Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'austerity' is associated with 39 posts.

FTR #985 Fascism: 2017 European Tour, Part 2

Beginning our tour in Poland, we note alarming signs of that country descending into fascism, with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim xenophobia on the ideological front burner of the ironically named Law and Justice Party: ” . . . . Tens of thousands of people — many of them young men with crew cuts, but some parents with children, too — flocked to the Polish capital to celebrate Independence Day in a march organized in part by two neo-fascist organizations. They waved white and red Polish flags, they brandished burning torches, and they wore “white power” symbols. They carried banners declaring, ‘Death to enemies of the homeland,’ and screamed, ‘Sieg Heil!’ and ‘Ku Klux Klan!’ . . . .”

The treatment accorded female counter-demonstrators exemplifies the nature of the rally: ” . . . . A dozen incredibly courageous women showed up to protest the march. After mixing with the marchers, they unraveled a long strip of cloth emblazoned with ‘Stop Fascism.’ They were immediately attacked. Their banner was ripped apart. Marchers pushed some of the women to the ground and kicked others. . . .”

At an institutional level, the Law and Justice Party is implementing an Orwellian mockery of its name: ” . . . Ever since the Law and Justice Party won both the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2015, Poland has been undergoing a disturbing political transformation. Law and Justice is an Orwellian name for a party that constantly violates the law, breaks constitutional provisions and is hellbent on subjecting the courts to its control. The party is dismantling the institutional framework of parliamentary democracy piece by piece in order to remove any restraints on the personal power of its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. ‘Prezes,’ the Boss, people call him. . . .”

The xenophobia utilized by the Law and Justice Party is a common element in European and American fascist movements: ” . . . . Two years ago, the party bet that latching onto the refugee crisis in Europe would give it purchase on the votes necessary to win. Its calculation proved entirely correct. One of the first institutions the party hijacked was public television. Law and Justice has turned it into Fox News on steroids, paid for by the taxpayers. It feeds viewers nonstop propaganda about the mounting threat to Poland’s sovereignty from the European Union, specifically in the form of Muslim refugees. Those refugees present a threat to our way of life, the government and the press insist. They will assault our women, they say, and they are carrying infectious diseases to boot. A year ago, a quarter of Poles opposed accepting anyone fleeing the ravages of war in the Middle East; after months of relentless propaganda, 75 percent are now opposed. This year the country has let in only 1,474 asylum seekers, nearly all of them from Russia or Ukraine. . . .”

In Italy, CasaPound recapitulates Italy’s fascist past, in resonance with anti-immigrant xenophobia exhibited by other neo-fascist parties: ” . . . . But CasaPound is winning seats in a handful of towns, and some of its core beliefs — a fondness for Russia and sharp opposition to the European Union, globalization and immigration, which it believes sully the national identity and economy — are increasingly spreading throughout Italy. In Sicily, the new headquarters of Brothers of Italy, a descendant of the post-fascist Italian Social Movement, had the phrase ‘Italians first’ written on the wall during its recent inauguration. Anti-immigration sentiment has grown so popular that the once-secessionist Northern League has dropped the word ‘Northern’ from its name as it looks for inroads to the south. . . .”

Much of our tour is in Ukraine, where the OUN/B fascists are rewriting history.

Key elements of this Orwellian re-write include:

1.-The Institute of National Memory, headed by Volodomyr Viatrovych, is standing World War II history on its head. internationalists. . . .”
2.-Viatrovych and his Institute are marketing a “pet Jew” UPA soldier to prove the open-minded, politically correctness of the UPA and the OUN/B.
3.-Wholesale support for Viatrovych’s Orwellian re-write of Ukrainian history has come from Poroshenko government: “. . . . The controversy centers on a telling of World War II history that amplifies Soviet crimes and glorifies Ukrainian nationalist fighters while dismissing the vital part they played in ethnic cleansing of Poles and Jews from 1941 to 1945 after the Nazi invasion of the former Soviet Union. . . . And more pointedly, scholars now fear that they risk reprisal for not toeing the official line — or calling Viatrovych on his historical distortions. Under Viatrovych’s reign, the country could be headed for a new, and frightening, era of censorship. . . .”
4.-More about Viatrovych’s historical propaganda: “. . . . To that effect, Viatrovych has dismissed historical events not comporting with this narrative as ‘Soviet propaganda.’ [This is true of information presented by anyone that tells the truth about the OUN/B heirs now in power in Ukraine–they are dismissed as ‘Russian dupes’ or “tools of the Kremlin’ etc.–D.E.] In his 2006 book, The OUN’s Position Towards the Jews: Formulation of a position against the backdrop of a catastrophe, he attempted to exonerate the OUN from its collaboration in the Holocaust by ignoring the overwhelming mass of historical literature. . . .”
5. The Polish fascists described above have remained silent about Viatrovych’s academic coverup of the Ukrainian fascists’ extermination of ethnic Poles during World War “. . . . UPA supreme commander Dmytro Kliachkivs’kyi explicitly stated: ‘We should carry out a large-scale liquidation action against Polish elements. During the evacuation of the German Army, we should find an appropriate moment to liquidate the entire male population between 16 and 60 years old.’ Given that over 70 percent of the leading UPA cadres possessed a background as Nazi collaborators, none of this is surprising. . . .”
6. Ukraine’s Ministry of Education is echoing and amplifying Viatrovych’s narrative: “. . . . Seventy historians signed an open letter to Poroshenko asking him to veto the draft law that bans criticism of the OUN-UPA. . . . After the open letter was published, the legislation’s sponsor, Yuri Shukhevych, reacted furiously. Shukhevych, the son of UPA leader Roman Shukhevych and a longtime far-right political activist himself, fired off a letter to Minister of Education Serhiy Kvit claiming, ‘Russian special services’ produced the letter and demanded that ‘patriotic’ historians rebuff it. Kvit, also a longtime far-right activist and author of an admiring biography one of the key theoreticians of Ukrainian ethnic nationalism, in turn ominously highlighted the signatories of Ukrainian historians on his copy of the letter. . . .”
7.-More about Minister of Education Kvit, and Viatrovych: “. . . . Last June, Kvit’s Ministry of Education issued a directive to teachers regarding the ‘necessity to accentuate the patriotism and morality of the activists of the liberation movement,’ including depicting the UPA as a ‘symbol of patriotism and sacrificial spirit in the struggle for an independent Ukraine’ and Bandera as an ‘outstanding representative’ of the Ukrainian people.’ More recently, Viatrovych’s Ukrainian Institute of National Memory proposed that the city of Kiev rename two streets after Bandera and the former supreme commander of both the UPA and the Nazi-supervised Schutzmannschaft Roman Shukhevych. . . .”
8.-In keeping with the re-writing of Ukraine’s wartime history, the city of Lvov [Lviv or Lemberg, when it was part of Poland] has established a festival in honor of Roman Shukhevych, the head of the Einsatzgruppe Nachtigall or Nightingale Battalion, on the anniversary of the beginning of a pogrom that he led.

More about this pogrom:

1, “The Ukrainian city of Lviv will hold a festival celebrating a Nazi collaborator on the anniversary of a major pogrom against the city’s Jews. . . . On June 30, 1941, Ukrainian troops, including militiamen loyal to Shukhevych’s, began a series of pogroms against Jews, which they perpetrated under the auspices of the German army, according to Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder and other scholars. They murdered approximately 6,000 Jews in those pogroms. . . .”
2.-The Einsatzgruppe Nachtigall was an SS extermination unit. “. . . . In 1959 [SS officer Theodor] Oberlaender was the center of a storm that finally forced his resignation in May 1960. He was blamed for the mass murder of thousands of Jews and Polish intellectuals who had been liquidated in July 1941 when a special SS task force under his command occupied the Polish city of Lemberg (Lvov). . . . As briefly mentioned in a previous chapter, Minister Oberlaender is accused of having been involved in the so-called “Lemberg massacre,” in which several thousand Poles and more than 5,000 Jews were slaughtered. Dr. Oberlaender does not deny a] that he was the commanding officer of a special SS task force, the Nightingale Battalion, made up of nationalist Ukrainians; and b] that this battalion was the first German unit to move into the Polish city of Lemberg on June 29, 1941, where it remained for six or seven days. . . .”

The official founding of the UPA (October 14)–the group whose troops comprised the Einsatzgruppe Nachtigall–is now a national holdiay Ukraine: ” . . . . Thousands of Ukrainian nationalists have marched through the capital, Kyiv, to mark the 75th anniversary of the creation of the controversial Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). March organizers said as many as 20,000 people participated in the October 14 march, which was supported by the right-wing Freedom, Right Sector, and National Corp political parties. . . . Journalists reported seeing some marchers giving Nazi salutes. Since 2015, the October 14 anniversary has been marked as the Defender of Ukraine Day public holiday. . . . .”

Program Highlights Include:

1.-We return to the subject of the Lithuanian Rifleman’s Union, who are engaging with maneuvers with similar organizations from Latvia and Lithuania.
2.-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.”
3.-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.)
4.-Review of inforation from FTR #779, noting that Svoboda was networking with Roberto Fiore’s Forza Nuova. Svoboda has threatened Ukrainian Jews who protested the establishment of an official holiday in Ukraine honoring Ukrainian pogromist Simeon Petlyura, whose troops killed 50,000 Jews in Ukraine.


The US Falls Down the GOP’s Tax Scam Memory Hole. Again.

When is a tax cut more than just a tax cut? When it’s a GOP tax cut. Because when the GOP cuts taxes, it’s never just an attempt to cut taxes because tax cuts are just one element of the GOP’s much larger agenda of creating a society run by and for the super-rich. And massive amounts of propaganda and deception are part of the tax cut package too. It’s why GOP tax cuts tend to be so much more than just tax cuts for the rich. They’re Big Lies designed to fool society into dismantling itself. So it should come as a surprise to no one that the current GOP tax cut plans are horrible abomination being sold to the public by a web of lies. But what is genuinely surprising about the current GOP tax push is just how shoddy that web of lies is turning out to be this time. As we’re going to see, it’s almost as if the failure to pass Trumpcare only increased the resolve of America’s right-wing oligarchs to finally pass legislation that’s even more politically awful than Trumpcare. But as we’re also going to see, even if the tax cuts turn into a political disaster for the GOP that will still be fine for the GOP as long as the public forgets to remember that we’ve been here before.


FTR #983 Fascism, 2017 World Tour, Part 2

As the title indicates, this program examines manifestations of fascism around the world.

In Europe, we analyze:

1.-The recapitulation of Nazi and fascist elements in the current Bulgarian coalition government of Boyko Borisov. (Bulgaria was a Nazi ally in World War II.)
2.-The vitality of “regionalism”–a political/economic doctrine that advocates the secession of key prosperous regions from nation states.
3.-Analysis of regionalism as an application of globalist economic theory to Euorope.
4.-The history of regionalism’s advoacy by Third Reich veteran theoreticians.
5.-Edward Snowden and Julian Assange’s support for Catalan secession from Spain.
6.-The success of the AfD in German elections.
7.-AfD politician Alexander Gauland’s statement that Germans should be proud of what that country’s soldiers accomplished in World War II.
8.-The Austrian Freedom Party’s projected success in upcoming elections. The party was formed in 1956 by Third Reich veterans as a vehicle for re-introducing Austrian Nazis into the country’s political life.

In Latin America, we examine:

1.-The verdict that Argentine AMIA bombing investigator Alberto Nisman’s death was a murder, not a suicide.
2.-Review of the AMIA bombing investigation.
3.-The discovery of a cache of Nazi artifacts, including devices used for determining racial purity. Hitler apparently posed with some of the artificats.
4.-The role of Nisman’s widow as the judge investigating the Nazi artifact case.
5.-Operational links between American Nazi Christopher Cantwell and the Koch Brothers-funded Ludwig Von Mises Institute in Brazil.

In the United States, we detail:

1.-How Breitbart actively promoted Neo-Nazism, while downplaying what it was actually doing.
2.-How white supremacist and Nazi elements are successfully using YouTube to mainstream fascist and racist views.

In the Middle East, we highlight:

1.-Benjamin Netanyahu’s political connections with the Thyssen/Krupp firm, one of the lynchpins of the Bormann capital network.
2.-Yair Netanyahu’s attribution of his father’s political difficulties to sabotage by an international Jewish conspiracy.
3.-Ronald Regan’s 1981 citation of Ibn Khaldun as a key advocate for supply-side economics.
4.-Review of the Muslim Brotherhood’s embrace of the views of Ibn Khaldun.


The New World Ordoliberalism, Part 7: To QE, or Not to QE, That is the Ominous Question

As the European Central Bank (ECB) continues to wrestle with the decision of when and how quickly to wind down its quantitative easing (QE) program while inflation remains stubbornly below the 2 percent target and likely to stay well below 2 percent for the foreseeable future, it’s worth noting that there’s a new nightmare to add to the equation: The euro has surged in value this year, a move that not only depresses exports in recovery economies like Spain and Portugal but also depresses inflation. And one of the things holding down the value of the euro is the ECB’s QE program. So if the ECB tapers off the QE too early and quickly it’s going to make an overly-strong euro even stronger while dragging inflation even lower, potentially derailing fragile recoveries in the austerity-inflicted member states. And that means not sending the wrong signals is a key goal of the ECB is things are going to go smoothly. Guess which signals are being sent.


Guess What? Grandma is Moving In. She’s Got Medical Bills. Maybe to Share. It’s Medicaid Brought to You by Kochcare.

Is kicking senior citizens out of nursing homes good politics? That’s a question GOP asking itself these days. One of many questions related to the politics of health care. Although not many are asking it since the public largely has no idea the question is being asked at all as recent polls show. With the Senate’s version of ‘Trumpcare’ finally released to the public, we’re now learning that, yes, the GOP appears to think kicking seniors out their nursing homes is good politics. Because transferring Medicaid costs to states and individuals has been a key GOP goal of Trumpcare’s congressional authors the entire time and nursing homes are paid for by Medicaid for the vast majority of people. So in addition to the many profound moral questions raised by the GOP’s health care ‘reform’ plans, a growing number of profound political questions are being raised the more we learn about Trumpcare as it takes form. Including whether or not putting nursing home coverage on a fiscal death spiral makes for good politics. Granny would probably say ‘no’, but she’s got competition.


Trumplandian Feudalism: Employ the Unemployed While Still Starving Them

Did Trump suddenly drop his oft-repeated criticism of tradition unemployment reporting and assertions that in reality its 42 percent and 94 million American adults are out of work? Well, as we’re going to see, probably not because his administration is still planning on redefining the “official” unemployment rate to be much “looser” and his claims that 42 percent if American adults are out of work are necessary to achieve a long-held GOP goal championed by House Speaker Paul Ryan: converting the US safety-net – including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security – into a “work for a pittance to get a pittance of government support”-net that traps the poor in system where if you have to find full time work to get any help at all. Maybe even for the elderly. And the help you get in return for that work-requirement will keep shrinking year after year. It’s a plan that can’t happen unless almost all non-working adults are defined as “unemployed”. So, no, Trump didn’t change his mind. He just still thinks we’re all stupid (maybe).


Killing Granny: The GOP’s “One Size Fits All” Death Panel for Health Care

Change is coming to Washington DC. Mostly horrible changes. But as we’ll see in this post, there is one very significant and positive change coming as a consequence of the unified GOP control of the White House and Congress: GOP is actually going to start getting the blame it deserves for all the damage its pro-oligarch/anti-everyone-else agenda routinely inflicts upon the American people. Politics can be frustrating for a myriad of reasons, but one of the biggest sources of frustration is the cloud of perpetual obfuscation and confusion that tends to permeate the political discourse and collective understanding of what’s actually happening, why it’s happening, and who should be rewarded or blamed for it. But for the next couple of years, at a minimum, it’s going to be very clear who to blame for the damage DC is about to unleash, and it’s not just going to be Donald Trump. And when it comes to health care “reform” (privatization) that the GOP is about to impose upon the populace, that blame is about to get dangerously diffusive for state legislatures and governorships because the Health Care Austerity Hot Potato is about to get tossed in their laps over and over. Indefinitely. And since the GOP controls almost all state legislatures and governorships at the moment they won’t be able to prevent themselves from slashing these programs. So with the coming block granting of first Medicaid and then Medicare (or maybe both together), the politics of health care is about to get weird. And tragic because the GOP won’t be able to help itself with all the austerity


The New World Ordoliberalism Part 6: The QE Taper Caper and the Portuguese Squeeze

In this chapter of our exploration of what’s wrong with the eurozone we’re going to take a look at the evolving nature of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) quantitative easing (QE) program. Specifically, how the QE program was facing a set of obstacles that was going to require some tweaking to the program and how the solution to the obstacle was to basically choose the tweaks that harmed the weak, in particular Portugal. In favor of Germany, of course. Keep in mind that Portugal recently formed a left-wing anti-austerity government and has done relatively economically well since coming into power . Also keep in mind that Portugal is one of the few eurozone nations not facing a rising far-right “populist” movement as a response to its harsh austerity program. So you might say the timing is “right” for some preferential treatment of Portugal. Preferentially bad treatment.


Krugmenistan vs the Permahawks

Lift Off! That was the announcement by the Federal Reserve this week when the world’s biggest and most influential central bank started the long awaited raising of its benchmark short-term rate a quarter point from near-zero levels, marking the first time the Fed has raised rates since 2006. It was big news, except this rate hike was telegraphed for quite a while now and virtually everyone was expecting the Fed to do exactly what it did, so it’s not as big as it could have been. If the Fed had decided not to raise rates, despite all the telegraphing, that probably would have been a bigger story. But would it have been a bad story if the Fed decided to keep rates at their current near-zero levels? There’s a big debate in the economic community over that. And it’s a debate that pits prudent economists with excellent track-records like Paul Krugman, someone who opposed the Fed’s December “lift off” decision, against the broad array of “permahawks”. But it’s not just the question with respect to Fed. The European Central Bank made a policy announcement this month too regarding its stimulus measure and it was indeed rather surprising. And as we’re also going to see in this post, it was surprising in the way that just might have done serious damage to not just the credibility of ECB President Mario Draghi but the ECB itself. Or at least credibility in the ECB’s commitment to its single mandate of keeping inflation hovering around 2 percent.

To placate permahawks (to maintain credibility) or not placate the permahawks (to maintain credibility)? That is the question. Or at least one of the questions central banks face. Unfortunately.


Germany, Greece and Franco’s Blue Division

Wolfgang Schauble (Germany’s Finance Minister) has stated that Germany needn’t repay the billions it stole from Greece during World War II, because a government is not obligated to fulfill the pledges of previous regimes. The fact that Germany continues to pay pensions to veterans of Spain’s Blue Division (which fought on the Eastern Front during World War II) suggests that the German government’s judgments are self-servingly selective. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 35+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.