Appeasing the Nazis? + They Might Be Giants: One More Parade

Dandelion Salad

Posted with permission by:

World Socialist Party (US)

May 16th, 2008

President Bush made the following comment today:

Bush gave a speech to Israel’s Knesset in which he spoke of the president of Iran, who has called for the destruction of the U.S. ally. Then, the president said: “Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along.”

“We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history,” Bush added.

Of course, Bush ignores how his grandfather, Prescott Bush, sat on the Board of Directors of the company which made the steel for the tanks – even as the US was at war with Germany:

The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen’s US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.

(Prescott) Bush was also on the board of at least one of the companies that formed part of a multinational network of front companies to allow Thyssen to move assets around the world.

Thyssen owned the largest steel and coal company in Germany and grew rich from Hitler’s efforts to re-arm between the two world wars. One of the pillars in Thyssen’s international corporate web, UBC, worked exclusively for, and was owned by, a Thyssen-controlled bank in the Netherlands. More tantalising are Bush’s links to the Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), based in mineral rich Silesia on the German-Polish border. During the war, the company made use of Nazi slave labour from the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. The ownership of CSSC changed hands several times in the 1930s, but documents from the US National Archive declassified last year link Bush to CSSC, although it is not clear if he and UBC were still involved in the company when Thyssen’s American assets were seized in 1942.

Prescott Bush actually sat on the Boards of three companies confiscated by the US government for trading with the enemy.

A report issued by the Office of Alien Property Custodian in 1942 stated of the companies that “since 1939, these (steel and mining) properties have been in possession of and have been operated by the German government and have undoubtedly been of considerable assistance to that country’s war effort”.

This all comes as no surprise to socialists – capitalists will do business with other capitalists, enemy or friend no matter what political label they are operating under: As one nazi hunter tells the Guardian:

Loftus stressed that what Prescott Bush was involved in was just what many other American and British businessmen were doing at the time…”You can’t blame Bush for what his grandfather did any more than you can blame Jack Kennedy for what his father did – bought Nazi stocks – but what is important is the cover-up, how it could have gone on so successfully for half a century, and does that have implications for us today?” he said.

“This was the mechanism by which Hitler was funded to come to power, this was the mechanism by which the Third Reich’s defence industry was re-armed, this was the mechanism by which Nazi profits were repatriated back to the American owners, this was the mechanism by which investigations into the financial laundering of the Third Reich were blunted,”

You can best believe that capitalists – from both the Democratic and Republican capitalist factions – are making profits trading with the so-called terrorist states, Iran, etc.

War is something for workers to believe in and fight. The WSP says don’t buy it.

For Capitalists, war is just another profit opportunity.


They Might Be Giants: One More Parade


added: July 19, 2006
Rather depressing view of how war affects everyone. Warning, rather graphic. They Might Be Giants perform a song by Phil Ochs.

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Bush defends grandfather: He only supported good Nazis (satire)

Countdown: Bush’s Speech + McCain’s Hypocrisy + Matthews: Appease This + Bushed!

Bush Addressing Israeli Parliament + Bush Compares Obama To Hitler Appeasers + Kerry & Biden

Obama Responds to Bush and McCain Foreign Policy Attacks

Bush Fulfills His Grandfather’s Dream By David Swanson

The Whitehouse Coup – The Dark Heart Of Fascism In The United States (must-listen audio link)

Whose War? by Cindy Sheehan

The Real Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Cindy Sheehan for Congress

May 18, 2008

“I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only
those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.”
—William Tecumseh Sherman

Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the US Constitution says that Congress has the enumerated power of “declaring war” and clause 12 says that Congress has the enumerated power to “raise and support armies.” Some argue that the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are not wars because Congress did not declare war in either case, but calling something a “war” or an “illegal occupation” is merely an exercise in semantics, because people are dying just like it’s a war.

Why, after all these years and all the proof that these military excursions were based on deliberately false information, does the US still have troops on the ground in the Middle East? Where does the responsibility lie in bringing our troops home? Which federal agency or branch of the government is now covered in the most gore? And whose war is it anyway?

Frankly, the why part of the question seems obvious. There is still money to be made by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). Cheney’s company Halliburton and the Oil-garchy are realizing enormous profits while ordinary citizens are paying a heavy price at the pump and for other consumer goods that rely on petroleum to be delivered to the stores. Oh, is that everything? I think it is. Blood is being poured into the bank accounts of the ruling elite while it is being drained out of our soldiers, families and communities.

There is no indication from the arrogantly evil Executive Branch (that has now been co-opted by the most corrupt and criminal administration in US history) that they are seeking an end to the obscene occupations. Their buddies are profiting and that’s good enough for them. While the Bush Crime Family planned a wedding for May, many families not of the Bush economic stratosphere or legendary ignominy, are planning funerals.

Instead of working overtime to see which party can exploit US troops better and harder than the other, (their pretend opposition and political playacting is exactly like watching pretend wrestling on TV where two “foes” spit epithets at each other and then fake-wrestle for a faker prize) Pelosi, et al, should be burning the midnight oil to craft a humane solution to the problem that has become the Democrats’ as much as the Republicans’. Instead of putting provisions for extended “timelines” or tying “guns and butter” (the very phrase makes me want to vomit at the sheer callousness), Pelosi must use her enumerated power to end these illegal occupations. It would be a lot less work to tell BushCo to use the money that has already been borrowed from China to start bringing our troops home (not redeploy to Iran or Pakistan) and if BushCo does not, and then it is truly a Republican conflict.

Iraq and Afghanistan are Democratic and Republican mistakes. To cater to “Blue Dog Dems” over the will of the American public, or to incredibly blame the people of Iraq for not having the guts to come to a peaceful political solution is abominable, but how does these occupations belong to “We the People?”

First of all, we allow “anti-war” groups like to set the dialogue and discourse. is not so much “anti-war” as they are “pro-Democrat.” Tactics that found outrageous under the Republican Congress, they find “frustrating” but understandable under Democratic leadership. The “anti-war” issue is non-partisan in its scope by the very name “anti-war.” The Democrats are responsible for every war in the last 108 years, excluding the two Bush wars and the Reagan Grenada farce. Democrats are responsible for dropping, not one, but two atomic bombs on the innocent citizens of Japan. Democrats deserve no slack, and should be given none.

Secondly, during elections the “anti-war” movement loses its focus and works for candidates that promise peace or change, but previous actions, votes, or rhetoric do not match the campaign rhetoric. From Obliteration to Redeployment to Hundred Years, none of the duopoly candidates are promising anything different than BushCo. After almost eight years of two-party collaboration that has undermined freedom, democracy, peace and prosperity, one would think that the US electorate would have developed some kind of sophistication regarding the throttlehold of sameness that the Republicrats or Demopublicans offer.

We have a clear choice instead of the “lesser of two evils” politics. There are at least two candidates for President that present a clear alternative to violence and corporate oppression: Cynthia McKinney (Green Party and Power to the People Party) and Ralph Nader (Ind.).

Do you want someone who is a smidgeon less evil at the helm of our country, or do you want someone who is committed to true peace and true mastery over the corporations and true environmental integrity?

The choice is yours. Stand up courageously and cast your vote for the person that more closely matches your ideologies and beatitudes, or hold your nose with one hand and push the button for one of the corporate tools with the other.

I personally know that war is a living hell that is constantly present and my pain can only begin to touch in a small way the misery of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our nation’s leaders who are misguided and led in the wrong direction of their master, the War Machine, have no idea, for the most part, of this devastation. They have no business being trusted with the public trust and 95% of them should be sent packing back to their homes if not imprisoned for war crimes. It is up to “We the People” to exercise our sovereignty to finally bring peace and prosperity back to “We the People.”

Whose war is it? It belongs to us all and it is up to us all to have a hand in ending it.

David Goodman: Standing Up to the Madness (video)

Dandelion Salad


Interview with David Goodman co-author of the book Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times.

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Grassing for Dollars by The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
May 18, 2008

“Crime doesn’t pay, but we do,” advertise police in Jacksonville, Florida. This and similar campaigns from coast to coast have created a new cottage industry for the downtrodden: turning in their friends, neighbors and even family members. As Sgt, Zachary Self, who answers Crime Stoppers calls in Macon, Georgia, and recognizes the voices of those who’ve phoned before, observed, “Two or three arrests per week, you could make $700, $750 … better than a minimum-wage job.” Continue reading

Chomsky on the collective responsibility of people for atrocities

Dandelion Salad

Noam on Myspace
by Noam Chomsky
May 17, 2008

This is from Zcom sustainers forum. …

Hi Noam,

In Hannah Arendt’s seminal work ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’ she discusses the need for Jews to accept some ‘responsibility’ for the rise of fascist antisemitism. I was wondering if you agree with this idea, and whether or not you believe this then needs to be extended to Palestinians.

…continued (no longer available)

Can Gordon Brown Survive? by Michael Faulkner

Dandelion Salad

by Michael Faulkner
May 18, 2008

New Labour is finished. No-one seriously believes that the project begun in the mid 1990s by Blair, Brown and a small group of like-minded “modernisers” in the Labour Party, has any future. What remains to be seen is whether it will be possible during the coming months and the next two years at most, to bring about the kind of changes in government policy necessary to restore sufficient confidence amongst former Labour supporters to secure victory in the next general election. There is little cause to be optimistic.

As I reported two weeks ago in this column, the Labour Party went down to its worst defeat in local government elections for more than forty years. The Tories captured the London mayoralty, enormously boosting confidence in their ability to defeat the government in a general election. A further test will come with next Thursday’s by-election in the parliamentary constituency of Crewe and Nantwich, in the northern county of Cheshire. The constituency was represented by the very popular MP Gwyneth Dunwoody, whose recent death occasioned the by-election. She was a Labour stalwart – a well known parliamentarian with a national reputation – who had a majority of over 7,000, making this a safe Labour seat. The Tories have not taken a seat from Labour in a by-election since 1982. The government is desperate to hold this constituency. They realise that if it falls to the Tories, it will all but seal Brown’s fate. The party has chosen as its candidate, Tamsin Dunwoody, the former MP’s daughter, in the hope that the name will work its magic on dispirited voters. A further sign of desperation is the resort to cheap trickery in the election campaign.

There is widespread anger amongst Labour’s core supporters over the abolition of the 10p tax rate. Apparently unable to assuage this on the doorstep, despite a hastily arranged mini-budget costing £25 billion designed to alleviate the impact of the 10p rate on the lowest income groups, the Labour campaign has sought to depict the Tory candidate (a wealthy businessman) as a “toff”, by dressing a couple of young male Labour supporters in top hats and tails to ridicule their opponent. Worse, they have attempted to play the anti-immigrant card by suggesting that the Tory candidate is opposed to “making foreign nationals carry I.D. cards.” There are many workers from Eastern Europe in Crewe, and, no doubt there is considerable resentment against them, particularly amongst working class voters. That the Labour Party should be exploiting these sentiments is a sign of the party’s desperation. I doubt that it will work in their favour. It is very likely that Crewe and Nantwich will fall to the Tories, and, if it does, it is difficult to see how the government can recover. It will put Gordon Brown in the same position as John Major prior to the 1997 election that saw the Tories swept from power. Should the election result turn out as I expect, one possible consequence could be a move in the party to replace Brown. But there is another aspect of the recent disintegration of New Labour that is worth considering.

In recent weeks several people who were prominent in and around Tony Blair have published – or are about to publish – their “memoirs”. To dignify these efforts with the title “autobiography” would be rather absurd. Here I need to make a confession: although I am an avid reader, particularly in the field of politics (including political biography), history and international relations, I have not read, nor do I intend to read, any of the books I am about to mention. I have read reviews of these books and lengthy extracts from them. That is quite sufficient to tell me all I need to know about them and their authors. Here I shall mention four of them and endeavour to explain why I consider the production of such “memoirs” to be symptomatic of the political malaise that grips New Labour, the government and much of British party politics at present.

A year or so ago Alasdair Campbell, Blair’s director of communications and spin doctor par excellence published his diaries. They were widely reviewed in the serious newspapers and from such reviews it was clear that they portrayed at the top of British politics a world of the most extraordinary shallowness; Campbell and Blair operated in a “laddish” environment characterised by arrogance, self congratulatory narcissism, and an almost brutish disdain for those who saw things differently. The book was supposed to have been a best seller, but it seems to have disappeared into thin air. Campbell made a great deal of money out of it.

More recently, Lord Levy, a former loyal Blairite and fund raiser for New Labour, has also written his memoirs. During Blair’s last few years in office, Levy became embroiled in a long running police investigation into possible illegalities in fundraising for the Labour election campaign – specifically, into whether or not peerages (seats in the second chamber – the House of Lords) had been promised to wealthy donors to party funds. The investigation was eventually dropped, but Levy apparently claims in his memoirs (a) that Gordon Brown as well as Blair, knew all about “cash for coronets”, and (b) when the heat was turned on Levy, Blair abandoned him to his fate. He is apparently a very bitter man and no longer plays tennis with the former prime minister or invites him to dinner.

John Prescott, former deputy prime minister, is also a former trade union leader. On achieving office under Blair, he abandoned all the trappings of his working class past (except his Liverpudlian accent) and became his leader’s staunchest champion. He has also written his memoirs in which he apparently expresses regret for cheating on his wife and confesses to being a sufferer from the over-eating disorder, bulimia. He also claims that Blair and Brown frequently engaged in screaming matches with each other – something already widely known.

Cherie Blair’s memoirs are about to be published. As with the other offerings, lengthy extracts have appeared in those newspapers that consider the “revelations” involved to be matters of serious political interest. Much has been made, for example, of the revelation by Mrs. Blair that she was so embarrassed at the thought of Her Majesty’s staff at Balmoral (where she and her husband were guests) discovering her contraceptive “devices” when they unpacked her bags, that she did not take them with her and as a result became unintentionally pregnant. Mrs Blair is a very successful barrister, with some knowledge of international law, but she prefers (in a recent interview about her memoirs) to avoid giving her opinion about whether the invasion of Iraq (which she fully supported) was illegal. She stood firmly behind her husband over the war, she said. She also claimed that she and her husband were both socialists.

Why, you may wonder, should we bother about such things? I think that the publication of these “memoirs”, with their authors’ and publishers’ claims to be offering serious insights into the workings of the political system, exposes the shallowness and absence of any serious progressive content in the New Labour project. The Labour Party has a long and chequered history going back more than a century. However one assesses its record, in and out of government, it cannot be denied that from its ranks have come some of the most able people in the history of British politics. Many of them made serious contributions to the theory and practice of social democracy in books, many of which have been forgotten, but which nevertheless made a serious impact in their time. The few I shall mention were, in the main well known politicians, mainly members of parliament, whose reputations were made primarily as parliamentarians and only secondarily as political theorists.

From the 1930s to the 1970s Labour politicians such as Clement Atlee, John Strachey, Stafford Cripps, Ellen Wilkinson, Konni Zilliacus, Harold Laski, Aneurin Bevan, Richard Crossman, Anthony Crosland, Tony Benn (now in his 80s) and Michael Foot (still alive, in his mid 90s) were just some of the outstanding figures whose role on the political stage, inside and outside parliament, helped to shape the Labour Party. They were all accomplished writers and, in their different ways, on both the right and left of the party, contributed to the social democratic discourse.

From the other side of the political divide, the dominant Conservative figures of the first half of the 20th Century, contributed in their histories and memoirs to the chronicle of the times. Notable amongst them are of course Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan. However one views their work and that of their Labour counterparts, they stand in stark contrast to the dominant political figures of today. The comparison says all we need to know about the debasement of political life presided over by New Labour.

Blair, before his departure from office, on being asked how he thought he might be remembered, replied “as a failed celebrity.” He, and so many of his cronies and acolytes, were fascinated by celebrity. The Labour Party’s social democratic heritage was deliberately obliterated. For Blair, the party became no more than a vehicle for his ambition. His ambition was not without political content. He and his supporters, including Brown, abandoned social democracy and the Keynesian tradition that underpinned it, for the neo-liberalism of the so-called free market. Dizzy with success after the 1997 election victory, the majority of the newly elected MPs were prepared to give Blair the benefit of the doubt and failed to see that he cared not a jot for the Labour Party. Most of them acquiesced in his humiliating embrace of George W. Bush and followed him into the illegal Iraq war.

Now, with the economic downturn upon us, life for millions is getting hard. The bubble of house price inflation has burst; fuel and food prices are rising fast. The middle classes are deserting New Labour in droves and turning to the Tories who offer them little different but now appear fresh and energetic where New Labour appears old and stale. But, most important, Labour’s core voters seem to be abandoning them too. The latest opinion polls put Labour on 23% – below the Liberal Democrats. This is their lowest rating since the collapse of the early 1930s – something that would have been unbelievable less than a year ago.

If Labour loses the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, as seems likely, there will be pressure amongst what remains of the rank and file of the party, and from the trade union movement which still funds the party, for a change of course. Brown is in denial about just how serious the crisis is. I think that the only hope for a change of course in a more progressive direction is a change of leadership. This might not be enough, but without it there is no hope.

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London’s Mayoral Election: It’s Johnson And It’s No Joke

Bush says he’s run a half-glassed Presidency (satire)


by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer

Robert’s blog post
May 18, 2008

NEW YORK – In an exclusive interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity, President Bush said that he has adhered to a positive philosophy which has shaped his Presidency. “Some people are optomicalists,” Bush told Hannity, “and some are poussumists, you know, who say the glass is half emptied. Now, me, I always think it’s half filled up. I am a half-glassed guy who has run a half-glassed Presidency. My phosophical approach is why bother to do something at all if you can’t do it half-glassed?”

The President continued,” I always look at the sunny side of the boulevard first and if there are no terrorists there then I bomb the other side of the road. What I don’t understand are all those negatory people,” Bush continued. “They say the economy is bad, Katrina is bad, losing jobs, houses and Constitutional rights is bad. They are just bad-saying America. Me, when something goes not right, I just have daddy or the Supreme Court fix it. Now why can’t these complainers do that? But they don’t, they just blamicate me for their trouble. I just ignore the people,” concluded Bush, “that wrongly accuse me of not caring about them.”

Biden: Bush Should Fire Rice and Gates

Dandelion Salad


During an interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos Joe Biden points out how hypocritical McCain’s statements on appeasement were, talks about what the alternatives are to not talking to enemies, points out all of the people that the Bush administration has negotiated with, and says if Bush really believes what he said about negotiating with Iran, then he should fire Condoleeza Rice and Bob Gates.

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Q&A: Zinn and Gendzier on US interventions (vids)

Dandelion Salad


United States Foreign Policy and Intervention in the Middle East.

Part of the Confronting Empire: Five Years of War in Iraq Lecture Series, Harvard Law School, March 17-19, 2008.

Professor Irene Gendzier
Professor Howard Zinn

Sponsored by
HLS Peace
HLS Justice for Palestine
Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal LeftRecorded and Edited by Charngchi Way (Chomskyan)

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