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Which German cities does this article in The Economist allege that Britain destroyed?

Which German cities does this article in The Economist allege that Britain destroyed?


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The Wikipedia article about the Nuremberg trials (section Criticism) contains the following text (source: 'The Nuremberg Judgment' editorial, ' The Economist (London), 5 October 1946, p. 532.; see also: J. McMillan, Five Men at Nuremberg, pp. 67, 173-174, 380, 414 f.; my emphasis):

Can the Americans who dropped the atom bomb and the British who destroyed the cities of western Germany plead 'not guilty' on this count?

What cities does the highlighted part refer to?

The only thing I could find was the bombing of Dresden conducted by the British and American Air Forces. But that's only one city and the quote speaks of several.

The Wikipedia article on the bombing of Dresden notes that some historians have argued that the raids constituted a war crime. Is this an example of what the article in The Economist is talking about?


Very short answer: It refers to all cities that were hit by the allied bombing campaign

Explanation:
As the Economist article is indeed quite succinct, it should be read with a bit more context, quote from question in bold:

The prosecution made no attempt to disprove this evidence; nevertheless, the judgment completely ignores it. Such silence unfortunately shows that the Nuremberg Tribunal is only within certain limits an independent judiciary. In ordinary criminal law it would certainly be a remarkable case if a judge, summing up on a charge of murder, were to avoid mentioning evidence on the part played by an accomplice in the murder because the evidence revealed that the judge himself had been that accomplice. That nobody thinks such reticence extraordinary in the case of Nuremberg merely demonstrates how far we still really are from anything that can be called a "reign of law" in international affairs. Both Britain and France are on record as having concurred in the expulsion of the Soviet Union from the League of Nations for its unprovoked attack on Finland in 1939; this verdict still stands and is not modified by anything which has happened since. In 1939 Moscow openly gloried in military cooperation with Germany for the destruction of Poland, "that ugly offspring of the Versailles Treaty," and Ribbentrop in his last plea quoted a cable of congratulation from Stalin as proof that the Soviet Union had not then regarded the war against Poland as an aggression. The contrast between 1939 and 1946 is indeed fantastic, and it is too much to expect that either historians in the future or Germans in the present will share in the current United Nations convention of not seeing it.

Nor should the Western world console itself that the Russians alone stand condemned at the bar of the Allies' own justice. Waging aggressive war is the chief count in the indictment, but it is not the only one. Among crimes against humanity stands the offence of the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations. Can the Americans who dropped the atom bomb and the British who destroyed the cities of Western Germany plead "not guilty" on this count? Crimes against humanity also include the mass expulsion of populations. Can the Anglo-Saxon leaders who at Potsdam condoned the expulsion of millions of Germans from their homes hold themselves completely innocent?

The result of the Nuremberg trial has been a well-deserved fate for a group of evil men whose terrible guilt has been thoroughly demonstrated for all time; yet the force of the condemnation is not unaffected by the fact that the nations sitting in judgment have so clearly proclaimed themselves exempt from the law which they have administered.

In that context it becomes clear that the article is about the sometimes incongruent concepts of justice and law, especially positive law.

In a war people die and people suffer. That this suffering should be reduced and be really kept to an absolute minimum was formally signed into international agreements before the Tribunal, before the war, and Germany was a signatory of those agreements.
One of the accusations the defendants had to face was that the positive law of these agreements proscribed to keep the killing confined to combatants and to try to spare civilians from the carnage. The Germans often did not do this, especially in the East. Whether with artillery or with bombings from planes; and of course not when the goal of an offensive was reached and the remaining inhabitants then simply lined up for a shooting, or worse. Hence this was a legitimate charge against them.

However, in the case of the allied bombing campaign one can legitimately argue that 1000 bombers over a city dropping their load lead regularly to the loss of lives of quite a substantial number of civilians, some of them even innocent insofar as they might have been not Nazis supporting the war but resistance members or just not that enthusiastic about being a master race killing the Jews and Slavs and conquering to dominate the rest of the world.

The quote therefore refers to all of the cities that the American and British bombs hit and especially those that were quite visibly burned to the ground in very large parts.

That Tribunal had quite a few problems. The tension between teaching a lesson, revenge and justice on the one side and on the other the necessary requirements for a legitimate trial that law can only reign if it is positive law and deals "justice for all". The question is: if Germans have to stand trial for "killing civilians", when and where will those allied be tried that - in some views - did just the same?

Arthur Harris was responsible for the switch from day-time bombing to night-time bombing. While precision targeting was difficult in the former case, its difficulty only increased during the night. To compensate for the loss of precision you have to increase the spread and number of bombs to try to ensure to even hit anything important. Targeting a garrison, an ammunitions factory, a railway hub may be a legitimate target under positive law. If you aim for that and miss and kill a civilian, that might still be legitimate under positive law. If you target just the whole city and accept in advance the collateral damage of a very large part of the civilian population, that seems to clearly contradict that positive law, if not in legalese words then at least in spirit. The terror bombing or "moral bombing" was used as justification for this switch that might have been relatively benign and out of necessity at the beginning.

In the beginning of the bomb war Germany targeted radar stations, airfields. Then one plane got lost, dropped a bomb over the city of London. Britain retaliated by bombing Berlin on a small scale. That enraged Mr Meier (Göring) and Hitler and the Battle of Britain switched to targeting factories in cities, and the cities themselves. Both sides could now claim "but they did it first". What 'first'? London and Berlin, Coventry and Dresden, the main observation is that both sides bombed cities of the enemy with either low precision to hit targets deemed legitimate in any case or with higher precision if the target is just the city and its inhabitants. Both sides killed a large part of the civilians in cities that were bombed.

Where to draw the line on that? It is wholly irrelevant to cite international agreements defined and signed in the decades after the tribunal that made things more clearly defined and explicitly illegal and a war crime.
The whole point in the Economist article is that on this account of targeting civilians both sides did comparable things but only side had to stand trial.

The article argues that the tribunal had its problems. Among them that in the mass of accusations some of the actions were not unique to the German side. To have faced less criticism and gain more legitimacy the tribunal would have needed a better preparation, a more tightly argued exposition and better explanations in some parts.
Given the line from the article: "Among crimes against humanity stands the offence of the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations": this accusation probably should not have been part of the tribunal from the start.

Or as found in another answer here:

What this meant in practice was that international humanitarian law offered no protection against the aerial bombardment of civilian areas in enemy territory during World War II. It could not be illegal!

Whether it violates Nulla poena sine lege and constitutes ex postfacto law

Robert A. Taft, at the time a U.S. Senator from Ohio, asserted that the Nuremberg Trials following World War II were based on ex post facto law because the Allies did not negotiate the London Charter, which defined crimes against humanity and created the International Military Tribunal, until well after the acts charged. Others, including the International Military Tribunal, argued that the London Charter merely restated and provided jurisdiction to prosecute offenses that were already made unlawful by the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the Covenant of the League of Nations, and the various Hague Conventions.

And yet, in the trial and for the trial it was defined as a crime. Morally it might be wrong in any case to bomb a city. Legally it was suddenly part of the trial. And only one party was prosecuted for what everyone did.

That 'things' judged as war crimes committed by Germans and other participants during the war were prosecuted is a good thing. That those committed by the allies were never prosecuted is a bad thing and stands out as an injustice.
This tu quoque argument raised by the defendants and the Economist is of course an informal fallacy, if used to exonerate the German side. There were quite a number of actions unique to the Germans.

In procedural terms, the statute largely adopted Anglo-Saxon legal tradition. Corresponding provisions on the rules of procedure in the statutes6 enabled the court to fall back on minutes of the prosecuting authority from the questioning of witnesses and informants (so-called affidavits). These persons did not have to be heard by the court itself. The judges could reject evidence if it seemed "insignificant" to them. Not only should these rules ensure the speedy conduct of the trials, but the accused should also be deprived of the opportunity to prolong the trial by accusing the Allies of war crimes as well. WP: Londoner Statut

Or to quote from the Wikipedia section of criticism relating to the trials:

Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Harlan Fiske Stone called the Nuremberg trials a fraud. "(Chief U.S. prosecutor) Jackson is away conducting his high-grade lynching party in Nuremberg,… I don't mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law. This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my old-fashioned ideas", Stone wrote.

Jackson, in a letter discussing the weaknesses of the trial, in October 1945 told U.S. President Harry S. Truman that the Allies themselves "have done or are doing some of the very things we are prosecuting the Germans for. The French are so violating the Geneva Convention in the treatment of prisoners of war that our command is taking back prisoners sent to them. We are prosecuting plunder and our Allies are practising it. We say aggressive war is a crime and one of our allies asserts sovereignty over the Baltic States based on no title except conquest.

The final judgement would not have been much different if the tribunal concentrated on those acts clearly agreed upon as illegal before they were committed. The final judgement would not have been much different if the tribunal concentrated on those acts that were unique in nature or in scale to the German side.

Or to rephrase the Economist: Among crimes against humanity stands the offence of the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations. The Americans who dropped the atom bomb and the Americans and British who destroyed the cities of Germany with indiscriminate bombing cannot plead "not guilty" on this count.


To be clear: The above does not even discuss a perceived "necessity" of bombing anything. It does not judge either side for using bombs or any attempt to justify how the war developed or what strategies were employed. It explains one sentence from a newspaper that criticises how the Nuremberg trials were conducted in one detail from the trials.


There was in fact a general Anglo-American bombing campaign against German cities late in the war which we (or at least I) don't often hear about. However, it was carried out within the Geneva Conventions of the day.

It should be noted here that the American part did exist too. The entire European bombing campaign was generally a coordinated effort, with Americans taking the daylight runs, and the UK taking the nighttime runs. I suspect the person in question left the Americans out of the second part of his counter-indictment only because he'd already felt like they were adequately included in the first part. This was not a "British" campaign, it was an Allied campaign.1 Any modern attempts to portray it as a wholly British activity seem quite suspect.

Not only was Dresden not alone, by the RAF's accounting it didn't even make the top 10 of most destroyed German cities. In order, those would be Bochum (83%), Mainz (80%), Hamburg (75%), Kassel (69%), Hagen (67%), Düsseldorf, Mannheim (both 64%), Cologne, Dessau (both 61%), Hanover, Bremen (both 60%). In terms of sheer area destroyed, Hamburg was far and away the "winner".

And yes, the historical record is that, while there were good practical effects on German weapon production, part of the intent of all this was terror.

Here's an excerpt from a declassified war dispatch from Sir Arthur Travers Harris, Chief of RAF Bomber Command during the period in question:

The ultimate aim of an attack on a town area is to break the morale of the population which occupies it. To ensure this, we must achieve two things: first, we must make the town physically uninhabitable and, secondly, we must make the people conscious of constant personal danger. The immediate aim, is therefore, twofold, namely, to produce (i) destruction and (ii) fear of death.

Here's a picture of what Cologne looked like in April of 1945.

None of this was really against the Hague Warfare Conventions of the day. The only serious practical restriction in place at the time was that you were supposed to try to avoid hitting things like hospitals and cathedrals2. Notice in the above photo of destruction that the Cathedral is still standing. That shows you they were in fact making an effort to follow the conventions. Deliberate indiscriminate attacks on civilians were not explicitly outlawed until 1977.

1 - I suppose you could argue Stalin's Russia wasn't directly participating, but he was certainly aware it was going on, and I have trouble seeing where he'd have been anything less than encouraging about it.

2 - This helps explain the odd line "Nobody steps on a Church in my town" from 1984's Ghostbusters. The people who wrote that movie were of an age where destroying a church was The Line for war crimes, but young enough to appreciate that this was a silly place to draw the line.


TL; DR*

  • The article is referring to all the German cities destroyed by the allied strategic bombing campaign.
  • Those bombings were not indiscriminate, but targeted (within the limitations of the technology of the day)
  • They were carried out in accordance with the legal framework (Geneva and Hague Conventions) that governed the conduct of war at that time.
  • The evidence actually suggests that Dresden was a legitimate military target, and that the bombing in February 1945 - while undoubtedly a terrible tragedy - was neither a war crime nor a crime against humanity.

The Question

Let's begin with the main question. The Economist article you cite is referring to the allied strategic bombing campaign.

The answer to your question:

What cities does the highlighted part refer to?

is straightforward: "pretty much all of them". There were few towns and cities in Germany that escaped unscathed from that campaign.


Now, it is worth reading that quote from that Economist article in context:

"Nor should the Western world console itself that the Russians alone stand condemned at the bar of the Allies' own justice. Waging aggressive war is the chief count in the indictment, but it is not the only one. Among crimes against humanity stands the offence of the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations. Can the Americans who dropped the atom bomb and the British who destroyed the cities of Western Germany plead "not guilty" on this count?"

Which begs the question, was the allied strategic bombing campaign really the

"… indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations"?


Were the bombing raids targeted or indiscriminate?

While there were some RAF units that trained for specific precision bombing raids (like 617 Squadron, for example), the practical limitations of the technology of the day made it almost impossible for most units to deliver anything like precission bombing.

By 1942, the RAF could use the Gee radio navigation system to locate German towns and cities. Pathfinder squadrons could fly ahead of the main force and attempt to mark targets within those towns and cities for the main bomber force.

However, bombs falling from 14,000 feet were subjected to buffeting by winds and air currents for a long period as they fell. The analogue computer bomb sights of the 1940s had no way to compensate for this problem. Add to this the problems of cloud cover over the target, enemy anti-aircraft fire, searchlights, night-fighters etc., and it is hardly surprising that most bombs actually missed their targets.

Since it was effectively impossible to consistently hit anything more precise than whole areas of cities, many of the bombs dropped by the allies did hit civilian areas. But we must recognise that the civilians in those areas were not the target of the missions.

However, planners in the Air Ministry were happy to take advantage of the collateral damage from these raids and its effect on the morale of those civilian populations. An Air Staff paper, dated 23 September 1941 had defined the aim of attacks on urban centres in the following terms:

“The ultimate aim of the attack on a town area is to break the morale of the population which occupies it. To ensure this we must achieve two things: first, we must make the town physically uninhabitable and, secondly, we must make the people conscious of constant personal danger. The immediate aim, is therefore, twofold, namely, to produce (i) destruction, and (ii) the fear of death.”

(Also quoted in an extract from the official account of Bomber Command by Arthur Harris, 1945 (National Archives Catalogue ref: AIR 16/487)

Thus the evidence shows that while the bombing was targeted, and not indiscriminate, the effects on civilian populations were recognised - and even welcomed - by military planners during the war.

So was this legal?


The legal position

The fundamental problem was that the treaties that governed th conduct of nations at war had simply failed to keep up with the technology of the day.

The first Geneva Convention was adopted on 22 August 1864. Future agreements and conventions built upon this beginning.

By 1939, the key treaties that governed the conduct of war were the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. Neither of these dealt with aerial warfare. (There had been an attempt in 1923 to forge an agreement for the Hague Rules of Air Warfare, but - for a number of reasons - this had failed.)

The result was that the only legal protection for towns and cities in 1939 was that given by the 1907 Hague Convention. Specifically

  • Article 23 prohibited the destruction or seizure of the enemy's property, "unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war".
  • Article 25 stated that "The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited".
  • Article 27 stated that: "In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes. It is the duty of the besieged to indicate the presence of such buildings or places by distinctive and visible signs, which shall be notified to the enemy beforehand."

(my emphasis)

And that was about it!

What this meant in practice was that international humanitarian law offered no protection against the aerial bombardment of civilian areas in enemy territory during World War II. It could not be illegal!

Your question explicitly mentions the example of Dresden, so I'd like to examine the evidence in a little more detail.


Dresden

Dresden is often cited as an example of an allied 'war crime'. As I explained above, it certainly couldn't be a war crime, as the laws governing aerial warfare and the aerial bombardment of cities simply didn't exist during the second world war. But was it a crime against humanity?

Did the raids on the City of Dresden on 13/15 February 1945 amount to the indiscriminate bombing of a civilian population?

]

"Dresden, partial view of the destroyed city center on the Elbe to the new town. In the center of Neumarkt and the ruins of the Frauenkirche." [Image source Wikimedia commons]

It is certainly true that Winston Churchill was troubled by the raid. There is no suggestion that he considered the raids to be either a war crime or a crime against humanity, but it is clear that he felt the raids undermined the allies claim to moral superiority over the axis powers. In a memorandum to the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of the Air Staff dated 28 March 1945, Churchill wrote:

"… The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing. I am of the opinion that military objectives must henceforward be more strictly studied in our own interests than that of the enemy."

Now, a cynic might reasonably make the observation that Churchill was a consumate politician who would have been aware of the contoversy that would surround the raids, and so would want to distance himself from them. Indeed, that may well actually be true. In any event, the bombing of Dresden did mark a turning-point in the allied strategic bombing offensive against Germany.

In recent years, some historians have gone further. Donald Bloxham, for example, argued that the bombing of Dresden actually constituted a war crime. Bloxham presented his case in Chapter 9 of Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden 1945().

His argument appears to have three main points at its core:

  1. Dresden was an historic city of little or no military importance.
  2. Insufficient efforts were made to protect the civilian population.
  3. The war was almost over, so the bombing was unnecessary anyway.

In fact, the first two questions were examined in some detail, first by an inquiry conducted at the behest of U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall, and later by the US Air Force Historical Division (USAFHD). The Marshall report analysed the circumstances of the raid, and stated the raid was justified by the available intelligence [Taylor, 2004, p196]. The U.S. Air Force Historical Division report similarly concluded that the raids were militarily necessary, and fully justified, based on the following points:

  • The raid had legitimate military ends, brought about by exigent military circumstances.
  • Military units and anti-aircraft defences were sufficiently close that it was not valid to consider the city "undefended."
  • The raid did not use extraordinary means but was comparable to other raids used against comparable targets.
  • The raid was carried out through the normal chain of command, pursuant to directives and agreements then in force.
  • The raid achieved the military objective, without excessive loss of civilian life.

So, considering the evidence, was Dresden really a city of no military importance?

In short, no. In his 2004 book, Dresden: Tuesday, 13 February 1945, Frederick Taylor observes that:

According to the 1944 handbook of the German Army High Command's Weapon Office, the city of Dresden contained 127 factories that had been assigned their own three-letter manufacturing codes by which they were always referred to (for example, Zeiss-Ikon = dpv; Sachsenwerk = edr; Universelle = akb)… An authority at the Dresden City Museum describes the handbook's code list as 'very incomplete', and it did not include smaller suppliers or workshops that were not assigned any codes. Dresden was ranked high among the Reich's wartime industrial centres.

  • [Taylor, Frederick, Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945, Harper Collins, 2004, p148]

The military equiment being manufactured in Dresden in February 1945 included parts for the V1 'Doodlebug' flying bomb and the EZ 42 gun-sight which was to be used on the Me 262 and the He 162 [Uziel, Daniel, Arming the Luftwaffe: The German Aviation Industry in World War II, McFarland, 2012, p256].

Indeed, the 1942 Dresdner Jahrbuch (Dresden Yearbook), quoted by Taylor in the book cited above made the point explicitly:

Anyone who knows Dresden only as a cultural city, with its immortal architectural monuments and unique landscape, would rightly be very surprised to be made aware of the extensive and versatile industrial activity, with all its varied ramifications, that make Dresden one of the foremost industrial locations in the Reich.

  • [ibid]

So it seems clear that these industrial plants were legitimate military targets.

Furthermore, Dresden was a vital link in the German rail network. In February 1945, 28 military transports a day passed through the city transporting troops ans tanks to the front line. These railway lines, and their associated transport infrastructure, also made Dresden a legitimate military target.

In addition, we know that Dresden had been designated as a defensive military strong-point against the Russian advance from the east by the German High Command. Once again, this would make the city a legitimate military target.

The anti-aircraft batteries in and around the city meant that it was not 'undefended'.

So there are good reasons to argue that the city was a legitimate military target. While the RAF and USAF might do their best to target only those areas of the city that were military objectives, the technology of the day meant that in practice much of the city would be destroyed.

But is it reasonable to argue that the war was almost over, so the bombing was actually unnecessary?

Well, certainly given 20/20 hindsight one might try to make that case (indeed, many have done just that). But in February 1945 I suspect that the situation would have appeared much less clear.

The allies had suffered significant casualties during the Battle of the Bulge which had ended just a few weeks earlier. German jet fighters like the Messerschmidt ME 262 remained a threat in the air, with the potential to change the balance of power in the battle for air superiority over Europe. V1 flying-bombs and V2 missiles were still falling on southern Britain and the areas of Europe liberated by the allies.

Viewed from that perspective, it might well have been far from obvious that the end of the war was imminent. Indeed, when seen from that perspective it would probably have been regarded as gross negligence not to have attacked a strategic target like Dresden, where the military objectives might significantly degrade the effectiveness of the German military machine, and in doing so, shorten the war.


Conclusion

So, going back to the article in The Economist and the question:

"Can the… British who destroyed the cities of Western Germany plead "not guilty" on this count?"

I think on the evidence presented here, the answer to that question would be "yes".


TL; DR - "Too long; Didn't read


Aside from Dresden, another German city that was essentially destroyed in a single series of air raids, and was likely an inspiration for the Economist comments, was Hamburg. Estimated deaths were around 40,000. The bombing of Hamburg was the first air raid that resulted in a firestorm: a fire so widespread and so large that it creates hurricane force winds that pull anything nearby into the fire. Firestorms are so intense that they suck the oxygen out of bomb shelters, so taking cover is not protection. Dresden also experienced a firestorm… much of the destruction of Dresden was the result not so much of the bombs, but the firestorm that resulted. In both Hamburg and Dresden, the fire burned itself out eventually, as a firestorm is essentially impossible to extinguish.

In the Pacific, Japanese cities were particularly vulnerable to fire attack, culminating in the single most destructive air raid on a city, the fire raid on Tokyo on March 9-10, 1945. 16 square miles of the city were destroyed (about four times the area destroyed by the atomic attack on Hiroshima), with death estimates between 100,000 and 130,000.

Area bombing of a city, rather than specifically targeting military and industrial areas, became a policy of the RAF, partially because the night bombing they favored was not particularly accurate. Later in the war, weapons production was scattered across many small cottage industry sized operations, so area bombing was the only practical way to attack those.

Given that a number of British cities had been bombed by Germany earlier in the war, and the V weapon attacks later in the war were very indiscriminate, there may have been a retribution aspect as well, although this was never codified as an official explanation.

Harris's stated reason for area bombing was to demoralize the population. Ironically, the British should have known that this goal wasn't achievable, for the simple reason that German bombing had not demoralized their population. If anything, the blitz made them angry.

Note also that towards the end of the war, the area bombing of German cities began to draw widespread criticism as unnecessary and uncivilized. After the war, Harris was was not awarded a peerage, which had been granted to all other officers of similar high rank, a snub that was attributed to the revulsion felt by the British public towards area bombing immediately after the war. Harris had been a primary proponent of area bombing during the war.

The Economist comments tend to reflect that sentiment.


Bombing of Dresden in World War II

The bombing of Dresden was a British-American aerial bombing attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, during World War II. In four raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city. [1] The bombing and the resulting firestorm destroyed more than 1,600 acres (6.5 km 2 ) of the city centre. [2] An estimated 22,700 [3] to 25,000 [4] people were killed. [a] Three more USAAF air raids followed, two occurring on 2 March aimed at the city's railway marshalling yard and one smaller raid on 17 April aimed at industrial areas.

  • Strategic targets destroyed
  • Heavy German casualties
  • Destruction of city centre
  • German troop movements impeded
  • 769 RAF Lancasterheavy bombers
  • 9 RAF Mosquito medium bombers
  • 527 USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers
  • 784 USAAF P-51 Mustang fighters

Immediate German propaganda claims following the attacks and postwar discussions [5] of whether the attacks were justified have led to the bombing becoming one of the moral causes célèbres of the war. [6] A 1953 United States Air Force report defended the operation as the justified bombing of a strategic target, which they noted was a major rail transport and communication centre, housing 110 factories and 50,000 workers in support of the German war effort. [7] Several researchers claim that not all of the communications infrastructure, such as the bridges, were targeted, nor were the extensive industrial areas outside the city centre. [8] Critics of the bombing have asserted that Dresden was a cultural landmark while downplaying its strategic significance, and claim that the attacks were indiscriminate area bombing and not proportionate to the military gains. [9] [10] [11] Some have claimed that the raid constituted a war crime. [12] Some, mostly in the German far-right, refer to the bombing as a mass murder, calling it "Dresden's Holocaust of bombs". [13] [14]

In the decades since the war, large variations in the claimed death toll have fuelled the controversy, though the numbers themselves are no longer a major point of contention among historians. In March 1945, the German government ordered its press to publish a falsified casualty figure of 200,000 for the Dresden raids, and death tolls as high as 500,000 have been claimed. [15] [16] [17] The city authorities at the time estimated up to 25,000 victims, a figure that subsequent investigations supported, including a 2010 study commissioned by the city council. [18] One of the main authors responsible for inflated figures being disseminated in the West was Holocaust denier David Irving, who subsequently announced that he had discovered that the documentation he had worked from had been forged, and the real figures supported the 25,000 number. [19]


Timeline of turmoil

It would be wrong to think nobody saw the crisis coming. Fisher’s prediction may well have been a riposte to a quite different (and remarkably accurate) prediction made by the investment adviser Roger Babson in early September 1929. Babson told the US National Business Conference that a crash was coming and that it would be a bad one. “Factories will shut down,” Babson predicted, “men will be thrown out of work.” Anticipating how the slump would feed on itself, he warned: “The vicious cycle will get in and the result will be a serious business depression.”

Cassandras are ignored until it is too late. And Babson, who had form as a pessimist, was duly ignored. The Dr Doom of the 2008 crisis, New York University’s Nouriel Roubini, suffered the same fate.

Migrant Mother, 1936, by Dorothea Lange. Photograph: GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

F Scott Fitzgerald described the Great Crash as the moment the jazz age dived to its death. It marked the passing of a first age of globalisation that had flourished in the decades before the first world war with free movements of capital, freedom and – to a lesser extent – goods. In the decade or so after the guns fell silent in 1918, policymakers had been trying to re-create what they saw as a golden period of liberalism. The Great Depression put paid to those plans, ushering in, instead, an era of isolationism, protectionism, aggressive nationalism and totalitarianism. There was no meaningful recovery until nations took up arms again in 1939.

In Britain, recovery was concentrated in the south of England and too weak to dent ingrained unemployment in the old industrial areas. The Jarrow march for jobs took place in 1936, seven years after the start of the crisis. It was a similar story in the US, where a recovery during Roosevelt’s first presidential term ended in a second mini-slump in 1937. Sir Winston Churchill, who lost a packet in the Crash, described the period 1914 to 1945 as the second 30 years’ war.

Only one other financial meltdown can compare to the Wall Street Crash for the length of its impact: the one that hit a climax with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Without the Great Depression, there would have been no New Deal and no Keynesian revolution in economics. Roosevelt might never have progressed beyond the New York governor’s mansion in Albany. Hitler, whose political star was on the wane by the late 1920s, would have been a historical footnote .

Similarly, without the long-lingering effects of the 2008 crash, there would have been no Brexit, Donald Trump would still be a New York City builder and Europe would not be quaking at the possibility of Marine Le Pen replacing François Hollande as French president.

Not since the 1930s have there been such acute fears of a populist backlash against the prevailing orthodoxy. As then, a prolonged period of poor economic performance has led to a political reaction that looks like feeding back into a desire for a different economic approach. The early 30s share with the mid-2010s a sense that the political establishment has lost the confidence of large numbers of voters, who have rejected “business as usual” and backed politicians they see as challenging the status quo.

Depression to Dust Bowl: a large cloud appears behind a truck travelling on Highway 59 in Colorado, May 1936. Photograph: PhotoQuest/Getty Images

Trump is not the first president to urge an America-first policy: Roosevelt was of a similar mind after he replaced Herbert Hoover in 1933. Nor is this the first time there has been such a wide gulf between Wall Street and the rest of the country. The loathing of the bankers in the 20s hardened into a desire for retribution in the 30s.

According to Lord Robert Skidelsky, biographer of John Maynard Keynes: “We got into the Great Depression for the same reason as in 2008: there was a great pile of debt, there was gambling on margin on the stock market, there was over-inflation of assets, and interest rates were too high to support a full employment level of investment.”

There are other similarities. The 20s had been good for owners of assets but not for workers. There had been a sharp increase in unemployment at the start of the decade and labour markets had not fully recovered by the time an even bigger slump began in 1929. But while employees saw their slice of the economic cake get smaller, for the rich and powerful, the Roaring Twenties were the best of times. In the US, the halving of the top rate of income tax to 32% meant more money for speculation in the stock and property markets. Share prices rose sixfold on Wall Street in the decade leading up to the Wall Street Crash.

Inequality was high and rising, and demand only maintained through a credit bubble. Unemployment between 1921 and 1929 averaged 8% in the US, 9% in Germany and 12% in Britain. Labour markets had never really recovered from a severe recession at the start of the 20s designed to stamp out a post-war inflationary boom.

Above all, in both periods global politics were in flux. From around 1890, the balance of power between the great European nations that had kept the peace for three quarters of a century after the battle of Waterloo in 1815 started to break down. The Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires were in decline before the first world war the US, Germany and Russia were on the rise.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page on Black Thursday. Photograph: Icon Communications/Getty

More importantly, Britain, which had been the linchpin of late 19th-century globalisation had been weakened by the first world war and was no longer able to provide the leadership role. America was not yet ready to take up the mantle.

Stephen King, senior economic adviser to HSBC and author of a forthcoming book on the crisis of globalisation, Grave New World, says: “There are similarities between now and the 1920 and 1930s in the sense that you had a declining superpower. Britain was declining then and the US is potentially declining now.”

King says that in the 20s, the idea of a world ruled by empires was crumbling. Eventually, the US did take on Britain’s role as the defender of western values, but not until the 40s, when it was pivotal in both defeating totalitarianism and in creating the economic and political institutions – the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank – that were designed to ensure the calamitous events of the 30s never happened again.

“There are severe doubts about whether the US is able or willing to play the role it played in the second half of the 20th century, and that’s worrisome because if the US is not playing it, who does? If nobody is prepared to play that role, the question is whether we are moving towards a more chaotic era.”


Education in Sweden and Finland: Our friends in the north

THE best schools in the world, it is generally agreed, are in Finland. In the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) studies, which compare 15-year-olds' reading, mathematics and science abilities in more than 50 countries, it routinely comes top. So politicians, academics, think-tankers and teachers from all over the world visit Finnish schools in the hope of discovering the magic ingredient. Journalists come too, and now it's my turn.

And since I'm coming this far north, I want to take in Sweden too. That social-democratic paradise has carried out school reforms that make free-market ideologues the world over weak at the knees. In the 1990s it opened its state-education system to private competition, allowing new schools to receive the same amount for each pupil as the state would have spent on that child.

Sweden is my first stop. My week starts with post-breakfast coffee with Widar Andersson, an ex-chairman of Sweden's Independent Schools Association. When the independent schools reforms were first mooted in 1991, he was a member of parliament for the Social Democrats, in one of their rare spells in opposition. “I think I was the only Social Democrat in favour of the reforms,” he tells me.

In 1994, when they came into force, he and two state-school teachers opened one of the very first independent schools. It was not the first time he took on the state: years earlier he and a few other social workers had set up a private company trying innovative ways to treat drug addicts. “I learned there must be other ways to do things than those the state has decided are right, especially in a country like Sweden where the state is so large,” he says.

Then I head to the education ministry. The minister is in budget negotiations, but his officials brief me on the new government's plans (a centre-right coalition is once more in power). Copying Finland seems to be the name of the game: more teacher training, and lots of special-needs teaching. It must be galling to live next door to the world's best schools, especially when to the rest of the world, the two countries look essentially identical.

Back in London, a Russian acquaintance who lived in Sweden for many years had offered me his explanation for the gap in school achievement between Finland and Sweden: Finland never did the 70s, he says, while the Swedes did it wholesale and are still stuck there. Swedish teachers can't even take a child's mobile phone away if he is using it during class, he fumes. Bertil Östberg, State Secretary to Jan Björklund, the education minister, laughs and agrees apparently the great mobile-phone-in-class scandal was an issue in a previous election campaign. “We will give teachers the right to confiscate mobile phones,” he assures me.

I hear that the 1970s orthodoxy—that competition and grades destroyed a child's motivation—means that Swedish children who are failing to learn can proceed right through compulsory school without anyone intervening or even noticing. If parents ask for a report, they can be given one—but it mustn't include anything that looks like a grade. I offer the sort of fatuity I imagine such documents include: “Helen has contributed nicely to classroom discussion”. It is acknowledged as a classic of the genre. The new government, I am told, will make grades and reports not only legal, but compulsory.

Next, a visit to Sodra Latin (South Latin), a popular and prestigious gymnasium (upper high school, for 16-19-year-olds). Education at this age is not compulsory, and although Sodra Latin is a state school, entry is highly competitive. It is particularly strong in music, with chamber and symphony orchestras, a jazz band and an excellent choir. The youngsters are clever and motivated. But, says the head teacher, it is the first time most have experienced competition, and many study late—the school is open till 10pm—and come in at weekends too.

I dine with Carl-Gustaf Stawström, the managing director of the Association of Independent Schools. He gives me a nice example of the way the market is providing choice and variety, as well as pressure for higher standards. His own daughter attends an independent gymnasium which crams most schooling into half-days. “If you want only to find problems, you see people who are trying to do things cheaply,” he says, “but she is a keen athlete and trains in the afternoons, so it suits her very well.”


Britain Threatens Humanity with Nuclear Winter Extinction Without Explaining Why It Foresees War

B oth before the First World War and before the Second World War, the world public basically simply watched the arms build up and other preparations for war. This lackadaisical blandly interested public attitude seems to be present again. Criminally insane investors in war openly race forward with the inventing and manufacturing of ever new and novel weapons of mass destruction, while planning and propagandizing a need for war. From time to time, spokespersons for their political, media and military lackeys discuss their prerogatives for war as if the rest of us didn’t matter a hoot.

LONDON — The U.K. has changed its defense policy which may enable it to use nuclear weapons in response to “emerging technologies.”

The country’s 111-page Integrated Defense Review, published Tuesday, included a subtle line on when the U.K. “reserves the right” to use nuclear weapons.

It says the U.K. could use nuclear weapons if other countries use “weapons of mass destruction” against it. Such weapons include “emerging technologies that could have a comparable impact” to chemical, biological weapons or other nuclear weapons.

So if the British feel or think they feel an attack of whatever sort, they have the right to cause the possible destruction of all life on the planet.

The U.K.’s nuclear program, known as Trident, was established in 1980. The Integrated Defense Review confirmed that the U.K. is allowing a self-imposed cap on its nuclear weapon stockpile to rise to 260, abandoning the previous cap of 225 warheads as well as the current reduction target of 180 by the mid-2020s.

A single Trident II submarine can inflict more death than all prior wars in history. Twenty-four missiles, launched while submerged, each with seventeen independently targeted, maneuverable nuclear warheads five times more powerful than the atom bomb that destroyed Nagasaki, can travel 5,000 nautical miles to strike within 300 feet of 408 predetermined targets. Nuclear winter might very well follow even if no other weapons are used.

No nation or individual should be permitted to possess the power to destroy the world. An imperative need is for an informed and active public to struggle for its right to survive.” —Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark

Is it not a crime to claim a right to endanger all life on Earth?

Is there no legal authority to sanction the UK and its officials involved in threatening Humanity - the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission, the IAEA, the WHO, the International Criminal Court? Is it not a crime to claim a right to endanger all life on Earth?

Shall we all ignore the fact that the officials of the United Kingdom claim Britain to be threatened by China, Russia and Iran without giving a reason for this claim, or what could possibly be a motive to attack Britain. And what simple-minded tough talk that leaves out mention of the incoming nuclear missiles that would be answering Britain’s Trident missiles.

By David Brennan, Newsweek, 3/16/21

Prime Minister Boris Johnson informed Parliament that the UK will now expand its nuclear arsenal.

“The 100 page report titled ‘Global Britain in a Competitive Age,’ is the product of an integrated review of security, defence and foreign policy designed to refocus British policy in the face of perceived threats from Russia, China, and other adversaries.”

Do Earthlings just sit around and merely listen to the officials of the former #1 genocidal colonial powered British Empire citing imaginary threats from Russia and China and calling them adversaries? Neither the Chinese nor Russians refer to Britain as an adversary. It is up to us observant bystanders to call a spade a spade, such braggadocio from an apparent bunch of jerks.

The same CNBC article seemed to report a British plan to return to world empire status?

Indo-Pacific tilt

The Integrated Defense Review also outlined a new “tilt” toward the Indo-Pacific region.

“By 2030, we will be deeply engaged in the Indo-Pacific as the European partner with the broadest, most integrated presence in support of mutually-beneficial trade, shared security and values,” the document reads.

It says the U.K. will push into the Indo-Pacific region partly in response to “geopolitical and geoeconomic shifts” including China’s global “power and assertiveness,” as well as the growing importance of the region to “global prosperity and security.”

The report references partnerships with countries including India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

UK seeks more influence in Indo-Pacific as 'moderating impact' on China.
By William James, Elizabeth Piper, Reuters,3/15/2021

Calling the Indo-Pacific “increasingly the geopolitical centre of the world”, the government highlighted a planned British aircraft carrier deployment to the region and said a previously postponed visit to India would go ahead in April.

The Chinese and Indians, representing two fifths of the population of planet Earth, have not forgotten the long British murderous military occupation of their lands. Does PM Boris Johnson imagine the rest of us have? “Push” back ‘into the Indo-pacific region.?’ We assume that those who wrote the Integrated Defence Review mean for Britain to ‘push back in’ Asia by riding on the coat tails of the American Empire’s killing machine similarly as it has in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Whew! Sad to see such preposterous tough guy war talk utterances go unanswered by our leading alternate media anti-imperialist journalists. This nonsensical boisterous almost childish posturing of grown men may be puerile, but they are curiously officials representing a nation with the sixth most powerful economy in the world, regardless that it be ever so dwarfed by that of China.

This author, awaited some response to the British announcement of its increasing its number of nuclear warheads, but to date, has not read any published response.

There is presently a renewed Western media frenzy over a hyped up demand for North Korea to give up its (defensive) nuclear weapons even after having been threatened by at least three US presidents with atomic attack (Truman, Eisenhower and Trump, who threatened nuclear annihilation), while Britain announces plans to increase its nuclear arsenal, claims a right to use nuclear weapons and at the same time calls for China to reduce its nuclear arsenal. (UK’s Johnson calls on China to reduce its nuclear arsenal as Britain commits to increasing its own, RT, 3/18/2021]

Cosmic insanity! A tiny nation of twenty-five million has its citizens of all ages punished with cruel economic sanctions by the United Nations because it finally has a few nuclear weapons as a deterrent, after having been threatened for years with nuclear destruction. Meanwhile officials of the government of the United States of America, which once destroyed every North Korea city and town with napalm and bombs before threatening to use atomic bombs, regularly discuss how and when it might use its tens of thousands of nuclear tipped missiles in wars without referring to what would happen to the Earth’s atmosphere.

It was the Americans, after dropping two atomic bombs on Japanese cities, who then targeted Soviet cities before the Russians got their own nuclear bombs and replied in kind. Yet, there is never even a polite request for Americans to destroy their vast nuclear arsenal of apocalyptic proportions!

Last, but not least, is it apropos to mention the probability that humankind can no longer afford to have so much of its financial and human resources used for weapons and wars, and still have enough to avert a cataclysm by climate change and the abysmal ongoing degradation of Mother Nature.

Jay Janson is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer has lived and worked on all continents in 67 countries articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India, Sweden and the US now resides in NYC First effort was a series of articles on deadly cultural pollution endangering seven areas of life emanating from Western corporate owned commercial media published in Hong Kong's Window Magazine 1993 Howard Zinn lent his name to various projects of his Global Research Information Clearing House Counter Currents, Kerala, India Minority Perspective, UK Einartysken, Sweden: Saker Vineyard, Germany Dissident Voice Ta Kung Pao Uruknet Voice of Detroit Mathaba Ethiopian Review Palestine Chronicle India Times MalaysiaSun China Daily South China Morning Post Come Home America CubaNews TurkishNews HistoryNews Network Vermont Citizen News have published his articles 300 of which are available at: click http://www.opednews.com/ author/author1723.html Weekly column, South China Morning Post, 1986-87 reviews for Ta Kung Bao article China Daily, 1989. Is coordinator of the Howard Zinn co-founded King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign: (King Condemned US Wars) http:// kingcondemneduswars.blogspot. com/ and website historian of the Ramsey Clark co-founded Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign http:// prosecuteuscrimesagainsthumani tynow.blogspot.com/ featuring a country by country history of US crimes and laws pertaining.

The Lies About World War II

In the aftermath of a war, history cannot be written. The losing side has no one to speak for it. Historians on the winning side are constrained by years of war propaganda that demonized the enemy while obscuring the crimes of the righteous victors. People want to enjoy and feel good about their victory, not learn that their side was responsible for the war or that the war could have been avoided except for the hidden agendas of their own leaders. Historians are also constrained by the unavailability of information. To hide mistakes, corruption, and crimes, governments lock up documents for decades. Memoirs of participants are not yet written. Diaries are lost or withheld from fear of retribution. It is expensive and time consuming to locate witnesses, especially those on the losing side, and to convince them to answer questions. Any account that challenges the “happy account” requires a great deal of confirmation from official documents, interviews, letters, diaries, and memoirs, and even that won’t be enough. For the history of World War II in Europe, these documents can be spread from New Zealand and Australia across Canada and the US through Great Britain and Europe and into Russia. A historian on the track of the truth faces long years of strenuous investigation and development of the acumen to judge and assimilate the evidence he uncovers into a truthful picture of what transpired. The truth is always immensely different from the victor’s war propaganda.

As I reported recently, Harry Elmer Barnes was the first American historian to provide a history of the first world war that was based on primary sources. His truthful account differed so substantially from the war propaganda that he was called every name in the book. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/05/09/the-lies-that-form-our-consciousness-and-false-historical-awareness/

Truth is seldom welcomed. David Irving, without any doubt the best historian of the European part of World War II, learned at his great expense that challenging myths does not go unpunished. Nevertheless, Irving persevered. If you want to escape from the lies about World War II that still direct our disastrous course, you only need to study two books by David Irving: Hitler’s War and the first volume of his Churchill biography, Churchill’s War: The Struggle for Power .

Irving is the historian who spent decades tracking down diaries, survivors, and demanding release of official documents. He is the historian who found the Rommel diary and Goebbles’ diaries, the historian who gained entry into the Soviet archives, and so on. He is familiar with more actual facts about the second world war than the rest of the historians combined. The famous British military historian, Sir John Keegan, wrote in the Times Literary Supplement: “Two books stand out from the vast literature of the Second World War: Chester Wilmot’s The Struggle for Europe, published in 1952, and David Irving’s Hitler’s War.

Despite many such accolades, today Irving is demonized and has to publish his own books.

I will avoid the story of how this came to be, but, yes, you guessed it, it was the Zionists. You simply cannot say anything that alters their propagandistic picture of history.

In what follows, I am going to present what is my impression from reading these two magisterial works. Irving himself is very scant on opinions. He only provides the facts from official documents, recorded intercepts, diaries, letters and interviews.

World War II was Churchill’s War, not Hitler’s war. Irving provides documented facts from which the reader cannot avoid this conclusion. Churchill got his war, for which he longed, because of the Versailles Treaty that stripped Germany of German territory and unjustly and irresponsibly imposed humiliation on Germany.

Hitler and Nationalist Socialist Germany (Nazi stands for National Socialist German Workers’ Party) are the most demonized entities in history. Any person who finds any good in Hitler or Germany is instantly demonized. The person becomes an outcast regardless of the facts. Irving is very much aware of this. Every time his factual account of Hitler starts to display a person too much different from the demonized image, Irving throws in some negative language about Hitler.

Similarly for Winston Churchill. Every time Irving’s factual account displays a person quite different from the worshiped icon, Irving throws in some appreciative language.

This is what a historian has to do to survive telling the truth.

To be clear, in what follows, I am merely reporting what seems to me to be the conclusion from the documented facts presented in these two works of scholarship. I am merely reporting what I understand Irving’s research to have established. You read the books and arrive at your own conclusion.

World War II was initiated by the British and French declaration of war on Germany, not by a surprise blitzkrieg from Germany. The utter rout and collapse of the British and French armies was the result of Britain declaring a war for which Britain was unprepared to fight and of the foolish French trapped by a treaty with the British, who quickly deserted their French ally, leaving France at Germany’s mercy.

Germany’s mercy was substantial. Hitler left a large part of France and the French colonies unoccupied and secure from war under a semi-independent government under Petain. For his service in protecting a semblance of French independence, Petain was sentenced to death by Charles de Gaulle after the war for collaboration with Germany, an unjust charge.

In Britain, Churchill was out of power. He figured a war would put him back in power. No Britisher could match Churchill’s rhetoric and orations. Or determination. Churchill desired power, and he wanted to reproduce the amazing military feats of his distinguished ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough, whose biography Churchill was writing and who defeated after years of military struggle France’s powerful Sun King, Louis XIV, the ruler of Europe.

In contrast to the British aristocrat, Hitler was a man of the people. He acted for the German people. The Versailles Treaty had dismembered Germany. Parts of Germany were confiscated and given to France, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. As Germany had not actually lost the war, being the occupiers of foreign territory when Germany agreed to a deceptive armistice, the loss of approximately 7 million German people to Poland and Czechoslovakia, where Germans were abused, was not considered a fair outcome.

Hitler’s program was to put Germany back together again. He succeeded without war until it came to Poland. Hitler’s demands were fair and realistic, but Churchill, financed by the Focus Group with Jewish money, put such pressure on British prime minister Chamberlain that Chamberlain intervened in the Polish-German negotiations and issued a British guarantee to the Polish military dictatorship should Poland refuse to release German territory and populations.

The British had no way of making good on the guarantee, but the Polish military dictatorship lacked the intelligence to realize that. Consequently, the Polish Dictatorship refused Germany’s request.

From this mistake of Chamberlain and the stupid Polish dictatorship, came the Ribbentrop/Molotov agreement that Germany and the Soviet Union would split Poland between themselves. When Hitler attacked Poland, Britain and the hapless French declared war on Germany because of the unenforceable British guarantee. But the British and French were careful not to declare war on the Soviet Union for occupying the eastern half of Poland.

Thus Britain was responsible for World War II, first by stupidly interfering in German/Polish negotiations, and second by declaring war on Germany.

Churchill was focused on war with Germany, which he intended for years preceding the war. But Hitler didn’t want any war with Britain or with France, and never intended to invade Britain. The invasion threat was a chimera conjured up by Churchill to unite England behind him. Hitler expressed his view that the British Empire was essential for order in the world, and that in its absence Europeans would lose their world supremacy. After Germany’s rout of the French and British armies, Hitler offered an extraordinarily generous peace to Britain. He said he wanted nothing from Britain but the return of Germany’s colonies. He committed the German military to the defense of the British Empire, and said he would reconstitute both Polish and Czech states and leave them to their own discretion. He told his associates that defeat of the British Empire would do nothing for Germany and everything for Bolshevik Russia and Japan.

Winston Churchill kept Hitler’s peace offers as secret as he could and succeeded in his efforts to block any peace. Churchill wanted war, largely it appears, for his own glory. Franklin Delano Roosevelt slyly encouraged Churchill in his war but without making any commitment in Britain’s behalf. Roosevelt knew that the war would achieve his own aim of bankrupting Britain and destroying the British Empire, and that the US dollar would inherit the powerful position from the British pound of being the world’s reserve currency. Once Churchill had trapped Britain in a war she could not win on her own, FDR began doling out bits of aid in exchange for extremely high prices—for example, 60 outdated and largely useless US destroyers for British naval bases in the Atlantic. FDR delayed Lend-Lease until desperate Britain had turned over $22,000 million of British gold plus $42 million in gold Britain had in South Africa. Then began the forced sell-off of British overseas investments. For example, the British-owned Viscose Company, which was worth $125 million in 1940 dollars, had no debts and held $40 million in government bonds, was sold to the House of Morgan for $37 million. It was such an act of thievery that the British eventually got about two-thirds of the company’s value to hand over to Washington in payment for war munitions. American aid was also “conditional on Britain dismantling the system of Imperial preference anchored in the Ottawa agreement of 1932.” For Cordell Hull, American aid was “a knife to open that oyster shell, the Empire.” Churchill saw it coming, but he was too far in to do anything but plead with FDR: It would be wrong, Churchill wrote to Roosevelt, if “Great Britain were to be divested of all saleable assets so that after the victory was won with our blood, civilization saved, and the time gained for the United States to be fully armed against all eventualities, we should stand stripped to the bone.”

A long essay could be written about how Roosevelt stripped Britain of her assets and world power. Irving writes that in an era of gangster statesmen, Churchill was not in Roosevelt’s league. The survival of the British Empire was not a priority for FDR. He regarded Churchill as a pushover—unreliable and drunk most of the time. Irving reports that FDR’s policy was to pay out just enough to give Churchill “the kind of support a rope gives a hanging man.” Roosevelt pursued “his subversion of the Empire throughout the war.” Eventually Churchill realized that Washington was at war with Britain more fiercely than was Hitler. The great irony was that Hitler had offered Churchill peace and the survival of the Empire. When it was too late, Churchill came to Hitler’s conclusion that the conflict with Germany was a “most unnecessary” war. Pat Buchanan sees it that way also. https://www.amazon.com/Churchill-Hitler-Unnecessary-War-Britain/dp/0307405168/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Pat+Buchanan&qid=1557709100&s=books&sr=1-3

Hitler forbade the bombing of civilian areas of British cities. It was Churchill who initiated this war crime, later emulated by the Americans. Churchill kept the British bombing of German civilians secret from the British people and worked to prevent Red Cross monitoring of air raids so no one would learn he was bombing civilian residential areas, not war production. The purpose of Churchill’s bombing—first incendiary bombs to set everything afire and then high explosives to prevent firefighters from controlling the blazes—was to provoke a German attack on London, which Churchill reckoned would bind the British people to him and create sympathy in the US for Britain that would help Churchill pull America into the war. One British raid murdered 50,000 people in Hamburg, and a subsequent attack on Hamburg netted 40,000 civilian deaths. Churchill also ordered that poison gas be added to the firebombing of German civilian residential areas and that Rome be bombed into ashes. The British Air Force refused both orders. At the very end of the war the British and Americans destroyed the beautiful baroque city of Dresden, burning and suffocating 100,000 people in the attack. After months of firebombing attacks on Germany, including Berlin, Hitler gave in to his generals and replied in kind. Churchill succeeded. The story became “the London Blitz,” not the British blitz of Germany.

Like Hitler in Germany, Churchill took over the direction of the war. He functioned more as a dictator who ignored the armed services than as a prime minister advised by the country’s military leaders. Both leaders might have been correct in their assessment of their commanding officers, but Hitler was a much better war strategist than Churchill, for whom nothing ever worked. To Churchill’s WW I Gallipoli misadventure was now added the introduction of British troops into Norway, Greece, Crete, Syria—all ridiculous decisions and failures—and the Dakar fiasco. Churchill also turned on the French, destroying the French fleet and lives of 1,600 French sailors because of his personal fear, unfounded, that Hitler would violate his treaty with the French and seize the fleet. Any one of these Churchillian mishaps could have resulted in a no confidence vote, but with Chamberlain and Halifax out of the way there was no alternative leadership. Indeed, the lack of leadership is the reason neither the cabinet nor the military could stand up to Churchill, a person of iron determination.

Hitler also was a person of iron determination, and he wore out both himself and Germany with his determination. He never wanted war with England and France. This was Churchill’s doing, not Hitler’s. Like Churchill, who had the British people behind him, Hitler had the German people behind him, because he stood for Germany and had reconstructed Germany from the rape and ruin of the Versailles Treaty. But Hitler, not an aristocrat like Churchill, but of low and ordinary origins, never had the loyalty of many of the aristocratic Prussian military officers, those with “von” before their name. He was afflicted with traitors in the Abwehr, his military intelligence, including its director, Adm. Canaris. On the Russian front in the final year, Hitler was betrayed by generals who opened avenues for the Russians into undefended Berlin.

Hitler’s worst mistakes were his alliance with Italy and his decision to invade Russia. He was also mistaken to let the British go at Dunkirk. He let them go because he did not want to ruin the chance for ending the war by humiliating the British by the loss of their entire army. But with Churchill there was no chance for peace. By not destroying the British army, Hitler boosted Churchill who turned the evacuation into British heroics that sustained the willingness to fight on.

It is unclear why Hitler invaded Russia. One possible reason is poor or intentionally deceptive information from the Abwehr on Russian military capability. Hitler later said to his associates that he never would have invaded if he had known of the enormous size of the Russian army and the extraordinary capability of the Soviets to produce tanks and aircraft. Some historians have concluded that the reason Hitler invaded Russia was that he concluded that the British would not agree to end the war because they expected Russia to enter the war on Britain’s side. Therefore, Hitler decided to foreclose that possibility by conquering Russia. A Russian has written that Hitler attacked because Stalin was preparing to attack Germany. Stalin did have considerable forces far forward, but It would make more sense for Stalin to wait until the West devoured itself in mutual bloodletting, step in afterwards and scoop it all up if he wanted. Or perhaps Stalin was positioning to occupy part of Eastern Europe in order to put more buffer between the Soviet Union and Germany.

Whatever the reason for the invasion, what defeated Hitler was the earliest Russian winter in 30 years. It stopped everything in its tracks before the well planned and succeeding encirclement could be completed. The harsh winter that immobilized the Germans gave Stalin time to recover.

Because of Hitler’s alliance with Mussolini, who lacked an effective fighting force, resources needed on the Russian front were twice drained off in order to rescue Italy. Because of Mussolini’s misadventures, Hitler had to drain troops, tanks, and air planes from the Russian invasion to rescue Italy in Greece and North Africa and to occupy Crete. Hitler made this mistake out of loyalty to Mussolini. Later in the war when Russian counterattacks were pushing the Germans out of Russia, Hitler had to divert precious military resources to rescue Mussolini from arrest and to occupy Italy to prevent her surrender. Germany simply lacked the manpower and military resources to fight on a 1,000 mile front in Russia, and also in Greece and North Africa, occupy part of France, and man defenses against a US/British invasion of Normandy and Italy.

The German Army was a magnificent fighting force, but it was overwhelmed by too many fronts, too little equipment, and careless communications. The Germans never caught on despite much evidence that the British could read their encryption. Thus, efforts to supply Rommel in North Africa were prevented by the British navy.

Irving never directly addresses in either book the Holocaust. He does document the massacre of many Jews, but the picture that emerges from the factual evidence is that the holocaust of Jewish people was different from the official Zionist story.

No German plans, or orders from Hitler, or from Himmler or anyone else have ever been found for an organized holocaust by gas and cremation of Jews. This is extraordinary as such a massive use of resources and transportation would have required massive organization, budgets and resources. What documents do show is Hitler’s plan to relocate European Jews to Madagascar after the war’s end. With the early success of the Russian invasion, this plan was changed to sending the European Jews to the Jewish Bolsheviks in the eastern part of Russia that Hitler was going to leave to Stalin. There are documented orders given by Hitler preventing massacres of Jews. Hitler said over and over that “the Jewish problem” would be settled after the war.

It seems that most of the massacres of Jews were committed by German political administrators of occupied territories in the east to whom Jews from Germany and France were sent for relocation. Instead of dealing with the inconvenience, some of the administrators lined them up and shot them into open trenches. Other Jews fell victim to the anger of Russian villagers who had long suffered under Jewish Bolshevik administrators.

The “death camps” were in fact work camps. Auschwitz, for example, today a Holocaust museum, was the site of Germany’s essential artificial rubber factory. Germany was desperate for a work force. A significant percentage of German war production labor had been released to the Army to fill the holes in German lines on the Russian front. War production sites, such as Auschwitz, had as a work force refugees displaced from their homes by war, Jews to be deported after war’s end, and anyone else who could be forced into work. Germany desperately needed whatever work force it could get.

Every camp had crematoriums. Their purpose was not to exterminate populations but to dispose of deaths from the scourge of typhus, natural deaths, and other diseases. Refugees were from all over, and they brought diseases and germs with them. The horrific photos of masses of skeleton-like dead bodies that are said to be evidence of organized extermination of Jews are in fact camp inmates who died from typhus and starvation in the last days of the war when Germany was disorganized and devoid of medicines and food for labor camps. The great noble Western victors themselves bombed the labor camps and contributed to the deaths of inmates.

The two books on which I have reported total 1,663 pages, and there are two more volumes of the Churchill biography. This massive, documented historical information seemed likely to pass into the Memory Hole as it is inconsistent with both the self-righteousness of the West and the human capital of court historians. The facts are too costly to be known. But historians have started adding to their own accounts the information uncovered by Irving. It takes a brave historian to praise him, but they can cite him and plagiarize him.

It is amazing how much power Zionists have gotten from the Holocaust. Norman Finkelstein calls it The Holocaust Industry. There is ample evidence that Jews along with many others suffered, but Zionists insist that it was an unique experience limited to Jews.

In his Introduction to Hitler’s War Irving reports that despite the widespread sales of his book, the initial praise from accomplished historians and the fact that the book was required reading at military academies from Sandhurst to West Point, “I have had my home smashed into by thugs, my family terrorized, my name smeared, my printers [publishers] firebombed, and myself arrested and deported by tiny, democratic Austria—an illegal act, their courts decided, for which the ministerial culprits were punished at the behest of disaffected academics and influential citizens [Zionists], in subsequent years, I was deported from Canada (in 1992), and refused entry to Australia, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa and other civilized countries around he world. Internationally affiliated groups circulated letters to librarians, pleading for this book to be taken off their shelves.”

So much for free thought and truth in the Western world. Nothing is so little regarded in the West as free thought, free expression, and truth. In the West explanations are controlled in order to advance the agendas of the ruling interest groups. As David Irving has learned, woe to anyone who gets in the way.


Primary Sources

(1) Report on Activities and Sales of Munition Companies (April, 1936)

Almost without exception, the American munitions companies investigated have at times resorted to such unusual approaches, questionable favors and commissions, and methods of 'doing the needful' as to constitute, in effect, a form of bribery of foreign governmental officials or of their close friends in order to secure business. These business methods carried within themselves the seeds of disturbance to the peace and stability of those nations in which they take place.

While the evidence before this committee does not show that wars have been started solely because of the activities of munitions makers and their agents, it is also true that wars rarely have one single cause, and the committee finds it to be against the peace of the world for selfishly interested organizations to be left free to goad and frighten nations into military activity.

(2) John T. Flynn, As We Go Marching (1944)

Fascism will come at the hands of perfectly authentic Americans who have been working to commit this country to the rule of the bureaucratic state interfering in the affairs of the states and cities taking part in the management of industry and finance and agriculture assuming the role of great national banker and investor, borrowing billions every year and spending them on all sorts of projects through which such a government can paralyze opposition and command public support marshalling great armies and navies at crushing costs to support the industry of war and preparation for war which will become our nation’s greatest industry and adding to all this the most romantic adventures in global planning, regeneration, and domination, all to be done under the authority of a powerfully centralized government in which the executive will hold in effect all the powers, with Congress reduced to the role of a debating society.

(3) John T. Flynn, The Road Ahead (1944)

Most people in this country believe that the American Communist Party and its dupes are the chief internal enemy of our economic system and our form of government. This is a serious mistake. The Communists are a traitorous bloc in our midst, but if every Communist in America were rounded up and liquidated, the greatest menace to our form of social organization would still be among us. This most dangerous enemy is the American counterpart of the British Fabian Socialist, who denies that he is a Socialist and operates behind a mask which he calls National Planning. Unless they are recognized for what they are, and are stopped, they will destroy this country."

(4) John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (1944)

First, and most important, was the NRA and its dynamic ringmaster, General Hugh Johnson. As I write, of course, Mussolini is an evil memory. But in 1933 he was a towering figure who was supposed to have discovered something worth study and imitation by all world artificers everywhere. Such eminent persons as Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler and Mr. Sol Bloom, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House, assured us he was a great man and had something we might well look into for imitation. What they liked particularly was his corporative system. He organized each trade or industrial group or professional group into a state supervised trade association. He called it a corporative. These corporatives operated under state supervision and could plan production, quality, prices, distribution, labor standards, etc. The NRA provided that in America each industry should be organized into a federally supervised trade association. It was not called a corporative. It was called a Code Authority. But it was essentially the same thing. These code authorities could regulate production, quantities, qualities, prices, distribution methods, etc., under the supervision of the NRA. This was fascism. The anti­trust laws forbade such organizations. Roosevelt had denounced Hoover for not enforcing these laws sufficiently. Now he suspended them and compelled men to combine.

(5) John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (1944)

Roosevelt was interested in bringing into American labor unions as many voters as possible and in capturing their leadership to be used to build up a powerful labor faction which could control the Democratic party and which he and his allies could control through the vast power of the government and the vast powers of the labor leaders, along with the immense financial resources that so great a labor movement would have. The Communists were interested in getting into key positions as union officers, statisticians, economists, etc., in order to utilize the apparatus of the unions to promote the cause of revolution. I think we have to be fair in saying at this point that neither Roosevelt nor Lewis realized the peril to which they were exposing both the unions and the country. This thing called revolutionary propaganda and activity is something of an art in itself. It has been developed to a high degree in Europe where revolutionary groups have been active for half a century and where Communist revolutionary groups have achieved such success during the past 25 years. It was, at this time of which I write, practically unknown to political and labor leaders in this country and is still unknown to the vast majority of political leaders. The time came when Lewis saw the gravity of the situation and faced it frankly and dealt with it immediately. But as we shall see, Roosevelt, through a combination of events and influences, fell deeper and deeper into the toils of various revolutionary operators, not because he was interested in revolution but because he was interested in votes.

For the time being, however, he capitalized heavily on the activities of the CIO. The CIO put up half a million dollars for Roosevelt's 1936 campaign and provided him with an immense group of active labor workers who played a large part in the sweeping victory he won at the polls. But among them now were a large number of Communists in positions of great power within the new union movement, some of them actually moving close to the center of power. This was the crack in the wall through which they entered. Their power was to grow and prosper.

(6) John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (1944)

The net result of all these various conferences and agreements was that our government put into Stalin's hands the means of seizing up a great slab of the continent of Europe, then stood aside while he took it and finally acquiesced in his conquests. We gave him the planes, tanks, motor transport, guns, oil and other supplies to the extent of over 11 billion dollars without which he would have been helpless. We withheld out attack on Fortress Europe against the advice of all our military leaders until the prize was almost in Stalin's grasp. Then in a series of conferences with him we yielded it all in return for his promise to come into the United Nations on terms which enabled him to wreck that as an instrument of settling any serious international dispute.

It will not do to say that all we yielded was eastern Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and parts of Rumania that as to Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, Stalin took these over by violating the agreement he made with us to hold free elections. Did Roosevelt really think Stalin would hold free elections when he agreed to let the Russian dictator conduct the elections ­ Stalin who had been exhibiting for years his ideas of "free elections" in Russia?

At the end of all this, Russia held in her hands a vast belt of land running from the Baltic sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south, comprising eleven nations with a population of 100 million people. These she held, not as parts of the Soviet Union, but as puppet states, presided over by Red Quislings of Stalin's own selection who represented him and not the people they governed, any more than Quisling represented the people of Norway.

(7) John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (1944)

Roosevelt did not restore our economic system. He did not construct a new one. He substituted an old one which lives upon permanent crises and an armament economy. And he did this not by a process of orderly architecture and building, but by a succession of blunders, moving one step at a time, in flight from one problem to another, until we are now arrived at that kind of state­supported economic system that will continue to devour a little at a time the private system until it disappears altogether.

He did not restore our political system to its full strength. One may like the shape into which he battered it, but it cannot be called a repair job. He changed our political system with two weapons ­ blank­check congressional appropriations and blank­check congressional legislation. In 1933, Congress abdicated much of its power when it put billions into his hands by a blanket appropriation to be spent at his sweet will and when it passed general laws, leaving it to him, through great government bureaus of his appointment, to fill in the details of legislation.

These two baleful mistakes gave him a power which he used ruthlessly. He used it to break down the power of Congress and concentrate it in the hands of the executive. The end of these two betrayals ­ the smashing of our economic system and the twisting of our political system ­ can only be the Planned Economic State, which, either in the form of Communism or Fascism, dominates the entire continent of Europe today. The capitalist system cannot live under these conditions. The capitalist system cannot survive a Planned Economy. Such an economy can be managed only by a dictatorial government capable of enforcing the directives it issues. The only result of our present system ­ unless we reverse the drift ­ must be the gradual extension of the fascist sector and the gradual disappearance of the system of free enterprise under a free representative government.

There are men who honestly defend this transformation. They at least are honest. They believe in the Planned Economy. They believe in the highly centralized government operated by a powerful executive. They do not say Roosevelt saved our system. They say he has given us a new one. That is logical. But no one can praise Roosevelt for doing this and then insist that he restored our traditional political and economic systems to their former vitality.

(8) Michele Flynn Stenehjem, An American First: John T. Flynn and the America First Committee (1976)

John Flynn and other America Firsters believed that government should regulate business by preventing monopolies and cartels from controlling large sectors of the economy. However, Flynn and his colleagues did not think that government itself should become a large economic power. This condition would restrict individual freedom, which was the essence of their definition of liberalism. Flynn and his colleagues rejected Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brand of liberalism, in which government entered the economic community as a large employer and customer.


Bankers Planned World Wars to Destroy Germany


By Henry Makow, Ph.D.

We study history because the secret forces that determined the past are still in charge. The past illuminates the present and the future.

In his book "Conjuring Hitler: How Britain and America Made the Third Reich", (2005) economic historian Guido Preparata demonstrates how the two World Wars essentially were traps designed by London-based central bankers to destroy Germany as a national entity.

As one diplomat said in 1914, "the web was spun and Germany entered it like a great buzzing fly." (24)

Later, the Bank of England created the conditions for Nazism and "devoted herself to supporting financially the Nazis and subsequently arming them to the teeth with the prospect of manipulating them." (xvi)

"This game of Anglo American supremacy came at the cost of approximately 70 million lives (two world wars) a holocaust whose nature is beyond words. Both conflicts were willed and set off by Britain. there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous
monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims." (xix)

By "fraternities" Preparata, should be referring to lodges. The Masonic "New World Order" is "British" imperialism repackaged. A small degenerate financial elite based in the City of London has always desired to colonize the world. As we have seen, these Illuminati bankers plan a third world war between political Zionism (i.e. Israel and the US) and Islam (i.e. Iran) designed to destroy both sides.

Germany never represented a threat, nor does Iran. The purpose of these wars is to destroy the nation state, slaughter the best of humanity, demoralize, dehumanize, and profit. The ultimate goal is a veiled world dictatorship by the central bankers.

Preparata, who has a Ph.D. in Economic History from Southern Cal and teaches at the University of Washington, is not familiar with the Masonic agenda. But he is honest and smart enough to bare its workings.

For example he says nearly all terrorism is state sponsored. "In general the art of terror entails (the state's) underground promotion of a fictitious grouping: say an 'ethnic army of liberation' or a radical militia. [and involving it in] Sabotage either against the state itself
or against the targeted enemy. In the first case, a variety of prearranged ends all congruent in point of social control and surveillance, is swiftly implemented. the evanescent Bin Laden and his lieutenants are from start to finish an invention of the CIA." (21)

The goal is war for its own sake. In the second half of the Nineteenth Century, the bankers built up Germany to rival England, in order to have a war. When Germany was not destroyed in 1914-1918, they built up the Weimar Republic. Weimar was entirely dependent on financial transfusions from the UK/US. The Wall Street Crash of 1929
partly was contrived to elect Hitler.

The bankers also used their Communist puppets as a "threat" to ensure that Hitler was elected as "a bulwark against Communism."

Meanwhile, "The attitude of the Communists toward Hitler's moderate opponents remained undeviatingly hostile and destructive. this aided the Nazis." (190)

Preparata is remarkably clear about the mechanics of the Second World War. IG Farben, the company that supplied Nazi Germany with its war machine was part of Standard Oil. In exchange for the world rights for the synthetic oil process (outside of Germany), in 1929 Standard Oil transferred $35 billion in stock to I.G. Farben. The two companies were also linked by patent and cartel agreements.

Here is a partial list of the proportion of Nazi war materiel supplied by I.G. Farben/Standard Oil: Synthetic rubber (100%) dyestuffs (100%) poison gas (95%) explosives (84%) gun powder (70%) aviation gas (46%) not to mention Zyklon B.

Preparata sheds light on many of the murkier aspects of inter-war history: the betrayal of the White Russians by the Allies the 1922 Rapalo Agreement where the future pugilists Russia and Germany actually trained in Blitzkrieg tactics together the careers of such shadowy operatives as Alexander Helphand (Parvus), Walter Rathenau, Trebitsch
Lincoln, Hjalmar Schacht, and General Kurt Von Schleicher, who finally tried in vain to stop Hitler.

Preparata reports that Montagu Norman (Governor of the Bank of England ,1920-1944) suffered "sudden fits of melancholy, seizures of despondency so unbearable that his nerves would snap. " He had a tendency to "over dramatize, beguile and bamboozle the whole world." (148)

Unfortunately, Preparata overlooks the most important and most mysterious figure of them all, Max Warburg.

Preparata thinks the Anglo Americans were motivated by a fear that Germany and Russia would unite against them. This was not the real concern. But even if the author doesn't see the big picture, he gets many details right.

CONCLUSION

The Nazis were created by the Illuminati to seduce and destroy Germany. See my "Illuminati Used Appeasement to Trick Hitler" and "Illuminati Bankers Hired Hitler to Start World War II"

A relatively small clique with power to create money holds mankind hostage. Unfortunately its agenda is to destroy and enslave humanity-using war and education/media as its principal instruments.

Therefore, when it comes to war, we can tune out the rhetoric. All wars are against humanity. They are systemic -- inherent in the organization of society and in the treason of its leadership. Certainly the next one will be aimed at the United States, in much the same way as Germany. The US already has entered the web like a "great buzzing fly."


The Great War’s Ominous Echoes

Oxford, England — Earlier this year, I was on holiday in Corsica and wandered into the church of a tiny hamlet in the hills where I found a memorial to the dead from World War I. Out of a population that can have been no more than 150, eight young men, bearing among them only three last names, had died in that conflict. Such lists can be found all over Europe, in great cities and in small villages. Similar memorials are spread around the globe, for the Great War, as it was known before 1940, also drew soldiers from Asia, Africa and North America.

World War I still haunts us, partly because of the sheer scale of the carnage — 10 million combatants killed and many more wounded. Countless civilians lost their lives, too, whether through military action, starvation or disease. Whole empires were destroyed and societies brutalized.

But there’s another reason the war continues to haunt us: we still cannot agree on why it happened. Was it caused by the overweening ambitions of some of the men in power at the time? Kaiser Wilhelm II and his ministers, for example, wanted a greater Germany with a global reach, so they challenged the naval supremacy of Britain. Or does the explanation lie in competing ideologies? National rivalries? Or in the sheer and seemingly unstoppable momentum of militarism? As an arms race accelerated, generals and admirals made plans that became ever more aggressive as well as rigid. Did that make an explosion inevitable?

Or would it never have happened had a random event in an Austro-Hungarian backwater not lit the fuse? In the second year of the conflagration that engulfed most of Europe, a bitter joke made the rounds: “Have you seen today’s headline? ‘Archduke Found Alive: War a Mistake.”’ That is the most dispiriting explanation of all — that the war was simply a blunder that could have been avoided.

The search for explanations began almost as soon as the guns opened fire in the summer of 1914 and has never stopped. The approaching centenary should make us reflect anew on our vulnerability to human error, sudden catastrophes, and sheer accident. History, in the saying attributed to Mark Twain, never repeats itself but it rhymes. We have good reason to glance over our shoulders even as we look ahead. If we cannot determine how one of the most momentous conflicts in history happened, how can we hope to avoid another such catastrophe in the future?

Though the era just before World War I, with its gas lighting and its horse-drawn carriages, seems very far-off, it is similar to ours — often unsettlingly so — in many ways. Globalization — which we tend to think of as a modern phenomenon, created by the spread of international businesses and investment, the growth of the Internet, and the widespread migration of peoples — was also characteristic of that era. Even remote parts of the world were being linked by new means of transportation, from railways to steamships, and communication, including the telephone, telegraph and wireless.

The decades leading up to 1914 were, as now, a period of dramatic shifts and upheavals, which those who experienced them thought of as unprecedented in speed and scale. New fields of commerce and manufacture were opening up, such as the rapidly expanding chemical and electrical industries. Einstein was developing his general theory of relativity radical new ideas like psychoanalysis were finding a following and the roots of the predatory ideologies of fascism and Soviet Communism were taking hold.

Globalization can have the paradoxical effect of fostering intense localism and nativism, frightening people into taking refuge in small like-minded groups. Globalization also makes possible the widespread transmission of radical ideologies and the bringing together of fanatics who will stop at nothing in their quest for the perfect society. In the period before World War I, anarchists and revolutionary Socialists across Europe and North America read the same works and had the same aim: to overthrow the existing social order. The young Serbs who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at Sarajevo were inspired by Nietzsche and Bakunin, just as their Russian and French counterparts were.

Terrorists from Calcutta to Buffalo imitated one another as they hurled bombs onto the floors of stock exchanges, blew up railway lines, and stabbed and shot those they saw as oppressors, whether the Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary or the president of the United States, William McKinley. Today, new technologies and social media platforms provide new rallying points for fanatics, enabling them to spread their messages to even wider audiences around the globe.

With our “war on terror,” we run the same risk of overestimating the power of a loose network of extremists, few in number. More dangerous may be our miscalculations about the significance of changes in warfare. A hundred years ago, most military planners and the civilian governments who watched from the sidelines got the nature of the coming war catastrophically wrong.

The great advances of Europe’s science and technology and the increasing output of its factories during its long period of peace had made going on the attack much more costly in casualties. The killing zone — the area that advancing soldiers had to cross in the face of deadly enemy fire — had expanded hugely, from 100 yards in the Napoleonic wars to over 1,000 yards by 1914. The rifles and machine guns they faced were firing faster and more accurately, and the artillery shells contained more devastating explosives. Soldiers attacking, no matter how brave, would suffer horrific losses, while defenders sat in the relative security of their trenches, behind sandbags and barbed wire.

A comparable mistake in our own time is the assumption that because of our advanced technology, we can deliver quick, focused and overpowering military actions — “surgical strikes” with drones and cruise missiles, “shock and awe” by carpet bombing and armored divisions — resulting in conflicts that will be short and limited in their impact, and victories that will be decisive. Increasingly, we are seeing asymmetrical wars between well-armed, organized forces on one side and low-level insurgencies on the other, which can spread across not just a region but a continent, or even the globe. Yet we are not seeing clear outcomes, partly because there is not one enemy but a shifting coalition of local warlords, religious warriors and other interested parties.

Think of Afghanistan or Syria, where local and international players are mingled and what constitutes victory is difficult to define. In such wars, those ordering military action must consider not just the combatants on the ground but the elusive yet critical factor of public opinion. Thanks to social media, every airstrike, artillery shell and cloud of poison gas that hits civilian targets is now filmed and tweeted around the world.

Globalization can heighten rivalries and fears between countries that one might otherwise expect to be friends. On the eve of World War I, Britain, the world’s greatest naval power, and Germany, the world’s greatest land power, were each other’s largest trading partners. British children played with toys, including lead soldiers, made in Germany, and the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden resounded with the voices of German singers performing German operas. But all that did not translate into friendship.

Quite the contrary. With Germany cutting into Britain’s traditional markets and vying with it for colonies and power, the British felt threatened. As early as 1896, a best-selling British pamphlet, “Made in Germany,” painted an ominous picture: “A gigantic commercial State is arising to menace our prosperity, and contend with us for the trade of the world.” Many Germans held reciprocal views. When Kaiser Wilhelm and his naval secretary Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz built a deepwater navy to challenge British naval supremacy, the unease in Britain about Germany’s growing commercial and military power turned into something close to panic.

It is tempting — and sobering — to compare today’s relationship between China and America to that between Germany and England a century ago. Lulling ourselves into a false sense of safety, we say that countries that have McDonald’s will never fight one another. Yet the extraordinary growth in trade and investment between China and the United States since the 1980s has not served to allay mutual suspicions. At a time when the two countries are competing for markets, resources and influence from the Caribbean to Central Asia, China has become increasingly ready to translate its economic strength into military power.

Increased Chinese military spending and the buildup of its naval capacity suggest to many American strategists that China intends to challenge the United States as a Pacific power, and we are now seeing an arms race between the countries in that region. The Wall Street Journal has published authoritative reports that the Pentagon is preparing war plans against China — just in case.

Before 1914, the great powers talked of their honor. Today, Secretary of State John Kerry refers to America’s credibility or prestige. It amounts to much the same thing.

Once lines are drawn between nations, reaching across them becomes difficult. In the Europe of 1914, the growth of nationalist feeling — encouraged from above but rising from the grass roots where historians, linguists and folklorists were busy creating stories of ancient and eternal enmities — did much to cause ill will among nations who might otherwise have been friends. What Freud called the “narcissism of small differences” can lead to violence and death — a danger amplified if the greater powers choose to intervene as protectors of groups outside their own borders who share a religious or ethnic identity with them. Here, too, we can see ominous parallels between present and past.

Before World War I, Serbia financed and armed Serbs within the Austrian Empire, while both Russia and Austria stirred up the peoples along each other’s borders. In our time, Saudi Arabia backs Sunnis, and Sunni-majority states, around the world, while Iran has made itself the protector of Shiites, funding radical movements such as Hezbollah. The Middle East today bears a worrying resemblance to the Balkans then. A similar mix of toxic nationalisms threatens to draw in outside powers as the United States, Turkey, Russia and Iran all look to protect their interests and their clients. We must hope that Russia will have more control over the Damascus government to compel it to the negotiating table than it had over Serbia in 1914.

Like our predecessors a century ago, we assume that all-out war is something we no longer do. The French Socialist leader Jean Jaurès, a man of great wisdom who tried unsuccessfully to stanch the rise of militarism in the early years of the 20th century, understood this well. “Europe has been afflicted by so many crises for so many years,” he said on the eve of World War I, and “it has been put dangerously to the test so many times without war breaking out, that it has almost ceased to believe in the threat and is watching the further development of the interminable Balkan conflict with decreased attention and reduced disquiet.”

With different leadership, World War I might have been avoided. Europe in 1914 needed a Bismarck or a Churchill with the strength of character to stand up to pressure and the capacity to see the larger strategic picture. Instead, the key powers had weak, divided or distracted leaders. Today, America’s president faces a series of politicians in China who, like those in Germany a century ago, are deeply concerned that their nation be taken seriously. In Vladimir V. Putin, President Obama must deal with a Russian nationalist who is both wilier and stronger than the unfortunate Czar Nicholas II.

Mr. Obama, like Woodrow Wilson, is a great orator, capable of laying out his vision of the world and inspiring Americans. But like Wilson at the end of the 1914-18 war, Mr. Obama is dealing with a partisan and uncooperative Congress. Perhaps even more worrying, he may be in a position similar to that of the British prime minister in 1914, Herbert Asquith — presiding over a country so divided internally that it is unwilling or unable to play an active and constructive role in the world.

The United States on the eve of 2014 is still the world’s strongest power, but it is not as powerful as it once was. It has suffered military setbacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has had difficulty finding allies that will stand by it, as the Syrian crisis demonstrates. Uncomfortably aware that they have few reliable friends and many potential enemies, the Americans are now considering a return to a more isolationist policy. Is America reaching the end of its tether, as Britain did before it?

It may take a moment of real danger to force the major powers of this new world order to come together in coalitions able and willing to act. Instead of muddling along from one crisis to another, now is the time to think again about those dreadful lessons of a century ago — in the hope that our leaders, with our encouragement, will think about how they can work together to build a stable international order.

Margaret MacMillan is warden of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and the author, most recently, of “The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914.” This article is adapted from The Brookings Essay, a series published by the Brookings Institution.


Britain Threatens Humanity with Nuclear Winter Extinction Without Explaining Why It Foresees War

UK's extravagant Trident sub, weapons to protect an insane and unjust global order. UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said a £31billion programme to build Successors will begin tomorrow, with the new vehicles replacing Vanguard submarines, pictured, that have been carrying Trident nuclear missiles since 1993. The threat of terminal nuclear war and the existence of a cancerous global plutocracy is the price humanity pays for its failure to get rid of capitalism.

B oth before the First World War and before the Second World War, the world public basically simply watched the arms build up and other preparations for war. This lackadaisical blandly interested public attitude seems to be present again. Criminally insane investors in war openly race forward with the inventing and manufacturing of ever new and novel weapons of mass destruction, while planning and propagandizing a need for war. From time to time, spokespersons for their political, media and military lackeys discuss their prerogatives for war as if the rest of us didn’t matter a hoot.

LONDON — The U.K. has changed its defense policy which may enable it to use nuclear weapons in response to “emerging technologies.”

The country’s 111-page Integrated Defense Review, published Tuesday, included a subtle line on when the U.K. “reserves the right” to use nuclear weapons.

It says the U.K. could use nuclear weapons if other countries use “weapons of mass destruction” against it. Such weapons include “emerging technologies that could have a comparable impact” to chemical, biological weapons or other nuclear weapons.

So if the British feel or think they feel an attack of whatever sort, they have the right to cause the possible destruction of all life on the planet.

The U.K.’s nuclear program, known as Trident, was established in 1980. The Integrated Defense Review confirmed that the U.K. is allowing a self-imposed cap on its nuclear weapon stockpile to rise to 260, abandoning the previous cap of 225 warheads as well as the current reduction target of 180 by the mid-2020s.

HMS Vigilant.
This Trident Submarine is a Nuclear powered vessel contributing to NATO's nuclear "deterrent" --read: aggression. It is an advanced, high speed, long endurance underwater sub. These displace over 16 thousand tonnes and offer spacious accommodation on three decks. These carry up to 16 missiles each carrying 12 warheads.

A single Trident II submarine can inflict more death than all prior wars in history. Twenty-four missiles, launched while submerged, each with seventeen independently targeted, maneuverable nuclear warheads five times more powerful than the atom bomb that destroyed Nagasaki, can travel 5,000 nautical miles to strike within 300 feet of 408 predetermined targets. Nuclear winter might very well follow even if no other weapons are used.

No nation or individual should be permitted to possess the power to destroy the world. An imperative need is for an informed and active public to struggle for its right to survive.” Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark

Is it not a crime to claim a right to endanger all life on Earth?

Is there no legal authority to sanction the UK and its officials involved in threatening Humanity - the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission, the IAEA, the WHO, the international Criminal Court? Is it not a crime to claim a right to endanger all life on Earth?

Shall we all ignore the fact that the officials of the United Kingdom claim Britain to be threatened by China, Russia and Iran without giving a reason for this claim, or what could possibly be a motive to attack Britain. And what simple-minded tough talk that leaves out mention of the incoming nuclear missiles that would be answering Britain’s Trident missiles.

U.K. Changes Nuclear Strike Rules Over Cyber, Chemical and Bioweapon Attacks

By David Brennan, Newsweek, 3/16/21

Prime Minister Boris Johnson informed Parliament that the UK will now expand its nuclear arsenal.

“The 100 page report titled ‘Global Britain in a Competitive Age,’ is the product of an integrated review of security, defence and foreign policy designed to refocus British policy in the face of perceived threats from Russia, China, and other adversaries.”

Do Earthlings just sit around and merely listen to the officials of the former #1 genocidal colonial powered British Empire citing imaginary threats from Russia and China and calling them adversaries? Neither the Chinese nor Russians refer to Britain as an adversary. It is up to us observant bystanders to call a spade a spade, such braggadocio from a apparent bunch of jerks.

The same CNBC article seemed to report a British plan to return to world empire status?

The Integrated Defense Review also outlined a new “tilt” toward the Indo-Pacific region.

“By 2030, we will be deeply engaged in the Indo-Pacific as the European partner with the broadest, most integrated presence in support of mutually-beneficial trade, shared security and values,” the document reads.

It says the U.K. will the push into the Indo-Pacific region partly in response to “geopolitical and geoeconomic shifts” including China’s global “power and assertiveness,” as well as the growing importance of the region to “global prosperity and security.”

The report references partnerships with countries including India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

UK seeks more influence in Indo-Pacific as 'moderating impact' on China.

By William James, Elizabeth Piper, Reuters,3/15/2021

Calling the Indo-Pacific “increasingly the geopolitical centre of the world”, the government highlighted a planned British aircraft carrier deployment to the region and said a previously postponed visit to India would go ahead in April.

The Chinese and Indians, representing two fifths of the population of planet Earth, have not forgotten the long British murderous military occupation of their lands. Does PM Boris Johnson imagine the rest of us have? “Push” back ‘into the Indo-pacific region.?’ We assume that those who wrote the Integrated Defence Review mean for Britain to ‘push back in’ Asia by riding on the coattails of the American Empire’s killing machine similarly as it has in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Whew! Sad to see such preposterous tough guy war talk utterances go unanswered by our leading alternate media anti-imperialist journalists. This nonsensical boisterous almost childish posturing of grown men may be puerile, but they are curiously officials representing a nation with the sixth most powerful economy in the world, regardless that it be ever so dwarfed by that of China.

This author, awaited some response to the British announcement of its increasing its number of nuclear warheads, but to date, has not read any published response.

There is presently a renewed Western media frenzy over a hyped up demand for North Korea to give up its (defensive) nuclear weapons even after having been threatened by at least three US presidents with atomic attack (Truman, Eisenhower and Trump), who threatened nuclear annihilation. while Britain announces plans to increase its nuclear arsenal, claims a right to use nuclear weapons and at the same time calls for China to reduce its nuclear arsenal. (UK’s Johnson calls on China to reduce its nuclear arsenal as Britain commits to increasing its own, RT, 3/18/2021]

Cosmic insanity! A tiny nation of twenty-five million has its citizens of all ages punished with cruel economic sanctions by the United Nations because it finally has a few nuclear weapons as a deterrent, after having been threatened for years with nuclear destruction. Meanwhile officials of the government of the United States of Americans, which once destroyed every North Korea city and town with napalm and bombs before threatening to use atomic bombs, regularly discuss how and when it might use its tens of thousands of nuclear tipped missiles in wars without referring to what would happen to the Earth’s atmosphere.

It was the Americans, after dropping two atomic bombs on Japanese cities, who then targeted Soviet cities before the Russians got their own nuclear bombs and replied in kind. Yet, there is never even a polite request for Americans to destroy their vast nuclear arsenal of apocalyptic proportions!

Last, but not least, is it apropos to mention the probability that humankind can no longer afford to have so much of its financial and human resources used for weapons and wars, and still have enough to avert a cataclysm by climate change and the abysmal ongoing degradation of Mother Nature.

Jay Janson is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer has lived and worked on all continents in 67 countries articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India, Sweden and the US now resides in NYC First effort was a series of articles on deadly cultural pollution endangering seven areas of life emanating from Western corporate owned commercial media published in Hong Kong's Window Magazine 1993 Howard Zinn lent his name to various projects of his Global Research Information Clearing House Counter Currents, Kerala, India Minority Perspective, UK Einartysken, Sweden: Saker Vineyard, Germany Dissident Voice Ta Kung Pao Uruknet Voice of Detroit Mathaba Ethiopian Review Palestine Chronicle India Times MalaysiaSun China Daily South China Morning Post Come Home America CubaNews TurkishNews HistoryNews Network Vermont Citizen News have published his articles 300 of which are available at: http://www.opednews.com/author/author1723.html Weekly column, South China Morning Post, 1986-87 reviews for Ta Kung Bao article China Daily, 1989. Is coordinator of the Howard Zinn co-founded King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign: (King Condemned US Wars) http://kingcondemneduswars.blogspot.com/ and website historian of the Ramsey Clark co-founded Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign http://prosecuteuscrimesagainsthumanitynow.blogspot.com/ featuring a country by country history of US crimes and laws pertaining.

^5000The mainstream imperialist media lie CONSTANTLY. Literally 24/7. And it's getting worse.

All of them do it: radio, tv, the newspapers, the movies. The internet. No exceptions.

The corporate Big Lie is pervasive and totalitarian. CBS does it. NBC does it. ABC does it.

CNN does it. FOX does it. NPR does it. And of course the NYTimes and WaPo do it.

Thousands of "diverse" voices telling you the same lies. Enough to convince anyone.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of The Greanville Post

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