Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Truce

BBC story about the Christmas Truce of 1914, here. Featuring eyewitness accounts.

Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S.

   "A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad...."
  "The Justice Department report, describing what it calls “the government’s collaboration with persecutors,” says that O.S.I investigators learned that some of the Nazis “were indeed knowingly granted entry” to the United States, even though government officials were aware of their pasts. “America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became — in some small measure — a safe haven for persecutors as well,” it said."
via New York Times

The Office of Special Invesigations: Striving for Accountability in the Aftermath of the Holocaust

WWI Propaganda Posters.

A really nice collection of WWI propaganda posters can be found here, along with a ton of great historical information as well!

Victory Garden!

Sow the Seeds of Victory!

No War Against Iran: December Digest

  • Yearly Price Tab for Afghan Forces: $6 Billion, Indefinitely | Danger Room |
  • If you read Wikileaks you are a felon - Boing Boing
  • Top CIA spy in Pakistan pulled amid threats after public accusation over attack
  • Intelligence Reports Offer Grim Outlook on Afghanistan War
  • US Air Force Blocks Internet Access To New York Times, Guardian And 23 Other Website Posting WikiLeaks Documents
"In a society where truth becomes treason, we're in big trouble" - Ron Paul
  • John Pilger: Why are wars not being reported honestly? | Media | The Guardian
  • Gates: Afghanistan war progress has 'exceeded my expectations'
But really, what would you expect him to say?

No War Against Iran - November Digest

“The only real thing about this war is the dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, the wasted tax dollars and the mounting evidence telling us to get out.”
  • New Low For Afghanistan War: 47 Percent of Military Families Want Troops Brought Home « SpeakEasy
Every day, more and more people are willing to state the obvious: the Afghanistan War isn’t making us safer and it’s not worth the cost. Now the president is losing a powerful constituency on his Afghanistan policy: almost half of military families say the troops should be brought home .
Half of $7.5b US aid to be funneled through gov. ministries, not aid groups.
US more than willing to let Yemen take the blame for killing civilians, children.
Diplomatic cables reveal the U.S. has been launching strikes in Yemen, but attacks are claimed by local government
  • It's Official: White House Brands Wikileaks, And All Those Associated, As Criminals | zero hedge
  • The US of A breaks the Soviet record - Glenn Greenwald -
As of tomorrow, the American occupation of Afghanistan will have lasted longer than the suicidal Soviet one
  • YouTube - Brzezinski on the Afghan war Pt1
  • Peak Oil: why the Pentagon is pessimistic [EXCLUSIVE] - Oil Man - Blog
  • Afghanistan will be gripped by 'extreme violence' after troops leave | World news | The Guardian
  • Get Out of Afghanistan? US and NATO Think They're Just Getting Started | World | AlterNet
  • Chart of the Day: Peak Oil | Mother Jones
"In fact, Yemeni officials suspect he had been serving as a "double agent" planted in al Qaeda by the Saudis, according to the AP."
  • Saudi arms deal is about Iran (Rep. Ron Paul) - The Hill's Congress Blog
"We are told that our increasingly aggressive policies toward Iran are justified by that country’s rigid Islamic laws and human-rights violations, while the even more repressive Islamic rule in Saudi Arabia is never mentioned."

    Never mind the Hun, we want our money!

    from the Chapter: Background: Consuming the Future

       In addition to being the greatest bloodbath in the history of western Europe and the greatest in eastern Europe until the Second World War, the Great War was a process by which all the great powers, victors and vanquished alike, transformed themselves from bastions of prosperity into sinkholes of poverty and debt. Financially as in so many other ways, the war was a road to ruin....

       What was not foreseen was the ability of the industrialized nations to go on fighting year after year even while devouring themselves financially. As astute an economist as John Maynard Keynes was a year into the Great War before he understood that total war would not cause total financial collapse. “As long as there are goods and labor in the country the government can buy them with banknotes,” he wrote in September 1915, “and if the people try to spend the notes, an increase in their real consumption is immediately checked by a corresponding rise of prices.” The truth, he concluded, was that bankruptcy would never force the great powers to stop fighting. They could be stopped only by the exhaustion of their manpower, their physical resources, or their will to continue. The next few years showed him to be entirely right....

       Great nations found themselves unable not only to pay their bills but even, in some cases, to pay the interest on what they were borrowing. By 1917 the German government’s expenditures amounted to 76 percent of net national product; they had been 18 percent just before the war. Tax revenues were covering only 8 percent of the spending. That same year Britain’s military spending was 70 percent of national output, and revenues were about a fourth of expenses. France’s military budget, thanks to heavy borrowing, was equal to or even more than total output....

       The British and French were far more able than the Germans to repatriate money they had invested overseas, and because of the naval blockade only the Entente was able to buy and borrow from the United States. But gradually, inexorably, their treasuries were depleted. Questions arose in New York and Washington about their ability to make good on their debt. In November 1916 the U.S. Federal Reserve Board warned its member banks against continuing to buy foreign—which meant British and French—treasury bills. The result was a near-panic in which London retaliated by briefly ceasing to place orders in the United States and urged France to do likewise. By April 1917 the British were spending $75 million a week in the United States, were overdrawn on their American accounts by $358 million, and had only $490 million in securities and $87 million in gold to draw on to make good their debt. In short, they were only weeks away from insolvency.
       But this was a crisis for the United States too. American manufacturers and farmers had become dependent on sales to the Entente, and American banks were owed immense amounts. A British and French financial collapse—never mind the outright defeat of the two nations—would have been a disaster for the U.S. economy. Thus the German submarines were not Washington’s only reason for wanting to save the Entente. In purely practical business terms, it became dangerous for the United States not to enter the war.

    The following is from ZeroHedge :
    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Dec. 14 projects that under current law, debt held by the public will exceed $16 trillion by 2020, reaching nearly 70% of GDP. The CBO also projects the combination of rising debt and rising interest rates to cause net interest payments to balloon to nearly $800 billion, or 3.4% of GDP, by 2020 (Fig. 2).