After decades of delaying, the United Nations finally released archives from the Second World War-era war crimes commission investigating the Nazi Holocaust. The source of those archives on Nazi war crimes were Western governments, including those in exile at the time of the war, such as the Belgian, Polish and Czechoslovakian. The time period covered is 1943-1949. Washington and London had long sought to halt the release. Why?
In this episode of Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges continues his discussion with Holocaust survivor Lola Mozes. Lola describes her time in Auschwitz, and reflects on the importance of love in overcoming evil and leading a life that is not crippled by hate.
Norman Finkelstein and Paul Jay discuss a full page ad in the NYT that says Israel is condemned by liberals for human rights violations while it defends gay rights, and less is said about the persecution of gays by Iran, Hamas and ISIS
I was in the Swiss village of Begnins outside Geneva shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. I spent three days there with Axel von dem Bussche, a former Wehrmacht major, holder of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross for extreme battlefield bravery, three times wounded in World War II, and the last surviving member of the inner circle of German army officers who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
I was reminded of my visit with von dem Bussche, whom I was interviewing for The Dallas Morning News, by the 70th anniversary of the execution of five Munich University students and their philosophy professor who were members of the White Rose resistance movement in Nazi Germany. Continue reading →
The Split: Differences over Israel tear apart a Jewish marriage
From the Book RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway
Published by Trine Day
Stan and Hannah Cooper are friends of mine from college days. Both are Jewish, but they have diametrically opposed views about Israel, and their differences have become so bitter that they’ve decided to divorce. As the three of us talked about this, it became clear that their dispute is a microcosm of the conflict that is tearing the Jewish community apart and also destroying lives in an increasingly large part of the world.
The greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.
“There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people. Despite the great wrong that has been done us, we must strive for a just and lasting compromise with the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”
Einstein was opposed from the start to the setting up of a Jewish state and to mass emigration into Palestine. He was also one of the signatories to an Open Letter to the New York Times in 1948 denouncing the terrorist activities of Menachem Begin and the massacre carried out in the Arab village of Deir Yassin.
What you need to succeed is sincerity, and if you can fake sincerity you’ve got it made. (Old Hollywood axiom)
“A few months ago I told the American people that I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that is true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.” — President Ronald Reagan, 1987 1
On April 23, speaking at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, President Barack Obama told his assembled audience that as president “I’ve done my utmost … to prevent and end atrocities”.
“I would not deny that the pilotless plane, flying bomb, or whatever its correct name may be, is an exceptionally unpleasant thing, because, unlike most other projectiles, it gives you time to think. What is your first reaction when you hear that droning, zooming noise? Inevitably, it is a hope that the noise won’t stop. You want to hear the bomb pass safely overhead and die away into the distance …”
–George Orwell in 1944 describing the terror of V-2 rockets
It has become almost passé to make comparisons to the old Nazi regime anymore because the analogy has become so overused and abused. Continue reading →
The crime of making Americans aware of their own history
Is history getting too close for comfort for the fragile little American heart and mind? Their schools and their favorite media have done an excellent job of keeping them ignorant of what their favorite country has done to the rest of the world, but lately some discomforting points of view have managed to find their way into this well-defended American consciousness.
Empires communicate in two languages. One language is expressed in imperatives. It is the language of command and force. This militarized language disdains human life and celebrates hypermasculinity. It demands. It makes no attempt to justify the flagrant theft of natural resources and wealth or the use of indiscriminate violence. When families are gunned down at a checkpoint in Iraq they are referred to as having been “lit up.” So it goes. The other language of empire is softer. It employs the vocabulary of ideals and lofty goals and insists that the power of empire is noble and benevolent. The language of beneficence is used to speak to those outside the centers of death and pillage, those who have not yet been totally broken, those who still must be seduced to hand over power to predators. The road traveled to total disempowerment, however, ends at the same place. It is the language used to get there that is different.
many millions have been displaced, evacuated, stranded or lost their homes; numerous roads, schools and health clinics destroyed
hundreds of villages washed away
millions of livestock have perished; for the rural poor something akin to a Western stock market crash that wipes out years of savings
countless farms decimated, including critical crops like corn; officials say the damage is in the hundreds of millions of dollars and it does not appear that Pakistan will recover within the next few years
infectious diseases are rising sharply
airplanes of the United States of America have flown over Pakistan and dropped bombs on dozens of occasions 1