Category Archives: World War 2

Identity Politics or Tribalism Was Behind Many of the Most Horrific and Genocidal Crimes of the 20th Century

Zamfir: “Having a collective interest is not the same thing as a hard and fast identity like race, ethnic group, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or even religion.”

Okay, I didn’t understand that “identity” for you has to do with only these kinds of characteristics. But then I’d put it this way: Any group of people that share collective interests can have good reasons to organize politically in defense of their interests. It doesn’t matter whether the reason has to do with their “identity” in your sense or instead something less “hard and fast” such as economic class.

Because people who organize around more banal everyday political issues are typically not as insane and flat out deranged, homicidal, paranoid, hypersensitive and even genocidal as IP types? I mean do you see Democrats running around screaming about the Republicans “They hate us! They hate us! They’re out to kill us! We need to fight back!” Do you see environmentalists or pro-abortion people saying that anti-environmentalists and anti-abortion people, “They hate us! They hate us! They oppress us and dominate us! They’re out to kill us!”

Ordinary politics is not tribal like IP is. Few people would say they are member of a tribe called Democrats, Social Democrats, Bolivarians, Sandinistas, environmentalists, gun control activists, anti-free trade types, anti- or pro-immigration activists, liberals, workers, or poor or low income people? Hell no.

And the people in the paragraph above don’t scream, carry on, act paranoid, have a huge chip on their shoulder and accuse everyone of hating them all the time.

Haven’t you noticed that IP people are all insane? They all say my group is completely innocent and good, and we are being persecuted, oppressed and dominated by this evil other group. They’re all hypersensitive to any slights, always accusing everyone of hating them. They hate us! They hate us! They hate us! They’re trying to kill us!

And there’s often genocidal language, sometimes towards the hated group and other times it’s, “They’re trying to kill of us!” Often it’s “they’re trying to kill all of us…we need to kill all of them!”Haven’t you noticed that IP people are all insane?

They all say my group is completely innocent and good and we are being persecuted, oppressed and dominated by this evil other group. They’re all hypersensitive to any slights, always accusing everyone of hating them. They hate us! They hate us! They hate us! They’re trying to kill us! And there’s often genocidal language, sometimes towards the hated group and other times it’s, “They’re trying to kill of us!” Often it’s “they’re trying to kill all of us…we need to kill all of them!”

Before the Tutus slaughtered 800,000 Tutsis, the radio played non-stop that the Tutsis had just murdered the Hutu president and were organizing a war to kill all the Hutus. The solution? Kill them first. Remember Hitler said the Jews are trying to kill us all? Solution? Kill them first. Notice how the Israelis are always screaming that their enemies are exterminationist Nazi type anti-Semites? They’re out to kill us all! Solution? Oppress them, dominate them, wage war on them, kill their soldiers and their politicians, assassinate their leaders.

Can’t you realize that almost all of the horrible things that are going on today are all based on IP to some degree or another. In the ME, they are slaughtering each other over religion or even factions of a religion or even factions of factions.

In Turkey, this is behind Turkey’s war on the Kurds and their conquest and annexation of Syrian land to expand the “Turkish nation.” The ethnic cleaning wars of the Balkans were all wrapped up in IP. The Islamist insurgencies in the Caucasus, Turkestan, Thailand, Sudan, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Egypt, Nigeria, India and to some extent Syria and Iraq are Islamist jihads against the infidels; in the cases of Nigeria and Sudan, take exterminationist proportions.
The Hindu Buddhists wage an exterminationist jihad against the Hindu Tamils. The Myanmar Buddhists wage an exterminationist jihad against the Rohinga.

The Hindus oppress the Muslims of Kashmir and wage war on them. The Jews oppress the non-Jews of Palestine and wage war on them and conquer and annex their land. Muslims and Christians wage exterminationist wars against each other in the Congo. In Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire, Hutus, and Tutsis wage exterminationist wars against each other.

Saddam said the Persians were plotting to kill all the Arabs (and most Sunni Arabs still say that the Iranians are plotting to at least conquer all the Arabs). Solution? Kill the Iranians first. The Young Turks started their jihad against the Armenians by saying that the Armenians were plotting to kill all the Turks. Solution? Kill the Armenians. Similar things were said of Greeks and Assyrians. Solution? Kill 500,000 Greeks and Assyrians before they can kill us first.

Nazism was nothing but Aryan Germanic IP against non Aryans such as Gypsies, Jews and Slavs.

The war in Northern Ireland is a pure IP war.

Notice how all of these groups employ the IP extremism – “They’re trying to kill us all so we need to oppress/kill of them first!” Our tribe is 100% good, theirs is evil. We are defensive; they wage offensive war against us. They are haters and racists and we are not. They hate us!  They hate us! They hate us! You hate us! You hate us!

Notice how paranoid they all are and how hypersensitive they are to any slight and how they all immediately accuse you of hating them if you even look at them wrong? Notice the insane, “They hate us! They hate us!” all the while when the people screaming about people hating them are horrific haters themselves. But their hate and racism/bigotry is good and justified and the other people’s hate and bigotry is evil. We just want liberation and to be free! They want to oppress us and dominate us!

IP turns genocidal and exterminationist or at least slaughtering quite easily.

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Know Your Nazis!

390px-Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-B01718,_Ausstellung__Planung_und_Aufbau_im_Osten_

Photo from March 1941. Identify the following leading Nazis in this photo (these are the only ones I can identify: Rudolf Hess, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler,  and Konrad Meyer. One of these men is giving a talk on Generalplan Ost, and the other three men are listening.

Himmler and Hess are well- known, but Heydrich is much less known though he was very important, and Meyer is nearly unheard of.

Hess committed suicide in jail in Germany after being imprisoned for 32 years, Himmler committed suicide just after the end of the war while in British custody, Heydrich was assassinated in a famous but little known ambush in Czechoslovakia in 1942, and Meyer served only three years in prison, was released in 1948, and went back to his former life as a Professor of Agriculture at a university.

Meyer lived to be 72, and Hess lived to the incredible old age of 93.

If you can identify any of the other Nazis in the photo let me know.

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Filed under Europe, European, Germany, History, National Socialism, Nazism, Political Science, Regional, War, World War 2

Diglossia in China

Dear Robert

I have no basis on which to agree or disagree with your assessment of the linguistic situation in China. However, aren’t nearly all Chinese born after 1949 sufficiently conversant with official Mandarin to understand it, read it and also carry on a conversation in it? In that case, China would be a country with diglossia, with all the non-Mandarin languages/dialects spoken in informal settings between locals, and official Mandarin spoken in formal settings and between people of different regions.

Regards. James

The younger people speak, read, and write Putonghua (a version of Mandarin) very well. A lot of the older adults can do the same. I believe there may be some monolinguals of the other tongues out there. And there are also monolinguals under age 5. Some Westerners adopted a 2-3 year old girl, and the girl could only speak some obscure Gan language. It took them a while to figure what the Hell language she even spoke because it was not obvious and the tongue was not well-known.

A problem is that some varieties have actually developed their own Putonghuas now! So in a sense the experiment is having unexpected consequences. Putonghuas of various regions can hardly be understood by Putonghua speakers of other regions. So even the standard is starting to split! However, getting everyone to speak, read, and write was definitely a good idea.

My father was stationed in China in 1946 after the war for a while. The US occupied China for a while there. He said that when he was in Peking (the old Beijing), there were rickshaw drivers everywhere. If you wanted to get anywhere, you summoned a rickshaw. He said that the rickshaw drivers had the pens and pads and they were always running around offering the pens and pads to passengers and other drivers because the other person spoke some other lect, so they could not understand each other. But most of them could read and write Mandarin! So if worse came to worse and you could not talk to each other, you could always write it down! So actually, China had a Putonghua of sorts even before the Communist victory and the introduction of Putonghua.

And I do not believe that Putonghua was introduced in 1949. I think it took the Communists a little while to come up with it and formulate it properly.

The “Speak Mandarin” campaign has had some unintended consequences because it is not allowed to teach school in any language but Mandarin for Sinitic speakers. I believe that speakers of other tongues such as Tibetans can have home language education, which is considered a progressive thing. I know that teachers were still teaching classes in Shanghainese not so long ago. Also speaking dialects was discouraged and possibly even punished at school. I am not sure if even today you can take courses in other Chinese languages at school. But the Mandarin only campaign went too far and it has led to the destruction of a lot of the less spoken varieties, which in many cases are full languages and not dialects at all. So it has been very controversial.

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“Russia in Ukraine: Enemy or Friend?” by Eric Walberg

My good friend Eric Walberg sets the record straight on the Ukraine War. Bottom line is every single thing you are being told in the Western media is propaganda of some sort. It’s either a distortion, misleading or out and out false. The number of Western media outlets offering the truth of what is going on over there is zero. This is what I mean by our controlled media and why I say that there is no dissident press in the West.

Russia in Ukraine: Enemy or Friend?

Eric Walberg

Putin is either an aggressive schemer, to be opposed and vilified at all costs, or a wise, restrained real-politician, balanced irreconcilable forces next door. Which is it?

The 2014 coup in Ukraine succeeded due to the fierce campaign led by neo-fascists, heirs to the Banderistas of 1940–50’s, now lauded as freedom fighters, but seen at the time as terrorists, murdering Ukrainians and Jews, and sabotaging a Ukraine in shambles after the war. They had almost zero support then, having collaborated with the Nazis to kill tens of thousands, but their hero, Stepan, was honored with a statue in 2011, erected by the godfather of the current anti-Russian coupmakers, the (disastrous) former President Viktor Yushchenko. Ukraine’s Soviet war veterans were outraged and the statue was torn down in 2013, just months before the coup, bringing the Bandera-lovers back to power.

The eastern Ukrainians, mostly native Russians, centered in Donetsk and Lugansk, saw the coup as a surreal rerun of WWII, this time with Banderistas triumphant. They had no real plan, but panicked at the thought of what was to come, and seized government buildings and declared themselves mini-republics, calling on Russia to come and rescue them, as was happening in Crimea.

A tall order. Putin empathized with his fellow Russians, now being bombed and boycotted by the Ukrainian forces, with a death toll of 10,000 so far. Between 22 and 25 August 2014, Russian artillery, personnel, and what Russia called a “humanitarian convoy”, crossed the border into Ukrainian territory without the permission of the Ukrainian government.

This state of stalemate led the war to be labelled by some a war of aggression against poor Ukraine, a “frozen conflict”. The area has stayed a war zone, with dozens of soldiers and civilians killed each month. Close to 4,000 rebel fighters and the same number of ‘loyalists’ have been killed, along with 3,000 civilians. 1.5 million have been internally displaced; and a million have fled abroad, mostly to Russia.

A deal to establish a ceasefire, called the Minsk Protocol, was signed on 5 September 2014 but immediately collapsed. It called for reincorporation of the rebel territories under a federal system, with full rights of the Russian-speakers and open relations with the Russian Federation. Russia stands by the principles of the protocol, calling for Ukrainian borders to stay as they are, despite the pleas of the rebels. This restraint pleases neither side. The Russians clearly will not abandon their fellow Russians, but at the same time, refuse to invade and start a war with their unpredictable, basket-case of a neighbor. Russians are surely thinking: Ukrainians — you can’t get along with them or without them.

The Russian position is clear and firm: give Russian Ukrainian their rights, make our borders porous for locals and their relatives, revive shattered economic links among common peoples with a thousand years of common history. Get on with it.

The Ukrainian position is mostly hysterical, calling for NATO and Europe to fight off the Russkies, salvage the bankrupt economy, and ignore the creepy fascists. WWIII if necessary. The coupmakers are unrepentant as Ukraine slides deeper into insolvency, and corruption is getting worse (if that’s possible). Poroshenko is as unpopular as a leader can get, and only the threat of a Ukraine shattered in pieces gives him a life preserver among his citizens.

WWII replay

The West incited the coup and quickly embraced it, ignoring its unsavory origins in nostalgia for fascism. While it feigns shock and anger at Russian actions, it certainly can’t ignore that the Russians really had no choice, that their actions were/are both necessary and measured.

It looks suspiciously like the West is sitting back and enjoying the fisticuffs, reminding one of how the West sat back and let the Russians do the dirty work in WWII, defeating the Nazis, with the ‘Allies’ joining in the last year to warrant their claims (now the official story) that the US won the war — with a little help from its friends and even the nefarious Russians.

A messy conclusion to that war, the ultimate ‘frozen conflict’, the Cold War, that spawned the current many mini-frozen conflicts (Trans-Dniester, Abkhazia, Ossetia, Kosovo, not to mention ones farther afield, like Taiwan and Somaliland — all legacies of the Cold War).

‘No Pasaran!’

The plan is evolving, depending on what the Russians do. Putin’s red line is that Ukraine cannot – will not — join NATO. The NATO creep eastward, a violation from 1991 on of the implicit understanding with Gorbachev and Yeltsin, will not be tolerated.

The Ukrainian coup created a new scenario. If Russia had moved to support the rebel territories, form a customs union with open borders, aimed at eventual incorporation in the Russian Federation, that would have given the NATOphiles their trump card, and NATO and the EU would be hard pressed not to move in and try to salvage a bankrupt dysfunctional state, with the final coup as its prize: NATO now lined up surrounding Russia, the last real holdout against US world domination.

The Baltic ministates and (almost all) the Balkan ministates are now in the NATO fold. There are a few loose ends for the EU in the Balkans, but EU hegemony economically and US hegemony militarily are the new playing fields. Then there’s Turkey as a key NATO ally.

Whether this is an actual conspiracy or not only Russian hackers can tell, but the logic is there. Putin sees this logic and is not biting the bullet. Better a tolerable federated Ukraine where Russians are left in peace or another frozen conflict than NATO breathing fire on Russia’s borders.

The West played the ‘shock and anger’ card over Crimea, ignoring the fact that Crimea has been a key part of Russia since Catherine the Great incorporated it in 1783, the heart of Russian naval power, thoughtlessly given to Ukraine when Soviet internal borders were meaningless, populated by mostly Russians and Tatars.

As Ukrainian nationalism heated up after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia still maintained its bases there, paying rent to Ukraine. But dreams by Ukrainian Russophobes to join NATO and the desire of NATO forces to occupy Crimea or that somehow Russia and NATO could share Crimean bases are nonsensical. Russia’s only option was to accede to Crimeans’ pleas.

‘Remember 1856!’

As if to taunt the Russians on Crimea, a British missile destroyer and a Turkish frigate docked at the port of Odessa in July for a joint NATO maritime exercise , several days after the US, Ukraine and 14 other nations deployed warships, combat aircraft and special operations teams for the ‘Sea Breeze 2017’ exercise off the Ukrainian coast.

It looks like a reenactment of western policy following the Crimean War in 1856, when Russia was denied its naval presence in the Black Sea, as Britain and France were preparing to take the Ottoman territories for themselves and keep Russia out in the cold. Combined with the NATO creep in the Baltics and Balkans, it also looks like a replay of the build up to WWII but without the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. To Stalin’s (sorry, Putin’s) discomfort, there is no split among the imperialists anymore. Germany et al are postmodern nations, nations without a foreign policy, beholden to the world hegemon, the US. There is only one thousand-year Reich (sorry, Pax Americana) on the table these days. History may repeat itself but in its own ways.

Frozen conflicts have a bad reputation, but peace is always better than war. Tempers cool over time, and past wrongs can be ironed out with reason and compromise. Donetsk and Lugansk will not hoist a white flag to Kiev given the bad blood. They will continue to get electricity and gas from Russia and revive their economies by reviving trade and industry with their real ally. Kiev should be careful in its game of trying to starve the rebels into submission. Russians as a people have never backed down when faced with a hostile enemy.

The longer the freeze continues, the more willy-nilly integration with the Russian economic sphere will proceed. Or rather the Eurasian Customs Union (EACU) that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan formed in 2010, eliminating obstacles to trade and investment that went up after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Moscow stands to benefit as a natural hub for regional finance and trade, and Ukraine is welcome. Win-win. A free trade pact as an economic strategy elevates the prospects of the entire region where Russia is a natural center of gravity. In 2015 the EACU was enlarged to include Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Russia imports labor from the ‘Stans’ and could well help Ukraine by inviting Ukrainians to work as well.

Sensible realpolitik by the West would take NATO away from Russian borders and push Ukraine to make an acceptable deal on a federal state structure to keep its own Russians and its neighbor happy. Sensible realpolitik by Ukraine would be to join the EACU, bringing ‘Little Russians’, ‘White Russians,’ and plain old Russians back together. This would be welcomed with relief by EU officials who have no military ax to grind and are not happy about the billions it would take to get Ukraine off life support.

More here and here.

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About That “Stab in the Back”

Many German Jews were very patriotic during World War 1. Quite a few fought and died for their country and its lousy cause. The problem was that the war was a lousy cause, like the Vietnam War and just about every war we ever fought after the Great War.

Germany started losing, and a dissident peace movement similar to the antiwar movement in the Vietnam era sprung up in Germany. Some of these people, but many others were just good Germans sink of junkers, kaisers and disgusting mess that was incipient German imperialism and militarism. The antiwar movement helped end the war, which was a good thing. After the war, which ended in Germany’s defeat, this protest movement began challenging many of the traditional views of the land which had dragged the nation into a stupid militaristic adventure that led to the massacre of a generation of European men. Many liberals, media people, comedians, musicians, show business types, politicians and intellectuals joined this movement.

Of course some were Jews but most were not. Keep in mind that Jews were maybe 1-2% of Germany at this point. The point here is that these Jews were not traitors at all any more than the rest of the liberals were. They were calling for a Cultural Revolution in Germany and challenging the reactionary views that led the nation to war.

This was the “stab in the back” that Hitler referred to. There was no stab in the back anymore than that the Vietnam War Protest Movement was a stab in the back.  Hitler and the Free Officers were reactionary militarists. They were not OK people. They were like McNamara and LBJ on steroids. They were a bunch of lousy killers, militarists fighting for a no good cause. And really the entire liberal intelligentsia stabbed the country in  the back, if anyone did.

But the stab in the back more than anything was self inflicted. Germany was losing a lousy war they started for no good reason. The Army and the militaristic state was stabbing its own self in the back in a form of perverse hari kari.

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Alt Left: Civil War? Bring It On!

Well, low level civil war in the present form of pre-civil war or civil strife anyway is just fine. It’s not ok to promote anything beyond that right now though.

Here.

A new article in Salon says that Trump has set off a civil war in America. As a supporter of the very similar Revolutionary movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s, which also erupted into a near civil war, the Alt Left supports this low- level civil war (civil strife) completely. Right now what is going on is like a pre-civil war or what is often referred to as civil strife. The civil war will pretty much only start if and when people start killing each other, and that’s not happening…yet. Hopefully it will not come to that because not only will the enemy start dying but we will too. That means you, me, our friends and loved ones. It’s generally better if civil strife does not move to a shooting civil war level barring extreme circumstances.

The only thing that is happening now is street fights between the Left and Right, similar to the Left vs. Right street thugs fighting in the streets in Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It also similar to civil strife that goes on in Latin America. Particularly in Chile, left vs. right street fighting is very common. The Right is fascist and supports Pinochet. The Left is almost Communist or socialist and supports Salvador Allende and his followers. A woman from Allende’s own party is now governing the country. The Left regularly stages what can only be called pro-Allende demos, which are regularly raided by fascists who support Pinochet. Similarly, fascists regularly stage what are more or less pro-Pinochet demos which are regularly invaded by leftists. Street fighting between the two is very common.

People do not realize it but rioting is very common in Latin America. Venezuela had regular riots, often led by university students, even before Chavez came to office. After Chavez came in, the Opposition staged regular riots and demos in their neighborhoods. After a while, the Chavista police just sat back and let the Opposition trash their neighborhoods. The Chavista police must have had one of the most hands-off approaches to rioters in the world.

In Chile once again, high school students are now staging regular demos which typically turn into riots. This is because in this wealthy country, the schools are literally falling apart. These riots have been happening about once every three weeks now. The Chilean Indians are a much discriminated against population and popular racism against Indians is at a very high level.

I had a friend in Chile whose father worked for Allende and considered himself a progressive guy. He was majoring in sociology and he planned to go to the Indian regions to do fieldwork. However, this anti-Indian racism was off the charts from an American point of view. He also had wildly classist views which would be shocking in the US. Obviously any country afflicted with crazy high levels of classism and racism along with some of the worst wealth inequality on Earth is a pretty shitty place. In a shitty country, you might as well demonstrate and riot all the time because that is exactly what shitty countries deserve. If they ever clean up their act and turn into decent countries, I think the rioters in general should knock it off.

Rioting should only be for protesting truly noxious systems, not, for instance, against Swedish social democracy. It’s a very civilized and decent system and there’s nothing to riot about. But rightwing shitholes can have all the riots in the world for all I care. They asked for it by being rightwing shitholes. If they don’t want riots all the time, all they have to do is create a decent country.

Needless to say, the Chilean Indians riot on a very frequent basis. And Indian riot is almost banal down there. That’s how common it is.

I was very close to the politics of Peru for a while there and I got regular updates of the situation on the ground. Even leaving aside the fact that there was an armed and very deadly insurgency going on, besides that, on the Left in general (which did not necessarily support the insurgency at all) there were regular strikes and demonstrations.

A lot of the strikes were by people like teachers and physicians. Teachers’ unions are very militant in Latin America, they go on strike all the time, have regular demonstrations and they even riot quite a bit. Schoolteachers rioting seems odd in a US context but down there, it’s just normal. There are also almost constant demonstrations against mining and really for all manner of leftwing causes. It’s quite common for these to turn into riots. Even setting aside the insurgency, Peru struck me as a place where leftwing riots were quite common.

I don’t know much about civil strife in the rest of the continent. I saw a recent video of young people mostly in their late teens to mid twenties who appeared to be actually demonstrating in favor of the FARC guerrillas and against death squad activity directed at civilian supporters of the guerrilla. I was surprised that the FARC had that much support. The demonstration was quite violent to say the least.

I believe demonstrations are very common in Brazil and if I am not mistaken, they regularly become riots also.

This low level civil war or civil strife is a good thing in the US right now. Bottom line is we deserve it. We are turning into a true rightwing shithole along Latin American lines, and shitty countries deserve all the riots that rioters can unleash against them. Don’t like the rioting? Fine, put in a halfway decent government. Unless and until that happens, I say let the riots go on.

All of the following are important:

  • Calling or writing to your Congresspeople.
  • Attending town hall meetings of Congresspeople.
  • New laws at the state level
  • Anti-Trump lawsuits by states
  • Anti=Trump lawsuits by individuals and aggrived parties, often being taken by the ACLU right now.
  • Appearances by Congresspeople at areas of controversy, such as Congresspeople who tried to get travelers released from airports
  • Journalists writing highly critical and rabble rousing articles
  • Openly defiant and angry press organs, even such staid venues as the New York Times. There’s nothing with the NYT calling Trump a liar on the front page.
  • Letters to the editor
  • Signing petitions
  • Refusing service to Trump supporters in the workplace
  • Ending as many friendships with Trump supporters as you can handle
  • Various organizations leading peaceful demonstrations of all sorts such as the women’s march. Those demos can get pretty loud and rowdy, but without overt violence, they are still peaceful
  • Blocking highways
  • Walkout strikes
  • Wildcat strikes
  • Boycotts
  • Shopping strikes

And also nonpeaceful protest would seem to be in order. If we are truly turning into a nightmarish Latin American style rightwing shithole, then this country deserves as many riots as rioters can stage. Shitholes deserve nothing less until they clean up their act and turn into decent countries.

Among forms of nonviolent protest:

  • Looting of noxious corporate venues, especially window smashing.
  • Bonfires
  • Fireworks
  • Smoke bombs
  • Rocks, bricks and police barricades at windows of some venues, the purpose being merely to break windows at the venue.
  • Vandalism, especially of corporate property. Window smashing is just fine.
  • Arson, particularly of corporate property but especially of the property of our class enemies, such as the limousine burnt on January 20.

Violence against people.

  • Generally not recommended at this point.

This is a very tricky area and I am wrestling a lot with this one. In wars, the civilian supporters of the insurgency or state are supposed to be left alone. They seldom are in wars anymore, but they are supposed to be. This is why the fire bombings in Germany and Japan were so wrong. Even if Germans were supporting Nazis, it was not ok to set their cities aflame with the sole purpose of incinerating as many civilians as possible. Something very similar but much worse happened in Japan.

Of course the purpose of the atom bombs was to slaughter as many civilians as possible in order to end a war. The argument is typically raised that it was worth it to murder 300,000 Japanese civilians in a couple of days to end the war and that alternatives would have been more costly. Even with a goal of ending a war and supposedly saving lives by ending a war prematurely, it’s awful hard to justify mass slaughter of civilians, even if they are supporting a noxious regime. Killing thousands of civilians even for this purpose seems wrong, not to mention 10,000’s. Killing 100,000’s of civilians even for some supposedly noble goal gets very hard to justify under virtually any circumstances.

So if civilian supporters even of armed insurgencies and noxious regimes are not to be killed or even harmed for that matter, how is it ok to beat up Trump supporters. Now granted, things are much worse in hot wars. If all Assad’s army and supporters were doing was punching out rebel supporters, I doubt if anyone would care. I doubt if many would be bothered by German patriots clocking Nazi supporters during the war, assuming they could even get away with it. Likewise in Japan. The main argument in all of these cases is that state are actually mass murdering civilian supporters of insurgencies and civilian supporters of enemy states during state to state war. The argument never gets down to the level of if it’s ok to punch out guerrilla supporters or people backing a state in wartime in a state to state war.

Nevertheless, attacks on Trump supporters leave me a bit queasy. It may come down to that at some point, but for now, political violence against Opposition civilians doesn’t rub me the right way. Of course the antifa will do it anyway, we don’t have to stamp our approval on it. And it’s a thin line that separates a right hook from a group beating stomping someone to death. Single punches can turn into fatal beat downs faster than you can think.

For right now, nonpeaceful tactics should be limited to property damage, particularly of noxious corporations. Destroying the property of class enemies such as limousines is certainly acceptable. Even arson is ok against their property and that of noxious corporations, especially if you clear out the civilians just stick to burning stuff, not other people. A lot of limousines deserve to be torched and a lot of banks are asking for it too.

But I am going to butt out of attacks on people of the opposition. And surely, attacks with guns, bombs and whatnot are completely out of line at least at this stage. Now it may come down to a 1970’s revolutionary scenario where as late as 1972, 1,900 bombs went off in the US. That’s six bombs a day. Very few of them killed or even hurt other people as they were often set off late at night or preceded with warnings. Nevertheless, once you step it up to setting off bombs, it’s a whole new ballgame. We aren’t there yet, so such activities are not acceptable at the least.

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Israelis, Islamists, Hindutvadis and Fascism

William: Robert- I suppose it may be splitting hairs, but isn’t Israel about the Jewish faith? I mean it’s not like they’re all secular Jews – they’re linked by faith as much as bloodline.

Jews by blood but who have never been religious are not granted citizenship to Israel, although they are allowed to immigrate/reside there (green card equivalent).

RL: So Israel’s about the Jewish faith? “So what,” I would say. What does that have to do with anything?

William: Lindsay- I’m just saying it makes it not blatantly fash. Just kind of crypto-fash. There is a pretense not about race/bloodline.

OK, I can go along with that. I have always worried that these Lefties people calling Christian fundies Christo-fascists and the Islamists Islamofascists were going too far.

But in India, those Hindutvadis, well, they are pretty close to real deal fascism. They are not racist fascists. I suppose they are religious fascists. But the Hindutvadis are far more fascist than the Israelis or Islamists are.

There is a real question and a good debate going on regarding whether a religiously based fascism is even possible. But there was something resembling that in Croatia under World War 2. There was a racist-fascist (Nazi) regime called the Ustashe that killed Serbs, Jews, and, well, anyone who was not a Croat. However, a number of Serbs were given opportunity to convert to Catholicism and become in effect Serbs. The opportunity was given at gunpoint. It was covert or die, just like the Muslims did and sometimes still do. This would seem to be a Nazi-like regime that seemed to be based on religion at least in part.

There were also Chetniks roaming around in the mountains. These were Serbian Far Right guerrillas, often with a Serbian Orthodox priest traveling with them in the bands, who killed everyone who was not a Serb – Catholics, Muslims, etc. I believe they also fought against the Nazis though. The Chetniks would seem to be a sort of religiously-based racist fascism. There were also much more numerous Communist guerrillas roaming around the countryside at the same time, and they and the Chetniks did not have good relations.

Some Leftist theorists have recently been suggesting that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was actually fascist in a sense, and they laid out a theory on why that was. I am not sure if I bought it though.

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A Dark and Ominous Phoenix Rises from the Past

A Black Bird Rises in the West

My understanding is that in 1932, Jews were 1%* of the population of Germany. At that time, the Jews reportedly had 32%* of the wealth in the Germany.

The very next year, in 1933, Adolf Hitler of the Nazi Party was elected to rule German democracy. They quickly did away with that pesky democratic part of the state and imposed a dictatorship on a shocked but quite willing populace. This party had been trafficking in toxic anti-Semitism since its birth in German beer halls in the early 1920’s. Almost all of the leaders of this movement were very racist White men. All were White Supremacists and anti-Semites.

They preached ethnic ultranationalism and taking back the nation from the (((liberal and decadent cosmopolitan Establishment))) that had run Germany into the ground in the previous decade. It was time to take the country back from these (((liberals usurpers))) and make Germany great again. A vicious antisemitism was imposed very early on and quickly assumed savage and even homicidal proportions. Several years afterwards, those homicidal tendencies detonated into a full-blown genocidal project targeting not only Jews but also many other hated peoples such as Slavs and Gypsies. For four short years, this unstable and deranged party set the world on fire worse than it had ever been lit up. The fading remnants of that darkly incandescent blazing inferno leave traces that to reverberate among us to this day.

Of course I opposed (to put it very mildly) the Holocaust, the whole Nazi antisemitic project and the German/Japanese alliance in World War 2. It was as if a dual headed Satanic hydra had simulatenously risen in both the West and the East to menace all of mankind itself.

But then I look at that figure. Jews were 1% of the population and they controlled 32% of the wealth in a nation with an increasingly immiserated, disenfranchised and enraged majority.

I look at that figure. 1% of the population controlled 32% of the wealth. And I think, “You know what? There’s not too many countries in the world where people would put up with that for very long. At some point, the majority is going to rise up and try to take back a lot of that money from that tiny group that is monopolizing it.

In Another Century in Another Land…

In 2016, Jews are 2% of the US population. At this time, they reportedly have 28% of the wealth of the nation in a nation with an increasingly, immiserated, disenfranchised and enraged majority.

That same year, a fascist-like movement was elected to rule American democracy. They planned to quickly do away with some of the pesky democratic part of the state and impose an authoritarian government on a shocked but significantly willing populace. This party had been trafficking in increasingly toxic racism since its rebirth in the orange groves of the nation in the early 1980’s. A significant number of the leaders of this movement were quite racist White men. A few were White Supremacists and antisemites.

This movement preached an increasingly ethnic form of hyper-nationalism and taking back the nation from the (((liberal and decadent cosmopolitan Establishment))) that had been running America for most of the previous two decades. It was time to take the country back from these (((liberal usurpers))) and make America great again. A vicious racism loomed very early on. No one knew if this unstable and deranged party would set the world on fire in the next four years.

Let’s look at these two paragraphs again.

In 1932, Jews were 1% of the German population. At this time, they reportedly had  32% of the wealth of a nation with an increasingly immiserated, disenfranchised and enraged majority.

In 2016, Jews are 2% of the US population. At this time, they reportedly have 28% of the wealth of a nation with an increasingly, immiserated, disenfranchised and enraged majority.

I suppose my position would be that if the Jews, 2% of America, really do have 28% of my country’s wealth, I would say that not many countries in the world would put up with that for very long. I would also say that being 2% of the country and having 28% of the wealth is definitely not good for the Jews. Of course I don’t always support what is good for the Jews (Why should I?) but in this case, I definitely would, out of worry, fear, alarm and compassion for my fellow man alone.

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The Hell with the Pentagon

As the agency which enforces US foreign policy at gunpoint, the Pentagon has always blown.

First of all, there is no such thing as the Defense Department. When has the Pentagon ever defended the country? Pearl Harbor? They did a fine job there, huh?

Obviously the task of the Pentagon is not to defend the US mainland, which is all it ever ought to do anyway.

Its task is to running around the world starting wars and killing people in other countries. Leaving aside whether that is sometimes a good idea (and I think it is,) what’s so defensive about that?

The real name of the Pentagon is the War Department.That’s what it was always called until World War 2, which the War Department won. After that in a spate of Orwellian frenzy, we named an army of aggression an army of self-defense and comically renamed its branch the Defense Department.

It’s like calling cops peace officers. You see anything peaceful about what a cop does in a typical day? Neither do I?

There was a brief glimmer of hope there in WW2 when we finally starting killing fascists and rightwingers instead of sleeping with them, but the ink was barely dry on the agreements before we were setting up the Gladio fascists, overthrowing Greek elections and slaughtering Greek peasants like ants.

Meanwhile it was scarcely a year after 1945 when the US once again started a torrid love affair with fascism and rightwing dictators like we have always done. We were smooching it up right quick with Europe’s fascists, in this case the former Nazis of Germany (who became the West German elite), Greek killer colonels, Mussolini’s heirs, actual Nazis in Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Jew-Nazis in Palestine, Franco (who we never stopped sleeping with anyway), Salazar, the malign Mr. Churchill, the true repulsive Dutch royalty and disgusting European colonists the world over, who we showered with guns and bombs to massacre the colonized.

In 1945, a war against fascism, reaction, Nazism and malign colonialism had ended, and for some reason America had fought against these things instead of supporting them as usual.

1946, and we were back in old style again, hiring Nazis by the busload for the CIA, overthrowing democratic governments and putting in genocidal dictatorships, becoming butt buddies with fascist swine everywhere.

So you see we have always pretty much sucked. World War 1 was fought amidst one of the most dishonest propaganda campaigns the world had ever seen, the Korean War was a Godawful mess where we turned North Korea to flaming rubble with the population cowering in caves while slaughtering 3 million North Koreans.

The horrific catastrophe called the Indochinese Wars, such as the Vietnam War, the Secret War in Laos and the Cambodian Massacre, where we genocided 500,000 Cambodians with bombs, driving the whole place crazy and creating the Khmer Rogue.

Panama and Grenada were pitiful jokes, malign, raw, naked imperialism at its worst.

The Gulf War was a brief return to sanity but turkey shoots are sickening.

Of course that followed on with the most evil war in US history, the Nazi-like war on aggression called The War on the Iraqi People (usually called the Iraq War), the Afghan rabbit hole which started out sensibly enough but turned into another Vietnam style Great Big Mess.

I suppose it is ok that we are killing Al Qaeda guys and I give a shout out to our boys over there fighting ISIS or the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South-Central Asia, Somalia and Yemen. Some people need killing.

But I sure don’t feel that way about their superiors, the US officers who fund and direct ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. out of an Operations Center in Jordan with Jordanian, Israeli (!), Saudi, UAE, and Qatari officers.

And it was very thoughtful of the Pentagon to cover up the Ukrainian Air Force shootdown of the jetliner which we saw on the radar of our ships in Black Sea.

And it was nice of the US to relay the flight path of the Russian jet to the Turks 24 hours in advance so they could shoot down that Russian jet and kill that pilot.

One hand giveth and the other taketh away. For every good thing we do in Syria and Iraq, we do 10 or 20 bad things. Pretty much the story of the Pentagon.

Sure if you fought in WW2 or one of the few other decent wars, you have something to be proud of, and I can even say, “Thank you for your service,” but the main thing is that you signed up for the rightwing army of the rich that is dead set against the people and popular rule everywhere on Earth. Sure, it’s a great army, professional, super-competent and deadly, but it’s generally tasked with doing lousy things. Why anyone would sign up for that reactionary nightmare of an institution is beyond me. America needs to level the Pentagon and put in a true People’s Army instead. Like that would ever happen.

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Syrian Government Sued for Killing US Journalist

Here.

I am sure that they did it. That’s a nasty little regime they have over there in Syria. On the other hand, Assad seems to be better than any of the alternatives, which isn’t saying much.

I never agree with targeting journalists during war, but increasingly just about everyone does it. We definitely targeted journalists and even whole media outfits in the first weeks of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. We bombed the Al Jazeera building in Kabul, and we attacked Al Jazeera reporters in a Baghdad hotel. There were fatalities in both cases. In both Iraq wars, the US bombed all major Iraqi news outlets and newspapers, but most of them kept reporting anyway. The Pentagon said they were targeted for “disseminating enemy propaganda in wartime.”

Recent Pentagon documents discuss the need to “control the narrative” during wartime and speak of another need to silence enemy critics and journalists who are seen as combatants in an information war. The language used to describe propaganda, controlling the narrative and targeting journalists sympathetic to the enemy is genuinely creepy.

Lousy countries always do this sort of thing in wartime, but I thought we were above this.

Putin has had reporters beaten up for reporting on Russian soldiers who were killed fighting in Ukraine when there supposed to be no Russians there. He is also implicated in the killing of journalists, including a woman who was famous for reporting on Russian atrocities in Chechnya.

Turkey routinely targets journalists, especially Kurdish reporters. A number of them have been killed.

Israel is notorious for targeting journalists. Palestinian journalists are arrested regularly, and a number have been shot by soldiers. A fair number of them have been killed. Some American journalists have also been killed by the IDF, and at least one was killed.

The US would not defend this journalist at all, and instead seemed to take Israel’s side. So here we have a government that supports a foreign state over its own people. Our country should be called “USrael” to symbolize the extent to which we dutifully support this foreign country against all common sense. An interview with a representative of the Israeli government regarding this case was tense and combative, and the Israeli seemed to be arguing that journalists were legitimate targets as some sort of “terrorist supporters” or “terror propagandists.”

I was always taught that my country was the good guy. I was taught how we generally fought fair and square in World War 2. This made me so proud to be an American. I learned quite a few things since then that made me question that line. But this recent behavior of the Pentagon’s has made me lose all hope. I had thought we were above this sort of crap and that we believed in fighting fair at least out of a gentlemanly honor. Turns out I was wrong. While we do fight quite a bit more fairly than most other countries (and so do the Israelis), a lot of our behavior is scumbucket low down there with the worst Turd World shitholes.

Color me disenchanted. I am not so much an America-hater as a disappointed patriot gone sour.

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