Category Archives: World War 2

I’m a Holocaust Denier

Repost from the old site.

To be a Holocaust Denier, you need to meet some criteria:

  • Deny that 6 million Jews were killed by Nazis in World War Two.
  • Deny that there was a concerted plan to kill all the Jews in Europe by the Nazis.
  • Deny that there was any kind of an overall plan to kill Jews by Nazis, instead of just some kind of war psychosis run wild.

How do I score on those? Two out of three.

  • I do deny that 6 million Jews were killed in a deliberate plot to kill all of Europe’s Jews by Hilter’s Nazis.
  • I also deny that the Nazis intended to kill every single Jew in Europe.

Response to the first charge: I say 5.7 million were killed, not 6 million. Actually, I say that 5,754,400 Jews were killed in the war. I like that figure – so precise! Whoever was able to round it off to the nearest hundred either has amazing statistical skills, confidence, nerve, or all three.

But that still makes me a Denier, right? I mean with the Kosher Holocult Crowd and all?

Response to the Second Charge: Well, they intended to kill a good portion of the Jews in Europe all right, but they did designate some Jews as “not to be killed”, or “not Jews” for some weird reasons.

A large number – possibly 300,000, 1/2 – 1/4 Jews were designated “non-Jews” and some even fought in the German Army. Many Jews married to non-Jews were also spared for some odd reason. Hitler demanded that his own personal family physician from his younger days, whom he dearly loved (Yes, it is true) be saved, along with his family. Even in the camps, a fair number were inexplicably spared.

On and on the rule-benders went. Why? Well, the Nazis had a problem. As in, Houston, we have a problem. Jew-killing was all fine and dandy with them, but they couldn’t kill half of Germany, for Chrissake.

You shake your head in incomprehension? A friend of mine dated a German woman. She said, “In Germany, we have a saying, ‘There is a bit of Jew in every German’”, this due to massive interbreeding with the heavily assimilated German Jews. (But see the comments following the post for some disagreements).

Which also begs the frightening and strange notion that Nazism was in part a suicidal project – a genocidal war by Germans on the German people themselves.

And so the rules about “Who is a Jew” had to be rather conservative and subject to much revision.

On the other hand, the Nazis killed a Hell of a lot of Jews, to be sure, and through their genocidal intent was not total, genocides are rarely completed in toto against very large groups. Just too many to kill em all.

In many countries they invaded, they killed the vast majority of Jews they could lay hands on and spared few. Even in North Africa, few realize that Jew-killing went on.

And the Palestinian cause suffered a blow recently when it came out that the Nazis intended to conquer Palestine and kill the Jews there. The Grand Mufti was, incredibly, all too willing to go along here. So much for the great “Alliance between Zionists and Nazis” that so many anti-Zionists like to crow over.

The Nazis intended to conquer Iran and Iraq – we know this, and there were many Jews to be killed there. America was a much more longer-term goal – Mein Kampf places the invasion in 1990, but with much of the world in Nazi (and Japanese?) hands, what would have been the fate of an economically strangled America?

Who would ever be so insane as to accuse a post like this of anti-Semitism, not to mention Hitler-adoration, fascism, and Holocaust Denial? Lots of Jews? Sadly true.

Show this post to 100 Jews, and a certain number of them will start spitting, sputtering, fuming and cursing about anti-Semitism, the singular and peculiar obsession of most Jews. They will get visibly angry and look like they are ready to get violent. You will feel like you want to leave the room.

Their ridiculous Judeophilic friends on both the liberal-Left and the neoconservative Right? Surely.

Marcuse-quoting, victim-addicted, White race- and Western culture-hating Leftist eggheads like this, this and this? Indubitably. How could we forget these silly human gnats, much as we long to? Is there anything more preposterous, useless, annoying and irrelevant than the Cultural Marxist Western Left?

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Hitler’s Nero Order

Here.

Fascinating stuff.

Neo-Nazis claim that this document doesn’t exist. Yet you can read it right here. On April 19, 1945, Hitler ordered the Wehrmacht to destroy all of German’s infrastructure so that there would be nothing left for the enemy to take. It’s known as his Nero Order, and it’s a very sore point with neo-Nazis who refuse to believe that their hero would destroy his own country. Speer submitted another memorandum opposing the order. Hitler’s order superseded Speer’s, but apparently Speer tried to his best to keep the destruction of Germany’s infrastructure to a minimum.

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Sovietologist Fakes and the Peasant Uprising That Never End

Repost from the old site.

I’m being attacked by a whole bunch of intellectuals on some list for supposedly defending Communism’s horrible death toll, specifically those of Mao and Stalin, though actually I was not doing anything of the kind, but you know how idiots are when it comes to evil Communism and all.

It all boils down to who was worse, Stalin-Mao Mass Murderer of All Time or Hitler Most Evil Killer and Maniac. Of course, rightwingers being the truly horrible people that they always are, they always try to defend Hitler!

As an Old Left type, these Nazis tried to kill everyone of my comrades on the planet. No way am I making alliances with people who want me dead.

The Left mostly refuses to defend Commies, but instead says that Hitler was way more evil.

It’s murder, murder, murder and more murder. All the murder, all the time. It’s the Murder Channel, and it’s who killed more, your guy or Not-ours?

Stalin killed only 2.3 million in peacetime, and the Holodomor is a Nazi lie spread by Nazi Randolph Hearst and the fascist (self-admitted) much loved by the West as their favorite Russian, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

All the lies were helped to be spread by Robert Conquest, the British equivalent of a CIA agent, an agent for the MI-5, a man who made his career spying for the West.

All of his books are CIA lies, but no one knows it, and he’s revered as a Sovietologist by the entire West and Condy Rice and Campus Watch’s idiotic CIA Jew father, Richard Pipes and the whole orchestra of idiots and weirdos and academic liars and failures.

And the whole world stood back and applauded the Sovietologist idiots, and then later the Sovietologist idiots became cheerleaders for the US imperialism, or they became cheerleaders for Zionist settler-colonialism, which is imperialism plus invaders and super-thieves who actually throw you off your land and take it and settle it with their own invaders, as opposed to the usual US-type imperialists who just drain every penny of wealth out of your land and leave you to die at age 44.

And all in one sentence no less.

Peru created Sendero; Cambodia created Pol Pot; 17th century Poland created the Chmielniki Rebellion, and 1/3 of Poland was dead. In 1804, Desallines led an island of slaves in righteous rebellion, and every Frenchperson on the speck of land in the Sea was dead, even the kids, even the crazy woman ranting on the bridge set upon by the mob and lynched on the spot.

The peasant rebellions went on and on down through modern human history, and some people just never learned and kept getting massacred over and over again, and the dumb thing was, they pretty much deserved it every single time, except the kids and the crazies that is, and if you don’t want to be on the end of a peasants with torches mob out to kill you all, don’t treat people like shit in the first place!

A lot of the West, including its idiot best and brightest, actually accuses Stalin of killing 27 million of his own in WW2 by being a bad general and leader. Of all the outrageous pro-Nazi BS! Tell me when the West is going to stop rooting Nazi in World War Two, at least on the Eastern Front?

I spat out the bitter Commie truths, and the Westerners spit and cursed and called me killer.

I blew up their cartoon men, and their joke intellectuals spouted steam from their balding heads.

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Review of Peter Fritzsche’s Germans Into Nazis, by Robert John

Repost from the old site.

I am proud to present a book review by a new guest author, Robert John. His biography is at the end of the piece. In this piece, he reviews a book by Peter Fritzsche, Germans into Nazis. This book takes on, in part, a thesis by a best-selling book by Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners.

Goldhagen’s book was wildly controversial, to say the least. His thesis was that Nazism was a normal evolution of the virulent anti-Semitism inherent in German society for decades, if not centuries. An anti-Semitism spanning all of society, from top to bottom, urban to rural.

Goldhagen gives examples of how ordinary Germans knew full well the nature of the Nazi Holocaust against Jews, but either did nothing about it, or cheered it on. He cites postcards sent back by German soldiers to family at home, telling gleefully about how the soldiers were massacring Jews on the Front.

The reaction to Goldhagen’s book was ferocious, much of it coming from conservative Catholics, anti-Semites and German nationalists but also from serious scholars.

To this day, Goldhagen is a favorite whipping boy of anti-Semites and Holocaust revisionists and deniers, except that their own behavior seems to prove Goldhagen correct. So those who hate Jews take exception to Goldhagen saying that Germany was a nation of Jew-haters. One would think they would cheer this assertion on?

Regarding this review, here are some facts for those lacking background in this matter:

After World War 1, Germany was hobbled at the Treaty of Versailles with horrible reparations that were essentially unpayable and ruined the economy. John points out correctly that Versailles led logically to the rise of Nazism.

Immediately afterwards, in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution, German Communists attempted to overthrow the state. They were defeated. German anti-Communists, including most of the middle class, noted that many of the leaders of the Communist revolutions in Russia and Germany were Jewish.

History is not kind to losers. For better or worse, German Jews were blamed for a few of them having led the failed German revolution.

In the 1920′s, Germany had a series of very unstable governments known as the Weimar Republic. At the same time, there was widespread political violence in the streets, often between Communists and socialists on one side and nationalists and proto-fascists on the other. The economy was devastated and it took a wheelbarrow full of worthless money to buy a loaf of bread.

At the same time, a wealthy and decadent class lived it up in the nightclubs of Berlin. Many of this decadent artist class were Jewish and many were also homosexuals and bisexuals. The movie, Cabaret, starring Liza Minnelli, about the life of gay author Christopher Isherwood, was set in Weimar Berlin.

Comedians and artists, many of whom were Jewish, ridiculed German nationalism and the things that patriotic Germans held dear to their hearts. This nationalism, along with traditional German culture, was held by these artists as having led to the war and the disastrous defeat. Enraged German nationalists saw only decadent urbanites, many of them Jewish, attacking German culture and values.

Further, the decadent lifestyle in Berlin enraged traditional elements in Germany. The wild life of the rich in the cities aroused rage amongst the immiserated poor, workers and middle classes.

While German Gentiles were being economically ruined, many German Jews had avoided economic destruction by stashing their money outside the country early in the crisis. No doubt this led to charges that the Jews were failing to invest in Germany.

In the late 1920′s and early 1930′s, as German property values plummeted, German Jews were able to return bring their money back and buy up much of the country for 10 cents on the dollar. By 1932, German Jews, 1% of the country, owned 32% of the wealth of Germany.

After quotas on Jews in government jobs, the professions and universities were lifted in the 1920′s, the ranks of attorneys, doctors, judges and law professors were quickly filled by high-IQ Jews. 1/2 of German law professors and Berlin attorneys were Jewish. 1/3 to 1/2 of Berlin doctors were Jewish. 20% of German judges were Jewish. Berlin gained a Jewish police chief, the first in the history of the city.

Many Germans were outraged at the overnight Jewish success and implied humiliation of German Gentiles and insisted that the Jews must have cheated to get these positions.

Just before they seized power, Nazi propagandists made much use of these figures. They also claimed that most politicians and civil servants were Jews, which was not true. Only a few high-ranking civil servants were Jewish. There were few Jewish politicians – during the entire Weimar Period, there were only 8 Jewish members of the Reichstag from Berlin. After 1922, there were almost no Jewish Cabinet ministers.

Similar claims that most pickpockets were Jewish and that German prisoners were filled with Jews were also false. Looking at figures from 1925, only 1.05% of Prussian prisoners were Jewish. Likewise with claims that the German Communist Party leadership was mostly Jewish. In 1932, there were 100 Communist deputies in the Reichstag and not a single one was Jewish.

As you can see, the Nazis were engaging in some scapegoating and out and out lying about German Jews.

The Weimar Regimes (republican democracy) seemed to be powerless to remedy any of these problems. Democracy came to be seen as symbolic with ineffectual government that fiddled while the nation burned, with decadent intellectuals and artists who attacked beloved German culture and values, with an outrageous gap between rich and poor, and with a disastrous economy.

So the Nazis ran on a platform of “the Hell with democracy”.

At the same time, similar fascist movements were spreading across Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe, where most nations had fascist governments during this period. Even Finland and the Baltics had fascist governments.

Fritzsche’s book points out that the Nazis succeeded due to good old politics, Karl Rove style. They appealed to workers, women and liberals, though their program was secretly hostile to all three. They attacked social conservatism and the rich while hiding the fact that support for these elements was an essential nature of their project.

Even the name “National Socialists” was chosen along the same lines, to co-opt the rising Socialist and Communist movements in Germany.

By playing such dishonest political games, they gained support of socialists, Communists, liberals and even some Jews. While the socialists and Communists seemed boring or dangerous, the Nazis were all about getting Germans to feel good about themselves and have fun at the same time. Instead of Reagan’s “Morning in America”, it was “Morning in Germany”.

After they seized power, no German socialist or Communist was fooled by the Nazi lies about being a socialist party. In fact, at its core, Nazism was hostile first and foremost to liberals, union members, socialists and Communists. Communists, socialists and union members were the first to go the concentration camps, Dachau being the most famous. The Jews were number four on the list, after these three!

After they seized power, at the Night of the Long Knives, the Left Nazis were all killed or driven out of the party. Through the 1930′s, most of the German Left went to ground, fled the country or took up arms against the government. The German Communist Party declared war on the Nazi regime during this period.

The name “National Socialists” has confused many people, including rightwing ideologues. There is much more to the refutation of the disgusting rightwing lie, “Nazis were a leftwing, socialist movement” but I will save it for another post.

I realize that a quick, ignorant, emotional read of this piece could lead one to the conclusion that it is some defense of Nazism. If you read it closely, intelligently and soberly, you should notice that it is nothing of the kind.

I hope you enjoy John’s piece.

Those Abnormal Germans?

Understanding Goldhagen

Robert John*

Germans into Nazis
Peter Fritzsche
Harvard University Press, 1998
269 pages. ISBN 0-674-35091-X

The history of this century has been dominated by the horrors that came from the inferno of World War I. The rise of Nazism in Germany is only comprehensible by taking into account the national hardships and frustration provoked by defeat and the harsh and punitive treaty of Versailles, in which President Wilson played the leading role.

Peter Fritzsche, professor of history, University of Illinois, and the author of Reading Berlin 1900 (Harvard), gives an account of what gave the German National Socialists their electoral victories in 1932 and why.

Why were 37.4 percent of German votes cast for the Nazis in the July 1932 legislative elections, when for the first time they became the largest party; the SPD was second with 21.6 percent?

Half a century after their destruction, new accounts of German National Socialism, and its leader, still contend for space on bookstore shelves.

Many seek to explain German support for a leader portrayed as the most dangerous archfiend of recorded history, or to analyze the dynamics of that leader himself. Daniel Goldhagen, in his best-selling book Hitler’s Willing Executioners, suggested that Hitler was little more than a midwife in a German war against the Jews.

Goldhagen blamed successful appeal to widespread German anti-Jewish prejudice for the Nazi victories. He alleged that by the time Hitler came to power in 1933, racial anti-Semitism had already made Germany “pregnant with murder.”

Fritzsche gives an account of some of the confusion of patriotism and social turbulence from 1918 to 1933. He quotes the Berliner Tageblatt of 10 November 1918:

Yesterday morning . . .everything was still there – the Kaiser, the chancellor, the police chief – yesterday afternoon nothing of all that existed any longer.

The March 1917 Menshevik Revolution in Russia was being re-enacted in Germany, with Friedrich Ebert playing the role that Kerensky had played in Russia the year before. With knowledge of the red terror the Bolsheviks were waging in Russia, and some awareness that the majority of their leaders were Jewish, gave grounds for the development of a counterrevolution with anti-Semitic elements.

Like most other historians of the Allied Powers, Fritzsche omits significant reference to Allied failure to honor President Wilson’s Fourteen Points for peace which were announced by him on 8th January 1918.

It was on their basis, and Wilson’s declaration a month later: that there were to be no annexations, no contributions, and no punitive damages, that General Ludendorff had recommended to Field-Marshall Hindenburg that Germany ask for an Armistice.

Diplomatic exchanges followed until 23rd of October. On that day, Wilson informed the German government that, were he compelled to negotiate with the military rulers and monarchist autocrats, he would demand not peace negotiations but a general surrender. The Kaiser abdicated.

In his haste to present the circumstances and appeal of National Socialist policies to the German people at the beginning of the 1930’s, Fritzsche also skips reference to the continued Allied food blockade of Germany for nearly six months after the war had ended. Even the German Baltic fishing fleet, which had augmented German food supplies during the war, was prevented from putting to sea.

(See The Politics of Hunger: The Allied blockade of Germany, 1915-1919, Vincent, C. Paul, Ohio Univ. Press, 1985, and the Kathë Kollwitz lithograph Deutschlands Kinder hungern – Germany’s Children are Starving.)

In the spring of 1919, both the putting down of Communist insurrections in Berlin, Bremen, and Munich and breaking of general strikes in Halle, Magdeberg and Braunschweig by a Freikorps of nationalist volunteers, temporarily suspended the threat of a repetition of the Bolsheviks’ October revolution in Russia.

When the Freikorps finally disbanded, they left behind a loose confederacy of secret organizations, veterans’ groups, and rifle clubs.

Organization by both the Left and the Right seems to have satisfied a popular need for feelings of solidarity and renewal. By 1924 there were signs that this social activity was taking a more coherent political form.

New organizations were also distinctive for being more open to women, who established their own auxiliaries, and attended patriotic celebrations. Activities for women, common in international socialist organizations, were included in nationalist events in community life. Brass bands and choral societies joined in what looked more like a family celebration than a wartime field service.

The wife of an engineer described a new look in her city streets: groups of young people passing by, singing patriotic songs. In midsummer her daughter Irmgard, living in Nordheim, looked forward to Sunday’s flag consecration and dance.

Everywhere there is great excitement . . . all the regimental associations are coming, even the riflery clubs. (p. 134)

Fritzsche chooses such illustrations of entertainment and excitement, rather than negative appeals, that drew many of the young and others away from the blandness of the Social Democrats, and the preaching of international revolution, “Workers of the world: Unite,” of the Communists. ‘For good reasons or bad, Germans turned indifferent to the Weimar Republic, but they did not remain inactive or apathetic.

The real consequence of the revolution was not so much the parliamentary government it secured as the organization and activism of thousands of constituents it made possible. The new Germany can best be found in the humdrum mobilization of interest groups, veterans’ associations, and party branches and in the self-authorization of a hundred voices, libelous, illiberal, and chauvinistic as they may have been.

It is a sad but compelling paradox that the hostile defamations of the president of the republic were as indicative of democratization as the presidency of good-willed Fritz Ebert himself’ (p.136).

In the hard economic times of 1930,when the social welfare programs of the state were being cut back, the Nazis erected a “rudimentary shadow welfare state” for their supporters, responding to the crisis in a concrete way.

They never made the mistake of Hugenberg’s German Nationalists of holding political meetings in the best hotel in town. During a metalworkers strike, striking party members were fed three times daily in Nazi pubs.

Womens’ groups associated with the party were particularly active. National Socialist speeches and propaganda repudiated the narrow politics on the “reactionary” bourgeois parliamentarians and the proliferating interest groups and splinter parties.

In speech after speech at mass rallies, Hitler and his followers tended to address voters as citizens, rather than as blocs or constituents, and repeated again and again the need to solve local problems by liberating the entire nation from republican misrule. (In Britain a National Government was set up in 1931 with slogans of unification, patriotism, insulation, planning, etc.)

The National Socialist message brought to the people in town after town was not the class consciousness of Hindenberg’s upper class, nor its representation in the primacy of ‘the class struggle’ of the Communists and Socialists; instead, national solidarity was the answer to Germany’s vexing problems: social reform, economic productivity, the shameful peace.

There was a deliberate attempt to enroll Germans in a collective destiny and to present Hitler as a national savior rather than a solicitous politician (Fritzsche, p. 195).

Nazi propaganda very effectively portrayed political choices in Utopian terms: here was a party that opposed the present “system” and, once in power, would rebuild the nation. It was not just the modern methods of political campaigning that the Nazis used that brought them success; it was their message.

With Hitler as Chancellor, workers who had watched the Social Democrats fight long and hard and always unsuccessfully to persuade the Reichstag to recognize 1 May as an official holiday, looked or listened to the Leader’s May Day speech to a disciplined mass at Tempelhof in 1933. All day the radio played the songs of “miners, farmers, and soldiers.”

A “symphony of work” composed by Hans-Jurgen Nierentz and Herbert Windt, featured interviews with a dock worker from Hamburg, an agricultural laborer from East Prussia, a steel worker from the Saar, a miner from the Ruhr, and a vintner from the Mosel Valley. The crowd drank beer, ate sausages, and, in the evening, marveled at the fireworks.

Should one wonder why many former Communist and international Socialists who joined the Nazis, came to be called “underdone beef:” —brown on the outside, still red on the inside?

The Nazis distanced themselves from liberal state administrators, social conservatives, and traditional authoritarians. They were as dismissive of the Kaiserreich as they were of the Weimar Republic. ‘In short, the Nazis were ideological innovators.’

They met popular demands for political sovereignty and social recognition and insisted that these could only be achieved through national union, which would provide Germans with an embracing sense of collective identity and a strong role in international politics.

It was this far-reaching program of renovation that made the Nazis stand out and made them attractive to a plurality of voters.

If Hitler and his followers had simply recirculated the anti-Semitism of Anton Drexler’s German Workers’ Party or blustered on about the shameless Treaty of Versailles or devoted all their energies to combating the Social Democrats and other treasonous “November criminals,” the movement would have stalled completely.

This is exactly what happened to Wolfgang Kappa and the Freikorpsmen of 1919-1920 and also explains the demise of Alfred Hugenberg and the German Nationalists in 1924-1930. Instead, attacks on conservatives as well as Marxists, denunciations of local power arrangements as well as the national parliament, and an affirmative vision of a prosperous, technologically advanced nation gave the Nazis a sharp ideological edge.

At a time when so much civic strife is defined in terms of cultural affinities it is all the more important, if sometimes difficult, to recall the force of ideology.

Long-standing ethnic hatreds, religious fundamentalisms, and transnational “civilizations” dominate contemporary discussions about instability and unrest, which are frequently understood in terms of the friction between basically essential cultural qualities that have come into contact with one another.

However, the Nazi phenomenon was not a hyperventilated expression of German values, even as it pronounced the allegedly superior quality of the German people.

Nor was it the pathological result of economic hard times, instead National Socialism comprised a program of cultural and social regeneration premised on the superordination of the nation and the Volk and modeled very much on the public spirit and collective militancy of the nation at war.

Fritzsche concludes:

even as the Nazis upheld an integral, almost redemptive nationalism, they created new categories of outsiders, enemies, and victims. That system was neither accidental nor unanimous’ (p.235).

Some Jewish historians have noted almost marginally that National Socialist election material did not directly appeal to anti-Jewish sentiment (for example, Avraham Barkai’s From Boycott to Annihilation, Brandeis Univ. Press, 1987, 11, Saul Friedländer’s Nazi Germany and the Jews, Harper-Collins, 1997, 4), or Finkelstein and Birns’ A Nation On Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis, Henry Holt 1998).

So why is the Goldhagen account and conclusion so different from that of Fritzsche? The parsimonious explanation is the ‘Zoom syndrome.’ This is a tendency to magnify items supporting the prejudices of the observer. Goldhagen focuses on German critics of Jews or practices associated with them, and projects these as anti-Semitism leading to a program of Jewish extermination.

His premise is—unchecked criticism of Jews leads to a ‘Holocaust.’ With this ‘tunnel vision,’ he is deprived of depth and width of perspective. Leading Jewish academics are stressing the importance of incorporating the Jewish ‘experience of the Holocaust’ into the perspective of Jewish studies programs. This would help Jewish scholars to regain or maintain historical perspective.

In his review of A Nation On Trial in the New York Times Book Review, Max Frankel, a former executive editor of the paper, recorded his mother’s experience in wartime Berlin in 1940 as an enemy alien Polish Jew. A commissioner of police gave her the name and location of the Gestapo chief who would give the family an exit permit.

As she thanked him and turned to leave, the commissioner suddenly asked,

“Where did you say you want to go?”

“To America.”

“If you get there, will you tell them we’ re not all bad?”

To her last day, she did.

The facts cited by both Fritzsche and Goldhagen, and other previous writers, are explained as never before, using evolutionary and social identity theory, by Professor Kevin MacDonald’s analyses of anti-Semitism published in the Praeger Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence series, in 1998 “Separation and Its Discontents: Towards an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism and The Culture of Critique, and in his previously published A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Strategy, 1994.

*Dr. John is a diplomatic historian, policy analyst, and a former professor of psychiatric education. He is the author of The Palestine Diary: British, American and United Nations Intervention 1914-1948, 3rd. ed. 2006, 2 volumes, with a foreword by Arnold Toynbee, and Behind the Balfour Declaration: The Hidden Origins of Today’s Mideast Crisis, 1988.

He has been a U.S. correspondent for the monthly Middle East International and adviser on international affairs to the Council on American Affairs. He was presented with the 1997 Freedom Award by the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Analysis in Baden-Baden “for his outstanding work and contributions towards the fight for human rights, justice and liberty.”

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What If The Nazis Won?

Repost from the old site.

They never would have really, but it’s fun to guess off into the future if they had not been stopped when they were. Anyone knows Nazism would have gone on and on if it had not been stopped by Stalin, it would have raged through the USSR in a mass orgy of slaughter and counter-slaughter and more and more Holocausting along the way.

The Soviets would have fought to the last man and a huge pile of bodies would have piled up in Russia and it would have all ended right there, Soviets on top and Nazis smashed in a whirlwind and merry go round of slaughter. Hitler went to Palestine and killed all the Jews or tried to and that ended up being a great big huge mess too, as the Jews fought every man to the last too.

We are taking things off into the future here, into what would have happened if the Nazis had been more successful. They would never have conquered the world, as they could not have done so. The philosophy was a madhouse of terror and mass slaughter from the get go, and it could no longer stop killing any more than a great shark could.

After Europe it was going to attack the US and it was all planned out and there was nothing the US could have done to avoid it.

Amazing how no American ever talks about the inevitable Nazi invasion of the US homeland, and how terrible it would have been, one wonders if all the anti-Semites would have been so happy then, now that their Nazi heroes were invading our very shores to kill as many of us as possible unless we sue for peace.

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“Obama’s Anti-China Stratagems – Drumbeats Of War,” by Peter Tobin

An excellent piece by Peter Tobin, who is a Marxist, on how US imperialism appears to be threatening China and trying to encircle that country. Indeed, US imperialists are very afraid of China. The motto of the ultra-impieralist neoconservative crowd around George Bush seemed to be “Get China!” Richard Perle, Super-Jew, Cold Warrior and one of the most vicious US imperialists of all, was quoted as saying that if China continued on its present trends of economic and military development, war with the Chinese was probably inevitable within 20 years.

This same crowd, which included Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and other punks, also listed Western Europe as a “US enemy” and suggested various projects to screw the Europeans, who were economic competitors.

I have always said that capitalist nations, by their very nature, have no allies, none. They can’t have any, as they out to screw over every other country on Earth. I don’t want to screw over all the other countries. I want to grow together with them. Solidarity over imperialism and realpolitik and Great Games. That’s one reason I’m a socialist.

Lenin was correct. Capitalism leads to imperialism and imperialism leads directly to war. Around World War 1, only the socialists were sounding the alarm, saying that the war was really just a mad capitalist grab for land and resources. They were right; that’s exactly what WW1 was.

Similarly, WW2 was another mad rush for land and resources on the part of the Axis Powers, who were eating sour grapes because they felt they had been locked out of the colonialism game, which the West had fenced off by colonizing most of the world. The Axis said, reasonably enough, “We want colonies too!”

Of course colonialism was always a capitalist and imperialist project. For all the blather about “White man’s burden,” ultimately colonialism was and still is (in its modern form of neocolonialism) all about the loot.

In the conflict below of the US Empire versus China, my heart lies with the Chinese people.

Obama’s Anti-China Stratagems – Drumbeats Of War

US economic and military muscle-flexing in the Pacific and specifically its unilateral intervention into the complex maritime issues among the countries contiguous to the South China seas has led the Chinese to warn about ‘outside forces’ getting involved in disputes that it argues should be settled bilaterally.

What is at stake is a region that carries one-third of the world’s seaborne trade and over half of its oil and gas transport and where there are known to be massive petroleum resources waiting to be exploited.

America is also attempting to tie China to increased free trade arrangements through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC). It has signed bilateral free trade deals with eight Pacific Rim countries to the exclusion of the ‘economically unreformed’ China. There has also been increased pressure in the long-running dispute regarding an undervalued Chinese Yuan which the US alleges costs American jobs by using ‘unfair currency practices’ to undervalue and effectively dump Chinese goods on western markets.

But the most ominous development has been the increased focus on military presence to counter China’s growing naval power. E.g. the Chinese Navy has recently commissioned its first aircraft carrier, the Varyag, a clear challenge to the hitherto US domination of the Pacific. Hu Jintao has further announced a increase in naval strike capacity as a ‘preparation for war.’

In this regard, an important first for the Pentagon war-planners was the agreement to deploy 2,500 Marines plus naval ships and aircraft to a base in Darwin, Australia commencing next year.

America, before it dominated the world by ‘land, sea and air’ was a maritime empire in the Pacific, emerging in the last decades of the 19th Century. The blue-water strategy was driven to a great extent by the perceived need to penetrate the untapped Chinese market, known as the ‘Open Door’ policy. The phrase that encapsulated America’s global ambition was ‘Manifest Destiny’, i.e. the belief that Americans were God’s people whom he had chosen to shape the world. Starting with Asia, the precept was: “Westward the course of Empire takes its sway.”*

Significantly this continued expansion across the Pacific was underpinned and legitimized by the new theory of geopolitics which asserted that national powers do not act for moral reasons, although they may claim to, but for strategic ones. Securing unfettered access to resources, controlling markets and military domination are what drive empires and any stratagem that secures long-term hegemony in these areas is justified. It furthermore theorized that future empires would be resource-driven and therefore would have to be continental powers before all else.

The American empire for all its attitudinizing about ‘freedom’, ‘liberty’ and ‘democracy’ has in fact followed the logic of the theory’s principal advocates, Admirals Mahan and Mackinder, with regard to ‘realpolitik’ – the realization that securing national advantage required the ruthless application of power necessary to build and sustain an empire.

All of these elements can be traced in recent US activity in the region and this activity is meant to remind any potential usurpers that, whatever the rate of relative economic and political decline, the US is still the number one world power and retains overwhelming military superiority over all others. Note that the USA constitutes only 3% of the world’s population but is responsible for over half of its military expenditure.

“Violence Is As American As Cherry Pie.” (H. Rap Brown)

That fact that the US empire is able to refocus, diplomatically, economically and military, on the rising threat of China while, among other things, fighting a major war in Afghanistan, threatening war against Iran, fomenting civil war in Syria, bankrolling the military machine of the Israeli settler state and initiating this year by Presidential decree a military presence in sub-Saharan Africa, demonstrates the flexibility and strength of the Empire and its continuing global military dominance.

The Empire has also intensified is its warmongering ethos. America is a society saturated in cultural, personal and institutional violence, racism, anti-communism and militarism. As its economic power declines, it is therefore conditioned to resort to even use of force to maintain domination. As the Black Panther leader, H. Rap Brown, (above) pointed out: violence and its glorification are in America’s historical DNA.

Its latest interventions in the Pacific and South China Seas therefore have all the classic ingredients for later imperial war by provocatively laying yet more bricks in the wall around China. They also march in step with the present diplomatic initiative made by US Secretary of State Clinton who made a recent visit to Myanmar to try to woo that nation from its long-standing Chinese alliance.

In their turn these projects march in step with the rest of the joined-up strategy in SE Asia which, while having other economic and political objectives, has the geopolitical strategy of encircling and hobbling China.

Thus its involvement in Afghanistan is as much about extirpating a Islamist threat as part of its ongoing ‘War On Terror’ as it is to securing access to the petroleum resources of the many ‘Stans’ in Central Asia and to having a standing army or militarized client state in the region as a counterweight to the now well-established continental power across the border.

Similarly, its post 9/11 embrace of Gyenandra and subsequent funding of the expansion of the King’s army by over 20,000 personnel and provisioning of huge amounts of arms and military equipment to that army was as much about defeating the communist revolution in Nepal as it was about getting another footing on the same border.

The relationship between US and Nepalese militaries continues to  strengthen to this day as joint strategy meetings at command level take place in the US embassy and joint visits are common. In fact the NA High Command in August attended a US Navy-convened maritime conflict scenario conference in sunny California! What is a land-locked country doing being represented there?

The Nepalese Maoists tried, after Powell’s visit in 2002, to point this out to the Chinese in an attempt to forge common cause, at least among equally threatened parties, if not actual comrades. The Chinese noted their points.

The new strategic alliance with India show the multifaceted interests of US imperialism in action.

Among these are 1) the increasing penetration of neoliberal global capitalism into the Indian market and society beginning with the Memos of Understanding (MOUs) initiated by Bush in 2006, 2) granting India a pass card in relation to its nuclear power obligations, 3) the insertion of American and Israeli military advisers into counterinsurgency where they assisted with the planning and execution of the genocidal Operation Green Hunt which has claimed the lives of many Adivasis and communists (the most recent being Comrade Kishenji), and 4) being granted a potential anti-China launching platform.

The establishment of this new alliance was facilitated by the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) American oligarchs sharing a strong class bond with the Hindutva Brahminical Indian oligarchs.

Anti-China from Communism to Capitalism

The hostility to People’s Republic dates to its communist origins in 1949. American reactionaries had armed and supported the Chaing Kai-shek-led Bonapartist, feudal, comprador Koumintang (KMT) against the communists, and their overwhelming defeat by the PLA was seen as a ‘betrayal’ by ruling circles in America. It directly contributed to the anti-communist hysteria and show trials of the McCarthy period.

It also led to America fighting a proxy war against China when the CIA funded and armed Tibetan Yellow-Hat Gelugpa separatists in their 1959 uprising, a failed attempt to restore their pre-1950 medieval theocratic slave society. India had facilitated this by allowing the Lamists, under CIA guidance, to establish a base in Khalimpong which even Nehru referred to as “a nest of spies.”

It further saw the attempt by the CIA to establish a Khampa base in Nepal’s Mustang region for the purposes of cross-border raids. This was destroyed by the RNA in 1974.

The ripples of this policy are still clearly evident in the financial, diplomatic and political support given to the Gyatso clique in the figurehead of the Dalai Lama. The same network also funds their monasteries in Nepal and the network’s presence is evident in the number of monks you see loafing around in Kathmandu talking on expensive cell-phones.

America still uses Tibetan ‘Human Rights’ as a club to beat Nepal with as evident from the threat last week to withdraw specific funding if the Nepalese government would not guarantee safe passage for renegade Tibetan/Chinese using Nepal as a transit station and for agitprop activities.

Aside from these specific policies during the 1950s, there was also a massive propaganda campaign in the West to paint Chinese communism as the ultimate ‘totalitarian’, ‘ant-hill’ society and threat to human ‘freedom’. This went hand-in-hand with the cosying up to the more ‘moderate’ communism of the USSR in the era of ‘Détente’.

This sustained vitriolic brainwashing provided the ideology that the American ruling class utilized in the wars it launched against Korea, Vietnam, Kampuchea and Laos beginning in the early fifties. Its earlier drive to empire saw it slowly choke, provoke and finally sweep aside the indigenous westernizing Japanese empire, but post-1945 it was beaten decisively in three and stalemated in one of these later unprovoked aggressions.

All these protean efforts were galvanized by the aim of establishing itself as the major continental power in SE Asia, following Mahan and Mackinder’s advice.

The emergence of China as a state-capitalist concern, following the termination in the mid 1970s of the period of communist construction, was wholeheartedly embraced by the US dominated west, as it provided cheap goods to sate its obsessive consumerist society. Later, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was yet another proof that capitalism was triumphant everywhere and that history was effectively at an end.

The hostility has resurfaced as established Western capitalism has become mired in a decade-long financial crisis, caused essentially by substituting metaphysics for materialist criteria in the law of value, in short: speculation instead of production.

China’s new type of state-planned capitalism, where land and the finance sector are state-controlled and where the state-directed economy is production oriented has proved more resilient. It is an historical irony that erstwhile communists have proved to be the more efficient capitalists.

What is happening is that within the era of the capitalist mode of production, the torch is being taken from a declining power and passed on to a rising power. Thus it has reawakened American hostility to China. Hence we have Emperor Obama, lecturing the Chinese prior to the recent East Asia Summit about its need to be a ‘grown up’ economy and for it to stop ‘gaming the system’ (i.e. getting the better of the Americans).

America has had designs on China for well over a century; during that period it has variously tried to contain, defeat, subvert, and control China, all of which have come to total failure. China is getting stronger in every sphere despite America’s efforts, and that is what makes war more likely at some point in the coming decades.

Encircle America

The US state is presently the most dangerous threat to world peace and progress. It is a state built on genocide and slavery and which through creating a post-1945 military/industrial economy has become increasingly dependent on war economically, technologically and strategically as a solution to all problems. Consider that while it is engaged in massive reductions in state expenditure along with all the other developed capitalist nations in crisis, it is increasing military expenditure.

This is a sure sign that it foresees an increasing need for force to maintain its hegemony. So America’s very conditions of existence make it gung-ho, trigger-happy and create a culture of impunity. The absence of a socialist bloc further encourages the tendency to act unilaterally and murderously.

It shows that contradictions within differing types of expanding capitalist societies are becoming increasingly antagonistic in the global jostle for power and resources.

It is why Lenin stressed that great power rivalry under imperialist capitalism inevitably leads to hostilities and that therefore imperialism is war – continual war – and why Mao added:

In order to end (imperialist) war we must make (People’s) war.

American imperialism remains, even intensifies, as the principal contradiction facing the world proletariat. The US is the heart and head of international reaction. Domestically its progressive and proletarian forces are outnumbered and beleaguered, but as the recent upsurge in class struggle around the Wall Street occupations has shown, they are not negligible or without fighting spirit.

The further these domestic contradictions intensify, the weaker will become the cohesion required to withstand the external revolutionary threat. That is why struggles everywhere are symbiotically fused and why this century will be the battleground where reaction and revolution will contend.

At the moment, the fact remains that the US with its vast and expanding military-industrial complex remains the arsenal of fascism and as such is a threat both to human progress and survival. It is this ‘Evil Empire’ that must itself be encircled and smashed by world revolution. As Rosa Luxemburg wrote the choice for humanity is stark:

Socialism or barbarism.

*The obverse of the ideology of American ‘exceptionalism’ in this instance led to the specific racist view of Chinese as the “Yellow Peril’, a paranoia created by the influx of cheap ‘coolie’ labour brought in from the mid-19th century to work the goldfields and build the railways, particularly the transcontinental track.

They died in their thousands, unmourned and despised by the nation they were serving. As soon as they were no longer useful, the US government adopted a series of controls over further Chinese immigration beginning with the 1875 Page Act, moving on to the 1885 Chinese Exclusion Act, etc. and culminating in the 1922 Cable Act, which declared that Chinese were not racially acceptable as American citizens. The term ‘Yellow Peril’ was a precursor to the later ‘Red Menace,’ which similarly saw ‘Asian hordes’ swarming the barricades of western ‘civilization’.

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Rapproachment Between the Orthodox Church and the USSR

Repost from the old site.

The relationship between the USSR and the Orthodox Church was complex. Keep in mind that Stalin had studied to be an Orthodox priest in Georgia, and conservative Orthodox culture heavily informed his regime and worldview, particularly in reversing the radical experiments in family and sexual life that had begun under the heavily-Jewish Bolsheviks.

It makes sense to say that the Jewish era in the USSR was already over by 1927, as Stalin represented a reversal of all of that. There were quite a few Jews in the NKVD for a few years in the 1930′s, but that soon dropped to a very low number. Jews suffered very heavily during Stalin’s wild, insane and horrible purges on 1937-38.

The Jewish Bolsheviks had brought about radical changes in sexual culture.

Homosexuality and abortion was legalized, and divorce was made simple. A cult of free love reigned in the party, which was naturally exploited by the male comrades: “If you are a real Communist, you will have sex with me.” A very similar free love cult with similar dynamics was present in the early days of the Afghan Communist regime in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s.

It’s fascinating the way that a total Communist revolution can change some of the world’s most sexually repressive societies into sexually liberated zones in just a few years. This indicates that at least young folks do not like to live under puritanism – Orthodox, Islamic or any other kind – and as soon as the shackles go off, they naturally start fucking like rabbits in tune with our bipedal ape nature.

The early Bolsheviks also attempted radical experiments in family life, with the ultimate goal of getting rid of the family altogether, as the family was a bourgeois institution intimately tied in with capitalism. Kids were sent off to day care all day, and families of workers all ate together in the evening at communal dining halls.

It is interesting that the family dynamic that has been shown to produce the fewest number of sociopaths is the kibbutz system of Israel, where the parents work all day while the kids are in school or day care, and then the parents and kids are at home in the evening.

In the Soviet case, the Bolsheviks actually promoted children questioning and even rebelling against their parents, especially for questioning their parents’ bourgeois ways. Even runaways were championed as some sort of Communist heroes. The kids liberation and attempted destruction of the family failed, of course.

You have to consider that whatever its faults, the family has probably been around for as far back as we can go in human history. An institution like that no doubt has some intrinsic merit.

The kids’ liberation failed too, similar to the way the hippies of the 1960′s promoted this nonsense and then went on to become parents themselves and became the biggest bunch of kid-coddlers the world has ever seen. Parents now wait at bus stops with their high school kids so a murderer doesn’t abduct them.

1/3 of all kids are now sent to school with these little cleanliness packs to wipe themselves clean of all the horrible germs in the school bathrooms, as if the soap wasn’t good enough. And on and on. One wonders what kind of super-Mama’s boys this nonsense will produce.

The church and Soviet society in general, especially the peasants, were largely appalled by the sexual and family liberalism of the Bolshevik Era, and there was a backlash.

Stalin came in in the late 1920′s, and by the mid-1930′s, he had reversed all of this. What’s important is that Stalin, while officially an atheist, was still something of a cultural Georgian Orthodox Christian. Note that Putin is still an Orthodox Christian, though he was head of the KGB under the USSR.

One of the most essential aspects of Russian culture, and part of its rejection of and war with the West, is its emphasis on the Orthodox religion. The Orthodox Church is different enough from the Roman Church and certainly the Protestant Church that this alone is enough to set the Russians apart.

There are other aspects to the stew: asceticism, nihilism, authoritarianism, mysticism, contempt for democracy, and opposition to materialism, but Orthodoxy is surely a part of it all.

The West views state and society as separate things, while in Russia they have always been one, and the Church has always been part of the state – these differing views are a product of the Roman Catholic-Byzantine split in the first millennium. Similar to Indian culture, Russians believed that the matters of the world were of little importance, as we can do little to alter these things.

There is a corresponding belief in fate, the Devil and sin. There is a rejection of the West’s optimism, the notion of salvation, the elevation of the individual above all else and the idea of good works, and there is a contempt for the senses as a worldly and hence contaminated and inaccurate mechanism for measuring reality. This corresponded to a dismissal of such things as science and mathematics.

The notion that the material world is evil in and of itself, taken to a homicidal extreme by the nihilists of the late 1800′s, is similar to the Gnostic view, where man and the world are pure evil. This state of affairs is redeemed in Gnosticism by a tiny spark of good inside each of us, waiting to be lit. Lighting it brings us out of the darkness, at least somewhat.

This classic Russian POV can be seen in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky takes it to an extreme – his characters are almost monastic in outlook and psychologically tend towards masochism or even self-flagellation.

Really this is the struggle between God and the Devil inside of each man. As this struggle will never end, the only expectation is for a life of suffering. This is similar to the Buddhist view enunciated by Jack Kerouac: “All of life is suffering.”

Tolstoy actually held that all property and all sex was evil, even inside marriage. This radical view caused his marriage to eventually fall apart. As a nihilist who rejected most everything, he felt that the only solution to the pain of being a man is passive resistance in the face of evil, following Christ’s injunction. This leads to a sort of spiritual pacifism.

All of this nihilism and contempt for the violence, materialism and selfishness we in the West hold dear surely seems odd to Westerners raised on such things. Yet this nihilism actually has its roots in Plato himself, and from there to Greece to the Neoplatonists of early Christianity to Byzantium to Orthodoxy.

Plato, after all, held that objective reality had little importance outside of its subjective symbolic truth.

There was a part of Stalin that never left the seminary. A good overview of all of this on Peter Myers’ site. It kind of goes on and on, but you can get the picture.

Much has been made of how Stalin utilized religion and nationalism to motivate his people during the German invasion. This has been somewhat overblown, as JP Slavyanski points out here.

Document follows:

Rapprochement between The Orthodox Church and Soviet Government.

Speech of M. G. Karpov at Council of the Orthodox Church, 1945.

Reverend bishops, priests and delegates of the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church! The Government of the USSR has instructed me to greet in its name this exalted assembly and to convey its wishes for the success of your labours in organising the higher administration of the Church.

The Soviet Government has also asked me to greet the guests of honour of the local Council, who have come from the Orthodox East – Patriarch Christophoros of Alexandria, Patriarch Alexander m of Antioch, Metropolitan Germanos representing the Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop Athenagoras representing the Patriarch of Jerusalem – as well as those who come from our Georgia – Catholicos Callistratos of all-Georgia – and from the Slav nations, our brothers – Metropolitan Joseph representing the Synod of the Serbian Church, and ail the bishops and priests who accompany them.

The present local Council, called to elect the Patriarch of Moscow and ail the Russians, and to adopt a rule for the administration of the Orthodox Church, will be a landmark in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church.

I am deeply convinced that the decisions of this Council will be of value in strengthening the Church, and will form an important starting point for the further development of its activity in helping the Soviet people to fulfill the major historical tasks which confront them.

The local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church has met at a time when ail the nations of our great country, together with ail the freedom-loving nations of the world, are fighting a holy war of liberation against the imperialist German bandits and are straining every nerve for victory at the cost of lives and possessions of millions of people sacrificed on the altar of patriotism.

Throughout the sore trials to which our country has so often been subjected in the past, the Russian Orthodox Church has never broken its links with the people: it has shared their needs, wishes and hopes and contributed its full measure to the common task.

It was in its churches and monasteries that learning arose and the earliest chronicles of the life of our country were completed; the walls of our churches and monasteries have more than once withstood the assault of foreign invaders, and many eminent churchmen have given their lives for their country.

And now, when the Hitlerite bandits have viciously attacked our sacred soil, when all the nations of the Soviet State have risen and surged forward to fight this great patriotic war in defence of their honour, their freedom and their independence, the Russian Orthodox Church has from the first taken the fullest part in defending the country with ail the means at its disposal.

Having fully grasped the significance of the events, that eminent churchman, that wise and venerable man who was first Metropolitan, then Patriarch Sergius, bestowed his blessing upon the faithful in their task of participating in the defence of the frontiers of their country.

In his many sermons and messages to the Church, he ceaselessly called upon her loyal sons to fight to the death against the barbarous enemy of the Soviet land – Hitlerite Germany. Last year, the Patriarch Sergius died to the great loss of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In accordance with his testament, the government of the Church passed into the hands of the senior Bishop, Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod, Alexis, an outstanding churchman and an ardent patriot who never once left his post during the 900 days of the siege of Leningrad and who, in total unanimity with the other members of the Holy Synod, has guided the Church from the death of the Patriarch to this day.

The Church has not confined its patriotic action to letters and sermons but has collected funds for building tanks and aeroplanes and for helping the sick, the wounded and those crippled or orphaned by the war.

The Soviet Government has shown and continues to show deep interest in the Church’s part in the struggle against the enemy. In our country, the triumph of the new regime, a Socialist regime unprecedented in history and the most righteous in the world, has also brought about a new relationship between Church and State.

The great Socialist October Revolution which liberated our people from slavery and gave them freedom, has also freed the Church from the shackles which impeded its internal activity. Freedom of conscience, promulgated by the Decree of 23 January 1918, has been consolidated by the basic laws of our country as embodied in the Soviet Constitution.

The Council of Church Affairs which, by Government decision, has been created and attached to the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR, forms a link between the Government and the Patriarch of Moscow and ail the Russians, and provides liaison in ail matters needing government approval.

Without in any way interfering with the spiritual life of the Church, the Council promotes normal relations between Church and State by seeing to the proper and timely application of government laws and decrees concerning the Russian Orthodox Church.

There is no doubt that the normal relations established between the Council and Patriarchate have helped to strengthen the Church administratively; the Council will continue in future to take all necessary steps to remove obstacles of whatever sort which may hinder the Soviet citizen in the exercise of the liberty of conscience granted by the Constitution.

Once again, I sincerely wish the members of the Council success in the task which awaits them.

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“Was the Atomic Bombing of Japan Necessary?” by Robert Freeman

Was the Atomic Bombing of Japan Necessary?

by Robert Freeman

Few issues in American history – perhaps only slavery itself – are as charged as the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. Was it necessary? Merely posing the question provokes indignation, even rage. Witness the hysterical shouting down of the 1995 Smithsonian exhibit that simply dared discuss the question fifty years after the act. Today, another eleven years on, Americans still have trouble coming to terms with the truth about the bombs.

But anger is not argument. Hysteria is not history. The decision to drop the bomb has been laundered through the American myth-making machine into everything from self-preservation by the Americans to concern for the Japanese themselves-as if incinerating two hundred thousand human beings in a second was somehow an act of moral largesse.

Yet the question will not die, nor should it: was dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a military necessity? Was the decision justified by the imperative of saving lives or were there other motives involved?

The question of military necessity can be quickly put to rest. “Japan was already defeated and dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary.” Those are not the words of a latter-day revisionist historian or a leftist writer. They are certainly not the words of an America-hater. They are the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and future president of the United States. Eisenhower knew, as did the entire senior U.S. officer corps, that by mid 1945 Japan was defenseless.

After the Japanese fleet was destroyed at Leyte Gulf in October 1944, the U.S. was able to carry out uncontested bombing of Japan’s cities, including the hellish firebombings of Tokyo and Osaka.

This is what Henry H. Arnold, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Forces, meant when he observed, “The Japanese position was hopeless even before the first atomic bomb fell because the Japanese had lost control of their own air.” Also, without a navy, the resource-poor Japanese had lost the ability to import the food, oil, and industrial supplies needed to carry on a World War.

As a result of the naked futility of their position, the Japanese had approached the Russians, seeking their help in brokering a peace to end the War. The U.S. had long before broken the Japanese codes and knew that these negotiations were under way, knew that the Japanese had for months been trying to find a way to surrender.

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, reflected this reality when he wrote, “The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan.” Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, said the same thing: “The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.”

Civilian authorities, especially Truman himself, would later try to revise history by claiming that the bombs were dropped to save the lives of one million American soldiers.

But there is simply no factual basis for this in any record of the time. On the contrary, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey reported, “Certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped.” The November 1 date is important because that was the date of the earliest possible planned U.S. invasion of the Japanese main islands.

In other words, the virtually unanimous and combined judgment of the most informed, senior, officers of the U.S. military is unequivocal: there was no pressing military necessity for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan.

But if dropping the bombs was not driven by military needs, why, then, were they used? The answer can be discerned in the U.S. attitude toward the Russians, the way the War ended in Europe, and the situation in Asia.

U.S. leaders had long hated the communist Russian government. In 1919, the U.S. had led an invasion of Russia – the infamous “White Counter Revolution” – to try to reverse the red Bolshevik Revolution that had put the communists into power in 1917. The invasion failed, and the U.S. did not extend diplomatic recognition to Russia until 1932.

Then, during the Great Depression, when the U.S. economy collapsed, the Russian economy boomed, growing almost 500%. U.S. leaders worried that with the War’s end, the country might fall back into another Depression. And World War II was won not by the American laissez faire system, but by the top-down, command and control over the economy that the Russian system epitomized. In other words, the Russian system seemed to be working while the American system was plagued with recent collapse and a questionable self-confidence.

In addition, to defeat Germany, the Russian army had marched to Berlin through eastern Europe. It occupied and controlled 150,000 square miles of territory in what is today Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. At Yalta, in February 1945, Stalin demanded to keep this newly occupied territory. Russia, Stalin rightly claimed, had been repeatedly invaded by western Europeans, from Napoleon to the Germans in World War I and now by Hitler. Russia lost more than 20,000,000 lives in World War II, and Stalin wanted a buffer against future invasions.

At this point, in February 1945, the U.S. did not know whether the bomb would work or not. But it unquestionably needed Russia’s help to end both the War in Europe and the War in the Pacific. These military realities were not lost on Roosevelt: with no army to displace Stalin’s in Europe and needing Stalin’s support, Roosevelt conceded eastern Europe, handing the Russians the greatest territorial gain of the War.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, Stalin agreed at Yalta that once the War in Europe was over, he would transfer his forces from Europe to Asia and within 90 days would enter the War in the Pacific against Japan. This is where timing becomes critically important. The War in Europe ended on May 8, 1945. May 8 plus 90 days is August 8. If the U.S. wanted to prevent Russia from occupying territory in east Asia the way it had occupied territory in eastern Europe, it needed to end the war as quickly as possible.

This issue of territory in east Asia was especially important because before the war against Japan, China had been embroiled in a civil war of its own. It was the U.S.-favored nationalists under General Chiang Kai Shek against the communists under Mao Ze Dong. If communist Russia were allowed to gain territory in east Asia, it would throw its considerable military might behind Mao, almost certainly handing the communists a victory once the World War was ended and the civil war was resumed.

Once the bomb was proven to work on July 15, 1945, events took on a furious urgency. There was simply no time to work through negotiations with the Japanese. Every day of delay meant more land given up to Russia and, therefore, a greater likelihood of communist victory in the Chinese civil war. All of Asia might go communist. It would be a strategic catastrophe for the U.S. to have won the War against the fascists only to hand it to its other arch enemy, the communists. The U.S. needed to end the War not in months, or even weeks, but in days.

So, on August 6, 1945, two days before the Russians were to declare war against Japan, the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. There was no risk to U.S. forces then waiting for a Japanese response to the demand for surrender. The earliest planned invasion of the island was still three months away, and the U.S. controlled the timing of all military engagements in the Pacific.

But the Russian matter loomed and drove the decision on timing. So, only three days later, the U.S. dropped the second bomb on Nagasaki. The Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945, eight days after the first bomb was dropped.

Major General Curtis LeMay commented on the bomb’s use: “The War would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the War at all.” Except that it drastically speeded the War’s end to deprive the Russians of territory in east Asia.

The story of military necessity, quickly and clumsily pasted together after the War’s end, simply does not hold up against the overwhelming military realities of the time. On the other hand, the use of the bomb to contain Russian expansion and to make the Russians, in Truman’s revealing phrase, “more manageable,” comports completely with all known facts and especially with U.S. motivations and interests.

Which story should we accept, the one that doesn’t hold together but that has been sanctified as national dogma? Or the one that does hold together but offends our self concept? How we answer says everything about our maturity and our capacity for intellectual honesty.

It is sometimes hard for a people to reconcile its history with its own national mythologies – the mythologies of eternal innocence and Providentially anointed righteousness. It is all the more difficult when a country is embroiled in yet another war, and the power of such myths are needed again to gird the people’s commitment against the more sobering force of facts.

But the purpose of history is not to sustain myths. It is, rather, to debunk them so that future generations may act with greater awareness to avoid the tragedies of the past. It may take another six or even sixty decades, but eventually the truth of the bomb’s use will be written not in mythology but in history. Hopefully, as a result, the world will be a safer place.

Robert Freeman writes on economics, history, and education. He can be reached at robertfreeman10@yahoo.com.

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Chavez’s Right Turn: State Realism versus International Solidarity,” by James Petras

This is an excellent article by James Petras.

He shows how Hugo Chavez has turned so far to the right that he is now in some ways one of the most rightwing Presidents in Latin America. For instance, only Chavez has supported the US and Colombia in backing the Honduran coup regime. And he is becoming one of Colombia’s sole allies in the region.

Why has he done this? A few reasons. For one, he’s surrounded and threatened. Colombia keeps threatening the invade Venezuela to go after Colombian rebels that hide there, and the US under “liberal” Barack Obama has just stationed 7 new military bases in Colombia for the sole purpose of attacking the Colombian guerrillas and threatening Venezuela. Colombia built up forces on the border, repeatedly crossed the Venezuelan border, and moved Colombian death squads into Venezuela to attack the people.

The Colombian guerrillas are on the defensive and can no longer provide the buffer that they formerly provided along the border to a Colombian invasion of Venezuela.

The Obama-backed coup against Honduras, which has resulted in a wave of murders against the Honduran Left, changed things. Chavez now realized that the Obama regime was willing to use military force to get what it wanted in Latin America.

At home, the opposition has made its strongest showing in a decade, winning about 50% of the latest vote, an election in which there was extreme US intervention on the side of the opposition.

In other words, he’s boxed in with nowhere to turn. Under these circumstances, Chavez has decided that the Colombian guerrillas, who they used to support, are a liability. He has been cooperating with Colombia in handing over guerrillas who are in Venezuela. He signed a non-aggression agreement with Colombia in return for an agreement to help catch any Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela. However, he has gotten little in return for this other than that Colombia has stopped invading and threatening his territory.Colombia still maintains a deep alliance with Chavez enemy, the US. Colombian forces are still massed along Venezuela’s borders.

Chavez hope to keep Colombia from joining in the US in any joint US-Colombian military escapades inside Venezuela. He also hopes to keep Colombia from joining in any US propaganda-destabilization efforts in Venezuela.

However, the threats have escalated, and the US appears emboldened. Chavez’ moves to the Right have not earned him the tiniest bit of praise or space from the US – they hate him more than ever. US imperialism slapped an embargo on the Venezuelan oil company due to Venezuela trading with Iran. I am not sure what this embargo entails? Incredibly, the Venezuelan opposition supported this foreign embargo on Venezuela! What a bunch of traitors.

Following his new alliance with Colombia, Chavez became the only nation other than Colombia in Latin America which has recognized the coup regime in Honduras. He did this under pressure from Colombia.

Petras points out how Allende’s Chile, Mexico in the 1980′s, Cuba and Brazil have all harbored Latin American guerrillas (in Brazil’s case, an Italian guerrilla). They refused to extradite them. But Chavez is boxed in in a way that these regimes may not have been.

Petras shows how other Left regimes also cooperated with the Right at various times. Stalin cooperated with Hitler for a while in order to buy some time to move his industry east of the Urals and build up his military-industrial complex. He even sent some German Communists who were hiding in the USSR to Germany, where they were certainly tortured and killed. But Stalin was boxed in, and he needed to buy some time, so he made a deal with the devil.

In the early 1970′s, Mao entered into a new alliance with the US under Richard Nixon’s detente. Afterward, Mao supported Pinochet and the rightist rebels in Angola. They denounced any Left regime that head the slightest ties with the USSR and supported their enemies, no matter how rightwing they were. All for the benefits of a sunshine policy with the US.

In the event of a new confrontation with the US, can Chavez expect his new Colombian ally to be neutral? Dubious. Colombia will probably ally with its imperial master in the US. And can he expect any support for the radical Left in Latin America now that he has betrayed them? This also is dubious. He may well end up with no friends at all.

Chavez’s Right Turn: State Realism versus International Solidarity

Introduction

The radical “Bolivarian Socialist” government of Hugo Chavez has arrested a number of Colombian guerrilla leaders and a radical journalist with Swedish citizenship and handed them over to the right-wing regime of President Juan Manuel Santos, earning the Colombian government’s praise and gratitude.

The close on-going collaboration between a leftist President with a regime with a notorious history of human rights violations, torture and disappearance of political prisoners has led to widespread protests among civil liberty advocates, leftists and populists throughout Latin America and Europe, while pleasing the Euro-American imperial establishment.

On April 26, 2011, Venezuelan immigration officials, relying exclusively on information from the Colombian secret police (DAS), arrested a naturalized Swedish citizen and journalist (Joaquin Perez Becerra) of Colombian descent, who had just arrived in the country. Based on Colombian secret police allegations that the Swedish citizen was a ‘FARC leader’, Perez was extradited to Colombia within 48 hours.

Despite the fact that it was in violation of international diplomatic protocols and the Venezuelan constitution, this action had the personal backing of President Chavez. A month later, the Venezuelan armed forces joined their Colombian counterparts and captured a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Guillermo Torres (with the nom de Guerra Julian Conrado) who is awaiting extradition to Colombia in a Venezuelan prison without access to an attorney.

On March 17, Venezuelan Military Intelligence (DIM) detained two alleged guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN), Carlos Tirado and Carlos Perez, and turned them over to the Colombian secret police. The new public face of Chavez as a partner of the repressive Colombian regime is not so new after all.

On December 13, 2004, Rodrigo Granda, an international spokesperson for the FARC and a naturalized Venezuelan citizen, whose family resided in Caracas, was snatched by plain-clothes Venezuelan intelligence agents in downtown Caracas where he had been participating in an international conference and secretly taken to Colombia with the ‘approval’ of the Venezuelan Ambassador in Bogota.

Following several weeks of international protest, including from many conference participants, President Chavez issued a statement describing the ‘kidnapping’ as a violation of Venezuelan sovereignty and threatened to break relations with Colombia.

In more recent times, Venezuela has stepped up the extradition of revolutionary political opponents of Colombia’s narco-regime: In the first five months of 2009, Venezuela extradited 15 alleged members of the ELN and in November 2010, a FARC militant and two suspected members of the ELN were handed over to the Colombian police. In January 2011 Nilson Teran Ferreira, a suspected ELN leader, was delivered to the Colombian military.

The collaboration between Latin America’s most notorious authoritarian rightwing regime and the supposedly most radical ‘socialist’ government raises important issues about the meaning of political identities and how they relate to domestic and international politics and more specifically what principles and interests guide state policies.

Revolutionary Solidarity and State Interests

The recent ‘turn’ in Venezuela politics, from expressing sympathy and even support for revolutionary struggles and movements in Latin America to its present collaboration with pro-imperial rightwing regimes, has numerous historical precedents. It may help to examine the contexts and circumstances of these collaborations: The Bolshevik revolutionary government in Russia initially gave whole hearted support to revolutionary uprisings in Germany, Hungary, Finland and elsewhere.

With the defeats of these revolts and the consolidation of the capitalist regimes, Russian state and economic interests took prime of place among the Bolshevik leaders. Trade and investment agreements, peace treaties and diplomatic recognition between Communist Russia and the Western capitalist states defined the new politics of “co-existence”. With the rise of fascism, the Soviet Union under Stalin further subordinated communist policy in order to secure state-to-state alliances, first with the Western Allies and, failing that, with Nazi Germany.

The Hitler-Stalin pact was conceived by the Soviets as a way to prevent a German invasion and to secure its borders from a sworn rightwing enemy. As part of Stalin’s expression of good faith, he handed over to Hitler a number of leading exiled German communist leaders, who had sought asylum in Russia. Not surprisingly they were tortured and executed. This practice stopped only after Hitler invaded Russia and Stalin encouraged the now decimated ranks of German communists to re-join the ‘anti-Nazi’ underground resistance.

In the early 1970′s, as Mao’s China reconciled with Nixon’s United States and broke with the Soviet Union, Chinese foreign policy shifted toward supporting US-backed counter-revolutionaries, including Holden Roberts in Angola and Pinochet in Chile.

China denounced any leftist government and movement, which, however faintly, had ties with the USSR, and embraced their enemies, no matter how subservient they were to Euro-American imperial interests.

In Stalin’s USSR and Mao’s China, short-term ‘state interests’ trumped revolutionary solidarity. What were these ‘state interests’?

In the case of the USSR, Stalin gambled that a ‘peace pact’ with Hitler’s Germany would protect them from an imperialist Nazi invasion and partially end the encirclement of Russia.

Stalin no longer trusted in the strength of international working class solidarity to prevent war, especially in light of a series of revolutionary defeats and the generalized retreat of the Left over the previous decades (Germany, Span, Hungary and Finland) .The advance of fascism and the extreme right, unremitting Western hostility toward the USSR and the Western European policy of appeasing Hitler, convinced Stalin to seek his own peace pact with Germany.

In order to demonstrate their ‘sincerity’ toward its new ‘peace partner’, the USSR downplayed their criticism of the Nazis, urging Communist parties around the world to focus on attacking the West rather than Hitler’s Germany, and gave into Hitler’s demand to extradite German Communist “terrorists” who had found asylum in the Soviet Union.

Stalin’s pursuit of short term ‘state interests’ via pacts with the “far right” ended in a strategic catastrophe: Nazi Germany was free to first conquer Western Europe and then turned its guns on Russia, invading an unprepared USSR and occupying half the country. In the meantime the international anti-fascist solidarity movements had been weakened and temporarily disoriented by the zigzags of Stalin’s policies.

In the mid-1970′s, the Peoples Republic of China’s ‘reconciliation’ with the US, led to a turn in international policy: ‘US imperialism’ became an ally against the greater evil ‘Soviet social imperialism’.

As a result China, under Chairman Mao Tse Tung, urged its international supporters to denounce progressive regimes receiving Soviet aid (Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, etc.) and it withdrew its support for revolutionary armed resistance against pro-US client states in Southeast Asia. China’s ‘pact’ with Washington was to secure immediate ‘state interests’: Diplomatic recognition and the end of the trade embargo.

Mao’s short-term commercial and diplomatic gains were secured by sacrificing the more fundamental strategic goals of furthering socialist values at home and revolution abroad. As a result, China lost its credibility among Third World revolutionaries and anti-imperialists, in exchange for gaining the good graces of the White House and greater access to the capitalist world market.

Short-term “pragmatism’ led to long-term transformation: The Peoples Republic of China became a dynamic emerging capitalist power, with some of the greatest social inequalities in Asia and perhaps the world.

Venezuela: State Interests versus International Solidarity

The rise of radical politics in Venezuela, which is the cause and consequence of the election of President Chavez (1999), coincided with the rise of revolutionary social movements throughout Latin America from the late 1990′s to the middle of the first decade of the 21st century (1995-2005).

Neo-liberal regimes were toppled in Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina; mass social movements challenging neo-liberal orthodoxy took hold everywhere; the Colombian guerrilla movements were advancing toward the major cities; and center-left politicians were elected to power in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Uruguay. The US economic crises undermined the credibility of Washington’s ‘free trade’ agenda.

The increasing Asian demand for raw materials stimulated an economy boom in Latin America, which funded social programs and nationalizations. In the case of Venezuela, a failed US-backed military coup and ‘bosses’ boycott’ in 2002-2003, forced the Chavez government to rely on the masses and turn to the Left. Chavez proceeded to “re-nationalize” petroleum and related industries and articulate a “Bolivarian Socialist” ideology.

Chavez’ radicalization found a favorable climate in Latin America and the bountiful revenues from the rising price of oil financed his social programs. Chavez maintained a plural position of embracing governing center-left governments, backing radical social movements and supporting the Colombian guerrillas’ proposals for a negotiated settlement. Chavez called for the recognition of Colombia’s guerrillas as legitimate ‘belligerents” not “terrorists’.

Venezuela’s foreign policy was geared toward isolating its main threat emanating from Washington by promoting exclusively Latin American/Caribbean organizations, strengthening regional trade and investment links and securing regional allies in opposition to US intervention, military pacts, bases and US-backed military coups. In response to US financing of Venezuelan opposition groups (electoral and extra parliamentary), Chavez has provided moral and political support to anti-imperialist groups throughout Latin America.

After Israel and American Zionists began attacking Venezuela, Chavez extended his support to the Palestinians and broadened ties with Iran and other Arab anti-imperialist movements and regimes. Above all, Chavez strengthened his political and economic ties with Cuba, consulting with the Cuban leadership, to form a radical axis of opposition to imperialism. Washington’s effort to strangle the Cuban revolution by an economic embargo was effectively undermined by Chavez’ large-scale, long-term economic agreements with Havana.

Up until the later part of this decade, Venezuela’s foreign policy – its ‘state interests’ – coincided with the interests of the left regimes and social movements throughout Latin America. Chavez clashed diplomatically with Washington’s client states in the hemisphere, especially Colombia, headed by narco-death squad President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010). However recent years have witnessed several external and internal changes and a gradual shift toward the center.

The revolutionary upsurge in Latin America began to ebb: The mass upheavals led to the rise of center-left regimes, which, in turn, demobilized the radical movements and adopted strategies relying on agro-mineral export strategies, all the while pursuing autonomous foreign policies independent of US-control. The Colombian guerrilla movements were in retreat and on the defensive – their capacity to buffer Venezuela from a hostile Colombian client regime waned.

Chavez adapted to these ‘new realities’, becoming an uncritical supporter of the ‘social liberal’ regimes of Lula in Brazil, Morales in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador, Vazquez in Uruguay and Bachelet in Chile. Chavez increasingly chose immediate diplomatic support from the existing regimes over any long-term support, which might have resulted from a revival of the mass movements.

Trade ties with Brazil and Argentina and diplomatic support from its fellow Latin American states against an increasingly aggressive US became central to Venezuela’s foreign policy: The basis of Venezuelan policy was no longer the internal politics of the center-left and centrist regimes but their degree of support for an independent foreign policy. Repeated US interventions failed to generate a successful coup or to secure any electoral victories, against Chavez.

As a result Washington increasingly turned to using external threats against Chavez via its Colombian client state, the recipient of $5 billion in military aid. Colombia’s military build-up, its border crossings and infiltration of death squads into Venezuela, forced Chavez into a large-scale purchase of Russian arms and toward the formation of a regional alliance (ALBA). The US-backed military coup in Honduras precipitated a major rethink in Venezuela’s policy.

The coup had ousted a democratically elected centrist liberal, President Zelaya in Honduras, a member of ALBA and set up a repressive regime subservient to the White House. However, the coup had the effect of isolating the US throughout Latin America -not a single government supported the new regime in Tegucigalpa. Even the neo-liberal regimes of Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Panama voted to expel Honduras from the Organization of American States.

On the one hand, Venezuela viewed this ‘unity’ of the right and center-left as an opportunity toward mending fences with the conservative regimes; and on the other, it understood that the Obama Administration was ready to use the ‘military option’ to regain its dominance. The fear of a US military intervention was greatly heightened by the Obama-Uribe agreement establishing seven US strategic military bases near its border with Venezuela.

Chavez wavered in his response to this immediate threat: At one point he almost broke trade and diplomatic relations with Colombia, only to immediately reconcile with Uribe, although the latter had demonstrated no desire to sign on to a pact of co-existence.

Meanwhile, the 2010 Congressional elections In Venezuela led to a major increase in electoral support for the US-backed right (approximately 50%) and their greater representation in Congress (40%). While the Right increased their support inside Venezuela, the Left in Colombia, both the guerrillas and the electoral opposition lost ground. Chavez could not count on any immediate counter-weight to a military provocation.

Chavez faced several options: The first was to return to the earlier policy of international solidarity with radical movements; the second was to continue working with the center-left regimes while maintaining strong criticism and firm opposition to the US backed neo-liberal regimes; and the third option was to turn toward the Right, more specifically to seek rapprochement with the newly elected President of Colombia, Santos and sign a broad political, military and economic agreement where Venezuela agreed to collaborate in eliminating Colombia’s leftist adversaries in exchange for promises of ‘non-aggression’ (Colombia limiting its cross-border narco and military incursions).

Venezuela and Chavez decided that the FARC was a liability and that support from the radical Colombian mass social movements was not as important as closer diplomatic relations with President Santos. Chavez has calculated that complying with Santos political demands would provide greater security to the Venezuelan state than relying on the support of the international solidarity movements and his own radical domestic allies among the trade unions and intellectuals.

In line with this Right turn, the Chavez regime fulfilled Santos’ requests – arresting FARC/ELN guerrillas, as well as a prominent leftist journalist, and extraditing them to a state which has had the worst human rights record in the Americas for over two decades, in terms of torture and extra-judicial assassinations. This Right turn acquires an even more ominous character when one considers that Colombia holds over 7600 political prisoners, over 7000 of whom are trade unionists, peasants, Indians, students, in other words non-combatants.

In acquiescing to Santos requests, Venezuela did not even follow the established protocols of most democratic governments: It did not demand any guaranties against torture and respect for due process. Moreover, when critics have pointed out that these summary extraditions violated Venezuela’s own constitutional procedures, Chavez launched a vicious campaign slandering his critics as agents of imperialism engaged in a plot to destabilize his regime.

Chavez’s new-found ally on the Right, President Santos has not reciprocated: Colombia still maintains close military ties with Venezuela’s prime enemy in Washington. Indeed, Santos vigorously sticks to the White House agenda: He successfully pressured Chavez to recognize the illegitimate regime of Lobos in Honduras- the product of a US-backed coup in exchange for the return of ousted ex-President Zelaya.

Chavez did what no other center-left Latin American President has dared to do: He promised to support the reinstatement of the illegitimate Honduran regime into the OAS. On the basis of the Chavez-Santos agreement, Latin American opposition to Lobos collapsed and Washington’s strategic goal was realized: a puppet regime was legitimized. Chavez agreement with Santos to recognize the murderous Lobos regime betrayed the heroic struggle of the Honduran mass movement.

Not one of the Honduran officials responsible for over a hundred murders and disappearances of peasant leaders, journalists, human rights and pro-democracy activists are subject to any judicial investigation. Chavez has given his blessings to impunity and the continuation of an entire repressive apparatus, backed by the Honduran oligarchy and the US Pentagon.

In other words, to demonstrate his willingness to uphold his ‘friendship and peace pact’ with Santos, Chavez was willing to sacrifice the struggle of one of the most promising and courageous pro-democracy movements in the Americas.

And What Does Chavez Seek in His Accommodation with the Right?

Security? Chavez has received only verbal ‘promises’, and some expressions of gratitude from Santos.

But the enormous pro-US military command and US mission remain in place. In other words, there will be no dismantling of the Colombian paramilitary-military forces massed along the Venezuelan border and the US military base agreements, which threaten Venezuelan national security, will not change. According to Venezuelan diplomats, Chavez’ tactic is to ‘win over’ Santos from US tutelage.

By befriending Santos, Chavez hopes that Bogota will not join in any joint military operation with the US or cooperate in future propaganda-destabilization campaigns. In the brief time since the Santos-Chavez pact was made, an emboldened Washington announced an embargo on the Venezuelan state oil company with the support of the Venezuelan congressional opposition. Santos, for his part, has not complied with the embargo, but then not a single country in the world has followed Washington’s lead.

Clearly, President Santos is not likely to endanger the annual $10 billion dollar trade between Colombia and Venezuela in order to humor the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s diplomatic caprices. In contrast to Chavez policy of handing over leftist and guerrilla exiles to a rightist authoritarian regime, President Allende of Chile (1970-73) joined a delegation that welcomed armed fighters fleeing persecution in Bolivia and Argentina and offered them asylum.

For many years, especially in the 1980′s, Mexico, under center-right regimes, openly recognized the rights of asylum for guerrilla and leftist refugees from Central America – El Salvador and Guatemala. Revolutionary Cuba, for decades, offered asylum and medical treatment to leftist and guerrilla refugees from Latin American dictatorships and rejected demands for their extradition.

Even as late as 2006, when the Cuban government was pursuing friendly relations with Colombia and when its then Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque expressed his deep reservations regarding the FARC in conversations with the author, Cuba refused to extradite guerrillas to their home countries where they would be tortured and abused.

One day before he left office in 2011, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied Italy’s request to extradite Cesare Battisti, a former Italian guerrilla. As one Brazilian judge said -and Chavez should have listened: “At stake here is national sovereignty. It is as simple as that”. No one would criticize Chavez efforts to lessen border tensions by developing better diplomatic relations with Colombia and to expand trade and investment flows between the two countries.

What is unacceptable is to describe the murderous Colombian regime as a “friend” of the Venezuela people and a partner in peace and democracy, while thousands of pro-democracy political prisoners rot in TB-infested Colombian prisons for years on trumped-up charges.

Under Santos, civilian activists continue to be murdered almost every day. The most recent killing was yesterday (June 9,2011): Ana Fabricia Cordoba, a leader of community-based displaced peasants, was murdered by the Colombian armed forces.

Chavez’ embrace of the Santos narco-presidency goes beyond the requirements for maintaining proper diplomatic and trade relations. His collaboration with the Colombian intelligence, military and secret police agencies in hunting down and deporting Leftists (without due process!) smacks of complicity in dictatorial repression and serves to alienate the most consequential supporters of the Bolivarian transformation in Venezuela.

Chavez’ role in legitimizing of the Honduran coup-regime, without any consideration for the popular movements’ demands for justice, is a clear capitulation to the Santos – Obama agenda. This line of action places Venezuela’s ‘state’ interests over the rights of the popular mass movements in Honduras.

Chavez’ collaboration with Santos on policing leftists and undermining popular struggles in Honduras raises serious questions about Venezuela’s claims of revolutionary solidarity. It certainly sows deep distrust about Chavez future relations with popular movements who might be engaged in struggle with one of Chavez’s center-right diplomatic and economic partners.

What is particularly troubling is that most democratic and even center-left regimes do not sacrifice the mass social movements on the altar of “security” when they normalize relations with an adversary.

Certainly the Right, especially the US, protects its former clients, allies, exiled right-wing oligarch and even admitted terrorists from extradition requests issued by Venezuela, Cuba and Argentina. Mass murders and bombers of civilian airplanes manage to live comfortably in Florida.

Why Venezuela submits to the Right-wing demands of the Colombians, while complaining about the US protecting terrorists guilty of crimes in Venezuela, can only be explained by Chavez ideological shift to the Right, making Venezuela more vulnerable to pressure for greater concessions in the future.

Chavez is no longer interested in the support from the radical left: his definition of state policy revolves around securing the ‘stability’ of Bolivarian socialism in one country, even if it means sacrificing Colombian militants to a police state and pro-democracy movements in Honduras to an illegitimate US-imposed regime. History provides mixed lessons.

Stalin’s deals with Hitler were a strategic disaster for the Soviet people: once the Fascists got what they wanted they turned around and invaded Russia. Chavez has so far not received any ‘reciprocal’ confidence-building concession from Santos military machine. Even in terms of narrowly defined ‘state interests’, he has sacrificed loyal allies for empty promises. The US imperial state is Santos’ primary ally and military provider.

China sacrificed international solidarity for a pact with the US, a policy that led to unregulated capitalist exploitation and deep social injustices.

When and if the next confrontation between the US and Venezuela occurs, will Chavez, at least, be able to count on the “neutrality” of Colombia? If past and present relations are any indication, Colombia will side with its client-master, mega-benefactor and ideological mentor.

When a new rupture occurs, can Chavez count on the support of the militants, who have been jailed, the mass popular movements he pushed aside and the international movements and intellectuals he has slandered? As the US moves toward new confrontations with Venezuela and intensifies its economic sanctions, domestic and international solidarity will be vital for Venezuela’s defense. Who will stand up for the Bolivarian revolution, the Santos and Lobos of this “realist world”? Or the solidarity movements in the streets of Caracas and the Americas?

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Complex Dance: Poles and Jews in World War 2

Repost from the old site.

The problem is that Polish nationalists and anti-Semites are continuing to use Jewish cooperation with the USSR during and after WW2 as a club to beat Jews over the head with and keep the anti-Semitic fight between Jews and Poles going on forever.

Here are a couple of examples of modern anti-Semitic Jewish nationalist stuff along these lines: Neighbours On The Eve Of The Holocaust. Polish-Jewish Relations In Soviet-Occupied Eastern Poland, 1939-1941 from the Canadian Polish nationalist Electronic Museum site and Jews Murdering Poles, Jedwabne and the atrocities in East Poland 1939-1941 (part II) by Prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak.

A slightly similar piece, but much more balanced, comes from an excerpt from a book called Darkness and Hope by Sam Halpern on the Zionist and Jewish religion site aish.com.

These pieces present a picture of Jews kissing the tanks of the invading Soviet troops, collaborating with the Soviets, and assisting the Soviets as they carried out punitive actions, including executions, against those who were supporting a Polish nationalist insurgency against the USSR.

It is important to note that the Nazis killed 90% of the Jews in Poland, and many Poles were all too willing to help the Nazis by pointing out Jews and in any other way they could think of. It’s true that many Poles risked their lives to save Jews, but surely an even larger number helped the Nazis kill Jews by collaborating with them.

From an excerpt of an English translation of Leonid Smilovitsky’s The Holocaust in Belarus 1941-1944, we see an entirely different picture, in which the nationalist forces of both Poland and Belarus were actively assisting the Nazis in killing as many Jews as possible.

The persecutors of Jews in the Belarus included the AK or Armia Krajowa, the Polish Home Army, the main Polish resistance group. This complements the common wisdom that the AK was basically a rightwing nationalist army (though they fought both the USSR and Nazi Germany) and they were not exactly Jew-friendly.

Polish nationalists had shown strong anti-Semitic feelings before and after the Nazi invasion. Nationalists of all stripes and their supporters, including Polish nationalists, were among those helping to herd the Jews to their deaths. After the Nazis invaded Eastern Poland and the Red Army retreated, most of the local Jewish men of fighting age were pressed into service in the Red Army, but many others just flat out volunteered.

Of course these Jews kissed the Soviet tanks and later volunteered for the Red Army. It’s also not surprising that many Jews collaborated after the war with the Communist government. The USSR meant life for Polish Jews. Nazis and to some extent Polish nationalists and their supporters meant possible to sure death.

Smilovitsky’s page indicates that East European nationalists of various stripes were running around killing an awful lot of Jews and even collaborating with the Nazis. They were killing plenty of civilians too.

The Jews were collaborating with the Red Army in their own counterinsurgency against the AK, who were fighting the USSR. There was a dirty war on both sides with killings of villagers and other civilians, massacres, burning of villages, expulsions, and on and on. It was a horrible time in a monstrous war with lots of death all around.

To characterize this whole complex period as “Commie pro-Soviet Jews running around murdering innocent Poles” is completely mistaken.

I’m willing to discuss this matter further if anyone has anything intelligent to add to the conversation.

References

Halpern, Sam. 1996. Darkness and Hope. pp. 37-40, 47-48. New York: Shengold.

Neighbours On The Eve Of The Holocaust. Polish-Jewish Relations In Soviet-Occupied Eastern Poland, 1939-1941. Electronic Museum website.

Nowak, Jerzy Robert, Jews Murdering Poles, Jedwabne and the atrocities in East Poland 1939-1941 (part II), translated by Lesław Kawalec.

Smilovitsky, Leonid. 2000. Katastrofia Evreev v Belorusii 1941-1944
(English translation by Judith Springer: The Holocaust in Belarus 1941-1944), pp. 129-146
. Tel Aviv: Biblioteka Motveya Chernogo. From the Jewish Gen Yizkor Project website.

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