TBR News February 15, 2019

Feb 15 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. February 15, 201 “In an age when a growing dissatisfaction with systems of governance, the public has become more and more interested in conspiracy theories that purport to expose the various misdeeds of governance and its various organs and purported accomplices.

We have seen an enormous body of revisionist listerature arise dealing with the assassination of President Kenedy and as that topic slid down from public viewing, another topic of interest, speculation and fictive writing arose around the September 11 attacks on various American targets in and around the nation’s capitol.

Invented stories about “robot aircraft,”  “’Nano-Thermite’ controlled explosions,” and other theories, many verging on the lunatic, sprang up and proliferated. While most of these entertainments were the product of inventive minds and eagerly accepted by a public that felt betrayed by their government and the upper levels of the national economic structure, a number were very obviously clever insertions of deliberate disinformation from the same power elite.

Anent the 911 attacks, a story made the rounds  that the filmed scenes of the aircraft smashing into the two buildings and the many pictures of the subsequent fires (jet fuel is very volatile and burns much hotter than standard gasoline) in addition to the dramatic collapses of both buildings as the intense heat weakened the steel supports, were all shot in a Hollywood sound stage weeks before and then run on national television while real shots of robot planes and rockets crashing into the buildings were ruthlessly suppressed by High Level Government plotters.”


The Table of Contents

  • Is the national emergency a big deal and will it get Trump his wall?
  • Trump to declare emergency over Mexico border wall
  • Trump set to declare border emergency, sign shutdown-averting bill
  • Trump declares U.S.-Mexico border emergency; Democrats protest
  • Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can’t humans see the writing on the wall?
  • A history of the Swedish people 
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

  Is the national emergency a big deal and will it get Trump his wall?

Trump said he will declare a national emergency to build a border wall. Here are key questions answered on what that means

February 14, 2019

by Tom McCarthy

The Guardian

Donald Trump has said he will declare a national emergency in an effort to secure resources to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Here are key questions answered on what this means:

Is this a big deal?

The analysis flies in both directions on this question. Some legal analysts say the emergency declaration is deeply alarming because it is an aggressive power grab by the president on funding issues. The constitution allots the power of the purse uniquely to Congress. Here, Congress has refused to pay for Trump’s border wall, and now it appears that Trump is trying to usurp the appropriations power.

But it might not be a big deal?

Many legal analysts take a more sanguine attitude about the emergency declaration. They point out that any declaration built on shaky legal ground is likely to collapse in court. They point out that Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi has the power to force the Senate to vote on a resolution to rescind the declaration, which if it does not succeed could extract a potentially large political cost from Republicans.

Finally, voices counseling calm in the face of the emergency declaration point to the 59 emergency declarations made by presidents since the 1976 National Emergencies Act. It emerges that presidents declare national emergencies with fair regularity. The most recent such declaration, in November of last year, is described as blocking the “property of certain persons contributing to the situation in Nicaragua”.

Will the ‘emergency’ get Trump his wall?

In theory it could. Military officials are empowered under multiple statutes, following the declaration of a national emergency, to divert funding and resources “essential to the national defense” including the “use of the armed forces”.

So Trump might declare a national emergency, then order the military to move money and troops around to address the emergency – in this case, Trump imagines, by building a wall.

But many analysts believe that the emergency declaration will not produce a wall, owing to the aforementioned anticipated challenges in the courts and Congress. Or it will fail due to public outcryor perhaps to a breakdown in compliance somewhere in the chain of command, either on the part of military officials or Trump’s own legal team.

What are the political implications?

A CNN poll conducted 30 January through 2 February found that a strong majority of the public was opposed to the idea of Trump declaring a national emergency to build his wall. In response to the question, “Should Trump Declare Emergency to Build Wall?”, 31% said “yes” while 66% said “no”.

The national emergency declaration seems particularly to pose political hazards for Republicans. If they are forced to vote on a resolution to repeal the declaration, they risk being tied to a potentially unpopular policy. If they back the policy, they risk eroding their credentials as devotees to the US constitution, whose checks on the presidency were sermonized gospel among Republicans during the Barack Obama years.

But as bad as that could get for Republicans, Mitch McConnell might have decided that the political risks of a national emergency were smaller than those of a second government shutdown in 2019, which Trump had also threatened but many saw as a likely political disaster.


Trump to declare emergency over Mexico border wall

February 15, 2019

BBC News

Democratic and Republican politicians have sharply criticised President Trump’s plan to use emergency powers to pay for a border wall with Mexico.

The rarely-used move would enable Mr Trump to bypass Congress, which has refused to approve the money needed.

Senior Democrats accused the president of a “gross abuse of power” and a “lawless act”. Several Republicans also voiced concern at the plan.

Building a border wall was a key campaign pledge of Mr Trump’s campaign.

Declaring a national emergency would give Mr Trump access to billions of dollars for his project.

The president agreed on Thursday to sign a spending bill that does not include finance for the wall. Disagreement over the issue led to a 35-day government shutdown early this year – the longest in US history.

The spending bill must be signed on Friday to avert another shutdown. Citing unnamed White House officials, US media outlets reported that the president would sign the emergencies act at the same time.

Can Congress stop Trump’s emergency move?

The National Emergencies Act contains a clause that allows Congress to terminate the emergency status if both houses vote for it – and the president does not veto.

With a comfortable majority in the House, Democrats could pass such a resolution to the Senate. The Republicans control the Senate, but a number of Republican senators have been vocal in their unease about the president invoking a national emergency.

The dissenting Republicans include 2012 presidential contender and new senator for Utah Mitt Romney, Florida senator Marco Rubio, and the senator from Maine Susan Collins, who said the move was of “dubious constitutionality”.

The resolution would however still require Mr Trump’s signature to pass, allowing him to veto it. A supermajority in both houses of Congress is needed to overturn a presidential veto.

What did the White House say?

“The president is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.

She said Mr Trump would “take other executive action – including a national emergency – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border”.

The compromise legislation was approved in an 83-16 vote in the Senate on Thursday. The House of Representatives later also backed the measure, by 300 to 128.

The package includes $1.3bn (£1bn) in funding for border security, including physical barriers, but it does not allot money towards Mr Trump’s wall. Mr Trump had wanted $5.7bn for this.

Speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated his support for the president’s national emergency move, saying the president was taking action with “whatever tools he can legally use to enhance his efforts to secure the border”.Trump faces anger over wall emergency plan

Emergency declarations by previous presidents have been overwhelmingly used for addressing foreign policy crises – including blocking terrorism-linked entities from accessing funds or prohibiting investment in nations associated with human rights abuses.

“It’s extremely rare for a president to declare a national emergency in a bid to fund domestic construction projects, particularly one that Congress has explicitly refused to fund,” Andrew Boyle, an attorney in the national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice, told the Associated Press news agency.

Mr Trump’s decision to apply the powers to overcome a partisan impasse over border security has struck politicians on both sides of the aisle as a deviation from the intended use of the act.

“It would be a pretty dramatic expansion of how this was used in the past,” said the Republican senator Ron Johnson.

How have Democrats responded?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer issued a strongly worded joint statement condemning the move.

“Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall,” read the statement.

“He couldn’t convince Mexico, the American people or their elected representatives to pay for his ineffective and expensive wall, so now he’s trying an end-run around Congress in a desperate attempt to put taxpayers on the hook for it.”

Ms Pelosi had already suggested that Democrats would mount a legal challenge.

Getting around Congress, not through it

Analysis box by Anthony Zurcher, North America reporter

A month ago, in the midst of the federal government shutdown crisis, a consensus had emerged that the easiest way out for the president was to back down from his demands for congressional border wall appropriations while declaring a “national emergency” to commandeer funds from other sources.

It took a while, but the path of least resistance is the one Donald Trump is following.

He has extricated himself from a predicament of his own making, while taking action that he can cite to supporters as evidence that he’s fulfilling his “build the wall” campaign promise.

Of course, the drawbacks to this course that were apparent in January are still there.

Republicans fear this will set a precedent for presidential power that Democrats can someday use to circumvent the will of Congress.

The emergency declaration is sure to get bogged down in court challenges, which means it may not have much tangible benefit anytime soon.

And, as much as the president may like to spin this as a victory by other means, he still backed down in the face of Democratic resistance in Congress.

The shutdown fight was always about more than just the wall – it was a battle over who would set the political agenda for the next two years of the Trump presidency.

And if this resolution is any indication, if the president wants to get his way he’s largely going to have to find ways around Congress, not through it.

What is a national emergency?

The National Emergencies Act is intended for times of national crisis. Mr Trump has claimed that there is a migration crisis at the nation’s southern border – a claim strongly refuted by migration experts.

The largest number of illegal migrants settling in the US each year is those who stay in the country after their visas expire.

Declaring a national emergency would give the president access to special powers that effectively allow him to bypass the usual political process, and he would be able to divert money from existing military or disaster relief budgets to pay for the wall.


Trump set to declare border emergency, sign shutdown-averting bill

February 15, 2019

by Richard Cowan and David Morgan


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump was poised on Friday to declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that Democrats vowed to challenge as an unconstitutional attempt to fund his proposed border wall without approval from Congress.

Trump was also expected to sign a bipartisan government spending bill approved by Congress on Thursday that would prevent another federal shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday morning.

The Republican president was scheduled to deliver remarks on the issue at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) in the Rose Garden at the White House.

The bill, lacking any money for his wall, is a defeat for Trump in Congress, where his demand for $5.7 billion in barrier funding yielded no results, other than a record-long 35-day December-January partial government shutdown that damaged the U.S. economy and his poll numbers.

Reorienting his wall-funding quest toward a legally uncertain strategy based on declaring a national emergency could plunge Trump into a lengthy battle with Democrats and divide his fellow Republicans.

Even before the White House said on Thursday that Trump would declare an emergency, Republican senators, while sympathetic to his view that the southern border is in crisis, were skeptical of the declaration that would shift funds to the wall from other commitments set by Congress.

“No crisis justifies violating the Constitution,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter on Thursday.

Republican Senator John Cornyn told reporters on Capitol Hill he had concerns about an emergency declaration. He said it “would not be a practical solution, because there would be a lawsuit filed immediately and the money would be presumably balled up …”

Some Republicans were more supportive of Trump’s tactic. “I’m not uncomfortable. I think the president’s probably on pretty solid ground,” said Republican Senator Richard Shelby.

Fifteen Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate introduced legislation to prevent the transfer of funds from accounts Trump likely would target to pay for his wall.

A senior White House official said the administration had found nearly $7 billion to reallocate to the wall, including $600 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion from a Defense Department drug interdiction fund and $3.5 billion from a military construction budget.

The funds would cover just part of the estimated $23 billion cost of the wall promised by Trump along the 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border with Mexico.

The Senate Democrats’ bill also would stop Trump from using appropriated money to acquire lands to build the wall unless specifically authorized by Congress.


Trump says the wall is needed to curb illegal immigrants and illicit drugs streaming across the southern border despite statistics that show illegal immigration there is at a 20-year low and that many drug shipments are likely smuggled through legal ports of entry.

Democratic Representative David Price urged lawmakers on the House floor to block Trump’s “phony national emergency.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, said he would back a joint resolution to terminate the president’s emergency declaration under the National Emergencies Act, and pursue “all other available legal options.”

On Thursday evening, the Senate passed the government funding bill by a vote of 83-16, and the House by 300-128, with 86 House Republicans voting in favor.

Trump was expected to sign it and declare an emergency, then fly to his private golf club in Florida for a holiday weekend break.

Reporting by Richard Cowan and David Morgan; Additional reporting by Steve Holland, Susan Cornwell, Makini Brice and Eric Beech; Writing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Peter Cooney; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe


Trump declares U.S.-Mexico border emergency; Democrats protest

February 15, 2019

by Roberta Rampton and Richard Cowan


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Republican president’s move circumventing Congress represented a new approach to a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to halt the flow of immigrants into the country, which Trump maintains spreads crime and drugs.

He was also expected later on Friday to sign a bipartisan government spending bill Congress approved on Thursday that would prevent another partial government shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday.

Trump made no direct mention in his Rose Garden comments of the funding bill, which represents a legislative defeat for him since it contains no money for his proposed wall – the focus of weeks of conflict between him and Democrats in Congress.

Trump’s demand that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall funding as part of legislation to fund the agencies triggered a historic, 35-day December-January government shutdown that damaged the U.S. economy and his opinion poll numbers.

By reorienting his wall-funding quest toward a legally uncertain strategy based on declaring a national emergency, Trump now risks plunging into a lengthy battle with Democrats and dividing his fellow Republicans.

Fifteen Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent the transfer of funds from accounts Trump likely would target to pay for the wall.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, and Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s top Democrat, swiftly responded to Trump’s declaration.

“The president’s actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution,” they said in a statement. “The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”

New York state’s attorney general, Letitia James, said her office would also challenge Trump in court.

We won’t stand for this abuse of power & will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal,” James wrote on Twitter.

The president acknowledged that his order would face a lengthy legal fight. “We’ll win in the Supreme Court,” Trump predicted.

Legal experts said the Trump administration may prevail.

The National Emergencies Act of 1976 gives the president broad leeway to declare an emergency. The law also includes a mechanism for Congress to oppose such a declaration.

If Congress fails to vote down Trump’s declaration of an emergency, said law professors Jonathan Turley of Georgetown University and William Banks of Syracuse University, courts will be reluctant to substitute their national security judgment for those of Congress and the president.

Reporting by Richard Cowan and Roberta Rampton; additional reporting by David Morgan, Steve Holland, Susan Cornwell, Makini Brice, Alison Frankel and Eric Beech; writing by James Oliphant, Kevin Drawbaugh and Peter Cooney; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Jonathan Oatis


Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can’t humans see the writing on the wall?

People tend to respond to immediate threats and financial consequences – and Florida’s coastal real estate may be on the cusp of delivering that harsh wake-up call

February 15, 2019

by Megan Mayhew Bergman

The Guardian

I stood behind a worn shopping center outside of Crystal Springs, Florida, looking for the refuge where a hundred manatees were gathered for winter. I found them clustered in the emerald-colored spring, trying to enjoy a wedge of sunlight and avoid the hordes of people like me, boxing them in on kayaks and tour boats, leering over wooden decks. The nearby canals were lined with expensive homes and docks with jetskis. One manatee breached the water for a breath, and I could see the propeller scar on its back.

2018 was the second deadliest year on record for manatees. Like many of our coastal species, they’re vulnerable to habitat loss and warming seas, which are more hospitable to algal blooms and red tide. Science has given us the foresight we need to make decisions that will reduce the future suffering of other species and ourselves, but we don’t heed it. Why?

Studies show that humans don’t respond well to abstract projections. We overvalue short-term benefits, such as driving SUVs, burning coal and building waterfront real estate. We choose these extravagances even though they impede beneficial long-term outcomes, such as saving threatened species, or reducing the intensity of climate change.

Humans tend to respond to immediate threats and financial consequences – and coastal real estate, especially in Florida, may be on the cusp of delivering that harsh wake-up call. The peninsula has outsized exposure: nearly 2 million people live in coastal cities. In the list of the 20 urban areas in America that will suffer the most from rising seas, Florida has five: St Petersburg, Tampa, Miami, Miami Beach and Panama City. In 2016, Zillow predicted that one out of eight homes in Florida would be underwater by 2100, a loss of $413bn in property.

I flew into Miami in early December and the risk was visibly apparent from the airplane window. Aerial views of Miami and South Beach show high density construction on flat, sandy slivers of land. A recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts Miami streets will flood every year by 2070.

South Beach was vibrant and populated, with mega-yachts docked in front of luxury homes, sorbet-colored art deco-era hotels rising a block from the water, cafes misting customers on the sidewalks, neon signs flashing bright in the night sky. But I wondered: given the forecasts, why are people still building new condominiums?

In Florida, you will see a bewildering mix of optimism, opportunism and denial in the real estate market: luxury condominiums going up in flood-prone South Beach, and property values rising in the vulnerable Keys, post-Hurricane Irma. And though the House of Representatives passed a bill to require real estate agents to disclose flood risks, the Senate has not reviewed it, and a culture of “systemic, fraudulent nondisclosure” persists in high flood risk areas

You will see the massive benefits of privilege, and the way it allows a homeowner, particularly a second home owner, to afford the risk. You will see emerging issues like Miami’s climate gentrification, where previously low-income neighborhoods like Little Haiti are rising in value and under pressure from developers because of their higher ground, resulting in the displacement of people and place-based culture. Haitian playwright and bookstore owner Jan Mapou recently told a reporter: “Gentrification is coming forcefully: developers buying the major corners, raising the rents, forcing renters onto month-to-month leases … We’re not against development or modernization … but respect the people living there, their culture, their history.”

I spoke with a developer who wanted to remain anonymous, given business interests. He told me that he’s surprised that people are still buying, building and investing in coastal Florida. He estimated that a decade ago, only one in 10 buyers asked about the property elevation, or expressed concerns about rising seas. Today, nearly six of 10 ask and many decide not to buy in these same critical areas. “I’m worried we’re one bad storm away from a rush for the exits,” he told me.

I sought input from the environmental community as well. “Real estate is a huge economic driver here,” Laura Geselbracht, a senior marine scientist with the Nature Conservancy, said. “And it’s at risk from sea level rise. People don’t want to believe it. That’s a normal human condition – suspension of belief.

“If you’re not a millionaire and you own a property in a vulnerable area, it may be a wise decision to think about moving before the masses think about moving,” Geselbracht said. She also owns waterfront property on a canal in Fort Lauderdale, and is deeply invested in her community, but has cautioned her child not to expect the same lifestyle in the future.

She wonders why she doesn’t see more people of means in south Florida buying electric cars, getting solar panels and living more sustainably. “The quicker we take action, the better. We’ve got to be leaders so that we have a longer horizon of survival here,” she said. When she’s approached community leaders in the past, asking them to take steps toward sustainability, she often hears the same response: “Technology will solve it.”

It’s a high-stakes gamble. Consider innovative mitigation in action: raising roads, shoring up sea walls, adding pumps and drainage upgrades, beginning dredging projects, offering complex insurance structures. Proximity to these short-term solutions are not always pluses in a home buyer’s column, but acute reminders of vulnerability.

While Geselbracht is optimistic about developments like Orlando’s zero emissions goal, and Miami’s forward-looking Forever bond, she’s not ready to pin all her hopes on innovation. She also wonders about the fallacy of “safe” investments elsewhere. “There are air quality issues and forest fires out west, and extreme heat inland.”

AI spoke with young farmers who recently decided to purchase a farm away from the coast. “As we looked for farmland to buy, we certainly thought hard about what the climate would be like in 10, 20, 30 years,” one of the owners of Ten Mothers Farm told me. “We knew we didn’t want to be near the coast, and we wondered whether even being in the south-east was a bad idea. Ultimately we decided that the most important thing was to be in a community that’s supportive and that we believe will be resilient.”

While baby boomers may be slow to adjust spending behavior to climate change, the Florida developer told me, millennials will not, and that shift will likely impact the market in the decade to come.

I grew up in two eastern North Carolina towns, Rocky Mount and Atlantic Beach, that have been bludgeoned by hurricanes. There, friends have real estate that falls into an increasingly common, and expensive, pattern: flood, repair, rebuild. Many are locked into this expensive, emotionally draining pattern because they can’t sell their homes, which have been flooded multiple times.

Browsing real estate in nearby New Bern, which was dramatically flooded by Hurricane Florence last year, reveals the terminology indicative of this practice. Homes are presented as a “blank canvas” and “waiting to be brought back to life”. There are optimistic takes, too, like “circumstances have created great potential”, and “great fishing”.

According to a 2018 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, it’s not just houses that will flood, but also “roads, bridges, power plants, airports, ports, public buildings, military bases and other critical infrastructure along the coast”. Furthermore, the report indicates that financial markets have not accounted for this future downturn. The economic impact will be “staggering” and the window for towns to maintain creditworthiness and build resilience is “narrowing”.

The Union of Concerned Scientists point out that “nearly 175 communities nationwide can expect significant chronic flooding by 2045” and of those “nearly 40% – or 67 communities – currently have poverty levels above the national average”. States with areas of particular concern are North Carolina, Maryland and Louisiana, where a significant percentage of at-risk properties are owned by people of color.

The climate change-induced real estate crisis is imminent in the south, and it’s going to have a brutal impact on those who can’t afford new insurance, relocation, lowered property values, or bandages such as private sea walls. It will have an outsized impact on homeowners who live in flood zones or near over-heated superfund sites and toxic factories, and those who can’t afford to pay taxes on submerged land where they can no longer make a home.

I look at real estate listings and wonder, what if the places you love most are no longer a good investment? What if we’re so focused on denial, data and property that we fail to grasp the human side of the situation?

The moral imperative to act is not about salvaging expensive second homes on the waterfront. It is about taking responsibility for human action, helping frontline communities solve a complicated economic and cultural challenge, and doing what we can to help species whose survival is imperiled by our lack of foresight.


Where did the Swedes come from?

There are numerous geographical studies, archaeological findings, historical accounts and written evidences which confirm much of Scandinavian history.  Most of the written history begins after 600 AD.  The little written evidence of Scandinavian history from 100 BC to about 600 AD comes from contemporary writers of history, like Tacitus and Jordanes.  However, the lack of written history prior to 100 BC does not diminish the provocative past of the Scandinavians.

A reconstruction of the history of these years has been attempted by many scholars.  Most of these attempts come from the interpretation of archaeological finds in view of contemporary European history and culture (Europeanization of history), often disregarding a wider perspective.  Some of these reconstructions contradict one another, do not fit all the facts very well, or are invalidated by new discoveries.

The conclusions here can be attributed to well-studied authors, researchers and historians.  Other information comes from scholarly works, opinion, legend, mythology, professional historiography, and from the analogy of circumstances and evidences too compelling to ignore.

In pursuit of a more accurate evaluation of Scandinavian history, some historical questions will have no easy answers.  For example, who were the Svear and Daner people who lived in the Baltic region (Denmark and southern Sweden) in the BC era?  Who were the Erul people who lived in the Baltic region at the same time?  Were they all kin from Thracian warrior tribes?

There is strong evidence that Swedish predecessors were migratory Thracians, an aggressive refugee “boat-people” who first came from the ancient city of Troy.  Located in northwest Asia Minor (present-day northwest Turkey), the ruins of Troy were discovered in 1870.  In the period beginning about 2500 BC, Troy was populated by an “invasion of peoples on the sea” according to the Egyptians.  These people were called Thracians by the Greeks, and were early users of ships, iron weapons and horses.

Troy (also called Troi, Toas or Ilium) was known as a center of ancient civilizations.  Its inhabitants became known as Trojans (also Trajans/Thracians, later called Dardanoi by Homer, Phrygians or Anatolians by others), and their language was Thracian or Thraco-Illyrian.  Evidence shows the city of Troy endured years of war, specifically with Greek and Egyptian armies.

The famous Trojan War was fought between the Greeks and Trojans with their allies.  Troy was eventually laid in ruins after 10 years of fighting with the Greeks, traditionally dated from around 1194 to 1184 BC, and is historically referred to as the Fall of Troy.  The city was completely devastated, which is verified by the fact that the city was vacant to about 700 BC.

Thousands of Trojans left Troy immediately after the war, beginning about 1184 BC.  Others remained about 30 to 50 years after the war, when an estimated 30,000 Trojans/Thracians suddenly abandoned the city of Troy, as told by Homer (Greek writer/poet, eighth century BC) and various sources (Etruscan, Merovingian, Roman and later Scandinavian).

The stories corroborate the final days of Troy, and describe how, after the Greeks sacked the city, the remaining Trojans eventually emigrated.  Over half of them went up the Danube River and crossed over into Italy, establishing the Etruscan culture—the dominating influence on the development of Rome—and later battled the Romans for regional dominance.

The remaining Trojans, mainly chieftains and warriors, about 12,000 in all, went north across the Black Sea into the Mare Moetis or “shallow sea” where the Don River ends (Caucasus region in southern Russia), and established a kingdom called Sicambria about 1150 BC.  The Romans would later refer to the inhabitants as Sicambrians.  The locals (nomadic Scythians) named these Trojan conquerors the “Iron people”, or the Aes in their language.  The Aes (also As, Asa, Asen, Aesar, Aesir, Aesire, Æsir or Asir) soon built their famous fortified city Aesgard or Asgard, described as “Troy in the north.”  Various other sources collaborate this, stating the Trojans landed on the eastern shores with their superior weaponry, and claimed land.  The area became known as Asaland (Land of the Aesir) or Asaheim (Home of the Aesir).  Some historians suggest that Odin, who was later worshipped as a god by pagan Vikings, was actually a Thracian/Aesir leader who reigned in the Sicambrian kingdom and lived in the city of Asgard in the first century BC.  He appointed chieftains after the pattern of Troy, establishing rulers to administer the laws of the land, and he drew up a code of law like that in Troy and to which the Trojans had been accustomed.

Historians refer to the Aesir people as the Thraco-Cimmerians, since the Trojans were of Thracian ancestry.  The Cimmerians were an ancient people who lived among Thracians, and were eventually absorbed into Thracian culture.  Greek historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus noted about 440 BC that the Thracians were the second most numerous people in the world, outnumbered only by the (East) Indians, and that the Thracian homeland was huge.  The Thracian homelands included the Ukrainian steppes and much of the Caucasus region.

According to Flavius Josephus, Jewish and Roman historian in the 1st century AD, the descendants of Noah’s grandson Tiras were called Tirasians.  They were known to the Romans as Thirasians.  The Greeks called them Thracians and later Trajans, the original people of the city of Troas (Troy), whom they feared as marauding pirates.  History attests that they were indeed a most savage race, given over to a perpetual state of “tipsy excess”, as one historian put it.  They are also described as a “ruddy and blue-eyed people”.  World Book Encyclopedia states they were “…savage Indo-Europeans, who liked warfare and looting.”  Russian historian Nicholas L. Chirovsky describes the arrival of the Thracians, and how they soon dominated the lands along the eastern shores of the river Don.  These people were called Aes locally, according to Chirovsky, and later the Aesir (plural).

Evidence that the Aesir (Iron people) were Trojan refugees can be confirmed from local and later Roman historical sources, including the fact that the inner part of the Black Sea was renamed from the Mare Maeotis to the “Iron Sea” or “Sea of Aesov”, in the local tongue.  The name remains today as the Sea of Azov, an inland sea in southern European Russia, connected with the Black Sea.  The Aesir were known for their fighting with iron weapons.  They were feared for their warships, as well as their ferocity in battle, and thus quickly dominated the northern trades, using the Don river as their main route for trading.

The Aesir people dominated the area around the Sea of Azov for nearly 1000 years, though the surrounding areas to the north and east were known as the lands of the Scythians.  The Aesir fought with the Scythians for regional dominance, but eventually made peace.  They established trade with the Scythians, and even strong cultural ties, becoming united in religion and law.  The Aesir began trading far to the north as well.

The land far north was first described about 330 BC by the Greek explorer Pytheas of Massalia.  He called the region “Thule”, which was described as the outermost of all countries, probably part of the Norwegian coast, where the summer nights were very short.  Pytheas translated Thule as “the place where the Sun goes to rest”, which comes from the Germanic root word “Dhul-” meaning “to stop in a place, to take a rest.”  Pytheas described the people as barbarians (Germanic/Teutonic tribes) having an agricultural lifestyle, using barns and threshing their grains.  These people had already established trade with the Aesir who later began migrating north around 90 BC from the Caucasus region, during the time of Roman expansion in Europe.  The Germanic/Teutonic tribes first made a name for themselves about 100 BC after aggressively fighting against the Romans.  Not much is known about the Germanic tribes prior to this.  When writing the “Gallic Wars”, Julius Caesar described encounters with those Germanic peoples and distinguishes them from the Celts.  During this time period, many Germanic tribes were migrating out of Scandinavia to Germany and the Baltic region, placing continuous stress on Roman defenses.

Migrating groups were normally smaller groups of different people or tribes, often following a strong leader.  The “nationality” of the leaders would usually appear as the nationality of the migrating group, until later when the group was separated again.  The migrations could take place over several decades, and often when the Germanic tribes were mentioned in the written sources, the Romans had only met raiding groups occupying warriors or mercenaries operating far away from their people.

Around the same time, about 90 BC, the Aesir began their exodus from the Black Sea/Caucasus region.  Their arrival at the Baltic Sea in Scandinavia has been supported by several scholars and modern archaeological evidence.  As told by Snorri Sturluson (a 13th century Nordic historiographer) and confirmed by other data, the Aesir felt compelled to leave their land to escape Roman invasions by Pompeius, and local tribal wars.  Known as Thracian warrior tribes, the aggressive Indo-European nomadic Aesir came north, moving across Europe, bringing all their weapons and belongings in their boats on the rivers of Europe, in successive stages.  Historians note that Odin, who was a very popular Thracian ruler, led a migration about 70 BC with thousands of followers from the Black Sea region to Scandinavia.  It is also told that another Thracian tribe came along with them, a people called the Vanir or Vaner.

Odin’s first established settlement became known as Odense (Odin’s Sanctuary or Odin’s Shrine), inspiring religious pilgrimages to the city through the Middle Ages.  These tribes first settled in present-day Denmark, and then created a power-center in what is now southern Sweden.  About 800 years later during the Viking era, Odin, the Aesir and Vanir had become gods, and Asgard/Troy was the home of those gods—the foundation for Viking religion.  The Aesir warrior gods, and the religious deities of Odin and Thor, were an integral part of the warlike nature of the Vikings, even leading them back down the waterways of Europe to their tribal origins along the Black Sea and Asia Minor.

Aesir became the Old Norse word for the divine (also, the Old Teutonic word “Ase” was a common word for “god”), and “Asmegir” was the Icelandic term for “god maker”—a human soul on its way to becoming divine in the course of evolution.  The Vanir represented fertility and peace gods.  Not unlike Greeks and Romans, the Scandinavians also deified their ancestors.  The Egyptians adopted the practice of deifying their kings, just as the Babylonians had deified Nimrod.  The same practice of ancestor worship was passed on to the Greeks and Romans and to all the pagan world, until it was subdued by Christianity.

Snorri Sturluson wrote the Prose Edda (Norse history and myths) about 1223 AD, where he made an interesting comparison with the Viking Aesir gods to the people in Asia Minor (Caucasus region), particular to the Trojan royal family (considered mythological by most historians today, regrettably).  The Prose Edda is one of the first attempts to devise a rational explanation for mythological and legendary events of the Scandinavians.  Unfortunately, many historians acknowledge only what academia accepts as history, often ignoring material that might be relevant.

For example, Snorri wrote that the Aesir had come from Asia Minor, and he compared the Ragnarok (Norse version of the first doom of the gods and men) with the fall of Troy.  Sturluson noted that Asgard, home of the gods, was also called Troy.  Although Snorri was a Christian, he treated the ancient religion with great respect.  Snorri was writing at the time when all of Scandinavia (including Iceland) had converted to Christianity by 11th century, and he was well aware of classical Greek and Roman mythology.  Stories of Troy had been known from antiquity in many cultures.  The Trojan War was the greatest conflict in Greek mythology, a war that was to influence people in literature and arts for centuries.  Snorri mentioned God and the Creation, Adam and Eve, as well as Noah and the flood.  He also compared a few of the Norse gods to the heroes at the Trojan War.

The Aesir/Asir were divided into several groups that in successive stages immigrated to their new Scandinavian homeland.  Entering the Baltic Sea, they sailed north to the Scandinavian shores, only to meet stubborn Germanic tribes, who had been fighting the Romans.  The prominent Germanic tribes in the region were the Gutar, also known as the Guta, Gutans, Gotarne or Goths by Romans.  These Germanic tribes were already known to the Aesir, as trade in the Baltic areas was well established prior to 100 BC.

The immigrating Aesir had many clans and tribes, and one prominent tribe that traveled along with them were the Vanir (the Vanir later became known as the Danir/Daner, and subsequently the Danes, who settled in what is now present-day Denmark).  However, the most prominent clan to travel with the Asir were the Eril warriors or the “Erilar”, meaning “wild warriors”.  The Asir sent Erilar north as seafaring warriors to secure land and establish trade (these warriors were called “Earls” in later Scandinavian society).  The clans of Erilar (also called Jarlar, Eruls or Heruls by Romans, and Eruloi or Elouroi by Greek historian Dexippos) enabled the Asir clans (later called Svi, Sviar, Svea, Svear or Svioner by Romans) to establish settlements throughout the region, but not without continuous battles with the Goths and other migrating Germanic tribes.

The Eruls/Heruls eventually made peace with the Goths who ruled the region.  The tribes of Svear, Vanir, and Heruls soon formed their own clans and dominated the Baltic/Scandinavian region.  The Gothic historian Jordanes (or Jordanis), who was a notary of Gothic kings, told in about 551 AD that the Daner were from the same stock as the Svear, both taller and fairer than any other peoples of the North.  He called the Svear, “Sve’han”.

The Svear population flourished, and with the Heruls and Goths, formed a powerful military alliance of well-known seafarers.  The Svear and Heruls then gradually returned to their ancestral land, beginning in the 2nd century AD, building a fleet of 500 sailing ships.  Sometimes sailing with the Goths, they terrorized all of the lands and peoples of the Black Sea and parts of the Mediterranean, even the Romans.  They were the pre-Vikings.  In the 3rd century (267 AD) the Heruls controlled all of the Roman-occupied Black Sea and parts of the eastern Mediterranean.

There are several accounts about how the Herul warriors returned to ravage the shores of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, alone and together with the Goths.  The Romans noted that “the Heruls, a Scandinavian people, together with the Goths, were, from the 3rd century AD, ravaging the Black Sea, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean.”

While the Romans called the Scandinavian region “Thule” (after Pytheas), the Greeks called it “Scandia” (from ancient times), and others called the area “Scandza”.  The term Scandia comes from the descendants of Ashkenaz (grandson of Noah in the Bible).  Known as the Askaeni, they were the first peoples to migrate to northern Europe, naming the land Ascania after themselves.  Latin writers and Greeks called the land Scandza or Scandia (now Scandinavia).  Germanic tribes, such as the Teutons and Goths, are considered the descended tribes of the Askaeni and their first settlements.

The first time Thule (Scandinavia) was mentioned in Roman written documents was in the 1st century (79 AD) by the Roman citizen Plinius senior.  He wrote about an island peninsula in the north populated by “Sviar”, “Sveonerna” or “Svearnas” people, also called “Sveons”, “Svianar”, “Svetidi” or “Suetidi” by others.  Later in 98 AD the learned civil servant Cornelius Tacitus wrote about northern Europe.  Tacitus writes in the Latin book Germania about tribes of “Sviones” or “Suiones” (Latin Sviones was derived from Sviar) in Scandinavia, who live off the ocean, sailing in large fleets of boats with a prow at either end, no sail, using paddles, and strong, loyal, well-armed men with spikes in their helmets.  They drove both the Goths and Lapps out of Scandinavia.  Archaeological finds have provided a vivid record of the evolution of their longships from about the 4th century BC.  Tacitus further wrote, “And thereafter, out in the ocean comes Sviones (also “Svionernas” or “Svioner”) people, which are mighty not only in manpower and weaponry but also by its fleets”.  He also mentions that “the land of Svionerna is at the end of the world.”

In the 2nd century (about 120 AD) the first map was created where Scandinavia (Baltic region) could be viewed.  Greek-Egyptian astronomer and geographer Ptolemaios (Ptolemy of Alexandria) created the map, and at the same time wrote a geography where he identified several different people groups, including the “Gotarne”, “Heruls”, “Sviar” and “Finnar” who lived on peninsula islands called “Scandiai”.  During the Roman Iron Age (1-400 AD), evidences are convincing for a large Baltic seafaring culture in what is now Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Estonia.

Many clans of Aesir and Germanic peoples were united by settlements.  For example, the Aesir clan Suevi (also Suebi) settled among Germanic peoples in a region called Swabia (named after themselves), which is now southwest Germany.  Those clans became known as the Alemanni, first mentioned about 213 AD after attacking the Romans.  Called Suevic tribes by historians, they formed an alliance for mutual protection against other Germanic tribes and the Romans, and retained their tribal designation until the late Middle Ages.

By the 5th century, the Aesir Heruls were in great demand as soldiers in the Roman Imperial Guards.  The Romans were impressed with the war-like Heruls, and recruited them to fight in the Roman Army.  Herul factions were making settlements throughout Europe, fighting and battling everywhere they went.  In the late 5th century, the Heruls formed a state in upper Hungary under the Roman ruler Cæsar Anastasius (491-518 AD).

Later they attacked the Lombards, but were beaten, according to Greek-Roman author Prokopios (born at the end of the 5th century).  He was a lawyer in Constantinople and from the year 527 private secretary to the Byzantine military commander Belisarius on his campaigns against the Ostrogoths.  Prokopios says by the early 6th century (about 505), the remaining Heruls in upper Hungary were forced to leave.

Some of them crossed the Danube into Roman territory, where Anastasius allowed them to settle.  Historians mention that remaining clans of Heruls sailed northwards, back to Thule to reunite with their Svear brethren.  Prokopios noted that there were 13 populous tribes in Thule (the Scandinavian peninsula), each with its own king.  He said, “A populous tribe among them was the Goths, next to where the returning Heruls settled”.  Prokopios also mentions that “the Heruls sent some of their most distinguished men to the island Thule in order to find and if possible bring back a man of royal blood.  When they came to the island they found many of royal blood.”

Evidence of their existence during this time period can be found on the frequent appearance of runic inscriptions with the name ErilaR “the Herul”.  While it is thought that the ancient Scandinavian alphabet, called futhork or runes, is of Latin origin, the evidence suggests that it was used far to the northeast of Rome where Roman influence did not reach.  The runes are a corruption of an old Greek alphabet, used by Trojans along the northwest coast of the Black Sea.  From examples of Etruscan, Greek, and early Roman scripts, it is not difficult to see that earlier runes resemble archaic Greek and Etruscan rather than Latin.

The Heruls used runes in the same way their ancestors did, which have been discovered throughout Europe and Scandinavia.  Scandinavian sagas tell us that the Scandinavian languages began when men from central Asia settled in the north.  Sometime after 1300 AD the runes were adjusted to the Roman alphabet.

The Heruls brought with them a few Roman customs, one being the Julian calendar, which is known to have been introduced to Scandinavia at this time, the early 6th century AD.  When the Heruls returned to join again with the Svear in Scandinavia, the Svear state with its powerful kings suddenly emerges.  Their ancestors were the warring bands of Aesir (sometimes called Eastmen) who became known as the Svear or Suines.  They became the dominant power and waged war with the Goths, winning rule over them.  By the middle of the 6th century, the first all-Swedish kings emerged.  This royal dynasty became immensely powerful and dominated not only Sweden but also neighboring countries.  Gothic historian Jordanes writes of the Suines or Suehans (Sve’han) of Scandinavia, with fine horses, rich apparel and trading in furs around 650 AD.  The Swedish nation has its roots in these different kingdoms, created when the king of the Svenonians (Svears) assumed kingship over the Goths.  The word Sweden comes from the Svenonians, as Sverige or Svearike means “the realm of the Svenonians”.  The English form of the name is probably derived from an old Germanic form, Svetheod, meaning the Swedish people.

By the 7th century, the Svear and Goth populations dominated the areas of what is now Sweden, Denmark and Norway.  However, the term Norway came later.  Latin text from around 840 AD called the area Noruagia, and Old English text from around 880 AD used Norweg.  The oldest Nordic spelling was Nuruiak, written in runes on a Danish stone from around 980 AD.  The Old Norse (Old Scandinavian) spelling became Nordvegr, meaning “the country in the north” or “the way to the north”, and the people were called Nordes.

All of the names were given by people south of Norway to signify a place far to the north.  The people of Norway now call themselves Nynorsk, a name decided by linguists in the 1880s.  The name Denmark originated from the people called the Vanir (or Vaner) who settled the region with the Aesir in the first century BC.  The Vanir were later called Danir (or Daner), and eventually Danes.  By the 9th century AD, the name Danmark (Dan-mörk, “border district of the Danes”) was used for the first time.  In Old Norse, mörk meant a “forest,” and forests commonly formed the boundaries of tribes.  In Modern Danish, mark means a “field,” “plain,” or “open country.”   Hence, Denmark once meant  literally “forest of the Danes.”

During this period, their language Dönsk tunga (Danish tongue) was spoken throughout northern Europe, and would later be called Old Norse or Old Scandinavian during the Viking period.  Old Norse was spoken by the people in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and parts of Germany.

The ancestor of all modern Scandinavian languages, beginning with the Germanic form, was developed from the languages of the Aesir (Thracian tribes) and Goths (Germanic tribes).

When the Aesir integrated with the people of the lands, their families became so numerous in Scandinavia and Germany that their language became the language of all the people in that region.  The linguistic and archaeological data seem to indicate that the final linguistic stage of the Germanic languages took place in an area which has been located approximately in southern Sweden, southern Norway, Denmark and the lower Elbe river which empties into the North Sea on the northwest coast of Germany.

The Germanic tribes began arriving in the area about 1000 BC.  Later, the Aesir brought their language to the north of the world, to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.  The future rulers of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland trace their names and genealogies back to the Aesir.

The most ancient inscriptions in Old Norse/Scandinavian are from the 3rd and 5th century centuries AD, with other inscriptions dating up to the 12th century.  They were short signs written in the futhork runic alphabet, which had 24 letters (though many variations were used throughout the region).  By the end of the Viking era (11th century AD), the Old Norse language dialect varieties grew stronger until two separate languages appeared, Western Scandinavian, the ancestor of Norwegian and Icelandic, and Eastern Scandinavian, the the ancestor of Swedish and Danish.  Many Old Norse words were borrowed by English, and even the Russian language, due to expansion by Vikings.

The next Svear conquests began in the early 8th century.  By 739 AD the Svear and Goths dominated the Russian waterways, and together they were called Varyagans or Varangians, according to written records of the Slavs near the Sea of Azov.  Like their ancestors, the Svear lived in large communities where their chiefs would send out maritime warriors to trade and plunder.  Those fierce warriors were called the Vaeringar, which meant literally “men who offer their service to another master”.  We later know them by their popularized name, the Vikings.

Thus began the era known as the Viking Age, 750-1066 AD.  They often navigated the Elbe river, one of the major waterways of central Europe.  Their ships were the best in all of Europe—sleek, durable and could travel by both sail or oars.  To the east of the Elbe they were known as Varangians, and west of the Elbe they were called Vikings.

Many called them Norse or Northmen—those from the Scandinavian countries, which consisted of Sweden, Norway and Denmark.  Once again the Svear began returning to the places of their Thracian ancestors in the Caucasus region, sailing rivers which stretched deep into Russia, establishing trading stations and principalities.  Other Vikings raided the British Isles and western Europe, as noted in this Old English prayer:  “A furore Normannorum libra nos, Domine” (From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, Oh Lord).

Vikings never called themselves Vikings.  Unlike Varangian, the term Viking probably originated from Frankish chroniclers who first called them “Vikverjar” (travelers by sea), Nordic invaders who attacked the city of Nantes (in present-day France) in 843 AD.

The word “vik” meant bay or fjord in Old Norse, and later meant “one who came out from or frequented inlets to the sea”.  Viking and Varangian eventually became synonymous, meaning “someone who travels or is passing through,” whether merchant, mercenary, or marauder.

Their activities consisted of trading, plundering and making temporary settlements.

Finnish peoples referred to the Swedish voyagers as Ruotsi, Rotsi or Rus in contrast with Slavic peoples, which was derived from the name of the Swedish maritime district in Uppland, called “Roslagen”, and its inhabitants, known as “Rodskarlar”.  Rodskarlar or Rothskarlar meant “rowers” or “seamen”.  Those Swedish conquerors settled in eastern Europe, adopted the names of local tribes, integrated with the Slavs, and eventually the word “Rusi”, “Rhos” or “Rus” came to refer to the inhabitants.

The Arab writer Ibn Dustah wrote that Swedish Vikings were brave and valiant, utterly plundering and vanquishing all people they came against.  Later, the Arabic diplomat Ibn Fadlan, while visiting Bulgar (Bulgaria) during the summer of 922 AD, saw the Swedish Vikings (Rus) arrive, and he wrote:  “Never before have I seen people of more perfect physique; they were tall like palm trees, blonde, with a few of them red.  They do not wear any jackets or kaftaner (robes), the men instead wear dress which covers one side of the body but leaves one hand free.  Every one of them brings with him an ax, a sword and a knife.”  Their descriptions mirror the physique, dress and armor of Trojan warriors—the Viking ancestors.  The various ancestors of the Vikings included the Thracian tribes (Asir) and the Germanic tribes (Goths).

The Vikings included many tribes and kingdoms from around the Baltic Sea, including the Svear from Sweden, the Norde from Norway, the Danes from Denmark, the Jutes from Juteland (now part of Denmark), the Goths from Gotland (now part of Sweden), the Alands from Åland (now part of Finland), the Finns from Finland, and others.  The Svear Vikings traveled primarily east to the Mediterranean (what is now Russia and Turkey), where they had been returning regularly since leaving the region 900 years earlier.  Subsequent Viking raids and expeditions covered areas deep into Russia, the Middle East, Europe and America, ending in the 11th century (about 1066 AD) after the introduction of Christianity around the year 1000 AD.  The kingships and provinces of Sweden then combined to form one country.  The dominant king during the Viking age was from the Erik family of Uppsala.  One of the first Swedish monarchs in recorded history was Olof Skotkonung, a descendant of the Erik family.  Olof and his descendants ruled Sweden from about 995 to 1060.  Sweden’s first archbishop arrived in the 12th century (1164).

Sweden’s expansion continued during the 12th and 13th centuries through the incorporation of Finland into the Swedish kingdom after several crusades, promoted by the Catholic Church.  There was a struggle for power between the Sverker and Erik families, which held the crown alternately between 1160 and 1250.  However, during this period the main administrative units were still the provinces, each of which had its own assembly, lawmen and laws.

It was first during the latter part of the 13th century AD that the crown gained a greater measure of influence and was able, with the introduction of royal castles and provincial administration, to assert the authority of the central government and to impose laws and ordinances valid for the whole kingdom.  In 1280 King Magnus Ladulås (1275 – 1290) issued a statute which involved the establishment of a temporal nobility and the organization of society on the feudal model.  A council containing representatives of the aristocracy and the Catholic church was set up to advise the king.  In 1350, during the reign of Magnus Eriksson (1319 – 1364), the various provincial law codes were superseded by a law code that was valid for the whole country, and Finland became part of the Swedish kingdom.

In 1389, through inheritance and family ties, the crowns of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under the rule of the Danish Queen Margareta.  In 1397, the union of the three Scandinavian countries concluded under her leadership lasting 124 years. The whole union period, 1397 – 1521, was marked by conflict, and provoked a rebellion which in 1521 led to the seizure of power by a Swedish nobleman, Gustav Vasa, who was elected king of Sweden in 1523.

The foundations of the Swedish national state were laid during the reign of Gustav Vasa (1523 – 1560).  The position of the crown was strengthened further in 1544 when a hereditary monarchy was introduced.  Before that time the country had been an elective monarchy, and the aristocracy had been able to assert itself every time the throne fell vacant.  The church was turned into a national institution, its estates were confiscated by the state and the Protestant Reformation was introduced in several stages.
Since the dissolution of the union with Denmark and Norway, Swedish foreign policy had aimed at gaining domination of the Baltic Sea, and this led from 1560 onwards to repeated territorial battles with Denmark and Norway.  The efforts of the higher nobility to take back power from the successful Swedish kingships (1560 – 1632) failed in the long run, and the crown was able to maintain and strengthen its position.

In 1630 Sweden entered the historical “30 Years War” (1618 – 1648) with an attack against Germany for more control more of the Baltic region.  With little success, Sweden left the war in 1634, but continued battling with Denmark and Norway for regional superiority.  Sweden finally defeated Denmark and Norway in the two wars of 1643-45 and 1657-58, becoming a leading Lutheran power.  These wars were partly a result of Sweden aggressively expanding its borders through occupation.  For example, from 1563 to 1658, Jämtland (region in west Sweden bordering Norway) was occupied several times until it was conquered from Norway in 1658.

The people of Jämtland were called “the new Swedes”, a term still used today.  These victories led to Sweden becoming a great power in northern Europe, having control of most of the Baltic region, including continued rule over Finland.  The country even founded a short-lived colony in what is now Delaware in North America.

Sweden’s defeat in the Great Northern War (1700 – 1721) against the combined forces of Denmark, Poland and Russia, lost most of its provinces along the Baltic Sea and was reduced to largely the same frontiers as present-day Sweden.  Finland was finally surrendered to Russia in 1809.

To this day, much of western Finland is populated by Swedes, and several cities have both a Swedish and Finnish name with about 8% of Finland’s population speaking Swedish.

In 1810 Sweden succeeded in obtaining Norway, which was forced into a union with Sweden in 1814 after a short war.  This union was peacefully dissolved in 1905.  Since the short war fought against Norway in 1814, Sweden has not been involved in any war and has also since the First World War pursued a foreign policy of nonalignment in peacetime and neutrality in wartime, basing its security on a strong national defense.  Nonetheless, Sweden joined the League of Nations in 1920 and the United Nations in 1946, and within the framework of these has taken part in several international peacekeeping missions.

A new form of government was adopted in 1974 where all public power was derived from the people, who were to appoint the members of Parliament in free elections.  Parliament alone was to pass laws and was entitled to levy taxes.  The government was appointed by and responsible to Parliament, and the King was still the head of state, but his functions are reduced to purely ceremonial ones.

Sweden continued to grow as an economic power throughout the 1980’s, and in January of 1995 joined the European Union (EU).

Now in the new millennium, Sweden is controlled by a Social Democratic government, and the monarchy of King Carl XVI Gustaf.

BC means “Before Christ” which is equivalent to BCE “Before Common Era” (some say “Current” era).
AD means “Anno Domini” (in the year of our Lord) which is equivalent to CE “Common Era”.
Where did the Finns come from? 

The Finns probably originated from somewhere between the middle Volga and the Ural mountains (middle western Russia).  Four thousand years ago a few tribes of hunters and fishermen settled there.  Those tribes were destined to become the European branch of the Finno-Ugric people.  Those people groups set off in opposite directions.  The future Hungarians went south, while the Finns moved northwest where, about 500 BC, one can find traces of their first settlements along the southern coast of the Baltic.  Finnish people are of Finno-Ugrian stock, mainly of western origin (Indo-European) as well as those of the other nations which were proceeding northwards in pre-historic times.  For example, they are loosely related to the Baltic and Germanic people groups, and are closely related to the Estonians across the Gulf, the Magyars who settled in Hungary, and the Siberians in Russia.  Prior to the 14th century, only the most Southwestern part of the country was known as “Finland” and its inhabitants as Finns.  Finnish people consisted of different tribes like Karelians, Tavastians and Finns who are the ancestors of today’s Finnish population.

There is a rock base beneath Finland, part of a great land mass called the Finno-Scandian shield, the oldest and most unyielding stone in the world.  The retreating ice age left behind over 30,000 islands and more than 60,000 lakes.  In many places the land is swamp and lake, bog and marsh.  Finland, in fact, means “the land of fens, or swamps” and the Finns call themselves and their country “Suomi” “suo” meaning bog or marsh.  In the Middle Ages, the country was commonly called Österlandet (Eastland) or Finland, and the southwestern part became Finland Proper.  Finland is the name used in most languages

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

February 15, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication

Conversation No. 63

Date: Friday, February 7, 1997

Commenced:  11:55 AM CST

Concluded:  12:35 PM CST


RTC: Hello there, Gregory. I hope you’re feeling better than I am.

GD: You have a cold?

RTC: No, getting old. Some advice, Gregory. Don’t get old. The worst part isn’t forgetting things, it’s remembering. And knowing you are helpless to correct the present. But there still is correcting the past.

GD: Historians do that all the time. Hitler lost so Hitler was always wrong. Roosevelt won so Roosevelt was always right. Saints and sinners. It depends entirely on who wins.

RTC: True. I told you I once met Roosevelt, didn’t I? My father got me in to see him. Old and shaky, but still clever. Phony old bastard, one thing to the face and another to the back, but very shrewd in political circles. He set up a powerful movement, but as soon as he hit the floor, they started to dismantle it.

GD: Müller was filling me in on the anti-Communist activities he was involved in. McCarthy and all of that.

RTC: Well, Franklin put them all in, and Truman threw them all out. Most of them were Jewish so we were all accused of anti-Semitism, but we held all the cards then and they knew it, so criticism was muted. It wouldn’t be that way now, but times change.

GD: They always do and a smart man changes with them.

RTC: Some times the older forms are better.

GD: Yes, but people grow tired of old forms and want new ones. A revolution might mean more money and power for some and death or disgrace for others. The wheel does turn.

RTC: So it does. I wanted to give you a little background here, Gregory, about you. You see, at one time, these others wanted to set up a sort of private think tank. They wanted to call it after the oracle of Delphi. Tom Kimmel, Bill Corson, the Trento ménage, Critchfield and others. But they wanted me to be the honcho.

GD: And why you?

RTC: I have the connections with the business community. I could get big money people behind the idea. It was a sort of miniature Company if you will. Money and power. We always called it the Company because it was a huge business conglomerate. But anyway, this think tank would bring all of us lots of money. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel too happy with the make up of it. Kimmel is pompous and entirely too much obsessed with his late Grandfather; the Trentos are very lightweight, but aren’t really aware of it; and poor Bill is a perpetual wannabe, running around trying to sound like a great keeper of various unknown secrets. We tried Costello. Tom liked him because of his Pearl Harbor writings, but I never liked him. There was a screw loose in his brain somewhere. And of course being a fairy didn’t improve his objectivity. I gave up on John after his trip to Reno. He hated you, you know.

GD: My heart is breaking. I should have given him some of my old shorts to chew on.

RTC: Now do let’s be serious, Gregory. John was a spiteful person but I got the impression he thought you were much worse than he was and since he was hiding his perversions, he probably thought you could see through him. I think people get that impression: That you watch and see too much. Of course, it doesn’t help that you run your mouth and say terrible things about self-made saints. Anyway, I didn’t want John involved and then I began to have some interest in you. Of course, I couldn’t put you forward for the group because Kimmel detested you and Bill didn’t know where to turn. He liked you but always listened to others in making up his mind. When I ditched Costello and Bill knew you and I were talking, Kimmel went through the roof. He didn’t like me talking to you and spent much time getting his oafs at Justice to ring me up and tell me how terrible you were. Tom likes to get others to do his dirty work, I noticed long ago. The Trento family didn’t know you and Bill is actually afraid of you. So the private study group for profit more or less died a natural death. I wanted to include you but they did not so there it ended.

GD: I would have had no problem working with you but not with the others. Bill is a lightweight, Kimmel a gasbag and the one Trento book I tried to read was hopeless.

RTC: Yes.

GD: ‘And slime had they for mortar.’—Genesis 11:3.

RTC: Citing Scripture, Gregory? I thought the Devil did that.

GD: He does. Daily. Now we call him Pat Robertson.

RTC: Where’s your Christian charity?

GD: I sold it to buy a gun.

RTC: Yes. Well, to get back to the subject here, which is the fact that these gentlemen do not like you, but I do. They have stopped yapping about you because I told them to shut up, but no doubt they still run around behind my back and try to stab you in the back. Never to the face, but in the back.

GD: Not to change the subject, Robert, but why do you really call it the Company?

RTC: Because it’s a huge business. We are one of the most powerful businesses on the planet, Gregory. We make enormous sums of money, have established a tight and very complete control over the media, have the White House doing as we tell them to, overturn foreign governments if they dare to thwart our business ventures, and so on.

GD: Business ventures?

RTC: A generalized case in point. A left-wing nigger gets into power in the Congo. The Congo has huge uranium deposits. Will Moscow get the uranium? The Belgian businessmen come to us for help. We agree to help them and we get into a civil war and murder Lumumba. One of our men drove around with his rotting corpse in his trunk. The head of the UN starts to interfere in matters, so we have an aircraft accident that kills him very dead and stops the interference. We tell the President about the uppity nigger but not about poor dead Dag. We tell them what we want them to hear and nothing more.

GD: And the business aspect?

RTC: The drugs, of course, bring in astronomical amounts of loose money. And if some rival group cuts into the business, we get them removed. Ever read about huge heroin busts somewhere? Our rivals going down for the third time. All of this is part and parcel of the Plan.

GD: Sounds like the Templar’s Plan.

RTC: Ah, you know about this, do you? Which one of the seven dwarves enlightened you? Not Kimmel, but probably Bill.

GD: Actually no. I was speaking of the Plan of the Templars…

RTC: Ah, you see, you do know that. You knew Allen was an initiate, didn’t you?

GD: Well, not in so many words. Didn’t the Templars get disbanded for having too much money? I think they killed DeMolay…

RTC: Now don’t change the subject here. They were never really disbanded, but they went underground. Do you know how much money they had? The French only got a little bit of it. Now let me know, who told you?

GD: You did, actually. Just now. I was thinking of Umberto Eco’s excellent Foucault’s Pendulum and his discussion of the survival of the Templars.

RTC: I missed that one. Is that an old book?

GD: No. Late ‘80s, if I remember. Brilliant historical pastiche. Eco’s an Italian scholar and the book is wonderful, although I doubt very few people in America would understand a word of it. They don’t teach history in our public schools, only political correctness. You can no longer look for the chink in someone’s armor anymore because Asians are terribly offended and you dare not call a spade a spade.

RTC: Yes, yes, I know all that. Stunts the mind.

GD: It’s my impression, based on my visits to your town, that they don’t have any minds to stunt.

RTC: Don’t forget, Gregory, that I was in government service as well.

GD: There are always exceptions, Robert.

RTC: Many thanks for your kindness, Gregory. The Templars have always had money but they have been an underground power for so long, they are set in their ways. We are public and they are not, so there is a sort of joint partnership here. As I said, Dulles was taken in when he was in Switzerland. One of the Jung people, as I remember. They can open doors, Gregory, don’t ever think they can’t, but they are always out of the sunlight.

GD: Like the mythic vampires.

RTC: Custom and usage, as they say. We have common interests, believe me.

GD: Catholic group?

RTC: Not anymore.

GD: Well, I had an ancestor in the Teutonic Knights, and they really never went away. And the Knights of Malta still have some influence in Papal matters. Interesting about the Templars, though. I thought Eco was just a good story teller. Could be. Secret societies have always intrigued parts of the public. The dread Masons, for example. Of course, before the French Revolution, they had a great deal of clandestine power in France, but now I think they’re just a high class fraternal organization. Müller told me that the Nazis were obsessed with the Masons, but when the Gestapo got around to really investigating them, they found nothing sinister at all. Just a social organization and nothing more.

RTC: You know quite a bit about so many interesting things. I can see why you got on with the kraut and why the rat pack here hates you. I must ask you please not to discuss this business with anyone. I would also ask you not to put it into anything you write concerning me. The Kennedy business is bad enough, but no one would believe a word of the other business.

GD: I agree, Robert. But if I have to give up a really interesting story, can I get more information on Kennedy?

RTC: Yes, I can send you more. I did give Bill a copy of the Russian report, but nothing more. He started bragging about this, so I basically shut him down. Of course, it doesn’t really say anything, but once is enough when someone starts to leak out material they have sworn to keep silent about.

GD: And have you tested me?

RTC: I don’t need to. You aren’t trying to make points with the bosses like they are. I hate to say it because I am friendly with all of them, but they are just a bunch of useless ass kissers. You certainly are not.

GD: No, I am not. I don’t trust anyone in the establishment. My God, you ought to listen to what the Landreth people were telling me, [I want to wet myself,] that they can put me on the cover of Time magazine. Of course I really believe them and I would like nothing better than to have my picture on the cover of Time magazine. It used to be a good news magazine but now it’s worse than People Magazine which sells very well in the supermarket checkout lines. And right next to the National Enquirer which is probably written by the same people.

RTC: I think the day of the printed paper or magazine is dying. We still have our hand in on that game. We moved to television, but that is also losing out, so we are moving into the Internet. But don’t ask me about that, because I know nothing about it. We view the Internet as very dangerous because we can’t begin to control it. Set up a few people with money and push them. Hope for the best, you know. but doubtful.

GD: The Templars story is interesting, mainly because I read Eco and know something about their early days.

RTC: When the conspiracy idiots babble on about secret societies, they don’t have any idea what they’re talking about. They go on about the CFR and the Masons but they don’t know the half of it.

GD: Did you ever read Mills’ The Power Elite? Came out in ’54 and is a little out of date but very good.

RTC: Can’t say as I have. Didn’t you mention this once? No matter. I might have but years ago. Speculative?

GD: Concrete, realistic and so on. The reason why the American public is so wrapped up in conspiracy theories is because they have lost all faith in their government and most of our major institutions such as banks, the press, mainline religion and so on. I remember the so-called OPEC panic when the price of gas at the pump went up every ten minutes. There was no OPEC crisis, but just the oil companies creating a panic so they could make huge profits. Ever notice, Robert, how the price of gas at the pump soars just at the beginning of summer when everyone drives on trips and then comes down in winter when no one drives? And how the price of fuel oil drops off in summer when no one needs it but then shoots up every winter when everyone does? Tell me, are these accidents?

RTC: Of course not, Gregory, of course not.

GD: I’m surprised that people don’t pick up on this.

RTC: They won’t pick up on anything at all and what if they did? A little talk here and there and they pay the bills.

GD: And the sheep get shorn again.

RTC: Yes, if you want to put it that way. That’s why they’re there, isn’t it?


(Conclusion at 12:35 PM CST)A






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