Israel’s Arrest of Palestinian Children Picking Vegetables Sparks Outrage

Comment: Very brave of these soldiers arresting children aged between 8 and 13. No doubt they will be tried in military court, sentenced to ‘x’ amount of years, put into solitary confinement. A reality the Palestinians face daily, no matter gender or age. Alas, this is not the first time and no matter the ‘outrage’, it will sure continue. A total failure of the “Never Again” policy. I guess it’s ‘never again’ to this lot only. Support the BDS movement and help bring this apartheid, racist, squatter invasion and occupation to an end. LONG LIVE PALESTINE!

The video, filmed by a field researcher with Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, was recorded in the Masafer Yatta area of the southern Hebron hills, which is home to dozens of clusters of Palestinian villages and enclaves, as well as several illegal Israeli settlements and outposts.

“I got a call in the early afternoon saying that there were settlers chasing a group of young Palestinian boys near the at-Tuwani village, and that I should go there as fast as I could,” Nasr Nawajaa, a local activist and B’Tselem field researcher told Middle East Eye.

“When I arrived, there were dozens of armed and masked Israeli soldiers pulling the children towards a group of military Jeeps. And I immediately picked up my camera and started filming,” Nawajaa said.

In the video filmed by Nawajaa and published by B’Tselem, dozens of Israeli soldiers in combat gear can be seen grabbing the terrified children and pushing them towards the military vehicles.

Several Palestinian bystanders can be seen attempting to intervene, but to no avail. At one point, an older Palestinian boy can be seen trying to rescue one of the minors, at which point he is grabbed by another soldier and dragged along with the group.

“The children were screaming and crying, pleading with the soldiers to call their parents and wait until their family arrived before taking them away,” Nawajaa told MEE.

He said the soldiers were “extremely aggressive” with the children, who were between eight and 13 years of age.

“The soldiers were treating the children like some hardened criminals, as if they had committed some huge crime,” Nawajaa said, adding that the soldiers “took the children by force.”

According to Nawajaa, the children were detained and taken to the nearby Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, where they were held inside the military vehicles and interrogated for several hours, before being released to their families in the evening.

“These are just harmless children, what kind of threat could they possibly pose to justify this treatment?” Nawajaa asked.

‘They were just picking vegetables’

The circumstances of the boys’ arrest has drawn widespread condemnation, as it came to light that the children were out picking wild vegetables and herbs when they were detained.

According to Nawajaa, the boys were picking a wild vegetable called “akoub”, which blooms in the spring time in Palestine.

“Many of the families in Masafer Yatta live in poor socio-economic conditions,” Nawajaa told MEE. “‘Akoub can be sold at a good price in the Palestinian market, so many families and their children go out to pick the wild vegetable during this time of year in order to make some money to support themselves.”

Nawajaa noted that while Israel had previously outlawed the picking of akoub, that law was repealed last year, making it legal to pick 5kgs per person in the area where the boys were.

“There was no legal justification for their arrest,” Nawajaa said.

(The video can be viewed here)

The five boys, who are all cousins, were picking and collecting the akoub on the outskirts of Havat Maon, an Israeli settlement south of Hebron.

Settlers from Havat Maon then allegedly started harassing and chasing the boys out of the area.

“This is something the settlers do when they see Palestinians close to the settlement,” Mohammad Abu Hmeid, the father of two of the boys told MEE. “Sometimes they even fire live ammunition at the Palestinian shepherds grazing sheep in the area if they get too close to the settlement.”

“I’m just relieved that the boys managed to escape the settlers. God knows what would have happened to them if they didn’t,” the father said.

Abu Hmeid said his sons Jaber, 13, and Saqer, 10, and their three cousins, fled from settlers. They abandoned their buckets, barrels, and akoub, leaving it behind and heading towards their grandfather’s house near at-Tuwani.

It was there that the group of armed Israeli soldiers caught up with the boys, and began arresting them.

According to Abu Hmeid’s testimony, which echoed that of Nawajaa’s, it was the settlers who allegedly called the Israeli soldiers and ordered them to arrest the boys.

“The settlers accused the boys of trying to steal some of their birds, and destroying some of their property,” Abu Hmeid said, adding that the settlers were “making up stories just to get the boys arrested and intimidate them.”

“All they were doing was picking akoub, and that is not a crime,” Abu Hmeid said, adding that the soldiers confiscated the boys’ buckets and barrels, and their plant harvest. “They didn’t pose a threat to anyone. They weren’t doing anything wrong.”

Interrogation, threats and coercion

In the occupied West Bank, Palestinians live under Israeli military law, and when arrested they are charged and tried in military courts that have a conviction rate of over 99 percent against Palestinians.

In comparison, Israeli settlers living in the West Bank in contravention of international law are subject to Israeli civilian law, and never come into contact with the military courts.

While Israeli military and civilian law stipulates the minimum age of criminal responsibility as 12 years old, rights group Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) says that Israeli forces routinely detain Palestinian children younger than this.

According to the group, Israel detains around 700 Palestinian children a year. There are currently 168 child “security” detainees in Israeli prison, and as of 2020, there were 27 children being held in solitary confinement.

DCIP has highlighted that Israel ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which stipulates that children “should only be deprived of their liberty as a measure of last resort, must not be unlawfully or arbitrarily detained, and must not be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

According to DCIP, Israel regularly and arbitrarily detains Palestinian children, subjects them to long periods of interrogation without the presence of a parent, legal guardian, or lawyer. Children are often coerced into signing false confessions, in documents written in Hebrew, a language most Palestinian children do not understand.

“From the moment of arrest, Palestinian children encounter ill-treatment and torture at the hands of Israeli forces. Three out of four experience physical violence during arrest or interrogation,” DCIP said.

The process of arrest and detention described by DCIP is similar to what happened to the five boys in the Hebron hills, according to testimony from both Nawajaa and Abu Hmeid, who claim the boys were threatened by the Israeli soldiers during their interrogation in an attempt to coerce them into confessing to a crime they did not commit.

“When the boys were finally released, they were in complete shock,” Abu Hmeid said. “It was only after we took them home and they calmed down a bit that they started to tell us what happened.”

“My sons told us that the soldiers kept the five of them crammed up in the Jeep for the whole time they were detained, and continued to threaten and harass them,” Abu Hmeid said.

At one point, the soldiers allegedly told the boys that their families had been arrested, and that if they didn’t confess to trying to steal from the settlers or to damaging their property, the soldiers would “beat them up.”

“They did everything they could to scare the boys and get them to confess,” Abu Hmeid said, “but the boys kept insisting that they were innocent and didn’t do anything.”

He added that the two oldest boys in the group, including his son Jaber, were summoned for another interrogation with Israeli forces on Sunday.

Abu Hmeid told MEE that while none of the boys were physically tortured during the interrogation, the mental toll that the ordeal has had on the children “has done more than enough damage.”

“They are so scared and terrified, and I don’t know what to do to comfort them,” Abu Hmeid said. “As a Palestinian father, this is one of your worst nightmares. With the Israeli occupation, we can’t even protect our own children.”

Guantanamo Bay is America’s enduring shame

By Dr Ramzy Baroud

Comment: how can a nation that treats human beings with such disdain, like garbage rotting away outta sight claim other countries are “killing their own people”, “committing genocide against” a minority group that isn’t, and claim to be bastians of human rights and lest we forget democracy, when their own deplorable behaviour and actions are known to be the exact opposite? Why does Cuba not kick these American occupiers of their land out?

On 12 February, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked by a reporter whether the new Joe Biden administration intends to shut down the notorious Guantanamo Bay Prison by the end of the US president’s first term in office. Her non-committal answer was, “That’s certainly our goal and our intention.”

Psaki may have sounded reassuring that the untold suffering experienced by hundreds of men in this American gulag — many of whom were surely innocent — would finally be coming to an end. However, considering the history of Guantanamo and the trail of broken promises by the Barack Obama administration, the latest “goal and intention” is hardly encouraging.

Compare the new language with that of Obama’s impassioned diatribes about humanity, justice and American values, which he utilised whenever he spoke of Guantanamo. “Gitmo has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law,” Obama said in a speech at the National Defence University in May 2013.

Enamoured with his every word, Obama’s audience applauded enthusiastically, but when he delivered that particular speech, he was serving his second term in office. He had already had ample time and opportunity to shut down the prison which operates with no international monitoring and entirely outside the realms of international and US laws.

Obama is likely to be remembered for his words, not his actions. Not only did he fail to shut down the prison which was erected by his predecessor, George W. Bush, in 2002, but the Guantanamo industry also continued to thrive during his time in the White House. For example, in his speech, Obama made reference to the high cost of “a hundred and fifty million dollars each year to imprison 166 people.” According to the New Yorker in 2016, Guantanamo’s budget had grown to “$445 million” while Obama was in office.

Yet, as the budget grew by leaps and bounds, the number of Guantanamo prisoners dwindled. There are now just 40 prisoners in the massive edifice of metal, concrete and barbed wire built within a US naval base at the eastern tip of Cuba on land ‘leased‘ by the US in 1903.

It is easy to conclude that the US government keeps the prison open only to avoid international accountability and, arguably, to extract information by torture, an act that is inconsistent with American law. But this cannot be right. The wars against Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal under international law, but that didn’t stop the US and its allies from savagely invading, humiliating and torturing entire populations with no regard whatsoever to legal or moral arguments.

Moreover, Guantanamo is merely one of many American-run prisons and detention centres operating around the world according to the most ruthless tactics and no rule book. The tragedy of Abu Ghraib, a US military detention centre in Baghdad, only became famous when direct evidence of the degrading and incredibly violent conduct that was taking place within its walls was produced and publicised. Furthermore, many US officials and members of Congress at the time used the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004 as an opportunity to whitewash and rebrand American crimes elsewhere and to present the misconduct within the prison as if it was an isolated incident involving “a few bad apples”.

This argument was made by George W Bush. It was more or less the same logic utilised by Obama when he championed the closure of Guantanamo. Indeed, both presidents insisted that neither Abu Ghraib nor Guantanamo should be made out to represent what America is really all about.

“Is this who we are?” asked Obama passionately as he made the case for the closure of Guantanamo, speaking as if he was a human rights advocate rather than the Commander-in-Chief with the authority to shut down the entire facility immediately. The truth is that the Abu Ghraib tortures were not “a few bad apples” and Guantanamo is, indeed, a microcosm of exactly what the US is, or has become.

From Bagram in Afghanistan, to Abu Ghraib in Iraq, to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, to the many “floating prisons” — news of which was leaked by US media in 2014 — the US government continues to make a mockery of international and humanitarian laws. Many American officials who genuinely advocate the closure of Guantanamo refuse to acknowledge that the prison is a symbol of their country’s intransigence, and refuse to accept that, like any other country in the world, it is accountable to international law.

This lack of accountability has exceeded the US government’s insistence on “acting alone” and launching wars without international mandates. One US administration after another has also made it clear that, under no circumstances, would they allow American citizens accused of war crimes to be investigated, let alone stand trial, before the International Criminal Court (ICC). The message here is that even America’s “few bad apples” can potentially walk free, regardless of the heinousness of their crimes.

Just months after the Trump administration imposed punitive sanctions on ICC judges for having the audacity to look into possible investigations of US crimes in Afghanistan, it freed the convicted criminals who carried out horrific crimes in Iraq. On 22 December, Trump pardoned four American mercenaries from the private military company Blackwater. These convicted murderers were involved in the killing of 14 civilians, including two children, in Baghdad in 2007.

What became known as the “Nisour Square massacre” was another example of whitewashing, as government officials and mainstream media insisted that the massacre was an isolated episode, even while expressing outrage at the unlawful killing. The fact that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, mostly civilians, were killed as a result of the US invasion seems irrelevant in America’s skewed logic as it pursues its never-ending “war on terror”.

Whether Biden fulfils his promise to shut down Guantanamo or not, little will change if the US remains committed in its contempt for international law and to its undeserved view of itself as a country that exists above the universal rights of everyone else.

That said, Guantanamo on its own is a crime against humanity and there can never be any rational explanation or justification for holding hundreds of people indefinitely, without trial, without due process, without international observers and without ever seeing their families and loved ones. The explanation often offered by the pro-Guantanamo pundits is that the prison inmates are dangerous men. If that was indeed the case, why were these supposed criminals not allowed to have their day in court?

According to a report by Amnesty International published in May last year, of the 779 men who were taken to the prison, “only seven have been convicted”. Worse, five of them were convicted “as a result of pre-trial agreements under which they pleaded guilty, in return for the possibility of release from the base.” According to the rights group, such a trial by military commission “did not meet fair trial standards”.

In other words, Guantanamo is — and has always been — a fraudulent operation with no real inclination to hold criminals and terrorists to account and prevent further crimes. Guantanamo is an industry, and a lucrative one. In many ways, it is similar to the American prison military complex, ironically dubbed the “criminal justice system”. Referring to the unjust “justice system”, Human Rights Watch derided the US for having “the largest reported prison population in the world”.

“The (US) criminal justice system — from policing and prosecution, through to punishment — is plagued with injustices like racial disparities, excessively harsh sentencing and drug and immigration policies that improperly emphasise criminalisation,” stated HRW on its website.

The above can also be considered an answer to Obama’s rhetorical question, “Is this who we are?” Yes sir, Mr President, this is precisely who you are.

While offering the world’s most miserable detention conditions to hundreds of potentially innocent men, Guantanamo also offers career opportunities, military perks and honours, and a seemingly endless budget for a small army to guard only a few shackled, gaunt-looking men in a foreign land.

Even if Biden is able to overcome pressure from the military, the CIA and Congress and succeeds in shutting Guantanamo down, justice will still be absent, not only because of the numerous lives that are forever shattered, but also because America still refuses to learn from its mistakes. Guantanamo Bay Prison is indeed America’s enduring shame.

The Cuban Revolution’s Commitment and Contribution to Worldwide Public Health Care

By Franklin Frederick

Comment: Never underestimate the goodness and kindness of those who had everything taken away from them but their humanity. Those who don’t have much are truly free! They are the ones who embody humanity. Theirs is a strength that cannot be taken away. Viva Cuba!

They have discovered smart weapons. We have discovered something more important: people think and feel.’ – Fidel Castro

The (COVID-19 planned) pandemic has revealed the failure of most Western capitalist countries in their public health policies.

Decades of neoliberal austerity, of cuts in health and education programs induced by restructuring programs by the IMF and the World Bank, are now showing their results in alarming numbers of contagion and deaths spreading throughout Latin America, Europe and the U.S.

In the West, Cuba has set an example of efficiency and shown that another way is possible in the fight against the pandemic. The numbers speak for themselves; we only need to compare Cuba with other countries or even big cities with similar populations to get a very clear picture of the difference in results.

With a population of about 11,350,000 people, Cuba has had – as of February 21 – 45,361 cumulative cases of COVID-19 with 300 deaths.

The Greater New York City area, with a population of about 18,800,00, has a cumulative total of 700,815 cases with 28,888 deaths. Switzerland, with a smaller population than Cuba, about 8,600,000 people, has 550,224 cumulative cases of COVID-19 with 9,226 deaths. How to explain that a country that has far fewer resources than a city like New York or a country like Switzerland can be so much more efficient in its fight against the pandemic?

The answer is simple: the Cuban Revolution of 1959 focused the few resources available in the country on building a health care system that would serve the needs of the people first, and not the interests of the various sectors of privatized medicine, such as medical insurance plans, big pharmaceutical companies and the expensive ‘high-tech’ medicine of which the developed countries are so proud.

Public Health History 

After the Revolution, almost half of the Cuban doctors left the country, greatly limiting the new government’s ability to meet the health needs of its population. The revolutionary government decision was to invest in the training of new health professionals – in people – and to expand access to medical care to the rural population and especially to black Cubans, who had hitherto been left out. In this way, Cuba was able to increase the number of nurses from 2,500 in 1958 to 4,300 a decade later. Through its massive vaccination campaigns, Cuba eliminated polio in 1962, malaria in 1967, neonatal tetanus in 1972, diphtheria in 1979, congenital rubella syndrome in 1989, post-cause meningitis in 1993, rubella in 1995, and tuberculous meningitis in 1997.

Today, Cuba’s infant mortality rate is lower than that of the United States and less than half that of the black population in the United States. By 1983, just over two decades after the Revolution, life expectancy in Cuba had increased to 73.8 years, when in the previous period it had been only 58.8 years.

While many public health experts often attribute the chronic shortage of health care in Latin America to lack of resources, the Cuban Revolution has shown that when limited resources are distributed equitably and with an emphasis on people and prevention, public health outcomes previously unimaginable can be achieved. Neoliberalism, imposed by force in many Southern countries, and chosen by Northern economic elites as the preferred policy in their own countries, led to a path opposite to the Cuban one. And the COVID-19 pandemic is showing very clearly which path was the right one.

In the rich countries of the North, neoliberal austerity has for decades caused successive reductions in health budgets, with cuts especially in the number of qualified personnel available. Cuba, by contrast, has invested in the training of an ever-increasing number of health professionals. When the pandemic arrived, it was clear that Cuba already had the necessary personnel and resource allocation capacity to face such a situation. In the wealthy countries of the North, by contrast, the lack of personnel and public infrastructure was compounded by an inability to take the right measures when these conflicted with established private interests.

Consequently, for the first time, Cuba was asked to bring its aid to some rich and developed Northern countries, such as Italy.

Cuban doctors and other health professionals also took their aid to Andorra and to France’s ultra-marine Caribbean departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe. One cannot imagine a greater demonstration of the bankruptcy of the neoliberal model.

The Cuban Revolution, from its very beginning and despite all the material difficulties faced by the new government, did everything possible to help other countries. In 1963, only four years after the Revolution, still struggling with enormous internal problems, Cuba sent its first medical aid mission to Algeria, a nation devastated after decades of a bloody war of independence against France. In 1966, with the help of 200,000 doses of polio vaccine donated by the Soviet Union, Cuba and its medical personnel, in collaboration with the government of Congo, coordinated the vaccination of more than 61,000 children in what was the first mass vaccination campaign in Africa. To date, Cuba has sent some 124,000 health professionals to provide medical care in more than 154 countries.

Besides this impressive aid brought by its own medical personnel to various parts of the world, another important contribution of Cuba is the training of health professionals, mainly from poor countries, at its Escuela Latino Americana de Medicina (ELAM – Latin American School of Medicine). Founded in 1999, ELAM trains students according to the Cuban model of Medicina General Integral (MGI – General Integral Medicine), focusing mainly on public health and primary care, with a holistic approach to understanding health, including disciplines such as biology, sociology, and politics. ELAM’s foreign students have all expenses paid by the Cuban state, except for airfare. By 2020, ELAM had graduated 30,000 new doctors from over 100 countries, mainly from Africa but including from the poorest areas of the United States. Many of these students would have no chance of studying medicine in their home countries, and upon their return provide an invaluable and sometimes previously unavailable service to their fellow citizens, including, now, care related to the pandemic. According to ELAM, there are about 52,000 health professionals from Cuba working in 92 countries, which means that Cuba has more doctors working abroad than all the health professional contributions of the G-8 countries combined.

Owing to their commitment to the health of people, especially the poorest and most disadvantaged, and not to a privatized health system in which profit determines where and how to allocate resources, Cuban doctors are frequent targets of attacks from the far right in the countries where they work. In Brazil, following the coup d’état against elected president Dilma Rousseff and the illegal ascension to power of Jair Bolsonaro, Cuban doctors had to leave the country. The same occurred in Bolivia after the coup against President Evo Morales and in Honduras after the coup against President Zelaya. In all these cases, it was the poor who suffered the most, for Cuban medical professionals were the only ones providing care previously unavailable to them. In 1979 Cuba sent a medical mission to Grenada, and by 1982 this country saw a 25% reduction in its infant mortality rate, thanks mainly to the work done by Cuban professionals. But the United States invaded Grenada in 1983, and the Cuban health workers were expelled.

Regarding the pandemic of COVID-19, however, the example that perhaps best reveals the disastrous consequences that the combined effect of sending away the Cuban doctors and imposed structural readjustments can cause in a country is the case of Ecuador. Following the election of President Lenin Moreno in 2017, the Cuban health professionals working in this country with the support of the previous President Rafael Correa had to leave, and the International Monetary Fund recommended a 36% cut in the health budget, a measure adopted by President Moreno. These two actions left the country with virtually no health care system, hence no defense in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the city of Guayaquil alone, Ecuador’s largest, with about 2,700 million inhabitants, had an estimated 7,600 deaths due to the pandemic, a number more than 25 times higher than that of all of Cuba.

The medical brigades and ELAM have so far been Cuba’s two greatest contributions in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. But another extremely important one is on the way: the Sovereign II vaccine, produced by the Finlay Vaccine Institute in Havana. Cuba hopes to immunize its entire population with its own vaccine later this year. Once again, Cuba’s socialist approach to vaccine production differs radically from that adopted by the world’s capitalist nations. The result of Cuba’s international experience, accumulated through its many missions conducted in various parts of the world, the Cuban vaccine is a hope for the poor nations since, again, Cuba’s international solidarity can be counted on. According to an article by W. T. Whitney, Jr:

“100 million doses of Sovereign II are being prepared, enough to immunize all 11 million Cubans, beginning in March or April. The 70 million remaining doses will go to Vietnam, Iran, Pakistan, India, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. Sovereign II ‘will be the vaccine of ALBA’ explained Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, referring to the solidarity alliance established in 2004 by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro.”

The article’s author added:

“‘Cuba’s strategy in commercializing the vaccine represents a combination of what’s good for humankind and the impact on world health. We are not a multinational where a financial objective comes first,’ says Vicente Vérez Bencomo, director of Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute. Income generated by vaccine sales abroad will pay for health care, education, and pensions in Cuba, just as is the case with exports of medical services and medicines.”

In contrast to the Cuban approach, the author further wrote:

“According to forbes.com in November 2020, ‘If Moderna’s [vaccine] can get FDA approval and can make enough doses, its top line could be nearly $35 billion higher … than … in the last 12 months.” Another report suggests that, ‘The companies (Pfizer and Moderna) stand to earn billions of dollars in profits from their COVID vaccines this year [and] there will be more profits in later years.’ The companies ‘claim the rights to vast amounts of intellectual property’.

“With corporations in charge, distribution of Covid-19 vaccines is skewed. As of January 27, ‘some 66.83 million doses have been sent out, of which 93 percent were supplied to only 15 countries.’ In Latin America, only Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Chile have secured purchase contracts adequate for immunizing entire populations. The companies’ contracts with African nations allow for immunization of only 30 percent of Africans in 2021. Meaningful immunization has yet to begin there.

“The wealth divide determines distribution. Epidemiologists at Duke University report that, ‘While high-income countries represent only 16% of the world’s population, they currently hold 60% of the vaccines for COVID-19 that have been purchased so far.’ Cuban journalist Randy Alonso reports that only ‘27 percent of the total population of low and middle-income countries can be vaccinated this year’.”

Since its revolution, Cuba has been under uninterrupted attack by the Empire and its accomplices.

Economic sanctions and blockades make its population suffer and harm considerably Cuba’s capacity to keep doing the international work. Even so, this small nation, always so stubborn and generous continues to be a source of hope for the world. Above all, Cuba points the way forward, with great firmness, detachment, courage, and an inexhaustible joy.

Palestinian Youth with Hemophilia Tortured in Israeli Prison

Comment: The “only democracy in the middle east” and “most moral army in the world” is at it again. Did the torture, bloodletting, organ harvesting, terrorism and terrorising of people of all ages, the deception and treachery ever cease?

Despite being hemophilic, Qassem Baghdadi, 20, was tortured in Israeli prisons.

A Palestinian youth who suffers from hemophilia was tortured during interrogation at the infamous Israeli detention center in West Jerusalem, known as the Russian Compound, today said the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS).

Qassem Baghdadi, 20, from Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, told PPS that while he was held at the Russian compound for two days, he was beaten on the limbs and suffered bleeding in the knees.

Baghdadi was detained for 21 days, most of which he spent at Ofer military and detention camp near Ramallah.

During this time, he was transferred three times to hospitals in Israel following a deterioration in his health.

An Israeli military court ordered to release Baghdadi last night on a 2100 Israeli shekel ($640) bail and was immediately taken to hospital in Ramallah.

This article first appeared on Palestine Chronicle

How Democratic is China?

By Here Comes China

Comment: A must read… with an open mind.

Like America, China is a republic and, like America, says it is democratic, but how democratic is China? A glance at history is always a good starting point

The People are supreme, the state is secondary and the Ruler is the least important: only those who please the people can rule. Mencius[1]

In Roman politics, citizens lost control of politicians after they elected them. It’s one of the system’s greatest weaknesses and it is no wonder that, like our Roman forebears, we regard government as our biggest problem[2]: we cannot compel them to keep their promises.

Imagine that, instead of hiring eloquent amateurs, we hired professionals–sociologists, statisticians, political scientists, economists–and told them to create solutions to our problems identified by publicly conducted surveys. Then they should support state and local governments to implement policy solutions, track public satisfaction with them for a few years and discard failed policies. California would probably try Canadian medicare and if their medical bills fell fifty percent and Californians showed a three year gain in healthy life expectancy, we’d elect a thousand volunteers and send them–all expenses paid–to Washington so they could audit the results and pass legislation.

That’s what China does and it’s why their democracy resembles Proctor & Gamble more than Pericles of Athens.

How Democratic is China–Really?

Read the full article here… You will not be disappointed!

By Putting Big Pharma’s Patents Before Patients, Doctors Will Further Erode Trust in Expert

By Jonathan Cook

“… until a decade or so ago – when phone cameras meant that recorded visual evidence became commonplace and irrefutable – you would rarely have had a way to know about those attacks. Correspondents in Jerusalem had decided on your behalf that you did not need to know….”

Read the full article here

SARS Variants, Spike Proteins and More All Rest on One Big Fat Assumption

By Makia Freeman

Comment: why does the public easily believe those who have lied to us about assaults on nations based on pure lies; conditioned people to be afraid of ‘them’ “over there” – whoever ‘them’ and wherever “over there” is, forever changing like a kaleidoscope, minus the pretty colours? This is progression from being fearful of ‘them’ (who never were to be feared to begin with) to fearing ourselves and the very air we breathe, as we supposedly carry an unknown “deadly” enemy, that this enemy is unseen to the naked eye in the air, on things you touch, so we must ‘stay apart together’. Stay apart together – Say that enough times, eventually you will hear the absolute brainwashing doublespeak. As I looked at a child in a mask the other day and remarked it to be “criminal and cruel”. I was told rather defensively “there’s nothing wrong with protecting a child”. But against what? Against themselves?! We are slowly being made to believe we are our own enemy and some people with good intentions don’t even realize it.

Apparently, there are now South African, UK and Californian variants of which you need to be very afraid. However, whether it’s new variants, spike proteins or other SARS-CoV-2 paraphernalia, all of these stories depend on a basic assumption: that a new virus SARS-CoV-2 exists. You can’t have variants of a virus that doesn’t exist. You can’t have spike proteins on a virus that doesn’t exist. Likewise, you can’t make a true traditional vaccine (not the gene editing devices of Pfizer and Moderna) of a virus that doesn’t exist. So we keep coming back to the same point: SARS-CoV-2 has never been isolated or purified, and thus so much of the current reporting about it is disinformation that cannot be true.

One Big, Fat, Unfounded Assumption

As always, Dr. Tom Cowan and Dr. Andrew Kaufman (whom I have quoted extensively in previous articles such as this one and this one) shine light on the true state of affairs. According to them, no true isolation of a virus has EVER happened, either for SARS-CoV-2 or other viruses like HIV. In a recent discussion, they talk about the lack of scientific evidence for the proof of viruses alleged to cause disease in the context of a recently aired debate between Dr. Judy Mikovits and Kaufman. The discussion became a little tense as Kaufman prodded Mikovits to explain how she had ever isolated a virus (as she claims to have repeatedely done), when all she had done was show viruses budding out of the cell (not true isolation). Mikovits replied it had to be that way for retroviruses, because the human body would eat up loose RNA or DNA. Mikovits did however agree and explicitly state that SARS-CoV-2 had never been isolated.

Read the article in full here

Scientists Show COVID Tests Are ‘Useless’, Are Based on ‘Flawed Science’

The ‘worldwide misdiagnosis of infections’ stemming from the tests has resulted in ‘stringent lockdowns which have destroyed many people’s lives and livelihoods,’ the scientists argue.

By Michael Haynes

Comment: not a single time in medicine has there been a test for some illness, or in this case a virus, that has been put into action where the virus has not been identified, isolated nor purified. Also, only if one of feeling ill does that person go and see a doctor to be tested for an illness (bronchitis, pneumonia, coughs). Why have people abandoned logic? And lastly it begs the question, what are these medical practitioners testing for?

The recently published report examined the original Corman-Drosten paper, in which Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR/PCR) tests were proposed as a validated means to detect COVID-19. The protocol proposed is used in around 70% of tests globally and by over one hundred governments. These tests promptly became the motivating factor behind the international phenomenon of nation-wide lockdowns, as cases of the virus were reported to rise.

But a group of 22 independent scientists, termed the International Consortium of Scientists in Life Sciences (ICSLS), have studied and reviewed the Corman-Drosten (CD) paper, finding “numerous technical and scientific errors,” noting that neither the “test nor the manuscript itself fulfils the requirements for an acceptable scientific publication.” They dubbed the CD paper as “flawed science” and called its authors “intellectually dishonest.”

The group presents “ten fatal problems” with the Corman-Drosten paper, and concludes that there is no other choice “but to retract the publication.” Each of the problems is described as being sufficient on its own to render the PCR test “useless as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.” The ICSLS report highlights the “worldwide misdiagnosis of infections” stemming from the CD protocols, resulting in “stringent lockdowns which have destroyed many people’s lives and livelihoods.”

Lead author of the ICSLS report is Dr. Pieter Borger, an expert on the molecular biology of gene expression, and among the co-authors is Dr. Michael Yeadon, former Vice President of vaccine company Pfizer.

Dr. Paul Sacré offers a brief explanation of how the PCR test works, as an aid to understand the ICSLS’s criticisms of the CD paper. The nasal or throat swab is “processed to isolate genetic material,” then primers — “engineered genetic material” — are added and bound to the viral genetic material, which begins “amplification.” During amplification, fluorescent markers “bound to the copies during PCR” are released, and if enough of these are detected, the test is termed positive.

Breakdown of scientific problems

The first “major” issue identified in the ICSLS review is that the CD paper and the trial PCR tests were written and conducted “without having virus material available,” in the words of the CD paper itself. Instead, the PCR test method was based on “silico sequences, supplied by a laboratory in China.” The CD paper’s aims of development and deployment of a test “are not achievable without having any actual virus material available,” according to the ICSLS.

On the day the CD paper was submitted to medical journal Eurosurveillance, Google data records only 6 deaths from the virus.

This leads the ICSLS to question why the CD report predicted “a challenge for public health laboratories while there was no substantial evidence at that time to indicate that the outbreak was more widespread than initially thought?”

Many errors are presented by the ICSLS. The concentration of primers used in the development of the PCR tests are “far too high” for “optimal specific amplifications of target genes.” The variations of primer pairs used in the CD paper mean, “The design variations will inevitably lead to results that are not even SARS CoV-2 related.” Thus, various laboratories could assume they have detected a positive COVID case, using a formula that does not actually detect COVID.

In order for a PCR test to be reliable, “amplification from 3 different genes (primers) of the virus under investigation is required.” Yet the ICSLS found in the CD paper that “in nearly all test procedures worldwide, merely 2 primer matches were used instead of all three. This oversight renders the entire test-protocol useless with regards to delivering accurate test-results of real significance in an ongoing pandemic.”

Continuing, the ICSLS notes that the proposed PCR test contains “severe design errors,” and since the test is unable to distinguish between “the whole virus and viral fragments” it “cannot be used as a diagnostic for SARS-viruses.” A positive test, as mentioned in the CD paper, cannot determine if one is infected with the virus, but “merely indicates the presence of viral RNA molecules.”

The review then deals with the amplification cycles of the tests. The CD paper does not even define what a positive or negative test result is, but does suggest that “45 PCR cycles” are to be performed. While a PCR test can have up to 60 cycles of amplification, both Dr. Sacré and the ICSLS point out that PCR test data from a cycle value of 35 or more is “completely unreliable.” “Only non-infectious (dead) viruses are detected with [cycle] values of 35,” the group adds, as even above 30 cycles there is “a grey area”, where a positive result cannot be trusted.

After the amplification process is complete, “biomolecular validation” is “essential” to determine the presence of COVID-19, since “amplified PCR products can be anything.” But the CD paper’s protocol does not do so, and the ICSLS consequently calls any PCR test developed on such a basis “useless as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

The proposed PCR tests also ignore the “essential scientific gold standard” which is to have a positive control and a negative control, by which to identify COVID-19 from other coronaviruses. Furthermore, the CD paper itself notes the gene used in the tests is not specific to COVID-19, and thus detects “a broad spectrum of other SARS viruses.”

Based on all these errors, and even drawn from text in the CD paper itself, the ICSLS warns that it is “inevitable” that “the PCR test described in the Corman-Drosten paper generates false positives.” This is echoed by Dr. Sacré, who wrote that the chief limitation of PCR tests is the “extreme sensitivity (false positive) if a suitable threshold of positivity (Ct) is not chosen.”

Swiss Policy Research has found that a positive PCR test run at 35 cycles or more, as is common in Europe and the U.S., has a 97% chance of being a false positive.

No peer review, but conflict of interest authorship

The Corman-Drosten paper appears to have received no peer review. It was received to Eurosurveillance on January 21, 2020, accepted for publication the next day, and posted online on January 23. In fact, ICSLS reports that a version of the CD paper was published on the WHO website on January 13, 2020. Evidence thus suggests no peer review has occurred, and the ICSLS writes, “Any molecular biologist familiar with RT-PCR design would have easily observed the grave errors present in the Corman-Drosten paper before the actual review process.”

The group contacted Eurosurveillance for a copy of a peer review, but was eventually told that “disclosure would undermine the purpose of scientific investigations.”

Two authors of the CD paper, Christian Drosten and Chantal Reusken, were found to be part of the editorial board of Eurosurveillance, prompting the ICSLS to say that “there is a severe conflict of interest which strengthens suspicions that the paper was not peer-reviewed.” Such an action is seen as “compromising scientific integrity.”

In addition to that, ICSLS found “severe conflicts of interest for at least four authors,” with two of the authors being the CEO and scientific advisor at PCR test producing company TIB-Molbiol.

Author’s comments on the ICSLS report

Speaking to UncoverDC.com  about the Corman-Drosten paper, Dr. Kevin Corbett from the ICSLS report said, “Public Health England is a co-author on it. All the public health authorities across the EU have co-authored this paper. But here is the bottom line: There was no viral isolate to validate what they were doing. The PCR products of the amplification didn’t correspond to any viral isolate at that time. I call it ‘donut ring science.’ There is nothing at the center of it. It’s all about code, genetics, nothing to do with reality, or the actual person, the patient.”

Responding to the point that advocates of the PCR test claim the virus has, as a matter of fact, been isolated, Corbett said, “Yes, there have since been papers saying they’ve produced viral isolates. But there are no controls for them. The CDC produced a paper in July, I think it was, where they said: ‘Here’s the viral isolate.’ Do you know what they did? They swabbed one person. One person, who’d been to China and had cold symptoms. One person. And they assumed he had it to begin with. So it’s all full of holes, the whole thing.”

The ICSLS paper concludes, “In light of our re-examination of the test protocol to identify SARS-CoV-2 described in the Corman-Drosten paper we have identified concerning errors and inherent fallacies which render the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test useless.”

This article first appeared in LifeSite

Israel Imposes Gag Order on Probe into Oil Spill Dubbed “Most Serious Ecological Disaster” in Years

Comment: it is not bad enough that the apartheid zionist entity is stealing Gaza’s natural gas in their coastal waters under absolute secrecy and deception, but now that a major oil “spill” has occurred under their watch, they want to put a lid on it?! They have been stealing, lying and cheating for over a hundred years, and now they want to cover, lie and cheat nature? May this squatter entity choke on what they have done and continue to do.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection indicated that tar was “washing up and contaminating the beaches” starting last Wednesday. A major clean-up and conservation effort is underway that has included the Israeli Army.

It’s believed the oil spill may have happened a week or more ago, or possibly even weeks prior, but recent stormy weather washed it up to shore.

Currently an estimated 106 miles of coastline have been impacted, stretching from Israel through the Gaza Strip. It’s also been widely reported as impacting southern Lebanon’s coastline.

A statement from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority predicted that clean-up efforts could take years after the dozens of tons of tar washed up in various places. “The disaster we are witnessing in recent days on the beaches of Israel is the most serious ecological disaster in recent years, and its consequences we will see more years ahead,” the Parks Authority wrote Saturday.

Israeli as well as various international bodies are investigating the source of the Mediterranean spillage, which has included reviewing satellite tracking data of tankers that have traversed the area in recent weeks.

Interestingly and suspiciously, the investigations findings are being kept under tight wrap, as Fox News describes:

In an unusual move, an Israeli judge has issued a gag order on the investigations and any detail relating to it, including the suspects’ name or identities, the vessels involved, and destination and port of departure.

Maya Jacobs, CEO of Zalul, an Israel NGO that protects the country’s seas and streams, called to remove the gag order, and conduct a transparent investigation.

“The companies who cause the environmental risks like the petroleum and shipping companies have a great influence on the Israeli government,” she said.

Sea turtles, other marine life, and birds have been found dead in the hundreds as a result of the disaster, which has further included thousands of volunteers rushing to save injured wildlife from the large tar globs.

From Reuters: Israel is trying to find the ship responsible for an oil spill that drenched much of its Mediterranean shoreline with tar, an environmental blow that will take months or years to clean up https://reut.rs/3ka6FX3

1:45 PM · Feb 21, 2021163127

Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel had this to say of painstakingly slow improvements to the situation: “I know that everyone wants to help, but tar is a dangerous substance! It is imperative to act carefully and responsibly,” she said.

This article appeared on Zero Hedge

History: US Business Operations with Nazi Germany

By Shane Quinn

Comment: we should stop using the “Hitler” references now. Too many examples preceded him and follow him.

The Third Reich’s destruction of the left, along with Hitler’s stated intention to preserve big business, was welcomed by corporate managers. Before Hitler had even come to power, his views had drawn approval abroad from leading industrialists; like the American tycoon Irénée du Pont, a proponent of racial superiority and until 1925 the president of chemical multinational DuPont; and Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, a fervent anti-Semite who in the early 1920s wrote ‘The International Jew: The World’s Problem’.

A number of business moguls in America were overtly anti-Semitic, and Hitler’s rants against the supposed Jewish problem met with their approval. Ford’s writings in fact seem to have influenced Hitler and other Nazis like Baldur von Schirach, future head of the Hitler Youth. At the Nuremberg trials in May 1946, von Schirach said he had read Ford’s above work “and became anti-Semitic. In those days this book made such a deep impression on my friends and myself, because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success”.

Ford himself was providing funds to the Nazi Party since the 1920s, when it was a miniscule political organisation (1). Hitler kept a life-size portrait of Ford behind his desk in Munich, and in 1931 the Nazi leader told a Detroit news reporter, “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration”. Each year Ford also sent money to Hitler personally on his birthday through Swiss or Swedish banks, between around 10,000 to 20,000 Reichsmarks annually. These payments to Hitler continued until 1944, more than two years after the German declaration of war on America. (2)

However, as Hitler became chancellor on 30 January 1933, the Nazi Party’s coffers were virtually empty and large bills remained unpaid. Just a few weeks before, Goebbels complained in his diary that “financial troubles make all organised work impossible” and “the danger now exists of the whole party going to pieces” (3). This indicates that, up until Hitler took control, the Nazis received rather limited funding from big business. Greater contributions would be forthcoming, almost as soon as Hitler gained the chancellorship.

To help solve the Nazi Party’s financial plight and increase his grip on power, Hitler invited over 20 industrialists to attend a conference, on 20 February 1933, held at the official residence in Berlin of Hermann Göring. He was Hitler’s second-in-command, a morphine addict and President of the Reichstag. Among those who turned up at the meeting were well known individuals like Gustav Krupp (owner of the Krupp steel company); Fritz von Opel (Opel AG board member, grandson of founder Adam Opel); Georg von Schnitzler (IG Farben board member); Hjalmar Schacht (reinstated as Reichsbank president by Hitler in March 1933); and Albert Vögler (politician and businessman, centrally involved in arming the Wehrmacht).

Addressing the industrialists at length Hitler informed them, in a nutshell, that the choice now in Germany was between his rule – which respects the rights of private property and business – or that of communism, which he insisted would do the opposite and must be destroyed.

Highly impressed with Hitler’s speech, on behalf of the industrialists Krupp expressed to the Nazi leader their “gratitude for having given us such a clear picture of his ideas”. Göring then informed Krupp and colleagues that the Nazi Party urgently required funds, to enable them to campaign sufficiently for the critical 5 March 1933 elections. The businessmen dispensed immediately with two million Reichsmarks (equivalent to about nine million Euro today). The notorious chemical corporation IG Farben, who we will come to later, provided the largest contribution to the Nazi Party at this meeting, giving 400,000 Reichsmarks. Further cash would be granted to the Nazis in coming days from German industry; while political opposition groups, such as the communists, were terrorised and intimidated by brown-shirted mobs.

The American historian Henry Ashby Turner, who has closely but skeptically analysed the links between German big business and the Nazis, acknowledged of the above funding, “These contributions unquestionably aided Hitler significantly” while Germany’s industrialists had always viewed the Weimar Republic “with misgiving”, primarily due to its accommodation of labour power. (4)

Goebbels wrote late in 1936 how Hitler confided to him that he had “wanted to shoot himself” in 1927, on account of having accumulated large debts. Coming to Hitler’s rescue was Emil Kirdorf, one of Germany’s foremost industrialists over the previous half century, who gave him 100,000 Reichsmarks (5). Kirdorf, who held far-right views, donated to the Nazi Party in the late 1920s; as too did another high level German businessman, the aforementioned Albert Vögler, founder of the United Steelworks (Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG).

By 1933 the Nazis were receiving funds not merely through German business, but also from investments arriving across the Atlantic. The New York Herald Tribune reported on 31 July 1941 that the Wall Street firm, Union Banking Corporation, which the American banker Prescott Bush was managing, had in 1933 sent $3 million to the Nazi Party. This is indeed the same Prescott Bush who was the father of George H. W. Bush, and grandfather to George W. Bush, both of whom would later become presidents.

Prescott Bush was a founder of the Union Banking Corporation in 1924, along with others like W. Averell Harriman, a wealthy businessman and future US Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Up until 1933, the Union Banking Corporation transferred an estimated total of $32 million to “Nazi bigwigs” in Germany, as noted by Moniz Bandeira, a prominent Brazilian historian. (6)

The Union Banking Corporation was closely connected to conglomerates owned by Fritz Thyssen, a German steel magnate and Nazi Party member since 1931, whose factories were an essential component of Hitler’s war industry. Thyssen supplied funds to the Nazis, both prior to and after their taking power. This money helped corrupt politicians like Göring to pursue luxurious lifestyles. Some of Thyssen’s cash funnelled to the Nazi Party went through “an account with a Dutch bank, which was interlocked with a Wall Street outfit called the Union Banking Corporation”. (7) (Preparata, Conjuring Hitler, p. 198)

Prescott Bush, a director and shareholder in the Union Banking Corporation and other Nazi-linked businesses, such as the Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), had “played a central role in Hitler’s financing and armament”, according to two American historians who co-wrote a biography on George H. W. Bush, Webster Griffin Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin.

This is pertaining mostly to Prescott Bush’s connections to Thyssen, who had amassed great wealth through Hitler’s rearmament policies. Even after Hitler declared war on America in late 1941, and information began to leak out regarding Nazi crimes, Prescott Bush continued to work for firms like the Union Banking Corporation. A Guardian newspaper account outlined that he “profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler’s rise to power” (8). Union Banking Corporation’s assets were seized by the US government on 20 October 1942, under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917.

For his share in the Union Banking Corporation, Prescott Bush received $1.5 million, equivalent to over $20 million today (9). Likewise having shares in this bank was E. Ronald Harriman, a US financier and younger brother of W. Averell Harriman, along with a couple of Nazi Party members (10). Moniz Bandeira wrote that the money earned by Prescott Bush here “allowed his son, George H. W. Bush, to set up the firms Bush-Obervey Oil Development Co., and Zapata Petroleum, later called Harbinger Group Inc., bringing together several companies to explore oil in the Gulf of Mexico and Cuba”.

Prescott Bush was also a director at the previously mentioned CSSC, a company which exploited resource rich Silesia in the Third Reich for the benefit of Hitler’s war machine. The CSSC used slave labour in the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Another firm that Prescott Bush worked for, the New York-based Brown Brothers Harriman, served as a US business platform for the ubiquitous Thyssen. The founding partners of Brown Brothers Harriman included the two Harriman brothers and Prescott Bush. Both firms, the Union Banking Corporation and Brown Brothers Harriman, had during the 1930s according to the Guardian “bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, fuel, steel, coal and US treasury bonds to Germany, both feeding and financing Hitler’s build-up to war”.

Some of America’s largest corporations had investments in Germany by the early 1930s, such as DuPont, General Electric, Gilette, Coca-Cola and Eastman Kodak.

In the years ahead, many of these companies’ profits would grow substantially. For example a Kodak branch in neutral Switzerland was, through 1942 and 1943, buying photographic equipment from Nazi Germany, Nazi-occupied France and also Hungary, allied to the Third Reich. America’s embassy in London described these dealings by Kodak as “fairly substantial purchases from enemy territory”. A separate Kodak branch in fascist Spain was purchasing goods from the Reich, such as in early 1942. The latter deal was defended by William Beaulac, the US chargé d’affaires in Madrid. (11)

Wall Street, the financial heartbeat of America, had looked on with some concern at the rise of communism. Its bankers instead viewed fascism overall rather favourably as avant-garde (12). When it became clear that Hitler was favourable to the status quo, while he wiped out labour influence, some Catholic, evangelical and even Jewish bankers connected to Wall Street engaged in business with the Nazis. They granted the Hitler regime about $7 billion in credit during the 1930s, as revealed in 1943 by George Seldes, a US investigative journalist. (13)

The historian Gaetano Salvemini, compelled to leave Mussolini’s Italy because of death threats, later said “almost 100% of American big business” was sympathetic towards Mussolini and Hitler’s dictatorships; because of their lucrative armament programs and destruction of labour. One of the hallmarks of state capitalism is generating money through the business of war, as seen through the decades, with Western governments providing billions worth of weaponry to autocracies in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and elsewhere.

The Nazis’ repressive policies enabled many companies linked to the Reich, such as Ford, to reduce their labour costs, from 15% of business volume in 1933 to just 11% in 1938. While Ford more than doubled their profits in Germany by 1939, they were also benefiting through a subsidiary in Nazi-occupied France, by posting earnings there of 58 million francs in 1941 alone. For this it received warm praise from Edsel Ford, president of the Ford Motor Company and son of founder Henry Ford.

By 1942 of the Wehrmacht’s 350,000 trucks in the field, around 120,000 of them were built by Ford factories in Germany (14). The General Motors-owned Opel plant in Rüsselsheim, western Germany, produced all-wheel-drive trucks for the Wehrmacht, which were most useful on the mud-soaked Eastern front and in the North African deserts.

On 13 December 1941, six days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, president Roosevelt issued a secret decree. He thereby granted special authorisation, so that certain US corporations could continue their business ventures with enemy nations, and with neutral countries on good terms with hostile states (15). This was a violation of the Trading with the Enemy Act; but Roosevelt, reliant on many of the same corporations in the prosecuting of war against Japan and Germany, was careful to appease big business. The American public had little idea of course that famous American companies, like Standard Oil, Ford, General Motors, and others were doing deals with the enemy.

The US manufacturing firm ITT – already involved through a German subsidiary (C. Lorenz AG) in producing Luftwaffe military aircraft with Focke-Wulf – was furthermore supplying high quality communications equipment to the Nazis, in conjunction with IBM, a US technology corporation. This had assisted in the synchronised Blitzkrieg warfare decisive to the Germans quickly defeating Poland, France, the Low Countries, and capturing parts of the western USSR. (16)

In late June 1940, Germany’s easy victory over France was celebrated by some US business leaders at dinners and parties held in New York, such as at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Among those attending were the ITT founder and CEO, Sosthenes Behn, who had met Hitler in August 1933, James D. Mooney, a senior General Motors executive who saw Hitler on separate occasions, and Edsel Ford.

For their services to the Reich, Hitler lavished awards on Americans like Mooney and Henry Ford. At the beginning of Hitler’s rule US bankers flew to Nazi Germany, such as Winthrop Aldrich, chairman of Wall Street’s Chase National Bank. Aldrich met Hitler in the autumn of 1933, as too did Henry Mann of the National City Bank. Aldrich and Mann subsequently told William Dodd, the US Ambassador to Nazi Germany, that they were willing to “work with him [Hitler]”.

In August 1934 the US media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, who owned dozens of newspapers and magazines, visited Berlin to see Hitler. On returning home, Hearst described the dictator as “certainly an extraordinary man” and he wrote about Nazi Germany’s “great policy” and “great achievement” of saving Germany from communism.

During the late 1930s, the Ford Motor Company was shipping mineral resources to Nazi Germany, sometimes through its subsidiaries in third countries. At the start of 1937 for instance, Ford sent almost two million pounds of rubber and 130,000 pounds of copper to the Nazi regime (17). Ford retained a more than 50% share in their subsidiary in Cologne, Ford-Werke, following the December 1941 German announcement of hostilities against America.

Douglas Miller, America’s acting commercial attaché in Berlin, had predicted in 1935 that by 1937 the Nazis would be producing enough oil and gas out of soft coal “for a long war”. Miller revealed that the Standard Oil Company of New York was collaborating in these ventures by “furnishing millions of dollars to help”.

Standard Oil, owned by the Rockefeller family, had sent $2 million to the Nazis as early as December 1933 – of which Ambassador Dodd in Berlin informed president Roosevelt during October 1936. Dodd also wrote to Roosevelt that Standard Oil “has made $500,000 a year in helping the Germans make ersatz gas for war purposes”. Standard Oil, along with other major US firms like DuPont, was working with IG Farben, the German chemical corporation. IG Farben was firmly incriminated in slave labour and the Holocaust, having provided the Nazis with the infamous poison gas Zyklon B, used to kill more than one million people at Auschwitz.

No less than 53 American companies had connections to IG Farben alone (19). At the Nuremberg trials, US judge Paul M. Hebert called IG Farben “one of Hitler’s greatest assets”.

From the mid-1930s, the Nazis had been hoarding imported oil in preparation for war – and considerable amounts of this vital resource was supplied to Hitler by American corporations, such as Standard Oil of New Jersey and Texaco, the latter company headquartered in Beaumont, Texas. Under Texaco’s pro-Nazi chairman Torkild Rieber, a Norwegian-American who was friends with Göring, the company made significant profits in granting oil to the Nazis.

After the start of European hostilities in September 1939, both Standard Oil and Texaco were supplying Nazi Germany with diesel fuel, lubricating oil and other petroleum substances (20). The Standard Oil and Texaco shipments to Germany came via ports in General Franco’s Spain. Through 1940 and 1941, American oil deliveries to Germany increased further, large amounts of which were sent into the Reich through US subsidiaries in neutral European countries. The Texaco chairman Rieber had illegally dispatched shipments of oil to Spain’s fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War, a factor in Franco’s eventual victory.

Ford and General Motors’ German subsidiaries, which together controlled 70% of the car market in Nazi Germany by 1939, were shifted increasingly towards producing military hardware. After all, even greater profits can be accrued from building the endless weapons of war. Ford and GM subsidiaries in the Reich built almost 90% of the Wehrmacht’s armoured “mule” three ton half-tracks, along with over 70% of Hitler’s medium and heavy-duty trucks. US intelligence reports highlighted this and stated that these vehicles served as “the backbone of the German Army transportation system”. (21)

The Belgian-born historian Jacques R. Pauwels wrote, “Many of Hitler’s wheels and wings were produced in the German subsidiaries of GM and Ford” and that “At one point, GM and Ford together reportedly accounted for no less than half of Germany’s entire production of tanks”. The German Navy was supplied with some shipments of fuel by William Rhodes Davis, a Texan oil financier. In collaboration with US entrepreneur Fred Koch, father of future billionaires Charles and David Koch, Davis helped to build an oil refinery in Hamburg during the early stages of Hitler’s rule. This oil refinery became the third largest in the Reich, which refined high-octane oil for Luftwaffe warplanes. (22)

The American diplomat Dodd, who stepped down from his ambassadorship to Nazi Germany in December 1937, told the media the following month that US industrialists are “working closely with the fascist regimes in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity, in my post in Berlin, to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime”. (23)

In 1942 Standard Oil, through an independent headquarters in Switzerland, asked for authorisation to continue selling oil to Germany; on this occasion, from fields that Standard was exploiting in Romania, a country closely allied to Hitler under its dictator Ion Antonescu. Again in 1942 a Standard Oil subsidiary, the West India Oil Company – which was established to exploit raw materials in Cuba and elsewhere in the Caribbean – sent oil to the Reich through a firm located in Buenos Aires, called the Cia Argentina Comercial de Pesquería (24). A number of banking houses in Wall Street profited from doing business with the Nazis, such as the Bank of America (Forbes), Morgan Bank, Read & Co., and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Also pursuing business deals with the Reich were General Electric and the Dow Chemical Company. Dow Chemical, with its main headquarters in Michigan, conducted business with IG Farben, which was strongly supporting German rearmament. In 1934 and 1935, Dow Chemical delivered to IG Farben almost nine million pounds of magnesium, a substance used in airplane manufacturing, incendiary bombs and ammunition. IG Farben was granted this magnesium at a 30% lower cost, in comparison to Dow Chemical prices generally sold to American customers. (25)

During the war years, other US corporations were conducting covert business operations with the Nazis: such as Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, Mack Trucks and Firestone Tires, which had subsidiaries in neutral nations like Sweden and Switzerland. Many of their products, once completed in those countries, was sent to the Reich (26). After the Nazis became an official enemy of America from December 1941, General Motors and Ford among others continued dealing with Hitler. This was mainly through their German subsidiaries in Rüsselsheim or Brandenburg. General Motors’ Opel subsidiary in Brandenburg produced Junkers Ju-88 fighter aircraft, land mines, trucks and torpedo detonators for the German armed forces. By 1944 General Motors was still importing goods into Nazi Germany from another subsidiary based in Sweden. (27)

The US companies Chase National Bank, and National City Bank, developed ties with the Nazi-linked Bank for International Settlements (Bank für Internationalen Zahlungsausgleich). The latter bank, located in Basel, Switzerland, was involved in the transfer of gold that the Nazis had stolen from Jewish populations in Europe. The gold was melted down and marked with a date preceding World War II, in order to obscure its origins and be used freely by senior Nazis.

Between 1940 and 1946, the Bank für Internationalen president was Thomas H. McKittrick, a Harvard-educated American banker. In this position McKittrick became a Nazi stooge, as the Bank für Internationalen mediated business with the Axis countries; while it was effectively controlled by Nazi officials like Emil Puhl, vice-president of Germany’s Reichsbank and Walther Funk, the German Minister for Economic Affairs. Funk was later sentenced to life imprisonment at Nuremberg.

McKittrick was a friend of Allen Dulles, a US intelligence officer and future CIA director, whom he met in Switzerland where Dulles was stationed during the war. Dulles, also a corporate lawyer, previously met Hitler and Mussolini when acting as a legal adviser at the League of Nations. After a business trip to Germany in 1935, Dulles was reportedly disturbed at the treatment of Jews (28). Allen, with his brother John Foster Dulles, were partners of Sullivan & Cromwell, a New York law firm which established a separate office in Berlin by 1928, but which closed in 1935. The Dulles brothers established contacts with various elites in Germany, including some Nazis (29). From 1933 onwards, Standard Oil and IG Farben were producing significant quantities of oil, gasoline and synthetic rubber for the Nazis from bituminous coal, through a hydrogenation process.

The furnishing of these important natural resources to the Nazi war machine, performed a role in enabling Hitler to swiftly defeat Poland; by his sending 5,000 gas and oil-guzzling panzers and Luftwaffe bombers across Polish territory. At the Nuremberg trials, Judge Hebert said that the German ability to continually produce synthetic rubber, of which Standard Oil and IG Farben were involved in, “made it possible for the Reich to carry on the war independently of foreign supplies”. (30)

Another crucial synthetic material, tetraethyl lead, assisted greatly in the high speed performance of Luftwaffe fighter aircraft. Tetraethyl lead was provided to the Germans in 1935 by a US fuel additive company, Ethyl Gmbh, a daughter firm of Standard Oil and General Motors and connected also to IG Farben. Tetraethyl lead was a key component concerning the whole concept of Blitzkrieg warfare. More than 30 years after the war Albert Speer, Hitler’s armaments minister from February 1942, said that without different types of synthetic fuel supplied by American companies Hitler “would never have considered invading Poland”. (31)

In early 1938, Standard Oil presented IG Farben with the complete technical details for the creation of butyl rubber – a superior type of synthetic rubber, made from petroleum, and that was used in tyre construction for Wehrmacht vehicles like trucks. Germany is a resource poor country, so the collaboration with US business was clearly important to the Nazi regime. By 1940 the Germans possessed 40,000 tons of synthetic rubber, increasing to 70,000 tons by 1941 as they attacked the Soviet Union.

General Motors’ fully-owned German subsidiary, Opel AG, controlled 50% of the automobile market in the Reich by 1935, making it the largest car manufacturer there. Along with Ford, Opel became one of Nazi Germany’s largest panzer producers (32). General Motors chairman Alfred P. Sloan, an American industralist, acknowledged by 1942 – with the US and Nazi Germany now at war – that GM’s entire investment with Opel “amounted to about $35 million” (today equivalent to over $550 million). In December 1941, at the time of the Pearl Harbour attack, Standard Oil had invested $120 million in the Reich (over $2 billion today).

American companies like Pratt & Whitney and Bendix Aviation, the latter of which General Motors had a controlling stock interest in, were selling military patents to German corporations embedded in war production, such as BMW and Siemens. This came to light through a 1940 US Senate investigation. That same year, in return for royalties, Bendix Aviation provided full data regarding aircraft and diesel engine starters to Bosch, a German technology company centrally involved in Nazi armaments production. Bendix had to bypass the British blockade of Germany to push through with the deal. (33)

Japanese professor of business history, Yuji Nishimuta, who has analysed US industrial ties to the Nazis, wrote that, “The German subsidiaries of American corporations formed an important, even essential element, in the so-called ‘miracle of the German economy’” from the period 1933 to 1939. During the months after Hitler’s invasion of Poland in September 1939, US dealings in Nazi Germany “did not change”, according to Nishimuta, as “big American business conducted, as it were, ‘joint business operations’ with the Nazi government through their German subsidiaries” (34). Problems in the relationship only surfaced following Hitler’s declaration of war on 11 December 1941, but even then, as discussed, various US business operations continued.

Notes

1 Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira, The World Disorder: US Hegemony, Proxy Wars, Terrorism and Humanitarian Catastrophes (Springer; 1st ed. 2019 edition, 4 Feb. 2019) p. 19

2 Ibid.

3 Trials of War Criminals Before The Nuremberg Military Tribunals, Under Control Council Law No. 10, Volume VII, October 1946-April 1949, p. 16

4 Henry Ashby Turner Jr., Big Business and the Rise of Hitler, Jstor, Oct. 1969, page 13 & 14 of 15

5 Peter Ross Range, The Unfathomable Ascent: How Hitler Came to Power (Little, Brown and Company, 11 Aug. 2020) Chapter 16, Impending Catastrophe

6 Bandeira, The World Disorder, p. 15

7 Guido Giacomo Preparata, Conjuring Hitler: How Britain and America Made the Third Reich (Pluto Press; Illustrated edition, 20 May 2005) p. 198

8 Ben Aris, Duncan Campbell, “How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power”, The Guardian, 25 September 2004

9 Bandeira, The World Disorder, p. 16

10 John Simkin, “Prescott Bush”, Spartacus International, September 1997 (Updated January 2020)

11 John S. Friedman, “Kodak’s Nazi Connections”, The Nation, 8 March 2001

12 Bandeira, The World Disorder, p. 16

13 Ibid.

14 Yuji Nishimuta, Nazi Economy and U.S. Big Businesses – The Case of Ford Motor Co., Jstor, October 1995, p. 8 of 14

15 Jacques R. Pauwels, “Profits über Alles! American Corporations and Hitler”, Global Research, 7 June 2019

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Bandeira, The World Disorder, p. 18

19 Gabriel Kolko, American Business and Germany, 1930-1941, Jstor, Dec. 1962, page 7 of 16

20 Pauwels, Global Research, 7 June 2019

21 The Industrialization Reorganization Act: Hearings Before The Subcommittee On Antitrust And Monopoly, Of The Committee On The Judiciary United States Senate, 93rd Congress, Second Session, p. 22

22 National Public Radio, “Hidden History of Koch Brothers Traces Their Childhood And Political Rise”, 19 January 2016

23 Bandeira, The World Disorder, p. 19

24 Ibid, p. 18

25 Harry Aubrey Toulmin, Diary of Democracy: The Senate War Investigating Committee (Richard R. Smith; 1st edition, 1 Jan. 1947) p. 94

26 Bandeira, The World Disorder, p. 20

27 Ibid.

28 John Simkin, “Allen Dulles”, Spartacus International, September 1997 (Updated January 2020)

29 Pauwels, Global Research, 7 June 2019

30 Kolko, American Business and Germany, 1930-1941, p. 10

31 Pauwels, Global Research, 7 June 2019

32 Kolko, American Business and Germany, 1930-1941, p. 13

33 Ibid., p. 14

34 Yuji Nishimuta, Nazi Economy and U.S. Big Businesses, The Case of General Motors Corporation, Jstor, April/October 1996, p. 17 of 17