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TBR News July 15, 2017

Jul 15 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., July 14, 2017:”The official American attitude toward President Assad of Syria is that he is a terrible dictator and must leave office. This attitude must have been cultivated in a kindergarten because the United States has put in office, and supported, many dictators who were far worse than Assad. Why should the US make such a fuss about Assad? The answer can be found in an interesting highly classified report from an Israeli intelligence agency that is making the rounds inside, and outside, of the Beltway. Israel wants Assad out because he permitted Russia to ship deadly missiles to Hezbollah via Syria. The US wants to get rid of Assad because he has an alliance with Russia and is leasing port space on the Mediterranean to the Russian navy. But Assad did not go and fought back, with considerable and effective Russian support. And it ought to be understood that the fanatical IS mob was set up by Saudi Arabia, funded by them and armed and trained by the US CIA and special forces of the Army. As there does not appear to be the possibility of ousting Assad and replacing him with an American puppet, Washington is seeking an exit from a quagmire that could do terrible damage to them.”

Table of Contents

  • Russia Baiters and Putin Haters
  • Russia sees growing acceptance of Assad as key to Syria talks
  • No victory for democracy in Turkey
  • Turkey sacks more than 7,000 civil servants one year on from failed coup
  • The Alt-Right Movement Behind Trump’s Presidency
  • America’s Official Anti-Semitism

 Russia Baiters and Putin Haters

July 14, 2017

by Patrick J. Buchanan

AntiWar

“Is Russia an enemy of the United States?” NBC’s Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, “Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug.”

To Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., entertained an offer from the Russians for dirt on Clinton could be considered “treason.”

Treason is giving aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war.

Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?

“Why Russia is a Hostile Power” is the title of today’s editorial in The Washington Post that seeks to explain why Middle America should embrace the Russophobia of our capital city:

“Vladimir Putin adheres to a set of values that are antithetical to bedrock American values. He favors spheres of influence over self-determination; corruption over transparency; and repression over democracy.”

Yet, accommodating a sphere of influence for a great power is exactly what FDR and Churchill did with Stalin, and every president from Truman to George H. W. Bush did with the Soviet Union.

When East Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles rose up against Communist regimes, no U.S. president intervened. For those nations were on the other side of the Yalta line agreed to in 1945.

Bush I and James Baker even accused Ukrainians of “suicidal nationalism” for contemplating independence from Russia.

When did support for spheres of influence become un-American?

As for supporting “corruption over transparency,” ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned in disgust as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, our man in Kiev, of supporting corruption.

As for favoring “repression over democracy,” would that not apply to our NATO ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, and our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte? Were U.S. Cold War allies like the Shah of Iran and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile all Jeffersonian Democrats? Have we forgotten our recent history?

The Post brought up the death in prison of lawyer-activist Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Under the Magnitsky Act of 2012, Congress voted sanctions on Russia’s elites.

Yet China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison for championing democracy, died Thursday of liver cancer, with police in his hospital room. Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau, would not let the dying man go.

Will Magnitsky Act sanctions be slammed on China? Don’t bet on it. Too much trade. Congress will do what comes naturally — kowtow. Yet our heroic Senate voted 98-2 to slam new sanctions on Russia.

What are the roots of this hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin, whom a Fox analyst called “as bad as Hitler”?

During the Cold War, every president sought detente with a USSR that was arguably the most blood-soaked regime of the century.

When the Cold War ended in December 1991, the Soviet Union had dissolved into 15 nations. Moscow had given up her empire, a third of her territory, and half the population of the USSR. Marxist-Leninist ideology was dead. An epochal change had taken place.

Yet hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin seem to exceed anything some of us remember from the worst days of the Cold War.

Putin’s Russia is called imperialist, though Estonia, next door, which Russia could swallow in one gulp, has been free for 25 years.

Russia invaded Georgia. Well, yes, after Georgia invaded the seceded province of South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers.

Russia has taken back Crimea from Ukraine. True, but only after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev replaced the elected pro-Russian regime.

Russia has intervened to back Bashar Assad in Syria. Yes, but only after our insurgent allies collaborated with al-Qaida and ISIS to bring him down. Is Russia not allowed to support an ally, recognized by the U.N., which provides its only naval base on the Med?

Russia has meddled in our election. And we have meddled in the affairs of half a dozen nations with “color-coded revolutions.” The cry of “regime change!” may daily be heard in the U.S. Capitol.

Putin is not Pope Francis. But he is not Stalin; he is not Hitler; he is not Mao; and Russia today is not the USSR. Putin is an autocrat cut from the same bolt of cloth as the Romanov czars.

His cooperation is crucial to the peace of the world, the freedom of the Baltic States, an end to the Syrian civil war, tranquility in the Persian Gulf, and solving the North Korean crisis.

While our tectonic plates may rub against one another, we are natural allies. The Russia of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn and the Orthodox Church belongs with the West.

If America stumbles into a war with Russia that all our Cold War presidents avoided, the Russia baiters and Putin haters will be put in same circle of hell by history as the idiot war hawks of 1914 and the three blind men of Versailles in 1919.

 

Russia sees growing acceptance of Assad as key to Syria talks

July 15, 2017

by Tom Miles

Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N.-led Syria talks have a chance of making progress because demands for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad have receded, Russia’s ambassador in Geneva, Alexei Borodavkin, told reporters on Saturday.

The seventh round of talks, which ended on Friday, had produced positive results, especially a “correction” in the approach of the main opposition delegation, the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee, he said.

“The essence of this correction is that during this round the opposition never once demanded the immediate resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and the legitimate Syrian government.”

The HNC and its backers in Western and Gulf capitals had realized that peace needed to come first, and then political reforms could be negotiated, he said.

“Assad must go” was long the mantra of the HNC and its international backers, a call flatly rejected by Russia, which is widely seen as holding the balance of power in Syria because of its military involvement and alliance with Assad.

But over the past year the opposition suffered military defeats at the hands of forces loyal to Assad, and neither U.S. President Donald Trump nor French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for his immediate ouster.

Assad’s negotiators at the U.N. talks have avoided discussion of any kind of political transition, preferring to focus on the fight against terrorism.

They have not yet had to negotiate directly with the opposition because there is no unified delegation to meet them, since the HNC and two other groups, known as the Cairo and Moscow platforms, all claim to represent the opposition.

In the seven rounds so far, U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura has met each side separately, a laboriously choreographed negotiation that has succeeded only in deciding what to discuss: a new constitution, reformed governance, fresh elections and fighting terrorism.

The three opposition delegations’ leaders have been meeting to try to find common ground, raising hopes of direct talks at the next round in September.

Borodavkin said the success of such a unified delegation would depend on its willingness to compromise with Assad’s team.

“If they will be ready to make deals with the government delegation, that is one thing. If they again slide into… ultimatums and preconditions that are not realistic, then this will not fly. This will lead the negotiations, be it direct or indirect, into a deadlock.”

He also called for wider opposition representation, citing the Kurds as a striking example, since they were Syrian citizens with their own political and military influence.

But he said it was up to de Mistura to decide how and when to incorporate them in the peace process.

Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Ros Russell

 

 

No victory for democracy in Turkey

Turkey has changed dramatically in the year since its failed military coup. But it is a change that began much earlier in the country, says Rainer Hermann of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

July 15, 2017

DW

The way in which Turkey is commemorating events shows just how far it has distanced itself from Europe. This weekend, Turkish leaders will stage a pompous mass rally of the sort that one usually only sees in people’s republics, when it commemorates the first anniversary of last year’s failed military coup. It is designed to celebrate “the victory of democracy” at the same time the country is divorcing itself from that ideal.

Everything in this new state is directed toward President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Since that fateful night, he has styled himself as the hero that re-established Turkey by crushing the coup.

Replacing Ataturk’s Republic

Although Turks have regularly re-elected Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) since 2002, they had consistently rejected Erdogan’s “New Turkey” project. The idea called for a presidential system aimed at replacing Turkey’s parliamentary democracy. Then, one year ago, the failed coup provided the momentum needed to replace Ataturk’s Republic with Erdogan’s Republic.

The first republic was an imperfect democracy but the new one is neither free nor democratic. It is based on the myth of the “nation” gathered around Erdogan. Anyone who criticizes Erdogan or his religious conservative agenda is labeled an enemy of that “nation.” Turkey’s state of emergency has made it easy to stigmatize such critics and dissidents as “terrorists” and to persecute them. Firings and arrests have snowballed since the attempted coup. But they began back in 2014, as a reaction to corruption investigations focused on Erdogan’s sphere of influence. Lists of names were compiled back then, now those same people are the ones being fired and jailed.

Hope for a new opposition

Early on, opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) called last year’s event a “controlled coup.” He claims that Erdogan had information about plans for the coup and had control over it – nevertheless he decided to let it be carried out. Kilicdaroglu’s “Justice March,” which proceeded from Ankara to Istanbul over the last few weeks, will not topple Erdogan, but it does provide some hope.

For years the CHP was Turkey’s encrusted state party – now it is redefining itself as an anti-establishment party fighting the new corrupt state party, the AKP. Erdogan has forcefully shown the CHP where its limits are. Recently Kilicdaroglu’s deputy was sentenced to 25 years in prison. It is painfully obvious that Turkish leaders are not interested in “the victory of democracy.” Not this weekend, nor any time thereafter.

 

Turkey sacks more than 7,000 civil servants one year on from failed coup

Total number of state employees dismissed for alleged terror links reaches 110,000 as president prepares to lead ‘national unity marches’

July 15, 2017

AP

Turkish authorities have sacked nearly 7,400 civil servants for alleged links to terror groups on the eve of the country’s first anniversary of last year’s failed coup attempt.

Thousands are expected to turn out for “national unity marches” in Istanbul and Ankara over the weekend, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will unveil the Martyrs’ Memorial on an iconic Istanbul bridge to remember those who died opposing the coup.

“It has been exactly one year since Turkey’s darkest and longest night was transformed into a bright day, since an enemy occupation turned into the people’s legend,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Saturday in a special parliamentary session attended by Erdogan.

Turkish soldiers attempted to overthrow Erdoğan’s government using tanks, warplanes and helicopters on 15 July 2016. The coup plotters declared their seizure of power on the state broadcaster, bombed the country’s parliament and other key locations, and raided a resort on the Aegean where Erdoğan had been holidaying. But the Turkish president had already left and the coup attempt was eventually put down by civilians and security forces.

Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, used the first anniversary of Turkey’s failed coup to warn that any attempt to undermine democracy in one of the bloc’s was “unacceptable”.

Stoltenberg paid homage to about 250 people who lost their lives resisting the failed attempt, praising the Turkish people who took to the streets and “stood up against this heinous act in defence of its elected government and democratic institutions”.

He said added: “(I) still remember the shock I felt seeing the damage inflicted at the parliament building by the bombardments of the coup plotters.”

The Bosphorus Bridge, now called the 15 July Martyrs’ Bridge, was the scene of clashes between civilians and soldiers in tanks. Some 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured across Turkey. 35 coup plotters were also killed.

Yıldırım thanked the thousands of people who heeded a call by the president to flood the streets and resist the coup.

“We are able to come together again here today because of our 250 heroic martyrs, 2,193 heroic veterans and the great Turkish people. Your country is grateful to you,” Yıldırım said.

In the aftermath of the coup attempt, Turkey declared a state of emergency that has been in place for a year, which has allowed the government to rule by decrees and dismiss tens of thousands of people. More than 50,000 people have also been arrested for alleged links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is blamed for orchestrating the failed coup, and operating other terror groups. Gülen has denied the allegations.

The latest decree published on Friday evening sacked 7,395 state employees including teachers, academics, military and police officers, bringing the number of the dismissed to more than 110,000. The government calls the crackdown necessary to purge state institutions of those linked to Gülen, but critics say the dismissals are arbitrary and paths to recourse severely curtailed.

15 July has been declared a national holiday.

Public transportation in Istanbul and Ankara is free over the weekend, and bus destination signs were displaying messages of congratulations.

As on the night of the coup attempt, mosques across Turkey will simultaneously recite a verse, usually read before Friday prayers, to alert and invite Muslims to the streets.

 The Alt-Right Movement Behind Trump’s Presidency

They helped him get elected, and now the alt-right movement is flourishing under Donald Trump’s presidency. Their recipe: racism, Islamophobia, sexism and chauvinism packaged in a hypocritical veneer of hipster cool.

July 14, 2017

by Philipp Oehmke

DER SPIEGEL

Of course he’s staying in a Trump hotel – if only for the message it sends. In his room on the 35th floor of the Trump Soho in New York City, Milo Yiannopoulos is sitting in front of his laptop, making a few final changes to his speech.

It’s a Friday morning in late May, a few days after an Islamist terrorist killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. In two hours, Yiannopoulos will give one of his now-infamous, mockery-filled speeches outside the City University of New York on 42nd Street.

This time, a Muslim woman named Linda Sarsour will be the target of his attack. Yiannopoulos didn’t know who the woman was until recently when he learned that Sarsour was scheduled to be the commencement speaker at the University’s graduation ceremony the following week. A crude coalition of orthodox Zionists, anti-Islam activists and Trump fans announced a rally to protest Sarsour’s speaking engagement — and Yiannopoulos, who was forced to resign from the radical right-wing website Breitbart in February after allegedly making statements supporting pedophilia, is anxious to finally return to the spotlight.

And he’ll do so with this hate-filled tirade against a woman who meant nothing to him until recently.

But it’s raining heavily outside. It’s even hard to see Manhattan’s skyline through the rain from his 35th-floor window. The new, brown suede Gucci boots will be ruined.

Yiannopoulos has brought along Sebastian, his stylist, who has dragged two suitcases filled with outfits and several Gucci shopping bags into the hotel room. Clothes are strewn around the room and on the bed, and you have to be careful not to step on one of his pairs of Louis Vuitton glasses.

“No problem,” says Yiannopoulos, “they’re from last season, anyway.”

Joining him in his hotel room this morning are his speechwriters and advisers, Chadwick Moore and Matthew Perdie, who are pacing back and forth behind Yiannopoulos, proposing ideas for the speech. To their great amusement, they have just discovered that Sarsour, the last name of the Muslim commencement speaker, apparently translates as “cockroach” in Arabic. Huge laughs. We can definitely work with that, says Yiannopoulos.

A young man is lying on the bed, covered in a blanket, reading a book called “The Plant Paradox,” which claims that healthy food is fake news and is actually harmful.

A man named Xavier, who served with the U.S. Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan for 14 years, is leaning against the wall near the door, his tattooed forearms crossed in front of his chest. He is wearing the tag of a fellow soldier killed in Iraq on a wristband. Yiannopoulos is wearing pearl bracelets.

Xavier is part of his security team, says Yiannopoulos. Or at least until the Trump administration deports him – an allusion to the bodyguard’s Mexican first name. Everyone laughs – except Xavier.

A Cool Right-Wing Movement?

Yiannopoulos makes a lot of jokes like this. It’s the same tone he uses in his speech for the protest rally. He continues to type away at his laptop, clearly in good spirits. “We all agree that Linda is a Sharia-loving, terrorist-embracing, Jew-hating, ticking time bomb of progressive horror. I’ll call her Linda,” Yiannopoulos says, pausing for a moment to give his speechwriters a knowing glance, “because her surname Sarsour is Arabic for cockroach and you know how I just hate to be disrespectful.”

Cheers in the hotel room. Yiannopoulos crows: “These things always come to my mind just two hours before a speech!”

At this moment on the 35th floor of the Trump Hotel, it seems hard to imagine that this jovial, strikingly attractive, expensively dressed 33-year-old man, with a German mother and a Greek father, who grew up in the English county of Kent, is considered one of the country’s most dangerous radical right-wing agitators.

On the other hand, this is often the case with agitators. It’s especially applicable to the new alt-right movement in the United States, which has been growing steadily since the election of Donald Trump. The term “alt” is short for “alternative.” Some also call it the “new right” or the “cool right.” A cool right-wing movement? Right-wing movements have been a lot of things since the end of World War II, but never cool. There have been old Nazis and neo-Nazis, boorish members of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany and unrepentant skinheads but a broader radical right-wing counterculture has never existed. Cool protest movements were always on the left.

Alt-right is more of a convenient term than a precise political designation. It is a catch-all phrase for opponents of the left-wing culture of political correctness, Trump fanatics, chauvinists, social media trolls, anti-Islamists, immigration opponents, racists and neo-Nazis. What they have in common is that they feel more comfortable in virtual forums than in political parties. Strangely enough, the current president of the United States can be counted as part of the movement.

The alt-right tries to distinguish itself from the traditionally conservative, reactionary or fascist right-wing movements. It is often young, modern and even hip, anchored in pop and consumer culture and has a strong presence on Twitter and Instagram. It would be incorrect to define the alt-right as simply socially disadvantaged and frustrated members of the white working class, as Trump voters often are.

Yiannopoulos, for example, is a gay Briton who lives in Miami with his black boyfriend, whom he says he has just given a Tesla sports car, the status symbol of the liberal elite. He recently established Milo Inc. in Miami, which he hopes to turn into a right-wing media empire with its own book publishing company, YouTube channels, news websites and events. Yiannopoulos says that he raised $12 million (€10.5 million) in venture capital from conservative investors within a month.

Enabling Trump’s Presidency

It is an unbelievable sum and some in the alt-right community question have questioned the amount. On the other hand, Yiannopoulos has supposedly long been a favorite of Robert Mercer, a computer scientist, hedge fund manager and billionaire believed to be the secret mastermind behind the Trump presidency. Mercer, who keeps a low public profile, has not only invested $10 million in Breitbart, but also funded Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm that scanned voter profiles for Trump. Apparently he knew early on that Hillary Clinton could not win the election. And it was reportedly Mercer who bankrolled Yiannopoulos’s scandalous tour of several universities last summer. Yiannopoulos himself does not comment on his investors, but it appears likely that Mercer provided a large share of the capital for Milo Inc.

There is, after all, a great desire for a strong, new platform for the alt-right, particularly now that the most effective voices of the right, Breitbart and Fox News, have recently shown signs of vulnerability.

Yiannopoulos himself worked at Breitbart until February. The right-wing website, once run by Stephen Bannon, who is now a senior advisor to Trump, played a large part in enabling Trump’s presidency and, until recently, it was the center of the alt-right movement. But Breitbart lost some of its influence when Bannon joined the Trump team and Fox News underwent an identity crisis when founder Roger Ailes and chief commentator Bill O’Reilly were forced to resign, both due to allegations of sexual harassment. There is plenty of room now for a new, multimedia alt-right network.

What Yiannopoulos has in common with both Trump and others in the alt-right movement is the conviction that the country’s leading media organizations — the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and NBC, to name a few — have a liberal bias and have joined forces with academic institutions to transform American society into a dictatorship of good taste, identity politics and minority rights.

The entanglement in this seemingly asymmetrical struggle, in which those on the right are at a disadvantage from the start, is used as justification for their brazen appearances. This too is a fundamentally right wing, but also fundamentally American, theme: the underdog fighting the system and taking the country back.

Donald Trump is an imperfect vehicle for this purpose, but the only one that was available, says Yiannopoulos. As such, Trump is essentially the president of the alt-right movement or at least this is how Bannon explained it to him. Yiannopoulos says that Bannon is perhaps the most intelligent person he has ever met.

A Solo Effort to Spread Rumors

The alt-right has everything a movement needs: its own echo chamber, primarily on the internet, its own symbols, myths, martyrs and stories and even its own vocabulary. It is the first protest movement that is taking full advantage of digital technology and one that would be inconceivable without the internet. One of its primary tactics, internet trolling, is the practice of insulting and provoking political enemies online until they lose their composure.

This is one reason that some of the alt-right protagonists have become huge stars in the shadow world of the internet while remaining relatively unknown to the general public. Or has anyone ever heard of Mike Cernovich?

No? Cernovich’s tweets are read more than 100 million times a month. During the election campaign, he mounted what was essentially a solo effort to spread rumors about Clinton’s supposedly concealed neurological condition from his suburban home south of Los Angeles.

Or Dave Rubin, whose internet talk show provides a platform for alt-right voices in a pseudo-credible setting. Another is Gavin McInnes, who founded the leftist Vice Magazine 20 years ago and was dubbed the godfather of the hipster movement. Today, he and his “Proud Boys” stand up for “Western chauvinist civilization,” defending it against Muslims, feminists and transsexuals. And then there is writer Bret Easton Ellis, author of classics like “Less Than Zero” and “American Psycho,” who uses his podcasts to furiously defend freedom of the arts and free speech against a victim culture of liberal disciples of political correctness, the so-called “social justice warriors.”

Three of these five men are gay. They lead modern lives that echo the free spirit of the late 1960s, lives that are only possible in a liberal, permissive society. So why do they want to destroy it?

Mike Cernovich says that we are at the beginning of the next stage of an information war. Conventional political conflicts – in legislatures and in the mainstream media – have lost their meaning. The only thing that counts today is the information war. Victory, by his definition, means taking advantage of the internet to shove the alt-right’s issues into the center of the echo chamber of political discourse.

For Cernovich, “waging war” means tweeting. It means disseminating videos on Periscope and YouTube, and having them appear in as many different contexts as possible. Very few people have figured this out so far, says Cernovich. Milo is one of them, he says, and he is another. And yet they are dismissed as trolls.

“The ideal troll,” writes Yiannopoulos in his new book “Dangerous,” “baits the target into a trap from which there is no escape without public embarrassment. It is an art beyond the grasp of mere mortals. It is part trickery and part viciousness.”

Cernovich runs his information war from a crowded study in his small house in a neighborhood where houses have the same floor plan and the roofs are covered with blue, glazed tiles. The view from his yard stretches across green hills to the Pacific sun behind them. It’s not the kind of place one pictures as a major source of disinformation on the internet. “No one pushes the narrative through like I do,” says Cernovich, opening his laptop.

He pulls up Twitter analytics, which shows that Cernovich’s account was visited 118 million times in the last 28 days. “I may not be more influential than the New York Times,” he says, “but I am more influential than any byline in the New York Times.”

An attorney in his late 30s, Cernovich has never really practiced law. He met his first wife in law school and while she went to work for Silicon Valley firms, he spent his time in bars and at the gym. The marriage didn’t last. Cernovich blames it on his wife’s feminist career ambitions. After she made a significant amount of money from a startup IPO, he may have received seven-figures in the divorce settlement.

After that, Cernovich began writing somewhat misogynist self-help books for men on topics such as how to awaken the gorilla inside you, how to overcome fears and become emotionally and physically strong, and how to get women to go to bed with you.

Cernovich has set up a camera connected to his cell phone on a platform in his office in preparation for sending out his daily video blog. But it’s a complicated day for him, a complicated day for the relationship between the alt-right world and its president. The previous evening, Trump ordered a military strike on an airfield operated by Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. The alt-right is in an uproar. The attack is an example of the “globalist and interventionist foreign policy” for which Cernovich had trolled Hillary Clinton for months. He thinks about how to twist the facts in his video blog so that everything starts making sense again.

Perhaps it’s the fault of Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Cernovich speculates. He paints Kushner as the primary adversary to the alt-right’s White House idol Stephen Bannon. Kushner, Cernovich says, is just a “basic bitch,” a term he uses for most women and for especially despicable men.

An Electrifying Speaker

Then he goes live, simultaneously on YouTube and Periscope, a sort of Twitter for video messages. Each of his roughly 74,000 Periscope followers receives the following message on their mobile phone: “Mike Cernovich is live: The Real Story on Jared Kushner.”

They see a man in front of vomit-green wallpaper; Cernovich has unbuttoned the top three buttons of his shirt, revealing his chest hair.

Some 984 viewers begin watching the video blog within the first 20 seconds. His viewership goes up to 2,593 after a minute and reaches 35,979 by the end of the broadcast. The viewers comment on Cernovich’s address in real time in the form of countless short text messages, which scroll across the screen: @CrackAman writes: “Who are we fighting today, Mike?”

Cernovich has learned how to create artificial online avalanches day after day and draw attention from the mainstream media. Eventually, a news website will pick up his story, simply because it’s suddenly everywhere on the internet, and then a broadcaster might run the story. Sometimes, stuff Cernovich sets in motion even makes it into the New York Times or the Washington Post.

As he was pushing the theory during the campaign that Hillary Clinton suffered from a severe neurological disorder that the mainstream press was trying to cover up, he continually created new memes. Memes are funny or macabre images used to illustrate a specific statement or point of view that spread virally in social networks. They have the power to convey an entire story or an entire set of associations all at once. A classic meme, for example, was #HillaryZombie, a small photomontage in which Clinton the undead was made to look like someone who refused to disappear from the political scene. The meme was tweeted millions of times during the campaign.

By the time Clinton really did collapse for a brief moment at a 9/11 memorial event before the election, Cernovich had already been pounding home the message of her alleged illness for so long, that her brief health scare seemed not like an isolated incident, but as proof of a deeper health problem.

Nothing But a Career Strategy?

The most famous meme of the alt-right movement, of course, is the image of a green frog with a perverse look on its face. The frog’s name is Pepe. Sometimes it appears with a Donald Trump hairstyle, sometimes wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap and sometimes dressed in a Nazi uniform.

On this day, Cernovich has to end his broadcast early. His five-month-old daughter Cyra is wailing downstairs. Cernovich’s second wife is of Persian descent and his in-laws, who live around the corner in a house with a swimming pool, are Muslim. Cernovich appears to be a good and loving father and he says as long as “Cyra doesn’t turn into a basic bitch,” they will undoubtedly get along fine. His wife seems to hope that the things her husband says in public are nothing but a career strategy.

But is it enough to make a living? Cernovich claims that he makes his money on the sale of his books. “Gorilla Mindset,” his self-help book for men with self-confidence issues, is ranked around 5,000 on Amazon. Perhaps he also lives off of the divorce settlement from his ex-wife, though that wouldn’t be particularly gorilla mindset-esque.

Of course, Cernovich also appears on Patreon. Patreon is a website that stars of the alt-right movement increasingly use to make money, a sort of Spotify for alt-right content. As a “patron,” subscribers to Patreon can pay for specific content by an artist, journalist or comedian.

Customers who pay $15 for Cernovich’s “High Impact Journalism” on Patreon receive both his video blogs and “exclusive online chats” with him or “members of my media team,” which apparently consists of his wife and his daughter. Cernovich currently has 316 patrons on Patreon, earning him $5,700 a month.

President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., has described Cernovich in a tweet as a true investigative journalist. When Cernovich recently accused one of former President Barack Obama’s national security advisors of betraying official secrets, Trump Jr. tweeted about Cernovich: “In a long gone time of unbiased journalism he’d win the Pulitzer, but not today!”

When it comes to simulating serious journalism, feigning reach and asserting influence, alt-right activists are masters. It’s like the court jester tearing the book of wisdom from the philosopher’s hands and running away with it. Someone like Cernovich, who used the hashtag #Pizzagate to claim that the Clintons were running a child prostitution ring from a Washington pizzeria, has simply flipped the accusations of fake news – with backing from the White House, indeed, from the president himself.

Trump, for his part, derives portions of his worldview from alt-right websites. The New York Times recently reported that there was a printout of an article from GotNews, the website belonging to radical right-wing internet troll Charles Johnson, on Trump’s desk. And Cernovich has been heading to Washington more often recently to attend press conferences at the White House. He belongs now.

Dave Rubin, with the perfect face of a news anchor, is the biggest illusionist associated with the alt-right movement. He describes himself as a liberal who just happens to have a few problems with his fellow liberals at the moment.

On the surface, his life looks like that of a model progressive. He lives in a modernist house made of exposed concrete, glass and Scandinavian wood. Inside, an artist friend is at work on a painting on a large canvas. There are framed covers of the New Yorker on the wall in the foyer. This is where Rubin lives with his husband David, who is making coffee with an Italian coffeemaker. From a studio in his converted two-car garage, Rubin broadcasts his “Rubin Report,” in which he, with affected genuine curiosity, often provides other alt-right figures with talking points in the form of suggestive questions.

He has two Muslim guests on his show today. Rubin says he is very interested in their view of Trump, especially now, in light of the travel ban for citizens of several predominantly Muslim countries. But it soon becomes apparent that the two guests, an Egyptian woman named Yasmine Mohammed and Faisal Said al-Mutar from Iraq, are ex-Muslims – and that they despise Islam.

And while the entire setting suggests that this is an ordinary talk show, Rubin has Mohammed explain how bad Islam is. She claims that she was “married to al-Qaida” against her will.

Mutar, the Iraqi, clearly enjoys the fact that for him, the normal boundaries of political correctness have been suspended and that he, as a hater of Islam, has a voice that right-wing America loves to hear.

Like Cernovich’s video blog, Rubin’s talk show is also available on Patreon. Rubin earns $28,070 a month through the platform and has 4,374 subscribers.

Roots in ‘Gamergate’

That evening, he moderates an event at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, at the invitation of the right-wing student organization Young Americans for Liberty and the conservative think tank, Ayn Rand Institute. The USC campus is an oasis in the middle of Los Angeles, a place that exudes affluence, education and culture. The fury of the angry white lower class feels far away. But the auditorium is filled to capacity and there are two armed security guards.

The unifying element in the auditorium is conspiratorial hypocrisy. Rubin, the moderator, says: “So this is supposed to be an alt-right meeting. Well, looks quite diverse for that.”

At the podium, Rubin is conversing with Colin Moriarty, a former moderator of an online game community. The man’s claim to fame is that on International Women’s Day, he tweeted: “Ah. Peace and Quiet. #ADayWithoutAWoman.”

He was subsequently forced to leave the company he had founded with three friends, which made him a martyr and a hero of the anti-feminism wing of the alt-right. Today he runs a video blog filled with his opinions on politics and history instead of computer games. His monthly Patreon income: $32,428.

The online computer gaming community is an important point of origin for the alt-right. It was there, long before Trump’s rise to prominence, that the minor culture war, known as “Gamergate,” began three years ago – a struggle that the alt-right fights on a large scale today. Put simply, it was the uprising of pale, pimpled computer gamers, who are primarily interested in tits and ass, against a growing number of women in the gaming world and against a growing level of diversity in general. Female programmers were trolled and harassed to the point that the FBI eventually launched an investigation. Many of the channels and memes the alt-right uses today were established at the time, as was much of the vocabulary, such as the term “social justice warrior,” a derogatory expression for liberal activists.

This entire background was reflected in Moriarty’s tweet. But Moriarty acts as if there were no such relationship and he pleads innocence in the role of a fighter for free speech, describing his tweet as nothing but a joke. Rubin, too, wants to be seen as a free speech advocate. That’s why he keeps stressing that not just alt-right figures, but all sorts of people have been guests on his show.

Later, when the speakers take questions from the audience, harmless looking students stand behind microphones and rattle off all the codes of the alt-right movement. They talk about Pepe the Frog or about Kekistan, a fictitious, proto-fascist country, and their biggest greivance is that in the current liberal society, nothing can be said anymore. Suddenly it all begins to feel a little ominous.

Xavier, the former Marine, announces that there are two Chevrolet Suburbans waiting for Yiannopoulos downstairs, in front of the Trump Hotel Soho in New York. The route has been mapped out militarily, he says, and the vehicles are ready for the trip to 42nd Street, where the crowds are waiting. Despite the rain, a few hundred counter-demonstrators have turned up. Yiannopoulos sees this as a good sign.

“If I didn’t show up with a bunch of fucking Navy Seals wherever I go, they would kill me,” he says. Xavier protests that he was a Marine, not a Navy Seal.

“Milo,” the brand, is based on triggering the outrage of the liberal left. That’s the business model. Twitter banned Yiannopoulos from the platform for life after he harassed African-American actress Leslie Jones so aggressively that she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

When I later ask Yiannopoulos, during a brief respite from the action, whether he doesn’t just do what he does because of the turmoil he expects to unleash and whether his appearances would be somehow pointless without the protests, he becomes angry.

As a comfortable reporter, he says, it is probably hard to imagine what it feels like when your own physical safety is constantly being threatened. “People attending my events have even been shot at!” he exclaims.

He gets into one of the SUVs. Two more of the black vehicles follow. “We’ll be driving up like Al Gore at a climate summit,” says Yiannopoulos, clearly enjoying his own joke.

Toolbox of Provocations

Thus far, Yiannopoulos has derived his political mindset from what is essentially a pop culture argument: When the left-wing establishment in the Western world was setting the tone, it was suddenly subversive and cool to be on the right, just as it was cool to be a leftist in the 1960s. In his book “Dangerous,” published on July 4 by his newly founded Milo Inc. publishing company, he writes about the influences of his youth. “I spent my youth in drug-saturated nightclubs in London, losing my virginity in interracial vesomes with drag queens, experimenting with every depraved form of escapism I could find. And I listened to a lot of Mariah Carey, Marilyn Manson and Rage Against the Machine. I also studied music theory, Schopenhauer, and Wittgenstein, and I read Margaret Thatcher biographies, shot my dad’s guns, and dreamt of meeting George W. Bush. (I did later in life, but by then he wasn’t right-wing enough for me.)”

The book, though only available by advance order before publication, had reached the number one spot on Amazon in the United States in early June. It is currently number four on the New York Times bestseller list.

Last summer, he took his toolbox of provocations to appearances at a number of elite universities, the nerve centers of liberal American culture. At each stop, he attracted furious, screaming protesters. There were almost always riots and, on one occasion, gunshots were in fact fired. In a world that defines itself through images on social networks, Yiannopoulos has always been a winner. He was the victim of an angry mob that was trying to deprive him of his right to free speech and he was able to cry foul each time.

Unfortunately, this is also the problem at today’s rally. Yiannopoulos has discovered that the objective of the rally is to prevent Sarsour from giving her commencement speech – a problem given that he constantly claims about his own free-speech rights being denied. Somehow, he has to resolve this contradiction in his speech.

In the car on the drive over, Yiannopoulos reworks the text.

He adds that although he opposes Sarsour, he has nothing against her speaking at the university. On the contrary, he writes, he would even pay her for it because her stupidity amuses him. He writes that he would pay her $1,000 or – and Yiannopoulos is laughing again – however many goats that is in her currency.

He watches a livestream of the protest rally on his mobile phone. The speaker ahead of him is already on. The counter-demonstrators are whistling and shouting.

“If they’re making such a fuss about someone I’ve never heard of, then we’re good,” he says.

An Afternoon of Shopping

The ex-Marine suggests a bulletproof vest. Yiannopoulos thinks about it for a moment, but then decides against it, saying it will ruin his outfit. Someone hands him a bottle of chilled Chardonnay. Yiannopoulos drinks half the bottle in large gulps.

Having arrived at the rally, Yiannopoulos opens his Trump Hotel umbrella and walks to a small stage with his entourage of stylists and advisers, flanked by three former Navy Seals, who are actually ex-Marines.

He looks satisfied as he gazes down at his adversaries in black hoodies, who are standing behind a police barrier, screaming and shouting. Like dogs in a cage, says Yiannopoulos, as if they would lunge at him at any moment. Directly in front of him, separated from the counter-protestors by another barrier, are his fans. Some are wearing motorcycle helmets and carrying protective shields and sticks.

The “Based Stickman” is there too. An almost mythical warrior of the alt-right world, he is famous for turning up at demonstrations dressed in something resembling armor and carrying a large club. Everyone there is familiar with the video of the Based Stickman hitting an Antifa demonstrator in the head with his stick at the University of California at Berkeley a few weeks earlier.

While the violence of the alt-right has been mainly limited to internet trolling in recent years, it now looks as though the trolls have left the web and are now standing on 42nd Street in downtown Manhattan, with their ugly grimaces and American flags, clad in helmets and armor.

And Milo Yiannopoulos’s speech? There he is standing behind the podium with his Trump umbrella. No one can understand a single word he says. The noise from the crowd drowns out all the jokes that were so carefully conceived in the hotel room. After 20 minutes, the Seals/Marines take Yiannopoulos back across the street to the hotel. Oddly enough, he seems very satisfied. He drinks the rest of the bottle of wine. And now he wants to get rid of everyone except his closest associates and spend the rest of the afternoon shopping.

The next day, back in Miami, where he rents a villa that serves as the headquarters of Milo Inc., Yiannopoulos sends a text message with a link to a New York Times article about the protest rally. In the article, the paper writes: “At the protest, even Mr. Yiannopoulos briefly acknowledged Ms. Sarsour’s right to speak, before making a racially tinged joke about her getting paid in goats.”

In the text message, Yiannopoulos writes in reference to the link: “I can make them print anything.”

He writes another text message a minute later. It simply says: “Hahahaha.”

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

 

America’s Official Antisemitism

July 15, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

The institution of the Nuremberg racial laws in 1936 and the pogroms that swept Germany in November of 1938, made it clearly evident to the world that Hitler was determined to drive the Jews out of Germany. There was no program or intention in Germany then to put them into concentration camps because these camps were designed solely for political dissidents and common criminals. The addition of the 500,000 Jews living in Germany at that time would have put an intolerable strain on the camp system. It was the general idea that there should be a new diaspora, a dispersing of the Jews. But the problem facing the Germans, aside from international outrage engendered by their program of harassment and expulsion, was that no other country wanted to accept the Jewish refugees. Many of these originated in Russia and had fled into what was then the Grand Duchy of Poland when the Imperial Russian government started its great pogroms at the end of the nineteenth century.

When Poland gained its independence from Russia after the First World War, the new Polish head of state, Marshal Pilsudski, strongly encouraged as many of the five million Jewish residents of his country to leave it as quickly as possible. The great bulk of these escaped into what was then a very tolerant Germany only to encounter, after 1933, the political programs of Adolf Hitler.

Once it became evident to the Jewish community of Germany that the persecutions would nor cease, many fled the country, some legally and some illegally. A number went to Switzerland, which took in about fifty thousand, and many others went to France, Belgium and Holland, while a very few managed to go to England and America. The British initially permitted immigration to Palestine, a territory they had controlled since the end of the First World War, but in 1939, when Heinrich Müller, Gestapo head,  took over the Jewish diaspora, the Arabs of that territory were in a state of open revolt against the British, in part because of the influx of Jews. The British then curtailed any Jewish immigration and threatened to sink any refugee boats full of Jewish refugees headed for Palestine.

France was overwhelmed with a quarter million refugees from the recently ended Spanish Civil War and declared that they would accept no more refugees. The desperate Jews trickled in small numbers to South America and such remote places as Shanghai, the foreign business center of a China that was engaged in a major war with the Japanese. When that city fell to the Japanese Army, Shanghai was cut off as a haven for any further refugees.

‘The United States had a reputation as a haven for the persecuted of Europe, but this reputation was about to be irremediably tarnished through the actions of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and Breckenridge Long, one of the highest officials of the U.S. Department of State.

When confronted with a mass of frightened German (and Austrian) Jews seeking entrance into the United States, Roosevelt at first attempted to find some other area in the world that would accept a large number of them. The President, through the Department of State, suggested Ethiopia as a country into which “refugees could be admitted in almost unlimited numbers,” while the Germans recommended Madagascar. Mussolini felt that Siberia had its attractions and Roosevelt then decided that central Africa might be a better choice. The British suggested the jungle areas of South America or perhaps Venezuela could be an “excellent settlement area for unwanted German Jews.” Needless to say, the German Jews had no great interest in the jungles and unpopulated, remote areas of the world, and as middle-class professionals and businessmen, preferred to go to the United States since the rest of civilized Europe plainly did not want anything to do with them.

In 1938, the immigration quota from Germany was 25,957. This figure reflected German immigrants, not Jewish, and the question put to the State Department was how many of the German quota would be Jews. This matter was never officially resolved because it suited the Department of State not to do so.

Breckenridge Long, the official in the State Department who oversaw immigration, was strongly xenophobic, disliked immigrants from countries that were not Northern European Protestant in origin, and most especially detested Jews. In these attitudes, Long was entirely in harmony with the American East Coast establishment which felt exactly as he did.

The United States was still suffering from the effects of the Depression that had begun in 1929 and had erupted again in 1938. In times of economic travail, the minorities always suffer and this maxim was certainly true from 1938 onwards. While Roosevelt had opened his administration to Jews, something that had never happened before, he nevertheless had no interest in assisting the Jews of Europe in entering the United States. The President was a man of his age and of his milieu, and anti-Semitism in America was not violent as it was in Germany, but was certainly evident and very persistent in American society.

After the pogroms of Crystal Night, Roosevelt publicly expressed outrage to the German government about the blatant mistreatment of the Jews. But in private, he agreed with the stringent boycott of Germany and her exports by his friend Samuel Untermeyer and powerful members of the American Jewish community, who had expressed their anger against Hitler for a number of years before the 1938 incidents. But when it became evident that the United States was the intended goal of the Jews of Germany, Roosevelt balked. Verbal outrage and high-sounding morality was one thing, but an influx o f Jews was quite something else. Even after Crystal Night, American public opinion was strongly opposed to any loosening of the very restrictive 1924 immigration act, and, in fact this opposition rose from 70 percent to 83 percent following the German pogroms.

If nothing else, Roosevelt was a thoroughly pragmatic and coldly realistic politician. Even though he personally enjoyed considerable support from America‘s Jewish community, he realized that the Jews alone could not keep him in office so he quickly pandered to the exclusionist view of the overwhelming bulk of his electorate.

His personal views were certainly reflected in the elitist attitudes of his career diplomats. In 1938, after Mussolini had promulgated some anti-Semitic laws. Roosevelt wrote to his Ambassador in Rome, “What a plight the unfortunate Jews are in. It gives them little comfort to remind them that they have been ‘on the run’ for about four thousand years.”

In 1942, after the war had been raging for three years and there was no doubt that all of Europe’s Jews were being rounded up and put into detention camps, Roosevelt remarked to Leo Crowley, an Irish-American Catholic who was his Custodian of Alien Property, and Henry Morgenthau, Jr., his Secretary of the Treasury, “ Leo, you know this is a Protestant country, and the Catholics and Jews are here on sufferance. It is up to both of you to go along with anything that I want at this time.”

In a 1943 trans-Atlantic scrambled telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Roosevelt said. “Of course I have pity on the Jews, but we simply don’t want them over here. No one wants them here. You don’t want them in Palestine and neither do the Arabs. Could we not send them to some place like South America?” to which Churchill replied, “Certainly that could be done, but I cannot countenance shipping hundreds of thousands of perfectly obnoxious Polish Jews to our territories.”

In May of 1939, Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo, had arranged with the Hamburg-Amerika shipping line to charter one of their passenger ships, the SS St. Louis, to transport a group of 936 German Jews to Cuba. Müller had purchased landing permits from the Cuban government and secured passports for the Jews, but shortly after the ship sailed on May 13, the U.S. Department of State, in the person of Breckenridge Long, who was acting on the specific orders of President Roosevelt, requested that the Cuban government immediately cancel all of these landing permits. Neither he nor the President wanted that many unwelcome Jews so close to America, a country which, they reasoned, the refugees would then wish to move to. Never adverse to making money, the Cubans, in defiance of the American President, claimed they would permit the Jews to land if they would renegotiate their fees and pay an additional $500, plus Cuban legal fees per person. Since the homeless refugees had spent all their money on the voyage and on their original landing fees, only twenty two of them were able to raise the necessary cash. The others, and the Captain of the St. Louis, were ordered out of Cuban waters at once. The Captain, Gustav Schröder, knowing that taking his passengers back to Germany guaranteed that they would be imprisoned, made every effort to land them at an American port. But Roosevelt ordered out the American Coast Guard which followed the ship to prevent any of the refugees from attempting to swim ashore.

In America, many Jewish groups, including the influential Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, petitioned official Washington, and the President, to relent. They pointed out that of the 936 passengers, 734 had U.S. immigration-quota permits, but Roosevelt and Long would not move an inch and the St. Louis had to sail hack to Europe. They would not even accept the children among the passengers.

Most of the passengers were landed in countries other than Germany, which only postponed their fate by a few months. When the 1940 campaign in France ended, the refugees there were in the same situation again.

Prior to this, immediately after the Crystal Night pogroms, the British government had agreed to relinquish their own quota of 65,000 British immigrants to America in favor of the Jews, but again Long rejected this out of hand. Tired of the complaints of the American Jewish community, Roosevelt discussed the possibility of “establishing Jewish colonies on uninhabited or sparsely inhabited good agricultural land,” hut of course, not in the United States. This idea came to nothing because no country possessing such land had any interest in permitting the creation of Jewish colonies.

A year later, the ship SS Quanza from Portugal with a manifest of eighty Jewish refugees landed at Norfolk, Virginia. The passengers had no valid papers and had been summarily rejected by both Mexico and Nicaragua. Mrs. Roosevelt exerted her influence and sent down the head of the President’s Advisory Committee on Political Refugees to see that the refugees would be accepted. This act incurred the wrath of Long who in this case, at least, had been overruled by higher authority.

A few months before the outbreak of war in Europe, Roosevelt blocked a plan to permit the $50 million Congressional appropriation for the American Red Cross to spend $1 million of it to aid for the transportation of refugee children from Europe. Although some of his closest aides supported this bill, Roosevelt blocked it and it died. However, he did donate $250 to a U.S. charity to assist in the emigration of the children of one Jewish family, a matter that had been pressed on him by a cousin.

Roosevelt’s man in the State Department, Breckenridge Long, did everything in his power to prevent the entrance of any “undesirable” refugees into the United States, and this term encompassed almost anyone from Eastern Europe. He detested Jews and did not wish this country to be contaminated by a group of people whom he viewed as impossible to assimilate.

Long instructed U.S. Embassies and consulates throughout Europe to block any attempt at emigration by European Jews to America, stalling the process by erecting as many bureaucratic barriers as possible. When Interior Secretary Harold Ickes attempted to issue permits for 12,000 refugees to land in the Virgin Islands, which his agency controlled, and then permit them to immigrate to the United States, Long went to the President and quickly convinced him to block the Ickes program, which Roosevelt promptly did.

In 1944, after the collapse of the Horthy regime in Hungary and the installation of a right-wing government, the SS was asked to deport all the Jews from Budapest. A year before, a group was formed in Hungary called Waadah, short for Waddat Ezra Vö-Hazzalah Bo-Budapest or Jewish Rescue Committee, Budapest. The purpose of this group was to facilitate the escape of Jews from Germany and Eastern Europe to Palestine.

With the fall of Horthy, who was not viewed as an enemy of the Jews, and the arrival of the SS in the capital, the leaders of Waadah commenced negotiations with Himmler’s representatives with a view to buying the freedom for many Jews. They played on Himmler’s increasing interest in establishing his credentials with the Allies and finally got him to agree to abandon his deportation plans for Hungarian Jews in return for 10,000 military trucks and other supplies, including tea and coffee. Adolf Eichmann, head of Muller’s deportation department, asked Joel Brand, a Budapest businessman and founding member of Waadah, to take these proposals to Istanbul in neutral Turkey and commence negotiations with the World Jewish Organization.

As a token of good faith, Eichmann stated that if the Allies were willing to even consider this exchange, they would at once release 100,000 Jewish prisoners from the concentration camps. Armed with this information, Brand took a train to Istanbul where he was unable to convince the Jewish groups to support the trade. On his way to address the British officials in Palestine, he was arrested in Syria by British military police and flown eventually to Cairo, Egypt, where he was put in jail and held incommunicado.

Brand eventually was brought before Lord Moyne, the British Resident Minister in the Middle East. He was informed by Moyne that neither the Jewish groups nor the Allies would consider negotiating with Himmler, and that the “Jews-for Trucks” program was impossible to implement. When the frantic Brand told Moyne that all the Allies had to do was, at least, agree in principle and talk with German representatives in neutral Switzerland, Moyne refused.

Brand said that if the Allies agreed to meet with Himmler’s representatives, even if it was understood that nothing would come of the meetings, 100,000 Jews would be released from the concentration camps and sent to whatever country the Allies wished. Moyne declined to even consider this saying, “Whatever would we do with a hundred thousand Jews?”

Following the collapse of his project, Himmler ordered the deportation of all the Jews of Budapest. Instead of releasing what Himmler expected would be all the Jews in his camps, the camps increased their Jewish populations by 300,000.

In addition to refusing to permit refugee Jews into the United States, Roosevelt had earlier enriched the national coffers by ordering all Swiss assets held in their American branches frozen. On June 14, 1941, all such assets were taken over by the American government. The prudent Swiss had moved deposits to what they felt was the safety of the United States when war broke out in 1939. These deposits were put into Swiss hanks by anti-Nazi and Jewish individuals prior to the war, and the Swiss felt with some justification, that these funds could be taken if and when the Germans invaded Switzerland.

The foresight of the Swiss in protecting vulnerable monies was negated by Roosevelt‘s order, and over $229 million of Jewish assets disappeared into U.S. custody along with millions more from other sources. Some of this money, approximately $500,000 was eventually returned after the war. The rest was kept by the U.S. Treasury on the grounds that, as accounts which had been dormant for five years, they were deemed abandoned. hence passing irrevocably to the U.S. government. A significant number of confiscated bonds ended up in the hands of Roosevelt Administration official, Jesse Jones and a smaller number in the hands of one of Roosevelt’s sons.

One would ask the question that if no one was able to access his accounts during the five years the Treasury Department held them, how could they ethically be considered abandoned? The answer, quite obviously, lies in the amount of money, coupled with what obviously was a total lack of official U.S. interest in the welfare of European Jews. While there was disinterest in assisting these unfortunate Jews, there was no lack of interest in acquiring their money

After the war, Swiss accounts which could be proved not to be of “Nazi origins” were returned, but none of the Jewish funds seized by Roosevelt, with small exceptions, ever surfaced again.

 

 

 

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