All posts filed under: historical perspectives

World War I: An Illustrated Guide to Propaganda

Terje Maloy These stories are not unique cases from a remote war. The same methods are constantly rinsed and repeated, the mentality in our ruling elites is the same, and the risk of a major conflict is as great today as in 1914. These examples concentrate mostly on British/American perception management and propaganda. First of all, because they are masters of the art, and secondly, as victors they still dominate the narrative. ARTHUR PONSONBY AND FALSEHOOD IN WARTIME After the Great War came a huge backlash of disillusion and revulsion. Calmly analysed, most of what had been told in the war turned out to be lies and half-truths. “Falsehood in War-time, Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations During the Great War” was the title of a book published in 1928. Written by Arthur, Ponsonby, it discussed 20 instances of lies in wartime. The contents of the book can be summed up in the Ten Commandments of War Propaganda: We do not want war. The opposite party alone is guilty of war. The enemy is the face of …

Armistice Day & the Resurrection of the Old Lie

In a profoundly dishonest society, the shared grief of World War I is one of the few things we all know the truth of. One of the few things we are all honest about. Because it’s important. Because it’s a wound too deep to ignore, a betrayal too lasting to be forgiven.

The Great War was sold to the British public as a just war. Men were sent over to France and Belgium to curb “German aggression and Imperial ambitions”. Every generation since has known that to be an absurd lie.

That lesson could be vital to our survival.

Upside Down Mark Twain

Philip Farruggio Mark Twain AKA Samuel Clemens ( 1835-1910) best known for his literary works like Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, was also a man with deep rooted empathy for any underclass containing people of color. Few readers of his works realize that he was also a staunch opponent of imperialism, having been president of the Anti Imperialist League from 1901 to his death in 1910. Twain wrote about the treatment of the Chinese in San Francisco during the Civil War when he was a newspaper reporter. In 1865 he astonished many passersby, even those who fought for the abolition of slavery years earlier, when he chose to walk arm in arm through the San Francisco streets with the editor of the recently established Afro American newspaper, the Elevator. Of course, one of his most famous quotes was on his definition of politics: “To protect us from the crooks and scoundrels”. He also said something that resonates so strongly today: Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting …

NATO’s Nazi Beginnings

by Robert S. Rodvik, 21 June 2012, VoltaireNet Who gave NATO the right to rule the world? This author elucidates how the Western elite, many of whom were Hitler supporters, rescued a vast number of Nazi hierarchy and placed them in positions to continue the many decades long fight against Russia. The One Percent of the time and the One Percent of today have sent millions to their deaths in formulating and enacting Winston Churchill’s 1918 pledge to “strangle at its birth” the Bolshevik menace. Total control of the so-called mainstream media has furthered that odious task. Many writers have documented how British and American elites bankrolled Hitler’s rise to power and not until he turned his forces westward did they begin to mount defensive actions against the Third Reich. In Britain, elite members of The Right Club, often with government collusion, secretly supported Hitler’s actions against the Jews and against communists and socialists. The Duke of Wellington was a noted anti-semite and a member of the Right Club. Edward the VIII, known as “the …

The Milagro of Oscar Romero’s Sainthood

Lately when you read the news about the Catholic Church, it’s really bad. But on October 15, the Pope canonized a truly remarkable person, Oscar Romero. This is a saint whose life you should study, even if you aren’t Catholic.

The #MeToo campaign versus the presumption of innocence

Eric London, World Socialist Website In the US, the Democratic Party and its celebrity and media allies, through the vehicle of its #MeToo campaign, are waging a battle against the presumption of innocence. By seeking to whip up hysterical moods surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct, they are trying to popularize the idea that those accused of sexual assault should be presumed guilty. This campaign is, in its essence, reactionary and should be opposed. The proponents of this view have put forward four primary arguments: All accusers must be believed, and doubting any accuser is tantamount to “victim blaming” or “rape apology.” The actress Rose McGowan said in December 2017, “I would challenge the media to stop using the word ‘alleged.’ My beef is really with all the people who are complicit. It’s the first time in history women are being believed, even though we get slagged.” The impact of such crimes on victims is so devastating that basic protections for the accused are obstacles in the way of justice, not only for the particular accuser, …

MS Estonia – still doubts over official story 24 years after the biggest maritime disaster in Europe since WW2

Terje Maloy Just after midnight on September 28th, 1994, the passenger ferry MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea. It was sailing its regular route, from Tallinn in Estonia to the Swedish capital Stockholm. The vessel capsized and sank in less than an hour, in the end settling sideways on the ocean floor at 80 meters deep. The weather was rough, but nothing extraordinary for the time of year, with winds of 25 meters/second and waves of 4 to 6 meters. Of the 989 passengers and crew, 852 died, making it the biggest European maritime disaster since WW2. 501 of the dead were Swedes. Just hours after the sinking, Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt was quick to try to control the narrative of what had happened. In a statement to the public, he announced that the sinking happened because the bow visor (the front part protecting the bow of the ship, which can be lifted up to allow the car ramp to be extended), had fallen off due to being pounded by the waves. The same afternoon …

Why I join the ILP

by George Orwell We’re republishing Orwell’s 1938 piece here for its continuing relevance in our times.  First published by New Leader on June 24, 1938, the text is also available at the Marxists’ Internet Archive. Perhaps it will be frankest to approach it first of all from the personal angle. I am a writer. The impulse of every writer is to ‘keep out of politics’. What he wants is to be left alone so that he can go on writing books in peace. But unfortunately it is becoming obvious that this ideal is no more practicable than that of the petty shop-keeper who hopes to preserve his independence in the teeth of the chain-stores. To begin with, the era of free speech is closing down. The freedom of the Press in Britain was always something of a fake, because in the last resort, money controls opinion; still, so long as the legal right to say what you like exists, there are always loopholes for an unorthodox writer. For some years past I have managed to …

The Russian minority in the Baltics live under ‘apartheid’ states

Max Parry It has been nearly three decades since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Despite Russia’s reemergence on the world stage as a respected power after market-oriented ‘reforms’ destroyed its economy for the duration of the nineties, the breakup of the USSR is an event regarded by an increasing amount of Russians as a catastrophic tragedy rather than a triumph of ‘freedom and democracy.’ In recent years, there have been numerous polls showing that more than half of Russians not only regret the collapse of the Soviet Union but would even prefer for its return. However, the nostalgia only comes as a surprise to those who have forgotten that not long before the failed August Coup that led to its demise, the first and only referendum in its history was held in March of 1991 which polled citizens if they wished to preserve the Soviet system. The results were more than three quarters of the population in the entire socialist federation (including Russia) voting a resounding yes with a turnout of 80% in the …

European Holocaust had roots in Africa, now Namibia is suing Germany

In Africa, Namibian history is no secret. Nothing is taboo. This is what is common knowledge in Windhoek or in Cape Town in neighboring South Africa:

The Germans drove into the desert, and then exterminated, over 80% of the entire nation – the Herero. The Nama people lost around 50% of its population. The concentration and extermination camps were built; monstrous medical experiments on human beings were perpetrated. German ‘doctors’including those who were working on ‘the pure race doctrine’ in Namibia (the doctrine later used by the Nazis in Europe), subsequently ‘educated’ many German racist physicians, including the notorious ‘Angel of Death’ – Mengele. The most notorious doctor, who experimented on human beings in Africa, was Eugen Fischer.

The Satanic Nature of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

American history can only accurately be described as the story of demonic possession, however you choose to understand that phrase. Maybe radical “evil” will suffice. But right from the start the American colonizers were involved in massive killing because they considered themselves divinely blessed and guided, a chosen people whose mission would come to be called “manifest destiny.” Nothing stood in the way of this divine calling, which involved the need to enslave and kill millions and millions of innocent people that continues down to today.

New Zealand – The ebb & flow of History

Hugh O’Neill There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat.” Julius Caesar, Act iv, Scene iii After Napoleon’s defeat in 1815, the British Empire had few rivals in the first half of the 19th Century, but when Britain allied with France in the Crimean War against Russia, they realised that wooden ships were no match for French iron ships. The Industrial Revolution was spreading and other empires were rising: Russia, Japan, America, France and Germany all wished to join the global game of chess. Russophobia thrived in NZ since the Crimean War, encouraged by newspapers e.g. Daily Southern Cross whose 1873 ‘hoax’ report of Russian ship “Kaskowiski” invading Auckland caused panic. When the Russian Empire did collide with the British in Northern Afghanistan (Pandjeh Incident 1884), the NZ public demanded protection in the form of coastal batteries, torpedo boats and militia training, …

The Blatant Conspiracy behind Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s Assassination

Fifty years ago on June 5 1968, Robert F. Kennedy, younger brother of the murdered president, was shot and killed under circumstances perhaps even more suspicious and bizarre than those surrounding John Kennedy’s murder. No even slightly satisfactory explanation has ever been offered for the glaring anomalies and contradictions in this case. Here Edward Curtin revisits some of the abiding questions surrounding this third politically motivated assassination to impact America in five years, and the legacy it left behind

The U.S. won’t say ‘genocide’ but cares about Armenian democracy?

by Max Parry “Did Armenia just dance its way to revolution?” Mass demonstrations that have shut down Armenia leading to the replacement of its prime minister have queued the obligatory western media push for regime change. Already dubbed a ‘Velvet Revolution’ after the 1989 protests that collapsed communist Czechoslovakia, there have been so many ‘color revolutions’ in former Soviet states that the colors are being recycled by the NGOs. The first crowds gathered in April in response to the Republican Party of Armenia’s decision to nominate outgoing leader Serzh Sargsyan as the sole candidate for Prime Minister after having already served as the country’s President since 2008. Despite its constitutional legality, this was perceived by many to be a consolidation of power as he would have retained the same authority since the country just transitioned to a prime ministerial system. Predictably, the western media commentary has framed the protests in the context of the new Cold War by emphasizing the ruling party’s links to ‘Kremlin oligarchs’ and Armenia’s presence within Russia’s sphere of influence. However, …

The Russian V-Day Story (Or the History of World War II Not Often Heard in the West)

by Michael Jabara Carley, via Strategic Culture Every May 9th the Russian Federation celebrates its most important national holiday, Victory Day, den’ pobedy. During the early hours of that day in 1945 Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, commander of the 1st Belorussian Front, which had stormed Berlin, received the German unconditional surrender. The Great Patriotic War had gone on for 1418 days of unimaginable violence, brutality and destruction. From Stalingrad and the northern Caucasus and from the northwestern outskirts of Moscow to the western frontiers of the Soviet Union to Sevastopol in the south and Leningrad and the borders with Finland, in the north, the country had been laid waste. An estimated 17 million civilians, men, women and children, had perished, although no one will ever know the exact figure. Villages and towns were destroyed; families were wiped out without anyone to remember them or mourn their deaths. Most Soviet citizens lost family members during the war. No one was left unaffected. Ten million or more Soviet soldiers died in the struggle to expel the monstrous Nazi invader and …

From Troy to Damascus: Seeing the Light

by Hugh O’Neill One of the oldest cities in the world, Damascus was already 2,000 years old at the time of Homer’s Trojan War (1200 BC). In order to understand the present, we have to place it within the context of the past. However, there is a caveat that only the winners write history and so the challenge to historians is to read between (and behind) the lines. Historians must also deploy their judgement of the various human factors in the events recorded, by whom recorded and why; they must also be aware of their own biases which inevitably influence their vision i.e. what they choose to see or ignore. War may be defined as the deployment of mass violence to acquire resources of the many to benefit the few. Homer would have us believe that many thousands of Greek heroes left their homes and families for ten years so that King Menelaus could rescue Helen his queen who had been abducted by Paris, son of King Priam of Troy. We also learn from Homer …

The ‘Crucifixion’ of the Black Messiah

On this the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, a soon-to-be-published book provides us the most comprehensive account of this event, the shock of which reverberated across America and the world. More than that, the anniversary gives us all ample reason to reflect on the man and his impact, and where America is at present in the context of the main pursuits to which he devoted his life: racial equality, justice, liberty, truth, freedom, and peace. Oh, and a slice of the American Dream. Australian writer Greg Maybury reports.

American “Regime Change War” Was Born in Belgrade 19 Years Ago Today

by Adam Garrie, March 24, 2018, Eurasia Future Throughout the 20th century, the US had been in the business of overthrowing governments that it did not like, almost always because such governments did not create conditions unilaterally favourable to US business interests. From overthrowing multiple Latin American governments, most famously the leftist government of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, to the overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953, to the installation of the Pakistani Dictator General Zia who executed the democratically elected Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the US has been ‘changing regimes’ long before the post-Cold War era. However, in the 21st century, the idea of ‘regime change’ went from an unspoken reality to a stated goal among increasingly war-hungry US leaders. A “new world order” – a regime change order After the Cold War, when George H.W. Bush declared a “new world order”, the US and its European allies began backing radical far-right nationalist and Takfiri insurgencies throughout Yugoslavia, beginning in 1991. This resulted in the secession of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and the anti-western and therefore unrecognised Republika …

Hotel Propaganda

by Anthony Black, September 8, 2014, via Canadian Dimension On the evening of April 6th 1994 a plane carrying the Hutu leaders of both Rwanda and Burundi was shot down as it approached Kanombe airport. The assassins had little trouble targeting the flight as only one of the two runways was open, the other having been closed two months earlier on the orders of General Romeo Dallaire. Simultaneous to the shootdown, that is on the eve of April 6th, a 30,000 RPF (Tutsi) army based in Uganda invaded from the north. At the same time, hundreds of covert armed RPF cells came to life in and around Kigali and began attacking Rwandan government forces (FAR). The population, roughly 85% Hutu, and encompassing at least a million refugees in and around Kigali displaced by previous RPF incursions from Uganda, began to panic. A genocide was about to begin. But it was a genocide neither against, nor by, the actors cited in the ?official? narrative. Indeed, Rwanda circa 1994, is, in all likelihood, if not the, then …

“Yanks to the rescue”: Time’s not-so secret story of how Americans helped Yeltsin win 1996 presidential election

Imagine Izvestia ran a headline in January 2018 titled “Rescuing Donald”, in which it proudly boasted that a group of crack Russian election-fixers had been sent over to Washington to make sure Trump beat Hillary. Does anyone imagine it would stop short of impeachment for Trump and maybe even hot war with Russia? Yet 22 years ago Time magazine ran just such a feature on how four Americans and an ex-pat Russian had managed the 1996 Russian presidential election to ensure a win for Boris Yeltsin. And apparently that was something to openly boast about