much of” a war, despite the fact that it cost the population involved a greater percentage of its lives than any other U.S. war has inflicted on any other population, including the population of the U.S. — including in the U.S. Civil War. Go to the Philippines and say it wasn’t much of a war, I dare you. It was the model for the costly, pointless, racist, one-sided slaughters of the 21st century. World War I was a model only for its expansion into World War II. Otherwise it’s obsolete.
My friend Sandy Davies, who knows this stuff, recently looked up what the costs have been of the ongoing warmaking by the United States since the pair of World Wars. I think it’s relevant because every single time I speak about ending war and take questions on the topic I’m asked “What about Hitler?” In the days since Hitler’s been gone, as the world has moved on from Hitler-like expansionism, as a great portion of the world has moved away from war, the United States, according to Davies, has spent $37-40 trillion (in 2013 dollars) on war and preparations for war.
There’s $32 trillion since 1948 in Department of So-Called-Defense spending documented in http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2014/FY14_Green_Book.pdf plus $780 billion to the War Department in 1946-7 before it was rebranded. Extra funding to the Energy Department, the V.A. and other departments is harder to find, but can be estimated at:
Nuclear weapons (DOE): $1.7 – 3 trillion
V.A.: $1.3 to 2.5 trillion
Other departments: $1 to 2 trillion
Then there’s the real cost: 10 to 20 million dead in wars the U.S. has been directly involved in, or 15 to 30 million if you count the DRC, Cambodia, the French War in Indochina, and the Iran-Iraq War. “These numbers are very conservative,” says Davies, “based on publicly available estimates, generally ignoring Les Roberts’ findings in Rwanda and the DRC that passive reporting methods generally only count 5-20% of deaths in war zones.” These figures include:
Korea: 2.5 to 3.5 million
Vietnam: 2 to 4 million
Iraq: 400,000 to 1.5 million
Afghanistan (total): 1 to 2 million
China: 1.75 million
Indonesia: 500,000 to 2 million
Angola: 500,000 to 1 million
Somalia: 300,000 to 500,000
Guatemala: 200,000 to 300,000
East Timor: 100,000 to 220,000
El Salvador: 100,000 to 120,000
Syria: 90,000 to 130,000
Operation Condor: 60,000 to 100,000
Colombia: 50,000 – 200,000
Laos: 40,000 to 100,000
Nicaragua: 30,000 to 55,000
Libya: 25,000 to 50,000
plus smaller numbers in many other countries.
Either we’re on a record streak of greatest generations after greatest generations, or we’ve caught a war addiction so badly that we’ve come to imagine it’s normal, and that — in fact — it’s all that ever has happened in the world.
A mural at the Rawagede monument in West Java province depicts a 1947 massacre by Dutch troops
The Netherlands has publicly apologized for mass killings carried out by Dutch troops in its former colony of Indonesia.
Dutch ambassador to Indonesia Tjeerd de Zwaan offered a state apology during a ceremony held at the Netherlands’s embassy in Jakarta on Thursday for the “excesses committed by Dutch forces” in the 1940s war of independence.
Several relatives of the victims also attended the ceremony.
Dutch troops carried out thousands of summary executions between 1945 and 1949 in Indonesia.
The Netherlands had previously apologized to the people of Indonesia for the colonial-era atrocities, but it had never before offered a public apology for all the summary executions.
“On behalf of the Dutch government, I apologize for these excesses,” said the Dutch ambassador.
“The Dutch government hopes that this apology will help close a difficult chapter for those whose lives were impacted so directly by the violent excesses that took place between 1945 and 1949,” he added.
No Dutch officials or soldiers went on trial over the executions.
Indonesia was under the Dutch occupation from the 19th century until World War II, when the Japanese army forced the Netherlands out.
After the defeat of Japan in 1945, the Dutch attempted to recapture Indonesia, but met fierce resistance from the people of the sprawling archipelago.
Finally, the Dutch recognized Indonesia’s independence in 1949.
Nagasaki marks the 68th anniversary of the US atomic attack that killed tens of thousands of people in the Japanese city at the end of World War II.
The memorial service on Friday was attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, survivors of the nuclear bombing, celebrities, relatives and government representatives from more than 40 countries.
The event was held at Nagasaki Peace Park near the epicenter of the August 9, 1945 attack that killed up to 70,000 people.
The mayor of Nagasaki has criticized the government for failing to assume leadership toward nuclear disarmament.
During an address at the ceremony, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue censured the government for refusing to sign a statement rejecting unconditional use of nuclear weapons at an international disarmament meeting in April.
He said Japan has failed to assume the leadership, as the world’s only atomic-bombed country, in the drive to totally eradicate nuclear weapons as soon as possible.
Taue also urged the United States and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenal.
In June, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that Washington will continue to make investments to sustain its nuclear weapons, despite talks with Russia over cutting the number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to a third.
US filmmaker Oliver Stone also attended the memorial ceremony in Nagasaki on Friday. He said the widely held belief that the nuclear attacks on Japan ended World War II was a “tremendous lie.”
“It’s easy to look at the issue simply that Americans dropped the bomb to end World War II because Japanese militarists would not give up… [however], that would be a surface explanation,” Stone said.
The bombing of Nagasaki came just three days after the United States dropped another atomic bomb on the western city of Hiroshima in the closing days of World War II.
The US nuclear attack on Japan killed more than 200,000 people. The anniversaries of the two bombings are of great significance to Japan.
It is perceived wisdom throughout the Western world – particularly America – that the dropping of two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was “necessary” to end the war with Japan. Printed throughout textbooks in the post-war world, the understanding is that, had these targets not been struck, the war would have waged on indefinitely, with potentially untold American soldier and Japanese civilian deaths.
As the world commemorates the 68th anniversary of the attacks, however, it is important to take a step back and view the catastrophic event not through the prism of propaganda and mythologizing, but instead through the lens of historical scrutiny. For, as is often the case, the disparity between “Official History” and reality is characterized by lies and deceptions bolstered by patriotism and American exceptionalism.
We are told repeatedly that, without the use of weapons which current Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui refers to as the “ultimate inhumane weapon and an absolute evil”, Japan would never have surrendered. We are told that President Truman was troubled by the mounting Allied casualties, and that the Joint Chiefs had told him to expect 1,000,000 dead Americans in the pending attack on the Japanese home islands. Yet this figure is a complete fabrication, invented by Secretary of War Stimson. No such claim was made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Truman himself, in different statements, asserted “thousands of lives would be saved,” and “a quarter of a million of the flower of our young manhood was worth a couple of Japanese cities,” and also “I thought 200,000 of our young men would be saved by making that decision.” None of these statements were based on any evidence.
The alleged indefatigability of the Japanese military and their unwillingness to surrender is also a proven myth. By the summer of 1945 their position was hopeless and numerous attempts to surrender had already been made. Brigadier Gen. Carter W. Clarke stated: “We brought them down to an abject surrender through the accelerated sinking of their merchant marine and hunger alone, and when we didn’t need to do it, and we knew we didn’t need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn’t need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs.”
Truman knew weeks before the Potsdam Conference, which began in July, 1945, that the Japanese were making overtures to surrender, the only condition being the retention of the Emperor. But Truman was determined to test the new bombs. In the words of General Douglas McArthur: ”The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.” In the end, the US agreed to the terms of the Japanese surrender anyway – but not until they had tested their new weapons and caused the deaths of 100,000s of innocent civilians.
In reality, most of the military top brass were disgusted at the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki and understood completely that it served no military purpose whatsoever. Admiral William D. Leahy, the President’s Chief of Staff said, “The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” This view was reiterated by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who said, “The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace… The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan.”
So what is the truth about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Why, when intelligence agencies knew months in advance that contingency plans for a large-scale invasion were completely unnecessary and that Japan desperately sought peace, did they, as Admiral Leahy put it, adopt “an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages”?
There are two main reasons. Firstly, the Russians had entered the Japanese war and were making striking advances through Manchuria, decimating the already weakened Japanese army. Indeed, their role was pivotal – as Air Force General Claire Chennault stated: “Russia’s entry into the Japanese war was the decisive factor in speeding its end and would have been so even if no atomic bombs had been dropped.” The last thing the American leadership wanted was for Russia to receive equal spoils of war and emerge from the war as a superpower equal to the US.
In this sense, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are more accurately perceived as the opening salvos of the Cold War, rather than the final shots fired in the Second World War – the Cold War was, after all, defined essentially as a balance of nuclear powers; realpolitik and the primacy of power where the arms race and military insanity took supremacy over diplomacy.
The other, far more sinister reason, was one of scientific curiosity. After making such a huge investment in the Manhattan Project (2 billion in 1940) and with three bombs completed, there was little to no desire to shelve the weapons. The fissionable material in the Hiroshima bomb was uranium, while the Nagasaki bomb was plutonium, and subsequently there was intense scientific curiosity as to the different effects these bombs would produce. As the US Army director of the project, General Leslie Groves pondered: “what would happen if an entire city was leveled by a single uranium bomb?” “What about a plutonium bomb?” For the science experiment to go ahead, surrender was not an option.
Perhaps Stanley Kubrick in his movie Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb expressed his understanding more than most of the mentality of those who pushed for the use of atomic weapons on the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki – it was a decision based on a kind of hell-bent fanatical militarism combined with the worst kind of scientific endeavor devoid of any sense of humanity. Small wonder that the history books and the propaganda machine went into overdrive in the following years, endlessly justifying the use of what President Eisenhower described as “that awful thing”.
Nagakaki before and after being nuked by the US
Britain supported the vicious US nuclear attacks against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War, newly released top secret documents show.
The US government documents, declassified by the National Archives and Records Administration after almost 70 years, show London was involved in Washington’s decision to carry out the nuclear attacks as a close ally.
London’s support was officially expressed to US officials one month before the first and only nuclear attacks on a real target killed an estimated 250,000 civilians on August 6 and 9, 1945.
The go-ahead was given in a meeting of the Combined Policy Committee of the US and the UK in Washington on July 4, 1945 in which British officials referred to the nukes as Tube Alloys, a codename they used for their research on nukes and plutonium at the time.
British Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson told the meeting chaired by U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson that the British government “concurred in the use of the T.A. weapon against Japan”, Kyodo News Agency reported.
“The Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States had agreed that T.A. weapons should be used by the United States against Japan, the agreement of the British Government having been communicated” by Wilson, the documents said.
According to the documents, the initial agreement for the use of nukes against Japan when they are developed was made back in September 1944 in a meeting of the then US President Franklin Roosevelt and the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
A tank containing highly radioactive waste may be leaking into the soil at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (the US’s most contaminated nuclear site) in Washington state, employees have told media.
State and federal officials are investigating reports that workers detected elevated radioactivity levels under tank AY-102 during a routine inspection on Thursday.
According to technician Mike Geffre, who works for contractor Washington River Protection Solutions, an inspection was made of a pit under the tank. Its water samples had an 800,000-count of radioactivity and a high dose rate, which means that workers must reduce time spent in the area.
“Anything above a 500 count is considered contaminated and would have to be disposed of as nuclear waste,” Geffre explained. “Plus, the amount of material we’ve seen from the leak is very small, which means it’s a very strong radioactive isotope.”
If the waste escapes the tank and gets into the soil, it may reach groundwater and potentially the Columbia River.
“This is really, really bad. They are going to pollute the ground and the groundwater with some of the nastiest stuff, and they don’t have a solution for it,” Tom Carpenter, executive director of the Seattle-based advocacy group Hanford Challenge, a watchdog group that conducts environmental sampling to monitor for radioactive and chemical contamination, told AP.
There are 177 tanks holding up to 56 million gallons of waste, 149 of which are single-shell. Six of those tanks were discovered in February to be leaking at a rate of about 1,000 gallons annually.
AY-102 is one of Hanford’s 28 tanks with two walls, which was installed when single-shell tanks began leaking and some of the most radioactive liquid in those tanks was pumped into the sturdier double-shell tanks. The tanks are now beyond their intended life span.
Two radionuclides comprise much of the radioactivity in Hanford’s tanks: cesium-137 and strontium-90. While both take hundreds of years to decay, exposure to either can increase the risk of cancer.
Officials say that leaking tanks pose no immediate threat to the environment or public health, with the closest communities being several miles away.
“These last few months just seem like one body blow after another,” said Ken Niles of Oregon’s Energy Department. “It’s true this is not an immediate risk, but it’s one more thing to deal with among many at Hanford.”
“The Energy Department has been actively monitoring double-shell tank AY-102 since it was discovered to have a slow leak from the primary tank,” the department said in a statement. “Workers detected an increased level of contamination during a routine removal of water and survey of the leak detection pit.”
Additional testing is expected to take several days, though the state will demand an accelerated plan to deal with all the waste at Hanford, said Washington Governor Jay Inslee, adding that the potential leak “raises very troubling questions.”
An engineering analysis team will conduct additional sampling and video inspection to determine the source of the contamination, Spokeswoman Lori Gamache said.
The Energy Department announced last year that AY-102 was leaking between its two walls, but gave reassurances then that no waste had escaped. However, Seattle’s KING5 television station has reported that the cleanup contractor and the department knew a year earlier that the tank was leaking.
At the height of World War II, the federal government created Hanford as part of a secret project to create the atomic bomb. The site ultimately produced plutonium for the world’s first atomic blast and for one of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan; it continued production through the Cold War.
These days, it has a reputation as the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site, with a cleanup expected to take several decades. It costs up to US$2 billion annually and has already set taxpayers back US$40 billion, with US$115 billion more expected to be needed.
The biggest challenge thus far has been removing highly radioactive waste from the 177 aging underground tanks and constructing a plant to treat that waste, which will be encased in glass-like logs for permanent disposal. Workers designing and building the unique plant have encountered numerous technical problems, however, as well as delays and rising costs. The plant is unlikely to begin operating before 2019, far beyond the original 2011 deadline.
- The first ever double-shell tank to have leaked at Hanford may be in far worse condition than anyone imagined. (familysurvivalprotocol.com)
- Hanford tank with worst radioactive waste may be leaking (komonews.com)
- Worst Hanford tank may be leaking into soil (king5.com)
If we think at all about our government’s military depopulating territory that it desires, we usually think of the long-ago replacement of native Americans with new settlements during the continental expansion of the United States westward.
Here in Virginia some of us are vaguely aware that back during the Great Depression poor people were evicted from their homes and their land where national parks were desired. But we distract and comfort ourselves with the notion that such matters are deep in the past.
Occasionally we notice that environmental disasters are displacing people, often poor people or marginalized people, from their homes. But these incidents seem like collateral damage rather than intentional ethnic cleansing.
If we’re aware of the 1,000 or so U.S. military bases standing today in some 175 foreign countries, we must realize that the land they occupy could serve some other purpose in the lives of those countries’ peoples. But surely those countries’ peoples are still there, still living — if perhaps slightly inconvenienced — in their countries.
Yet the fact is that the U.S. military has displaced and continues to displace for the construction of its bases the entire populations of villages and islands, in blatant violation of international law, basic human decency, and principles we like to tell each other we stand for. The United States also continues to deny displaced populations the right to return to their homelands.
At issue here are not the bombings or burnings of entire villages, which of course the United States engages in during its wars and its non-wars. Nor are we dealing here with the millions of refugees created by wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan or by drone wars like the one in Pakistan. Rather, the following are cases of the intentional displacement of particular populations moved out of the way of base construction and left alive to struggle as refugees in exile.
In the Philippines, the United States built bases on land belonging to the indigenous Aetas people, who “ended up combing military trash to survive.”
During World War II the U.S. Navy seized the small Hawaiian island of Koho’alawe for a weapons testing range and ordered its inhabitants to leave. The island has been devastated.
In 1942, the Navy displaced Aleutian Islanders.
President Harry Truman made up his mind that the 170 native inhabitants of Bikini Atoll had no right to their island. He had them evicted in February and March of 1946, and dumped as refugees on other islands without means of support or a social structure in place. In the coming years, the United States would remove 147 people from Enewetak Atoll and all the people on Lib Island. U.S. atomic and hydrogen bomb testing rendered various depopulated and still-populated islands uninhabitable, leading to further displacements. Up through the 1960s, the U.S. military displaced hundreds of people from Kwajalein Atoll. A super-densely populated ghetto was created on Ebeye.
On Vieques, off Puerto Rico, the Navy displaced thousands of inhabitants between 1941 and 1947, announced plans to evict the remaining 8,000 in 1961, but was forced to back off and — in 2003 — to stop bombing the island.
On nearby Culebra, the Navy displaced thousands between 1948 and 1950 and attempted to remove those remaining up through the 1970s.
The Navy is right now looking at the island of Pagan as a possible replacement for Vieques, the population already having been removed by a volcanic eruption. Of course, any possibility of return would be greatly diminished.
Beginning during World War II and continuing through the 1950s, the U.S. military displaced a quarter million Okinawans, or half the population, from their land, forcing people into refugee camps and shipping thousands of them off to Bolivia — where land and money were promised but not delivered.
In 1953, the United States made a deal with Denmark to remove 150 Inughuit people from Thule, Greenland, giving them four days to get out or face bulldozers. They are being denied the right to return.
The story of Diego Garcia is superbly told in David Vine’s book, Island of Shame. Between 1968 and 1973, the United States and Great Britain exiled all 1,500 to 2,000 inhabitants from this island in the Indian Ocean. On orders from, and with funding from, the United States, the British forced the people onto overcrowded ships and dumped them on docks in Mauritius and the Seychelles — foreign and distant and unwelcoming lands for this indigenous population that had been part of Diego Garcia for centuries. U.S. documents described this as “sweeping” and “sanitizing” the island.
Those responsible for the displacement of the people of Diego Garcia knew that what they were doing was widely considered barbaric and illegal. They devised ways of creating “logical cover” for the process. They persuaded the ever-compliant Washington Post to bury the story. The Queen of England and her Privy Council bypassed Parliament. The Pentagon lied to Congress and hid its payments to the British from Congress. The planners even lied to themselves. Having originally envisioned a communications station, they concluded that advances in technology had rendered that unhelpful. So, Navy schemers decided that a fueling station for ships might offer a “suitable justification” for building a base that was actually a purposeless end in itself. But the Pentagon ended up telling a reluctant Congress that the base would be a communications station, because that was something Congress would approve.
Those plotting the eviction of the island’s people created the fiction that the inhabitants were migrant workers not actually native to Diego Garcia. Sir Paul Gore-Booth, Permanent Under Secretary in the Foreign Office of the U.K., dismissed the island’s people as “some few Tarzans or Men Fridays whose origins are obscure.” This stood in contrast to the respect and protection given to some other islands not chosen for bases because of the rare plants, birds, and animals resident there.
On January 24, 1971, remaining inhabitants of Diego Garcia were told they’d need to leave or be shot. They were allowed to take a small box of possessions, but had to leave their homes, their gardens, their animals, their land, and their society. Their dogs were rounded up and killed in a gas chamber as they watched, waiting themselves to be loaded on ships for departure. Arriving in Mauritius, they were housed in a prison. Their fate has not much improved in the decades since. David Vine describes them as very forgiving, wishing nothing but to be permitted to return.
Diego Garcia is purely a military base and in some ways more of a lawless zone than Guantanamo. The United States has kept and may be keeping prisoners there, on the island or on ships in the harbor. The Red Cross and journalists do not visit. The United States has de facto control of Diego Garcia, while the U.K. has technical ownership. The Pentagon is not interested in allowing the island’s people to return.
The South Korean government, at the behest of the U.S. Navy, is in the process of devastating a village, its coast, and 130 acres of farmland on Jeju Island with a massive military base. This story is best told in Regis Tremblay’s new film The Ghosts of Jeju. This is not a tragedy from the past to be remedied but a tragedy of this moment to be halted in its tracks. You can help. Tremblay’s film examines the history of decades of abuse of the people of Jeju, and the resistance movement that is currently inspiring other anti-base efforts around the globe. The film begins somber and ends joyful. I highly recommend creating an event around a screening of it.
We should not neglect to note here that the United States funds and arms and protects the Israeli government’s ongoing displacement of Palestinians and denial of the right to return.
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” wrote William Faulkner.
- The U.S. Base on Diego Garcia: An Overlooked Atrocity (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Shame, Lies and Secrecy on Diego Garcia (alethonews.wordpress.com)
To understand Iran’s real stance toward the issue of the Holocaust, it is worth reviewing President Mahmoud Ahmadienjad’s remarks.
In an interview with NBC NEWS’s Brian Williams on Sept 19, 2006, Ahmadinejad raised three questions about the Holocaust:
1) In the Second World War, over 60 million people (at least 50 million civilians) lost their lives. They were all human beings. Why is it that only a select group of those who were killed have become so prominent and important?
2) If this event (Holocaust) happened, and if it is a historical event, then we should allow everyone to research it and study it. The more research and studies are done, the more we can become aware of the realities that happened. We still leave open to further studies absolute knowledge of science or math. Historical events are always subject to revisions, and reviews and studies…Why is it that those who ask questions are persecuted? Why is every word so sensitivity or such prohibition on further studies on the subject? Where as we can openly question God, the prophet, concepts such as freedom and democracy?
3) If this happened, where did it happen? Did the Palestinian people have anything to do with it? Why should the Palestinians pay for it now? Five million displaced Palestinian people is what I’m talking about. Over 60 years of living under threat. Losing the lives of thousands of dear ones. And homes that are destroyed on a daily basis over people’s heads. You might argue that the Jews have the right to have a government. We’re not against that. But where? At a place where their people were — several people will vote for them, and where they can govern. Not at the cost of displacing a whole nation. And occupying the whole territory.
The Israeli – Palestinian confrontation is one of the longest lasting world crises in recent times and many believe an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would also be the key to solving the other issues and conflicts in the region.
As Iran’s President has frequently asserted, if the Holocaust happened in Europe, what is the fault of the Palestinian people? The Palestinian people’s lives are being destroyed today in the pretext of the Holocaust. Lands have been occupied, usurped. But what is their fault? What role did they play in the Holocaust?
“Well, assuming that the Holocaust happened, then, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?”
So, What Are Iran doubts?
Let’s review some major points Iran has raised about the Holocaust:
1. The evidence of the honoured history of each nation is always open to study; you have never heard of a ban on studying war crimes; for instance Iran has always presented evidence and proof to the world of what Iraq did to Iran’s people, as most countries do; but the Holocaust is the only part of history, which is kept out of questioning!
2. Let’s consider that the Holocaust is true, and as they say, “six million Jews during World War II, were murdered by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, throughout German-occupied territory.” Still we need to ask: Why Palestinians should pay the price?
Though the solution to this dispute is not very complicated! (Churchill once said: “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”) Iran suggests that the Holocaust events should be further investigated by independent and impartial parties;
Iran is against using the Holocaust to justify the behaviour of Israel in the region, and this is a merely a political and humanitarian argument, nothing to do with Jews and cannot be interpreted as anti – Semitic.
Jews, like other minorities are living peacefully in Iran. Jews are protected in the Iranian constitution and a seat is reserved for a Jew in the Majlis (Iran’s Parliament). Iran hosts the largest Jewish population of any Muslim-majority country. And it is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East.
We are witnessing the slow-motion collapse of the second Anglo-Saxon imperium in less than a hundred years. There was something called Pax Britannica under the reign of Queen Victoria, a truly amazing transcontinental empire without peer in world history. That era was England’s apogee. Then, after the Queen’s diamond jubilee in June 1897, England’s prospects darkened, at first imperceptibly.
In the immediate aftermath of those two stupendous British Empire wars of the 20th Century–now known as World War I and World War II–both conveniently blamed on Germany, everything came crashing down. In short order, England was reduced to a zero, thanks to the venality, hubris and fatheadedness of its “elites”. The torch was grabbed by the second Anglo-Saxon power, in the person of our great white father, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his gang of dedicated Reds and starry-eyed Anglophiles.
The upshot was apparent at the Bretton Woods conference in New Hampshire in July 1944. It was here that the victors of the second blood bath decided what the spoils were going to be. England, under the leadership of that unbalanced mountebank, Winston Churchill, was only a nominal victor. The true victors were Washington and world communism.
The former held all the cards outside the communist world, since old Europe and Japan had been left in shambles and partly incinerated. And the once great British Empire of palm and pine was now truly bankrupt, thanks to Churchill and the warmongering machinations of Lloyd George and Sir Edward Grey, among other misguided statesmen, before him.
Benn Steil, director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, is cited in a New York Times article of October 26th, 2012, as suggesting that readers of the recently-uncovered transcripts of the Bretton Woods Conference would discover the British Empire disintegrating before their eyes.
The same Benn Steil has now written a book, The Battle of Bretton Woods. Tony Barber, the esteemed European editor of the Financial Times, reviewed it in the FT weekend edition of February 9th/10th, 2013. Barber remarks that “… Benn Steil explains how two world wars in 31 years bled Britain dry, leaving it with minimal influence over the new international economic and monetary order established by US policymakers in the mid-1940′s.”
The gentleman representing the US at Bretton Woods was Soviet master spy, Harry Dexter White, the son of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants. Representing Britain was the celebrity economist, John Maynard Keynes. Alas, the urbane Englishman was reduced to “… the status of an articulate annoyance.” Keynes had warned the Foreign Office not to let the US “… exploit the war as an opportunity for picking the eyes out of the British Empire.” But at that point, what choice did John Bull have? None. The Great Game was over.
In the same article, Barber goes on to review another book on a related topic. “In The Leaderless Economy, Peter Temin and David Vines extend the story that Steil concludes at Bretton Woods, charting the decline and fall of the US-dominated international order that it inaugurated. They contend that the world has not recovered from the banking crisis that erupted in 2008 largely because, unlike in the 1940s, no nation is powerful enough to guide the global economy towards prosperity.”
Barber quotes the authors, Professors Temin and Vines: “Like Britain roughly a century earlier, America has become part of the problem, not the solution.” It is unclear what exactly is being referenced here. The folly related to England’s participation in the Great War of August 1914, the disgraceful Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and its reparations regime, the inability of England to cope with the Great Depression of the 1930s, or British insolvency at the end of the Second World War? Let’s say all three. For my money, the key to everything right down to the present moment remains the Great War.
Does the average American realize that he and she are being bled dry by their own “elites” who suffer from a similar myopia and arrogance as the blockheads in Whitehall who gratuitously catapulted England into two world wars? Of course not. How could they? It is being kept under wraps. Those whose interests are being advanced directly and indirectly by current circumstances do not want the music to stop. Why should they blow the whistle on themselves? Instead, they go with the flow. Everyone in Washington follows the line of least resistance.
Remember the “Peace Dividend”? That was supposed to be America’s reward for winning the Cold War in 1990/1991. Resources would be freed up to use on the home front. But something happened to derail the dividend. What was it? Oh, yes. Saddam Hussein invaded the city-state of Kuwait on August 2nd, 1990. Saddam had misinterpreted the mixed signals sent from his then-ally, America. Washington had abetted Iraq’s war on Iran for nearly a decade. With Iraq’s annexation of Kuwait, Washington was off to the races again. A full-blown crusade was the result.
In the process, half a million Iraqi children were left dead due to the economic embargo imposed by Bush I and Bill Clinton. In the process, America got hit with the atrocity of 9/11. In the process, a disarmed Iraq was targeted for “shock and awe” and overrun as part of the Global War on Terror. GWOT was the private agenda war masterminded by the Neocons for Dick Cheney & Bush II. That private agenda war continues unabated under Barack Obama, who is considered to be some sort of “progressive”.
Concurrently, Afghanistan/Pakistan became a battleground and a hotbed of terrorism. It remains a quagmire for American and NATO troops. Meanwhile, as if more problems were needed, Washington policymakers loudly and shamelessly repeat the false accusation that Iran is running a nuclear weapons program.
G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama knew that accusation was false. Their own intelligence community told them so in writing. Ditto Seymour Hersh in the pages of The New Yorker. No matter. The establishment media does not bark. The campaign against Iran is a rerun of Iraq.
Finally, just the other day somewhere in Palestine, Obama fulsomely embraced Theodor Herzl and his acolytes, thereby rationalizing and condoning the wholesale dispossession of Palestinians forever. Who noticed? It was the line of least resistance as well as Obama’s ticket to the greatest personal reward. No surprise.
America is at war, all right. Yet another unnecessary war of choice. We are being bled dry like England before us. Chalk up a second global Anglo-Saxon ascendancy thrown away and destroyed thanks to the chicanery of foolish men.
Foreign policy observers have long known that Hollywood reflects and promotes U.S. policies (in turn, is determined by Israel and its supporters). This fact was made public when Michelle Obama announced an Oscar win for Argo – a highly propagandist, anti-Iran film. Amidst the glitter and excitement, Hollywood and White House reveal their pact and send out their message in time for the upcoming talks surrounding Iran’s nuclear program due to be held tomorrow – February 26th.
Hollywood has a long history of promoting US policies. In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson’s Committee on Public Information (CPI) enlisted the aid of America’s film industry to make training films and features supporting the ‘cause’. George Creel, Chairman of the CPI believed that the movies had a role in “carrying the gospel of Americanism to every corner of the globe.”
The pact grew stronger during World War II, when, as historian Thomas Doherty writes, “[T]he liaison between Hollywood and Washington was a distinctly American and democratic arrangement, a mesh of public policy and private initiative, state need and business enterprise.” Hollywood’s contribution was to provide propaganda. After the war, Washington reciprocated by using subsidies, special provisions in the Marshall Plan, and general clout to pry open resistant European film markets.1
Hollywood has often borrowed its story ideas from the U.S. foreign policy agenda, at times reinforcing them. One of the film industry’s blockbuster film loans in the last two decades has been modern international terrorism. Hollywood rarely touched the topic of terrorism in the late 1960s and 1970s when the phenomenon was not high on the U.S. foreign policy agenda, in news headlines or in the American public consciousness. In the 1980s, in the footsteps of the Reagan administration’s policies, the commercial film industry brought ‘terrorist’ villains to the big screen (following the US Embassy takeover in Tehran – topic of Argo) making terrorism a blockbuster film product in the 1990s.
Today, whether Hollywood follows US policy or whether it sets it, is up for discussion. But it is abundantly clear that Hollywood is dominated by Israelis and their supporters who previously concealed their identity. According to a 2012 Haaretz article:
From the 1930s until the mid-1950s, Hanukkah never appeared on screen. This was because the Jewish studio heads preferred to hide their ethnic and religious heritage in attempting to widen the appeal of their products [emphasis added]. Jews were thus typically portrayed as participants in an American civil religion, whose members may attend the synagogue of their choice, but are not otherwise marked by great differences of appearance, speech, custom, or behaviour from the vast majority of American.
This is no longer the case.
In sharp contrast to its past, Hollywood “celebrated” Israel’s 60th “birthday” [occupation] with a Gala called “From Vision to Reality”. Israeli TV blog wrote of the Gala: ‘Don’t Worry Israel, Hollywood is behind you’. Actor Jon Voight said: “World playing a dangerous game by going against Israel”.
Israeli businessman and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, was a longtime weapons dealer and Israeli intelligence agent who purchased equipment for Israel’s nuclear program (the book, Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan, written by Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, recounts Milchan’s life story, his friendships with Israeli prime ministers, U.S. presidents and Hollywood stars).
It is important to understand Hollywood not only in the context of a multi-billion dollar industry, but the propaganda aspect of it and as one of the most powerful and universal methods of spreading ideas through visual propaganda. “Propaganda is defined as a certain type of messaging that serves a particular purpose of spreading or implanting a particular culture, philosophy, point of view or even a particular slogan”. With this capability, Hollywood owns the world of ideas on a scale too large and too dangerous to ignore – see this excellent example by Gilad Atzmon – Hollywood and the Past.
History is commonly regarded as an attempt to produce a structured account of the past. It proclaims to tell us what really happened, but in most cases it fails to do that. Instead it is set to conceal our shame, to hide those various elements, events, incidents and occurrences in our past which we cannot cope with. History, therefore, can be regarded as a system of concealment. Accordingly, the role of the true historian is similar to that of the psychoanalyst: both aim to unveil the repressed. For the psychoanalyst, it is the unconscious mind. For the historian, it is our collective shame.
As Hollywood and the White House eagerly embrace “Argo” and its propagandist message, they shamelessly and deliberately conceal a crucial aspect of this “historical” event. The glitter buries the all too important fact that the Iranian students who took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, proceeded to reveal Israel’s dark secret to the world. Documents classified as “SECRET” revealed LAKAM’s activities. Initiated in 1960, LAKAM was an Israeli network assigned to economic espionage in the U.S. assigned to “the collection of scientific intelligence in the U.S. for Israel’s defense industry.2
As it stands, the purpose of the movie and its backers was to push the extraordinary revelations to the background while sending a visual message to the unsuspecting audience – to lay the blame of the potential (and likely) failure of the upcoming negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program on the Iranians — the gun-wielding, bearded Iranians of Argo who deserve America’s collective punishment and the crippling, deathly sanctions.
- Martha Bayles, Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2005
- U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Israel: Foreign Intelligence and Security Services, Washington, D.C., March 1979, p. 9 (typescript). The report classified SECRET, was released to the world by Iranian students who occupied the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979. Cited by Duncan L. Clarke, “Israel’s Economic Espionage in the United States” (1998).
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is a Public Diplomacy Scholar, independent researcher, and blogger with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups.
The Antidote to ‘War on Terror’ & ‘Arab Spring’ Doublespeak: The 2013 Compact Doublespeak Dictionary!
“In a time of universal deceit, making an Orwellian Doublespeak dictionary is a revolutionary act.” – Martin Iqwell
Have you ever read the newspaper only to find yourself hopelessly confused as to the real underlying meanings of the deceitful, duplicitous lexicon in use in this ‘Arab Spring’, ‘War on Terror’ age? Fret no more, the first edition of the 2013 Compact Orwellian Doublespeak Dictionary is here! Read on to decipher the true meanings beneath the fraudulent war-on-terror-humanitarian-intervention-arab-spring terminology used by all of today’s paid liars. Take back your language!
al-Qaeda noun 1 collective name for guerrilla fighters armed, funded, and supported by Western/Zionist intelligence agencies, and conveniently airlifted to any location on the planet where a ‘terror threat’ pretext is required by avaricious colonial powers. 2 derogatory label attached to any (usually dead) person resisting the bloodthirsty Western-Zionist war machine. 3 spectre used dishonestly to intimidate citizens into believing the myth that a global, integrated and centrally-commanded anti-West Islamic terror organisation exists.
SEE ALSO apparition, ghost, myth, bogeyman.
NOTE for Zionist/Neoconservative power brokers’ rhetorical purposes, definition changes depending on geographical region. i.e. Within Libya and Syria, al-Qaeda good; within Afghanistan or Mali, al-Qaeda bad.
anti-Semitism noun 1 hostility to, or prejudice against Jews. 2 trick used by Zionist and Neoconservative power brokers to: silence all legitimate criticism of Jewish supremacism and the criminal usurping Zionist entity (see Israel), and prevent any honest appraisal of the events of World War II.
Arab Spring noun multi-regional counterrevolution affecting several Arab nations, allowing colonial powers and the Zionist entity (see Israel) to roll back all sovereign Arab countries to a state of neo-colonial, neoliberal and Zionist subservience. Successfully sold to liberal ‘anti-war’ idiots in shiny revolution packaging.
SEE ALSO Arab Sting, Arab Sham, Sykes-Picot part II.
Ashkenazi /ash-kuh-nah-zi/ noun (pl. Ashkenazim /ash-kuh-nah-zim/) a Jew of central or eastern European descent. Constantly kvetches about anti-Semitism despite not actually being of Semitic extraction. White settlers masquerading as Palestinian natives (see Israel).
SEE ALSO Khazarian.
conspiracy theory noun 1 a theory stating that two or more persons have secretly plotted together to do something usually unlawful or harmful. 2 (chiefly N. American and Zionist) a derogatory label used to end discussion, stifle critical thought, and stigmatise genuine, rational truth seekers.
SEE ALSO 9/11.
Hollywood noun the centre of the American film industry located in Los Angeles, California. Multi-billion dollar brainwashing tool used to ensure that a consumerist, materialistic, empty, servile, and anti-Islamic world view is espoused by audiences. Owned and operated by the Ashkenazim. Instrumental to the War on Terror.
insurgent /in-ser-juhnt/ noun 1 a person who rises in forcible opposition to lawful authority. 2 (esp. in Iraq & Afghanistan) a person (usually a peasant or farmer) who takes up arms to protect his/her sovereign homeland from foreign occupiers, and thus rises in forcible opposition to unlawful authority.
Israel /iz-rayel/ noun modern expansionist settler state existing fraudulently on the lands of Historic Palestine. Established by non-Semitic foreign interlopers falsely claiming Palestinian roots but actually hailing from Europe and Russia. Subsists on false flag terrorism, lies, blood, and hatred.
SEE ALSO cancer, terrorism, racial supremacy.
Israeli /iz-ray-li/ noun an oftentimes armed foreign person residing in Palestine as part of the Zionist project. Settler masquerading as a citizen of Historic Palestine. Routinely steals land and belongings of others; incapable of living in peace with any gentile.
SEE ALSO settler, occupier, terrorist, thief, supremacist.
rebel noun 1 a person who fights against or refuses to obey an established government or ruler. 2 (esp. Libya and Syria) any brainwashed sectarian extremist who fights at the behest of Western powers against secular, popular Arab leaders.
SEE ALSO al-Qaeda, terrorist, decapitation fetishist.
revolution noun foreign-instigated armed counterrevolution waged by sectarian extremist Salafi fighters and terrorists allied to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other such reactionary, backwards forces. Involves the wholesale slaughter of indigenous resistance fighters and the fire sale of all national resources to greedy multinational corporations.
SEE ALSO Arab Spring, Libya, Syria.
stability noun (chiefly N. American) see subservience.
security noun (chiefly N. American) see subservience.
terrorist noun 1 any person who uses violence or intimidation in the attempt to achieve political aims. 2 (chiefly Zionist) any person (usually a peasant or farmer, but always a Muslim) who takes up arms to protect his/her sovereign homeland from foreign occupiers.
War on Terror noun (chiefly Zionist) worldwide scramble for energy resources and the dissolution of all sovereign Muslim lands, waged by the colonial powers of the USA, Britain, France, and Israel. Unable to flourish without Hollywood and 9/11.
SEE ALSO fraud, myth, lie.
9/11 /nayn-i-lev-uhn/ noun 1 (chiefly Zionist) September 11, 2001: the day on which members of al-Qaeda attacked the United States of America by hijacking commercial airliners and crashing them into various targets (see: Hollywood). 2 September 11, 2001: the day on which the Israeli and North American intelligence services orchestrated a false flag terror attack intended to implicate Islam as a belligerent, anti-Western force, thus justifying astronomical military budget increases and the mobilisation of the US Army on behalf of the usurping Zionist entity (see Israel) in pursuit of the War on Terror.
SEE ALSO fraud, myth, lie.
The US has long held in its possession verified documentation proving the 1940 Katyn forest massacre of several thousand Polish POWs was committed by the Soviet Union. Why did Washington conceal it: to cover-up for its wartime ally Josef Stalin.
The Associated Press has seen newly declassified documents illuminating the Katyn Massacre, which are being released and put online by the US National Archives on Monday.
Among the 1,000 papers include encrypted messages from American Prisoners Of War (POWs) kept in German captivity during the World War II.
Capt. Donald B. Stewart and Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet Jr. were among a group of American and British POWs taken to witness a grisly 1943 scene at a “clearing surrounded by pine trees: mass graves tightly packed with thousands of partly mummified corpses in well-tailored Polish officers uniform.”
Judging by “the corpses’ advanced state of decay,” the US officers said the killings took place much earlier in the war – presumably before the Soviets lost control of the territory in 1941.
They also saw Polish letters, diaries, identification tags, news clippings and other objects — none dating later than the spring of 1940 — pulled from the graves. The most damning evidence indicating the time of the tragedy and the country responsible for it was the relatively good state of the men’s boots and clothing: the state of the men’s uniforms showed that had not likely lived long after being captured.
The released papers now prove that the US officers informed their country of the concealed murder scene and the evidences some months after their 1943 visit.
The MIS-X military intelligence unit tasked with coordinating ultra-secret communications and intelligence gathering missions with POWs sent a coded request to Van Vliet asking him “to state his opinion of Katyn.” The papers state “it is also understood Col. Van Vliet & Capt. Stewart replied.”
The historians who spoke with the Associated Press called it “the most dramatic revelation” as it shows that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his administration were getting information early on from credible US sources illustrating it was the Soviet Union behind the massacre.
The finding further supports suspicion that regardless of the verified knowledge, Roosevelt chose not to make it public and wrangle with Josef Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan during World War II.
The records also contain other illuminating evidence. One of the most important messages that landed on Roosevelt’s desk was an extensive and detailed report from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Written by the British ambassador to the Polish government-in-exile in London, Owen O’Malley, the document pointed to Soviet complicity in the Katyn massacre.
“There is now available a good deal of negative evidence,” AP quotes O’Malley as writing, “the cumulative effect of which is to throw serious doubt on Russian disclaimers of responsibility for the massacre.”
In the early years after the war, a special US Congressional committee was set up to investigate Katyn. In a final report released in 1952, it declared there was no doubt of Soviet guilt. It found that Roosevelt’s administration “suppressed public knowledge of the crime, but said it was out of military necessity.” It also recommended the government bring charges against the Soviet Union at an international tribunal.
Despite the conclusions, the White House maintained its silence on Katyn.
Moscow however has always denied it involvement in the Katyn shooting, claiming that Nazis staged the killing in 1941 after taking control of the area.
The issue was a sore spot between Russia and Poland until Soviet responsibility and the subsequent cover-up were officially acknowledged and condemned in 1990.Moscow then officially apologized for the tragedy.
An investigation conducted by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation was able to confirm the deaths of Polish citizens, blaming Stalin and other Soviet officials for having personally ordered the massacre.
In 2010 the Russian side began to release documents related to the Katyn mass execution to the Polish authorities.
The declassified documents also show the United States maintained that it could not conclusively determine guilt until Russia’s admission in 1990.
Historians say the new material helps “to flesh out the story of what the US knew and when.”