Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/tbrnew5/public_html/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 284

TBR News January 13, 2017

Jan 13 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. January 13, 2017: “ The latest fake news report, that of a British retired intelligence agent, about Mr. Trump and the Russians, is so palpably fake that it is drawing ridicule across the globe.

The report and Senator McCain, its sponsor, sound as if it were written by a grammar school class in beginning journalism.

Any of the few “facts” this report quotes are easily disproven but muddle, out of context facts coupled with gross lies never stopped the American propaganda machine from its moronic activities in the past.

The Establishment is livid that Clinton was defeated and now is seeking to ruin the reputation of the winner, Donald Trump.

In point of fact, they are ruining what shreds are left of their own credibility.

From the DoDs ‘Lincoln Group’ to the RNCs ‘Drudge Report’ the lumbering dragon has groaned, writhed and has given birth to a very dead rat.

Why not stop the pretense of journalism and go back to your original occupation of deodorizing dead dogs?”

Table of Contents

  • Washington Invented Hacking and Interfering in Elections
  • Fact check for dummies: Teaching Washington Post & Co how to do journalism one last time
  • Washington seems on brink of ‘civil war’ as elites fuel anti-Trump hostility – former German MP
  • Germany invites Russian minister on EU sanctions list to G20 meeting
  • Why so many journalists are mad at BuzzFeed
  • Who is Christopher Steele? The ex-British intelligence officer behind the explosive Donald Trump dossier
  • Christopher Steele, Ex-British Intelligence Officer, Said to Have Prepared Dossier on Trump
  • The U.S. Intelligence Community Freaks Out About Russia
  • Will Trump Shred the Iran Nuclear Deal? Or Is That the Least of Our Problems When It Comes to U.S.-Iranian Relations?
  • A well-kept open secret: Washington is behind India’s brutal experiment of abolishing most cash
  • Cindy McCain Stole Drugs From Her Own Charity
  • Never-before-heard Bernie Madoff tapes reveal details of ruinous Ponzi scheme
  • Mein Kampf’: Murphy translation: Part 9

Washington Invented Hacking and Interfering in Elections

Weaponized hacking all began with Stuxnet

January 10, 2017

by Philip Giraldi

The Unz Review

Is the United States the victim of an unprovoked cyber and media attack by Russia and China or are the chickens coming home to roost after Washington’s own promotion of such activity worldwide? On Thursday Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asserted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that while no foreign government had been able to interfere with actual voting machines, “U.S. agencies are more confident than ever that Russia interfered in America’s recent presidential election. And he called the former Cold War foe an ‘existential threat’ to the nation.” Pressed by Senator John McCain whether the “attack” constituted an “act of war,” Clapper demurred, saying that it would be a “very heavy policy call” to say so. He also said that he could not judge if the election outcome had been changed due to the claimed outside interference.

Clapper also claimed that the Russian effort included including the creation and dissemination of fake stories, explaining that “ While there has been a lot of focus on the hacking, this is actually part of a multifaceted campaign that the Russians mounted.” Clapper singled out Russian state funded TV channel RT, previously called Russia Today. “Of course RT…was very, very active in promoting a particular point of view, disparaging our system.” [Full disclosure: I have been on RT numerous times.]

Apart from the nonsense about foreign broadcasters being part of a conspiracy to “disparage our system” and destroy our democracy, I confess that I was willing to be convinced by what seemed to be the near-unanimous intelligence and law enforcement agency verdict but, any such expectations disappeared when the 17 page report on the hack was actually released on Friday. Entitled Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections, the report is an exercise in speculation minus evidence indicting alleged Russian interference in the recent election. It even came with a significant caveat, “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.”

So I am still waiting to see the actual evidence for the Russian direct involvement and have to suspect that there is little to show, or possibly even nothing. Saying that Russian government agents were employed in passing the stolen emails from the DNC server to WikiLeaks raises more questions than it answers, particularly as it is now clear from media leaks that the parties involved were using what is referred to as cut-outs to break the chain of custody of the material being passed. Does the intelligence community actually know exactly who passed what to whom and when or is it engaged in reconstructing what it think happened? Does it really believe that intercepted unencrypted phone calls among Russian officials expressing pleasure over the election result equate to an actual a priori conspiracy to determine the outcome? And based on what evidence do they know that conspiracy was “ordered” by President Vladimir Putin as is now being alleged? Or are the only assuming that it must have been him because he is head of state?

And what about the possibility that activity of Russian intelligence agencies to penetrate computers in the United States was little more than routine information collection, which Clapper conceded is normal activity for Washington as well? And above all, where is a truth and consequences analysis of America’s global role as a contributor to the tit-for-tat, obscured by a prevailing mainstream media narrative that prefers to see everything in terms of good guys versus bad guys?

One can reasonably argue that Washington started the practice of cyber-warfare and has been a long-time practitioner of both regime change and election tampering in its relationship with much of the world. The Snowden papers indicate that NSA hacking of targets in China has been going on for many years as has routine interception of cell phones of allied European and other world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the UN Secretary General. NSA has deliberately sought to have the capability to penetrate nearly every electronic communications network in the world, frequently in real time, and has come close to achieving that ability under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The information obtained in the huge dumps of intelligence obtained by NSA is, at least in theory, used to confront possible threats to the United States and to obtain competitive advantage over both adversaries and competitors. But the intrusion into systems has also been weaponized, witness for example the creation of the Stuxnet worm in collaboration with the Israelis. Stuxnet was intended to disable key elements in Iranian nuclear research but it also went beyond that, creating dysfunction in other economic and industrial systems unrelated to its laboratories. The assault on Iran was more of an act of war than the hack of the DNC computers. And the damage was not limited to Iran. There have also been concerns that the Stuxnet virus had migrated from the Iranian systems and become viable on other civilian use computers.

There have been numerous military interventions in Latin America ever since the U.S. became involved in the region in the wake of the Spanish-American War. The subsequent interventions in the so-called Banana Wars by U.S. Marines in Central America and the Caribbean were on behalf of United Fruit Company and other commercial interests. The cynical use of force to support American business moved the highly-decorated Marine Major General Smedley Butler to describe himself as “a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers … a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism” while declaring that “war is a racket.” More recently, the CIA arranged for the removal of populist Jacopo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, initiating 60 years of political instability in that country while the Agency role in the military coup in Chile that ousted Salvador Allende and its involvement with the Nicaraguan contra rebels subsequently are similarly notorious.

When I was in Europe with CIA the U.S. government regularly interfered with elections, particularly in Italy, Spain, France and Portugal, all of which had active communist parties. The Agency would fund opposition parties directly or indirectly and would manage media coverage of the relevant issues to favor the non-communists. The end result was that the communists were indeed in most cases kept out of government but the resulting democracy was frequently corrupted by the process. Italy in particular suffers from that corruption to this day.

The United States has directly interfered in Russia, using proxies, IMF loans and a media controlled by the oligarchs to run the utterly incompetent Boris Yeltsin’s successful campaign in 1996 and then continuing with more aggressive “democracy promotion” projects until Putin expelled many of the NGOs responsible in 2015. More recently there have been the pastel revolutions in Eastern Europe and the upheaval in Ukraine, which came about in part due to a $5 billion investment by the United States government in “democracy building” supplemented by regular visits from John McCain and the State Department’s activist Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

And then there are Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria as well as endorsement of the ongoing carnage in Yemen. The Congress meanwhile continues to call for regime change in Iran. So it leads to the question “Who is actually doing what to whom?”

One can well understand the anger at Russian actions but much of the sentiment is being fueled by a hostile press and deliberate U.S. government fear mongering orchestrated by the Obama Administration as its parting gift to the American people. A new Cold War would be good for no one. Stepping back a bit, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that anything Russia did or is suspected of doing in 2016 pales in comparison to what the United States has been doing for much longer and on a much wider scale. The Defense Department runs a cyber warfare command with a budget of $7 billion and the White House has ordered military interventions to bring about regime change in four Muslim majority countries while also interfering in a number of others since 9/11. The Obama response to an alleged Russian conspiracy that has yet to be demonstrated has been to send more soldiers to the Baltics while ordering a massive politically motivated retaliation that included the persona non grata expulsion of 35 Russian officials and their families. Moscow did not retaliate and instead invited U.S. diplomatic families to a Christmas celebration at the Kremlin. Sure, it was political theater to a certain extent but it has to make one wonder who was actually the adult in the room whenever Obama and Putin would meet.

Fact check for dummies: Teaching Washington Post & Co how to do journalism one last time

January 13, 2017


If you hadn’t heard of RT before 2017, you probably have by now. Since the US Intelligence report fingering RT as one of the main tools of an “evil Kremlin conspiracy” to hack US elections, word about the channel is spreading and the American mainstream media is literally losing its mind.

A number of outlets are on a (Quixotic) quest to prove that no one watches RT on air, no one views it online and that basically it doesn’t exist. “RT is a myth.” “Fake media that has no following.” “Propaganda channel that lies about everything.” But it seems that in their haste to accuse RT of fake news, fake numbers and whatnot, reporters forget to do one simple but quite important thing – fact check and verify their claims. As if “fact check” is “so last century” and “fake news” is “the new black.”

Well, if that’s the reality of modern American journalism, RT will have to step in and do the job for our colleagues. Here’s the latest Washington Post “investigative” story which digs up an ancient groundless report about RT and tries to sell it as news. Below, we will examine reporter’s article and help him fill in the gaps.

1) WaPo:

“RT is credited with… denigrat[ing] Secretary Clinton” with segments like ‘Clinton and ISIS Funded by the Same Money’”; and casting doubt on the outcome of the US election with clips like “Trump Will Not be Permitted to Win”


What is clearly missing here are the hyperlinks to the mentioned “segments” and “clips”. Here is this segment and here is this clip. Now, we see that what is being presented as RT’s editorial materials, are in fact extracts from Julian Assange’s interview with John Pilger, which RT licensed from Dartmouth films last November. Another important note: This interview became one of the most viral news interviews of the year with the full 25-minute version almost hitting 2 million views.

2) WaPo:

“It’s true that the station seemed to have a preference for Trump in the run-up to the 2016 campaign.”


In this one short line, the Washington Post somehow manages to fit as many as three hyperlinks, but only one actually refers to RT content, which is… a segment about the Assange interview with John Pilger. Either it was an editor mixing up with accurate link placing, or “it’s true that it seemed” to prove nothing. But what is really true is that RT’s US election coverage motto was “Voting lesser of 2 evils” and even featuring the bleeding eyes of Lincoln in a Trump promo clip.

3) WaPo:

RT claims it has more than 500,000 unique viewers every day and more than 800 million views on its YouTube channel since 2005.


These numbers would be correct… if the WaPo article was published in 2012. RT’s actual online audience is much bigger now. And it’s not RT who claims it. Here’s is comScore (one of the largest measurement and analytics companies based in US) from 2016 concluding that RT’s online audience has been reaching 50 million unique visitors a month last year. Here is Alexa (Amazon-owned company providing web traffic data) which places RT.com among the 300 most popular web sites in the world (RT’s current global rank is at 280 and has been constantly rising since April 2016). Here’s SimilarWeb (a global digital market intelligence company), which gives RT a lower global rank but places it in the 500 most visited websites in the world (yes, both ratings include ALL websites in the world, the top 100 being mostly social networks, search engines and porn sites)

Regarding YouTube numbers, RT’s flagship English-language channel has 1.9 billion views and over 2 million subscribers since 2007, while RT YouTube network is the most watched TV news network on YouTube in the world with way over 4 billion views.

4) WaPo:

When RT does get attention — mostly through its viral video hits online — it’s not for its political coverage. RT’s biggest hits aren’t scoops about the American election, but rather clips of insane weather patterns or people doing crazy things.


We’ll just leave it here:

Trump’s victory speech – 3.7 million views

Putin on Trump victory – 2.4 million views

RT’s special non-stop LIVE election coverage – 1.3 million views in total on RT and RT America

Exclusive 2-hour LIVE stream from NYC anti-Trump (!) protest – 1.4 million views

Trump blackballing CNN reporter at 1st presser – 900k views

Should we go on?

And finally, regarding the Daily Beast 2015 “investigation”, based on a leaked 2012 erroneous report which the Washington Post quotes extensively in 2017 (earnestly presenting unverified numbers from 5 (!) years ago). We have already replied to that nonsense. –

Hopefully, American media will try a bit harder next time when targeting “unpopular, non-existent Trump-loving Kremlin propaganda” and will actually attempt to use facts and proof-links instead of fake reports, groundless numbers and unsupported claims. But to be honest, we doubt that will happen anytime soon.


From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Volume 2017, Issue No. 5

January 12, 2017


The inauguration of the President on January 20, 2017 has been formally designated as a National Security Special Event (NSSE), the Congressional Research Service confirmed.

“NSSEs are high profile, and usually public, events that require significant security because of the attendance of U.S. and foreign dignitaries and the event’s public or official nature. The United States Secret Service (USSS) is designated as the primary federal entity responsible for NSSE security,” a newly updated CRS report explained.

See Inauguration Security: Operations, Appropriations, and Issues for Congress, January 11, 2017.

Other new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Criminal Aliens: In Brief, updated January 10, 2017

U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress, updated January 6, 2017

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response, updated January 6, 2017

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations In Brief, updated January 6, 2017

Biennial Budgeting: Issues, Options, and Congressional Actions, January 10, 2017

Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding, updated January 10, 2017

Constitutional Authority Statements and the Powers of Congress: An Overview, January 6, 2017

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments, updated January 6, 2017

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress, updated January 5, 2017

Washington seems on brink of ‘civil war’ as elites fuel anti-Trump hostility – former German MP

January 12, 2017


The US establishment is working hard to make it impossible for Donald Trump to ditch the warmongering policies previous administrations pursued, and to deliver on his pledge to mend relations with Russia, former CDU defense spokesman Willy Wimmer told RT.

“When you see the situation in Washington, I think they are not willing, those who lost the election, to accept the new president whose name is Trump… What’s going on in Washington sounds like the beginning of a civil war,” said Wimmer, who is a former MP with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and also served as vice president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The former OSCE top official noted that not only members of the Democratic Party, who staked everything on Clinton’s victory, but also Republicans from the war establishment camp, like Sen. John McCain, put up a united front against US President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to build good relations with other countries. Such foreign policy strategy may deal a blow to their hawkish worldview, Wimmer argues.

“There is a network of resistance against the President who will be in office on the 20th of January and I think when you look at the reality in Europe, people of all our European countries – they want to live in good [relations] with [the] Russian Federation,” Wimmer said, adding that the media campaign aimed at vilifying Trump resembles the way the mainstream media used to demonize Russia.

“There is no hostility [between Russia and Europe], the hostility is organized in a very artificial way and it is the same way of organizing hostilities as we see nowadays against Trump,” the former MP said.

Wimmer believes that the smear campaign against Trump is running full tilt with scores of scathing articles popping up “in all leading newspapers this morning all over the world.”

The main goal behind all this enormous effort is to “just to make it impossible for the new US President to go for a better policy, not leave as a warmonger as others did,” Wimmer said.

“This makes it very clear that there’s a network of Democratic and Republican war establishment in Washington and they are not willing to accept the ballots,” the former lawmaker explained.

Wimmer argued that while Russia-EU relations have deteriorated in the past few years – following Crimea’s reunification with Russia, which led to sanctions encouraged by Washington – the EU and Moscow “had excellent relations” before “something… changed in the US policy.”

“Now we are in a situation that everything they do, everything which can be done also with regard of the next German elections is to find reasons to go for conflict or even to go for a war,” Wimmer said, describing the tension existing in the increasingly polarized world as “most dramatic days we have in our lifetime.”

Wimmer suggested that to avert confrontation, instead of sticking to narrow interests, one “should look at the broad picture.”

“I think everybody in Europe wants to see Trump in office pursuing the policy he explained during the campaign – to go for good relationships with others, including with the Russian Federation,” he said, adding that there is “no reason” for Europe “to perform hostility towards the Russian population or to the Russian government.”

During his campaign and after winning the election, Trump has been repeatedly accused by the US mainstream media and Democratic Party politicians of having ties to Russia and to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with Washington officials painting the Russian government as a pro-Trump, and capable of tilting the American election in Trump’s favor with alleged “hacking attacks” on the Democratic Party.

The president-elect repeatedly denied the claims, dismissing it as fake news.

“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only stupid people, or fools, would think that it is bad! We have enough problems around the world without yet another one,” a statement on Trump’s Facebook page said on January 7, adding that he and the Russian president may “work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”

Germany invites Russian minister on EU sanctions list to G20 meeting

January 13, 2016


Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev, who is on a European Union list of Russians banned from entering the bloc, will next week attend a meeting in Berlin with his G20 counterparts at Germany’s invitation.

European Union leaders last July extended economic sanctions against Russia first imposed in 2014 after it annexed Crimea and went on to support a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine. The EU last year also extended travel bans and asset freezes covering about 150 people and 37 entities, including Tkachev.

A spokeswoman for the German ministry of agriculture played down the significance of the invitation by Germany, which in January 2015 refused to issue an entry visa to Tkachev.

“Invitations were sent to all G20 members and Russia is a G20 member,” Christina Wendt told a regular government news conference in Berlin on Friday.

The Russian agriculture ministry confirmed in a statement on Friday that Tkachev will attend the Jan. 22 meeting. It said Tkachev would hold bilateral meetings with G20 counterparts. It provided no further details.

France last May granted Tkachev an entry visa to attend an assembly of the World Organisation for Animal Health in Paris.

 (Reporting by Joseph Nasr in Berlin and Polina Devitt in Moscow; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Why so many journalists are mad at BuzzFeed

January 12, 2017

by Callum Borchers

The Washington Post

Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed BuzzFeed for publishing a 35-page document full of unverified claims about a Russian effort to compromise him, and the growing consensus among journalists is that the president-elect had a point.

For many in the media, validating one of Trump’s attacks is an unfamiliar and uncomfortable thing to do. The billionaire’s complaints about press coverage are so frequent — and typically so unfair — that reporters often feel compelled to defend each other’s work, as if protecting the reputation of their entire profession. Many journalists tweeted support for CNN and Jim Acosta Wednesday, after a news conference scrap that ended with Trump calling Acosta and his network “fake news.”

But there has been no such rallying around BuzzFeed, which Trump called “a failing pile of garbage.” A few journalists have backed the site, including ProPublica President Richard Tofel, but more have openly questioned BuzzFeed’s judgment.

“Don’t you have a responsibility of not spreading false information?” Chuck Todd asked BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on MSNBC Wednesday evening.

Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote that “it’s a bad idea, and always has been, to publish unverified smears.”

Guardian media editor Jane Martinson wrote “it is wrong for any respected news organisation to publish information it knows may not be true.”

Journalism ethics are at the center of the criticism, but there is another layer to reporters’ frustration with one of their own. At a time when the incoming president is firing constantly at the news media, blowing new holes in the industry’s already-weakening foundation of trust, BuzzFeed just handed him more ammunition.

“BuzzFeed let Trump cast a shadow of doubt on all reporting,” Poynter Institute Vice President Kelly McBride wrote in the New York Times.

“In an era when trust in the media is already in the gutter, this does absolutely nothing to help,” Sullivan added.

“Do you believe that you have helped the credibility of the media with the public or hurt the credibility of journalism with the public?” Todd asked Smith.

“I think in the long term,” Smith replied, “we all have to reckon with the reality that we’ve got to engage information that is out there, true and false, do our best to verify it and be as transparent as we can with our readers about what we know, what we don’t know and what we doubt. It’s an incredibly uncomfortable thing, I think, for everybody.”

At Wednesday’s news conference, Trump actually thanked many news outlets for being “so incredibly professional” in handling the unconfirmed details contained in the document published by BuzzFeed. Even he seemed to recognize and appreciate the restraint exercised by most of the press.

But Trump seldom hesitates to cherry pick one example that fits his overarching narrative. And his narrative is that the media is shamefully biased against him and unworthy of public confidence.

Who is Christopher Steele? The ex-British intelligence officer behind the explosive Donald Trump dossier

January 12, 2017

by Jamie Bullen

The Standard/UK

A former British intelligence officer has been identified as the man behind an explosive dossier about US president-elect Donald Trump.

Christopher Steele, 52, who runs London-based Orbis Business Intelligence, was named in reports as having compiled the file on Mr Trump.

The 35-page dossier contains unverified allegations that Russian security officials have compromising material on Mr Trump that could be used to blackmail him.

Mr Steele, a former MI6 officer, is one of two directors of Orbis, according to Companies House, along with Christopher Burrows, 58.

According to the Wall Street Journal Mr Steele has repeatedly declined requests for interviews in recent weeks, with an intermediary telling the newspaper the subject was “too hot”.

Mr Steele is said to have fled his home on Wednesday morning as it became clear his name would become public. He is now said to fear a backlash from Moscow.

Mr Burrows refused to “confirm or deny” that Orbis, a corporate intelligence company, had produced the report, the WSJ said.

A neighbour said he was away for a few days, the WSJ said.

Mr Steele is said to have fled his home on Wednesday morning as it became clear his name would become public. He is now said to fear a backlash from Moscow.

Mr Burrows refused to “confirm or deny” that Orbis, a corporate intelligence company, had produced the report, the WSJ said.

Orbis, which was founded in 2009 by former British intelligence professionals, has a “global network” of experts and “prominent business figures”, according to its website.

It says: “We provide strategic advice, mount intelligence-gathering operations and conduct complex, often cross-border investigations.”

The firm, based in Grosvenor Gardens, close to London’s upmarket Belgravia area, says it “draws on extensive experience at boardroom level in government, multilateral diplomacy and international business to develop bespoke solutions for clients”.

“Our tailored approach means the directors are closely involved in the execution and detail of every project, supported by an in-house team of experienced investigators and professional intelligence analysts,” it says.

Mr Burrows formerly worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a counsellor, according to his LinedkIn profile, with postings to Brussels and Delhi in the early 2000s.

The dossier has been circulating in Washington for some time as media organisations, uncertain of its credibility, held back from publication.

Both Mr Trump and US president Barack Obama had been briefed on its contents and Mr Trump has suggested American intelligence agencies may be responsible for its release.

In a press conference in New York on Wednesday that was dramatic and at times ill-tempered, the president-elect branded the dossier “fake news” and said it would be a “tremendous blot” on the agencies’ reputations if they were shown to have leaked it.

In the hours before his appearance, Mr Trump issued a series of tweets in which he denounced the document as “A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE”.

“Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?” he tweeted.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the reports were “complete fabrication and utter nonsense” and the Russian government “does not engage in collecting compromising material”.

Standing in front of a row of US flags, Mr Trump blamed the creation of the dossier on his political opponents, who he said had “got together – sick people – and they put that crap together”.

Some of the more lurid details of the allegations were highly improbable because he was a “germophobe” who hated uncleanliness, he said, adding that he was very aware of the danger that hotel rooms may contain hidden cameras.

He thanked media organisations which declined to publish the “phoney stuff”, saying: “They looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies – who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies – which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that, a tremendous blot.

“A thing like that should never have been written, it should never have been had and it should certainly never have been released.”

Mr Trump insisted Moscow had “no leverage” over him as he had “no deals, no loans, no nothing” with Russia.

Christopher Steele, Ex-British Intelligence Officer, Said to Have Prepared Dossier on Trump

Former spy is director of London-based Orbis Intelligence Ltd.

January 11, 2017

by Bradley Hope, Michael Rothfeld and Alan Cullison

The Wall Street Journal

A former British intelligence officer who is now a director of a private security-and-investigations firm has been identified as the author of the dossier of unverified allegations about President-elect Donald Trump’s activities and connections in Russia, people familiar with the matter say.

Christopher Steele, a director of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd., prepared the dossier, the people said. The document, which an official close to the matter said was prepared under contract to both Republican and Democratic adversaries of Mr. Trump, alleges that the Kremlin colluded with Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and claims that Russian officials have compromising evidence of Mr. Trump’s behavior that could be used to blackmail him.

Mr. Trump has dismissed the dossier’s contents as false and Russia has denied the claims.

Mr. Steele, 52 years old, is one of two directors of the firm, along with Christopher Burrows, 58.

Mr. Burrows, reached at his home outside London on Wednesday, said he wouldn’t “confirm or deny” that Orbis had produced the report. A neighbor of Mr. Steele’s said Mr. Steele had said he would be away for a few days. In previous weeks, Mr. Steele has declined repeated requests for interviews through an intermediary, who said the subject was “too hot.”

A LinkedIn profile in Mr. Burrows’s name says he was a counselor in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with foreign postings in Brussels and New Delhi in the 2000s. The Foreign Office declined to comment. A LinkedIn profile for Mr. Steele doesn’t give specifics about his career. Intelligence officers often use diplomatic postings as cover for their espionage activities.

Orbis Business Intelligence was formed in 2009 by former British intelligence professionals, it says on its website. U.K. corporate records say Orbis is owned by another firm that in turn is jointly owned by Messrs. Steele and Burrows. It occupies offices in a building overlooking Grosvenor Gardens in London’s high-end Belgravia neighborhood. The firm relies on a “global network” of experts and business leaders to provide clients with strategic advice, mount “intelligence-gathering operations” and conduct “complex, often cross-border investigations,” its website says.

The dossier consists of a series of unsigned memos that appear to have been written between June and December 2016. Beyond creating the document, Mr. Steele also devised a plan to get the information to law-enforcement officials in the U.S. and Europe, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

“We have no political ax to grind,” Mr. Burrows said, speaking about corporate-intelligence work in general terms, “the objective is to respond to the requirements set out by our clients. He said when clients asked a firm like Orbis to investigate something, you “see what’s out there” first and later “stress test” your findings against other evidence.

No presidential campaigns or super PACs reported payments to Orbis in their required Federal Election Commission filings. But several super PACs over the course of the campaign reported that they paid limited liability companies, whose ultimate owners may be difficult or impossible to discern.

The dossier’s emergence—it was published online and widely circulated Tuesday—has generated a firestorm less than 10 days before Mr. Trump’s inauguration. U.S. officials have examined the allegations but haven’t confirmed any of them. The Wall Street Journal also hasn’t corroborated any of the allegations in the dossier.

“It’s all fake news,” Mr. Trump said in a news conference Wednesday. “It’s all phony stuff. It didn’t happen.”

The dossier contains lurid and hard-to-prove allegations. The FBI has found no evidence, for example, supporting the dossier’s its claim that an attorney for Mr. Trump went to the Czech Republic to meet Kremlin officials, U.S. officials said. The attorney has also denied the claim.

The author of the report had a good reputation in the intelligence world and was stationed in Russia for years, said John Sipher, who retired in 2014 after 28 years in the CIA’s clandestine service, where he specialized in Russia and counterintelligence. Mr. Sipher is now director of client services at CrossLead Inc., a Washington-based technology company set up by retired U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

Private-intelligence firms like Orbis have a growing presence. Major corporations use them to conduct due diligence on potential business partners in risky areas, but quality control can be loose when it comes to high-level political intrigue, executives of private intelligence companies say.

When government intelligence agencies produce clandestine political reports, they often include thick sections about sources, possible motivations behind their information and the methods used to approach them. Such background helps decision makers determine how reliable the information is.

Andrew Wordsworth, co-founder of London-based investigations firm Raedas, who often works on Russian issues, said the memos in the Trump dossier were “not convincing at all.”

“It’s just way too good,” he said. “If the head of the CIA were to declare he got information of this quality, you wouldn’t believe it.”

Mr. Wordsworth said it wouldn’t make sense for Russian intelligence officials to expose state secrets to a former MI-6 officer. “Russians believe once you are an agent, you’re an agent forever,” he said.

—Jenny Gross  and Jason Douglas  contributed to this article.

 The U.S. Intelligence Community Freaks Out About Russia

The declassified CIA report comes up short.

January 10, 2017

by Andrea O’Sullivan


The wannabe Cold War with Russia continues apace. The American political establishment has not allowed a few major blunders along the way to hinder the hazy narrative that “Russia hacked our democracy.” Rather, it has doubled down by inflating cyber threats and inflaming geopolitical tensions. But this full court press on public opinion has revealed more about the opportunism and opacity of the U.S. intelligence community and its allies than it has about any specific foreign harm to the American public.

Last Friday, the intelligence community finally released a declassified version of the vaunted secret CIA report that started it all. The report contains no new technical information, and interestingly enough barely addresses any actual hacking at all. The reader will learn more about RT’s Occupy Wall Street coverage than he will about election-related hacking.

The report does maintain that Russian intelligence hacked into the DNC and controlled the “Guccifer 2.0” character and DNCLeaks.org website. Notably, it also states that Russia did not interfere in vote counting systems and that the Wikileaks emails “did not contain any evident forgeries.” But it does not mention the John Podesta emails once, and mostly repeats the established narrative that the Russian government strategically molded U.S. opinion to get Donald Trump elected through the Wikileaks disclosures, state-backed news stories, and even “quasi-governmental troll” accounts.

This report may have the unintended consequence of actually generating gratitude for our supposed enemies. Most of the report reads more as an aggrieved Clinton supporter’s 99 theses for why her preferred candidate lost (none of them are Hillary) than a measured security analysis. Obviously, people who do not like Clinton are unlikely to take issue with her factual dirty laundry being aired. And plenty of people across the political spectrum join Putin’s trolls in “characterizing the United States as a ‘surveillance state'” that perpetrates “widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use.”

Of course, the intelligence community can always fall back on its excuse that the report “does not and cannot include the full supporting information” proving many of its claims. And it also purports to merely describe Russia’s motivations without making any claims about what impact this had on the electoral outcomes. But this also limits its persuasive impact.

Many Americans, perhaps still reeling from the disastrous CIA-driven Iraq War, have so far not been quick to buy this story based solely on such vague assurances. And the core of the report’s complaints—that certain political actors were embarrassed when their corrupt dealings were made public—didn’t exactly generate much outrage outside of the affected partisan groups.

The declassified report is only the latest in a long line of rhetorical volleys that, in the worst case, would have the effect of drumming up a new international conflict.

In late December, the FBI and the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) of the Department of Homeland Security released a Joint Analysis Report (JAR) detailing these offices’ public perspectives on the recent rash of leaks. It is the first of its kind to attribute a cyber-attack to a specific actor. The document is another gem in the U.S. government’s proud tradition of Joseph Heller-esque communiqués.

The 13-page report starts by informing the reader that it is “provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only,” and that the offices do “not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.” (This would later prove prophetic.)

It then proceeds to unveil a sexy new name for the shadowy enemy du jour: “GRIZZLY STEPPE”—an updated Axis of Evil comprised of the entire “BEAR family.” While the report does not mention them by name, it offers scant more information than put forth by the CrowdStrike report on the DNC breach and the SecureWorks analysis of the John Podesta email intrusion, upon which it appears to be based. Indeed, the bulk of the report does not speak specifically about the recent hacks at all, but rather puts forth a standard list of good defensive security techniques that people should practice regardless.

Where the report did mention specifics, it goofed—big league. The associated report files contain what’s called “indicators” of the breaches, which include suspected IP addresses and even a sample of the malware that the threat groups supposedly used. This intrigued many in the puzzle-hungry information security industry, who did some investigating of their own.

The feds made a rookie mistake, as the security engineers at WordPress soon discovered. The hardcore malware that the moustache-twirling GRIZZLY STEPPE super-hackers supposedly used was no Russian-backed superbug at all, but a garden variety piece of old free Ukrainian malware. Furthermore, the “suspicious” IP addresses fingered in the report did not have any obvious connections to the Russian government at all, had been previously involved in a wide range of non-political attacks all across the web, and in fact appeared to mostly originate in the U.S.

In retrospect, it’s easy to see how the FBI and NCCIC could have gotten things so wrong. In early January, BuzzFeed News reported that the FBI had never even asked to examine the DNC’s servers. According to yet another unnamed intelligence agent, “Crowdstrike is pretty good,” implying they felt that no further investigation was needed. Yet it is fairly unusual for a federal inquiry to solely rely on the work of a commercial firm, particularly when private bodies can have their own conflicts of interest and biases. At any rate, it hardly inspires confidence in their pronouncements on the issue.

This same sloppy rush to find Russian hackers under every piece of malware was evident in The Washington Post’s recent fake news faux pas. On New Year’s Eve, its reporters cited anonymous U.S. officials that GRIZZLY STEPPE hackers were inside the U.S. electricity grid. Egad! Suddenly, Putin and his trolls were not just antagonizing Hillary Clinton and her friends. They were physically attacking the American people—at least the ones in Vermont—and threatening to shut off their heat in the middle of winter. Not cool, Russia.

Except that’s not what happened at all. There were no Russian hackers in the Burlington Electric computer systems, and there was certainly no threat to our nation’s finest maple syrup producers’ winter heat. So why all the hubbub? A Burlington Electric employee used his laptop to connect to a potentially malicious IP address—probably one of the hundreds examined by the WordPress team. This laptop was not connected to the electric grid, but out of an abundance of caution Burlington flagged the event for the authorities. The game of anonymous federal official telephone somehow turned this benign event into an act of war by a foreign villain. The Washington Post sheepishly retracted the story a few days later, but not before yet another wave of paranoid saber-rattling swept the American imagination.

Of course, none of this bungling means that the Russian government (or some group connected to them) did not attempt to infiltrate the computers of U.S. organizations. On the contrary: There is almost no question that Russia did and does. Every powerful modern body (including the U.S. government) does the same. However, these continued fumbles demonstrate the extent to which the U.S. intelligence community and its accomplices have been willing to sacrifice tact and evidence in the apparent pursuit of some unknown agenda that involves escalating tensions with the Russian government.

More importantly, they reveal a dangerous tendency for the commentariat to conflate criticism of the American political establishment with anti-American foreign propaganda. Just as the scare-word “terrorism” has been contorted to fit whatever new threat inconveniences the reigning party, so too will “hacking” and “fake news” be used as a cudgel to cut back on legitimate dissent.

This new Russian scare has also underscored the dramatic recent reversal of ideological allegiances. Reliable Republican war-hawks are now joined with formerly antagonistic Democrats in their lock step support of the intelligence community. All of a sudden, liberals seems to have forgotten their previous complaints about CIA torture methods, mass surveillance, and foreign subversion. For the first time since these polls have been conducted, Democrats support the CIA more than Republicans do.

Yet for libertarians, the problems with a self-serving intelligence community run amok remain the same regardless of which party cheers it on. The enemies and contexts may change, but the result is almost always the same: A bigger government, loss of civil liberties, and yet another foreign intervention. President-elect Trump says he wants to dramatically overhaul and limit the U.S. intelligence apparatus. Let’s hope he actually does it.

 Will Trump Shred the Iran Nuclear Deal? Or Is That the Least of Our Problems When It Comes to U.S.-Iranian Relations?

January 12, 2017

by Rajan Menon

Stack up the op-eds and essays on the disasters that await the world once Donald Trump moves into the White House and you’ll have a long list of dismaying scenarios.

One that makes the lineups of most pundits involves a crisis with Iran.  So imagine this.  Trump struts to the podium for his first presidential press conference, the trademark jutting jaw prominent.  He’s spent the previous several days using Twitter to trash the nuclear agreement with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  Unlike former President Barack Obama, Trump loves drama.  But the JCPOA runs 159 pages, so he can’t literally tear it up on live television as part of his performance. (And no, it’s not the small hands problem.)  Instead, he announces that the nuclear deal is a dead letter, effective immediately.

Could he really do that?  Pretty much — through an executive order stating that the United States will no longer abide by the accord and reinstituting the American sanctions that were lifted once the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) certified Iran’s compliance with the agreement and it survived a vote in Congress.

There’s a reason Trump might choose to quash the Iran nuclear deal in this manner.  As the State Department put it in November 2015, responding to a clarification request from Congressman Mike Pompeo, a sworn enemy of the agreement and Trump’s pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, the JCPOA “is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document… [It] reflects political commitments between Iran, the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China), and the European Union.  As you know the United States has a long-standing practice of addressing sensitive problems that culminate in political commitments.”  Assuming that Trump would bother providing a nuanced defense of his decision, he could simply claim that the Obama administration had cut a global political deal that lacked legal standing and that, as he’d said repeatedly during the campaign, was also a terrible deal.

There’s not much Congress would be able to do.  Indeed, Trump might not even face significant resistance from its members because the agreement never had deep support there.  In May 2015, even before the negotiators had signed the JCPOA, Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA), asserting its right to scrutinize the terms of the accord within 60 days of its conclusion and vote to approve or disapprove it.  That bill passed 98-1 in the Senate.  The lone dissenter was Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton, who demanded that “a nuclear arms agreement with an adversary, especially the terrorist-sponsoring Islamist regime,” be submitted to the chamber as a treaty, in which case approval would have required a two-thirds majority.  The vote in the House for INARA, 400-25, showed a similar lack of enthusiasm.

Pending Congressional review, the INARA barred the Obama administration from lifting or easing the nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.  And it imposed short deadlines for submitting the agreement to Congress and for a report on verification: five days for each task.  On top of that, the Act mandated a semi-annual report on matters outside the scope of the agreement, including money laundering by Iran and its planning of, or support for, terrorism “against the United States or a United States person anywhere in the world.”

The nuclear agreement was signed on July 14, 2015, and that September 11th, the House voted against it, 269 (including 25 Democrats) to 162.  Barely a week later, Senate Democrats managed to muster 58 votes to prevent a resolution of disapproval from moving forward.  So yes, the Obama administration prevailed — the vote tally in the House was insufficient to override a veto — but the results showed yet again that support for the Iran deal was barely knee deep, which means that President Trump won’t face much of a problem with legislators if he decides to scrap it.

Why the Nuclear Deal Is Worth the Bother

And that possibility can’t be ruled out.  Not only does Trump routinely act on impulse, he has attacked the JCPOA, during and after the campaign, as (among other things) “stupid,” a “lopsided disgrace,” and, in a classic Trumpism, the “worst deal ever negotiated.”

“My number-one priority,” he proclaimed in March while addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which did its best to sink the agreement, “is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”  He called it “catastrophic for America, for Israel, and for the whole of the Middle East.”  Iran, he added, got $150 billion in sanctions relief (mainly from the unfreezing of assets it held overseas) “but we received absolutely nothing in return.”  As recently as December in a “stay strong” tweet to Israel following the Security Council’s condemnation of that country’s settlements on the West Bank (which the Obama administration refused to veto), Trump referred again to the “horrible Iran deal.”

Trump’s inner circle has also demonized the agreement.  In a July 2015 interview, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the incoming national security adviser, warned that, by enabling the lifting of nuclear sanctions, the JCPOA had given Iran extra money for strengthening its military and promoting terrorism, while offering the United States “nothing but grief” in return.  The verification measures, he added, were mere “promises,” and the agreement’s text “read like a high school paper.”  Speaking to supporters in Raleigh, North Carolina, in October, Vice President-elect Mike Pence pledged that Trump would “rip up” the agreement once in office.  As for Mike Pompeo, amid reports in November that he would be the new CIA director, the congressman said, “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”

While Trump has yet to pick his Deputy Secretary of State, among the top contenders appears to be John Bolton, a former ambassador to the U.N. beloved by his fellow neoconservatives.  Bolton, unsurprisingly, also abhors the Iran deal.  While the talks were still underway, he labeled them “an unprecedented act of surrender,” adding that he couldn’t imagine any worthwhile agreement with Iran because its leaders were hell-bent on building nuclear weapons.  The best way to deal with that country in his view was to promote regime change there.  Nor did he alter his position once the agreement took effect.  In a November op-ed, he advised Trump “to abrogate the Iran nuclear deal in his first days in office.”

Given the right wing’s barrage against that deal and the looming Trump presidency, it’s worth bearing in mind that the Iran nuclear deal is anything but the catastrophe its critics claim it to be.  It’s an achievement worth defending, but to understand just why, you have to put on your policy-wonk hat for a few moments and do exactly the sort of thing that Donald Trump seems to like least: plunge into the sometimes abstruse details of that small-print, 159-page report.  So fair warning, here goes.

The agreement, in fact, blocks the two paths Iran could take to build nuclear weapons, one based on uranium, the other on plutonium.  Recall that Iran went from 164 centrifuges in 2003 to 19,000 by the time the negotiations on what would become the JCPOA started in 2013. (Centrifuges spin uranium hexafluoride, UF-6, at high velocity to achieve the 90% concentration of the Uranium-235 isotope needed to make nuclear weapons.)  Under the agreement, Iran can retain a maximum of 5,060 centrifuges at its Natanz and Fordow sites, and they must be the older 1R-1 models.  The surplus stock of those as well as all the more advanced IR-4, 5, 6, and 8 models must be placed in continuously monitored storage.  Together, Fordow and Natanz could house more than 50,000 centrifuges of various types; so quantitatively and qualitatively, the ceilings set by the JCPOA are very significant.

The agreement also bars Iran from enriching uranium beyond 3.167% — nowhere near the concentration required for building a nuclear bomb. Enrichment can occur only at the Natanz plant; the two centrifuge cascades permitted at the Fordow facility can’t be used for this purpose.  Moreover, Iran can retain no more than 300 kilograms of uranium enriched even to this level for research use and medical purposes, which means that its stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) will be cut by 98%.  Iran is also prohibited from building additional plants for uranium enrichment.

Nuclear weapons can be built with plutonium as well, specifically Plutonium-239 (PU-239), but the JCPOA blocks that path, too.  It requires that Iran’s (unfinished) heavy water reactor at Arak be redesigned so that it can be fueled only with LEU.  In the meantime, the reactor has been disabled and concrete poured into its core.  In the future, Iran is banned from reprocessing plutonium produced by the reactor or building reprocessing facilities and must export the reactor’s spent fuel.  Its stocks of heavy water, used as a coolant in reactors, cannot exceed 130 metric tons; any excess must be exported.

Such an agreement, of course, can be no better than the provisions that verify its implementation.  To build nuclear weapons, Iran would have to breach several of the JCPOA’s provisions and persist with various prohibited activities.  Given the multiple means of verification at hand, that’s virtually impossible.  As International Atomic Energy Agency documents detail, Iranian nuclear installations will be under constant surveillance involving electronic seals and online monitoring (which relay information on uranium enrichment), as well as on-site inspections.

The last of these mechanisms is especially significant because the agreement also requires that Iran accept the terms of the 1997 Additional Protocol that strengthened the monitoring agreements the IAEA has reached with signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  States that implement the Protocol must permit on-site inspections by the IAEA’s technical teams, sometimes on short notice.  As it now happens, Iran is committed to implementing the Protocol not just for the 15-year lifespan of the agreement, but for as long as it remains party to the NPT.

Finally there’s the procedure for resolving disputes about verification.  I’ll skip the details on this and just cut to the chase: Iran can’t stretch out the process or sanctions will resume under a “snapback” provision, and while a Security Council resolution could theoretically lift those sanctions, the United States could veto it.

Turning Up the Heat on Iran: Trump’s Plan

In other words, the Iran deal couldn’t be more worth saving if your urge in life is not to have Iran join the “nuclear club.”  It essentially ensures that reality and, according to a December 2016 poll, more than 60% of Americans are pleased that it exists.  But don’t assume that public support, stringent verification processes, and a dispute resolution procedure stacked against Iran will necessarily immunize the agreement from Trump, who is not exactly a details guy.  Nor does he spend much time listening to experts because, well, he’s so smart that he knows all the answers.  (Besides, if he needs additional information, he can always turn to “the shows,” his apparent go-to source for crucial military information.)  As for the members of his entourage, they’ve made it plain en masse that they have no use for the agreement.

Still, don’t consider it a foregone conclusion that Donald Trump will scrap the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action peremptorily and permanently either, even though he’s repeatedly denounced the deal.  After all, he’s also said that he’d consider renegotiating its terms to ensure that it meets his (unspecified) standards. As usual, he’s been all over the map.

Consider this: in September 2015, during an appearance on Morning Joe, he told the Washington Post’s David Ignatius that the United States had signed “a disastrous deal in so many ways… We have a horrible contract.”  But then, in effect invoking the sanctity of contracts, he added, “I’d love to tell you I’m gonna rip up this contract, I’m going to be the toughest guy in the world.  But you know what? Life doesn’t work that way.”  His solution back then: make sure Iran fulfills its part of the bargain.

And among the various positions he took on the agreement over those months, he wasn’t alone in taking that one.  Once the nuclear deal became a reality, others who had doggedly opposed it began to call for monitoring Iran’s compliance rather than scrapping it.  In November, Walid Phares, one of Trump’s top advisers on the Middle East, hedged in this fashion: Trump, he insisted, would “take the agreement, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore a few issues or change a few issues, and there will be a discussion.”

In an April speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, retired General James Mattis, Trump’s choice for secretary of defense, called Iran “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”  That said, however, he then cautioned that the United States “would be alone” if it tore up the Iran deal and that “unilateral sanctions would not have anywhere near the impact of an allied approach to this.” Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee and a fervent critic of the agreement, as well as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a one-time contender to be Trump’s secretary of state, made exactly the same point once it took effect.

And the same can be said not just about the various Iranophobes soon to populate the Trump administration but about whole countries.  Israel and Saudi Arabia both lobbied feverishly against the agreement.  Now that it’s in effect, however, neither seems to be pushing the president-elect to abandon it.

And even if he were to do so, Europe, China, and Russia wouldn’t follow suit, which would mean that their companies, not American ones, would reap the benefits of doing business with Iran.  Some 29 European and Asian companies have already concluded energy agreements with Iran or are on course to do so. Given its continuing economic difficulties, the European Union (EU) would have no reason to take a hit by disavowing an agreement in which it had invested so much time and that will benefit so many of its businesses like Airbus (which in December signed a contract to sell Iran 100 planes).  In November, the EU’s foreign ministers reaffirmed their support for the Iran deal, increasing the likelihood that Trump would risk a rupture with them if he withdrew from it.

In addition, doing so unilaterally would essentially be senseless.  American companies like Boeing, which signed a deal worth nearly $17 billion with Iran in December, would forfeit such opportunities.  Would Trump, who presents himself as the ultimate dealmaker and vows to create millions of jobs in the United States, really like to take credit for that?  Again, it’s hard to tell given the consistency of his inconsistency.  After all, he initially criticized the Boeing deal, only later to complain that Iran might buy from Europe, not America.  We’ll know where he stands, should those in Congress who have tried to block the Boeing aircraft sale persist.

Even if Trump doesn’t withdraw from the nuclear deal, don’t for a second assume that he won’t turn up the heat on Iran, which remains subject to various American non-nuclear sanctions aimed at its ballistic missile program, human rights record, and support for Hezbollah and Hamas.  Bear in mind that, in December, Congress extended — with only one dissenting vote in the House and unanimity in the Senate — the Iran Sanctions Act for another decade. And Trump could, in fact, expand these penalties, as several conservatives have urged him to do.  Vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council Ilan Berman, for example, recommends extending the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to Iran on the grounds that Trump could then use “visa bans, asset freezes, and commercial blacklists” to punish any of its officials engaged in corruption or human rights violations.

The new president could go even further by following the recommendation of Council on Foreign Relations Iran expert Ray Takeyh.  In December, Takeyh argued that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “is presiding over a state with immense vulnerabilities, and the task of U.S. policy is to exploit all of them.” Takeyh’s ultimate aim is regime change, and he believes that “the United States has a real capacity to shrink Iran’s economy and bring it to the brink of collapse.”

So despite Donald Trump’s bluster, there’s at least a reasonable likelihood that he won’t summon the press to announce the Iran nuclear deal’s strangulation at his hands. But instead of being a rare dose of good news, that could well come as cold comfort. Under Trump, the Iranian-American relationship is essentially guaranteed to get a whole lot worse, whatever happens to the treaty itself. Even if Trump does adhere to the agreement, he could easily attempt to show both his contempt for the Iranians and his resolve by getting tough in a host of other ways.

There are plenty of potential collision points, including in Iran’s coastal waters along that crucial oil route, the Persian Gulf, as well as in Lebanon, in Syria (where Iranian forces and advisers are fighting for autocrat Bashar al-Assad), and in Yemen (where Houthi insurgents aligned with Iran are being bombarded by Saudi warplanes, with devastating consequences for civilians).  Israel and Saudi Arabia may no longer be fixated on torpedoing the nuclear agreement itself, but once the Obama administration is history they may also feel freed of any restraints from Washington when it comes to Iran.  Certainly, key Republicans (and not a few Democrats) will back the Israelis in any kind of confrontation with that country.  Both the Israelis and the Saudis have made no secret of the fact that they considered Obama soft on Iran, and they are likely to be emboldened once Trump enters the White House.

Should either of them clash with Iran, the stage will be set for a potentially direct military confrontation between Tehran and Washington.  In other words, there may not be a potentially more combustible spot on the planet.  So we may be missing the point by speculating on what Trump will do to the Iran deal.  The real question is what he’ll do to Iran — and just how disastrous the consequences of that may be.

A well-kept open secret: Washington is behind India’s brutal experiment of abolishing most cash

January 1, 2017

by Dr. Norbert Haering

In early November, without warning, the Indian government declared the two largest denomination bills invalid, abolishing over 80 percent of circulating cash by value. Amidst all the commotion and outrage this caused, nobody seems to have taken note of the decisive role that Washington played in this. That is surprising, as Washington’s role has been disguised only very superficially.

US-President Barack Obama has declared the strategic partnership with India a priority of his foreign policy. China needs to be reined in. In the context of this partnership, the US government’s development agency USAID has negotiated cooperation agreements with the Indian ministry of finance. One of these has the declared goal to push back the use of cash in favor of digital payments in India and globally.

On November 8, Indian prime minster Narendra Modi announced that the two largest denominations of banknotes could not be used for payments any more with almost immediate effect. Owners could only recoup their value by putting them into a bank account before the short grace period expired at year end, which many people and businesses did not manage to do, due to long lines in front of banks. The amount of cash that banks were allowed to pay out to individual customers was severely restricted. Almost half of Indians have no bank account and many do not even have a bank nearby. The economy is largely cash based. Thus, a severe shortage of cash ensued. Those who suffered the most were the poorest and most vulnerable. They had additional difficulty earning their meager living in the informal sector or paying for essential goods and services like food, medicine or hospitals. Chaos and fraud reigned well into December.

Four weeks earlier

Not even four weeks before this assault on Indians, USAID had announced the establishment of „Catalyst: Inclusive Cashless Payment Partnership“, with the goal of effecting a quantum leap in cashless payment in India. The press statement of October 14 says that Catalyst “marks the next phase of partnership between USAID and Ministry of Finance to facilitate universal financial inclusion”. The statement does not show up in the list of press statements on the website of USAID (anymore?). Not even filtering statements with the word “India” would bring it up. To find it, you seem to have to know it exists, or stumble upon it in a web search. Indeed, this and other statements, which seemed rather boring before, have become a lot more interesting and revealing after November 8.

Reading the statements with hindsight it becomes obvious, that Catalyst and the partnership of USAID and the Indian Ministry of Finance, from which Catalyst originated, are little more than fronts which were used to be able to prepare the assault on all Indians using cash without arousing undue suspicion. Even the name Catalyst sounds a lot more ominous, once you know what happened on November 9.

Catalyst’s Director of Project Incubation is Alok Gupta, who used to be Chief Operating Officer of the World Resources Institute in Washington, which has USAID as one of its main sponsors. He was also an original member of the team that developed Aadhaar, the Big-Brother-like biometric identification system.

According to a report of the Indian Economic Times, USAID has committed to finance Catalyst for three years. Amounts are kept secret.

Badal Malick was Vice President of India’s most important online marketplace Snapdeal, before he was appointed as CEO of Catalyst. He commented:

„Catalyst’s mission is to solve multiple coordination problems that have blocked the penetration of digital payments among merchants and low-income consumers. We look forward to creating a sustainable and replicable model. (…) While there has been (…) a concerted push for digital payments by the government, there is still a last mile gap when it comes to merchant acceptance and coordination issues. We want to bring a holistic ecosystem approach to these problems.“

Ten months earlier

The multiple coordination problem and the cash-ecosystem-issue that Malick mentions had been analysed in a report that USAID commissioned in 2015 and presented in January 2016, in the context of the anti-cash partnership with the Indian Ministry of Finance. The press release on this presentation is also not in USAID’s list of press statements (anymore?). The title of the study was “Beyond Cash”.

„Merchants, like consumers, are trapped in cash ecosystems, which inhibits their interest” in digital payment it said in the report. Since few traders accept digital payments, few consumers have an interest in it, and since few consumers use digital payments, few traders have an interest in it. Given that banks and payment providers charge fees for equipment to use or even just try out digital payment, a strong external impulse is needed to achieve a level of card penetration that would create mutual interest of both sides in digital payment options.

It turned out in November that the declared “holistic ecosystem approach” to create this impulse consisted in destroying the cash-ecosystem for a limited time and to slowly dry it up later, by limiting the availability of cash from banks for individual customers. Since the assault had to be a surprise to achieve its full catalyst-results, the published Beyond-Cash-Study and the protagonists of Catalyst could not openly describe their plans. They used a clever trick to disguise them and still be able to openly do the necessary preparations, even including expert hearings. They consistently talked of a regional field experiment that they were ostensibly planning.

“The goal is to take one city and increase the digital payments 10x in six to 12 months,” said Malick less than four weeks before most cash was abolished in the whole of India. To not be limited in their preparation on one city alone, the Beyond-Cash-report and Catalyst kept talking about a range of regions they were examining, ostensibly in order to later decide which was the best city or region for the field experiment. Only in November did it became clear that the whole of India should be the guinea-pig-region for a global drive to end the reliance on cash. Reading a statement of Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, USAID Mission Director to India, with hindsight, it becomes clear that he stealthily announced that, when he said four weeks earlier:

“India is at the forefront of global efforts to digitize economies and create new economic opportunities that extend to hard-to-reach populations. Catalyst will support these efforts by focusing on the challenge of making everyday purchases cashless.”

Veterans of the war on cash in action

Who are the institutions behind this decisive attack on cash? Upon the presentation of the Beyond-Cash-report, USAID declared: “Over 35 key Indian, American and international organizations have partnered with the Ministry of Finance and USAID on this initiative.” On the ominously named website http://cashlesscatalyst.org/ one can see that they are mostly IT- and payment service providers who want to make money from digital payments or from the associated data generation on users. Many are veterans of,what a high-ranking official of Deutsche Bundesbank called the “war of interested financial institutions on cash” (in German). They include the Better Than Cash Alliance, the Gates Foundation (Microsoft), Omidyar Network (eBay), the Dell Foundation Mastercard, Visa, Metlife Foundation.

The Better Than Cash Alliance

The Better Than Cash Alliance, which includes USAID as a member, is mentioned first for a reason. It was founded in 2012 to push back cash on a global scale. The secretariat is housed at the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDP) in New York, which might have its reason in the fact that this rather poor small UN-organization was glad to have the Gates-Foundation in one of the two preceding years and the Master-Card-Foundation in the other as its most generous donors.

The members of the Alliance are large US-Institutions which would benefit most from pushing back cash, i.e. credit card companies Mastercard and Visa, and also some US-institutions whose names come up a lot in books on the history of the United States intelligence services, namely Ford Foundation and USAID. A prominent member is also the Gates-Foundation. Omidyar Network of eBay-founder Pierre Omidyar and Citi are important contributors. Almost all of these are individually also partners in the current USAID-India-Initiative to end the reliance on cash in India and beyond. The initiative and the Catalyst-program seem little more than an extended Better Than Cash Alliance, augmented by Indian and Asian organizations with a strong business interest in a much decreased use of cash.

Reserve Bank of India’s IMF-Chicago Boy

The partnership to prepare the temporary banning of most cash in India coincides roughly with the tenure of Raghuram Rajan at the helm of Reserve Bank of India from September 2013 to September 2016. Rajan (53) had been, and is now again, economics professor at the University of Chicago. From 2003 to 2006 he had been Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. (This is a cv-item he shares with another important warrior against cash, Ken Rogoff.) He is a member of the Group of Thirty, a rather shady organization, where high ranking representatives of the world major commercial financial institutions share their thoughts and plans with the presidents of the most important central banks, behind closed doors and with no minutes taken. It becomes increasingly clear that the Group of Thirty is one of the major coordination centers of the worldwide war on cash. Its membership includes other key warriers like Rogoff, Larry Summers and others.

Raghuram Rajan has ample reason to expect to climb further to the highest rungs in international finance and thus had good reason to play Washington’s game well. He already was a President of the American Finance Association and inaugural recipient of its Fisher-Black-Prize in financial research. He won the handsomely endowed prizes of Infosys for economic research and of Deutsche Bank for financial economics as well as the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Prize for best economics book. He was declared Indian of the year by NASSCOM and Central Banker of the year by Euromoney and by The Banker. He is considered a possible successor of Christine Lagard at the helm of the IMF, but can certainly also expect to be considered for other top jobs in international finance.

As a Central Bank Governor, Rajan was liked and well respected by the financial sector, but very much disliked by company people from the real (producing) sector, despite his penchant for deregulation and economic reform. The main reason was the restrictive monetary policy he introduced and staunchly defended. After he was viciously criticized from the ranks of the governing party, he declared in June that he would not seek a second term in September. Later he told the New York Times that he had wanted to stay on, but not for a whole term, and that premier Modi would not have that. A former commerce and law Minister, Mr. Swamy, said on the occasion of Rajan’s  departure that it would make Indian industrialists happy:

“I certainly wanted him out, and I made it clear to the prime minister, as clear as possible. (…) His audience was essentially Western, and his audience in India was transplanted westernized society. People used to come in delegations to my house to urge me to do something about it.”

A disaster that had to happen

If Rajan was involved in the preparation of this assault to declare most of Indians’ banknotes illegal – and there should be little doubt about that, given his personal and institutional links and the importance of Reserve Bank of India in the provision of cash – he had ample reason to stay in the background. After all, it cannot have surprised anyone closely involved in the matter, that this would result in chaos and extreme hardship, especially for the majority of poor and rural Indians, who were flagged as the supposed beneficiaries of the badly misnamed “financial-inclusion”-drive. USAID and partners had analysed the situation extensively and found in the Beyond-Cash-report that 97% of transactions were done in cash and that only 55% of Indians had a bank account. They also found that even of these bank accounts, “only 29% have been used in the last three months“.

All this was well known and made it a certainty that suddenly abolishing most cash would cause severe and even existential problems to many small traders and producers and to many people in remote regions without banks. When it did, it became obvious, how false the promise of financial inclusion by digitalization of payments and pushing back cash has always been. There simply is no other means of payment that can compete with cash in allowing everybody with such low hurdles to participate in the market economy.

However, for Visa, Mastercard and the other payment service providers, who were not affected by these existential problems of the huddled masses, the assault on cash will most likely turn out a big success, “scaling up” digital payments in the “trial region”. After this chaos and with all the losses that they had to suffer, all business people who can afford it, are likely to make sure they can accept digital payments in the future. And consumers, who are restricted in the amount of cash they can get from banks now, will use opportunities to pay with cards, much to the benefit of Visa, Mastercard and the other members of the extended Better Than Cash Alliance.

Why Washington is waging a global war on cash

The business interests of the US-companies that dominate the gobal IT business and payment systems are an important reason for the zeal of the US-government in its push to reduce cash use worldwide, but it is not the only one and might not be the most important one. Another motive is surveillance power that goes with increased use of digital payment. US-intelligence organizations and IT-companies together can survey all international payments done through banks and can monitor most of the general stream of digital data. Financial data tends to be the most important and valuable.

Even more importantly, the status of the dollar as the worlds currency of reference and the dominance of US companies in international finance provide the US government with tremendous power over all participants in the formal non-cash financial system. It can make everybody conform to American law rather than to their local or international rules. German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has recently run a chilling story describing how that works (German). Employees of a Geran factoring firm doing completely legal business with Iran were put on a US terror list, which meant that they were shut off most of the financial system and even some logistics companies would not transport their furniture any more. A major German bank was forced to fire several employees upon US request, who had not done anything improper or unlawful.

There are many more such examples. Every internationally active bank can be blackmailed by the US government into following their orders, since revoking their license to do business in the US or in dollar basically amounts to shutting them down. Just think about Deutsche Bank, which had to negotiate with the US treasury for months whether they would have to pay a fne of 14 billion dollars and most likely go broke, or get away with seven billion and survive. If you have the power to bankrupt the largest banks even of large countries, you have power over their governments, too. This power through dominance over the financial system and the associated data is already there. The less cash there is in use, the more extensive and secure it is, as the use of cash is a major avenue for evading this power.

Cindy McCain Stole Drugs From Her Own Charity

by cganemccalla

From 1989 to 1992, Cindy McCain was a drug addict. She was addicted to Percoset and Vicodin. Rather than go to a street dealer or doctor shop like Rush Limbaugh, McCain stole pills from the charity she founded. McCain had founded The American Voluntary Medical Team, a relief organization whose purpose was to aid Third World countries.

The DEA audited her charity and found irregularities which prompted an investigation. A former employee, Tom Gosinski, was the one who tipped off the DEA to check out her organization. Gosinski said he was fired from the organization because he knew too much about Cindy McCain’s drug habit. Gosinski claims McCain would illegally obtain these drugs by using the names of her employees and the charity she founded. So Cindy McCain used pills meant to ease the suffering of starving African children for her own personal drug use.

Gosinski would write about Cindy’s drug addiction in his journal, which he shared with The Phoenix New Times.

July 27, 1992: I have always wondered why John McCain has done nothing to fix the problem. He must either not see that a problem exists or does not choose to do anything about it……. In reality, I am working for a very sad, lonely woman whose marriage of convenience to a U.S. Senator has driven her to: distance herself from friends; cover feelings of despair with drugs; and replace lonely moments with self-indulgences. I do not know what Cindy is up to but it appears as though she is trying to use several doctors’ DEA #’s so that she can acquire drugs for personal use

September 29, 1992: Regardless of what happens with Cindy McCain, it is time for me to get out of AVMT. I have so little respect for Cindy and her objectives–she has made AVMT a media event–that even under the best of circumstances I do not think this organization merits existence. . . .

October 2, 1992: Well, it is done. Last night Jim and Smitty confronted Cindy regarding her dependency to prescription drugs and she admitted to her addiction. I understand that she told the Hensleys her addiction was rooted in her unhappiness–her marriage–and that she took the pills to mask her depression. The Hensleys told Cindy they knew she had a problem because of her severe mood swings and her change in character. They also said her meanness towards others was not excusable and must stop.

When Cindy was eventually caught by the DEA, she confessed to them and reporters that she was a drug addict. Despite the severity of her crime, she was let off the hook on the condition that she underwent treatment. McCain was painted as a ‘courageous soldier beating back the devil of drug addiction.’ Cindy McCain blamed her drug addiction on stress over the Keating 5 scandal her husband went through.

How can McCain and the right wing media portray Cindy McCain as a courageous soldier fighting against drug addiction, while locking up millions of others who fight against drug addiction? Surely, working class Americans who have to struggle to pay bills and live are subject to the same depression billionaire heiresses are! Working class people don’t have charities to steal from to feed their drug addictions. They get there crack, coke, weed and heroin off the street. Shouldn’t they receive the same treatment for their drug addiction as Cindy McCain? They bought drugs off the street; she stole them from suffering Africans: is there real difference in their crimes?

Is there a double standard for rich pill popping heiresses and regular working class people with drug addictions? What does it say about John McCain that he didn’t even know his wife had a drug problem? Given that McCain has lived with someone who has struggled with drugs, shouldn’t McCain’s policies towards drug addicts be more lenient?

Never-before-heard Bernie Madoff tapes reveal details of ruinous Ponzi scheme

New audio series Ponzi Supernova profiles the imprisoned trickster, who denies responsibility for duping investors by paying them out of each other’s pockets

January 12, 2017

by Sam Thielman in

The Guardian

New York-Bernard Madoff, the imprisoned confidence trickster, has laid the blame for his ruinous Ponzi scheme at the feet of banks and wealthy investors he claims didn’t care whether his firm was legitimate or not in a series of never-before-heard recordings.

The interviews, part of author Steve Fishman’s new audio series, Ponzi Supernova, feature much of Madoff’s characteristic refusal to take responsibility for paying his investors out of each other’s pockets.

Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities promised huge returns from canny investments but in reality paid investors with other early investors’ cash. As the firm became more and more “successful” Madoff said the banks that at first shunned him were suddenly beating down his door: “All of a sudden these banks give you the time of day. They’re willing to give you a billion dollars. I had all of these major banks coming down and entertaining me. It is a head trip,” he tells Fishman.

Madoff was found guilty of defrauding thousands of investors of billions of dollars on 29 June 2009. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison with restitution of $170bn and is serving his sentence at the Butner federal correctional complex in Durham, North Carolina.

Fishman, who conducted three hours of interviews with Madoff personally, points out that while the fraudster ruined many lives, roughly half of Madoff’s investors still ended up in the black. “Yeah, he was a criminal talent, with God-given gifts in a sense, but Madoff was Patient Zero,” Fishman said. “What really makes him a pandemic is all the feeder funds [who introduced new clients to Madoff] and the banks,” Fishman told the Guardian. “They take him around the world. They recruit investors, in Latin America and through Europe, and they basically pour gasoline on this dumpster fire. Madoff could have been kind of a local swindler until he meets this massive distribution network.”

The forgeries committed on some clients’ documents, Fishman said, were even done as if to order by some clients. According to ex-FBI agent Steve Garfinkel, Annette Bongiorno, Madoff’s longtime assistant and first employee, would doctor statements on request. Clients would call to complain that Madoff promised 18% but they’d gotten 16%.  Bongiorno would respond with an amended statement showing the promised rate. Bongiorno began her own sentence of six years for her role in the scheme in 2014.

While he will spend the rest of his life in jail, the 73-year-old Madoff is upbeat about his circumstances on the series, bragging about how his doors “are not locked at night”.

“I have a pretty big picture window – you can’t open it,” he tells Fishman.

But life behind bars has not always been easy. Other prisoners say Madoff didn’t learn courtesy quickly enough – one interviewee recounts Madoff trying to change the television to a news report featuring his crimes while another inmate was watching something else. The other – much younger – man ended the dispute with “an open-hand slap”.

Madoff got away with it for so long, he and others tell Fishman, because the inexperienced US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulators chasing him didn’t know what they were looking for, and because his operation stayed one step ahead of the regulator. In one anecdote, Madoff simply rifles through an inspector’s briefcase until he finds that he’s being pursued for “front-running” – the practice of buying for yourself on advance information before you pass it on to investors.

That seemed logical, Madoff admits, “except it wasn’t true, and it was illegal!”

Madoff orchestrated office-wide performances for the investigators who were sent to his offices to search for evidence of wrongdoing, former US attorney Matthew Schwartz tells Fishman. Because his investment returns were so big the regulators were suspicious, but they didn’t know how or what was going on. When an investigator asked to see a report that a legitimate firm would have on hand in the course of its normal businesses, Madoff’s second-in-command, Frank DiPascali, stalled for time while downstairs others printed out a faked report, put it in the refrigerator so it wouldn’t be obviously warm from the printer, and “played football with it”, Schwartz says – tossing it back and forth across the room like a football to make it look weathered.

Set dressing was also important: on the credenza behind his desk, Madoff displayed a sculpture by the renowned artist Claes Oldenburg of a giant black screw, listing a little to one side. The 1976 sculpture, called Soft Screw, drew nearly $50,000 at Sotheby’s when Madoff’s assets were sold off after his disgrace.

When financial regulators visited his firm’s offices, Madoff put the Soft Screw away.

Comment: Madoff’s stolen billions were put into Israeli banks but American agencies never bothered to make an attempt to retrieve them for swindled citizens because Israel refused to either confirm the existence of these deposits or to ever return a cent of them. But isn’t Israel depicted in the controlled media as “Americas Best Friend?” With friends like this, who needs enemies? ed

‘Mein Kampf’: Murphy translation: Part 9

January 13, 2017

There have been a number of translations of Hitler’s seminal book. Most have been heavily editited so as to promulgate disinformation about Hitler’s views and remove passages that might offend the sensitive.

The Murphy translation is considered to be the most accurate and is being reprinted in toto here.

Our next publication of this work will be the unexpurgated original German edition.

The German officials have recently released a highly doctored edition of ‘Mein Kampf’ that is selling well in Germany.

Perhaps a free copy of the original would do better. Ed



The depth of a fall is always measured by the difference between the level of the original position from which a body has fallen and that in which it is now found. The same holds good for Nations and States. The matter of greatest importance here is the height of the original level, or rather the greatest height that had been attained before the descent began.

For only the profound decline or collapse of that which was capable of reaching extraordinary heights can make a striking impression on the eye of the beholder. The collapse of the Second REICH was all the more bewildering for those who could ponder over it and feel the effect of it in their hearts, because the REICH had fallen from a height which can hardly be imagined in these days of misery and humiliation.

The Second REICH was founded in circumstances of such dazzling splendor that the whole nation had become entranced and exalted by it. Following an unparalleled series of victories, that Empire was handed over as the guerdon of immortal heroism to the children and grandchildren of the heroes. Whether they were fully conscious of it or not does not matter; anyhow, the Germans felt that this Empire had not been brought into existence by a series of able political negotiations through parliamentary channels, but that it was different from political institutions founded elsewhere by reason of the nobler circumstances that had accompanied its establishment. When its foundations were laid the accompanying music was not the chatter of parliamentary debates but the thunder and boom of war along the battle front that encircled Paris.

It was thus that an act of statesmanship was accomplished whereby the Germans, princes as well as people, established the future REICH and restored the symbol of the Imperial Crown. Bismarck’s State was not founded on treason and assassination by deserters and shirkers but by the regiments that had fought at the front. This unique birth and baptism of fire sufficed of themselves to surround the Second Empire with an aureole of historical splendour such as few of the older States could lay claim to.

And what an ascension then began! A position of independence in regard to the outside world guaranteed the means of livelihood at home. The nation increased in numbers and in worldly wealth. The honour of the State and therewith the honour of the people as a whole were secured and protected by an army which was the most striking witness of the difference between this new REICH and the old German Confederation.

But the downfall of the Second Empire and the German people has been s profound that they all seem to have been struck dumbfounded and rendered incapable of feeling the significance of this downfall or reflecting on it. It seems as if people were utterly unable to picture in their minds the heights to which the Empire formerly attained, so visionary and unreal appears the greatness and splendour of those days in contrast to the misery of the present. Bearing this in mind we can understand why and how people become so dazed when they try to look back to the sublime past that they forget to look for the symptoms of the great collapse which must certainly have been present in some form or other. Naturally this applies only to those for whom Germany was more than merely a place of abode and a source of livelihood. These are the only people who have been able to feel the present conditions as really catastrophic, whereas others have considered these conditions as the fulfilment of what they had looked forward to and hitherto silently wished.

The symptoms of future collapse were definitely to be perceived in those earlier days, although very few made any attempt to draw a practical lesson from their significance. But this is now a greater necessity than it ever was before. For just as bodily ailments can be cured only when their origin has been diagnosed, so also political disease can be treated only when it has been diagnosed. It is obvious of course that the external symptoms of any disease can be more readily detected than its internal causes, for these symptoms strike the eye more easily. This is also the reason why so many people recognize only external effects and mistake them for causes. Indeed they will sometimes try to deny the existence of such causes. And that is why the majority of people among us recognize the German collapse only in the prevailing economic distress and the results that have followed therefrom. Almost everyone has to carry his share of this burden, and that is why each one looks on the economic catastrophe as the cause of the present deplorable state of affairs. The broad masses of the people see little of the cultural, political, and moral background of this collapse. Many of themcompletely lack both the necessary feeling and powers of understanding for it.

That the masses of the people should thus estimate the causes of Germany’s downfall is quite understandable. But the fact that intelligent sections of the community regard the German collapse primarily as an economic catastrophe, and consequently think that a cure for it may be found in an economic solution, seems to me to be the reason why hitherto no improvement has been brought about. No improvement can be brought about until it be understood that economics play only a second or third role, while the main part is played by political, moral and racial factors. Only when this is understood will it be possible to understand the causes of the present evil and consequently to find the ways and means of remedying them.

Therefore the question of why Germany really collapsed is one of the most urgent significance, especially for a political movement which aims at overcoming this disaster.

In scrutinizing the past with a view to discovering the causes of the German break-up, it is necessary to be careful lest we may be unduly impressed by external results that readily strike the eye and thus ignore the less manifest causes of these results.

The most facile, and therefore the most generally accepted, way of accounting for the present misfortune is to say that it is the result of a lost war, and that this is the real cause of the present misfortune.

Probably there are many who honestly believe in this absurd explanation but there are many more in whose mouths it is a deliberate and conscious falsehood. This applies to all those who are now feeding at the Government troughs. For the prophets of the Revolution again and again declared to the people that it would be immaterial to the great masses what the result of the War might be. On the contrary, they solemnly assured the public that it was High Finance which was principally interested in a victorious outcome of this gigantic struggle among the nations but that the German people and the German workers had no interest whatsoever in such an outcome. Indeed the apostles of world conciliation habitually asserted that, far from any German downfall, the opposite was bound to take place–namely, the resurgence of the German people–once ‘militarism’ had been crushed. Did not these self-same circles sing the praises of the Entente and did they not also lay the whole blame for the sanguinary struggle on the shoulders of Germany?

Without this explanation, would they have been able to put forward the theory that a military defeat would have no political consequences for the German people? Was not the whole Revolution dressed up in gala colours as blocking the victorious advance of the German banners and that thus the German people would be assured its liberty both at home and abroad?

Is not that so, you miserable, lying rascals? That kind of impudence which is typical of the Jews was necessary in order to proclaim the defeat of the army as the cause of the German collapse. Indeed the Berlin VORWÄRTS, that organ and mouthpiece of sedition then wrote on this occasion that the German nation should not be permitted to bring home its banners triumphantly.

And yet they attribute our collapse to the military defeat. Of course it would be out of the question to enter into an argument with these liars who deny at one moment what they said the moment before. I should waste no further words on them were it not for the fact that there are many thoughtless people who repeat all this in parrot fashion, without being necessarily inspired by any evil motives. But the observations I am making here are also meant for our fighting followers, seeing that nowadays one’s spoken words are often forgotten and twisted in their meaning.

The assertion that the loss of the War was the cause of the Germancollapse can best be answered as follows:

It is admittedly a fact that the loss of the War was of tragi importance for the future of our country. But that loss was not in itself a cause. It was rather the consequence of other causes. That a disastrous ending to this life-or-death conflict must have involved catastrophes in its train was clearly seen by everyone of insight who could think in a straightforward manner. But unfortunately there were also people whose powers of understanding seemed to fail them at that critical moment. And there were other people who had first questioned that truth and then altogether denied it. And there were people who, after their secret desire had been fulfilled, were suddenly faced with the subsequent facts that resulted from their own collaboration. Such people are responsible for the collapse, and not the lost war, though they now want to attribute everything to this. As a matter of fact the loss of the War was a result of their activities and not the result of bad leadership as they now would like to maintain. Our enemies were not cowards. They also know how to die. From the very first day of the War they outnumbered the German Army, and the arsenals and armament factories of the whole world were at their disposal for the replenishment of military equipment. Indeed it is universally admitted that the German victories, which had been steadily won during four years of warfare against the whole world, were due to superior leadership, apart of course from the heroism of the troops. And the organization was solely due to the German military leadership. That organization and leadership of the German Army was the most mighty thing that the world has ever seen. Any shortcomings which became evident were humanly unavoidable. The collapse of that army was not the cause of our present distress. It was itself the consequence of other faults. But this consequence in its turn ushered in a further collapse, which was more visible. That such was actually the case can be shown as follows:

Must a military defeat necessarily lead to such a complete overthrow of the State and Nation? Whenever has this been the result of an unlucky war? As a matter of fact, are nations ever ruined by a lost war and b that alone? The answer to this question can be briefly stated by referring to the fact that military defeats are the result of internal decay, cowardice, want of character, and are a retribution for such things. If such were not the causes then a military defeat would lead to a national resurgence and bring the nation to a higher pitch of effort.

A military defeat is not the tombstone of national life. History affords innumerable examples to confirm the truth of that statement.

Unfortunately Germany’s military overthrow was not an undeserved catastrophe, but a well-merited punishment which was in the nature of an eternal retribution. This defeat was more than deserved by us; for it represented the greatest external phenomenon of decomposition among a series of internal phenomena, which, although they were visible, were not recognized by the majority of the people, who follow the tactics of the ostrich and see only what they want to see.

Let us examine the symptoms that were evident in Germany at the time that the German people accepted this defeat. Is it not true that in several circles the misfortunes of the Fatherland were even joyfully welcomed in the most shameful manner? Who could act in such a way without thereby meriting vengeance for his attitude? Were there not people who even went further and boasted that they had gone to the extent of weakening the front and causing a collapse? Therefore it was not the enemy who brought this disgrace upon our shoulders but rather our own countrymen. If they suffered misfortune for it afterwards, was that misfortune undeserved? Was there ever a case in history where a people declared itself guilty of a war, and that even against its better conscience and its better knowledge?

No, and again no. In the manner in which the German nation reacted to its defeat we can see that the real cause of our collapse must be looked for elsewhere and not in the purely military loss of a few positions or the failure of an offensive. For if the front as such had given way and thus brought about a national disaster, then the German nation would have accepted the defeat in quite another spirit. They would have borne the subsequent misfortune with clenched teeth, or they would have been overwhelmed by sorrow. Regret and fury would have filled their hearts against an enemy into whose hands victory had been given by a chance event or the decree of Fate; and in that case the nation, following the example of the Roman Senate (Note 14), would have faced the defeated legions on their return and expressed their thanks for the sacrifices that had been made and would have requested them not to lose faith in the Empire. Even the capitulation would have been signed under the sway of calm reason, while the heart would have beaten in the hope of the coming REVANCHE.

[Note 14. Probably the author has two separate incidents in mind. The first happened in 390 B.C., when, as the victorious Gauls descended on Rome, the Senators ordered their ivory chairs to be placed in the Forum before the Temples of the Gods. There, clad in their robes of state, they awaited the invader, hoping to save the city by sacrificing themselves.

This noble gesture failed for the time being; but it had an inspiring influence on subsequent generations. The second incident, which has more historical authenticity, occurred after the Roman defeat at Cannae in 216 B.C. On that occasion Varro, the Roman commander, who, though in great part responsible for the disaster, made an effort to carry on the struggle, was, on his return to Rome, met by the citizens of all ranks and publicly thanked because he had not despaired of the Republic. The consequence was that the Republic refused to make peace with the victorious Carthagenians.]

That is the reception that would have been given to a military defeat which had to be attributed only to the adverse decree of Fortune. There would have been neither joy-making nor dancing. Cowardice would not have been boasted of, and the defeat would not have been honoured. On returning from the Front, the troops would not have been mocked at, and the colours would not have been dragged in the dust. But above all, that disgraceful state of affairs could never have arisen which induced a British officer, Colonel Repington, to declare with scorn: Every third German is a traitor! No, in such a case this plague would never have assumed the proportions of a veritable flood which, for the past five years, has smothered every vestige of respect for the German nation in the outside world.

This shows only too clearly how false it is to say that the loss of the War was the cause of the German break-up. No. The military defeat was itself but the consequence of a whole series of morbid symptoms and their causes which had become active in the German nation before the War broke out. The War was the first catastrophal consequence, visible to all, of how traditions and national morale had been poisoned and how the instinct of self-preservation had degenerated. These were the preliminary causes which for many years had been undermining the foundations of the nation and the Empire.

But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute responsibility for the downfall precisely to the man who alone had shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice. All this was inspired by the principle–which is quite true in itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.

From time immemorial, however, the Jews have known better than any others how falsehood and calumny can be exploited. Is not their very existence founded on one great lie, namely, that they are a religiou community, whereas in reality they are a race? And what a race! One of the greatest thinkers that mankind has produced has branded the Jews for all time with a statement which is profoundly and exactly true. He (Schopenhauer) called the Jew “The Great Master of Lies”. Those who do not realize the truth of that statement, or do not wish to believe it, will never be able to lend a hand in helping Truth to prevail. We may regard it as a great stroke of fortune for the German nation that its period of lingering suffering was so suddenly curtailed and transformed into such a terrible catastrophe. For if things had gone on as they were the nation would have more slowly, but more surely, gone to ruin. The disease would have become chronic; whereas, in the acute form of the disaster, it at least showed itself clearly to the eyes of a considerable number of observers. It was not by accident that man conquered the black plague more easily than he conquered tuberculosis.

The first appeared in terrifying waves of death that shook the whole of mankind, the other advances insidiously; the first induces terror, the other gradual indifference. The result is, however, that men opposed the first with all the energy they were capable of, whilst they try to arrest tuberculosis by feeble means. Thus man has mastered the black plague, while tuberculosis still gets the better of him.

The same applies to diseases in nations. So long as these diseases are not of a catastrophic character, the population will slowly accustom itself to them and later succumb. It is then a stroke of luck—although a bitter one–when Fate decides to interfere in this slow process of decay and suddenly brings the victim face to face with the final stage of the disease. More often than not the result of a catastrophe is that a cure is at once undertaken and carried through with rigid determination.

But even in such a case the essential preliminary condition is always the recognition of the internal causes which have given rise to the disease in question.

The important question here is the differentiation of the root causes from the circumstances developing out of them. This becomes all the more difficult the longer the germs of disease remain in the national body and the longer they are allowed to become an integral part of that body.

It may easily happen that, as time goes on, it will become so difficult to recognize certain definite virulent poisons as such that they are accepted as belonging to the national being; or they are merely tolerated as a necessary evil, so that drastic attempts to locate those alien germs are not held to be necessary.

During the long period of peace prior to the last war certain evils were apparent here and there although, with one or two exceptions, very little effort was made to discover their origin. Here again these exceptions were first and foremost those phenomena in the economic life of the nation which were more apparent to the individual than the evil conditions existing in a good many other spheres.

There were many signs of decay which ought to have been given serious thought. As far as economics were concerned, the following may be said:–

The amazing increase of population in Germany before the war brought the question of providing daily bread into a more and more prominent position in all spheres of political and economic thought and action.

But unfortunately those responsible could not make up their minds to arrive at the only correct solution and preferred to reach their objective by cheaper methods. Repudiation of the idea of acquiring fresh territory and the substitution for it of the mad desire for the commercial conquest of the world was bound to lead eventually to unlimited and injurious industrialization.

The first and most fatal result brought about in this way was the weakening of the agricultural classes, whose decline was proportionate to the increase in the proletariat of the urban areas, until finally the equilibrium was completely upset.

The big barrier dividing rich and poor now became apparent. Luxury and poverty lived so close to each other that the consequences were bound to be deplorable. Want and frequent unemployment began to play havoc with the people and left discontent and embitterment behind them. The result of this was to divide the population into political classes. Discontent increased in spite of commercial prosperity. Matters finally reached that stage which brought about the general conviction that ‘things cannot go on as they are’, although no one seemed able to visualize what was really going to happen.

These were typical and visible signs of the depths which the prevailing discontent had reached. Far worse than these, however, were other consequences which became apparent as a result of the industrialization of the nation.

In proportion to the extent that commerce assumed definite control of the State, money became more and more of a God whom all had to serve and bow down to. Heavenly Gods became more and more old-fashioned and were laid away in the corners to make room for the worship of mammon. And thus began a period of utter degeneration which became specially pernicious because it set in at a time when the nation was more than ever in need of an exalted idea, for a critical hour was threatening.

Germany should have been prepared to protect with the sword her efforts to win her own daily bread in a peaceful way.

Unfortunately, the predominance of money received support and sanction in the very quarter which ought to have been opposed to it. His Majesty, the Kaiser, made a mistake when he raised representatives of the new finance capital to the ranks of the nobility. Admittedly, it may be offered as an excuse that even Bismarck failed to realize the threatening danger in this respect. In practice, however, all ideal virtues became secondary considerations to those of money, for it was clear that having once taken this road, the nobility of the sword would very soon rank second to that of finance.

Financial operations succeed easier than war operations. Hence it was no longer any great attraction for a true hero or even a statesman to be brought into touch with the nearest Jew banker. Real merit was not interested in receiving cheap decorations and therefore declined them with thanks. But from the standpoint of good breeding such a development was deeply regrettable. The nobility began to lose more and more of the racial qualities that were a condition of its very existence, with the result that in many cases the term ‘plebeian’ would have been more appropriate.

A serious state of economic disruption was being brought about by the slow elimination of the personal control of vested interests and the gradual transference of the whole economic structure into the hands of joint stock companies.

In this way labour became degraded into an object of speculation in the hands of unscrupulous exploiters.

The de-personalization of property ownership increased on a vast scale.

Financial exchange circles began to triumph and made slow but sure progress in assuming control of the whole of national life.

Before the War the internationalization of the German economic structure had already begun by the roundabout way of share issues. It is true that a section of the German industrialists made a determined attempt to avert the danger, but in the end they gave way before the united attacks of money-grabbing capitalism, which was assisted in this fight by its faithful henchmen in the Marxist movement.

The persistent war against German ‘heavy industries’ was the visible start of the internationalization of German economic life as envisaged by the Marxists. This, however, could only be brought to a successful conclusion by the victory which Marxism was able to gain in the Revolution. As I write these words, success is attending the general attack on the German State Railways which are now to be turned over to international capitalists. Thus ‘International Social-Democracy’ has once again attained one of its main objectives.

The best evidence of how far this ‘commercialization’ of the German nation was able to go can be plainly seen in the fact that when the War was over one of the leading captains of German industry and commerce gave it as his opinion that commerce as such was the only force which could put Germany on its feet again.

This sort of nonsense was uttered just at the time when France was restoring public education on a humanitarian basis, thus doing away with the idea that national life is dependent on commerce rather than ideal values. The statement which Stinnes broadcasted to the world at that time caused incredible confusion. It was immediately taken up and has become the leading motto of all those humbugs and babblers—the ‘statesmen’ whom Fate let loose on Germany after the Revolution.

One of the worst evidences of decadence in Germany before the War was the ever increasing habit of doing things by halves. This was one of the consequences of the insecurity that was felt all round. And it is to be attributed also to a certain timidity which resulted from one cause or another. And the latter malady was aggravated by the educational system.

German education in pre-War times had an extraordinary number of weak features. It was simply and exclusively limited to the production of pure knowledge and paid little attention to the development of practical ability. Still less attention was given to the development of individual character, in so far as this is ever possible. And hardly any attention at all was paid to the development of a sense of responsibility, to strengthening the will and the powers of decision. The result of this method was to produce erudite people who had a passion for knowing everything. Before the War we Germans were accepted and estimated accordingly. The German was liked because good use could be made of him; but there was little esteem for him personally, on account of this weakness of character. For those who can read its significance aright, there is much instruction in the fact that among all nationalities

Germans were the first to part with their national citizenship when they found themselves in a foreign country. And there is a world of meaning in the saying that was then prevalent: ‘With the hat in the hand one can go through the whole country’.

This kind of social etiquette turned out disastrous when it prescribed the exclusive forms that had to be observed in the presence of His Majesty. These forms insisted that there should be no contradiction whatsoever, but that everything should be praised which His Majesty condescended to like.

It was just here that the frank expression of manly dignity, and not subservience, was most needed. Servility in the presence of monarchs may be good enough for the professional lackey and place-hunter, in fact for all those decadent beings who are more pleased to be found moving in the high circles of royalty than among honest citizens. These exceedingly ‘humble’ creatures however, though they grovel before their lord and bread-giver, invariably put on airs of boundless superciliousness towards other mortals, which was particularly impudent when they posed as the only people who had the right to be called ‘monarchists’. This was a gross piece of impertinence such as only despicable specimens among the newly-ennobled or yet-to-be-ennobled could be capable of.

And these have always been just the people who have prepared the way for the downfall of monarchy and the monarchical principle. It could not be otherwise. For when a man is prepared to stand up for a cause, come what may, he never grovels before its representative. A man who is serious about the maintenance and welfare of an institution will not allow himself to be discouraged when the representatives of that institution show certain faults and failings. And he certainly will not run around to tell the world about it, as certain false democratic ‘friends’ of the monarchy have done; but he will approach His Majesty, the bearer of the Crown himself, to warn him of the seriousness of a situation and persuade the monarch to act. Furthermore, he will not take up the standpoint that it must be left to His Majesty to act as the latter thinks fit, even though the course which he would take must plainly lead to disaster. But the man I am thinking of will deem it his duty to protect the monarchy against the monarch himself, no matter what personal risk he may run in doing so. If the worth of the monarchical institution be dependent on the person of the monarch himself, then it would be the worst institution imaginable; for only in rare cases are kings found to be models of wisdom and understanding, and integrity of character, though we might like to think otherwise. But this fact is unpalatable to the professional knaves and lackeys. Yet all upright men, and they are the backbone of the nation, repudiate the nonsensical fiction that all monarchs are wise, etc. For such men history is history and truth is truth, even where monarchs are concerned. But if a nation should have the good luck to possess a great king or a great man it ought to consider itself as specially favoured above all the othernations, and these may be thankful if an adverse fortune has not allotted the worst to them.

It is clear that the worth and significance of the monarchical principle cannot rest in the person of the monarch alone, unless Heaven decrees that the crown should be set on the head of a brilliant hero like Frederick the Great, or a sagacious person like William I. This may happen once in several centuries, but hardly oftener than that. The ideal of the monarchy takes precedence of the person of the monarch, inasmuch as the meaning of the institution must lie in the institution it self. Thus the monarchy may be reckoned in the category of those whose duty it is to serve. He, too, is but a wheel in this machine and as such he is obliged to do his duty towards it. He has to adapt himself for the fulfilment of high aims. If, therefore, there were no significance attached to the idea itself and everything merely centred around the ‘sacred’ person, then it would never be possible to depose a ruler who has shown himself to be an imbecile.

It is essential to insist upon this truth at the present time, because recently those phenomena have appeared again and were in no small measure responsible for the collapse of the monarchy. With a certain amount of native impudence these persons once again talk about ‘their King’–that is to say, the man whom they shamefully deserted a few years ago at a most critical hour. Those who refrain from participating in this chorus of lies are summarily classified as ‘bad Germans’. They who make the charge are the same class of quitters who ran away in 1918 and took to wearing red badges. They thought that discretion was the better part of valour. They were indifferent about what happened to the Kaiser. They camouflaged themselves as ‘peaceful citizens’ but more often than not they vanished altogether. All of a sudden these champions of royalty were nowhere to be found at that time. Circumspectly, one by one, these ‘servants and counsellors’ of the Crown reappeared, to resume their lip-service to royalty but only after others had borne the brunt of the anti-royalist attack and suppressed the Revolution for them. Once again they were all there. remembering wistfully the flesh-pots of Egypt and almost bursting with devotion for the royal cause. This went on until the day came when red badges were again in the ascendant. Then this whole ramshackle assembly of royal worshippers scuttled anew like mice from the cats.

If monarchs were not themselves responsible for such things one could not help sympathizing with them. But they must realize that with such champions thrones can be lost but certainly never gained.

All this devotion was a mistake and was the result of our whole system of education, which in this case brought about a particularly severe retribution. Such lamentable trumpery was kept up at the various courts that the monarchy was slowly becoming under mined. When finally it did begin to totter, everything was swept away. Naturally, grovellers and lick-spittles are never willing to die for their masters. That monarchs never realize this, and almost on principle never really take the trouble to learn it, has always been their undoing.

One visible result of wrong educational system was the fear of shouldering responsibility and the resultant weakness in dealing with obvious vital problems of existence.

The starting point of this epidemic, however, was in our parliamentary institution where the shirking of responsibility is particularly fostered. Unfortunately the disease slowly spread to all branches of everyday life but particularly affected the sphere of public affairs.

Responsibility was being shirked everywhere and this led to insufficient or half-hearted measures being taken, personal responsibility for each act being reduced to a minimum.

If we consider the attitude of various Governments towards a whole series of really pernicious phenomena in public life, we shall at once recognize the fearful significance of this policy of half-measures and the lack of courage to undertake responsibilities. I shall single out only a few from the large numbers of instances known to me.

In journalistic circles it is a pleasing custom to speak of the Press as a ‘Great Power’ within the State. As a matter of fact its importance is immense. One cannot easily overestimate it, for the Press continues the work of education even in adult life. Generally, readers of the Press can be classified into three groups:

First, those who believe everything they read;

Second, those who no longer believe anything;

Third, those who critically examine what they read and form their judgments accordingly.

Numerically, the first group is by far the strongest, being composed of the broad masses of the people. Intellectually, it forms the simplest portion of the nation. It cannot be classified according to occupation but only into grades of intelligence. Under this category come all those who have not been born to think for themselves or who have not learnt to do so and who, partly through incompetence and partly through ignorance, believe everything that is set before them in print. To these we must add that type of lazy individual who, although capable of thinking for himself out of sheer laziness gratefully absorbs everything that others had thought over, modestly believing this to have been thoroughly done.

The influence which the Press has on all these people is therefore enormous; for after all they constitute the broad masses of a nation.

But, somehow they are not in a position or are not willing personally to sift what is being served up to them; so that their whole attitude towards daily problems is almost solely the result of extraneous influence. All this can be advantageous where public enlightenment is of a serious and truthful character, but great harm is done when scoundrels and liars take a hand at this work.

The second group is numerically smaller, being partly composed of those who were formerly in the first group and after a series of bitter disappointments are now prepared to believe nothing of what they see in print. They hate all newspapers. Either they do not read them at all or they become exceptionally annoyed at their contents, which they hold to be nothing but a congeries of lies and misstatements. These people are difficult to handle; for they will always be sceptical of the truth.

Consequently, they are useless for any form of positive work.

The third group is easily the smallest, being composed of real intellectuals whom natural aptitude and education have taught to think for themselves and who in all things try to form their own judgments, while at the same time carefully sifting what they read. They will not read any newspaper without using their own intelligence to collaborate with that of the writer and naturally this does not set writers an easy task. Journalists appreciate this type of reader only with a certain amount of reservation.

Hence the trash that newspapers are capable of serving up is of little danger–much less of importance–to the members of the third group of readers. In the majority of cases these readers have learnt to regard every journalist as fundamentally a rogue who sometimes speaks the truth. Most unfortunately, the value of these readers lies in their intelligence and not in their numerical strength, an unhappy state of affairs in a period where wisdom counts for nothing and majorities for everything. Nowadays when the voting papers of the masses are the deciding factor; the decision lies in the hands of the numerically strongest group; that is to say the first group, the crowd of simpletons and the credulous.

It is an all-important interest of the State and a national duty to prevent these people from falling into the hands of false, ignorant or even evil-minded teachers. Therefore it is the duty of the State to supervise their education and prevent every form of offence in this respect. Particular attention should be paid to the Press; for its influence on these people is by far the strongest and most penetrating of all; since its effect is not transitory but continual. Its immense significance lies in the uniform and persistent repetition of its teaching. Here, if anywhere, the State should never forget that all means should converge towards the same end. It must not be led astray by the will-o’-the-wisp of so-called ‘freedom of the Press’, or be talked into neglecting its duty, and withholding from the nation that which is good and which does good. With ruthless determination the State must keep control of this instrument of popular education and place it at theservice of the State and the Nation.

But what sort of pabulum was it that the German Press served up for the consumption of its readers in pre-War days? Was it not the worst virulent poison imaginable? Was not pacifism in its worst form inoculated into our people at a time when others were preparing slowly but surely to pounce upon Germany? Did not this self-same Press of ours in peace time already instil into the public mind a doubt as to the sovereign rights of the State itself, thereby already handicapping the State in choosing its means of defence? Was it not the German Press that under stood how to make all the nonsensical talk about ‘Western democracy’ palatable to our people, until an exuberant public was eventually prepared to entrust its future to the League of Nations? Was not this Press instrumental in bringing in a state of moral degradation among our people? Were not morals and public decency made to look ridiculous and classed as out-of-date and banal, until finally our people also became modernized? By means of persistent attacks, did not the Press keep on undermining the authority of the State, until one blowsufficed to bring this institution tottering to the ground? Did not the

Press oppose with all its might every movement to give the State that which belongs to the State, and by means of constant criticism, injure the reputation of the army, sabotage general conscription and demand refusal of military credits, etc.–until the success of this campaign was assured?

The function of the so-called liberal Press was to dig the grave for the German people and REICH. No mention need be made of the lying Marxist Press. To them the spreading of falsehood is as much a vital necessity as the mouse is to a cat. Their sole task is to break the national backbone of the people, thus preparing the nation to become the slaves of international finance and its masters, the Jews.

And what measures did the State take to counteract this wholesale poisoning of the public mind? None, absolutely nothing at all. By this policy it was hoped to win the favour of this pest–by means of flattery, by a recognition of the ‘value’ of the Press, its ‘importance’, its ‘educative mission’ and similar nonsense. The Jews acknowledged all this with a knowing smile and returned thanks.

The reason for this ignominious failure on the part of the State lay not so much in its refusal to realize the danger as in the out-and-out cowardly way of meeting the situation by the adoption of faulty and ineffective measures. No one had the courage to employ any energetic and radical methods. Everyone temporised in some way or other; and instead  of striking at its heart, the viper was only further irritated. The result was that not only did everything remain as it was, but the power of this institution which should have been combated grew greater from year to year.

The defence put up by the Government in those days against a mainly Jew-controlled Press that was slowly corrupting the nation, followed no definite line of action, it had no determination behind it and above all, no fixed objective whatsoever in view. This is where official understanding of the situation completely failed both in estimating the importance of the struggle, choosing the means and deciding on a definite plan. They merely tinkered with the problem. Occasionally, when bitten, they imprisoned one or another journalistic viper for a few weeks or months, but the whole poisonous brood was allowed to carry on in peace.

It must be admitted that all this was partly the result of extraordinary crafty tactics on the part of Jewry on the one hand, and obvious official stupidity or naïveté on the other hand. The Jews were too clever to allow a simultaneous attack to be made on the whole of their Press. No one section functioned as cover for the other. While the Marxist newspaper, in the most despicable manner possible, reviled everything that was sacred, furiously attacked the State and Government and incited certain classes of the community against each other, the bourgeois-democratic papers, also in Jewish hands, knew how to camouflage themselves as model examples of objectivity. They studiously avoided harsh language, knowing well that block-heads are capable of judging only by external appearances and never able to penetrate to the real depth and meaning of anything. They measure the worth of an object by its exterior and not by its content. This form of human frailty was carefully studied and understood by the Press.

For this class of blockheads the FRANKFURTER ZEITUNG would be acknowledged as the essence of respectability. It always carefully avoided calling a spade a spade. It deprecated the use of every form of physical force and persistently appealed to the nobility of fighting with ‘intellectual’ weapons. But this fight, curiously enough, was most popular with the least intellectual classes. That is one of the results of our defective education, which turns the youth away from the instinctive dictates of Nature, pumps into them a certain amount of knowledge without however being able to bring them to what is the supreme act of knowing. To this end diligence and goodwill are of no avail, if innate understanding fail. This final knowledge at which man must aim is the understanding of causes which are instinctively perceived.

Let me explain: Man must not fall into the error of thinking that he was ever meant to become lord and master of Nature. A lopsided education has helped to encourage that illusion. Man must realize that a fundamental law of necessity reigns throughout the whole realm of Nature and that his existence is subject to the law of eternal struggle and strife. He will then feel that there cannot be a separate law for mankind in a world in which planets and suns follow their orbits, where moons and planets trace their destined paths, where the strong are always the masters of the weak and where those subject to such laws must obey them or be destroyed. Man must also submit to the eternal principles of this supreme wisdom. He may try to understand them but he can never free himself from their sway.

It is just for intellectual DEMI-MONDE that the Jew writes those papers which he calls his ‘intellectual’ Press. For them the FRANKFURTER ZEITUNG and BERLINER TAGEBLATT are written, the tone being adapted tothem, and it is over these people that such papers have an influence.

While studiously avoiding all forms of expression that might strike the reader as crude, the poison is injected from other vials into the hearts of the clientele. The effervescent tone and the fine phraseology lug the readers into believing that a love for knowledge and moral principle is the sole driving force that determines the policy of such papers, whereas in reality these features represent a cunning way of disarming any opposition that might be directed against the Jews and their Press. They make such a parade of respectability that the imbecile readers are all the more ready to believe that the excesses which other papers indulge in are only of a mild nature and not such as to warrant legal action being taken against them. Indeed such action might trespass on the freedom of the Press, that expression being a euphemism under which such papers escape legal punishment for deceiving the public and poisoning the public mind. Hence the authorities are very slow indeed to take any steps against these journalistic bandits for fear of immediately alienating the sympathy of the so-called respectable Press.

A fear that is only too well founded, for the moment any attempt is made to proceed against any member of the gutter press all the others rush to its assistance at once, not indeed to support its policy but simply and solely to defend the principle of freedom of the Press and liberty of public opinion. This outcry will succeed in cowering the most stalwart; for it comes from the mouth of what is called decent journalism.

And so this poison was allowed to enter the national bloodstream and infect public life without the Government taking any effectual measures to master the course of the disease. The ridiculous half-measures that were taken were in themselves an indication of the process of disintegration that was already threatening to break up the Empire. For an institution practically surrenders its existence when it is no longer determined to defend itself with all the weapons at its command. Every half-measure is the outward expression of an internal process of decay which must lead to an external collapse sooner or later.

I believe that our present generation would easily master this danger if they were rightly led. For this generation has gone through certain experiences which must have strengthened the nerves of all those who did not become nervously broken by them. Certainly in days to come the Jews will raise a tremendous cry throughout their newspapers once a hand is laid on their favourite nest, once a move is made to put an end to this scandalous Press and once this instrument which shapes public opinion is brought under State control and no longer left in the hands of aliens and enemies of the people. I am certain that this will be easier for us than it was for our fathers. The scream of the twelve-inch shrapnel is more penetrating than the hiss from a thousand Jewish newspaper vipers.

Therefore let them go on with their hissing.

A further example of the weak and hesitating way in which vital national problems were dealt with in pre-War Germany is the following: Hand in hand with the political and moral process of infecting the nation, for many years an equally virulent process of infection had been attacking the public health of the people. In large cities, particularly, syphilis steadily increased and tuberculosis kept pace with it in reaping its harvest of death almost in every part of the country.

Although in both cases the effect on the nation was alarming, it seemed  against these scourges.

In the case of syphilis especially the attitude of the State and publicbodies was one of absolute capitulation. To combat this state of affairs something of far wider sweep should have been undertaken than was really done. The discovery of a remedy which is of a questionable nature and the excellent way in which it was placed on the market were only of little assistance in fighting such a scourge. Here again the only course to adopt is to attack the disease in its causes rather than in its symptoms. But in this case the primary cause is to be found in the manner in which love has been prostituted. Even though this did not directly bring about the fearful disease itself, the nation must still suffer serious damage thereby, for the moral havoc resulting from this prostitution would be sufficient to bring about the destruction of the nation, slowly but surely. This Judaizing of our spiritual life andmammonizing of our natural instinct for procreation will sooner or later work havoc with our whole posterity. For instead of strong, healthy children, blessed with natural feelings, we shall see miserable specimens of humanity resulting from economic calculation. For economic considerations are becoming more and more the foundations of marriage and the sole preliminary condition of it. And love looks for an outlet elsewhere.

Here, as elsewhere, one may defy Nature for a certain period of time; but sooner or later she will take her inexorable revenge. And when man realizes this truth it is often too late.

Our own nobility furnishes an example of the devastating consequences that follow from a persistent refusal to recognize the primary conditions necessary for normal wedlock. Here we are openly brought face to face with the results of those reproductive habits which on the one hand are determined by social pressure and, on the other, by financial considerations. The one leads to inherited debility and the other to adulteration of the blood-strain; for all the Jewish daughters of the department store proprietors are looked upon as eligible mates to co-operate in propagating His Lordship’s stock. And the stock certainly looks it. All this leads to absolute degeneration. Nowadays our bourgeoise are making efforts to follow in the same path, They will come to the same journey’s end.

These unpleasant truths are hastily and nonchalantly brushed aside, as if by so doing the real state of affairs could also be abolished. But no. It cannot be denied that the population of our great towns and cities is tending more and more to avail of prostitution in the exercise of its amorous instincts and is thus becoming more and more contaminated by the scourge of venereal disease. On the one hand, the visible effects of this mass-infection can be observed in our insane asylums and, on the other hand, alas! among the children at home. These are the doleful and tragic witnesses to the steadily increasing scourge that is poisoning our sexual life. Their sufferings are the visible results of parental vice.

There are many ways of becoming resigned to this unpleasant and terrible fact. Many people go about seeing nothing or, to be more correct, not wanting to see anything. This is by far the simplest and cheapest attitude to adopt. Others cover themselves in the sacred mantle of prudery, as ridiculous as it is false. They describe the whole condition of affairs as sinful and are profoundly indignant when brought face to ace with a victim. They close their eyes in reverend abhorrence to this godless scourge and pray to the Almighty that He–if possible after their own death–may rain down fire and brimstone as on Sodom and Gomorrah and so once again make an out standing example of this shameless section of humanity. Finally, there are those who are well aware of the terrible results which this scourge will and must bring about, but they merely shrug their shoulders, fully convinced of their inability to undertake anything against this peril. Hence matters are allowed to take their own course.

Undoubtedly all this is very convenient and simple, only it must not be overlooked that this convenient way of approaching things can have fatal consequences for our national life. The excuse that other nations are also not faring any better does not alter the fact of our own deterioration, except that the feeling of sympathy for other stricken nations makes our own suffering easier to bear. But the important question that arises here is: Which nation will be the first to take the initiative in mastering this scourge, and which nations will succumb to it? This will be the final upshot of the whole situation. The present is a period of probation for racial values. The race that fails to come through the test will simply die out and its place will be taken by the healthier and stronger races, which will be able to endure greater hardships. As this problem primarily concerns posterity, it belongs to that category of which it is said with terrible justification that the sins of the fathers are visited on their offspring unto the tenth generation. This is a consequence which follows on an infringement of the laws of blood and race.

The sin against blood and race is the hereditary sin in this world and it brings disaster on every nation that commits it.

The attitude towards this one vital problem in pre-War Germany was most regrettable. What measures were undertaken to arrest the infection of our youth in the large cities? What was done to put an end to the contamination and mammonization of sexual life among us? What was done to fight the resultant spreading of syphilis throughout the whole of our national life? The reply to this question can best be illustrated by showing what should have been done.

Instead of tackling this problem in a haphazard way, the authorities should have realized that the fortunes or misfortunes of future generations depended on its solution. But to admit this would have demanded that active measures be carried out in a ruthless manner. The primary condition would have been that the enlightened attention of the whole country should be concentrated on this terrible danger, so that every individual would realize the importance of fighting against it. It would be futile to impose obligations of a definite character–which are often difficult to bear–and expect them to become generally effective, unless the public be thoroughly instructed on the necessity of imposing and accepting such obligations. This demands a widespread and systematic method of enlightenment and all other daily problems that might distract public attention from this great central problem should be relegated to the background.

In every case where there are exigencies or tasks that seem impossible to deal with successfully public opinion must be concentrated on the one problem, under the conviction that the solution of this problem alone is a matter of life or death. Only in this way can public interest be aroused to such a pitch as will urge people to combine in a great voluntary effort and achieve important results.

This fundamental truth applies also to the individual, provided he is desirous of attaining some great end. He must always concentrate his efforts to one definitely limited stage of his progress which has to be completed before the next step be attempted. Those who do not endeavor to realize their aims step by step and who do not concentrate their energy in reaching the individual stages, will never attain the final objective. At some stage or other they will falter and fail. This systematic way of approaching an objective is an art in itself, and always calls for the expenditure of every ounce of energy in order to conquer step after step of the road.

Therefore the most essential preliminary condition necessary for an attack on such a difficult stage of the human road is that the authorities should succeed in convincing the masses that the immediate objective which is now being fought for is the only one that deserves to be considered and the only one on which everything depends. The broad masses are never able clearly to see the whole stretch of the road lying in front of them without becoming tired and thus losing faith in their ability to complete the task. To a certain extent they will keep the objective in mind, but they are only able to survey the whole road in small stages, as in the case of the traveller who knows where his journey is going to end but who masters the endless stretch far better by attacking it in degrees. Only in this way can he keep up his determination to reach the final objective.

It is in this way, with the assistance of every form of propaganda, that the problem of fighting venereal disease should be placed before the public–not as a task for the nation but as THE main task. Every possible means should be employed to bring the truth about this scourge home to the minds of the people, until the whole nation has been convinced that everything depends on the solution of this problem; that is to say, a healthy future or national decay.

Only after such preparatory measures–if necessary spread over a period of many years–will public attention and public resolution be fully aroused, and only then can serious and definite measures be undertaken without running the risk of not being fully understood or of being suddenly faced with a slackening of the public will. It must be made clear to all that a serious fight against this scourge calls for vast sacrifices and an enormous amount of work.

To wage war against syphilis means fighting against prostitution, against prejudice, against old-established customs, against current fashion, public opinion, and, last but not least, against false prudery in certain circles.

The first preliminary condition to be fulfilled before the State can claim a moral right to fight against all these things is that the young generation should be afforded facilities for contracting early marriages. Late marriages have the sanction of a custom which, from whatever angle we view it, is and will remain a disgrace to humanity.

Prostitution is a disgrace to humanity and cannot be removed simply by charitable or academic methods. Its restriction and final extermination presupposes the removal of a whole series of contributory circumstances.

The first remedy must always be to establish such conditions as will make early marriages possible, especially for young men–for women are, after all, only passive subjects in this matter.

An illustration of the extent to which people have so often been led astray nowadays is afforded by the fact that not infrequently one hears mothers in so-called ‘better’ circles openly expressing their satisfaction at having found as a husband for their daughter a man who has already sown his wild oats, etc. As there is usually so little shortage in men of this type, the poor girl finds no difficulty in getting a mate of this description, and the children of this marriage are a visible result of such supposedly sensible unions.

When one realizes, apart from this, that every possible effort is being made to hinder the process of procreation and that Nature is being wilfully cheated of her rights, there remains really only one question:

Why is such an institution as marriage still in existence, and what are its functions? Is it really nothing better than prostitution? Does our duty to posterity no longer play any part? Or do people not realize the nature of the curse they are inflicting on themselves and their offspring by such criminally foolish neglect of one of the primary laws of Nature? This is how civilized nations degenerate and gradually perish.

Marriage is not an end in itself but must serve the greater end, which is that of increasing and maintaining the human species and the race.

This is its only meaning and purpose.

This being admitted, then it is clear that the institution of marriage must be judged by the manner in which its allotted function is fulfilled. Therefore early marriages should be the rule, because thus the young couple will still have that pristine force which is the fountain head of a healthy posterity with unimpaired powers of resistance. Of course early marriages cannot be made the rule unless a whole series of social measures are first undertaken without which early marriages cannot be even thought of. In other words, a solution of this question, which seems a small problem in itself, cannot be brought about without adopting radical measures to alter the social background. The importance of such measures ought to be studied and properly estimated, especially at a time when the so-called ‘social’ Republic has shown itself unable to solve the housing problem and thus has made it impossible for innumerable couples to get married. That sort of policy prepares the way for the further advance of prostitution.

Another reason why early marriages are impossible is our nonsensical method of regulating the scale of salaries, which pays far too little attention to the problem of family support. Prostitution, therefore, can only be really seriously tackled if, by means of a radical social reform, early marriage is made easier than hitherto. This is the first  preliminary necessity for the solution of this problem.

Secondly, a whole series of false notions must be eradicated from our system of bringing up and educating children–things which hitherto no one seems to have worried about. In our present educational system a balance will have to be established, first and foremost, between mental instruction and physical training.

What is known as GYMNASIUM (Grammar School) to-day is a positive insult to the Greek institution. Our system of education entirely loses sight of the fact that in the long run a healthy mind can exist only in a healthy body. This statement, with few exceptions, applies particularly to the broad masses of the nation.

In the pre-War Germany there was a time when no one took the trouble to think over this truth. Training of the body was criminally neglected the one-sided training of the mind being regarded as a sufficient guarantee for the nation’s greatness. This mistake was destined to showits effects sooner than had been anticipated. It is not pure chance that the Bolshevic teaching flourishes in those regions whose degenerate population has been brought to the verge of starvation, as, for example, in the case of Central Germany, Saxony, and the Ruhr Valley. In all these districts there is a marked absence of any serious resistance, even by the so-called intellectual classes, against this Jewish contagion. And the simple reason is that the intellectual classes are themselves physically degenerate, not through privation but through education. The exclusive intellectualism of the education in vogue among our upper classes makes them unfit for life’s struggle at an epoch in which physical force and not mind is the dominating factor. Thus they are neither capable of maintaining themselves nor of making their way in life. In nearly every case physical disability is the forerunner of personal cowardice.

The extravagant emphasis laid on purely intellectual education and the consequent neglect of physical training must necessarily lead to sexual thoughts in early youth. Those boys whose constitutions have been trained and hardened by sports and gymnastics are less prone to sexual indulgence than those stay-at-homes who have been fed exclusively with mental pabulum. Sound methods of education cannot, however, afford to disregard this, and we must not forget that the expectations of a healthy young man from a woman will differ from those of a weakling who has been prematurely corrupted.

Thus in every branch of our education the day’s curriculum must be arranged so as to occupy a boy’s free time in profitable development of his physical powers. He has no right in those years to loaf about, becoming a nuisance in public streets and in cinemas; but when his day’s work is done he ought to harden his young body so that his strength may not be found wanting when the occasion arises. To prepare for this and to carry it out should be the function of our educational system and not exclusively to pump in knowledge or wisdom. Our school system must also rid itself of the notion that the training of the body is a task that should be left to the individual himself. There is no such thing as allowing freedom of choice to sin against posterity and thus against the race.

The fight against pollution of the mind must be waged simultaneously with the training of the body. To-day the whole of our public life may be compared to a hot-house for the forced growth of sexual notions and incitements. A glance at the bill-of-fare provided by our cinemas, playhouses, and theatres suffices to prove that this is not the right food, especially for our young people. Hoardings and advertisements kiosks combine to attract the public in the most vulgar manner. Anyone who has not altogether lost contact with adolescent yearnings will realize that all this must have very grave consequences. This seductive and sensuous atmosphere puts notions into the heads of our youth which, at their age, ought still to be unknown to them. Unfortunately, the results of this kind of education can best be seen in our contemporary youth who are prematurely grown up and therefore old before their time.

The law courts from time to time throw a distressing light on the spiritual life of our 14- and 15-year old children. Who, therefore, will be surprised to learn that venereal disease claims its victims at this age? And is it not a frightful shame to see the number of physically weak and intellectually spoiled young men who have been introduced to the mysteries of marriage by the whores of the big cities?

No; those who want seriously to combat prostitution must first of all assist in removing the spiritual conditions on which it thrives. They will have to clean up the moral pollution of our city ‘culture’ fearlessly and without regard for the outcry that will follow. If we do not drag our youth out of the morass of their present environment they will be engulfed by it. Those people who do not want to see these things are deliberately encouraging them and are guilty of spreading the effects of prostitution to the future–for the future belongs to our young generation. This process of cleansing our ‘Kultur’ will have to be applied in practically all spheres. The stage, art, literature, the cinema, the Press and advertisement posters, all must have the stains of pollution removed and be placed in the service of a national and cultural idea. The life of the people must be freed from the asphyxiating perfume of our modern eroticism and also from every unmanly and prudish form of insincerity. In all these things the aim and the method must be determined by thoughtful consideration for the preservation of our national well-being in body and soul. The right to personal freedom comes second in importance to the duty of maintaining the race.

Only after such measures have been put into practice can a medical campaign against this scourge begin with some hope of success. But, here again, half-measures will be valueless. Far-reaching and important decisions will have to be made. It would be doing things by halves if incurables were given the opportunity of infecting one healthy person after another. This would be that kind of humanitarianism which would allow hundreds to perish in order to save the suffering of oneindividual. The demand that it should be made impossible for defective people to continue to propagate defective offspring is a demand that is based on most reasonable grounds, and its proper fulfilment is the most humane task that mankind has to face. Unhappy and undeserved suffering in millions of cases will be spared, with the result that there will be a gradual improvement in national health. A determined decision to act in this manner will at the same time provide an obstacle against the further spread of venereal disease. It would then be a case, where necessary, of mercilessly isolating all incurables–perhaps a barbaric measure for those unfortunates–but a blessing for the present generation and for posterity. The temporary pain thus experienced in this century can and will spare future thousands of generations from suffering.

The fight against syphilis and its pace-maker, prostitution, is one of the gigantic tasks of mankind; gigantic, because it is not merely a case of solving a single problem but the removal of a whole series of evils which are the contributory causes of this scourge. Disease of the body in this case is merely the result of a diseased condition of the moral, social, and racial instincts.

But if for reasons of indolence or cowardice this fight is not fought to a finish we may imagine what conditions will be like 500 years hence.

Little of God’s image will be left in human nature, except to mock the Creator.

But what has been done in Germany to counteract this scourge? If we think calmly over the answer we shall find it distressing. It is true that in governmental circles the terrible and injurious effects of this disease were well known, but the counter-measures which were officially adopted were ineffective and a hopeless failure. They tinkered with cures for the symptoms, wholly regardless of the cause of the disease.

Prostitutes were medically examined and controlled as far as possible, and when signs of infection were apparent they were sent to hospital.

When outwardly cured, they were once more let loose on humanity.

It is true that ‘protective legislation’ was introduced which made sexual intercourse a punishable offence for all those not completely cured, or those suffering from venereal disease. This legislation was correct in theory, but in practice it failed completely. In the first place, in the majority of cases women will decline to appear in court as witnesses against men who have robbed them of their health. Women would be exposed far more than men to uncharitable remarks in such cases, and one can imagine what their position would be if they had been infected by their own husbands. Should women in that case lay a charge? Or what should they do?

In the case of the man there is the additional fact that he frequently is unfortunate enough to run up against this danger when he is under the influence of alcohol. His condition makes it impossible for him to assess the qualities of his ‘amorous beauty,’ a fact which is well known to every diseased prostitute and makes them single out men in this ideal condition for preference. The result is that the unfortunate man is not able to recollect later on who his compassionate benefactress was, which is not surprising in cities like Berlin and Munich. Many of such cases are visitors from the provinces who, held speechless and enthralled by the magic charm of city life, become an easy prey for prostitutes.

In the final analysis who is able to say whether he has been infected or not?

Are there not innumerable cases on record where an apparently cured person has a relapse and does untold harm without knowing it?

Therefore in practice the results of these legislative measures are negative. The same applies to the control of prostitution, and, finally, even medical treatment and cure are nowadays unsafe and doubtful. One thing only is certain. The scourge has spread further and further in spite of all measures, and this alone suffices definitely to stamp and substantiate their inefficiency.

Everything else that was undertaken was just as inefficient as it was absurd. The spiritual prostitution of the people was neither arrested nor was anything whatsoever undertaken in this direction.

Those, however, who do not regard this subject as a serious one would do well to examine the statistical data of the spread of this disease, study its growth in the last century and contemplate the possibilities of its further development. The ordinary observer, unless he were particularly stupid, would experience a cold shudder if the position were made clear to him.

The half-hearted and wavering attitude adopted in pre-War Germany towards this iniquitous condition can assuredly be taken as a visible sign of national decay. When the courage to fight for one’s own health is no longer in evidence, then the right to live in this world of struggle also ceases.

One of the visible signs of decay in the old REICH was the slow setback which the general cultural level experienced. But by ‘Kultur’ I do not mean that which we nowadays style as civilization, which on the contrary may rather be regarded as inimical to the spiritual elevation of life.

At the turn of the last century a new element began to make its appearance in our world. It was an element which had been hitherto absolutely unknown and foreign to us. In former times there had certainly been offences against good taste; but these were mostly departures from the orthodox canons of art, and posterity could recognize a certain historical value in them. But the new products showed signs, not only of artistic aberration but of spiritual degeneration. Here, in the cultural sphere, the signs of the coming collapse first became manifest.

The Bolshevization of art is the only cultural form of life and the only spiritual manifestation of which Bolshevism is capable.

Anyone to whom this statement may appear strange need only take a glance at those lucky States which have become Bolshevized and, to his horror, he will there recognize those morbid monstrosities which have been produced by insane and degenerate people. All those artistic aberrations which are classified under the names of cubism and dadism, since them opening of the present century, are manifestations of art which have come to be officially recognized by the State itself. This phenomenon made its appearance even during the short-lived period of the Soviet Republic in Bavaria. At that time one might easily have recognized how all the official posters, propagandist pictures and newspapers, etc., showed signs not only of political but also of cultural decadence.

About sixty years ago a political collapse such as we are experiencing to-day would have been just as inconceivable as the cultural decline which has been manifested in cubist and futurist pictures ever since 1900. Sixty years ago an exhibition of so-called dadistic ‘experiences’ would have been an absolutely preposterous idea. The organizers of such an exhibition would then have been certified for the lunatic asylum, whereas, to-day they are appointed presidents of art societies. At that time such an epidemic would never have been allowed to spread. Public opinion would not have tolerated it, and the Government would not have remained silent; for it is the duty of a Government to save its people from being stampeded into such intellectual madness. But intellectual madness would have resulted from a development that followed the acceptance of this kind of art. It would have marked one of the worst changes in human history; for it would have meant that a retrogressive process had begun to take place in the human brain, the final stages of which would be unthinkable.

If we study the course of our cultural life during the last twenty-five years we shall be astonished to note how far we have already gone in this process of retrogression. Everywhere we find the presence of those germs which give rise to protuberant growths that must sooner or later bring about the ruin of our culture. Here we find undoubted symptoms of slow corruption; and woe to the nations that are no longer able to bring that morbid process to a halt.

In almost all the various fields of German art and culture those morbid phenomena may be observed. Here everything seems to have passed the culminating point of its excellence and to have entered the curve of anhasty decline. At the beginning of the century the theatres seemedalready degenerating and ceasing to be cultural factors, except theCourt theatres, which opposed this prostitution of the national art.

With these exceptions, and also a few other decent institutions, the plays produced on the stage were of such a nature that the people would have benefited by not visiting them at all. A sad symptom of decline was manifested by the fact that in the case of many ‘art centres’ the signwas posted on the entrance doors: FOR ADULTS ONLY.

Let it be borne in mind that these precautions had to be taken in regard to institutions whose main purpose should have been to promote the education of the youth and not merely to provide amusement for sophisticated adults. What would the great dramatists of other times have said of such measures and, above all, of the conditions which made these measures necessary? How exasperated Schiller would have been, and how Goethe would have turned away in disgust!

But what are Schiller, Goethe and Shakespeare when confronted with the heroes of our modern German literature? Old and frowsy and outmoded and finished. For it was typical of this epoch that not only were its own products bad but that the authors of such products and their backers reviled everything that had really been great in the past. This is a phenomenon that is very characteristic of such epochs. The more vile and miserable are the men and products of an epoch, the more they will hate and denigrate the ideal achievements of former generations. What these people would like best would be completely to destroy every vestige of the past, in order to do away with that sole standard of comparison which prevents their own daubs from being looked upon as art. Therefore the more lamentable and wretched are the products of each new era, the more it will try to obliterate all the memorials of the past. But any real innovation that is for the benefit of mankind can always face comparison with the best of what has gone before; and frequently it happens that those monuments of the past guarantee the acceptance of those modern productions. There is no fear that modern productions of real worth will look pale and worthless beside the monuments of the past. What is contributed to the general treasury of human culture oftenbfulfils a part that is necessary in order to keep the memory of old achievements alive, because this memory alone is the standard whereby our own works are properly appreciated. Only those who have nothing of value to give to the world will oppose everything that already exists and would have it destroyed at all costs.

And this holds good not only for new phenomena in the cultural domain but also in politics. The more inferior new revolutionary movements are, the more will they try to denigrate the old forms. Here again the desir to pawn off their shoddy products as great and original achievement leads them into a blind hatred against everything which belongs to th past and which is superior to their own work. As long as the historical memory of Frederick the Great, for instance, still lives, Frederick Ebert can arouse only a problematic admiration. The relation of the hero of Sans Souci to the former republican of Bremen may be compared to that of the sun to the moon; for the moon can shine only after the direct rays of the sun have left the earth. Thus we can readily understand why it is that all the new moons in human history have hated the fixed stars. In the field of politics, if Fate should happen temporarily to place the ruling power in the hands of those nonentities they are not only eager to defile and revile the past but at the same time they will use all means to evade criticism of their own acts. The Law for the Protection of the Republic, which the new German State enacted, may be taken as one example of this truth.

One has good grounds to be suspicious in regard to any new idea, or any doctrine or philosophy, any political or economical movement, which tries to deny everything that the past has produced or to present it as inferior and worthless. Any renovation which is really beneficial to human progress will always have to begin its constructive work at the level where the last stones of the structure have been laid. It need not blush to utilize those truths which have already been established; for all human culture, as well as man himself, is only the result of one long line of development, where each generation has contributed but one stone to the building of the whole structure. The meaning and purpose of revolutions cannot be to tear down the whole building but to take away what has not been well fitted into it or is unsuitable, and to rebuild the free space thus caused, after which the main construction of the building will be carried on.

Thus alone will it be possible to talk of human progress; for otherwise the world would never be free of chaos, since each generation would feel entitled to reject the past and to destroy all the work of the past, as the necessary preliminary to any new work of its own.

The saddest feature of the condition in which our whole civilization found itself before the War was the fact that it was not only barren of any creative force to produce its own works of art and civilization but that it hated, defiled and tried to efface the memory of the superior works produced in the past. About the end of the last century people were less interested in producing new significant works of their own–particularly in the fields of dramatic art and literature–than in defaming the best works of the past and in presenting them as inferior and antiquated. As if this period of disgraceful decadence had the slightest capacity to produce anything of superior quality! The efforts made to conceal the past from the eyes of the present afforded clear evidence of the fact that these apostles of the future acted from an evil intent. These symptoms should have made it clear to all that it was not a question of new, though wrong, cultural ideas but of a process which was undermining the very foundations of civilization. It threw the artistic feeling which had hitherto been quite sane into utter confusion, thus spiritually preparing the way for political Bolshevism.

If the creative spirit of the Periclean age be manifested in the Parthenon, then the Bolshevist era is manifested through its cubist grimace.

In this connection attention must be drawn once again to the want of courage displayed by one section of our people, namely, by those who, in virtue of their education and position, ought to have felt themselves obliged to take up a firm stand against this outrage on our culture. But they refrained from offering serious resistance and surrendered to what they considered the inevitable. This abdication of theirs was due, however, to sheer funk lest the apostles of Bolshevist art might raise a rumpus; for those apostles always violently attacked everyone who was not ready to recognize them as the choice spirits of artistic creation, and they tried to strangle all opposition by saying that it was the product of philistine and backwater minds. People trembled in fear lest they might be accused by these yahoos and swindlers of lacking artistic appreciation, as if it would have been a disgrace not to be able to understand and appreciate the effusions of those mental degenerates or arrant rogues. Those cultural disciples, however, had a very simple way of presenting their own effusions as works of the highest quality. They offered incomprehensible and manifestly crazy productions to their amazed contemporaries as what they called ‘an inner experience’. Thus they forestalled all adverse criticism at very little cost indeed. Of course nobody ever doubted that there could have been inner experiences like that, but some doubt ought to have arisen as to whether or not mthere was any justification for exposing these hallucinations of psychopaths or criminals to the sane portion of human society. The works produced by a Moritz von Schwind or a Böcklin were also externalizations of an inner experience, but these were the experiences of divinely gifted artists and not of buffoons.

This situation afforded a good opportunity of studying the miserable cowardliness of our so-called intellectuals who shirked the duty of offering serious resistance to the poisoning of the sound instincts of our people. They left it to the people themselves to formulate their own attitude towards his impudent nonsense. Lest they might be considered as understanding nothing of art, they accepted every caricature of art, until they finally lost the power of judging what is really good or bad.

Taken all in all, there were superabundant symptoms to show that a diseased epoch had begun.

Still another critical symptom has to be considered. In the course of the nineteenth century our towns and cities began more and more to lose their character as centres of civilization and became more and more centres of habitation. In our great modern cities the proletariat does not show much attachment to the place where it lives. This feeling results from the fact that their dwelling-place is nothing but an accidental abode, and that feeling is also partly due to the frequent change of residence which is forced upon them by social conditions.

There is no time for the growth of any attachment to the town in which they live. But another reason lies in the cultural barrenness and superficiality of our modern cities. At the time of the German Wars of Liberation our German towns and cities were not only small in number but also very modest in size. The few that could really be called great cities were mostly the residential cities of princes; as such they had almost always a definite cultural value and also a definite cultural aspect. Those few towns which had more than fifty thousand inhabitants were, in comparison with modern cities of the same size, rich in scientific and artistic treasures. At the time when Munich had not more than sixty thousand souls it was already well on the way to become one of the first German centres of art. Nowadays almost every industrial town has a population at least as large as that, without having anything of real value to call its own. They are agglomerations of tenement houses and congested dwelling barracks, and nothing else. It would be a miracle if anybody should grow sentimentally attached to such a meaningless place. Nobody can grow attached to a place which offers only just as much or as little as any other place would offer, which has no character of its own and where obviously pains have been taken to avoid everything that might have any resemblance to an artistic appearance.

But this is not all. Even the great cities become more barren of real works of art the more they increase in population. They assume more and more a neutral atmosphere and present the same aspect, though on a larger scale, as the wretched little factory towns. Everything that our modern age has contributed to the civilization of our great cities is absolutely deficient. All our towns are living on the glory and the treasures of the past. If we take away from the Munich of to-dayeverything that was created under Ludwig II we should be horror-stricken to see how meagre has been the output of important artistic creations since that time. One might say much the same of Berlin and most of our other great towns.But the following is the essential thing to be noticed: Our great modern cities have no outstanding monuments that dominate the general aspect of the city and could be pointed to as the symbols of a whole epoch. Yet almost every ancient town had a monument erected to its glory. It was not in private dwellings that the characteristic art of ancient cities was displayed but in the public monuments, which were not meant to have a transitory interest but an enduring one. And this was because they did not represent the wealth of some individual citizen but the greatness and importance of the community. It was under this inspiration that those monuments arose which bound the individual inhabitants to their own town in a manner that is often almost incomprehensible to us to-day.

What struck the eye of the individual citizen was not a number of mediocre private buildings, but imposing structures that belonged to the whole community. In contradistinction to these, private dwellings were of only very secondary importance indeed.

When we compare the size of those ancient public buildings with that of the private dwellings belonging to the same epoch then we can understand the great importance which was given to the principle that those works which reflected and affected the life of the community should take precedence of all others.

Among the broken arches and vast spaces that are covered with ruins from the ancient world the colossal riches that still arouse our wonder have not been left to us from the commercial palaces of these days but from the temples of the Gods and the public edifices that belonged to the State. The community itself was the owner of those great edifices. Even

in the pomp of Rome during the decadence it was not the villas and palaces of some citizens that filled the most prominent place but rather the temples and the baths, the stadia, the circuses, the aqueducts, the basilicas, etc., which belonged to the State and therefore to the people as a whole.

In medieval Germany also the same principle held sway, although the artistic outlook was quite different. In ancient times the theme that found its expression in the Acropolis or the Pantheon was now clothed in the forms of the Gothic Cathedral. In the medieval cities these monumental structures towered gigantically above the swarm of smaller buildings with their framework walls of wood and brick. And they remain the dominant feature of these cities even to our own day, although they are becoming more and more obscured by the apartment barracks. They determine the character and appearance of the locality. Cathedrals, city-halls, corn exchanges, defence towers, are the outward expression of an idea which has its counterpart only in the ancient world.

The dimensions and quality of our public buildings to-day are in deplorable contrast to the edifices that represent private interests. If a similar fate should befall Berlin as befell Rome future generations might gaze upon the ruins of some Jewish department stores or joint-stock hotels and think that these were the characteristic expressions of the culture of our time. In Berlin itself, compare the shameful disproportion between the buildings which belong to the REICH and those which have been erected for the accommodation of trade and finance.

The credits that are voted for public buildings are in most cases inadequate and really ridiculous. They are not built as structures that were meant to last but mostly for the purpose of answering the need of the moment. No higher idea influenced those who commissioned such buildings. At the time the Berlin Schloss was built it had a quite different significance from what the new library has for our time, seeing that one battleship alone represents an expenditure of about sixty million marks, whereas less than half that sum was allotted for the building of the Reichstag, which is the most imposing structurenerected for the REICH and which should have been built to last for ages.

Yet, in deciding the question of internal decoration, the Upper House voted against the use of stone and ordered that the walls should be covered with stucco. For once, however, the parliamentarians made an appropriate decision on that occasion; for plaster heads would be out ofplace between stone walls.

The community as such is not the dominant characteristic of our contemporary cities, and therefore it is not to be wondered at if the community does not find itself architecturally represented. Thus we must eventually arrive at a veritable civic desert which will at last be reflected in the total indifference of the individual citizen towards his own country.

This is also a sign of our cultural decay and general break-up. Our era is entirely preoccupied with little things which are to no purpose, or rather it is entirely preoccupied in the service of money. Therefore it is not to be wondered at if, with the worship of such an idol, the sense of heroism should entirely disappear. But the present is only reaping what the past has sown.

All these symptoms which preceded the final collapse of the Second Empire must be attributed to the lack of a definite and uniformly accepted WELTANSCHAUUNG and the general uncertainty of outlook consequent on that lack. This uncertainty showed itself when the great questions of the time had to be considered one after another and a decisive policy adopted towards them. This lack is also accountable for the habit of doing everything by halves, beginning with the educational system, the shilly-shally, the reluctance to undertake responsibilities and, finally, the cowardly tolerance of evils that were even admitted to be destructive. Visionary humanitarianisms became the fashion. In weakly submitting to these aberrations and sparing the feelings of the individual, the future of millions of human beings was sacrificed.

An examination of the religious situation before the War shows that the general process of disruption had extended to this sphere also. A great part of the nation itself had for a long time already ceased to have any convictions of a uniform and practical character in their ideological outlook on life. In this matter the point of primary importance was by no means the number of people who renounced their church membership but rather the widespread indifference. While the two Christian denominations maintained missions in Asia and Africa, for the purpose of securing new adherents to the Faith, these same denominations were losing millions and millions of their adherents at home in Europe. These former adherents either gave up religion wholly as a directive force in their lives or they adopted their own interpretation of it. The consequences of this were specially felt in the moral life of the country. In parenthesis it may be remarked that the progress made by the missions in spreading the Christian Faith abroad was only quite modest in comparison with the spread of Mohammedanism.

It must be noted too that the attack on the dogmatic principles underlying ecclesiastical teaching increased steadily in violence. And yet this human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief. The great masses of a nation are not composed of philosophers. For the masses of the people, especially faith is absolutely the only basis of a moral outlook on life. The various substitutes that have been offered have not shown any results that might warrant us in thinking that they might usefully replace the existing denominations. But if religious teaching and religious faith were once accepted by the broad masses as active forces in their lives, then the absolute authority of the doctrines of faith would be the foundation of all practical effort. There may be a few hundreds of thousands of superior men who can live wisely and intelligently without depending on the general standards that prevail in everyday life, but the millions of others cannot do so. Now the place which general custom fills in everyday life corresponds to that of general laws in the State and dogma in religion. The purely spiritual idea is of itself a changeable thing that may be subjected to endless interpretations. It is only through dogma that it is given a precise and concrete form without which it could not become a living faith.

Otherwise the spiritual idea would never become anything more than a mere metaphysical concept, or rather a philosophical opinion.

Accordingly the attack against dogma is comparable to an attack against the general laws on which the State is founded. And so this attack would finally lead to complete political anarchy if it were successful, just as the attack on religion would lead to a worthless religious nihilism.

The political leader should not estimate the worth of a religion by taking some of its shortcomings into account, but he should ask himself whether there be any practical substitute in a view which is demonstrably better. Until such a substitute be available only fools and criminals would think of abolishing the existing religion.

Undoubtedly no small amount of blame for the present unsatisfactory religious situation must be attributed to those who have encumbered the ideal of religion with purely material accessories and have thus given rise to an utterly futile conflict between religion and science. In this conflict victory will nearly always be on the side of science, even though after a bitter struggle, while religion will suffer heavily in the eyes of those who cannot penetrate beneath the mere superficial aspects of science.

But the greatest damage of all has come from the practice of debasing religion as a means that can be exploited to serve political interests, or rather commercial interests. The impudent and loud-mouthed liars who do this make their profession of faith before the whole world in stentorian tones so that all poor mortals may hear–not that they are ready to die for it if necessary but rather that they may live all the \ better. They are ready to sell their faith for any political QUID PRO QUO. For ten parliamentary mandates they would ally themselves with the Marxists, who are the mortal foes of all religion. And for a seat in the Cabinet they would go the length of wedlock with the devil, if the latter had not still retained some traces of decency.

If religious life in pre-war Germany had a disagreeable savour for the mouths of many people this was because Christianity had been lowered to base uses by political parties that called themselves Christian and because of the shameful way in which they tried to identify the Catholic Faith with a political party.

This substitution was fatal. It procured some worthless parliamentary mandates for the party in question, but the Church suffered damage thereby.

The consequences of that situation had to be borne by the whole nation; for the laxity that resulted in religious life set in at a juncture when everything was beginning to lose hold and vacillate and the traditional foundations of custom and of morality were threatening to fall asunder.Yet all those cracks and clefts in the social organism might not have been dangerous if no grave burdens had been laid upon it; but they became disastrous when the internal solidarity of the nation was the most important factor in withstanding the storm of big events.

In the political field also observant eyes might have noticed certain anomalies of the REICH which foretold disaster unless some alteration and correction took place in time. The lack of orientation in German policy, both domestic and foreign, was obvious to everyone who was not purposely blind. The best thing that could be said about the practice of making compromises is that it seemed outwardly to be in harmony with Bismarck’s axiom that ‘politics is the art of the possible’. But Bismarck was a slightly different man from the Chancellors who followed him. This difference allowed the former to apply that formula to the very essence of his policy, while in the mouths of the others it took on an utterly different significance. When he uttered that phrase Bismarck meant to say that in order to attain a definite political end all possible means should be employed or at least that all possibilities should be tried. But his successors see in that phrase only a solemn declaration that one is not necessarily bound to have political principles or any definite political aims at all. And the political leaders of the REICH at that time had no far-seeing policy. Here, again, the necessary foundation was lacking, namely, a definite WELTANSCHAUUNG, and these leaders also lacked that clear insight into the laws of political evolution which is a necessary quality inpolitical leadership.

Many people who took a gloomy view of things at that time condemned the lack of ideas and lack of orientation which were evident in directing the policy of the REICH. They recognized the inner weakness and futility of this policy. But such people played only a secondary role in politics. Those who had the Government of the country in their hands were quite as indifferent to principles of civil wisdom laid down by thinkers like Houston Stewart Chamberlain as our political leaders now are. These people are too stupid to think for themselves, and they have too much self-conceit to take from others the instruction which they need. Oxenstierna (Note 14a) gave expression to a truth which has lasted since time immemorial, when he said that the world is governed by only a particle of wisdom. Almost every civil servant of councillor rank might naturally be supposed to possess only an atom or so belonging to this particle. But since Germany became a Republic even this modicum is wanting. And that is why they had to promulgate the Law for the Defence of the Republic, which prohibits the holding of such views or expressing them. It was fortunate for Oxenstierna that he lived at that time and not in this wise Republic of our time.

[Note 14a. Swedish Chancellor who took over the reins of Government after the death of Gustavus Adolphus]

Already before the War that institution which should have represented the strength of the Reich–the Parliament, the Reichstag–was widely recognized as its weakest feature. Cowardliness and fear of shouldering responsibilities were associated together there in a perfect fashion.

One of the silliest notions that one hears expressed to-day is that in nGermany the parliamentary institution has ceased to function since the Revolution. This might easily be taken to imply that the case was different before the Revolution. But in reality the parliamentary institution never functioned except to the detriment of the country. And it functioned thus in those days when people saw nothing or did not wish to see anything. The German downfall is to be attributed in no small degree to this institution. But that the catastrophe did not take place sooner is not to be credited to the Parliament but rather to those who opposed the influence of this institution which, during peace times, was digging the grave of the German Nation and the German REICH.

From the immense mass of devastating evils that were due either directly or indirectly to the Parliament I shall select one the most intimately typical of this institution which was the most irresponsible of all time. The evil I speak of was seen in the appalling shilly-shally and weakness in conducting the internal and external affairs of the REICH.

It was attributable in the first place to the action of the Reichstag and was one of the principal causes of the political collapse.

Everything subject to the influence of Parliament was done by halves, no matter from what aspect you may regard it.

The foreign policy of the REICH in the matter of alliances was an example of shilly-shally. They wished to maintain peace, but in doing so they steered straight. into war.

Their Polish policy was also carried out by half-measures. It resulted neither in a German triumph nor Polish conciliation, and it made enemies of the Russians.They tried to solve the Alsace-Lorraine question through half-measures.

Instead of crushing the head of the French hydra once and for all wit the mailed fist and granting Alsace-Lorraine equal rights with the other German States, they did neither the one nor the other. Anyhow, it was impossible for them to do otherwise, for they had among their ranks the greatest traitors to the country, such as Herr Wetterlé of the Centre Party.

But still the country might have been able to bear with all this provided the half-measure policy had not victimized that force in which, as the last resort, the existence of the Empire depended: namely, the Army.

The crime committed by the so-called German Reichstag in this regard was sufficient of itself to draw down upon it the curses of the German Nation for all time. On the most miserable of pretexts these parliamentary party henchmen filched from the hands of the nation and threw away the weapons which were needed to maintain its existence and therewith defend the liberty and independence of our people. If the graves on the plains of Flanders were to open to-day the bloodstained accusers would arise, hundreds of thousands of our best German youth who were driven into the arms of death by those conscienceless parliamentary ruffians who were either wrongly educated for their task or only half-educated. Those youths, and other millions of the killed and mutilated, were lost to the Fatherland simply and solely in order that a few hundred deceivers of the people might carry out their political manoeuvres and their exactions or even treasonably pursue their doctrinaire theories.

By means of the Marxist and democratic Press, the Jews spread the colossal falsehood about ‘German Militarism’ throughout the world and tried to inculpate Germany by every possible means, while at the same time the Marxist and democratic parties refused to assent to the measures that were necessary for the adequate training of our national defence forces. The appalling crime thus committed by these people ought to have been obvious to everybody who foresaw that in case of war the whole nation would have to be called to arms and that, because of the mean huckstering of these noble ‘representatives of the people’, as they called themselves, millions of Germans would have to face the enemymill-equipped and insufficiently trained. But even apart from the  consequences of the crude and brutal lack of conscience which these parliamentarian rascals displayed, it was quite clear that the lack of properly trained soldiers at the beginning of a war would most probably lead to the loss of such a war; and this probability was confirmed in a most terrible way during the course of the world war.

Therefore the German people lost the struggle for the freedom and independence of their country because of the half-hearted and defective policy employed during times of peace in the organization and training of the defensive strength of the nation.

The number of recruits trained for the land forces was too small; but the same half-heartedness was shown in regard to the navy and made this weapon of national self-preservation more or less ineffective.

Unfortunately, even the naval authorities themselves were contaminated with this spirit of half-heartedness. The tendency to build the ship on mthe stocks somewhat smaller than that just launched by the British did not show much foresight and less genius. A fleet which cannot be brought to the same numerical strength as that of the probable enemy ought to compensate for this inferiority by the superior fighting power of the individual ship. It is the weight of the fighting power that counts and not any sort of traditional quality. As a matter of fact, modern technical development is so advanced and so well proportioned among the various civilized States that it must be looked on as practically impossible for one Power to build vessels which would have a superior fighting quality to that of the vessels of equal size built by the other Powers. But it is even less feasible to build vessels of smaller displacement which will be superior in action to those of larger displacement.As a matter of fact, the smaller proportions of the German vessels couldbe maintained only at the expense of speed and armament. The phrase used to justify this policy was in itself an evidence of the lack of logicalthinking on the part of the naval authorities who were in charge ofthese matters in times of peace. They declared that the German guns weredefinitely superior to the British 30.5 cm. as regards strikingefficiency.

But that was just why they should have adopted the policy of building30.5 cm. guns also; for it ought to have been their object not to achieve equality but superiority in fighting strength. If that were notso then it would have been superfluous to equip the land forces with 42cm. mortars; for the German 21 cm. mortar could be far superior to anyhigh-angle guns which the French possessed at that time and since the fortresses could probably have been taken by means of 30.5 cm. mortars.

The army authorities unfortunately failed to do so. If they refrained from assuring superior efficiency in the artillery as in the velocity, this was because of the fundamentally false ‘principle of risk’ whicthey adopted. The naval authorities, already in times of peace, renounced the principle of attack and thus had to follow a defensive policy from the very beginning of the War. But by this attitude they renounced also the chances of final success, which can be achieved only by an offensive policy.

A vessel with slower speed and weaker armament will be crippled and battered by an adversary that is faster and stronger and can frequently shoot from a favourable distance. A large number of cruisers have been through bitter experiences in this matter. How wrong were the ideas prevalent among the naval authorities in times of peace was proved during the War. They were compelled to modify the armament of the old vessels and to equip the new ones with better armament whenever there was a chance to do so. If the German vessels in the Battle of the Skagerrak had been of equal size, the same armament and the same speed as the English, the British Fleet would have gone down under the tempest of the German 38 centimeter shells, which hit their aims more accurately and were more effective.

Japan had followed a different kind of naval policy. There, care was principally taken to create with every single new vessel a fighting force that would be superior to those of the eventual adversaries. But, because of this policy, it was afterwards possible to use the fleet for the offensive.

While the army authorities refused to adopt such fundamentally erroneous principles, the navy–which unfortunately had more representatives in Parliament–succumbed to the spirit that ruled there. The navy was not organized on a strong basis, and it was later used in an unsystematic and irresolute way. The immortal glory which the navy won, in spite of these drawbacks, must be entirely credited to the good work and the efficiency and incomparable heroism of officers and crews. If the former commanders-in-chief had been inspired with the same kind of genius allthe sacrifices would not have been in vain.

It was probably the very parliamentarian skill displayed by the chief of the navy during the years of peace which later became the cause of the fatal collapse, since parliamentarian considerations had begun to play a more important role in the construction of the navy than fighting considerations. The irresolution, the weakness and the failure to adopt a logically consistent policy, which is typical of the parliamentary system, contaminated the naval authorities.

As I have already emphasized, the military authorities did not allow themselves to be led astray by such fundamentally erroneous ideas.

Ludendorff, who was then a Colonel in the General Staff, led a desperate struggle against the criminal vacillations with which the Reichstag treated the most vital problems of the nation and in most cases voted against them. If the fight which this officer then waged remained unsuccessful this must be debited to the Parliament and partly also to the wretched and weak attitude of the Chancellor, Bethmann-Hollweg.

Yet those who are responsible for Germany’s collapse do not hesitate now to lay all the blame on the shoulders of the one man who took a firm stand against the neglectful manner in which the interests of the nation were managed. But one falsehood more or less makes no difference to these congenital tricksters.

Anybody who thinks of all the sacrifices which this nation has had to bear as a result of the criminal neglect of those irresponsible individuals; anybody who thinks of the number of those who died or were maimed unnecessarily; anybody who thinks of the deplorable shame and dishonour which has been heaped upon us and of the illimitable distress into which our people are now plunged—anybodwho realizes that in order to prepare the way to a few seats in Parliament for some unscrupulous place-hunters and arrivists will understand that such hirelings can be called by no other name than that of rascal and criminal; for otherwise those words could have no meaning. In comparison with traitors who betrayed the nation’s trust every other kind of twister may be looked upon as an honourable man. It was a peculiar feature of the situation that all the real faults of the old Germany were exposed to the public gaze only when the inner solidarity of the nation could be injured by doing so. Then, indeed, unpleasant truths were openly proclaimed in the ears of the broad masses, while many other things were at other times shamefully hushed up or their existence simply denied, especially at times when an open discussion of such problems might have led to an improvement in their regard. The higher government authorities knew little or nothing of the nature and use of propaganda in such matters. Only the Jew knew that by an able and persistent use of propaganda heaven itself can be presented to the people as if it were hell and, vice versa, the most miserable kind of life can be presented as if it were paradise. The Jew knew this and acted accordingly. But the German, or rather his Government, did not have the slightest suspicion of it. During the War the heaviest ofm penalties had to be paid for that ignorance.

Over against the innumerable drawbacks which I have mentioned here and which affected German life before the War there were many outstanding features on the positive side. If we take an impartial survey we must admit that most of our drawbacks were in great measure prevalent also in other countries and among the other nations, and very often in a worse form than with us; whereas among us there were many real advantages which the other did not have.

The leading phase of Germany’s superiority arose from the fact that, almost alone among all the other European nations, the German nation had made the strongest effort to preserve the national character of its economic structure and for this reason was less subject than other countries to the power of international finance, though indeed there were many untoward symptoms in this regard also.

And yet this superiority was a perilous one and turned out later to be one of the chief causes of the world war.

But even if we disregard this advantage of national independence in neconomic matters there were certain other positive features of our social and political life which were of outstanding excellence. These features were represented by three institutions which were constant sources of regeneration. In their respective spheres they were models of perfection and were partly unrivalled.

The first of these was the statal form as such and the manner in which it had been developed for Germany in modern times. Of course we must except those monarchs who, as human beings, were subject to the failingswhich afflict this life and its children. If we were not so tolerant in these matters, then the case of the present generation would be hopeless; for if we take into consideration the personal capabilities and character of the representative figures in our present regime it would be difficult to imagine a more modest level of intelligence and moral character. If we measure the ‘value’ of the German Revolution by the personal worth and calibre of the individuals whom this revolution has presented to the German people since November 1918 then we may feel ashamed indeed in thinking of the judgment which posterity will pass on these people, when the Law for the Protection of the Republic can no longer silence public opinion. Coming generations will surely decide that the intelligence and integrity of our new German leaders were in adverse ratio to their boasting and their vices.

It must be admitted that the monarchy had become alien in spirit to many citizens and especially the broad masses. This resulted from the fact that the monarchs were not always surrounded by the highest intelligence–so to say–and certainly not always by persons of the most upright character. Unfortunately many of them preferred flatterers to honest-spoken men and hence received their ‘information’ from the former. This was a source of grave danger at a time when the world was passing through a period in which many of the old conditions were changing and when this change was affecting even the traditions of theCourt.

The average man or woman could not have felt a wave of enthusiasm surging within the breast when, for example, at the turn of the century, a princess in uniform and on horseback had the soldiers file past her on parade. Those high circles had apparently no idea of the impression which such a parade made on the minds of ordinary people; else such unfortunate occurrences would not have taken place. The sentimental humanitarianism–not always very sincere–which was professed in those high circles was often more repulsive than attractive. When, for instance, the Princess X condescended to taste the products of a soup kitchen and found them excellent, as usual, such a gesture might have made an excellent impression in times long past, but on this occasion it had the opposite effect to what was intended. For even if we take it for granted that Her Highness did not have the slightest idea, that on the day she sampled it, the food was not quite the same as on other days, it sufficed that the people knew it. Even the best of intentions thus became an object of ridicule or a cause of exasperation.

Descriptions of the proverbial frugality practised by the monarch, his much too early rise in the morning and the drudgery he had to go through all day long until late at night, and especially the constantly expressed fears lest he might become undernourished–all this gave rise to ominous expression on the part of the people. Nobody was keen to know what and how much the monarch ate or drank. Nobody grudged him a full meal, or the necessary amount of sleep. Everybody was pleased when the monarch, as a man and a personality, brought honour on his family and his country and fulfilled his duties as a sovereign. All the legends which were circulated about him helped little and did much damage.

These and such things, however, are only mere bagatelle. What was much worse was the feeling, which spread throughout large sections of the nation, that the affairs of the individual were being taken care of from above and that he did not need to bother himself with them. As long as the Government was really good, or at least moved by goodwill, no serious objections could be raised.

But the country was destined to disaster when the old Government, which had at least striven for the best, became replaced by a new regime which was not of the same quality. Then the docile obedience and infantile credulity which formerly offered no resistance was bound to be one of the most fatal evils that can be imagined.

But against these and other defects there were certain qualities which undoubtedly had a positive effect.

First of all the monarchical form of government guarantees stability in the direction of public affairs and safeguards public offices from the speculative turmoil of ambitious politicians. Furthermore, the venerable tradition which this institution possesses arouses a feeling which gives weight to the monarchical authority. Beyond this there is the fact that the whole corps of officials, and the army in particular, are raised above the level of political party obligations. And still another positive feature was that the supreme rulership of the State was embodied in the monarch, as an individual person, who could serve as the symbol of responsibility, which a monarch has to bear more seriously than any anonymous parliamentary majority. Indeed, the proverbial honesty and integrity of the German administration must be attributed chiefly to this fact. Finally, the monarchy fulfilled a high cultural function among the German people, which made amends for many of its defects. The German residential cities have remained, even to our time, centres of that artistic spirit which now threatens to disappear and is becoming more and more materialistic. The German princes gave a great deal of excellent and practical encouragement to art and science, especially during the nineteenth century. Our present age certainly has nothing of equal worth.

During that process of disintegration which was slowly extending throughout the social order the most positive force of resistance was that offered by the army. This was the strongest source of education which the German people possessed. For that reason all the hatred of our enemies was directed against the paladin of our national self-preservation and our liberty. The strongest testimony in favour of this unique institution is the fact that it was derided, hated and fought against, but also feared, by worthless elements all round. The fact that the international profiteers who gathered at Versailles, further to exploit and plunder the nations directed their enmity especially against the old German army proved once again that it deserved to be regarded as the institution which protected the liberties of our people against the forces of the international stock-exchange. If the army had not been there to sound the alarm and stand on guard, the purposes of the Versailles representatives would have been carried out much sooner. There is only one word to express what the German people owe to this army–Everything!

It was the army that still inculcated a sense of responsibility among the people when this quality had become very rare and when the habit of shirking every kind of responsibility was steadily spreading. This habit had grown up under the evil influences of Parliament, which was itself the very model of irresponsibility. The army trained the people to personal courage at a time when the virtue of timidity threatened to become an epidemic and when the spirit of sacrificing one’s personal interests for the good of the community was considered as something that amounted almost to weak-mindedness. At a time when only those were estimated as intelligent who knew how to safeguard and promote their own egotistic interests, the army was the school through which individual Germans were taught not to seek the salvation of their nation in the false ideology of international fraternization between negroes, Germans, Chinese, French and English, etc., but in the strength and unity of their own national being.

The army developed the individual’s powers of resolute decision, and this at a time when a spirit of indecision and scepticism governed human conduct. At a time when the wiseacres were everywhere setting the fashion it needed courage to uphold the principle that any command is better than none. This one principle represents a robust and sound style of thought, of which not a trace would have been left in the other branches of life if the army had not furnished a constant rejuvenation of this fundamental force. A sufficient proof of this may be found in the appalling lack of decision which our present government authorities display. They cannot shake off their mental and moral lethargy and decide on some definite line of action except when they are forced to.sign some new dictate for the exploitation of the German people. In that case they decline all responsibility while at the same time they sign everything which the other side places before them; and they sign with the readiness of an official stenographer. Their conduct is here explicable on the ground that in this case they are not under the necessity of coming to a decision; for the decision is dictated to them.

The army imbued its members with a spirit of idealism and developed their readiness to sacrifice themselves for their country and its honour, while greed and materialism dominated in all the other branches of life. The army united a people who were split up into classes: and in this respect had only one defect, which was the One Year Military Service, a privilege granted to those who had passed through the high schools. It was a defect, because the principle of absolute equality was thereby violated; and those who had a better education were thus placed outside the cadres to which the rest of their comrades belonged. The reverse would have been better. Since our upper classes were really ignorant of what was going on in the body corporate of the nation and were becoming more and more estranged from the life of the people, the army would have accomplished a very beneficial mission if it had refused to discriminate in favour of the so-called intellectuals, especially within its own ranks. It was a mistake that this was not done; but in this world of ours can we find any institution that has not at least one defect? And in the army the good features were so absolutely predominant that the few defects it had were far below the average that generally rises from human weakness.

But the greatest credit which the army of the old Empire deserves is that, at a time when the person of the individual counted for nothingand the majority was everything, it placed individual personal valuesabove majority values. By insisting on its faith in personality, the army opposed that typically Jewish and democratic apotheosis of the power of numbers. The army trained what at that time was most surely needed: namely, real men. In a period when men were falling a prey to effeminacy and laxity, 350,000 vigorously trained young men went from the ranks of the army each year to mingle with their fellow-men. In the course of their two years’ training they had lost the softness of their young days and had developed bodies as tough as steel. The young man who had been taught obedience for two years was now fitted to command. The trained soldier could be recognized already by his walk.

This was the great school of the German nation; and it was not without reason that it drew upon its head all the bitter hatred of those who wanted the Empire to be weak and defenceless, because they were jealous of its greatness and were themselves possessed by a spirit of rapacity and greed. The rest of the world recognized a fact which many Germans did not wish to see, either because they were blind to facts or because out of malice they did not wish to see it. This fact was that the German Army was the most powerful weapon for the defence and freedom of the German nation and the best guarantee for the livelihood of its citizens.

There was a third institution of positive worth, which has to be placed beside that of the monarchy and the army. This was the civil service.

German administration was better organized and better carried out than the administration of other countries. There may have been objections to the bureaucratic routine of the officials, but from this point of view the state of affairs was similar, if not worse, in the other countries.

But the other States did not have the wonderful solidarity which this organization possessed in Germany, nor were their civil servants of that same high level of scrupulous honesty. It is certainly better to be a trifle over-bureaucratic and honest and loyal than to be over-sophisticated and modern, the latter often implying an inferior type of character and also ignorance and inefficiency. For if it be insinuated to-day that the German administration of the pre-War period may have been excellent so far as bureaucratic technique goes, but that from the practical business point of view it was incompetent, I can only give the following reply: What other country in the world possessed a better-organized and administered business enterprise than the German State Railways, for instance? It was left to the Revolution to destroy this standard organization, until a time came when it was taken out of the hands of the nation and socialized, in the sense which the founders of the Republic had given to that word, namely, making it subservient to the international stock-exchange capitalists, who were the wire-pullers of the German Revolution.

The most outstanding trait in the civil service and the whole body of the civil administration was its independence of the vicissitudes of government, the political mentality of which could exercise no influence on the attitude of the German State officials. Since the Revolution this situation has been completely changed. Efficiency and capability have been replaced by the test of party-adherence; and independence of character and initiative are no longer appreciated as positive qualities in a public official. They rather tell against him.

The wonderful might and power of the old Empire was based on the monarchical form of government, the army and the civil service. On these three foundations rested that great strength which is now entirely lacking; namely, the authority of the State. For the authority of the State cannot be based on the babbling that goes on in Parliament or in the provincial diets and not upon laws made to protect the State, or upon sentences passed by the law courts to frighten those who have had the hardihood to deny the authority of the State, but only on the general confidence which the management and administration of the community establishes among the people. This confidence is in its turn, nothing else than the result of an unshakable inner conviction that thgovernment and administration of a country is inspired by disinterestedand honest goodwill and on the feeling that the spirit of the law is incomplete harmony with the moral convictions of the people. In the long run, systems of government are not maintained by terrorism but on the belief of the people in the merits and sincerity of those who administer and promote the public interests.

Though it be true that in the period preceding the War certain grave evils tended to infect and corrode the inner strength of the nation, it must be remembered that the other States suffered even more than Germanyfrom these drawbacks and yet those other States did not fail and breakdown when the time of crisis came. If we remember further that those defects in pre-War Germany were outweighed by great positive qualities we shall have to look elsewhere for the effective cause of the collapse.

And elsewhere it lay.

The ultimate and most profound reason of the German downfall is to be found in the fact that the racial problem was ignored and that its importance in the historical development of nations was not grasped. For the events that take place in the life of nations are not due to chance but are the natural results of the effort to conserve and multiply the species and the race, even though men may not be able consciously to picture to their minds the profound motives of their conduct.


No responses yet

Leave a Reply