…informers provided [Eduard Hempel, German Minister to Dublin from 1937 to 1945] with technical information. One, claiming to be a follower of the English Nazi, Oswald Mosely, said a Swedish firm was making 7-inch by 6-inch tin cylinders, each with tightly rolled strands of eight or nine wires, which were to be shot from cannon at planes. The exploding cylinders would open, throwing the wires out for gradual descent to the ground and, it was hoped, to be entangled in the aircraft propellers.
An academic trawl of the corporation’s archives has revealed that while the Nazi regime used puppet broadcasters such as William Joyce – nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw – to spin messages of German invincibility, the BBC was choosing to broadcast detailed news of Britain’s military setbacks. The decision was part of a deliberate strategy to win the hearts and minds of the German people, says Dr Vike Martina Plock of the department of English at Exeter University, who discovered memos from the time during research at the BBC Written Archives Centre in Caversham Park, Reading.
The strategy was simple.
If the Allies could openly admit defeats, it was believed [by Nazi listeners], they must be extremely confident, convinced of their eventual victory over Nazi Germany.
70 years after the battle of Hill 205, November 25, 1950; Ralph Puckett at 95 years old is to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
Yet I can’t help but notice an important side-story.
In “Witness to War” Puckett clearly is using his current platform to point out (in a gripping combat story) what a terrible leader General MacArthur was.
General MacArthur had seen Truman the 8th of October and told the President the Chinese are not coming into North Korea… he obviously was wrong about that […] I just couldn’t understand why things appeared to be easy to MacArthur.
…historians have reassessed Douglas MacArthur—not just his command style, but particular decisions he made, and particular episodes from his long and controversial career. In modern evaluations, more often than not, “Dugout Doug” comes up short. […]
How did MacArthur blunder so badly? How could he miss more than 300,000 Chinese soldiers? Once the intelligence finally came in loud and clear, he and his staff of sycophants continued to dismiss it, suppress it, or willfully misinterpret its import. In so doing, they recklessly put tens of thousands of American and other United Nations troops in mortal danger. The result was catastrophic: One of the worst defeats, and one of the most ignominious withdrawals, in American military history.
It was, in some senses, a repeat of his debacle at Bataan. Only in this case, MacArthur had been outwitted and outflanked by a guerrilla army with no air force, crude logistics, and primitive communications, an army with no tanks and precious little artillery. As David Halberstam put it, MacArthur had “lost face not just before the entire world, but before his own troops, and perhaps most important of all, before himself.”
All of this happened because MacArthur was almost criminally out of touch with reality.
I can feel the bitterness in tone when Puckett speaks to the camera about the 8th of October tension of 1950 between MacArthur and Truman, in an otherwise completely neutral and factual retelling of a near-death battle.
Here’s how it was reported to the public around the time Puckett was on the ground thinking MacArthur was dangerously clueless.
Truman fired MacArthur in April 1951 for disobeying orders. Truman surely regretted not firing him sooner.
“I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was,” Truman later said. “I fired him because he wouldn’t respect authority…”
The Medal of Honor for valor in the Korean War really gives us a chance to listen to a detailed retelling of American history from a soldier who by all accounts has the highest integrity, who is neutral in tone and ultimately who makes others perform better… and who is clearly pointing out MacArthur was a clueless disaster.
Reminds me of the Trump family repeatedly invoking MacArthur as their hero for being a “not nice guy”. I am pretty sure they mean the same sort of thing that historians might refer to as MacArthur’s extremist evangelical white supremacist beliefs.
As late as 1950 [MacArthur] commented to a visiting American churchman: “Please send ten missionaries for every one you now have in Japan. We must have ten thousand Christian missionaries and a million Bibles to complete the occupation of this land.” […] MacArthur’s conviction that democracy and Christianity were inseparable necessities for the rebirth of Japan was readily accepted by many chaplains.
Another fun history fact is — since we’re talking about MacArthur’s “not nice” evangelical views — that the Aryan Nations white supremacist domestic terrorist group was inspired by Colonel William Potter Gale (a close aide to MacArthur who also was a “Christian Identity” pastor).
Gale spent his time after WWII back in America to spread what the SPLC calls “a militia-type antigovernment movement that promoted racist and anti-Semitic views.”
Just to emphasize the point one more time… “MacArthur was almost criminally out of touch with reality” and his incompetence helped spawn veteran-led violent Christian domestic terrorist groups in America.
And that reminds me of a bunch of obviously clueless American flag officers who just published a completely tone-deaf fear-mongering disinformation letter (or as Steven Metz, professor at the US Army War College, called the letter: “unhinged, delusional and, frankly, stupid”).
Think carefully about all this in comparison to the typical caption of this photo…
Truman was right and probably should have fired MacArthur earlier.
Put these two things together and… color me surprised that the notoriously tyrannical College Station police within the backwards state of Texas were just caught on film being obvious thugs and bullies.
In Texas they simply don’t care.
Was the cyclist riding around where nobody was at risk somehow posing a risk? There’s no risk and the cyclist keeps asking “for what?”
If the police don’t care, they don’t care. Eventually the police said there was a minor traffic violation.
In other words, can you believe Texas police actually were concerned with anyone’s safety? The video shows police treating a cyclist as convenient punching bag and target for their itchy fingers… with no evidence of threat.
Even the wider context doesn’t help change this narrative. The police themselves say they just wanted to prove a point by hurting the cyclist because he didn’t “obey” them.
The Texas police literally crashed (dropped their bike) without justification and then claimed falsely that they were most concerned with stopping crashes.
Police said at 1:04 p.m. the bicyclist was seen running through a red light at University and Nagle Street.
In other words, a cyclist rode in a manner the police disliked and didn’t seem to take their anger seriously. To force him to respect their authority to continue enforcing pointless and racist laws, then they did the dumbest thing possible and perhaps lost all respect.
There are many rational SAFETY-BASED reasons for cyclists to both ride through red lights as well as “jaywalk”.
Logically (ethically) and historically the cyclist already was on more firm ground than the police, and then a pointless violent assault removed the moral standing police obviously thought they deserved.
On the 22nd of February 1943 a brave 21-year-old woman walked to a Nazi guillotine, displaying full conviction she “had done the best I could have done for my people”.
This is where her life ended. But how did it begin?
Today marks what would have been the 100th birthday of Sophie Scholl. On May 9th, 1921 her protestant liberal German parents had their fourth child, who grew interested in art and music.
Like all “eligible” German children she was forced to endure indoctrination from the “Hitler Youth” program. The Nazi system of hate was designed to stomp children into becoming obedient followers of a fascist regime of ruthless intolerance, and to rebel against their parents.
Sophie, as might be expected of such heavy propaganda, at first participated in regular programmed camaraderie and adventures. She became a squad leader of the Nazi Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls), where they were trained to sing songs like this one.
Läutet, daß blutig die Seile sich röten,
Rings lauter Brennen und Martern und Töten
(Ringing, until ropes run red with blood,
Ring louder with burning, torture and murder)
Then her loyalty and intelligence began to take effect. Major doubts arose: Why were her friends denied membership for being Jewish? Why were books mysteriously forbidden from any discussion with her own squad? Why were women being denied any future except “wife, mother, and homemaker”?
Her older brother Hans was arrested in 1936 when he crossed one of these invisible lines of secret police, accused of being in a forbidden youth movement (Deutsche Jungenschaft, Bündische Jugend — basically the Boy Scouts).
It was this arrest of her brother that turned Sophie as a 15 year old girl away from Nazism — she felt loyalty to her family and to human values more than the irrational hate programming.
Six years later in 1942 Sophie joined her brother Hans at Munich university, where he already had been active in a group called The White Rose that opposed German fascism.
Sophie then convinced her then fiancee — a 25-year-old law student and officer in the Nazi air force named Fritz Hartnagel — to also support this group.
On the 23rd January 1943, just a month before The White Rose was uncovered and Sophie would be executed, Hartnagel returned to Germany on the last military evacuation plane out of Stalingrad. Dutiful as a Nazi officer, yet supportive of Sophie in The White Rose, he survived the war and died in 2001 at age 84.
Today she is considered one of the most important Germans of all time.
UT-Austin released a report… that concluded there was ‘no racist intent’ behind the song, even as the song was written in a racist setting.
I totally get where that report is coming from. This is like UT-Austin saying its culinary school had no intent to poison its students when the food was prepared in a poisonous setting.
Being unconcerned about safety doesn’t prove intent to be unsafe, it’s a proof that safety wasn’t intended.
So the school is saying when its students are unsafe and harmed, that’s because the school didn’t intend to keep them safe and unharmed.
The key point is when UT-Austin fails to show it has anti-racist intent today, it has no intent for the abolition of racism, it is admitting to being racist.
However, if we find that no student is expected to get poisoned from their dining halls (or even from other students), then why should we be expected to put up with dangerous racism at all? That’s inconsistent and illogical.
Study may explain how racial discrimination raises the risks of disease among African Americans…
…Littlefield has long been known as one of UT’s earliest and most prolific donors, and all around campus, you can still see his influence: a cafe and residence hall are named after him, and two of the campus’s most prominent landmarks are the Littlefield Home and Littlefield Fountain. In their letter, student athletes are calling for his name to be removed from Littlefield Hall because, as Gordon teaches, Littlefield was a slave owner who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.
Late in his life, Littlefield poured money into making UT more Southern-centric and commissioned Italian sculptor Pompeo Coppini to design statues of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, as well as his namesake fountain. The fountain’s inscription, which was removed in 2016, described how Confederates were “not dismayed by defeat nor discouraged by misrule [and] builded [sic] from the ruins of a devastating war a greater South.” Interestingly, when he was completing the project, Coppini recommended to Littlefield that the monuments should honor Americans fighting in World War I. When Littlefield refused, Coppini replied: “As time goes by, they will look to the Civil War as a blot on the pages of American history, and the Littlefield Memorial will be resented as keeping up the hatred between the Northern and Southern states.”
Would you go to Goebbels Cafe? Why eat at Littlefield’s?
Nothing says “food isn’t safe here” like a cafe named after someone who was really into cutting corners and making money from harming others, like slavery and mass atrocity crimes.
If these Indonesians had named their cafe Littlefield’s instead and covered the walls with pictures of lynchings nobody would have complained, right?
A “greater South” obviously was Littlefield’s way of saying he was continuing Civil War by other means, as President Grant very openly warned American soldiers.
To be clear, when UT-Austin’s big donor poured his money from slavery into commemorations of discredited and defeated domestic terrorists who killed Americans, he was asked at that time to also at least honor some American soldiers.
He refused. His superstition, ambition and ignorance was on full display.
Such a failure of patriotism, refusing to honor American soldiers, was made even worse by instead erecting giant monuments to slavery that celebrate rape, torture and killing of Americans… it is clear that safety for UT-Austin students was never intended.
If they can’t commit to something so basic as anti-racism, then surely they aren’t capable of things like food safety either. Anyone caught poisoning others on campus now surely would be excused for lack of intent, and being just a natural outcome in such a poisonous setting.
Again, the key point is when UT-Austin fails to show anti-racist intent today, no abolition of racism, they are being racist.
UTA is giving a big FU to its own people.
Perhaps it’s past due time to change their song and their hand gestures? I mean why not just roll with “Longhorn Coach” protocol and tell students and fans they must learn now how to give a “Herman salute” (middle finger).
And now to lighten the mood, here’s a comedian telling jokes about racism and schools in America:
While the Court appreciates that hyperlinked internal documents could be akin to attachments, this is not necessarily so. When a person creates a document or email with attachments, the person is providing the attachment as a necessary part of the communication. When a person creates a document or email with a hyperlink, the hyperlinked document/information may or may not be necessary to the communication.
Recently I’ve seen some people are still commenting on social media “what does Russia have to do with 2016” so I just send them a critically-acclaimed 2018 documentary.
…key weapons of political warfare: propaganda, cyber attacks and recruiting agents of influence…
Financial fraud wouldn’t be enough alone to bind together villains of this story (after all, they could end up competing with each other), and so allegedly they’re in conspiracy to grab power to abuse women and children (which intelligence agencies refer to more commonly as “undermine confidence in democracy”).
Though retiring Russian president Boris Yeltsin mistakenly believed that his successor would fight against totalitarianism while ensuring the freedom of the press, it wasn’t long before Putin proved eager to indulge the nostalgia of the populace, guiding it backward through history toward a revived Soviet nationalism. The parallels between Putin’s regressive crusade and Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra are expanded upon in Bryan’s film, as is their shared contempt for [women].
On July 13, 2018, a federal grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia returned an indictment against 12 Russian military intelligence officers for their alleged roles in interfering with the 2016 United States (U.S.) elections.
I was really excited to watch this video about Chinook “electronic warfare” until I clicked on play and a giant Betsy Ross flag showed up as the backdrop.
There are some places this American flag featuring a 13-star circle (colloquially known as the Betsy Ross) would seem appropriate. This isn’t one of them.
The Betsy Ross wasn’t the first flag of America, it wasn’t the only flag (there were hundreds of interpretations of “constellation” of white stars in the Flag Act of 1777), but it was nonetheless a flag commissioned just before the 1780s.
…I’m certain that few of the people involved in these situations actively dislike black people – or think lowly of them. Instead, they’re just people acting normally in a system that promotes and protects Eurocentric power by denying, and at best bracketing, the humanity of Africans and Afro-descendant people. In this world, you don’t have to be a racist to be racist; it’s racist to just passively allow racism to continue.
Pennsylvania’s Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery of 1780 set forth truly revolutionary concepts like proposing an end to racism — all children born in the state would be free persons regardless of race or their parents’ race.
In other words, a 1780s flag might make sense in a video about life in the 1780s. Think about a display of all the flags in American history (updated 27 times so far), all side by side that also has one from that time period displayed.
It would be a flag among all the American flags, symbolizing one less-than-ideal chapter of the past. Kind of like saying “here’s an old flag that we no longer fly, it’s from a time of slavery and we use it to show how far we’ve come since then”. It is a flag to symbolize mistakes made, with other flags to show direction and progress since that time.
For another example, think about a history video, with some historians discussing context around the flag, or in a museum about what life was like in 1780s.
Ample opportunity would be given to explain how this flag is from long ago, a time that nobody would want to go back towards because… slavery, not to mention misogyny and a host of other things. Again, was it the only flag? No. Was it the primary flag? No.
This flag really isn’t really supposed to speak for itself because it raises many important questions that really shouldn’t be left open and unanswered.
When used on its own with no context, just a substitution for the present American flag, it tends to beg whether someone is thinking “forget all the Amendements, never mind all the changes, let’s go backwards to white nationalism of the 1780s”.
Or more literally, the Betsy Ross flag typically serves as a warning to Black people they are “neither welcome nor seen as equal”.
To be fair, hate groups tend not to rely on Betsy Ross alone to signal everything they want to say. Nazis and KKK in other words wave this flag along with their other flags, although that might be changing lately.
Here’s how the Betsy Ross used to show up in domestic terrorism meetups:
An entire video from 2007 shows how the Betsy Ross is appropriated. Again it clearly isn’t sufficient on its own, they have to surround it with other hate flags to make their point.
There’s an important subtext here, which is that in 2007 Nazis were still very much attached to displaying the swastika and costuming to look like Hitler.
It seems absurd today, but back then it was still a Nazi thing to dress like a reenactment of 1938 Germany.
After 2016 the American Nazis were very much opposed to wearing a swastika (they literally banned it themselves after claiming for decades any bans on swastikas would be immoral). Nazis realized they could just fly Trump flags instead.
Here’s what their meetups look like now, and again a Betsy Ross isn’t on its own:
For what it’s worth, the person who took credit for one of these campaigns was found dead after warning he was threatened by others in his group for “not being racist enough”.
That reminds me of how some experts maintain that the Betsy Ross isn’t racist enough yet for them to register it alone as a symbol of hate. Those kind of comments might have been a basis for the KKK to kill their own man.
So what does flying a Betsy Ross represent?
All of this being said, the bottom line is still a Betsy Ross flag probably didn’t come from Betsy Ross, and it absolutely did come from a time when America didn’t consider Black people human and it basically operated as a white police state.
That’s pretty bad on its own.
If there were any real proof the Betsy Ross flag came from Betsy Ross, we might also have to ask whether her design was meant to represent her values of the time (she eloped and intermarried and suffered from American misogyny, in a story not unlike Hutchinson).
Still not great.
It’s like asking the question whether America is racist. The answer is obviously yes, especially at the time of ill-gotten gains under this flag, as Brookings wrote:
When a person critiques America for the racism that is deeply embedded in our social institutions, some feel they are being personally attacked. This is because deep down they realize that they benefit from unearned assets associated with whiteness.
Discussing whether a flag of 1776 America is racist is like someone asking if the “America First” platform of 1915 was racist, or for that matter like asking whether a 1938 flag of Germany was anti-semitic.
Kind of obvious, no?
Washington could have freed his slaves. He did not. Washington could have demanded “all men created equal” was written as all people. He did not.
Heck, Washington could have spent more than six months at a time in Philadelphia and thus agree to the terms of the 1780 Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery. He did not!
Let’s be honest. The American Revolution almost certainly extended and expanded slavery, and repressed women, far more than if Britain had maintained control of its colonies. In the War of 1812 America started enlisting Black freemen to fight against the British and then afterwards taking away the guns and freedoms of the victorious Black veterans (a racist theme that would repeat again in 1899 after the Spanish American War, in 1918 after WWI and so on).
America of 1776 thus can not be separated from the act of forming a new framework of tyranny, especially in Georgia (where British abolition of slavery in 1735 was violently reversed by immigrants who restarted slavery and said it was impossible for white people to live in America without Blacks doing all their work for them). This story was repeated in Texas as well.
That’s right, I just said 1735. America’s Revolutionary war was fought by whites who fully intended to extend slavery, and who were setting the stage for an even bloodier Civil War a century later on the same principles of tyranny.
“The decision to reestablish slavery isn’t just a stain on Napoleon’s legacy, it’s a crime,” Louis-Georges Tin, campaigner and honorary president of the Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN), told DW. Napoleon’s decision in 1802 to reinstate slavery not only betrayed the ideals of the French Revolution, it also condemned an estimated 300,000 people into a life of bondage for several more years, before France definitively abolished slavery in 1848.
Even more to the point, America after 1808 decided to build a whole new slavery economy based on the state-sanctioned rape of Black women by any white man available… Black children were forcibly birthed (roots of the anti-abortion movement) so they could be bought and sold in the millions! It wasn’t about cotton.
Thus if you’re showing a Betsy Ross flag without some clear reason and some context to be displaying the militant symbol of a white police state that ruthlessly trafficked humans and murdered the press to silence speech, what are you even doing?
On its own it begs the important question whether you have a Confederate battle flag in your pocket, or a 14/88 tattoo somewhere. What’s your context for the 13 stars instead of 50?
I mean to put it another way, even Nazis and KKK bring context whenever they fly it. The Betsy Ross amplifies such messaging for obvious reasons despite being unable to carry a hate tune on its own. This flag both leads people to Andrew Jackson, as well as Barack Obama, but on its own it’s an open question.
It’s kind of obvious why hate groups like such a flag. When they fly it on its own it’s like a subtle invitation to normalize and talk up white nationalism without revealing their full regalia. Psssst, hey kids do you like Washington? Yeah? How about Andrew Jackson or Woodrow Wilson?
In dissolving the 1776 Commission on his first day in office, President Biden helped end one source of misinformation about our past, a reminder that, as we work to restore democracy, we will need to restore honest inquiry and accurate history as well.
It’s an encoded signal to recruit for extremism. Much like flying the various flags of Germany — the revision you choose to fly reveals a lot.
If America had always had one flag this would be an entirely different story, yet this flag is tied only to a particular time of systemic racism and oppression by whites.
Update May 2021: Research suggests use of a national flag has damaging impact to social cohesion
“Flags are tricky,” Kemmelmeier says. “If you allude to a collective and say, ‘This is us,’ there’s always somebody that’s not included.”
Decades of research has demonstrated that simply assigning a symbol, such as a flag, to an arbitrary group can cause a hardening of attitudes. A study published in 2016 by social psychologists Shannon Callahan and Alison Ledgerwood found that people perceived others as less warm and more threatening if the group was assigned a flag. “A consistent picture emerges,” writes David Smith, a psychology lecturer from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. “Flags bond insiders but make outsiders feel unwelcome.”