Sixty years after the end of the Second World War in Europe, British people are still obsessed with Nazism, and ignorant about Germany, said the German ambassador to London, Thomas Matussek.Heh. So he resents British triumphalism about the War. It's not like he'd be happy if the Brits were triumphalist, but religiously made sure to mention the Americans and the Soviets whenever they crowed. In other words, he's saying "don't get uppity, we would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids". The heroic British spirit that was roused from the dead by Winston Churchill is something to be proud of, and if it wasn't for them, Europe might have been lost years before the Americans got drawn into the war. Yes, British resolve won the war. They held the line while we dithered, and while they could never have won alone, they refused to lose, much to their credit. England would not yield.
"The British behave as if they had conquered Hitler's hordes single-handedly. And they continue to see us as Nazis, as if they have to refight the battles every evening. They are enchanted by this Nazi dimension," he said yesterday. "It's not anti-German sentiment precisely, but it's because we know too little about each other. Ignorance can breed xenophobia, which can breed hatred. That's what we've learnt in Germany."
Mr Matussek said that the two countries were "drifting apart" because British children were growing up with "dangerous misunderstandings" about Germany. "We have to make a distinction between cliched stereotypes that are outright funny - like in Dad's Army or Fawlty Towers - and something that goes a little deeper. The humour stops when I hear that German children are regularly beaten up and abused by British youngsters who don't know what Germany's about."Ah, those British cowboys, crowing about their victory over the most evil people in history. Once again, a prominent German is sick of hearing about the Nazi past. Jesus wept.
A recent survey showed that when British 10- to 16-year olds were asked what they associated Germany with, 78 per cent said the Second World War, and 50 per cent mentioned Hitler. Youthful British ignorance of Germany and its past was demonstrated by the photographs published earlier this year, showing Prince Harry at a fancy dress party in Nazi uniform.
"Like the conquering of the West is part of the American myth, so it is the same with the British and the defeat of Nazism," Mr Matussek told The Observer.
"We Germans confront the guilt and shame of our past daily, and more thoroughly and obsessively than probably any other nation on earth."
Retired Army Col. David Hackworth, one of the most decorated veterans in U.S. history who became a vocal advocate for military reform, died yesterday in Mexico at 74.
Hackworth returned from Vietnam as a strong critic of the war, later becoming a journalist and author of several best-selling books.
He had written a weekly column for WorldNetDaily for seven years.
Hackworth was in Mexico for treatments of bladder cancer, which he had battled for some time.
"He died in my arms yesterday morning," his wife, Eilhys England, said today.
Hackworth pushed for streamlined military and improved conditions for troops.
"Hack never lost his focus," said Roger Charles, president of Soldiers for the Truth, a California-based veterans group for which Hackworth served as chairman. "That focus was on the young kids that our country sends to bleed and die on our behalf. Everything he did in his retirement was to try to give them a better chance to win and to come home. That's one hell of a legacy."
Hackworth wrote several books including "Steel My Soldier's Heart," "The Vietnam Primer," "About Face," and "Hazardous Duty."
"Hack genuinely loved his boys -- and that meant any and all U.S. servicemen," said WND's Joseph Farah, who recruited Hackworth as a columnist in 1998. "That meant any time I needed advice on military questions, Hack was always helpful in providing answers and context. He could always link you up with servicemen and vets who would have answers if he didn't. We've lost a tremendous networking force for the men in the field. We've lost a genuine, one-of-a-kind American hero."
WorldNetDaily: David Hackworth dies of cancer, 74
Bill Maher: "I think that there is no perspective. People have no perspective, especially about crime. You know, zero tolerance. You know, of course, nobody ever wants to see a child, you know, diddled. That’s just plain wrong. But even the people who are testifying against him, they’re saying that he serviced them. They didn’t service him."From Matt May: How to gracefully dismiss a jackass on television
Craig Ferguson: "You don’t have kids, do you, Bill?"
Ferguson: "No. I have a son. It makes me crazy, this thing, this Michael Jackson thing. It drives me, the idea of someone touching my kid, I would go, I nearly swore there. I’d go crazy."
Maher: "Very wrong. But, you know, I remember when I was a kid. I was savagely beaten once by bullies in the schoolyard. Savagely beaten. If I had a choice between being savagely beaten and being gently masturbated by a pop star. It’s just me."
Raouf Ben Halima, 39, sleeps on his side, never on his stomach.
He enters the bathroom leading with his left foot, but puts his pants on leading with his right.
He does not use a fork when he eats; he uses his index finger, middle finger and thumb.
Halima is a member of the Tablighi Jamaat, or Preaching Party, a global army of Muslim missionaries helping to expand their religion and reinforce their faith. They believe that emulating the habits of the Prophet Muhammad is the surest way to restore Islam to its intended path.
So Halima and his associates shave their upper lips but let their beards grow. They wear their pants or robes above the ankle because the prophet said letting clothes drag on the ground is a sign of arrogance. "Halfway between the knee and the ankle is best," Halima explained, sitting amid stacks of religious tracts in his small home.
His comments during conversations about the growth of militant Islam offered a glimpse into the beliefs of a group that is unsettling to many in France. The Tablighi are one of the primary forces spreading Islamic fundamentalism in Europe, and many young men pass through the group on their way to an extreme, militant interpretation of the religion.
Beyond that, little about the group is known.
Lebanese Christian hardliner Michel Aoun returned from exile to a hero's welcome and savour the departure of Syrian troops who booted him out, as the country was gripped by fresh political tensions ahead of legislative elections this month.Why does AFP call him a "Christian hardliner" when he's actually advocating a pluralistic, secular state?
Following 15 years in French exile, Aoun set foot back on Lebanese soil 12 days after the last Syrian soldier quit the country amid intense Lebanese opposition and foreign pressure triggered by the February 14 assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.
His return came as the anti-Syrian opposition was locked in a tug-of-war with pro-Syrian diehards, seeking to amend an electoral law tailored by the Syrians and used in the 2000 polls, which bolstered Damascus' allies in parliament.
The soldier-turned-politician, who headed an interim military government in the dying days of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, arrived a day after a night-time bomb in the Christian resort town of Jounieh north of Beirut wounded 22 people.
Before his chartered plane touched down to a rapturous welcome by relatives and members of his Free Patriotic Movement, a parliamentary session to discuss the polls broke down amid calls for the sacking of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud.
The opposition also demands an amendment to a post-war amnesty law to win the release of Samir Geagea -- the only civil war militia leader to have been prosecuted and jailed -- who has been detained for 11 years.
Thunderous applause erupted on the tarmac of Beirut International Airport where hundreds of partisans and relatives, including a brother he had not seen in 15 years, his three daughters and grandchildren, greeted Aoun and his wife Nadia.
Supporters, wearing orange scarves, wiped tears of joy as Aoun stepped off the plane in a business suit, with retired Lebanese army generals Issam Abu Jamra and Edgar Maalouf close on his heels.
Aoun's first stop in Beirut was at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and then he laid a wreath at Hariri's tomb in Beirut's central Martyrs' Square, where he addressed tens of thousands of his supporters, most of them youths.
"I return as the sun of liberty shines anew to rebuild, together, a new Lebanon," Aoun said.
"Minds must be changed and we must get rid of the political feudalism and religious system that dates back to the 19th century," said Aoun as he pleaded for a secular Lebanon to a thunder of applause.
Aoun's critics, who resent his airs of grandeur and populism and dub him "Napolaoun", fear his return will disrupt Lebanon's fragile political structure.
His supporters among Lebanon's large Christian minority compare Aoun to Charles de Gaulle on his return to a liberated France in 1945 after the last German soldier marched out.
Those reading me or viewing my CD Rom PowerPoint Show presentation know I have never proclaimed Javier Solana is the beast. I do confess to saying that he could well be an educated guess. I guess the only person the evidence truly convinced is SqueakBox who then proceeded to remove the evidence because he thought (with the help of his New Zealand Wikipedia ally, "One Salient Oversight") that if that evidence were true, than he had to be the Christian 'beast' of Revelation.A Black Hole Called 'Javier Solana'
So, SqueakBox proceeded to eliminate all references to the Barcelona Conference (where Solana declared war on all religious fundamentalism, worldwide), to the ten nation Western European Union, to Solana's job being established in the Europa documents as "Section 666", and to Solana suggesting and receiving proposed near dictatorial powers over Europe for himself with "Recommendation 666," and last but not least references to Solana's long family history of anti-clericalism, his mother's affiliations with the Rajneesh/Osho cult, and Solana's taking hegemony over the Israeli-Palestine-Jordan neighborhood.
SqueakBox proceeded to remove all of these and many others and then, inter alia, went on to publish a near libelous and inaccurate Wikipedia article on Yours Truly saying that she and Herb Peters were the originator of the "Solana is the Beast" theories.
Major Mark Bieger found this little girl after the car bomb that attacked our guys while kids were crowding around. The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers. Major Bieger, I had seen him help rescue some of our guys a week earlier during another big attack, took some of our soldiers and rushed this little girl to our hospital. He wanted her to have American surgeons and not to go to the Iraqi hospital. She didn't make it. I snapped this picture when Major Bieger ran to take her away. He kept stopping to talk with her and hug her.Michael Yon : Online Magazine: Little Girl
On mission along the border of Chad and Darfur, Human Rights Watch researchers gave children notebooks and crayons to keep them occupied while they spoke with the children’s parents. Without any instruction or guidance, the children drew scenes from their experiences of the war in Darfur: the attacks by the Janjaweed, the bombings by Sudanese government forces, the shootings, the burning of entire villages, and the flight to Chad.Darfur Drawn: The Conflict in Darfur Through Children's Eyes
On May 9, 1945, the world will mark the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism.Read the whole thing, there's tons of fascinating stories: ONE IN EVERY TEN SOVIET JEWS FOUGHT AT THE FRONT
To quote from one of the most famous Russian songs about the war, "We need victory, victory for all, whatever the cost." No one has ever worked out which of the ethnic groups of the Soviet Union made the biggest contribution to the defeat of Germany. Everyone suffered, and everyone shared the victory. But regrettably, the situation in the country after the war was such that the heroism of many soldiers and officers and many facts about the war went unmentioned. This is why generations that did not experience the war often have a distorted view of it.
Many of the myths about the war relate to the Jews. One of these myths is that the Jews were cowards, the Jews didn't fight. Although historians and the men who fought at the front knew the truth, the myths persisted.
Ilya Altman, historian and co-chairman of the Holocaust Foundation, says that about 450,000 of the soldiers and officers who fought in the Red Army during the war were Jewish. This was about a tenth of the entire Jewish population of the Soviet Union at that time. This percentage is particularly striking given that most of the country's Jews lived in Nazi-occupied territories and so could not be called up to the army.
My grandfather, Senior Lieutenant Semyon Bravy (born 1920), was one of the Jews who fought. He was in the aviation corps commanded by Nikolai Kamanin, Hero of the Soviet Union. (Kamanin went on to become an instructor for the first team of Soviet cosmonauts.) They flew together in the same plane for about two years during the war. Kamanin was a pilot and my grandfather was a radio operator gunner. On May 11, 1945, near Lake Balaton, not far from the Austro-Hungarian border, my grandfather's aircraft was shot down for the second time during the war. He miraculously escaped death, but from 160,000 to 200,000 Jews in the Red Army did not make it home.
Only Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians were awarded more Soviet military decorations than Jews. And in terms of the number of Heroes of the Soviet Union (the USSR's highest award for exceptional courage and self-sacrifice) they come fifth, after the Tatars. In total, about 150 Jews who fought during World War II were awarded this title.
Colonel (later Colonel General) David Dragunsky was one of the men to be awarded this title twice. When the war broke out on June 22, 1941, he faced the German forces on the USSR's western border. In 1943, as he was lying seriously wounded in hospital, he was told that the Nazis had shot his father, mother and two sisters. His two brothers perished in battles at the front. On April 30, 1945, Dragunsky's tank brigade joined together with Semyon Krivoshein's tank corps (Krivoshein was also a Jew). Berlin was encircled. Dragunsky received his second Star of Hero of the Soviet Union for these battles, and Krivoshein received his first. Dragunsky participated in the Victory parade on June 24, 1945.