WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League expressed concern that a witness at a congressional hearing on a controversial gun bill wrote a book arguing that gun control rendered Jews defenseless during the Holocaust.
Stephen Halbrook, who wrote “Gun Control in the Third Reich” in 2015, is set to appear Tuesday at a meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, which is considering the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act. The bill would loosen controls on transporting firearms across state lines, an area that Halbrook has litigated as a prominent gun rights attorney.
“We have long been concerned about facile comparisons of gun control legislation in America to policies upheld by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s national director, said in an email to JTA. “The national debate over gun control is a divisive issue with many strong opinions. While there are legitimate arguments on both sides, the notion that Jews could have saved themselves from the Nazi onslaught is not one of them. It is historically inaccurate and deeply offensive to bring the Holocaust into this debate where it simply does not belong.”
Halbrook’s book argued that a key element in the Nazis’ repressive policies was the disarming of Nazi enemies, a theory embraced last year by the then-presidential candidate and now-Housing Secretary Ben Carson. Halbrook emphasizes in his book that gun control was not a factor leading to the Holocaust. Instead, he says, it facilitated it.
Historians of Nazi Germany have widely discredited the theory, saying that whatever restrictions on gun purchases the Nazis placed on Jews must be seen as part of the array of repressive measures Nazis imposed on Jews and not as Nazis favoring gun controls per se. In fact, the Nazis in 1938 loosened controls on gun ownership for non-Jewish Germans.
Others have questioned how Jews in Germany, who made up only 1 percent of the population, could have staged an effective rebellion against the Nazis’ military regime.
JTA was alerted to Halbrook’s scheduled appearance before the committee by Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control advocacy group founded by Gabrielle Giffords, the Jewish Democratic congresswoman from Arizona who was shot and critically wounded by a gunman in 2011 in a deadly attack. She has since retired from Congress.
David Chipman, a senior adviser to the group, also appeared as a witness, testifying against a provision of the bill that would loosen restrictions on silencers. Its sponsor, Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., says silencers protect hunters’ hearing.
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco has long considered itself a haven of stability in a volatile region and a key ally in the fight against Islamic extremism, but in recent months, it has found itself shaken by carnage in Europe blamed on Moroccans who moved abroad.
Young men from the North African nation have been involved in deadly terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, and — just last week — emerged as suspects in terrorism in Spain and Finland. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.
In the days after attacks on Barcelona’s famed Las Ramblas and a seaside resort killed 15 people, shocked and horrified relatives and friends of the suspects gathered with the Muslim community in their Spanish town of Ripoll to denounce terrorism.
Their families in Morocco issued similar statements and also said that anything the young men learned about extremism had taken place away from home.
The 12-member cell accused of carrying out the attacks in Spain was made up of brothers and childhood friends from Ripoll — young men described as integrated, well-liked and responsible members of their tight-knit community.
“Pilot, teacher, doctor …. How could this have disappeared? What happened to you?” their school counselor, Raquel Rull, wrote in a despairing column published Tuesday in La Vanguardia newspaper. “What are we doing to make these things happen! You were so young, so full of life you had a lifetime ahead … and a thousand dreams to fulfill.”
Spanish police Monday shot and killed Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan who was thought to be the driver in the van attack on Las Ramblas that was responsible for 13 of the deaths. He also was identified as a suspect in the slaying of the owner of a hijacked car.
His grandfather, Aqbouch Abouyaaqoub, told the Spanish newspaper El Pais that Younes left Morocco as a young boy.
“But one thing is certain: My grandson did not finish his studies here. He studied in Spain,” he said.
Prominent Moroccan Islam expert Bilal Talidi cited multiple causes for radicalization among Moroccans after moving to Europe: “the tug-of-war between two identities and two educational cultures, social marginalization, a precarious economic situation and a criminal record.”
Since the rise of the Islamic State group, experts say its recruitment has been less focused on religious motivation. Instead, the group has successfully sought out relatively secular young men with a foot in both cultures. An estimated 1,600 Moroccans have joined in recent years.
Politicians and experts decry the government’s failure to grasp the scope of young Moroccans’ problems at home and in immigrant communities abroad, and are searching for ways to infuse their countrymen everywhere with this message of religious moderation.
Moroccans have not been the only ones staging attacks in Europe; violence has been carried out by emigres from Tunisia, Algeria, Pakistan and Libya, as well as those from European backgrounds. Moroccans also have been victims: Dozens have died in attacks in Casablanca and Marrakech.
Spain has been the main destination for Moroccans for decades. The two countries nearly touch across the Strait of Gibraltar, and Spain has two enclaves in North Africa separated from Morocco by a multiple barbed wire fences intended to prevent illegal crossings.
Moroccan security officials have made fighting extremism a priority, and the government says that since 2002, they have dismantled 167 terrorist cells and thwarted 341 attacks.
King Mohammed VI routinely criticizes jihadism and the discourse of radical Islam.
“In the face of the proliferation of closed-minded ideas in the name of religion, everyone — Muslims, Christians, Jews — should form a common front to counter fanaticism, hate and isolationism in all its forms,” he said in a speech last year. He urged Moroccans abroad to “remain attached to the values of their religion and their secular traditions in the face of this phenomenon that is foreign to them.”
Since the 1970s, Morocco has worked to supervise religious teaching of its communities abroad through multiple government agencies, according to Abdelkrim Benatiq, the minister for Moroccans abroad.
Asked by The Associated Press about those efforts, Benatiq referred questions to the Islamic Affairs Ministry, which did not respond to requests for comment.
The government has earmarked $24.5 million for these efforts this year alone, in addition to imam training programs by the Mohammed VI Institute.
But Talidi cautioned that “religious frameworks cannot provide much help for youth with criminal records, who don’t go to places of worship or religious teaching.”
He added that “Morocco places people who are not supported by the community abroad to religious posts, which creates a climate of tension and divisions, instead of working in a spirit of partnership with people who are more representative” of the local population. At the center of the cell was an itinerant imam who, his family told El Mundo newspaper, had not lived in Morocco in 15 years.
Youssef Gharbi, president of the commission for foreign affairs, Islamic affairs and Moroccans abroad in the lower house of parliament, said one of the main challenges is how to pass along Morocco’s cultural heritage and identity based on tolerance to a younger generation of emigres.
“Their views of their identity and of Islam are deformed, and based on a radical interpretation of religion,” Gharbi said.
He wants parliament to make this issue a priority.
“A large number of youth of the third and fourth generation of Moroccans abroad don’t know our country,” Gharbi added. “Their desire to reconnect with religion is sometimes made in a violent way.”
He proposes cultural programs for Moroccans born abroad that encompass more than just religion, with coordinated efforts among government agencies, nongovernment actors and community groups.
Rull, the school counselor who knew all of the attackers, implied in her column that the answer must go deeper and reach across the Mediterranean. The day after Abouyaaqoub was shot to death, she had more questions than answers.
“How could this be, Younes? My fingers tremble. I have never seen anyone as responsible as you,” she wrote.
But there’s something deeper here, something worth getting surprised about — and like so many things with Donald Trump, that deeper thing is Russia: several of the key figures who organized, appeared at, or promoted the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Rally have strong ties to Moscow.
How Russia aided the rise of the neo-Nazis (“alt-right”)
During the campaign I read right wing websites periodically, especially Breitbart News and the neo-Nazi website Stormfront, because I found it was the best way to see how Trump voters were responding to campaign news. Breitbart News, in particular, was the best predictor of which candidate Trump was likely to target and dispatch next — using that information together with polling I could predict with reasonable accuracy how Trump was going to do in a given primary.
But it wasn’t until the Spring of 2016 that Breitbart revealed itself as the home of the “alt-right”. And with a shock I soon realized that the neo-Nazis I had been following were same thing as Steve Bannon’s “alt-right”. This is a big movement, much bigger than I had realized, even though I have followed the Nazi/Klan/Anti-Government movement closely for four decades.
I’ve come to see that there are many reasons why it is growing; it is no longer dependent on its own financial support and limited to those it can proselytize face to face. The internet has been one of the game changers and the movement has been helped by things as diverse as the 2014 Gamergate hashtag campaign, the birther campaign against President Obama (of which Trump was a big part), and the fake news (Russian propaganda) movement. Nazis have also successfully incorporated many Southern nationalist groups into their “alt-right” branding. Organizations such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans used to keep their distance from the Klan, and especially from neo-Nazis. But now there is a considerable overlap, based on what I see in the webpages of Stormfront. You don’t have to take my word for it, just look at the many images with an intermingling Rebel flags and Swastikas in Charlottesville.
But most importantly neo-Nazis have also been aided by Putin. And in exchange they are almost worshipful toward him. They idolize Russia, seeing it as their ideal of a white nationalist state.
American Nazis routinely attend extreme right conferences in Europe, including in Russia, that are sponsored by Russian organizations. There is constant travel to Moscow by several of the most prominent Nazis. And there are the many ways Nazis express their adoration of Putin on websites such as Stormfront. Nazis love Trump, especially after his response to Charlottesville. But they love Putin even more. Odd for a supposedly American nationalist group that wants to #MAGA (“Make America Great Again”).
I have two images that capture the full lunacy of the way Nazis see Trump and Putin. I found both of these on Stormfront. First, the way some Nazis saw Donald Trump during the early part of the election.
I thought the body didn’t look very Trumpian — and then realized where he got it . . .
Trump buddy & idol Vladimir Putin.
Even though I had been seeing the adoration of Putin in the pages of Stormfront throughout the election, I didn’t understand it. It was a tweet (and the link to Business Insider) by independent Presidential candidate, Evan McMullin, that opened my eyes:
The white supremacist and nationalist movement is a key tool in Putin’s subversion of western democracy.
I had met Evan McMullin in Utah the day before the election. It was at a retro-50s diner just outside of Salt Lake City, where he was holding a campaign event. As he introduced himself, he explained that he was a constitutional conservative who believed in a multi-racial America.
I don’t share McMullin’s libertarian economic views but we agree on four things: the importance of Constitutional protections, that the politics of Donald Trump are dangerous and that the neo-Nazi movement is a cancer on our body politic. And most importantly we agree on fighting for an America that is accepting of everyone, i.e. multi-racial and multi-ethnic and tolerant.
Johnson self-identifies as a “white nationalist” but he is part of the American Freedom Party — one of the neo-Nazi groups whose members have been aided by Vladimir Putin.
Johnson slandered McMullin this way in his robo-call:
Evan McMullin is an open borders, amnesty supporter. Evan has two mommies. His mother is a lesbian, married to another woman. Evan is okay with that. Indeed, Evan supports the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. Evan is over 40 years old and is not married and doesn’t even have a girlfriend. I believe Evan is a closet homosexual. Don’t vote for Evan McMullin. Vote for Donald Trump. He will respect all women and be a president we can all be proud of.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has emerged as a hero of several prominent alt-right figures, raising new questions about the Kremlin’s influence on the far-right, white nationalist movement that has asserted itself as a new force in American politics.
Whether Russia has played a direct role in awakening the American alt-right, whose resurgence as a crusade against establishment politics coincided with the rise of President-elect Donald Trump, is debatable.
But the extent to which the alt-right has found a natural ally in Russia’s current zeitgeist — which perceives the US as a globalist, imperialist power working on behalf of liberal elites — is hard to overstate.
Self-described white nationalist Matthew Heimbach, who said he identifies as a member of the alt-right, has praised Putin’s Russia as “the axis for nationalists.”
“I really believe that Russia is the leader of the free world right now,” Heimbach told Business Insider in a recent interview. “Putin is supporting nationalists around the world and building an anti-globalist alliance, while promoting traditional values and self-determination.”
Studying neo-Nazis is like a forced march through a muddy swamp. You feel very, very dirty at the end of the day and its easy to get lost in the maze of names, groups, organizational acronyms, obscure conferences and speeches and the mindlessly boring ideology of hate.
But just because it is banal doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous, so I make the effort to understand the connections. I’ve been doing that since the mid 80s when I became alarmed by the rise of the Aryan Nations after the murder of left-wing radio jock, Alan Berg by the Aryans Nations splinter group, The Order. But the Russia link was new to me. TheBusiness Insider report was mainly a list of white supremacist names that have strong links to Russia and by itself it doesn’t say that much, even though the import of the article is frightening.
I decided to google the names for connections to Trump and his campaign. And that’s when it got very, very interesting. Especially so when you notice how many of them also have some connection to the recent Charlottesville Rally.
Here are seven key Nazis (I know, some of them claim to be “alt-right”, not Nazi — but that’s just their convenient rebranding and I refuse to accept it).
The Unmagnificent Seven
1. WILLIAM DANIEL JOHNSON (WHITE IDIOT)
William Daniel Johnson of the American Freedom Party is the one of these Nazis that was not in the Business Insider reporting. But during my research his name kept popping up in relation to the other key leaders they did mention. I’ve already described Johnson in some detail, but it’s worth adding that Trump initially selected him as one of his Republican convention delegates from California. Johnson resigned after Mother Jones outed him as a white supremacist. The Trump campaign blamed it all on a”database error”.
David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has traveled to Russia several times to promote his book “The Ultimate Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question.” The book has been sold openly in the main lobby of the State Duma (Congress) for the equivalent of about $2, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
David Duke is probably the best known of these names. He has been a member of both the Klan and the Nazis before rebranding himself as a white nationalist, and now “alt-right”.
I don’t want you to think that David Duke’s involvement with Russia is limited to just a few trips. It’s extensive, so much that he also owns an apartment in Moscow. And he sublets that apartment to another of the neo-Nazis named in Business Insider, Preston Wiginton.
3. PRESTON WIGINTON (WHITE IDIOT)
Here is Preston Wiginton in Moscow, where he spends part of each year in David Duke’s apartment.
Preston Wiginton, a white supremacist from Texas who sublets Duke’s Moscow apartment when he travels to Russia, has written that his “best friends” in Russia — “the only nation that understands RAHOWA [Racial Holy War]” — are “leading skinheads.”
“If we want to have a white state, or a white community or a white homeland we should be able to have that,” Wiginton told The Battalion [Texas A&M University student newspaper]. “We respect that for all people. If we look at the NAACP, black people have the right to have that. Why can’t white people have a WAACP?”
His second splash came the month after the election when he invited noted white supremacist Richard Spencer to speak at Texas A&M. Spencer popularized the “alt-right” rebranding of neo-Nazis and is also a big Trump supporter (keep reading, he is the next name I feature).
Wiginton is a former A&M student, but has no connection to the school — except that he seems to know his way around. Apparently Texas A&M has on-campus facilities they rent to all comers, with no policies to keep the neo-Nazis out, claiming it’s a free speech issue. Over the years Wiginton has invited a number of neo-Nazis to speak at Texas A&M, including Jared Taylor on two separate occasions (I review him after Spencer) and British National Party leader (BNP) Nick Griffin, with whom he is alleged to be close.
I perked up when I saw that Preston Wiginton spoke in Sweden in 2007 at a big neo-Nazi event, which is a little too close to home since I live in Stockholm. This thing truly is international and we need to recognize the threat.
While Wiginton was not at Charlottesville, he was inspired by the event to try and create one like it at a Texas university.
White nationalist Preston Wiginton is organizing a White Lives Matter demonstration at Texas A&M on Sept. 11, an event he started planning Saturday after race-related protests and counter-protests turned deadly Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.
Spencer’s ties to Russia, which he has called the “ sole white power in the world,” go deeper. He was married until October to Russian writer and self-proclaimed “Kremlin troll leader” Nina Kouprianova, whose writing under the pen name Nina Byzantina regularly aligns with Kremlin talking points.
But the notable thing about Kouprianova isn’t her pro-Trump work as a Russian troll. It’s that she is the Russian-to-English translator for Alexander Dugin, a Russian fascist who has become very influential in American Nazi circles for his philosophy of Eurasianism. The Daily Beast wrote this about him:
Dugin’s Foundations of Geopolitics remains assigned to every member of Russia’s General Staff Academy. And despite Kouprianova’s claims that “there is no evidence of communication between” Dugin and Putin, Charles Clover, in his masterful history of Eurasianism, noted that Putin and Dugin met a few months after the former ascended to the presidency. “Soon,” wrote Clover, “there were sponsors, contacts, and open doors” for Dugin.
This relationship—and the perception of such proximity to the Kremlin—is one of the reasons Dugin landed on the U.S. government’s recent sanctions list. It hasn’t, however, kept Dugin from courting American white nationalists—those who’d fracture the United States in pursuit of whites-only nation. For instance, in 2015 Dugin hosted a lecture, via Skype, at the founding of the U.S.’s Traditionalist Worker Party. That party remains helmed by Matthew Heimbach, who has tabbed Putin as the “leader of the free world.” [Heimbach appears as #7 on my list].
Interesting connection between Dugin and Preston Wiginton; it says a lot. Its worth noting that Spencer and Kouprianova have a child together, so their relationship continues.
Richard Spencer was front and center among the Nazis supporting Trump during the election campaign. But he is also the public face of the “alt-right”. While he didn’t coin the term (that was Dr. Paul Gottfried) he was the “alt-right” neo-Nazi man of the hour after hosting a November event in Washington, D.C. where Trump was praised with “Heil Trump” Hitler salutes and Spencer encouraged his guests to “party like it was 1933”. His stated goal is the creation of a white ethno-state in North America and he uses his innocuous sounding nonprofit, the National Policy Institute, as the vehicle to take us there. Spencer is dangerous because he knows how to advance his ideology of white racial superiority, by tying it to economic issues and a sense of white male grievance. If you want to know more, the Southern Poverty Law Center has it here.
For years, Spencer and his followers worked in obscure corners of the Internet to promote pride in white identity and the creation of an “ethno-state” that would banish minorities. Then came the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, whose attacks on undocumented immigrants, Muslims and political correctness deeply resonated with them.
Though Trump denounced the alt-right Tuesday, its adherents had crusaded for him on Twitter before the election and celebrated his victory as a seminal moment for their cause.
They exulted again when Trump announced that his chief White House strategist would be former Breitbart chairman Stephen K. Bannon, who once called his website “the platform for the alt-right.”
Spencer was planning to headline a “White Lives Matter” protest at Texas A&M University on September 11th — the event being arranged by Preston Wiginton. But Texas A&M withdrew the permit after a storm of protest in Texas (including in the legislature).
Don’t worry. Spencer will find other venues. He always does. Don’t accept Spencer’s rebranding of Nazis as “alt-right”.
A right-wing conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, organized last year by Russia’s nationalist Rodina, or Motherland, party offered a safe space for fringe thinkers — including white supremacists and anti-Semites — to gather and rail against the US-led status quo.
There, American “race realist” Jared Taylor calledthe US ” the greatest enemy of tradition everywhere.”
. . . we are a small minority on this planet. Our numbers are shrinking while those of every other group are growing. That is why we must have territories that are exclusively ours, which are for us alone and for our children for ever. Without this, everything we love will be washed away.
We Europeans are one people. We have the same heritage and the same destiny.
That is why your struggle is my struggle. So long as the light of the West still shines in Russia, or in Sweden, or in Italy or in Spain, it shines for all Europeans, even for us, far away in North America.
Jared Taylor also recorded election robo-calls for Trump during the campaign.
Appearing on CNN, the head of a white nationalist group that that has been behind robocalls supporting billionaire businessman Donald Trump’s run for the Republican presidential nomination explained that Trump’s immigrant-bashing is very “appealing” to “ordinary white people.”
Speaking with CNN’s Drew Griffin, Jared Taylor of white nationalist website American Renaissance began by explaining that “most white people would prefer to live in majority white neighborhoods and send their kids to majority white schools.”
“And when Donald Trump talks about sending out all the illegals, building a wall and a moratorium on Islamic immigration — that’s very appealing to a lot of ordinary white people,” he said
Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance was also one of the organizations offering an official endorsement of the Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally. In the week before the Rally he delivered a speech at his annual American Rennaisance Conference entitled: “Has the white man turned the corner?”
The kind of question that would be on the mind of a Nazi “intellectual” in the Trump Era.
Kevin MacDonald — who gave a speech at Spencer’s NPI in late November about how “Jews remade America in their interests … to make white America comfortable with massive non-white immigration and its own dispossession” — has written that the “demonization of Russia in Western media and political circles” is a Jewish campaign to undermine Putin.
It seems strange that Donald Trump Jr., who has a Jewish convert sister and a Jewish brother-in-law, would be following McDonald on Twitter, but the “alt-right” neo-Nazi/white supremacist world is not big on consistency. Many of them are extremely anti-semitic and spent the campaign harassing Jewish journalists. Others see Jews as a potential ally against Muslims. Some in the crowd are actually Jewish, such as Dr. Paul Gottfried (although he protests the neo-Nazi label).
Kevin MacDonald is a self-styled intellectual who edits the Occidental Observer, an online publication which has become influential in Nazi circles.
Self-described white nationalist Matthew Heimbach, who said he identifies as a member of the alt-right, has praised Putin’s Russia as “the axis for nationalists.”
“I really believe that Russia is the leader of the free world right now,” Heimbach told Business Insider in a recent interview. “Putin is supporting nationalists around the world and building an anti-globalist alliance, while promoting traditional values and self-determination.”
Mathew Heimbach is another Putin-supporting American white nationalist. He has started his own political party, the Traditional Worker Party. This from their website:
“The ethnic community is the definition of a true nation. Shared blood, history, and traditions are what make a people and bind us together as an extended family.”
Heimbach made news during the campaign when he shoved a black woman who was protesting at a Trump rally — while wearing one of Trump’s trademark red “Make America Great Again” caps. (A lawsuit is pending).
In a Washington Post profile of Heimbach, Ryan Lenz of the Southern Poverty Law Center calls him a “media-savy millennial who has forged relationships with Stormfront, the League of the South, the Aryan Terror Brigade, the National Socialist Movement and other white-supremacist organizations”. Heimbach has traveled in Europe to meet with the neo-Nazis of the Golden Dawn in Greece, and the National Democratic Party in Germany. He tried to go to Britain, but they wouldn’t let him in. The Post article includes video of Heimbach at the Trump rally. Despite wearing that “Make America Great Again” hat, he qualifies his support for Trump. This from the Washington Post.
. . . whites are being ignored in favor of minorities. And no one has pointed that out more clearly to the rest of the nation, he says, than Trump . . . “Hopefully this [election] will really damage the Republican Party as a whole and awaken white working-class and middle-class people that the Republicans don’t represent them,” Heimbach said. “So I really like Trump for that. But he’s not one of us. He’s not a white nationalist.”
[Ryan] Lenz [of the Southern Poverty Law Center] said he does not know how Heimbach, who says he is forced to work low-paying jobs, can afford to travel constantly across the country and fly to Europe every year to meet with far-right groups. He said Heimbach had denied having a wealthy patron who funded the trips. Heimbach said he paid for the trips himself, with some contribution from his party, and that he kept costs low by staying with other far-right activists.
“I’ve been waiting for my rubles to show up. It hasn’t happened yet,” he said, chuckling, referencing “more than a few media outlets that have claimed I’m secretly working for the FSB”.
By the month before Trump’s election, Heimbach had shifted gears and developed a new message discipline “capable of spinning answers to questions like someone who had spent years in a spin room”, Lenz said.
Wonder who is helping Heimbach with that messaging?
Here is a picture of him at the Unite the Right Nazi Rally in Charlottesville. He was right in the middle of it and dressed for the occasion.
These are only seven of the Trump loving Nazis with Russian connections; this is not meant to be an exhaustive list. There are many, many more.
A fervent foe of homosexuality and any attempt to put individual rights above those of family, community or nation, the Russian Orthodox Church helps project Russia as the natural ally of all those who pine for a more secure, illiberal world free from the tradition-crushing rush of globalization, multiculturalism and women’s and gay rights.
But the fascism of Putin’s Russia goes much deeper than this kind of traditionalist religion. A Yale history professor named Timothy Snyder has described how Vladimir Putin rehabilitated a former enemy of the Soviet state, Ivan Ilyin, a man Synder describes as a “prophet of Russian fascism”. This is from his September 2016 New York Times Op-ed, How a Russian Fascist Is Meddling in America’s Election.
Ilyin believed that individuality was evil. For him, the “variety of human beings” demonstrated the failure of God to complete the labor of creation and was therefore essentially satanic. By extension, the middle classes, political parties and civil society were also evil, because they encouraged the development of personalities beyond the single identity of the national community.
According to Ilyin, the purpose of politics is to overcome individuality, and establish a “living totality” of the nation . . . Ilyin looked on Mussolini and Hitler as exemplary leaders who were saving Europe by dissolving democracy. His 1927 article “On Russian Fascism” was addressed to “My White brothers, the fascists.” Later, in the 1940s and ’50s, he provided the outlines for a constitution of a fascist Holy Russia governed by a “national dictator” who would be “inspired by the spirit of totality.”
This leader would be responsible for all functions of government in a completely centralized state. Elections would be held, with open voting and signed ballots, purely as a ritual of support of the leader. The reckoning of votes was irrelevant: “We must reject blind faith in the number of votes and its political significance.”
According to Snyder, Putin and other top Russian figures now regard Ilyin as an authority, someone whose ideas should guide them in developing a new Russian ideology that replaces communism. Snyder was writing to warn Americans to safeguard our democracy against Putin’s attempt to disrupt it.
The technique of undermining democracy abroad is to generate doubt where there had been certainty. If democratic procedures start to seem shambolic, then democratic ideas will seem questionable as well. And so America would become more like Russia, which is the general idea. If Mr. Trump wins, Russia wins. But if Mr. Trump loses and people doubt the outcome, Russia also wins.
Clearly Russia won the November election. Not enough Americans listened to those like Timothy Snyder who were trying to warn us. They were too busy reading the fake news (Trump/Russian propangada) about Hillary’s many murders, bad health and evil corruption.
Now Donald Trump is President and the ideas that motivated the Nazis at Charlottesville have their own advocates inside the White House.
I began with an absurdist Nazi-created image of Trump flying on an eagle. I’ll end with another absurdist Nazi-created Trump image which I also found in the pages of Stormfront.
Unfortunately, this vision of Trump was not just absurd. It also became true.
* * *
Parts of this story are derived from a December story I wrote for KOS, where I not only connected the dots between Trump and the neo-Nazis that Business Insider profiled but went into other issues as well. But that story was long (too long), covering all of the Trump-Russia connections I knew about at the time. I am rewriting it, forming into thematic segments. This is the first installament of that re-write.
BERLIN (AFP) — Germany’s defense minister announced reforms Wednesday to rid the armed forces of links with the Nazi-era Wehrmacht, responding to a scandal around a far-right attack plot within the military.
Two soldiers and one civilian have been arrested over an alleged conspiracy to kill pro-refugee politicians and — having created the fake identity of a Syrian refugee — make it look like an Islamist attack.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced a series of reforms for the NATO member’s armed forces, including a review of its 1982 “decree on traditions” which allows the display of Wehrmacht memorabilia within its “historical context.”
The current rules “include many good points but allow for back doors,” she said, following revelations that Nazi-era army steel helmets, weapons and pictures were on open display in some army barracks.
Amid the scandal, debate has flared on why a Wehrmacht item can be shown in a glass display but not in an officers’ mess, and why several barracks are still named after World War II field marshall Erwin Rommel, dubbed the “Desert Fox” for his North Africa campaign.
Von der Leyen had pledged zero tolerance on all forms of extremism after it emerged the top suspect arrested, Lieutenant Franco Albrecht, 28, had expressed racist views years ago but that superior officers looked the other way out of a “misunderstood esprit de corps.”
The minister, under fire over the scandal, also announced changes to reporting chains, disciplinary procedures and the civics education of soldiers, speaking before a hearing by the parliamentary defense committee.
Germany’s Bundeswehr — including the army, navy and air force — has a troop strength of about 180,000 active military personnel, the second largest in the EU after France.
The bizarre far-right plot has, meanwhile, widened with the arrest Tuesday of a second suspect from the same Franco-German base near Strasbourg, a lieutenant identified only as Maximilian T., 27.
According to prosecutors, Albrecht had managed to create the false identity of a Syrian fruit seller from Damascus and to register himself as a refugee who was granted asylum, a space in a shelter and monthly state benefits.
The suspects’ plan, say prosecutors, was to commit an attack, for which they had obtained a pistol and drawn up a hit list of pro-refugee politicians, including then president Joachim Gauck and Justice Minister Heiko Maas.
The pair, along with 24-year-old student Mathias F., had hoped the murder would “be seen by the population as a radical Islamist terrorist act committed by a recognised refugee,” said the prosecution.
Germany has taken in more than one million asylum seekers since 2015, many from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, amid an initial wave of goodwill followed by an anti-foreigner backlash and a spate of racist hate crimes.
The lie that “poverty” is the “cause” of crime has been definitively smashed with the news that Beattyville, Kentucky – officially dubbed America’s “poorest white town” – has one of the lowest crime rates in the country, with zero murders reported for more than a decade.
The controlled media, supported by far leftist “sociologists” have always blamed “poverty,” “discrimination,” “lack of opportunity,” and ultimately, “white racism” for sky-high nonwhite crime rates in America and Europe.
However, a recent article in CNN, titled “Trump gives America’s ‘poorest white town’ hope” (February 6, 2017), revealed that Donald Trump had won 81 percent of the vote in Beattyville, a town which, the article said, “earned the unfortunate distinction of being the ‘poorest white town in America’ from 2008 to 2012.”
“Depending on which metric you look at, it still ranks among the most impoverished in the country,” the CNN report added.
According to the U.S. Census bureau, Beattyville is 99.7 percent white.
CNN reported that the majority of Beattyville residents get some form of government aid, with 57 percent of households receiving food stamps and 58 percent getting disability payments from Social Security.
Beattyville was not always impoverished—just a few decades ago it was a boomtown, but the closure of the local coal mining industry brought large-scale unemployment, a situation which was aggravated during the Obama presidency when the only large local factory closed its doors.
“All that’s left are a few grocery stores, gas stations and small businesses. And drugs,” the CNN report goes on to state, inadvertently revealing that the problems facing Beattyville are therefore identical to that facing Detroit or any other nonwhite city in America.
That, however, is where the parallel ends.
Whereas violent crime is rampant in the nonwhite centers, in Beattyville it is all but nonexistent.
According to data provided by City-Data, which uses official U.S. Government statistics, since 2004 there have been zero murders in Beattyville. During that time, there has been one rape, and three robberies.
Statistically speaking, City-Data reported, the official 2015 violent crime rate in Beattyville was 0 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to the official U.S. average of 207.7 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The comparison cannot be clearer: a majority white town, facing the identical economic and social problems as any of the nonwhite cities and towns in America, has a crime rate which is statistically insignificant.
On the other hand, the crime rates in the nonwhite majority cities such as St. Louis (Missouri), Baltimore (Maryland), Detroit (Michigan), New Orleans (Louisiana), and Newark (New Jersey)—which together make up the top five most dangerous cities in America—are sky high.
The leftist claim that poverty or lack of opportunity “causes” crime is therefore completely undermined by a comparison between poor white areas, and poor nonwhite areas.
Race is the only statistically significant correlating factor with crime—and the far left, the controlled media, and the anti-white establishment are simply lying when they claim otherwise.
Since this story was published, several readers have drawn our attention to a double murder committed in Beattyville in August 2016. This incident was obviously too recent to have been included in the official government statistics quoted above. However, given that this was the first murder case recorded in Beattyville in more than a decade, it hardly affects the statistics or the essential meaning of the article, and certainly cannot be compared to the 762 murders recorded in Chicago during the 12 months of 2016.
A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that the powerful surface-to-air missile system used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine two years ago, killing all 298 on board, was trucked in from Russia at the request of Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night.
The report largely confirmed the Russian government’s already widely documented role not only in the deployment of the missile system — called a Buk, or SA-11 — but also in the subsequent cover-up, which continues to this day.
The report, by a team of prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, was significant for applying standards of evidence admissible in court while still building a case directly implicating Russia, and it is likely to open a long diplomatic and legal struggle.
With meticulous detail, working with cellphone records, social media, witness accounts and other evidence, the prosecutors traced Russia’s role in deploying the missile system into Ukraine and its attempts to cover its tracks afterward. The inquiry did not name individual culprits and stopped short of saying that Russian soldiers were involved.
Announcing their findings at a news conference in Nieuwegein, in the Netherlands, the investigators were clear, however, that they planned to identify suspects and to determine who they think gave the orders and what their intentions were, in preparation for bringing criminal indictments.
The evidence presented in the report strongly implicated the Russian authorities in a broad sense. The inquiry was the most detailed investigation to date of the attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777 flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, from Amsterdam. It is unlikely that anyone not connected with the Russian military would have been able to deploy an SA-11 missile launcher from Russia into a neighboring country.
But in implicating Russia, the report raised perhaps a bigger question: What does the Netherlands plan to do about that?
Continue reading the main story
Jet Wreckage Bears Signs of Impact by Supersonic Missile, Analysis Shows JULY 21, 2014
Downing of Jet Exposes Defects of Flight Precautions Over Ukraine JULY 18, 2014
Rebels in Ukraine Crowed of Past Attacks, but Deny This One JULY 18, 2014
Mourning and Seeking Answers Where Malaysia Airlines Jet Fell to Earth JULY 16, 2015
Russia, a nuclear-armed superpower, has already vetoed a Dutch-backed request to the United Nations to establish an international tribunal. Russia’s Constitution, in any case, prohibits the extradition of Russian citizens to stand trial abroad. And in the vanishingly unlikely event that suspects are handed over, it is unclear where they would stand trial.
The prosecutors’ findings could be a factor in whether the European Union softens sanctions against Russia, but some members are already chafing at their effect on trade and calling for resuming full economic cooperation.
Fred Westerbeke, the chief investigator, said that some evidence was being withheld on Wednesday to avoid alerting suspects, and also that more information was needed to build an open-and-shut case against individual suspects and to diagram the chain of command behind the order to deploy and launch.
“We cannot and do not want to tell you everything yet, as that might play into the perpetrators’ hands,” he said, according to a translation. He invited witnesses from eastern Ukraine to come forward, saying they might be granted leniency in exchange for testimony. Identifying the suspects, Mr. Westerbeke said, is a question “for the long haul.”
The report brought to light intriguing new evidence of the missile launcher’s route from Russia to Ukraine and back to Russia, if not identifying precisely who ordered that journey.
Investigators suggested that a cooperating witness was a rebel soldier who had guarded the missile convoy on its quick return to Russia after the launch.
They published new photographs of the launcher, perched on its flatbed trailer, being towed around eastern Ukraine by a white Volvo truck that had been commandeered from a heavy-equipment rental company in Donetsk.
Maps of the Crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
A Malaysia Airlines flight with nearly 300 people aboard crashed in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border on July 17.
The investigators said they had found a missile nose cone and fin by sifting through thousands of pieces of debris from the crash scene, listened to about 150,000 intercepted telephone calls and examined half a million photographs.
One of the eeriest pieces of evidence emerged last year and was highlighted again on Wednesday. The pilots had no chance of saving the plane, and were perhaps the first to die, because the missile exploded yards from the cockpit. But one carried to earth in his body a pivotal clue: a butterfly-shaped piece of shrapnel, a trace from a type of warhead installed in Buk missiles in Russia’s arsenal, but not Ukraine’s. Both countries possess Buk missiles, but the model types are distinct.
It would have been a hard piece of evidence to fake. Plastered onto the shrapnel shard, investigators said, were microscopic traces of glass of the type used by Boeing on its airliner cockpits, indicating clearly that it had passed through the plane’s windshield before lodging in the pilot’s body.
In Moscow on Wednesday, in anticipation of the report, President Vladimir V. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, issued a statement to reporters decrying “speculation” about the plane, but it did not refer specifically to the report.
“This whole story, unfortunately, is couched in a huge amount of speculation, unqualified and unprofessional information,” Mr. Peskov said. “There are irrefutable facts. In this case, it is important to draw conclusions with due account of the latest published information, that is, the primary data from radars that detected every airborne object that could take off or be in the airspace above militia-controlled territory.”
Those radar images, released by the Russian military on Monday, showed nothing near the airliner, Mr. Peskov said. “If any missile had existed, it could have been fired only from another territory,” he said. “I do not say which exact territory it could be. It is specialists’ business.”
The Dutch-led inquiry seemed to refute that claim, as well as a series of sometimes contradictory explanations and chains of events floated by the Kremlin and the Russian news media. Those claims included that the C.I.A. filled a drone with bodies and crashed it to discredit Russia, or that Ukrainians were trying to shoot down Mr. Putin’s plane but hit the civilian airliner instead.
The radar images released this week contradicted a similar image that Russian officials showed two years ago, which depicted two dots: one for the airliner and a second for a Ukrainian fighter jet that Russia suggested could have shot it down. At the news conference, the investigators said Russia had not responded to their request for “primary original radar data.”
Flight 17 was destroyed on July 17, 2014, amid intense fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. The disaster deepened the already strained relations between Russia and the West. Among the casualties, the largest group were Dutch.
Just a few days later, the United States government concluded that the plane had been brought down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile launched from rebel-held territory and most likely provided by Russia to pro-Moscow separatists.
The Dutch Safety Board determined in October 2015 that the plane had been shot down by a missile fired from a Buk surface-to-air system.
The report of the Joint Investigation Team, led by Mr. Westerbeke, the Netherlands’ chief public prosecutor, corroborated that finding. It concluded that the weapon used in the attack had been brought to Ukraine from Russia, though it drew no conclusions about who gave the orders to move the weapon or, most important, to shoot.
The investigators did, however, provide a timeline leading up to the destruction of the plane.
First, in intercepted telephone conversations from the evening before the attack, separatists in eastern Ukraine were heard requesting the Buk missile system in order to defend themselves from Ukrainian airstrikes. Later, according to the intercepted conversations, they were told they would receive the weapons system that night.
Second, the investigators found that a convoy of trucks brought the missile system, along with a large military vehicle that is used to launch the missiles, from the Russian border to the spot from which the missile was launched. The team said it had used intercepted phone calls, social media posts and witnesses’ testimony to piece together the route that the convoy took. It stopped in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, where several witnesses saw the trucks, including a white one carrying the missile-launching vehicle.
Third, the inquiry identified a patch of farmland where the missile was launched, about eight miles southeast from where the plane crashed.
Finally, the investigators pieced together what they said was the path the missile system took on its way back to the Russian border. They said they had spoken to a separatist who confirmed part of the return route.
(CNN)Eating at least one serving of seafood a week could help stave off Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study.
A strong case has been building for the role that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish could play in protecting against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. But questions remained about whether these benefits could be canceled out by the mercury in fish, which at high enough levels can be toxic to the brain. The new study suggests that is not the case.
Researchers delved into the complicated relationship between seafood, fatty acids, mercury and dementia among older adults living in the Chicago area. They surveyed the group about their diet every year starting in 1997, and in a subset of 286 participants who died between 2004 and 2013, they performed brain autopsies to look at the levels of mercury and whether there was neurological damage indicative of dementia.
There was indeed more mercury in the brains of participants who reported eating more seafood, but it did not appear to have any effect on whether there was neurological damage. Instead, participants who reported eating seafood at least once a week were less likely to have hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, including amyloid plaques, in their brain.
“The findings were very striking,” said Martha Clare Morris, director of nutrition and nutritional epidemiology at Rush University Medical Center.
“Our hypothesis was that seafood consumption would be associated with less neuropathology, but that if there were higher levels of mercury in the brain, that would work against that. But we didn’t find that at all,” said Morris, who is lead author of the study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The catch, however, is that the researchers only observed the benefit among participants who had a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s. These participants carried a version of the APOE gene called APOE-4, which is associated with higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
The researchers ranked the amount of neurological damage they observed on a scale of 1 to 4, from no damage to highest level of damage. Among those who had the APOE-4 gene variant, they saw about half a point less in those who ate at least one serving of seafood a week, compared with less than one serving a week.
It is possible that people who do not harbor APOE-4 could still gain some smaller amount of protection from Alzheimer’s from seafood, but the current study was not big enough to detect it, Morris said.
“One theory is that seafood consumption may be more beneficial in older age because, as we age, we lose DHA in the brain,” a molecule that is important to maintain brain health, Morris said. DHA is one of the main fatty acids that can be obtained from fish. People with APOE-4 are thought to lose even more DHA in the brain, so seafood consumption could be even more beneficial to them, Morris added.
The benefit of fatty acid may not be limited to just Alzheimer’s. The researchers found that participants who reported eating a diet rich in a type of fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, which is found in vegetable oils, nuts and soy, had less damage in their brain that is characteristic of vascular dementia. Vascular dementia, which is less common than Alzheimer’s, occurs when blood vessels become blocked and cut off oxygen to the brain.
“The evidence is quite clear that people who consume healthier forms of fish [which are baked or broiled rather than fried] are going to end up with healthier brains,” said James T. Becker, professor of psychiatry and associate director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the current study.
As for whether mercury increases the risk of dementia, “I personally don’t think there’s evidence for it. I think these heavy metals are going to do other things first,” such as causing nerve pain, itching or burning, Becker said.
This study could not rule on whether people who regularly select seafood that tends to be higher in mercury, such as tuna and swordfish, have problems associated with the higher mercury exposure. The researchers did not drill down to find out all the types of fish participants ate.
Morris pointed out that the types of seafood most commonly consumed by Americans — shrimp, salmon, tilapia — are low in mercury. The one exception is canned tuna, which can be high in mercury.
The current study found the benefit of eating seafood for brain health maxes out at one serving per week. More than that did not bestow participants with any additional protection from the types of brain damage associated with dementia.
This suggests that you might not have to meet the 8 ounces of seafood, about two servings, a week that the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends to reap the brain health benefits. “Three ounces could give you that protection,” Morris said.
It is still possible that certain kinds of seafood consumption could have a dark side in terms of brain health. “Our findings can’t be generalized to people who are really high consumers of seafood,” Morris said. In the Midwest population in the study, very few ate seafood every day.
The current study did not address whether participants whose brains had endured less damage also exhibited fewer symptoms of dementia when they were alive. However another study will be coming out soon that looks at the relationship between seafood consumption and cognitive decline in this group of older adults, Morris said.
Germany’s Green Party has admitted it had extensive links with a pro-paedophile lobbying organisation in the eighties and was involved in campaigns at the time to legalise sex with children.
The revelations bear similarities to allegations that a pro-paedophile group had links to prominent politicians in the UK and received government funding.
But unlike in the UK, where politicians have denied links to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), the full extent of the German Greens’ involvement with pro-paedophile organisations has emerged in a report commissioned by the party itself, in an attempt to come clean about its past.
“The decisions taken at that time were not acceptable,” the German Greens’ national chairman Simone Peter, said at a press conference to release the report, adding that the party “deeply regretted” that it was “responding to the debate much too late”.
The Green Party’s reputation suffered considerable harm when its historic links with a German lobbying group called the Federal Association for Gays, Transexuals and Pederasts, which campaigned for a repeal of all sexual offences laws, including those against sex with children, first emerged in Spiegel magazine last year.
The new report was commissioned in part to stem the fall-out from those revelations, but the details which emerge in it could prove damaging.
The report includes an extensive list of Green Party local election campaign material that called for the decriminalisation of paedophilia during the eighties.
“We distance ourselves explicitly from demands for impunity for paedophile acts,” the party said in a statement. “Sexuality between adults and children is always sexual violence against children and a form of abuse, with serious, sometimes life-long consequences for those affected.
“We apologise to those who feel their pain and suffering has been mocked by our debates and positions in the 1980s. We regret it deeply if perpetrators have gained a sense of legitimacy for their actions from these debates.”
(Reuters) – A sweeping government study of thousands of women has found links between the older antidepressants Prozac and Paxil and birth defects, but has cleared other popular treatments in the class, including Celexa, Lexapro and Pfizer’s Zoloft, which is the subject of a major lawsuit over birth defect claims.
Earlier studies had raised questions about antidepressants in a class of drugs known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs, prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005 to issue a safety warning about use of the treatments during pregnancy.
In the current study, published on Wednesday in the British Medical Journal, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wanted to see if the birth defect risk affected the entire class of drugs, or only select treatments.
For the study, the researchers asked nearly 28,000 women if they took Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft any time from one month before conception through the third month of pregnancy and analyzed which women bore children with birth defects.
They found that many popular antidepressants – Celexa, Lexapro or Zoloft – are not associated with birth defects. Only two in the study, Prozac, sold generically as fluoxetine, and Paxil, sold generically as paroxetine, were implicated.
In women who took those two drugs early in pregnancy, birth defects occurred 2 to 3.5 times more frequently compared with women who did not take them.
Prozac use was associated with a birth defect in which a baby’s skull is misshapen. Paxil use was associated with a defect in which a baby’s intestines protrude outside the body and with anencephaly, in which a baby is missing parts of the brain and skull, the study found.
Both Paxil and Prozac were linked to a heart defect.
The study’s authors noted that the risks appeared to be small. For example, in women who took paroxetine early in pregnancy, the risk for anencephaly rose from 2 cases per 10,000 to 7 per 10000.
The analysis was only able to show links between the drugs and birth defects, but could not prove that the drugs caused the deformities.
The authors called the findings about Zoloft “reassuring” because the drug was used by some 40 percent of the women in the study who said they had used an antidepressant in early pregnancy.
A five-decade study of U.S. women has found that those exposed to high levels of the pesticide DDT in the womb were four times as likely to get breast cancer.
The study is the first of its kind to directly link breast cancer in humans to DDT, which was banned in many countries decades ago but continues to be used widely in Africa and Asia.
“Environmental chemicals have long been suspected causes of breast cancer, but until now, there have been few human studies to support this idea,” said Barbara Cohn of the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California, co-author of the study published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
“This 54-year study is the first to provide direct evidence that chemical exposures for pregnant women may have lifelong consequences for their daughters’ breast cancer risk.”
Researchers examined a group of women who were exposed in utero to DDT in the 1960s, when the pesticide was popular in the United States.
The data came from a California program called Child Health and Development Studies, which studied 20,754 pregnancies among women who were members of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan from 1959 through 1967.
From this large group, researchers focused on 118 mothers who had daughters who were diagnosed with breast cancer by age 52.
Stored blood samples from the 118 gave scientists a picture of how much DDT exposure they had when pregnant or shortly after giving birth.
“Independent of the mother’s history of breast cancer, elevated levels of DDT in the mother’s blood were associated with a nearly four-fold increase in the daughter’s risk of breast cancer,” said the study.
“Among the women who were diagnosed with breast cancer, 83 percent had estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, a form of cancer that may receive signals from the hormone estrogen to promote tumor growth.”
Women in the highest exposure group were also more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cancer than women who were not exposed to DDT.
The chemicals in DDT are known to be endocrine disruptors, which can mimic and interfere with the function of the hormone estrogen.
Previous research has linked DDT exposure to birth defects, reduced fertility and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
“This study calls for a new emphasis on finding and controlling environmental causes of breast cancer that operate in the womb,” said Cohn.
“Our findings should prompt additional clinical and laboratory studies that can lead to prevention, early detection and treatment of DDT-associated breast cancer in the many generations of women who were exposed in the womb.”