Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

News & Supplemental

These entries present indi­vid­ual sto­ries and top­ics, some­times with ana­lyt­i­cal com­men­tary.

This category contains 1295 posts

A Lesson from History . . . .

Many have for­got­ten the reas­sur­ing prog­nos­ti­ca­tions by the George W. Bush admin­is­tra­tion con­cern­ing the inva­sion of Iraq and the boun­ty that would flow from that mis­ad­ven­ture. With Grover Norquist craft­ing much of the plan for the post-inva­sion Iraqi econ­o­my, we were assured that pro­found eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits would accrue from that oper­a­tion. Per­spec­tive can be gained on this coun­try’s (seem­ing­ly end­less) for­eign mil­i­tary adven­tures from Impe­r­i­al Japan’s addic­tion to inva­sion and war. ” . . . . Great quan­ti­ties of trea­sure came from each vic­to­ry, but quick­ly van­ished into the usu­al hid­ing places, so Japan’s rul­ing elite became very much rich­er. Mean­while, the pub­lic trea­sury was exhaust­ed by mil­i­tary expen­di­tures, and ordi­nary Japan­ese were squeezed to make up the deficit. In short, the under­ly­ing prob­lem of a cor­rupt rul­ing elite was only aggra­vat­ed by infu­sions of stolen trea­sure. . . .”


Rest In Peace, Heartfelt Thanks and Admiration: Peggy and Sterling Seagrave

In FTR #446, we high­light­ed the seri­ous death threats, harass­ment, and covert dis­rup­tion expe­ri­enced by Peg­gy and Ster­ling Sea­grave in con­nec­tion with their writ­ing. In 509, we also not­ed the sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the death of the hero­ic Iris Chang, who aid­ed the Sea­graves in their “Gold War­riors” project. Hav­ing authored a book on the Rape of Nanking and work­ing on anoth­er about the Bataan Death March, Ms. Chang had crossed the very pow­er struc­ture delin­eat­ed at length, depth and detail in the Sea­graves’ vol­ume. In our last vis­it with the Sea­graves, a 2009 inter­view that was the focus of FTR #689, Ster­ling expressed anx­i­ety about the prox­im­i­ty of their res­i­dence in South­ern France to the Span­ish bor­der and the for­mi­da­ble pres­ence of Opus Dei in Fran­co’s for­mer domain. His fear turned out to be pre­scient. On Christ­mas Day of 2011, he nar­row­ly escaped assas­si­na­tion while return­ing home. He felt that the attempt on his life may well have been moti­vat­ed by the pub­li­ca­tion of the Span­ish lan­guage edi­tion of “Gold War­riors.” Peg­gy passed in 2016 and Ster­ling in the spring of 2017. Listeners/readers may hon­or these heroes by read­ing their con­sum­mate­ly impor­tant books.


What Were John Foster Dulles and Kodama Yoshio Doing in Seoul on the Eve of the Outbreak of the Korean War?

In our last post, we high­light­ed the 1951 “Peace” Treaty between the Allies and Japan, an agree­ment which false­ly main­tained that Japan had not stolen any wealth from the nations it occu­pied dur­ing World War II and that the (already) boom­ing nation was bank­rupt and would not be able to pay repa­ra­tions to the slave labor­ers and “com­fort women” it had pressed into ser­vice dur­ing the con­flict. In the con­text of the fan­tas­tic sums loot­ed by Japan under the aus­pices of Gold­en Lily and the incor­po­ra­tion of that wealth with Nazi Gold to form the Black Eagle Trust, that 1951 treaty and the advent of the Kore­an War raise some inter­est­ing, unre­solved ques­tions. One of the prin­ci­pal fig­ures in the loot­ing of occu­pied Asia dur­ing World War II was the remark­able Kodama Yoshio. Net­worked with the pow­er­ful Yakuza Japan­ese orga­nized crime milieu, the Black Drag­on soci­ety (the most pow­er­ful of the patri­ot­ic and ultra-nation­al­ist soci­eties), the Impe­r­i­al Japan­ese mil­i­tary and the Roy­al fam­i­ly of Emper­or Hiro­hi­to, Kodama loot­ed the Chi­nese under­world and traf­ficked in nar­cotics with Chi­ang Kai-shek’s fas­cist nar­co-dic­ta­tor­ship. We can but won­der about Kodama Yosh­io’s pres­ence along with 1951 “Peace” Treaty author John Fos­ter Dulles at nego­ti­a­tions in Seoul on the eve of the out­break of the Kore­an War. ” . . . . In Octo­ber of 1949, the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na came into being. Eight months lat­er, in June of 1950, the Kore­an War broke out. Just before the war began, Kodama [Yoshio] accom­pa­nied John Fos­ter Dulles to nego­ti­a­tions in Seoul. The Dulles par­ty also includ­ed Kodama’s pro­tege Machii Hisayu­ki, boss of the Kore­an yakuza in Japan. Efforts to dis­cov­er under Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion what Kodama and Machii did dur­ing the trip with Dulles have run into a stone wall. In the MacArthur Memo­r­i­al archive we dis­cov­ered a per­son­al let­ter from Kodama to Gen­er­al MacArthur offer­ing to pro­vide thou­sands of yakuza and for­mer Japan­ese Army sol­diers to fight along­side Amer­i­can sol­diers in Korea. Accord­ing to sources in Korea and Japan, the offer was accept­ed and these men joined the Allied force on the Penin­su­la, pos­ing as Kore­an sol­diers. . . . ”


The “Fortunes of War,” Part 2

In FTR #905, among oth­er broad­casts, we have detailed the pro­found cor­po­rate links between Amer­i­can oli­garchs and their coun­ter­parts in Japan. As the Sea­graves not­ed in an excerpt of “The Yam­a­to Dynasty” sum­ma­riz­ing the after­math of World War II in Asia: “. . . . Amer­i­ca’s oli­garchs had res­cued Japan’s oli­garchs. . . .” In our last post, we not­ed that “. . . . U.S. bomb­ing pol­i­cy [in Japan]. . . had tend­ed to reaf­firm exist­ing hier­ar­chies of for­tune. . .” While serv­ing as an appoint­ed U.S. Sen­a­tor, John Fos­ter Dulles of Sul­li­van & Cromwell nego­ti­at­ed a peace treaty between Japan and the Allies, pred­i­cat­ed on the twin myths that Japan had­n’t stolen wealth from its occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries dur­ing the war and that the nation was bank­rupt. Nei­ther asser­tion was based in fact. Arti­cle 14 of the treaty stat­ed: ” . . . . ‘the Allied Pow­ers waive all repa­ra­tions claims of the Allied Pow­ers and their nation­als aris­ing out of any actions tak­en by Japan’. By sign­ing the treaty, Allied coun­tries con­curred that Japan’s plun­der had van­ished down a rab­bit hole, and all Japan’s vic­tims were out of luck. . . .” It should also be not­ed that: ” . . . . As we now know, Japan was not bank­rupt­ed by the war. By 1951, six years after the war, Japan’s econ­o­my was stronger than it had been dur­ing the best busi­ness years before the war. . . .” This high­lights the appar­ent­ly strate­gi­cal­ly selec­tive nature of Amer­i­can bomb­ing dur­ing the war, as well as the fact that Japan was allowed to keep the Gold­en Lily plun­der that had been brought back to the home islands.


Requiem for Victory at Sea, Part 3 (The “Fortunes” of War?)

In FTR #905, among oth­er broad­casts, we have detailed the pro­found cor­po­rate links between Amer­i­can oli­garchs and their coun­ter­parts in Japan. As the Sea­graves not­ed in an excerpt of “The Yam­a­to Dynasty” sum­ma­riz­ing the after­math of World War II in Asia: “. . . . Amer­i­ca’s oli­garchs had res­cued Japan’s oli­garchs. . . .” Watch­ing the films of World War II, the hero­ism of Allied and U.S. com­bat­ants was deeply impressed on my per­son­al­i­ty and per­cep­tions. Footage of U.S. air­men in com­bat with Ger­man and Japan­ese planes res­onates dif­fer­ent­ly now, under­scor­ing the tragedy of the events and the cyn­i­cism that appears to have dic­tat­ed strat­e­gy devised by key offi­cers and politi­cians. The Amer­i­can air war against Japan may well have been selec­tive­ly con­duct­ed, with dev­as­tat­ing fire­bomb­ing raids dec­i­mat­ing the res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hoods of much of Japan, while spar­ing the infra­struc­ture vital to the Zaibat­sus (giant con­glom­er­ates that dominated–and con­tin­ue to dominate–the Japan­ese econ­o­my) and the coun­try’s war-mak­ing capac­i­ty. The pos­si­bly that this appar­ent­ly delib­er­ate strat­e­gy was designed to dec­i­mate that ele­ment of the Japan­ese pop­u­la­tion that might have sought a more egal­i­tar­i­an polit­i­cal and social struc­ture, while spar­ing the elite is one to be seri­ous­ly con­tem­plat­ed. “. . . . Despite pro­pa­gan­da to the con­trary, Amer­i­can and Euro­peans who toured Japan imme­di­ate­ly after the sur­ren­der were sur­prised that infra­struc­ture, fac­to­ries, util­i­ties, and rail­ways were large­ly intact, thanks to selec­tive Amer­i­can bomb­ing. Fire­bomb­ing had destroyed tens of thou­sands of the tin­der­box homes of ordi­nary Japan­ese, giv­ing Tokyo the look of a dev­as­tat­ed city, but great estates, fac­to­ries and vital infra­struc­ture seemed mag­i­cal­ly to have been spared. . . . ‘U.S bomb­ing pol­i­cy . . . had tend­ed to reaf­firm exist­ing hier­ar­chies of for­tune. . .’ ”


Requiem for “Victory at Sea,” Part 2

In numer­ous pro­grams, we have dis­cussed Kodama Yoshio, one of Japan’s pre­mier orga­nized crime boss­es, who was head of the Kodama Agency, charged with procur­ing mate­ri­als for Japan’s Impe­r­i­al Naval Air Force. Kodama was aid­ed in his efforts by Gen­er­al Tai Li, Chi­ang Kai-shek’s chief of intel­li­gence, who swapped key raw mate­ri­als for nar­cotics to back the Kuom­intang nar­co-dic­ta­tor­ship. ” . . . . Offi­cial­ly, Kodama was in Shang­hai as a buy­er for the Impe­r­i­al Navy Air Force, under the rubric of the Kodama Kikan, or Kodama Agency. (Spe­cial Ser­vice Units were named after the offi­cer in charge and then called an agency.) On paper, his mis­sion was to locate and acquire sup­plies of cop­per, cobalt, nick­el and mica. In most cas­es, he bought these direct­ly from KMT secret police chief Gen­er­al Tai Li, who was paid in hero­in. . . . Because the Strike South would involve Japan’s navy, and the navy would admin­is­ter the Malay Arch­i­pel­ago through which [Gold­en Lily] trea­sure ships must pass, Kodama was trans­ferred overnight from the army to the navy, and giv­en the rank of rear admi­ral. This was like mak­ing Al Capone a U.S. Navy admi­ral. . . . Kodama returned to Shang­hai just in time for Pearl Har­bor. . . .”


Requiem for “Victory at Sea” UPDATED ON 1/16/2020

Hav­ing been born in 1949, I grew up with World War II as a crit­i­cal ele­ment of my polit­i­cal, civic and cog­ni­tive upbring­ing. I vivid­ly remem­ber watch­ing the doc­u­men­tary “Vic­to­ry at Sea” on tele­vi­sion as a child. As I have grown old­er, more knowl­edge­able and wis­er, learn­ing the truth about World War II has been very sad and painful. In FTR #1095, we not­ed the his­tor­i­cal back­ground to the ongo­ing con­flict with China–the bru­tal Japan­ese onslaught and the col­lab­o­ra­tion of Chi­ang Kai-shek’s Kuom­intang nar­co-dic­ta­tor­ship with Japan’s attack and occu­pa­tion. As a boy, I was awed and moved by the hero­ism of Amer­i­can and Allied ser­vice per­son­nel who braved the dan­gers of fly­ing over the Hump to bring U.S. sup­plies to Chi­ang Kai-shek’s forces. Although offi­cial­ly allied with the U.S., Chi­ang Kai-shek’s forces were actu­al­ly work­ing “both sides of the street.” We have encoun­tered noth­ing more grotesque­ly trag­ic and dis­il­lu­sion­ing than the aware­ness that Amer­i­can mil­i­tary sup­plies flown over the Hump and/or sent along the Bur­ma Road found their way into the hands of the Japan­ese, cour­tesy of KMT gen­er­al Ku Chu-tung and his orga­nized crime broth­er. Col­lab­o­rat­ing with Kodama Yoshio, the Japan­ese crime boss and Admi­ral of the Impe­r­i­al Japan­ese Navy, the broth­ers swapped U.S. lend lease sup­plies for drugs.


Tulsi and the Fascists

Bernie Sanders asso­ciate Tul­si Gab­bard has report­ed­ly been con­tem­plat­ing an inde­pen­dent run for Pres­i­dent. A mem­ber of the Sanders Insti­tute, she nom­i­nat­ed Boinie at the 2016 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion and was bandied about as Sanders’ poten­tial Vice-Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. With her pos­si­ble role as a “spoil­er” in the 2020 Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign loom­ing larg­er, Gab­bard’s ado­ra­tion by Amer­i­can fas­cists and reac­tionar­ies is some­thing to be con­sid­ered. In addi­tion to David Duke’s sup­port for her: “Stephen K. Ban­non, Pres­i­dent Trump’s for­mer chief strate­gist, is impressed with her polit­i­cal tal­ent. Richard B. Spencer, the white nation­al­ist leader, says he could vote for her. For­mer Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ron Paul prais­es her ‘lib­er­tar­i­an instincts,’ while Franklin Gra­ham, the influ­en­tial evan­ge­list, finds her ‘refresh­ing.’ . . . . And far-right con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists like Mike Cer­novich see a cer­tain MAGA sais quoi. ‘She’s got a good ener­gy, a good vibe. You feel like this is just a seri­ous per­son,’ Mr. Cer­novich said. ‘She seems very Trumpian.’ . . . . Then there is 4chan, the noto­ri­ous­ly tox­ic online mes­sage board, where some right-wing trolls and anti-Semi­tes fawn over Ms. Gab­bard, call­ing her ‘Mom­my’ and prais­ing her will­ing­ness to crit­i­cize Israel. In April, the Dai­ly Stormer, a neo-Nazi web­site, took cred­it for Ms. Gabbard’s qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the first two Demo­c­ra­t­ic pri­ma­ry debates. . . .” In past broad­casts, we have not­ed that Gab­bard is a mem­ber of the Hare Krish­na cult. She also sits on the advi­so­ry board of a Koch-fund­ed think tank with links to the Neo-Con­fed­er­ate move­ment. Often described as “the first Hin­du in Con­gress,” she is a vital con­tact point for Naren­dra Mod­i’s Hin­dut­va fas­cist gov­ern­ment in India.


A Nice, Healthy Glow

An impor­tant arti­cle appeared in “For­eign Pol­i­cy,” high­light­ing Depart­ment of Ener­gy rul­ings which will make access to radi­o­log­i­cal mate­ri­als eas­i­er. Now head­ed by Rick Perry–who advo­cat­ed abol­ish­ing the Depart­ment he now leads–the agency has facil­i­tat­ed the poten­tial use of radi­o­log­i­cal mate­r­i­al by ter­ror­ists, Nazi/White Suprema­cists, in par­tic­u­lar. Impor­tant in that con­text, is the pres­ence of White Suprema­cist Matthew Gebert in the State Depart­men­t’s Bureau of Ener­gy Resources, charged with pro­mot­ing ener­gy secu­ri­ty: ” . . . . Mean­while, on Aug. 9, the U.S. State Depart­ment con­firmed that Matthew Gebert, a for­eign affairs offi­cer assigned to the Bureau of Ener­gy Resources, was linked to a white nation­al­ist orga­ni­za­tion. One of the main goals of the Bureau of Ener­gy Resources is pro­mot­ing ener­gy secu­ri­ty. In 2018, Gebert alleged­ly told a pod­cast, ‘[Whites] need a coun­try of our own with nukes, and we will retake this thing lick­ety split.’ . . . .” We also note that the Steam online gam­ing site–home to Nazi/White Suprema­cist mes­sag­ing and 173 sites pro­mot­ing school shootings–has gam­ing mate­r­i­al involv­ing “Dirty Bombs.” Per­haps we will hear more from that direc­tion.


YouTube Fascism in Brazil

In recent pro­grams, we have exam­ined the pro­found role of online tech­nol­o­gy in the pro­mo­tion of fas­cism, as well as over­lap­ping areas of intel­li­gence activ­i­ty. In that con­text, it is vital to remem­ber that the Inter­net was devel­oped as a weapon, with the focus of the tech­nol­o­gy being coun­terin­sur­gency. In Brazil, the rise of Jair Bol­sonaro’s fas­cist gov­ern­ment received deci­sive momen­tum from YouTube, which is trans­form­ing the polit­i­cal land­scape in Brazil, as it is in this coun­try.