Wednesday, May 4, 2016


TWSP/UFAA Morning Briefing for Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech delivered last week has been widely exposed as a tissue of lies, but unfortunately normally sagacious foreign observers have made the blunder of believing some of the promises made by the fascist billionaire. In part, this is understandable, since it has been many decades since a liar of the caliber of Trump has played a central role on the international scene.
Trump is no threat to the US military industrial complex. Trump is not a threat to the WASP Establishment or any other establishment. Trump is not an outsider. Trump is a Wall Street insider who, already in 1991, was classified as Too Big to Fail and awarded a sweetheart bailout by the New York Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington. Trump has no systematic idea of US foreign policy whatsoever. He is not a realist; he is closer to being a neocon, especially concerning ISIS and the Middle East. Trump is not a friend of Russia. Trump is not a noninterventionist. Trump is a cynical liar, megalomaniac, and sadist. Trump has been on all sides of all issues over several decades. Anyone taking Trump’s promises seriously is a glutton for punishment.
Perhaps the best way of illustrating Trump’s lies is first to refer them back to our Daily Briefing of last week, and then to focus this evening on the lies told by the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler when he had just seized power in Germany, between 1933 and 1935.
There is no doubt that the methodology of the “Big Lie” used by Trump is precisely the one described by Hitler in his Mein Kampf, in which he aesthetically unveiled many elements of his technique. Concerning the art of lying, Hitler wrote:
‘All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.’1
This was then the method, which Hitler and the Nazis relentlessly practiced on the German people, and on foreign governments around the world. Few demagogues in recent history have been able to match the shameless cynicism of Hitler’s lies. So if we are to deal with Trump effectively, we must go back to the source and remind ourselves of the multifarious forms which lies can assume, especially in international affairs.
Hitler had condemned the Versailles Treaty of 1919, shortly after coming to power, but he did not openly and officially denounce the limitations imposed on Germany’s Army, Navy, and Air Force until the spring of 1935, more than two years after he had seized power.
On March 16, 1935, Hitler announced a new decree law which established universal military service to create a peacetime standing army of 12 corps and 36 divisions totaling about half a million soldiers. This was an open repudiation of the military restrictions placed on Germany in the Versailles Treaty of 1919. At this point, German military forces were minimal, and there was no way to defend the country against France, Britain, or Poland. Britain, France and Italy met several weeks later at Stresa in Switzerland. This Stresa front condemned Hitler’s proclamation of German rearmament and insisted on the independence of Austria and continued respect for the postwar Locarno Treaty.
‘It was time, [Hitler] decided to pull out the stops again on his love of peace and to see whether the new unity of the powers arrayed against him might not be undermined and breached after all. On the evening of May 21, 1935 he delivered another ‘peace’ speech to the Reichstag – perhaps the most eloquent and certainly one of the cleverest and most misleading of his Reichstag orations that this writer, who sat through most of them, had ever heard him make. Hitler was in a relaxed mood and excluded a spirit not only of confidence, but – to the surprise of his listeners – of tolerance and conciliation. There was no resentment or defiance toward the nations which had condemned his scrapping of the military closes at their side. Instead, they were assurances that all he wanted was peace and understanding based on justice for all. He rejected the very idea of war; it was senseless, it was useless, as well as a horror.’2
This moment may perhaps be compared to last week, when Trump decided to restrain his hooligan instincts for a few hours and read some banalities off the teleprompter for the edification of international leaders and experts.
On May 21, 1935, Hitler delivered what was perhaps his most famous “peace speech” to the German Reichstag. Notice the frequency with which the Nazi dictator pronounces the word “peace.” Compare his cynical promises to his later deeds. This is lying when it is developed into a consummate art. This is the idiom of Hitler then, and it is the idiom of Trump today.
‘None of our practical plans will be completed before ten or twenty years to come; none of our idealistic objects will come to fulfillment in fifty or perhaps a hundred years. We all shall only live to see the first beginnings of this vast revolutionary development. What could I wish but peace and quiet? If any one says this is only the wish of leadership, I can reply, "the people themselves have never wished for war." Germany needs and wills peace? If [British Foreign Secretary]  Eden says such assurances mean nothing and that a signature under collective treaties is the sole guarantee of sincerity, I beg him to reflect that in every case it is a matter of what is assurance. It is often far easier to put one’s signature under a treaty with mental reservations as to what action to take later than to champion a pacific policy before the whole nation, because that nation rejects war.
I could have signed ten treaties, but that would not have the weight of the declaration made to France at the time of the Saar plebiscite. If I, as Fuehrer, give my assurance that with the Saar problem settled we will make no further territorial demands on France, this assurance is a contribution to peace which is more important than many a signature under many a pact. I believe that with this solemn declaration a quarrel of long duration between two nations really ought to be ended….Peace was not to be one of the one-sided right, but a peace of general equality, thereby of general right. It was to be a peace of reconciliation, of disarmament of all and thereby of security for all. From it was to result, as its crowning glory, the idea of international collective, cooperative effort of all States and nations in the League of Nations. I must from this place once more state emphatically there was no people anywhere who more eagerly took up these ideas than the Germans.
Germany refuses to be regarded and treated for all time as a second-class or inferior nation. Our love of peace perhaps is greater than in the case of others, for we have suffered most from war. None of us wants to threaten anybody, but we all are determined to obtain the security and equality of our people….With equality, Germany will never refuse to do its share of every endeavor, which serves peace, progress and the general welfare. The German Reich, especially the present German Government, has no other wish except to live on terms   of peace and friendship with all the neighboring States. Much as we ourselves love peace, it is not within our power to prevent the outbreak of conflicts between States, especially in the East.
The German Government is at all times ready to participate in collective cooperation for securing the peace of Europe, but it then considers it necessary to meet the law of eternal evolution by holding open the possibility of revision of treaties.
If people wish for peace it must be possible for governments to maintain it. We believe the restoration of the German defense force will contribute to this peace because of the simple fact that its existence removes a dangerous vacuum in Europe. We believe if the peoples of the world could agree to destroy all their gas and inflammable and explosive bombs this would be cheaper than using them to destroy one another. In saying this I am not speaking any longer as the representative of a defenseless State which could reap only advantages and no obligations from such action from others.
I cannot better conclude my speech to you, my fellow-figures and trustees of the nation, than by repeating our confession of faith in peace: Whoever lights the torch of war in Europe can wish for nothing but chaos. We, however, live in the firm conviction our times will see not the decline but the renaissance of the West. It is our proud hope and our unshakable belief Germany can make an imperishable contribution to this great work.’ 3
These siren promises were quickly followed by the unprecedented German rearmament, the reoccupation of the demilitarized Rhineland, the annexation of Austria, the Munich conference of September 1938, the complete absorption of what was left of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, and the Nazi demands on Poland later that year.
Then as now, the establishment media of the English-speaking world were eager to parrot Hitler’s lies, and Trump’s lies now. Indeed, Trump is a creation of the ruling class media who have given him more than $2 billion of free exposure, most often without any commentary, rebuttal, fact check, or other counterweight.
As a member of the Berlin press corps, William L. Shirer observed as the media betrayed civilization in conformity with their governments’ policies of whitewashing and appeasing Hitler:
‘Besides the Reichstag, Hitler had another means of communicating his peace propaganda to the outside world: the foreign press, whose correspondence, editors and publishers were constantly seeking interviews with him. There was Ward price, the monocled Englishman, and his newspaper, the London Daily Mail, who were always ready at the drop of a hint to accommodate the German dictator. So in August 1934, in another one of this series of interviews which would continue up to the eve of the war, Hitler told price – and his readers – that quote “war will not come again,” that Germany had “a more profound impression than any other of the evil that war causes,” that quote “Germany’s problems cannot be settled by war.” In the fall Hitler repeated these glowing sentiments to Jean Goy, a French war veterans’ leader and a member of the French Chamber of Deputies, who passed them on in an article in the Paris daily Le Matin.’4
Nor was Hitler’s practice of strategic deception limited to words and speeches alone. From the First World War, Hitler had drawn the strategic lesson that Germany was not in a position to attack and defeat all of its neighbors simultaneously. Rather, Hitler wanted to knock them off one by one. Despite traditional hostility between Poles and Germans, Hitler upon seizing power immediately offered Poland a nonaggression pact, which was quickly accepted by the Polish dictator Pilsudski.
The first major international treaty entered into by Nazi Germany was, surprisingly enough, a friendship and nonaggression pact with Poland:
‘The German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact (German: Deutsch-polnischer Nichtangriffspakt; Polish: Polsko-niemiecki pakt o nieagresji ) was an international treaty between Nazi Germany and the Second Polish Republic signed on January 26, 1934. According to the Pact, both countries pledged to resolve their problems through bilateral negotiations and to forgo armed conflict for a period of ten years. It effectively normalized relations between Poland and Germany, which were previously strained by border disputes arising from the territorial settlement in the Treaty of Versailles. As a consequence of the treaty, Germany effectively recognized Poland's borders and moved to end an economically damaging customs war which existed between the two countries during the previous decade….The 1934 Polish-German non-aggression pact, soon followed by a trade agreement with Germany, is said to have granted Germany a settled eastern border and allowed Hitler time for rearmament; five years later, he went on to successfully invade Poland.’5
German ambassador, Hans-Adolf von Moltke, Polish leader Józef Piłsudski, German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbelsand Józef Beck, Polish Foreign minister meeting in Warsaw on June 15, 1934, five months after signing the Polish-German Non-Aggression Pact.
Pilsudski realized that he had become a prime target for aggression as soon as Hitler had seized power in January 1933. Pilsudski’s goal had been to gain time by seeking to ensure that he would not be the first of the Nazi targets. As it turned out, he was not the first, but rather the last before the outbreak of World War II just five years later in 1939.
The other peaceful overture accomplished during the early phase of Hitler’s power was the Anglo German Naval Agreement of June 1935, which established the pattern of appeasement or indirect support given to the Nazis by Britain and France. This agreement encouraged Germany to rearm well above the limits included in the Versailles Treaty:
‘The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 18, 1935, was a naval agreement between Britain and Germany regulating the size of the Kriegsmarine in relation to the Royal Navy. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement fixed a ratio whereby the total tonnage of the Kriegsmarine was to be 35% of the total tonnage of the Royal Navy on a permanent basis. It was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on July 12, 1935. The agreement was renounced by Adolf Hitler on April 28, 1939.'  6
Lord Halifax with Hermann Göring at Schorfheide, Germany, 20 November 1937.
In retrospect, all these peace overtures, peace, speeches, and charm offensives were revealed to be nothing more than stepping stones towards the next world war. The politicians and statesmen who put any credence in Hitler’s fakery were later reviled as sellouts and appeasers, and with good reason.
After Munich, Hitler said: “I have no further territorial demands in Europe.” But of course he did – he wanted the rest of Bohemia and Moravia, and then he wanted parts of Poland.
If we look at Trump’s foreign policy speech of last week, we see a similar tissue of lies. Experienced international observers must now see the fact that fascism has returned in grand style to the world stage after a 70-year absence, and that political leaders must unite to oppose the threat of a new fascist era which not everyone is morally and intellectually capable of understanding with the necessary speed.
  1. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X
  2. William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1960), p. 285.
  3. Hitler, Speech to the Reichstag, May 21, 1935.
  4. Shirer, pp. 280-281.
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