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Monday, April 30, 2012

Paul Craig Roberts - Trials Without Crimes Or Evidence


» Trials Without Crimes Or Evidence


___________________________________________________
A fish rots from the head

Trials Without Crimes Or Evidence

Andy Worthington is a superb reporter who has specialized in providing the facts of the US government’s illegal abuse of “detainees,” against whom no evidence exists. (http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/ ) In an effort to create evidence, the US government has illegally resorted to torture. Torture produces false confessions, plea bargains, and false testimony against others in order to escape further torture.

For these reasons, in Anglo-American law self-incrimination secured through torture has been impermissible evidence for centuries. So also has been secret evidence withheld from the accused and his attorney. Secret evidence cannot be confronted. Secret evidence is distrusted as made-up in order to convict the innocent. The evidence is secret because it cannot stand the light of day.

The US government relies on secret evidence in its cases against alleged terrorists, claiming that national security would be threatened if the evidence were revealed. This is abject nonsense. It is an absurd claim that presenting evidence against a terrorist jeopardizes the national security of the United States.

To the contrary, not presenting evidence jeopardizes the security of each and every one of us. Once the government can convict defendants on the basis of secret evidence, even the concept of a fair trial will disappear. Fair trials are already history, but the concept lingers.

Secret evidence murders the concept of a fair trial. It murders justice and the rule of law. Secret evidence means anyone can be convicted of anything. As in Kafka’s The Trial,
people will cease to know the crimes for which they are being tried and convicted.

This extraordinary development in Anglo-American law, a development demanded by the unaccountable Bush/Obama Regime, has not resulted in impeachment proceedings; nor has it caused an uproar from Congress, the federal courts, the presstitute media, law schools, constitutional scholars, and bar associations.

Having bought the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory, Americans just want someone to pay. They don’t care who as long as someone pays. To accommodate this desire, the government has produced some “high value detainees” with Arab or Muslim names.
But instead of bringing these alleged malefactors to trial and presenting evidence against them, the government has kept them in torture dungeons for years trying to create through the application of pain and psychological breakdown guilt by self-incrimination in order to create a case against them.

The government has been unsuccessful and has nothing that it can bring to a real court. So the Bush/Obama Regime created and recreated “military tribunals” to lend “national security” credence to the absolute need that non-existent evidence be kept secret.

Andy Worthington in his numerous reports does a good job in providing the history of the detainees and their treatment. He deserves our commendation and support. But what I want to do is to ask some questions, not of Worthington, but about the idea that the US is under terrorist threat.

By this September, 9/11 will be eleven years ago. Yet despite the War on Terror, the loss of Americans’ privacy and civil liberties, an expenditure of trillions of dollars on numerous wars, violations of US and international laws against torture, and so forth, no one has been held accountable. Neither the perpetrators nor those whom the perpetrators outwitted, assuming that they are different people, have been held accountable. Going on 11 years and no trials of villains or chastisement of negligent public officials. This is remarkable.

The government’s account of 9/11 implies massive failure of all US security and intelligence agencies along with those of our NATO puppets and Israel’s Mossad.
The government’s official line also implies the failure of the National Security Council, NORAD and the US Air Force, Air Traffic Control, Airport Security four times in one hour on the same morning. It implies the failure of the President, the Vice President, the National Security Adviser, the Secretary of Defense.

Many on the left and also libertarians find this apparent failure of the centralized and oppressive government so hopeful that they cling to the official “government failure” explanation of 9/11. However, such massive failure is simply unbelievable. How in the world could the US have survived the cold war with the Soviets if the US government were so totally incompetent?

If we attribute superhero powers to the 19 alleged hijackers, powers in excess of V’s in V for Vendetta or James Bond’s or Captain Marvel’s, and assume that these young terrorists, primarily Saudi Arabians, outwitted Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Tony Blair, along with the CIA, FBI, MI5 and MI6, Mossad, etc., one would have expected for the President, Congress, and the media to call for heads to roll. No more humiliating affront has ever been suffered by a major power than the US suffered on 9/11. Yet, absolutely no one, not even some lowly traffic controller, was scapegoated and held accountable for what is considered to be the most extraordinarily successful terrorist attack in human history, an attack so successful that it implies total negligence across the totality of the US government and that of all its allies.

This just doesn’t smell right. Total failure and no accountability. The most expensively funded security apparatus the world has ever known defeated by a handful of Saudi Arabians. How can anyone in the CIA, FBI, NSA, NORAD, and National Security Council hold up their heads? What a disgraced bunch of jerks and incompetents.

What do we need them for?

Consider the alleged hijackers. Despite allegedly being caught off guard by the 9/11 attacks, the FBI was soon able to identify the 19 hijackers despite the fact that apparently none of the alleged hijackers’ names are on the passenger lists of the airliners that they allegedly hijacked.

How did 19 passengers get on airplanes in the US without being on the passenger lists?

I do not personally know if the alleged hijackers were on the four airliners. Moreover, defenders of the official 9/11 story claim that the passenger lists released to the public were “victims lists,” not passenger lists, because the names of the hijackers were withheld and only released some four years later after 9/11 researchers had had years in which to confuse victims lists with passenger lists. This seems an odd explanation. Why encourage public misinformation for years by withholding the passenger lists and issuing victims lists in their place? It cannot have been to keep the hijackers’ names a secret as the FBI released a list of the hijackers several days after 9/11. Even more puzzling, if the hijackers’ names were on the airline passenger lists, why did it take the FBI several days to confirm the names and numbers of hijackers?

Researchers have found contradictions in the FBI’s accounts of the passenger lists with the FBI adding and subtracting names from its various lists and some names being misspelled, indicating possibly that the FBI doesn’t really know who the person is. The authenticity of the passenger lists that were finally released in 2005 is contested, and the list apparently was not presented as evidence by the FBI in the Moussaoui trial in 2006. David Ray Griffin has extensively researched the 9/11 story. In one of his books, 9/11 Ten Years Later, Griffin writes: “Although the FBI claimed that it had received flight manifests from the airlines by the morning of 9/11, the ‘manifests’ that appeared in 2005 had names that were not known to the FBI until a day or more after 9/11. These 2005 ‘manifests,’ therefore, could not have been the original manifests for the four 9/11 flights.”

The airlines themselves have not been forthcoming. We are left with the mystery of why simple and straightforward evidence, such as a list of passengers, was withheld for years and mired in secrecy and controversy.

We have the additional problem that the BBC and subsequently other news organizations established that 6 or 7 of the alleged hijackers on the FBI’s list are alive and well and have never been part of any terrorist plot.

These points are not even a beginning of the voluminous reasons that the government’s 9/11 story looks very thin.

But the American public, being throughly plugged into the Matrix, are not suspicious of the government’s thin story. Instead, they are suspicious of the facts and of those experts who are suspicious of the government’s story. Architects, engineers, scientists, first responders, pilots, and former public officials who raise objections to the official story are written off as conspiracy theorists. Why does an ignorant American public think it knows more than experts? Why do Americans believe a government that told them the intentional lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction despite the fact that the weapons inspectors reported to President Bush that Hussein had no such weapons? And now we see the same thing all over again with the alleged, but non-existent, Iranian nukes.

As Frantz Fanon wrote, the power of cognitive dissonance is extreme. It keeps people comfortable and safe from threatening information. Most Americans find the government’s lies preferable to the truth. They don’t want to be unplugged from the Matrix. The truth is too uncomfortable for emotionally and mentally weak Americans.

Worthington focuses on the harm being done to detainees. They have been abused for much of their lives. Their innocence or guilt cannot be established because the evidence is compromised by torture, self-incrimination, and coerced testimony against others. They stand convicted by the government’s accusation alone. These are real wrongs, and Worthington is correct to emphasize them.

In contrast, my focus is on the harm to America, on the harm to truth and truth’s power, on the harm to the rule of law and accountability to the people of the government and its agencies, on the harm to the moral fabric of the US government and to liberty in the United States.

As the adage goes, a fish rots from the head. As the government rots, so does the United States of America.

About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hitler's Fighting Frenchmen


Hitler's Fighting Frenchmen
By Richard Landwehr
Since the end of World War II, all the participating nations have ignored one of its most significant and fascinating chapters. This is the documented story of the Frankreich Brigade and the Charlemagne Division - thousands of French volunteers who fought with the Waffen-SS from 1943 until "the last bullet" in May 1945.
The first French volunteer unit of the Waffen-SS was authorized by Marshal Pétain's Vichy government on June 22, 1943. Unofficially, SS recruitment of Frenchmen who wanted a crack at the British, the Bolsheviks or both had been ongoing since 1940 in the German-occupied portion of France.
Most of the earlier French volunteers had simply been assigned individually to German SS units, notably the Viking and Totenkopf Divisions. Many were of at least partial German extraction. Since July 7, 1941 French volunteers had been serving with the Wehrmacht (German Armed Forces) in the Legion des Voluntaires Francais contre le Bolshevism, or LVF. This was a full-blown combat regiment trained and equipped by the German Army to fight on the Eastern Front.
Until it was disbanded on September 1, 1944, the LVF saw action in the USSR both in the front lines and against rear area partisan guerillas. A total of 6,429 soldiers served in its ranks of whom about 400 were killed and 1,000 wounded. When the LVF disbanded about 1,200 of its members joined the Waffen-SS. Until 1943, the Waffen-SS had concentrated on recruiting "Germanic" foreign volunteers, leaving recruitment of other volunteers to the German Army. The French volunteers were initially considered "Latins" by the Waffen-SS leadership, but subsequently were reclassified to some extent as "Germanics" - those qualified to become full-fledged SS men.
The French SS Volunteer Grenadier Regiment was established on August 18, 1943, with the sanction of Adolf Hitler. At that time there were some 1,500 recruits on hand, 800 of whom were sent to the SS Germanic training Camp at Sennheim, Alsace. Other French volunteers were sent to specialty training schools and to the established SS academies for officer and NCO training.
By the end of January 1944 this regiment contained 2,480 French volunteers organized into two infantry battalions of four companies each, plus a headquarters staff company and signals, antitank, engineer and air defense platoons. On June 30, 1944, the regiment was officially upgraded to the 8.SS-Sturmbrigade Frankreich, or 8th French Assault Brigade; even though the overall strength now was listed at only 1,688 officers and men. Presumably volunteers still at various training institutes.
This new French brigade was ordered to form a battlegroup for emergency deployment on the Eastern Front. The main battlegroup consisted of 18 officers and 1,000 of other ranks organized into three infantry companies, a staff company and engineer squad, an anti-tank platoon and supply and medical sections. From August 10 to 15, 1944 the French SS Battalion was engaged in very heavy fighting against a Soviet advance force to the west of Sanok. The unit held its ground tenaciously while taking some 200 casualties.
Soldiers of the Charlemagne DivisionOn August 17 I./Frankreich, now with only 800 soldiers, was shifted to the south of Sandomir in the Weichsel (Vistula) River sector. They were given a 15-kilometer sector of the front to defend. Realistically, at least 10 times that number were needed for a protracted holding of an area this size. The inferno was unleashed August 20, when the Red Army launched a massive offensive all along the frontal sector.
The French SS were ordered to send their small anti-tank platoon (normal platoon strength numbering 40-50 men) to Radomysl. There its commander, 19-year-old officer candidate Henri Kreutzer, organized the defense of the town. Kreutzer held the record for the longest hand grenade throw in Europe (such competitions having been held) with a toss of 70 meters.
With his three anti-tank guns and the help of scattered German elements that he had incorporated into his command, Kreutzer's troops (totaling no more than a company - four platoons - in size) held off an entire Red Army tank regiment. Kreutzer was severely wounded in the fighting and was subsequently awarded the Iron Cross First Class. The rest of I./Frankreich was engulfed in a desperate hand-to-hand fight for the town of Mokre. This engagement lasted, almost without pause, for three days.
In the days that followed, the French SS troops stubbornly held all objectives assigned to them, but were slowly forced back as the German lines crumbled under the sheer weight of the Soviet onslaught. They reformed further to the west. On August 28 the remnants of I./ Frankreich were pulled from the front lines. They were drawn up in inspection before SS-Brigadeführer August Trabandt, commander of the 18th SS Horst Wessel Division.
There were only 140 French volunteers left out of the 1,018 who had arrived three weeks earlier. Trabandt profusely praised the conduct and sacrifice of the Frenchmen, and distributed 58 Iron Crosses, many posthumously. Their gallantry was immediately noted at Waffen-SS headquarters (Main Leadership Office) in Berlin. Plans were hurriedly drawn up to form a full division of these fighting French volunteers.
September 1, 1944 marked the authorization day for the creation of a French Waffen-SS Division, using for its cadre survivors from the LVF and the Frankreich. Initial divisional formation was to take place in the town of Greifenberg, West Prussia. For a short period of time, brigade status was maintained for the unit in case it would prove difficult to expand to division size. The division's title, "Charlemagne," was chosen over its closest competitor, "Jeanne d'Arc," on the grounds that Charlemagne was a genuine pan-European Germanic hero, while Joan of Arc was a more provincial figure invoking religious overtones.
A French national collarpatch featuring a sword-and-oakleaf motif was considered and rejected. While distinct collarpatch designs were proposed and often issued to different nationalities in the Waffen-SS, most of the non-German volunteers preferred to adopt the elite SS runic collar emblem if permitted to do so. Such was the case with the Charlemagne Division.
Soldiers of the division were also issued armshields in the French national colors, to be worn below the German eagle on the left tunic sleeve. The division also adopted an identification sign depicting a split shield with a Frankish eagle on the left side and three fleur-de-lis on the right.
The core elements of the new Charlemagne Division were to be two battalions from the old Assault Brigade, which were expanded into the Waffen-Grenadier regiments SS 57 and SS 58 respectively, later referred to as SS Grenadier regiments. This was done in autumn 1944 in the West Prussian military training area. Command of the new division was given over to SS-Oberführer (senior colonel) Edgar Puaud, a former colonel in the French Foreign Legion who had commanded the LVF in its later stages.
The Waffen-SS planners felt that the Charlemagne Division could be fully trained and assembled within six months, as most personnel were either fully trained or had previous military experience. However, the division was scaled down across the board due to shortages of both personnel and material.
On October 26, 1944 the Charlemagne Division was relocated from West Prussia to the more centrally located and modern military training camp at Wildflecken, Germany. Here it was joined by some 1,500 former members of the Milice (French Militia) who had retreated from France with the German Army a few months before. The Milice were a well-trained paramilitary force that had battled the French partisans and communist terror bands that had sprung up in France over the previous few years with Allied assistance.
The Milice were sworn into the Waffen-SS on November 11, 1944 in an impressive ceremony before various dignitaries, including the famous Belgian SS officer Gen. Leon Degrelle. He gave a speech to the assembled Charlemagne Division that day. Degrelle had helped recruit its volunteers during the late spring and early summer of 1944.
Following Degrelle's speech, a barracks of the more politically oriented French volunteers expressed their desire to join Degrelle in his own 28th SS Division Wallonien. Degrelle took these Frenchmen with him, along with their weapons and equipment. Unfortunately Degrelle had not bothered to inform their superior officers. The Charlemagne leadership was not overly delighted with this turn of events.
During the next few months, as the picture darkened ever more rapidly for Germany, the Charlemagne volunteers underwent a vigorous training program. They were sent to specialist training schools all over the Reich. By year's end Charlemagne's strength stood at a divisionally-undersized (but fit and ready) number totaling fewer than 7,600 men of all ranks. Every unit commander was a seasoned combat veteran.
In Berlin in early 1945 the commander of the Charlemagne Division, Oberfhr. Puaud, received assurance from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler that the French SS would not be sent to a front where they might fight fellow Frenchmen. In addition, they would fight under the French Flag and continue to fully practice their own religion, with Catholic military chaplains. Himmler asserted that there was no question but that France would regain its sovereignty after Germany's victory.
At the beginning of February 1945, the Charlemagne Division (in excess of 6,000 - the remainder still in training) was ordered to the hard pressed Pomeranian sector of the Eastern Front. Some of the unit commanders argued that they had not yet received adequate equipment. They were assured that they would be able to pick up needed supplies, heavy weapons and vehicles at the military depot at Hammerstein. This promise was made on the assumption that the front would remain stable.
The division was transported from Wildflecken in 10 or 12 troop trains. As this rail convoy reached Hammerstein, the Soviets launched a major area offensive. There was no time for the Frenchmen to re-equip at the nearby military camp. They had to be rushed into the line. Opposing the Charlemagne Division near Hammerstein were four Red Army infantry divisions and two tank brigades. Although Soviet units were usually understrength, they were still a formidable threat to the lightly armed French formation.
Fortunately the French were well supplied with Panzerfausts, the self-contained, handheld anti-tank weapon that was extremely effective at close range against enemy armor. In the violent battle that ensued, French SS volunteers literally shot the two Soviet tank brigades to pieces with Panzerfausts alone; destroying some 50 tanks. For the next few weeks, the Charlemagne Division would be continuously engaged against superior enemy forces in Pomerania.
On the night of March 3-4, 1945 the Charlemagne survivors were sent to defend the nearby town of Körlin with orders to "hold at all costs." At noon on March 4 a massive Red Army force hit Körlin from the southwest. The Frenchmen fought back desperately and were able to hold their positions throughout the day. But their situation appeared bleak. It was known that a Soviet advance force had almost reached Kolberg on the Baltic Sea. This would cut off all the troops defending the Belgard-Körlin area. On the evening of March 4 the Charlemagne Division was ordered to immediately relocate to the west, to avoid being trapped and annihilated.
On March 13 the bulk of the Charlemagne survivors under Brigfhr. Krukenberg reached the German Baltic port of Swinemünde. Despite their ordeal, they were in good spirits, and marched into the town singing French battle songs. It was a sight the beleaguered German citizens of Swinemünde never expected to see. Doubtless very few of them knew that there were Frenchmen serving in German uniforms. The French unit spent several days regrouping in western Pomerania. About 600 Charlemagne survivors gathered there. Many others would make their way to the cities of Kolberg and Danzig and simply be incorporated into the local defense forces.
What was left of the Charlemagne Division was then ordered to the town of Carpin in Mecklenburg, to the north of Berlin. The casualty totals for Pomerania could now be estimated. At least 4,800 Charlemagne men, dead and missing, had been lost in that onslaught. During the night of April 23-24 surviving Charlemagne volunteers, now numbering fewer than 330, were ordered to Berlin. After a hazardous journey, the Frenchmen arrived at Berlin's Olympic Stadium at 2200 hours on the 24th. The Frenchmen were assigned to remnants of the Nordland Division.
It was noted at the time that the Soviet advance into Berlin had been a very cautious one (further slowed by Red Army rapine) and that the slightest display of tenacious resistance would slow or stop them. At this stage of the war, the Soviet soldiers were less eager to risk their lives.
Nordland/Charlemagne headquarters were then established in the Berlin Opera House, before being relocated to a central subway station, due to the fierce Red artillery bombardment. Through April 27, the Soviet advance into Berlin had been somewhat tentative, displaying a pattern of massive shelling followed up by probing attacks led by small tanks. In almost all cases, the advance armored vehicles were promptly knocked off by the defenders. But the situation changed on Saturday, April 28. On that day an all-out effort to seize the heart of the city began. Soviet assault troops threw bridges over the canals and crossed in massive numbers into central Berlin.
The battle raged savagely and the remaining Charlemagne soldiers were in the middle of the action. Eugen Vaulot, who had destroyed two tanks in Neukölln used his Panzerfaust to bag six that had been advancing on the Reichschancellery/Führer Bunker. He was awarded the Knight's Cross by Brigfhr. Krukenberg in a candlelight ceremony, held in a subway station on the afternoon of April 29. Vaulot would be killed by an enemy sniper on May 2.
Three other members of the Assault Battalion Charlemagne would receive the Knight's Cross, on the evening of April 29. By this time, 108 Soviet tanks had been destroyed in the city's center; 62 of them by Charlemagne soldiers. These French survivors spent April 30 repelling flame-throwing Soviet tanks, which kept lumbering toward the Führer Bunker.
Adolf Hitler may have been surprised to learn that not all of his last personal defenders were Germans. In addition to the Frenchmen, a few Danes, Norwegians, Latvians, Swedes, Spaniards and Balkan ethnic Germans, along with Hitler Youth, policemen and middle aged to elderly Volkssturm (People's Militia) were among those who fatefully joined in the final scenes of bravery and pathos.
To the north of Berlin, SS Battalion 58 and other Charlemagne troopers who had not gone into the city conducted a fighting withdrawal to Schleswig-Holstein. Their objective was to reach Denmark and link up with the remains of Leon Degrelle's 28th SS Division Wallonien. But the British Army got in the way, and on May 2 the last Charlemagne commander, Stubaf. Boudet-Gheusi, attempted to surrender his command. Under a white flag, Boudet-Gheusi and his adjutant, (2nd Lieutenant) Radici crossed the Allied lines to speak with a British officer.
The officer flatly rejected any official surrender, stating that the Frenchmen had to be turned over to the Russians for "punishment." At that point the two French SS junior officers were disarmed and taken into custody. They were then placed on an armored personnel carrier and driven to the Soviet lines. Both managed to jump off en route and escape. Subsequently, Boudet-Gheusi would be forced to serve a long prison sentence in France. Radici was executed by France's postwar government.
Part of the Charlemagne Wildflecken Regiment had been incorporated into the new SS-Panzergrenadier Division "Nibelungen" in Bavaria. This division had been formed late in the war from all sorts of available personnel. There were many French SS officer candidates and other European volunteers in its ranks. These were probably the only French SS troops to fight against the western Allies; in late April and early May, 1945.
The Nibelungen Division surrendered to the Americans on May 9, two days after Germany's unconditional surrender at Reims, France. One would think this a much more preferable alternative for Waffen-SS volunteers than capitulation to the Red Army. But such was not necessarily the case. The Nibelungen POWs were severely abused by their captors. Many were beaten and even murdered in captivity.
The bulk of the Nibelungen survivors would go into the cruel and infamous "open air" POW camps described in detail in James Bacque's book Other Losses. They definitely were not treated according to the rules of the Geneva Convention. The soldiers of the Charlemagne Division had marched into history. Of the more than 10,000 French volunteers in the Waffen-SS, more than half had been killed or missing at the front, or would die in captivity.
Like tens of thousands of their European SS comrades, the French volunteers were drawn from all walks of life, from laborers to aristocrats. They strongly believed they were fighting for the preservation of European civilization, national integrity and the destruction of Communism. They literally fought to the last bullet, with few survivors having any regret about the course they took.

Adam Young - The Real Churchill


The Real Churchill
By Adam Young
On February 4th, 2004, President Bush eulogized the life of Winston Churchill. The president described Winston Churchill as a "great man" and quickly zeroed in on the mistress that both Bush and Churchill share: war. "He was a prisoner in the Boer War, a controversial strategist in the Great War. He was the rallying voice of the Second World War, and a prophet of the Cold War." Indeed, there doesn't seem to have been a war - or an opportunity for war - that Churchill wasn't associated with during his long career.
Bush also recited Churchill's famous retort that "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it" adding that "history has been kind to Winston Churchill, as it usually is to those who help save the world," surely hoping that history will be kind to George W. Bush.
Except this history is a myth. The truth about the real Churchill - the Churchill that few know - is that he was "a man of the state: of the welfare state and of the warfare state" in Professor Ralph Raico's turn-of-phrase. The truth about Winston Churchill is that he was a menace to liberty, and a disaster for Britain, for Europe, for the United States of America, and for Western Civilization itself.
Not since fictional personages like Hercules and Zeus, have so many myths been attached to one man. As we will see, the Winston Churchill we're told about is not the Churchill known to honest history, but rather a fictional version of the man and his actions. And these words and actions have produced our mainstream "patriotic political myths" as John Denson calls them, which are merely the victor's wartime lies and propaganda scripted into the 'Official History.' The Churchill mythology is challenged by honest history, and the reality about Churchill involves hard, but necessary truths.
Churchill the Opportunist
Of course, central to the neocon mythology built up around their almost deified idealization of Churchill is that he fought for (in Bush's words comparing Tony Blair to Churchill), "the right thing, and not the easy thing," right over popularity, principle over opportunism.
Except that isn't true. Churchill was above all a man who craved power, and a man who craves power, craves opportunity to advance himself no matter what the cost.
When Churchill entered politics, many took note of his unique rhetorical talents, which gave him power over men, but it also came with a powerful failing of its own. During WWII, Robert Menzies, the Prime Minister of Australia, noted of Churchill "His real tyrant is the glittering phrase so attractive to his mind that awkward facts have to give way."
However, Churchill had other failings as well. The Spectator newspaper said of Churchill upon his appointment as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911: "We cannot detect in his career any principles or even any constant outlook upon public affairs; his ear is always to the ground; he is the true demagogue. . . ."
The great English classical liberal John Morley, after working with Churchill, passed a succinct appraisal of him, "Winston," he said, "has no principles."
Entering politics in 1900, Churchill (the grandson of a Duke and son of a prominent Tory) naturally joined the governing Conservative party. Then in 1904, he left the Conservatives andjoined the Liberal party, and when they were in decline Churchill dumped them and rejoined the Conservatives, uttering his famous quote "It's one thing to rat, it's another to re-rat." Churchill allegedly made his move to the Liberals on the issue of free trade. However, Robert Rhodes James, a Churchill admirer, wrote: "It was believed [at the time], probably rightly, that if Arthur Balfour had given him office in 1902, Churchill would not have developed such a burning interest in free trade and joined the Liberals." Clive Ponting also notes that ". . .he had already admitted to Rosebery, he was looking for an excuse to defect from a party that seemed reluctant to recognize his talents." Since the Liberals would not accept a protectionist, Churchill had to change his tune.
It's not a surprise that this neoconservative administration and its apologists in the tamed media laud and venerate Churchill, for he was as President Bush described him; a man who was synonymous with war. Churchill loved war. In 1925, he wrote, "The story of the human race is war." This is untrue, but Churchill lacked any grasp of the fundamentals of true, classical liberalism. The story of the human race is increasing peaceful cooperation and the efforts by some to stop it through war. However, for Churchill, periods without war offered nothing but "the bland skies of peace and platitude."
Without principles or scruples, Churchill as a prominent member of the Liberal party government naturally played a role in the hijacking of liberalism from its roots in individualism, laissez-faire, free trade and bourgeois morality, to its transformation into the "New Liberalism" as a proxy for socialism and the omnipotent state in Britain and in America.
Churchill was also a famous opponent of Communism and of Bolshevism in particular. One of the reasons why Churchill admired Italian Fascism was Churchill believed that Mussolini had found a formula that would neutralize the appeal of communism, namely super-nationalism with a social welfarist appeal. This is a domestic formula for power that still appeals today, if the Bush Administration is any indication. Churchill went so far as to say that Fascism "proved the necessary antidote to the Communist poison."
Then came 1941. Churchill made his peace with Communism. Temporarily, of course. Churchill gave unconditional support to Stalin, welcoming him as an ally, even embracing him as a friend, and calling the Breaker of Nations, "Uncle Joe." In his single-minded obsession with destroying German National Socialism (while establishing his own British national socialism) and carrying on his pre-World War I British Imperialist vendetta to destroy Germany, Churchill completely failed to consider the danger of inviting Soviet power and communism into the heart of Europe.
Of course, his self-created mythology--chiefly through his own books--states that he sensed the danger and tried to warn Roosevelt about Stalin, but the records of the time do not prove this out. In fact, Churchill's infatuation with Stalin reached the point where at the Tehran conference in November 1943, Churchill presented Stalin with a Crusader's sword; Stalin, who had murdered millions of Christians, was now presented by Churchill as a defender of the Christian West.
But if one was to sum up Churchill's passion, his overall reason for entering politics, it was the empire. The British Empire was Churchill's abiding love. He fought to expand it, he defended it, and he created his decades-long hatred of Germany because of it. The Empire was at the center of his view of the world. Even as late as 1947, Churchill opposed Indian independence. When Lord Irwin urged him to bring his views on India up-to-date by talking to some Indians Churchill replied "I am quite satisfied with my views on India, and I don't want them disturbed by any bloody Indians."  So much for democracy.
Churchill the Socialist
Churchill made a name for himself as an opponent of socialism both before and after the First World War, except during the war when he was a staunch promoter of war socialism, declaring in a speech: "Our whole nation must be organized, must be socialized if you like the word." Of course, such rank hypocrisy was by now Churchill's stock-in-trade, and not surprisingly, during the 1945 election, Churchill described his partners in the national unity government, the Labour Party, as totalitarians, when it was Churchill himself who had accepted the infamous Beveridge Report that laid the foundations for the post-war welfare state and Keynesian (mis)management of the economy.
As Mises wrote in 1950, "It is noteworthy to remember that British socialism was not an achievement of Mr. Attlee's Labor Government, but of the war cabinet of Mr. Winston Churchill."
Churchill was converted to the Bismarckian model of social insurance following a visit to Germany. As Churchill told his constituents: "My heart was filled with admiration of the patient genius which had added these social bulwarks to the many glories of the German race." He set out, in his words, to "thrust a big slice of Bismarckianism over the whole underside of our industrial system." In 1908, Churchill announced in a speech in Dundee: "I am on the side of those who think that a greater collective sentiment should be introduced into the State and the municipalities. I should like to see the State undertaking new functions." Churchill even said: "I go farther; I should like to see the State embark on various novel and adventurous experiments."
Churchill claimed that "the cause of the Liberal Party is the cause of the left-out millions," and attacked the Conservatives as "the Party of the rich against the poor, the classes and their dependents against the masses, of the lucky, the wealthy, the happy, and the strong, against the left-out and the shut-out millions of the weak and poor." Churchill berated the Conservatives for lacking even a "single plan of social reform or reconstruction," while boasting that his "New Liberalism" offered "a wide, comprehensive, interdependent scheme of social organisation," incorporating "a massive series of legislative proposals and administrative acts."
Churchill had fallen under the spell of the Fabian Society, and its leaders Beatrice and Sidney Webb, who more than any other group, are responsible for the decline of British society. Here he was introduced to William, later Lord Beveridge, who Churchill brought into the Board of Trade as his advisor on social questions. Besides pushing for a variety of social insurance schemes, Churchill created the system of national labor exchanges, stating the need to "spread . . . a sort of Germanized network of state intervention and regulation" over the British labor market. Churchill even entertained a more ambitious goal for the Board of Trade. He proposed a plan whereby the Board of Trade would act as the economic "intelligence department" of the Government, forecasting trade and employment in Britain so that the Government could spend money in the most deserving areas. Controlling this pork would be a Committee of National Organisation to plan the economy.
Churchill was well aware of the electoral potential of organized labor, so naturally Churchill became a champion of the labor unions. He was a leading supporter of the Trades Disputes Act of 1906 which reversed the judicial decisions which had held unions responsible for property damage and injuries committed by their agents on the unions behalf, in effect granting unions a privileged position exempting them from the ordinary law of the land. It is ironic that the immense power of the British labor unions that made Britain the "Sick Man of Europe" for two generations and became the foil of Margaret Thatcher, originated with the enthusiastic help of her hero, Winston Churchill.
We can only conclude by Churchill's actions that personal freedom was the furthest thing from his mind.
Churchill and the First World War
The Great War destroyed European culture and the commitment to truths. In their place, generations embraced relativism, nihilism and socialism, and from the ashes arose Lenin, Stalin and Hitler and their evil doctrines that infect contemporary culture. In the words of the British historian, Niall Ferguson, the First World War "was nothing less than the greatest error in modern history."
In 1911, Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty, and, during the crises that followed, used every opportunity to fan the flames of war. When the final crisis came, in 1914, Churchill was all smiles and was the only cabinet member who backed war from the start. Asquith, his own Prime Minister, wrote: "Winston very bellicose and demanding immediate mobilization . . . has got all his war paint on."
Churchill was instrumental in establishing the illegal starvation blockade of Germany. The blockade depended on scattering mines, and classified as contraband food for civilians. But, throughout his career, international law and the conventions created to limit the horrors of war meant nothing to Churchill. One of the consequences of the hunger blockade was that, while it killed 750,000 German civilians by hunger and malnutrition, the youth who survived went on to become the most fanatical Nazis.
The Lusitania
Whether Churchill actually arranged for the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915, is still unclear, but it is clear that he did everything possible to ensure that innocent Americans would be killed by German attempts to break the hunger blockade.
A week before the disaster, Churchill wrote to Walter Runciman, President of the Board of Trade that it was "most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores, in the hopes especially of embroiling the United States with Germany."
The Lusitania was a civilian passenger liner loaded with munitions. Earlier, Churchill had ordered the captains of merchant ships, including liners, to ram German submarines, and the Germans were aware of this. The German government even took out newspaper ads in New York warning Americans not to board the ship.
Churchill, by helping engineer the entry of the United States into the Great War, set in motion the transformation of the war into a Democratic Jihad. Wilsonianism lead to the eventual destruction of the Austrian Empire, and the creation of a vast power vacuum on Germany's southeastern border that would provide fruitful opportunities and allies for Hitler's effort to overturn the Versailles Treaty.
But Churchill was not a strategist. All he cared for, as he told a visitor after his Gallipoli disaster, was "the waging of war, the defeat of the Germans."
Churchill Between the Wars
Churchill, who had been appointed Colonial Secretary, invented two client kingdoms, Transjordan and Iraq, both artificial and unstable states. Churchill's aim of course was not liberty for oppressed peoples, as his admirers like to claim for him, but for Britain to dominate the Middle East to ensure that the oil wells of Iraq and the Persian Gulf were securely in British hands.
The Crash of 1929
In 1924, Churchill rejoined the Conservative party and was made Chancellor of the Exchequer, where he returned Britain to the gold standard but didn't account for the British governments wartime inflation, which consequently severely damaged exports and ruined the good name of gold. But, of course, Churchill cared nothing for economic ideas. What interested him was only that the pound would be as strong as in the days of Queen Victoria, that once more the pound would "look the dollar in the face." The consequences of this decision had a far-reaching and disastrous impact on western civilization and the consequent appeal of socialism, Nazism and communism: the Crash of 1929.
It was Churchill's unrealistic exchange ratio that caused the Bank of England and the U.S. Federal Reserve to collude to prop up the pound by inflating the U.S. dollar, which in turn fueled the speculative boom during the 1920's that collapsed when the inflating slowed.
Churchill's fame - and his mythology - originates during the period of the 30's, especially for neoconservatives, for whom it is always 1938. However, Churchill's hard line against Hitler was little different from his usual warnings about pre-war Imperial Germany, and his hard line against inter-war Weimar Germany. For Churchill saw Germany at all times and in all ways as a threat to the British Empire. A threat that had to be destroyed and forever kept under heel. For instance, Churchill denounced all calls for Allied disarmament even before Hitler came to power. Churchill, like Clemenceau, Wilson and other Allied leaders, held the unrealistic belief that a defeated Germany would submit forever to the shackles of Versailles.
And what the neocons forget, or don't know, is that Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin acknowledged in the House of Commons that, had they told the people the truth, the Conservatives could never have won the 1936 election. "Supposing that I had gone to the country and said that Germany was rearming and that we must be armed, does anyone think that our pacific democracy would have rallied to that cry?" It was Neville Chamberlain who began the rearmament of Britain after the Munich Crisis, the arms which Churchill would not have had during the Battle of Britain, including the first deployment of radar, which Churchill mocked while in opposition in the 1930s.
Moreover, Churchill's Cassandra-like role during the '30s emerged largely because Churchill moved from one impending threat to the next: Bolshevik Russia, the General Strike of 1926, the dangers of Indian independence, the abdication crisis in 1936. During the '30s Churchill was the proverbial Boy Who Cried Wolf. Maybe his neocon admirers could have learned that lesson about Iraq.
But as in all things, even with this Churchill reversed himself.  In the fall of 1937, he stated:
"Three or four years ago I was myself a loud alarmist. . . . In spite of the risks which wait on prophecy, I declare my belief that a major war is not imminent, and I still believe that there is a good chance of no major war taking place in our lifetime. . . . I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between Communism and Nazism, I would choose Communism." 
And in his book Step By Step written in 1937, Churchill had this to say about the Mortal Enemy: ". . .one may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations." One has to wonder if Churchill was referring to himself in his hypothetical example.
The common mythology is so far from historical truth that even an ardent Churchill sympathizer, Gordon Craig, felt obliged to write:
It is reasonably well-known today that Churchill was often ill-informed, that his claims about German strength were exaggerated and his prescriptions impractical, that his emphasis on air power was misplaced.
Moreover, as a British historian noted: "For the record, it is worth recalling that in the 1930s Churchill did not oppose the appeasement of either Italy or Japan."
Churchill and the Second World War
After Munich, Chamberlain was determined that Hitler would have no more easy victories, and when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Britain declared war on Germany, and Churchill was recalled to his old place as First Lord of the Admiralty. An astonishing thing then happened: the President of the United States by-passed all the ordinary diplomatic channels and initiated a personal correspondence, not with the Prime Minister, but with Churchill. These messages were surrounded by a frantic secrecy, and culminated in the imprisonment of Tyler Kent, the American cipher clerk at the U.S. embassy in London. Some of these messages contained allusions to FDR's agreement prior to the war to an alliance with Britain, contrary to his public statements and American law.
Three months prior to the war, Roosevelt told King George VI that he intended to set up a zone in the Atlantic to be patrolled by the U.S. Navy, and, according to the King's notes, the President stated that "if he saw a U-boat he would sink her at once & wait for the consequences." The biographer of George VI, John W. Wheeler-Bennett, considered that these conversations "contained the germ of the future Bases-for-Destroyers deal, and also of the Lend-Lease Agreement itself."
In 1940, Churchill at last became Prime Minister, ironically enough when the Chamberlain government resigned over Churchill's aborted plan to pre-emptively invade Norway. After France's armed forces were destroyed by the Blitzkrieg, and the British army fled towards the Channel, Churchill the conservative, the "anti-socialist," defiled the common law by passing totalitarian legislation placing "all persons, their services and their property at the disposal of the Crown," i.e., into the hands of Churchill himself.
During the Battle of Britain, Churchill gave perhaps his most famous speech, in which he plagiarized the French Premier Georges Clemenceau, and where he uttered his famous phrase "If the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand years, men will say, "This was their finest hour!" This calls to mind another man's boast about a thousand year Reich. Churchill also hinted at his plot to drag America into the war: ". . .we shall never surrender, and even if . . . this island . . . were subjugated . . . then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old." But like Marxist Revolutionaries, Christian Millennialists and other assorted cranks, Churchill was not at all interested in "God's good time" or any other presumed unearthly schedule, and he worked night and day to collude with Roosevelt to get America into the war.
As PM, Churchill continued his policy to refuse any negotiated peace. Even after the Fall of France, Churchill rejected Hitler's renewed peace overtures. This, however, more than anything else, is supposed to be the foundation of his greatness. Yet what opportunities were lost to a free France and Britain and the Low Countries before 1940 to re-arm and negotiate military defense strategies? What of the time lost that could have been used to study the Blitzkrieg method of warfare before it crashed through France? The British historian John Charmley made the crucial point that Churchill's adamant refusal even to listen to peace proposals in 1940 doomed what he claimed was most dear to him: the Empire and a Britain that was nonsocialist and independent in world affairs. One could add that by allowing Germany to overrun its weaker neighbors when peace was possible it probably also doomed European Jewry as well. How many more millions of Jews and other Europeans were murdered because of Churchill's stupidity? But it is politically incorrect, and even possibly a hate crime to suggest that better alternatives were available during World War II than those made by the Allies. Just because something turned out one way does not mean that was the only way it could have turned out or was the best result. Somehow, it is controversial to say this.
The peace camp realized something that escaped Churchill the empire romanticist: even the British Empire and her vast resources alone could not defeat the concentrated power that Germany possessed in Europe. And even more after the Fall of France, Churchill's war aim of total victory could be realized only by embroiling the United States in another world war.
As an aside to the French-haters, what they forget is that, if the U.S. army had met the Wehrmacht in 1940, it would have fared considerably worse than the French Army. National chauvinists, however, prefer their petty hatreds.
Involving America was Churchill's policy in World War II, just as it was Churchill's policy in World War I, and would be his policy again in the Cold War. Churchill put his heart and soul into ensuring Roosevelt came through.
In 1940, Churchill sent British agent "Intrepid" to the United States, where he set up shop in Rockefeller Center, where, with the full knowledge and cooperation of Roosevelt and the collaboration of federal agencies, "Intrepid" and his 300 agents "intercepted mail, tapped wires, cracked safes, kidnapped, . . . rumor mongered" and incessantly smeared their favorite targets, the "isolationists" (i.e., Jeffersonians) as nazis and fascists.
In June 1941, Churchill, looking for a chance to bring America into the war, wrote regarding the German warship, Prinz Eugen: "It would be better for instance that she should be located by a U.S. ship as this might tempt her to fire on that ship, thus providing the incident for which the U.S. government would be so grateful."
Churchill also instructed the British ambassador to Tokyo, Sir Robert Craigie, "the entry of the United States into war either with Germany and Italy or with Japan, is fully conformable with British interests. Nothing in the munitions sphere can compare with the importance of the British Empire and the United States being co-belligerent."
In August 1941, Roosevelt and Churchill met at the Atlantic conference. Churchill told his Cabinet "The President had said he would wage war but not declare it and that he would become more and more provocative. If the Germans did not like it, they could attack American forces. . . . Everything was to be done to force an incident."
After the U.S. had officially entered the war, on February 15, 1942, in the House of Commons, Churchill declared, of America's entry into the war: "This is what I have dreamed of, aimed at, worked for, and now it has come to pass."
This deceptive alliance illustrates another of Churchill's faults. His subordination of political aims to military planning. Churchill made war for the sake of making war, with little regard for the political results that follow. He once even told Asquith that his life's ambition was "to command great victorious armies in battle." And World War II was his opportunity. Churchill and Roosevelt were both willing to do anything to destroy the menace of Nazi Germany, at a time when Hitler had killed perhaps several hundred thousand, and to do so they would ally with Hitler's former ally in the invasion of Poland, Joseph Stalin (the Soviet Union had even been invited to join the Axis in 1940), who had already murdered tens of millions. But why is it conventional wisdom that compromise with one dictator at a vital period would have been immoral while collaboration with an even greater dictator with genuine global ambitions was the mark of greatness?
The truth is Churchill cared for nothing but Britain. The lives, homes and cultures of non-Britons he took and destroyed without a care or second thought. What sort of 'conservatism' requires the murder of millions of defenseless innocents? Winston Churchill was a man who along with Roosevelt, Hitler and Stalin, probed just how far Western Civilization could fall in just six short years of time.
Churchill threw British support to the Communist Partisan leader Tito. What a victory for Tito would mean was no secret to Churchill. When an aide pointed out that Tito intended to transform Yugoslavia into a Communist dictatorship on the Stalinist model, Churchill retorted: "Do you intend to live there?" What a humanitarian.
Of course, in Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt were confronted with a man who had an overall political aim for the war. Stalin knew what he wanted to achieve from the destruction of Germany. For Churchill, his only aim was to beat Hitler, and then he would start thinking of the future of Britain and Europe. Churchill said it in so many words: "It was to be the defeat, ruin, and slaughter of Hitler, to the exclusion of all other purposes, loyalties and aims."
Churchill's aim was in his words, the "indefinite prevention of their [the Germans'] rising again as an Armed Power." Not surprisingly, instead of making every effort to encourage and assist the anti-Nazi resistance groups in Germany, Churchill responded to the feelers sent out by the German resistance with silence, thus helping to prolong the war and the killing. Even more shockingly, Churchill had nothing but scorn for the heroic officers after their failed assassination attempt on Hitler in July 1944, even as Hitler was enjoying their filmed executions.
In the place of help, Churchill only offered Germans the slogan of unconditional surrender, which only prolonged the war further. And instead of promoting the overthrow of Hitler by anti-Nazi Germans, Churchill's policy was all-out support of Stalin. Returning from Yalta, Churchill told the House of Commons on February 27, 1945 that he did not know any government that kept its obligations as faithfully as did the Soviet Union, even to its disadvantage.
The War Crimes
That Churchill committed war crimes - planned them, aided and abetted them, and defended them - is beyond doubt. Churchill was the prime subverter through two world wars of the rules of warfare that had evolved in the West over centuries.
At the Quebec conference, Roosevelt and Churchill adopted the Morgenthau Plan, which if implemented would have killed tens of millions of Germans, giving the Germans a terrifying picture of what "unconditional surrender" would mean in practice. Churchill was convinced of the plans benefits, as it "would save Britain from bankruptcy by eliminating a dangerous competitor." That the Morgenthau Plan was analogous to Hitler's post-conquest plans for western Russia and the Ukraine was lost on Churchill, who according to Morgenthau, drafted the wording of the scheme.
Churchill even brainstormed dropping tens of thousands of anthrax "super bombs" on the civilian population of Germany, and ordered detailed planning for a chemical attack on six major cities, estimating that millions would die immediately "by inhalation," with millions more succumbing later.
But Churchill's greatest war crimes involved the terror bombing of German cities that killed 600,000 civilians and left some 800,000 injured. Arthur Harris ("Bomber Harris"), the head of Bomber Command, stated "In Bomber Command we have always worked on the assumption that bombing anything in Germany is better than bombing nothing."
Churchill brazenly lied to the House of Commons and the public, claiming that only military and industrial installations were targeted. In fact, the aim was to kill as many civilians as possible. Hence the application of "carpet" bombing in an attempt to terrorize the Germans into surrendering.
Professor Raico described the effect of Churchillian statesmanship: "The campaign of murder from the air leveled Germany. A thousand-year-old urban culture was annihilated, as great cities, famed in the annals of science and art, were reduced to heaps of smoldering ruins. . . ." No wonder that, learning of this, a civilized European man like Joseph Schumpeter, at Harvard, was driven to telling "anyone who would listen" "that Churchill and Roosevelt were destroying more than Genghis Khan."
According to the official history of the Royal Air Force: "The destruction of Germany was by then on a scale which might have appalled Attila or Genghis Khan." Dresden was filled with masses of helpless refugees running for their lives ahead of the advancing Red Army. The war was practically over, but for three days and nights, from February 13 to 15, 1945, British bombs pounded Dresden, killing as many as 135,000 people or more in three days. After the massacre, Churchill attempted to disclaim responsibility; even casually saying "I thought the Americans did it."
The terror bombing of Germany and the killing of civilians continued as late as the middle of April, 1945. It only stopped, as Bomber Harris noted, because there were essentially no more targets left to be bombed in Germany.
In order to kill a maximum number of Germans, Winston Churchill dismissed politics or policy as a 'secondary consideration,' and on at least two occasions said that there were "no lengths of violence to which we would not go" in order to achieve his objective. In fact he said this publicly in a speech given on September 31, 1943, and again in the House of Commons, on February 27, 1945, when unbelievable lengths of violence had already taken place. If Hitler had uttered this phrase, we would all cite it as more evidence of his barbarism. Yet, when Churchill utters it, his apologists palm it off as the resoluteness required of a great statesman, rather than describing it as an urge for mass, indiscriminate murder.
Of course, Churchill supported the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which resulted in the deaths of another 200,000 civilians. When Truman fabricated the myth of the "500,000 American lives saved" to justify his mass murder, Churchill felt the need to top his lie: the atomic bombings had saved 1,200,000 lives, including 1,000,000 Americans. It was all just another of Churchill's fantasies.
Yet, after all this slaughter, Churchill would write: "The goal of World War II [was] to revive the status of man."
Churchill and the Cold War
Among Churchill's many war crimes, there are also those crimes and atrocities for which he is culpable that occurred following the war.
These include the forced repatriation of some two million old people, men, women, and children to the Soviet Union to their deaths. Then there were the massacres carried out by Churchill's protégé, Tito: tens of thousands of Croats, Slovenes and other "class-enemies"  and anti-Communists were killed.
In the wake of the armies of Churchill's friend and ally, the mass deportations began. But Churchill was unmoved. In January 1945 he said: "Why are we making a fuss about the Russian deportations in Rumania of Saxons [Germans] and others? . . . I cannot see the Russians are wrong in making 100 or 150 thousand of these people work their passage. . . . I cannot myself consider that it is wrong of the Russians to take Rumanians of any origin they like to work in the Russian coal-fields." Here Churchill, the great friend of liberty as Bush described him, approves of slavery. About 500,000 German civilians were enslaved to work in Soviet Russia, in accordance with the Yalta agreement where Churchill and Roosevelt agreed that slave labor constituted a proper form of "reparations."
Then there was the great atrocity of the expulsion of 15 million Germans from their ancestral homelands in East and West Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania, and the Sudetenland, pursuant to Churchill's mad plan to violently uproot the entire polish population and move Poland westward, which he demonstrated with a set of matchsticks, and to Churchill's acceptance of the Czech leader Eduard Benes's plan for the ethnic cleansing of Bohemia and Moravia. Around two million German civilians died in this process. An entire ancient culture was obliterated. This sort of cultural jihad used to be something conservatives opposed. Today's neoconservatives instead, who evidently embrace the Marxist doctrine of sweeping away the past, would surely argue that in order to create, one must first destroy, or in that old Stalinist phrase, to make an omelet, you must first break a few eggs.
A large factor in the litany of Churchill's war crimes was his racism. Churchill was an English chauvinist, a British racist, and like Wilson, loathed the so-called "dirty whites," the French, Italians and other Latin's, and Slavs like the Serbs, Poles, Russians, etc.... Churchill professed Darwinism, and particularly disliked the Catholic Church and Christian missions. He became, in his own words, "a materialist to the tips of my fingers," and fervently upheld the worldview that human life is a struggle for existence, with the outcome the survival of the fittest.
In 1919, as Colonial Secretary Churchill advocated the use of chemical weapons on the "uncooperative Arabs" in the puppet state of Iraq. "I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas," he declared. "I am strongly in favor of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes." Some year's later, gassing human beings to death would make other men infamous.
An example of Churchill's racial views are his comments made in 1937: "I do not admit that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race, has come in and taken their place."
In Churchill's single-minded decades-long obsession with preventing a single hegemonic power from arising on the European continent that would pose a threat to the British Empire, he failed to see that his alliance with Stalin produced exactly that. "As the blinkers of war were removed," John Charmley writes, "Churchill began to perceive the magnitude of the mistake which had been made." Churchill is alleged to have blurted out after finally realizing the scale of his blunder: "We have slaughtered the wrong pig!"
But it was too late. For decades Churchill worked for the destruction of Germany. Yet only after Stalin had devoured half of Europe did this "great statesman" realize that destroying the ability of Germany to act as a counterbalance to Russia left Europe ripe for invasion and conquest by a resurgent Russia.
By 1946 Churchill was complaining in a voice of outrage about the Iron Curtain of tyranny that descended on Eastern Europe. But Churchill helped to weave the fabric.
With the balance of power in Europe wrecked by his own hand, Churchill saw only one recourse: to bind America to Europe permanently. Thus Churchill returned to his tried-and-true strategy, embroiling the United States in another war. This time a "Cold War" that would entrench the military-industrial complex and change America forever.
Conclusion
With his lack of principles and scruples, Churchill was involved in one way or another in nearly every disaster that befell the 20th century. He helped destroy laissez-faire liberalism, he played a role in the Crash of 1929, he helped start WWI, and by bringing in America to help, prolonged the war and created the conditions for the rise of Nazism, prolonged WWII, laid the groundwork for Soviet domination, helped involve America in a cold war with Russia, and pioneered in the development of total war and undermining western civilized standards.
Chris Matthews described Churchill as the "man who save[d] the honor of the 20th century." Rather than this great accolade, Winston Churchill must be ranked with Karl Marx, Woodrow Wilson, Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt as one of the destroyers of the values and greatness of Western civilization.
And it is fitting that the Library of Congress exhibition is entitled "Churchill and the Great Republic" because few men have done more to overthrow the American Republic(s) and institute the great centralized global war machine that has taken its place.

Myths, Wartime Propaganda and the Burning of the Reichstag


Myths, Wartime Propaganda and the Burning of the Reichstag
By Fred Blahut
If the burning of the German Reichstag brought the National Socialists to power in 1933, were the Nazis responsible for the arson? If not, who was?
By 1933, Germany was ripe for another revolution. The Moscow-backed communist revolutions of 1919 had been put down at awful cost. And then the Allies imposed "reparations" that stripped the country of its ability to employ its workers and feed its people, including a British-engineered blockade that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Germans by starvation. The worldwide depression of 1929 hit the country, still staggering under the yoke of the Treaty of Versailles, in the gut. Food was scarce. Jobs were disappearing. Those who had jobs earned money that was close to worthless.
It was clear that the centrist government of President Paul von Hindenburg and Chancellor Heinrich Bruening, under extreme pressure from both the left and the right, could not hold. Fearing civil war, Hindenburg dismissed Bruening and in January of 1933 appointed Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialists, as chancellor, even though Hitler had no absolute majority in the lower chamber of the German Parliament - the Reichstag.
And then, on the night of February 27, the Reichstag building burned. It is important to note that, following the armistice of 1918, British Prime Minister Lloyd George had promised the British voters "to squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeaked." Germany had been stripped of its industry, its coal reserves in the Saar and the manufacturing capacities of Alsace-Lorraine. The German Navy and merchant fleet had been seized; export barriers had been established for German products while free trade was imposed on imports produced by the Allies.
According to Leon Degrelle: "Germany was experiencing near-famine conditions. It was at this moment the Allies decided to confiscate a substantial part of what was left of Germany's livestock." (Hitler: Born at Versailles; Institute for Historical Review, 1987.) Thomas Lamont, the American representative of the Allied powers "overseeing" Germany, was quoted: "The Germans were made to deliver cattle, horses, sheep, goats etc . . . A strong protest came from Germany when dairy cows were taken to France and Belgium, thusReichstag fire depriving German children of milk." According to Degrelle, "The question was now: Who was going to break the chains? Germany looked for an avenger to smash the Treaty of Vengeance. The avenger could not belong to the conventional right and left wings of German politics or any other Establishment entities, whether financial, military or religious."
In 1925, following the death of German President Friedrich Ebert, Hindenburg, a hero of World War I, was persuaded to run for president. He won easily. But, aging and ill, Hindenburg was not the national leader to bring Germany back from the abyss. Prior to Hitler's appointment, the Reichstag had been suspended several times with rule by presidential decree. Neither the left nor the right believed it was Hindenburg himself who was running the country, which staggered on ineffectually. By 1933, Hindenburg had become senile.
On this point, European newsman Alec de Montmorency tells a story that was making the rounds in the Paris clubs frequented by journalists. Hindenburg, the story goes, asked one of his close aides in early 1933: "Who is that young man with a mustache who keeps bringing me papers to sign?" Immediately after Hitler's appointment, the Reichstag was dissolved and new elections set for March 5. A violent election campaign ensued. On February 24, the police raided Communist Party headquarters. It was announced that they had discovered plans for a new communist revolution. But they either didn't discover what they said that they had, or the evidence, for unknown reasons, was suppressed, because such documentation was never made public.
Then came the Reichstag fire. Hitler immediately blamed the communists. Hindenburg proclaimed a state of emergency and issued decrees suspending freedom of speech and assembly. Thanks to the "Red scare," the National Socialists and their allies, the German Nationalists, won a bare majority in the general election of March 5. Shortly thereafter, first the Communist Party, and then all other parties except the National Socialist, were made illegal. The burning of the Reichstag was the spark that set the country ablaze. If, then, the fire was what catapulted Hitler to power, is it not reasonable to assume that the National Socialists had a hand in it? That was the consensus of propaganda in the United States, France and Great Britain.
The National Socialists blamed the communists, and tried to establish the guilt of Communist Party leaders in a trial at the High Court at Leipzig. They failed. That led to the generally accepted theory that the National Socialists themselves torched the building. This version has been generally accepted. It appears in most textbooks and many reputable historians repeat it. According to A.J.P. Taylor in History Today, "I myself accepted it unquestioningly, without looking at the evidence."
But someone did look at the evidence: A retired civil servant - and anti-Nazi - named Fritz Tobias. He began his project, it is reported, with the idea of settling once and for all the fact that the Nazis had been responsible for the fire. But that's not what he discovered. The results of his investigation were serialized in the German weeklyDer Spiegel in 1950.
Here's the story as detailed by Tobias. At just about 9 pm on February 27, a theology student - later a lecturer at Bremen - named Hans Floter was on his way home after a day of research and study at the library. As he crossed the open space in front of the Reichstag, he heard the sound of breaking glass. He looked up and saw someone climbing into the building through a window on the first floor. The building was otherwise deserted except for a night watchman who apparently did not hear the breaking glass. Floter ran to the corner and found a policeman. "Someone is breaking into the Reichstag," he reported. The two men ran back to the building. Through the window they saw a shadowy, unidentifiable figure and something more ominous - flames. It was 9:03 pm. Floter, having done his duty, went home. He had not yet had supper and was hungry.
At this point, another passer-by joined the policeman, a young printer called Thaler, who was, incidentally, a Social Democrat, and definitely no supporter of the National Socialists. Thaler shouted: "Shoot, man, shoot." The policeman fired his revolver into the building and the shadowy figure disappeared. The policeman ran to the nearest police post and gave the alarm. The time recorded was 9:15 pm. Within minutes police backup arrived at the Reichstag. At 9:22, a police officer tried to enter the Debating Chamber. He was driven back by the flames. At 9:27, the police discovered and arrested a half-naked young man. He was a Dutchman named Marinus van der Lubbe.
Meanwhile, the fire brigade had also been alerted. The first report is recorded at 9:13. The first engine reached the Reichstag at 9:18. But the firemen had problems entering the building to fight the blaze. Only one side door was kept unlocked after 8 pm. The firemen, not knowing this, went to the wrong door. Gaining entrance, the firemen fought the first fires they came to - small blazes in the corridors, it turns out, and not the main fire. Eventually, the full strength of the Berlin fire brigade was mobilized, a force of some 60 engines. The time was 9:42. But by then, the building was beyond help.
Seen as evidence of Nazi involvement in the blaze was the fact that across the street from the Reichstag building was the residence - sometimes called a palace - of its president. The National Socialists being in charge of the legislative body, the president of the Reichstag on February 27, 1933 was Nazi leader Hermann Goering. But Goering had not yet moved in. The building was unoccupied except for an apartment on the top floor which Goering had lent to "Putzi" Hanftstaengl, Hitler's foreign press chief. Hearing a commotion, Hanftstaengl looked out the window and saw the Reichstag burning. He knew that Hitler and Josef Goebbels were at a party nearby. He phoned Goebbels, who thought Hanftstaengel was playing some sort of practical joke and hung up. Hanftstaengel called back. Goebbels checked with the police and found the report was true.
Within a few minutes he, Hitler and a large group of National Socialists who had been at the party arrived at the Reichstag. An English journalist, Sefton Delmer, managed to join the crowd. Hitler, he reported, was very upset - certainly not the demeanor of a man responsible for the action. "This is a communist plot, the signal for an uprising," Delmer reported Hitler yelling to his supporters. "Every communist official must be shot. The communist members [of the Reichstag] must be hanged." Van der Lubbe, meanwhile, had been taken to the nearest police station. He was interrogated until 3 am of February 28. He was allowed to sleep for a few hours, awakened, given breakfast and, at 8 am, the questioning resumed. He gave clear, coherent answers. He described how he had entered the Reichstag and started a series of fires, even using some of his clothing to help the blazes get going.
The police, thoroughly and methodically, checked his story. They retraced his route through the Reichstag with a stopwatch and determined that the timing was correct for his entrance through a window to the time of his arrest. Van der Lubbe was clear about his motive. He had hoped that the entire German people would protest against the Nazi government. When this did not happen, he determined that he would protest individually. Although the burning of the Reichstag was certainly a signal for revolt - he called it a "beacon" - he had given the signal alone, he insisted. He denied that he had any associates or fellow plotters. He said he knew no Nazis. He was not a member of the Communist Party. He was a socialist, more politically in tune with the left wing of the centrist government.
Van der Lubbe proved a willing witness against himself. He traced his movement for police during the weeks prior to the arson. He had drifted across Germany, apparently searching for anti-Nazi sentiment and finding nothing approaching the mass revolt he had hoped for. He even told police where he had purchased "fire-starter," a petroleum-based liquid used, as its name implies, to start fires, and matches. The police checked his story. Everything he said proved to be correct.
The police officials conducting the investigation concluded that van der Lubbe was deranged - but above average in intelligence, with an exceptionally accurate sense of place and direction. He knew where he had been and what he had been doing and remembered even small details of his wanderings, purchases and arson. His interrogators were experienced men, professionals with no political connections. They became convinced that he was telling the truth and that he had set the fire at the Reichstag all by himself, with no outside help or even encouragement. Firemen who had been at the scene agreed that the sequence of arson events detailed by van der Lubbe matched their investigation results.
That conclusion didn't sit well with Hitler and the upper cadre of the National Socialists, locked in a bitter battle with the communists to gain control of the Reichstag. They had committed themselves to the proposition that the fire was a communist plot. Whether or not they believed this, it was the story that had to be sold to the German public if they were to defeat the communists at the polls. Van der Lubbe and four others were tried for the arson; a man named Torgler, the leader of the communist bloc in the Reichstag, and three Bulgarian communists including Georgi Dimitrov.
 Van der Lubbe's guilt was beyond question. He had been found in the Reichstag and he admitted starting the fires. But that wasn't what was worrying the Nazis. Everyone accepted van der Lubbe's guilt. It was the communists the Nazis wanted convicted. A number of "expert" witnesses were produced - with Nazi help - by the prosecution with the intention of proving that the fire could not have been started by one man. But van der Lubbe proved to be the best witness for the other defendants. Testifying for hours, he told the judges that it was he, and he alone, who was responsible. He was quoted: "I was there and they [the other four defendants] were not. I know how it was done because I did it."
The High Court arrived at a complex verdict. First, van der Lubbe was found guilty. He was subsequently executed. (Arson was not a crime punishable by death. But Hitler managed to shove through a law to that effect and make its ramifications retroactive, a decision that would come back to haunt him.) The other four defendants were found innocent. But, the court agreed with the Nazi-provided "expert" witnesses that the Dutchman could not have done it alone and that, therefore, the Reichstag had been torched by van der Lubbe and "persons unknown."
The Nazis had been hoist by their own petard. If van der Lubbe had accomplices, and the accomplices were not communists, who were they? The implication was that the accomplices must have been National Socialists, a point made repeatedly in court by Dimitrov, and echoed by the Establishment media throughout the Western world. (Dimitrov, incidentally, fled Germany following the trial to the USSR where he rose in the ranks of Soviet officialdom and later returned to Bulgaria to take over leadership of the communist government there.)
The propaganda possibilities of the High Court decision were not lost on the communists. Enter a man named Willi Munzenberg, a German expatriate communist popular with the media and the pro-communists in the West, particularly Great Britain. The communists published what was called the Brown Book about the fire, filled with alleged evidence of National Socialist complicity in the arson. That the communist evidence of Nazi involvement was no more convincing than the Nazis' evidence of communist complicity was lost on the popular press.
Subsequently, the communists staged a counter-trial in London that, not unexpectedly, brought in a guilty verdict against the Nazis. Considered vital evidence in the counter-trial was the existence of a tunnel between Goering's residence and the Reichstag which carried electric and telephone cables and pipes for central heating. According to the communists, a group of Brown Shirts had used the tunnel to enter the Reichstag and soaked the curtains and woodwork with a flammable liquid which caught fire when van der Lubbe struck the match or, alternately, they set the fire themselves. According to the latter version, when all was ready, van der Lubbe was pushed through the window into the Reichstag by an unnamed accomplice of the Brown Shirts, there to be found and arrested.
The Brown Book also alleged that, far from being an intelligent socialist, van der Lubbe was a degenerate half-wit and a homosexual prostitute, kept by Brown Shirt leader Ernst Roehm. This was the story accepted by the Western press in 1933 and, subsequently, historians. It became something "everyone knows," without anyone actually examining the facts. There were allegations that the fire brigades were deliberately delayed by the Nazis. But the record books of the aforementioned brigades disprove this. And, almost all history books say the records of van der Lubbe's interrogation by the police had mysteriously disappeared. But again, that isn't true. Tobias found them where they were supposed to be - in the office where they had always been - in eight copies.
Van der Lubbe, having been characterized by the Nazis as a communist dupe, was treated even more harshly by the communists. Included in the Brown Book is a statement by a Dutch friend of the arsonist. One sentence reads: "I often spent a night in the same bed with him." This was used by the communists as proof of his homosexuality. But, according to Taylor, the sentence originally went on: " . . . without observing any homosexual tendencies in him."
Taylor goes on to point out that all the stories about van der Lubbe's bad upbringing, about his disreputable family and his lack of friends "were in fact lies; communist forgeries." The most vital evidence produced by the communists was the tunnel and the allegation that it had been used by the Brown Shirts. This, the communists alleged, had been revealed by repentant Brown Shirts to communists in Paris. One alleged Brown Shirt appeared at the counter-trial with a muffler wrapped around his face to conceal his identity. It was a wise precaution, according to Taylor, because the witness "was, in fact, a well-known communist and unmistakably Jewish."
Another confession supposedly came from one Karl Ernst, Brown Shirt leader in Berlin. Conveniently, the "confession" turned up after Ernst was dead, killed in the purge of June 30, 1934. Even more convenient, Ernst cleared up any items in the earlier communist versions of the arson where inaccuracies had been proven. But one point Ernst got wrong.
His post-mortem "confession" agreed with other "confessions" that the Brown Shirts entered the Reichstag at 8:49 pm. This had to be the time if they were to do their work before van der Lubbe was "pushed through the window" at 9:03. Unfortunately, Ernst (or the communist forgers) were unaware of one item in the Reichstag routine. At 8:45 pm, a postman came through the side door to collect the deputies' mail. On February 27, he entered as usual, walked through the deserted building and left at 8:55 pm. He found nothing out of the ordinary - no shadowy figures, no smell of flammable liquid. In fact, the postman disproves the "accomplices" theory, no matter who those accomplices were alleged to have been, because of the time sequences.
And then there is the small fact overlooked by historians - that when Goering arrived at the Reichstag at 9:35 pm, having been alerted by his friend, he immediately thought entrance might have been gained through the tunnel. He was quoted: "They [the arsonists] must have come through the tunnel." He immediately went off with several policemen - not Nazis - to examine it. They found the doors at either end securely locked. Would Goering have called for a search of the tunnel if he or his compatriots had been responsible for the fire? Hardly likely. He and the police might have caught the conspirators exiting on the Goering residence side.
In non-ideological retrospect, the same lack of evidence that exonerates the communists serves to also exonerate the National Socialists. If the Nazis had set fire to the Reichstag they would have manufactured evidence against the communists, just as the communists manufactured evidence against the Nazis in the Brown Book and the counter-trial. The Brown Book was not intended to be closely examined. If it achieved its propaganda purpose - which it did, in the UK and the United States, at least - Munzenberg and his associates were satisfied.
Here is what can be determined from the facts that can be proved. No one came through the tunnel. There was no other way to enter the Reichstag, except past the night watchman or by breaking the window. Only van der Lubbe broke a window. Those who want to stick to the communist version, although they admit they can't prove how the Nazis got into the Reichstag, point to the trial testimony that van der Lubbe had to have had help. But this evidence is the most unreliable of all. The most emphatic "expert" was, according to Taylor, "a crank distrusted by his colleagues." He claimed to be an authority on a strange "fluid" which, he said, was necessary for starting fires. He alleged that this "fluid" had a distinctive smell. But no policeman or fireman at the scene noticed any smell except smoke - no "fluid"; not even gasoline.
How could van der Lubbe have set the fire himself? These old, grandiose buildings were fires waiting to happen. There were heavy, dusty curtains everywhere; wooden paneling, high ceilings, drafts under the doors; everything capable of supporting a fire. In 1834, the Houses of Parliament at Westminster in the UK were entirely destroyed by fire, simply by a stove pipe becoming too hot. If this is too "historical" for today's reader, in 1956, the Vienna Stock Exchange was gutted by fire as the result of one smoldering cigarette in a wastepaper basket. Van der Lubbe had over 20 minutes to start fires; more than enough time.
One point: the postman left the building at 8:55 pm. How did van der Lubbe know it was safe to break in? He couldn't have; it was a lucky break, a coincidence. In any event, Hitler was well known for his penchant to improvise and it is obvious that is what he did while watching the Reichstag burn. Here was his chance to demonize the communists to his own advantage. He couldn't have known the outcome of that decision. That van der Lubbe was guilty is beyond question. There is more evidence to acquit both the communists and the National Socialists of complicity than evidence to convict either group. But Germany lost the war and the communists won; and the winners write the history books.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Davidson, Michael Worth, MA, Editor. "Hitler Soars to Power." When, Where, Why & How It Happened. Readers Digest Association Limited, London, New York, Sydney, Cape Town, Montreal, 1995.
Degrelle, Gen. Leon. Hitler: Born at Versailles. Institute for Historical Review, Torrance, California, 1987.
Degrelle, Gen. Leon. Hitler: Democrat. Unpublished manuscript.
Montmorency, Alec de. Interview by the author, November,1995.
Taylor, AJ.P.: Who Burned the Reichstag? History Today, London, June, 1956.