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

For The Record  

FTR #983 Fascism, 2017 World Tour, Part 2

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained HERE. The new drive is a 32-gigabyte drive that is current as of the programs and articles posted by the fall of 2017. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more.)

WFMU-FM is podcasting For The Record–You can subscribe to the podcast HERE.

You can subscribe to e-mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can subscribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can subscribe to the comments made on programs and posts–an excellent source of information in, and of, itself HERE.

This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Ivo Antonov, Bulgarian Ministry of Defense official

Introduction: Highlighting the growth of fascism around the world, this program sets forth a cursory examination of global manifestations of the ideology. The stories presented here will be analyzed at greater length and in greater detail in upcoming programs

Starting in Europe, we begin by examining overtly fascist elements in the governing Bulgarian coalition of Boyko Borisov, evocative of Bulgaria’s past as an ally of Nazi Germany in World War II. ” . . . May 17, Pavel Tenev, Minister of Regional Development, at the time, was forced to resign, after publication of a photo, showing him with his right arm extended in a Nazi salute, standing in front of a wax figure of a Nazi officer in Paris’ Musée Grévin. May 19, another photo was published on the internet, showing the freshly appointed department director in the Ministry of Defense, Ivo Antonov, also giving the Nazi salute in front of a Second World War tank of the Wehrmacht. . . .” Other coalition partners have made disparaging remarks about Roma (“gypsies”) and Jews.

Next, we travel from Bulgaria to Spain.

The political struggle around the attempted secession of Catalonia from Spain is framed against a larger political dynamic embracing advocacy of the elimination of formal national borders in Europe in favor of “regionalist plans.” Just such regionalist advocacy was the focal point of a prominent article (with accompanying maps of the projected realignment) in Die Zeit, a major German weekly.

Regionalist advocacy has a significant past, with the early postwar CIA and Allen Dulles having embraced such a dynamic. ” . . . . the federalists had initially been supported and controlled by the CIA predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and [one of its top spies] Alan Dulles, residing in Bern, and later by the CIA itself. . . .”

In addition, the regionalist dyanamic enjoyed the support of long-time German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble, whose advocacy and implementation of brutal fiscal austerity helped beggar much of the EU, including Spain, following the financial crisis of 2008. ” . . . . Wolfgang Schäuble, as President of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) in the early 1980’s, was also promoting regionalist plans. Inspired by former Nazi functionaries, the AEBR criticized the ‘nation-state’s barrier effect’ of borders in the interests of large corporations. . . . Former Nazi functionaries were actively participating both on the AEBR’s committees and in the immediate entourage of its planning of the ‘regionalization’ of the border regions, including Gerd Jans, the former member of the Waffen SS in the Netherlands, Konrad Meyer, responsible for the Nazi’s ‘Generalplan Ost,’ Hermann Josef Abs, of the Deutsche Bank, as well as Alfred Toepfer, described by the publicist Hans-Rüdiger Minow as ‘infamous for his border subversion of France’s Alsace.’ In an extensive study, Minow describes the continuities of the Nazi’s concepts. . . .”

Despite an initial impression of “regionalism” that many might see as alien, The Schauble/AEBR/regionalism dyanmic ideology may be seen as something of a subsidiary element of globalization.

The two Twitter accounts that appear to account for nearly a third of all Twitter traffic with the #Catalonia hashtag, in reference to the Catalonian secession movement belong to Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

 Of more  than passing interest, under the circumstances, is the Twitter effort by both Julian Assange and Edward Snowden on behalf of Catalonian independence.

 As seen in many past programs and posts, Snowden and Assange are as far to the right as it is possible to be.

 Their cyberlibertarian activism and their support for Catalonian independence is rooted in anarcho-libertarian economic theory. Seeing the dissolution of national governments as desirable, their support for the principle of secession is rooted in what Mussolini termed “corporatism.”

 Snowden and Assange’s ostensibly “liberating” doctrines, if put into effect, would leave citizenry  at the mercy of unfettered economic will, exercised by corporations and their associated elites.

Snowden specifically appears to be advocating that no secession movement anywhere ever can be rejected by the government under the premise that self-determination is a human right, viewing this as a “natural law” issue.

In that context, the right to secede is championed by the Libertarian far-right, all the way down to the right to individuals to secede from all government. As this piece from Libertarian David S. D’Amato demonstrates, extending the right to secede down to the individual facilitates the implementation of an anarcho-capitalist society with no government at all, as seen by figures like Murray Rothbard. This is envisioned as an excellent wayof achieving an anarcho-capitalist utopia.

The Snowden/Assange pro-secessionist movement should also be seen against the background of the Neo-Confederate movement, championed by Ron Paul and the Ludwig Von Mises Institute.

From Spain, we travel to Germany.

Following capture of 13 percent of the vote in Germany’s federal elections on Sunday by the Alternative For Germany (AfD), Alexander Gauland, the AfD leader, provoked outrage after suggesting that Germans should no longer be reproached with the Nazi past.

This type of behavior apparently motivated AfD leader Frauke Petry to leave the party, just hours after the election over its extremism.

Upcoming elections in Austria are the next focal point of discussion. Founded in 1956 as a vehicle for re-introducing Austrian Nazi veterans of the Third Reich into the country’s political life, the Freedom Party effected the cosmetic suspension of a party official for giving a Nazi salute.

Next, we return to the subject of the Lithuanian Rifleman’s Union, who are engaging with maneuvers with similar organizations from Latvia and Lithuania.

Reviewing information about the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union, we highlight its activities as part of the Nazi military effort in the Baltic states, including participation in administering Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

Reminiscent of the Nazi “punisher battalions,” the Lithuanian Rifleman’s Union–a fascist militia–has been expanded to meet the so-called “Russian threat.” Like the OUN/B’s military wing–the UPA–the Lithuanian Rifleman’s Union continued the combat of World War II until the early 1950’s. Formed during the waning days of the Second World War, they jumped from the Third Reich to the Office of Policy Coordination, a CIA/State Department operational directorate. (This is covered in FTR #777, as well as AFA #1.)

From Europe, we swing over to Latin America.

For more than two decades, we have been covering the AMIA bombing in Argentina. Alberto Nisman–an Argentine prosecutor investigating the tangle of evidentiary tributaries in the bombing died under strange circumstances.

Key points of investigative interest in the case include evidentiary tributaries running in the direction of the Iran-Contra scandal and drug and weapons dealer Monzer Al-Kassar and Nazi war criminals residing in Argentina. (The AMIA building had a large archive on Nazi fugitives, including many reported to have fled to Argentina.)

In addition, Iranian officials have been named as suspects in the case. (We would note that the issues of possible Iranian responsibility for the crime, the Iran-Contra scandal and the issue of the Nazi diaspora overlap, to a considerable extent. Monzer al-Kassar used Merex–a firm founded by ODESSA kingpin Otto Skorzeny and Nazi veteran Gerhard Mertins–for key weapons deals. Ayatollah Khomeini’s stay in Paris was financed by Francois Genoud.)

A recent forensic examination of Nisman’s death reached a different conclusion from the dubious “suicide” verdict initially returned by investigators: ” . . . . The latest forensic investigation into Mr. Nisman’s death was carried out by a team of 28 experts. Over the course of nine months, they reconstructed the scene where his body was found in his bathroom, with a single gunshot wound to the head. They concluded the prosecutor was killed by two people, according to the senior judicial official, who has seen the report. The forensic experts discovered several injuries on Mr. Nisman’s body — including a nasal fracture, a hematoma in his kidney, lesions on his legs and a wound on the palm of his hand — that they say are consistent with an attack on the prosecutor before he was killed. According to the official, investigators also said they found ketamine, an anesthetic, in Mr. Nisman’s blood, which they suspect was used to sedate the prosecutor before he was shot. No gunpowder residue was found on his hands, which they said made the suicide theory implausible. . . .”

The largest trove of Nazi artifacts ever uncovered in Argentina was recently discovered in the Buenos Aires suburb of Béccar, near where both Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann lived. Artifacts in the trove have accompanying photos of Adolph Hitler with the same or similar artifacts, which is presumed to add to their commercial value. And the overall quantity and quality has investigators convinced that this could have only come from high-ranking Nazis, raising questions of who else may have slipped into Argentina without the world’s knowledge: “ . . . . They were put on display at the Delegation of Argentine Israeli Associations in Buenos Aires on Monday. Many Nazi higher-ups fled to Argentina in the waning days of the war, and investigators believe that officials close to Adolf Hitler brought the artifacts with them. Many items were accompanied by photographs, some with Hitler holding them. . . .”

Nisman’s widow is the judge presiding over the case: . . . . The judge in the case is Sandra Arroyo Salgado, the widow of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Salgado imposed a gag order on the investigation, so no further details were revealed. . . .”

Suspects have been identified in the case: ” . . . . One suspect identified by the police is not in Argentina. There are Argentine and non-Argentinean suspects being investigated, but no further details have been provided. . . .”

Moving from Argentina to Brazil, we highlight liaison between a prominent U.S. fascist and the Ludwig Von Mises Institute of Brazil.

The Koch brothers-funded Ludwig Von Mises Institute of Brazil is fellow-traveling with Christopher Cantwell, one of the Nazi mobilizers of the Charlottesville demonstrations. Cantwell has had articles published by the Brazilian subsidiary of the LVM Institute.

Cantwell has sported iconography suggestive of support for Operation Condor, a U.S. supported assassination consortium of Latin American countries, implemented by overt fascists and Nazis at the operational level. For more about Condor, see—among other programs—AFA #19.

 We note, in this context that the Assange/Snowden axis is profoundly connected to the Ludwig Von Mises Institute through Ron Paul. Paul/LVM Institute/Snowden/Assange are deeply connected, in turn, to the Neo-Confederate movement that manifested in Charlottesville.

From Latin America, we travel North on  our tour, to the U.S.

BuzzFeed has a long piece based on a cache of leaked emails that describe behind-the-scenes efforts at Breibart to mainstream the “Alt Right” neo-Nazis. Those efforts primarily revolved around Milo Yiannopoulos–tasked with reaching out to “Alt Right” figures, getting comments from them about what the “Alt Right” was all about, and then later getting feedback from them about the planned articles before they were published. It was clearly a group effort. Those efforts included Andrew ‘the weev’ Auernheimer, Curtis Yarvin (the founder fo the “Dark Enlightenment” movement), and Devin Saucier, a neo-Nazi Yiannopoulos describes as his best friend.

The emails have a sick, almost dark comedy element to them because they included plenty of back and forths between Yiannopoulos and Breitbart editors about whether or not the publication was getting too openly friendly with the Nazis, with Yiannopoulos being told at one point that it was fine to use a “shekels” joke but “you can’t even flirt with OKing gas chamber tweets.” There’s also some other fun facts in the piece, like how Curtis Yarvin said he was “coaching” Peter Thiel on politics, or how the two Yiannopoulos passwords found in the emails were “a password that began with the word Kristall”, and “LongKnives1290”.

So in case it wasn’t obvious that Breitbart is a white nationalist publication run by neo-Nazis for the purpose of mainstreaming neo-Nazi ideals, here’s the evidence, in their own neo-Nazi words.

Following up on that BuzzFeed piece , Right Wing Watch has a new piece on a similar phenomenon. Far right personalities get “mainstreamed” by ostensibly “mainstream” conservatives. This is occurring on YouTube!

We conclude our tour in the Middle East.

In our discussions of the Bormann capital network, the program notes that the network has long made a point of utilizing Jews. (A synoptic overview of the Bormann network can be found in the description for FTR #305.)

Using Jews as primary operatives has a number of advantages: it provides an excellent cover for a Nazi money-laundering operation; the capital derived for the state of Israel helps to assure connivance and silence on the part of the Israeli authorities with regard to the existence of the Bormann network and the Underground Reich; people can point to the great wealth of Bormann Jews and blame economic distress on them, similar to the Internet chatter generated by the collapse of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

It turns out that Benjamin Netanyahu and close associates–“Team Netanyahu,” if you will–appear to have an ongoing sweetheart deal with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to provide warships for the Israeli Navy. (We have talked about the profound links between the Thyssen interests, the Bormann group and the Bush family in numerous programs and posts, including FTR #’s 273, 332, 370, 435 and 894.)

Note that ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems subcontracted business for Israeli warship deals to a Lebanese-controlled firm Privinvest. Such firms are characteristic of Bormann group business entities.

Recall, also, that the Netanyahu family has been very close to Vladimir Jabotinsky, the progenitor of the Betar, arguably the most important of the fascist elements within the Zionist movement.

Finally, we highlight the economic ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, which unites that Islamic fascist organization with other neo-liberal, libertarian, laissez-faire economic schools.

In numerous posts and programs, we have highlighted the corporatist, laissez-faire economic ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. The World Bank cites Ibn Khaldun, the chief theoretician of Muslim Brotherhood economic ideology, as the earliest advocate of privatization. In a 1981 speech, Ronald Reagan cited Ibn Khaldun in a pitch for his “supply-side” economics.

This unites the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ludwig Von Mises milieu (and Christopher Cantwell), Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Milton Friedman on common ideological turf.

Program Highlights Include: 

  1. Yair Netanyahu’s blaming of his father’s political difficulties on an international Jewish conspiracy.
  2. Review of the Nazi diaspora in Latin America.

1. Our tour starts in Europe.

We begin by examining overtly fascist elements in the governing Bulgarian coalition of Boyko Borisov, evocative of Bulgaria’s past as an ally of Nazi Germany in World War II. ” . . . May 17, Pavel Tenev, Minister of Regional Development, at the time, was forced to resign, after publication of a photo, showing him with his right arm extended in a Nazi salute, standing in front of a wax figure of a Nazi officer in Paris’ Musée Grévin. May 19, another photo was published on the internet, showing the freshly appointed department director in the Ministry of Defense, Ivo Antonov, also giving the Nazi salute in front of a Second World War tank of the Wehrmacht. . . .” Other coalition partners have made disparaging remarks about Roma (“gypsies”) and Jews.

Ivo Antonov, Bulgarian Ministry of Defense official

“Bulgaria’s European Course;” German Foreign Policy; 10/09/2017.

The CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) is counseling Bulgaria’s coalition government of conservative and several extreme right wing parties preparing their country’s EU Council Presidency. Sofia’s coalition government, headed by a partner party of the KAS, includes a party, whose chairperson once wrote that “a gang of Jews had ruined orthodoxy.” The chair of another party in the Bulgarian government coalition called Roma “human-like creatures that have become beasts.” He is the current deputy prime minister. The Bulgarian defense minister would like to dispatch “highly specialized combat troops” to the Bulgarian-Turkish border and “defend” the EU’s external borders against refugees “with armed force.” January 1, 2018, the Bulgarian government will assume the EU Council Presidency. Hardly prepared for this task, the KAS is counseling the government. Hans-Gert Pöttering, former President of the European Parliament, praised Bulgaria’s contribution to the “fight against illegal migration.”

“Without a Clear Line, Corrupt”

The CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) began its efforts to help prepare Bulgaria for the EU Council Presidency already shortly after the official formation of Sofia’s government, May 4. This must not only be seen in the context of Berlin’s usual efforts to influence EU policy, but also because the Bulgarian government’s preparation for the presidency is in a deplorable condition. Last week, the FDP-affiliated Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s project manager for Southeast Europe noted that, regarding the issues Sofia would like to focus on during its presidency, everything is still very “vague;” “various priorities without a clear thread” are mentioned. They cannot even formulate their “own … projects.” In relationship to the “renovation of the central meeting place, … serious accusations have been raised concerning embezzlement of the means for this prestigious project and corruption in contract allocations.” For example, the plaza in front of Sofia’s National Palace of Culture is to be renovated for five million leva (nearly 2.5 million euros), in spite of the fact that it was just renovated last year for several million leva. The website for the ministry, established for the EU Council Presidency, could “symbolize the state of preparation.” “It is exclusively in the Bulgarian language and only partially functional.”[1]

Intensive Counseling

The KAS is therefore intensifying its efforts. The party of the Bulgarian Prime Minster Boyko Borisov, GERB (“Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria”), is a member of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) in which the German conservative parties CDU/CSU hold a strong position. This explains the KAS’s involvement. KAS is also providing direct support to GERB’s women and youth organizations. Leading KAS representatives have already met twice – May 31 and July 18, – with Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva to discuss Sofia’s EU Council Presidency. Prime Minister Borisov visited the Foundation’s Deputy Secretary General, Gerhard Wahlers on June 7 for the same purpose. September 11, Parliamentary State Secretary at Germany’s Ministry of the Interior, Ole Schröder (CDU), visited Sofia to participate in a conference of lectures and discussions aimed at celebrating Bulgaria’s ten-year EU membership. He lectured on the “special challenges facing the EU Council Presidency 2018.” To help prepare for the Council Presidency, Prime Minister Borisov also convened a six-member advisory board, including former Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev (2012 to 2017), former Prime Minister Simeon Sakskoburggotski (2001 to 2005) and particularly the KAS Chairman Hans-Gert Pöttering.[2] Pöttering was President of the European Parliament from 2007 to 2009.

“Bulgaria Above Everything Else!”

Berlin and Brussels are also worried that, with Bulgaria’s government, extreme right wing politicians may also preside in the EU Council Presidency. Following the recent March 26, parliamentary elections, Borisov, the winner of the elections (his GERB with 32.7 percent), did not begin negotiations for a government coalition with the Bulgarian Socialist Party (27.2 percent) or with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (9 percent) representing the Turkish-speaking minority, but rather with the United Patriots (9.1 percent). The United Patriots is an alliance of three extreme right-wing parties.[3] The coalition negotiations were carried out under the motto “Bulgaria above everything else!” and was ultimately crowned with success. Volen Siderov, the head of one of the three parties (“Ataka”), forming the United Patriots, once called on the Roma minority (Gypsies) to “behave themselves,” if they did not want to be deported to India. In a book, he wrote that “a gang of Jews” have “ruined the orthodoxy.”[4] Valeri Simeonov, Chair of a second party in the United Patriots, the “National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria” (NFSB), referred to Roma as “human-like creatures, who have become beasts,” and said that their children were playing “in the streets with pigs.”[5] Since May 4, Simeonov has been in office as the Vice Prime Minister, in charge of the economy and demography, as well as being Bulgaria’s Commissioner for Integration.

With a Nazi Salute

Twice, photographs have already emerged showing high-ranking officials of Bulgaria’s government, elected to office in May, in poses honoring the Nazis. May 17, Pavel Tenev, Minister of Regional Development, at the time, was forced to resign, after publication of a photo, showing him with his right arm extended in a Nazi salute, standing in front of a wax figure of a Nazi officer in Paris’ Musée Grévin. May 19, another photo was published on the internet, showing the freshly appointed department director in the Ministry of Defense, Ivo Antonov, also giving the Nazi salute in front of a Second World War tank of the Wehrmacht. (On the right, german-foreign-policy.com documents a segment of this photo.) His most senior employer, Defense Minister, Krasimir Karakachanov, Chair of the IMRO-Bulgarian National Movement, refused to fire him.[6]

Weapons against Refugees

One of the Bulgarian government’s few recognizable political priorities is warding off refugees. Prime Minister Borisov expressed his gratitude to the militia-like citizens’ defense units, who, already since 2014, have been patrolling – some under heavy arms – the Turkish-Bulgarian border to keep undesirable migrants at bay. In April 2016, one of these citizens’ defense units, the “Organization for the Protection of the Bulgarian Border,” received an official award from the Bulgarian Border Police. In August, Defense Minister Karakachanov declared, he would “reinforce the military presence” along the Bulgarian-Turkish borders. “Highly specialized combat units will be among them.”[7] “Night-vision video cameras and drones” will be used, “to better be able to monitor the migrants’ movements and intervene in time.” The minister also wants to have “NATO and EU troops intervene” in Greece and Italy. “The external borders of the European Union must be defended, if necessary, with armed force,” he demands.

Sofia’s EU Contribution

Bulgaria “is already contributing a great deal to the European Union, for example, by fighting illegal migration,” declared Hans-Gert Pöttering, KAS Chair, which is advising the Bulgarian government in its preparations to assume the EU Council Presidency. Commenting on his appointment to the advisory board, that met last Friday in Sofia, Pöttering said it was “also a sign of recognition for the work of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which has been active in Bulgaria since 1994, always advocating that the country take the European course.”[8]

[1] Daniel Kaddik: Mangelnde Vorbereitung, fehlende Visionen. www.freiheit.org 02.10.2017.
[2] Dem Beratergremium gehören außerdem der ehemalige Landeshauptmann von Oberösterreich, Erwin Pröll (1992 bis 2017), der ehemalige Präsident des Europäischen Rates, Herman Van Rompuy (2009 bis 2014) sowie der französische Diplomat Jean-David Levitte an.
[3] Den Vereinigten Patrioten gehören Ataka (Angriff), WMRO-BNB (Innere Mazedonische Revolutionäre Organisation – Bulgarische Nationale Bewegung) – und NFSB (Nationale Front für die Rettung Bulgariens) an.
[4] Thorsten Geissler: Bulgarien: Deutlicher Sieg für GERB – aber schwierige Regierungsbildung. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung: Länderbericht Bulgarien. 29.03.2017.
[5], [6] Jörg Kronauer: “Bulgarien über alles!” Die extreme Rechte in Bulgarien. LOTTA 67/2017.
[7] Christoph B. Schiltz: “Wir müssen die EU-Grenzen notfalls mit Waffen schützen”. www.welt.de 17.08.2017.
[8] Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering berät bulgarische Regierung bei EU-Ratspräsidentschaft. www.kas.de 06.10.2017.

2a. The political struggle around the attempted secession of Catalonia from Spain is framed against a larger political dynamic embracing advocacy of the elimination of formal national borders in Europe in favor of “regionalist plans.” Just such regionalist advocacy was the focal point of a prominent article (with accompanying maps of the projected realignment) in Die Zeit, a major German weekly.

Regionalist advocacy has a significant past, with the early postwar CIA and Allen Dulles having embraced such a dynamic. ” . . . . the federalists had initially been supported and controlled by the CIA predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and [one of its top spies] Alan Dulles, residing in Bern, and later by the CIA itself. . . .”

In addition, the regionalist dyanamic enjoyed the support of long-time German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble, whose advocacy and implementation of brutal fiscal austerity helped beggar much of the EU, including Spain, following the financial crisis of 2008. ” . . . . Wolfgang Schäuble, as President of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) in the early 1980’s, was also promoting regionalist plans. Inspired by former Nazi functionaries, the AEBR criticized the ‘nation-state’s barrier effect’ of borders in the interests of large corporations. . . . Former Nazi functionaries were actively participating both on the AEBR’s committees and in the immediate entourage of its planning of the ‘regionalization’ of the border regions, including Gerd Jans, the former member of the Waffen SS in the Netherlands, Konrad Meyer, responsible for the Nazi’s ‘Generalplan Ost,’ Hermann Josef Abs, of the Deutsche Bank, as well as Alfred Toepfer, described by the publicist Hans-Rüdiger Minow as ‘infamous for his border subversion of France’s Alsace.’ In an extensive study, Minow describes the continuities of the Nazi’s concepts. . . .”

Despite an initial impression of “regionalism” that many might see as alien, The Schauble/AEBR/regionalism dyanmic ideology may be seen as something of a subsidiary element of globalization.

“The Power in the Center;” German Foreign Policy; 10/11/2017.

Using the secessionist conflict in Catalonia as a backdrop, the website of the German weekly Die Zeit published a fiery appeal for dismembering Europe’s nation-states. For quite some time, the author, Ulrike Guérot, has been promoting the “disappearance of the nation-state” in Europe. The nation-state should be replaced by regions with their “own respective identities” that could be “ethnically” defined. As examples, Guérot lists regions with strong separatist tendencies such as Flanders and Tyrol. The author sees herself upholding the tradition of the “European Federalists” of the early post-war period, who – under the guidance of western intelligence services – drew up plans for establishing of a European economic space with free circulation of commodities as a bulwark against the East European socialist countries. Wolfgang Schäuble, as President of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) in the early 1980’s, was also promoting regionalist plans. Inspired by former Nazi functionaries, the AEBR criticized the “nation-state’s barrier effect” of borders in the interests of large corporations. Current economic maps indicate which areas in the EU would form the continent’s most powerful block if regionalization should take effect: south and central Germany as well as its bordering regions from Flanders to Northern Italy.

From the CDU to the Greens

Yesterday, the website of the German weekly, Die Zeit, published a fiery appeal to dismember Europe’s nation-states, authored by the political scientist Ulrike Guérot. Guérot had been employed by CDU parliamentarian Karl Lamers in the first half of the 1990s and participated in formulating the Schäuble/Lamers paper, propagating the establishment of a core Europe. She subsequently became collaborator for the EU Commission President at the time, Jacques Delors, and an expert of several think tanks (German Council on Foreign Relations, German Marshall Fund, and the European Council on Foreign Relations). In 2014, she founded a European Democracy Lab at the European School of Governance. Once member of the CDU; today, she is politically close to the Greens.[1]

“Ethnic Region”

Since some time, Guérot has been peddling an allegedly new political concept to the German public, based on the dismemberment of Europe’s nation-states. According to her, “the nation-state will disappear” [2] and will be replaced by “50 to 60” regions in Europe, with “their own respective identity.”[3] She is referring to the concept of “ethnic regions,”[4] i.e. an ethnically defined community of shared origins. As Guérot writes “ethnic region and statehood are not congruent” for example in Ireland or Cyprus; Flanders, Venetia and Tyrol are further examples. In Flanders and Venetia, respectively more prosperous regions, defining themselves linguistic-ethnic (“Netherlander” or “Venetian”) are dissociating themselves from poorer regions of the country, whereas the German speaking construct “Tyrole” encompasses areas of Austria and Northern Italy. According to Guérot, Catalonia is also one of the regions to be liberated from its constraints under the nation-state. The Catalan movement currently pushing for secession is in fact largely defining itself ethnically. The autonomous movement has been closely cooperating with French citizens, who live outside the Spanish region of Catalonia, but also consider themselves “ethnic Catalans.” At their rallies one can hear “Neither France nor Spain! Only one country, Catalonia!”[5] Last weekend the spokesperson of the left CUP party in Spanish Catalonia complained that Spaniards from outside Catalonia had come to Barcelona to participate in a demonstration. To demonstrate in Catalonia as a “Spaniard” corresponds to a “colonial logic.”[6]

Europe of the Regions

According to Guérot, only a “European Republic,” wherein “the regions assume the role of the central constitutional actors,” can save an EU shaken by national conflicts.[7] For example, the regions should constitute “a second chamber” in the European Parliament – “a European Senate.” Guérot has repeatedly said that political competence must be redistributed between the EU and its regions. According to this concept, a center of power will be set up in Brussels, in control of foreign and military policy, while the regions – for example, in charge of commercial taxes – would financially maintain independent latitude. Of course, the latter would depend on the economic power of the respective region. Besides its ethnic constitution, a “Europe of the Regions” would lead to a complete disenfranchisement of its smallest units. Guérot criticizes the fact that “the EU is full of large regions (such as North Rhine-Westphalia) which are not permitted to participate in EU decision making, while on the other hand, small countries (such as Luxembourg or Malta) are.” That must change. For example, rather than having one vote out of 28 in the European Council, Malta would only have one out of “50 or 60” votes in the “European Senate.” It would not be able to counter any measures proposed by the EU’s economically predominating centers.

United States of Europe

Guérot’s concept has precursors, which had been promoted, on the one hand, by intelligence agency circles of the post-war period and by interested business circles, on the other, serving however, entirely different interests under cover of promoting an alleged regional democracy. Guérot says herself that her model is based on the “European Federalists,” particularly the Swiss Denis de Rougement. Since the mid-1940s, the “European federalists” sought to found a “United States of Europe,” as a unified economic realm – serving as a bulwark against the socialist countries, in the process of forming. It was also seen as a defense against the idea of abandoning the previous economic approach, which, at the time, was also rather popular in Western Europe. This is why the federalists had initially been supported and controlled by the CIA predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and [one of its top spies] Alan Dulles, residing in Bern, and later by the CIA itself.[8] Rougement, an OSS-affiliate and professed federalist, complained in a 1948 “Message to the Europeans,” that “Europe” was “barricaded behind borders impeding the circulation of its commodities,” and because of this, is threatened with economic ruin. On the other hand, “united,” it could, already “tomorrow, build the greatest political entity and the largest economic unit of our times.” From 1952 – 1966, Rougemont continued his activities also as president of the CIA-financed “Congress for Cultural Freedom.”

“Loss of Identity”

Wolfgang Schäuble has also promoted regionalist concepts. Guérot had been in contact with him in 1994 during work on the Schäuble-Lamers paper. In 1979, Schäuble became president of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), an organization with the objective of downgrading the significance of borders in Europe. Business interests played an important role, which is why the AEBR could find reliable supporters in industry. A “European Charter on Border and Cross-Border Regions,” passed by the AEBR in 1981, stipulated that the “elimination of economic and infrastructural barriers” must urgently be pursued. For example, the “expansion and construction of coordinated, combined cross-border freight transport terminals” is necessary to “close current gaps in cross-border traffic.” In addition, the expansion of cross-border energy networks must be promoted. This is being overblown with allegations of Europe having emerged from a “patchwork of historical landscapes,” with borders creating “scars” on Europe’s regions, and leading to the population’s “loss of identity.” The current “nation-state’s barrier effect” must be reduced – if not abolished, according to the paper drawn up under Schäuble’s AEBR presidency.[9]

German Continuities

Former Nazi functionaries were actively participating both on the AEBR’s committees and in the immediate entourage of its planning of the “regionalization” of the border regions, including Gerd Jans, the former member of the Waffen SS in the Netherlands, Konrad Meyer, responsible for the Nazi’s “Generalplan Ost,” Hermann Josef Abs, of the Deutsche Bank, as well as Alfred Toepfer, described by the publicist Hans-Rüdiger Minow as “infamous for his border subversion of France’s Alsace.” In an extensive study, Minow describes the continuities of the Nazi’s concepts.[10]

Germany’s Supremacy

Guérot ultimately argues in favor of her regionalization concepts, using the allegation that through the removal of nation-states, “Germany’s supremacy … can be overcome.” The opposite is the case. Economic maps by the EU’s Eurostat statistics administration show the regions where Europe’s wealth and, therefore, Europe’s economic power is concentrated, a block with its centers in southern and central Germany, to the west, in Flanders and spreading to segments of the Netherlands, and to the South to parts of Austria and Northern Italy and in various separate regions of Western and Northern Europe. A number of these regions maintain close relations to Germany, or to the German regions. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[11]) This clearly German-dominated block would hardly have any difficulty controlling a “Europe of the Regions.”

(Here, german-foreign-policy.com documents two Eurostat economic maps. The upper map shows the brut GDP per capita, according to the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), while the lower map depicts the primary household incomes. The colors for Germany’s south indicate the highest values, while the colors for the furthest southwestern and eastern EU indicate the lowest. Source: Eurostat.) For more information on this subject see: The Economy of Secession (II).

[1] Ulrike Guérot: Adorno liest man nicht am Schwimmingpool. blogs.faz.net 17.03.2015.
[2] Steffen Dobbert, Benjamin Breitegger: “Der Nationalstaat wird verschwinden”. www.zeit.de 03.01.2017.
[3] Ulrike Guérot: Europa einfach machen – einfach Europa machen. agora42.de 25.09.2017.
[4] Ulrike Guérot: In Spaniens Krise offenbart sich eine neue EU. www.zeit.de 10.10.2017.
[5] Morten Freidel: Die Brüder im Süden haben es besser. www.faz.net 08.10.2017.
[6] Hunderttausende kontern Unabhängigkeitspläne in Katalonien. www.zeit.de 08.10.2017.
[7] Ulrike Guérot: In Spaniens Krise offenbart sich eine neue EU. www.zeit.de 10.10.2017.
[8], [9], [10] Hans-Rüdiger Minow: Zwei Wege – Eine Katastrophe. Flugschrift No. 1. Aachen 2016.
[11] See The Economy of Secession (II).

2b.  The two Twitter accounts that appear to account for nearly a third of all Twitter traffic with the #Catalonia hashtag, in reference to the Catalonian secession movement belong to Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

 Of more  than passing interest, under the circumstances, is the Twitter effort by both Julian Assange and Edward Snowden on behalf of Catalonian independence.

 As seen in many past programs and posts, Snowden and Assange are as far to the right as it is possible to be.

 Their cyberlibertarian activism and their support for Catalonian independence is rooted in anarcho-libertarian economic theory. Seeing the dissolution of national governments as desirable, their support for the principle of secession is rooted in what Mussolini termed “corporatism.”

 Snowden and Assange’s ostensibly “liberating” doctrines, if put into effect, would leave citizenry  at the mercy of unfettered economic will, exercised by corporations and their associated elites.

Snowden specifically appears to be advocating that no secession movement anywhere ever can be rejected by the government under the premise that self-determination is a human right, viewing this as a “natural law” issue.

In that context, the right to secede is championed by the Libertarian far-right, all the way down to the right to individuals to secede from all government. As this piece from Libertarian David S. D’Amato demonstrates, extending the right to secede down to the individual facilitates the implementation of an anarcho-capitalist society with no government at all, as seen by figures like Murray Rothbard. This is envisioned as an excellent wayof achieving an anarcho-capitalist utopia.

The Snowden/Assange pro-secessionist movement should also be seen against the background of the Neo-Confederate movement, championed by Ron Paul and the Ludwig Von Mises Institute.

“On Catalan independence, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden emerge as surprise backers” by Chris Zappone; Sydney Morning Herald; 09/26/2017

Two Moscow-linked figures have emerged as the loudest voices on Twitter amplifying news and commentary about Catalonia’s secession referendum.

Research independently confirmed by Fairfax Media shows Twitter accounts of WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange as well as former National Security Administrator contractor Edward Snowden now account for nearly a third of all Twitter traffic under the hashtag #Catalonia.

Assange has peppered his followers with more than 80 original tweets supporting the Catalan independence referendum, suggesting “the future of Western civilisation is being revealed” by the renewed push by regional secessionists.

Those tweets have been generously shared.

Of the 150,279 tweets and retweets using the #Catalonia hashtag in the 10 days until Sunday, more than 40,368 came from the Julian Assange account, according to one measure by social media analysis account Conspirator Norteno. A further 8198 came from the Edward Snowden Twitter account.

Others included the WikiLeaks account, with 2120 #Catalonia tweets and retweets, while Russia-owned network RT generated 598 tweets and retweets.

The surge in pro-secession messages comes as authorities in Madrid contend with a new move for independence in the autonomous region of Catalonia. Spanish authorities have moved to quash a October 1 referendum by dissolving the region’s election commission, arresting local officials and seizing campaign materials.

Neither WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange nor Edward Snowden, have a deep history of involvement with Spanish politics.

Hashtag analysis service Hashtagify, accessed on Tuesday, identified the Snowden account as the biggest “influencer” for the hashtag, followed by Julian Assange.

The Twitter accounts of both Snowden and Assange have published statements that distort or exaggerate what is happening in Spain.

Recent polls show 49 per cent of Catalans oppose independence. That segment is less likely to participate in the referendum. However, the 41 per cent who support becoming an autonomous nation, are likely to participate..

A “discredited” vote is expected to go ahead in Catalonia. Whether Assange and Snowden tweeting about Catalonia in English would make much difference on the ground, is not clear.

However, casting doubt about the legitimacy of the Spanish government over Catalonia may have a longer-term effect.

“The right of self-determination – for people to freely decide their own system of government – cannot simply be outlawed. It is a human right,” Snowden’s account tweeted on September 21.

Fairfax Media has sought comment from Assange’s and Snowden’s Twitter accounts.

3. Following capture of 13 percent of the vote in Germany’s federal elections on Sunday by the Alternative For Germany (AfD), Alexander Gauland, the AfD leader, provoked outrage after suggesting that Germans should no longer be reproached with the Nazi past.
This type of behavior apparently motivated AfD leader Frauke Petry to leave the party, just hours after the election over its extremism.

“The leader of Germany’s far-right party quit hours after its election success—because it’s too radical” by Jill Petzinger;
Quartz; 09/25/2017.

Just hours after the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) won its first-ever round of seatsin the German parliament, its co-leader Frauke Petrytold a press conference in Berlin—with her newly-elected colleagues next to her—that she had decided not to go into parliament with the party. Then she got up and stormed out of the press conference.

“I think we should be open today that there is a disagreement over content in the AfD and I think we shouldn’t hush this up,” said Petry.

She said she wanted to position herself as an independent politician and have a “conservative new start” but didn’t say whether she was founding a new party. Later, on her Facebook, she slammed the party for the “shrill and far-out statements of single members” which dominate the view the public has of them.

This doesn’t mean Petry is a moderate, she’s far from it. A member of the AfD since 2013, it was she who put the former eurosceptic party on its new anti-immigration platform during the height of the refugee crisis in 2015. She’s made numerous controversial statements about refugees too, including that “Islam does not belong in Germany,” and saying that German border police should be allowed to fire on migrants along the Austria-German border.

Petry, who for some has been acceptable face of xenophobia, has been critical of radical statements made by others in the party as she believed it made it less attractive to moderate voters as well as for potential coalition partners when it would enter the Bundestag for the first time.

In a party riddled with infighting, she was slammed by some members for not supporting comments made by an AfD leader in Thuringia state, who said Berlin’s holocaust memorial made the country “laughable.” She also publicly criticized Gauland for saying Germany should be proud of what German soldiers had achieved in two world wars.

What now AfD?

It is unlikely that Petry’s sudden departure will mean much for the party, which many expect will struggle not only as a pariah in parliament, but also because it really only has one core policy issue—being against immigration.

“It is part of a power struggle, in which she may hope that her steps will create more friction in the party,” Josef Janning of the European Council of Foreign Relations told Quartz. “She may also hope to split the faction and pull over some other deputies.”

While the now-93 new AfD members of parliament can raise a stink in opposition, some political experts believe they won’t really make much difference in German politics. “No one will form a coalition with them. They’ll be excluded. Their motions will be shot down,” said Oskar Niedermayer, a politics professor at the Free University of Berlin. “If they put forward reasonable motions that other parties might agree with, they will be voted down, and the other parties will put forward slightly modified motions.”

No change in tone

Alexander Gauland stuck to his inflammatory rhetoric at the party’s first post-election press conference on Monday morning. “One million people, foreigners, being brought into this country are taking away a piece of this country and we as AfD don’t want that,” Gauland said. “We don’t want to lose Germany to an invasion of foreigners from a different culture.”

It intends, Gauland said last night, to “hunt” Merkel, and “take back our country and our people.”

That xenophobic message resonated with 13% of those who voted yesterday: An ARD/ Infratest Dimap poll on why Germans voted for the AfD found that nearly 70% of them were concerned about the fight against terrorism, and 60% were worried about both crime and the influx of refugees.

The AfD’s nationalistic message propelled it to big wins in some former Eastern German states—it was the biggest party in Saxony. In former GDR states, the AfD is in second place overall, behind Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

4. Founded in 1956 as a vehicle for re-introducing Austrian Nazi veterans of the Third Reich into the country’s political life, the Austrian Freedom Party effected the cosmetic suspension of a party official for giving a Nazi salute.

“Austria’s Freedom Party Suspendes Member over Nazi Allegations” [Reuters]; Reuters.com; 10/10/2017.

Austria’s far right Freedom Party, days before parliamentary elections which are expected to catapult it into government, has suspended a low-level party official over allegations he used a Nazi salute.

The party is poised to become part of a coalition after the Oct. 15 vote with the conservatives expected to gain around a third of the vote. Both parties campaign with tough rhetoric on fighting immigration and closed Islamic communities.
Austrian newspaper Der Standard reported, without citing names, that an independent local councillor in the province of Styria complained to her mayor about having seen her Freedom Party colleague raising his right arm in Nazi-fashion and saying the Nazi salute “Heil Hitler”.

Owning objects or making statements that glorify Nazism is illegal in Austria, where Hitler was born and which was annexed into his Third Reich.

Josef Riemer, the Freedom Party parliamentarian for the constituency, said in an emailed statement the party was taking the accusations very seriously and had suspended the official’s membership until the case was resolved. He added the official rejects the allegations and had already hired a lawyer.

The mayor’s lawyer Dieter Neger, who declined to identify the town or anyone involved, said he would officially hand the case, which he said included two witness statements, to prosecutors in the city of Graz later on Tuesday.
The Freedom Party, which was founded by former Nazis but says it has left its past behind, has repeatedly thrown out officials in recent years over Nazi allegations. . . .

5a. Next, we return to the subject of the Lithuanian Riflemen, who are engaging with maneuvers with similar organizations from Latvia and Lithuania.

“Baltic Minutemen Fight Russian Foe” by Jonathan Brown; Politico.EU; 12/06/2016

Peering past the black tarps covering the windows of the barricaded house, the men in camouflage could see daylight gradually illuminate the fresh snow.

For two days, speakers outside the barricaded buildings had blasted Soviet-era jingles: “Put down your guns! Your leaders have forgotten you! While you stand here and freeze, other men are having fun with your women!”

The separatists holed up in their headquarters had been getting defenses ready for the daybreak assault, noisily loading blanks into the magazines of their semi-automatic weapons and assembling dud IEDs.

In this joint training exercise with the country’s military, the Lithuanian Riflemen played the role of separatists declaring a breakaway republic, much like the Moscow-backed rebels did in eastern Ukraine in 2014 — a scenario some fear may be replicated here.

Indeed, since Russia’s annexation of Crimea two years ago and the ensuing conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Riflemen’s Union, a paramilitary group conceived almost a century ago, has seen a sharp rise in membership. The group, which boasts more than 10,000 members, aspires to rebuild its post-World War I membership of more than 80,000 in a country of 2.8 million people.

Another EU and NATO member might be unnerved by the growing popularity of a paramilitary force operating within its borders. But since Lithuania gained independence from the Soviet Union in the early nineties, the paramilitary group has fomented close ties with the military.

The Union’s code of conduct aligns it with Lithuania’s armed forces, and it has so far proven to be a fiercely loyal partner. When a Riflemen’s Union leader last year criticized the military for reinstating conscription, he became the subject of an embarrassing and public vote of no confidence.

“We have to look to the constitution of the Republic of Lithuania,” said Major Gediminas Latvys of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces in Vilnius. “It says that the defense of the country, in the event of an armed attack, is the right and the duty of every citizen. We see the Riflemen’s Union as one organization that helps people to fulfill this duty.”

The mayor of Vilnius, a semi-celebrity member of the Riflemen’s Union, was among those to join after the “events in Ukraine.” Remigijus Simasius’ motivation for volunteering, he said at in his skyrise office in Vilnius, was “not related to the fear of whether Russia would attack, but more about the general principle of being ready and being prepared.”

“People have to contribute to their own safety,” he said. National security “is not just a function of the state.” Referencing the Soviet takeover of Lithuania in 1940, when the country’s military laid down arms, he said, “sometimes the state gives up, but that doesn’t mean society gives up.”

Mindaugas Petraitis, 34, is a translator in his civilian life — other Riflemen are tax consultants and small business owners — and says he was among the first wave of men and women to join the paramilitaries in 2014.

After witnessing Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the ensuing conflict in Ukraine, “we felt very strongly that we have to prepare while we still have time,” he said. “We rarely use the precise word for our enemy in a military setting, but inside everyone knows who the enemy is,” he added, refraining from using the word “Russia.”

Since 2014, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense has issued a yearly manual of what to do in case of invasion. This year’s edition, with a print run of 30,000 distributed to schools and libraries around the country, unambiguously identifies what it believes to be the primary threat to Lithuania’s national security. “Most attention should be paid towards the actions of our neighboring state Russia,” the manual states. “This nation does not shy away from using armed power against its neighbors. At this time, in principle, it continues military aggression against Ukraine.”

Beyond advising citizens on how to resist an occupying power — pointers include identifying collaborators and handing them over to resistance groups — the manual encourages civilian readiness by completing basic military training or joining the Riflemen’s Union.

The rise of paramilitary groups across Eastern and Central Europe appears to be “a natural response to the confluence of two forces,” said Michael Kofman, a research scientist at the Centre for Naval Analysis and a fellow at the Wilson Center. “A general increase of nationalist sentiments across Europe and the perception of greater threat from Russia.”

Similar groups in the neighboring Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia have also seen increased membership since the annexation of Crimea, and the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union is in the process of formalizing relationships with the youth wings of both the Latvian National Guard and Estonia Defense League.

In Central Europe, groups in Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary have sprung up alongside a rise in right-wing sentiment in the region and the refugee crisis in Europe.

Paramilitary groups across Eastern and Central Europe, “encompass a diverse array of organizations,” said Arthur de Liedekerke, an external analyst for the Brussels-based Global Governance Institute. “Their means, objectives and relation to the state often vary considerably.”

Paramilitary “will challenge government authority on the margins and must be carefully trimmed in power,” said Kofman. “Playing with nationalism is like holding a tiger by the tail.”

The Union’s leadership encourages members to arm themselves with handguns, specifically Glock 17s, which current Lithuanian gun laws allows. Riflemen can purchase the pistols at a discount and store them in safes at home.

But “what can you do with a pistol?” asked a Rifleman (jokingly) who was previously a sniper in the police special forces. “Shoot your way to a rifle,” he added, delivering his own punchline.

Lithuania’s already liberal gun ownership laws are set to be relaxed further. By January, members of the Riflemen’s Union will be encouraged to purchase semi-automatic rifles under new laws that allow gun possession for the express purpose of “country defense.”

“I think deterrence is the primary aim of any country’s defense system — to deter, not to fight,” said Liudas Gumbinas, commander of the Riflemen’s Union, whose salary is paid by the Ministry of Defense.

Along with the Riflemen’s strategic alliances with the armed forces, its decision to invite members to arm themselves with semi-automatic weapons, Gumbinas said, is part of strengthening that deterrent, a policy he said is akin to “not just shouting, but actually doing something.”

But he is quick to point out that the Union is more than a gun toting boy’s club. With nearly half of the Riflemen’s Union members under the age of 18, the Union’s free summer youth camps, which he likens to the Scouts, familiarize thousands of Lithuania’s youth with military values and structures.

“We are building the youth to become good citizens,” Gumbinas said of the camps, which take place at military facilities and aim to develop children’s “leadership skills, nature survival skills, self-confidence, but all under a military framework.”

Kofman said that governments should always be concerned by the rise of paramilitary organizations, especially since such groups often rise in response to a threat. “But the threat in most cases never materializes [and so] they look to occupy themselves. Some transition into politics and form far-right parties, others may choose to serve as muscle for criminal elements.”

The Riflemen’s Union has been an integral part of Neimantas Psilenskis’ life since he joined 10 years ago. When the 24-year-old descended the steps of the Garrison church in Kaunas, arm in arm with his new wife last month, the Union’s Honorary Guard saluted the young couple in full regalia and World War II-era bayoneted rifles.

Psilenskis, a part-time employee of the Riflemen’s Union and part-time construction worker, said his sense of patriotism and loyalty towards the Union was nourished as a young member.

“I’m a patriot,” Psilenskis said. “No one would need to ask me if I would defend my homeland. Just give me a gun. You don’t need to ask. Maybe the fact that I came to the Riflemen’s Union at a young age formed these instincts.”

5b. Reviewing information about the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union, we highlight its activities as part of the Nazi military effort in the Baltic states, including participation in administering Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

Reminiscent of the Nazi “punisher battalions,” the Lithuanian Rifleman’s Union–a fascist militia–has been expanded to meet the so-called “Russian threat.” Like the OUN/B’s military wing–the UPA–the Lithuanian Rifleman’s Union continued the combat of World War II until the early 1950’s. Formed during the waning days of the Second World War, they jumped from the Third Reich to the Office of Policy Coordination, a CIA/State Department operational directorate. (This is covered in FTR #777, as well as AFA #1.)

“Russ­ian Threat Sees Rebirth of Lithua­nia Para­mil­i­tary Group” [Agence France-Presse]; Global Post; 9/2/2014.

In thick pine forests hid­den in the remote wilder­ness of east­ern Lithua­nia, young pro­fes­sion­als are ditch­ing their suits and ties for cam­ou­flage gear, and swap­ping iPads for rifles.

These week­end war­riors also proudly wear bracelets with emblems of green fir trees on their wrists, sym­bols of their small Baltic country’s wartime resis­tance against the Soviet Union, which occu­pied it in 1940.

Now, Russia’s takeover of Crimea and increas­ing signs of its involve­ment in Ukraine’s east, cou­pled with sabre rat­tling in its Kalin­ingrad exclave bor­der­ing Lithua­nia, are spark­ing a sharp rise in para­mil­i­tary recruits here.

Like oth­ers in the region, Lithua­nia is call­ing on NATO to put per­ma­nent boots on the ground in the Baltics to ward off any poten­tial threat from their Soviet-era master.

But while they await a deci­sion that could come at a key two-day alliance sum­mit start­ing Thurs­day in Wales, Lithuan­ian civil­ians are lac­ing up their own com­bat boots.

Stu­dents, busi­ness­men, civil ser­vants, jour­nal­ists and even politi­cians are among the hun­dreds who have joined the government-sponsored Lithua­nia Riflemen’s Union, a group first set up in 1919 but banned in 1940 under Soviet rule.

“The Vil­nius unit has tripled in size since the begin­ning of the cri­sis in Ukraine,” says Min­dau­gas Bal­ci­auskas, unit com­man­der of the group which boasts about 7,000 mem­bers in the nation of three mil­lion, a num­ber almost on par with its 7,000 mil­i­tary per­son­nel and 4,200 reservists.

– ‘Take up arms’ –

Pres­i­dent Dalia Gry­bauskaite, a karate black belt dubbed Lithuania’s ‘Iron Lady’ for her tough stance on Rus­sia, has also sworn to “take up arms” her­self in the unlikely case Moscow would attack this 2004 NATO and EU mem­ber of three million.

“Being in a para­mil­i­tary unit will give me priv­i­leged access to infor­ma­tion and make me bet­ter pre­pared than those who don’t join,” Arturas Bortke­vi­cius, a 37-year-old finance spe­cial­ist, told AFP, adding that he wants to learn the skills he needs to defend his coun­try and family.

Mem­bers spend week­ends on manoeu­vres deep in the woods or at a mil­i­tary train­ing range in Pabrade, north of the cap­i­tal Vilnius.

Lib­eral MP Remigi­jus Sima­sius says that while his place “would be in par­lia­ment” given a cri­sis, he joined the rifle­men in the wake of Russia’s Crimea land grab in the hope of encour­ag­ing oth­ers to fol­low suit.

Even some Lithua­ni­ans with Russ­ian roots have joined up amid the Ukraine crisis.

“I’m a Lithuan­ian cit­i­zen of Russ­ian ori­gin. I am who I am, and I am Lithuan­ian patriot,” pho­tog­ra­pher Vladimi­ras Ivanovas, 40, who also joined up, told AFP.

– Check­ered past –

The Rifleman’s Union “has left an indeli­ble mark on the his­tory of Lithua­nia,” says his­to­rian Arvy­das Anusauskas.

It was cre­ated after World War I in 1919 dur­ing a series of “Wars of Inde­pen­dence” fought by Lithua­ni­ans in 1918–1920 against Russ­ian Bol­she­viks, mixed Russ­ian and Ger­man forces and Poles.

Aside from Lithua­ni­ans, from 1919–1940 research shows its mem­bers also included Russ­ian, Poles, Jews and even Chi­nese, reflect­ing the eth­nic com­plex­ity of and ten­sions in the region.

Its rep­u­ta­tion is how­ever tainted by alle­ga­tions that cer­tain mem­bers were involved in a series of Nazi mas­sacres between 1940–44 that claimed the lives of an esti­mated 80,000–100,000 Jews, Poles and Rus­sians in Panierai, a sub­urb skirt­ing the cap­i­tal Vilnius.

The Riflemen’s Union was banned in 1940 by the Soviet Union when the Red Army swept in from the east to occupy Lithua­nia dur­ing World War II, but mem­bers fought a guerilla war against the Sovi­ets until the early 1950s.

Its revival in 1989 came as the Soviet bloc began to crum­ble and now its large new crop of mem­bers say they are will­ing to fight again should their coun­try come under attack. . . .

6. For more than two decades, we have been covering the AMIA bombing in Argentina. Alberto Nisman–an Argentine prosecutor investigating the tangle of evidentiary tributaries in the bombing died under strange circumstances.

Key points of investigative interest in the case include evidentiary tributaries running in the direction of the Iran-Contra scandal and drug and weapons dealer Monzer Al-Kassar and Nazi war criminals residing in Argentina. (The AMIA building had a large archive on Nazi fugitives, including many reported to have fled to Argentina.)

In addition, Iranian officials have been named as suspects in the case. (We would note that the issues of possible Iranian responsibility for the crime, the Iran-Contra scandal and the issue of the Nazi diaspora overlap, to a considerable extent. Monzer al-Kassar used Merex–a firm founded by ODESSA kingpin Otto Skorzeny and Nazi veteran Gerhard Mertins–for key weapons deals. Ayatollah Khomeini’s stay in Paris was financed by Francois Genoud.)

A recent forensic examination of Nisman’s death reached a different conclusion from the dubious “suicide” verdict initially returned by investigators: ” . . . . The latest forensic investigation into Mr. Nisman’s death was carried out by a team of 28 experts. Over the course of nine months, they reconstructed the scene where his body was found in his bathroom, with a single gunshot wound to the head. They concluded the prosecutor was killed by two people, according to the senior judicial official, who has seen the report. The forensic experts discovered several injuries on Mr. Nisman’s body — including a nasal fracture, a hematoma in his kidney, lesions on his legs and a wound on the palm of his hand — that they say are consistent with an attack on the prosecutor before he was killed. According to the official, investigators also said they found ketamine, an anesthetic, in Mr. Nisman’s blood, which they suspect was used to sedate the prosecutor before he was shot. No gunpowder residue was found on his hands, which they said made the suicide theory implausible. . . .”

The largest trove of Nazi artifacts ever uncovered in Argentina was recently discovered in the Buenos Aires suburb of Béccar, near where both Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann lived. Artifacts in the trove have accompanying photos of Adolph Hitler with the same or similar artifacts, which is presumed to add to their commercial value. And the overall quantity and quality has investigators convinced that this could have only come from high-ranking Nazis, raising questions of who else may have slipped into Argentina without the world’s knowledge: “ . . . . They were put on display at the Delegation of Argentine Israeli Associations in Buenos Aires on Monday. Many Nazi higher-ups fled to Argentina in the waning days of the war, and investigators believe that officials close to Adolf Hitler brought the artifacts with them. Many items were accompanied by photographs, some with Hitler holding them. . . .”

Nisman’s widow is the judge presiding over the case: . . . . The judge in the case is Sandra Arroyo Salgado, the widow of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Salgado imposed a gag order on the investigation, so no further details were revealed. . . .”

Suspects have been identified in the case: ” . . . . One suspect identified by the police is not in Argentina. There are Argentine and non-Argentinean suspects being investigated, but no further details have been provided. . . .”

“As Argentine Elections Approach, Two Disturbing Mysteries Loom” by Daniel Politi; The New York Times; 9/30/2017.

Only a few weeks ago, Argentina’s midterm election was shaping up to be a duel over economic policy. But in the final weeks before the vote, two national mysteries have roiled the race. The leftist former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, is running for a senate seat, hoping to make a political comeback by accusing her center-right successor of undoing many of her populist policies in order to benefit the country’s elite. But the nation’s focus has already started to shift, starting with an explosive new twist in the notorious 2015 death of a prosecutor, Alberto Nisman. Mr. Nisman’s body had been found only hours before he was scheduled to provide damning testimony accusing Mrs. Kirchner, then the president, of a cover-up . . .

. . . . Now, a team of forensic experts has issued a report concluding that Mr. Nisman had been murdered, according to local news reports and a senior judicial official familiar with the investigation. That determination, likely to be made public in the coming days, contradicts the findings of another team of experts during Mrs. Kirchner’s tenure that there was no evidence anyone else was involved in Mr. Nisman’s death, meaning that hehad probably killed himself.

The saga of the prosecutor has long consumed Argentina, for good reason. He had been in charge of investigating the still-unsolved 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. Before his death, he accused Mrs. Kirchner and members of her government of trying to shield Iranian officials suspected of playing a role in the attack as part of a deal that would supply Iranian oil to Argentina. Supporters of President Mauricio Macri, whose minority coalition in Congress is expected to pick up seats in the election on Oct. 22, say the latest report validates their longtime contention that Mr. Nisman was a victim of foul play.

By contrast, allies of Mrs. Kirchner, who has denied any wrongdoing, characterized the new forensic report as an effort by the current government to further undermine her image. Mrs. Kirchner faces charges in several corruption investigations. But in the run-up to the election, Mrs. Kirchner has a mystery of her own to point to: The disappearance of Santiago Maldonado, an indigenous rights activist who, supporters say, vanished after border guards took him into custody.

The disappearance has outraged many Argentines, and Mrs. Kirchner contends that the government is simply putting forward the new allegations about Mr. Nisman’s death in order to distract attention from the case now unfolding on its watch. “This is an immense smoke bomb to hide Santiago Maldonado,” Mrs. Kirchner said in a radio interview. Mr. Maldonado’s family and human rights groups have called for a protest on Sunday to mark the two-month anniversary of his disappearance. The latest forensic investigation into Mr. Nisman’s death was carried out by a team of 28 experts. Over the course of nine months, they reconstructed the scene where his body was found in his bathroom, with a single gunshot wound to the head.

They concluded the prosecutor was killed by two people, according to the senior judicial official, who has seen the report. The forensic experts discovered several injuries on Mr. Nisman’s body — including a nasal fracture, a hematoma in his kidney, lesions on his legs and a wound on the palm of his hand — that they say are consistent with an attack on the prosecutor before he was killed.

According to the official, investigators also said they found ketamine, an anesthetic, in Mr. Nisman’s blood, which they suspect was used to sedate the prosecutor before he was shot. No gunpowder residue was found on his hands, which they said made the suicide theory implausible. Two teams of forensic experts, including a prestigious unit that operates under the purview of the Supreme Court, had previously said that there was no evidence that anyone else was in Mr. Nisman’s bathroom when he died. Mr. Nisman’s former wife, Federal Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, has long said that she believes he was murdered. Mrs. Kirchner at first suggested Mr. Nisman had committed suicide, but she later backtracked, saying she was convinced he was killed to tarnish her government. Julio Raffo, an opposition lawmaker who is not allied with Mrs. Kirchner, said in an interview that a group of experienced foreign forensic experts should be empaneled to examine all the reports and make a ruling that is not politically suspect. “This is very alarming; everything related to this case is strange,” said Mr. Raffo, who has long been convinced Mr. Nisman was murdered, and has called on a judge to investigate whether previous forensic examiners covered up evidence.

Diego Lagomarsino, a computer technician who worked with Mr. Nisman, is so far the only person charged in the case, for giving the prosecutor the gun with which he was shot. A team of forensic experts and lawyers representing Mr. Lagomarsino have challenged the murder theory, arguing that suicide remains the most likely scenario. The prosecutor in charge of the case, Eduardo Taiano, must now review all the evidence to decide whether to recommend labeling Mr. Nisman’s death a murder rather than a “suspicious death.” The government is urging caution. “We have to be super prudent with this,” the head of the president’s cabinet, Marcos Peña, told reporters in late September. “We have to wait for the courts to rule.”

While allies of Mr. Macri are focusing on the latest developments involving Mr. Nisman, supporters of Mrs. Kirchner have turned the apparent disappearance of Mr. Maldonado, 28, into a rallying cry. The case has reverberated across much of the country, reviving memories of the mass disappearances and killings that took place during the brutal 1976-1983 dictatorship. Tens of thousands of people took part in a demonstration over the disappearance on Sept. 1, which ended in violent clashes between demonstrators and the police.

Human rights activists have criticized Mr. Macri’s administration for quickly coming to the defense of the border guards who evicted the indigenous rights protesters in Patagonia. Mr. Maldonado had taken part in the protest. Government officials insist that the search for him continues. “I just don’t know what to believe anymore,” said Ana Patricia Baliño, a 38-yearold accountant in Buenos Aires. “Everyone seems to be lying.

Many share her skepticism. A recent poll by Management & Fit, a consultancy, found that three out of every four Argentines said they had little or no confidence in the country’s judiciary. Around 40 percent of Argentines believe that Mr. Maldonado will never be found, according to a poll by Giacobbe & Asociados in early September. Shortly after Mr. Nisman’s death, 59 percent of Argentines said the truth of what happened to him would never be known. “The general public is disgusted by the way in which politicians fight among each other to win points with complicated cases, rather than focusing on figuring out what happened,” said Jorge Giacobbe, a public opinion analyst.

7. The largest trove of Nazi artifacts ever uncovered in Argentina was recently discovered in the Buenos Aires suburb of Béccar, near where both Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann lived. Artifacts in the trove have accompanying photos of Adolph Hitler with the same or similar artifacts, which is presumed to add to their commercial value. And the overall quantity and quality has investigators convinced that this could have only come from high-ranking Nazis, raising questions of who else may have slipped into Argentina without the world’s knowledge: “ . . . . They were put on display at the Delegation of Argentine Israeli Associations in Buenos Aires on Monday. Many Nazi higher-ups fled to Argentina in the waning days of the war, and investigators believe that officials close to Adolf Hitler brought the artifacts with them. Many items were accompanied by photographs, some with Hitler holding them. . . .”

“Behind a bookcase, a secret passageway leads to a trove of Nazi artifacts in Argentina” by Max Bearak; The Washington Post; 06/20/2017

The international police agency Interpol discovered one of the largest and most disturbing sets of Nazi artifacts this month in a northern suburb of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

Agents became aware of a collector of historical artifacts who they say had procured items “under UNESCO’s red alert,” referring to the United Nations organization tasked with cultural preservation. This month, with the power of a judicial order, they raided the collector’s house, according to Clarín, an Argentine newspaper. Behind a bookcase, a secret passageway led to a room where they found the biggest trove of original World War II-era artifacts in Argentina’s history.

They were put on display at the Delegation of Argentine Israeli Associations in Buenos Aires on Monday. Many Nazi higher-ups fled to Argentina in the waning days of the war, and investigators believe that officials close to Adolf Hitler brought the artifacts with them. Many items were accompanied by photographs, some with Hitler holding them.

“This is a way to commercialize them, showing that they were used by the horror, by the Fuhrer. There are photos of him with the objects,” Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich told the Associated Press.

The trove also includes a bust relief of Hitler, magnifying glasses embossed with swastikas (as well as a photo of Hitler holding the same or a similar instrument), a large statue of an eagle above a swastika, silverware, binoculars, a trumpet and a massive swastika-studded hourglass.

Masterminds of the Nazis’ Holocaust Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann both fled to Argentina as their counterparts were put on trial for war crimes in Germany. Both lived in houses near Béccar, the suburb where the new trove was found.

The 75 artifacts found in this passageway provide more evidence of similar crimes. Police are now investigating how exactly the artifacts made it into Argentina, thinking, perhaps, about which other Nazi leaders may have entered the country unbeknown to the world.

8. Nisman’s widow is the judge presiding over the case: . . . . The judge in the case is Sandra Arroyo Salgado, the widow of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Salgado imposed a gag order on the investigation, so no further details were revealed. . . .”

Suspects have been identified in the case: ” . . . . One suspect identified by the police is not in Argentina. There are Argentine and non-Argentinean suspects being investigated, but no further details have been provided. . . .”

“Tools used in Nazi medical experiments uncovered in Argentina” by JTA; Jewish Telegraphic Agency; 06/14/2017.

Police in Argentina discovered original Nazi objects from World War II, including tools for Nazi medical experiments, at a house in Buenos Aires.

The objects were found Friday in a hidden room of the house in the northern part of the city. They are in the custody of the justice who is tasked with investigating the find.

“We are too shocked, too touched by the impressive finding, but also happy” to have made this discovery, Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said Tuesday in a statement accompanying a video published on her You Tube channel to show the objects. Bullrich called it “the biggest seizure of archaeological objects and Nazi pieces of our history.”

The judge in the case is Sandra Arroyo Salgado, the widow of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Salgado imposed a gag order on the investigation, so no further details were revealed. But Bullrich said she will ask the judge to have the objects donated to the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires.

The Argentine Jewish political umbrella DAIA will hold a ceremony next Monday to honor the Security Ministry and the federal police division that undertook the investigation. The ministry also tweeted photos from the cache on its official Twitter account, including photos of the Nazi objects as well as Asian historical objects.

A través de @PFAOficial incautamos objetos históricos de origen asiático y piezas con simbología nazi destinadas al mercado negro. pic.twitter.com/CO6lyTTFc8— Ministerio Seguridad (@MinSeg) June 9, 2017

“The main hypothesis is that someone who was part of the regime entered into Argentina because the amount of objects of the same style is difficult to find in private collections that can have one or two objects, but not of this amount and of this quality,” a police officer who was part of the nine-month investigation told Argentine television.

The police officer said that some of the objects “were used by the Nazis to check racial purity.”

Nazi puzzles for kids also were discovered in the cache.

One suspect identified by the police is not in Argentina. There are Argentine and non-Argentinean suspects being investigated, but no further details have been provided.

In June 2016, a collector from Argentina paid $680,000 for Nazi underpants and other memorabilia.

Argentina was a refuge for Nazis after World War II. Adolf Eichmann was captured in the northern area of Buenos Aires in 1960. Nazi war criminals Joseph Mengele and Erich Priebke also chose Argentina as a refuge. . . .

9. The Koch brothers-funded Ludwig Von Mises Institute of Brazil is fellow-traveling with Christopher Cantwell, one of the Nazi mobilizers of the Charlottesville demonstrations. Cantwell has had articles published by the Brazilian subsidiary of the LVM Institute.

Cantwell has sported iconography suggestive of support for Operation Condor, a U.S. supported assassination consortium of Latin American countries, implemented by overt fascists and Nazis at the operational level. For more about Condor, see—among other programs—AFA #19.

 We note, in this context that the Assange/Snowden axis is profoundly connected to the Ludwig Von Mises Institute through Ron Paul. Paul/LVM Institute/Snowden/Assange are deeply connected, in turn, to the neo-Confederate movement that manifested in Charlottesville.

“Brasil’s US-Funded ‘Libertarians’ & the Far-Right by Brasil Wire”; Brasil Wire; 08/19/2017

On August 18, Vice Brasil journalist and occasional Brasil Wire contributorMarie Declerq, broke the newsthat the Instituto Mises Brasil think tank, which receives funding from US libertarians, has published articles by Christopher Cantwell, the American Nazi who helped organize the Charlottesville Virginia protests.Cantwell made the news recently when he was filmed in a Vice documentary threatening to kill Jews and blacks, and later appeared in a <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD4reaHE83Q”>YouTube video sobbing in fear of being arrested.

News that Mises Institute, founded in 2007 and part of the Libertarian Atlas Network, has published material by Augusto Pinochet fanboy Cantwell shouldn’t actually be that surprising. In 1927, Mises himself argued that Fascism had saved European Civilisation, and “The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history”. Meanwhile, Atlas, which has been built over decades to distort Latin American politics, is funded by the Koch Brothers (a family with their own distinguished Nazi history).

Following Charlottesville, Cantwell sparked outrage among South Americans by appearing in his own T-Shirt design depicting the murder of leftists in helicopter “death flights” – a common practice in Chile, Argentina and elsewhere during Operation Condor in the 1970s – a US supported cross-border campaign which assassinated thousands of labor union members, opposition activists and intellectuals.

Although this is a macabre extreme, the interchange of ideas and individuals on the conservative spectrum, between self-defined libertarian groups and the overt Far-Right, is relatively common. Politically, it follows that Libertarians idolise Augusto Pinochet. After the 1973 US- sponsored economic sabotage and coup in Chile put neofascist dictator Pinochet in power, he was visited by libertarian heroes Milton Friedman and Fredrich Hayek. In a Chilean newspaper interview at the time, Hayek expressed an opinion which still seems to be held by many neoliberals and libertarians to this day – that freedom for corporations in developing nations is more important than freedom for individuals – when he said, “Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism”.

US Neo-Nazi obsession with confederate statues finds its parallel in Brazil with Pro-Gun OwnershipAnti-Womens, Racial & Worker’s Rights campaign group Movimento Brasil Livrewhich is associated with Mises Institute and Koch’s Students for LibertyCiting Margaret Thatcher as inspiration, MBL have also openly declared their reverence for the the Bandeirantes– the colonial militia who went out to secure the vast interior of the country, committing genocide against indigenous populations, and are celebrated with an enormous monumentin São Paulo’s Ibirapuera.

MBL is notable that it is fronted not by its original founders, but by ethnically mixed, telegenic young men, some of whom were reportedly media/leadership-trained in the United States. It is accused of doing this to avoid the perception of being a white elite organisation in a country with majority black population. Their opposition to racial quotas and black consciousness dayare usually voiced by these frontmen, and their rhetoric has even included a bizarre comparison between Hitler and the historic leader of Afro-Brazilian Quilombos, Zumbi dos Palmares. Some its members also mimic an Anti-Refugee/Muslim xenophobia, which is imported wholesale, without context, from the Far-Right in Europe and the US.

One of the groups most visible leaders, Arthur Moledo do Vai, known for his video blogs in which he visits left wing protests and lectures people about free market economic dogma, was recently photographed by Antifa trying to disrupt a labor union protest with two neo-nazi skinhead bodyguards.

MBL, which was/is also funded by Atlas Network, plus the main parties which make up Temer’s Post-Coup Government, operates as an infantile sub-Breitbart fake news site, with a loyal audience who act as an online and offline far-right hate-mob. These predominantly white young men, radicalised by sites such as MBL and similar, gained notoriety by harassing left-wing politicians at their homes, before going on to physically threaten recent high-school occupations for better quality public education– with some supporters even promoting the rape of female protesters on social media. Meanwhile MBL was promoting a McCarthyite campaign against “Communist Indoctrination” by teachers. Elsewhere they talked chillingly of a Ukrainian scenario awaiting Brasil should Dilma Rousseff not fall peacefully.

Another campaign spread the outright lie that Hitler was a leftist, and Brasil is still gripped by an idiotic debate over this fallacy – not helped by a recent BBC Brasil article which concluded that the Nazis were neither right nor left, because they were “totalitarian”.

It was a curious feature of the period leading up to Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment that MBL received more coverage abroad during its campaign than any Brazilian political party or social movement. It was given free-reign in advertorials published by a range of magazines and newspapers such as the the EconomistTime and the Guardian, in which they declared that Brazil needed to “get over” the 64-85 Neofascist Dictatorship. One of the group’s front men is now a city councillor in São Paulo for the ‘Democratas’ party (Formerly Liberal Front), which is the principal descendent of ARENA – the Dictatorship-era’s Government.

Far-Right elements at São Paulo’s Anti-Dilma protests of 2015 & 2016, organised in part by these “grassroots” free-market organisations, were distinct and visible, with their flags and banners, calling for Military Intervention, adorning a fleet of 20 sound trucks alongside those of MBL and parallel corporate-funded Pro-Impeachment group VemPraRua.

For the most part, the demonstrations evident proto-fascist tendencies – which went against the narrative of a youthful, grassroots organisation demanding economic liberalism and an end to corruption – were overlooked. Media at that time also failed the basic test of scrutinising the money behind MBL’s campaign, with the Guardian allowing them to state unopposed that they were funded by the sales of “t-shirts and stickers” despite the money trail to Pro-Impeachment groups from US Libertarian Think-Tanks being already well documented in 2015.

As the connections between the US “Alt-right”, corporate-funded think tanks and fascism in Brasil become clearer, the anglo media & business groups who blindly supported its rise will have some important questions to answer.

10. BuzzFeed has a long piece based on a cache of leaked emails that describe behind-the-scenes efforts at Breibart to mainstream the “Alt Right” neo-Nazis. Those efforts primarily revolved around Milo Yiannopoulos–tasked with reaching out to “Alt Right” figures, getting comments from them about what the “Alt Right” was all about, and then later getting feedback from them about the planned articles before they were published. It was clearly a group effort. Those efforts included Andrew ‘the weev’ Auernheimer, Curtis Yarvin (the founder fo the “Dark Enlightenment” movement), and Devin Saucier, a neo-Nazi Yiannopoulos describes as his best friend.

The emails have a sick, almost dark comedy element to them because they included plenty of back and forths between Yiannopoulos and Breitbart editors about whether or not the publication was getting too openly friendly with the Nazis, with Yiannopoulos being told at one point that it was fine to use a “shekels” joke but “you can’t even flirt with OKing gas chamber tweets.” There’s also some other fun facts in the piece, like how Curtis Yarvin said he was “coaching” Peter Thiel on politics, or how the two Yiannopoulos passwords found in the emails were “a password that began with the word Kristall”, and “LongKnives1290”.

So in case it wasn’t obvious that Breitbart is a white nationalist publication run by neo-Nazis for the purpose of mainstreaming neo-Nazi ideals, here’s the evidence, in their own neo-Nazi words.

“Alt-White: How The Breitbart Machine Laundered Racist Hate” by Joseph Bernstein; BuzzFeed; 10/05/2017

Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream

A cache of documents obtained by BuzzFeed News reveals the truth about Steve Bannon’s alt-right “killing machine.”

In August, after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville ended in murder, Steve Bannon insisted that “there’s no room in American society” for neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, and the KKK.

But an explosive cache of documents obtained by BuzzFeed News proves that there was plenty of room for those voices on his website.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart courted the alt-right — the insurgent, racist right-wing movement that helped sweep Donald Trump to power. The former White House chief strategist famously remarked that he wanted Breitbart to be “the platform for the alt-right.”

The Breitbart employee closest to the alt-right was Milo Yiannopoulos, the site’s former tech editor known best for his outrageous public provocations, such as last year’s Dangerous Faggot speaking tour and September’s canceled Free Speech Week in Berkeley. For more than a year, Yiannopoulos led the site in a coy dance around the movement’s nastier edges, writing stories that minimized the role of neo-Nazis and white nationalists while giving its politer voices a fair hearing. In March, Breitbart editor Alex Marlow insisted “we’re not a hate site.” Breitbart’s media relations staff repeatedly threatened to sue outlets that described Yiannopoulos as racist. And after the violent white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, Breitbart published an article explaining that when Bannon said the site welcomed the alt-right, he was merely referring to “computer gamers and blue-collar voters who hated the GOP brand.”

These new emails and documents, however, clearly show that Breitbart does more than tolerate the most hate-filled, racist voices of the alt-right. It thrives on them, fueling and being fueled by some of the most toxic beliefs on the political spectrum — and clearing the way for them to enter the American mainstream.

It’s a relationship illustrated most starkly by a previously unreleased April 2016 video in which Yiannopoulos sings “America the Beautiful” in a Dallas karaoke bar as admirers, including the white nationalist Richard Spencer, raise their arms in Nazi salutes.

These documents chart the Breitbart alt-right universe. They reveal how the website — and, in particular, Yiannopoulos — links the Mercer family, the billionaires who fund Breitbart, to underpaid trolls who fill it with provocative content, and to extremists striving to create a white ethnostate.

They capture what Bannon calls his “killing machine” in action, as it dredges up the resentments of people around the world, sifts through these grievances for ideas and content, and propels them from the unsavory parts of the internet up to TrumpWorld, collecting advertisers’ checks all along the way.

And the cache of emails — some of the most newsworthy of which BuzzFeed News is now making public — expose the extent to which this machine depended on Yiannopoulos, who channeled voices both inside and outside the establishment into a clear narrative about the threat liberal discourse posed to America. The emails tell the story of Steve Bannon’s grand plan for Yiannopoulos, whom the Breitbart executive chairman transformed from a charismatic young editor into a conservative media star capable of magnetizing a new generation of reactionary anger. Often, the documents reveal, this anger came from a legion of secret sympathizers in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, academia, suburbia, and everywhere in between.

“I have said in the past that I find humor in breaking taboos and laughing at things that people tell me are forbidden to joke about,” Yiannopoulos wrote in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “But everyone who knows me also knows I’m not a racist. As someone of Jewish ancestry, I of course condemn racism in the strongest possible terms. I have stopped making jokes on these matters because I do not want any confusion on this subject. I disavow Richard Spencer and his entire sorry band of idiots. I have been and am a steadfast supporter of Jews and Israel. I disavow white nationalism and I disavow racism and I always have.”

Now Bannon is back at the controls of the machine, which he has said he is “revving up.” The Mercers have funded Yiannopoulos’s post-Breitbart venture. And these documents present the clearest look at what these people may have in store for America.

**

A year and a half ago, Milo Yiannopoulos set himself a difficult task: to define the alt-right. It was five months before Hillary Clinton named the alt-right in a campaign speech, 10 months before the alt-right’s great hope became president, and 17 months before Charlottesville clinched the alt-right as a stalking horse for violent white nationalism. The movement had just begun its explosive emergence into the country’s politics and culture.

At the time, Yiannopoulos, who would later describe himself as a fellow traveler” of the alt-right, was the tech editor of Breitbart. In summer 2015, after spending a year gathering momentum through GamerGate — the opening salvo of the new culture wars— he convinced Breitbart upper management to give him his own section. And for four months, he helped Bannon wage what the Breitbart boss called in emails to staff “#war.” It was a war, fought story by story, against the perceived forces of liberal activism on every conceivable battleground in American life.

Yiannopoulos was a useful soldier whose very public identity as a gay man (one who has now married a black man) helped defend him, his anti-political correctness crusade, and his employer from charges of bigotry.

But now Yiannopoulos had a more complicated fight on his hands. The left — and worse, some on the right — had started to condemn the new conservative energy as reactionary and racist. Yiannopoulos had to take back “alt-right,” to redefine for Breitbart’s audience a poorly understood, leaderless movement, parts of which had already started to resist the term itself.

So he reached out to key constituents, who included a neo-Nazi and a white nationalist.

“Finally doing my big feature on the alt right,” Yiannopoulos wrote in a March 9, 2016, email to Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, a hacker who is the system administrator of the neo-Nazi hub the Daily Stormer, and who would later ask his followers to disruptthe funeral of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer. “Fancy braindumping some thoughts for me.”

“It’s time for me to do my big definitive guide to the alt right,” Yiannopoulos wrote four hours later to Curtis Yarvin, a software engineer who under the nom de plume Mencius Moldbug helped create the “neoreactionary” movement, which holds that Enlightenment democracy has failed and that a return to feudalism and authoritarian rule is in order. “Which is my whorish way of asking if you have anything you’d like to make sure I include.”

“Alt r feature, figured you’d have some thoughts,” Yiannopoulos wrote the same day to Devin Saucier, who helps edit the online white nationalist magazine American Renaissance under the pseudonym Henry Wolff, and who wrote a story in June 2017 called “Why I Am (Among Other Things) a White Nationalist.”

The three responded at length: Weev about the Daily Stormer and a podcast called The Daily Shoah, Yarvin in characteristically sweeping world-historical assertions (“It’s no secret that North America contains many distinct cultural/ethnic communities. This is not optimal, but with a competent king it’s not a huge problem either”), and Saucier with a list of thinkers, politicians, journalists, films (DuneMad MaxThe Dark Knight), and musical genres (folk metal, martial industrial, ’80s synthpop) important to the movement. Yiannopoulos forwarded it all, along with the Wikipedia entries for “Alternative Right” and the esoteric far-right Italian philosopher Julius Evola — a major influence on 20th-century Italian fascists and Richard Spencer alike — to Allum Bokhari, his deputy and frequent ghostwriter, whom he had met during GamerGate. “Include a bit of everything,” he instructed Bokhari.

“I think you’ll like what I’m cooking up,” Yiannopoulos wrote to Saucier, the American Renaissance editor.

“I look forward to it,” Saucier replied. “Bannon, as you probably know, is sympathetic to much of it.”

Five days later Bokhari returned a 3,000-word draft, a taxonomy of the movement titled “ALT-RIGHT BEHEMOTH.” It included a little bit of everything: the brains and their influences (Yarvin and Evola, etc.), the “natural conservatives” (people who think different ethnic groups should stay separate for scientific reasons), the “Meme team” (4chan and 8chan), and the actual hatemongers. Of the last group, Bokhari wrote: “There’s just not very many of them, no-one really likes them, and they’re unlikely to achieve anything significant in the alt-right.”

“Magnificent start,” Yiannopoulos responded.

Over the next three days, Yiannopoulos passed the article back to Yarvin and the white nationalist Saucier, the latter of whom gave line-by-line annotations. He also sent it to Vox Day, a writer who was expelled from the board of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for calling a black writer an “ignorant savage,” and to Alex Marlow, the editor of Breitbart.

“Solid, fair, and fairly comprehensive,” Vox Day responded, with a few suggestions.

“Most of it is great but I don’t want to rush a major long form piece like this,” Marlow wrote back. “A few people will need to weigh in since it deals heavily with race.”

Also, there was another sensitive issue to be raised: credit. “Allum did most of the work on this and wants joint [byline] but I want the glory here,” Yiannopoulos wrote back to Marlow. “I am telling him you said it’s sensitive and want my byline alone on it.”

Minutes later, Yiannopoulos emailed Bokhari. “I was going to have Marlow collude with me … about the byline on the alt right thing because I want to take it solo. Will you hate me too much if I do that? … Truthfully management is very edgy on this one (They love it but it’s racially charged) and they would prefer it.”

“Will management definitely say no if it’s both of us?” Bokhari responded. “I think it actually lowers the risk if someone with a brown-sounding name shares the BL.”

Five days later, March 22nd, Marlow returned with comments. He suggested that the story should show in more detail how Yiannopoulos and most of the alt-right rejected the actual neo-Nazis in the movement. And he added that Taki’s Magazine and VDare, two publications Yiannopoulos and Bokhari identified as part of the alt-right, “are both racist. … We should disclaimer that or strike that part of the history from the article.” (The published story added, in the passive voice, “All of these websites have been accused of racism.”) Again the story went back to Bokhari, who on the 24th sent Yiannopoulos still another draft, with the subject head “ALT RIGHT, MEIN FUHRER.”

On the 27th, now co-bylined, the story was ready for upper management: Bannon and Larry Solov, Breitbart’s press-shy CEO. It was also ready, on a separate email chain, for another read and round of comments from the white nationalist Saucier, the feudalist Yarvin, the neo-Nazi Weev, and Vox Day.

“I need to go thru this tomorrow in depth…although I do appreciate any piece that mentions evola,” Bannon wrote. On the 29th, in an email titled “steve wants you to read this,” Marlow sent Yiannopoulos a list of edits and notes Bannon had solicited from James Pinkerton, a former Reagan and George H.W. Bush staffer and a contributing editor of the American Conservative. The 59-year-old Pinkerton was put off by a cartoon of Pepe the Frog conducting the Trump Train.

“I love art,” he wrote inline. “I think [Breitbart News Network] needs a lot more of it, but I don’t get the above. Frogs? Kermit? Am I missing something here?”

Later that day, Breitbart published “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right.” It quickly became a touchstone, cited in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, CNN, and New York Magazine, among others. And its influence is still being felt. This past July, in a speech in Warsaw that was celebrated by the alt-right, President Trump echoed a line from the story — a story written by a “brown-sounding” amanuensis, all but line-edited by a white nationalist, laundered for racism by Breitbart’s editors, and supervised by the man who would in short order become the president’s chief strategist.

The machine had worked well.

**

On July 22, 2016, Rebekah Mercer — Robert’s powerful daughter — emailed Steve Bannon from her Stanford alumni account. She wanted the Breitbart executive chairman, whom she introduced as “one of the greatest living defenders of Liberty,” to meet an app developer she knew. Apple had rejected the man’s game (Capitol HillAwry, in which players delete emails à la Hillary Clinton) from the App Store, and the younger Mercer wondered “if we could put an article up detailing his 1st amendment political persecution.”

Bannon passed the request from Mercer to Yiannopoulos. Yiannopoulos passed it to Charlie Nash, an 18-year-old Englishman whom he had met at a conference of the populist right-wing UK Independence Party conference the previous year, and who started working as his intern immediately after. Like some bleach-blonde messiah of anti–political correctness, Yiannopoulos tended to draw in ideologically sympathetic young men at conferences, campus speeches, and on social media, accumulating more and more acolytes as he went along.

In June 2015 it was Ben Kew, who invited Yiannopoulos to speak at the University of Bristol, where he was a student; he’s now a staff writer for Breitbart. In September 2015 it was Tom Ciccotta, the treasurer of the class of 2017 at Bucknell University, who still writes for Breitbart. In February 2016 it was Hunter Swogger, a University of Michigan student and then the editor of the conservative Michigan Review, whom Yiannopoulos cultivated and brought on as a social media specialist during his Dangerous Faggot tour. Yiannopoulos called these young researchers his “trufflehounds.”

Nash, who had just been hired by Breitbart at $30,000 a year after months of lobbying by Yiannopoulos, dutifully fielded the request from the billionaire indirectly paying his salary and turned around a story about the rejected Capitol HillAwry app on the 25th — and a follow-up five days later after Apple reversed its decision.

“Huge victory,” Bannon emailed after the reversal. “Huge win.”

This was the usual way stories came in from the Mercers, according to a former Breitbart editor: with a request from Bannon referring to “our investors” or “our investing partners.”

After Cannes, as Bannon pushed Yiannopoulos to do more live events that presented expensive logistical challenges, the involvement of the investing partners became increasingly obvious. Following a May event at DePaul University in Chicago in which Black Lives Matter protesters stormed a Yiannopoulos speech, he wrote to Bannon, “I wouldn’t confess this to anyone publicly, of course, but I was worried … last night that I was going to get punched or worse. … I need one or two people of my own.”

“Agree 100%,” Bannon wrote. “We want you to stir up more. Milo: for your eyes only we r going to use the mercers private security company.”

Copied on the email was Dan Fleuette, Bannon’s coproducer at Glittering Steel and the man who acted for months as the go-between for Yiannopoulos and the Mercers. As Yiannopoulos made the transition in summer 2016 from being a writer to becoming largely the star of a traveling stage show, Fleuette was enlisted to process and wrangle the legion of young assistants, managers, trainers, and other talent the Breitbart tech editor demanded be brought along for the ride.

First came Tim Gionet, the former BuzzFeed social media strategist who goes by “Baked Alaska” on Twitter, whom Yiannopoulos pitched to Fleuette as a tour manager in late May. Gionet accompanied Yiannopoulos to Florida after the June 2016 Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando. The two planned a press conference outside a mosque attended by the shooter, Omar Mateen. (“Brilliant,” Bannon emailed. “Btw they are ALL ‘factories of hate.’”) But after some impertinent tweets and back talk from Gionet, Fleuette became Yiannopoulos’s managerial confidante.

“He needs to understand that ‘Baked Alaska’ is over,” Yiannopoulos wrote in one email to Fleuette. “He is not a friend he is an employee. … He is becoming a laughing stock and that reflects badly on me.” In another, “I think we need to replace Tim. … [He] has no news judgment or understanding of what’s dangerous (thinks tweets about Jews are just fine). … He seems more interested in his career as an obscure Twitter personality than my tour manager.”

At the Republican National Convention, Yiannopoulos deliberately chose a hotel for Gionet far from the convention center, writing to another Breitbart employee, “Exactly where I want him. … He needs the commute to remind him of his place.”

Gionet did not respond to multiple requests by BuzzFeed News for comment.

But Gionet, who would go on to march with the alt-right in Charlottesville, was still useful to Yiannopoulos as a gateway to a group of young, hip, social media–savvy Trump supporters.

Yiannopoulos managed all of his assistants and ghostwriters under his own umbrella, using “yiannopoulos.net” emails and private Slack rooms. This structure insulated Breitbart’s upper management from the 4chan savants and GamerGate vets working for Yiannopoulos. And it gave Yiannopoulos a staff loyal to him above Breitbart. (Indeed, Yiannopoulos shopped a separate “Team Milo” section to Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal, in July 2016.)

It also sometimes led to extraordinarily fraught organizational and personal dynamics. Take Allum Bokhari, the Oxford-educated former political consultant whom Yiannopoulos rewarded for his years of grunt work with a $100,000 ghostwriting contract for his book Dangerous.

But the men were spying on each other.

In April 2016, Yiannopoulos asked Bokhari for “a complete list of the email, social media, bank accounts, and any other system and services of mine you have been accessing, and how long you’ve had access.” Bokhari confessed to having logged into Yiannopoulos’s email and Slack, and had used Yiannopoulos’s credit card for an Airbnb, a confession Yiannopoulos quickly passed on to Larry Solov, the Breitbart CEO.

“My basic position is that he is not stable and needs to be far away from me,” Yiannopoulos wrote to Marlow and Solov.

Meanwhile, Yiannopoulos had compiled a transcript of what he called “a short section of 30 hours of recording down on paper,” which appeared to be of conversations between Bokhari and a friend.

The newcomers brought in by Gionet weren’t much better behaved. Yiannopoulos had to boot one prospective member of his “tour squad” for posting cocaine use on Snapchat. Mike Mahoney, a then–20-year-old from North Carolina, had to be monitored because of his propensity for racism and anti-Semitism on social media. (Mahoney was later banned from Twitter, but he’s relocated to Gab, a free speech uber alles social network where he is free to post messages such as “reminder: muslims are fags.”)

“Let me know if there’s anything specific that’s really bad eg any Jew stuff,” Yiannopoulos wrote of Mahoney in an email to another member of his staff. “His entire Twitter persona will have to change dramatically once he gets the job.” On September 11, 2016, Mahoney signed a $2,500-a-month contract with Glittering Steel.

As the Dangerous Faggot tour swung into gear, Yiannopoulos grew increasingly hostile toward Fleuette, whom he excoriated for late payments to his young crew, lack of support, and disorganization. “The entire tour staff is demanding money,” Yiannopoulos wrote in one email to Fleuette in October. “No one knows or cares who Glittering Steel is but this represents a significantly damaging risk to my reputation if it gets out.” And in another, “Your problem right now is keeping me happy.”

Yet ultimately Fleuette was necessary — he connected Yiannopoulos’s madcap world and the massively rich people funding the machine.

“I think you know who the final decision belongs to,” Fleuette wrote to Yiannopoulos after one particularly frantic request for money. “I am in daily communication with them.”

**

Yiannopoulos’s star rose throughout 2016 thanks to a succession of controversial public appearances, social media conflagrations, Breitbart radio spots, television hits, and magazine profiles. Bannon’s guidance, the Mercers’ patronage, and the creative energy of his young staff had come together at exactly the time Donald Trump turned offensive speech into a defining issue in American culture. And for thousands of people, Yiannopoulos, Breitbart’s poster child for offensive speech, became a secret champion.

Aggrieved by the encroachment of so-called cultural Marxism into American public life, and egged on by an endless stream of stories on Fox News about safe spaces and racially charged campus confrontations, a diverse group of Americans took to Yiannopoulos’s inbox to thank him and to confess their fears about the future of the country.

And some of these disgruntled tech workers reached beyond the rank and file. Vivek Wadhwa, a prominent entrepreneur and academic, reached out repeatedly to Yiannopoulos with stories of what he considered out-of-control political correctness. First it was about a boycott campaign against a Kickstarter with connections to GamerGate. (“These people are truly crazy and destructive. … What horrible people,” wrote Wadwha of the campaigners.) Then it was about Y-Combinator cofounder Paul Graham; Wadwha felt Graham was being unfairly targeted for an essay he wrote about gender inequality in tech.

“Political correctness has gone too far,” Wadhwa wrote. “The alternative is communism — not equality. And that is a failed system…” Yiannopoulos passed Wadhwa’s email to Bokhari, who promptly ghostwrote a story for Breitbart, “Social Justice Warrior Knives Out For Startup Guru Paul Graham.”

Wadwha told BuzzFeed News that he no longer supports Yiannopoulos.

Yiannopoulos also had a private relationship with the venture capitalist Peter Thiel, though he was more circumspect than some other correspondents. After turning down an appearance on Yiannopoulos’s podcast in May 2016 (Thiel: “Let’s just get coffee and take things from there”), Thiel invited the Breitbart tech editor for dinner at his Hollywood Hills home in June, a dinner Yiannopoulos boasted of the same night to Bannon: “You two should meet. … An obvious candidate for movie financing if we got external. … He has fuc ked [Gawker Media founder Nick] Denton & Gawker so many ways it brought a tear to my eye.” They made plans to meet during the July Republican National Convention. But much of Yiannopoulos’s knowledge of Thiel seemed to come secondhand from other right-wing activists, as well as Curtis Yarvin, the blogger who advocates the return of feudalism. In an email exchange shortly after the election, Yarvin told Yiannopoulos that he had been “coaching Thiel.”

“Peter needs guidance on politics for sure,” Yiannopoulos responded.

“Less than you might think!” Yarvin wrote back. “I watched the election at his house, I think my hangover lasted into Tuesday. He’s fully enlightened, just plays it very carefully.”

And Yiannopoulos vented privately after Thiel spoke at the RNC — an opportunity the younger man had craved. “No gays rule doesn’t apply to Thiel apparently,” he wrote to a prominent Republican operative in July 2016.

Thiel declined to comment for the story.

In addition to tech and entertainment, Yiannopoulos had hidden helpers in the liberal media against which he and Bannon fought so uncompromisingly. A long-running email group devoted to mocking stories about the social justice internet included, predictably, Yiannopoulos’s friend Ann Coulter, but also Mitchell Sunderland, a senior staff writer at Broadly, Vice’s women’s channel. According to its “About” page, Broadly “is devoted to representing the multiplicity of women’s experiences. … we provide a sustained focus on the issues that matter most to women.”

“Please mock this fat feminist,” Sunderland wrote to Yiannopoulos in May 2016, along with a link to an article by the New York Times columnist Lindy West, who frequently writes about fat acceptance. And while Sunderland was Broadly’s managing editor, he sent a Broadly video about the Satanic Temple and abortion rights to Tim Gionet with instructions to “do whatever with this on Breitbart. It’s insane.” The next day, Breitbart published an article titled “Satanic Temple’ Joins Planned Parenthood in Pro-Abortion Crusade.”

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Vice spokesperson wrote, “We are shocked and disappointed by this highly inappropriate and unprofessional conduct. We just learned about this and have begun a formal review into the matter.”

(A day after this story was published, Vice fired Mitchell Sunderland, according to a company spokesperson.)

**

For nearly a decade, Devin Saucier has been establishing himself as one of the bright young things in American white nationalism. In 2008, while at Vanderbilt University, Saucier founded a chapter of the defunct white nationalist student group Youth for Western Civilization,, which counts among its alumni the white nationalist leader Matthew Heimbach. Richard Spencer called him a friend. He is associated with the Wolves of Vinland, a Virginia neo-pagan group that one reporter described as a “white power wolf cult,” one member of which pleaded guilty to setting fire to a historic black church. For the past several years, according to an observer of far-right movements, Saucier has worked as an assistant to Jared Taylor, possibly the most prominent white nationalist in America. According to emails obtained by BuzzFeed News, he edits and writes for Taylor’s magazine, American Renaissance, under a pseudonym.

In an October 2016 email, Milo Yiannopoulos described the 28-year-old Saucier as “my best friend.”

Yiannopoulos may have been exaggerating: He was asking his acquaintance the novelist Bret Easton Ellis for a signed copy of American Psycho as a gift for Saucier. But there’s no question the men were close. After a March 2016 dinner together in Georgetown, they kept up a steady correspondence, thrilling over Brexit, approvingly sharing headlines about a Finnish far-right group called “Soldiers of Odin,” and making plans to attend Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Kennedy Center.

Saucier — who did not respond to numerous requests for comment — clearly illustrates the direct connection between open white nationalists and their fellow travelers at Breitbart. By spring 2016, Yiannopoulos had begun to use him as a sounding board, intellectual guide, and editor. On May 1, Yiannopoulos emailed Saucier asking for readings related to class-based affirmative action; Saucier responded with a half dozen links on the subject, which American Renaissance often covers. On May 3, Saucier sent Yiannopoulos an email titled “Article idea”: “How trolls could win the general for Trump.” Yiannopoulos forwarded the email to Bokhari and wrote, “Drop what you’re doing and draft this for me.” An article under Yiannopoulos’s byline appeared the next day. Also in early May, Saucier advised Yiannopoulos and put him in touch with a source for a story about the alt-right’s obsession with Taylor Swift.

Saucier also seems to have had enough clout with Yiannopoulos to get him to kill a story. On May 9, the Breitbart tech editor sent Saucier a full draft of the class-based affirmative action story. “This really isn’t good,” Saucier wrote back, along with a complex explanation of how “true class-based affirmative action” would cause “black enrollment at all decent colleges” to be “decimated.” The next day, Yiannopoulos wrote back, “I feel suitably admonished,” with another draft. In response, after speculating that Yiannopoulos was trying to “soft pedal” racial differences in intelligence, Saucier wrote, “I would honestly spike this piece.” The story never ran.

At other times, though, Yiannopoulos’s writing delighted the young white nationalist. On June 20, Yiannopoulos sent Saucier a link to his story “Milo On Why Britain Should Leave The EU — To Stop Muslim Immigration.” “Nice work,” Saucier responded. “I especially like the references to European identity and the Western greats.” On June 25, Yiannopoulos sent Saucier a copy of an analysis, “Brexit: Why The Globalists Lost.”

“Subtle truth bomb,” Saucier responded via email to the sentence “Britain, like Israel and other high-IQ, high-skilled economies, will thrive on its own.” (IQ differences among races are a fixation of American Renaissance.)

“I’m easing everyone in gently,” Yiannopoulos responded.

“Probably beats my ‘bite the pillow, I’m going in dry’ strategy,” Saucier wrote back.

On occasion Yiannopoulos didn’t ease his masters at Breitbart in gently enough. Frequently, Alex Marlow’s job editing him came down to rejecting anti-Semitic and racist ideas and jokes. In April 2016, Yiannopoulos tried to secure approval for the neo-Nazi hacker“Weev” Auernheimer, the system administrator for the Daily Stormer, to appear on his podcast.

“Great provocative guest,” Yiannopoulos wrote. “He’s one of the funniest, smartest and most interesting people I know. … Very on brand for me.”

“Gotta think about it,” Marlow wrote back. “He’s a legit racist. … This is a major strategic decision for this company and as of now I’m leaning against it.” (Weev never appeared on the podcast.)

Editing a September 2016 Yiannopoulos speech, Marlow approved a joke about “shekels” but added that “you can’t even flirt with OKing gas chamber tweets,” asking for such a line to be removed. Marlow held a story about Twitter banning a prominent — frequently anti-Semitic and anti-black — alt-right account, “Ricky Vaughn.” And in August 2016, Bokhari sent Marlow a draft of a story titled “The Alt Right Isn’t White Supremacist, It’s Western Supremacist,” which Marlow held, explaining, “I don’t want to even flirt with okay-ing Nazi memes.”

“We have found his limit,” Yiannopoulos wrote back.

Indeed, a major part of Yiannopoulos’s role within Breitbart was aggressively testing limits around racial and anti-Semitic discourse. As far as this went, his opaque organization-with-an-organization structure and crowdsourced ideation and writing processes served Breitbart’s purposes perfectly: They offered upper management a veil of plausible deniability — as long as no one saw the emails BuzzFeed News obtained. In August 2016, a Yiannopoulos staffer sent a “Milo” story by Bokhari directly to Bannon and Marlow for approval.

“Please don’t forward chains like that showing the sausage being made,” Yiannopoulos wrote back. “Everyone knows; but they don’t have to be reminded every time.”

By Yiannopoulos’s own admission, maintaining a sufficiently believable distance from overt racists and white nationalists was crucial to the machine he had helped Bannon build. As his profile rose, he attracted hordes of blazingly racist social media followers — the kind of people who harassed the black Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones so severely on Twitter that the platform banned Yiannopoulos for encouraging them.

“Protip on handling the endless tide of 1488 scum,” Curtis Yarvin, the neoreactionary thinker, wrote to Yiannopoulos in November 2015. (“1488” is a ubiquitous white supremacist slogan; “88” stands for “Heil Hitler.”) “Deal with them the way some perfectly tailored high-communist NYT reporter handles a herd of greasy anarchist hippies. Patronizing contempt. Your heart is in the right place, young lady, now get a shower and shave those pits. The liberal doesn’t purge the communist because he hates communism, he purges the communist because the communist is a public embarrassment to him. … It’s not that he sees enemies to the left, just that he sees losers to the left, and losers rub off.”

“Thanks re 1488,” Yiannopoulos responded. “I have been struggling with this. I need to stay, if not clean, then clean enough.”

He had help staying clean. It came in the form of a media relations apparatus that issued immediate and vehement threats of legal action against outlets that described Yiannopoulos as a racist or a white nationalist.

“Milo is NOT a white nationalist, nor a member of the alt right,” Jenny Kefauver, a senior account executive at CapitalHQ, Breitbart’s press shop, wrote to the Seattle CBS affiliate after a story following the shooting of an anti-Trump protester at a Yiannopoulos speech. “Milo has always denounced them and you offer no proof that he is associated with them. Please issue a correction before we explore additional options to correct this error immediately.”

Over 2016 and early 2017, CapitalHQ, and often Yiannopoulos personally, issued such demands against the Los Angeles Times, The Forward, Business Insider, Glamour, Fusion, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and CNN. The resulting retractions or corrections — or refusals — even spawned anewcategory of Breitbartstory.

Of course, it’s unlikely that any of these journalists or editors could have known about Yiannopoulos’s relationship with Saucier, about his attempts to defend gas chamber jokes in Breitbart, or about how he tried to put Weev on his podcast.

Nor could they have known about the night of April 2, 2016, which Yiannopoulos spent at the One Nostalgia Tavern in Dallas, belting out a karaoke rendition of “America the Beautiful” in front of a crowd of “sieg heil”-ing admirers, including Richard Spencer.

Saucier can be seen in the video filming the performance. The same night, he and Spencer did a duet of Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill” in front of a beaming Yiannopoulos.

And there was no way the journalists threatened with lawsuits for calling Yiannopoulos a racist could have known about his passwords.

In an April 6 email, Allum Bokhari mentioned having had access to an account of Yiannopoulos’s with “a password that began with the word Kristall.” Kristallnacht, an infamous 1938 riot against German Jews carried out by the SA — the paramilitary organization that helped Hitler rise to power — is sometimes considered the beginning of the Holocaust. In a June 2016 email to an assistant, Yiannopoulos shared the password to his email, which began “LongKnives1290.” The Night of the Long Knives was the Nazi purge of the leadership of the SA. The purge famously included Ernst Röhm, the SA’s gay leader. 1290 is the year King Edward I expelled the Jews from England.

**

Early in the morning of August 17, 2016, as news began to break that Steve Bannon would leave Breitbart to run the Trump campaign, Milo Yiannopoulos emailed the man who had turned him into a star.

“Congrats chief,” he wrote.

“u mean ‘condolences,’” Bannon wrote back.

“I admire your sense of duty (seriously).”

“u get it.”

In the month after the convention, Yiannopoulos and Bannon continued to work closely. Bannon and Marlow encouraged a barrage of stories about Yiannopoulos’s late July ban from Twitter. Bannon and Yiannopoulos worked to distance themselves from Charles Johnson’s plans to sue Twitter. (“Charles is PR poison,” Yiannopoulos wrote. “Charles is well intentioned–but he is wack,” Bannon responded.) And the two went back and forth over how hard to hit Paul Ryan in an August story defending the alt-right. (“Only the headline mocks him correct,” Bannon wrote. “We never actually say he is a cuck in the body of the piece?”)

But once Bannon left Breitbart, his email correspondence with Yiannopoulos dried up, with a few exceptions. On August 25, after Hillary Clinton’s alt-right speech, Yiannopoulos emailed Bannon, “I’ve never laughed so hard.”

Still, as the campaign progressed into the fall, there were clues that Bannon continued to run aspects of Breitbart and guide the career of his burgeoning alt-right star. On September 1, Bannon forwarded Yiannopoulos a story about a new Rutgers speech code; Yiannopoulos forwarded it to Bokhari and asked for a story. On the 3rd, Bannon emailed to tell Yiannopoulos he was “trying to set up DJT interview.” (The interview with Trump never happened.) And on September 11, Bannon introduced Yiannopoulos over email to the digital strategist and Trump supporter Oz Sultan and instructed the men to meet.

There were also signs that Bannon was using his proximity to the Republican nominee to promote the culture war pet causes that he and Yiannopoulos shared. On October 13, Saucier emailed Yiannopoulos a tweet from the white nationalist leader Nathan Damigo, who went on to punch a woman in the face at a Berkeley rally in April of this year and led marchers in Charlottesville: “@realDonaldTrump just said he would protect free speech on college campus.”

“He used phrases extremely close to what I say — Bannon is feeding him,” Yiannopoulos responded.

Yet, by the early days of the Trump presidency — and as the harder and more explicitly bigoted elements within the alt-right fought to reclaim the term — Bannon had clearly established a formal distance from Yiannopoulos. On February 14, Yiannopoulos, who months earlier had worked hand in glove with Bannon, asked their mutual PR rep for help reaching him. “Here’s the book manuscript, to be kept confidential of course… still hoping for a Bannon or Don Jr or Ivanka endorsement!”

The next week, video appeared in which Yiannopoulos appeared to condone pedophilia. He resigned from Breitbart under pressure two days later, but not before his attorney beseeched Solov and Marlow to keep him.

“We implore you not to discard this rising star over a 13 month old video that we all know does not reflect his true views,” the lawyer wrote.

Bannon, ensconced in the chaotic Trump White House, didn’t comment, nor did he reach out to Yiannopoulos on his main email. But the machine wasn’t broken, just running quietly. And it wouldn’t jettison such a valuable component altogether, even after seeming to endorse pedophilia.

After firing Yiannopoulos, Marlow accompanied him to the Mercers’ Palm Beach home to discuss a new venture: MILO INC. On February 27, not quite two weeks after the scandal erupted, Yiannopoulos received an email from a woman who described herself as “Robert Mercer’s accountant.” “We will be sending a wire payment today,” she wrote. Later that day, in an email to the accountant and Robert Mercer, Yiannopoulos personally thanked his patron. And as Yiannopoulos prepared to publish his book, he stayed close enough to Rebekah Mercer to ask her by text for a recommendation when he needed a periodontist in New York.

Since Bannon left the White House, there have been signs that the two men may be collaborating again. On August 18, Yiannopoulos posted to Instagram a black-and-white photo of Bannon with the caption “Winter is Coming.” Though he ultimately didn’t show, Bannon was originally scheduled to speak at Yiannopoulos’s Free Speech Week at UC Berkeley. (The event, which was supposed to feature an all-star lineup of far-right personalities, was canceled last month, reportedly after the student group sponsoring it failed to fill out necessary paperwork.) And Yiannopoulos has told those close to him that he expects to be back at Breitbart soon.

Steve Bannon’s actions are often analyzed through the lens of his professed ideology, that of an anti-Islam, anti-immigrant, anti-“Globalist” crusader bent on destroying prevailing liberal ideas about immigration, diversity, and economics. To be sure, much of that comes through in the documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. The “Camp of the Saints” Bannon is there, demanding Yiannopoulos change “refugee” to “migrant” in a February 2016 story, speaking of the #war for the West.

Still, it is less often we think about Bannon simply as a media executive in charge of a private company. Any successful media executive produces content to expand audience size. The Breitbart alt-right machine, embodied by Milo Yiannopoulos, may read most clearly in this context. It was a brilliant audience expansion machine, financed by billionaires, designed to draw in people disgusted by some combination of identity politics, Muslim and Hispanic immigration, and the idea of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the White House. And if expanding that audience meant involving white nationalists and neo-Nazis, their participation could always be laundered to hide their contributions. . . .

11. Following up on that BuzzFeed piece , Right Wing Watch has a new piece on a similar phenomenon. Far right personalities get “mainstreamed” by ostensibly “mainstream” conservatives. This is occurring on YouTube!

“White Supremacy Figured Out How To Become YouTube Famous” by Jared Holt; Right Wing Watch; 10/2017

YouTube is home to a seemingly endless variety of videos that reach all kinds of viewers and is creeping up on TV as the most watched video platform in the United StatesBut as John Herrman documented in The New York Times Magazine last month, political punditry on YouTube is vastly dominated by right-wing talkers. Some of the site’s notable right-wing political stars include the always-camera-ready men and women at the Infowars studio, frequently-shirtless 4chan muse StyxHexxenHammer666, and elaborate cosplay cartoon character “Mr. Dapperton.” Although these figures differ vastly in format and tone, their messages are aligned exclusively toward the hard, uncompromising Right, and have been increasingly influenced by their even more extremist counterparts on YouTube.

Shorenstein Center on Media fellow Zach Elexy noted in a case study of YouTube commentator Black Pigeon Speaks that in the same way that “liberals, scholars and pundits have failed to give talk radio—which is almost wholly conservative—its due,” those same observers “stand to miss a new platform that, so far, is also dominated by the right wing.” Far-right YouTube personalities are largely aware that they are at the epicenter of political talk on the platform, and openly gloat about their dominance.

As a platform, YouTube has served as an alternative media ecosystem apart from the mainstream where any person can contribute to national conversation and reach thousands of people overnight. But the Right’s overt domination of the platform, in addition to political forums on Reddit and 4chan, has created an environment where white nationalists and right-wing extremists can easily inject hateful rhetoric and conspiracy theories into national political discourse by positioning themselves alongside less overtly hateful rising right-wing media personalities.

These extremists roleplay as modern-day shock-jock radio hosts as they insert their sexist, racist, bigoted rhetoric—which they excuse by saying they are trying to “trigger” liberals and fight for “free speech”—into the existing stream of right-wing commentary on YouTube. By successfully identifying how right-wing e-celebrities operate and collaborate in the YouTube ecosystem, white nationalists and white supremacists have cracked the code to achieving YouTube success and getting their ideas validated by more popular internet figures, and therefore have emboldened the political base they represent and recruited new audiences.

The punditry faction of YouTube, much like cable news, thrives on collaboration and guest appearances on other pundits’ channels. These right-wing YouTube commentators believe that by bolstering one another they can break through “fake news” mainstream media narratives and spread their own flavor of political analysis. The most extreme of these commentators will identify YouTube pundits slightly closer to center-Right than them, and appear on their programs to share their viewpoints. They then use this access to a larger platform to recruit more people to their own pages, where they espouse extremist views with even less restraint.

In practice, this means that some of the most popular right-wing social media pundits have validated white supremacists and ethno-nationalist voices by joining these extremists on their programs and allowing them to grow their audiences. And as a result, those voices have quickly recruited a radicalized following and felt emboldened to take their ideologies offline. The nation saw this dynamic play out with tragic results earlier this year, when alt-right activists who had organized onlineconverged on Charlottesville for a “Unite the Right” rally that ended in the death of a counter-protester.

On YouTube, major right-wing internet personalities such as self-described “New Right journalist” and social media personality Mike Cernovich and Lauren Southern, a former reporter for Rebel Media, a news site that has acted as an alt-right safe space, validate lesser known extremists by promoting them with their platforms, which reach millions of people every month and routinely earn exposure from mainstream press. Although these two are now attempting to break away from their prior affiliations with the alt-right, they have used their YouTube platforms to validate and share ideas with openly alt-right pundits like Tara McCarthy, who believes a globalist agenda is underway to undermine white people.

In May, Cernovich appeared on right-wing YouTuber Brittani Pettibone’s “Virtue of the West” podcast, which is dedicated to discussing the white nationalist ideology of a virtuous Western world under attack by a liberal agenda. Cernovich’s appearance effectively endorsed the legitimacy of Pettibone and her former co-host McCarthy to Cernovich’s much larger audience and exposed potential new fans to the duo, who openly express much more extremist views than Cernovich does.

This trickle-down effect is not limited to Cernovich. Many other prominent right-wing social media personalitieshave appeared on programs like “Virtue of the West.” For example, video blogger Tarl Warwick, who is heralded on 4chan and promoted by major video bloggers like Paul Joseph Watson, has guided his audience to openly alt-right media platforms such as Red Ice. Digital pundit Carl Benjamin, known best as “Sargon of Akkad,” has exposed his regular audience of hundreds of thousands of viewers to white nationalists and their hateful ideologies.

This trickle-down exposure effect is a characteristic of all media, but the lack of a gatekeeper on social media has allowed unchecked extremists like McCarthy to harness the power granted by voices such as Cernovich to elevate openly white supremacist alt-right ideologies. Soon after McCarthy scored an interview with Cernovich, she treated her followers to a conversation with Andrew Anglin and Greg Johnson of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. (McCarthy’s interview with Anglin and Johnson was later removed from YouTube and re-uploaded off-site.)

Cernovich’s appearance on “Virtue of the West” is not an isolated event. Every day, all across YouTube, popular pundits with large audiences and connections to those in power are engaging with, promoting and validating extremist YouTube personalities who seek to radicalize their audiences. and promote extreme right-wing politics.

Tensions Rise, Bloggers Flee As YouTube’s Efforts To Combat Extremism Begin

YouTube has been criticized for designing algorithms that are, as The Guardian reported, “drawing viewers into ever more extreme content, recommending a succession of videos that can quickly take them into dark corners of the internet,”and has been toying with remedies that can effectively isolate extremist and terroristic content without censoring speech on the site.

In early August, YouTube announced it would no longer allow videos on its site that were flagged for “controversial religious or supremacist content” to earn ad revenue and rack up views from the platform’s “recommended videos” feature. Since that announcement, conspiracy theorists, alt-right activists and “new right” internet pundits have expressed outrage.

Videos these social media pundits created that meet YouTube’s criteria for extremism have been placed in a “limited state,” where they exist in a purgatory space without advertising or video recommendations, meaning only a direct link will bring viewers to the video and that the content creator earns no revenue. YouTube’s action served to accomplish two things: It removed financial incentives for these personalities to cater to extremists, and it helped curb a rabbit-hole effect in which the site’s algorithms recommended increasingly more extremist content to otherwise mainstream right-wing audiences and resulted in right-wing extremist YouTube stars receiving otherwise unearned exposure.

Leaders of the right-wing political YouTube universe criticized the policy in a myriad of ways, even likening it to Nazism. In a post announcing a national protest against Google (which was later cancelled), right-wing troll Jack Posobiec claimed YouTube was “censoring and silencing dissenting voices by creating ‘ghettos’ for videos questioning the dominant narrative.” Right-wing vlogger Tarl Warwick claimed that the new “suppression feature” would be counter-productive to YouTube’s goals. Infowars editors Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson gloated that they reach millions of viewers and have made YouTube a “right-wing safe space” and that YouTube implemented the new policy because they “realized they were losing.”

Now, extremists and white supremacists ensnared by YouTube’s new policy are threatening to leave YouTube and have begun hosting their videos on alternative sites such as VidMe and BitChute. The migration to video platforms friendly to the alt-right is similar to an alt-right push last year to ditch Twitter and join “Gab.ai” after Twitter banned many white supremacist accounts. These extremist YouTube stars have asked their followers to join them on these new platforms and send them money on Patreon (and alt-right alternative Hatereon) to replace the revenue they were previously earning from YouTube advertising. But as Business Insider reported, this effort has been so-far unsuccessful.

The Extremists Using YouTube To Get Famous

Below is an introduction to a few of the most prominent examples of right-wing extremists who have used YouTube to build large online followings, some with the help of better known right-wing social media personalities.

Black Pigeon Speaks

Black Pigeon Speaks (BPS) is an anonymous YouTube vlogger based in Japan with hundreds of thousands of followers. Shorenstein Center on Media fellow Zach Elexy noted that BPS’s worldview “overlaps with older ideas from many diverse movements and ideologies such as white nationalism, neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, conservatism, classical liberalism, libertarianism, and Christian conservatism.” BPS does not outwardly identify with any particular political ideology, but frequently reiterates talking points popular among alt-right circles, such as his belief that empowered women destroy civilizations, transgender people are mentally ill, and efforts for diversity erase Western cultures. BPS distributes his videos to hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

Blonde in the Belly of the Beast

Rebecca, who does not share her last name, is a YouTuber based in Seattle who has said the idea that “all cultures are equal” is “garbage.” On her Patreon fundraising page, Rebecca states that she has become “increasingly hostile this last decade as I realized that feminism, Islam, Cultural Marxism and unrestricted tolerance have incrementally eroded our once great society into something unrecognizable.” On YouTube, she shares views about white identity, tells young women to abandon feminism, and makes bigoted arguments against migration in Europe. Rebecca has more than 70,000 subscribers to her channel and has been hosted by far-right superstar Stefan Molyneux, alt-right extremist Tara McCarthy, and alt-right media network Red Ice TV. She has also been promoted numerous times on white nationalist Richard Spencer’s site, AltRight.com.

Brittany Pettibone

Brittany Pettibone is a YouTube personality who refers to herself as an “American nationalist” but has expressed white nationalist views, such as that it’s “our fault” if white people become a minority race. She uses her platform to host even more unabashed white nationalists and has appeared on extremist outlets like Red Ice. Pettibone has also perpetuated “white genocide” and “Pizzagate” conspiracy theories. Although Pettibone’s personal YouTube following is modest in comparison to others listed, she has been able to recruit many popular pundits to appear on her “Virtue of the West” series, which until recently was co-hosted by openly alt-right pundit Tara McCarthy. Recently, Pettibone joined former Rebel Media reporter Lauren Southern in anti-immigrant group Defend Europe’s blundering effortto keep NGO boats full of refugees away from the European coast.

James Allsup

James Allsup is a popular YouTube personality with hundreds of thousands of subscribers who once delivered a speech at a Trump campaign rally. He was spottedalongside open white supremacists at the Unite the Right rally last month, where he told Mediaite that “white people are tired of being told by the cosmopolitan elites that we are the problem.” Allsup has used his YouTube channel to host openly white supremacist guests such as Baked Alaska, an internet troll who regularly espouses Nazi propaganda memes, to sympathize with white nationalist alt-right figure Richard Spencer, and to deliver outlandish responses to discussions about white privilege.

Millennial Woes

Colin Robertson, known online as Millennial Woes, is a Scottish video blogger who speaks openly of his alt-right identity and his concern that the white race will perish unless white people take actions to defend their culture and prevent their race from diversifying. Earlier this year, Robertson was revealed to be a jobless ex-student who lives with his father. Robertson spoke at the now-infamous conference hosted by Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute where attendees shouted “Heil Trump!” while giving Nazi salutes. He has been hosted by popular video blogger Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin, alt-right personality Tara McCarthy, white nationalist blogger Brittany Pettibone, and alt-right broadcast channel Red Ice TV. Robertson frequently spreads white supremacist ideas, such as the notion that it is “exasperating” to see white women with mixed-race children, and argues that believing in racial equality is “clearly deluding yourself.”

RamzPaul

Paul Ray Ramsey, known as RamZPaul, is an internet personality who identifies as alt-right and white nationalist, and has spoken at multipleevents hosted by the white supremacist group American Renaissance. The Southern Poverty Law center has identified Ramsey as a “smiling Nazi” because of his public affiliations with white supremacist figures such as American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer. Although Ramsey no longer claims to identify as alt-right, days before the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville he posted a video claiming that white people “will not be replaced.” Ramsey was an ardent supporter of alt-right Unite the Right rally, has appeared on alt-right broadcast network Red Ice TV, and has been interviewed by NPR and BuzzFeed.

Red Ice TV (Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff)

Herik Palmgren, the Swedish host of Red Ice, founded the network—which simulcasts on YouTube—in 2003 to cater to people looking for “pro-European” news. Lana Lokteff, a Russian co-host, joined the network in 2012. Red Ice TV is transparently white nationalist, with show titles like “Diversity Is a Weapon Against White People” and “The War on Whites Is Real.” The network also features openly and blatantly white supremacist guests and serves as a gateway for extremist YouTube bloggers seeking alt-right audiences.

Tara McCarthy

Tara McCarthy is a British YouTube personality who openly touts her affiliation with the white supremacist alt-right. McCarthy hosts the “Reality Calls” podcast and formerly co-hosted with Brittany Pettibone “Virtue of the West,” a show that functions both as a platform for popular YouTube pundits and a critical booster for many alt-right internet stars. McCarthy is one of the most blatant white supremacists on YouTube and often uses her platform to boost the voices of neo-Nazis, warn viewers about a “white genocide conspiracy” and advocate that women submit to subservient gender roles. McCarthy has also suggestedorganizing an alt-right mentorship program to help guide young men who are exploring the movement. McCarthy is frequently able to book popular right-wing personalities to appear on her channel and shared screen time with popular personalities on “Virtue of the West.”

Wife with a Purpose

Ayla, who does not publicly share her last name, advocates for “radical traditionalism” on YouTube and her blog. Her blog warns that “feminism, homosexuality, atheism, hedonism, and transgender-ism” have overshadowed the Western world’s “hard work and priorities of family and faith.” Ayla, who considers herselfan alt-right poster girl, is best known for proposing to her audience a “white baby challenge.” Ayla, who is Mormon, claimedthe Mormon church “turned it’s (sic) back on its white members” when it denounced white supremacy following the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Ayla has been promoted by alt-right broadcast station Red Ice TV and right-wing blogger Brittany Pettibone.

People Who Enable The Hate

Below is an introduction to some of the most prominent right-wing social media personalities who have used the popularity of their own platforms to host people with even more extreme views, or who have appeared on platforms hosted by extremists. These figures do not regularly use their platforms to personally express particularly racist or extremist ideologies, but frequently host guests or appear on platforms that do with minimal criticism.

Sargon of Akkad

Carl Benjamin, best known as Sargon of Akkad (or “Sargon” for short), is a YouTube personality who rose to fame during the “gamergate” controversy, which ended in death threats being sent to a female video game developer. Benjamin has hundreds of thousands of followers, with whom he shares anti-SJW (social justice warrior) rhetoric, criticizing liberals who express outrage at offensive content. Benjamin considers himself a “classical liberal,” but has expressed his fascination with the racist alt-right and has sharedhis platform with blatantly alt-right figures.

Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux is an author and vlogger with a large following on YouTube. He is a popular figure among “red-pilled” men’s right activists (“red pilled” is a term from the sci-fi movie The Matrix that refers to recognizing the brutal realities of the world rather than living in blissful ignorance), and identifies himself as a “race realist,” a common euphemism among white supremacists. Although Molyneux’s political views are bent toward the unforgiving Right, his primary involvement in the spread of extremism is his willingness to host openly alt-rightextremists, providing these figures a big step toward online relevancy.

Roaming Millennial

Roaming Millennial (RM) is an anonymous Canadian video blogger who uses her incredibly popular YouTube channel to convey far-right talking points that straddle the line of extremism. RM’s videos have been dedicated to botched debunks of racial oppression and gender inequality, labeling social justice “cancer,” and decryingnon-traditional gender identity. Although RM does not identify as alt-right, she has welcomed right-wing extremists like Tara McCarthy to appear on her channel.

Styxhexenhammer666

Tarl Warwick, or “Styx,” was an early arrival to YouTube in 2007 and now posts daily political commentary videos in which he espouses nationalistic views to his audience of more than 170,000 subscribers. Warwick is often heralded on the racist cesspool of 4chan and 8chan’s “politically incorrect” forum boards, where he says he sources his news to “break the stranglehold of the mainstream media.” Warwick has appeared on blatantly alt-right YouTube channels with Red Ice hosts and Tara McCarthy. He does not denounce ethno-nationalism, but does not claim to personally believe in a white ethno-state. Recently, Warwick has been seen boosting his profile on Infowars and Stefan Molyneux’s channel.

12. In our discussions of the Bormann capital network, the program notes that the network has long made a point of utilizing Jews. (A synoptic overview of the Bormann network can be found in the description for FTR #305.)

Using Jews as primary operatives has a number of advantages: it provides an excellent cover for a Nazi money-laundering operation; the capital derived for the state of Israel helps to assure connivance and silence on the part of the Israeli authorities with regard to the existence of the Bormann network and the Underground Reich; people can point to the great wealth of Bormann Jews and blame economic distress on them, similar to the Internet chatter generated by the collapse of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

It turns out that Benjamin Netanyahu and close associates–“Team Netanyahu,” if you will–appear to have an ongoing sweetheart deal with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to provide warships for the Israeli Navy. (We have talked about the profound links between the Thyssen interests, the Bormann group and the Bush family in numerous programs and posts, including FTR #’s 273, 332, 370, 435 and 894.)

Note that ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems subcontracted business for Israeli warship deals to a Lebanese-controlled firm Privinvest. Such firms are characteristic of Bormann group business entities.

Recall, also, that the Netanyahu family has been very close to Vladimir Jabotinsky, the progenitor of the Betar, arguably the most important of the fascist elements within the Zionist movement.

“Submarine Case Is Haunting Netanyahu at a Critical Time” by Isabel Kershner; The New York Times; 2/8/2017.

Amid a swirl of police investigations and ethics probes enveloping Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and his inner circle, a budding scandal over contracts for new submarines and other warships appears to be gaining momentum as another potential threat to his political future.

For weeks, the police have been carrying out an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Israeli contracts with a German shipbuilding company for the purchase of submarines and new missile ships that Mr. Netanyahu championed. His personal lawyer, David Shimron, also represents the Israeli agent for the company, which has led to accusations of a conflict of interest in contracts that involve billions of dollars of business and the shape of Israel’s defense strategy.

Moshe Yaalon, whom Mr. Netanyahu ousted as defense minister last year and who was against adding the new submarines, is reported to have recently given testimony. . . .

. . . . Initially, Israel’s Channel 10 television reported a potential link between the German shipbuilding company, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, and Mr. Netanyahu through his personal lawyer, Mr. Shimron.

Soon came more reports of the seemingly strange circumstances surrounding Israeli procurements of other warships. There was the sudden cancellation in 2014 of an in6ternational bidding process for the construction of four missile corvettes in favor of the same German shipyard. The ships are meant to protect Israel’s natural gas rigs in the Mediterranean against threats, particularly from Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant organization.

In another twist, the firm subcontracted by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to build the four missile boats for Israel is controlled by Privinvest, a holding company registered in Beirut, Lebanon—technically an enemy of Israel’s.  The subcontractor, German  Naval Yards Kiel, is listed on Privinest’s website as a member of its major international shipbuilding group, which has a presence in 40 countries. . . .

. . . . Describing the decision-making process in a detailed timeline, the office attributed the decision to the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the navy after the German government offered a 27.5 percent discount.

Mr. Shimron confirmed that he represented Michael Ganor, the Israeli agent of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, and has represented Mr. Ganor  “in certain aspects of an agreement” related to Mr. Ganor’s consultancy for the German company. . . .

. . . . Mr. Margalit, a member of the parliamentary committee that approves budgets for military acquisitions, was a technology entrepreneur before he entered politics.

“I am used to hearing about big deals,” he said in a recent interview in his office at the Knesset. “I developed an ear for listening for when things add up and when they don’t.”

He said the shipping deals sounded “very fishy,” so he traveled to Germany in December to do what he called some “due diligence.” On his return, he sent a letter to the attorney general. In ti, he detailed the Lebanese connection to the contract. And he asserted that another Privinvest group member, Abu Dhabi Mar, has changed its name to German Naval Yards Kiel in 2015, while the deal with Israel was being formulated, under pressure form three prominent Israelis who wanted to obscure the company’s Arab ownership. . . .

13. Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair recently won plaudits from Nazis and fascists for his attribution of his father’s political difficulties to an international Jewish conspiracy.

“Soros and Reptilians Controlling the World: Yair Netanyahu Posts Meme Rife With anti-Semitic Themes” by Haaretz; Haaretz; 09/09/2017

Yair Netanyahu, the son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, posted an image on his Facebook page Saturday that seems to suggest a conspiracy is behind his family’s growing legal problems. The meme is laden with anti-Semitic imagery.

The meme, captioned “the food chain,” features a photo of George Soros dangling the world in front of a reptilian creature, who dangles an alchemy symbol in front of a caricature of a figure reminiscent of the anti-Semitic “happy merchant” image.

The other figures in the chain are former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, anti-Netanyahu protest leader Eldad Yaniv and Meni Naftali, a former chief caretaker at the Netanyahus’ official residence who implicated Sara Netanyahu in the case she is being indicted in.

David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, tweeted the following in an apparent show of support for Yair Netanyahu:

Netanyahu’s son posts a meme suggesting (((Soros))) is controlling the world: “Meme rife with anti-Semitic themes”https://t.co/6WxSTUNU4e— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) September 9, 2017

The neo-Nazi Daily Stormer also posted an article regarding the meme entitled “Netanyahu’s Son Posts Awesome Meme Blaming the Jews for Bringing Down his Jew Father,” in which they called Yair Netanyahu “a total bro.”

This version of the meme seems to have originated on a right-wing Facebook page. The meme is nearly identical to, and appears to be adapted from, a viciously anti-Semitic image that has been repeatedly posted across the internet in recent years on racist and conspiracy-theory message boards.

Like most memes, it is impossible to determine who originally created it. In one instance, it was posted by a white supremacist named John de Nugent with the title “Illuminatus Jew Dumb American Burger” in its URL.

the truth is revealed pic.twitter.com/CiRKseODEe— Sam the Mule (@SamLeMule) January 20, 2017

In the original version of the meme, the first figure in the “food chain” is an obese walrus in an American flag T-shirt tempted by a hamburger dangled in front of him. Behind the man is an Orthodox Jew motivated by money, controlled by the same Illuminati figure featured in the cartoon that Netanyahu posted, with the same giant lizard looming over them all.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes de Nugent as “a prolific writer who has worked with numerous hate groups including the neo-Nazi National Alliance and the Holocaust-denying Barnes Review. De Nugent has run for elected office, and has even vowed to one day become president. While maintaining racist views about numerous racial and ethnic groups, de Nugent is particularly anti-Semitic, believing that the Jews are, along with nefarious space aliens, intent on exterminating the Aryan race.”

After Haaretz published a report about his meme, Yair Netanyahu dismissed the claim that he is anti-Semitic and accused the newspaper of being exactly that.

Barak, who is depicted in the meme chasing money, suggested that Yair Netanyahu should see a psychiatrist. “Is this what the kid hears at home?” he said. “Is it genetics, or a spontaneous mental illness? It doesn’t matter. In any case, we should fund his psychiatrist instead of security guards and a driver.”

Labor leader Avi Gabbay, also on Twitter, said: “It’s a particularly sad day for Israel when a caricature that’s endorsed by the head of the KKK emerges from the home of the prime minister of the Jewish state.”

MK Zehava Galon (Meretz) added that “motifs in the Netanyahu family are anti-Semitic par excellence.” MK Merav Ben Ari (Kulanu) said that “this post deserves all manners of condemnation, from the left and the right. I’m on the right.”

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced Friday that Sara Netanyahu would be indicted for fraud and breach of trust. She is to be charged with spending 359,000 shekels ($102,000) in state funds on catering at the prime minister’s official residence, while falsely claiming that the house did not employ a cook. The indictment is subject to a hearing, whose date has not yet been announced.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has accused Naftali, the last link in Yair Netanyahu’s meme, of inflating spending on food during his tenure as chief caretaker of the official residence.

14. In numerous posts and programs, we have highlighted the corporatist, laissez-faire economic ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. The World Bank cites Ibn Khaldun, the chief theoretician of Muslim Brotherhood economic ideology, as the earliest advocate of privatization. In a 1981 speech, Ronald Reagan cited Ibn Khaldun in a pitch for his “supply-side” economics.

This unites the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ludwig Von Mises milieu (and Christopher Cantwell), Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Milton Friedman on common ideological turf.

“Reagan Cites Islamic Scholar” by Robert D. McFadden; The New York Times; 10/02/1981

President Reagan, in his news conference yesterday, cited a 14th century Islamic scholar as an early exponent of the ”supply-side” economic theory on which his Administration bases many of its policies. An authority on the scholar later said that the reference seemed accurate.

Supply-side theory, among other things, holds that a cut in tax rates will stimulate the economy and thus generate even greater tax revenues.

Responding to a question about the effects of tax and spending cuts that began taking effect yesterday, Mr. Reagan said the supply-side principle dated at least as far back as Ibn Khaldun, who is generally regarded as the greatest Arab historian to emerge from the highly developed Arabic culture of the Middle Ages.

Paraphrasing the historian, Mr. Reagan said Ibn Khaldun postulated that ”in the beginning of the dynasty, great tax revenues were gained from small assessments,” and that ”at the end of the dynasty, small tax revenues were gained from large assessments.”

”And,” said the President, ”we’re trying to get down to the small assessments and the great revenues.”

Interpretation Held Accurate

Franz Rosenthal, the Sterling Professor of Near Eastern Languages at Yale University, who has translated many of Ibn Khaldun’s writings and is regarded as one of the world’s foremost Ibn Khaldun scholars, said later that the President’s interpretation of the historian’s ideas on taxes appeared to be accurate.

Ibn Khaldun is perhaps best known as the author of ”Kitab al-Ibar,” a four-volume universal history, and ”Muqaddimah,” an introduction in which he argues that rise and fall of human societies may be traced to specific, discoverable causes.

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR #983 Fascism, 2017 World Tour, Part 2”

  1. Oh look, another perpetrator of the Holocaust is getting honored in Lithuania: This time it’s Kazys Skirpa, the Lithuanian representative to Germany who first proposed ethnic cleansing of Jews to Hitler. He’s getting a couple of streets named after him:

    Jerusalem Post

    Why is Lithuania honoring perpetrators of the Holocaust?

    Kazys Skirpa is just an example of the world celebrating defective heroes.

    By GRANT ARTHUR GOCHIN
    November 29, 2017 14:46

    Prior to 1915, (for approximately 700 years), Jews lived in Lithuanian territories and enjoyed relative peace. After a Russian expulsion of Jews, independent Lithuania realized their loss of human resources and invited economically active Jews to return to Lithuania, with promises of autonomous communities and full equal rights. This honeymoon period lasted until 1924, when Lithuania abolished their post of “Minister without a Portfolio for Jewish Affairs.”

    After a coup in 1926 the Lithuanian Voldemarist movement arose, it conflated Jew hate with Lithuanian patriotism. A subsequent Jew hate movement arose called Verslas, so that, by the 1940s, Jew hate and Lithuanian patriotism were synonymous in many circles. Protectionism was legislated to suppress Jewish businesses, Jews were denied Civil Service jobs and were limited in University enrollment.

    Lithuanian pogroms against Jews began prior to the arrival of Nazis; Lithuanians actively participated in the slaughter of their Jewish neighbors and joyously reaped the economic benefits of looting.

    Lithuania’s Jewish population did not survive the Nazi occupation. Estimates reflect that 23,000 Lithuanians actively participated in persecuting their Jewish neighbors, and hundreds of thousands participated in the sharing of Jewish loot. Since Lithuania regained independence in 1990, not a single perpetrator has been brought to justice by the Lithuanian Government, rather, just the opposite: noted perpetrators have been transformed into revered heroes.

    For example, Kazys Skirpa, the Lithuanian representative to Germany, who first proposed ethnic cleansing of Jews to Hitler, and one of the architects of the Holocaust, is celebrated with streets named in his honor in two major Lithuanian cities. Mayor Simasius of Vilnius says Skirpa raised the flag of independence on Castle Hill in 1919, Simasius has not shown much inclination in removing Skirpa’s street name. Skirpa’s Jewish victims are clearly inconsequential. The same position was articulated on October 10, 2017 on Lithuanian National TV by Conservative MP Laurynas Kasciunas, who said Skirpa simply “miscalculated” in his attempt to curry favor with Nazi Germany by advocating for ethnic cleansing of Lithuania’s Jews.

    In 2012, Juozas Ambrazevicius Brazaitis, who was Prime Minister of the interim Lithuanian Government that promoted the persecution of Jews, was re-buried in Lithuania with full State Honors, despite his claims that Jews should not be murdered so publicly. Apparently, murdering Jews more privately was preferable. Brazaitis was also editor of a newspaper “I Laisve” which equated Jews and Bolsheviks, which provided justification for the slaughter of all Jews, including Jewish babies. This slander is still in existence in current Lithuania.

    The grave of the genocidal murderer, Bronius Norkus, is considered a national cultural monument because, in 1941, he posted a flag on a hill at the Resurrection Church in Kaunas. No mention is made of the tens of thousands of Jews he butchered. Many other examples of defective honors also exist.

    Currently, a monument to Jonas Noreika is affixed to the front the Vrublevski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in Vilnius. Noreika ordered the detention and concentration of the Jews from several communities, in addition to the plunder of their possessions. Despite the fact that no installation permit was issued, the monument was erected. Protests and appeals to the Mayor of Vilnius have been met with evasive and dismissive responses. He declined responsibility and deferred the matter to the Library‘s management. The Library in turn, declined to act. An appeal for action was then submitted to the Heritage Department, who owns the building.

    Mayor Simasius referred the question of Noreika’s guilt to Lithuania‘s misnamed, “Genocide Center.”

    This center has repeatedly demonstrated that no amount of proof of culpability will be sufficient for them to condemn a Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrator.

    An appeal to Lithuanian President Grybauskaite followed. She claimed that her office checked with the Genocide Center, the Lithuanian Supreme Court, and the Lithuanian State Security Department and there were no concerns with honoring Noreika. A follow-up request to the President was met with the response that investigating the war crimes of Noreika was beyond the jurisdiction of her office — the chief executive officer in Lithuania. She claims that she sincerely cares about the Holocaust.

    An appeal to the legislative branch of the government was also politely sidestepped. An inquiry made to the Ombudsman of the Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament) was again referred back to the Genocide Center, which declared on Noreika‘s behalf, the infamous Nuremberg Defense asserted by Nazi war criminal Eichmann – “I was only following orders.“ That Nuremberg Defense was rejected by the War Crimes Tribunal then; in Lithuania, it remains as an acceptable defense.

    After the failure of legal and moral appeals to the executive and legislative branches of government, a new appeal was lodged against the Noreika monument focusing on aesthetic values, rather than on human values. The Lithuanian Department of Cultural Heritage has specific aesthetic criteria for monuments, a request for review was submitted and denied.

    A legal suit was filed in order to determine if the Heritage Departments’ refusal was lawful. This suit was rejected on a technicality by the Court, and declined. The declination was appealed to the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court who overruled the lower Court and returned the case for reconsideration. The lower court then found a new technicality in order to dismiss the case once again.

    The ridiculousness of the tossing of the case back and forth between Courts created a purposeless vacuum.

    Lower-level Lithuanian courts have historically demonstrated a lack of independence and susceptibility to political pressure. Therefore, the monument remains, with MPs like Kasciunas defending it.

    Apparently, patriotism washes away the stain of Holocaust perpetration.

    Fundamental to any democracy is an honest and thorough examination of its past. Lithuanian politicians strive to keep the population in a perpetual state of fear. Their pervasive method is a possible impending Russian invasion (Russian mischief making in the Baltics is a genuine concern). Dissention from their ideological orthodoxy is labeled a Russian plot. They see no reason for self-examination, therefore, questioning the honoring of Holocaust perpetrators constitutes opposing the ideological state. Public support for Soviet or Nazi crimes against Lithuania is criminalized, however, support for Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators is applauded.

    A recent example is Dr. Darius Udrys, a Lithuanian-American currently living in Vilnius. Udrys is outspoken in his criticism of Lithuanian officials who honor Nazi collaborators and war criminals. He has proven to be a continual irritant to Lithuania’s historical revisionists. In a recent online discussion, Udrys questioned the propriety of the killing of civilians during Lithuania’s partisan war against the Soviets, and as a result, was forced out of his position as head of the city’s development agency. His ousting was preceded by a public slander campaign led by a Vilnius City Councilmember Adomas Buzinskas and his ideological colleagues. An appeal for redress was presented to the City’s Ethics Commission, who ruled against Udrys, claiming that the slanderer was simply being “patriotic.”

    Patriotism and honoring of Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators have become synonymous, as was Jew hate and patriotism in the late 1930s.

    ———-

    “Why is Lithuania honoring perpetrators of the Holocaust?” by GRANT ARTHUR GOCHIN; Jerusalem Post; 11/29/2017

    “Lithuania’s Jewish population did not survive the Nazi occupation. Estimates reflect that 23,000 Lithuanians actively participated in persecuting their Jewish neighbors, and hundreds of thousands participated in the sharing of Jewish loot. Since Lithuania regained independence in 1990, not a single perpetrator has been brought to justice by the Lithuanian Government, rather, just the opposite: noted perpetrators have been transformed into revered heroes.

    Yep, since Lithuania regained independence, one Holocaust perpetrator after another has been transformed into revered heroes. And this time is the guy who first proposed the ethnic cleansing of Jews to Hitler and one of the architects of the Holocaust:


    For example, Kazys Skirpa, the Lithuanian representative to Germany, who first proposed ethnic cleansing of Jews to Hitler, and one of the architects of the Holocaust, is celebrated with streets named in his honor in two major Lithuanian cities. Mayor Simasius of Vilnius says Skirpa raised the flag of independence on Castle Hill in 1919, Simasius has not shown much inclination in removing Skirpa’s street name. Skirpa’s Jewish victims are clearly inconsequential. The same position was articulated on October 10, 2017 on Lithuanian National TV by Conservative MP Laurynas Kasciunas, who said Skirpa simply “miscalculated” in his attempt to curry favor with Nazi Germany by advocating for ethnic cleansing of Lithuania’s Jews.

    And this is just the latest instance of this pattern in Lithuania and across the Baltics. Because…


    Patriotism and honoring of Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators have become synonymous, as was Jew hate and patriotism in the late 1930s.

    As we can see, patriotism isn’t just ‘the last refuge of the scoundrel’. These days, patriotism is the last refuge of Holocaust perpetrators, thanks to the scoundrels doing everything they can to make the honoring of Holocaust perpetrators synonymous with patriotism.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 7, 2017, 3:32 pm
  2. This article should leave no dobut about what the political party Alternative for Germany (AFD) stands for. Some quotes from the article include:

    * “Die Welt said Steinke argued that ‘the war was – contrary to today’s propaganda – not a war primarily against Hitler, but against Germany and the German people,’ and that Stauffenberg was ‘no hero.’ …: ‘I would like to make it clear once again that I solely evaluate the actions of Stauffenberg and not the actions of Hitler. I do not see how a successful assassination attempt would have helped the Germans.”

    *”Questionable comments about the Nazi era by prominent members, and the leadership’s handling of them, have been a recurring issue for the party.”

    * “In January 2017 regional AfD leader Bjoern Hoecke described the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin as a ‘monument of shame’ and demanded a ‘180 degree turnaround’ in the way Germany seeks to atone for Nazi crimes. The party decided this year not to expel him over the comments.”.

    Notice how the AFD regional youth leader tries to recast a comment about the assasination attmept agains Hitler as a statement about military risk to Germany due to a power structure change while Germany was facing a military defeat.
    – Notice that he leads the youth wing (reminds me of Hitler Youth). This person is in a position to influcence the impressionable young people who afiliate with the Party.

    https://dailym.ai/2v8SDwq

    Anger in Germany as far right youth leader says the army officer who tried to assassinate Hitler was a ‘traitor’

    * Lars Steinke is a regional head of far right Alternative for Germany’s youth wing
    * He is said to have called Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg a ‘traitor’ on Facebook
    * Stauffenberg planted a briefcase bomb under a table in a bid to kill Hitler in 1944
    * Steinke called the plot a ‘coward’s shameful attempt to save his own skin from the oncoming victor’

    By JULIAN ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE and REUTERS
    PUBLISHED: 10:54 EDT, 2 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 EDT, 2 August 2018

    A German far-right youth leader has come underfire for saying the man tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler was a ‘traitor’.

    Lars Steinke, regional head of Alternative for Germany’s youth wing in the country’s Lower Saxony state, posted the comment on his private Facebook page.

    Steinke is said to have described Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg’s plot to kill the dictator as ‘a coward’s shameful attempt to save his own skin from the oncoming victor.’

    Stauffenberg planted a briefcase bomb under a table at Hitler’s military headquarters in eastern Prussia on July 20, 1944. 

    Protected by the heavy wooden table, Hitler suffered only minor injuries and Stauffenberg was executed that night with fellow conspirators.  

    The conspirators, among the most prominent examples of German resistance against the Nazis, are now honoured annually on the anniversary of the assassination attempt.

    At the time of the assassination attempt, Nazi Germany was fighting a losing battle in World War Two with Soviet forces and the Western allies.

    Hitler survived the bombing and was able to continue his military campaign to conquer Europe and eradicate the continent’s Jewish population for another year. 

    The plot — portrayed in films such as the 2008 Hollywood movie ‘Valkyrie’ — helped establish a principle under which German soldiers today are encouraged to defy orders if they would result in a crime or violate human dignity. 

    But Die Welt cited Steinke as saying anyone who wanted to ‘wipe out’ their country’s leadership at a time of rearguard action and was prepared to risk the collapse of battle fronts and so the unhindered advance of the enemy was ‘an enemy of the German soldier and civilian Germans and so an enemy of the German people and therefore also my enemy’.  

    Die Welt said Steinke argued that ‘the war was – contrary to today’s propaganda – not a war primarily against Hitler, but against Germany and the German people,’ and that Stauffenberg was ‘no hero.’

    Speaking to Daily Star Online, he added: ‘I would like to make it clear once again that I solely evaluate the actions of Stauffenberg and not the actions of Hitler. I do not see how a successful assassination attempt would have helped the Germans.

    ‘It seems to me that Stauffenberg wanted to get a better position after the war. And someone who wants to gain an advantage at the expense of their own soldiers and civilians is a traitor to me.’

    Alternative for Germany co-leader Joerg Meuthen said Steinke’s comments ‘are completely unacceptable, show an absurd understanding of history and have absolutely no place’ in the party. He said leaders of the party, known by its German acronym AfD, will consider the matter next week.

    ‘Stauffenberg is a hero of German history,’ said fellow leader Alexander Gauland. ‘Steinke has disqualified himself from AfD. He should be expelled.’

    AfD won 12.6 percent of the vote to enter the German parliament last year on anti-migrant and anti-establishment sentiment. 

    Questionable comments about the Nazi era by prominent members, and the leadership’s handling of them, have been a recurring issue for the party.

    Other AfD members have also provoked outrage with their comments about the Nazi past. 

    Last year Gauland said Germans should be proud of what their soldiers achieved during both world wars.

    In January 2017 regional AfD leader Bjoern Hoecke described the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin as a ‘monument of shame’ and demanded a ‘180 degree turnaround’ in the way Germany seeks to atone for Nazi crimes. The party decided this year not to expel him over the comments.

    Posted by Mary Benton | August 6, 2018, 6:57 pm
  3. Here’s something to keep an eye on in Brazil’s upcoming election: The second place candidate based on recent polls is Jair Bolsonaro, a far right ‘populist’ who is often compared to Donald Trump. Bolsonaro is known for speaking fondly of Brazil’s former military dictatorship and promised to fill his government with current and former military leaders. He’s also known for saying things like he would like shoot corrupt members of the leftist Workers’ Party. That’s the party of former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (typically known as ‘Lula’), who has been leading in the polls but at the same time he’s been sitting in jail and blocked from running.

    Yep, the one candidate leading the far right Bolsonaro is a guy in jail who was being blocked from running. So it’s an ominous situation. And then it got more ominous last week when Bolsonaro was stabbed during a campaign event and seriously injured:

    Associated Press

    Brazilian candidate in serious condition after stabbing

    By MAURICIO SAVARESE and PETER PRENGAMAN
    Sep. 07, 2018

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Jair Bolsonaro, a leading presidential candidate whose heated rhetoric has electrified some voters and angered others in a deeply polarized Brazil, was stabbed at a campaign event Thursday and suffered serious abdominal injuries.

    Police said the suspected attacker was in custody.

    Dr. Luiz Henrique Borsato, who performed emergency surgery, said Thursday night that the right-wing candidate was in serious but stable condition and would remain in intensive care for at least seven days. The first round of Brazil’s presidential election is Oct. 7.

    The doctor said the two-hour procedure stopped serious internal bleeding and repaired most of the damage from the knifing. The candidate will need further surgery within months for a part of his intestines that was temporarily fixed with a colostomy, the surgeon said.

    “We can’t say when he will be able to leave hospital,” Borsato said. “But in the first hours after the surgery his recovery has been very satisfactory.”

    Numerous videos on social media showed Bolsonaro, who has promised to crack down on crime in Latin America’s largest nation, being stabbed with a knife to the lower part of his stomach while campaigning in Juiz de Fora, a city about 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of Rio de Janeiro.

    At the moment of the attack, Bolsonaro was on the shoulders of a supporter, looking out at the crowd and giving a thumbs up with his left hand.

    After the attack, he is seen flinching and then goes out of view. Other videos show supporters carrying him to a car and hitting a man who was apparently the suspect.

    Police spokesman Flavio Santiago confirmed to The Associated Press that 40-year-old Adelio Bispo de Oliveira had been arrested in connection with the incident.

    De Oliveira was beaten badly by Bolsonaro supporters after the attack. The man was arrested in 2013 for another assault, police said.

    Luis Boudens, president of the National Federation of Federal Police, told AP that the assailant appeared to be mentally disturbed.

    “Our agents there said the attacker said he was ’on a mission from God,’” Boudens reported. “Their impression is that they were not dealing with a mentally stable person. He didn’t expect to be arrested so quickly; agents reacted in seconds.”

    Bolsonaro’s son, Flavio Bolsonaro, initially posted on Twitter that the injury was superficial and his father was fine. However, an hour later he posted another tweet saying the wound was “worse than we thought.”

    He arrived at the hospital “almost dead,” Flavio wrote. “His condition now seems stabilized. Please pray.”

    A statement from federal police said the candidate had bodyguards. In the videos, Bolsonaro does not appear to be wearing a protective vest. Such measures are rare for candidates in Brazil.

    Bolsonaro, a former army captain, is second in the polls to jailed ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been barred from running but continues to appeal.

    Despite being a congressman since 1991, Bolsonaro is running as an outsider ready to upend the establishment by cracking down on corruption in politics and reducing crime, in part by giving police a freer hand to shoot and kill while on duty.

    While Bolsonaro has a strong following, he is also a deeply polarizing figure. He has been fined, and even faced charges, for derogatory statements toward women, blacks and gays.

    He speaks nostalgically about the country’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship and has promised to fill his government with current and former military leaders.

    Earlier this week, Bolsonaro said during a campaign event that he would like to shoot corrupt members of the leftist Workers’ Party, which made da Silva its candidate. The comment prompted an immediate rebuke from the attorney general, who asked Bolsonaro to explain that comment.

    His vice presidential running mate, Hamilton Mourao, is a retired general who blamed leftists for the knife attack.

    Underling Brazil’s divisions, people took to Twitter to either to decry the stabbing and ask for prayers for Bolsonaro or to say the candidate had brought it upon himself and even may have staged it.

    The top five trending topics in Brazil were related to the stabbing.

    Other presidential candidates quickly denounced the stabbing and many of them decided to suspend their campaign events Friday.

    “Politics is done through dialogue and by convincing, never with hate,” tweeted Geraldo Alckmin, former governor of Sao Paulo who has focused negative ads on Bolsonaro.

    Fernando Haddad, who is expected to take da Silva’s place on the Workers’ Party ticket, called the attack “absurd and regrettable.”

    The attack comes at a time of increasingly heated rhetoric, and sometimes violence, related to campaigns and candidates.

    In March, while da Silva was on a campaign tour in southern Brazil before his imprisonment, gunshots hit buses in his caravan. No one was hurt, and da Silva, who is in jail on a corruption conviction, was not in the vehicles that were hit.

    Also in March, Marielle Franco, a left-leaning black councilwoman in Rio de Janeiro, was shot to death along with her driver after attending an event on empowering black women.

    It wasn’t immediately clear how the attack on Bolsonaro might reshape a presidential race very much up in the air with the front-runner, da Silva, in jail. In many ways, the incident feeds Bolsonaro’s narrative that Brazil is in chaos and needs a strong hand to steady it.

    “It’s likely that Bolsonaro will use the attack to argue his opponents are desperate, that they had no other way to stop him,” said Mauricio Santoro, a political science professor at Rio de Janeiro’s state university.

    A handful of Bolsonaro supporters held a vigil in São Paulo on Thursday night, and briefly exchanged insults with leftists. ‘They made Bolsonaro a martyr,’ said Jonatan Valente, a student. ‘I think the left shot itself in the foot because with this attack they will end up electing Bolsonaro.’”

    ———-

    “Brazilian candidate in serious condition after stabbing” by MAURICIO SAVARESE and PETER PRENGAMAN; Associated Press; 09/07/2018

    “Bolsonaro, a former army captain, is second in the polls to jailed ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been barred from running but continues to appeal.”

    The second place far right candidate was stabbed and the first place candidate sits in jail and is blocked from running. That’s the state of Brazil’s politics.

    And as the article notes, this was just the latest incident of political violence this year. Da Silva’s caravan was shot at in March, and another left-leaning was assassinated after attending an event on empowering black women:


    The attack comes at a time of increasingly heated rhetoric, and sometimes violence, related to campaigns and candidates.

    In March, while da Silva was on a campaign tour in southern Brazil before his imprisonment, gunshots hit buses in his caravan. No one was hurt, and da Silva, who is in jail on a corruption conviction, was not in the vehicles that were hit.

    Also in March, Marielle Franco, a left-leaning black councilwoman in Rio de Janeiro, was shot to death along with her driver after attending an event on empowering black women.

    And while it’s unclear what exactly the impact of the stabbing will be on presidential race next month, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this could easily play into Bolsonaro’s ‘law and order’ narrative and give him a political boost:


    It wasn’t immediately clear how the attack on Bolsonaro might reshape a presidential race very much up in the air with the front-runner, da Silva, in jail. In many ways, the incident feeds Bolsonaro’s narrative that Brazil is in chaos and needs a strong hand to steady it.

    “It’s likely that Bolsonaro will use the attack to argue his opponents are desperate, that they had no other way to stop him,” said Mauricio Santoro, a political science professor at Rio de Janeiro’s state university.

    A handful of Bolsonaro supporters held a vigil in São Paulo on Thursday night, and briefly exchanged insults with leftists. ‘They made Bolsonaro a martyr,’ said Jonatan Valente, a student. ‘I think the left shot itself in the foot because with this attack they will end up electing Bolsonaro.’”

    And should Bolsonaro win, it sounds like he’ll be modeling his administration on Brazil’s military dictatorship, which is extra ominous when cracking down on crime is one of his signature issues. All the ingredients are in place for a for an extremely nasty period for Brazil:


    Despite being a congressman since 1991, Bolsonaro is running as an outsider ready to upend the establishment by cracking down on corruption in politics and reducing crime, in part by giving police a freer hand to shoot and kill while on duty.

    While Bolsonaro has a strong following, he is also a deeply polarizing figure. He has been fined, and even faced charges, for derogatory statements toward women, blacks and gays.

    He speaks nostalgically about the country’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship and has promised to fill his government with current and former military leaders.

    Earlier this week, Bolsonaro said during a campaign event that he would like to shoot corrupt members of the leftist Workers’ Party, which made da Silva its candidate. The comment prompted an immediate rebuke from the attorney general, who asked Bolsonaro to explain that comment.

    His vice presidential running mate, Hamilton Mourao, is a retired general who blamed leftists for the knife attack.

    And note that the person who committed the attack, was indeed a former member of the left-leaning PSOL party. So that will no doubt help Bolsonaro, although he also appears to be clearly mentally ill:


    Police spokesman Flavio Santiago confirmed to The Associated Press that 40-year-old Adelio Bispo de Oliveira had been arrested in connection with the incident.

    De Oliveira was beaten badly by Bolsonaro supporters after the attack. The man was arrested in 2013 for another assault, police said.

    Luis Boudens, president of the National Federation of Federal Police, told AP that the assailant appeared to be mentally disturbed.

    “Our agents there said the attacker said he was ’on a mission from God,’” Boudens reported. “Their impression is that they were not dealing with a mentally stable person. He didn’t expect to be arrested so quickly; agents reacted in seconds.”

    So what should we expect in Brazil’s upcoming election? That clearly depends on the fate of da Silva’s candidacy. And that fate became much clearer today: the deadline for party’s to nominated candidates was approaching and da Silva’s party would either have to nominate a different nominee or risk have no candidate on the ballot at all if da Silva’s appeals failed. So da Silva officially gave up his bid today hours before the deadline:

    BBC

    Lula: Jailed ex-leader pulls out of Brazil election

    12 September 2018

    Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has pulled out of next month’s presidential election to allow his running mate to stand in his place.

    Lula had been the frontrunner despite being in jail for a corruption conviction and despite the top electoral court barring his candidacy.

    With the deadline for the registration of candidates only hours away, he threw his weight behind his Workers’ Party colleague Fernando Haddad.

    The election is on 7 October.

    It has been a tumultuous election campaign dominated by Lula’s legal battles and the stabbing last week of Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right candidate who is second in the polls behind Lula.

    Mr Bolsonaro was attacked by a lone assailant during a campaign rally and is still in hospital.

    What has happened with Lula?

    With the clock ticking down on a deadline for candidates to be registered, senior members of the Workers’ Party gathered in front of the police headquarters where Lula, 72, is serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption.

    The party’s founder, Luiz Eduardo Greenhalgh, then read out a letter written by Lula in his cell.

    In it, Lula, who governed from January 2003 until December 2010, said that he had been “unjustly imprisoned” before asking “all who would vote for me to vote for our friend Fernando Haddad for president”.

    Why was Lula barred?

    Lula was barred from running for the presidency under a 2010 law dubbed “Clean Slate”. It prohibits those who have a criminal conviction which has been upheld on appeal from running for public office.

    In July 2017, Lula was found guilty of accepting an upgrade to a beachfront flat as a bribe from an engineering firm involved in a major corruption scheme.

    Lula has always denied any wrongdoing and appealed against the verdict. The appeal was rejected and Lula was given 24 hours to turn himself in.

    From his cell, Lula has continued the legal fight against his conviction and the ban which prevents him from running for public office.

    Why did he finally give up?

    The decision was made less than two weeks after Brazil’s top electoral court ruled that he was “ineligible” to run for the presidency.

    Lula’s legal team has appealed against that decision and the Supreme Court is still due to rule on it.

    But after a Workers’ Party request to extend the deadline to register presidential candidates from the 11 September to 17 September was rejected, its leadership felt it had to act.

    Not registering Mr Haddad meant that if Lula’s appeal were to fail, the party could have been left without a presidential candidate altogether.

    After Lula backed Mr Haddad in his letter, the party registered him as its new candidate with just hours to spare.

    What next?

    The Workers’ Party hopes people who were going to vote for Lula will now vote for Mr Haddad.

    Lula left office with record approval ratings in 2010 and despite his imprisonment, almost 40% of people asked by polling firm Datafolha said they would vote for him.

    Mr Haddad, on the other hand, is not very well known outside of São Paulo, where he was mayor from 2013 to 2017.

    In his letter, Lula said that Mr Haddad “will be my representative in this battle”. “Our name is now Haddad!” he wrote.

    In its first TV spot since Mr Haddad became its presidential candidate, the party also stressed the links between the two men.

    Both Lula and Mr Haddad appear for the same amount of time and rather than talking about himself, Mr Haddad praises Lula and his achievements.

    Who is Fernando Haddad?

    He was the minister of education during Lula’s presidency and is thought to enjoy his trust. He was Lula’s vice-presidential running mate until now.

    From 2013 to 2017, the 55-year-old also served as mayor of São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous city and faced mass demonstrations against bus fare rises.

    The Workers’ Party hopes that Mr Haddad will get through to the run-off scheduled for 28 October.

    But Mr Haddad is facing legal problems of his own. Prosecutors allege that during his campaign for mayor his team received a loan from a construction firm which stood to benefit from contracts once he was elected. He has denied any wrongdoing.

    What do the polls say?

    The most recent poll carried out by research company Ibope between 8 and 11 September suggests the following results for the top five candidates:

    Jair Bolsonaro (far right, PSL): 26%
    Ciro Gomes (centre left, PDT): 11%
    Marina Silva (green, Rede): 9%
    Geraldo Alckmin (centre right, PSDB): 9%
    Fernando Haddad (Workers’ Party, PT): 8%

    It is expected that Mr Haddad’s share will rise now he is the Workers’ Party’s official candidate.

    ———-

    “Lula: Jailed ex-leader pulls out of Brazil election”; BBC; 09/12/2018

    “With the deadline for the registration of candidates only hours away, he threw his weight behind his Workers’ Party colleague Fernando Haddad.”

    So Brazil’s top court blocks da Silva’s candidacy two weeks ago. His team appealed that decision and the court is due to rule on that appeal. But the deadline to nominate candidates was also fast approach. So the Workers’ Party requested an extension of the deadline to nominate candidates, that got rejected, and the party was faced with a decision: gamble of da Silva’s appeal succeeding and risk having no candidate at all if it fails, or nominate someone else. So they went with da Silva’s running-mate Fernando Haddad:


    The decision was made less than two weeks after Brazil’s top electoral court ruled that he was “ineligible” to run for the presidency.

    Lula’s legal team has appealed against that decision and the Supreme Court is still due to rule on it.

    But after a Workers’ Party request to extend the deadline to register presidential candidates from the 11 September to 17 September was rejected, its leadership felt it had to act.

    Not registering Mr Haddad meant that if Lula’s appeal were to fail, the party could have been left without a presidential candidate altogether.

    After Lula backed Mr Haddad in his letter, the party registered him as its new candidate with just hours to spare.

    And according to recent polls, Haddad was running in 5th place, with Bolsonaro retaining a substantial lead. At the same times, Haddad’s polls are expected to rise now that da Silva has pulled out and endorsed him:


    What do the polls say?

    The most recent poll carried out by research company Ibope between 8 and 11 September suggests the following results for the top five candidates:

    Jair Bolsonaro (far right, PSL): 26%
    Ciro Gomes (centre left, PDT): 11%
    Marina Silva (green, Rede): 9%
    Geraldo Alckmin (centre right, PSDB): 9%
    Fernando Haddad (Workers’ Party, PT): 8%

    It is expected that Mr Haddad’s share will rise now he is the Workers’ Party’s official candidate.

    So will Haddad be able to pose a serious a challenge to Bolsnaro as a kind of stand-in for da Silva? We’ll know in a month, but as the following article notes, the polling seems to indicate that Bolsonaro will actually have better chances against Haddad than the other three main candidates: Ciro Gomes, Marina Silva, and Geraldo Alckmin. These polls show Bolsonaro losing in a run-off against Silva and Alckmin, and possibly losing against Gomes. So as the article points out, Bolsonaro should probably hope for a run off between himself and Haddad. And as the article also notes, the investment community generally seems to prefer Bolsonaro to all the other candidates except for the centre-right Alckmin. And that tells us something we should already have guessed but is worth keeping in mind: Brazil’s business community and the international business community is probably going to be back Bolsonaro in the inevitable upcoming run-off:

    Forbes

    Wall Street Doubts Brazil’s Right-Wing Candidate Bolsonaro Can Win Presidency

    Kenneth Rapoza
    Sep 11, 2018, 12:19pm

    Wall Street increasingly doubts Brazil’s right-wing candidate will win the presidency in elections next month.

    Jair Bolsonaro can draw a crowd like no other candidate. They cheer for him at airports. They pray for him in the streets of Sao Paulo, following last week’s stabbing in the stomach by a supporter of the left-wing politicians during a rally. Now recovering in an intensive care unit, Bolsonaro’s poll numbers provide little evidence that he can overcome current rejection levels of 44%.

    Investors here believe the firebrand congressman makes it to a second round but gets beat by a centrist every time. The only candidates he might beat — and it will be close — will be Workers’ Party (PT) politician Fernando Haddad and its ally, Ciro Gomes, depending on the poll. A poll by Ibope has him beating Haddad and losing to Gomes.

    Of the two, Haddad is considered more to the center with Gomes looking less friendly to private business and more of a “rabble-rouser.”

    Nomura Securities in New York estimates that if Bolsonaro faces off against Haddad or Gomes in a runoff election in November, the Brazilian real would weaken by at least 2%, with government bond yields rising by double digits.

    Bolsonaro is preferred by investors to all candidates except Geraldo Alckmin of the Social Democratic Party (PSDB).

    PSDB has governed Brazil for almost as long as PT. The two have been rivals like Democrats and Republicans for over 20 years. Investors prefer Alckmin as the steady hand, even though he polls currently under 10% and a party member got nabbed in the massive Petrobras Car Wash scandal on Tuesday.

    For American readers, Bolsonaro’s style is one part bombastic Trump, one part 1980s social values Republican: he’s tough on crime, pro-gun, pro-military and not very supportive of the LGBT community, which garners most of the disdain against him in the press both here and in Brazil.

    The stabbing took place the day after a local poll by the Ibope polling firm showed several candidates gaining on front-runner Bolsonaro. The number of undecided voters declined, possibly because many of them were waiting to see if the Electoral Court would allow for the jailed ex-president and PT founder Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to run for office. He cannot run. And so PT is now throwing its financial weight behind Haddad, a former Sao Paulo mayor.

    Worse for Bolsonaro voters is that polls still show him losing in every second round with the exception of a runoff against Haddad and Gomes. Then it becomes a nail-biter. The Brazilian real is currently 4.17 to the dollar. It was a weaker 4.22 a couple weeks ago. If Haddad or Gomes make it to round two, it will easily go back to 4.22 and probably worse.

    Investors consider Bolsonaro to be relatively pro-to-neutral for the market outlook. The same can be said for the only woman running for office, Marina Silva. She is considered slightly more negative, but not by much.

    Bolsonaro versus Marina “would include two candidacies that are in the middle group of market preference, closer to neutral. Bolsonaro would be slightly more positive,” says Mario Castro, an economist for Nomura Securities. Bolsonaro versus Haddad or Gomes “would represent the biggest chance of a left-wing victory even if we do not assume the left candidate to be the favorite,” he says.

    Bolsonaro fans should hope for a PT victory in round one if they want Brazil’s business class to get behind their man.

    To date, nobody knows which way this is going. “There is a 50/50 chance of an optimistic… or pessimistic outcome,” Castro says.

    Last Thursday’s stabbing could cause some additional downward moves to the Brazilian real, though it will be harder to qualify the reasons for the move if all emerging markets are heading in the same direction. Emerging markets have been out of favor now for weeks.

    Should Bolsonaro begin to poll better, the real will strengthen as investors price in the likelihood of Haddad and Gomes losing. The more likely near-term reaction to polls is investor caution and prudence.

    “Bolsonaro fans should hope for a PT victory in round one if they want Brazil’s business class to get behind their man.”

    It’s a reflection of how much the Brazilian election is in flux: Bolsonaro stands the best chance if he ends up in a run-off against the candidate from the party that, until recently, had the one candidate more popular than him:


    Investors here believe the firebrand congressman makes it to a second round but gets beat by a centrist every time. The only candidates he might beat — and it will be close — will be Workers’ Party (PT) politician Fernando Haddad and its ally, Ciro Gomes, depending on the poll. A poll by Ibope has him beating Haddad and losing to Gomes.

    The stabbing took place the day after a local poll by the Ibope polling firm showed several candidates gaining on front-runner Bolsonaro. The number of undecided voters declined, possibly because many of them were waiting to see if the Electoral Court would allow for the jailed ex-president and PT founder Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to run for office. He cannot run. And so PT is now throwing its financial weight behind Haddad, a former Sao Paulo mayor.

    Worse for Bolsonaro voters is that polls still show him losing in every second round with the exception of a runoff against Haddad and Gomes. Then it becomes a nail-biter. The Brazilian real is currently 4.17 to the dollar. It was a weaker 4.22 a couple weeks ago. If Haddad or Gomes make it to round two, it will easily go back to 4.22 and probably worse.

    And when that run-off arrives, Bolsonaro appears likely to have the backing of the business community, unless it’s a run-off between Bolsonaro and the centre-right, which would be a pretty sad outcome for Brazil if that’s what it comes to:


    Bolsonaro is preferred by investors to all candidates except Geraldo Alckmin of the Social Democratic Party (PSDB).

    Worse for Bolsonaro voters is that polls still show him losing in every second round with the exception of a runoff against Haddad and Gomes. Then it becomes a nail-biter. The Brazilian real is currently 4.17 to the dollar. It was a weaker 4.22 a couple weeks ago. If Haddad or Gomes make it to round two, it will easily go back to 4.22 and probably worse.

    Investors consider Bolsonaro to be relatively pro-to-neutral for the market outlook. The same can be said for the only woman running for office, Marina Silva. She is considered slightly more negative, but not by much.

    Bolsonaro versus Marina “would include two candidacies that are in the middle group of market preference, closer to neutral. Bolsonaro would be slightly more positive,” says Mario Castro, an economist for Nomura Securities. Bolsonaro versus Haddad or Gomes “would represent the biggest chance of a left-wing victory even if we do not assume the left candidate to be the favorite,” he says.

    To date, nobody knows which way this is going. “There is a 50/50 chance of an optimistic… or pessimistic outcome,” Castro says.

    So we’ll see whether or not Brazil ends up electing a guy who speaks nostalgically about Brazil’s dictatorship years. As the economist from Nomura put it, “There is a 50/50 chance of an optimistic… or pessimistic outcome.” And, yes, he was disturbingly referring to Bolsonaro winning as an “optimistic outcome” when he made that statement, which is a reminder that the only real problem the business community typically has with the far right is how unlikable it is, making it harder to hold power. But if his predictions are correct it’s looking like Brazil is a coin-flip away from a far right presidency.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 12, 2018, 3:19 pm
  4. Oh look at that: Brazil’s business elites appear to strongly prefer Jair Bolsonaro,the far right pro-dictatorship candidate, over his likely left-wing opponent. So what’s the official excuse from Brazil’s investors for why they’re supporting a pro-torture candidate who has a long history of calling for a return to dictatorship? Apparently it’s Bolsonaro’s selection of University of Chicago-educated Paulo Guedes as his economic advisor. Bolsonaro has even hinted that he’s going to make Guedes some sort of “super minister” who will be in charge of finance, planning and trade, and have wide latitude to set economic policies. Policies that Guedes as already said will include a continuation of mass privatization plans for state assets. And that’s apparently what passes as a reason to support the pro-torture guy:

    Reuters

    Why Brazil’s business elites are warming to a far-right flamethrower for president

    Tatiana Bautzer, Marcela Ayres, Christian Plumb
    October 1, 2018 / 12:07 AM

    SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s business class is quietly rooting for far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro to win the nation’s highest office this month, fearful of a return to leftist rule in Latin America’s largest economy.

    The nation’s currency and equity markets have increasingly rallied in lock-step with favorable poll numbers for Bolsonaro, a firebrand congressman better known for his broadsides against gays and Afro-Brazilians than his embrace of free markets. Over a 27-year legislative career, Bolsonaro has voted repeatedly to preserve state-owned monopolies and against reforming Brazil’s bloated public pension system.

    But his selection of a respected University of Chicago-educated banker, Paulo Guedes, as his economic advisor is good enough for many investors and business owners. Some view Bolsonaro as the least worst alternative in a race that is shaping up as a showdown between the far right and far left.

    Pollsters are predicting a second-round run-off between Bolsonaro and former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, candidate for the leftist Workers Party, or PT, who has been surging in the polls. Many economists blame statist policies of the PT, which ruled Brazil for much of the past 15 years, for tipping Brazil into a deep downturn, whose vestiges are still weighing on the economy.

    Luciano Hang, the owner of the privately-owned department store chain Havan, is one of few executives to openly support Bolsonaro, whose unabashed admiration for Brazil’s former military dictatorship and frequent denigration of women and minorities have alienated large swaths of the electorate.

    Still, Hang estimates that “more than 80 percent” of people in a 300-member business council to which he belongs are backing Bolsonaro now that more moderate candidates in a crowded presidential field appear to be fading.

    “Business people and entrepreneurs throughout Brazil in all segments of the public favor Bolsonaro and will actively campaign for him,” Hang said.

    Bolsonaro’s growing acceptance among Brazil’s business elites underscores how a polarized political landscape is driving moderates to extremes, and how markets are unsettled by a wide-open and unpredictable race. Those jitters have already slowed the country’s M&A and IPO markets to a crawl and last month sent Brazil’s currency, the real, to a record low against the dollar.

    Bolsonaro is the current front-runner among 13 presidential candidates heading into the first round of balloting slated for Oct. 7, with 27 percent of the likely vote, according to a survey last week from polling firm Ibope.

    But whether he ultimately prevails remains to be seen. If no candidate wins a majority on the first ballot, as is predicted, the top two vote-getters will face off in a final round of voting on Oct. 28, when the same poll shows Bolsonaro losing to Haddad by 4 percentage points.

    Haddad, an economist, has been meeting with major investors to quell fears about a PT return to power. Known for his bookish, calm demeanor, Haddad has played up his orthodox positions on inflation, exchange rates and deficits.

    Still, he has acknowledged he would dump the labor and spending reforms of unpopular outgoing President Michel Temer. And he has made it clear his administration would run state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA) or Petrobras as a development vehicle and scuttle the proposed sale of Embraer’s (EMBR3.SA) commercial jet business to Boeing Co (BA.N).

    Haddad recently tweeted that the market was “an abstract entity that terrorizes the public.”

    SUPER MINISTER

    Corporate admirers of Bolsonaro, meanwhile, point to his choice of advisor Guedes as a reason to tune out their candidate’s divisive rhetoric, authoritarian leanings and wildly shifting views on Brazil’s economy. Bolsonaro, for example, once suggested that ex-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso be gunned down for privatizing former government enterprises including iron ore miner Vale.

    In contrast, Guedes, currently the head of asset management firm Bozano Investimentos, is a fierce advocate of privatizing Petrobras and government-controlled lender Banco do Brasil SA (BBAS3.SA).

    If elected, Bolsonaro has promised to make Guedes a kind of super minister in charge of finance, planning and trade, with wide latitude to set economic policy.

    Guedes has held a series of meetings with investment banks, corporate chieftains and international investors to coax them onto the Bolsonaro bandwagon. The banker has also met with members of the Finance Ministry at least three times in an effort to signal continuity with Temer’s reform agenda, including changes to the country’s insolvent pension system.

    “Paulo Guedes indeed gives Bolsonaro’s candidacy a lot of credibility,” said Claudio Pacini, head of Brazilian stock trading at U.S. broker INTL FCStone in Miami. “Together with the fear of the rise of the left, the two things mitigate in Bolsonaro’s favor.”

    SHAKY ALLIANCE?

    But some question how long the Bolsonaro-Guedes partnership might last even if the candidate is elected.

    “Bolsonaro is a recent convert to pro-market liberalism – that’s not his thing, it’s never been his thing,” said Monica de Bolle, director of Latin American studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington.

    Such doubts were heightened last month when Guedes proposed reviving an unpopular financial transactions tax known as the CPMF to raise badly needed revenue. That idea was swiftly shot down by Bolsonaro from the hospital where he has been convalescing. He was stabbed by a mentally disturbed assailant at a campaign rally last month.

    Guedes canceled at least two planned public appearances soon after, fueling speculation that he had been effectively muzzled by the campaign for the time being.

    Guedes declined to comment about the disagreement. But de Bolle of SAIS sees turbulence ahead.

    “It seems obvious that Paulo Guedes wouldn’t last in a Bolsonaro government,” she said.

    “The government is broke and Bolsonaro has no allies to push for budget cuts, and not even a history of pursuing them,” said a senior banker at one of Brazil’s top lenders.

    For the business community, the banker said, a vote for Bolsonaro is a choice between “the awful and the extremely awful.”

    ———-

    “Why Brazil’s business elites are warming to a far-right flamethrower for president” by Tatiana Bautzer, Marcela Ayres, Christian Plumb; Reuters; 10/01/018

    But his selection of a respected University of Chicago-educated banker, Paulo Guedes, as his economic advisor is good enough for many investors and business owners. Some view Bolsonaro as the least worst alternative in a race that is shaping up as a showdown between the far right and far left.”

    He may be a pro-torture advocate of dictatorship, but he’s our pro-torture advocate of dictatorship. That appears to the be sentiment help by Brazil’s business community:


    Pollsters are predicting a second-round run-off between Bolsonaro and former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, candidate for the leftist Workers Party, or PT, who has been surging in the polls. Many economists blame statist policies of the PT, which ruled Brazil for much of the past 15 years, for tipping Brazil into a deep downturn, whose vestiges are still weighing on the economy.

    Luciano Hang, the owner of the privately-owned department store chain Havan, is one of few executives to openly support Bolsonaro, whose unabashed admiration for Brazil’s former military dictatorship and frequent denigration of women and minorities have alienated large swaths of the electorate.

    Still, Hang estimates that “more than 80 percent” of people in a 300-member business council to which he belongs are backing Bolsonaro now that more moderate candidates in a crowded presidential field appear to be fading.

    Bolsonaro’s likely left-wing opponent, on the other hand, has made it clear that he was stop the neoliberal policies of the current right-wing government. And when the choice is between a left-wing candidate who respects human rights and won’t bend to business interests or a far right pro-torture, pro-dictatorship candidate, the choice is clear. Investors are cool with the torture and dictatorship:


    Haddad, an economist, has been meeting with major investors to quell fears about a PT return to power. Known for his bookish, calm demeanor, Haddad has played up his orthodox positions on inflation, exchange rates and deficits.

    Still, he has acknowledged he would dump the labor and spending reforms of unpopular outgoing President Michel Temer. And he has made it clear his administration would run state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA) or Petrobras as a development vehicle and scuttle the proposed sale of Embraer’s (EMBR3.SA) commercial jet business to Boeing Co (BA.N).

    Haddad recently tweeted that the market was “an abstract entity that terrorizes the public.”

    Also some in the business community are concerned that Bolsonaro is apparently only a recent convert to the kind of extreme free-market ideology favored by University of Chicago economists like Guedes:

    Corporate admirers of Bolsonaro, meanwhile, point to his choice of advisor Guedes as a reason to tune out their candidate’s divisive rhetoric, authoritarian leanings and wildly shifting views on Brazil’s economy. Bolsonaro, for example, once suggested that ex-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso be gunned down for privatizing former government enterprises including iron ore miner Vale.

    In contrast, Guedes, currently the head of asset management firm Bozano Investimentos, is a fierce advocate of privatizing Petrobras and government-controlled lender Banco do Brasil SA (BBAS3.SA).

    SHAKY ALLIANCE?

    But some question how long the Bolsonaro-Guedes partnership might last even if the candidate is elected.

    “Bolsonaro is a recent convert to pro-market liberalism – that’s not his thing, it’s never been his thing,” said Monica de Bolle, director of Latin American studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington.

    Such doubts were heightened last month when Guedes proposed reviving an unpopular financial transactions tax known as the CPMF to raise badly needed revenue. That idea was swiftly shot down by Bolsonaro from the hospital where he has been convalescing. He was stabbed by a mentally disturbed assailant at a campaign rally last month.

    Guedes canceled at least two planned public appearances soon after, fueling speculation that he had been effectively muzzled by the campaign for the time being.

    So the fact that Bolsonaro is pledged to make Guedes a kind of super minister with powers to implement a range of neoliberal policies is presumably going a long way to address those concerns:


    SUPER MINISTER

    If elected, Bolsonaro has promised to make Guedes a kind of super minister in charge of finance, planning and trade, with wide latitude to set economic policy.

    Guedes has held a series of meetings with investment banks, corporate chieftains and international investors to coax them onto the Bolsonaro bandwagon. The banker has also met with members of the Finance Ministry at least three times in an effort to signal continuity with Temer’s reform agenda, including changes to the country’s insolvent pension system.

    “Paulo Guedes indeed gives Bolsonaro’s candidacy a lot of credibility,” said Claudio Pacini, head of Brazilian stock trading at U.S. broker INTL FCStone in Miami. “Together with the fear of the rise of the left, the two things mitigate in Bolsonaro’s favor.”

    But as the following article notes, the idea that Bolsonaro is only a recent convert to neoliberalism and privatizations doesn’t appear to be quite accurate. As the article points out, when the New York Times interviewed Bolsonaro back in 1993, he was openly calling for a return to dictatorship and was an enthusiastic backer of the wave of privatizations that was sweeping the country at that time. He was even quoted in the interview saying, “I vote for every privatization bill that I can…It is the left that opposes privatization. They just want to preserve their government jobs.”

    The article also notes that that Guedes actually worked in Chile under Pinochet and described Pinochet’s dictatorship as “an intellectual point of view”.

    And the article makes very clear that if you look at the international interests who have long backed the kind of military dictatorship Bolsonaro wants to return to, it’s pretty clear that Wall Street (and the CIA) is going to be backing Bolsonaro’s candidacy in addition to Brazil’s investment class:

    Brasil Wire

    “Pinochet via Fujimori”: Wall Street’s New Man In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro

    September 10, 2018

    New York Times, July 1993. In an article called “Conversations/Jair Bolsonaro; A Soldier Turned Politician Wants To Give Brazil Back to Army Rule“, Journalist James Brooke interviewed a 38 year old congressman. Brazil was struggling, a President gone, in the third year of directly elected Government since the coup of 1964, and the already infamous former Army Captain Bolsonaro was proposing a return to Military Rule.

    This may have sounded outlandish, but just 4 years previously, declassified documents reveal that if the 1989 election had not gone the right way, Brazil’s Military establishment and the United States already had contingency plans for another Coup to set things right. It is safe to assume that a Latin American politician featured in the New York Times is already on the US Government’s radar.

    Brooke wrote: Applying to politics the boldness he once displayed as an army parachutist, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro plunged into uncharted territory a few weeks ago when he strode to the podium of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies and called for the closing of Congress. “I am in favor of a dictatorship,” he bellowed in a speech that rattled a country that only left military rule behind in 1985. “We will never resolve serious national problems with this irresponsible democracy.”

    “Everywhere I go, people embrace me and treat me like a national hero,” Mr. Bolsonaro asserted. “The people in the streets are asking for the return of the military. They ask, ‘When are you coming back?’ “

    But to many defenders of Brazilian democracy, the Bolsonaro phenomenon represents a flashing yellow light — a sign that people are growing impatient with democracy’s failure to curb inflation and deliver a better style of life, and a warning that politicians on the authoritarian right are eager to take advantage of this mood, and to cultivate it. The Fujimori Model. Today a new and less odious model for Latin American authoritarianism has emerged in Peru’s President, Alberto K. Fujimori. Faced with congressional deadlock last year, Mr. Fujimori, a civilian, ordered the Peruvian Army to close the country’s Congress and its courts. One year later, Mr. Fujimori rules with a compliant, one-chamber Congress.

    During the interview, Bolsonaro was enthusiastic about the strategy of Fujimori, and even then, 25 years ago, was lauding political corruption as the element that would enable a return to military rule:

    “I sympathize with Fujimori,” the Brazilian congressman continued. “Fujimorization is the way out for Brazil. I am making these warnings because the population is in favor of surgery.” Political surgery, Mr. Bolsonaro continued, would involve closing Congress for a defined period of time and allowing Brazil’s President to rule by decree. The justification for a such a constitutional break, he said, would be “political corruption” and Brazil’s inflation, which is now running at 30 percent a month. With Congress often deadlocked in battles among its 21 parties, Brazil’s press has displayed an increasing fascination with the Fujimori model. In the last month, Brazilian newspapers, magazines and television news programs have carried long interviews with the Peruvian leader. “Fujimori put 400,000 civil servants in the street,” Mr. Bolsonaro asserted. “How could we ever do that here?”

    The congressman was equally enthusiastic about the wave of Neoliberal Privatisations then sweeping the region and the world:

    When it held power in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Brazilian military vastly expanded Brazil’s state sector, implanting a welter of state-run companies and monopolies. Today, Mr. Bolsonaro said, the leaders of the armed forces favor bringing the state back to basics: defense, education and health. “I vote for every privatization bill that I can,” Mr. Bolsonaro said. “It is the left that opposes privatization. They just want to preserve their government jobs.”

    25 years later, Jair Bolsonaro is second placed in the Presidential polls. He lies in a hospital bed, connected to all manner of tubes and devices, after suffering an apparent assassination attempt.

    New Normal

    The weather vane for gauging opinion in the corridors of power is anglo corporate media. In 2017 came the first public signs that Jair Bolsonaro was becoming acceptable to investors, and what followed was a concerted attempt to normalise his candidacy.

    For a long time he looked like an anti-establishment outlier, yet has been part of their armoury for years – break glass in case of emergency.

    Bolsonaro has never been “Brazil’s Trump” as some foreign media have depicted over the past year. Despite he and his supporters’ protestations he is an actual fascist, former Military and unlike the US President, is far from being a billionaire, nor reality TV host.

    It should be emphasised however that the depiction of the Bolsonaros as “outsiders” is wide of the mark. Jair has been a federal deputy for 27 years, his sons Eduardo, a federal deputy since 2015, Flávio, a state deputy since 2010, and Carlos, a city councillor since 2000. The family has 13 apartments worth R$15 million, and a summer house in Angra dos Reis. Jair and Eduardo pocketed over R$ 700,000 in housing allowance despite having two apartments in Brasilia. Jair’s estate alone is worth R$2.3 million. Eduardo’s personal estate grew by 432% between 2014-2018.

    In articles such as this one in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and this one on the BBC, his normalisation accelerated through 2018. “Outspoken comments”, “Arch-Conservative”, “Law and Order campaigner”, “Hardline candidate” have been the kind of euphemisms used for Bolsonaro’s Neofascist politics.

    Human Rights dominate narratives on foreign governments when it suits, but Israel and Saudi Arabia are clear examples of how easily such rhetoric is disregarded when it is in North Atlantic interests to turn a blind eye. His public remarks from anyone else, god forbid a leader like Venezuela’s Maduro, would draw unanimous condemnation. Somehow they’re now acceptable coming from a politician who promises to let capital run free.

    In the 1990s US Oil giant UNOCOL (Now Chevron) decided after negotiations to back the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Girls being banned from school was something they could live with. More recently the US and its allies had no qualms whatsoever about backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

    And throughout Pinochet’s reign of terror in Chile, and since, horrific crimes were relativised, diminished and ignored on account of his economic policythe creation of a Neoliberal laboratory in the country, a glorious experiment in which thousands were disappeared, tortured and killed.

    Never underestimate the levels of human suffering that “Wall Street”, and those whom blithely serve its interests, are prepared to accept.

    Blood Waltz

    On September 4, speaking at a campaign rally in Acre, an excited Bolsonaro called for the machine gunning of Workers Party members.

    Brazilian Prosecutor General Raquel Dodge deemed that no crime had been committed, and that no harm had been done.

    Two days later, whilst being carried on the shoulders of supporters through the city of Juiz da Fora in the state of Minas Gerais, an assailant approached the Presidential Candidate and plunged a knife into his abdomen. Although initially reported as a surface wound and not a threat to his life, he arrived at hospital with, according to his son, “40% blood loss” and multiple injuries to his intestines, liver and other organs. Some of these claims were later debunked.

    His attacker Adelio Bispo de Oliveira was immediately depicted by Bolsonaro allies as a Worker’s Party militant. The rumour spread quickly, and risked sparking retaliatory attacks. Coup loyalist newspaper Estadão emphased that he described himself as “moderate left”, effectively a euphemism for the PT. It was also reported that between 2007-2014 he had been affiliated to the PSOL party, who immediately denounced the attack as did all the other candidates and parties.

    Dilma Rousseff was less sympathetic in her response, remarking “When you plant hatred, you harvest the storm”. Given that in 2015 he publicly expressed hope that she die of an heart attack or cancer, and dedicated his vote for her impeachment to her torturer, it was surprising that her response generated any controversy at all.

    The attack amplified fears of a wider demonisation of the left in general, which always spikes at election time. In 1989, just prior to the election, businessman Albinio Diniz was kidnapped, which was blamed on Lula’s Workers Party. The timing of the kidnapping so soon before the election meant that the PT could not respond to the accusation through the media, due to a compulsory ban on campaigning for the final 24 hours ahead of voting. Lula would lose the election to Fernando Collor.

    Bolsonaro’s vice, General Mourão, reacted to the attack with a chilling: “If you want to use violence, we are the professionals of violence.” while Gustavo Bebianno, leader of the PSL, the “Social Liberal Party” to which Bolsonaro belongs, said simply “now it is war”.

    In a video from his hospital bed Bolsonaro whimpered, “I’ve never hurt anyone”. In the first photo of the Presidential candidate conscious since arriving for treatment at São Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital he made his trademark “Two Gun” hand gesture.

    His son Flavió posted on social media: “A message for these thugs who tried to ruin the life of a guy who is the father of a family, who is the hope for all Brazilians: you just elected the president, it will be in the first round”.

    In a country where candidates and top government officials have been known to die in plane crashes at key moments in the political conjuncture, where a President elect suddenly died before taking office, and where the leading candidate has been jailed with no material evidence, people do not necessarily believe what they see on the news. The fact that Bolsonaro met with the owner of Globo, the largest media conglomerate in Latin America, 2 days before the knife attack, and that the video footage shows no blood, has led a large percentage of the Brazilian population to conclude that the incident was simulated or exaggerated to some extent. Regardless of whether this is the case or not, and we may never know, the fact is that Globo has used the incident to alter its portrayal of Bolsonaro from an right wing fringe outlier to a hero – even a martyr, during the 15 minutes of airtime they gave to the knife attack.

    Wall Street was watching, and there was a sharp rise in the Real against the Dollar as news broke of an attack which was immediately interpreted as increasing his chances of election. On September 10, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed that members of the Trump administration had “reached out” to Bolsonaro.

    In Plain Sight

    It was a column for Folha do São Paulo by Brian Winter, editor of Americas Quaterly, the magazine of Wall Street lobby and think tank AS/COA (Americas Society/Council of the Americas). COA’s main patron is Chevron, but the corporate membership is a who’s who of US Corporations, Banks and Investment funds. A bridge between corporate, government power, intelligence, regional leaders and business, its purpose is to influence the Latin American politics in the interests of its members. In 2016, at an AS/COA event, post-coup President Michel Temer admitted that Dilma Rousseff had been impeached because she refused to implement their extreme Neoliberal programme “Bridge to the future”. The document was odd in that it appeared to have been translated from English, with social media users remarking on its unusual wording. Economist Marcio Pochmann noted similarities between “Bridge to the Future” and the “Government Economic Action Plan” (PAEG) which followed the Coup of 1964. One such similarity, he says, is the strong international influence.

    The column in Folha do São Paulo openly admitted for the first time, for a wealthy Paulista readership, that Wall Street now supported the Presidential Candidacy of Jair Bolsonaro. And this was from the horses mouth, as “Wall Street” in effect equals the membership of the Council of the Americas, the actual organisation for which the author works.

    Winter wrote: “There is, finally, the moral element. How can investors support a candidate with positions such as those of Bolsonaro on women, minorities and human rights? That’s the easy question. I know many honest people on Wall Street who feel repulsed by Bolsonaro. But they admit in private conversations that there is no room for feeling. As one told me, “my job is to make sure the bonds get paid on time. As for the rest-it’s up to the Brazilians to decide.”

    For those familiar with the history of AS/COA, the handwringing tone of the column should have come as no surprise. Pulitzer winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote about it in his book “Price of Power“, detailing its role in the build up to the 1973 Chilean coup which left Salvador Allende dead and brought Augusto Pinochet to power.

    “Millions of dollars in (US)AID and CIA funds were allocated, with the full knowledge of the Chilean and United States governments, to Roman Catholic organizations throughout the country whose objective was to oppose Protestantism and communism. Frei won handily, with 56 percent of the vote. Frei, who was fully aware of the source of his funding, also received covert help from a group of American corporations known as the Business Group for Latin America. The Group had been organized in 1963 by David Rockefeller, president of the Chase Manhattan Bank, at the express request of President Kennedy, who was directing his administration’s fight against Castro and the spread of communism in Latin America. It included on its executive committee such prominent corporation executives as C. Jay Parkinson, board chairman of Anaconda; Harold S. Geneen, head of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, which owned and operated the telephone facilities in Chile; and Donald M. Kendall, chairman of PepsiCo, the softdrink company, which had extensive business activities in Latin America.

    The principal contact in Chile for the CIA as well as for the American corporations was the organization of Agustín Edwards, a close friend of Kendall’s, who was the owner of the conservative El Mercurio newspaper chain in Chile and a focal point for the opposition to Allende and the left. The CIA and the Business Group, which by 1970 had been reorganized into the Council of the Americas, relied heavily on Edwards to use his organization and his contacts to channel their moneys into the 1964 political campaign. Many of the ties between the Business Group and the CIA in 1964 remained in place long after the election. For example, Enno Hobbing, a CIA official who had initially been assigned as liaison to the Business Group, eventually left the CIA and became the principal operations officer for the Council.”

    David Rockefeller remained at its head until his death in 2017. Other notable staff include former Deputy US Secretary of State, first Director of National Intelligence, key plotter in Venezuela’s failed 2002 Coup and overseer of war crimes in Central America, John D. Negroponte, and Juliana Barbassa, who now works at the New York Times Latin America desk.

    Interference in Brazil’s election, and fomenting support for the subsequent coup of 1964 were amongst the nascent COA’s first tasks. Rockefeller told a meeting at West Point in late 1964 that “the banking community had decided early on that João Goulart was not acceptable and that he had to go”. It had funded Brazilian Institute for Democratic Action (IBAD) and a related organisation called Democratic Action (ADEP) spending between 12-20 million dollars (2018: up to $165m) financing anti-Goulart/anti-Communist candidates during the 1962 electoral campaign.

    In 2005 a new think tank was formed drawing together Neoliberals from Brazil and outside, including journalists, economists and politicians, that was called a successor organisation to IBAD. Over the next decade its alumni would come to dominate the economic media narrative in Brazil. It was called Instituto Millenium, and its founder a Brazilian Banker called Paulo Guedes.

    Bolsonaro’s “Brain”

    AS/COA held at least one off record meeting with Bolsonaro and his advisors in 2017. What followed was a road to Damascus style conversion to the public rhetoric of free markets and the minimal state. Yet, whereas prior he had been depicted as a some kind of economic nationalist, it was clear as early as the 1993 New York Times interview, that he was always staunchly pro-privatisation.

    Despite this long held commitment to free-markets, he admitted publicly in a TV Interview with Mariana Godoy that he doesn’t understand anything about economics, and that’s where his “guru” Paulo Guedes comes in.

    Wall Street investors see the Bolsonaro/Guedes combination like Pinochet and the Chicago Boys. Neoliberalism at the point of a gun.

    Guedes was a founder of what became BTG Pactual bank, and actually worked in Chile under Pinochet. He describes his genocidal dictatorship as “an intellectual point of view”. Wall Street Journal and others have openly defended Pinochet, and in 2015, Winter himself described the Dictator as a “Revolutionary” and equated him with Che Guevara.

    Since becoming part of Bolsonaro’s team in 2017, named as his prospective Finance Minister Guedes has described the former Soldier as the representative of an abandoned Brazilian middle class, and they have worked to consolidate support amongst the Bullet, Bible & Bull congressional caucus, with a promise of carte blanche for the farming industry’s violence against Indigenous communities and Social Movements. With a nod to extractive multinationals he said “where there is indigenous land, there is wealth beneath it“.

    In 2017 Guedes embarked on an international mission to improve Bolsonaro’s image with investors and foreign media. It appeared to have some effect, as this April 2018 Bloomberg article shows.

    He openly supports torture and his congressional vote for Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment was marked by a demented eulogy to the man, Carlos Brilhante Ustra, responsible for her brutal and sexual torture in the early 1970s. He has twice made rape-related threats and remarks to PT Congresswoman Maria do Rosario, for which he was convicted. He has made racist remarks at public events for which he has been convicted. He is an outspoken homophobe, denier and apologist for violence and murder of LGBTQ Brazilians. He has said that “30,000 Brazilians needed to be killed for the country to function”.

    Yet in the eyes of Wall Street, he is preferable to a Social Democrat.

    At the point of a gun

    Early in 2018 it was was reported that, at an event of Guedes’ BTG Pactual Bank, Bolsonaro proposed a solution to organised crime in Brazil’s favelas, such as Rio de Janeiro’s Rocinha, home to around 70,000 inhabitants. It was to drop leaflets from helicopter, warning citizens to evacuate and the gangs that they had four hours to surrender. After some hours the favelas should be machine gunned. He was also reportedly applauded by the audience, made up of the banking and business community.

    Previously the candidate has said on television that Chile’s Augusto Pinochet did what he had to do, but “didn’t go far enough” and in early September 2018, his son and fellow congressman Eduardo tweeted (then deleted) that “We will change Brazil with or without bullets”. He was recently photographed with new advisor, white supremacist Steve Bannon.

    Back in 2014, from a sound truck shared with Koch Brothers-linked pro-coup group MBL, son Eduardo addressed the small crowd at one of the first protests following the re-election of Dilma Rousseff, with a pistol in his belt, demonised “communists” and eulogised the Military Police. He has since proposed a law that would make “apologia for communism” a criminal offence.

    His father Jair once said that he “would call a military coup on the day he was elected”, and doubled down on this by appointing General Mourão, as his Presidential running mate. With Bolsonaro in hospital, it is Mourão, who openly expresses his belief in Brazil’s return to military rule, who now takes centre stage in the campaign.

    During a interview before a panel of journalists on Globo News, Mourão remarked “Heroes kill” when asked about the actions of Carlos Brilhante Ustra, head of the feared internal intelligence agency DOI-CODI during the military regime, the man personally responsible for the torture of Dilma Rousseff.

    With Mourao’s rhetoric people are yet more afraid their campaign could be an attempt to induce military rule through a charade at the ballot box, with the clear leader in jail and prevented from running. The unearthing of Bolsonaro’s 1993 quotes in the NYT raised the spectre of a “Fujimorian Auto-Coup” and Mourão comes from the school of thought that the Dictatorship should have never ended.

    Authoritarian Coup-loyalist and Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes, who was appointed following the controversial death of Judge Teori Zavascki in early 2017, is overseeing Bolsonaro’s conviction for racism, and by not acting to sentence him before the election is accused of maintaining Bolsonaro’s freedom and election prospects – effectively kept as an establishment “plan B” in case his former boss Geraldo Alckmin didn’t progress to the second round – which now looks highly unlikely.

    God & Brazil above all

    Bolsonaro’s 2018 campaign manifesto, created in conjunction with Paulo Guedes, is called “Project Phoenix”. Public security and liberalisation of Gun ownership take centre stage, but it is also explicitly in favour of the process which has seen privatisation of Brazil’s state owned companies and resources further opened to foreign ownership. He also proposes military style schooling, and censorship of “leftist” ideology from classrooms.

    Meanwhile, in contradiction of the beliefs held by his core support, the manifesto also reaches out to Brazil’s poorest by insisting it will retain key social programme Bolsa Familia.

    It also contains dozens of references to God. His support amongst Neopentecostal, Evangelical congregations is strong. (The early growth of such groups as a powerful, imported, socially conservative force in Brazilian society is documented in William Colby and Catherine Dennett’s ‘Thy Will Be Done’).

    The same voices who normalise Bolsonaro now have breathlessly promoted the “pro-market” Car Wash anti-corruption operation for the past 4 years, which has drawn an official UNHRC rebuke for its imprisonment of the leading candidate in October’s elections, former President Lula da Silva. The Human Rights committee issued an order, under a treaty that is binding under Brazilian law, that Lula must be allowed to run for President, and have access to his party and media. All of these requests were denied, putting Brazil in breach of its international human rights commitments.

    For Bolsonaro and his supporters, the very notion of Human Rights is “communist”. He has promised to withdraw Brazil from the UN, if elected and abandon Brazil’s Human Rights ministry.

    It had long been clear that the Military would not accept a Lula candidacy, and 9th September this was made all but official by head of the armed forces General Villas-Boas, which brought instant condemnation from the Workers Party.

    Jair Bolsonaro is a case-study in the relationship between Fascism and Neoliberalism.

    It is critical for the outside world to understand that this new-look, market-friendly Bolsonaro is only in a position where victory is even theoretically possible because, and only because, of former President Lula’s contested imprisonment. That imprisonment has been aided through informal (and illegal) collaboration between the US Department of Justice and Brazilian Federal Police, discussion of which is an Anglo media taboo.

    The first polls conducted after his attack showed only a very slight increase in his voting intention, well short of the “first round victory” predicted by those within his camp. Thankfully he has massive public rejection, there will be an enormous mobilisation to stop him and he is still unlikely to emerge from the second round, regardless of the attempt on his life.

    If investors truly believe that a Fascist’s victory in such an obvious sham of an election would protect their assets, they massively underestimate the Brazilian people, and should think again. If, somehow Jair Bolsonaro is elected President of Brazil, we should be under no illusion – there will be blood.

    ———–

    ““Pinochet via Fujimori”: Wall Street’s New Man In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro”; Brasil Wire; 09/10/2018

    “New York Times, July 1993. In an article called “Conversations/Jair Bolsonaro; A Soldier Turned Politician Wants To Give Brazil Back to Army Rule“, Journalist James Brooke interviewed a 38 year old congressman. Brazil was struggling, a President gone, in the third year of directly elected Government since the coup of 1964, and the already infamous former Army Captain Bolsonaro was proposing a return to Military Rule.

    He’s been openly calling for a return to military rule pretty much since the end of military rule. That’s how long Jair Bolsonaro has been advocating a new dictorship:


    This may have sounded outlandish, but just 4 years previously, declassified documents reveal that if the 1989 election had not gone the right way, Brazil’s Military establishment and the United States already had contingency plans for another Coup to set things right. It is safe to assume that a Latin American politician featured in the New York Times is already on the US Government’s radar.

    Brooke wrote: Applying to politics the boldness he once displayed as an army parachutist, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro plunged into uncharted territory a few weeks ago when he strode to the podium of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies and called for the closing of Congress. “I am in favor of a dictatorship,” he bellowed in a speech that rattled a country that only left military rule behind in 1985. “We will never resolve serious national problems with this irresponsible democracy.”

    And at the same time he was a fierce advocate of any privatization bill he could vote for. So while he may have voiced some opposition to some particular privatization in recent years, it looks like he’s been a pretty classic fascist more or less all along: an advocate of neoliberal policies with some ‘populist’ rhetoric thrown in the trick the rubes:


    The congressman was equally enthusiastic about the wave of Neoliberal Privatisations then sweeping the region and the world:

    When it held power in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Brazilian military vastly expanded Brazil’s state sector, implanting a welter of state-run companies and monopolies. Today, Mr. Bolsonaro said, the leaders of the armed forces favor bringing the state back to basics: defense, education and health. “I vote for every privatization bill that I can,” Mr. Bolsonaro said. “It is the left that opposes privatization. They just want to preserve their government jobs.”

    25 years later, Jair Bolsonaro is second placed in the Presidential polls. He lies in a hospital bed, connected to all manner of tubes and devices, after suffering an apparent assassination attempt.

    And that’s why, despite the frequent portrayals of the guy as an anti-establishment outlier, in reality he’s the ultimate insider and has been all along:


    New Normal

    The weather vane for gauging opinion in the corridors of power is anglo corporate media. In 2017 came the first public signs that Jair Bolsonaro was becoming acceptable to investors, and what followed was a concerted attempt to normalise his candidacy.

    For a long time he looked like an anti-establishment outlier, yet has been part of their armoury for years – break glass in case of emergency.

    Bolsonaro has never been “Brazil’s Trump” as some foreign media have depicted over the past year. Despite he and his supporters’ protestations he is an actual fascist, former Military and unlike the US President, is far from being a billionaire, nor reality TV host.

    It should be emphasised however that the depiction of the Bolsonaros as “outsiders” is wide of the mark. Jair has been a federal deputy for 27 years, his sons Eduardo, a federal deputy since 2015, Flávio, a state deputy since 2010, and Carlos, a city councillor since 2000. The family has 13 apartments worth R$15 million, and a summer house in Angra dos Reis. Jair and Eduardo pocketed over R$ 700,000 in housing allowance despite having two apartments in Brasilia. Jair’s estate alone is worth R$2.3 million. Eduardo’s personal estate grew by 432% between 2014-2018.

    Next, the article covers the important role of the AS/COA (Americas Society/Council of the Americas) think tank in supporting right-wing governments in Brazil. And it was at an AS/COA even in 2016 when current president Michel Temer – who came to power after the impeachment of left-wing Dilma Rousseff over questions corruption charges – admitted that Rousseff was impeached because she refused to implement the desired neoliberal “Bridge to the future” agenda:


    In Plain Sight

    It was a column for Folha do São Paulo by Brian Winter, editor of Americas Quaterly, the magazine of Wall Street lobby and think tank AS/COA (Americas Society/Council of the Americas). COA’s main patron is Chevron, but the corporate membership is a who’s who of US Corporations, Banks and Investment funds. A bridge between corporate, government power, intelligence, regional leaders and business, its purpose is to influence the Latin American politics in the interests of its members. In 2016, at an AS/COA event, post-coup President Michel Temer admitted that Dilma Rousseff had been impeached because she refused to implement their extreme Neoliberal programme “Bridge to the future”. The document was odd in that it appeared to have been translated from English, with social media users remarking on its unusual wording. Economist Marcio Pochmann noted similarities between “Bridge to the Future” and the “Government Economic Action Plan” (PAEG) which followed the Coup of 1964. One such similarity, he says, is the strong international influence.

    The column in Folha do São Paulo openly admitted for the first time, for a wealthy Paulista readership, that Wall Street now supported the Presidential Candidacy of Jair Bolsonaro. And this was from the horses mouth, as “Wall Street” in effect equals the membership of the Council of the Americas, the actual organisation for which the author works.

    Winter wrote: “There is, finally, the moral element. How can investors support a candidate with positions such as those of Bolsonaro on women, minorities and human rights? That’s the easy question. I know many honest people on Wall Street who feel repulsed by Bolsonaro. But they admit in private conversations that there is no room for feeling. As one told me, “my job is to make sure the bonds get paid on time. As for the rest-it’s up to the Brazilians to decide.”

    “I know many honest people on Wall Street who feel repulsed by Bolsonaro. But they admit in private conversations that there is no room for feeling. As one told me, “my job is to make sure the bonds get paid on time. As for the rest-it’s up to the Brazilians to decide.”

    No room for feelings (feelings of being repulsed about a pro-torture candidate). Just ensure the bonds get paid on time. And that, right there, is why people hate the neoliberal paradigm. It’s ideologically sociopathic, like fascism.

    Next, the article describes the important history behind the AS/COA: Its CIA roots and a long history supporting Brazil’s military dictatorship:


    For those familiar with the history of AS/COA, the handwringing tone of the column should have come as no surprise. Pulitzer winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote about it in his book “Price of Power“, detailing its role in the build up to the 1973 Chilean coup which left Salvador Allende dead and brought Augusto Pinochet to power.

    “Millions of dollars in (US)AID and CIA funds were allocated, with the full knowledge of the Chilean and United States governments, to Roman Catholic organizations throughout the country whose objective was to oppose Protestantism and communism. Frei won handily, with 56 percent of the vote. Frei, who was fully aware of the source of his funding, also received covert help from a group of American corporations known as the Business Group for Latin America. The Group had been organized in 1963 by David Rockefeller, president of the Chase Manhattan Bank, at the express request of President Kennedy, who was directing his administration’s fight against Castro and the spread of communism in Latin America. It included on its executive committee such prominent corporation executives as C. Jay Parkinson, board chairman of Anaconda; Harold S. Geneen, head of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, which owned and operated the telephone facilities in Chile; and Donald M. Kendall, chairman of PepsiCo, the softdrink company, which had extensive business activities in Latin America.

    The principal contact in Chile for the CIA as well as for the American corporations was the organization of Agustín Edwards, a close friend of Kendall’s, who was the owner of the conservative El Mercurio newspaper chain in Chile and a focal point for the opposition to Allende and the left. The CIA and the Business Group, which by 1970 had been reorganized into the Council of the Americas, relied heavily on Edwards to use his organization and his contacts to channel their moneys into the 1964 political campaign. Many of the ties between the Business Group and the CIA in 1964 remained in place long after the election. For example, Enno Hobbing, a CIA official who had initially been assigned as liaison to the Business Group, eventually left the CIA and became the principal operations officer for the Council.”

    David Rockefeller remained at its head until his death in 2017. Other notable staff include former Deputy US Secretary of State, first Director of National Intelligence, key plotter in Venezuela’s failed 2002 Coup and overseer of war crimes in Central America, John D. Negroponte, and Juliana Barbassa, who now works at the New York Times Latin America desk.

    And one of the earliest actions of the COA was fomenting support for the 1964 coup. It also funded the Brazilian Institute for Democratic Action (IBAD). And in 2005 a successor organization to IBAD was formed, the Instituto Millenium. It’s founder was Paulo Guedes:


    Interference in Brazil’s election, and fomenting support for the subsequent coup of 1964 were amongst the nascent COA’s first tasks. Rockefeller told a meeting at West Point in late 1964 that “the banking community had decided early on that João Goulart was not acceptable and that he had to go”. It had funded Brazilian Institute for Democratic Action (IBAD) and a related organisation called Democratic Action (ADEP) spending between 12-20 million dollars (2018: up to $165m) financing anti-Goulart/anti-Communist candidates during the 1962 electoral campaign.

    In 2005 a new think tank was formed drawing together Neoliberals from Brazil and outside, including journalists, economists and politicians, that was called a successor organisation to IBAD. Over the next decade its alumni would come to dominate the economic media narrative in Brazil. It was called Instituto Millenium, and its founder a Brazilian Banker called Paulo Guedes.

    So Guedes literally founded a successor organization to one of the entities earlier financed by the COA/CIA. So it should come as no suprise the Wall Street views the Bolsonaro/Guedes team in a very positive light: Guedes is basically working for the CIA! And now he’s seen as Bolsonaro’s “Brain”. And Guedes is the kind of “Brain” that viewed Pinochet’s dictatorship as “an intellectual point of view”, which is no suprise since he worked for Pinochet too:


    Bolsonaro’s “Brain”

    AS/COA held at least one off record meeting with Bolsonaro and his advisors in 2017. What followed was a road to Damascus style conversion to the public rhetoric of free markets and the minimal state. Yet, whereas prior he had been depicted as a some kind of economic nationalist, it was clear as early as the 1993 New York Times interview, that he was always staunchly pro-privatisation.

    Despite this long held commitment to free-markets, he admitted publicly in a TV Interview with Mariana Godoy that he doesn’t understand anything about economics, and that’s where his “guru” Paulo Guedes comes in.

    Wall Street investors see the Bolsonaro/Guedes combination like Pinochet and the Chicago Boys. Neoliberalism at the point of a gun.

    Guedes was a founder of what became BTG Pactual bank, and actually worked in Chile under Pinochet. He describes his genocidal dictatorship as “an intellectual point of view”. Wall Street Journal and others have openly defended Pinochet, and in 2015, Winter himself described the Dictator as a “Revolutionary” and equated him with Che Guevara.

    And now, since officially joining Bolsonaro’s team, one of Guedes’s jobs is to improve Bolsonaro’s image with investors and foreign media, something he should be exceptionally good at given his international backers:


    Since becoming part of Bolsonaro’s team in 2017, named as his prospective Finance Minister Guedes has described the former Soldier as the representative of an abandoned Brazilian middle class, and they have worked to consolidate support amongst the Bullet, Bible & Bull congressional caucus, with a promise of carte blanche for the farming industry’s violence against Indigenous communities and Social Movements. With a nod to extractive multinationals he said “where there is indigenous land, there is wealth beneath it“.

    In 2017 Guedes embarked on an international mission to improve Bolsonaro’s image with investors and foreign media. It appeared to have some effect, as this April 2018 Bloomberg article shows.

    But Guedes isn’t just focused on Bolsonaro’s image. He also co-created Bolosonaro’s “Project Phoenix” agenda. An agenda of more guns, mass privatizations, military style school and the censorship of “leftist” ideology from classrooms. Oh, and Bolsonaro considers the very notion of Human Rights “communist” and promised to abandon Brazil’s Human Rights ministry:


    God & Brazil above all

    Bolsonaro’s 2018 campaign manifesto, created in conjunction with Paulo Guedes, is called “Project Phoenix”. Public security and liberalisation of Gun ownership take centre stage, but it is also explicitly in favour of the process which has seen privatisation of Brazil’s state owned companies and resources further opened to foreign ownership. He also proposes military style schooling, and censorship of “leftist” ideology from classrooms.

    The same voices who normalise Bolsonaro now have breathlessly promoted the “pro-market” Car Wash anti-corruption operation for the past 4 years, which has drawn an official UNHRC rebuke for its imprisonment of the leading candidate in October’s elections, former President Lula da Silva. The Human Rights committee issued an order, under a treaty that is binding under Brazilian law, that Lula must be allowed to run for President, and have access to his party and media. All of these requests were denied, putting Brazil in breach of its international human rights commitments.

    For Bolsonaro and his supporters, the very notion of Human Rights is “communist”. He has promised to withdraw Brazil from the UN, if elected and abandon Brazil’s Human Rights ministry.

    It had long been clear that the Military would not accept a Lula candidacy, and 9th September this was made all but official by head of the armed forces General Villas-Boas, which brought instant condemnation from the Workers Party.

    Jair Bolsonaro is a case-study in the relationship between Fascism and Neoliberalism.

    And, of course, it sounds like the US Department of Justice played a role in the jailing of Lula, the candidate who would be leading in the polls right now if he wasn’t in jail. So it’s pretty clear who the US government wants to win in the election:


    It is critical for the outside world to understand that this new-look, market-friendly Bolsonaro is only in a position where victory is even theoretically possible because, and only because, of former President Lula’s contested imprisonment. That imprisonment has been aided through informal (and illegal) collaboration between the US Department of Justice and Brazilian Federal Police, discussion of which is an Anglo media taboo.

    And that’s all part of why this election is looking so dire for Brazil: It’s not just Brazil’s business class that’s getting behind Bolsonaro. It’s the international business class, and the US government, who are getting behind Bolsonaro on the promise that he’ll impose some sort of authoritarian fascist rule. It’s utterly diabolical and at the same time ‘just business’:


    If investors truly believe that a Fascist’s victory in such an obvious sham of an election would protect their assets, they massively underestimate the Brazilian people, and should think again. If, somehow Jair Bolsonaro is elected President of Brazil, we should be under no illusion – there will be blood.

    So we’ll see how this election pans out. It Bolsonaro wins out its looking like an exceptionally bloody period coming up for Brazil. But given the interests behind Bolsonaro, and their history of fomenting coups, you have to wonder if blood can be avoided if Bolsonaro doesn’t win. It seems like Brazil is in a ‘bloody either way’ situation here.

    And in other news, Jair Bolsonaro’s son, Carlos, tweeted out a picture of someone being tortured last week. It was presumably a preview of the Bolsonaro agenda the investment class is getting behind.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 2, 2018, 3:51 pm

Post a comment