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FTR #584 Rewriting History

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Introduction: In Mein Kampf (his autobiography and political manifesto), Adolph Hitler spoke of the big lie: “Most people tell little lies. They would be ashamed to tell big ones. They would never credit others with such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation, as any trifling detail would dispose them to accept a thing as true. All good liars know this and, therefore, stop at nothing to achieve this end.”

This program treats the subject of the big lie in the specific context of rewriting history. Beginning with the mythology surrounding Notre Football star George Gipp and Ronald Reagan, the actor-turned-politician who played him in the movies, the broadcast deals with historical lies that are accepted as truth, truths that are the target of powerful interests that seek to undermine their credibility, and the falsification of history to justify a fascist political agenda. At a Holocaust denial conference in Iran, an assortment of international fascists convened to disseminate their view that the Holocaust never happened. Overshadowed by the presence at the conference of Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a group of close advisers to Iranian president Ahmadinejad has been networking with European neo-Nazis. Conspiracy theory in general and the so-called 9/11 “Truth” movement in particular have proved to be fertile ground for historical revisionists. (Parenthetically, it should be noted that when someone realizes that much of our history has been falsified, it can leave them in an intellectually relativistic state. “Well, if Oswald DIDN’T kill Kennedy, maybe the Holocaust never happened.”) The program notes that a popular 9/11 book, The War on Freedom, presents the view that the world is run by a Jewish conspiracy, that Franklin Delano Roosevelt deliberately allowed the Pearl Harbor attack to take place, that Roosevelt was responsible for starting World War II, that Abraham Lincoln was a war criminal, that Abraham Lincoln was responsible for starting the Civil War and that the war-making powers belong to the states. This last contention is the ideological tenet of the Posse Comitatus, one of the most virulent elements of the white supremacist movement, now presented uncritically to the so-called 9/11 “Truth Movement.” Concluding with discussion of the Rape of Nanking in World War II, the program highlights a forthcoming Japanese film that denies that the massacre took place. Discussing the actual massacre, the broadcast points out that the event was the genesis of the all-important Golden Lily program, which looted the liquid wealth of Asia and put it under Japanese and control. That stolen wealth became the foundation for Japan’s postwar economic success, as well as a principal element in the postwar global cartel system.

Program Highlights Include: Japanese rightists’ circulation of the “FDR started World War II” myth; German publishing giant Bertelsmann’s use of a house historian who also subscribes to the “FDR started the war” myth; Japanese Prince Asaka’s direction of the Rape of Nanking.

1. The program begins with review of information from FTR#304, highlighting the preservation of an illusion central to the sporting and political worlds. Author Dan Moldea illustrates the contrast between the Hollywood legend of football and the reality of the game by analyzing Ronald Reagan’s role as Notre Dame star George Gipp in the movie Knute Rockne: All American. This role provided Reagan with his political persona of “the Gippper.” (This was Gipp’s nickname and was the centerpiece of an ongoing myth about the player and Rockne. Rockne was a celebrated football coach at Notre Dame and was played by actor Pat O’Brien in the movie.) Gipp, dying of pneumonia, supposedly gave Rockne a deathbed request: “His [Gipp’s] purported deathbed request to Rockne, ‘Win just one for the Gipper,’ was used during a locker room pep talk and helped to inspire Rockne’s 1928 team in its upset victory against Army. And, as the Gipper incarnate, Reagan used the line to inspire voters to elect him to the California governor’s mansion and later the White House. To those who saw the movie and listened to Reagan utter those now-famous words, Gipp epitomized the virtues of good character, sportsmanship, and ‘the right way of living.’ History, however, now shows that Gipp, a man of truly questionable moral values, probably never made any such request on or off his deathbed; that Rockne, who was known for grasping at anything to incite his players, had fabricated the incident and that Reagan’s movie further embellished the Gipp/Rockne charade. . . . Regardless of the facts, the American public continues to believe the legend of George Gipp’s deathbed request to Knute Rockne. The difficulties in debunking the myth about one college coach and one of his players is an indication of the problems in dispelling the legends about an entire institution, particularly one as popular as football. Powerful forces in America have built empires around these myths; and the preservation of these empires and the personal wealth of those who own them depend upon the maintenance of the legends. In the Reagan movie myth of the lives of Rockne and Gipp, there is one scene in which Rockne chases away a gambler who is looking for an edge. Rockne, played by actor Pat O’Brien, tells him, ‘We haven’t got any use for gamblers around here. You’ve done your best to ruin baseball and horse racing. This is one game that’s clean and it’s going to stay clean.’ Considering that Gipp, with the knowledge of Rockne, was a notorious sports gambler, the O’Brien quote perhaps best illustrates my point. To a large degree, the National Football League (the NFL) has become the embodiment of the Gipp/Rockne myth. It has wrapped itself around the American flag and strutted into America’s homes to the thrilling stir of brass and percussion music as the choreography of bone-crushing tackles in dramatic slow motion flashes across the nation’s television screens. Based upon the illusion, the country’s love affair with professional football has given sports fans confidence that the NFL is an institution unencumbered by corruption.”
(Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football; Dan Moldea; copyright 1989 by William Morrow and Company [HC]; ISBN 0-688-08303-X; pp.19-20.)

2. Moldea later points out that, when being chastised by Rockne for being unmotivated, Gipp explained that he had $500.00 bet on the game and was, as a result, very motivated. (Ibid.; p. 437.)

3. Seeking to rewrite the history of the Second World War, Iran hosted a well-publicized Holocaust Denial conference. Never one to be reticent, Iranian president Ahmadinejad used the occasion to reiterate his call for Israel to be wiped out. “Iran’s hard-line president said Tuesday that Israel will one day be ‘wiped out’ as the Soviet Union was, drawing applause from participants in a conference casting doubt on the Holocaust. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments are likely to further fuel the outcry prompted by the two-day gathering, which has gathered some of Europe’s and the United States’ best-known Holocaust deniers. Anger over the conference could further isolate Iran as the West considers sanctions in the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program. But Ahmadinejad appeared to revel in his meeting Tuesday with conference delegates, shaking hands with American participants and sitting near six anti-Israel Jewish participants dressed in black ultra-Orthodox coats and hats. ‘The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom,’ Ahmadinejad said during Tuesday’s meeting in his offices, according to the official IRNA news agency. . . . Ahmadinejad has used anti-Israeli rhetoric and cast doubt on the Holocaust to rally anti-Western supporters at home and abroad, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. Several times he has referred to the Holocaust as a ‘myth’ used to impose the state of Israel on the Arab world. . . .”
(“Iran’s Leader Predicts the Extinction of Israel” via AP; 12/12/2006; p. A19.)

4. Among those in attendance were former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and Robert Faurisson, a French neo-fascist, whom American political luminary Noam Chomsky has championed in the past. “Iran held a gathering that included Holocaust deniers, discredited scholars from around the world Monday under the guise of a conference to ‘debate’ the Nazi slaughter of 6 million Jews. Among those representing the United States was former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, whose prepared remarks, issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said the gas chambers in which millions perished actually did not exist. Robert Faurisson, an academic from France, said in his speech that the Holocaust was a myth created to justify the occupation of Palestine, meaning the creation of Israel. . . . In another development Monday, Iranian students staged a rare demonstration against Ahmadinejad, lighting a firecracker and burning his photograph as he delivered a speech at their university, the state news agency reported. Ahmadinejad responded calmly when a small group of students in a crowded hall at Amir Kabir Technical University started chanting ‘Death to the dictator,’ The Islamic Republic News Agency reported. One held up a poster that read: ‘Fascist president, the Polytechnic is not a place for you.’”
(“World’s Holocaust Cynics Get their Chance to Vent” by Nazila Fathi [New York Times]; San Francisco Chronicle; 12/12/2007; p. A19.)

5. Concluding the topic of Iran’s sponsorship of a Holocaust denial conference, the program notes that the event was organized by a group of Ahmadinejad’s advisers who are forming links with neo-Nazi groups in Europe! In this context, it is important to remember that the Iranian fundamentalist regime has long had contexts with Nazis—so-called “neo”-Nazis and members of the old guard. Bank Al Taqwa director Achmed Huber has been very close to the regime in Tehran and the Ayatollah Khomeini’s exile in France was paid for by Francois Genoud. Huber has also served as a liaison person coordinating the activities of Islamic fascists and both American and European neo-Nazis. (For more about Huber, Iran, Genoud and the neo-Nazi connections, see FTR#’s 343, 352, 354, 456, 499.) “Iran’s so-called Holocaust conference this week was billed as a chance to force the West to reconsider the historical legitimacy of Israel. But why would the Iranians invite speakers with so little credibility in the West, including a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and disgraced European scholars? That question misses the point. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad portrays such conference participants as David Duke, the former Klan leader, and Robert Faurisson of France, who has devoted his life to trying to prove that Nazi gas chambers were a myth, as silenced truth-tellers whose stories expose Western leaders as the hypocrites he considers them to be. . . .The two-day meeting included no attempt to come to terms with the nature of the well-documented Nazi slaughter, offering only a platform to those pursuing the fantasy that it never happened. In addition the organizers of the conference, a small circle around the president, have been building ties with neo-Nazi groups in Europe. . . . [Emphasis added.]”
(“Iran Leader Uses Conference on Holocaust to Push Agenda” by Michael Slackman [New York Times]; The San Francisco Chronicle; 12/14/2006; p. A28.)

6. The flakier elements of the 9/11 “Truth Movement” have associated themselves with fascist revisionism. Among the reactionaries presenting a revisionist view of history in conjunction with 9/11 is Andreas Von Buelow, who attributes 9/11 [and just about everything else] to—you guessed it—the Jews. Von Buelow’s comments and a veritable Motherlode of fascist revisionism is contained in the “Backword” of The War on Freedom, a popular book about 9/11. “Von Buelow told AFP [The American Free Press, an American neo-Nazi publication] that he believes that the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, is behind the September 11 attacks . . . The BND (German secret service) is steered by the CIA and the CIA is steered by the Mossad. . . .”
(The War on Freedom; Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed; Copyright 2002 by Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed; Tree of Life Publications [SC]; ISBN 0-930852-40-0; p. 366.)

7. Another stunning example of 9/11-connected revisionism in The War on Freedom is the assertion that Abraham Lincoln was an imperial warmonger, that he was responsible for victimizing the Confederacy during the Civil War, and that the war-making powers belong to the states! This agenda is that of the Posse Comitatus, one of the most extreme elements in the white-supremacist movement. “The war powers have been usurped and abused by the White House at least since the 1840’s. A new book sharply assails the totalitarian basis of our modern Union, as laid by Abraham Lincoln, over the rubble of the U.S. Constitution. ‘Lincoln lusted after Empire. The juggernaut he put in place exterminated the Plains Indians with the same ferocity with which Southern towns and cities were sacked and pillaged.’ The Indians are in Palestine now—evicted into camps, demonized, and massacred in illegal wars. The Constitution grants all powers not delegated elsewhere to the States; and delegation of powers is not their abandonment or abuse. Thus, the war powers rightfully revert back to the individual states, and need to be devolved to them, to make such mutual defense agreements as they deem fit. . . . Yet our states still have the right to secede. DiLorenzo writes that Lincoln and his generals should ‘have been hanged as war criminals under the Geneva Convention of 1863.’ In our time, complicity—whether indirect or direct—in the Pearl Harbor and WTC attacks is also a treasonable crime against humanity, which should be prosecuted.” (Ibid.; pp. 377-378.)

8. Another piece of fascist historical revisionism that The War on Freedom markets to the 9/11 “Truth” community is the canard that Franklin Delano Roosevelt deliberately let the Pearl Harbor attack proceed unimpeded. This is a readily verifiable lie that belongs in the same category as Holocaust denial. In point of fact, the United States’ armed forces in the Pacific theater were on a war alert from late November of 1941 on. Having broken the Japanese [diplomatic] Purple Code and knowing that Japanese diplomats were instructed to break off their peace negotiations on December 7 and burn their cables, the War Department concluded that the Japanese were going to attack. At the same time, Naval Intelligence noted that the radio signatures of the Japanese aircraft carriers had gone silent. From this, they concluded that the Japanese were going to launch an attack from a carrier task force. Admiral Husband Kimmel was warned to prepare for an attack. He failed to alert the defenses on Oahu when the U.S.S. Ward engaged and sank an enemy submarine attempting to enter Pearl Harbor on the morning of 12/7/1941, and the rest is history. “Let’s move along to Pearl Harbor, on Hawaii (annexed, like California, in a subversive putsch, turning the Pacific into an American lake). Declassified files recently revealed that FDR was even more cunning than the ‘conspiracy theorists’ believed. He not only let the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor—he first executed an 8-point plan to provoke and lure them, ensuring that they saw no alternative other than to attack. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 336.)

9. Pinning the blame for World War II and Pearl Harbor on Franklin Delano Roosevelt (and exonerating the Japanese in the process) is as fundamental perversion of history as is possible. In fact, Roosevelt stood largely alone in attempting to cut off the supplies of oil (and scrap metal), which Americans provided to the Japanese. Using these supplies, the Japanese had waged a savage war of aggression for more than a decade. Among the atrocities committed by Japanese armies was the Rape of Nanking, discussed below. It should be remembered that the Japanese oligarchs and militarists were the beneficiaries of vast amounts of investment capital channeled their way by powerful American industrialists and financiers. In addition to the fact that successful Japanese conquest brought these investors greater chance of realizing profits on their capital investment, influential members of the American power elite were supportive of the Japanese war of aggression because the armies of the Rising Sun were seen as a bulwark against the spread of Soviet and Chinese communism. For more about the subject of U.S. capital investment in Japan, see—among other programs—FTR#426, as well as Miscellaneous Archive Show M26, available from SPITFIRE.

10. The house historian for Bertelsmann also blames World War II on Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Bertelsmann is the German media firm that dominates English language publishing. For more about Bertelsmann, see the series of programs produced about German Corporate Control of American Publishing. “ . . . His book Roosevelt’s Way to War (Roosevelt’s Weg zum Krieg) was published in 1983. Rewriting history, he stated that Roosevelt, not Hitler had caused World War II. He also wrote that American Jews controlled most of the media,’ and he claimed they gave a false picture of Hitler. Did the book impress [Heinrich’s son Reinhard] Mohn, then the majority shareholder of Bertelsmann? The firm hired Bavendamm as its house historian, and in 1984 he completed a historical study, 150 Years of Bertelsmann: The Founders and Their Time—with a foreword by Mohn. A year later, Bavendamm edited the firm’s official history, which set forth the untrue story that the firm had resisted the Nazis and had been closed down by them. Mohn also asked Bavendamm to write the authorized history of the Mohn family, published in 1986 under the title Bertelsmann, Mohn, Scippel: Three Families—One Company. In a second book, Roosevelt’s War (published in 1993, reissued in 1998), Bavendamm accuses the U.S. President of enacting a plan to start World War II. In the same book he suggests that Hitler’s threats in early 1939 against European Jewry were a reaction to Roosevelt’s strategy against Germany. After the revelations about Bertelsmann’s Nazi past appeared, the company announced that it had asked ‘the historian and publicist Dr. Dirk Bavendamm to look at the new information and begin to reinvestigate the role the publishing house played in those days’ and defended his work. . . .”
(“Bertelsmann’s Revisionist” by Hersch Fischler and John Friedman; The Nation; 11/8/99; p. 1.)

11. Blaming World War II on Franklin Delano Roosevelt and alleging that he deliberately allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor to take place is common among Japanese rightists. “Yasukuni shrine officials have agreed to delete a controversial exhibit and discuss further changes to the shrine’s military museum, criticized by many for glossing over Japan’s wartime history. Officials from the shrine will meet a leading conservative historian today to discuss the alternations. These are likely to focus on exhibits that accuse the US of deliberately forcing Japan into the Second World War, but are unlikely to address more contentious displays relating to the Japanese invasion of China and Southeast Asia. However, agreement to make changes would show that Yasukuni, which has become a flashpoint in Japan’s relations with Asia, is sensitive to outside pressure even though it is a private religious organization. The museum, which was renovated in 2002 to reflect what many consider a revisionist view of Japanese history, is adjacent to the shrine, which honors Japan’s war dead, including a handful of convicted war criminals. Hisahiko Okazaki, a right-wing political commentator, said museum staff and an advisory historian from Japan’s self-defense force had agreed to meet him to discuss potential changes. The meeting follows a column in yesterday’s Sankei newspaper, in which Mr. Okazaki called for the removal of an exhibit accusing Franklin D. Roosevelt, the former US president, of engineering a war with Japan to strengthen the US economy. The exhibit says the plan to force Japan into war followed the failure of Roosevelt’s New Deal. Mr. Okazaki said the shrine had agreed yesterday to delete that reference . . . . [Emphasis added.]”
(“Japan to Remove Exhibit from War Museum” by David Pilling; Financial Times; 8/25/2006; p. 2.)

12. Turning to the subject of Japanese historical revisionism, the program sets forth the growing tendency in that country to revise history in a manner favorable to the memory of its fascist and imperialist past. (For more about this, see FTR#’s 296, 581. Japanese historical revisionism also embraces the notion that the Rape of Nanking never occurred. [The Rape of Nanking was one of many Japanese atrocities committed during World War II. The late Iris Chang memorialized the slaughter. Ms. Chang’s strange death is discussed in FTR#509.] “When Japanese troops conquered the then-capital of China in 1937, historians agree they slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians in an orgy of violence known since then as the Rape of Nanking. A Japanese nationalist filmmaker announced on Wednesday he is working on a documentary with a very different message: the massacre never happened. The film, to be called ‘The Truth about Nanking’ and completed in August, will be based on testimony from Japanese veterans, archival footage and documents that proponents say prove accounts of the killing are nothing more than Chinese propaganda. ‘This will be our first effort to correct the errors of history through a film,’ director Satoru Mizushima said at a Tokyo hotel, joined by a group of conservative lawmakers and academics who support the project. Mizushima, president of a rightwing Internet broadcaster ‘Channel Sakura,’ said he hoped to enter the film in international festivals late in the year. He is aiming to raise about 300 million yen (US$2.47 million; €1.89 million) for the effort. The film is part of a gathering wave in Japan of ‘massacre denial’ projects, mostly books, that attempt to debunk a slaughter that historians say killed at least 150,000 civilians. China says the death toll was as many as 300,000. The film was certain to rile audiences in China, and opponents say it would only cause embarrassment for Japan.”
(“Japanese Director Announces Production of Nanjing Film to Deny Massacre” [AP]; The International Herald Tribune; 1/24/2007.)

13. “‘They say the film will transmit the truth about Nanking, but they will be only spreading shame for Japan,’ said Shinichiro Kumagai, a civil activist studying the massacre in Nanjing — the current name of the city — and supporting Chinese war victims. ‘The move only reveals their inability to face Japan’s wartime past by looking the other way,’ Kumagai said. The film is based on the work of Japanese historian Shudo Higashinakano, whose work included two books in the late 1990s claiming the massacre was a hoax. A Chinese court last year awarded a Nanjing Massacre survivor 1.6 million yuan (US$200,000; €156,100) in compensation after ruling against Higashinakano and another historian for claiming she fabricated her account of the atrocity. The massacre, brought to a worldwide audience in English by Iris Chang’s book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, is widely seen as a gruesome symbol of Japan’s bloody conquest of East Asia in most of the first half of the 1900s. The massacre is a cause celebre of Japan’s increasingly active nationalist groups, which are pushing to cull references to it in public school textbooks and discredit accounts of the slaughter. . . .” (Idem.)

14. Turning to the historical reality of the Rape of Nanking, the program notes that the atrocity was directed by Prince Asaka, Emperor Hirohito’s uncle. [In the program, Mr. Emory incorrectly identifies Asaka as Hirohito’s brother.] “Just before the Japanese began their assault on Nanking, Emperor Hirohito sent his uncle, Prince Asaka Yasuhiko, to take over command from General Matsui Iwane, who was suffering from tuberculosis. In any aristocracy, there are always extreme nationalists and racists with a narrow education, and Japan was no exception. Men like Prince Asaka regarded themselves as demigods, and felt only contempt for Chinese, Koreans, and other Asians. In addition, he was an alcoholic, given to wild bouts of drunken rage. On taking command outside Nanking, he told his aides that it was time to ‘teach our Chinese brothers a lesson they will never forget.’”
(Gold Warriors; Sterling and Peggy Seagraves; Copyright 2003 by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave; Verso Books [HC]; ISBN 1-85984-542-8; p. 37.)

15. The Rape of Nanking was not a fabrication. “In the Rape of Nanking that followed, some 300,000 defenseless civilians were slain by Japanese troops, between 20,000 and 80,000 women of all ages were raped repeatedly, including children, adolescent girls, and grandmothers, man of them disemboweled in the process. Men, women and children were subjected to acts of such barbarism that the world recoiled in horror. Thousands of men were roped together and machine-gunned, or doused with gasoline and set afire. Others were used for bayonet practice, or to practice beheading, in a sporting competition to see which officer could behead the greatest number that day. Weeks passed while atrocities continued, streets and alleys piled high with corpses. Unlike previous atrocities, done out of sight, these were witnessed by hundreds of Westerners including diplomats, doctors and missionaries, some of whom smuggled out photographic evidence.” (Idem.)

16. The Rape of Nanking saw the genesis of the decisively important Golden Lily program of systematic looting in occupied Asia. (For more about Golden Lily, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 427, 428, 445, 451, 501, 509.) “It was at this bitter moment that Golden Lily came into existence. When the Japanese Army swarmed down the China Coast in 1937, crossed the Yangtze, and moved westward to Nanking, so many units were involved across such a broad front that there was danger of Japan’s ruling elite losing control of the financial side of conquest, as rival commanders competed for spoils. How could you keep army or navy officers from side-tracking gold bullion and priceless art works, not to mention smaller scale theft by soldiers? At the same time, groups of yakuza were moving through newly occupied areas, conducting their own reign of terror. To keep everything under strict control at the highest level, the Imperial General Headquarters created Golden Lily (kin no yuri), named after one of Hirohito’s poems. This was to be a palace organization of Japan’s top financial minds and specialists in all forms of treasure including cultural and religious antiquities, supported by accountants, bookkeepers, shipping experts, and units of the army and navy, all overseen by princes of the blood. When China was milked by Golden Lily, the army would hold the cow, while princes skimmed the cream. This organization was put directly under the command of the emperor’s brother, Prince Chichibu. We know the date because the Imperial General Headquarters itself was only set up in the imperial palace in Tokyo in November 1937, just as the Rape of Nanking was commencing. The purpose of the Imperial Headquarters was to keep control of the war in the hands of the emperor and his senior advisors, to avoid repeating what happened in Manchuria, where the Kwantung Army grew recklessly independent in all respects. The Imperial Army already had a number of Special Service Units, among them intelligence teams specializing in different kinds of cultural and financial espionage, and secret service agents like general Doihara, outside the ordinary command structure. These were reassigned to Golden Lily, giving it the resources needed to find treasure of all kinds, from the sublime to the most prosaic. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 38.)

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #584 Rewriting History”

  1. […] FTR #584: Rewriting History This entry was posted in Counter-propaganda, Fascism, Propagande and tagged 9/11 Truth Movement, Achmed Huber, Andreas Von Buelow, China, David Duke, Disinformation, George Gipp, Hirohito, Iran, Islamists, Israel, Japan, Operation Golden Lily, Osaka, Rewriting History, Ronald Reagan, Roosevelt, The Rape of Nanking, The War on Freedom. Bookmark the permalink. ← Une solution à la dérive idéologique de Luc Ferrandez: La destitution… […]

    Posted by The systematic rewriting of world history: Dave Emory presents several examples | Lys-d'Or | February 20, 2012, 8:10 pm

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