TBR News November 23, 2017

Nov 23 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., November 23, 2017:”This it turkey day. Here are entertaining turkey stories: An Alabama redneck passed away and left his entire estate in trust for his beloved widow. She can’t touch it until she’s 14.

Folks in Arkansas now go to some movies in groups of 18 or more. They were told ‘17 and under are not admitted’.

It’s true! In Mississippi reruns of Hee Haw are called documentaries.

Q: How can you tell if a West Virginia redneck is married?

A: There’s dried tobacco spit on both sides of his pickup truck.

Florida has a new $3,000,000 State Lottery. The winner gets $3 a year for a million years.

Recently, the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock burned down. In fact, it almost  took out the entire trailer park.

A law recently changed in South Carolina now states: When a couple gets divorced, they’re still brother and sister.

The best thing to ever come out of Arkansas is I-40!

The best thing to even come out of California is an empty bus.

An Alabama State Trooper stopped a pickup truck. He asked the driver, “Got any ID?” The driver said, ‘’Bout what?’”

Table of Contents

  • Boy, Is This Stupid or What?
  • Why Russia is sending robotic submarines to the Arctic
  • Germany, Democracy and the World: The End of the End of History
  • The Numbers Game: An Analysis of Demographics in Holocaust Literature
  • Britain falls out of world’s top 5 economies
  • Iraqi army launches operation to clear ‘Islamic State’ remnants
  • Event ‘consistent with an explosion’ detected near missing Argentine sub: navy


Boy, Is This Stupid or What?

Did the US allow ISIS to escape to keep the fighting going?

November 21, 2017

by Philip Giraldi

The Unz Review

Americans have been living in a country that has not known peace since 9/11, when President George W. Bush and his posse of neoconservatives delivered the message to the world that “you are either with us or against us.” The threat was coupled with flurry of hastily conceived legislation that opened the door to the unconstitutional “war on terror” carried out at the whim of the Chief Executive, a conflict which was from the start conceived of as a global military engagement without end.

Bush and his handlers might not have realized it at the time but they were initiating a completely new type of warfare. To be sure, there would be fighting on the ground worldwide against an ideologically driven enemy somewhat reminiscent of communism, but there would also be included “regime change” of governments in countries that were not completely on board with the direction coming out of Washington. Instead of invading and occupying a country in the old-fashioned way, so the thinking went, far better to just knock off the top levels and let the natives sort things out while acting under direction from the pros in Washington.

Even though “regime change” in Iraq and Afghanistan did not work out very well, Bush saw himself as a triumphant war leader with his vainglorious “Mission Accomplished,” and he later dubbed himself the “decider.” He insisted that his reelection in 2004 when running against a weak John Kerry was a validation of his policies by the American people, but one has to wonder how many voters really understood that they were signing on for perpetual war that would of necessity also diminish their most cherished liberties.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and U.S. President Barack Obama followed Bush and made it clear that there would be no stepping back from a policy of proactively “protecting” the American people. Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton destroyed Libya, a disaster that is still playing out, increased involvement in Syria, and introduced death by drone for both American citizens who have transgressed and random foreigners who fit a profile. And to eliminate any pushback to what he was doing, Obama relied on invoking the state secrets privilege to block legal challenges more times than all his predecessors in office combined.

And now we have President Donald Trump, whose foreign policy is particularly unarticulated, though in many ways similar to that of his predecessors. The United States is increasing its involvement in Afghanistan, where it has been engaged for longer than in any previous war, is threatening both Iran and North Korea with annihilation, and is hopelessly entangled in Trump’s pledge to completely eliminate ISIS. Indeed, destroying ISIS (and al-Qaeda) has been the one clearly articulated part of the Trump foreign policy, though there are also occasional assertions that it should be accompanied by yet one more try at regime change in Damascus.

And the grand tradition of using military might to back up diplomacy has certainly found little favor, so much so that it is certainly clear even to the supine American public and a risk averse congress that there is something wrong in Foggy Bottom. It is astonishing to note the mainstream media, which reviled George W. Bush when he was in office, describing him currently as a voice of moderation and restraint due to his recent criticism of the White House. You can’t go wrong if you pile on Trump.

Even the U.S. media has been reluctantly reporting that ISIS has been rolled back in Syria by the joint efforts of the Syrian Army and the Russian air force with the United States and its allies playing very much secondary roles in the conflict. The Russians have, in fact, complained that Washington seemed just a tad disinterested in actually cooperating to destroy the last remnants of ISIS in the few areas that the group still controls, citing most recently an alleged incident during the Syrian government liberation of the town of Abu Kamal in which U.S. air assets on site appear to have allowed ISIS fighters to escape.

The shambles of American policy as it applies to the Middle East was highlighted by yet another similar and particularly bizarre episode that was revealed initially by the BBC on Monday of last week. In early October, when the Syrians and Russians were closing in from the west on Raqqa, the “capital” of the ISIS caliphate while the U.S supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which predominantly consists of the Kurdish militias, was closing in from the east, a deal was reportedly struck to permit an evacuation of the remaining ISIS fighters and their families.

According to the BBC investigative report, the SDF and Kurds were wary of clearing out the remaining fighters from the ruins of the city and so negotiated an agreement whereby the ISIS fighters from Syria and Iraq and their families would be able to leave and be allowed to either go home and face the consequences or proceed to ISIS controlled areas about one hundred miles away. The objective was to avoid a final assault from the air and using artillery that would have produced a bloodbath killing thousands, including large numbers of civilians. The agreement stipulated that only ISIS fighters who were local would be allowed to leave. Others, referred to as “foreigners,” from Europe, Africa or Asia would have to surrender in order to avoid their going free and getting involved in new terrorist activity after returning home.

U.S. and British military advisers who were with the SDF and Kurds reported, somewhat improbably, that they had not been party to the negotiations, that it was “all-locals,” though they later admitted that there had been some involvement on their part. In the event, trucks and busses were assembled on October 14th, formed into a convoy, and were loaded with more than 4,000 fighters and families. More than 100 ISIS-owned vehicles also were allowed to leave and there were ten trucks filled with weapons. The convoy stretched for more than four miles and film footage shows trucks pulling trailers filled with militants brandishing their weapons. The fighters were not allowed to display flags or banners but they were not forced to disarm and in fact loaded all the vehicles with as many weapons as they could carry, so much so that one truck broke its axle from the weight. The BBC reported that “This wasn’t so much an evacuation – it was the exodus of so-called Islamic State.”

The drivers reported that they were abused by the ISIS fighters, many of whom were wearing explosive belts, and they also claimed that there was a large percentage of foreigners among those escaping. Various drivers told the BBC that there were French, Turkish, Azerbaijani, Pakistani, Yemeni, Saudi, Chinese, Tunisian and Egyptian nationals among their passengers. The evacuees made it safely to ISIS controlled territory and presumably will be ready, willing and able to fight again.

The escape of the Islamic State from Raqqa is, to put it mildly, bizarre. One might accept that avoiding the carnage that would have been part and parcel of an assault on the shattered city should have weighed heavily on the decision making by the attacking forces, but allowing hardened fighters to escape with their weapons would hardly seem a good way to end the conflict. In May, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said on television that the war against ISIS was one of “…annihilation. Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to north Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We are not going to allow them to do so.”

Well, Mattis was possibly lying back then, or at least saying what he thought would play well on television and in the newspapers. On November 14th, the day after the BBC story about Raqqa broke, he lied again, saying that the United States is in Syria under a U.N. authorization to fight ISIS, which is not true. The Russians have been invited into the country by its legitimate government but the U.S. is not there legally. The Turks are claiming that there are 13 U.S. military bases already in Syria, some of which are permanent.

Mattis added to his bit of fiction by stating, somewhat ominously, that while the first phase of the ISIS war is coming to an end “Basically we can go after ISIS. And we’re there to take them out. But that doesn’t mean we just walk away and let ISIS 2.0 pop back around. The enemy hasn’t declared they’re done with the war yet. So, we’ll keep fighting them as long as they want to fight.”

A waggish friend of mine suggested that Mattis might be deliberately selectively releasing ISIS fighters so the U.S. will never have to leave Syria, but my own theory is somewhat different. I think that Washington, which has done so little to defeat ISIS, wants some threat to continue so it can keep its own “resistance forces” in place and active to give it a seat at the table and a voice at the upcoming Geneva discussions for a political settlement in Syria. Otherwise Washington will be outside looking in. The unspeakable Nikki Haley at the U.N. appears to endorse that line of thinking by asserting that Washington will continue “to fight for justice” in Syria no matter what the rest of the world decides to do.

Does this mean that we can expect considerable fumbling and a game with no exit strategy, something like a replay of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya? You betcha.


Why Russia is sending robotic submarines to the Arctic

The harsh icy sea is one of Earth’s biggest gas and oil hotspots – and Russia’s sending its military to stake its claim.

November 21 2017

by David Hambling

BBC News

The Arctic: the smallest of Earth’s five oceans, with icy waters and dagger-like winds, is home to some of the most unforgiving conditions on the planet.

But far below the skin of sea ice that waxes and wanes with the seasons, this inhospitable ocean is hiding a treasure trove of natural resources – one that’s largely untapped by mankind.

The Arctic Ocean is estimated to hold billions of barrels of oil, and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas – accounting for 16-26% of the Earth’s undiscovered reserves. And there’s a superpower scrambling to beat all others in the race to exploit this chilly mother lode of polar resources: Russia.

Decades after the Soviet Union fell, Russia embarked on a mission to drill deep into the Arctic seabed, sending a fleet of underwater robots and unmanned submarines into the Earth’s harshest waters.

And now, after years of drilling in the area, the country – which saw oil and natural gas account for 68% of its exports in 2013 – plans to use never-before-seen technology to take its mission to the next level.

Russia already extracts around 5.5 million tons of oil annually from its only operating oil field in the Arctic, but much of the sea is covered by a thick sheet of ice year-round, making exploitation by surface vessels impossible. Enter Russia’s Project Iceberg: an ambitious plan to use extreme technology for equally extreme conditions. We talked to experts who shone a light on Russia’s designs on the Arctic.

The race for the Arctic’s precious resources isn’t new. The hoard of gas and oil is surrounded by powerful nations – Russia, Denmark, Norway, the US and Canada – and they all want a piece of the pie.

Russia itself has been drilling in the Arctic Circle for decades. In August 2007, it made a dangerous and globally provocative move by sending two Russian mini-submarines 4,200m (14,000ft) below the North Pole to plant a rust-proof titanium flag on the seabed to stake a claim on the territory.

as it seeks to expand its grip and influence on Arctic waters – and the valuable resources within. For Russia, oil and natural gas are key sources of both energy and income. Project Iceberg could be the nation’s power play to make sure it keeps a regional monopoly on those two resources.

Russia is already expanding its military might in the Arctic, building more bases in the area after opening several earlier this year. In April, BBC journalists were the first foreign journalists allowed to film Russia’s military brigade stationed in the Arctic, close to the Finnish border. The increased military presence in the region is a sign of Russia’s growing Arctic ambitions at a time when receding ice is making the energy resources it holds more accessible than ever.

In much the same way as extracting oil from the North Sea was considered to be an engineering challenge in the 1970s as nobody had operated drilling platforms so far north in such difficult weather conditions before, the Arctic poses similar barriers today. With water up to 5km (3.1 miles) deep in places and largely covered with ice, the Arctic is arguably the hardest place in the world to drill for oil.

But then, nobody has attempted anything like Project Iceberg before.

The Foundation for Advanced Studies, the Russian equivalent of America’s Darpa, states it is planning “fully autonomous underwater, under-ice, development of hydrocarbon fields in the Arctic seas with severe ice conditions”. In other words: oil-seeking robotic submarines.

But there are some who suggest Iceberg’s stated goals are unrealistic – and that they may be a smokescreen for the development of military systems that can be deployed under the ice.

What is almost certain is that the project will add muscle to Russia’s vast territorial claims in the Arctic, which are currently under consideration by the UN.

The centrepiece of Iceberg is the 182m-long (600 ft) Belgorod, the largest nuclear submarine ever built. The Belgorod will carry out underwater surveys and lay communication cables under the ice, but its main role will be to act as a mothership for a flotilla of smaller submarines.

“The Belgorod submarine is a platform for deployment of various systems, including ones that do not yet exist,” says Vadim Kozyulin, a defence analyst at PIR Centre, a thinktank focusing on security issues.

This is the reason for the sub’s enormous size: a new 30m (100 ft) section has been added with docking facilities for both manned and unmanned submarines.

But perhaps the most ambitious part of Project Iceberg are the plans for the word’s first underwater nuclear power plants to act as pitstops for the swarms of submarines that will be deployed.

These underwater power stations will sit on the sea bed and act as recharging points for passing unmanned subs. The current design is for a 24-megawatt reactor with a lifetime of 25 years. Each one will operate almost entirely autonomously with technicians only visiting once a year for routine maintenance.

But Russia has a poor record on nuclear safety at sea, having lost seven nuclear submarines since 1961, some of them because of reactor problems. Accidents on board vessels operated by the former Soviet Union account for 14 of the most deadly nuclear incidents to have occurred at sea. In one case the entire sub was exposed to high radiation levels, while another suffered a loss of coolant and a partial reactor meltdown. One such accident was dramatised in the Hollywood movie K-19: The Widowmaker.

Russian power company Nikiet actually suggests that having no human operators will improve safety. No humans means less risk of human errors like the one which lead to the Chernobyl disaster, where operators overrode the safety systems that would have shut the reactor down.

“My sense is that much of the nuclear technology proposed here is mature and well understood,” says William Nuttall, professor of energy at The Open University in the UK.

Eugene Shwageraus of Cambridge University’s Nuclear Energy Centre says that while the reactor might be unmanned, it could still be supervised, and in that sense it would be similar to many modern reactors which require little operator engagement day-to-day.

“Today’s reactors are already quite ‘autonomous’, producing power 24/7 with reactor operators just observing the plant diagnostic instruments’ readings,” says Shwageraus.

The underwater reactors are said to be at an advanced stage of development, with the aim of having the first one operational by 2020. And while there will be some humans involved in this aspect of Project Iceberg, many other routine operations will be carried out by robots alone.

The workhorses will be deepwater unmanned submarines or autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). AUVs are currently used in small numbers by many nations, and generally under close operator control rather than roving freely. Russia has previously lagged in this area, but they seem to be catching up.

The Harpsichord-2R-PM AUV has been developed for Iceberg, and is intended to be the forerunner of a whole family of different underwater vehicles. This two-tonne, 6m-long (20ft) torpedo-like craft is currently being tested in the Black Sea but has also being used to help in the recovery of crashed aircraft. In 2009, one of these AUV’s located a Russian Navy plane, which had crashed killing all 11 people on board during a training flight. The plane had come down in the sea off Sakhalin, a Russian island near Japan, but the search on the surface was hampered by ice and severe weather. The AUV’s ability to operate by itself beneath the waves allowed it to successfully recover the black box flight recorders needed to help determine the cause of the crash.

While AUVs are often already used for underwater surveying, there is no precedent for using them to drill on the sea bed. Igor Vilnit, head of Russia’s largest submarine design company the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, claims they are on course to have a working AUV drill in action in as little as five years.

Amid all this drilling and underwater exploration, though, there are bigger changes afoot that extend beyond even the simmering political tensions. Climate change is hastening the melting of the Arctic’s ice caps – this presents a slew of challenges for the indigenous peoples who call the region home, as well as for wildlife, like polar bears.

But as rising temperatures melt the Arctic ice cap, leaving the region more hospitable and accessible, climate change is also likely to exacerbate the political turmoil in the area too.

At a conference in March, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said development of the Arctic region would help to build neighbourly relations with surrounding states and that it should be a “territory of peace and cooperation”.  But this is hardly consistent with other Russian activity in the area.

Some 50 former Soviet Arctic military bases have recently been reactivated. The Russian army has new Arctic Brigades, and showed off special military vehicles for polar operations in this year’s May Day parade. Russia‘s Northern Fleet is also to get its own nuclear-powered icebreaker, as well as “ice capable” patrol vessels, essentially mini-icebreakers armed with anti-ship missiles.

Project Iceberg is also going ahead in the face of sanctions imposed by Western countries against Russia in the wake of its annexation of Crimea. The sanctions restricted the access that Russia’s oil and gas companies had to the sort of foreign finance and technology needed to develop wells in the difficult Arctic environment. Instead Russia has chosen to go it alone. Earlier this year the country began a complex horizontal drilling operation from a remote peninsula on the edge of the Laptev Sea to reach oil reserves up to 15km (9.3 miles) under the frozen ocean.

But Kozyulin is dubious about the chain of underwater nuclear recharging stations that are planned under Project Iceberg, calling them “too fantastic”. He asks why, if this is supposedly a commercial drilling operation, are Gazprom or one of Russia’s other oil companies not involved? Kozyulin finds it easier to believe Iceberg’s true purpose is a military one. The underwater water reactors might, for example, be used to power Russia’s planned sonar fence, known as Harmony, which detects and tracks Nato submarines.

Russia is pursuing claims for an expanded underwater territory in the Arctic with the UN’s Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. These claims conflict with those of other nations including Canada, says Stephen Blank, a Russia expert at the American Foreign Policy Council. Russia has had some success with UN claims in the past.

“The Commission gave Russia the right to extensive holdings in the Sea of Okhotsk (in the Western Pacific) in 2013,” says Blank. “Moscow promptly converted it into an exclusive naval bastion and preserve for its energy companies.  That would likely serve as a precedent regarding the Arctic.”

Blank believes the Russian military build-up is due to fears that other nations might try to seize the energy resources in the Arctic first.

“It would not surprise me if they have also had a secret deep-water deployment of some sort for some time,” says Blank.

It is hard to tell if the Iceberg plan to exploit Arctic gas and oil is realistic, or whether Russia simply wants to secure the territory so that it can exploit it at some time in the future.

What nobody should doubt is Russia’s determination that if anyone is to profit from the Arctic, it will be them.


Germany, Democracy and the World: The End of the End of History

The collapse of coalition talks in Berlin are far from a national crisis. But it is symptomatic. It is time for German politicians to realize what is at stake for their country and the rest of the Western world.

November 23, 2017

by Klaus Brinkbäumer


Sometimes we in the West forget that our view of the world is just one among many that are possible. And that neither our understanding of human rights nor our adherence to liberal democracy are attractive across the globe. Is the Western way of life morally superior? And even if it were, is it the most constructive or effective way of organizing human societies?

We in the West also tend to interpret history to reflect positively on ourselves. Were the many centuries during which Europe or the United States were at the center of global events not inevitable? Were they not based on the Enlightenment and the Renaissance, on our engineering prowess, on our technological preeminence? Was it not based on our overall brilliance? After the collapse of communism in 1989, Francis Fukuyama wrote “The End of History,” by which he meant the triumph of Western values. Soon the entire world would be democratized, the victorious political order seemed clear.

How absurd that worldview seems now, in November 2017.

Since September 2001, the West has made a number of missteps. There were the aimless interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. There was the self-inflicted economic crisis of 2008, which was actually not a global disaster but a trans-Atlantic one, as China, Indonesia and India all continued to grow. For too many years we have clearly demonstrated to non-democratic states that democracy may no longer be reliable and is far too fragile: It installs incompetent leaders like Donald Trump in power and leads to blunders like Brexit. It has long been clear that democracy is slow, but now it’s obvious that it also makes terrible mistakes. What country would look to today’s United States as an example?

Which brings us to Germany, that stable center of Europe.

It must first be said that the government crisis, which has arisen out of the failed coalition talks, is not a crisis of state – at least not yet. A caretaker government is in office, the federal president is exhibiting prudence, the country’s economy is robust, and the system is working as it should. Even the chancellor – whose enthusiasm for political communication is limited at best and whose 12 years of leadership have brought the country to where it finds itself today – is proceeding carefully and maturely.

The Social Democrats, meanwhile, twice hastily – indeed, childishly – rejected the idea of joining Merkel in a coalition. There is now no safe way back. Joining a grand coalition would marginalize the party; in four years, it could plunge to just 15 percent. Therefore, rapid new elections are the only thing that makes sense. Hopefully they will result in a clear governing mandate and to a greater sense of urgency and responsibility in the ensuing coalition talks.

Complacent Prosperity

That, in fact, is the most disturbing thing about the way Christian Lindner of the Free Democrats backed out of the talks, about the constant complaining from the Bavarian conservatives, about the weeks of haggling over details without any sense of the bigger picture. This irreverence. The prioritization of the individual over the common good. This desolate narcissism born of complacent prosperity.

In truth, the domination of the world by Europe and the United States has only lasted two centuries. Before that, China was already an economic leader. And the history of the rise of the West cannot really be attributed to but a single cause. This ascent was helped along by genocide and slavery; colonialism allowed Europe to plunder ideas. It was in China that the technologies for iron and steel production were first invented, as well as paper currency, gun powder and the compass.

In human history, there has hardly ever been such a rapid rise – which really is just a return to form – as that of China over the past 30 years. The country has long since begun financing other states without paying attention to issues like democracy and human rights: The old “Washington Consensus,” is being replaced by the “Beijing Consensus.” The Chinese model fascinates those that wish to replicate it because the party appears so resolute and closed while the society is so young, vibrant and hungry for start-ups. Western societies on the other hand are aging. Many citizens see their wages stagnating, while education, homes and healthcare are becoming unaffordable. The old maxim that rising GDP translates into prosperity for all is being exposed as a fallacy.

The idea that democracy was somehow the endpoint of development was megalomaniac. As long as there is something to redistribute, every system has it easy. But in the past 11 years, freedom around the world has receded. Of 195 states only 87 are still free, 59 are partially free and 49 are not free at all according to the NGO Freedom House. Turkey and Russia have turned their backs on the group of democracies while Poland and Hungary look to be not far behind. Meanwhile, the United States is foundering. One would hope that should be enough to focus minds in Berlin. There is, after all, a lot at stake.


The Numbers Game: An Analysis of Demographics in Holocaust Literature

AUSCHWITZ: (Polish: Oswiecim)

Located approximately 60km (37mi) west of Krakow, in Eastern Upper Silesia, which was annexed to Germany following the defeat of Poland, in September, 1939

The first camp was built shortly after Poland’s defeat, in a suburb of Oswiecim (Zasole), at the site of a former Imperial Austrian Army Artillery barracks complex and initially held about 10,000 prisoners, mostly Polish prisoners of war.

The second site, known as Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, was built 3km from the original camp, in March of 1941

All of the satellite camps, such as Auschwitz II, were under the control of the main Auschwitz camp commander’s headquarters. The Auschwitz monthly camp statistics that were sent to KL Headquarters outside Berlin reflected all of the auxiliary camps as well as the main camp.

In the years intervening since the end of the Second World War, there has built up a legend about the planned murder by the Germans of European Jewry. A program of euthanasia, it is said, was later developed into a wide-spread program of mass gassings of Jews in several of the German prisons called Concentration Camps.

The motivator behind these mass killings was, the legend states, Adolf Hitler whose personal hatred of Jews drove him to order his dread Gestapo and SS to round up and kill every Jew they could lay their hands on.

Initially, the camp at Dachau, outside of Munich, was stated to be the center of the murder machine but as it became evident that this camp did not gas large numbers of Jews, the center was arbitrarily moved to the east, to the town of Auschwitz located on several rivers in Upper Silesia.

Here, it is said, a vast death camp was built to house tens of thousands of Jews awaiting their turn in the enormous gas chambers, and a second camp, Auschwitz II or Birkenau was also built for the sole purpose of slaughtering the Jews who made up almost the entire population of this murder central.

Jewish victims, it has been written, poured into Auschwitz from all over conquered Europe. They arrived, jammed into cattle cars, were dragged out of their transport, lined up and immediately forced into the huge gas chambers. Later, after they were dead, their stiffened corpses were dragged out by other camp inmates and shoved into equally gigantic crematoria and burned to ashes.

In recent years, bits and pieces of evidence that would tend to bring some of this into question has resulted in a further shift to the east. Supporters of the mass murder theories now postulate that the SS Einsatzgruppen or Combat Units, composed of Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and German police units, who were operating behind the German front lines in Russia, were the true murders of millions of Jews. In the savage anti-Partisan wars, the Einsatzgruppen were stated to have slaughtered millions of Russian, and some Polish, Jews.

Opposing an enormous body of literature and media productions, a number of dissatisfied historians began to question the validity of the allegations of an immense German murder plot aimed primarily at Jews but also expanded to include Gypsies. Any attempts to bring these allegations into question were met immediately by loud outcries from their proponents and needless to say, no major publishing house anywhere in the world would dare to publish even the most moderate and meticulously researched revisionistic work.

The enormous death toll, it is firmly said by proponents of the murder machine theory, is immutable; these figures are well and permanently established in history and questioning them is the work of anti-Semites, neo-Nazis and professional, unbalanced hate-mongers.

It is the actual figures, however, upon which the legend of the Holocaust stands or falls. Are there such figures? Are they reliable? Surely in the enormous official German records, captured by both the Soviets and Americans, there have to be specific confirmations of the awful death tolls.

In fact such records do exist; some in Moscow and some in Washington, DC, but these original documents are generally not available to what Holocaust supporters state are prevaricators, liars and anti-Semites. They can be found today in official state archives, some difficult to find because they have been misfiled and others because pressure groups who fear their publication have pressured the archives to keep them hidden.

In this study, we have explored these forbidden or obscured documents, collated them and are presenting the results in an effort to achieve some balance for a subject that heretofore has been the private playground of individuals and organizations who have a vested financial and political motive in preventing any erosion of what they see is their own territory.

As huge sums of money have resulted from the maintenance and careful nurturing of what has proven to be an extraordinarily successful cash cow, the desperation of its creators can easily be understood.

Truth, however, is mighty and shall prevail.

“How many people died at Auschwitz?

“…Foner’s Spotlight article made assertions regarding the number of people killed at the Auschwitz camp:

Most Americans have been instructed in the “irrefutable fact” that homicidal gassings had taken place at Auschwitz. The number of those so executed – also declared irrefutable – was 4.1 million.

Then came the Leuchter Report in 1988. This was followed by a “re-evaluation” of the total deaths at Auschwitz (down to 1.1 million).

Previous to 1992, anyone who publicly doubted the 4.1 million “gassing” deaths at Auschwitz was labeled an anti-Semite, neo-nazi skinhead (at the very least). Quietly, because of revisionist findings, the official figure was lowered to 1.1 million. No mention of that missing 3 million.

Foner’s assertions are simply not true; although it is correct to note that the Polish Communist government did claim that four million people were exterminated at Auschwitz, historians (Feig, Reitlinger, Hilberg, et al.) have never supported that figure. Consider the estimates provided by Buszko at the end of his article on Auschwitz, which appeared in the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust:

  • Of the 405,000 registered prisoners, 65,000 survived
  • Of the 16,000 Soviet POW’s, 96 survived
  • Various estimates suggest 1.6 million were murdered

Buszko’s article, and the above estimates, appeared in the 1990 edition of the

Encyclopedia, which clearly puts the lie to Foner’s comment that “anyone who publicly doubted the 4.1 million .. ” figure “previous to 1992…” was “…labeled an anti-Semite…”. Buszko is not only a Jewish historian, but Polish as well.

Leon Poliakov, the author of the well-documented “Harvest of Hate,” which was, we note, first published in 1956, provides the following information, which clearly demonstrates that Foner’s contention, cited above, is an outright lie:

After some thirty months of intense activity, the Auschwitz balance sheet showed close to two million immediate exterminations (this figure can never be fixed exactly), (8) to which one must add the deaths of some 300,000 registered prisoners – Jews for the most part, but not entirely – for whom the gas chamber was only one of any number of ways by which they might have perished. (Poliakov, 202)

In his affidavits, Hoess spoke of two and a half million, ‘a figure set officially,’ he wrote, under the signature of [Eichmann], in a report to Himmler. This figure has been accepted by several authors, and it appears in the verdict at the trial of the major war criminals. However, there is no reason for accepting without question the statistics attributed to Eichmann, which may err on either side.

Adding the number of victims to those deported from different countries gives a lower figure, although we have little data, for example, on the number of Polish Jews sent to Auschwitz. An approximate figure in the neighborhood of two million seems closer to the truth.” (Ibid.)

Feig also provides evidence of the false nature of Foner’s comment when she notes that:

Höss testified that the Tesch directors could not help but know of the use for their product because they sold him enough to annihilate two million people.’

Feig’s book was published in 1981

According to Snyder, Adolf Eichmann reported to Himmler, in 1944, that four million had been killed in the camps, and another million had been shot or killed by mobile units. (Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. 1989) Eichmann’s report, which referenced all the camps (most of which were in Nazi-occupied Poland), may have been the source of the Polish Communist government’s figures. (Snyder is a Professor of History at the City College and the City University of New York.)

During the war crimes trials, Höss was asked if it was true that he had no exact numbers because he had been forbidden to compile them, and he agreed. He also agreed that Adolf Eichmann had told him that that more than two million people had been exterminated there. (von Lang, 120)

The Institut Für Zeitgeschichte, Munich, provided the following capsulated paragraph about Auschwitz in a March, 1992, letter of inquiry.

The extermination camp in Birkenau, established in the second half of 1941, was joined to the concentration camp Auschwitz, existing since May 1940. From January 1942 on in five gas chambers and from the end of June 1943 in four additional large gassing-rooms gassings with Zyklon B have been undertaken. Up until November 1944 more than one million Jews and at least 4000 gypsies have been murdered by gas. (IFZ)

While it is admittedly difficult to compile exact figures, (emphasis added) since the Nazis did not maintain registration records for those who were to be exterminated immediately upon arrival at Auschwitz, it seems accurate to assert that the number of Jews killed fell somewhere between one and one-point-six million.

According to figures provided by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the overall number of victims of Auschwitz in the years 1940-1945 is estimated at between 1,100,000 and 1,500,000 people. The majority of them, and above all the mass transports of Jews who arrived beginning in 1942, died in the gas chambers. (Waclaw Dlugoborski and Franciszek Piper, Eds. Auschwitz 1940-1945. Central Issues in the History of the Camp. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, 2000, 5 vols., 1799 pp., ISBN 83-85047-87-5)

Jews were not the only victims of this Nazi German killing machine – historians estimate that among the people sent to Auschwitz there were at least 1,100,000 Jews from all the countries of occupied Europe, over 140,000 Poles (mostly political prisoners), approximately 20,000 Gypsies from several European countries, over 10,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and over 10,000 prisoners of other nationalities.

The Leuchter Report, which Foner alludes to extensively in his Spotlight article, has been thoroughly refuted. For detailed information about the report, see the Leuchter FAQ.

Two German firms, Tesch/Stabenow and Degesch, produced Cyclone B gas after they acquired the patent from Farben. Tesch supplied two tons a month, and Degesch three quarters of a ton. The firms that produced the gas already had extensive experience in fumigation.”

This overview is entirely typical of the death camp argument. It is not based on official figures obtained from various archives but solely upon the personal opinions of individuals who are obviously writing to an idea. Such phrases as “absolutely established”, “irrefutable facts” and “thoroughly refuted” are the easily-recognized hallmarks of the propagandist, not the historian. In point of fact, writers attempting to confirm the allegations of astronomical death tolls for European Jews are not writing from any kind of an objective historical point of view but from thoroughly skewed and propagandistic one.

Truth is the first casualty of the propagandist.

The argument is made that since it is “clearly evident” that six million European Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis under Hitler, the fact that nowhere in the through and extensive files of the Third Reich can be found any specific reference to such acts, the answer to this absence is also clearly evident; there are special and secret lists made of Jews who were not entered onto the rolls of the camps but who were immediately executed.

However, if there are no existing Third Reich documents proving the mass murders, neither are there any of the secret lists to be found.

The “secret list” theory is one of desperation, not a clever invention.

When the Glücks files emerged in Moscow, the archivists at the Central Archives stated that Jewish groups were well aware of these documents and had repeatedly insisted that the Russians not release them to “outsiders” who were “not able to properly understand them.”

What obviously was meant is that these extensive, and complete, files clearly did not support the murder of six millions of European Jews and their release would merely complicate the fundraising efforts of the proponents of the planned extermination theories.

As an historical footnote to this commentary, the following officially recorded conversation of Hitler’s is set forth. The first part of it has been widely quoted in a number of books but the second part, for obvious reasons, has not.

On Saturday, October 25, 1941, Hitler received Count Ciano, Italian Foreign Minister at his East Prussian military headquarters for a conference. Present were a number of senior government officials. Following the conference, Hitler held a small, private dinner for several of these personages. One of them was Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the SS and the other was (SS-Obergruppenführer) Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Main State Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt-RSHA) which controlled the Gestapo and the SD. During the course of the dinner, Hitler said:

“From the rostrum of the Reichstag I prophesized to Jewry that, in the event of war’s proving inevitable, the Jew would disappear from Europe. That race of criminals has on its conscience the two million dead of the First World War, and now already hundreds of thousands more.”

At this point, historians generally comment on Hitler’s obvious intention to slaughter all the Jews he could lay his hands on. The balance of the conversation conveys a rather different meaning.

“Let nobody tell me that all the same we can’t park them in the marshy parts of Russia! Who’s worrying about our troops? It’s not a bad idea, by the way, that public rumor attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews. Terror is a salutary thing.”1

The question of the number of persons who died in Auschwitz has been addressed in a publication entitled Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp.2 A chapter by Franciszek Piper entitled “The Number of Victims” addresses the issues discussed here and sections of it deserve to be quoted and enlarged upon.

“In erasing traces of the crimes perpetrated in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazis destroyed documents that could serve as the basis for determining how many people died there. When the Soviet soldiers liberated the camp in January 1945, they found documents that confirmed only 100,000 deaths. Yet surviving prisoners maintained that millions had perished at Auchwitz.

Faced with this disparity, officials of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, the organization entrusted with investigating the crimes committed at Auschwitz, conducted an in-depth study. Based on witness testimonies regarding the capacity of the camp and the length of time that its machinery for mass murder was operative, (emphasis added) the commission concluded that no fewer than four million (emphasis added) persons were put to death at the camp…Four million…is the number recorded in Polish literature, as well as in publications of other countries.”

In The Final Solution, one of the first books to deal with the Holocaust, published in 1953, the figure of four million was radically reevaluated. English art historian Gerald Reitlinger estimated the number of victims at Auschwitz to be roughly 800,000 to 900,000, (emphasis added) based on an analysis of the losses of Jews reported by specific countries…

The destruction by the Nazis of most Auschwitz records is the most important cause of divergent estimates…researchers had to rely on discrepant and imprecise data from testimonies and depositions of witnesses, former prisoners and Nazi functionaries and on court decisions and fragmentary and incomplete records of camp registries, archives, (sic) and other institutions. (Emphasis added).”

The question of the destruction of Auschwitz records has been raised over the years to support the claims that large numbers of people died in the camp but were not recorded. If the SS camp administration did destroy or remove official records from Auschwitz before the complex was overrun by the Soviets in early 1945, they did not and could not touch the records that had been sent to the headquarters of the camp system outside of Berlin, or any other copies sent to different agencies. According to the author of the article, the Soviets did find records indicating 100,000 deaths.

Reliance on anything originating from Stalin’s agents is totally unrealistic. The Soviets had no problem continuously rewriting their own history and obviously would have had no problem rewriting the history of other nations. The concurrence of the Poles in Soviet findings has no validity whatsoever.

Poland was under complete control of the Soviets at the time of their reports and any official commission would do precisely as it was told by its masters.

It was only after the implosion of the Soviet Empire that their state archives became available to outside researchers, at least on a limited basis. As has been noted before, it was the standard policy of the Soviet government to denigrate and attack the government of West Germany, not support it. The microfilms released by the Russian archives in the early 1990s were copies of documents found at the SS camp headquarters in 1945 and had these supported the theory of extensive extermination programs, they certainly would have been released years before.

There is another argument used to explain the lack of documentation supporting the thesis of a million or more dead at Auschwitz. This argument claims that endless transports of Jews were delivered to the camp, not recorded anywhere and immediately executed. This, it is claimed, explains why there is such a disparity between official German figures and those proposed by others.

This argument has some fleeting validity but the question arises that if these transports were unrecorded in German records, how could anyone use them as references other than by supposition and speculation? It is very difficult to have one’s cake and eat it too.

The question of transport also needs to be addressed. When the German Reichsbahn scheduled rail transportation to Auschwitz, it was listed officially as special trains (Sonderzug) which indicated that the transports were privately contracted…in this case by the SS. If these transports were of an official, State nature, they would be listed as regular traffic, paid for by the government. While in the beginning of the forced Jewish emigration prior to the war, the Jewish community in Germany and overseas was compelled to pay for the emigration out of their own pockets, such accommodations were not operational during the war except in rare cases.

It should also be noted that transport from Auschwitz taking manufactured products to various points in Europe were also listed as Special Trains. Auschwitz was part of the SS economic empire and as such, was run by the SS and not the German government. The Armed SS (Waffen-SS) was not an official part of the Wehrmacht and its operating expenses, as were the operating expenses for the entire SS, had to be paid for by the SS itself.

This in itself would cast considerable doubt on the thesis that a vast extermination program had been ordered by Hitler officially as State policy. When the SS ran out of operating capital, the transports stopped running.

The use of prisoner labor was certainly addressed in the numerous trials held after the war.

Another thesis often expressed is that the victims at Auschwitz were nearly all Jewish. Reports from the camp break down the exact number of inmates by groups, to include Jews. At Auschwitz, by far the largest group were those held in protective custody or as political prisoners.

With former Soviet archival material now available, a greater balance should be much easier to obtain. It was only their stubborn refusal to release these records that allowed inflated figures, supported only with anecdotal and unsupported material, to flourish and, like ivy, expand and cover every aspect of the building beneath.

This archival material has, in fact, been available on microfilm since 1989 but is rarely discussed.

An article in the New York ‘Times’ of March 3, 1991 quotes the Soviet sources with considerable accuracy. Forty-six camps are covered with a total death toll of more than 400,000. Auschwitz records contain approximately 70,000 death certificates and in addition the death totals of 130,000 among the forced laborers in all camps and 200,000 additional names of various classes of prisoners in all camps to include Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Gross Rosen. When queried about this article and the numbers reflected in it, Red Cross officials in Washington, DC agreed that they were indeed the figures contained in the microfilms they had received from Soviet sources but that “special secret lists” existed that boosted the death toll far higher. Further questioning elicited that no one had seen these “secret lists” but that they must certainly exist and that quoting from the official records was “misleading” and should not be done.

The records of the concentration camp system discovered by the Soviets at the system headquarters outside of Berlin in 1945 are complete. From a chronological point of view, there are no gaps. Many of the records found by the Soviets at Auschwitz are not complete but the headquarters files contain copies of all the Auschwitz records

The arrest, deportation and forced labor of a large number of people, including Jews, was repugnant and on a parallel with the British concentration camps (from whence the name came) instituted during the Boer War in which over 20,000 Boer women and children died in conditions of disease, filth and squalor, and is not possible to ignore or justify.3

Aside from the records of the camp headquarters siezed by the Soviets in 1945 from Oranienburg, another source exists that deals with the monthly population reports made by the individual camps to headquarters. These consisted of radio reports sent in to Oranienburg on a monthly basis. From early 1942 through February of 1943, British intelligence was monitoring these reports and in their official history of the British intelligence system, stated that,

“The returns from Auschwitz, the largest of the camps with 20,000 prisoners, mentioned illness as the main cause of death, but included references to shootings and hangings. There were no references in the decrypts to gassing.” (emphasis added) 4

Given inaccurate demographics about the post-war Jewish population, there is still a considerable gap in the number of Jews, mostly Polish Jews, who were living in Poland in 1939 and unaccounted for in 1945. The assumption was made, and is still being made, that these differences were clearly explained by the extermination theory.

The former Soviet Union maintained a rigid control over its files until its collapse, and it has only been since this point in time that a much clearer picture of events has become evident.

In 1995, Russian author Arkady Vaksberg, a Jewish writer, attorney, and investigative journalist, published a book entitled Stalin Against The Jews, the basic theme of which is the persecution of Soviet Jews by Stalin after he had used them against his enemies.

Vaksberg goes into some detail about the Polish Jews who, in September of 1939, fled the German advance into Poland and went into the Soviet Union. Vaksberg states that these Polish Jews were seized by Stalin’s agencies and put into prison camps.

The author states that exact figures of these prisoners are not presently available but speaks of “hundreds of thousands.” He also mentions that Soviet border police shot down many escaping Jews before they crossed the border into Communist territory.

Survival in Soviet Gulags was very poor; of the 80,000 German prisoners of war captured at Stalingrad, only 6,000 were alive in 1955 to return to Germany. How many of these hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews survived the war is not known, but perhaps former Soviet archives hold the final answer to this issue, an issue that has persisted for half a century.5

After the breakup of the Yugoslav state in the 1990s, the “ethnic cleansing” by the winsome Serbs of anyone they disliked, including Catholics and Jews, was greeted with a chorus of dismay from other nations…but nothing more.


  1. “Hitler’s Secret Conversations, 1941-1945,” New York, 1953, p 72, Protocol 52.
  2. “Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp,” ed. Yisrael Gutman and Michael Berenbaum, 1994, Indiana University Press. pps 61 et seq.
  3. Amery, vol.5, 252, 253, 601; vol. 6, 24-25
  4. “British Intelligence in the Second World War,” Hinsley et al, London, 1980, vol. 11, p 673.
  5. “Stalin Against the Jews,” Vaksberg, New York, 1995, pp 103-107.

Note: The complete German files on the camps are being prepared for publication. CJ


Britain falls out of world’s top 5 economies

November 23, 2017


UK Finance Minister Philip Hammond admitted Britain is no longer one the five leading global economies as he delivered a gloomy budget statement in parliament on Wednesday.

“Britain is the world’s sixth largest economy,” Hammond said in his budget speech to parliament.

The latest numbers, published by the International Monetary Fund, reveal that France will slip ahead of the UK in this year’s ranking of global economies with the gap between the two projected to get significantly wider in 2018. The rating is based on GDP forecasts, with the IMF saying France had outpaced Britain for the first time since 2013.

The US, China, and Japan have been ranked the top three in the IMF 2017 rating with Germany and France in fourth and fifth spots. India follows Britain, which is now number six. The UK may drop further, as India is expected to top both Britain and France in 2019.

Britain’s downgrade is reportedly triggered by slowing consumer spending, spiking prices and a dramatically weaker national currency, which followed the country’s decision to quit the European Union.

Sterling has declined 12 percent against the dollar since the historic Brexit vote in June 2016. The weaker pound means consumers pay more for imported goods. Inflation currently stands at three percent with wages reportedly not keeping pace with it.

“We understand the frustration of families where real incomes are under pressure,” said Hammond, pledging to cut the delays in receiving benefit payments, many families faced due to changes to the welfare system.

According to Hammond, the UK is expected to borrow £29.1 billion more by the end of the 2021-22 tax year than it expected eight months ago.

On Wednesday, the UK Office of Budget Responsibility cut its growth forecasts for this year to 1.5 percent from an estimate of two percent earlier this year. The independent fiscal watchdog projects a 1.4 percent expansion next year, followed by modest growth of 1.3 percent in 2019 and 2020.



Iraqi army launches operation to clear ‘Islamic State’ remnants

The capture of Rawa last week signaled the fall of the final IS stronghold in Iraq, putting a decisive end to the terror group’s “caliphate” aspirations. Liberation forces are now pushing into the desert.

November 23, 2017


Iraq launched an army operation to flush militants out of its border region with Syria, the military said on Thursday, as it pushes to entirely expel “Islamic State” (IS) from its lands.

The Iraqi army, federal police and the Shiite paramilitary group Hashed al-Shaabi have begun “clearing” a large strip of desert in the west of the country, General Abdelamir Yarallah said in a statement.

Extremists from IS — also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh — have mostly been pushed out of Iraq. But the terrorist group still controls parts of the sparsely populated wastelands between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates.

“The objective behind the operation is to prevent remaining Daesh groups from melting into the desert region and using it as a base for future attacks,” said army colonel Salah Kareem.

In recent months Iraq has retaken large chunks of territory previously controlled by IS, leaving the Jihadist group on the verge of complete defeat.

In July, the Iraqi army and Shiite paramilitaries retook Mosul, the country’s second largest city. On Friday, the small town of Rawa, in the western Anbar province, became the final IS stronghold to fall.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said after the liberation of Rawa that IS had been defeated from a military perspective — but he would only declare victory after its militants were routed in the desert, too.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Iran — a close ally of Iraq — had helped destroy a “tumour” created by the United States and its allies. Iranian Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani declared “victory” over IS.

Iran has has sent thousands of fighters to Iraq and Syria to battle IS and other groups.

In neighboring Syria similar clear-up operations are underway to rout IS militants from the arid rural regions. Pro-government and US-backed Kurdish forces have already ousted the Jihadists from urban areas.


Event ‘consistent with an explosion’ detected near missing Argentine sub: navy

November 23, 2017

by Magali Cervantes


BAHIA BLANCA, Argentina (Reuters) – An abnormal sound detected in the South Atlantic ocean around the time that an Argentine navy submarine sent its last signal last week was “consistent with an explosion,” a navy spokesman said on Thursday.

Spokesman Enrique Balbi described the blast in the morning of Nov. 15 as “abnormal, singular, short, violent” and “non-nuclear.”

The navy did not have enough information to say what the cause of the explosion could have been or whether the ARA San Juan could have been attacked, Balbi told reporters.

A huge sea and air hunt is being conducted for the vessel, which had 44 crew on board when it went missing last week. The disappearance has plunged relatives of the crew members into an anguished wait for news and transfixed the South American country.

The information about the explosion received on Thursday morning was consistent with a separate report received on Wednesday of an “acoustic anomaly” in the same area and around the same time the vessel gave its last signal, Balbi said.

“This is very important because it allows us to correlate and confirm the acoustic anomaly from the U.S. report yesterday,” he said.

“Here, we’re talking about a singular, short, violent, non-nuclear event, consistent with an explosion.”

The site of the abnormal sound was close to where the German-built vessel gave its last location, about 430 km (270 miles) off the coast.

Earlier on Thursday, a U.S. embassy spokeswoman said an object detected by a U.S. Navy plane near the area where the submarine sent its last signal turned out not to be the missing vessel. The plane, a P-8A Poseidon, was one of dozens of Argentine and foreign boats and planes involved in the hunt.

Concerns are growing that the submarine could be near the last of its seven-day oxygen supply.

Relatives of the crew members have gathered at a naval base in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, some 400 km (250 miles) south of Buenos Aires, where the search is being coordinated.








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