– WORD CRIMES where TRUTH IS NO DEFENCE –
Of things to come in Australia – from Canada where the Human Rights industry has turned into a full-blown witch-hunt industry favouring Jewish interests and, among other interests, eliminating anything German.
Friends of Freedom
A private newsletter for the supporters of the Canadian Free Speech League, dealing in cases of the
censorship and persecution of political, religious, and historical opinion.
Box 101, 255 Menzies Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 2G6, Western Canada
2008 Puts Free Speech in Spotlight
The first months of this year have been extremely eventful, from the perspective of freedom of speech, with developments in all major ongoing cases, some so fast it's hard to keep up to them. The great thing is that this has led to public discussion of free speech in the media, on the internet and even in Parliament.
The following is a summary of highlights from the most prominent cases:
Ahenakew Wins Appeal
The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal released its decision in the hate crimes case in the first weeks of January, finding in his favour, and therefore ordering a new trial. The appeal court found that while Ahenakew’s words were “shocking, brutal and hurtful, however, that is not the measure of the offence prescribed by … the Criminal Code.” The trial judge failed to consider “whether Mr. Ahenakew had the intent necessary for a finding of guilt.” Doug Christie praised the court for its “very helpful explanation of the high degree of intention necessary to constitute a crime of words.”
Meanwhile, “We think it’s wrong,” said Steven Slimovitch, a lawyer for the Jewish advocacy group B’nai Brith, which was an intervener in the appeal.
His further comment points out the delicacy of the vital question of intent: “There’s no question it opens the door for someone to wilfully promote hatred as long as they didn’t spend excessive time planning and preparing and deliberating about it.”
What Mr Slimovitch fails to acknowledge is that “wilfully” in the law requires a high degree of intent.
After all the time, public money and energy that has been spent on this case, in the course of which David Ahenakew has been stripped of his Order of Canada and suffered almost universal opprobrium for what he thought were comments made in private, not for publication, and in the heat of an argument, you would think that the Crown would not proceed with a further trial.
That however, is not the way the system works, and a date for a new trial has now been set for later this year. In the meantime, following the appeal victory, the FSIN (Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations), to which David Ahenakew had been an important senate member, contributing much to the understanding of his people’s position in Canada, voted to reinstate him. This has raised a huge public controversy, which is at the moment ongoing. He, for his part, has stated that he declines the position, saying the federal and provincial governments were out “to punish First Nations people. It is shameful that the government would use an individual who has apologized for a grave mistake, to hold hostage the poorest segment of our society.”
This was in response to Federal Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Chuck Strahl’s widely publicised statements that the federal representatives won’t support or attend a meeting if David Ahenakew is present. As well, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall called on the FSIN to reconsider their position.
Following that, the recorded 17-year-old ill-advised remarks of MP Tom Lukiwski regarding homosexuals, along with the mocking ethnic impersonation by Saskatchewan Premier Wall at the same party, have surfaced.
Premier Brad Wall was quite vociferous in his condemnation of David Ahenakew. Now the Premier and the federal representatives claim that an apology for their innocent “word crimes” of the past should be sufficient to allow them to continue in positions of public trust. Why shouldn’t this be true for Mr. Ahenakew, as well? He has apologised, just like the MP and the Premier. This is now the subject of many editorials throughout Canada.
The endresult of this situation should be that every one has a greater understanding that words should not be a crime. As Doug Christie pointed out in many interviews on the subject, which of us has not made remarks in the heat of a moment, perhaps with in sufficient information or understanding, that we regret? As Chief Lawrence Joseph of the FSIN said: “I think the Western concept of justice and the First Nations’ concept of justice differ in a way that we look at forgiveness and repentance and thereby acceptance and a second chance.”
He’s got a point.
Criminalizing such words and not accepting a person’s right to think, change their mind and possibly regret -- or not – what they’ve once said only has the effect of stopping the flow of ideas and discourse to a meagre trickle, not what a vibrant, creative society needs.
The date for the next Ahenakew trial is set for November 24th to 28th in Saskatoon. A change of venue to the defendant’s reserve might be requested.
Warman v. Lemire
Canadian Human Rights Case
A review of some history is required here. The years of struggling against the draconian laws of the Canadian Human Rights Act, specifically section 13(1), have finally produced what may be the tipping point.
Doug Christie first acted for John Ross Taylor, an early victim of this legislation, in what was its first constitutional challenge in December, 1989, in the Supreme Court of Canada.
Doug appeared alone, arguing against this section and predicting the slippery slope free speech in Canada would descend unless and until the section was repealed.
The Supreme Court of Canada held it to be constitutional and behold, the “slippery slope” as ridiculed by Doug's opponents lined up that day in their numbers against him: I well remember the representatives of special interest groups, the Attorney General of Canada and from many of the provinces, as well as the Human Rights Commission, and including such notables as Irwin Cotler. There was just one vilified man against all those venerable authorities.
Later, when Doug attempted to alert the media to the effects of the legislation in the Press Gallery of Parliament, he was banned from the precincts of Parliament by official government edict. He did not give up, but has suffered continued ignominy all the while continuing to defend cases like Tony McAleer and Bill Berschied and Doug Collins in BC, and Ernst Zündel in Ontario, to the accusation that he “only” defends anti-semites and neo-Nazis. Usually however, that broad class of people are the ones under attack by this legislation.
If we fastforward approximately 20 years, we see that in the hands of complainants like Richard Warman with his perfect record of convictions, the legislation has been a steamroller down that incline of degraded freedom of speech.
Because of the way our institutions such as the Supreme Court have regarded free speech, as supported by the media, citizens have become less sure of what they write and say, especially in our multicultural society.
The effect has been that a complaint by someone like Richard Warman is as good as a finding of “guilty,” that is, however, until he tangled with Marc Lemire and his website Freedomsite.org, and his intrepid, very precise lawyer Barbara Kulaszka, who was co-counsel with Doug Christie in the Zündel false news and Human Rights cases, as well as the Finta war crimes case.
Mr. Lemire, unlike all previous defendants that Warman has walked over, has refused to acquiesce. At great cost to himself and his family, he’s continued over the space of years now, to fight the allegations against him, with Barbara’s carefully researched and reasoned arguments. Doug Christie has been acting on behalf of the intervener the Canadian Free Speech League (with your help!) and Paul Fromm on behalf of CAFÉ.
For years it has seemed hopeless until they were able to discover the electronic tracks of the complainant’s organizationally incestuous relationship with the Commission. You see, Richard Warman was employed by them, prior to becoming their chief “independent” complainant. On the face of it, such a relationship violates fundamental precepts of justice and demonstrates a conflict of interest.
Many Canadians suspect this happens in many quasi-judicial settings, but rarely does anyone find the proof, and get it into the public eye where the media makes much of it, forcing the authorities to finally pay attention. Such has happened in the Lemire case because of the coincidental attacks on the freedom of speech of other respondents, not tainted by the usual derogatory label, in other complaints.
These are Ezra Levant, in a complaint be fore the Alberta Human Rights Commission for publishing the legendary Danish cartoons in his now de-funct magazine, and Macleans magzine for publishing a chapter of Mark Steyn’s book, a New York Times best seller, “America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It.”
Both of these defendants have fought back with every means at their disposal, including to avail themselves of the results of Marc Lemire’s efforts, which now have been publicized to the world through blogs and in the main stream media to the effect that huge numbers of people have become aware of this worm in the core of the apple.
Ezra Levant’s appearance at the hearing has been viewed by the masses via YouTube, so that for ever more the censors will be aware that their deeds might be watched by the whole world, even though they have one shaking person before them who dared to think, speak or write an unapproved word.
It was amazing and inspiring to be able to watch Ezra in that hearing, and to know the power of the Internet to show what he did.
Then there's Mark Steyn, whose columns are anticipated the way some people await the next book by Terry Pratchett.
The way his humour pierces the armour of pomposity and self-righteousness of the censors is reminiscent of Doug Collins, and such fearlessness has fortified everyone who reads his writing.
The public awareness has built to the degree that the Human Rights Commission was, one might speculate, shamed into opening a “secret” proceeding on March 25th.
As well the courageous M.P. Keith Martin has put forward a private member’s bill to abolish section 13(1) of the Human Rights Act. How ironic that Doug Christie was banned from the precincts of Parliament when he was trying to give his reasons for advocating the same thing in the early 90s!
His reason at that time was the fact that truth is not a defence to Human Rights charges!
The March 25th hearing was unlike any other in the history of the Human Rights Commission as there were for a change a great number of non-partisan observers with the potential of showing a good cross-section of Canadians interested in free speech what actually goes on in these proceedings. They came expecting drama, it appears from their blogs, and many came without understanding the history of the event, and so may have been bored by the cross-examination of the Commission’s investigator Dean Steacy.
Significant evidence was revealed, for example, that the Commission accessed an insecure Internet wireless con nection to publish on the targeted website, their own anonymous messages, using the pseudonym “Jadewarr,” something that might be considered identity theft or theft of electronic media.
Much has been written about that day, on blogs, and even in newspaper and magazine accounts. See Macleans magazine and Mark Steyn’s blog at www.steynonline.com for complete and some times very funny coverage of the events.
For example, the article entitled “That poor woman down the street --Apparently it’s perfectly okay for the CHRC to hijack its neighbour’s computer system” in the April 2, 2008 edition of Macleans Magazine.
Further to the events of that day, Marc Lemire has made a complaint to the Ottawa police of four criminal charges in the activities of the Commission and filed further arguments. It is an open question as to whether there will be any more evidence presented before a decision is rendered.
N.B. Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act reads as follows:
“13 (1) It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communi cated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertak ing within the legislative author ity of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those per sons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”
Wiebe “Masculinst” Defamation Case
The defamtion case of Ken Wiebe who sued government-funded university professors who published that he was a hate criminal because of what he published on his Fathers’ rights group website, has come to a conclusion with a decision from Mr. Justice Nathan Smith. He held that while Mr. Wiebe had been defamed by the comments, they were “fair comment.” In other words, to say that someone is a hate criminal is only an opinion. The decision has been appealed.
Montague Challenge to Firearms Legislation
The control of private ownership of firearms continues to be a state priority, whether the government be Liberal or Conservative. At the sentencing hearing for Mr. Montague in March, his wife Donna was given a suspended sentence and Bruce Montague, although acquitted of a large per cent age of the charges, was given an 18-month jail sentence. He has appealed the verdict and should have been granted bail by the time this is published.
This case raises the issue of liberty or state control in the important issue of self-defense.
Klundert Tax Case
The ten-year saga of optometrist Jack Klundert’s income tax case continued in March with the second crown appeal which was heard and reserved.
The government wants to take away all defences as it seeks to make the mere failure to file a crime, with jail as a result.
The appeal judgment will set new law in Canada, where taxes continue to rise, and citizens continue to seek the means to resist them. It is important to remember that Jack Klundert has been acquitted by two juries on the same charges over ten years.
Seifert “War Crimes” Case
Mr. Justice O'Reilly decided that there was no evidence to find Michael Seifert was guilty of the charges against him. This decision was made in the only proceeding in Canada to actually hear witnesses examined and cross-examined. He examined first-hand the evidence upon which the case was based.
The only Canadian “trial” found Michael Seifert not guilty of atrocities.
On January 17th the Supreme Court, without the benefit of any argument upon the decision of Mr. Justice O’Reilly, which was rendered after the leave application was filed, dismissed the leave application filed by Mr. Christie and shortly thereafter, Mr. Seifert was deported from Canada at age 83, by an order of former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, made after the dissolution of the last Parliament, when the last election was called.
Thus are the perils of these dual attacks, whereby the government, with all its resources, instead of proceeding to a criminal charge and trial in Canada (didn't we change the law for that very purpose after the Deschenes Commission?), uses the civil courts as a citizenship matter, with deportation the aim, at the same time proceeding to extradite in another court.
Mr. Seifert is now in a military prison in Naples, where he is in ill health and under threats of murder. There is no public awareness of this gross miscarriage of justice.
Glenn Bahr and Terry Tremaine
Hu man Rights/Hate Cases
Glenn Bahr is the Alberta man whose criminal case was stayed when it was pointed out to the prosecutor that proceeding with charges under section 319(2) of the Criminal Code after trying the same issue under the Human Rights Act violates the principle of res judicatur, or double jeopardy. Now Mr. Bahr is bringing a criminal charge against Sergeant Camp of the Edmonton City Police for posting under the name “Estate,” which charge is being investigated by the Edmonton City Police.
Terry Tremaine in Regina is being prosecuted, just like Mr. Bahr, under the Criminal Code for promoting hatred, after he was prosecuted under the Human Rights Act for the same thing. This seems to be a pattern. Mr. Christie pointed out to the prosecutor the outcome in the Bahr case, where the stay was entered because of double jeopardy. So far, the charge has not been stayed in Tremaine’s case.
Warman v. Paul Fromm
Defama tion Case
Just before public discussion of Richard Warman demonstrated his unbelievable activities as a serial Human Rights Act complainant and ex-employee of the Human Rights Commission, Paul Fromm was found liable for defamation of him for saying many of the same things that are now widely repeated in the mainstream media. The word “censor” in particular was objected to by Mr. Warman in the law suit. Obviously that term is a matter of opinion.
Mr. Fromm is appealing the decision on the grounds that he should not be liable to pay $50,000 for expressing his honest opinion about Mr. Warman.
The appeal is based on the error of law wherein the judge mistook opinions for statements of ‘fact, and failed to give recognition to the defence of fair comment. The appeal is in the transcript preparation phase, at enormous expense to Mr. Fromm. Mr. Christie represents him on the appeal.
Macdonald v. Warren Kinsella & theC.B.C.
In this defamation case, Ian Macdonald of Ottawa is suing Warren Kinsella for comments about him, made on a CBC television program. This case is a necessary defence of those with unpopular opinions. Mr. Kinsella accused Mr. Macdonald of financing terrorism. This seems like a statement of fact. Mr. Kinsella is the well-known author of the book “Web of Hate.”
Mr. Christie represents Mr. Macdonald in this trial which will take place in Ottawa during the month of June, 2008.
Doug Chris tie’s Law Society Case
We can only wonder at the timing of the media finally giving wide and prominent play to the old news about Doug Christie’s law society disciplinary hearing, decided last year, with the penalty hearing on December 17th. The articles regarding these events have been uniformly inaccurate, verging on false. Even the so-called “corrections” to the false articles have been at the bare minimum, confusing, if not false again.
It all comes right after Doug has had at least a little bit of credit for his work against the Human Rights legislation, as well as recognition for his work defend ing David Ahenakew.
In the wake of the media attention, Doug has had many of the usual nasty phone calls and emails, but we’d like to say how much we appreciate the wonderfully supportive calls, letters and emails from you, our friends, as well as from complete strangers.
It is intensely ironical to us that every time the media publishes such detrimental stories, neglecting the facts of the situation, we continue to receive such kind and supportive expressions from even people we do not know. We believe it is indeed a symptom of the times we live in that there exists such
cynicism about what is published in the media, and such desperation from people who have their own legal struggles, as to inundate Doug with their cases.
In any case, Doug has decided to appeal the decision of the Law Society, as well as the $20,000 in costs and $2,500 fine for adding the words “please call Jim Krahn for pick up” to three subpoena, issued in 2003 with no results except to receive voluntary disclosure from American Express of the front and back of one traveller's cheque where the executor forged the deceased's signature to cremate his body in Costa Rica where he had taken him on a holiday three days earlier.
Thanks for Your Support
Once more I would like to thank our friends and supporters throughout the world for your tremendous encouragement during these recent trying times.
It has, however, been so exciting and gratifying to see the public awareness about the issue of freedom of expression that has emerged through the efforts of those defending the Marc Lemire case, and those who dare to think and write about it. We are particularly grateful for the freedom that still exists on the Internet.
The Kitler Cat Song
Prophetic imperative - guided by a cat called Kitler? - what next?
Dagmar Brenne – 20 January 2008
Just dare to mention Kitley's name
Means your dismissal, loss and shame
well, associates early and late
avoid a friend of -- 88 -- !
Without the plague or leprosy
Just looking into history,
with spies and bad friends all around
you could be in detention found.
Black and white Kitler cat,
Interesting life you led,
Fear of Jews is in the land
His whispered name behind the hand,
Not out loud.
Who is the fellow with the Mo
that throws them in a panic so?
the "chosen ones", quite undisguised
loathe him as much as Jesus Christ.
What was his crime, what has he done,
to stir their hate second to none?
From Mammon's grip his land to free,
when Jews would ''perish Germany''!
Hey, hey Kitler cat,
Interesting life you led,
For your sign lives on in spite
Threats of prison, Mammon's might,
Hail to you.
And the ''Triumph of the Will",
as a film inspires still.
Speeches, soldiers, what a show,
And the man there with the Mo!
Laughing people - Jubilation,
Working men from all the nation,
Banners, a display of light.
German Future, German Fight!
Security to be tightened at synagogues at Passover which coincides with Hitler's birthday
2008-04-14 14:17:00, http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=4547
Moscow, April 14, Interfax - The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) will tighten security at synagogues and community centers at Passover (Pesach) which coincides with Hitler's birthday, April 20, this year. "We normally tighten security on this day each year, because we receive warnings about possible provocations from law enforcement services," FJCR spokesman Boruh Gorin said in an interview with the Interfax-Religion on Monday. All synagogues and Jewish community centers are guarded as a rule, he said. "Security is always heightened on holidays and remains tight, as in emergency situations," Gorin said.
From: Martin Smith
Sent: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 9:14 AM
To: Adelaide Institute; Steven Lewis
Subject: Jones v Toben NSD327 of 2001
I refer to the directions hearing in this matter that took place on 28 February 2008 at which this matter was set down for further hearing and I advise that the hearing of this matter (commencing 3 June 2008 at 10.15am) will take place in Adelaide.
Associate to Justice Moore
Federal Court of Australia
Is this article prophetic in view of the Holocaust lies structuring German democracy – and that of the New World Order?
German occupation offers a model for Iraq
Recall that it took 10 years to stabilize Germany after Hitler, but the effort was worth it.
Could the same hold true for post-Saddam Iraq?
By DAVID STAFFORD, Washington Post, April 12, 2008
Smash the enemy, deliver victory, topple the dictator, destroy his regime, eliminate his evil ideology, and establish peace and democracy. Oh, and — almost forgot — do this several thousand miles away on a distant continent while also fighting another life-or-death struggle elsewhere. Meanwhile, make sure to keep in step with our allies. And one last thing: Bring the troops back home as soon as possible.
Mission impossible? Entering year six of the Iraq war, with 4,000 Americans dead in the conflict, the president's popularity hitting new lows and results of the troop surge still fragile, it may look that way for the administration of George W. Bush. But we may also be rushing to judgment.
More than 60 years ago, during World War II, Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Dwight Eisenhower didn't think that his similar, even more daunting, mission was impossible. By the time he had completed his crusade in Europe and thanked his staff for a job well done at a farewell ceremony in Frankfurt in July 1945, the German army, or Wehrmacht, no longer existed, Hitler was dead, the Nazi Party had been dissolved, war criminals were behind bars awaiting trial and retribution, de-Nazification had begun, and western Germany was on its way to becoming one of the most successful liberal democracies of the Western world. The Third Reich was history.
So what did the United States do right 60 years ago that it has — so far — failed to accomplish in Iraq since the iconic toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad and Bush's "Mission Accomplished" declaration aboard a U.S. carrier on May 1, 2003?
The question is, of course, superficial. It would be harder to think of two more different societies than Germany in 1945 and contemporary Iraq. The former — despite Hitler and the Third Reich — had a long tradition of law, order, constitutional government and civic society to draw on in rebuilding democracy. Nor was it riven by deep-rooted ethnic and sectarian religious tensions. And although Germany certainly had hostile neighbors — especially to the communist East — the threat they posed served to create, not crack, political cohesion.
Yet in looking at Iraq over the past five years, it's hard not to find poignant echoes of the post-WWII experience and to wonder whether a better knowledge of that history might have helped prevent some basic errors. Or even — because there may be some small crumb of comfort for optimists here — that it's too soon to declare that the mission has failed. Sen. John McCain's 100-year horizon for a U.S. presence in Iraq may be stretching things. But let's not forget that the postwar occupation of Germany lasted for a full decade.
In 1945, the Allies had a carefully thought-out plan for what would follow victory. For two years before his forces crossed the German frontier, Eisenhower and his staff at Allied headquarters worked on detailed plans for the occupation. The lines of command were clearly drawn, and everyone agreed that the military would be in charge. Thousands of soldiers were trained in the tasks of military government. Compare that with the chaotically devised schemes for Iraq that were cobbled together at the last minute amid squabbling between the Pentagon and the State Department. Or with the confused and confusing mandate handed to the hapless Jay Garner, the first administrator of postwar Iraq, to devise a comprehensive plan for its administration in a matter of weeks.
Nonetheless, plans, however thorough, are worthless if they cannot be implemented. For that, establishing law and order is a minimal and basic condition. There was plenty of looting and disorder when U.S. forces entered Germany. In fact, it was on a scale far greater than anticipated or now remembered, most of it due to the rage that millions of slave laborers who'd been deported to Germany from Nazi-occupied countries, chiefly Poland and the Soviet Union, vented on their captors upon liberation.
As in Baghdad five years ago, the disorder also engulfed cultural institutions. When U.S. forces entered Munich, Hitler's spiritual home and the seat of Nazi Party headquarters, scores of works of art simply disappeared from museums and art galleries. For two or three days, the northern city of Bremen was "probably among the most debauched places on the face of God's Earth," wrote one witness of the frantic looting that took place after Allied soldiers entered its bomb-shattered streets.
But this anarchy was quickly and forcefully stamped out, and enough Allied forces remained in the country and in all major cities to impose stringent and often ruthless order. Military tribunals promptly disposed of Nazis who were inclined to continue the struggle by executing them or imposing severe terms of imprisonment.
The way victory was declared was crucial. Immediately after entering Germany in September 1944, Eisenhower issued a proclamation that declared: "We come as conquerors, but not as oppressors." The emphasis on conquest meant that military government ruled. There was no glib talk of liberation, and no dealing, either, with the large number of anti-Nazi exiles who had jockeyed for recognition as some sort of government in exile. Too many of them were long out of touch with realities on the ground or had axes to grind.
Critics of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq point to the decisions by L. Paul Bremer, Garner's replacement, to dismiss Baathists from public office and to dissolve the Iraqi army as critical and disastrous turning points that created a vast legion of the unemployed and disaffected. Yet in 1945, the Allies implemented a similarly draconian policy in Germany. They dissolved the Nazi Party, carried out a thorough purge of Nazis in public office and even abolished the ancient state of Prussia, which they believed was at the root of German militarism. Millions of Wehrmacht soldiers languished in prisoner-of-war camps while their families struggled to survive.
None of this, however, had the catastrophic consequences seen in Iraq. One reason is that pragmatism almost immediately took hold. It quickly became clear that Germany could be rebuilt only with the help of numerous people who had been members of the Nazi Party.
The Allies entered Germany with a strict policy of "non-fraternization" that forbade their forces to have any but the most minimal and formal dealings with Germans. "Don't get chummy with Jerry," urged the G.I. newspaper Stars and Stripes. "In heart, body and spirit every German is a Hitler." But by July 1945, the policy had been abandoned as unenforceable. It was also alienating the very Germans needed to rebuild the country and establish democracy.
As for de-Nazification, it sounded good, and indeed was morally and politically necessary. But distinguishing between real and nominal Nazis often proved extremely difficult. Small officials who'd joined the party out of necessity were thrown out of office, while big businessmen who'd profited under Hitler were left alone. The policy generated growing hostility to the occupiers, and its implementation was soon handed over to the Germans themselves. This caused its own bitterness as the Germans were often seen as being too lenient.
Even so, despite this willingness to rethink and adjust, occupation policy floundered. Two years after Allied victory, Germany was in desperate straits, facing an economic crisis that threatened to nip democracy in the bud. Only the Marshall Plan, with its massive program of financial aid, saved the country from disaster. Self-government did not come until 1949, and Allied troops remained in West Germany as occupiers until 1955, a full decade after the defeat of the Third Reich. Unrepentant Nazis stayed active on the extreme fringes of West German politics for years, and a few ex-Nazis held high positions even in mainstream politics until the 1960s. The Christian Democratic politician Kurt Georg Kiesinger, who had joined the Nazi Party in 1933, was chancellor of the Federal Republic from 1966 to 1969.
Rebuilding a nation is possible. But even in the best of circumstances, it takes effort, time, patience and pragmatism. As 1945 confirms, liberation from a dictator in itself offers no easy path to peace or democracy. Battlefield victory is the easy bit. Building peace is a constant struggle — and it's a matter of years, not weeks.
Stafford is the author of Endgame 1945: The Missing Final Chapter of World War II.
On Tue Apr 15 10:43 , Gregory Braslavsky sent the following
I just found this on Wikipedia and I am shocked!
Note that Prof. Pokorny instead of being annihilated, gassed or deported to concentration camp by the Nazis, he "emigrated" from Berlin to safe Switzerland as late as in 1943. He apparently decided that life in Berlin is too dangerous due to Allied bombing and food and cigarettes rationing for Berliners was too severe, so he "emigrated".
I am sure that average Berliner sleeping in a real bomb shelter or "ersatz" subway tunnel dreamed about moving to Switzerland but there was no chance that he/she would be allowed to emigrate.
For a German to attempt an emigration would land him/er in prioson or at best in concentration camp for "treason". But not for Professor Julius Pokorny because he was of "Jewish descent", so he was allowed to emigrate and was admited by Switzerland because he was loaded (from his royalties). Other Jews who were poorer than Pokorny Switzerland would not be admitted.
Note the stupid excuse and comment given: "Nazis discovered" of the wikipedia writer. Julius Pokorny is a typical Jewish name and Nazis surely knew it.
Yours G. Braslavsky
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Julius Pokorny (12 June 1887 – 8 April 1970) was a scholar of the Celtic languages, particularly Irish, and a supporter of Irish nationalism. He was born in Prague and studied at the University of Vienna, where he also taught from 1913 to 1920. From 1920 to 1935, he held the chair of Celtic philology at Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin, before the Nazis discovered that, in spite of being a German nationalist, he was of Jewish descent.
He was the editor of the important journal Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie before World War II, and was responsible for reviving it afterwards.
He emigrated to Switzerland in 1943, where he taught for a few years at the University of Berne and at the University of Zürich until his retirement in 1959. In 1954, he received an honorary professorship at Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, where he taught part-time in 1956 and again from 1960 to 1965. He is the author of the Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (Indo-European Etymological Dictionary; 1959) which is still widely used today. He died in Zürich in 1970 almost three weeks after being hit by a tram not far from his home.
* [Incidentally, western scholars admit that etymology of ‘hammer’ is obscure, while individuals fluent in Slovyan (Slavic) languages easily recognize that ‘hammer’ is cognate of Ukrainian ‘hameer’ i.e. clamor inherent to all ‘hamerni’ i.e. smitheries.]
Preparations for World Conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia
Vienna, April 14, IRNA
Delegates from 20 countries will meet in Geneva later this month to establish the dates and location of the second World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. The upcoming event is known as Durban II.
Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Geneva office that will not oversee the conference but will be affected by its reputation. The follow-up conference also is likely to be held in Durban because South Africa is the only nation that has offered publicly to host it.
The first conference was designed to be inclusive, and nearly any group that could afford the airfare or find a sponsor was welcomed. Groups of demonstrators, some sporting manacles and fake whip-marks, demanded reparations for slavery.
The conference featured graphic exhibits showing wounds and humiliations suffered by indigenous tribes, and religious and ethnic minorities. The most contentious deliberations by far were among the nongovernmental organizations (NGO), whose delegates met separately from diplomats to hammer out their own declarations.
The NGO document, which was never formally released by the United Nations, declared that Zionism equals racism and condemned Israel for committing a "holocaust" against its Palestinian neighbors.
The NGO declaration also singled out for criticism beneficiaries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, while ignoring the trade in slaves from East Africa to the Arab world. Israel overshadowed nearly every other issue, to the chagrin of groups that were unable to air their own grievances.
"The problem with Durban was because of the way things developed on the edge of the last [conference]," Colville said.
"It's taken on a life and a mythology of its own." He said the organizers of the next conference likely would limit NGO participation to groups recognized by the UN Economic and Social Council, or those explicitly endorsed by the 20 advisory nations.
The advisory panel includes Iran, Pakistan, Libya and Cuba.
Ingrid Rimland-Zündel alive and well!
From: Dagmar Brenne
Objet: Re: Happy 119th birthday, Noble Wolf!
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2008 17:03:28 +1000
I have just received a telephone call from F. Töben asking for a confirmation for a notice he received from Jürgen Graf in regards to Ingrid Rimland. According to a Wikepedia, Ingrid Rimland died on April 2. Is there any truth to this? I have not heard anything. Can you give me information, please?
Kind regards from Dagmar.
aus Wikipedia, der freien Enzyklopädie
Ingrid Rimland bzw. Rimland-Zündel (* 1936; † 2. April 2008) war eine kalifornische Literaturpreisträgerin (California Literature Medal Award 1977) und bekannte Holocaust-Leugnerin. Sie war die Ehefrau von Ernst Zündel, einem führenden Revisionisten. Sie lebte im US-Bundesstaat Tennessee.
NAME RIMLAND, INGRID
ALTERNATIVNAMEN Ingrid Rimland-Zündel
STERBEDATUM 2. April 2008
Kategorien: Frau | Holocaustleugner | Geboren 1936 | Gestorben 2008
Fra: Dagmar Brenne [mailto:email@example.com]
Sendt: 20. april 2008 15:03
Emne: Re: Ingrid Rimland, despite Wikipedia, definitely quite alive!
----- Original Message -----
From: John de Nugent
To: Ingrid Rimland
Cc: Jürgen Graf ; Dagmar Brenne ; Fredrick Töben ; Elisabeth Carto ; Art Butz ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; W.G. MUELLER
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 10:14 PM
Subject: Ingrid Rimland, despite Wikipedia, definitely quite alive!
I just spoke with her by phone! Sounded quite lively!
John de Nugent
From: Frank Neubauer
To: John de Nugent
Subject: RE: RE : RE: Ingrid Rimland, despite Wikipedia, definitely quite alive!
Besten Dank und gratuliere alle Getreuen überall in der Welt, wo sie sich aufhalten mögen! AH 119!
Fra: John de Nugent [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sendt: 20. april 2008 17:24
Emne: RE : RE: Ingrid Rimland, despite Wikipedia, definitely quite alive!
Lieber Jamerad Neubauer,
Diese fiktive Todesmeldung wird von diesen Fieslingen wohl als versteckte Drohung oder psychologische Kriegführung, als Nervenkrieg, anzusehen sein. Der Hass dieser Menschenteufel auf Ernst und Ingrid ist unbegrenzt, denn sie hassen alle Helden unserer Rasse, alle leuchtende Gestalten, die Hoffnung verbreiten und Resignation verbannen.
In diesem Geiste ein Hoch auf das heutige Geburtstagskind!
Frank Neubauer email@example.com a écrit :
Die Auserwählten des Teufels haben wieder ihre Wünsche für Wirklichkeit gehalten!!!
From: Dagmar Brenne [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, 21 April 2008 6:58 AM
Subject: Life and Death according to Wikipedia
Maybe it is an idea to check regularly with Wikipedia if you are still alive.
It could be you are already dead an buried and you don't know it. DB
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ingrid Rimland" email@example.com
To: "Dagmar Brenne" firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 10:46 PM
Subject: Re: Ingrid Rimland, despite Wikipedia, definitely quite alive!
Reports about my death are highly exaggerated. I have no idea how this latest rumor started - in the wake of the rumor that Ernst and I have separated! Nothing could be farther from the truth!
Allegedly, according to the German version of WIKIPEDIA, I died on April 2. (!) Anything to confuse the opposition, right?
I am not even sick! I remember how, in 2003 already, I got a call from an alleged officer of the Canadian West Detention Center, telling me that Ernst had died in prison. For five minutes, I actually believed it!
The only explanation I have for this latest disinfo is that since two weeks before Christmas, I have been silent on the website and on my listserve for various technical (sabotage?) problems. I have also been busy with various highly promising non-internet projects, but I am still alive - believe me!
With no intention of checking myself out from this interesting planet of ours, I greet you and salute you!
Nazi-hunters turn historian. By John O'Donnell, 10 Apr 2008
LUDWIGSBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Germany's chief Nazi prosecutor is now more likely to be consoling the grandchild of a war criminal than chasing Adolf Hitler's murderous henchmen.
More than 60 years after World War Two ended, Nazi hunters are running out of targets and increasingly becoming historians who shine a harsh light on dark family secrets. "It's hard to keep prosecutors here," said Kurt Schrimm, who leads Germany's department for prosecuting Nazi war crimes. "I tell them when they start that the prospects of prosecution are slim. The suspects are getting older. It's more about finding out and explaining what happened."
For many Germans, the search for Nazis in their family ends in the small western town of Ludwigsburg.
Hundreds of thousands of index cards fill the cellar of the former prison. Each card carries a name and often a list of war-crime prosecutions. A librarian leafs through the indexes, looking for names put forward by callers researching family members they may have never known.
For Schrimm, the face of one such bewildered teenager is as vivid a memory as that of her grandfather, Josef Schwammberger -- the "most brutal Nazi" he ever put behind bars.
The Austrian's purges in a Polish ghetto included shooting 40 children in an orphanage and offering a false amnesty to Jews living underground only to order them stripped and executed.
After paying 500,000 Deutsch Marks to an informant, Schrimm traced Schwammberger to Argentina which extradited him in 1987.
In his initial interviews, Schwammberger appeared to be a gentle, grandfatherly figure. He told Schrimm he had turned to "the Pope" for help in escaping the advancing allied forces.
Over the course of his trial, he emerged as a sadist who once encouraged his dog to maul a man to death.
During the hearings, Schrimm received a visit from a 17-year-old girl: "His granddaughter had read it in the newspapers and wanted to know firsthand if it was true," Schrimm recalls. "She was totally shaken."
Correcting history has also become an important part of Eli Rosenbaum's work.
Head of the U.S. Office of Special Investigations, Rosenbaum has unmasked Nazis who settled inconspicuously into suburban America as well as knocking prominent citizens off their pedestals.
When Rosenbaum discovered Arthur Rudolph around 1980, the architect of the Saturn V rocket that put man on the moon was one of America's most celebrated adopted sons.
But during the war, Rudolph had managed a "hell-like" underground factory in Germany where slave workers built the V2 rocket, Rosenbaum says. Prisoners were tortured, killed and, on one occasion, forced to watch a mass hanging of inmates.
After the war, Rudolph and others were hired by the U.S. military and brought to their new home under a secret program called Project Paperclip, formerly known as Operation Overcast.
In German archives, Rosenbaum discovered a report signed by Rudolph describing a visit to an aircraft factory using forced labor. "He writes that this is great from the security perspective and recommends they use camp inmates to build the V2."
Disgraced, Rudolph surrendered his U.S. citizenship and returned to Germany. "I remember he died on New Year's day," says Rosenbaum. "He spent many years trying to rehabilitate his name."We had rewritten history. Very few people knew about that aspect of the German V2 programme." "At the air and space museum (in Washington), they have a V2 missile. I remember going to see it when I was investigating Rudolph and there was nothing that indicated how this thing was made. After the case, they changed the display."
Bringing war criminals to justice is getting ever tougher but Schrimm rebuts criticism from Nazi-hunting institution the Simon Wiesenthal Centre that convictions are too low. "The results are bad and they are going to get worse," he says. "They will have more cause for disappointment next year. "But that is no reflection of our competence or willingness. I can't pull witnesses out of a hat."
Setting history straight, however, offers some compensation. Schrimm recalls a meeting with a frail Jewish woman he visited in New York who had lost her family to Schwammberger's executioners. "'I've told the story to my children and my grandchildren,' she said. 'I've waited 45 years for someone from Germany to express an interest in hearing it. "Now that you have come, I can die in peace.'"
© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.
The day the US declared war on Iran
By John McGlynn
March 20 is destined to be another day of infamy. On this date this year, the US officially declared war on Iran. But it's not going to be the kind of war many have been expecting.
No, there was no dramatic televised announcement by President George W Bush from the White House. In fact, on this day, reports the Washington Post, Bush spent some time communicating directly with Iranians, telling them via Radio Farda (the US-financed broadcaster that transmits to Iran in Farsi, Iran's native language) that their government has "declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people". But not to worry, he told his listeners in Farsi-translated Bushspeak: Tehran would not get the bomb because the US would be 'firm'."
Over at the US Congress, no war resolution was passed, no debate transpired, no last-minute hearing on the Iran "threat" was held. The Pentagon did not put its forces on red alert and cancel all leave. The top story on the Pentagon's website (on March 20) was: "Bush lauds military's performance in terror war", a feel-good piece about the president's appearance on the US military's TV channel to praise "the performance and courage of US troops engaged in the global war on terrorism". Bush discussed Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa, but not Iran.
But make no mistake. As of Thursday, March 20 the US is at war with Iran. So who made it official?
A unit within the US Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which issued a March 20 advisory to the world's financial institutions under the title: "Guidance to financial institutions on the continuing money laundering threat involving illicit Iranian activity."
FinCEN, though part of the chain of command, is better known to bankers and lawyers than to students of US foreign policy. Nevertheless, when the history of this newly declared war is one day written (assuming the war is allowed to proceed) FinCEN's role will be as important as that played by US Central Command (CENTCOM) in directing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In its March 20 advisory, FinCEN reminds the global banking community that United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 1803 (passed on March 3, 2008) "calls on member states to exercise vigilance over the activities of financial institutions in their territories with all banks domiciled in Iran, and their branches and subsidiaries abroad".
UNSC 1803 specifically mentions two Iranian state-owned banks: Bank Melli and Bank Saderat. These two banks (plus their overseas branches and certain subsidiaries), along with a third state-owned bank, Bank Sepah, were also unilaterally sanctioned by the US in 2007 under anti-proliferation and anti-terrorism presidential executive orders 13382 and 13224.
As of March 20, however, the US, speaking through FinCEN, is now telling all banks around the world "to take into account the risk arising from the deficiencies in Iran's AML/CFT [anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism] regime, as well as all applicable US and international sanctions programs, with regard to any possible transactions" with - and this is important - not just the above three banks but every remaining state-owned, private and special government bank in Iran.
In other words, FinCEN charges, all of Iran's banks - including the central bank (also on FinCEN's list) - represent a risk to the international financial system, no exceptions. Confirmation is possible by comparing FinCEN's list of risky Iranian banks with the listing of Iranian banks provided by Iran's central bank.
The "deficiencies in Iran's AML/CFT" is important because it provides the rationale FinCEN will now use to deliver the ultimate death blow to Iran's ability to participate in the international banking system. The language is borrowed from Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a group of 32 countries and two territories set up by the Group of Seven in 1989 to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
As the FinCEN advisory describes, in October 2007 the FATF stated "that Iran's lack of a comprehensive anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime represents a significant vulnerability in the international financial system. In response to the FATF statement, Iran passed its first AML law in February 2008. The FATF, however, reiterated its concern about continuing deficiencies in Iran's AML/CFT system in a statement on February 28, 2008."
Actually, the February 28 FATF statement does not comment on Iran's new anti-money laundering law. The statement does say, however, that the FATF has been working with Iran since the October 2007 FATF statement was issued and "welcomes the commitment made by Iran to improve its AML/CFT regime". Moreover, the February 28 statement, for whatever reason, drops the "significant vulnerability" wording, opting instead to reaffirm that financial authorities around the world should "advise" their domestic banks to exercise "enhanced due diligence" concerning Iran's AML/CFT "deficiencies".
In linking its March 20 advisory to the recent FATF statements, apparently FinCEN cannot wait for FATF or anyone else to evaluate the effectiveness ofIran's brand new anti-financial crime laws.
Anyway, the "deficiencies in Iran's AML/CFT" is probably the main wording FinCEN will use to justify application of one its most powerful sanctions tools, a USA Patriot Act Section 311 designation (see below).
Hammering away at Iran's state-owned banks is central to US efforts to raise an international hue and cry. Through its state-owned banks, FinCEN states, "the government of Iran disguises its involvement in proliferation and terrorism activities through an array of deceptive practices specifically designed to evade detection". By managing to get inserted the names of two state-owned banks in the most recent UN Security Council resolution on Iran, the US can now portray the cream of Iran's financial establishment (Bank Melli and Bank Saderat are Iran's two largest banks) as directly integrated into alleged regime involvement in a secret nuclear weaponization program and acts of terrorism.
To inject further alarm, FinCEN accuses Iran's central bank of "facilitating transactions for sanctioned Iranian banks" based on evidence (which for various reasons appears true) gathered by Treasury and other US agencies that the central bank has facilitated erasure of the names of Iranian banks "from global transactions in order to make it more difficult for intermediary financial institutions to determine the true parties in the transaction".
The central bank is also charged with continuing to "provide financial services to Iranian entities" (government agencies, business firms and individuals) named in two earlier UNSC resolutions, 1737 and 1747. In defense, Iran's central bank governor recently said: "The central bank assists Iranian private and state-owned banks to do their commitments regardless of the pressure on them" and charged the US with "financial terrorism".
So what does all this bureaucratic financial rigmarole mean?
What it really means is that the US, again through FinCEN, has declared two acts of war: one against Iran's banks and one against any financial institution anywhere in the world that tries to do business with an Iranian bank.
The North Korean experience
To understand how this works requires understanding what FinCEN does. This means going back to September 2005, when the US Treasury Department, based on the investigatory work of FinCEN, sanctioned a small bank in Macau, which in turn got North Korea really upset.
FinCEN's mission "is to safeguard the financial system from the abuses of financial crime, including terrorist financing, money laundering and other illicit activity" (FinCEN website).
Under Section 311 of the USA Patriot Act the US Treasury Department, acting through FinCEN, has been provided with "a range of options that can be adapted to target specific money laundering and terrorist financing concerns".
Specifically, Section 311 contains six "special measures" to significantly increase the powers of the Treasury (and other US government agencies) to block alleged terrorist financing activities. As explained by a Treasury official during April 2006 testimony before Congress, the most punitive measure requires:
US financial institutions to terminate correspondent relationships with the designated entity. Such a defensive measure effectively cuts that entity off from the US financial system. It has a profound effect, not only in insulating the US financial system from abuse, but also in notifying financial institutions and jurisdictions globally of an illicit finance risk.
On September 20, 2005 FinCEN issued a finding under Section 311 that Banco Delta Asia (BDA), a small bank in the Chinese territory of Macau, was a "primary money laundering concern". BDA was alleged to have knowingly allowed its North Korean clients to use the bank to engage in deceptive financial practices and a variety of financial crimes (such as money laundering of profits from drug trafficking and counterfeit US$100 "supernotes").
By publicizing its allegations, FinCEN let the world know that BDA was now at risk of having all "correspondent relationships" with US banks severed, a disaster for any bank wanting to remain networked to the largest financial market in the world. Frightened BDA customers reacted by staging a run on the bank's assets.
In the interest of self-preservation, BDA was forced to act. After a quick conference with Macau financial authorities the bank decided to freeze North Korean funds on deposit.
It just so happened that the day before the FinCEN finding was made public the US and North Korea, working through the six-party talks process (also involving host China, Russia, South Korea and Japan), had formally agreed on a new diplomatic roadmap that promised to lead to a denuclearized and permanently peaceful Northeast Asia. But because of Treasury's BDA sanctions, North Korea was now labeled an international financial outlaw and the six-party process stalled.
Other banks began severing their business ties with North Korea, leaving the country more isolated than ever from global commerce and finance. These other banks had no choice. Treasury repeatedly made clear that any bank that continued to do business with North Korea was another potential Patriot Act Section 311 target.
In anger, North Korea withdrew from the six-party process. It required 18 months of negotiations before a diplomatic and financial approach was devised that left BDA blacklisted but allowed North Korea to regain access to its frozen funds and rejoin six-party negotiations.
Neither FinCEN nor anyone else at Treasury has ever publicly produced any evidence in support of the financial crime allegations against BDA and North Korea.
If Treasury was eventually forced to back off in the BDA case (apparently because the Bush administration changed its policy priorities), it had discovered that Patriot Act Section 311 could really shake things up.
The "real impact" of the BDA-North Korea sanctions, as Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey told members of the American Bar Association in March, was that "many private financial institutions worldwide responded by terminating their business relationships not only with [BDA], but with North Korean clients altogether".
Levey and his Treasury colleagues had come up with a way to go beyond governments to use the global banking sector to privatize banking sector sanctions against an entire country (this, by the way, is presidential candidate John McCain's proposed strategy for dealing with Iran as described in the Nov/December 2007 issue of the journal Foreign Affairs).
This "key difference" in the "reaction by the private sector" was an exciting revelation. Through a little extraterritorial legal arm-twisting of the international banking community, the US was able to put "enormous pressure on the [North Korean] regime - even the most reclusive government depends on access to the international financial system", said Levey. Washington now had "a great deal of leverage in its diplomacy over the nuclear issue with North Korea".
Turning to the present, Levey informed the gathering of US lawyers that "we are currently in the midst of an effort to apply these same lessons to the very real threat posed by Iran". However, "Iran presents a more complex challenge than North Korea because of its greater integration into the international financial community."
Over the past two years, Levey and other Treasury officials have been crisscrossing the globe to make it abundantly clear in meetings (described by Treasury as opportunities to "share information") with banking and government officials in the world's key financial centers that dealing with Iran is a risky business. Levey frequently claims that major European and Asia banks, once they hear the US pitch, freely decided to cooperate with anti-Iran banking sanctions for reasons of "good corporate citizenship" and a "desire to protect their institutions' reputations".
But these meetings include quite a bit of browbeating. This can be deduced from some of Levey's public statements, such as his testimony to Congress. On March 21, 2007, Levey told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that unilateral US financial sanctions "warn people and businesses not to deal with the designated target. And those who might still be tempted to work with targeted high risk actors get the message loud and clear: if they do so, they may be next."
Also, the possibility of becoming a Patriot Act Section 311 sanctions victim (which means exclusion from the US market) probably comes up at the meetings, as this part of his testimony indirectly suggests: "Our list of targeted proliferators is incorporated into the compliance systems at major financial institutions worldwide, who have little appetite for the business of proliferation firms and who also need to be mindful of US measures given their ties to the US financial system."
Reportedly, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has also been involved in high-level meetings around the world concerning Iran, which presumably includes presentations on the arsenal of US financial sanctions. The message he imparts is unknown, but hints of the likely content can be found in public statements.
Among Treasury officials, Paulson has used the most dramatic language by making the argument that not only is Iran a danger to the international community but that this danger permeates virtually all of Iranian society. In a June 14, 2007, speech to the Council on Foreign Relations he first makes the point that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is a "paramilitary" organization "directly involved in the planning and support of terrorist acts, as well as funding and training other terrorist groups". Then he offers the alarming revelation that the IRGC "is so deeply entrenched in Iran's economy and commercial enterprises, it is increasingly likely that if you are doing business with Iran, you are somehow doing business with the IRGC".
With such language, Treasury lays the groundwork for applying financial sanctions against the entirety of Iran. All this makes clear that the growing coalition of bankers against Iran the US likes to trumpet may not be such a willing group.
Some indication of how unwilling can be found in the pages of Der Spiegel (English edition). In July 2007, the German news magazine reported that "anyone wishing to do business in the United States or hoping to attract US investors had best tread softly when it comes to Iran. Germany's Commerzbank stopped financing trade with Iran in US dollars in January, after the Americans piled on the pressure". One German banker interviewed said: "German financial institutions feel the United States government has been engaging in 'downright blackmail'." The magazine goes on to report: "Anti-terror officials from the US Treasury are constantly showing up to demand they cut their traditionally good relations with Iran. The underlying threat from the men from Washington is that they wouldn't want to support terrorism, would they?"
Also, an April 2007 report from Britain's House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee states that the Confederation of British Industry indicated "strong concern" about Patriot Act provisions and other US extra-territorial sanctions. The committee recognized the need for "vigorous action" in response to terrorist threats but also "endorse[d] the condemnation by the EU [European Union] of the extra-territorial application of US sanctions legislation as a violation of international law".
Thus the US will need help from European government leaders to overcome resistance among major European financial institutions to US-led financial sanctions. Such help has already come from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. During her recent state visit to Israel, Merkel told the Knesset (Parliament) that Iran was global enemy number one. "What do we do when a majority says the greatest threat to the world comes from Israel and not from Iran?" she asked. "Do we bow our heads? Do we give up our efforts to combat the Iranian threat? However inconvenient and uncomfortable the alternative is, we do not do that." Iran is public enemy number in the world, and everyone - including the European banking establishment it would seem - has to accept that.
To summarize to this point: (1) the March 20 advisory represents a US declaration of war by sanctions on Iran and a sanctions threat to the international banking community, (2) the US has various unilateral financial sanctions measures at its command in the form of executive orders and Patriot Act Section 311 and (3) the BDA-North Korea sanctions were, at least in retrospect, a test run for Iran.
If the US succeeds, an international quarantine on Iran's banks would disrupt Iran's financial linkages with the world by blocking its ability to process cross-border payments for goods and services exported and imported. Without those linkages, Iran is unlikely to be able to engage in global trade and commerce. As 30% of Iran's gross domestic product in 2005 was imports of goods and services and 20% was non-oil exports (World Bank and other data), a large chunk of Iran's economy would shrivel up. The repercussions will be painful and extend well beyond lost business and profits. For example, treating curable illnesses will become difficult. According to an Iranian Health Ministry official, Iran produces 95% of its own medicines but most pharmaceutical-related raw materials are imported.
With a financial sanctions war declared, what happens next? There have been some hints.
On February 25, the Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury was considering sanctioning Iran's central bank (known as Bank Markazi). "The central bank is the keystone of Iran's financial system and its principal remaining lifeline to the international banking system," explains the Journal. "US sanctions against it could have a severe impact on Iranian trade if other nations in Europe and Asia choose to go along with them." In anticipation of future events, the Journal notes: "US officials have begun trying to lay the groundwork for a move against the central bank in public statements and meetings with key allies."
So look for the following to happen in the coming weeks: FinCEN will probably issue a Patriot Act Section 311 finding that Iran's central bank is a "primary laundering concern". The "deficiencies in Iran's AML/CFT" wording lifted from the FATF statement will be a key reason for that finding. The finding may be accompanied by a formal decision to cut off Iran's central bank from the US financial market, or such a decision could come later.
Of course, an actual or threatened cut-off has no immediate financial implications for Iran since no Iranian-flagged bank is doing business in the US, except possibly to allow shipments from the US of humanitarian provisions of food and medicine, which, if they exist, probably terminate with the March 20 FinCEN announcement.
But a Section 311 designation of Iran's central bank would have a powerful coercive effect on the world's banks. For any bank in Europe, Asia or anywhere else that goes near the central bank, once the 311 blacklist is on, it would be the kiss of death for that bank's participation in the international banking community, as it was (and remains today) for BDA. Not only would that bank be barred from the US financial market, it would also be shunned by European and Japanese financial markets, as government and private banking officials in those markets are likely to cooperate with Washington's intensifying sanctions campaign.
What about China, now one of the world's major financial centers (two Chinese banks ranked among the top 25 in The Banker's 2007 survey of world banks) and a major trading partner for Iran?
China and Japan "were the top two recipients of exports from Iran, together accounting for more than one-quarter of Iran's exports in 2006", according to an analysis of International Monetary Fund trading statistics contained in a December 2007 US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on Washington's anti-Iran sanctions regime. On the import side, the GAO found that in 2006 "Germany and China were Iran's largest providers of imports, accounting for 23% of Iran's imports". Airtight global banking sanctions imposed on Iran would presumably make the financial administration of this trade next to impossible.
Will China bend to US sanctions wishes? Early signs suggest the answer is yes.
In December 2007, ArabianBusiness.com reported that Chinese banks were starting to decline to open letters of credit for Iranian traders. Asadollah Asgaroladi, head of the Iran-China chamber of commerce, was quoted as saying that China's banks did not explain the refusal but "if this trend continues it will harm the two countries' economic cooperation and trade exchange". In February, ArabianBusiness.com found that China's cutback in its banking business with Iran was affecting a joint automobile production arrangement.
Such disruptions in the Chinese-Iranian banking relationship are minor. Meanwhile, Beijing keeps insisting that peaceful diplomacy with Iran is the best policy and that the only sanctions needed are those mandated under the three UN Security Council resolutions already on the books. Thus, to make China cooperate with Washington's unilateral banking sanctions, the US and the EU, reports the Financial Times, are apparently using a tag-team strategy.
On February 12, the FT told readers that "the US believes that tighter EU sanctions will put pressure on other nations that do more business with Iran - China for example - to curb their activities". Therefore, explained an anonymous diplomat apparently from the US, "We will be pushing the EU to go further than the Security Council," a move intended, the diplomat said, to "gold plate" Security Council requirements.
To explain this move, the FT provided an example of "gold plating" from 2007, when the EU implemented UN Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747 on Iran:In similar language to the current text on Banks Saderat and Melli, the UN had called for "vigilance and restraint" concerning the movements of individuals linked to Iran's nuclear and missile programs and members of its Revolutionary Guards. But in implementing the resolutions, the EU subjected all the named individuals to a travel ban - a much tougher measure.Reading between the lines, the intention behind "gold plating" Security Council resolutions is to put pressure on China to bow to a more aggressive US-EU sanctions program.
In the case of the most recent Security Council resolution on Iran, 1803, which put sanctions on two Iranian banks, FinCEN rolled two "gold plating" actions into one. It combined the Security Council's naming of the two banks with the October and February FATF statements to justify its March 20 warning to the world that Iran's entire banking system is a danger. Whether the EU will follow FinCEN's action, and how China will respond to any of this, remains to be seen.
In short, the US has in effect declared war on Iran. No bombs need fall as long as the US strategy relies solely on financial sanctions. But if US Section 311 designates Iran's central bank as a financial criminal, the impact will be the financial equivalent to the first bombs falling on Baghdad at the start of the US-British invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
In a 1996 publication written for the National Defense University, Harlan Ullman and James Wade introduced a military doctrine for "affecting the adversary's will to resist through imposing a regime of shock and awe to achieve strategic aims and military objectives".
Former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld made shock and awe famous by invoking it as the US strategy in the attack on Iraq in March 2003 (though weeks later Ullman was claiming Rumsfeld was misapplying the doctrine).
But shock and awe's authors (apparently with something like Vietnam or the 1993-1994 Somalia fiasco in mind) also envisioned that "[i]n certain circumstances, the costs of having to resort to lethal force may be too politically expensive in terms of local support as well as support in the US and internationally". Consequently, they wrote:
Economic sanctions are likely to continue to be a preferable political alternative or a necessary political prelude to an offensive military step ... In a world in which nonlethal sanctions are a political imperative, we will continue to need the ability to shut down all commerce into and out of any country from shipping, air, rail and roads. We ought to be able to do this in a much more thorough, decisive, and shocking way than we have in the past ... Weapons that shock and awe, stun and paralyze, but do not kill in significant numbers may be the only ones that are politically acceptable in the future.It was only a matter of finding a sanctions strategy systematic enough to make this more obscure portion of the shock and awe doctrine operational. What Ullman and Wade could not have imagined was that Washington's global planners would use extraterritorial legal powers and its financial clout to coerce the global banking industry into accepting US foreign policy diktat.
North Korea was a test-run for the new strategy of shock and awe financial sanctions. As Washington Post columnist David Ignatius put it in February 2007, "[t]he new sanctions are toxic because they effectively limit a country's access to the global ATM. In that sense, they impose - at last - a real price on countries such as North Korea and Iran."
What then will the impact be of this US-Iran banking standoff? For the US, almost no impact at all. Treasury bureaucrats will spend some time and a little taxpayer money making phone calls, checking computer screens and paper trails to monitor global banking compliance with sanctions. The cost of financially ostracizing Iran will be a bargain for US taxpayers compared with the eventual $3 trillion cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars estimated by Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard financial expert Linda Bilmes.
Iran, however, will become another Gaza or Iraq under the economic sanctions of the 1990s, with devastating impact on economy and society. That Iran's complete financial and economic destruction is the goal of US policy was spelled out by the State Department the day before the FinCEN announcement.
During a daily press meeting with reporters on March 19, the State Department's spokesperson was asked about a deal recently signed between Switzerland and Iran to supply Iranian natural gas to Europe. After condemning the deal, the spokesperson explained that the US is opposed to any "investing in Iran, not only in its petroleum or natural gas area but in any sector of its economy" and questioned rhetorically the wisdom of doing business with Iranian "financial institutions that are under UN sanctions or could become under sanctions if it's found that they are assisting or aiding or abetting Iran's nuclear program in any way". A clearer expression of US desires is hardly possible.
John McGlynn is an independent Tokyo-based economic and financial analyst.
"...if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties.. if that is what they mean by a "liberal" then I am proud to be a liberal. ": John F. Kennedy
Take heart, you are not alone anymore!
Plea to fight climate deniers,
The Advertiser, 25 April 2008
An Adelaide professor says scientists must do more to stand up to “anti-intellectual” climate change deniers, by explaining the difference between good science and spin.
Director of the Research institute for Climate Change and Sustainability, University of Adelaide, Professor Barry Brook, said in climate science and policy a few, apparently well-educated, people continued to deny the vast body of scientific knowledge and analysis.
He said they were variously called sceptics, “denialists”, contrarians”, delayers or delusionists. “Whatever the label you attach to them, they are all cut of the same anti-intellectual cloth,” Professor Brook said in Australasian Science Magazine.
“Their business is the dissemination of disinformation, doubt and unscientific nonsense. One of their most regular ploys is to leverage the widespread lack of public appreciation of how science operates.”
Professor Brook said because science was inherently complex and often technical, climate change deniers were often able to present a plausible case to a general audience.
“Some people will attempt to hijack science for political or ideological reasons and in doing so besmirch science’s public image,” he said. “They are good at doing this and they often exert a disproportionate influence on policy. Groups with vested interests in business-as-usual will attempt to push so-called scientific evidence to support their claims. They are, at best, drawing selectively on a small aprt of the evidence or, at worst, relying on junk science – outdated, discredited or fabricated data and ideas.”
Professor Brook said if confronted with good science, deniers sidestepped valid critiques and ignored counter-evidence.
“They are hard to pin down because they don’t want a serious scientific debate,” he said.
Yes, professor: I’m a climate change denier
The Advertiser, 26 April 2008
I refer to “Plea to fight climate deniers” (The Advertiser, yesterday).
Professor Barry Brook, as one of the “sceptics, denialists, contrarians, delayers or delusionists” and a person apparently cut from “anti-intellectual cloth”, I’d like to thank you for your kind words and point out that, in my case, the University of New South Wales, Sydney Teachers’ College and the University of Technology, Sydney, all owe yourself and those others of “intellectual cloth” an apology for so fraudulently bestowing upon my “anti-intellectual” self the degree, diploma and postgraduate degree I somehow earned in various disciplines.
So, I will, as an anti-intellectual “delusionist” who does not believe in the catastrophic human-produced greenhouse effect, hereby publicly promise to immediately resign from my posts at UNSW and Sydney University Foundation as soon as the catastrophic human-produced, greenhouse effect occurs.
Larry John Mounser, Waverley, NSW.
Germany: Holocaust train, The Advertiser, 15 April 2008
A vintage engine steamed into Berlin yesterday, hauling carriages filled with photos of smiling children and poignant last letters to loved ones – the images and words of the youngest victims of the Holocaust. About 160,000 people have visited the memorial train which set off across Germany in November and is due to end at Auschwitz, in Poland.
Art Sales Warning. Door-to-door scam, The Advertiser, 19 April 2008
Door-to-door sales people, claiming to be struggling art students, are selling mass-produced paintings for “exorbitant amounts” and pocketing the profits. Consumer Affairs Minister Jennifer Rankine warned people to be wary of the “fraudsters who are targeting residents in the state’s South-East. “This appears to be a long-running, international scam and indications from authorities produced,” she said. “People should know they are more than likely going to end up with a huge hole in their pockets if they buy artwork from sales people posing as overseas students.
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