Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Otto Dix - War Images

Otto Dix (1891-1969) via Encyclopedia of Irish & World Art

The German painter and printmaker Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix was one of the greatest and most powerful representatives of the post-war satirical style of German Expressionism, which flourished during the 1920s in Berlin, Dresden, Mannheim and other major cities. The target for Dix's satirical, often brutal style of expressionism was the horror of war, of which he had first-hand experience, and the decadent depravities of the post-war Weimar Republic. A member of Die Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) school, Dix was banned by the Nazis who classified his art as degenerate. Acknowledged as one of the greatest post-war expressionist painters, his 1920s paintings are regarded as some of the finest anti-war pictures of modern art.

The Trench

Stormtroopers Advancing Under Gas - 1924

Machine Gunner Advancing

Meal Time in the Trenches - 1923/24

Trenches - 1917

Flandern - 1934

Economic Hitmen

John Perkins, author of 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman' and 'Hoodwinked', describes the methods the economic elite uses to export American empire and mercantile capitalism around the globe, to the detriment of indigenous populations everywhere. O yeah, and it's in cartoon form!

Would you like to play a game?

Animated map showing Nuclear Explosions from 1945-1998.
"1945-1998" by Isao Hashimoto (Japan, © 2003)

Walter Cronkite - Feb. 27, 1968

Walter Cronkite gives his real opinions about Vietnam following the Tet offensive:

Footage of the fighting in Saigon here:


by William Jason Mathews on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 8:40pm

Our monetary, environmental and security problems are not a right versus left issue! The real right and the real left are both aware of the problem, and find themselves on the same side of the banker's corporate sword; though they may have different solutions to the threat. The real dichotomy is the bought-out politicians, the kleptomaniac corporations, and the dumbed-down media against the rest of humanity.

The progressives and the libertarians, the environmentalists and the entrepreneurs, the Christians and the scientists, the middle classes and the urban poor need to unite together against the thieves and liars who run this country and who buy and sell us and our children into debt slavery on a daily basis. Wake up and realize which side you are truly on. As long as the little divisions are the ones we are seeing we will remain divided and unable to face down the corporate Leviathan that has swallowed this country whole.

Our enemy is large and strong but thick and arrogant. Where he is sluggish, we are nimble. Where he is slow to change, we are quick to adapt. Where he is false and disingenuous, we are righteous and truthful. Where he must purchase his allies, ours come of their own free will. Where he has greed, we have truth. Let the games begin.

Corporations are NOT people. Corporations are by their very nature a-political and anti-social. Sharks don't have politics, friendships, or emotions... only hunger and an implacable need to keep swimming. You cannot reason with a beast. You can only kill it or run.

Black Sabbath - War Pigs (Live in Paris 1970)

War Made Easy

War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.

Or watch here.

Charlie Chaplin - The Great Dictator (speech) - 1940

Eisenhower Farewell Address - 'Military Industrial Complex'

The full television broadcast of Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address
delivered January 17, 1961
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."

Full text here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Sergo Grigorian Collection of Soviet Political Posters:

'The most extensive private collection available for public viewing.'

See more here!

George Orwell - 1984

George Orwell - 1984
The complete novel!
"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him."

From the 'War is Peace' department:

Is the Iraq War Over? Are U.S. Troops Still Fighting and Dying in Iraq?:
via The People's Voice
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said shortly after the 'end' of the war, 'I don't think anybody has declared the end of the war as far as I know. Counter-terrorism will still be part of their mission.'

read more here

A Tea Party Foreign Policy - By Ron Paul | Foreign Policy

A Tea Party Foreign Policy - By Ron Paul | Foreign Policy
"As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad. We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries."

Dateline 1941: British Forces Invade Iran

Dateline 1941: British Forces Invade Iran

by William Jason Mathews on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 2:51pm

"This incident brings into war a neutral and pacific country which has had no other care than the safeguarding of tranquillity and the reform of the country." - Reza Shah Pahlavi in letter to Franklin Roosevelt, 25 August 1941

During World War Two, Great Britain and the Soviet Union launched a joint invasion of the neutral Imperial State of Iran in a action named 'Operation Countenance'. Operation Countenance was conducted between August 25 and September 17, 1941, would lead to an occupation that would last until 1946, and would end the reign of Reza Shah, who is considered today, by many, to be the father of the modern Iranian nation.

Reza Shah Pahlavi
In 1933, Reza Shah had demanded the abolishment of the D'Arcey Oil concession. The concession was a 60 year contract granting extensive rights to exploit Persian oil reserves, and had resulted in the creation of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC). A controlling interest in APOC had been purchased in 1913 by the British Crown at the behest of then First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. According to Kevin Myers writing in the Irish Journal, The Independent: in 1923, the Burmah Oil Company (APOC's parent corporation) secretly gave £5,000 (a huge sum at the time) to future Prime Minister Winston Churchill to lobby the British government on their behalf. Their goal was to monopolise Persian oil resources. 

The Iranian government had many complaints about the scope and transparency of APOC operations in Iran: unfair compensation, opaque accounting, and mistreatment of workers among them. But despite his previously hard-line stance, the Shah quickly gave in to British demands after Britain took the matter to the Permanent Court of International Justice at the Hague. 

The Iranians had become deeply suspicious of the perceived colonial aspirations of the British and Russian empires. But they found a willing commercial partner in Hitler's Germany, and one that was apparently willing to deal with them as equals. By 1939 Germany had become Iran's leading trade partner, and by 1941 accounted for nearly 50% of all of Iran's foreign trade. Germany was actively helping to modernize Iran. Yet, officially, Iran was a declared 'neutral' country in the World conflict.

His [Reza Shah's] foreign policy, which had consisted essentially of playing the Soviet Union off against Great Britain, failed when those two powers joined in 1941 to fight the Germans. - Encyclopedia Britannica.http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/500867/Reza-Shah-Pahlavi

Now, 8 years after the Shah had tried to nullify the D'Arcey concession, under the aegis of Churchill, Britain had invaded Iran. The BBC states about the action:

The invasion and occupation of Persia was swift and undemanding. The British units invaded Persia from their bases in Iraq, to the south of Iran. The Russians invaded from the north. Persian resistance was rapidly overwhelmed and neutralised by Soviet and British tanks and infantry. 

The proximate cause of the invasion was that Iran had refused to allow Allied troops to be deployed on Iranian territory, and had refused to deport German nationals working in Iran, though they probably numbered less than 1000, according to British Intelligence reports.

It was clear from their message of August 6 that the Persians would not meet our wishes regarding the expulsion of German agents and residents from their country, and that we should have to resort to force. The next stage was to co-ordinate our plans, diplomatic and military, with those of the Russians. - Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Volume III, The Grand Alliancehttp://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/Petroleum/iran.htm

More important was the need to safeguard materials and munitions traveling to the Soviet Republic under the U.S. Lend Lease act via the southern, Persian Gulf route. The Allies also hoped to prevent Germany from seizing, or other wise making use of, Persian oil fields. Additionally, the invasion would be a foil against Turkey, which was an Axis power during World War II.

The need to pass munitions and supplies of all kinds to the Soviet Government and the extreme difficulties of the Arctic route, together with future strategic possibilities, made it eminently desirable to open the fullest communication with Russia through Persia. The Persian oilfields were a prime war factor. An active and numerous German mission had installed itself in Teheran, and German prestige stood high.... We welcomed the opportunity of joining hands with the Russians and proposed to them a joint campaign. - Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Volume III, The Grand Alliance

Winston Churchill
Churchill would subsequently call Iran the 'Bridge to Victory'. But there was still one problem, what to do with the popular and decidedly anti-colonial Shah.

The 'Great' Shah had sought to modernize Iran. During his reign, Iran had built thousands of miles of highways, installed modern communications systems, established the University of Tehran, promoted European style education, increased the number of industrial operations many times over, and built the Trans-Iranian Railway. Under his government women were no longer required to wear the veil, in fact it was no longer allowed. Jews were shown respect by the regime. But during this time he had also made many enemies. He had tried to curtail foreign influence, to the detriment of the British, the Dutch, and other colonial powers, and he had alienated the Muslim clerics by rejecting Islamic tradition.

The British would see to it that his control of 'their' oil was at an end. He was 'asked' to abdicate in favor of his young son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Mohammad claimed his fathers rule on September 16, 1941. Reza Shah was forced into exile in South Africa, where the British could keep close tabs on him. He would die 3 years later, still residing in Johannesburg, at the age of 66.

This would not be the last time the British would intervene by placing Mohammad Reza Pahlavi upon the throne of Iran.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

BBC NEWS | In pictures: Dresden firebombed

BBC NEWS | In pictures: Dresden firebombed

Between 13 and 15 February 1945, the allies pounded the German city of Dresden with explosives and incendiary bombs, creating a citywide firestorm.
With the German army already in retreat, controversy has raged over why the city's total destruction was necessary.

A People's History of the United States

A People's History of the United States:
A complete online OCR scan of Howard Zinn's classic.

Slaughterhouse-five: or, The ... - Google Books

Slaughterhouse-five: or, The ... - Google Books:
"Slaughterhouse-five: or, The children's crusade, a duty-dance with death" -By Kurt Vonnegut

War Is A Racket, by Major General Smedley Butler, 1935

War Is A Racket, by Major General Smedley Butler, 1935
via Howard Zinn's 'Voices of a People's History'

'Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few -- the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?
This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.
For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.'

All Quiet On The Western Front

All Quiet On The Western Front
The full classic movie.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway - eBook

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway - eBook
The full text of Ernest Hemingway's classic book about World War I