All posts filed under: historical perspectives

Thanksgiving for JFK

by Edward Curtin If he had lived, President John F. Kennedy would have been 100 years old this year. At Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, his family would be raising a glass in his honor. But as we all know, he was murdered in Dallas, Texas on this date – November 22nd – in 1963. A true war hero twice over, he risked his life to save his men in World War II, and then, after a radical turn toward peace-making in the last year of his life, he died in his own country at the hands of his domestic enemies as a soldier in a non-violent struggle for peace and reconciliation for all people across the world. But we can still celebrate, mourn, and offer thanksgiving for his courageous witness. When we gather tomorrow to give thanks, we should remember today – the profound significance of the date – and the absent presence of a man whose death, dark and bloody as it was, is a sign of hope in these dark times. For if John …

Long Live the Great October Revolution – 100 years of screwing Imperialism!

The world is in ruins. It is literally burning, covered by slums, by refugee camps, and its great majority is ‘controlled by markets’, as was the dream and design of individuals such as Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Führers like Kissinger and Brzezinski, sacrificed tens of millions of human lives all over our planet, just to prevent nations from trying to fulfill their spontaneous socialist, and even, God forbid, Communist dreams and aspirations. Some of the tyrants were actually very ‘honest’: Henry Kissinger once observed, publicly, that he saw no reason why a certain country should be allowed to “go Marxist” merely because “its people are irresponsible”. He was thinking about Chile. He “saw no reason” and as a result, several thousands of people were murdered…

Reading the Reformation

by Philip Roddis Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out. Bishop Latimer: Oct 16, 1555 On this day five hundred years ago an exasperated preacher and professor in moral theology is said to have nailed his ‘grievances’, ninety-five theses written in the spring and summer of 1517, to a chapel door at Wittenberg Cathedral. First in his sights was the trade in indulgences: papal promises signed by this bishop or that to expedite the progress of the purchaser’s soul through purgatory. One practitioner was Dominican friar Johann Tetzel, seller of indulgences who rose to become Grand Inquisitor of Heresy to Poland, aided by a ditty Madison Avenue itself could not have improved on: “as soon as gold in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.” Disgusted of Wittenberg – a Martin Luther soon outflanked by fiercer critics of Rome – was by no means the first to look askance on …

The Baltic Holocaust and Russophobia

by Frank Lee On 23 June 2017 in the Parliament Square of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, an official celebration of the uprising of 23 June 1943 against Soviet rule took place. The event was orchestrated mainly by veterans of the Lithuanian Freedom Fighters Association, a far-right militia group. During these celebrations an exhibit of more than 12 posters were hung which presented the anti-Soviet insurrection one that “drove terror into the Bolshevik occupying army and the lackeys of the occupation forces.” Some historical context is needed here. In June 1941, Hitler had launched a surprise attack on the Soviet Union, overrunning the Baltics in a few weeks. As documented by eyewitness testimony, photographs, and Nazi records, the Christian majority welcomed the Germans as liberators and right-wing paramilitary groups began massacring their Jewish neighbours before German rule had even been firmly established. Over the next three years of German occupation, around 200,000 Jews, more than 95 percent of Lithuania’s Jewish population, were murdered—a more complete destruction than befell any other European country. In an of inversion …

The Centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution: a Legacy to Celebrate

This month, commemorations will be held in towns and cities across Russia to mark the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Whilst the state and system that the revolution gave birth to – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Soviet communism – is no longer in existence today, the positive legacy of this pivotal event in history has endured in modern-day Russia. Indeed, as a result of the political, economic and social carnage of the 1990s in Russia, stemming directly from the collapse of the Soviet system, and which Russians continue to be haunted by to this very day, the legacy of what was officially known in the USSR as the Great October Socialist Revolution continues to receive more and more prominence within all age groups in Russia today, including the young.

The Killing of History

One of the most hyped “events” of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, “They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam war in an entirely new way”.

Common Knowledge vs. Reality: The propaganda ghosts of the Cold War

by Denis Churilov Russians are extremely sceptical people. This is partly due to the fact that the modern Russian history has been turbulent, rollercoaster-like, with ideological frameworks changing a few times within a single person’s lifetime. Take the last 40 years, for instance: Soviet propaganda, blatant anti-Soviet propaganda during Perestroika years, (neo-)liberal propaganda, followed by the economic reforms and privatization, which led to a disappointment in capitalism and “free market” by the majority of the population during the 1990s, the attempted “de-Sovietization” information campaign with a second wave of anti-Soviet propaganda during Medvedev years. The list goes on. There is an old joke: Russia, among all countries, has the most unpredictable past. Russian society’s view of its own history is very fluid, with official narratives changing every 4-12 years. The re-evaluation of paradigms happens often, with debates on fundamental historical and political issues being vibrant and mainstream. Most Russian people have learned how to be sceptical and how to not easily trust the official stories. Things are different in the West. Unlike Russia, the Western …

The world remembers 64th anniversary of the west-sponsored coup in Iran

After WWII, the West had one huge ‘problem’ on its hands: all three most populous Muslim countries on Earth – Egypt, Iran and Indonesia – were clearly moving in one similar direction, joining group of patriotic, peaceful and tolerant nations. They were deeply concerned about the welfare of their citizens, and by no means were they willing to allow foreign colonialist powers to plunder their resources, or enslave their people. In the 1950’s, the world was rapidly changing, and there was suddenly hope that the countries which were oppressed and pillaged for decades and centuries by first the European and then North American geopolitical and business interests, would finally break their shackles and stand proudly on their own feet.

«War in the Balkans» – the Memoirs of a Portugese Peacekeeper (II)

by Stephen Karganovic, July 9, 2017, Strategic Culture In his memoir, «War in the Balkans», (1) retired Portuguese general Carlos Martins Branco, who was during the conflict in the Former Yugoslavia in the strategically important post of Deputy Head of Mission of UN Military Observers in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994-1996), recounts his knowledge of events that took place around Srebrenica in July of 1995. In contrast to the fanciful tales of a bevy of dubious «experts», false witnesses, and outright propagandists, General Martins Branco reports facts as they were observed or collected by intelligence and other sources in the field.  That information made its way through official channels to his desk in Zagreb, where the headquarters of the UN Observer Mission was located.  Martins Branco’s facts and conclusions are hardly susceptible to off-hand dismissal. Excerpts cited below are on pages 201 – 206 of his memoir. We will begin with the general’s conclusion challenging the received wisdom that Srebrenica was genocide and then work our way back from there: «Had they entertained the …

«War in the Balkans» – the Memoirs of a Portugese Peacekeeper (I)

by Stephen Karganovic, July 7, 2914, via Strategic Culture General Carlos Martins Branco is one of the most fascinating (and until quite recently also inaccessible) actors in the Srebrenica controversy.  From his Zagreb vantage point as deputy head of the U.N. Protection Force (UNPROFOR) between 1994 and 1996, during the latter phase of the 1990s Yugoslav conflict as it unfolded in Croatia and Bosnian and Herzegovina, this Portuguese officer had privileged access to significant information.  Confidential reports about the goings on in the field were crossing his desk.  With first-hand information and further enlightened by discrete conversations with colleagues from various intelligence structures, Martins Branco was positioned ideally to learn facts which many officials would have preferred to cover up, and the media frequently ignored. With a typically Latin emotional flair, refusing to remain silent as the «Srebrenica genocide narrative» was taking shape in the second half of the 1990s, Martins Branco published in 1998 an article provocatively entitled «Was Srebrenica a Hoax? Eyewitness Account of a Former UN Military Observer in Bosnia».  In that early plunge …

Celebrating the Birth of the NHS

Today is the 69th anniversary of “The Appointed Day”. On July 5th 1948, the Labour government under Prime Minister Clement Attlee, launched their revolutionary National Health Service. In the 69 years since the service, though regularly undermined and underfunded by Tory and New Labour governments, has saved millions of people’s lives, and provided vital support for injured, disabled and chronically ill people who – in any other era of human civilization – would have been forced to live in ruin or die in the gutter.

The Assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy: Questions, Hints and Allegations

by Edward Curtin If you were going to arrange a political assassination in an indoor crowded setting, would you plan to have one of your operatives (not the assassin) at the murder site be a strikingly curvaceous young woman in a conspicuous white dress with black polka-dots, and then have her flee the scene, yelling, “We’ve shot him, we’ve shot him,” so that multiple witnesses would see and hear her as she made her escape? Would you have the same woman earlier in the day pick up a salesman in the hotel where the assassination was planned, spend the day with him driving around and having dinner together, while repeatedly inviting (i.e. luring) him to join her later that night at a big public event where they will shoot their famous victim, whom she names? Would you have your operative tell this man that, although she wasn’t staying at the hotel, and although she had been in town only three days, having flown from NYC where she had arrived from overseas, that she knew the …

Strategic Engineered Migration as Weapon of War

by Leonid Savin, Voltairenet, November 5, 2015 After reading the title, you may think it is describing the phenomenon that Europe has recently been facing: the hundreds of thousands of refugees, both victims of the hardships of civil wars and opportunists, who are invading the Balkans by land and by sea and then making their way further, trying to reach richer countries like Germany, France and Scandinavia by any means possible. It would seem that this stream of refugees has objective reasons: armed conflicts and wars have been going on in Libya, Syria and Iraq for many years, while the situation is also turbulent in Palestine and Afghanistan. In Tunisia and Egypt, meanwhile, both of which experienced the Arab Spring, the situation also leaves much to be desired. Hardly anybody is taking notice of Bahrain, where opposition protests have been brutally suppressed for years, while in Yemen, air strikes are even being carried out on wedding processions. The location of these two states is not very convenient, however – there is simply nowhere to flee. …

A Slaughterhouse of the Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945)

For the last several years, Serbia and Croatia are in the process of negotiations toward settling all historical disputes and questions as the part of E.U.’s conditions for Serbia in order to join the Eurobloc in the recent future. In other words, Brussels expects by both sides to achieve a “historical” deal according to which the past is going to be finally “settled”, i.e., forgotten and forgiven between two nations – the Serbs and the Croats. In the following text, we would like to contribute in this “historical” agreement by featuring one crucial episode in Croat-Serb relations: Magnum Crimen from the WWII.

How US Flooded the World with Psyops

by Robert Parry, from Consortium News Special Report: The mainstream U.S. media obsesses over Russian “propaganda” yet the U.S. government created a “psyops” bureaucracy three decades ago to flood the world with dubious information, reports Robert Parry. Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home. The documents reveal the formation of a psyops bureaucracy under the direction of Walter Raymond Jr., a senior CIA covert operations specialist who was assigned to President Reagan’s National Security Council staff to enhance the importance of propaganda and psyops in undermining U.S. adversaries around the world and ensuring sufficient public support for foreign policies inside the United States. Raymond, who has been compared to a character from a John LeCarré novel slipping easily into the woodwork, spent his years inside Reagan’s White …

(Quasi)Academic Foundations of a Racist “Greater Albania”

by Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic The topic to be addressed in this text is the basic misconception on the question of the Balkan Albanian ethnogenesis and national identity that was framed by extremely geo-politically coloured the German-based “Illyrian” theory of the Albanian ethnic and cultural origin. This (quasi)theory, unfortunately, has very deep and negative regional political-security consequences during the last century. The implementation of the “Illyrian” (quasi)theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis was accepted firstly by the Rilindja, (the renaissance) – the Albanian nationalistic and chauvinistic political movement in 1878–1913 for the sake to create the ethnically pure Greater Albania as a national state of all Balkan Albanians composed by self-interpreted all ethnographic and (quasi)historical “Albanian” territories at the expense of historical truth, justice as well as the Slavic and the Greek national interest. The “Ilyrian” (Quasi)Theory on the Albanian Balkan Origin The so-called “Illyrian” (quasi)theory of the ethnic origin of the Albanians (created by the German and the Austrian scholars) became purposely the most popular theory of the Albanian nation’s derivation among the majority of …

Why Albanians Fled Kosovo During the 1999 NATO Bombing

Interview with Čedomir Prlinčević from the Emperor’s New Clothes This interview dates from December 2000, but is still highly relevant to today. NATO’s conduct in Kosovo can be seen as anticipating much of its current actions on Syria and/or Ukraine. The same exploitation of emotional and inaccurate narratives, the same promotion of wars of aggression in the guise of “humanitarian intervention”, the same promotion of dangerous elements such as terrorists and gangsters as “rebels” or “freedom fighters.” The same utter disregard for the longterm consequences for the people who have to live in these regions. In 18 years little or nothing has changed, and the same playbook is still in use. Introduction This is the second Emperor’s Clothes interview with Čedomir Prlinčević (pronounced Ched-o-meer Pra-linch-eh-vich). Mr. Prlinčević, an historian, was chief archivist in Priština, capital of Kosovo, and head of the Jewish community there until, as he explained in his first Emperor’s Clothes interview, the terrorist KLA drove him and his family and thousands of others from their homes. Heavily armed British NATO forces stood …

The Great American Perpetual Motion War Machine

The so-called ‘military-industrial complex’ ushered in by the passing of the 1947 National Security Act is a luxury America and the world can no longer afford. The unprecedented threat posed by the over-privileged belligerents infecting U.S. military doctrine with their unbridled hegemonic ambition is redolent of that of the British Empire in the years leading up to the Great War in 1914. With Donald Trump advocating massive upgrades of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and full-spectrum dominance likely to remain integral to American foreign and national security policy making, along with musing on how we arrived at this point, we ponder the here and now, and an unthinkable, yet, still avoidable future