Saturday, April 11, 2020

“Restoring Jewish sovereignty” is not “West Bank annexation” - David Singer

by David Singer

The Jewish media is letting the Jewish People down at this critical moment in Jewish History. In seeking to underplay the Netanyahu-Gantz divide, the Jewish media is giving ammunition to our enemies to use “West Bank annexation” at every opportunity.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz have reached a critical point in their negotiations to form a Government of National Unity: whether to seize the opportunity presented by President Trump to restore Jewish sovereignty in Judea and Samaria – the heartland of the ancient and biblical Jewish National Home - after an absence of 3000 years.

Netanyahu wants to do so in tandem with President Trump - immediately a Government of at least 61 members headed by him as Prime Minister is formed. Gantz is not prepared to do so unless the Arab States – notably Jordan – and the international community agree – virtually guaranteeing it will never happen.

The Jewish media do not seem to have grasped the unique opportunity presented to the Jewish People to turn a 3000 year old dream into a miraculous reality.

Using what can only be described as the language of the enemies of the Jewish people – the mainstream Jewish media in Israel and elsewhere have been headlining their reports of the ongoing struggle between Netanyahu and Gantz with very similar headlines:
“Gantz weighing limited West Bank settlement annexation – report”
Two leaders forced to yell to each other with PM in precautionary isolation; main disagreement is still over annexing parts of West Bank, which Netanyahu wants as his ‘legacy’”
“Gantz reportedly prepared to accept limited annexation of West Bank”
“Report: Gantz agrees to limited West Bank annexation, inches closer to unity gov't”
“Dan Shapiro: Gantz and Netanyahu are ‘haggling’ over West Bank annexation”
“West Bank annexation remains a sticking point in Israel unity government talks”

These Jewish media reports are doing the Jewish People a great disservice. 

The correct name of the “West Bank” is “Judea and Samaria” – the geographic place name used for 3000 years until 1950 - when its name was changed by Transjordan following its illegal occupation of Judea and Samaria and the ethnic cleansing of all Jews living there in the 1948 War of Independence. Transjordan and Judea and Samaria were unified into one territorial entity and renamed Jordan. The 'West Bank' was the area of Jordan on the West Bank of the River Jordan. The area on the East Bank of the Jordan River comprised what was formerly Transjordan. 

The term “Judea and Samaria” had been recently used in Part II A of the 1947 UN Partition Resolution.

The 1950 change of name to “West Bank” has since been used to mask any Jewish claims or connection to the land. To rub salt into the wound the United Nations now calls it the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”

The term “annexation” connotes taking something to which you have no claim. Yet the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine included Judea and Samaria as areas in which the Jewish National Home could be “reconstituted”.  This right to do so was preserved by article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

Language is important. 

The Jewish media is letting the Jewish People down at this critical moment in Jewish History. In seeking to underplay the Netanyahu-Gantz divide – the Jewish media is giving ammunition to our enemies to use “West Bank annexation” at every opportunity.

“West Bank annexation” is a distinctly anti-Jewish phrase. “Restoring Jewish sovereignty in Judea and Samaria” states the Jewish case. Four more words for the newspapers to include in their headlines and reports that create a very different perception and understanding of what is at stake.

As Jews recount the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt at their Seders this week – think of the miracle Jews may be soon blessed to witness with their own eyes – reclaiming patrimony to the ancient Jewish homeland after 3000 years.

Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators –  whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

Dry Bones "Annexation"                                                                                                 INN:HK

David Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country. He founded the "Jordan is Palestine" Committee in 1979.


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It Is Time for the WHO's Pro-China Chief to Resign - Con Coughlin

by Con Coughlin

Why did the WHO recommend to keep US borders open?

  • Rather than criticising Beijing for its initial attempts to cover up the outbreak, Dr Tedros instead praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for his "very rare leadership", and China for showing "transparency" in its response to the virus.
  • "The W.H.O. really blew it... Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?" — US President Donald J. Trump, Twitter, April 7, 2020.
  • Why indeed?

The blatant pro-China bias shown by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its response to the coronavirus pandemic has raised a number of serious questions about its handling of the crisis. Pictured: WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pays a visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on January 28, 2020. (Photo by Naohiko Hatta/AFP via Getty Images)

As the body responsible for maintaining global health standards, the UN-sponsored World Health Organization (WHO) is supposed to adopt an even-handed approach when dealing with all member states, irrespective of how powerful they might be.

It is for this reason that the blatant pro-China bias the organisation has shown in its response to the coronavirus pandemic has raised a number of serious questions about the WHO's handling of the crisis.

Under the terms of the WHO's constitution, which sets out the agency's governing structure and principles, the Geneva-based organisation is charged with ensuring "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health."

The accusation made by the Trump Administration, that the global body has become "China centric" and has been "biased" in its dealings with Beijing over the pandemic, therefore suggest the organisation has failed in its duty to treat all member states equally.

This has prompted US President Donald J. Trump to threaten to cut WHO funding, a move that could prove disastrous for the organisation, as the U.S. is its main financial backer.

President Trump's low opinion of the WHO was reflected in a hard-hitting Twitter post this week, in which he wrote:
"The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?"
Why indeed?

Mr Trump then repeated the accusations at a White House news briefing on Tuesday. "They called it wrong. They really -- they missed the call," the president said. "And we're going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We're going to put a very powerful hold on it and we're going to see."

The deepening row between Washington and the WHO comes at a time when the U.S. is having to deal with a worsening death toll while the Chinese are celebrating as citizens in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus is said to have originated, begin to return to normal life after experiencing a total lockdown imposed by China's authoritarian regime that has lasted for more than two months.

By contrast, the U.S. is being particularly badly hit by the pandemic, with New York State on Tuesday reporting its highest single day increase with 731 fatalities.

The Trump Administration is increasingly of the view that the US would not be suffering so badly had the WHO been more rigorous in its dealings with Beijing when the outbreak was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019.

Much of the blame, moreover, for the WHO's dire performance during the outbreak is being blamed on Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's director-general. A former Ethiopian health minister, he first came to prominence in his home country when he served on the politburo of the Marxist-Leninist Tigray People's Liberation Front.

Dr Tedros was previously a great admirer of former Rhodesian dictator Robert Mugabe, even appointing him as a goodwill ambassador for the WHO, a decision he was forced to revoke following an international outcry.

Like Mr Mugabe, Dr Tedros has enjoyed a good relationship with China's ruling communist party, and he won election to his current position after receiving backing from China in the May 2017 election.

His long-standing relationship with Beijing might help to explain why the WHO has been so accommodating to China even though the coronavirus pandemic originated in Wuhan. Rather than criticising Beijing for its initial attempts to cover up the outbreak, Dr Tedros instead praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for his "very rare leadership", and China for showing "transparency" in its response to the virus.

Many nations, including the U.S. and Britain, believe that Dr Tedros's reluctance to confront China over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak is the reason it has now become a pandemic, with most Western countries being forced to introduce lockdown measures in a belated attempt to limit the spread of the virus.

Not surprisingly, Dr Tedros is facing widespread calls to resign, not least in the U.S., where American politicians say he placed too much trust in Beijing's reporting about the extent of the spread of the disease.

Certainly, if investigations into the outbreak conclude the devastating global consequences could have been avoided if Dr Tedros had acted differently, then the WHO boss will have no choice but to tender his resignation.

Con Coughlin is the Telegraph's Defence and Foreign Affairs Editor and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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Opportunity Out of Crisis: The Case of Iran - Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen

by Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen

The clerics in Iran are holding fast to their policy of denial or at least minimization of the coronavirus catastrophe while encouraging the IRGC to proceed with its regional activities in support of Iran’s aspirations in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,525, April 10, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Coronavirus has killed thousands in Iran and sickened more than 60,000. If the virus is not contained, hundreds of thousands more Iranians risk infection and death. If skillfully handled, this crisis might present the Trump administration with a unique opportunity to reduce the Iranian nuclear threat.

It’s too early to say that the coronavirus pandemic is out of control, but several countries critically hit by the virus are desperately calling for help. While in the US and Europe full transparency is an indispensable tool in combatting the disease, countries in the Middle East are sticking to their traditionally opaque approach to crises in an effort to downplay the full scale of the emergency.

Iran is the outstanding example of this syndrome. A steady stream of news from that country, consisting primarily of leaks from unofficial sources, suggests that the disease is rampant. The death and sickness toll in Iran is already terrible and if the virus is not contained, it will threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands more Iranians. The country may well be approaching the point of no return.

The severity of the situation is an indictment of the ruling regime’s incompetence. It critically failed to ready the country for a crisis of this kind, leaving medical personnel scrambling to cope with extreme shortages of even the most basic supplies necessary to fight the virus and protect themselves. The state-run daily Ressalat, reflecting the regime’s orchestrated cover-up policy, wrote in early March that “the statistics [of medical personnel infected] are completely security-related and cannot be revealed.”

This policy of obfuscation is not only a danger to Iranian medical professionals. As The New York Times wrote, ”the [Iranian] authorities seem as worried about controlling information as they are about controlling the virus,” and The Washington Post cautioned that “Iran’s reaction to coronavirus has become a danger for the world.”

Unofficial reports from Iran suggest that the IRGC and the Ministry of Intelligence have been tasked to threaten families of victims into keeping silent in an effort to cover up the true number of fatalities. IRGC command has ordered its provincial divisions to be present at hospitals and medical centers to control reporting on the numbers of patients infected or killed by the virus. Families of coronavirus victims are pressured not to disclose the real cause of death, and an almost hermetic censorship has been imposed on social networks and online media.

Looking backward, it is now clear that the coronavirus outbreak in Iran started in the holy city of Qom in February 2020. Calls to quarantine the city were strongly opposed by the mullahs and by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who not only would not allow the city’s holy shrine to be closed but urged pilgrims to continue to visit it. One of Khamenei’s aides was quoted on February 22nd as saying, “The enemy intends to show that Qom is insecure and take revenge, but it will never succeed”. Another cleric said four days later, “We consider the holy shrine a ‘house of cure’ and it must remain open and people must resolutely visit the shrine.”

On March 29, a group of 100 Iranian academics and political and social activists published a letter holding Khamenei chiefly responsible for the epidemic’s becoming a national disaster. They claim that Khamenei is preventing citizens from receiving American or other humanitarian aid while ensuring that he and other regime officials have access to medical treatment.

The clerics in Iran are holding fast to their policy of denial or at least minimization of the coronavirus catastrophe while encouraging the IRGC to proceed with its regional activities in support of Iran’s aspirations in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. On April 1, President Trump warned Iran against using its proxy forces to attack American troops in Iraq and hinted that the US military is considering a direct strike on Iranian forces. He said his administration has “very good information” that Iran-backed militias are planning more assaults. In parallel, it appears that the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen has augmented its ballistic missile launches against Saudi strategic assets as well as Yemen’s governmental targets during the crisis. The latest attack, which was directed at the Yemenite district of Saada, occurred on April 5.

An additional worrisome dimension has to do with Iran’s activities in the nuclear domain. Unofficial Israeli sources have expressed concern that Iran is taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to accelerate uranium enrichment under the radar. This is entirely possible, as IAEA inspectors are refraining from visiting Iranian nuclear sites and several have fled Iran entirely due to the high risk of contamination. Iran’s continued violations of its commitments according to the JCPOA have potentially dangerous ramifications, as the US is of course fully aware.

Iran poses a triple threat that must be acknowledged and assessed by the international community: a catastrophic and possibly out-of-control outbreak of coronavirus, ongoing aggressive efforts led by IRGC-related proxies to interfere in and disrupt the region, and a prohibited acceleration of the national nuclear program.

The world is thus faced with a dilemma: a moral obligation to take a humanitarian approach to Iran versus a policy of squeezing the Iranian regime economically and psychologically to achieve strategic gains. Does the extremity of the crisis faced by Tehran present an opportunity for Washington?

On April 12, 1959, John F. Kennedy said, “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger—but recognize the opportunity.” A similar saying attributed to the Italian Renaissance writer Niccolo Machiavelli recommends that we “never waste the opportunity offered by a good crisis.”

Crisis and opportunity are two sides of a single coin. Should we focus on the crisis or look for the opportunity? Considering how long-lasting and potentially explosive the Iranian nuclear issue is, it seems sensible to consider the strategic dimension under the current extraordinary circumstances.

Provided that it is handled skillfully by the Trump administration, the coronavirus crisis could present a unique opportunity to reduce the Iranian nuclear threat. The plan should be twofold: an international campaign led by the US to offer Iran the maximum humanitarian and medical assistance to contain the epidemic, and the acquiring of Iran’s commitment to a new nuclear agreement that fills the gaps left by the JCPOA.

Though the US is itself in the midst of fighting the virus, it can handle such an initiative, as it holds the winning cards. The outcome of such a far-reaching approach to Iran could be worthwhile in both the short and the long terms.

Timing is the name of the game, considering the scale of the catastrophe in Iran as well as the simmering domestic rage against the clerical regime. The walls are closing in on Khamenei and his entourage.

Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen is a retired colonel who served as a senior analyst in IDF Military Intelligence.


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Political correctness meets the pathogen: The Spanish disaster - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

Spain saw what was happening in Italy, but refused to cancel mass Women's Day events.

Spain is one of the European countries most battered by the pandemic. 

13,798 people died in just over two weeks. Spanish nursing homes have been devastated by the virus.

True, Italy made many tragic mistakes in dealing with this tragedy. But my country was the first in Europe hit in such huge numbers. 

Spain saw what was going on in Italy, which had already been dealing with Covid-19 for two weeks before it appeared in Madrid and Barcelona. In Italy, the first deaths occurred on 1st of March. But still, on March 8, Spain filled the squares for Women's Day.

They put their shameful ideological and political interests – “women’s liberation” - before the common good. Virtue signaling came before battling the virus.

Spanish epidemiologist Fernando Simón, in a national press conference, said there was no risk in participating in the March 8 rallies and marches. “If my son asked me if he can go, I would tell him to do whatever he wants,” he said. Three Spanish government ministers who led the women’s rally later tested positive for the virus, as did Prime minister Sánchez’s wife and mother.

“It is evident that with what we know today, all of us would have acted differently,” Mr. Sánchez said. It is a lie.

The West is so compromised, weak and deluded that it did not begin to defend itself from this pandemic even when my country, Spain's close neighbor, was already filling our cemeteries and morgues.

Even Juan Luis Cebrián, co-founder of the newspaper El País, a well-known spokesman for the Socialist Party, wrote: “The crocodile tears of so many political leaders who claim that no one could have imagined such a thing such as the coronavirus do not make any sense. There were not only those who imagined it: they foresaw it, and they seriously warned about it”.

It is worse than that. Their tears reek of guilt and shame.

When a lethal pathogen meets political correctness, the result is 13.798 deaths. Spain had to halt the approval of a new euthanasia law. It doesn't need it. Covid-19 is now doing the job much more efficiently. Call it a death wish. 

Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.


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AG William Barr on the Russia investigation: 'There's something far more troubling here' - Victor Garcia

by Victor Garcia

"My own view is that the evidence shows that we're not dealing with just the mistakes or sloppiness," Barr told host Laura Ingraham.

The Russia investigation into President Trump's 2016 campaign was "one of the greatest travesties in American history," Attorney General William Barr said Thursday during an appearance on "The Ingraham Angle."
Barr said he has seen troubling signs from U.S. Attorney John Durham's ongoing probe into the origins of the two-year probe, which resulted in no allegations of wrongdoing against the president.
"My own view is that the evidence shows that we're not dealing with just the mistakes or sloppiness," Barr told host Laura Ingraham. "There was something far more troubling here. We're going to get to the bottom of it. And if people broke the law and we can establish that with the evidence, they will be prosecuted."

Trump "has every right to be frustrated" by the investigation, Barr added.

"What happened to him was one of the greatest travesties in American history -- without any basis," Barr said. "They started this investigation of his campaign. And even more concerning, actually, is what happened after the campaign. A whole pattern of events while he was president ... to sabotage the presidency ... or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency."

Barr appointed Durham to review the events leading up to the 2016 presidential election and the origins of the Russia probe, through Trump’s Jan. 20, 2017, inauguration.

During Thursday's show Barr also addressed what he described as abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), saying he believed "safeguards" would "enable us to go forward with this important tool."

" I think it's very sad and the people who abused FISA have a lot to answer for," he said, "because this was an important tool to protect the American people.

"They abused it. They undercut public confidence in FISA but also the FBI is an institution and we have to rebuild that."

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz last year said the FBI made repeated errors and misrepresentations before the FISA Court in an effort to obtain the warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The court later found those warrants “lacked probable cause.”

Fox News' Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Victor Garcia


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Coronavirus: Elderly Europeans Denied Treatment - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

"My father started working at the age of 14 until he was 65. He never asked for anything. On March 18, he needed a respirator to avoid dying and was denied.... This is the Spain we have"

  • In addition to the ethical questions raised by the rationing of healthcare according to age, the denial of medical attention to the elderly, many of whom have paid into the social welfare system all their lives, also casts a spotlight on the shortcomings of socialized medicine in Southern Europe, where austerity measures imposed by the European Central Bank have resulted in massive budget cuts for public healthcare.
  • In documents leaked to several Spanish media, the Catalan Emergency Medical Service (Servicio de Emergencias Médicas) instructed doctors, nurses and ambulance personnel to inform the families of older patients suffering from coronavirus that "death at home is the best option." ... The protocol also advised medical personnel to avoid referring to the lack of hospital beds in Catalonia.
  • "My father started working at the age of 14 until he was 65. He never asked for anything. On March 18, he needed a respirator to avoid dying and was denied.... This is the Spain we have. My father's generation built this country, its reservoirs, roads, agriculture, working 14 hours a day, coming out of a postwar period. And they are being left to die." — Óscar Haro, YouTube video, March 20, 2020.
  • In November 2019, two months before the coronavirus first appeared in Spain, the Spanish government revealed that nearly 700,000 patients were on a waiting list for surgeries. Nationwide, patients had to wait on average 115 days to receive surgery; in Catalonia, patients had to wait nearly six months; in Madrid patients had to wait for six weeks.
  • The severity of the coronavirus crisis in Italy and Spain, where elderly patients are being allowed to die for the benefit of the young, is due in large measure to the austerity measures associated with their membership in the eurozone. The large numbers of dead, especially among the elderly, appears to be the price that Italians and Spaniards are paying to be part of a monetary union which they never should have joined.

New protocols, being issued by medical authorities in European regions most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, instruct medical personnel effectively to abandon elderly patients to their fate. Pictured: A pre-triage medical tent is set up in front of Santa Maria Nuova Hospital in Florence, Italy on February 25, 2020. (Photo by Carlo Bressan/AFP via Getty Images)

With well over a half-million confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Europe, a growing number of regional medical authorities have begun issuing guidelines and protocols that call for hospitals to prioritize younger patients over those who are older.

In Italy and Spain, the two countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, doctors in overwhelmed intensive care units have for weeks been making life or death decisions about who receives emergency treatment. The new protocols, however, amount to government directives that instruct medical personnel effectively to abandon elderly patients to their fate.

In addition to the ethical questions raised by the rationing of healthcare according to age, the denial of medical attention to the elderly, many of whom have paid into the social welfare system all their lives, also casts a spotlight on the shortcomings of socialized medicine in Southern Europe, where austerity measures imposed by the European Central Bank have resulted in massive budget cuts for public healthcare.

In Spain, the regional government in Catalonia, an area hit hard by the coronavirus, issued a confidential protocol which effectively advises that elderly people afflicted by the coronavirus should die at home.

In documents leaked to several Spanish media outlets, the Catalan Emergency Medical Service (Servicio de Emergencias Médicas, SEM) instructed doctors, nurses and ambulance personnel to inform the families of older patients suffering from coronavirus that "death at home is the best option."

The document stated that dying at home was more humane as it avoids suffering: patients can die while surrounded by their families, something that is not possible in overcrowded hospitals. The protocol also advised medical personnel to avoid referring to the lack of hospital beds in Catalonia.

The recommendations, endorsed by the Council of Physicians' Associations in Catalonia (Consejo de Colegios de Médicos de Cataluña), stated that patients over 80 years of age should not be intubated and be offered only "oxygen mask therapy." The guidelines recommended that patients over 80 who are suffocating be administered "comfort treatment with morphine to alleviate the sensation of dyspnea."

SEM also advised healthcare professionals to optimize medical resources in the current emergency situation and "avoid admitting patients with little benefit." Medical personnel were asked to reserve the material "for those patients who can benefit the most, in terms of years of life saved."

The Catalan Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, denied that the directive discriminates against elderly patients. SEM medical director Xavier Jiménez also denied it, but he admitted that the document exists. "All we are doing is offering patients the best option for their situation," he said.

Elsewhere in Spain, the Madrid-based Spanish Society of Intensive and Critical Medical Care (Sociedad Española de Medicina Intensiva, Crítica y Unidades Coronarias, SEMICYUC) recommended that maximum therapeutic efforts should be reserved for younger people with more possibilities of survival. If there is a shortage of hospital beds, people over the age of 80 or those with Alzheimer's disease should be denied treatment.

In Italy, a document prepared by a crisis management unit in the northern city of Turin also proposed that coronavirus victims aged 80 or older or those in poor health should be denied access to intensive care if there are not enough hospital beds.

In a document leaked to the British newspaper The Telegraph, the civil protection department of the Piedmont region, stated:
"The criteria for access to intensive therapy in cases of emergency must include age of less than 80 or a score on the Charlson Comorbidity Index [which indicates how many other medical conditions the patient has] of less than 5.
"The growth of the current epidemic makes it likely that a point of imbalance between the clinical needs of patients with COVID-19 and the effective availability of intensive resources will be reached.
"Should it become impossible to provide all patients with intensive care services, it will be necessary to apply criteria for access to intensive treatment, which depends on the limited resources available."
A Piedmont health councillor, Luigi Icardi said:
"I never wanted to see such a moment. It [the document] will be binding and will establish in the event of saturation of the wards a precedence code for access to intensive care, based on certain parameters such as potential survival."
In the Netherlands, doctors have been accused of trying to ration scarce beds in intensive care units by advising elderly patients suffering from COVID-19 to waive hospital treatment, according to the Reuters news agency.

Dutch MPs raised concerns after senior citizens complained about receiving calls from doctors. MP Henk Krol, who leads the 50PLUS party for seniors, warned against age discrimination:
"One octogenarian is not the same as another. There are eighty-year-olds who are fit and running marathons, and there are fifty-year-olds who are in ill health."
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge denied that the doctors' calls were official government policy. He told Reuters that "advanced care planning" discussions between general practitioners and patients with serious medical conditions were not unusual:
"This is standard practice for doctors. We call it advanced care planning, it means having the conversation with people about 'what you would want to happen if you get sick.'
"Patients can then say, 'if it gets to the point where I need a ventilator, where I need to go into the ICU, I would prefer not to do that.' That is a possibility, but those conversations are not based on the age of patients."
In a March 15 interview with the Dutch television program WNL Op Zondag, Marc Bonten, a microbiologist at the University Hospital of Utrecht, said:
"What is the best way to serve humanity? Aspects such as who has the greatest chance of surviving an admission to intensive care will come into play. It's up to the doctors to see who has the best chance of survival."
Back in Spain, Óscar Haro, director of a motorcycle racing team, described in a viral YouTube video how his elderly father died from coronavirus after being denied a respirator because of his age:
"My father started working at the age of 14 until he was 65. He never asked for anything. On March 18, he needed a respirator to avoid dying and was denied.... This is the Spain we have. My father's generation built this country, its reservoirs, roads, agriculture, working 14 hours a day, coming out of a postwar period. And they are being left to die.
"I do not understand how a person like my father, who has been working all of his life, contributing to social security in this country, could die because there are no respirators, because he was unable to receive treatment, because of regulations which state that with people older than 75, it is no longer interesting to take care of them and they are left to die. We are leaving to die a generation that built this country.
"We are saying that we have incredible social security, when healthcare personnel do not even have gloves to wear. This morning they had no robes or masks. I do not understand that my father, who has been together with his wife since the age of 15, was not allowed to say goodbye to her."
Meanwhile, Ivan Calle Zapata, a football coach in Martorell, a municipality in Catalonia, wrote about how he lost his paternal and maternal grandparents to coronavirus:
"My 82-year-old grandmother and 71-year-old grandfather did not die from #COVID-19, they were LEFT TO DIE. @salutcat [Catalan health authorities] denied them respirators and admission to the ICU, just like other older people in Catalonia. Following is an open thread, for them, and for all the broken families:"
Faced with growing public outrage over the lack of treatment for the elderly, the Spanish government on April 3 issued a statement in which it said that denying healthcare to the elderly was unconstitutional:
"In case of extreme scarcity of healthcare resources, older patients should be treated under the same conditions as the rest of the population, that is, according to the clinical criteria of each particular case. Accepting such discrimination would lead to an underestimation of certain human lives due to age, which contradicts the foundations of our Rule of Law, in particular the recognition of the equal intrinsic dignity of every human being."
The government's statement does not have legal effect, which means that regional governments in Spain are not expressly prohibited from ending the practice of denying healthcare to the elderly.

The scarcity of healthcare resources in Spain and Italy, the two European countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, can be directly attributed to a decade of austerity measures.

During the European debt crisis in 2011 and 2012, when many Italian and Spanish banks were on the brink of collapse, Northern European countries imposed strict budgetary conditions in exchange for bailouts. As a result, government spending on public healthcare was drastically reduced.

In Spain, the government in April 2012 unveiled austerity measures designed to slash 65 billion euros from the public deficit by 2014. The cuts, imposed by the European Central Bank, reduced Spanish spending on public healthcare by a whopping 10%. Spain's then-Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy explained: "These measures are not pleasant, but they are necessary. Our public spending exceeds our income by tens of billions of euros."

In November 2019, two months before the coronavirus first appeared in Spain, the Spanish government revealed that nearly 700,000 patients were on a waiting list for surgeries. Nationwide, patients had to wait on average 115 days to receive surgery; in Catalonia, patients had to wait nearly six months; in Madrid, patients had to wait for six weeks.

A similar scenario occurred in Italy, where the government cut billions of euros in spending for public healthcare since 2012 in exchange for bailout monies from the European Union.

Many economists have said that Italy and Spain should never have joined the euro, the single currency used by 19 of the 27 Member States of the European Union, because by doing so they lost their monetary sovereignty: they lost the ability appreciate or depreciate their currency to manage their economies and respond to economic shocks.

The severity of the coronavirus crisis in Italy and Spain, where elderly patients are being allowed to die for the benefit of the young, is due in large measure to the austerity measures associated with their membership in the eurozone. The large numbers of dead, especially among the elderly, appears to be the price that Italians and Spaniards are paying to be part of a monetary union which they never should have joined.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.


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Maxine Waters: The Lover of Marxism Who Hates President Trump - Discover the Networks

by Discover the Networks

A vile hater with mountains of socialist and communist ties.

In the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic, Democrat Representative Maxine Waters of California recently characterized President Trump as an “incompetent idiot” whose “stupidity” had made him “a failure” at dealing with the crisis. “Your ignorance & incompetence are appalling & you continue to demonstrate that every time you open your mouth!” the congresswoman tweeted to the president.

In light of the fact that Ms. Waters purports to speak with such an air of authority on the subject of Donald Trump's intellectual and executive deficiencies, perhaps it would be useful to examine a subject about which Waters is even more of an authority. That is, the many glories of socialism and Marxism. Her track record of unapologetic support for these ideologies and their adherents is nothing short of astounding.

  • In 1982 Waters lent her name to a pamphlet published by the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, a Communist Party USA front group that was led by Party members and supporters including, among others, Angela Davis.
  • On March 9, 1983 in Los Angeles, Waters participated in a solidarity gathering organized by the Federation For Progress, a Communist Workers Party front group.
  • In February 1984 at UC Berkeley, Waters spoke at a conference sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America and Socialist Review, the monthly magazine of the Socialist Workers Party.
  • Circa July 1984, Waters was a sponsor of a San Francisco reception organized by the Democratic Socialists of America’s American Solidarity Movement.
  • Waters served on the welcoming committee for an April 27, 1991 event in Los Angeles honoring South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani.
  • “In May 1992,” writes author and political activist Trevor Loudon, “Waters put her name to a supplement in the Communist Party‘s newspaper, the People’s Weekly World, which called for readers to ‘support our continuing struggle for justice and dignity.’ Virtually all other signatories were known Communist Party members or supporters.”
  • In October 1992, Waters was in St. Louis to keynote a meeting of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, an organization that began as a Communist Party front.
  • Waters has been a longtime supporter of the former Black Panther, convicted cop-killer, and Marxist icon, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
  • In the early to mid-1990s, Waters employed Patrick Lacefield, a prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America, as her press secretary and speechwriter.
  • Beginning in the mid-1990s, Waters became an outspoken champion for  Lori Berenson, an American citizen who had been arrested and incarcerated in Peru for collaborating with Marxist guerrillas on a plot to kidnap members of the Peruvian Congress.
  • On September 29, 1998, Waters wrote a letter to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in which she apologized for having “mistakenly” voted for a House Resolution that called on the Government of Cuba to extradite to the United States the fugitive Assata Shakur and, as Waters put it, “all other individuals who have fled the United States from political persecution and received political asylum in Cuba.” Shakur was a former Black Panther, a Marxist revolutionary, and a convicted cop-killer who had broken out of prison in 1979 and subsequently fled to Cuba, where Castro gave her safe haven. In her 1998 letter to Castro, Waters referred to Shakur as a “political activist” who had been victimized by the American government's “vicious and reprehensible” treatment of her and her fellow “Black Liberation Movement” affiliates.
  • On September 9, 2000, Waters was among the many people who greeted and honored Fidel Castro during his visit to Harlem’s Riverside Church. “Viva Fidel!” the congresswoman shouted jubilantly. Castro, for his part, said: “I came to Harlem because I knew it was here that I would find my best friends.”
  • In 2004, Waters lauded Democratic Socialists of America member Stanley Sheinbaum – who had been an organizer of the Pentagon Papers-Daniel Ellsberg Defense Team in 1971 – as a trustworthy friend and a valuable mentor.
  • In April 2004, Waters participated in a rally organized by the International Action Center, an offshoot organization of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party.
  • In a May 2008 congressional hearing on gasoline prices, Waters, addressing Shell Oil President John Hofmeister, stated flatly that she favored nationalizing America’s oil companies: “And guess what this liberal will be all about? This liberal will be about socializing – would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”
  • In the fall of 2011, Waters praised the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement for “bring[ing] attention to … the unfairness of the system.”
We can know people by the friends they keep. We can also know them by the enemies they revile. For nearly four years, Maxine Waters has made it abundantly clear that President Trump is her reviled enemy. That fact alone is a powerful testament to Mr. Trump's excellence and effectiveness as America's chief executive, and as a bulwark against the spread of Communism in America.

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Israel's exit strategy: Who will return to work first? - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

New Finance Ministry draft details which businesses will reopen first, suggests canceling recess when schools reopen.

Hi-tech, industry, and finance workers will be among the first to return to work, according to a draft of the lockdown exit plan presented by the Finance Ministry on Saturday night.

The draft, which will be presented to ministers, would have Israelis returning to work gradually, beginning immediately after the Passover holiday, in order to avoid a collapse of the economy.

The Finance Ministry staff also suggested examining the possibility of gradually reopening schools and public transportation in a limited fashion, in order to limit the potential of a resurgence of coronavirus.

According to Kan News, the draft is the most comprehensive to be submitted to the National Security Council, and the staff working on it includes economists, physicists, and security experts who discussed the possibility of canceling summer break. The staff also discussed the possibility of canceling recess when children return to school, and splitting classes into significantly smaller classes to reduce the chance of infection.

The staff divided businesses into "green," "yellow," and "red" categories. "Green" category businesses are those which provide necessary products despite the economic crisis, and "red" category businesses are those which even if they return to work, are not in demand at the moment, such as tourism.

The report also said that the Finance Ministry is evaluating the possibility of allowing businesses and restaurants to open in a differential fashion.

According to the report's estimates, over 400,000 of the more than one million Israelis currently unemployed will not return to work even after the lockdown ends. This estimate is double that of an earlier estimate by the Employment Services that 200,000 Israelis would not be able to return to work after the lockdown ended.

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Symposium: Why We Left Our POWs Behind -


Four distinguished experts tell the tragic and unconscionable inside story.

Frontpagemag Editors’ note: Yesterday, on Thursday, April 9, 2020, our nation solemnly marked National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, during which we honored all American prisoners of war and expressed our deep gratitude and respect for what they endured and -- as empirical evidence suggests -- in some cases may very well be continuing to endure. 

Indeed, we pay tribute to those who never returned -- and, of course, also to their suffering families. In honor of this sacred day, Frontpage has deemed it important to run Jamie Glazov's Symposium Why We Left Our POWs Behind. Four distinguished experts tell a tragic and unconscionable inside story. We hope that our leadership and citizens will take serious action on this issue. We will always remember and we will never forget.
Symposium: Why We Left Our POWs Behind.
Four distinguished experts tell the tragic and unconscionable inside story.

By Jamie Glazov

In this special edition of Frontpage Symposium, we have assembled a panel of four distinguished guests to reveal the tragic truth about what really happened to our POWs. Our guests today are:
Dr. Joseph Douglass, an investigator who has been engaged mainly in learning what happened to thousands who were left behind in the hands of various Communist captors. His work led to the identification of the one former Communist official who was personally involved in the efforts to capture American soldiers and what their captors did to them and correlating this with other information. He is the author of the book Betrayed, a comprehensive account of the abandonment of American POWs and their subsequent betrayal by the U.S. government.
Jay Veith, the author of Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War. He has appeared on Fox News and other radio and TV stations, and testified twice on the POW/MIA issue before the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been invited to speak at the American Legion National Conference, the National League of POW/MIA Families and National Alliance of Families annual meetings, and many other venues. His latest book, Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75, will be published in November 2011 by Encounter Books.
Michael D. Benge, a former POW in North Vietnam (1968-1973). He is now a board member of the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen and Women WWII - Korean - Cold War - Vietnam War - Persian Gulf. The organization is having its annual meeting on July 21-23, 2001 at the Holiday Inn National Airport, Washington, DC.
Bill Dumas, a filmmaker in Los Angeles and former Fellow at the American Film Institute.  He is the producer of Missing, Presumed Dead: The Search For America's POWs.
FP: Dr. Joseph Douglass, Jay Veith, Michael D. Benge and Bill Dumas, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.
Jay Veith, let’s begin with you.
What is the best way to start a panel discussion on America’s missing POWs? Share with us your expertise on this issue and what your research has led you to discover.
Veith: I think there are several threads one must review concurrently to understand this tragedy. First, what do we know of Communist policy regarding POWs? Were they trying to exploit them for propaganda or other security related areas? If so, what does that mean for post-war releases or non-releases? Second, what evidence do we have for the Communist's withholding American POWs after the end of various conflicts? Lastly, how cooperative have these Communist governments been over the years in providing answers about our missing men? I think that if one looks at this great mystery from those perspectives, i.e., motive, evidence, and lack of cooperation, one is led to the conclusion that American POWs have been secretly held back by different regimes for different purposes. One can get lost in a maze trying to unravel what happened to various individuals, but if you step back and look at the whole picture, I think a clear outline emerges of a deliberate policy to hold back prisoners. I'm curious what my colleagues think.
FP: Bill Dumas, how would you begin to approach the pertinent questions Jay Veith raises?
Dumas: These are three key points that Jay raises.  The question is, on what stage does this discussion take place?  As Joe Douglass states in my documentary film, our government doesn't acknowledge leaving POWs behind, therefore there's nothing to look for (nothing to talk about.) It's remarkable that so few of our legislators know so little (if anything) about the POW/MIA issue.  And when they become informed and sincerely try to investigate the situation they almost always hit a wall and drop their pursuit.  That "wall" is usually the Pentagon's DPMO (Defense Department POW/Missing Personnel Office.)
DPMO has two main functions.  One is the recovery of remains mostly in SE Asia and North Korea.  Many dedicated individuals at DPMO do a great job in that capacity.  The other function of DPMO (performed by what could be referred to as the "shadow DPMO" - the long-term bureaucrats who handhold the revolving door, Presidentially appointed DASDs [Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense] who operate as figureheads of the office.)  Their mission is to ensure the American public (and maybe more so, the currently serving military personnel) that we do not leave soldiers behind.
Last year I received an email from Ron Paul asking if I would talk to Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina (I was a senior staffer for the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential campaign and I inspired Ron to talk about POW/MIAs in several campaign rally speeches).  Rep. Jones had just learned that POW/MIAs were abandoned in SE Asia and N. Korea.  He was outraged and was intent on getting to the bottom this issue.  We had a long phone conversation and I gave him the Reader's Digest version of the POW/MIA story.  Rep. Jones went to lengths assuring me that he is the kind of person that will not back off of an issue he commits himself to.  He said that absolutely he would do what he had to do to resolve this enormous national tragedy.
Knowing that Rep. Jones would be contacting DPMO for the official government position on the status of our POW/MIAs (i.e. "There are none except those who died on the battlefield.") I wrote an email to Rep. Jones giving him a primer on the function of DPMO and the reasons to be cautious of their PR narrative.  I also sent him supporting documents, my documentary film DVD and a document I wrote a while back titled, "Korean War POW/MIA Peace Treaty Initiative" which proposes that no peace treaty be signed with North Korea before the POW/MIA issue is negotiated and resolved (this was the main unresolved issue that prevented a peace treaty from being signed in 1953). I also told him it was imperative that H. Res. 111 be brought to the floor for a vote, which if passed, would create a House select committee to investigate the POW/MIA issue.  Hopefully a House Select Committee would complete the job that the Senate Select Committee in the early 1990s refused to do but instead skimmed over the evidence and swept it back under the carpet.  And by the way, many were able to blame Nancy Pelosi for not bringing this bill to the floor for a vote even though the bill continues to acquire over 260 co-sponsors year after year.  But why is John Boehner following in her footsteps?
Rep. Jones said we would talk again on the phone after he reviewed all the materials I was sending.  That was over a year ago.  I never heard back from Rep. Jones.  I finally wrote him a long letter asking for an explanation of his abandoning his investigation and I had Ron Paul hand deliver the letter to him.  Still I received no response.  The only word I received from Rep. Jones' office was copy of a letter he authored that was sent to David Gompert, Acting Director of National Intelligence, requesting the declassification of all documents pertaining to POW/MIAs. The letter was also signed by Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and Jim McGovern.
That letter was dated June 23, 2010.  I never heard anything more about the letter or any response from David Gompert.
The nagging question for me is, what is the mechanism that completely shuts down any attempt by our legislators to take up the POW/MIA issue?  What does DPMO say to inquiring Congressional leaders that stops them in their tracks?  And not just legislators but also top-tiered journalists excited to find such a potentially explosive story.  I've seen this scenario repeated over and over to the same end.
So, back to Jay's points.  These are critical issues in beginning the dialogue that will hopefully resolve the POW/MIA dilemma.  Unfortunately, what we have is more of a monologue than a dialogue.  We know the issues, we have the evidence and documentation.  But we don't have the government participants for a dialogue.
I'd like to throw that ball to Dr. Douglass who also stated in the documentary that any solution to finding abandoned POW/MIAs would have to happen outside of government.  (Perhaps later we can talk about private missions underway today in the search for POW/MIAs - without jeopardizing those operations - at least the legitimate ones.)
I have had encouraging dialogue with Sen. Dick Lugar's staff as has my uncle Bob Dumas whose brother was last seen alive in N. Korea when the war ended but never came home.  Last week I received a statement written by Lugar and read at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC by foreign relations staffer Keith Luse.  It called on North Korea to account for POW/MIAs including live POW/MIAs.  It's very rare to hear any government official even imply the possibility there is a live POW/MIA being held anywhere in the world.
Lastly, yesterday in the LA Times Sen. John Kerry called for direct negotiations with the North Koreans and they should start with the recovery of POW/MIAs remains.  There seemed to be a hint of including the issue of live POWs, though you'd be hard pressed to make that argument. This position by Kerry is rather ironic since he was such an obstacle in the Senate select committee hearings on POW/MIAs that he chaired in the early 1990s.  During those hearings Bob Dumas testified that the only way to communicate with the North Koreans is through one-on-one dialogue on the Executive level.  He should know, he's probably had more conversations with the North Korean ambassadors to the DPRK U.N. Mission than any other American.  And now, twenty years later our government may be starting to understand how to communicate with the North Koreans.
Benge: It’s unfortunate that so many nations don’t play by the Marcus of Queensbury rules or those of the Geneva Convention on POWs.  There are too many nations which in the first place socially/culturally have little regard for human life in the first place, and then this inhumanity is compounded by the brutality of political regimes such as Nazism, communism, and jihadism and then superimposed upon this societal weakness.  Then to add fuel to the fire you have individual vindictiveness with the desire to make people suffer even more by seeking revenge for some perceived wrong against themselves, their people or their country.
To further compound the problem, in past conflicts/wars much of the time, the US has not been the clear winner, leaving us with little or no bargaining power.   Although the US and its allies won the war against the Germans in WWII, we capitulated to the Russians regarding the US and Allied POWs that were captured by the Germans and recaptured by the Russians in their sector of operations.  There was/is little bargaining power with the Koreans/China on recovering POWs because that war was a stalemate.  Regarding the Vietnam War, although the US pretty well won it militarily, we lost it politically; therefore, we were in a very weak position to bargain further for our POWs, and the politicians again sold out the POWs and basically sent the message to the Communist Vietnamese that the U.S. government was pretty well satisfied with what we got.   After all, weren’t the POWs just expendable, since none of them were sons of major politicians? Few could care less (e.g., Eisenhower’s decision regarding American POWs captured in Germany by the Russians).  We have the DPMO (The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office) on record that they will not ask the North Koreans about live POWs, since their mission is a humanitarian one for the recovery of remains.
While I was a POW, the NVA repeatedly told me that they were going to hold some of us forever and someday try us in a Nuremberg-like trial for our war crimes.  Did I believe the vindictive bastards? “You betchum Red Rider.”  After I was released, I was told that my name did not appear on the first couple of NVA lists of POWs at the Paris conference.  Do I believe POWs were left behind. “Yes.”  Are some still alive? Chances are, yes. How many? Who knows, for DOD has told so many lies about the number of MIAs/POWs.  Are they being held in Vietnam? I do not believe so. More probable they are being held in NVA-held territory in Laos, to give Hanoi plausible deniability.  However, I can assure you they aren’t being held in Billy Hendon’s so-called underground prison in Hanoi.  The facility he is talking about is the standard issue for all communist and fascist regimes that are aided by Russia in the form of a deep hardened bunker for the top Echlon of communist governments, such as the one for Saddam Hussein’s in Iraq.
DOD is not looking for POWs, only remains, and many of their staff were/are enablers who provided cover for the NVA, and should never have received security clearances for those positions.  After Bill Bell testified on live POWs at the Kerry/McCain charade, he was fired from his position as head of the POW/MIA office in Hanoi.  Bill tried to get funds to buy information and photographs on POW/MIAs, on the cheap, but DOD wouldn’t give him any.  Rather, DIA collaborated with the NVA to write the book “Inside Hanoi’s Archives” and much of what was in it Bill could have bought “on the street.”
There were a bunch of snakes, posing as investigators, working for DOD on the POW/MIA issue both in Washington and in Hanoi.  Several of them quit and received high paying jobs in Hanoi working for American companies in Hanoi, such as Caterpillar and GE, when it was illegal for them to do business in Hanoi.  Another one was married to a North Vietnamese “honey pot,” who’s sister (I believe) was married to a French defector who worked for the Bureau for Enemy Proslitization that was in charge of POWs.  Another evaluated the “Cuban Program” in which a number of American POWs were severely tortured by the Cubans, and said it was just an English Language instruction program that had gone awry. Then you have the liars Kerry, McCain and Pete Peterson (former POW and US Ambassador to Hanoi), who repeatedly testified and stated that Hanoi was fully cooperating on resolving the POW/MIA issue.  To this day, DPMO’s investigators have never gotten the records of, nor access to, the archives of the Bureau for Enemy Proslitization.
Gentlemen, it’s a stacked deck.
Douglass: “Stacked deck” is a good way to describe the problem.
There has been a national policy going back to the 1920s to hide the crimes of the Communists, especially Russian Communists. One of the best statements of this is found in the Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press 1997). This was a book based on the investigation of half a dozen French academics, all former Communists or close fellow travelers. As stated by the lead editor, Stephane Courtois, in the introductory chapter:
The extraordinary attention paid to Hitler’s crimes is entirely justified. It respects the wishes of the surviving witnesses, it satisfies the needs of researchers trying to understand these events, and it reflects the desire of moral and political authorities to strengthen democratic values. But the revelations concerning Communist crimes cause barely a stir. Why is there such an awkward silence from politicians? Why such a deafening silence from the academic world regarding the Communist catastrophe, which touched the lives of about one-third of humanity on four continents during a period spanning eighty years?[i]
To better understand what lies behind the cover-up, consider what is implicit in the silence of politicians and academics. When the politicians are silent, there is a reason. They know that speaking out will not bring them good press and, indeed, may signal the end of their careers. Just consider what has happened to the careers of those whom the news media labeled “anti-Communist.” Similarly, when the academics are not addressing an issue of such a magnitude, there is also a reason. In this case, there are several reasons; to wit, major foundations that sponsor their research – for example, the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie foundations – are not funding anti-Communist research, main-stream publishers are not publishing anti-Communist works, and the news media are not reviewing the books nor promoting the issue.
Additionally, silence is only one of the problems, equally in use to hide the crimes are lies, deception, burying data, and simple denial, as demonstrated in the efforts of CIA officials in the 1970s and 1980s to kill consideration of the Soviet role in organizing and supporting international terrorism.
Another example of this policy was White House directives not to confront the Russians respecting the missing American prisoners of war during and following World War II. The policy stated that with respect to Americans liberated from German prison camps by the Russians, there would be “no criticism of treatment by the Russians.”[ii] This was followed by a direction on April 1 that there would be no retaliatory action to Russian failure to cooperate.[iii] None of these were spur-of-the-moment decisions. The United States and British had known at least since October 1944 that the Russians were most unlikely to turn over more than a token number of American prisoners of war.[iv]
As described in Moscow Bound[v] and Soldiers of Misfortune[vi], the moment of truth came only weeks after V-E day when American, British, and Soviet negotiators met at Halle, Germany, to negotiate the prisoner of war problem. The conference ended on May 22. The Americans were permitted to visit the POW camp at Reisa. Permission to visit four other German POW camps where Americans were held was rescinded the next day. Only 4,165 American prisoners, all from Reisa, were released out of 25,000.
What took place afterwards is succinctly described in Soldiers of Misfortune as follows: “After the Halle exchange ended, the United States and Britain knew that documents must be manufactured to downgrade the numbers. They had to provide a plausible explanation that would stand the test of time and permanently bury the 23,500 Americans and 31,000 British non-returnees.”[vii] These are directives signed first by President Roosevelt, and later by President Harry Truman.
Lower level directives have been identified from the Korean War and from President Nixon following the Vietnam War when he stated that all our POWs had been returned, although this was clearly known to not be the case.
Following the “end” of the Cold War in 1989-1991, U.S. policy as explained by Robert Gates in an interview with Robert Buchar in Reality be Damned. The U.S., in coordination with talks with First Secretary Gorbachev, agreed to remain silent and “not get involved” in the Soviet Union to Russia transition, because they (U.S. leaders Bush, Gates, and Rice) did not want to risk upsetting the transition to a “democratic” Russia. To further cement-in this policy, the head of the CIA’s Operations Directorate was directed to close down listening posts, safe houses, and associated intelligence collection directed against the former Soviet Union and related Eastern European satellites. Likewise, the FBI removed 1000 of its agents from their tasks in watching the Soviet Union and reassigned them to the ever present street crime task. The fight against Communism and its history of crimes came to a swift and quiet end.
What was also killed in the process was work underway to expose a myriad of covert Russian intelligence operations to attack and destroy the U.S. during the Cold War, or perhaps more realistically, under cover of the Cold War. These attacks were designed to destroy the U.S. from within, via numerous mechanisms such as narcotics trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, and a wide array of various attacks that, in effect, constituted a broad-base Cultural War designed to undermine from the inside American strengths such as our industries, religious beliefs, education, unions, law& order, and political processes to facilitate the growth of corruption, crime, and compromise within the U.S., including within the leadership elite. Major propaganda offensives were unleashed in parallel to mask the source of these activities and seriousness of their growth, which has continued following the so-called “end of the Cold War.”
Why there was a special effort to “help” the POW/MIA issue die a slow death was the underlying magnitude of the issue – thousands of American GIs an officers knowingly left behind and the truth of what happened to them, which was their valuable use as human guinea pigs to the Russian and Chinese intelligence services to test ability of U.S. soldiers to withstand the rigors of nuclear war (which involved extensive physical and mental torture), to test the effectiveness of new chemical and biological warfare agents on U.S. soldiers, to train hundreds of trained agents to insert back in the U.S., and to learn more about the effects of atomic radiation on the human body and exposing scores of Americans to actual atomic boom effects. How could anyone associated with such knowledge not undertake whatever was required to bury such horrible information? All such knowledge had to be suppressed.
FP: Thank you Joe Douglass.
In this last round I would like our guests to comment on the contributions of the others, to give some more evidence of what they know about our missing POWs and, finally, to tell us what, if anything, can still be done – and what those who want to make a change can do.
Veith: My fellow contributors all make valuable points. I've always focused more on the perpetrators, i.e., the Communist governments, rather than on the enablers, i.e., the United States government bureaucracy and elected officials. After so many years in this issue, I agree with my old friend Dr. Douglass that the best option for uncovering the truth lies in private missions. Despite the great opportunity for fraud inherent in such operations, if you think about it, most of the stunning POW/MIA revelations of the last twenty years have come from private investigators. Think of the 1205 document and many others. Bob Dumas' long search for his brother, and his attempts at interaction with North Korean officials, are also commendable and quite frankly, awe-inspiring.
I also agree that not only is the deck stacked, but would propose that since the Senate Select Committee, interest in the POW/MIA issue has dramatically dropped. How then, to revive it? It seems to me that well-defined, on-going research that produces documented evidence of these crimes is one way. Perhaps HR 111, if finally enacted, might be another. I had great hopes that the JCSD (Joint Commission Support Directorate, the section that searches for evidence that American POWs were taken to the Soviet Union) might uncover evidence in Russian archives, but the DPMO (Defense Prisoner Missing Personnel Office) managed to derail that effort. Perhaps my fellow contributors are unaware that the new head at the Defense Prisoner Missing Personnel Office, Robert Newberry, recently defunded what was becoming a promising inquiry by JCSD within Ukrainian military archives. Moreover, the US government just spent several million dollars on a new software system to help facilitate information sharing between the JPAC (Joint Prisoner/Missing Accounting Command, the unit based in Hawaii that conducts the investigations and crash site investigations), and DPMO, a project that simply boggles my mind.
Lastly, in terms of private efforts, there are several organizations dedicated to locating and helping JPAC recover crashed aircraft, mostly of the WWII variety. Moore's Marauders, Bent Prop, and a few others are doing work in this area. I also know of several people doing research on Korea and elsewhere, but they are lone individuals doing it on their own time and money. Perhaps what is needed is for someone to attempt to bring everyone together to share research and knowledge.
FP: Jay Veith, what is the 1205 document?
Veith: The 1205 document was a report discovered in the Russian archives shortly after the Soviet Union disintegrated. The report, ostensibly by a North Vietnamese general named Tran Van Quang to the Politburo, claimed that they held 1205 American prisoners. This was far greater than was generally acknowledged at the time, and far more than was released in 1973.
FP: Bill Dumas, your final comments? And tell us why something like 1205 document isn’t a huge story -- an undying huge story -- throughout our media and literary culture, which it should be.
Dumas: It's difficult to understand why the discovery of the 1205 document doesn't make the day's top story in the media.  When we talk about our free press, those of us working on issues that are stamped "conspiracy theory" understand that we have a limited free press, something I wouldn't have believed when I received my BA in journalism in the late '70s.
When we engage in a discussion about the media suppression of the POW/MIA issue we inevitably point fingers at the CFR (Counsel on Foreign Relations) as an explanation of the kind of an all-encompassing entity that can actually control the fourth estate.  Most journalists would discount this censorship notion even as their stories (should they happen upon a forbidden subject such as POW/MIAs) are squelched by their editor/publishers.
During the 2008 presidential campaign Pulitzer Prize journalist, Sydney Schanberg (who exposed the "Killing Fields" massacre in Cambodia) could not get his expose of John McCain published in any of the major dailies.  Finally, "The Nation" printed the story.  And when that issue hit the stands, the POW/MIA issue should have been thrust front and center in the media. Instead McCain's betrayal of our POW/MIAs registered not even a blip on the political news radar.
Had this been an isolated incident it could somehow have been explained away (i.e. McCain's military record as sacred cow) but the fact that it happens over and over again points to a conspiracy that is beyond "theory."
Jay brought up some disturbing information about policy changes at the Defense Prisoner Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), under new director Robert Newberry.  When Newberry was first appointed by Obama I spoke with him about my Korean War POW/MIA Peace Treaty Initiative.  He was very supportive of the idea.  Here is the email he sent me after he reviewed the initiative:
Thanks Bill,
This looks like a good initiative and it certainly makes sense.  We should most assuredly learn from the past.  Let me review it more thoroughly with my staff and I will get back to you.  I added Ed Frothingham to this e-mail, he is my Principal Director.
Thanks again,
I knew once his handlers got a hold of the Initiative, Newberry would have to backpedal and make sure the Initiative didn’t see the light of day.  Here’s his follow-up response. And look how fast they instituted “damage control.” Nothing happens that fast in that office.
I appreciated the opportunity to read your draft. We would offer one recommendation.  The issue you raise was also evident in the peace negotiations with the North Vietnamese from 1968 to 1973. The part that POWs and MIAs played in the negotiations was examined by the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs and there is a good account of it in pages 6- 14 of the Executive Summary of the Committees report (Senate Report 103-1, January 13, 1993). The Summary may provide information useful for your initiative.
That said, as part of the Department of Defense, we are not in a position to endorse or co-sponsor your initiative. I personally do want to assure you of the importance the Department attaches to the accounting for our missing personnel and your efforts to assist.
This is such a pile of useless, political-ease nonsense.  My documentary film is partly about the travesty that was the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.  He said he watched the film.  How, with a straight face, can he suggest I look at the Select Committee report?
A few years back I met with Newberry's predecessor, Ambassador Charles Ray.  We had a a face-to-face meeting for over an hour and a half.  Again, like Newberry, his initial response was favorable pending review by his "staff".  And again that's when it got shut down.
His final word on the matter was to speak with Congress about it because that's where DPMO gets their marching orders.  Of course when you go to Congress, our legislators first start looking into the issue by inquiring at DPMO. And what they're told by DPMO is that they have no evidence of live POW/MIAs. So essentially, DPMO stops any possibility of ever getting marching orders from Congress. And so the revolving door continues to spin insuring no further action on the matter.
Right now my only hope within government rides with Sen. Lugar's office because right now they at least seem to be skeptical of what DPMO is telling them.
For a private initiative on the Korean War front, maybe some "journalist" will walk into North Korea, get captured and one of our former presidents will run over there on a rescue mission. And maybe that "journalist" could say, "I'm not leaving without our POWs."  Then see our red-faced former president save face.
FP: Thank you Bill Dumas. Tell us how McCain betrayed our POW/MIAs.
Dumas: McCain was intent of being the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs in the early 90s.  Bob Dole thought better of that prospect and wisely chose Sen. Bob Smith who as one of only a few Senators on the committee who wholeheartedly worked to bring all the evidence of abandoned POWs into the open to conduct a full investigation.
As Sen. Smith would later say, "We never finished the job" and the committee was disbanded a year after it began its work.  Only one day of the hearings focused on the Korean War.  (Since one of the Clinton administration's top priorities was to normalize relations with Vietnam, the POW panel needed to go away.  Also, co-chair, Sen. John Kerry's wife's family landed the largest ever real estate deal with Vietnam shortly after the hearings ended - see Sydney Schanberg's revealing story in The Village Voice during the 2004 presidential campaign).
It was clear to all the POW/MIA advocates and investigators that John McCain was more of an obstacle to the process which seemed an odd contradiction since he was a POW in Vietnam.  McCain would essentially tell witnesses like retired Col. Phillip Corso, who was President Eisenhower's POW/MIA liaison during the Korean War, that he was lying when he said the President (on Corso's recommendation) decided to abandon American POWs who were transferred to the Soviet gulags (possibly over 1200 POWs and at least 800.)  McCain based his accusation that Corso was wrong about that assertion solely based on McCain's feeling that "Eisenhower wouldn't do that."  (Ironically, during the Senate hearings, McCain treated his North Vietnamese POW camp interrogator like he was his best friend and gave him a hug after his testimony.  And then brought the sister of an American MIA pilot to tears with his brutal and insulting questioning of her before the panel.)
Aside from McCain's despicable treatment of POW/MIA family members and advocates, he was able to use a stealth tactic to slip though an amendment to a Senate bill that would keep millions of government records pertaining to POW/MIAs classified.  And this was at the same time that Sen. Smith and others were attempting to declassify these documents to help in the research of abandoned POWs.  Clearly there are no national security concerns in keeping these documents classified.
McCain benefited directly from his actions because his stealth bill would insure that his POW records would never be declassified even after he and all his next of kin are no longer alive.  The question is, why would McCain go to such extreme lengths to keep his records classified?  Could it be that the records reveal an alternate version of the carefully crafted and exploited "war hero" story that McCain has meticulously cultivated.  As an aside, it should be noted that before McCain served in Vietnam his top ambition was to be President of the United States.
For details about McCain's "betrayal" of POW/MIA go to:
Benge: I agree with all of the contributors' statements and have little more to say except perhaps a couple of things related to the 1205 document mentioned by Jay.  I wrote an article, POW/MIAs: Don't Ask, Don't Tell for publication in the Washington Times a little after Bill Gertz's article State Department accused of stifling POW-MIA Probe was published on 1/12/99.  In it, I mentioned the failure of DPMO Russian division to investigate a case I reported (based on an FBIS report and an article in Pravda) regarding US Army Sergeant Jim Patrick captured at the at the Elbe River in Germany in May of 1945.
After the discovery of the 1205 document, a Russian archivist stated that there were a larger number of similar documents in the archives; however, the Americans weren't interested in them.  The Russian archivist was immediately "silenced."  A Russian parliamentarian stated that during a meeting in Moscow last month (probably December 98) "...we were told by your government, your State Department, not to pursue these issues." In June 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin arriving in the US made a stunning revelation on Dateline NBC that American POWs had been taken to the Soviet Union: "Our archives have shown this to be true."  Immediately the UAG launched a concert effort to debunk Yelsin, first the Administration claimed that Dateline had translated Yeltsin's remarks incorrectly.  After the translation was verified, Yeltsin was then accused of having drunk too much Vodka and had misspoke.  He too was silenced.  A former member of the US-Russian Joint Commission on POW/MIAs told me that after Yeltsin returned to Russia, a cable was sent by DOD/State warning him that further revelations on POWs could jeopardize aid to Russia.
Later, KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin, a classic spy master and Soviet disinformation officer (control officer for the honey pot scandal in the State Department), stated several times, once on Australian TV, that he had "interviewed" a rather large number of American POWs in Hanoi after 1975.  For his silence, he was given a green card and now owns half-interest in the spy museum in DC.
And the band plays on.
FP: This is very depressing.
Joe Douglas, last word goes to you.
Douglass: One of the characteristics a reader will find in the POW/MIA non-fiction literature (now 25 to 30 books, several documentaries, and numerous op-ed pieces) is a noticeable  common belief reached by dozens of independent researchers. This belief is also present in the above discussion and is reflected the cry of “Foul!” in their analyses of the U.S. government’s handling of this issue and the no-nonsense charges of “cover-up” and thousands of missing POW/MIAs who were knowingly left behind.  This cry is accompanied by a tremendous number of high-quality facts. What is also clear is the gradual emergence of additional facts, rarely given any “presence” in the press or government announcements, respecting these American soldiers who were knowingly left behind.
Sooner or later, with luck and unwitting publicity, some survivors may emerge and gain the publicity they deserve. Should this take place, as has already been the case in select cases, it will not be accompanied by any positive media exposure because of what they tell us about both our government and the Soviet’s and Russian’s government. Those who returned have been threatened and told to keep quiet, and discredited by a number of official professional Washington actors.
Thus, in their absence—and presence even more so should some more return—those whose curiosity has been set in motion are invited to carefully read one of the best eye-opening examples of what one well-placed insider within the U.S. government had to say in writing in his resignations about our governments duplicity. I refer to the well-decorated former Army Green Beret solder, Col. Millard Peck, who also volunteered to head the Defense Intelligence Agency POW-MIA office that was responsible for actions respecting the missing POW/MIAs. After two years he quit in disgust. His resignation is available on the Internet and in a Senate Republican Staff report, An Examination of U.S. Policy Toward POW/MIAs, and as an appendix in my book, Betrayed. This Senate report, short and to the point, another government first, was widely distributed by Senator Helms’ staff beginning on May 23,1991, ultimately 120,000 copies. It was not long before those “in charge” got to Helms, who then fired all those responsible. This short report is what forced the formation of a Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs in 1992, to learn the truth (that is, bury the issue for good).
Also, for those who are interested in what the highest positioned Communist defector ever knew first-hand about what happened to a major portion of the American POW/MIAs who never returned, and why the US Government tried to silence and discredit this defector, his story is presented in full in Betrayed and in several articles readily available on the Internet (See, for example, “Remembering Those We Left Behind”), including a detailed report submitted to the House Armed Forces Personnel Subcommittee in testimony given under oath by the above key Communist official, Col. Phil Corso, and myself in September 1996.
But, beware. None of the books, op-ed pieces, and articles that tell the truth (rather than try to deny what happened or bury the truth) are easy reading because of the horrendous message they tell about our government’s propaganda: that none of our military men were knowingly left behind—alive! They all tell the story of betrayal. The trail of finding the truth starts with the following legacy accumulated by 2002:
Larry J. O’Daniel: Missing In Action: Trail of Deceit (1979).
Bill Paul: “Robert Garwood Says Vietnam Didn’t Return Some American POWs” and numerous other Wall Street Journal articles (1984-1991).
Monica Jensen-Stevenson: 60 Minutes, “Dead or Alive” (1985).
Ted Landreth: We Can Keep You Forever Video (1987) Distribution in the U.S. blocked by the White House.
John M. G. Brown and Thomas G. Ashworth: A Chain of Prisoners: From Yalta to Vietnam (1988).
Monica Jensen-Stevenson and William Stevenson: Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed Its Own POWs in Vietnam (1990).
Foreign Relations Republican Staff, U.S. Senate Committee: An Examination of U.S. Policy Toward POW/MIAs (1991).
Nigel Cawthorne: The Bamboo Cage: The Full Story of the American Servicemen still held hostage in South-East Asia (1991).
Dorothy McDaniel: After the Hero’s Welcome: A POW Wife’s Story of the Battle Against a New Enemy (1991).
Ted Landreth: Missing in Action: The Soviet Connection Australian 60 Minutes Video (1991-1992).
Red McDaniel (American Defense Institute): Americans Abandoned Video (1992).
Sydney H. Schanberg: Numerous Newsday articles (1991-1993)
James D. Sanders, Mark A. Sauter, and Cort Kirkwood: Soldiers of Misfortune: Washingon’s Secret Betrayal of American POWs in the Soviet Union (1992).
John M. G. Brown: Moscow Bound: Policy, Politics and the POW/MIA Dilemma (1993).
Mark Sauter and Jim Sanders: The Men We Left Behind: Henry Kissinger, the Politics of Deceit and the Tragic Fate of POWs After the Vietnam War (1993).
Laurence Jolidon: Last Seen Alive: The Search for Missing POWs from the Korean War (1995).
Craig Roberts: The Medusa File, (1997).
Frank Anton: Why Didn’t You Get Me Out, (1997).
Monika Jensen-Stevenson: Spite House: The Last Secret of the War in Vietnam (1997).
George J. Veith: Code-Name Bright Light (1998).
Timothy N. Castle: One Day Too Long: Top Secret Site 85 and the Bombing of North Vietnam (1999).[viii]
Larry O’Daniel: Trails of Deceit (2000).
Philip D. Chinnery: Korean Atrocity: Forgotten War Crimes 1950-1953 (2000).
Steve E. Kiba: The Flag: My Story, Kidnapped by Red China (2002).
And several more added since the above list was compiled, most notably Bill Dumas' excellent documentary on the Korean War men left behind.
Unfortunately, this issue and its handling has been an enormous national disgrace going back to WWII and even WWI. This is message that all of the discussants above are trying to explain in this virtual town meeting. Also in common, we all give our thanks to our host Dr. Jamie Glazov and Front Page for helping to get this message out.
FP: Thank you Joe Douglass.
Before we depart, Bill Dumas can you kindly give us the link where we can watch your documentary or order it?
Dumas: My documentary film that contains a DVD Extra on McCain is available at The DVD can be purchased there or viewed streaming online at  Please don't purchase the alternative version of the DVD on Amazon or Ebay. These DVDs are the result of a bad distribution deal that flooded the discount DVD wholesalers and I don't see any revenue from these sales.  The official DVD is a blue cover.
Thank you, Jamie, for making this forum happen to keep alive the fight to find our POW/MIAs and prevent the repeat of abandoning our soldiers.  It was an honor participating in the discussion with Dr. Douglass, Mike Benge and Jay Veith.
FP: Thank you Bill Dumas.
We also encourage all of our readers to read Joe Douglass’s article, “Remembering Those We Left Behind.”
Dr. Joseph Douglass, Jay Veith, Michael D. Benge and Bill Dumas, thank you so much for joining Frontpage Symposium to discuss this tragic and appalling story.
[i] Black Book of Communism, emphasis added, pp. 17-18.
[ii] Ibid., p. 204.
[iii] Ibid., p. 205. The JCS memo that spelled this out was dated 1 April, 1945. As identified in Soldiers of Misfortune, Ambassador Harriman advised the Secretary of State only a few weeks before, “no arguments will induce the Soviets to live up to our interpretation of the agreement except retaliatory measures which affect their interests.” p. 57.
[iv] Secretary of War Henry Stimson noted in a memo the Russian threats not to turn over American prisoners. This was also clear from the Russian position that all Russian “citizens” were to be repatriated, which included all former Russians who had fled Russia and taken up citizenship in other countries. Roosevelt agreed to this, and only reluctantly excepted former Russian citizens in the United States after several top officials complained that it was illegal to turn over those in the United States. None the less, in November, 1,179 Russians who had fought against Stalin in the German Army were turned over to a Soviet ship in Seattle. See Soldiers of Misfortune, pp. 31-39.
[v] Moscow Bound, op. cit., p. 231-327.
[vi] Soldiers of Misfortune, op. cit., pp. 95-133.
[vii] Ibid, p. 96.
[viii] Dr. Castle’s book is focused on Site 85 in Laos and its capture. It is not on the POW/MIA problem in general, but on those missing from Site 85. It is included on this list because what happened at Site 85 fits the “pattern” and is well researched. It also provides an excellent characterization of the decision-making process that provides additional insight into the POW/MIA problem in general.


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