You are browsing the archive for 2019 May 02.

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Daring Israeli Spy Operation to Capture Nazi Mass Murderer Adolf Eichmann

May 2, 2019 in History

By Erin Blakemore

“Un momentito, Señor.”

They were the only three words Israeli intelligence Peter Malkin knew in Spanish, but they were about to change the course of history.

Malkin uttered the words to a balding Mercedes-Benz factory worker headed home from work on May 11, 1960. And when the man reluctantly acknowledged him, Malkin sprang into action. With the help of three other secret agents, he wrestled the man to the ground and into a car. As they sped away, they tied him down and covered him with a blanket in the back seat.

Nazi official Adolf Eichmann.

This wasn’t your average abduction. The man in the back seat was one of the world’s most notorious war criminals: Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi official who helped Germany carry out the mass murder of six million Jews during World War II. For years, he had evaded the authorities and lived in relative peace in Argentina. Now, he was in the custody of the Mossad, Israel’s secret service—and his once secret crimes were about to become public knowledge.

Eichmann’s capture, interrogation and trial were part of one of history’s most ambitious secret missions. “The logistics [of the capture] were incredible,” says Guy Walters, author of Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and the Quest to Bring them to Justice. “It’s like a movie plot that occurs in real life. And it woke the world up to the Holocaust.”

But that awakening—and Eichmann’s capture—was decades in the making.

When he first joined the Austrian Nazi party in 1932, few would have predicted that Adolf Eichmann had a future as a mass murderer. But Eichmann was both a skilled bureaucrat and a committed anti-Semite. He rose swiftly through the ranks of the party, and by 1935 he was already helping the party plan its answers to the so-called “Jewish question,” Nazi terminology for a debate over how European Jews should be treated.


Adolph Hitler and the Nazi regime set up networks of concentration camps before and during World War II to carry out a plan of genocide. Hitler’s “final solution” called for the eradication of Jewish people and other “undesirables,” including homosexuals, gypsies and people with disabilities. The Jewish children pictured here were held at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

View the 13 images of this gallery on the original article

Though he later claimed …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Here's Why This Might Be Venezuela’s Last Chance to Push Nicolás Maduro Out

May 2, 2019 in Economics

By Juan Carlos Hidalgo

Juan Carlos Hidalgo

The dust hasn’t settled yet from this week’s clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, after
interim-president Juan Guaidó claimed to have the backing of the
armed forces and called on Venezuelans to join him for a final push
to oust Nicolás Maduro. It was the greatest challenge to the rule
of Maduro since he consolidated his dictatorship in 2017, but the
uprising has failed to achieve its goal — for now, at
least.

Unfortunately, even with the support from some members of the
military, the corruption inherent in Venezuela’s socialist system
is a strong defense against a democratic uprising.

Some observers blame Guaidó and his mentor, Leopoldo López — who was under house
arrest but was freed by the intelligence officers in charge of his
custody — for overplaying their hand. However, we don’t know
the exact circumstances under which they made the decision to
launch a civic-military uprising.

People are getting into
survival mode, more consumed with securing food and water than
toppling the Maduro regime.

Guaidó’s freedom is increasingly under threat after the regime
stripped him of his parliamentary immunity and
threatened to jail him. The protests he has led in previous months
— though massive — were mostly peaceful and didn’t pose
a threat to Maduro’s narco-dictatorship. As the economy continues
to collapse with day-long blackouts bringing the country to a halt, people are getting into
survival mode, more consumed with securing food and water than
toppling the regime. In the standoff between Maduro and Venezuela’s
democratic forces, time is on the regime’s side.

Coordinating and executing a successful military uprising in
Venezuela is extremely difficult. The top brass of the military is
a criminal organization deeply involved in corruption, extortion, smuggling and
drug trafficking
. An incompetent general runs the dwindling but
still profitable oil business — output collapsed to 732,000 barrels per day in March, a steep
consistent decline& since 2013. The U.S.
Treasury Department labels several generals as drug-kingpins: a
significant chunk, if not most of Colombia’s cocaine production now
goes through Venezuela. Thus, the incentives of
the rank and file of the military to switch their loyalty to
Guaidó, despite offers of amnesty, are almost nil.

Cuban influence in Venezuela

There is growing dissatisfaction among the troops. After all,
their relatives are not immune to the humanitarian crisis. About
1,000
Venezuelan soldiers
have defected to Colombia just this year.
However, there are reports that their families back home have been
harassed and tortured, raising the cost of
turning against the regime. But the …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Epic Motorcycle Trip That Turned Che Guevara Into a Revolutionary

May 2, 2019 in History

By Christopher Klein

A coming-of-age adventure through five South American countries set Che Guevara on the path to becoming a Marxist revolutionary.

Before. “Che grew up in an upper middle-class family that had hit on hard times, but it was an intellectual environment that was clearly attentive to political processes,” he says. “His interest in medicine as a career and profession was in part an expression of his social consciousness, which developed at an early age.”

After leaving Cordoba, the two friends visited the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires and the seaside city of Miramar before crossing the barren pampas and ascending into the Andes. Plagued by his chronic asthma, Guevara had a rough start to the trip as he contracted the flu and nursed a broken heart after receiving a break-up letter from his girlfriend.

Granado’s motorcycle, nicknamed La Poderosa II (“the mighty one”), suffered from its own ailments and failed to live up to its moniker before finally breaking down for good in Chile. The road trippers were now “bums without wheels,” as Guevara wrote. They forged northward, however, through deserts and rainforests by hitching rides, walking, riding horses and even stowing away on a ship. The pair slept in garages, barns and police stations as well as under the stars.

Alberto Granado on the set of “The Motorcycle Diaries,” a 2004 film based on his ride with friend, Che Guevara.

The friends visited iconic locations such as Lake Titicaca and the ruins of Machu Picchu, which Guevara called “the pure expression of the most powerful indigenous race in the Americas.” They also visited decidedly less touristy locations like the great copper mine in the Chilean town of Chuquicamata that was operated by an American multinational company. There, Guevara witnessed the exploitation of the mine workers.

“The only thing that matters is the enthusiasm with which the workers set to ruining their health in search of a few meager crumbs that barely provide their subsistence,” he wrote. “The biggest effort Chile should make is to shake its uncomfortable Yankee friend from its back, a task that for the moment at least is Herculean.”

In Peru, the two Argentines saw the wretched poverty endured by indigenous people treated as second-class citizens. “These people …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

What Putin Wants with North Korea

May 2, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

The Trump administration continues to pay a high price for
treating Russia as an enemy. Vladimir Putin has dealt himself back
into the Korea game. He could be helpful if it was worth his while.
But as long as Washington undermines Moscow’s interests, Putin will
toss some cogs into the proverbial wheel.

The collapse of the Soviet Union for a time turned Moscow into a
geopolitical irrelevancy. Nowhere was that more obvious than in
North Korea. The new Russian Federation recognized South Korea,
earning a cascade of insults and fulminations from the Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea. Pyongyang’s protestations bothered the
Yeltsin government not at all since the South offered better
economic opportunities.

Since then Putin has returned Russia to the DPRK, though
cautiously and modestly, to be sure. Last week he met North Korean
Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Vladivostok.

It was a low-key affair held on a university campus with no
statement issued, very different from last year’s dramatic
meeting between Kim and Donald Trump in Singapore. The North Korean
leader called Vladivostok a “very meaningful one-on-one
exchange of opinions on issues of mutual interest and current
issues,” as if the two strongmen were buddies who grabbed a
drink and talked sports. But Kim’s latest diplomatic venture
gave Russia at least a toehold in the peninsula’s future.

Moscow has no core
national interests at stake, but it does see a chance to throw a
cog in Washington’s policy wheels.

The Soviet Union loomed large in Korean affairs following World
War II. Moscow and Washington divided the peninsula into two
occupation zones, which became separate states. The Soviets
anointed Kim Il-sung, an anti-Japanese guerrilla commander, to lead
the new North Korea. In 1950, Moscow also approved Kim’s
plans to invade the Republic of Korea, sparking the Korean War. But
Joseph Stalin avoided obvious direct involvement, leaving it to the
People’s Republic of China to save the DPRK following
America’s entry into the war.

With destalinization after Stalin’s death, Kim’s relations with
Moscow deteriorated and Pyongyang was in the process of creating an
even more suffocating personality cult. Although the North’s
relations with China also oscillated, the latter retained a greater
historical, cultural, and economic stake in its small neighbor. For
instance, when Beijing followed Russia in recognizing Seoul, the
DPRK had a much more measured reaction. Pyongyang couldn’t afford
to lose its only remaining significant ally.

Little changed for Moscow over the last three decades, and
Russia’s attention was firmly focused on the West, and the
expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, military
intervention in the Balkans, and aid to Georgia and Ukraine. But
the Putin government has begun reasserting …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Case for Free Trade

May 2, 2019 in Economics

By Scott Lincicome

Scott Lincicome

The policy of free trade — citizens freely buying and
selling goods and services across borders without government
interference — is under greater attack today than it has been
in decades. Despite the fact that American public support for trade
and globalization is at an all-time high, politicians, pundits, and
a growing cadre of wonks on both the left and the right have become
increasingly hostile to the long-standing U.S. political consensus
in favor of multilateral trade liberalization. This hostility,
however, is mostly misguided. Although it contains certain nuggets
of truth about, for example, Chinese mercantilism or onerous
trade-agreement rules, the case for free trade — economic,
geopolitical, and, perhaps most of all, moral — is as strong
today as it was when Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of
Nations
almost 250 years ago.

Trade and globalization have provided undeniable economic
benefits for the vast majority of American families, businesses,
and workers. Most obvious are the consumer gains. Several recent
studies have found that freer trade with China, for example, has
generated, through increased competition and lower prices, hundreds
of billions of dollars in U.S. consumer benefits — benefits
that, according to economists Xavier Jaravel and Erick Sager, are
the equivalent of giving every American “$260 of extra
spending per year for the rest of their lives.” Consumer
gains from imports, in general tilted toward the poor and the
middle class, are especially tilted toward them when it comes to
goods that are made in China and sold at stores like Walmart. The
magnitude of such benefits also debunks the well-worn myth that
free trade is mainly about cheap T-shirts. Indeed, trade’s
consumer surplus is a big reason that Americans today work far
fewer hours to own far better essentials than at any prior time in
U.S. history.

Then there are trade’s overall benefits for the economy. A
2017 Peterson Institute paper calculated the payoff to the United
States from expanded trade between 1950 and 2016 to be $2.1
trillion, increasing U.S. GDP per capita and per household by
around $7,000 and $18,000 — with benefits, again,
disproportionately accruing to households in the bottom income
decile. The U.S. International Trade Commission, moreover, found in
2016 that U.S. bilateral and regional trade agreements such as
NAFTA generated small but significant annual increases in GDP, as
well as in employment and real wages among highly skilled and less
skilled American workers. As the American Enterprise
Institute’s Michael Strain has noted, trade-skeptical
populists who downplay this impressive macroeconomic boost ignore
that, as our current economic moment attests, a small bit of extra
GDP growth can mean big things for lower-wage, lower-skill workers
in terms of employment and possible …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

India Will Never Be Great Until It Protects Religious Freedom

May 2, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Five years ago, Narendra Modi’s election victory sparked
hope for an Indian economic renaissance. The world’s second
most populous nation would follow China’s growth path, the
experts said, and provide a democratic alternative to the
repressive “Beijing Consensus.” Modi was anointed the
Indian Ronald Reagan.

However, Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have proven a
great disappointment. Modi is more pro-business than he is free
market. Worse, he believes in Hindu nationalism far more than
capitalism, and has failed to combat the steady rise in religious
intolerance. When younger, he was active in the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, a paramilitary Hindu nationalist group.
While heading the government of Gujarat state, he presided over the
massacre of as many as 2,000 Muslims in a spasm of sectarian
violence. His culpability was suspected but unproven, as key
evidence disappeared.

Most importantly, over the last five years, he’s done
little to dissuade BJP-controlled states and BJP-inspired mobs from
infringing on religious liberty and attacking minorities.

Hindu nationalist mobs
there are increasingly targeting Muslims, Dalits, and especially
Christians.

India has long ranked among the most dangerous nations for
religious minorities. The U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom’s newly released 2019 report notes that
Indian religious liberty “continued in a downward
trend.” A third of all states restricted religious conversion
and/or trade in cattle; mobs targeted Christians (who tend to
proselytize) and Muslims (who dominate the beef, dairy, and leather
trades). USCIRF cites “the government’s allowance and
encouragement of mob violence against religious
minorities—that have facilitated an egregious and ongoing
campaign of violence, intimidation, and harassment against
non-Hindu and lower-caste Hindu minorities.” Warned the
Commission, “India’s history as a multicultural and
multi-religious society remained threatened by an increasingly
exclusionary conception of national identity based on
religion.”

The State Department notes the role of private vigilantism:
“Religious minority communities felt increasingly vulnerable
due to Hindu nationalist groups engaging in violence against
non-Hindu individuals and their places of worship.” Those
involved in cattle businesses are at increasing risk. Human Rights
Watch recently concluded: “Between May 2015 and December
2018, at least 44 people—36 of them Muslims—were killed
across 12 Indian states. Over that same period, around 280 people
were injured in over 100 different incidents across 20
states.” Yet in many cases, the government failed to
prosecute anyone, even murderers.

Christians make up a small percentage of the population, and
thus account for a proportionately smaller share of casualties of
religious intolerance. However, Hindu hostility is often virulent:
a decade ago, mobs in the state of Orissa killed scores of
Christians, causing tens of thousands of others to flee. Today,
persecution is a violent constant.

Unfortunately, the latest legislative election has inflamed
Hindu nationalism. The Religious …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

When the Left Talks about Packing the Courts, It Wants Political Judges like in Kansas

May 2, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Kansas adopted its constitution in 1859. Abortion was largely
illegal then, as it was in most of the country.

Who counted as a person mattered then. The state was born in
violence, as pro-slavery forces unsuccessfully attempted to impose
their constitution on the territory’s free settler majority.

This blatant disregard for democratic consent, opposed by
Illinois Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, effectively sundered the
Democratic Party, guaranteeing Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the
1860 presidential election. Kansas became a battleground: in August
1863, William Quantrill led mix of guerrillas and ruffians to the
town of Lawrence, where they committed one of the Civil War’s worst
atrocities.

In America’s heartland,
left-liberals have triumphed, giving a preview of what the
court-packing they desire by the next Democratic president would
mean.

Those opposed to democracy, law, and life have reappeared in
Kansas. But they are not insurgents. Instead, they are serving on
the state supreme court. Last week in Hodes & Nauser v.
Schmidt,
six members of the Kansas Supreme Court discovered
what had been missed for 160 years: the good citizens approved a
constitution which legalized a practice that they simultaneously
banned. Such is the amazing versatility of liberal jurisprudence,
freeing citizens from the straightjacket of a constitution
interpreted to actually mean something, something that reflects the
will of those who drafted and approved it and does not change to
match the latest legal fashions current in the halls of
academia.

Of course, Roe v. Wade had already done this to the
federal Constitution, conjuring out of permutations and emanations
a “right” unknown when the document was promulgated and
amended, most importantly, with the 14th Amendment. However, as two
Trump nominees have joined the high court panic has set in in some
progressive precincts. The widely shared nightmare is that a
Supreme Court majority might rediscover serious jurisprudence and
overturn Roe.

In fact, a Roberts-led majority seems more likely to further
erode than completely eliminate the landmark ruling. In any case,
not a lot would change in practice, since full reversal would
merely free states to make their own laws. And many would do
nothing, leaving abortion legal. Most people would live at most a
state away from access to abortion. Everyone would be within a
couple hour plane ride of an abortion clinic, with activists busily
fund-raising to ensure that no unwanted baby survived.

However, progressives used to relying on federal judges are now
shifting to the state level. In states dominated by the Left, such
as New York, legislators approved expansive abortion legislation.
In states less inclined to ignore the lives at stake, liberal
activists are enlisting state judges as their champions. As in
Kansas.

In Hodes …read more

Source: OP-EDS