Pedophilia billionaire Epstein’s death and corporate media

This 19 August 2019 CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:

Buckingham Palace responds after video shows Prince Andrew in Epstein mansion

Britain’s Prince Andrew is responding to sexual abuse allegations against Jeffrey Epstein for the first time since Epstein hanged himself in jail.

Dear CBS: did Epstein really hang himself, without any ‘help’? That is still unresolved.

The video of Prince Andrew in the Epstein mansion is said to be from 2010; so, after Epstein had been convicted for sexual trafficking, and had been freed after a suspiciously short prison sentence.

According to Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws today, Prince Andrew’s behaviour in this is suspect; as, they say, he has fled to Spain.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

American media shuts down the Epstein story

19 August 2019

The corporate-controlled media in the United States has effectively shut down all reporting on the death of the politically connected multi-millionaire sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, only one week after his body was discovered in a prison cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

Epstein’s death was the most widely reported American event in the first few days of the week, with hours of coverage on cable television, the lead story on nightly network news programs, and pages upon pages of reporting in the New York Times, Washington Post and other leading daily newspapers.

There was ample reason for such attention, particularly by the standards of the sensation-obsessed American media. Epstein was, at least by reputation, both fabulously wealthy and dangerously predatory. He travelled in the highest circles of bourgeois society, hobnobbing with ex-presidents, future presidents, British royalty and numerous billionaires, some of whom he claimed to have enriched enormously.

And his crimes against teenage girls and young women had already resulted in a 2008 felony conviction that led to a slap on the wrist in jail time, in keeping with his status as a member of the class of super-rich “money managers”. Only hours before his death, moreover, 2,000 pages of new documents were released linking many prominent world figures, including Prince Andrew and several top Democrats, to Epstein’s sex-trafficking activities.

As to the death itself, that was sensational as well, with questions aplenty: How did it happen that after an alleged suicide attempt on July 23 Epstein was taken off suicide watch only six days later and returned to the cell where he died? Why was his cellmate removed, in violation of the normal protocol for a high-risk prisoner, only a few hours before his death? Why did the guards fail to do their rounds during the night of Epstein’s death, when they should have been checking on him every half an hour? Why was Epstein’s hyoid bone broken in several places, a medical finding more typical of homicide by strangulation than suicide by hanging, according to numerous experts?

The previous “suicide” attempt, if that was what it was, deserves greater scrutiny as well. Epstein was sharing a cell with a former New York policeman, Nicholas Tartaglione, who was facing four counts of murder as well as narcotics charges. The pairing would seem quite unusual, even provocative, given the disparity between the two in physical size and the likelihood that a former cop might be inclined to mete out punishment to a presumed pedophile and child rapist.

As it was, on July 23 Tartaglione summoned prison guards to find Epstein semi-conscious with “marks” on his neck. Epstein was resuscitated and placed on suicide watch. He later claimed to be afraid of Tartaglione and accused him of assault, which the ex-cop denied. After six days, Epstein was taken off suicide watch and put back in a regular cell, but with a different cellmate.

After Epstein’s death, social media was filled with speculation about the unusual circumstances in which he died and the possible motives of highly placed and political powerful individuals for doing away with him. The corporate media went into overdrive, led by the New York Times, to denounce such questions as “conspiracy theories”, without foundation in evidence—although the lack of evidence was due to the silence of the police and prison authorities as they sought to come up with a plausible explanation.

On Thursday came the revelation that Epstein’s hyoid bone had been broken in several places, which experts suggested was more typical in homicides than suicides. The Times again sought to tamp down speculation. Finally, on Friday, the chief medical examiner, who had delayed for several days drawing a conclusion, issued a formal finding that Epstein died a suicide. The corporate media immediately rubber-stamped this finding and sought to shut down any public questioning of it.

This was done so thoroughly that on Sunday, August 18, there was not a single reference to Epstein’s death on any of the five television interview programs. Over five hours of broadcast time, accounting, according to the transcripts, for 45,000 spoken words, the name Epstein was never mentioned.

This media silence is itself perhaps the most suspicious development in the entire Epstein case. Why was there no reference to the story which riveted public attention for several days last week? It had occasioned tweets by President Trump accusing various Democrats of collusion in his death, and statements by Democrats, such as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a candidate for president, that the timing of Epstein’s death was “too convenient”.

If this had become a non-story only eight days after Epstein’s lifeless body was found, the question must be asked: what is the American media seeking to hide?

Again, the New York Times has taken the lead in the cover-up. It published a lengthy front-page story in its Sunday edition under the headline, “Epstein Feared Misery of Jail in His Final Days”, which has only one purpose: further shoring up the suicide verdict by painting a picture of Epstein as so desperate to avoid spending time in his cell that he brought his lawyers in for hours of consultation where he could sit in a conference room.

The circumstances detailed by no less than seven reporters can be read quite differently from the conclusion drawn in the article. Perhaps Epstein was desperate to avoid his cell because he feared what was going to happen to him there. After all, he had barely escaped with his life on July 23.

Moreover, the Times reports: “Outside the meeting room, Mr. Epstein mounted a strategy to avoid being preyed upon by other inmates: He deposited money in their commissary accounts, according to a consultant who is often in the jail and speaks regularly with inmates there.” This again suggests fear on Epstein’s part of what others might do to him in prison.

Epstein’s own lawyers have indicated they do not accept the finding of suicide. “The defense team fully intends to conduct its own independent and complete investigation into the circumstances and cause of Mr. Epstein’s death,” they said in a statement. “We are not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner.”

There are also reports that some jail staff members are not cooperating with the ongoing investigation into Epstein’s death.


Neo-fascist violence against British journalist Owen Jones

This 21 June 2019 video from Britain says about itself:

Owen Jones meets Francesca Martinez | ‘Austerity is a psychological attack on the disabled

Comedian and activist Francesca Martinez went viral on Question Time for calling out the government’s legacy on austerity – and the impact it has had on disabled people. Francesca has cerebral palsy and says that changes to disability support have made her feel ‘humiliated and embarrassed’ and calls austerity measures a ‘psychological attack on the disabled‘. We also found time to discuss her groundbreaking role in Grange Hill and working with Ricky Gervais on Extras

By Robert Stevens in Britain:

Guardian columnist Owen Jones attacked by fascist thugs in London

19 August 2019

The Socialist Equality Party condemns the vicious attack on Owen Jones, the Guardian columnist and prominent Labour Party activist, by fascist thugs in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The attack is the latest in a series on prominent left-wing figures and political organisations. On his twitter account Jones describes himself as “Socialist, antifascist, Guardian columnist, author…” He has over 1 million followers between his Twitter and Facebook pages.

Jones was attacked by a group of four men after coming out of a pub in Islington, London at around 2am. He had been celebrating his birthday with his partner and five friends. Jones sustained injuries to the head and back in the attack. A photo showed scrapes on Jones’ back.

Describing the events after his party, Jones told the Guardian, “We were about 30 metres away, saying goodbye to each other, when four men charged directly towards me: one of them karate kicked my back, threw me to the ground, started kicking me in the head and back, while my friends tried to drag them off, and were punched trying to defend me.

“It was clearly a premeditated attack and I was their target. They all attacked me and only assaulted my friends when they tried to defend me.”

On twitter he added, “The group then scarpered: I don’t know if they said anything in the melee. I’m fine other than a big bump on my head and a cut back.”

Jones said the assault was bound up with “the rise of an emboldened far right, which is increasingly violent, and targeting minorities and people on the left.” He told the Guardian, “In the past year I’ve been repeatedly targeted in the street by far right activists, including attempts to use physical assault, and homophobic abuse. I’ve had a far-right activist taking pictures of me, and posting threatening messages and a video.”

“Because of this, and escalating threats of violence and death, I’ve had the police involved. My friends felt it was a matter of time until this happened. Give the context, it seems unthinkable that I was singled out for anything other than a politically motivated premeditated attack.”

Jones has posted videos of various attacks, one of which can be viewed here.

Jones is followed down the street and verbally abused by a fascist mob, including the far-right provocateur James Goddard. One shouts, “Why are you doing the dirty work for Corbyn?”

Goddard asks Jones, in relation to Corbyn, “Why do you support a communist?”

Jones is gay and the abuse dished out includes homophobic slurs.

The journalist posted a tweet Saturday reproducing a photo taken previously by a far-right activist of Jones in a pub, with a threatening message. The photo is captioned, “Picture today Islington London Owen Jones.”

Above the post, a message read, “It gets worse hope not hate [the name of an anti-racist group] I can get that close to your like minded people its [sic] scary. Do not underestimate my talents of my past and present I even know your address [sic] of all you radicals.” It was signed, “Scott Timothy … and I’ve had enough.”

On Sunday afternoon, Jones told the BBC, after being asked if his attackers said anything to him, “It is very difficult when you’re suddenly on the floor being kicked in the head.” He added that “I’ve had evidence since, which I can’t discuss … which suggests political motivations.”

He added, “What happened—to be clear—is they spotted me in the pub, waited for us to leave, and then launched their attack when we were away from the pub—it was planned, not a random attack.”

In the last year alone, three leading figures on the left in the UK have been attacked by far-right forces, along with other incidents in which left-wing groups have been targeted in violent assaults.

In July last year, Steve Hedley, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union assistant general secretary was savagely assaulted in a pub by fascists after he spoke at a Stand Up to Racism demonstration in London. Hedley was left bleeding heavily from a head wound. His partner was also assaulted, including being hit by a chair, and ended up in hospital. No charges were laid by the police over the attack.

In March, Labour leader Corbyn himself was subject to an attack by a far-right thug at the Finsbury Park Mosque’s Muslim Welfare House. John Murphy approached Corbyn and smashed an egg in his clenched fist into the side of the Labour leader’s head while he was sitting down eating with his wife, Laura. Murphy was only given a 28-day sentence for “common assault” despite previously threatening to kill … Muslims in online posts.

It emerged during the 2018 trial of Darren Osborne—who killed a Muslim worshipper and injured 12 others when he ploughed a hired van into a crowd outside Finsbury Park Mosque in 2017—that he had planned to murder Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Last August, fascists attacked the Bookmarks bookshop in central London, run by the Socialist Workers Party. Again, no charges were brought by the police.

In January this year, far-right activists surrounded a Rail, Maritime and Transport union picket line at Victoria Station in Manchester, verbally abusing striking guards.

Only weeks ago, more than 100 supporters of fascist Tommy Robinson marched through Manchester city centre, holding an unprecedented demonstration inside the privately owned Arndale shopping centre. As part of their rampage, they smashed up the stall of a left-wing organisation, the Revolutionary Communist Group.

The police have said they will be look at CCTV footage relating to the attack on Jones, but as is demonstrated by the incidents listed above, they have done little or nothing to arrest and charge any perpetrators.

It is beyond doubt that if anyone from the wider left had committed such crimes as the attack on Jones, they would have been immediately rounded up, arrested and charged.

The SEP warned after Corbyn’s attacker received a paltry prison sentence that the attack on the Labour leader must be taken as “a serious warning of the dangerous right-wing political climate being whipped up by Britain’s ruling elite and its media outlets.”

The attack on Britain’s most prominent left journalist underscores these warnings and raises the necessity for heightened political vigilance and security regarding fascist provocateurs, combined with a determined political counteroffensive for socialism based on a mobilisation of the working class.

Among the tens of thousands who tweeted their support for Jones after the attack was Corbyn who said, “Owen believes it was politically motivated, and we know the far right is on the march in our country. An attack on a journalist is an attack on free speech and our fundamental values.”

… Among the leading forces giving succour to the far right are the Blairites—who speak in similar terms as the fascists about the danger of a “hard left”, “communist” government if Corbyn were ever to take power.

The author also recommends:

The assault on Jeremy Corbyn is a warning that must be heeded
[6 March 2019]

Pedophilia billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s death, unresolved questions

This 12 August 2019 video from the USA is called Former Inmate: “There’s No Way” Epstein Could’ve Offed Himself.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Why is the media dismissing questions about Jeffrey Epstein’s death as “conspiracy theories”?

13 August 2019

Nearly 72 hours after billionaire money manager and accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found unconscious on the floor of his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City, more and more evidence leads to the conclusion that his death was not the simple suicide proclaimed in the newspaper headlines and cable television reports.

It is now clear, as Attorney General William Barr admitted during an appearance at a police conference in New Orleans, that there were systematic violations of prison procedures at the MCC.

Epstein was taken off suicide watch 10 days before his death, although he had been hospitalized July 23 in a semi-conscious state with marks on his neck. He was then sent to share a cell with another prisoner in the protective housing unit. This is standard procedure for a suicide risk, since the cellmate can alert prison officials in the event of another attempt.

But on Friday, the same day that 2,000 pages of documents were released threatening to implicate an array of powerful and well-known figures in the scandal, Epstein’s cellmate was moved out, leaving him alone.

In a further violation of prison rules, guards did not check in on Epstein every half an hour during the night. At 6:30 a.m. the following morning he was found dead.

There is no innocent explanation for this string of actions or failures to act that culminated in the death of the most high-profile prisoner being held in federal custody. Epstein was either murdered by an assailant or allowed (and perhaps strongly encouraged) to commit suicide. In either case, the death is the outcome of a criminal conspiracy.

But the response to Epstein’s death on the part of the American media, led by the New York Times, has been to launch a coordinated campaign denouncing as “conspiracy theories” any questioning of the official story of unassisted suicide.

The denunciations began as soon as Epstein’s death was reported, in an attempt to delegitimize well-grounded and entirely appropriate suspicions of foul play, and in the complete absence of any credible explanation—or any explanation at all—as to how Epstein could wind up dead while in federal custody.

The campaign against “conspiracy theories” intensified on Monday. The Times published a filthy column by Charlie Warzel claiming that the widespread questioning of Epstein’s suicide was the product of a “deeply poisoned information ecosystem—one that’s built for speed and designed to reward the most incendiary impulses of its worst actors. It has ushered in a parallel reality unrooted in fact and helped to push conspiratorial thinking into the cultural mainstream.”

Warzel blamed Twitter for magnifying what he called “a vast discrepancy between the attention that is directed at the platform and the available information about the developing story.” But the lack of available information is not the fault of Twitter: it is the result of the official silence on the circumstances of Epstein’s death, as officials seek to work out a credible explanation for an inherently damning set of facts.

This relationship was underscored by the news account provided in Monday’s Times, which included the following two paragraphs, presented back-to-back:

“Senior law-enforcement officials, members of Congress and Mr. Epstein’s accusers have all demanded answers about why Mr. Epstein was not being more closely monitored. On Sunday, the Bureau of Prisons offered no explanation for why Mr. Epstein was left alone and not checked on.

“Mr. Epstein’s death has also unleashed a torrent of unfounded conspiracy theories online, with people suggesting, without evidence, that Mr. Epstein was killed to keep him from incriminating others.”

The contrast here is revealing. The prison officials have given no explanation for what took place on their premises, under their control, but the charge of proceeding with “no evidence” is laid at the feet of those suggesting that Epstein was murdered!

Perhaps the most extraordinary piece in the Times’ propaganda offensive was another article published yesterday attacking New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for acknowledging the obvious fact that the death of Epstein is “just too convenient”.

In a “news” article under the headline, “Epstein Conspiracy Theories: De Blasio, and Others Join Speculation,” Times authors Michael Gold and Jonah Engel Bromwich state that “such conspiracy theories usually thrive on the fringes. But the death of Mr. Epstein has drawn in notables in politics, media and the academic world who have joined in the unfounded speculation.”

In an effort to beat back such “unfounded speculation,” the Times cites Russell Muirhead, a professor at Dartmouth College, warning that social media “has allowed conspiratorial accusations to multiply and flourish because the gatekeepers who used to decide what should be aired or printed have been bypassed.” That is, the establishment media no longer has control over what information and ideas people can access.

The Times has given the lead in a broader media campaign to denounce so-called conspiracy theories about the case.

The Washington Post published an op-ed column headlined, “Don’t look to conspiracy theories for answers on Epstein,” written by Michael Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general, declaring that it is necessary to “tamp down the speculation, limit the conspiracy theorizing and postpone the condemnations.”

The Wall Street Journal published a news analysis headlined, “Conspiracy Theories Fly Online in Wake of Epstein Death,” which claimed that “social media fuels misinformation and threatens to erode public acceptance of the results of any investigation.”

From this the argument proceeds to the need for censorship. Conspiracy theories, the Journal writes, “present a significant challenge for the big online tech and social-media platforms in the broader war against misinformation.”

When it comes to “conspiracy theories”, of course, the one most amplified by the corporate media, and without the slightest evidence, is the claim that “Russian interference” in the 2016 presidential election accounts for the victory of Trump over Hillary Clinton. The New York Times and the Washington Post have been flogging that “conspiracy theory” for the last three years, only to have the Mueller report, awaited with great fanfare, turn out to be a damp squib.

Given the campaign over Russia, we are compelled to ask: What if a high-profile prisoner had died in a Moscow prison under circumstances similar to those surrounding Epstein’s death? There is no doubt that the Times (and the American media as a whole) would be denouncing claims of suicide and declaring Vladimir Putin the murderer.

This is not a matter of speculation. It has already happened, in the dubious media campaign over the death of Sergei Magnitsky in a Russian prison, as well as the propaganda blitz over the alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

The more important question is whom is the Times trying to protect? In their condemnation of conspiracy theories, the Times is responding to pressures being exerted from behind the scenes to get this story under control. Epstein knew and serviced very powerful people in corporate, finance and intelligence circles. He himself was a mere parvenu, from the standpoint of the ruling elite, but they had reason to fear that he might betray their ugly secrets.

There is a social logic to the circling of the wagons in the Epstein case. The US financial oligarchy feels itself under siege. It senses the tremendous hostility that exists within the population. If millions suspect that Epstein was murdered, it is because they know instinctively that the US ruling elite is fully capable of such a crime. It is not the peculiar properties of the internet and social media that account for such suspicions, but the entirely justified sentiments among millions of working people, who see the criminal character of the class that controls all wealth and power in America.

The American oligarchy, which includes both the owners and the editors of the New York Times, fears that a scandal implicating members of the elite in child prostitution and related sordid activities may have a politically explosive character. They are concerned that the exposure of foul play in Epstein’s death may lead to the same type of political revelations that his removal was intended to prevent.

The Epstein affair is not just a tawdry scandal, one among many. It is a significant political event. It demonstrates the nature of the US ruling elite, which is no less capable of the most heinous crimes than the Saudi sheikswho organized the butchery of Jamal Khashoggi.

Every great revolution in history has been preceded by similar scandals, in which the criminal and reactionary character of the old ruling class reveals itself, and that class is exposed for what it is: a cancer on the body politic.

SEVERE STAFFING SHORTAGE AT EPSTEIN’S JAIL One of Jeffrey Epstein’s guards the night he hanged himself in his federal jail cell wasn’t a regular correctional officer, according to a person familiar with the detention center, which is now under scrutiny for what Attorney General William Barr on Monday called “serious irregularities.” [AP]

The American media, largely unsuccessfully, continues to downplay notions that there was anything suspicious about the death of financier Jeffrey Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City on August 10. Epstein was at the facility awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges: here.

El Paso, USA racist massacre not unique

This 5 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

White Nationalist Terror Attack in El Paso Was Not an Isolated Incident

Gerald Horn and Arun Gupta outline the history of white terror in America and what its modern manifestation means for our future.

NYT NIGHTMARE HEADLINE The alleged gunman in Texas who killed at least 22 people Saturday reportedly shared a manifesto online that used similar language to Trump’s, and used the phrase: “Send them back.” But the first edition of the New York Times suggested that the president was attempting to unify the country with the front page headline: “Trump Urges Unity vs. Racism.” [HuffPost]

TRUMP BLAMES EVERYTHING BUT GUNS AND HIMSELF President Trump spoke Monday in response to the mass shootings over the weekend, calling them a “crime against all of humanity.” The president blamed white supremacy, the internet, video games and mental illness for the massacres. He did not blame guns or himself. [HuffPost]

TEXAS GUN LAWS ABOUT TO GET EVEN LOOSER Under the current laws in Texas, legal gun owners don’t require an additional permit to carry long guns, such as the one the El Paso gunman used last weekend, in unrestricted public areas. From Sept. 1, it will be even easier to carry guns in Texas churches, schools, apartment buildings and disaster zones. [HuffPost]

COUNTRIES WARN CITIZENS AGAINST U.S. TRAVEL Venezuela’s government issued a warning Monday telling Venezuelans to postpone planned trips to the U.S. or take precautions due to the “proliferation of violent acts and indiscriminate hate crimes.” The Uruguayan government also warned against hate-based violence in the U.S. [HuffPost]

THESE SHOOTERS ARE NOT LONE WOLVES Authorities say the shooter who killed 22 people and wounded dozens in El Paso, Texas, Saturday acted alone. In a narrow sense that may be true, but experts warn that it’s important to recognize his actions were rooted in a wider movement of white nationalism and violent extremism that is behind a growing number of mass murders.  [HuffPost]

HANNITY PROPOSES ARMED FORCE TO SURROUND SCHOOLS Fox News host Sean Hannity is calling for a virtual police state of armed ex-cops and military to “surround” schools and shopping malls to prevent mass shootings. [HuffPost]

Gay son of “Straight Pride” organizer says event “dog whistles” white supremacy.

TUCKER CARLSON: WHITE SUPREMACY IS A ‘HOAX’ Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday claimed there is no white supremacy problem in the United States and that the very notion of one is a hoax created by the media and the left. He has routinely given airtime to white nationalist conspiracy theories and talking points, yet claimed “the whole thing is a lie.” [HuffPost]

NEBRASKA GOP SLAMS SENATOR FOR CONDEMNING WHITE SUPREMACY The Nebraska Republican Party called on state Sen. John McCollister to quit the party after he accused his fellow Republicans of “enabling white supremacy” by staying silent on President Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric. [HuffPost]

CONGRESS CALLS ON 8CHAN OWNER TO TESTIFY Lawmakers have called on Jim Watkins, who owns 8chan, an online forum that amplifies the voices of violent extremists, to testify before Congress after the shooter in one of the weekend’s two massacres was believed to have posted on the website. [HuffPost]

CALI GOV: MAKE GENDER PART OF GUN VIOLENCE CONVERSATION California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday urged leaders to discuss the role of misogyny and toxic masculinity in gun violence, pointing out that mass shooters “overwhelmingly, almost exclusively, are males, boys, men.” [HuffPost]

German warmongering corporate journalist criticized

This video from Britain says about itself:

Dr Geoffrey P. Megargee: A Blind Eye and Dirty Hands: The Wehrmacht’s Crimes

After the Second World War,a myth arose to the effect that the German military, the Wehrmacht, had been an essentially anti-Nazi institution that had fought honourably against overwhelming odds, albeit under criminal leadership. Thus, any crimes were the fault of Adolf Hitler, a small circle of fanatical yes-men around him, and Nazi organizations such as the SS.

In this talk, Dr Geoffrey Megargee demonstrates that the Wehrmacht’s leadership shared most of Hitler’s goals and methods. The Wehrmacht launched a war of conquest and, especially in the east, aided and committed acts of genocide.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

A reply to Die Zeit editor Jochen Bittner

1 August 2019

On July 31, the WSWS published the articleZeit editor Jochen Bittner condemns ‘German pacifism’”. Following the publication, Bittner wrote to the WSWS requesting the contact information of the author of the article, WSWS editor Johannes Stern. We document the following e-mail exchange between Bittner and Stern.


Dear Mr. Stern, Thank you so much for sending me your contact information. I have just one short question: How old are you?

It seems unlikely to me that you grew up under the Nazi dictatorship. But perhaps you have a career in the SED (East German) regime behind you, for example in the MfS [Ministry for State Security – Stasi]? Or are you very young and historically blind?

I ask because the designation of politically-dissenting people as having a “malignant mentality” was a characteristic of both German dictatorships.

Yours sincerely,
Jochen Bittner

Dr. Jochen Bittner
Die Zeit
Political editor


Dear Dr. Bittner,

You want to know how old I am? I see no reason to give you my exact date of birth. But I will tell you this: I am old enough to remember the German reunification and all the solemn proclamations that this would mark the dawn of a new era of peace and democracy. Since then, like many others of my generation, I have seen all these promises refuted by endless wars, the rise of militarism and, to my great horror, the increasingly aggressive demands for a new German war policy.

My criticism of what you have written is not personal, but political. You use your influence as the political editor of Die Zeit and a writer for the New York Times to propagate militarism and war, which have horrific consequences. This is the lesson of the two world wars, of the 20th century and the illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East in this century. Your condemnation of pacifism and anti-militarism as “moral arrogance”, especially in the context of German history, is not simply the opinion of a “political dissident.”

As you should know, the first two charges at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials in 1945/46 were “Crimes against Peace” and “Participation in the Planning, Preparation, Unleashing, and Conduct of Wars of Aggression.” This was also taken into account in the German Basic Law. Article 26, for example, states that all “Acts tending to and undertaken with intent to disturb the peaceful relations between nations shall be unconstitutional. They shall be criminalized.”

What your commentary expresses is a now-advanced tendency in politics and the media to openly advocate aggressive foreign and great power-politics and war. This includes the systematic trivialization ofthe crimes of German imperialism in the First and Second World Wars, spearheaded by the Humboldt University Professors Herfried Muenkler (“It is hardly possible to carry out a responsible policy in Europe if one takes the view that we were to blame for everything”) and Jörg Baberowski (“Hitler was not vicious”).

Finally, allow me to ask you a question. In the course of your numerous strategy discussions with representatives of the foreign policy establishment and think tanks—such as the German Marshall Fund and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik [German Institute for International and Security Affairs]—have you ever discussed the consequences of your war-mongering? What would the world look like if it had to “fear” German militarism once again? How many countries are to be attacked this time and how many human lives are to be sacrificed for the interests of German imperialism and capitalism? What would be the consequences of a war against Iran or even the nuclear power Russia, for which you and Die Zeit agitate so diligently?

“Historically blind” describes someone who deals with these questions in a cynical and provocative manner and who, 80 years after the beginning of the Second World War, is once again War propaganda in German media agitating for war.

Yours sincerely,

Johannes Stern

Corporate journalist attacks pro-peace Germans

This 18 February 2019 German ARD TV video says about itself (translated):

Hitler salute: Bundeswehr slanders female witness | Panorama | NDR

Instead of finally clarifying whether at a farewell party for a lieutenant colonel the Hitler salute was brought, the Bundeswehr rather slandered the only witness.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

Die Zeit editor Jochen Bittner condemns “German pacifism”

31 July 2019

Last week the New York Times published an op-ed by Jochen Bittner, political editor for the German weekly Die Zeit, entitled, “The world used to fear German militarism. Then it disappeared. How pacifism conquered Germany.”

The article provides an insight into the politically-malignant mentality of affluent journalists who are eager to see German militarism marching again. Throughout the article, Bittner treats the German population’s aversion to war—the result of the horrors of Nazism and the second world war—as an obstacle to be overcome.

Bittner begins his article with the complaint: “The rebuff from Berlin may have been rough, but at least it marked a new age of clarity. Not only did the German government decline a recent American request to send ground troops to Syria…, but it didn’t even consider the idea: There was no debate in the Bundestag, and not even a real one in the press.”

And he continues: “This year, Germany’s postwar federal republic turns 70. Born from the moral and physical rubble of World War II, and reunited only 30 years ago, some of its national character traits are still being formed. Others have fully matured—including a deep and abiding anti-militarism.”

Bittner’s article appeared only one day after the swearing-in of new German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, an event that made clear if there is an “abiding, national character trait” of the German bourgeoisie, then it is militarism.

Kramp-Karrenbauer’s stated goals include doubling the military budget by 2024, building a Franco-German aircraft carrier, reintroducing compulsory military service and also sending German ground troops to Syria!

Bittner knows perfectly well that German the ruling class has long ago decided to throw away all the restrictions imposed on it after its crimes in two world wars and to revive German militarism. He has many connections with the foreign policy establishment and think tanks such as the German Marshall Fund and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and has actively contributed to the return of German militarism.

At the beginning of February 2014, Bittner described how a working group of fifty politicians, journalists, academics, military personnel and business representatives had prepared the revival of German militarism for over a year. The result of this “work” was published by the SWP under the title “New Power, New Responsibility: Elements of a German Foreign and Security Policy for a changing world.”

The SWP paper formed the basis for the intervention of then Federal President Joachim Gauck and the Federal Government at the Munich Security Conference 2014, where they announced the end of Germany’s foreign policy and military restraint. What Bittner concealed in his article was that he could only report in such detail on his topic because he himself had been a member of the working group that had drafted the SWP paper.

The new German great-power strategy also included intensive war propaganda in the media. Bittner also played a central role here. Shortly after the publication of the SWP paper, he placed a programmatic article entitled “Rethinking German Pacifism” in the New York Times on November 4, 2013, in which he spoke out against the “too deeply ingrained pacifism” of the Germans and called for more “military interventions”.

Five years later Bittner is embittered about the fact that the media’s aggressive war propaganda has not changed the anti-war mood of the population at all. Disappointed, he notes: “In Germany, war is always a shame, a sign of failure. The memory of war is inextricably linked to the collapse of civilization as such, to crimes so horrific and traumatic that they pose an eternal moral legacy on the Germans: never again.”

Bittner’s anger at the deeply rooted anti-militarism is evident in every sentence of his commentary. When in 1999 the Green Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer “argued in favor of using German arms during the Balkan wars, a fellow party member threw a balloon filled with red paint at his head” and “in a 2018 poll, 72 percent of Germans said that their country shouldn’t join military action against the Syrian regime … The message is clear: “All war is murder, and making the case for war is the argument of a murderer.”

Reading Bittner’s commentary, it becomes clear why the far-right AfD is courted and promoted by the established media and parties. Bittner’s complaints pursue the same reactionary goal as the AfD’s demands for a “180-degree turn in memory” or its designation of the Nazi terror regime as “a bird shit in over 1,000 years of successful German history.” The historical crimes of German imperialism must be relativized in order to prepare new ones!

“Germany’s decades-long effort to learn from history, and to be on the guard against slipping into another moral abyss, has produced an unintentional byproduct: moral arrogance”, complains Bittner.

The fact that the New York Times, the mouthpiece of the US intelligence apparatus and military, is promoting this propagandist of German militarism is primarily due to Bittner’s foreign policy orientation. As a former NATO correspondent of the Die Zeit, he belongs to the section of the ruling class that, just like the New York Times, is constantly agitating for a more aggressive confrontation with Russia, raising the threat of a nuclear third world war.