Dutch Wilders helps German Pegida of Hitler copycat Bachmann


The image of Lutz Bachmann styled as Adolf Hitler was published by the Dresden Morgenpost after a reader spotted it on Facebook

This image of Lutz Bachmann, fuehrer of the racist Pegida organisation in Germany, who had styled himself as Adolf Hitler, was published by the Dresden Morgenpost.

By Christoph Dreier in Germany:

Right-wing extremist Geert Wilders delivers diatribe in Dresden, Germany

15 April 2015

On Monday evening, the Dutch right-wing extremist Geert Wilders spoke at a Pegida demonstration in Dresden. Although only a few thousand people came from throughout Germany to the event, the major media outlets endeavoured to utilise Wilders’ appearance to resurrect the Islamophobic movement.

The self-proclaimed “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West” (Pegida) have conducted a weekly demonstration in Dresden since last October, and have received intense media attention. Numerous politicians have spoken in favour of a dialogue with the Islamophobes. On the basis of this press attention, up to 20,000 people came to the right-wing extremist gatherings at times.

However, the number of protesters then dropped just as quickly. In recent weeks, even the police said only a few thousand participants attended, travelling from all over Germany. The Pegida organizers attempted to counter this trend by inviting Wilders, and the event received comprehensive media coverage prior to it.

Wilders is one of the most foul agitators and right-wing extremists in Europe. He makes Islam and the Koran responsible for extremist terrorism, and calls for a ban on Muslim texts and customs. He wants to reduce immigration and reintroduce border controls within the European Union.

In his speech, he called on the Pegida protesters to take pride in Germany and to oppose “Islamic barbarism”. Islam called for the killing of Jews and Christians and for this reason must not become part of Germany, said Wilders, who warned against the “Islamisation of our society”.

The invitation of Wilders is part of an attempt to network Pegida across Europe and to perpetuate an Islamophobia and extreme right-wing movement in Germany. Besides Wilders, the ex-journalist Udo Ulfkotte and the former Berlin Christian Democratic state deputy and founder of the right-wing Party of Freedom, René Stadtkewitz, were invited as speakers. In March, the Swiss right-wing extremist Ignaz Bearth spoke at a Pegida meeting, and the new right thinker Götz Kubitschek was given a platform.

At the same time, Pegida announced it would stand its own candidate for Dresden mayor on June 7. The right-wing extremists want to enter Tatjana Festerling into the race, who like no other embodies the backwardness and vulgarity of the movement.

Festerling was a founding member of the Hamburg state association of the Alternative for Germany (AfD). She was the deputy marketing manager of the state association and, by her own account, also designed campaigns of the federal party. In Hamburg, she ran as a district candidate of the party.

After she glorified the hooligan demonstration against the Salafists in Cologne on the JournalistWatch web site, which involved violent rioting, the AfD threatened to expel her. The defence of right-wing extremists went too far even for the AfD leadership.

Festerling avoided expulsion by quitting the party in late January. She was a speaker at the Pegida demonstrations in Dresden and has advanced to become the new front person of the movement. In her speeches, she makes no secret of her far-right views.

There were “floods of asylum seekers, which they, the destroyers of the Germany of [Chancellor Angela] Merkel and Gabriel and Tillich, are swamping our Dresden, Saxony and our Germany.” And many asylum seekers, she says, were “men, who abandoned their families and homes because the state provided nicer accommodation and regular incomes here.”

In the many speeches she has made, not only in Dresden but also at the mini-demonstrations of Pegida offshoots in other cities, she rails against “the continually offended, continually demanding impudent minorities from Islamic countries who get on our nerves with their Koran and special rights.”

The 50-year-old explicitly supported the views of Geert Wilders, that Islam is identical with Islamic extremism. “I do not distinguish between Islamism and Islam,” she said in an interview.

Her xenophobic tirades are paired with long-winded and vulgar attacks on homosexuals and sexual minorities, which in her view terrorise the majority. She compares sex education at school with paedophilia. If Dresden will not defend itself against such developments, she proposes building a new version of the Berlin Wall.

That such a dull and vulgar personality can be elevated as a political figure speaks volumes, not just about Pegida, but also about the media and politicians who have supported her movement since October.

In January, the Saxony state premier Stanislaw Tillich declared that he did not want to ban the Pegida demonstrations. At the same time, he said that Islam was not a part of Germany and that Muslim associations in Germany should distance themselves from terrorism more clearly. “People are afraid of Islam because acts of terrorism are perpetrated in the name of Islam,” he told Welt am Sonntag.

On January 23, the publically funded National Centre for Civic Education invited Saxony Pegida representatives to an official exchange, which was also attended by the chairman of the Social Democratic Party and German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

But all these efforts could not consolidate the Pegida movement. Significantly more counterdemonstrators regularly demonstrate on the streets than right-wing extremists, and the number of Islamophobia participants has declined. A split occurred in the Pegida alliance in February, and the clique around Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann aligned themselves more closely with European right-wing extremists.

Only when the movement shrank again did some politicians, who had previously regarded Pegida affirmatively, distance themselves. Wilders’ appearance was accompanied by a renewed media campaign popularising the movement, showing that the far-right group continues to receive support and is regarded as useful by sections of the ruling elite.

The social attacks in Europe and the militarisation of German foreign policy are rejected by the vast majority of the population. Pegida mobilises the dregs of society, attempting to intimidate this opposition and create a social basis for its suppression.

Henry Jackson and his Society, racism, war, corruption, torture supporters


This military video from the USA is called Japanese Americans in WWII.

From the Independent series about US American activists:

Minoru Yasui

1942

In the Second World War, a notice was suddenly posted throughout Japanese neighbourhoods: “All persons of Japanese ancestry will be evacuated from the above designated area by 12 o’clock noon”.

There was nothing in the evacuation order or in any public law that allowed the United States government to keep Americans within any restricted area. But the War Relocation Authority, by pure executive fiat, detained us under their jurisdiction and sent us to camps. The military, without imposing martial law, was ordering the civilian to do something. In my opinion, that’s the way dictatorships are formed.

And if I, as an American citizen, stood still for this, I would be derogating the rights of all citizens. I had to stand up and say, “That’s wrong”. I refused to report for evacuation. Sure enough, within the week, I got a telephone call saying, “We’re coming to get you”. I can still see them. The lieutenant was in a saloon car. A jeep followed with four military policemen. I was thrown into the North Portland Livestock Pavilion, where Japanese-Americans had been put. In stalls where horses and cows were kept, people now lived. It was sweltering, but we had no way to escape it. They wouldn’t let us outside.

In September, they started moving us into desert camps. You were surrounded with barbed-wire fences, armed guards, searchlights, and machine-gun nests. We wondered how long we were going to be interned. What was going to happen? By then, we had heard rumours of forced labour camps in Germany. Were they, as [the journalist] Westbrook Pegler and others were suggesting, going to castrate the men and ship them back to Japan? These things were in the papers constantly: make them suffer. Make them hurt. And I kept on thinking, “What did I do?”

One of the most vocal advocates of this putting into concentration camps of people just because of their ancestry, was US politician Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson.

Before we go to Britain today, first some more United States political history.

In the twentieth century, there was the late United States senator and failed presidential candidate Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson. Mr Jackson was corrupt, Jackson’s nickname was “the gentleman from Boeing“. Boeing being a military contractor getting lots of taxpayers’ money for killing and torturing people. Jackson was also a major supporter of wars, like in Vietnam.

Jackson was a strong supporter of the racist internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps because of their ethnicity during World War II.

The 21st century ‘Henry Jackson Society’ seems to have substituted Muslims for Japanese-Americans. This society includes hard-line politicians from the USA. And from Britain: right-wing Conservatives, like David Cameron’s now-sacked education secretary Michael Gove. And right-wing ‘new’ Labour Blairites. Like Denis MacShane, convicted for, and kicked out of the Labour party for, corruption. So, really similar to Henry Jackson. Also similar in being a warmonger, supporting war in Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever.

Unfortunately, Denis MacShane is not unique within Labour in Britain.

The recently elected leader of the party in Scotland, Jim Murphy, is a Tony Blair loyalist, supporting war in Iraq etc. etc. And more fishy details have emerged about Mr Murphy: his links to the Henry Jackson Society.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

Labour’s stand is unequivocal, but …

Friday 10th April 2015

The Henry Jackson Society is little-known outside Parliament but apparently is big in Westminster. SOLOMON HUGHES puts it under his microscope

The Labour Party responded quickly to last year’s US Senate intelligence committee report on CIA torture — it rushed out a statement by shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander saying there is “no justification for the use of torture.

“It is both illegal and morally wrong,” Alexander said. “This damning Senate report confirms that the use of extreme interrogation techniques by the CIA not only failed to secure actionable intelligence, but also damaged standing and reputation of the United States of America around the world.”

But nine top Labour MPs — including their Scottish leader Jim Murphy and shadow cabinet member Chris Bryant, are supporters of an obscure but powerful neoconservative think tank which has defended the CIA against allegations of torture for years, promoting speakers making the pro-CIA case inside the Houses of Parliament.

Murphy, Bryant and co sit on the advisory board of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS).

Douglas Murray, associate director of the HJS gave a flavour of their approach on BBC’s This Week soon after the release of the Senate report.

Murray attacked the report and defended the CIA. Murray argued the idea that “torture is torture, is plain wrong” because “there are degrees” and “America didn’t do the worst things.” Murray condemned the “ceaseless attacks on our intelligence services and the efforts to stop them doing the job that they need to do to keep us safe. We should accept that aspects of that job don’t seem very nice from the comfort of our sitting rooms.”

Murray’s attitude is consistent with the HJS. In 2012 it published an article about attempts to uncover CIA “black sites” in Poland — the torture chambers referred to in the recent Senate report.

HJS researcher Robin Simcox argued: “Europeans look down on America’s interrogation techniques, comfortable in its [sic] moral superiority. How easy it is to pass judgment once America had done the dirty work that no-one else had the stomach for.”

The HJS is little-known outside Parliament, but big in Westminster. It is a £1 million-a-year operation, although the society won’t say where its money comes from. It is a neocon-ish think tank [advocating] “The pursuit of a robust foreign policy” and a “strong military.” HJS is based in London, but named after a US senator best known for supporting the Vietnam war.

Labour MPs on the HJS advisory board include Hazel Blears, Margaret Beckett, Jim Murphy, John Spellar, Gisela Stuart, Ben Bradshaw, Chris Bryant and Khalid Mahmood.

There are also 28 Tory MPs on the board, mostly from the right of the party, along with Ukip’s new MP Mark Reckless.

None of the Labour MPs on the board appear to have objected to the HJS’s persistent attempts to defend the CIA from accusations of torture.

In October 2013 the HJS arranged a meeting with former CIA boss General Mike Hayden in the House of Lords where he justified torture. Hayden told the meeting that “there is a very long scale with varying shades of grey, as to what constitutes torture, and what doesn’t constitute torture.”

He argued waterboarding and sleep deprivation are “not torture” and made light of the “13 techniques” of “enhanced interrogation” used by the CIA saying: “Four of which I had happened (sic) to me in Catholic grade school.”

I asked Davis Lewin, HJS deputy director, about the way they backed the CIA on torture allegations. He said: “The society’s institutional line on torture is the same as that expressed by our associate director Douglas Murray on December 14 2014,” pointing to an article where Murray wrote “Actual torture … is so wrong that it should not be done whatever the possible cost-benefits.”

In the same article Murray wrote that there are “convincing reasons to believe” that the Senate report on CIA torture “is largely or partly untrue.” He also suggested that slapping and sleep deprivation are not torture.

Lewin also said that the HJS “opposes the use of waterboarding, however note that it is a legal grey area as US government policy has differed on its use, constituting it as both permissible and non-permissible.”

I emailed all the Labour MPs on the HJS advisory board to ask why they were backing the HJS, given its long-running stand with the CIA over torture allegations. Most did not reply. Ben Bradshaw MPs spokesperson suggested I contact Chris Bryant MP, who could explain both their involvement with HJS.

I contacted Bryant, but he didn’t reply. It almost seems like these normally talkative MPs are embarrassed by their involvement with this neocon think tank.

Nine of the 11 Labour MPs on the HJS board voted to join George Bush in the war with Iraq in March 2003 (Margaret Beckett, Hazel Blears, Ben Bradshaw, Chris Bryant, Meg Munn, Jim Murphy, John Spellar, Gisela Stuart and Derek Twigg), while Birmingham MP and HJS board member Khalid Mahmood abstained on that Iraq war vote.

So this does look like a remnant of the times when new Labour were in bed with the US Republican hawks over Iraq — although in the absence of any statement it is hard to say where they stand at all.

Only one Labour MP on the HJS board — Bridgend’s Dai Havard — responded. He is also the only one of them who joined 139 other rebel Labour MP’s to oppose the Iraq war in March 2003. Havard distanced himself from HJS thought, saying: “The Henry Jackson Society and its operatives do not speak for me and I do not speak for them.”

He added: “I disagree, personally and politically, with many aspects of the output of the HJS and many of the arguments and opinions of the individuals it invites to speak in parliamentary events.”

Havard told me that that many US government responses to terrorism were brutal and wrong and that HJS were useful because they “represent a body of thoughts and policy influences, particularly in the US, which we all need to understand and engage with if we are to change such responses.”

Jim Murphy’s promise that a Labour government would protect Scotland from future spending cuts was contradicted by three of his senior colleagues on Monday, leading to claims that he had been “hung out to dry” by his party’s Westminster leadership: here.

Racist police e-mails in Louisiana, USA


This video from Louisiana in the USA says about itself:

Northshore civil rights group calls for resignation of St. Tammany Parish sheriff

4 June 2014

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain refuses to step down amid controversy surrounding racially-charged emails.

By David Lohr in the USA:

The 13 Racist Police E-mails You Didn’t Read

Posted: 04/09/2015 11:22 am EDT Updated: 04/09/2015 11:59 am EDT

The release of racist and offensive emails by city officials in Ferguson, Missouri, touched off a firestorm of criticism across the country this week, with swift moral outrage and demands for immediate change.

It is the type of progressive change that was missing this time last year, when it was revealed that a similar series of emails were allegedly sent and received by white detectives at a Louisiana sheriff’s office.

Similarly to Ferguson, the racially charged emails depicted black men as animals, likened President Barrack Obama to a monkey and referred to African Americans as the “entitlement crowd.”

It seems like every day there’s a new battle being fought over discrimination in the U.S. There was the Ellen Pao trial and its claims of sexual bias at Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firm, the continuing revelations of endemic racial discrimination in Ferguson, Missouri, and the so-called religious freedom law in Indiana that many believe is a thinly veiled cover for anti-gay discrimination. If racial and gender discrimination were purely matters of fairness, ending them would still be a worthy cause. But there is another reason to combat discrimination — it boosts the economy: here.

‘It’s Racist As Hell': Inside St. Louis County’s Predatory Night Courts: here.

Reforming Ferguson-style “debtors’ prisons” here in Washington State: here.

CHICAGO TO PAY REPARATIONS TO TORTURE VICTIMS “Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that the city has reached an agreement to provide a sweeping package of reparations to victims of a notorious Chicago police commander who for decades ran a torture ring against suspects. Police officers under former Chicago police commander Jon Burge used electrical shock, burning and mock executions to elicit confessions from suspects, mostly African-American, from the early 1970s through the early 1990s.” [USA Today]

Improve Turkish-Armenian relations, Dutch parliament says


Turkey and Armenia

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The Dutch government must continue to call on the Turkish government to seek rapprochement with Armenia and to seek reconciliation. An overwhelming majority of parliament voted for a motion to that effect. Only the PVV and the Kuzu-Öztürk group voted against.

Geert Wilders‘ xenophobic PVV party hates everyone who is supposedly ‘racially impure’, whether that person is from Poland, Romania, Turkey, Armenia, Morocco or Suriname.

The Kuzu-Öztürk group are two MPs of Turkish ancestry, elected for the PvdA party (junior partner in the Dutch coalition government). They split from the PvdA because of differences on various issues (eg, they are more sympathetic to the Erdogan government in Turkey than the PvdA is).

The immediate reason for the motion is the commemoration of the Armenian genocide on April 24th.

Walter Scott killed by South Carolina, USA, police


This video from the USA says about itself:

South Carolina Cop Shoots Unarmed Black Man, Walter Scott, In The Back *Unedited Footage*

7 April 2015

The following contains unedited, graphic footage of the April 4, 2015, shooting of Walter Scott by North Charleston Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager taken by an anonymous bystander.

By Joseph Kishore in the USA:

Police murder in South Carolina

9 April 2015

Officials in South Carolina have charged North Charleston police officer Michael Slager with murder in Saturday’s killing of Walter Scott, a 50-year-old father of four. The decision came only after the release of a cell phone video of the killing, which was taken by a bystander and provided to the New York Times by a lawyer for Scott’s family.

The video shows an unambiguous act of murder and attempted cover-up. Scott and Slager are together in an empty lot. Scott, unarmed, begins to run from Slager, who then takes out his weapon and fires eight bullets into Scott’s back from about 20 feet away.

The police officer then walks calmly toward Scott, yelling at the motionless man to put his hands behind his back. With Scott unresponsive, Slager proceeds to cuff him. He then jogs back to the site of the original confrontation, picks up what appears to be a Taser stun gun, and drops it near the lifeless body. A second officer who has come onto the scene witnesses the attempted frame-up.

No attempts are made to provide CPR or otherwise administer aid to Scott, who is lying face down in the mud. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The killing of Scott exposes not only the savage violence carried out by police every day in American cities, but also the modus operandi used to justify these actions. In the three days between the shooting and the release of the video, police and local officials, together with the media, were giving out the standard rationalizations and lies.

The police officer “felt threatened last weekend when the driver he had stopped for a broken light tried to overpower him and take his Taser,” the local Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier reported on Monday. The newspaper went on to say that Scott had a criminal record and the cop feared for his life. Officers performed CPR and administered aid, it reported, but nothing could be done.

It was a “tragic incident” all around, Slager’s lawyer was quoted as saying.

All lies, exposed only because of the video footage. Walter Scott Sr., the victim’s father, noted in an interview with NBC on Wednesday that without the video, “It would never, never come to light. They would have swept it under the rug, like they did with many others.” He added, “The way he was shooting that gun, it looked like he was trying to kill a deer.”

The murder of Scott is horrific, but it is not an aberration. According to killedbypolice.net, so far this year police officers across the country have killed 312 people, or more than three per day. At the present rate, the number of people killed by police this year will surpass last year’s total of 1,100.

Some of the more recent incidents include:

* Philip White, 32, in Vineland, New Jersey on March 31. A video shows the unarmed White, prostrate on the ground, being hit by police and bitten in the face by a police dog. One officer is seen attempting to confiscate the cell phone of the person recording the arrest. White later died in what Vineland Police Chief Timothy Codispoti called an “in-custody, non-shooting death.”

* Eric Harris, 44, in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 2. A police officer claims he shot the unarmed Harris once while arresting him, “inadvertently” using his gun instead of his Taser.

* Justus Howell, 17, in Zion, Illinois on April 4. Howell died from two gunshot wounds in his back. Police claimed that he had attempted to steal a gun earlier, but there are no indications that he posed a threat to officers in any way. There is no video of the killing.

* An unidentified man in Phoenix, Arizona on April 4. Police say the man, evidently mentally disturbed, had been stabbing himself in the street. A local news report states that when officers arrived “the man reportedly lunged toward” the officers. They “felt threatened and fired their weapons.”

The same basic story is repeated over and over again. Police officers, armed to the teeth with military-grade weaponry, have been given a license to kill, which they use with shocking regularity and almost always with complete legal impunity.

Slager must be convicted for his actions and punished to the fullest extent of the law. All those who sought to cover up for the murder must also be arrested and prosecuted.

However, this is only the beginning of real accountability. The entire state is culpable in the development of what is, in fact, a paramilitary occupying force, composed of death squads operating under the cover of the law.

Today is exactly eight months since the August 9 murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which provoked popular outrage and demonstrations throughout the country. The political establishment responded by orchestrating the exoneration of police officer Darren Wilson, including the decision by the Obama administration last month not to bring civil rights charges. The wholesale transfer of military equipment to local police forces has continued unabated.

This has been interpreted by police as a green light to escalate their murderous rampage, resulting in at least 746 deaths since Brown’s killing.

The homicidal behavior evident in the actions of Slager and countless others reflects a mentality deliberately and systematically cultivated in the police. The population has no rights. Any act of disobedience can become a capital offense. The lives of workers and poor people are expendable.

Media commentary on the killing of Scott has centered on the fact that Scott is black and Slager white. However, police violence in America, and the determination of the state to defend this violence, cannot be explained simply or primarily by reference to racism, whatever role it might play in any particular incident. …

Police repression within the United States is the domestic expression of the same methods employed by the ruling class to defend its interests abroad, through endless wars and drone assassinations. Within the country, the corporate and financial aristocracy, which has amassed its wealth through fraud and criminality, stands atop a crisis-ridden system, with historically unprecedented levels of inequality threatening to trigger explosive social conflicts. It responds with violence and brutality.

In the murderous actions of the police, one sees the reality of class rule in America.

WITNESS OF SOUTH CAROLINA POLICE SHOOTING SPEAKS OUT “The bystander who recorded a South Carolina officer fatally shooting an unarmed black man eight times said the cop had control of the situation before he pulled out his gun, and that he had not heard the officer give a warning before he fired.” The video has reinvigorated the ongoing debate on police force, and here’s the news report you’d be reading if the video hadn’t been released. [Andy Campbell, HuffPost]

DASHCAM VIDEO OF WALTER SCOTT’S FINAL MOMENTS “A dashcam video released by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Agency on Thursday shows the moments before 50-year-old Walter Scott was fatally shot by Officer Michael Slager. The video shows Slager pulling over Scott’s car and asking a series of questions before Scott opens his car door and runs away.” Slager’s mother spoke to the press of her horror at the video of her son killing Scott. [Lilly Workneh, HuffPost]

A South Carolina police officer charged with murder after shooting an unarmed man in the back had a prior complaint made against him about using force. The police are re-investigating Michael Slager’s use of a stun gun on Mario Givens in 2013: here.

Michael Slager, the North Charleston, South Carolina police officer who murdered Walter Scott on April 4, had a history of police brutality: here.

Walter Scott shooting: Officer Michael Slager heard laughing about his ‘pumping’ adrenaline minutes after killing: here.

Hundreds of people attended a public funeral service for Walter Scott, the unarmed man who was killed April 4 by police officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina. A video emerged last week showing Slager shooting Scott multiple times in the back as he was attempting to flee, and Slager was charged with murder on Tuesday. Roughly 450 people filled Word Ministries Christian Center in North Charleston to capacity during the funeral ceremony Sunday, and another two hundred people waited outside the church: here.