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How Oil Defeated The Nazis

How Oil Defeated The Nazis

Kraftstoff

General Erwin Rommel, “the Desert Fox,” was reputedly the best tactician in the entire German Army. For years, he led his panzers across multiple campaigns in North Africa.

But what was a German army doing zipping across the deserts of Libya?

Simple: Rommel was trying to capture the Suez Canal, and with it the route to the precious, untapped oil fields of the Middle East.

From the deserts of North Africa to the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the jungles of the South Pacific and the skies above Romania, World War II was defined by a struggle over a single resource – petroleum.

Without oil, modern mechanized warfare was impossible. It fueled the war effort of each major power, and battles over access and control of petroleum resources marked the war’s most important episodes—from the Battle of Stalingrad to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Hitler’s Dilemma

German fuhrer Adolf Hitler rose to power in the 1930s in the wake of the Great Depression – a cataclysmic economic crisis that affected the entire world, but which hit Germany especially hard. Amidst spiraling inflation and mass unemployment, Hitler preached a return to national greatness through conquest. Germany would dominate Europe, and in so doing capture all the resources it would need to become a self-sustaining, self-sufficient economic power.

Despite being one of the most powerful industrial nations on earth, Germany had no oil reserves. Furthermore, it lacked an empire – like the British – that would give it access to oil overseas.

In fact, in the 1930s oil production was dominated by a handful of countries—the United States, which accounted for 50% of global oil production, as well as the Soviet Union, Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, and Romania.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Top British Commander In Rare Public Dispute With US Over Iran Intelligence

Top British Commander In Rare Public Dispute With US Over Iran Intelligence

An awkward public exchange unfolded between the US military and its closest allied military coalition force during a Pentagon press conference on Tuesday wherein a top British commander in charge of anti-ISIS coalition forces rebuked White House claims on the heightened Iran threat. 

“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, a deputy head of the US-led coalition, asserted confidently in a videolink briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon in response to a CNN question. “We’re aware of that presence, clearly. And we monitor them along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in. We are monitoring the Shia militia groups. I think you’re referring to carefully and if the threat level seems to go up then we’ll raise our force protection measures accordingly.”British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika during the Pentagon briefing Tuesday. screenshot via OIR/US Army

The British commander’s words prompted a rare and swift rebuke from the US side hours later into the evening when US Central Command (CENTCOM) issued its own statement slamming Gen. Ghika’s words as inaccurate, insisting coalition troops in Iraq and Syria were an a “high level of alert” due to the “Iran threat”. 

“Recent comments from OIR’s deputy commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from US and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region,” the CENTCOM statement said.

“US Central Command, in coordination with OIR, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria. As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to US forces in Iraq.”

How You Can Be Certain That The US Charge Against Assange Is Fraudulent

How You Can Be Certain That The US Charge Against Assange Is Fraudulent

Julian Assange sits in a jail cell today after being betrayed by the Ecuadorian government and his home country of Australia. A British judge named Michael Snow has found the WikiLeaks founder guilty of violating bail conditions, inserting himself into the annals of history by labeling Assange “a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest.” So that tells you how much of a fair and impartial legal proceeding we can expect to see from the British judicial process on this matter.

But the real reason that Assange has been surrendered by the Ecuadorian government, imprisoned by the British government, and ignored by the Australian government is not directly related to any of those governments, but to that of the United States of America. An unsealed indictment from the Trump administration’s District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, accompanied by an extradition request, charges Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer” during Chelsea Manning’s 2010 leak of government documents exposing US war crimes.

This charge is premised on a fraudulent and manipulative distortion of reality, and you may be one hundred percent certain of it. Let me explain.

You can be absolutely certain that this charge is bogus because it isn’t based on any new information. The facts of the case have not changed, the information hasn’t changed, only the narrative has changed. In 2010 the United States opened a secret grand jury in Virginia to investigate whether Assange and WikiLeaks could be prosecuted for the publication of the Manning leaks, and then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration was conducting “an active, ongoing criminal investigation” into the matter.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Julian Assange Arrested In London

Julian Assange Arrested In London 

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s nearly seven year stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London has finally come to a disastrous end. After Wikileaks warned last week that Ecuador was preparing in revoke Assange’s asylum based on the claim that he violated its terms, Assange was ousted on Thursday morning, and is now in the custody of British police.

Assange

Press reports suggested that Assange was arrested at around 10 am London Time (5 am New York) in what appeared to be a “planned operation.” Though his first battle will be with the British legal system over charges of skipping bail when he sought asylum in 2012, analysts expect that he will eventually face extradition to the US, after a sealed indictment against him were accidentally revealed last year. Wikileaks accused Ecuador of illegally terminating Assange’s asylum, adding that the Ecuadorian ambassador invited police inside the embassy to take Assange into custody.

URGENT: Ecuador has illigally terminated Assange political asylum in violation of international law. He was arrested by the British police insidinside the Ecuadorian embassy minutes ago.https://defend.wikileaks.org/2019/03/18/the-assange-precedent-the-threat-to-the-media-posed-by-trumps-prosecution-of-julian-assange/ …4,1665:36 AM – Apr 11, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacyThe “Assange Precedent”: The threat to the media posed by Trump’s prosecution of Julian Assange -…THE “ASSANGE PRECEDENT”: THE THREAT TO THE MEDIA POSED BY THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S PROSECUTION OF JULIAN ASSANGE March 2019   Read the PDF version here.   A precedent with profound implications for…defend.wikileaks.org

In a tweet published moments ago, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said that Assange’s “discourteous and aggressive” behavior, as well as “hostile” acts committed by Wikileaks, pushed Ecuador to revoke his asylum. Moreno cited Wikileaks’ publication of sensitive Vatican documents earlier this year as the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. Members of the organization purportedly visited Assange in the embassy after the leak, apparently substantiating suspicions that Assange was still in charge of the organization.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Chapter 6: American, Won and Lost

CHAPTER 6: AMERICA, WON AND LOST.

After the United States gained its independence from Britain, it became powerful in the world in two very different ways: as an idea, and as a reality.

‘America the idea’ is a land of freedom and democracy, equality and opportunity, promoting these aspirations and values across the world.

‘America the reality’ is an international power. It was built on genocide and slavery. Today, a carefully managed monetary system allots wealth to those who do no productive work. In the wider world, America destabilizes popular governments, promotes tyrannies, creates dollars to purchase foreign resources for corporate exploitation and sponsors foreign wars to establish new bases of military and financial power.

For a long time ‘American the idea’ successfully camouflaged the activities of ‘America the reality’. Today the camouflage is wearing very thin indeed.

‘America the reality’ became stronger than ‘America the idea’ as the powers of money and corporate industry won out over the idealism and the good intentions of many of its ‘founding fathers’[1] and of countless others. Central to this development was the adoption of British banking as a way of creating money.

The adoption of British banking by America has an interesting history. After Independence, the American elite opted for the method favoured by their old colonial masters and rejected homegrown approaches to money-creation, some of which had been both just and efficient (see below).

The new elite liked British banking for the same reason it was loved by the British parliament – because it favoured government power and private wealth. The collusion of finance and government power, via circulating credit, is a very resilient form of concentrated power, because although everyone can see the bad effects, few people understand how it works. Governments across the world have since adopted the method for the same reasons: to augment their own power, and to make it easy for their supporters to increase their own wealth.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

View From The Brextanic

View From The Brextanic

Marcel Duchamp Sad young man on a train – Nude study 1911-12

Longtime Automatic Earth friend Alexander Aston talks about finding himself at Oxford at a point in time when the British themselves appear overcome by a combo of utter confusion and deadly lethargy, and one can only imagine what it must be like for ‘foreigners’ residing in Albion, who face large potential changes to their lives and know there’s not a thing they can do about it, not even vote. 

I like the observation that the entire British political system, the place where decisions are made, is the size of a small village. That’s a visual we can all relate to. It’s a physical limit as well as a mental one. I’m all for sovereignty and self-determination, but how’s that going to work if you can’t even see the boundaries of your own territory? 

Guys, it’s 4 weeks to D-Day today. How about we call off the landing, get a few pints instead, and talk? First round’s on me. 

Here’s Alexander: 

Alexander Aston: I arrived in the UK in 2015 to undertake interdisciplinary research at the University of Oxford. I am a child of the Empire, a cultural product of Britannia’s oldest colonies in the British Isles, her most important colony now turned empire as well as one of her youngest, Zimbabwe. The UK is both an intimately familiar society and yet one that is also strangely alien for me, like a wealthy, often charming and deeply abusive parent that sparks both self-recognition and rejection. 

The ‘leave’ referendum occurred close to a year after I arrived in the UK and is one of the few political events over the past few years that surprised me.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Here’s how Britain’s changing weather is affecting wildlife

Here’s how Britain’s changing weather is affecting wildlife

The Beast from the East, a polar vortex which brought freezing conditions to the UK, arrived on February 26 2018. Two days later there was a minimum temperature of -11.7°C (10.9˚F) at South Farnborough in Hampshire, and a maximum of only -4.8°C (23.4˚F) at Spadeadam in Cumbria.

In sharp contrast, on February 26 2019, temperatures reached 21.2˚C (70.2˚F) at Kew Gardens in south-west London – the warmest winter day since records began. In February 2019, bumblebee queens were out looking for nest sites, adult butterflies were emerging from their winter hibernation and blossom appeared on some trees and shrubs. But what will be the long-term effects of 2019’s early spring?

The relatively new science of phenology examines the timing of the seasons by plotting the calendar records of first plant bud, first flower, first nesting behaviour and first migrant arrivals. Over the past three decades, these records have confirmed that spring temperatures are generally arriving earlier in the year.

Embedded video

Kew Gardens has reached 21.2 °C which is the UK’s new maximum temperature record for February, winter and the year so far.

As the days get longer and warmer in the northern hemisphere, bird species such as the barn swallow follow these natural cues to depart for British habitats, where they nest and rear their young. These insectivorous migratory birds time their breeding season to coincide with insects being present in sufficient numbers to feed their young. 

While the main trigger for birds to migrate from their overwintering grounds to Britain is the length of daylight, temperature will also fine-tune the arrival date. An early spring means that insects could emerge and breed before migratory birds arrive.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Integrity Initiative And Affiliates Behind Multiple Attacks On Disobedient Media

The influence of the group and its contacts stretches from news outlets in Europe to Washington DC insiders to Silicon Valley. Multiple reports published by Grayzone, the World Socialist Website and others map this infinite array of relationships, which we will not endeavor to outline in full here.

The revelation is not merely an embarrassment to some factions within the British intelligence community, but represents a glimpse into the inner workings of the propaganda machine that keeps the plutocratic class in control of the public.

John Pilger once wrote of Edward Bernays, the founder of modern propaganda: “Bernays’ influence extended far beyond advertising. His greatest success was his role in convincing the American public to join the slaughter of the First World War. The secret, he said, was “engineering the consent” of people in order to “control and regiment [them] according to our will without their knowing about it. He described this as “the true ruling power in our society” and called it an “invisible government.”

It is this same invisible controlling force that has been exposed at work in the anonymous hack of the Integrity Initiative.

Grayzone’s Mohamed Elmaazi and Max Blumenthal summarized the scandal, writing:  

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Integrity Initiative: By all means smear & attack, but at least be honest about it

Integrity Initiative: By all means smear & attack, but at least be honest about it

Integrity Initiative: By all means smear & attack, but at least be honest about it
We’ve all met those people who describe themselves as laid back, when in reality they’re just one loud noise from a mouth frothing breakdown. So when something describes itself as having integrity, be wary.

Enter the Integrity Initiative (II), Britain’s very own government funded influence network which is currently in the process of having its underpants revealed to the world. There’s no doubting it’s an initiative, the jury’s out on the other bit. Some of the people behind it are alleged former spies (can you be a former spy?), a calling not often linked to integrity.

There’s a good chance you may not know much about the Integrity Initiative, the mainstream media is not exactly straining to tell you about it. Labour MP Chris Williamson suggests that’s because a number of mainstream journalists have signed up to work with it.

Media not covering Integrity Initiative scandal because they might be ‘involved’ – Labour MP to RTThe only time II briefly attracted the attention of the mainstream world was when it became clear it had been pushing conspiracies about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s links to the Kremlin. That’s not a good look for an organization which receives cash from the Foreign Office.

It describes itself as non-partisan, but then as we’ve discussed, it also has “Integrity” in the title. Maybe it can get away with it, always worth a try I suppose. It also claims to be “combating propaganda and disinformation,” but as you’ll see for yourself on its Twitter account, it’s simply a stream of invective and criticism about Russia. If you want to spend cash smearing an entire nation, fine, fill your boots, but don’t then act all moral about it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New Documents Reveal a Covert British Military-Intelligence Smear Machine Meddling In American Politics

New Documents Reveal a Covert British Military-Intelligence Smear Machine Meddling In American Politics

The Integrity Initiative has mobilized an international disinformation campaign across Europe. Now, with government and right-wing foundation money, this massive “political smear unit” is infiltrating the US.

A bombshell domestic spy scandal has been unfolding in Britain, after hacked internal communications exposed a covert UK state military-intelligence psychological warfare operation targeting its own citizens and political figures in allied NATO countries under the cover of fighting “Russian disinformation.”

The leaked documents revealed a secret network of spies, prominent journalists and think-tanks colluding under the umbrella of a group called “Integrity Initiative” to shape domestic opinion—and to smear political opponents of the right-wing Tory government, including the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Until now, this Integrity Initiative domestic spy scandal has been ignored in the American media, perhaps because it has mostly involved British names. But it is clear that the influence operation has already been activated in the US. Hacked documents reveal that the Integrity Initiative is cultivating powerful allies inside the State Department, top DC think tanks, the FBI and the DHS, where it has gained access to Katharine Gorka and her husband, the fascist-linked cable news pundit Sebastian Gorka.

The Integrity Initiative has spelled out plans to expand its network across the US, meddling in American politics and recruiting “a new generation of Russia watchers” behind the false guise of a non-partisan charity. Moreover, the group has hired one of the most notorious American “perception management” specialists, John Rendon, to train its clusters of pundits and cultivate relationships with the media.

Back in the UK, Member of Parliament Chris Williamson has clamored for an investigation into the Integrity Initiative’s abuse of public money.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Wag the Dog… British Media Watchdog Accuses Russia of Bias

Wag the Dog... British Media Watchdog Accuses Russia of Bias

Wag the Dog… British Media Watchdog Accuses Russia of Bias

Irony is dead when British state media controllers accuse Russian news outlets RT and Sputnik of “imbalance” over their reporting on the Skripal alleged poisoning affair.

In the past week, Ofcom, the British media watchdog, condemned seven programs aired during March and April this year following the apparent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury. The Russian outlets may be fined or denied future broadcasting rights in Britain. The latter suggests what the real, ulterior agenda is all about.

It remains a mystery as to what happened exactly to Skripal and his daughter when they reportedly fell ill on March 4 in the famous south of England cathedral town. Neither Sergei nor Julia have been seen in public since, apart from a brief and carefully controlled interview given by Julia to Reuters a few months ago, apparently having recovered from her stricken condition. Russian consular services have been denied access to Julia by the British authorities, despite her being a Russian citizen.

The murkiness of the affair, the flagrant obfuscation by the British authorities and their violation of diplomatic norms speaks of a British state intrigue aimed at provoking international recriminations against Russia. Such is the outrageous apparent skullduggery by the British state, it is arguably very appropriate therefore for critical media coverage of the incident and the subsequent prevarication by London.

However, in a staggering inversion of reality, British media regulators complain that Russian news outlets have broken “impartiality rules” in their reporting on what is a bizarre de facto disappearance of a Russian citizen and her father while in the custody of British authorities. The protagonists are off-limits from criticism; their ropey claims must be treated as the sane version of events.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Irish Central Bank Refuses To Discuss If Gold Reserves Are In Bank of England Vaults

– As Brexit looms, the Central Bank of Ireland has refused to discuss the location and value of Irish gold reserves
– No date given for removal of “commercially sensitive” gold reserves from Bank of England vaults

– Bank of England vaults in London believed to hold almost €200 million of Irish gold
– Ireland’s financial system & economy is hugely exposed to a Brexit downturn

via Irish Independent:

IRELAND’S Central Bank has refused to say if it plans to move almost €200m worth of gold bars from the vaults of the Bank of England as a result of Brexit, insisting that any such move would be “commercially sensitive”.

The gold reserves have been held by its UK counterpart for a number of years, and the Central Bank has traditionally been coy on the precise details of the reserves, and the terms of the arrangement it has with the Bank of England.

It refused to be drawn yesterday on whether the reserves would be removed from the Bank of England either before or after the Brexit deadline of next March.

“It is for the Central Bank to determine how Ireland’s gold reserves ought to be managed,” a spokeswoman told the Irish Independent.

“The Central Bank’s portfolio is managed in line with approved parameters, which are kept under regular review and we report on key activities and developments in our annual report,” she added.

“The Central Bank’s transactions in gold are commercially sensitive and no further comment can be made at this time,” she said.

The latest Central Bank annual report shows that it had €209.3m worth of gold and gold receivables on its books at the end of 2017.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Britain’s Excess Winter Deaths Soar To Highest In Over 40 Years

Winter is always a period of increased work for health services, with statistics every year proving this in the most blunt of fashions.

Excess winter death figures represent the difference in the number of people dying during the winter months compared the rest of the year and, as Statista’s Martin Armstrong points out, are a good indicator of just how hard the cold season has been.

Infographic: Excess winter deaths highest in over 40 years | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

The winter of 2017/18 was especially hard and, combined with a strong flu and problems associated with vaccines, it was the worst winter for excess deaths in over 40 years.

Lurching Toward Catastrophe: The Trump Administration and Nuclear Weapons

Lurching Toward Catastrophe: The Trump Administration and Nuclear Weapons

In July 2017, by a vote of 122 to 1, with one abstention, nations from around the world attending a United Nations-sponsored conference in New York City voted to approve a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Although this Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons received little coverage in the mass media, its passage was a momentous event, capping decades of international nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements that, together, have reduced the world’s nuclear weapons arsenals by approximately 80 percentand have limited the danger of a catastrophic nuclear war. The treaty prohibitedall ratifying countries from developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons.

Curiously, though, despite official support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by almost two-thirds of the world’s nations, the Trump administration―like its counterparts in other nuclear-armed countries―regarded this historic measure as if it were being signed in a parallel, hostile universe. As a result, the United States and the eight other nuclear powers boycotted the treaty negotiations, as well as the final vote. Moreover, after the treaty was approved amid the tears, cheers, and applause of the UN delegates and observers, a joint statement issued by the UN ambassadors of the United States, Britain, and France declared that their countries would neverbecome party to the international agreement.

One clear indication that the nuclear powers have no intention of dispensing with their nuclear arsenals is the nuclear weapons buildup that all of them are now engaged in, with the U.S. government in the lead. Although the Trump administration inherited its nuclear weapons “modernization” program from its predecessor, that program―designed to provide new weapons for nuclear warfare, accompanied by upgraded or new facilities for their production―is constantly increasing in scope and cost.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ann Pettifor: If I governed the Bank of England, here’s what I do

Ann Pettifor: If I governed the Bank of England, here’s what I do

The radical economist outlines how she’d overhaul the UK’s broken economy.

If such an implausible appointment were ever to be made by a Labour chancellor, I would regard it as a great honour. The Bank of England stands at the pinnacle of Britain’s monetary system, which I regard as one of Britain’s great public goods. It is as vital to our economic health as the sanitation system is to public health. The development of the monetary system and the founding of the Bank of England in 1694 represented – despite all its flaws – a great civilisational advance. As the £1,000 billion bailout of the banking sector in 2007-9 proved, thanks to our monetary system, there need never be a shortage of money. We need never lack the money for all that society regards as vital to economic, social, political and ecological stability. I write that with feeling, having worked in countries that lack a developed monetary system, and therefore have no money.

The Bank of England, explained the governor Mark Carney recently, is ‘the only game in town’. The bank’s power – or at least the power of its civil servants and monetary policy committee members – was greatly enhanced during the Blair government. Under Gordon Brown’s watch one of the most important economic tools available to any government – the power to determine the rate of interest (bank rate) – was delegated to a committee of unelected men (and the occasional woman) at the Bank of England. Brown made clear in 1997 that the monetary policy committee was expected to wield this great power independently of parliament’s scrutiny.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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